Well I have some very exciting news and a cause for celebration!
Remember the essay I wrote for the Jancis Robinson Wine Writing Contest about regenerative agriculture I was very pleased and surprised that my essay was selected for publication, and then even more so when my essay made the shortlist!
Today, Sept. 23, Jancis Robinson announced the winners of this year’s contest. I did not make the top three of the vote getters for the People’s Choice, which was won by Diana Hawkins whose essay I enjoyed so much I had my college students read it.
However, Continue reading
After enjoying Alicante bouschet from Portugal, my writing partner Sue Hill has had her eyes peeled to sample some from California and hopefully compare. Continue reading
Santa Barbara County AVAs in order of addition: 1 = Santa Maria Valley; 2 = Sta Rita Hills; 3 = Ballard Canyon; 4 = Happy Canyon; 5 = Los Olivos District; 6 = Santa Ynez; 7 = Alisos Canyon; move your mouse onto the map to see the key
While most mountain ranges snake south to north paralleling the ocean, in California’s Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, the Transverse Range is exactly that — crosswise, or perpendicular to the Pacific and running west to east. This anomaly is what makes Santa Barbara AVAs special: air off the cold Pacific Ocean rushes east, cooling inland valleys to make them habitable for vines, and closer to the coast, to provide a cool climate terroir that produces stellar Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as spectacular Syrah, gorgeous Grenache, and captivating Cabernet.
AVA stands for American Viticultural Areas, and indicates an appellation of origin, a specific region that offers unique or special characteristics. The US has 260 AVAs with over half of them (142) in California. Within an AVA, sub-AVAs further differentiate, and often particular grapes prevail. Obtaining an AVA is complicated, complex, time consuming; only the truly devoted will succeed in proving the uniqueness of the terroir: geography, topography, climate, geology and more factors go into proving the distinctness of an area.
Why learn about AVAs? Knowing more about an AVA can help you find the wines you will love! Santa Barbara has 7 officially recognized AVAs: Santa Maria Valley AVA, Santa Ynez Valley AVA, Sta. Rita Hills AVA, Ballard Canyon AVA, Los Olivos District AVA, Happy Canyon AVA, and Alisos Canyon AVA.
Lupine with lupine
The Jancis Robinson team recently announced a shortlist of 20 entries from the 2022 wine writing competition — and I made the list with my stories of regeneration which includes a walk with my foster dog Lupine (read here). To determine the Reader’s Prize, you can vote for up to three entries from now until Wednesday, September 21 9am UK time (basically midnight Sept. 20 Pacific time).
“We have been able to read about organic viticulture in Crete, sheep and goats in Oregon, and even cider production in Napa,” write the editors. Continue reading