Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Charles Heintz

Located in the Occidental region of Sonoma County, the Heintz Ranch has been owned by the Heintz family for nearly 100 years. Charlie’s grandparents purchased the land in 1912, and Charlie’s father farmed here. Apples remained in production until their first Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1982. The family still maintains about 8 acres of […]

Posted by on 28 July 2014 | 7:30 am

Wineries of Oregon – with White Rose Estate

Greg Sanders will easily admit that he doesn’t do anything half-way. So, it didn’t seem like a big deal for him to venture to Oregon to buy some land. But then the land turned into a vineyard, and the vineyard into an Estate…and then there was the winery. Planted in 1980 to own-rooted Pommard clone […]

Posted by on 23 July 2014 | 6:23 pm

A Beaujolais Primer

Located north of Lyon in eastern France, the Beaujolais wine region overlaps Burgundy in the north and Rhône in the south. The steep Beaujolais vineyards run along the Saône River on mainly granite terrain. Only manual harvesting is allowed in the Beaujolais region, and the region has ideal growing conditions, receiving plenty of sunshine. The […]

Posted by on 7 July 2014 | 8:30 am

Wineries of Sonoma County – Sebastani

It’s a rarity in these times of consulting rock-star winemakers that someone would actually stay at a single wine producer for any length of time. But that’s exactly what Mark Lyon did – for 35 years! Mark graduated with a B.S. in Fermentation Science from the University of California at Davis in 1978 and was […]

Posted by on 30 June 2014 | 8:30 am

The Wines of Burgundy – with Maison Louis Jadot

The Louis Jadot name, as well as its readily identifiable label should be very familiar, even to casual wine lovers. Established by Louis Henry Denis Jadot in 1859 in the Burgundy region of France, Maison Louis Jadot has grown over the past 150 years to own 280 acres of the Côte d’Or’s most prestigious Premier […]

Posted by on 13 June 2014 | 3:50 pm

2014 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Hollywood and the Vine

We’re on to another of the seminars from the 2014 World of Pinot Noir. This one had something of a unique twist – combining Hollywood and wine…or Vine, in this case. The focus here was to talk about wine themes in film by honoring two wine movies, Sideways and Somm. This was also the 10th […]

Posted by on 2 June 2014 | 11:46 am

Retrospective – 2005 Red Burgundy

The 2005 vintage in Burgundy has been hailed as…dare we say, ‘the vintage of the century.’ Hyperbole? Maybe. But one thing’s for certain – it’s been a long time that a Burgundy vintage has been as highly regarded – maybe since 1978! The obvious question is – are they ready to drink yet? And if […]

Posted by on 20 May 2014 | 8:30 am

Wineries of the California Central Coast – with Chamisal Vineyards

Located half-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Edna Valley is recognized as one of the finest Central Coast grape growing regions in California, known in particular for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Rhone grape varieties. With the Pacific Ocean just a few miles away, the coastal fog and breezes combine to create one of […]

Posted by on 7 May 2014 | 2:59 pm

2014 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – The Insider Wines of The Côte d’Or, Part 2

We’re back with Part 2 of the Insider Wine seminar from the 2014 World of Pinot Noir. Previously held in the Central Coast city of Shell Beach, the event moved to the gorgeous Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara beginning this year. In a return engagement from his outstanding Burgundy seminar at the 2013 WOPN, Don […]

Posted by on 25 April 2014 | 8:30 am

2014 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – The Insider Wines of The Côte d’Or, Part 1

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, “less travelled” appellations and villages. These “insider wines” are often sought out by knowledgeable Burgundy […]

Posted by on 18 April 2014 | 8:30 am

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