September 2019 in Ventura County Vineyards: Focus on Grenache


Gorgeous grenache grapes from Rich Vineyard, Upper Ojai, Ventura County came in on Grenache Day to Santa Paula’s Clos des Amis.

Harvest continues this September in Ventura County, with both reds and white grapes coming in — and when the heat spikes, like it did a few times this month, many grapes come in at once and it’s all hands on deck!

And on Grenache Day September 20, 2019 wouldn’t you know that a few bins of grenache of the upper Ojai Rich Vineyard arrived to be sorted and processed!

Clos des Amis owners and winemakers Bruce Freeman and Gretel Mays Compton and I celebrated Grenache Day by opening and tasting three bottles Continue reading

Tablas Creek: California’s Leader for Rhone Inspired Biodynamic Wines #CaliforniaWineMonth

Founded in 1989 by Robert Haas on the west side of the 101 highway which bisects the West coast and runs through Paso Robles, today Tablas Creek pioneers and leads in Rhone, biodynamic, and social media practices — which is why we are featuring Tablas Creek on this day in September during the 2019 California Wine Month.

Read about these California Wine Month features here:  Napa’s Italian grape leader Castello di Amorosa and Charles Krug, Napa innovator and pioneer.

Tablas Creek has some seriously deep roots on both sides of the Atlantic: the winery brings together Château de Beaucastel ‘s Perrin family — one of Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s legendary estates firsts mentioned in 1549 and run by the Perrin’s since 1909 — with the Haas family of Vineyard Brands.

In France, the Perrins pioneered organic farming and the planting of Mourvedre and other traditional varieties. In 2014, sons Jean-Pierre and Francois Perrin won the “Man of the Year” award from Decanter in 2014, and induction into the prestigious Primum Familiae Vini (First Families of Wine).

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A Visit to Charles Krug, Napa Valley’s Oldest Wine Estate #CaliforniaWineMonth

wine glasses awaiting tasters near an original Charles Krug winery building

  • Which wine estate is recognized as the oldest in California’s most famous wine region?
  • Which wine estate hosted the first tastings in their own tasting room in California’s most famous wine region?

If you answered Napa Valley’s Charles Krug to both questions, you’re correct! I didn’t know until I visited that Charles Krug is a pioneering person and an iconic winery located in the midst of Napa Valley near St Helena that makes fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon based wines!

And since September is California Wine Month, it’s the perfect time to call attention to this historic winery, owned by the Mondavi family since 1943.

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Corsica Rose with Salmon Crespelle and Currant Clafoutis #Winophiles

This month, the French Winophiles are inspired by the Ile of Beaute, Corsica, located in the Mediterranean just north of Italy’s Island of Sardinia. Being so closed to both Euorepan nations famous for both wine and cuisine, it is no surprise that the foods have a flavor of both — with their own special ways. Continue reading

Wine from a Paris Vineyard and Off to the Wine Tasting Championships


vineyard in Paris

Did you know that in the heart of Paris there’s a vineyard?

And by the heart of Paris, I mean on the hill that is home to the Sacré-Cœur, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. Continue reading

A Visit to an Italian Castle — in Napa!

You don’t have to go to Europe to explore an Italian castle — just visit Castello di Amorosa in Napa!

I’ve been to Portugal, England, and Wales and visited castles in all three countries, so I figured this Castle in the northern Napa valley was just a tourist attraction — a step below Disneyland.

Well, I was wrong! This is so much better than Disneyland!

While you may never have heard of the wines from Castello di Amorosa because they ONLY sell direct to consumer and to select restaurants, visiting the castle is a MUST SEE experience if you’re in Napa.

Going on the tour Continue reading