Napa’s Charles Krug Hosts PG&E and MusiKaravan Post #GlassFire

The bright lights of the temporary city at Charles Krug near St. Helena in Napa Valley. Note the 19 “Wellness Check” sign.

California is a pyrogenic landscape. That means it is prone to and defined by FIRE.

The indigenous plants and people here co-evolved with fire, using fire to create a complex and diverse mosaic of plants for food, shelter, and forage for animals.

But between climate change and the encroachment of development into the wild, fires are more damaging and destructive than ever.

On Sunday September 27, I was working on a cheery story about California Wine Month, Continue reading

Exploring Flavors of Jura Food and Wine Take Two: Trousseau and Melon #Winophiles

Two wines from the JURA, France 

Four years ago almost to the day was the first time both my writing partner Sue and I had our first tastes  Vin Jaune and Trousseau, from Jura, a mountainous region in Eastern France, near Italy and Switzerland.

In our naiveté, we thought they’d be like other red French wines. Sue researched and developed a menu of classic rich creamy and mushroomy dishes to pair with the split of Vin Jaune and the Trousseau. With six adults, and October being MerlotMe, we figured these dishes would work well with several expensive Napa merlot wines.

But surprise surprise: Continue reading

2020’s Glassfire in Napa and Sonoma: Focus on Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa, May 2019

From the news, you’d think that all of Napa and Sonoma wine country has burned down, including wineries, tasting rooms, vineyards, and the massive stone Italian style castle, Castello di Amorosa which I visited in 2019.

This is not so. It did not all burn to the ground. Continue reading

Ventana Magazine Monthly 2020 Harvest Cover Story: Elegance and Power

Drawing on interviews with winemakers at The Ojai Vineyard’s Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel, with Gretel Compton and Bruce Freeman of Clos des Amis, and Dominic O’Reilly at Topa Mountain and Pacific View wineries as well as Pacific View owner Patti Mitchell, the October 2020 issue of Ventana Monthly Magazine is hot off the presses and landing in mailboxes and newsstands with my photographs and article on the 2020 wine grape harvest on the cover! Continue reading

France Again Wins World Blind Wine Tasting Challenge in 2020; Did US, Russia Field Teams After All?

image from La Revue‘s Facebook page of the preliminary rankings

According to the World Blind Wine Tasting Championship organizers La Revue du Vin de France,  the team from France once again placed first in this year’s competition which took place yesterday, 10/10/2020 at Château Smith Haut-Lafitte in Bordeaux, France.

With a formidable lead after the first round of eight wines with 142 points, France held on to place first for the second year in a row, and China stayed in second place after the second round. Continue reading