Ventura County Vineyards: Grapes Growing Below the Fillmore F

this vineyard is located just below the F for Fillmore along the 126 in Ventura County

I have a great story to tell about this vineyard. About head training. About drought. About climate change. About wandering around in a citrus orchard on a cold windy wintry day. About sandwiches from Roan. About the Block F Zinfandel made from the first harvest from this vineyard that the bears didn’t get. Continue reading

Celebrate Family Fun with Eight at the Gate’s Shiraz Paired with Pie Floaters #WorldWineTravel

2 reds from 8 at the Gate paired with meat pie floater

In the spirit of reconciliation, Eight at the Gate  acknowledges the First Nations people of our region, the Bindjali people who are the traditional custodians of the land, and their spiritual relationship with this country. So states Eight at the Gate  prominently on their website setting a tone for respect for people and place.

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Wine Media Conference 2022 Travels to… Italy!

Sonoma 2008. Napa 2009. Walla Walla 2010. Portland 2012. Santa Barbara 2014. Penticton British Columbia 2013.  Lodi 2016. Sonoma 2017. Virtual 2020. Eugene 2021. These are the years and the locations of the Wine Media Conferences I’ve attended. But at the close of the 2021 event in Eugene, organizers did not announce where we’d be going in 2022. Instead we took a poll and speculation  abounded. Personally, I was rooting for Paso Robles, Idaho, or Colorado. Today, they had an answer Continue reading

Yalumba’s Barossa Bush Vine Grenache Paired with Pizza: A Preview to #WorldWineTravel

When people ask me how I got into wine writing, I usually tell them about working for Mr Alfred Peet, of Peet’s coffee, how the owners of Ridge would come in to talk with me about coffee, and how they convinced me to work in their Montebello Road tasting room on Saturdays until I left to hike to Pacific Crest Trail and attend UC Santa Crus where I was a double major in Environmental Studies and Literature/Writing. But the truth is my story is closer to wine from South Australia than it is to wine from the Santa Cruz Mountains. And my story is more about Grenache than any other grape!

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Taste Small Central Coast Producers at Garagiste Fest, Solvang 2/25-26

Garagiste Poster Solvang 2022

This weekend, cruise the California coast, enjoy the early season bright splashes of wildflowers, and discover some of the smaller and more special wines produced in the greater Santa Barbara area at the Garagiste Festival in Solvang, California. Continue reading

Clink Sustainably: Create Climate Conscious Conversations with Bordeaux Wines, Stemple Creek Ranch Beef #Winophiles

With our eyes and hearts set on romance this month, and with love in the air as spring is almost sprung, what’s more romantic than clinking a wine glass with a lover? Clinking glasses filled with sustainable wine paired with sustainably grown beef! (For more ideas from the French Winophiles, scroll down!) What’s also romantic? Having a climate conscious conversation with your sweetie while drinking sustainably grown wine and food! Bordeaux — and the rest of the wine growing and drinking world– must get serious about sustainability and climate change if wine is going to be enjoyed in the future. If we don’t, in thirty years, many of today’s wine growing regions will be too hot and the weather too volatile to grow wine grapes commercially. That’s why we all need to be having climate conscious conversations with our loved ones. Now that’s true love — for the planet, the people, and the species that live here! So clink sustainably with your sweetie! Here’s how.

You may be surprised to learn that 60% of Bordeaux vineyards Continue reading

It’s Loveuary! Romance from France: Fun Fondue, EZ Coq a Vin with Biodynamic Alsace and Saint Cosme Rhone Wines #Winophiles

france for romance

Did you know that February is Loveuary? Yes, according to Hallmark, but between Galentine’s and Valentine’s, President’s Day, Super Bowl, and the Lunar New Year, we’re here for all the ways to warm up the winter with fun times, romance, fine wine and dining! Especially if it means celebrating February with romance from France as suggested by Winophiles host Wendy Klik!  For Loveuary 2022, we have a cheese fondue with crusty bread and veggies paired with two wines from Alsace and the easiest but still fancy coq a vin paired with two Rhone wines, and, for the grand finale, strawberries and banana dipped in gooey organic dark chocolate melted with cream. And no I am not going to saying anything more about “coq a vin” which simply translates to “cock in wine.” But yeah– the menu is all about… that!  Continue reading