Family is Purpose of Puppione Family Wines

Family is Purpose of Puppione Family Wines

            The most important driver of Puppione Family Wines may surprise you. It’s about Chris Puppione’s dream of becoming a dad and having a family. The story is about honoring and connecting family and creating family traditions.   Chris joked to me that it took him a long time to […]

My Personal Equity Report Card

        It’s been around a year since I posted what I am calling “my accountability challenge” to feature more black and women winemakers on my blog. So much has happened since then. Key changes have occurred in our behavior (good and bad), how we engage socially and how technology has become key […]

Sixty Years of Reflection in Rodney Strong Refresh

Sixty Years of Reflection in Rodney Strong Refresh

          After 60 years of success, many companies sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride – especially if nothing is amiss. But if you have a history of innovation, you decide to rethink everything – looking both forward and backward to figure out how to get positioned for the next 60 […]

California Regionality of the Zinfandel Grape

        I recently had a chance, thanks to Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), to explore the differences of various regions of the Zinfandel grape in California. I gathered with three family winemakers to make the virtual comparison.   The June “Zinfandel Vineyard Tours and Caves” was moderated by travel journalist, Paul Rubio, […]

SIMI Winery: Tragedy to Triumph

SIMI Winery: Tragedy to Triumph

          SIMI Winery started with the hard work and persistence of two immigrant brothers.  But it continued due to the determination of one 18-year-old girl who would not let tragedy end her family’s legacy.         That legacy, shown in this anthology video, carried on for more than a century […]

One Bottle Each Turning into Three

One Bottle Each Turning into Three

          Podcaster invites guest to be on podcast.  Guest accepts.  Date is scheduled.  But life is imperfect and often there is a story behind the story.  And such is what happened on Episode 16 (A, B and C) of One Bottle Each with my friend, Gabe Sasso.         […]

Longevity Wines – A Lasting Love Story

Longevity Wines

            Growing up, Founder and Winemaker Phil Long of Longevity Wines didn’t have much exposure to wine other than his dad’s ornamental bottle of Chianti. He told me that he didn’t even know that wine was made in America. To him, agriculture was focused on plants and animals – not […]

Second Half 2020 Sample Roundup

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      It’s sample time and I never knew what a challenge these would be in the time of COVID.  Usually, I invite friends over and pop open a few bottles, and, if my husband is in a cooking mode, then I get to use my pairing skills.  When the pandemic happened, the samples […]

Tasting History with the Women of Bacigalupi Vineyards

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      The Women of Bacigalupi Vineyards, Photo Credit: Bacigalupi Vineyards   Bacigalupi Vineyards is one of the best kept secrets in the Russian River Valley. You may have heard the story of a 1976 tasting in which a California chardonnay gained world recognition by beating French burgundy wines in a side-by-side competition. That […]

Stop Giving Merlot the Side Eye

Stop Giving Merlot the Side Eye

Stop Giving Merlot the Side Eye   A Trip to Ehlers Estate Many Years Ago   I’m not going to mention that movie. The one that maligned an entire varietal of wine.  Granted, it was time for a wake-up call as many Merlots stopped being great due to over planting, but a 2 percent drop […]

Lodi’s World-Class White Wines

Lodi’s World-Class White Wines

      As many times as I’ve covered the Lodi region, each brings an awakening and awareness of something new.  This time it was an understanding of how world-class the white wines of Lodi can be. Lodi World-Class White Wines     Winemaker Mitch Cosentino in motion   I’ve had a long history with […]

Zinfandel Wines to Match Summer BBQ

Zinfandel Wines to Match Summer BBQ

    As the days roll by, often it seems an exercise in same day, different bottle, as we enter our fifth month of pandemic living.  What hasn’t changed is our need for community and coming together over great wine and good food.  What has changed is the innovation that wineries are showing to bring […]

Smith-Madrone: Humble Beginnings, Unforgettable Wines

      Stu Smith, the Enologist and Managing Partner for Smith-Madrone Winery, didn’t set out to own premium real estate valued for upwards of $400,000 an acre.  His goal was only to find a site in the mountains of Napa Valley versus the valley floor, to make the elegant, balanced, European-inspired wines he enjoyed. […]

Bibiana Gonzalez Rave and Jeff Pisoni: Power Couple in Wine

Power Couple in Wine

  Bibiana Gonzalez Rave and Jeff Pisoni, Courtesy of Alma de Cattleya   Bibiana Gonzalez Rave and Jeff Pisoni, the winemakers for Alma de Cattleya and Lucia Vineyards, are examples of a true power couple in wine. These two have been married since 2011 and talked about how they are dedicated to helping the other make better wine. […]

Every Day is Earth Day at Benziger Winery

Every day is earth day at Benziger winery Virtual Tasting Line Up with Benziger Wines   This past Earth Day, which was April 22, millions of people around the world will explore ways to help preserve our planet through eco-friendly practices. “Every day is earth day” is the slogan at Benziger Winery and this is […]

From Prohibition to Pandemic: The Mondavi Family’s History of Reinvention

Mondavi Family’s History of Reinvention

From Prohibition to Pandemic: Mondavi Family’s History of Reinvention Mondavi Sisters: Alycia, Giovanna, Angelina and Riana, Photo Courtesy of the Mondavi Sisters   Sitting down with Angelina and Alycia Mondavi from Aloft Wines and Dark Matter Wines, it is clear they understand that in times of a crisis there is opportunity and a time for reinvention. […]

Storytelling Through A Lens and A Bottle: The Story of Jesse and Andy Katz

Jesse Katz, Winemaker Aperture Cellars and Devil Proof Vineyards   A good photographer has an eye for detail that brings all the elements together to convey the right vision.  Little did Andy Katz, world-renown photographer, know that his eye for detail in the vineyards would spark a passion for wine for his son, Jesse Katz, […]

A Day in Napa Valley: Three Very Diverse Wine Experiences Showcasing the Region

The Dallas Gang in Napa My birthday trip journey continued with a day in Napa Valley visiting three iconic vineyards that showcased very diverse approaches to winemaking and hospitality – Charles Krug Winery, B Cellars Vineyards and Winery, and Crocker & Starr. Napa Valley is known as one of the most renowned wine growing regions in […]

Palmaz Winery: The Intersection of Technology and Craft Winemaking

  For Julio and Amalia Palmaz, of Palmaz Vineyards, the love affair with wine started after years of regular visits to Napa. Julio was a successful heart surgeon who actually invented the heart stint.  When it was time for the next phase for their family, they decided to purchase an old estate in Coombsville in Napa.  […]

A Deeper Dive into Santa Barbara: Jackson Family Winemakers’ Perspective

  Santa Barbara Panelists of Winemakers The winemakers in the room had a combined 100 years of experience.  All with different perspectives on how to farm, manage their vineyards and on their winemaking techniques.  But they shared a bond and passion for Santa Barbara and a common owner – Jackson Family Wines. This was the […]

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery: A Vertical Tasting of 30 Years of Family Winemaking

spottswoode estate vineyard and winery

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery: A Vertical Tasting of 30 Years of Family Winemaking Spottswoode’s CEO, Beth Novak Milliken, told us about the family history and gave us a glimpse into how the Novak family began their business knowing nothing about growing grapes and evolved to where they are today making world-class wines. Spottswoode Estate […]

Generations in a Glass: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Charles Krug Winery

Riana and Peter Mondavi Jr  When Peter Mondavi celebrates a milestone, it is always done with pomp and circumstance with a focus on family.  But when prepares for a family milestone — the 75th anniversary – how do you truly showcase what has happened over the generations?  In Peter’s case, you take the show on […]