Sunday, April 27, 2014

#Travaasa Experiental Resort/Wine Tasting #vistage Couples Retreat in Austin

We just returned today from an amazing resort hidden in the hills outside of Austin, Texas in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. Travaasa Resort is located in a very beautiful, tranquil setting overlooking Lake Austin in the distance. This isn't just another resort. They offer an extensive menu of activities such as meditation, pilates, biking, yoga, cooking demos, horseback riding, archery, dance, wine, beer, and tequila tastings, obstacle courses, hiking trails and zip lines! I could go on and on about the healthy foods, marvelous wines, and the Zen-like feel of this gem in the woods!

Check this out! 

And this!

We were there with eleven other couples whom either the husband or the wife is a member of Vistage, an organization of men and women CEO's who gather together to solve problems, evaluate opportunities, and work on strategic and operational issues within their individual companies. 

Our main speaker for the weekend was Bob Thurman, owner and developer of Counter Attactics, a personal safety and defense program. He was very passionate about his work and involved us in self-defense training. It was a very intense and hands-on training seminar.

On Saturday, we had four hours of free time, so we chose to hike the trails in the preserve across from the welcome center. It only took about 45 minutes through winding, rocky, sometimes steep grades to complete the trails and end back at the resort.

Then it was time for wine tasting! Four of the couples met in the Jean's Kitchen for this event with Edward, the on-staff manager and sommelier.

 Edward had a California white and red and a French white and red for us to taste. He set them up side by side, but didn't reveal the name of the wines. We had to guess the wines according to the information he was giving us. He spent quite a lot of time explaining terroir, scents, colors, grape varietals, and New versus Old World wines.

Here are the whites we tasted, which were very good wines!

2012 Schug Chardonnay ($30) from Carneros, California. The color of this wine gave it away. It's a brilliant gold, compared to the pale yellow of the white Burgundy sitting beside it. Schug Chardonnay underwent the traditional European winemaking techniques of barrel fermentation and aging on the lees. This produced a wine much like the elegant white Burgundy, which confused me at first. Aromas of apple, pear, vanilla and toast, with flavors of mandarin, pear, honeysuckle, and quince. It was not very buttery or oaky. I would definitely drink this again (and did the night before at the cocktail party on the patio.)

2011 Verget "Terroirs de Cote d'Or" Blanc ($17) from Burgundy, France. This wine represents the terroir of Burgundy and will make you salivate after the first taste. The secret is in the fruit-grapes that are extremely low yields from carefully selected growers across the entire region of Burgundy and grapes harvested at the optimum ripeness, with minimal handling and meticulous attention to detail. Delicious! Bright citrus, lemon lime and green apple aromas. A medium acidity with more citrus fruit, banana, pear, green apple, and perhaps a touch of butterscotch hidden in the mouth.

The reds will be another day! Too much information makes me thirsty and hungry! Enjoy these two wines soon!

My friend Beth Royal in the dress! She and her husband hiked with us before the wine tasting!

Gorgeous views on the patio! Travaasa Austin is a must for everyone!