Now I thought that was
fast, but this girl was faster
She's lookin' for a real good time
I said, "Close your eyes, I got a surprise,"
And I ran away with the bottle of wine
I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali … I don't think so
—LL Cool J, "Going Back to Cali"
I can't help but think of that song from my teenaged years every time I head back to California. Luckily, it's become a regular thing, making an annual visit to the Golden State. Not only getting to attend the Wine Spectator magnum parties in Sonoma and Napa that kick off the summer in wine country, but also getting to make a few stops at wineries. For reference you can check out my blogs from visits at Keplinger and Hirsch Vineyards in previous years.
I like California wine. I've drunk a lot of it. At one time my cellar had a majority of California wine (though it is a distinct minority now). I don't drink it as much as I used to, but that's only because my focus is elsewhere—the Rhône and Bordeaux most obviously.
But I relish the opportunity to stop in at wineries whose wines I've had (or not) and get to know them better. So while here, I'll kick the dirt in a few vineyards as I am wont to do, and taste a few things. There will be a mix of small and large wineries, focusing on different varietals. I'll blog about them here over the next few days, informally of course, as any wines tasted during these visits are non-blind, plus official coverage of California is aptly handled by my colleagues James Laube, MaryAnn Worobiec and Tim Fish.
So, up and at 'em … and if you do follow along, thanks for reading.