2013 Wine & Fire Seminar: Digging Deep – Clone 115

The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. […]

Posted by on 7 April 2014 | 8:30 am

Australia – What’s New?

Wines from Australia are no stranger to most of us, roaring into the U.S. market with high demand back in the mid-to-late ‘90s. At least part of this seemingly sudden demand was driven by the interest in wines with high scores tendered by the Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator publications. Add in the fascination for […]

Posted by on 27 March 2014 | 8:35 am

Seldom Seen – Wines That Don’t Get Enough Face Time

The world has been witnessing a lot of geo-political turmoil over the last several years. The “Arab Spring,” the “Orange Revolution,” people taking to the streets. Curiously, the wine world has also seen its share of turmoil. We’ve heard about the “natural wine” movement, the “In Pursuit of Balance” organization, and Robert Parker stepping down […]

Posted by on 17 March 2014 | 8:30 am

2013 Wine & Fire Seminar – There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills

The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. […]

Posted by on 7 March 2014 | 7:30 am

The Renaissance of Spirits – Gin

Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at gin, a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). With origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved from an herbal medicine to point of major of commerce in the spirits industry. While the Dutch get credit for the […]

Posted by on 19 February 2014 | 7:30 am

The Wines of Chablis – with Séguinot-Bordet

Located in northeast France, the Chablis region was annexed by the Dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century. While it is considered the northernmost extension of the Burgundy wine region, it is separated from the Côte d’Or by the Morvan hills. In fact, the town of Beaune located is more than 62 miles away. This […]

Posted by on 7 February 2014 | 7:30 am

The Wines of Verona – with Bertani Amarone

One of the famous wine growing areas of Italy, the Verona region lies in the north of the country, half-way between Venice and Milan. There has always been a long wine-producing tradition here, which today boasts the largest number of DOC wines in the country, producing wines such as Valpolicella, Soave and Amarone. Founded in […]

Posted by on 29 January 2014 | 7:30 am

The Renaissance of Spirits – Rum

Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at rum. Arguably the oldest of distilled spirits, rum is a bit unique in that it is made from a byproduct of other salable products (sugar cane and molasses), and actually may have more variety in its styles than other distilled spirits. Rum appears […]

Posted by on 17 January 2014 | 7:30 am

2013 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Minerality

Over the past several years, wine tasters have been using the term “minerality” to describe specific vinous attributes that include: wet stone, crushed stone, chalk, flint, racy acidity, salinity and the actual taste or smell of minerals. Since science has now debunked the original assumption that these aromas and flavors were translated directly from the […]

Posted by on 7 January 2014 | 7:30 am

Wine Tasting Clubs

Knowledge transfer has always proved to be one of the best, perhaps the best, way to learn the many complexities of wine. Instructor-led tastings is one way to accomplish this – to actually become a student of wine. In fact, many of us either started our respective wine journeys in this fashion, or we know […]

Posted by on 27 December 2013 | 7:30 am

Wineries of South Africa – with Mulderbosch Vineyards

Winegrowing has been going on in South Africa since the late 1600s, making it ‘the oldest of the New World producers.’ Thirty years ago, the region’s wines were of uneven quality – something that has demonstrably changed over the last ten or more years. The recent acquisition of Mulderbosch Vineyards by California–based Terroir Capital LLC […]

Posted by on 17 December 2013 | 7:30 am

The Renaissance of Spirits – Tequila

What’s this? A show about…tequila? Well, tequila may have more in common with wine growing and wine making than you might imagine. The rules for where and how it can be grown rival many French AOCs. Blue agave plants are planted and hand harvested with some of the same rigor that goes into planting and […]

Posted by on 6 December 2013 | 7:30 am

Wineries of Southern California – with Moraga Vineyards

Moraga Vineyards is a wine growing estate in the Santa Monica Mountains at an elevation of 600 to 900 feet, five miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Los Angeles community of Bel Air. Owners and native Californians, Tom and Ruth Jones have lived on the 16-acre Moraga Canyon property since 1959, purchasing a small […]

Posted by on 27 November 2013 | 7:30 am

Wineries of Napa Valley – with Sequoia Grove

Located on Hwy 29 in Napa Valley, Sequoia Grove Winery sits on 22 acres in the heart of the valley in a region known as the Rutherford Bench. Named for the huge Sequoia trees in front of the winery, it was founded by Jim Allen in 1978, and has one of the first subterranean cellars […]

Posted by on 18 November 2013 | 7:30 am

2013 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Alcohol & Balance Redux

A couple of years ago, the 2011 World of Pinot Noir presented a seminar on alcohol and balance, with a goal of panelist discussion to determine if alcohol and balance were mutually exclusive, or if one affected the other – adversely or otherwise. It was a hot-button topic among consumers and in the media at […]

Posted by on 6 November 2013 | 7:30 am

2012 Hospice du Rhone Seminar – The Wines of d’Arenberg

Chester Osborn is a walking encyclopedia. The Australian wine producer manages to keep ALL of the data for 60 different wines he makes each year, in his head! The sheer number of vineyards would tax most people’s faculties. And, these are wines of no small breeding. Most of the vineyards are 60+ years old. Chester […]

Posted by on 31 October 2013 | 8:30 am

The Wines of Montalcino – with Alessandro Bindocci

Alessandro Bindocci is the 4th generation of Bindocci’s to work in the wine business, and the 2nd generation to be following in the footsteps of Piero Talenti, mentor to Alessandro’s father Fabrizio and one of the founding fathers of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation. After completing his enology degree at the University of Pisa, Alessandro […]

Posted by on 21 October 2013 | 8:30 am

The Wines of Bordeaux – with Vignobles Garcin

One might easily assume the Garcin family have always been Bordelais. However, they’re relatively recent transplants, having previously lived in the French Alps, where they owned a chain of supermarkets and a sports company. After the sale of these companies, brother and sister, Daniel and Sylviane Garcin, headed to Bordeaux in 1991, whereupon Daniel bought […]

Posted by on 7 October 2013 | 8:30 am

Wine in the Sky – with American Airlines

Ken Chase is a busy guy! As the wine consultant for American Airlines, it’s his responsibility to source the wine and plan the wine lists for all of American’s 6,000 flights per day. Fortunately, he’s got the contacts and the experience to make it all sound easy. Ken is a classically trained wine maker and […]

Posted by on 2 October 2013 | 8:30 am

2012 Hospice du Rhone Seminar – A Collective Quest: Le Vins de Vienne

How about an armchair trip to the Rhône Valley? Well, beginning with a 10-minute primer on the Rhône Valley and its communes, this seminar from the 2012 Hospice du Rhône continues on to hear from each of the three vignerons behind a joint project called Les Vins de Vienne. It all began in Vienne, a […]

Posted by on 26 September 2013 | 7:30 am

The Wines of Tuscany – with Giovanni Folonari

If the Folonari name is familiar to you, you’re not alone. The Folonaris are among Italy’s oldest and most prestigious Tuscan wine families with a winemaking history dating back to the late 1700s. In 1825 the family-owned business took the name “Fratelli Folonari,” and in 1912, Ambrogio Folonari’s grandfather, Italo Folonari, and his brother Francesco […]

Posted by on 16 September 2013 | 8:30 am

2013 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Not Pinot Blanc, Not Pinot Gris, it’s White Pinot Noir!?

Imagine Blanc de Noir without the bubbles. Weird? Not really. A few aspiring wineries and their “hey, let’s do it” winemakers are actually making what they correctly refer to as white pinot noir. Okay, so it’s still really the same as “normal” pinot noir, just without the color, right? Wrong! It turns out, when you […]

Posted by on 4 September 2013 | 8:30 am

2012 Hospice du Rhone Seminar – The Bionic Frog Returns

This is the second in our series of seminars from the 2012 Hospice du Rhone. This time, we’re re-visiting an old friend from the Walla Walla Valley in the Pacific Northwest – Christophe Baron, from Cayuse Vineyards. Christophe is always at HdR, but the last time he did a seminar was 2004. At the time, […]

Posted by on 26 August 2013 | 8:30 am

Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Domaine Carneros

The French have landed…the French have landed. Actually, with regard to California, Taittinger landed in 1987 with Domaine Carneros. Completed in 1989, the château, a gorgeous landmark in the Carneros region is literally at the crossroads of both Napa and Sonoma. The classic 18th century château-style building was architecturally inspired by the historic Taittinger-owned Château […]

Posted by on 16 August 2013 | 8:30 am

The Vineyards of Pouilly Fuissé – with Domaine J. A. Ferret

Founded in 1840, Domaine Ferret is located in the Mâconnais region of Burgundy, in the commune of Fuissé. Here, half-way between Beaune and Lyon, Chardonnay is Pouilly Fuissé’s only grape variety. While it is the best-known part of the Mâconnais, there are currently no Premier Cru vineyards within the AOC – something Domain Ferret would […]

Posted by on 7 August 2013 | 8:30 am