Here’s an item to clip and save. You never hear predictions about a harvest, or a vintage, five months before a grape is picked (because anything could happen in the meantime). But thanks to winemaker Scott McLeod of Rubicon Estate in Napa Valley, we have something to ponder between now and harvest.
The great alcohol debate of (fill in the year) is once again heating up (pun intended). And that’s a good thing. A well-respected wine retailer in Sacramento says he’ll no longer sell wines with alcohol levels above 14.
For years I’ve been curious about why, to my taste, Sonoma doesn’t make better Cabernets, along the lines of Peter Michael's Les Pavots. And for years, I’ve gotten the same analysis from Cabernet experts: Napa’s terroir works with Cabernet, its vintners and vineyard mangers are more fastidious about farming Cabernet than their Sonoma counterparts, and perhaps more to the point, more experienced.
True Sonoma Coast grape growing really is at the outer limits. The true coast, within a mile of the Pacific Ocean, is rugged and remote. I refer to this area as the true coast because the legal Sonoma Coast appellation is absurdly overdrawn.
As I drove through Napa Valley last week, I couldn’t help but marvel at the new leafing vines. The color of the leaves--a brilliant lime-greenish hue--was amazing. I also couldn’t help but notice that every single vineyard seemed to be trained and trellised and positioned in a different manner.
When a wine marketer who is also a retailer turns winemaker, you hope he knows enough about what style of wine will sell and at what price points. Mark Pope of the Bounty Hunter, an online fine-wine purveyor and hip wine bar-bistro in downtown Napa, has released a new line of Napa Valley Cabernets and a Cabernet Franc under his label, Waypoint.
Ulises Valdez has an infectious enthusiasm for winegrowing. “My heart is in the vines,” he says with a bright smile as his racy 2006 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc is poured, showing zesty citrus and lemon-lime flavors.
Selling wine for $2 a bottle doesn’t seem like an easy way to make money and probably isn’t—until you look more closely at the numbers. Yesterday, as Fred Franzia toasted Two-Buck Chuck’s fifth birthday at his winery in Napa, he talked green, green and greener.
Piero Antinori’s seemingly forgotten Napa Valley wine venture, Antica, is a work-in-progress that's slowly taking shape. This week he's in town to chart the next phase, and yesterday we discussed a wide range of subjects.
Friday the 13th proved anything but unlucky for a wide-open wine weekend in windswept Los Angeles. The occasion: My good friend Greg Gorman closed one of his photo studios in Hollywood on Saturday night, with 600 of his closest friends, among them Raquel Welch, Ricki Lake, Macy Gray, Eva Mendes, Audrey Wells, Katherine Bigelow and Wolfgang Puck.
I’m torn. I can’t decide whether I’m more surprised or more impressed by Beverages & More’s new policy to accept all returned wines. OK, I'm both. This California wine retail chain has done the unthinkable: It will replace any bottle of wine (even if it's been opened), or refund your money, if you're not satisfied with a purchase you've made there.
James Darden thinks this may be his magic moment, and now, I’m rooting for him, hoping that this is his big break. Darden, 37, is a contestant on the new PBS reality show, The Wine Makers , expected to air this fall.
I knew that the story of the Zodiac , the serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay area in the 1960s, would make the silver screen. But the Paris Tasting of 1976? No way. While the Zodiac is the chilling story of a cold-blooded psychopath, the Paris Tasting of 1976 was a well-orchestrated publicity stunt , organized to promote California wine in Europe.
The moms are huge, as long as 50 feet and as heavy as 40 tons, and their calves are sizeable, too. At birth, they generally weigh more than a ton and are around 15 feet long. Yet gray whales are amazingly graceful as they glide together through the water, in a seemingly choreographed synchronized swim.
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