Supporting independent craft wineries.

102, 2023

Life-changing Tokaji Furmint

By |February 1, 2023|Categories: Digest, Featured, News, Origin Stories|Tags: , , , , , , |

My introduction to Tokaji Furmint was in 2020 – the 2018 Wetzer Tokaji Furmint – a dry white with some botrytis influence made in a minimalist style (native yeast, unfiltered, unfined). I wrote about tasting it – and won one of the categories in the 2022 Hungarian Wines Web Wine Writing Competition. As a result of that win, I visited Hungary for the first time in August 2022 – a life-changing experience that further piqued my interest in Tokaji Furmint.  […]

2901, 2023

Mail Road Wines: Mt. Carmel Vineyard’s Contribution to the Thriving Santa Barbara Wine Scene

By |January 29, 2023|Categories: Featured, News|Tags: |

The Santa Barbara Wine Scene is thriving, with Mail Road Wines at the forefront. The project began as a phone call between winemaker friends Matt Dees and Michael Palmer discussing the idea of making wine from Mt. Carmel Vineyard. […]

2401, 2023

Lewis Wines: A Couple of Buddies Crafting Delicious Terroir-Driven Wines in the Texas Hill Country

By |January 24, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry|Tags: |

Friendship is a powerful bond that can lead to great things, this is certainly true for the story of Lewis Wines. Founded in 2010 by two college buddies, Doug Lewis and Duncan McNabb, after they both gained experience working at a winery in Texas. The brand was born out of a shared passion for wine and a desire to work for themselves in agriculture.   […]

2001, 2023

Villány Underground – Péter Bakonyi of Bakonyi Pincészet

By |January 20, 2023|Categories: Digest, Featured, News, Origin Stories, Q&A|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The first day of my November 2022 trip to the annual Franc & Franc Forum in Villány, Hungary, we arrived late due to flight delays. Our guide asked my group if we wanted to skip the tastings to freshen up at the hotel and join everyone at dinner – or attend the tastings, but arrive at the first tasting a little late. I had been awake for about 36 hours, but I said yes to the tastings. […]

1601, 2023

Uncorking the Hidden Gems: A Look into Small Wine Producers in the Dundee Hills of Oregon

By |January 16, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry|Tags: |

As the sun rises over the valley, the dew-covered vines glisten in the morning light, and the air is filled with the sweet aroma of ripening grapes.  The Dundee Hills AVA in Oregon is a renowned wine region known for producing some of the finest Burgundian style wines in the world. Situated within the larger Willamette Valley AVA, the Dundee Hills are located about 28 miles southwest of Portland and are protected from the Pacific Ocean’s climate by the Coastal Range mountains. […]

901, 2023

Ab Astris: The Dream of Winemaking Comes to Life in the Texas Hill Country

By |January 9, 2023|Categories: Featured|Tags: |

Ab Astris Winery, located in the Texas Hill Country, is a family-run operation that takes its name from the Latin phrase “of the stars,” a reference to a quote by Galileo about wine being “sunlight, held together by water.” The winery is owned by Erin and Tony Smith, and features Kristen and Mike Nelson (daughter and son-in-law) as co-founders and general manager and winemaker, respectively. […]

201, 2023

From Garage to Tasting Room: The Journey of Carucci Wines to Santa Barbara

By |January 2, 2023|Categories: Featured|Tags: |

Carucci Wines has come a long way since its humble beginnings in a San Diego garage. Founder Eric Carucci first became interested in the wine industry while working on a marketing project for a German wine importer in college. […]

2912, 2022

A Look at the Bordeaux Style Wines of Boordy Vineyards in Maryland

By |December 29, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry|Tags: |

Boordy Vineyards has a rich history dating back to 1945 when it was founded by Philip and Jocelyn Wagner as Maryland’s first winery. Philip Wagner was a newspaperman serving as an editorial writer for The Baltimore Sun for almost 35 years. […]

2012, 2022

Exploring the Rich History and Sustainable Practices of Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma

By |December 20, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry|Tags: |

Although  the winery was only established in 1982, Gloria Ferrer’s rich history dates back to the 1500’s as the family brought with them a multi-generational knowledge of grape growing and sparkling winemaking with them from Spain. […]

1512, 2022

Aridus Wine Company: Pursuing a Dream in Southeast Arizona

By |December 15, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry|Tags: |

Scott and Joan Dahmer had always dreamed of starting a vineyard and winery, and they found the perfect location in southeastern Arizona. In 2009, they purchased a 40-acre property along Turkey Creek in Pearce, which sits at an elevation of 5,200 feet. […]

1012, 2022

Bells Up Winery – The End of the Beginning

By |December 10, 2022|Categories: Digest, Featured, Industry, Marketing and Sales, News, Oregon, Origin Stories, Q&A|Tags: , , , , , , |

In August 2021, I met Sara and Dave Specter of Bells Up Winery for the first time during a media visit that was a bit more formal – a sit-down tasting and interview with them both.

712, 2022

Titus Vineyards: Crafting High-Quality Family Estate Wines in the Heart of Napa Valley

By |December 7, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry|Tags: |

Titus Vineyards, located in the heart of the Napa Valley, has been producing high-quality estate wines for over 20 years. Founded by the Titus family, they started out growing and selling grapes, but in the late 1990s, the family decided to focus on making their own wines. […]

312, 2022

Youngberg Hill’s Wayne Bailey – Farmer First

By |December 3, 2022|Categories: Digest, Featured, Industry, News, Oregon, Origin Stories, Q&A|Tags: , , , , |

In late October 2022, I visited Youngberg Hill in Oregon’s McMinnville AVA. It is a gorgeous 50-acre property with a historic inn atop the hillside, surrounded by astounding views and meticulously farmed, organic and biodynamic vineyards planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris.

112, 2022

7th FRANC & FRANC International Cabernet Franc Forum

By |December 1, 2022|Categories: Digest, Featured, Industry, News, Origin Stories|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Fast forward to 2022. Villány is the primary red wine region of Hungary, which is becoming increasingly well known for producing its signature wine, Cabernet Franc, thanks to the area’s sub-Mediterranean climate, loess and clay soils, and innovative producers who are making Villányi Franc in a variety of styles.

408, 2022

Lula Cellars – The Deep End’s Hidden Gem Comes of Age

By |August 4, 2022|Categories: California, Digest, Featured, Industry, Marketing and Sales, News, Origin Stories|Tags: |

During a rare chilly and rainy, late-spring day, a friend and I stopped to taste the highly rated wines at Lula Cellars, a small producer in the cooler and foggier “Deep End” of Anderson Valley in Mendocino County.

1507, 2022

Ridge Legend Brings Montebello Magic to Napa

By |July 15, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry|Tags: |

One of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA’s most iconic and best-known brands, Ridge Winery, celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. David Amadia, President of Ridge, who worked for Randall Grahm at Bonny Doon for four years prior to joining Ridge in 2005, says they are excited for the winery’s “Diamond Jubilee.” Amadia is putting together 100 lots of Ridge wines for a special auction in London with Christie’s later this fall. Amadia explains, “We attribute our success to Draper’s leadership and philosophy. We are single-vineyard winemakers. We translate grapes into bottle, using only pre-industrial winemaking, which means native yeast, no additives and no processing.”

1407, 2022

Boeger Winery: A Taste of High Elevation Italian Varieties With a Slice of History in El Dorado County

By |July 14, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry, News|Tags: |

As Greg and Susan Boeger were venturing out into El Dorado County, situated in the Sierra Foothills of California, they stumbled upon an amazing property as they passed majestic pine trees and winding roads.  They came across a pear orchard that had all the intangibles for a winery.  There was already an irrigation system in place and buildings on the property that go back a century, including the remnants of a Zinfandel vineyard in the driveway.  Situated along Carson Road, the region already had 400,000 visitors a year passing by on their way to Apple Hill ranches.  This would become the core framework of Boeger Winery.

107, 2022

Box Wine Company: A Fusion of Surfing, Art and Viticulture Along the North Coast 

By |July 1, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry, News|Tags: |

On a cold foggy day with the wind blowing like crazy along Ocean Beach in San Francisco, California, strong currents and massive waves cascading along the coast, you would have found young Wesley Box on his boogie board braving the elements and thirsting for adventure.   Back in the 1990s, surfing up and down the coast of Northern California, Wesley became interested in geology as he noticed the Marin Headlands, just north of the City known for its breathtaking ocean views, cliffs and unique rock types.

2406, 2022

Story Winery’s Storied Past, Present, and Future

By |June 24, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry, News|Tags: |

Story Winery in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley has a long – and yes, storied – history. Its tasting room is a restored bunkhouse from the Gold Rush era built in 1860. The estate vineyards date back to 1894 – a .75-acre block planted with Mission – along with its Picnic Hill Vineyard, 6.75 acres planted with Zinfandel in 1896, and its Creekside Vineyard, 7.5 acres also planted with Zinfandel in 1936.

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