The Diversity of Campania and Feudi di San Gregorio

The Diversity of Campania and Feudi di San Gregorio

        As one of Italy’s oldest winemaking regions, Campania has a storied reputation for its modern take on a centuries-old tradition of passion and dedication. The region boasts a cool Mediterranean climate with extreme coastal, as well as high elevation mountain terroirs. In Irpinia, you find more whites with the changing landscape […]

A Paradise Lost and Found Story

Paradise Found and Lost

        It was a tale of travel hell.  Just imagine your list of what could possibly go wrong on any given trip, and you’d probably spin the details of our very travel woe driven tale. It all began with a snow storm scheduled to hit Dallas the night prior to our trip. […]

Pausing for A New Holiday Normality

        The holidays are often expected to be joyful. After the death of loved ones, you find yourself trying to find normality and joy when you are missing people that were once in the center of family celebrations.   This Thanksgiving has been a journey of finding a new center with the […]

Bourgogne: New Generation, New Sense of Identity

        Bourgogne is reclaiming its identity as one of the most iconic regions of France with a return to the original name. In the past, Bourgogne adopted an alternate identity for export markets with the use of the ‘Burgundy’ designation for the English-speaking markets, or Burgund for the German speaking and many other […]

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, […]

The Nights the Lights Went Out in Texas

The Nights the Lights Went Out in Texas

          Thuwmpf.  You know that sound.  It’s the sound you hear before the deafening silence as your power goes out.  All lights, all sound fades to blackness as electronics power down.  Usually it is a bit of inconvenience.  Maybe an hour – maybe four.   This time it was early in […]

Second Half 2020 Sample Roundup

      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.       […]

You Had Me at Pinot: Exploring Wines of Germany

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      I didn’t grow up in a wine household.  A special occasion was a bottle of Blue Nun on the table, which was my first introduction to German wines.  I recently attended a You Had Me at Pinot class exploring the diversity of the grape with a Pinot Gris, two versions of Pinot […]

The Curtain Unveiled: Time to Stand Up

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The Curtain Unveiled: Time to Stand Up     The worst kept secret in the wine industry finally broke in The New York Times in early November. Approximately 21 women accused several men, many in leadership roles with the Court of Master Sommeliers, of sexual harassment, manipulation or assault. Here’s the article in Wine Searcher summing up […]

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. […]

Navigating the Senses with Sensi Wines

Senses with Sensi Wine

    Vineyard View from my Last Italy Trip When my long-awaited family trip to Italy was canceled last month due to the pandemic, I worked to recreate experiences from past trips to bring a little Italy to Dallas.  So when Monique Soltani, Executive Producer and Host, of Wine Oh TV, reached out to ask […]

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. […]

Ponzi Vineyards: Fifty Years of Original Oregon

      Anna Maria, Dick and Luisa Ponzi and me       At the Wine Writers’ Educational Tours, during my time in the Willamette Valley, I had the chance to sit down with Dick and Nancy Ponzi.  They were participating in a panel about what it took to plant vines, harvest grapes and […]

Domaine Anderson Winery: In Pursuit of the American Grand Cru

      We began our wine country exploration in Anderson Valley in Mendocino with a tour of Domaine Anderson Winery with Winemaker Darrin Low.     In 1981, Jean-Claude Rouzaud of the Louis Roederer family took one look at the remote area and saw its potential in cultivating an American Grand Cru.  Prior to Roederer, […]

Fathers & Daughters Cellars: Generations of Fathers, Daughters and Wine

Father & Daughters Cellars

Sarah, Guy and Ella Pacurar   As a mom to a 14-year-old daughter, I love the special bond that she has with her dad.  There has been much discussion about the special relationships that happen between fathers and daughters. Lately that was highlighted with the #girldad hashtag that came about after ESPN Reporter Elle Duncan […]

Sixmilebridge Vineyard: The Second Chapter of Jim Moroney

Sixmilebridge vineyard

Sixmilebridge Vineyard: The Second Chapter of Jim Moroney   Jim Moroney, Proprietor Sixmilebridge Vineyard For forty years, Jim Moroney was a champion of free press and led Dallas’ only daily paper through a digital transformation. But as he told me, “When you work for a public company like A.H. Belo Corporation, you have a shelf […]

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, […]

Uncovering the Differences in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir AVA by AVA

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

    The Willamette Valley is a region that is planted with 80 percent Pinot Noir grapes and because of that, it’s very easy to have the misconception that Oregon Pinot Noirs are similar in nature. But once you factor in AVAs, clones, soils, temperatures and the seven regions, you’ll find that while the Willamette […]

One Man’s Quest to Discover His Wine Palate Led to Making His Own Wine

Rob Barney, Vintner, Stressed Vines For Rob Barney, Stressed Vines’ Vintner, drinking wine was once a “safe label” choice.  He relied on labels, scores and brand name producers. In 2014, he decided it was time to expand and be more adventurous.  Little did he know that would take him down a path of making his own […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Virginia is for Wine Lovers: A Mix of History, Diversity and Great Wine

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This October, I had the opportunity to attend the Virginia Wine Harvest Party, which was a two-day whirlwind media tour that was held in conjunction with Virginia Wine Month, the longest running state wine month.  As I mentioned before, it had been 7 years since I visited the region.  I had heard some great buzz […]

A Conversation with Tom Gamble: Preserving a Family, Farming and a Legacy

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A Conversation with Tom Gamble: Preserving a Family, Farming and a Legacy It’s been about 18 months since I last had the chance to sit down with Tom Gamble, Owner of Gamble Family Cellars, yet constants remained.  Tom Gamble remains a farmer first.  He talked about never remembering a time when “there wasn’t dust in […]

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 […]