Monthly Archives: June 2007

Napa Valley Estate Turns 125 This Year

     It was 125 years ago – in 1882 – that a German immigrant named George Schonewald purchased a plot of land in the Napa Valley.

      On it, he built a beautiful summer home, established a 4-acre formal garden and planted 17 acres to winegrapes.

      The 31-acre parcel is now known as Spottswoode Estate, and the winery has been producing world-class wines for…     

Posted in Wineries of Distinction

Napa Vintners Focus on Ecosystems

    “Napa Green Land” is a landmark environmental program, initiated in 2003, that looks at all aspects of a grower’s property – vineyards, as well as roads, buildings and non-farmed land – to curtail erosion and reduce or eliminate pesticide use that will ultimately enhance the Napa River watershed and preserve or restore wildlife habitat through sustainable agriculture practices.

     Napa Green Land Environmental Certification is largely based on Fish Friendly Farming, whereby landowners create a customized farm plan that addresses all aspects of not only the vineyard, but the entire…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Summertime… and the Sipping Is Easy

    The sunny skies and warmer temperatures are here.

     And with the change in weather typically comes a change in our wine-drinking habits. We tend to replace the full-bodied, palate-grabbing red wines which complement winter comfort food with lighter-bodied, more fruity and more refreshing wines – the kind of wines featured in our Light & Sweet Wine Club.

     We once asked a prominent Napa Valley vintner – a man who makes some of the world’s finest and most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon – what…


Posted in Wine in the Glass

'New Wave' Winemaking by a Veteran Vintner

     A popular business concept that took hold during the 1990s involves “thinking outside the box.” Managers and employees are encouraged to envision new ways of accomplishing tasks in a more efficient manner and to serve customers in ways that will guarantee their continued patronage in the future.

      “Thinking outside the box” is the antithesis of, “We’ve always done it that way.”

     This concept isn’t limited to the hallways of Corporate America. It’s also practiced at a handful of wineries, most particularly in iconoclastic California, and these are the wineries we seek out for the wine clubs of…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction

City Council Joins Fight for Calistoga AVA

    The vintners of the Calistoga area in California’s famous Napa Valley want their own American Viticultural Area designation. They say it’s the last “unique” growing area in the valley without its own AVA.

     Now, the Calistoga City Council has joined effort, unanimously passing a resolution in support of the AVA designation.

     At present, vintners who use Calistoga grapes exclusively are allowed by the government to include only the less-specific “Napa Valley” wording on…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

A Cake for Cabernet


         It’s not easy to match Cabernet Sauvignon with dessert.     

        Not easy…but not impossible.

        Try this recipe with your favorite . . .

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

Part 3: Matching Australian Wines With Food

  (Editor’s Note: This is the third of a three-part series on 
Australian wines. Fire up the barbee, pour a glass, and enjoy.)

Australia vintners make a wine for every meal and every occasion.

      Although Australian cuisine is delicious – filled with fresh 
seafood, native spices and Pacific Rim flair – you…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Part 2: Trends in Australian Winemaking

      (Editor’s Note: This is the second of a three-part series that  runs through tomorrow here on

      Yesterday, we learned about the history of Australian 
winemaking and how vintners there have embraced technology. But what 
about the future? What are the trends in Down Under wine?

      Other than gathering more awards, more notoriety and more…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Australia: The Wine Wonders Down Under

     (Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series that will be running through June 25 here on Australia is such a large country, we couldn’t contain all the information in just one or two posts.)

      The first settlers in Australia planted vines in 1788. Vines have flourished in five of Australia’s eight states and territories for more than 200 years.

      In fact, Australia boasts some of the oldest vines in the world. It is not uncommon to find Shiraz vines, called Syrah in other parts of the world, that are more than a century old. Many are on their original…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Stemware: Size and Shape Do Count

      A wine glass does more than simply serve as a holding vessel for wine. The founders of Riedel stemware viewed the wine glass as an instrument to bring together.

      -The personality of the wine.

      -The smell of the wine.

      -The taste of the wine.

      -The appearance of the wine.


     The shape of the glass is responsible for the quality and
intensity of the bouquet and the…

Posted in Wine in the Glass
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