Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Mid-Winters In Paso Robles


By Len Bose
Len and Jennifer Bose on their wine-tasting trip to Paso Robles.
While most of you were sailing in the 81st annual 2010 Midwinter regatta or sailing in the Vallarta Race, some of us were catching up with our annual maintenance. Please understand as a yacht broker, when I take time off from work, I go racing or to Catalina with the family, that’s pretty much it.
Around this time of year, my wife Jennifer reminds me it's our wedding anniversary, and very gently asks where we might be going. My reply is normally, “Let's load up the boat and head to Catalina.”
Well about every five years, Jennifer looks at me, places her hands on her hips and tells me: “Not again. I want to go somewhere were there are no boats and just relax.”
So, what’s a sailor going to do? Go drinking of course, or to put it more eloquently – wine tasting. Yeah, that’s it, let's go wine tasting!
It’s also strange that about every five years I sell a boat to a vintner; it’s always good to “talk the talk.” Now, I just need to learn to “walk the walk,” because after 17 years with my love, staying at a Motel 6 and doing 10 tastings in a day is no longer an option. This time, I needed to do my homework and plan a strategy and route in mind. So, I tried to recall the first winemaker I sold a boat to some 20 years ago – Cliff Giacobine. Cliff has since passed away, but what I recall was always talking about Italian wines. I thought this was strange, because the year was 1990. He had been growing Zinfandel for years and had just started planting Syrah. Now jump ahead 20 years: the Rhone style is getting most of the attention in Paso Robles. And I can still recall Cliff talking about Italian wines.
So while researching the trip, I found www.giornatawines.com, whose headline on the website read: "Inspired by Italy – Crafted in California.” This winery is owned and operated by Stephanie and Brian Terrizzi, whose philosphy reads: "Creating giornata started with a dream to create wines from Italian grapes grown in California employing the sensibility and philosophy of Italian winemaking."
What I liked most about this vintner was that after I sent an email requesting a tasting time, Brian called me personally. The Terrizzis don't have a tasting room yet, so you meet Stephy at a local wine bar called 15 Degrees C, which refers to a nice cellar temperature for a red wine. There is no better way to get a true feel for a region than getting an overview from a local wine bar.
Jennifer and I had a chance to try the “il Campo” and the Sangiovese. This is when Jennifer said "yummy," and we purchased a bottle of the 2007 Gemellaia, two bottles of the 2007 Nebbiolo along with a bottle of the 08 il Campo. It might be because of the past comments made by my old friend Cliff, but my gut tells me to keep my eye on giornata wines. I would also like to point out that I was not charged for the tasting.
So now it was time go drinking ... I mean wine tasting. Attached is my google maps. Because Jennifer and I went tasting on a Sunday and Monday, the yellow pins mark the wineries open Thursday through Sunday.
We pulled off the 101 onto Vineyard Drive. I called Booker wines because I had read that they were closed for tasting due to a fire. This wasn't really a problem as Turley Wines is on the way to the 46. Turley Zins are the "best in the world," and the owners are mighty proud of their product. This didn't keep us from buying a bottle of Dogtown and a bottle of Turley olive oil.
With the time now at 3 p.m., I decided to pass on L’Aventure. On a side note, you can find L’Aventure wines for sale at The Wine Club in Santa Ana.
Next on the list was Zin Ally. You have to stop by and see Frank. He only makes 300 cases of Zin a year, but his father used to own Pesenti Vineyards, which is now owned by Turley. This winery is a must see and an outstanding value.
Just down the Hill is Four Vines. The tasting room was packed, and just not a comfortable place for Jen and me. If you are under the age of 40, stop by and enjoy a tasting.
Next on our list was Dover Canyon. This winery has one of the better views of Paso Robles, and we stayed well over an hour tasting 12 different types of wine. I really liked this place; we walked out with two bottles of their Rebel Rose’ and two Bottles of their 2007 Osso Seccho.
We then pushed to the Far Out region of Paso and stopped by Le Cuvier. The tasting room is a couple of picnic benches in the middle of the winery with everyone working around you. To me it does not get any better than this. And as for the wines, all Jennifer could say was, “We'll take that one and that one and ..." I am just glad our son Andrew wasn't with us, because we might have just left him there in trade.
With time running out, we started back to the bed and breakfast we were staying at with the hopes we could make it to Villa Creek. We pulled in front of Villa Creek at 5:20 p.m., and they had already closed. But to tell you the truth, we were done tasting for the day.


View from Belvino Viaggio, their charming bed and breakfast.
We arrived at Belvino Viaggio, our quaint lodging, at just before six o' clock, with a very warm greeting from Lois Fox owner/innkeeper. To keep the article short, we loved it! We've never stayed at a better place in Paso.
We were the only ones there on Sunday and Monday nights, and we'll be back. We shared some wine and cheese and just took in the breathtaking view with Lois, who talked about her upcoming bare boat charter in La Paz.
Jennifer and I have been wine tasting a number of times, and our routine is to have a picnic in the room for dinner. As the moon came over the city lights it was the end of a perfect first day.

On day two, we took out our party hats after a nice walk through the orchard below the B&B, and started out on our course. First stop – Lone Madrone, with a farm-style wine tasting room and a comfortable feeling.
Next was Linne Calodo. This is one of the new high-end places in town with some of the better wines from Paso. The whole place is breathtaking. With their flagship wine being named “Problem Child” it made me laugh and think of my good friend Dan Rosen and his boat of the same name. The wines are pricey but it’s worth the stop.
Our next waypoint was Denner Wines – and just like Linne Calodo – this is one of the new wineries in town where no expense has been spared. Jennifer and I used one of their picnic benches for lunch, and spent an hour just enjoying the view.
We continued traveling north on Vineyard, and as we approached Norman we noticed the time was 3 p.m., and we were already running out of steam. We made our last stop – Tablas Creek. By the time we arrived there, Jennifer had caught her second wind and started by saying “yummy” and “we will take that one and that one and …"
It was approaching 5 p.m., and we needed to go back and change to get ready for dinner at Artisan. We wrapped up our 17th wedding anniversary in style, with a three-course meal, and of course, the wine pairing.

To tell you the truth, I hit every lay line and made it around this course like I knew what I was doing. When Jennifer went to work today she still had a big smile on her face, leaving the house with a big, “I love you.” Well, it will be great until my MasterCard bill arrives. If any of you readers would like a copy of my wine notes and some of the information I gathered, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Now it's time to get ready for the Cabo race.

Sea ya'
Len Bose
Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting Geared Up For The Corona Del Mar To Cabo Race

By Len Bose

LIMIT from New Zealand, owned by Alan Briety, will be racing in Class A for first to finish. The big boats start on Saturday. It’s difficult to write about anything other than Friday’s Corona del Mar to Cabo Sailboat Race. Two days before the start of the race, weather information is becoming much more personal. What I can share with you is some of the dock talk I picked up Wednesday morning.

It appears there will be 35 boats on the starting line. As I informed you last week, the new Pendragon V had to withdraw because of some rudder issues. Last report, the Antrim 40 XL, the Far 40 White Knight and the Catalina 38 Hooligan have also withdrawn from the race.

These are my final bets: Class A, The R/P 45 Criminal Mischief. With the wind forecast showing the wind lighting up at the finish I have to wonder if the larger boat will water line this little speedster. But after inspecting the boats today and seeing the Hoag Hospital ID band on Elvis’ wrist today, the boys on Criminal Mischief are ready! Class B, Grand Illusion (and I will be pulling for Mirage). Class C, I still have to go with Morpheus. She was looking just too fast today sitting on the dock ready to go. No one was doing any last minute changes or repairs. Just three people aboard with big smiles on their faces. Talk about intimidating ... Class D, I’ll go with one of the J 125s, but I’m just not sure which one. So, I’ve got to go with the current champ Reinrag2. One of my favorite J 125 film clips is Reinrag2 in the last Corona del Mar to Cabo race atwww.youtube.com/watch?v=XlbrrAt7Ktc. Watch this a couple of times and I bet I see you on the starting line next year.

Now, for the small boat in Class D, I don’ see the breeze holding up to give the Ross 40 Paddy Wagon the pressure she needs to correct out. Like I’ve said before, there will be 11 boats in the 40-foot class D, and this is a very good sign for the sport of yacht racing.

When talking to entry chairman Chris Hemans yesterday, he was very excited about the turnout in this class, in which he will be skippering his boat the Trip 41 Entropy. “The way the weather is looking Len, we’ll have something for everyone. With some wind behind us, on our nose and possible light wind at the end.” I didn’t agree with his forecast, but kept it to myself.

I asked Chris if there was anything else he could tell me. “We’ve purchased some very nice trophies, and will be trying a new daily check-in system with satellite phones. Of course we’ll have plenty of cold beer at the finish line, a photographer on site for crew photos and a great trophy presentation.” Thanks Chris. Have a good race. “Yea thanks, Len. So, what do you think the weather will be doing?” Probably a little something for everybody, Chris.

I’m in my typical frantic mode of taking care of work, family and gathering all the last minute information for the big race this weekend. If our email gets up and running on the boat I will try to send in daily reports of our progress. Please remember to keep your eyes tuned to the Iboat tracking system athttp://cloud.iboattrack.com/r/start.php?r=2010_corona_cabo and should you wish to get a little more of the taste of the race, please come on down to the send off party tonight at Balboa Yacht Club, 5:30 p.m.

Sea ya’
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to The Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Yacht Racing Is Just Around The Corner

By Len Bose

The warning signal for the 2010 boating season is about to be raised. With the daylight savings time change just three weeks away, the shipyards are in full swing with the yachts preparing for the upcoming season. The Rhine Wharf Guest Dock is under construction, the racing starts this weekend, fishermen are still chasing the giant squid and the local yacht clubs' cruising schedules have been posted. Its time to go yachting!

While cruising the shipyards today, the Balboa Boat Yard and South Cost Shipyard seemed a little slow, while in the Newport Shipyard the bay's comical fleet was filling the yard. Over at Basin Shipyard, the yard was packed, and I could barely walk through it. Normally within the next couple of weeks, the yards start filling up with the yachting season approaching fast. If you have not scheduled your haul-out yet, you better get on it, because if you don't do it now you might be waiting until July before there is an opening.

The racing season really starts this weekend with the 81st Annual 2010 Midwinter Regatta. Most of the racing in Newport this weekend will be limited to Sabots and Harbor 20’s. This is only a wake-up call, because once March starts its “Sheet in and Max Out.” One of my favorite events is the WD Schock Memorial Regatta coming March 6-7, that brings in a big fleet of Lido 14’s and Harbor 20’s. Last year, we had 24 Lido 14’s and 28 Harbor 20’s, and this is always a good way to start out this bay's March madness.

The following weekend, Newport Harbor Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club have put their heads together to come up with one of the better ideas for a yacht race that I've seen in years – The Islands Race. It starts March 12 in Long Beach, heads around Catalina and San Clemente Islands to port and finishes in San Diego. In its inaugural run, this race has attracted 47 of the West Coast's best ocean racers with four Santa Cruz 70, four Trans Pac 52, and Dennis Conner and his Farr 60 “Stars & Stripes.” Other boats to watch will be Magnitude 80 and three new boats to the race course this year: “Yippee Kai Yay” the new Antrim Open 40, “Rapid Transit” an Antrim Open 49 and the Kernan 44 “Wasabi.” And of course everyone's favorite – “Ragtime." Most of the people entered in this race will be returning to Newport the next weekend for the CdM to Cabo Yacht race on March 26-27. Because I will be racing in this year's Cabo race, I will miss the “Harry Wood” Lido 14 regatta that the Balboa Yacht Club is running on the March 28. Last year, this event had 15 A Fleet boats and five B fleet boats attending. This is always a well-run event with some of the best racing the bay has to offer. Also with the time change, the second Sunday of the month, means the Lido 14’s will be returning to M mark on Wednesday nights starting on March 17 at 5:30 p.m.and going through August.

While making my way around the harbor today, one can't miss the work going on in the Rhine Channel. Between The Cannery restarant and Blue Water Grille, the city has started construction on the 100-foot guest dock, and it appears the work will be done before summer starts. The bay is in desperate need for more guest docks, so this will be a big relief when the project is completed.

From what I hear at the Island Marine Fuel dock (the only mini-market on the bay), everyone is still chasing the giant squid. With a quick look at Newport Landing's website www.newportlanding.com/fishcount.htm, the fishing boats are leaving at 5:30 nightly. It seems that everyone I showed a boat to these last two weeks is going giant squid fishing.

While sitting in on the Balboa Yacht Club's fleet meeting, our cruising chairmen reviewed this year's schedule. One of my favorite events we have each year is our club's raft up in the turning basin. This year, the raft up is scheduled on March 27-28, and Newport Harbor's raft up will be on May 22-24. I can’t think of a better way or better value than attending a raft up in Newport Bay.

So get ready to start your watches. This season's preparatory signals are about to be raised!

Sea ya'
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Events On The Water

By Len Bose

Islands Race

I wanted to recap some of the racing that went on last weekend, and talk a little about what is coming up this week and the following week.

My understanding that local yachtsman Jim Madden, owner of “Stark Raving Mad V” came up with the concept (or retro idea depending how long you've been around), of retuning to a local overnight race a couple of years ago. The idea was then picked up again by Paul Stemler who then went down to the San Diego Yacht Club and looked up Staff Commodore Fred Delaney, and the two of them chaired the inaugural “Islands Race” this past weekend. The race started on Friday in Los Angles Harbor and proceeded by taking Catalina and San Clemente Islands to port and finishing in San Diego. Then Paul and Fred came up with some outstanding foresight by starting this race in the month of March, to invert the starting order, and make it a part of the Ullman Offshore Series.

Blend all these ingredients and BAM you have 50 boats entered into the inaugural race. The weather was perfect with sunny skies and 15 to 20 knots of breeze with most of the fleet finishing before 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. I talked to chairman Paul Stemmler over the phone on Monday and thanked him for coming up with one of the better ideas I have seen in a long time on our racing scene. His response was, "Thanks Len, the whole idea was to attract everybody,“ and they did that with 41 boats making it to the starting line. I then asked Paul what were some of the stories from the race?

“Well we had one boat run into a whale, someone fell overboard and was quickly retrieved, a tremendous amount of sea life around us, with the inverted starts everyone was racing side by side the down backside of Catalina and we had more than 300 people stay for the awards ceremony on Saturday Night. "Wow! I said. How lucky are you? I have to think you will be doing the same event next year?" “Oh yes, you can count on it," Paul replied.

I then asked, since next year is the Newport to Cabo race, if there was any chance if the participants who are doing the Islands Race and the Cabo Race can have IBoat transmitters placed on their boats early so everyone can watch both races?“ "That’s a great idea Len, I will have to check into that.” If you would like to find the results, video and photos of the fantastic event go to www.islandsrace.com.

Wednesday started the spring twilights with absolutely perfect conditions – sunny and warm with an eight to 10 knot westerly coming down the bay. The fleet gathers off M Mark around 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday, and our Pro Jeff Keenan goes straight to work setting up the race course and passing out cold beverages. Last night we got in five windward leewards and some of the most fun I had in my Lido in a long time. This year’s mascot is “Buddha in a Boat,” and should you make a large blunder on the racecourse or take things a little too seriously, the “Buddha in the Boat” is awarded to you and pulled behind your boat. It also becomes part of your boat during the next race. After each race “The Buddha” is passed over to the next offender. Some of the better comments last night were “Love the Buddha” and “That Buddha has duck lips.” This event is open to everyone, just come on down, grab a cold beverage and “Love the Buddha.”

A week from this Friday starts the 2010 CdM to Cabo race, although it's too early to tell, the weather just might cooperate again this year! The entries should start showing up at BYC this weekend. It reads as if the R/P 63 “Limit” has arrived and is measuring the boat now. Here are my bets on the Race for today: Class A, The P/P 45 Criminal Mischief; Class B, Grand Illusion (and I will be pulling for Mirage); Class C, I still have to go with Morpheus although FLACA won “The Island Race.” I will be aboard FLACA this year, and of course, I had to miss last weekend's race because of work. Being a superstitious sailor, it's never good to win the race before the big event. The only way I know how to counter my superstition is to ask the question, “Do you know why FLACA won last weekend's race? Because we can!”

Now that that’s out of the way, it's time to party ... a send-off party, that is. Balboa Yacht Club's send off party starts Thursday night at 5 p.m. with $2 Cabo Wabo Margs and $2 Coronas. The “Ricky Lewis Band” will be performing, and of course, the club will have the Mexican Buffet out. Parking will be a pain so come by boat if you can. Do you ever wonder why the clubs serve Mexican food before you go to Mexico? So if you are listening Newport Harbor, next year serve hamburgers, hot dogs and Sam Adams?

Sea ya'
Len Bose

Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.