Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My: New Wood and Old Cars in Ventura County Vineyards February 2020

The picnic basket, James! James Donzella, that is! He takes people in his historic vehicle on a tour with lunch and tasting at Clos des Amis. Details below.

Many of Ventura County’s vineyards back right up to wild lands — and by wild lands, I mean the Los Padres National Forest which provides excellent habitat for wild animals including bears.

So maybe not tigers, and while we DO have mountain lions in our woods, they are not as interested in the grapes as the BEARS are and the deer and raccoons too!

Let’s keep the mountain lions on the labels and not in the vineyards! especially during our lunch break with sandwiches from Fillmore’s Roan Mills Bakery.

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Pinot! Pinot! Pinot! WOPN SB 3/5-8, IPNC PDX 7/24-26, PN NZ 2/23-25/21

photo from 2019 tasting courtesy of WOPN

Lovers of Pinot Noir UNITE and calendar these three events: World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) at the Bacarra Resort Santa Barbara CA March 5-8, International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) July 24-26 in McMinnville OR, and Pinot Noir New Zealand (PN NZ) slated for February 23-25 2021 in Christchurch NZ.

WOPN kicks off with a field trip to WALT’s Clos Pepe vineyards OR an Alto Adige lunch at the Wine Cask in downtown Santa Barbara

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#WIYG? Slow Wine US Tour 2020, National Drink Wine Day 2/18/20, Open That Bottle Night 2/29/20

Held each year on February 18, National Drink Wine Day is an easy day to celebrate by all wine drinkers. All you have to do is drink wine!

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Forlorn in France, Flourishing in the New World? Malbec! #Winophiles

Do you know these 13 French indigenous grapes?

These are just a few of the French indigenous grapes that are considered “god-forsaken” Continue reading

For Sweethearts and Friends: Fondue, Croissant Casserole, 3 Alsace Wines #Winophiles

fondue fun with Alsace wines

What’s an easy, romantic and fun meal for Valentine’s, Galentine’s, or an evening with friends? Fondue!

Fondue is fun and easy, especially if you buy the cheese in a kit ready to melt! No need for a fancy fondue pot; you can melt the cheese on the stove. Cook up some vegetables and sausage, cut up some bread and you’re good to go! To make chocolate fondue, chocolate chips are easy to do also, either in a double boiler or microwave, and then dip strawberries and bananas in it– yum! Continue reading

A Sparkling Valentine to My Local Loves … with a side of lobster!


I want to send out a little love.

A little Ventura County local love.

A Valentine to Ventura County.

The native California Peonies are just starting to bloom! And there’s a whole hillside of them near my home where I walk most MWF mornings from 8-9am. I suspect having that hillside burned down by Thomas might have something to do with it…

Nestled between the transverse range and the Pacific Ocean with the Channel Islands peeking out like castles in a large moat, Continue reading