A Wine Drinker Rambling about Wine

Month: February 2017

Ordaz Family Wines on #Winestudio

After having to take a short break from participating in #Winestudio, because Tuesdays seem to be the most popular night to schedule school/church/sports activities, I was able to accept a kind offer to participate and sample the wine for February. If you remember, #Winestudio is an online wine education program produced by Tina Morey. The focus is on a producer or winemaker and participants get to sample their wine and live chat with the winemaker. It’s a fun evening of wine learning.

Ordaz Family Wines

This month we are meeting a winemaker whose family history is marked by “perseverance, passion and a little bit of danger.” His story and the story of his family heritage, in some respects, have roots common to us all; an ancestry born in a different place.

As usual, I was so giddy to be in the “room” with my fellow participants and talk to a winemaker about his origins and his wine that I missed a few answers to the questions, due mainly to the fact that I was, well, excited to be there. I know that sounds weird but excitement can be distracting. I’ve seen it happen with our new puppy while trying to teach her to come or sit.  I was the puppy running around crazily, trying to greet everyone instead of paying attention. But fortunately, there are several participants self-controlled enough to stay on topic so I was able to go back and re-read their discussion tweets and find out what I’d missed learning about. Also, if you haven’t had the opportunity to participate in an online live chat, it’s not easy keeping up with everyone’s tweets/replies so things do get missed.

Anyway, our guest winemaker is Eppie Ordaz of Ordaz Family Wines based in the Sonoma Valley.

Here’s what I gleaned from the evening:

  • Eppie was recently named one of several “winemakers to watch” according to Sonoma Magazine, although he only took over as winemaker in 2013.
  • His father is Chuy Ordaz. Chuy has been a vineyard manager (40+ years) of several of Sonoma’s most famous vineyards and is highly respected in the field of vineyard management. Chuy began Ordaz Family wines in 2009.
  • The family is originally from Mexico.  (It took 33 attempts for Chuy to make it into the United States. You can read more about the adventure here.) 
  • Eppie has a degree in accounting. Winemaking and accounting may seem wholly unrelated but both require attention to details and certain elements have to add-up correctly to get a successful bottom-line. 
  • Eppie’s goal is to try to be a steward of the vineyard work so the “wines represent both the variety and the vineyard.”
  • All Ordaz’s wines are produced from vineyards Chuy oversees although the family has the goal of owning their own winery and estate vineyard in the near future. Currently, the operation is out of a custom crush facility. 
  • Eppie is committed to producing single-vineyard wines.
  • The focus is Small lot, High quality wines. 
Small Lot, High Quality Wines

For Tuesday’s discussion, we opened Pinot Noir Placida Vineyard Russian River Valley 2014 ( $38, 13.7%)

“Placida Vineyard is a 9 acre lot in the heart of the Russian River Valley appellation. it’s selection of clones provides great fruit characteristics needed to create well layered and balanced Pinot Noirs.” ~ Eppie Ordaz

The Russian River valley has a “gold ridge aspect” meaning a portion of the area has a yellow clay-like soil. According to Eppie, “It’s like striking gold for the region” in terms of making RRV Pinots and Chardonnays. The wines in the words of the winemaker are  “distinctly wonderful”. 

For February, my tasting partner has been on “vacation” so I’ve had to go it alone in drinking and discovering the Pinot. I’ve missed his straight forward palate! However, we had fun deciding on the menu pairing. Pinot is delicious with chicken, mushrooms, and even Indian dishes but we went classic with a Roasted Veggie Tart and Goat Cheese Souffle. Souffles are surprisingly easier than I expected, especially if you bake them in little Ramekins instead of trying to tackle the Julia Child sized ones. 

The Pinot was bright and aromatic: earthy, baked cherries, spice and buttered toast.

Tasting it alone, there were cranberry/cherry, cloves, cola, spices, and acidity.  The veggie tart smoothed it out and brought out berries. The goat cheese souffle was the dish that made it taste like a spoonful of Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. Since I was drinking for one, I emptied the bottle over a span of three days. The second and third days were still as good but with an added touch of roses.



A dahlia flower adorns the Ordaz labels. Eppie said the flower represents his dad’s love of gardening and being a native flower of Mexico, the family’s Mexican heritage. The website states: “the Dahlia symbolizes the cultural beauty that continually shapes our lives. Universally, the Dahlia expresses diversity, elegance, dignity, personal expression, and the eternal bond between two people, all things that are inherent in any great bottle of wine.”

Next Tuesday evening #Winestudio will dive into the Ordaz Sandoval Vineyard Malbec. You’re welcome to join in the discussion on Twitter at 8pm CST. Use the hashtag #winestudio. There will be more chatting with Eppie and discovering the unique relationship between wine, vineyard and family heritage. 

Cheers, Allison



The wine featured is a sample courtesy of Ordaz Family Wines. 

Oklahoma Skies #1 – Sunset

I thought I’d start a new blog feature after noticing there are approximately a thousand pictures on my iPhone of the Oklahoma skies. Apparently, I’m infatuated with them. Some days, they can be fairly spectacular. We might not have much here in tornado alley, but more often than not the skies are saturated in a range of glorious colors. 

            Hope you enjoy a little slice of heaven. 

Sunset – January 21, 2017


There’s a Circus in the Vineyard: Michael David Petite Petit 2014

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Circus will be shuttering the Big Top in May. After 150 years, no more clowns tumbling out of tiny cars, Ballerinas poised on galloping horses, Chinese acrobats, Lion tamers or tightrope walkers cartwheeling at death defying heights. The Ring Master’s stage will go silent and the elephants will go into retirement. Personally, I’ll shed no tears over the clowns. They’ve always given me the hebee-gebees. Also not too worried for the acrobats because they can get higher paying gigs in Vegas. So all is well. But the elephants, those majestic beasts of the African Savanna, how will they fare?

Well, no worries. They’ll be happily employed in the vineyard or at least poising on wine labels for Michael David Winery in Lodi, California. Yes, it’s true. They already have a lovely gig representing Michael David’s Petite Petit 2014  which my husband and I had the pleasure of drinking over the holidays. And again, after the holidays because it really is that good. The Petite Petit was recommended by our local wine source and backed up by Lori @Dracaenawines (you can read about her experience at the winery here). Plus, you know me, I’m a sucker for arty labels and this one is arty and entertaining. There’s a lot going on in the picture. The mice are busy opening other bottles from Michael David. One of the elephants has a tattoo. The entire pachyderm demeanor is a mix of tough guy and wine connoisseur. Just relaxing after over a glass of petite Sirah while the mice play cards. There’s even a cute poem on the back label.

Michael David Winery (here’s the website) could revive the Circus with this full-bodied red.  The wine is a blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot. A nice balance of dark fruit, spice, cherries and a touch of mocha. Great for sipping  alone while picking out all the stuff going on on the label or with a pulled pork sandwich smothered in Head Country BBQ sauce and side of potato salad.  I’m not sponsored by Head Country BBQ but if they feel so inclined, I’m happy to oblige. If you can’t get Head Country, I feel for your deprivation. However, Michael David wines are widely distributed so you can stage your own little circus at home. These days, mine includes a dog. I’m looking for a top hat for her.

Thanks, Michael David Winery for keeping the elephants gainfully employed. And thankfully, no sign of any creepy clowns. (No offense to clown lovers. Some childhood phobias last a lifetime).

Welcome to the Big Top,


And the Winner is . . . OkieWineGirl! Yeehaw! #MWWC30

“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”
~William Shakespeare


Last week or maybe longer, the most incredible thing happened in the life of this humble and rambling wine blogger. The results for the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge#30 were posted (HERE) and this Okie Wine Girl WON! My heart still gets a little racy thinking about it and I know I owe all of you: friends, family, fellow bloggers a ginormous THANK YOU for voting for my obscure post (HERE – encase you didn’t get to read it or you’ve got time to burn).

Wow. I’m humbled. Thank you. 

For those who aren’t familiar with the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge, you can click HERE to get the scoop and even join in for #MWWC31.  It’s the brainchild of Jeff @thedrunkencyclist whose writing cracks me up. Especially his posts on being a Cycling tour guide (Click OMG). Oh my goodness, with his last installment I almost found out what it’s like to laugh and vomit at the same time. But I digress . . .  

The honor of picking the next challenge word was my reward. The fellow wine bloggers who enter each month are a dynamite group of writers so the gravity of the honor struck me. Did I say thank you for voting for me?  Thank you.

Do you know how many great words there are to choose from??? It can drive you mad. Here was my short list: Failure, Respect, Mistake, Tremendous, Light.

And yet, I picked FAITH.  Why? Because, regardless of your beliefs, we all have faith in someone or something. It’s a powerful intangible of life.

Because when you plow up a field, plant some obscure vine and try turning it into wine, it takes a lot of faith it’ll turn out divine. Cheesy, I know. But cheese always pairs perfectly with wine. (Alright. I’ll quit. Cheesy jokes are a family specialty so I can do this all day!) Anyway, cheese aside, once again, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. 

~ Allison


© 2017 OkieWineGirl

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: