Happy Hallowine and A Toast to Ghost Wineries


You might think of the month of October as Ghost Hunting Month, with the penultimate night of the month the perfect day to go out hunting for ghosts.

But actually the first day of October is National Ghost Hunting Day. (Who knew?)



Goals of National Ghost Hunting Day include raising public awareness of best practices and professionalism in paranormal investigation, increasing appreciation of local history and landmarks across the nation, and uniting and organizing a network of ghost hunting teams in common cause to benefit local Humane Societies and non-profit animal shelters throughout the country.

When I saw that haunted pumpkin wine label (above) for Flora Springs on Twitter, I was instantly entranced and knew exactly what wine would be perfect for Ghost Hunting: one from a Ghost Winery!

A Ghost Winery? What’s a Ghost Winery?

By 1920, California wineries numbered 700; by the end of Prohibition, in 1933, we had only 40. The wineries that didn’t make it are known as “ghost wineries” as all that was left was the ghost of the winery.

Flora Springs is one of those “ghost wineries” that was built between 1860 and 1900 but abandoned in the early 20’s due to vine disease, the Great Depression, and Prohibition. What is now Flora Springs was originally planted in 1885 by the Rennie Brothers, but a 1900 fire along with the other challenges turned the property into a ghost winery from 1904 until 1933 when Louis Martini bought it and lived there until he died in the 1970s. In 1977, Jerry and Flora Komes bought the property, and renovated and restored it. Since 2010, Flora Springs has offered a special bottling with distinct labels on small amounts of estate-grown wines to highlight the winery’s unusual history.


On Saturday October 1, celebrate Ghost Wineries and Ghost Hunting Day at the Ojai Library, 111 E. Ojai Ave from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at a CSU Channel Islands free public lecture that will discuss Southern California’s Ghost Wineries, part of a series from September through December at libraries throughout Ventura County, as well as the Channel Islands Boating Center. Here’s the list of what, where and when of future lectures.


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#ManyMoodsofMalbec for September’s #WineStudio with Achaval-Ferrer


If you’re a regular reader of Wine Predator, you know that as often as possible I partake in an online educational program called #WineStudio where each month we have a different focus. Often participants receive wine samples which we taste and discuss together along with the winemaker and others involved with the wine. You can often find the wines and join in on Twitter from 6-7pm PST. Continue reading

Spur of the Moment Local Grenache Day at Plan B and Cantara Cellars


Speaking of local wines and wineries that will be attending and pouring at today’s “A Taste of VC”, on last week’s Grenache Day Friday Sept 16, the wine samples of Garnacha from Spain that I was expecting didn’t arrive leaving me free to taste whatever I wanted! I was planning on opening one from The Ojai Vineyard or Twisted Oak from my cellar, but as I was at an afternoon meeting in Camarillo, on my way home I stopped by both Cantara Cellars in Camarillo and Plan B Wine Cellars in Ventura for a spur of the moment locally made Grenache!

Because I couldn’t let Grenache Day go by without drinking one of my favorite wines! Read why here. Continue reading

A Taste and a Toast to Local!


How can people connect their food from field to fork?

More and more events around the country and indeed the world seek to do so Continue reading

Have a Bodacious and Naked Cabernet Day 2016!

Have a Bodacious and Naked Cabernet Day?


Is that a bit odd to say? No not at all if you are celebrating Cabernet Day with a bottle of Napa Valley Bodacious Cabernet Sauvignon


or a bottle of Oregon’s Naked Cabernet Sauvignon! Or like me, BOTH plus…


Naked Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 . Columbia Valley This Naked promises long legs and a smooth complexion.

we’re going to be enjoying a bottle of Andis Cabernet Franc from Amador County and a red blend “Midnight” with a lot of cab from Lange Twins! It’s Cabernet Day, right? Not Cabernet Sauvignon Day! Continue reading

Pair Sequoia Grove Cabernet With Your Favorite National Park: Happy 100th Birthday NPS!


McClure Lake in Yosemite National Park’s backcountry: 10,000′ elevation and 2 miles off the Pacific Crest Trail

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016  and Sequoia National Park, a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada that includes Mount Whitney, was established on September 25, 1890.

And Cabernet Day is Thurs. Sept. 1, 2016!

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So to celebrate these momentous occasions, Que Syrah Sue and I opened a Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon.

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