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.

2911, 2022

For the Love of Fog: Marine Layer Wines

By |November 29, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: |

Wine is largely a pilgrimage: both for the people who make it and for the people who seek to appreciate it. There are so many things to learn. Attending winetasting seminars with a group of winemakers who have different viewpoints yet many commonalities, is fodder for a fantastic learning experience, which is just what the audience got when they attended “Winemakers and Their Muses” at the 2022 Big Sur Food and Wine Festival held at the Alila Ventana resort in early November.

2111, 2022

Lenné Estate – Going in Blind

By |November 21, 2022|Categories: Digest, Industry, Marketing and Sales, News, Oregon, Origin Stories|Tags: |

Lutz, an Oregonian, began his career in Napa Valley in 1984, when he developed a taste for wine shortly after college. He worked at several well-known wineries, including Robert Mondavi. It was at Mondavi where Lutz and the Mondavi team would participate in staff blind tastings led by Robert himself.

1611, 2022

Montoliva: Family Style Italian Wines in the Heart of the North Sierra Foothills

By |November 16, 2022|Categories: Industry, News|Tags: |

For Mark Henry the journey into the wine business was twisty and turny to say the least.  After spending several years in the Army and getting a degree in Political Science, he decided to barrel-roll head first into the beer business. Why not?

1311, 2022

4th Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition & Celebration

By |November 13, 2022|Categories: Industry, News|Tags: |

Who is this event for? For the 4th Annual Cabernet Franc Celebration, we have opened it up to both domestic and international producers of Cabernet Franc.

311, 2022

F. Teldeschi: A History of Zinfandel in the Dry Creek Valley

By |November 3, 2022|Categories: Industry|Tags: , , |

In 1993, F. Teldeschi was established by Dan Teldeschi in 1993. The winery is a combination of the rich Teldeschi grape growing history that dates back to the turn of the 20th century when his father, Michele emigrated to Dry Creek, in Sonoma County, from Italy, providing a more modern spin on winemaking today.

2710, 2022

Smith-Madrone: A Mountain Vintner’s Perspective

By |October 27, 2022|Categories: Industry|Tags: |

For Stu and Charlie Smith, making wine on top of Spring Mountain west of St. Helena in the northern Napa Valley has been a way of life for five decades. The Smith-Madrone Vineyards property is a mix of vineyard, mountain and forest. Black bears, cougars and red-tailed hawks share the landscape.

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