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The grape picking countdown begins

Two sparkling wine houses in Napa Valley (Domaine Chandon and Mumm Napa Valley) say they're a couple weeks away from picking grapes because of the cooler weather. Who will be the first to pick? We'll keep you posted.

By | August 10th, 2010|1 Comment

The Sex and the City auction lot

Bidding at the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction (Sept. 5) will no doubt spiral for the Sex and the City lot, put together by Santa Rosa’s St. Francis Winery. Here’s the skinny:

By | August 5th, 2010|0 Comments

Sleuthing in Wine Country

It’s great to roam Wine Country like a detective and find out what’s behind a bottling. Last weekend I stopped in St. Helena with friends to taste through some Orin Swift brands with an eye on the ever-popular “The Prisoner.”

By | July 29th, 2010|0 Comments

New label “Mommy’s Time Out”

New label "Mommy's Time Out." I know. I know. What would Miss Manner's think? Yet it appears mothers have spoken and there's market demand for "Mommy's Time Out," a new label from Selective Wine Estates.

By | July 26th, 2010|0 Comments

Spain in Sonoma. No passport needed.

Romeo, if you’re looking to impress your date, here’s a quick tip. This weekend is the18th annual Catalan Festival at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyard in Sonoma. The colorful commotion – the flamenco dancers and Spanish guitar – is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It’s a celebration of the winery’s Spanish roots and there will be dishes from Bay Area restaurants like paella to be paired with the winery’s sparklers and still wine.

By | July 23rd, 2010|0 Comments

Soft on smoke taint?

One retailer I talked with today commented on my story about how the wildfires may have affected the 2008 vintage, saying the article was soft. The retailer, who preferred not to be named, said the problem is far worse than the story let on.

By | July 21st, 2010|5 Comments

Violin was the oldest vintage at Far Niente

Joshua Bell, one of the world’s great violinists, played at Far Niente to celebrate the Oakville winery’s 125th anniversary Saturday night. When he raised his $8 million dollar Stradivarius, Bell said it was handcrafted in 1713, making it the oldest vintage at Far Niente.

By | July 18th, 2010|0 Comments

Tasty Cotes du Rhones

This time of year a Cotes du Rhone is a great pick --- refreshing, and yet earthy, gamy, smoky -- perfect for summer barbecues.

By | July 14th, 2010|0 Comments

A tasty tribute

Barry Collier’s wife Sue passed away in 2007 from what’s commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and the vintner has just released a syrah dedicated to her.

By | July 11th, 2010|0 Comments

What pairs best with a book?

With “hammock season” in full swing, it’s a great time to steal away with a dry rose and a book. Some great producers include Bedrock, Quivira, Unti, Bonny Doon and McDowell. Do you sip and read?

By | July 3rd, 2010|3 Comments