Wine and Roses | The Santa Ynez Wineries

'Drop Dead Red' and the Bistro for Wine and Rose Tours on the Rose Walk
'Drop Dead Red' and the Bistro for Wine and Rose Tours on the Rose Walk
‘Drop Dead Red’ and the Bistro for Wine and Rose Tours on the Rose Walk

Wine and roses are like notes and music.

Sometimes referred to the Rodeo Drive of the North, Walnut Creek, CA is a suburb of San Francisco. It’s beautiful. While commuting from Dallas to Walnut Creek, CA I negotiated with the Lakewood Mansion at Walnut Creek for a corporate rate to stay there rather than a traditional hotel so I could experience the gardens and the beauty of the area. You see, I believe at some point we are all in this life for the experience.

 

Romantic Rose Garden | 'Twilight Zone'
Romantic Rose Garden | ‘Twilight Zone’

Thinking along those lines, while I was working in the area so much and away from my home in Texas I decided to travel from Northern California to Monterrey along the Pacific Coast Highway and visit my family in the Santa Ynez wine country. I would then stop at Big Sur, tour the Hearst Castle then go to Morrow Bay and see my cousin Jeff who lives and works there and then hop over to my Aunt Theresa Stranlund’s and cousin Katherine and Jim Muhlenbruch’s.

 

Playboy and a Bee
Playboy and a Bee

Our plan was to tour the Santa Ynez wineries and visit for a day or two with my family. By the time I completed the two days of touring the area I wanted to sell my home in Texas and move to Santa Ynez and never leave. If you haven’t ever visited Santa Barbara and driven inland to Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley and their wineries you have missed the most wonderful trip you can possibly plan folks.

 

The Butterfly Swing is Perfect for Wine & Roses
The Butterfly Swing is Perfect for Wine & Roses

Wine and gardens can connect people and create experiences and beautiful memories. I’ve often said ‘a garden is a gathering place’. Wine and gardens connect people while we make memories that last long after our loved ones have passed on. The Santa Ynez wineries are such places for me. My aunt lived in Santa Ynez and thought we would love touring the Santa Ynez wineries. This is truly an understatement.

 

Susan Fox | Teresa Byington | P. Allen Smith's Rose Garden with Wine
Susan Fox | Teresa Byington | P. Allen Smith’s Rose Garden with Wine

My Aunt and cousins Katherine, and Jim Muhlenbruch began the tour and I never wanted to leave. If you haven’t planned your summer travel yet this year go to the Santa Ynez valley. Every part of my trip was an experience.

 

 

'Brandy'
‘Brandy’

One of the highlights of my Santa Ynez Valley wine tour was seeing that the Fess Parker Winery, (started by the star of Daniel Boone) has a display of magnificent ‘Brandy’ roses. It was hybridized by Swim and Christenssen in 1982 and is a magnificent rose. As soon as I saw the gardens that they had planted of only ‘Brandy’ planted at the tasting room I knew exactly why it was planted by the winery. The meaning was not lost on me. You see brandy is made from wine. How perfect. Are You a ‘Wine Sommelier?” You can find out here. ‘On Becoming A Wine Sommelier’ .

 

 

Paul Zimmerman | The Biltmore Rose Trials
Paul Zimmerman | The Biltmore Rose Trials

After Paul Zimmerman invited me and I was so honored to serve as a judge at the Biltmore International Rose Trials, in Asheville, NC, Sommeliers, Tina and Guy Morey, of Protocol Wine Studios invited me to be the guest host of #winechat, Wednesday, July 16, from 6-7 PM PCT, won’t you please join us as we talk about what I believe with all my heart, that “a garden is a gathering place where we can enjoy “the fruit of our labor,” wine and roses. And, the beautiful planet earth that we live on, that grows the grapes, and the the roses, allows us the time together to tour the gardens and enjoy the fruit of our labor is that connects us all.                                                                                         ~ Susan Fox

 

The Biltmore Rose Trial Judges
The Biltmore Rose Trial Judges

 

 

Santa Ynez Wine Tasting Map Page 2
Santa Ynez Wine Tasting Map Page 2
Santa Ynez Wine Tasting Map Page 1
Santa Ynez Wine Tasting Map Page 1

Red | White | and A Blue Rose

Applause | A True Blue Rose
Blue Rose Arrangement
Blue Rose Arrangement

Red White and Blue Rose Collections had long been sought after and yet the Blue Rose was a quest that was only a dream. There are many patriotic Red and White Roses. And yet when one would seek the blue rose it was a dream to be fulfilled by a little known Japanese Company called Suntory that says:

Applause | A True Blue Rose
Applause | A True Blue Rose

Inspiration for the Name of Their Blue Rose ‘Applause’

“The name APPLAUSE was chosen as a token of congratulations to those who have fulfilled a dream or encouragement to those working diligently toward this goal, in a variety of situations. In Japanese, APPLAUSE rhymes with rose.”

In my quest for information on the blue rose I spoke with Dr. Tommy Cairns. He sent me the pictures of the first truly blue rose and I quote him, “the truly blue rose was long thought impossible to achieve.” You will be so amazed to find that the gene to achieve the color of the blue rose was derived from the precious flower that made living in Texas in the winter the happiest of times for me. When you grow up in the frozen tundra of Northern Illinois and you find a tiny little flower that blooms all winter you cherish it. Such is the blue pansy.

 

 

 

Mr. Lincoln in the Rain
Mr. Lincoln in the Rain

A Dream Fulfilled

Long believed to be impossible, blue roses represent success after persistent hard work. The company hopes that the blue roses will serve as an affirmation that one’s dreams will surely be fulfilled if one keeps working toward them.

“SUNTORY blue rose APPLAUSE” represents a successful joint development by Suntory Holdings Limited and Florigene, an Australia-based Suntory Group subsidiary. Never before have roses with nearly 100% blue pigment in the petals been grown anywhere in the world.

“Unlike familiar roses, “SUNTORY blue rose APPLAUSE” have a bluish tinge reminiscent of the sky just after dawn and an elegant, alluring, fresh fragrance. With a coloring and fragrance all their own, the roses create an exquisite ambiance. They can be given to commemorate achievements in one’s life just when years of pursuing a dream have come to joyful fruition, or when proposing marriage, commemorating wedding anniversaries, celebrating birthdays, or on other special occasions, these roses will make a memorable gift.”

The sale of the first biotech “blue rose”, which Suntory Co. created before the rest of the world, started on the third of November, 2009 at about 100 flower shops in the Tokyo and Osaka areas. The price was  2,000 – 3,000 yen a stem. Available in North America for the first time September 14, 2011.

Since roses lack the enzyme for producing a pigment responsible for blue colors, Suntory researchers had been trying to develop techniques for transplanting such an enzyme into rose petals from pansies. Though flowers of the “blue rose” created in this way look pale purple, the researchers say they have made various attempts to soften the shade of red on the petals.

4th of July Climbing Rose
4th of July Climbing Rose

The phrase “blue rose” has often been used to refer to something impossible. For this new rose, the result of their 20 years’ efforts, the researchers selected a new phrase for the : “The dream has come true”.

Happy 4th of July with our Red | White and Blue Roses. Thank-you Dr. Tommy Cairns for the information and the pictures of ‘Applause’ from Suntory.

Dr. Tommy Cairns, internationally renowned rose expert and exhibitor
Dr. Tommy Cairns, internationally renowned rose expert and exhibitor