Blending + Veraison July 2021: Ventura County Vineyards + Beyond

Blending trials at Clos des Amis: Bruce Freeman, Chris Dunn, Jade Dunn (Bruce’s daughter)

While harvest is crazy busy for farmers, so are the days and weeks leading up to harvest.

The more preparation that can be done NOW means less to deal with THEN.

Continue reading

What it means to be a “native grape” in Italy: VinItaly’s #VIA USA 2021

VIA USA students July 2021

To be named an Italian Wine Ambassador from Vinitaly International Academy requires a deep level of knowledge. Candidates attend extensive online and in-person classes.

For this COVID pandemic period, Continue reading

Anna’s Cider and Pier City Cider in Ventura County #WorldWineTravel

Ventura County cider near Ventura County line

People think of wine as an alcoholic beverage made from grapes and cider as an alcoholic beverage made from apples.

But actually, any alcoholic beverage made from fruit is wine.

I was first intrigued with this alcoholic beverage made from apples when Continue reading

Prosecco! Perfecto! Splendido!

5 Prosecco for Prosecco Week 2021

What do you know about Bollicine aka sparkling wines of Italy?

You may be surprised to learn that Bollicine are an important part of the Italian wine scene– and not just Prosecco, which is the most well known, and  is being celebrated this week.

Happy Prosecco week!

I’ve been studying up on Italian sparkling wine for the VinItaly Ambassador Course Agile edition which takes place next week, with the tasting labs and test on Wednesday. Learn more about the course here. I also joined a ZOOM tasting webinar earlier this week; US Wine Tasting Team team mates Kristen Shubert and Lisa Stoll helped me taste five Prosecco DOC (see more about these wines below). Among other information this week I learned:

In Italy, there are 150 plus DOP that include sparkling wine! Continue reading

3 Riesling from Alsace #Winophiles

3 Riesling from Alsace

Everyone says Alsace is full of picturesque Alpine villages, and that I must go there. The streets are walkable and quaint, the architecture as adorable as if Walt Disney had designed it, the food delicious, the wines delightful. Continue reading

August #WinePW Invite and An Intro: OR Amphora Wine and A.D. Beckham

Beckham amphora wine

Long before wine was made in oak barrels and stainless steel, people scooped up clay from the earth and they shaped it into vessels for fermentation.

These first wine vessels, made in the Republic of Georgia over 6000 years ago, were called “Qvevri.”  Lined with beeswax, they were buried underground for temperature control as the wines fermented in the stable coolness of the earth.  

Amphora are large clay vessels used since ancient times to ferment grapes and age wine; Andrew Beckham makes them today in his studio In Oregon near his vineyards.

The Romans used a potter’s wheel or turn table to make their clay pots for wine fermentation; these amphora had a base to stand above ground. Continue reading

Indiana’s Oliver’s surprising fruit wines paired with grilled peach salad, berry galette #WinePW

Oliver Moscato fruit wines

A few years ago for Moscato Day, we sampled a wine from Indiana with quite a bit of trepidation. But to our surprise this fruit wine from Oliver was mighty fine!

So when the Wine Pairing Weekend theme for midwestern wines came up this month, and Continue reading