#MerlotMe More with Napa’s Peju

As we cautiously consider moves further from home, wineries with expansive lawns and trees  like at Charles Krug and gracious gardens like at Peju will be precious places to visit.

Napa Valley’s Peju offers one such retreat with its distinctive 50 foot tower designed by renowned Southern California architect Calvin Straub which graces the label’s estate-bottled Peju wine.

In the Before Time, I visited Continue reading

Everything Pumpkin Paired with #MerlotMe: Trick or Treat from Napa Ghost Winery Flora Springs

So far 2020 has been all tricks, no treats.

You can change that by treating yourself to this sweet treat: wines from Napa Valley’s Ghost Winery Flora Springs paired with a pumpkin everything dinner.

an inspiring pumpkin themed tableau at the Bees Knees, Los Osos

First off, what’s a Ghost Winery:

  • It’s a winery that died and returned from the dead to haunt us with yummy wine!!
  • In 1920, California wineries numbered 700.
  • In 1933, only 40 were left.
  • The wineries that didn’t make it are known as “ghost wineries” as all that was left was the ghost of the winery.
    Learn more about a few of California’s ghost wineries here.

a selection of Flora Springs wines

Continue reading

Napa’s Charles Krug Hosts PG&E and MusiKaravan Post #GlassFire

The bright lights of the temporary city at Charles Krug near St. Helena in Napa Valley. Note the 19 “Wellness Check” sign.

California is a pyrogenic landscape. That means it is prone to and defined by FIRE.

The indigenous plants and people here co-evolved with fire, using fire to create a complex and diverse mosaic of plants for food, shelter, and forage for animals.

But between climate change and the encroachment of development into the wild, fires are more damaging and destructive than ever.

On Sunday September 27, I was working on a cheery story about California Wine Month, Continue reading

Exploring Flavors of Jura Food and Wine Take Two: Trousseau and Melon #Winophiles

Two wines from the JURA, France 

Four years ago almost to the day was the first time both my writing partner Sue and I had our first tastes  Vin Jaune and Trousseau, from Jura, a mountainous region in Eastern France, near Italy and Switzerland.

In our naiveté, we thought they’d be like other red French wines. Sue researched and developed a menu of classic rich creamy and mushroomy dishes to pair with the split of Vin Jaune and the Trousseau. With six adults, and October being MerlotMe, we figured these dishes would work well with several expensive Napa merlot wines.

But surprise surprise: Continue reading

2020’s Glassfire in Napa and Sonoma: Focus on Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa, May 2019

From the news, you’d think that all of Napa and Sonoma wine country has burned down, including wineries, tasting rooms, vineyards, and the massive stone Italian style castle, Castello di Amorosa which I visited in 2019.

This is not so. It did not all burn to the ground. Continue reading

Ventana Magazine Monthly 2020 Harvest Cover Story: Elegance and Power

Drawing on interviews with winemakers at The Ojai Vineyard’s Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel, with Gretel Compton and Bruce Freeman of Clos des Amis, and Dominic O’Reilly at Topa Mountain and Pacific View wineries as well as Pacific View owner Patti Mitchell, the October 2020 issue of Ventana Monthly Magazine is hot off the presses and landing in mailboxes and newsstands with my photographs and article on the 2020 wine grape harvest on the cover! Continue reading