Posts tagged domestic wine
Soil Talk: Sta. Rita Hills with Brandon Sparks-Gillis

Terroir geeks: can we talk? Soil, bedrock, micronutrients—it’s downright complicated unless you have a degree in geology. Am I right? Luckily the wine world has Brandon Sparks-Gillis, geologist, winemaker, Master of Wine candidate, cofounder of Dragonette in Santa Barbara County, and all-around great resource on wines and soils. Brandon indulged me all my nerdy soil questions about the special place that is Sta. Rita Hills.

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Chardonnay, Cab, and Zin, Oh My! The Golden State's Greats

As tried-and-true Californians, we couldn’t be prouder of the beautiful wines being produced by the Golden State these days. Check out our weekly newsletter for a handful of the Domestic Buyer’s favorite picks, and learn about some of the producers who are defining the current Golden Era.

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The Golden Age for Liquid Gold: Santa Barbara County Chardonnay

On a recent two-day jaunt through Santa Barbara wine country the team and I visited several producers who we believe are among the most exciting in Southern California. Our tastings confirmed that the wines from these producers are in fact drop-dead gorgeous.

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Cutting Through Idle Chatter with Fantastic Wine

Casey O’Brien’s new project is a label called Idle Chatter with a relatively straightforward goal: awesome wine meant to be drunk young and fresh at an everyday price point. But underneath a pair of great everyday wines is a remarkable project. Casey recently launched an initiative to give a percentage of his profits to LGBTQ charities. And underneath the friendly exterior, there’s a fascinating backstory to Casey.

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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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Can Sheep Save the World? Tablas Creek Is Going to Find Out

Happy New Year! I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2019 than to write about what’s going on over at Tablas Creek. They’re still making graceful, seductive Rhône Blends out of Paso Robles, but the way they are thinking about their land strikes me as an essential model for sustainability in California winemaking. They’re going above and beyond organic farming. They are building a complex, self-sustainable world on their 300+ acres, and they’re leaving the land even better than they found it. They’re putting carbon back into the soil to hold more water. They’re adding new species of grasses. They’re minimizing potential risks for fire. And they’re doing it all with sheep.

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A Visit to Dragonette Cellars

Sharon and I took our show on the road again, this time visiting Dragonette Cellars and Peake Ranch in the Sta. Rita Hills. My Vans squished in the mud; my hair blew in the wind. Patton poured us tasting samples of their wine, John talked to us about the vines, and I felt that this is the exact reason to love wine—to connect with people and to feel places in your bones.

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A Conversation with Kent Humphrey of Eric Kent Wines

When you pick up a bottle of Eric Kent wine, you know it. There’s no line drawing of an elaborate château, no fancy script, no coat of arms. What you see is an arresting piece of art or a poem, and, though each label is done by a different artist, there’s a sensibility that connects them. It’s a sense of humor. It’s a sense of whimsy. It’s a sense that you’ve entered a world through an artist’s unique looking glass.

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Angeleno Winery Is Putting Los Angeles Back in the Wine Game

And so there we were, in 1100 square feet packed with people and barrels and grapes and a forklift and a bucket of Tecate—at ground zero of what I have no doubt is a new moment for wine in this city, because here’s the thing: the wine is good. And they have the momentum and enthusiasm behind them to keep these wheels turning. Owner Jasper Dickson is a bon vivant/musician/winemaker/entrepreneur, who has a passion for wine and for LA—and he’s got a plan for both.

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An LA Lunch with Jeff Pisoni

Jeff says his family are farmers, that’s their identity. It’s not hard to romanticize that connection to the land—that’s what us wine geeks go in for, right? The beauty of how a glass of wine connects us to the weather and the soil and the people? But there is something so rooted and real about this family in this place. It’s a different California wine story than, say, much of Napa, where people came from elsewhere to stake their claim on winemaking. The Pisoni story happened from the ground up: a family already connected to the land with one visionary and a crazy idea.

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Something Old Can Be New Again: Hitching Post II's New Tasting Room

The temperature was a beautiful 78F, the sun shone brightly, and a delicate wind rustled the surrounding trees. I opened my car door and was immediately embraced by the comforting smell of smoky BBQ wafting towards me from the large outdoor grill. The soon-to-be snack- shack Airstream trailer was occupied by a catering crew preparing an array of delicious Spamburgers and spicy grilled shrimp. I checked in, poured a glass of rosé and observed the finished space. The new building is gorgeous…

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