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WineMaker Spotlight

Winery & Vineyard Visits / Winemaker Focus / Cornerstone Cellars / Jeff Keene / Napa Valley, California & Oregon

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I had the privilege of sitting with winemaker Jeff Keene for an extended tasting of Cornerstone wines. The offerings were delicious, impressive, and showed a broad range of styles. The wine also importantly showed restraint in all the right places. Jeff was 100% delightful and explained his winemaking philosophy beautifully. Passion is an over-used word in the […]

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Winery Visit / Winemaker Focus / Abiouness Wines / Nicole Abiouness

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I was at a fab party in Sonoma a few months back that was bursting at the gills with great, and varied, wines and local winemaker royalty.  Admission price to the party was an interesting bottle of wine. Aside from two that were clearly jokes, there were approximately 40 other fascinating offerings. I was, predictably, like […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Steve Peck, J. Lohr Vineyards, Paso Robles, California, USA

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I spent three great hours with Steve Peck, red winemaker at J. Lohr Vineyards . We sat on the excellent winery deck and imbibed all the way through a setting Paso sun. We tasted some of the whites, which he does not oversee, and the reds, which he does. What a likeable gent. I stole a whole […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Carl Bowker, Caliza Winery, Paso Robles, California, USA

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Last month I finally went to Paso Robles, a place that had been on my wine spit bucket list for years. The good folks at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance made a number of great suggestions regarding wineries to visit, some of which I knew of already, and some I had never heard of. Caliza Winery was in […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Daniel Daou, DAOU Vineyards and Winery, Paso Robles, California, USA

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Bright, glowing white onyx imported from Mexico formed the gorgeous tasting bar that introduced me to DAOU Vineyards and Winery. Delightful taste treats of fine cheeses, home-roasted pistachios, quince and delicious, earthy green olives in their own oil were placed to my right. Daniel Daou approached, smiled warmly, and proceeded to not only wow me […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Tina Carpenter and Martina Clain, Pink Girl Wines, Napa Valley, California

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Two years ago I helped organize a rosé tasting, and one of the wineries that chose to participate was Pink Girl. Among my impressions back then: “the sparkled jewel on the label, the label colors, etc. all make this an obvious bachelorette party winner. However, don’t let the packaging make you think this is not […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Bernard Portet, Heritance Wines, Napa Valley, California, USA, and Chile

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Bernard Portet is a living legend in the world of wine, that much I already knew. He was born in Cognac and rasied in Bordeaux by a father who was a technical director at Château Lafite. Luckily for the United States, Bernard took his vinous blood, talents, and passion from France to California and established […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Jason Court, Evidence Wines, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, California, USA

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I first made contact with Jason and his business partner Chris Woodrum in August 2010 via a message Chris sent me wanting to know if I desired to try their wine. I took them up on the offer, and was very glad I did. To-date, I have truly enjoyed every Evidence wine I’ve tasted. Additionally, […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Nadine Worley, Mud House Wines, Marlborough, Central Otago, Waipara Valley, New Zealand

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I love discovering the personal sides to winemakers. In fact, this is the seventh installment of my “Winemaker Spotlight” series, and I do not see any signs of slowing regarding my passion for this topic. I chose to start this project with all women winecrafters because most of the great wines I’ve been enjoying of […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Theresa Heredia, Gary Farrell Winery, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, California

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Gary Farrell Winery has legendary status. They have been producing award wining pinot noir and chardonnay for decades. In May 2012, they hired Theresa Heredia to take over their winemaking. I’ve recently gotten to know more about Theresa, and her impressive wine credentials. We actually have related scientific backgrounds. She also shares my fascination with […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Janet Myers, Franciscan Estates and Mount Veeder Winery, Napa Valley, California

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Janet Myers presides over two venerable wine houses: Franciscan Estates and Mount Veeder Winery. I’ve been a fan of Franciscan wines for many years now, but have not had the chance to try Mount Veeder (although their reputation is stellar). A few weeks ago I visited Franciscan again and sampled Janet’s sauvignon blanc (fresh hay […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Kerith Overstreet, Bruliam Wines, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

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Kerith Overstreet, Winemaker at Bruliam Wines, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California A few years back I stumbled upon a webpage that told a story of a couple falling in love with wine, deciding to make their own, etc. The tale seemed charming enough, so I read on. I had not paid any attention to their names as […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Cynthia Cosco, Passaggio Wines, Sonoma & Napa Valley, California

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Cynthia Cosco, Winemaker at Passaggio Wines, Sonoma and Napa Valley, California. Cynthia went from cop to artisan wine crafter, not a typical journey by any stretch. I adore her wines as they are delicious and straight to the point. They somehow taste more “honest” than many California wines in the same price range. The “bottle shock” question […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Natalie West, Foppiano Vineyards, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, California

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Natalie West of Foppiano Vineyards is a great addition to my ongoing WineMaker Spotlight series. I love Natalie’s wines, and had the delight of meeting her in person over an extended, and wonderful, tasting and touring session on the gorgeous grounds of Foppiano in the Russian River Valley. In her interview, Natalie tells us a little […]

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WineMaker Spotlight, Winemakers, Elizabeth Vianna, Chimney Rock Winery, Stags Leap, Napa Valley, California

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It is my belief that winemakers, not just brands and specific wineries, should be a much bigger focus for fine wine consumers. Why? Well, it is the net sum of a multitude of small and big decisions they make (during a wine’s journey from bud break to dinner party swirling) that can have far more influence on […]

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