Saturday, February 9, 2013

Triangle Wine Experience Sip & Sign: Ridgewood Wine and Beer Company

100.7 The River's Kitty Kinnin along with Anderson's
Conn Valley owner and winemaker, Todd Anderson.


By Dathan Kazsuk | Feb 9, 2013
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown



Being a fan of California wines like I am, it came to no surprise that I mapped out a course of local Raleigh wine shops to visit during Frankie Lemmon School’s annual Triangle Wine Experience’s sip & sign event.

The concept is easy: various California wine makers poured samples of their wines to local oenophiles, with proceeds going to the school. It’s was a win-win situation for everyone.

My first stop was the Ridgewood Wine and Beer Company. Located inside the Ridgewood Shopping Center, this beer and wine shop had Sonoma’s Arista Winery, and  Saint Helena’s Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards. The shop is ran by 3 knowledgeable owners: Ryan Elliott, Jason Kaczor and Patrick King. 

It was at Ridgewood where I met the eccentric Todd Anderson. Todd’s been in the wine business for over 31-years, bringing to the forefront his Conn Valley wines, as well as the much sought after, but hardy ever obtained Ghost Horse wines.

Now I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of Ghost Horse Vineyards, and maybe that’s because as Anderson states, “It’s made in low volumes and the only way you can get it is by knowing me.” 

Well, I know you now … can I try some?

It didn’t take long for Anderson to ask his local distributor to go out to the car and grab a bottle of Ghost Horse Vineyards vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. I went into shock when he poured a generous sample for my wife and I and told us this sells for $2,000 a bottle.

But back to the wines Anderson was pouring for the crowd who wasn’t lucky enough to indulge in a sip of wine that equals out to roughly $80 an ounce. 

Some of the Conn Valley wines we sampled.
First was a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, which Anderson mentioned, is only sold in the state of North Carolina. I thought that was pretty neat that he devoted a wine just to our state, which he admits he enjoys a lot.

Next we tried a chardonnay, which, not being a big fan of chardonnay, I wasn’t too thrilled with this wine – but that’s not to say it isn’t good, just not my cup of tea.

We then sampled the 2010 Prologue Cabernet Sauvignon … which we both enjoyed. Eventually we ended the tasting with a sample of his 2010 Conn Valley Right Bank. Again, a great wine, and available at Ridgewood for $71.00 a bottle.

Anderson has a very to-the-point look at the wine world in general, letting people know that he doesn’t give a (expletive) about the soil or the process in which people make their wine, as he humbly puts it, “I don’t care what it has in it, let’s have fun and get into the socializing with wine!”

Here are some little known facts about Todd I learned that day:

  • He’s friends with Randall Miller, the writer/director for the 2008 wine flick, Bottle Shock, which starred Bill Pullman, Alan Rickman and Chris Pine.
  • He was asked to be part of the realty TV series “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” which he declined.
  • He once sold a vintage case of his Ghost Horse wine to some North Carolina residents for $12,000.