Wineries of the California Central Coast – with Concannon Vineyard

In 1883, with no prior knowledge of wine, much less wine growing, Irish immigrant James Concannon decided to plant a vineyard in the Livermore Valley, south of San Francisco. Importing Cabernet vines from Bordeaux’s Château Margaux, plans called for making sacramental wines, something that would see the family operation through the lean years of prohibition. […]

Posted by on 31 May 2016 | 8:00 am

The Wines of Sicily – with Tenuta Rapitalà

Rapitalà, which translates to “Beautiful Garden of God”, lies between the towns of Camporeale and Alcamo, in the northwest corner of Sicily. In 1968, French count, Hugues Bernard de la Gatinais, married Gigi Guarrasi, a descendant of a great family from Palermo. Together, they embarked on the renovation of the cellars and vineyards of the […]

Posted by on 26 May 2016 | 7:21 pm

Spirits from China – Baijiu

Most people are familiar with distilled spirits such as vodka, gin, rum, and the like. However, there is a customary spirit from China that you may not be familiar with – Baijiu. Traditionally, baijiu was used to celebrate important events and welcome newcomers. Today, baijiu is a symbol for diplomacy and a way to celebrate […]

Posted by on 17 May 2016 | 4:47 pm

Wineries of Anderson Valley – with Foursight Wines

Located in the rolling hills of the coastal region of Mendocino County, Anderson Valley is about two hours north of San Francisco. The valley is about 16 miles long, ranging from less than 1/2 mile to about 1-1/2 miles wide, and is home to a unique group of vineyards and wineries working in Region 1 […]

Posted by on 30 April 2016 | 5:25 pm

The Wines of Hungary – with Royal Tokaji

Tokaji is the world’s original sweet white wine. Historically the wine and the region were called Tokay or even Tokai in English but the wine is more correctly referred to as Tokaji and the region as Tokaj. The Tokaji wine region also has the distinction of being the first in Europe to be classified. At […]

Posted by on 12 April 2016 | 7:49 pm

Wineries of Napa Valley – with Arcudi Wines

It may seem like a long out-of-the-way journey from Massachusetts to France to California, but that’s what Tony Arcudi did. Arcudi spent 20 years working in computer-related fields, first as a missile navigation engineer aboard Navy submarines and later as a product manager for IBM. The transition from that to winemaker—working with wine greats such […]

Posted by on 31 March 2016 | 3:45 pm

Maison Ilan – with Ray Walker

Back in 2009, we spent some time talking to a young man from California who was headed to Burgundy to make wine …or more properly stated, to make Burgundy! Ray Walker has now been making wines in Nuits-Saint-Georges for the last seven vintages under his label, Maison Ilan. So, we thought we’d check in with […]

Posted by on 24 March 2016 | 9:34 am

Petite Sirah – A Test Drive

It all began in 1880 when Dr. François Durif, a grape botanist and grape breeder at the University of Montpellier in Southern France, released a new variety that he named after himself. It grew from a seed he extracted from fruit of the old French variety Peloursin. Dr. Durif didn’t know the pollen source at […]

Posted by on 29 February 2016 | 7:30 am

2015 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – The Wines of Domaine Marc Roy

This seminar from the 2015 World of Pinot Noir is the perfect bookend to the “Latitudes and Longitudes” seminar, where we heard from Pinot producers from around the world. This time, we’re back to the “homeland” of Pinot Noir – France’s Burgundy region, and specifically the wines of Domaine Marc Roy in Gevrey-Chambertin. Join us […]

Posted by on 22 February 2016 | 7:30 am

The Many Shades of Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir seems to be grown almost everywhere these days. Of course, we’re all familiar with Pinot from its ancestral home in Burgundy, as well as those from California, and of course Oregon. But, have you ever had Pinot from South Africa? Or, how about Pinot from Germany? Given the many shades of Pinot, we’ve […]

Posted by on 16 February 2016 | 5:53 pm

2015 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Latitudes & Longitudes

Originating from the Burgundy region of France, the pinot noir grape seems to have literally gotten a toehold in every corner of the globe. And, clonal material aside, it is the same grape that has been transplanted to these other climes. So, how does a reputedly fussy grape deal with the various climates and geology? […]

Posted by on 29 January 2016 | 11:43 am

The Wines of Montalcino – with Fattoria dei Barbi

Along with Biondi-Santi, the Colombini family helped build the reputation of Brunello di Montalcino as a wine of great quality and prestige worldwide. Fattoria dei Barbi is among the original producers of Brunello di Montalcino with bottles dating back to the 1892 vintage in its cellar. The estate includes vineyards in Montalcino, Scansano and Chianti […]

Posted by on 21 December 2015 | 2:48 pm

2015 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Gevrey-Chambertin vs Vosne Romanée

The wines of Burgundy always elicit emotions – and frequently more than just the aromas and the flavors. In this seminar from the 2015 World of Pinot Noir, the two presenters conduct a mock trial to determine which of two Côte de Nuits powerhouses has the better wines. The case of Gevrey-Chambertin vs. Vosne Romanée […]

Posted by on 14 December 2015 | 3:47 pm

Wineries of Napa Valley – with Odette Estate Winery

With their purchase of the Steltzner vineyard in 2012, the PlumpJack Group added the Odette Estate Winery to their portfolio. Although the Steltzner Vineyard’s first vintage was 1977, the vineyard was planted in 1965, making it the second vineyard planted to Cabernet in the District (after Nathan Fay). Extensive work to both the vineyard as […]

Posted by on 14 October 2015 | 3:57 pm

Wineries of Oregon – with Brooks Winery

Brooks Winery was founded in 1998 by Portland native, Jimi Brooks. Like most of his counterparts in Oregon, Jimi had a pioneering spirit that carried through to his love of life and winemaking. Sadly, Jimi passed away in 2004 from an aortic aneurism. In the aftermath of such tragedy, it speaks volumes for the Oregon […]

Posted by on 17 September 2015 | 3:27 pm

The Wines of Tuscany – with Tenuta Sette Cieli

“Tenuta Sette Cieli,” or “the estate of the seven skies,” is located between Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci, on the Tuscan coast 1,300 above sea level. The 173-acre estate overlooks terraced vineyards and the Mediterranean Sea, and is surrounded by the lush woods of Monteverdi Marittimo. Seventeen acres of high-density vineyards are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, […]

Posted by on 17 August 2015 | 8:30 am

2015 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Wines of The Côte Chalonnaise

One of the biggest thrills in wine, is finding bottles that perform above their price level. And, while Burgundy is not particularly known for bargains, there are still some excellent quality-to-price values to be found from several, shall we say, “lost” appellations and villages. One of these appellations is the Côte Chalonnaise. These wines are […]

Posted by on 3 August 2015 | 8:30 am

Garagistes of California – with Carucci Wines

Many wine lovers dream of taking that step of making wine for themselves. However, it’s a much bigger step – a leap of faith, in fact – to turn one’s avocation into the business of making and selling your wines to the public. Join us as we talk with winemaker Eric Carucci, about how he […]

Posted by on 23 June 2015 | 8:30 am

Château Angelus – with Hubert de Boüard and the Commanderie de Bordeaux

Winegrowing is in Hubert de Boüard’s genes. He grew up surrounded by his family’s vines at Château Angélus in Saint-Emilion, and his father bought him his first pair of secateurs, when he was 7, so he could go out and prune the vines. The estate has been owned by the Boüard de Laforest family since […]

Posted by on 9 June 2015 | 7:30 am

The Art and Science of Wine

Is wine more art than science, or vice versa? Arguably, it takes both art AND science to create and deliver the optimum wine-drinking experience. So, we were quite pleased when both these gentlemen came to the studio to talk with us about their winemaking efforts. Coming from different backgrounds (wine vs. food science), each brings […]

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 7:29 am

Wineries of the California Central Coast – with Talley Vineyards

Talley Vineyards produced its first wine in 1986 with the production of 450 cases. However, for three generations the Talley family has farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County. It all began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. During the 1970s extensive planting […]

Posted by on 13 May 2015 | 7:30 am

Wineries of Oregon – with Ponzi Vineyards

It was the late ’60s, and Dick and Nancy Ponzi had moved their young family to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. After several research trips to Burgundy and an extensive search for an ideal vineyard location, they purchased 20 acres on a small farm just southwest of Portland. The Ponzi’s were about to embark on a quest […]

Posted by on 4 May 2015 | 7:30 am

Malbec Days, Cahors, France – Part 2

Malbec has become a hot commodity in the market place in recent years, thanks to Argentina’s success with the varietal. However, the grape’s ancestral home in southwest France, near the city of Cahors, has become part of a renaissance taking place that may revive the legacy of the Malbec grape. In this ancient landscape, younger […]

Posted by on 23 April 2015 | 7:30 am

Malbec Days, Cahors, France – Part 1

If you ask the average wine geek where Malbec comes from, they’re most liable to tell you it’s Argentina. But, that’s just part of the story! True, Argentina has made the grape justifiably famous over the last two decades or more. However, the grape’s ancestral home is in southwest France, centered around the city of […]

Posted by on 13 April 2015 | 7:30 am

Spirits of France – with Cognac Lhéraud

As the saying goes, all Cognac is brandy – but not all brandy is Cognac. Cognac is distilled wine, or brandy, and often referred to as eau de vie. Of course, in order to be called Cognac, the brandy must come from the Cognac region in France, and it must be made according to strictly-defined […]

Posted by on 2 April 2015 | 7:30 am