Derot-Delugny: Growing the Rare Stuff

On Saturday, for the very first time, I visited the village of Croutes-sur-Marne. This village at the western edge of the Marne is home to famous growers like Francois Bedel, but somehow it took me 31 visits to Champagne to finally make it here. I came to visit Claire and Laurent, the brother and sister team at Champagne Derot-Delugny. I met them after tasting their cuvée Fondateurs, which is still the only 100% Pinot Gris Champagne that I have ever tried.

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Gary Westby
Full Bellies, Full Hearts, Can't Lose: Keith Cooks Cassoulet!

When I walked into Keith’s house last week, I was greeted by a merry group of K&Lers and friends, and two long tables set with rustic red-checked covers. There was a luscious, savory aroma intertwining the conversations, and a glass in each person’s hand. For tonight was Cassoulet night, night of the rich bean-and-meat stew from the Languedoc, named after the casserole pot it’s cooked in.

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The Infinite Patience of Paul Fallet

Driving to the Western edge of Champagne, one can take in some of the best landscape and scenery in the region. Today, I went to the far end of the region, the Hamlet of Drachy, to meet Paul Fallet, the 17th generation grower at Fallet-Dart and all of his family.

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Gary Westby
The "Passion" and "Fascination" of Alexandre Le Brun

I started my day by making the drive up from Troyes and back to the Marne, and my first stop was the little town of Monthelon to visit Alexandre Le Brun. He is in the middle of a big project, expanding his winery with a new crush pad with two presses, many new tanks, and a beautiful new foudre.

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Gary Westby
The First Lady of Napa Cab: Cathy Corison

It’s hard to talk about women winemakers without talking about Cathy Corison. A fixture in Napa Valley for almost forty years, Cathy has broken barriers and busted through ceilings her whole winemaking carrier. With singular focus, determination, grit and confidence, she is unapologetically herself and it comes through in everything she does. Her wines, like her career, are about the pursuit of that passion, displaying a distinctive style that has never wavered based on other people’s opinions or thoughts. When I asked her for her secret, she replied, “Confidence, and not taking ‘no’ for an answer.”

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Megan Greene
Champagne's Southern Edge—A Visit with Lamoureux

This year, I started my trip to Champagne at the region’s southern edge—the village of Les Riceys in the Aube department. It is only three miles from here to Burgundy, and the soil is the same kimmeridgian clay that is found in Chablis. My very first stop was to see Vivien Lamoureux. Here I was greeted by Vivien, along with his dog Noughat, at the entrance of his 18th century cellar. We tasted the entire range from his twelve-hectare estate and caught up with one another.

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Gary Westby
Celebrating Women's History Month with Alison Thomson of Lepiane

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re excited to spend it here on the blog with a spotlight on some of the women who are kicking ass in today’s wine industry. We’re going to start our series in California with Alison Thomson, whose L.A. Lepiane label is an ode to her Italian heritage as well as her deep roots as a Californian. Esther Mobley, the SF Chronicle’s fantastic wine writer, called her a winemaker to watch in 2018 because she’s making “a convincing case for Italian varietals in California’s Central Coast.”

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A Taste of Rhône Through its Soils

Once a month, in our Redwood City store, one of our buyers will host an after-hours tasting for the staff. This special, late night tasting allows us to sit down together, enjoy a little food, and dive deeper into a region or selection of wines. This week, with our Rhone tasting coming up tomorrow, our buyer Keith Mabry took us on a tour of the Rhone, sharing stories and details (and even soil samples!) from the regions of Côtes du Rhône, Châteuneuf-du-Pape, Côte Rôtie, Cornas and Hermitage.

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Megan Greene
Let's Bring Back Aperitif Hour with Jardesca

Roger Morrison and Marshall Dawson were passionate about cocktails and the flavors of the Golden State, and they wanted to make something that tasted like it: grapes, fresh Pacific air, the grassy valleys, citrus groves, and eucalyptus. They started working on the blend for Jardesca, a series of red and white wine-based aperitifs each with a distinctively California personality.

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Exploring Burgundy on a Dime - It Can Be Done

Prices on Burgundy wines are outrageous and it’s scaring even the most intrepid (and wealthy) of enthusiasts away from this beautiful region. Unfortunately, this go-big-or-go-home attitude has monopolized our attention, but in fact there are still plenty of ways to stick your toe into the world of Burgundy without sacrificing your retirement. You just have to know where to look. A great place to start is by finding a reliable producer you can trust and with a style you like. One of our favorites in this area is Château de la Charrière

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Megan Greene