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 […]

Connection Through Community

Connection through Community

          Connection is the word I would use to describe my most recent trip to wine country. It was a connection to a community I love and have missed. A connection to the wineries that I have covered from afar for almost two years. And, perhaps even a reconnection back to […]

Rediscover Merlot: The Turning Point

          For more than 200 years, Merlot has been a foundational grape in the wine world – from Bordeaux to California – used to make some of the finest wines. The Merlot grape, which translates to blackbird in French, became the most planted grape in Bordeaux and known for its soft, elegant […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Crab and Chardonnay = Utopia

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Crab and Chardonnay = Utopia     From blending sessions to vertical tastings to blind tastings, I’ve been blown away at the creativity of wineries since the pandemic began. Just when I thought I had seen almost everything, I was invited by Raeburn Winery to celebrate the kickoff of Dungeness Crab season.       […]

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 […]

Seven Expressions of One Grape

Seven Expressions of One Grape

      Theresa Heredia, Winemaker of Gary Farrell Winery, Courtesy of Gary Farrell Winery   Pinot Noir is a grape that is not known for being easy.  As Natasha Hughes, MW, once said, “When Pinot producers get it right, the wines have it all: gorgeous aromatics, silky texture, bright acidity and supple tannins. What’s […]

Darling Wines: It’s All About Balance

Vineyard and Winery

  Tom and Ashley Darling, Courtesy of Darling Wines   Tom and Ashley Darling, co-owners of Sonoma’s Darling Wines, have a strong belief in balance and being grounded in the present moment. As winery owners and yoga teachers, they were inspired by the connection of growing and making wine and how it brought together aspects of the […]

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. […]

Sonoma County: Ready for Tourism Today

  The smoke and images were powerful and devastating but did not tell the complete story of what was happening in the Sonoma Valley.  According to the Sonoma County blog, only 8% of Sonoma County’s one million acres were impacted by the October 2019 fires.  The vineyards, parks, fantastic views, coastline and redwoods still remain majestic […]

Ushering out the Decade with Stellar Holiday Samples

  It’s crazy that 2019 has passed in a flash and a new year/decade has begun.  Why not usher in a new decade with a round-up article of a few favorite samples over the holidays?  Due to the weather, there is always a rush of samples shipped when the weather breaks in Texas, so it’s […]

Winemaker Tom Parmeson: The Man Who Started a Second Career on an Epiphany

Winemaker Tom Parmeson

Tom Parmeson, Owner and Winemaker of Parmesan Wines Tom Parmeson, Owner and Winemaker of Parmeson Wines, never aspired to be a Sonoma winemaker.  He successfully worked for 15 years in software development for Halliburton Company, an oil and gas exploration service company based in Houston. But in 2005, he had an epiphany after visiting a tasting room and walked […]

A Month to Celebrate Merlot and a Closer Look at Ravenswood Single Vineyard Designate Wines

Did you know that October is Merlot Month?  And this is a grape worth celebrating! For the last five years, hundreds of Merlot producers have been mounting a movement to celebrate Merlot, designating October as International Merlot Month.  More than 100 Merlot producers, wine merchants, restaurants and consumers will taste and toast online (using #MerlotMe), at […]

The Jordan Experience During the Wine Blogger’s Conference: Hail to Lisa Mattson!

Debbie Gioquindo, Lisa and me In my last blog post, I talked about my top 10 discoveries from the Wine Bloggers Conference, but posted #11 referencing another post next week.  Today is that post where I get to talk about my friend, Lisa Mattson, the communications and marketing director of Jordan Winery. If you haven’t […]

A Pre-Trip to Sonoma: Day One to Lambert Bridge Winery

Pre-Trip to Sonoma

Cindy Rynning, me and Jennifer Higgins, Lambert Bridge Winemaker It’s amazing how the world and your intentions can change quickly.  Cindy Rynning and I started planning our trip to Sonoma prior to the 2017 Wine Blogger’s Conference with the intent of visiting some boutique wineries, telling their stories and trying out some new social media […]