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Winery & Vineyard Visits

Winery & Vineyard Visits / Markham / Napa Valley, California

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I had the distinct pleasure of tasting through a wide selection of Markham wines with the absolutely entertaining and knowledgeable winemaker that is Kim Nicholls. Markham wines represent some of the finest quality to price ratio offerings in Napa Valley. One thing that helps them achieve this is the fact that Markham owns over 350 […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Antica an Antinori Family Estate / Napa Valley, California

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                                        Antica Napa Valley is an Antinori Family Estate located a lengthy, but beautiful, drive up Soda Canyon road in Napa. If you want incredible, even for Napa, scenery make an appointment and go.  I won’t wax on […]

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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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Winery Visit, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg, California

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Jordan Vineyard & Winery The Jordan grounds are a sight to behold.  The approaching road winds through beautiful country and lulls one into the thought they must be approaching a modest farmhouse teeming with disheveled chickens pecking about, goats with neck bells clanging, and wafts of barnyard. Instead, the road takes a decidedly manicured turn […]

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Williams Selyem / Winery & Vineyard Visits / Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California

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Williams. Selyem. Two words, that when put together make wine purists, pinot noir nuts, and chardonnay lovers (that appreciate the proper use of oak) swoon. Swoon, and wait. The wait is the dreaded (if you are not on it) “list.” Yes, WS has what every winery owner dreams about – a list. If you are […]

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Foppiano Vineyards / Winery & Vineyard Visits / Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, California

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I adore Foppiano Vineyards. The wines, the people, the grounds, the vibe. True, real, professional, elegant, delicious. I’ve long been a fan of Natalie West‘s wine crafting, so visiting Foppiano in person had been on my wish list for years. Natalie gave me a fascinating tour around their ample, and gorgeous, grounds and then guided […]

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WineMaker, Kerith Overstreet from Bruliam Wines

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I’ve always tried to include the winemaker in all my tasting notes – as the influence they exert over the final product can be monumental. I’m fortunate enough to know a lot of great winemakers. One who is also my close friend is Kerith Overstreet.  I’ve covered her before on this site here http://www.brainwines.com/?p=5788 but just saw […]

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Winery & Vineyards Visits – Acorn Winery (Alegría Vineyard) in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA

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Highlights The warm and knowledgable Betsy and Bill. True “Field blending” (40-50 different grape types on just 27 acres). Great wines. Excellent and down-to-earth atmosphere and wine making approach. Solid soil and cork learning tools on display in the tasting room. Learning without effort. 40-50 varietals = from A to Z, seriously. Madeline Angevine and […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits – Wine Making Tools – Texture Pictures

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My fascinations with wine and spirits crafting extend into the machinery and physicality of the tools utilized in these arts.  A wide array of interesting items abound in production facilities.  Here are some pictures that try to capture some of the unique tools of the trade. Please click on the link, below… https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zu2wxlmkvwaa6rh/RbA-DQULkB/Wine%20Making%20Equipment%20Textures

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Harvest 2012 in Napa Valley, California, Texture Pictures, Photography

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    From midnight to 8am yesterday I was fortunate enough to participate in a Sauvignon Blanc harvest in Napa Valley, California. I’d seen pictures, read articles, and heard tales of midnight / early morning harvests before, but being there “on the ground” was quite an experience, and really a must-do for all wine lovers. […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA

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Castello di Amorosa crafts some great wines, as I’ve reviewed in the past.  So when I was planning my most recent Napa and Sonoma tour, Castello was high on my hit list of places to visit. I also had another motivation to see the castle, as I wanted to finally meet, in person, my friend […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), A wonderful visit to Tulocay!, Coombsville AVA, Napa Valley, California, USA // Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah

What a winery visit this was!  Fantastically engaging winemaker / owner (Bill Cadman), lovely, laid-back, completely off any beaten touristy wine path Coombsville vibe, fantastic scenery, cute as all get out wine doggy, a ceremonial plate of (oddly mostly Risky Business style) sunglasses left over from forgetful wine enthusiasts, and, most importantly…..wonderful wines at epic […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Ceja Vineyards, Napa Valley, Califorina, USA

Ceja Vineyards Wine Passion Babbling Section If you are reading this it is almost certainly because you are a member of the club of people that believe in wine.  Now when I say “believe”, I mean to imply that you view wine as an entity that can be far more than simply the sum of […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Events, Vineyard to Vintner (V2V), Stags Leap, Napa Valley, California, USA

The end of every April finds me in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap district – enjoying a fantastic event, the “Vineyard to Vintner” (V2V) weekend. My friend Adam and I pour for Malk Family Vineyards (the only time of year they are open to the public). The link to the event and to Malk Family Vineyards […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visit), Monte Xanic, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja, Mexico

Drinking that great 1997 Xanic (Baja) Cabernet the other night got me reflecting…. I’ve been a fan of the wines from Monte Xanic in Baja, Mexico (Valle de Guadalupe) for many years, and became a fan of their facility when I went to a “Fiestas de la Vendimia” event there in August.  Tough not to […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Napa Valley, California, USA / Quick Guide – Introduction to a few of my favorite wineries

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In a two-part Napa Valley series I wrote for my past magazine column, we documented a recent tour through Napa’s wonderland… Please click on the link, immediately below, to be taken to this article that we have posted on Scribd. We suggest hitting the “full screen” button below the article, then the zoom buttons. http://www.scribd.com/doc/25949562/Napa-Valley-Wine-Guide-California […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Far Niente, Napa Valley, California, USA

Far Niente – one of my favorite wineries….. From the entrance, the grounds, to the classy first human contact, Far Niente states loud and clear that you’ve arrived somewhere special.The smugness is not negative, it actually rings of genuine, “I’m flat out so happy to be working in this brilliant place you might as well […]

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(Winery & Vineyard Visits), Pine Ridge, Stags Leap, Napa Valley, California, Cabernet Sauvignons & Red Blends

Pine Ridge is another big proponent of cave aging, with about 7/10ths of a mile to show. I did a barrel-to-bottle tasting, and it was excellent. This is a truly great vineyard, and some of their aged wines can rival the 1st growths of Bordeaux. Also, a very, very, attractive cave and tour.   Specific […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits, “How To Visit a Tasting Room & Love it !”

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Tasting Room Tips & Suggestions First, look at a winery map of the region you are going to.  Figure out, at the very least, a trajectory that passes by, in order, the wineries you’d like to visit.  This will be especially important when it is crowded.  I’d suggest no more than 4 wineries in one […]

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