January 2019 - Please The Palate
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My exploration into the Dão region continued. First it was about visiting a new wine region, then it was about the terroir and now I share the story of Luis Lourenço of Quinta dos Roques and Quinta das Maias who was one of the pioneers in the region to make single varietal wines. My story about the evolution from field blends to single varietal wines first ran in the Napa Valley Register and you can read it below here. Field blends were once common in the Old World. Families would plant more than one variety in the vineyard and did not really care about varieties or clones. Instead of considering the unique characteristics of each grape, the grapes were all treated the same way.
Red and white grapes were interplanted. All grapes were harvested at the same time and fermented together. The winemaker had no influence on the final wine blend. And, more than likely, while all the grapes were indigenous, the winemakers most likely did not know what grape varieties they had planted.
If there is one cuisine that is synonymous with California, it is Mexican food. But, one thing you usually don't hear is healthy Mexican food. That is, until you eat at Tocaya Organica. I have been passing different Tocaya Organica locations a lot lately. I see them everywhere, which makes sense as they have grown to twelve locations across Los Angeles and into San Diego and Arizona since starting in Venice in 2016. I finally ventured inside the Santa Monica location and was greeted by the welcoming signature fresh, bright, modern decor with teal and gold touches and lots of greenery on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Tocaya Organica is a fast-casual concept serving up "modern organic Mexican" food. The menu features locally sourced produce as part of their commitment to serve natural and sustainable ingredients. All meats and fish served are fresh and 100% free of hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Using the highest quality ingredients, Tocaya Organica serves flavorful dishes rooted in traditional Mexican recipes, such as tacos and burritos. And, no matter your dietary restrictions, Tocaya Organica has something for you as many of the dishes are vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten-free.