CAST Wines: A Unique Blend of Community and Innovation

    Over the last 14 years, I’ve had the opportunity to tell the story of innovation within the wine industry, gaining insights into various approaches to winery beginnings. While family-owned wineries and those acquired by larger corporations or wealthy individuals are common paths, some wineries take the road less traveled. CAST Winery stands out […]

Chimney Rock’s Winemaker Presents History in a Glass

      It’s always fun to meet a winemaker who has insight into the soul of her vineyard and AVA, knowing every vine, the soil and realizing that ultimately every year will be different. That knowledge comes with many years of farming the same land with the same team and taking each vintage with […]

Alma de Cattleya, Sonoma Soul and Spirit

    You could call Bibiana Gonzalez Rave (pictured above with her husband Jeff Pisoni) a soulful winemaker. So much that the the name of her winery, Alma de Cattleya, combines “Alma” the Spanish word for soul” and “Cattleya” the Spanish word for orchid (the national flower of Colombia).  It’s her way of paying homage […]

Mela Breaks Barriers in Wine

Mela Breaks Barriers in Wine

          The story of Mela is a non-traditional one of breaking barriers. Let’s start with the story of the owners – four black women with a passion for wine who had to learn the business from the ground up, build credibility and launch a brand.   Mela was founded by Ryann Casey, […]

Looking Back on International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

        Earlier this week, we celebrated International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. I thought it would great to look back through some of the stories that I’ve told over the last two years about the leading ladies of wine who are making […]

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 […]

The Three Pillars: The Domaine Bousquet Journey

Three Pillars: The Domaine Bousquet Journey

          It’s been a little over two years since my Dallas lunch with Anne Bousquet, co-owner of Domaine Bousquet, the Argentinian shining star example of value-oriented, biodynamic and organic wines. I knew then this was a woman who would have a growth story to tell me the next time we met. […]

Domaine Carneros: Blazing a Trail

Domaine Carneros: Blazing a Trail

        For 30 years, Eileen Crane was at the helm as the founding winemaker and CEO of Domaine Carneros. In August, she passed the baton to a new CEO, Remi Cohen, who brings two decades of experience in all facets of the wine industry to the château. Both females are visionaries and trailblazers […]

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 […]

Desiree Noisette: Rethinking Tradition with Mermosa Wines

Desiree Noisette Rethinking Tradition with Mermosa Wines

          Desiree Noisette is what you would call a Renaissance women.  She’s successfully been a lawyer, a retail business owner, a designer and is now known for operating Florida’s first black-owned wine business, Mermosa Wines.  Throw in the titles of wife and mom and you have a multi-talented entrepreneur who works […]

Exploring the Heritage of Donnachiara

Exploring the Heritage of Donnachiara

      I virtually traveled to a new region and winery in Italy continuing the 2020 alternative to what was once to be an in-person trip earlier in the year. This time it was an introduction to Donnachiara Winery, located in the Irpinia appellation in the Campania region of southern Italy. The winery is […]

Bruno Paillard: Breaking the Mold in Champagne

Bruno Paillard:

      Bruno Paillard is known for changing the game in the champagne industry, one that almost never sees change. After following his family legacy of becoming a champagne broker, he decided he wanted to create a different champagne. Not having a penny or a vineyard to his name, he sold a vintage Jaguar to […]

The Curtain Unveiled: Time to Stand Up


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 […]

Tasting History with the Women of Bacigalupi Vineyards


      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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Virtual Journey to Spain

  Flashback to my last press trip to Spain   Our wine group was looking for a way to connect in a virtual world.  Not only on a personal level, due to some devastating news received by several family members close to us, but also to the region that we were going to explore.  We […]

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. […]

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 […]

Smith-Story Wine Cellars: Breaking The Mold In The Story of Wine

Smith-Story Wine Cellars

  Lord Sandwich from Smith-Story Wine Cellars poses with me, his loyal subject   It’s rare that I write a story of an untraditional winery.  Wineries aren’t crowdfunded.  Winery dogs are the norm.  They don’t become brand ambassadors with 72,500 Instagram followers, a label of their own and a charity of their own.  But, you […]

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 […]