Yearly Archives: 2009

Chimney Rock: A Star of Napa's Stags Leap District

     Growing grapes and making wine in the Stags Leap District of the
Napa Valley is the vinous equivalent of being granted a license to
print money.

     It’s not quite that simple, of course, but nobody would say that
Stags Leap is a challenging place to farm exceptional grapes.
Obvioisly, Mother Nature gets the final word each harvest season, but
it’s no mere coincidence that many of California’s greatest wines come
from this area – the home of Chimney Rock Winery.

     The district’s name is derived from the legend of a nimble stag,
said to have escaped a hunter by making a fantastic leap from one of the…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction

America's Burgundy

     If there is one winegrowing area in California that most closely
emulates the Burgundy region of France, it’s the Russian River Valley
of Sonoma County.

     Just as in Burgundy, the two varieties that reign supreme in the
Russian River are Pinot Noir among reds and Chardonnay among whites. So
many wineries – most still family-owned and relatively small – are
congregated in the area today that an organization has been formed to
help visitors plan their excursions and navigate the terrain: the
Russian River Wine Road.

     From a humble beginning with nine member wineries, the Wine Road now encompasses more than a…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Gold Medal Wines on the Olympic Peninsula

    Memorable wine touring experiences in the state of Washington are
by no means limited to the Willamette Valley and Walla Walla.

     Not far from Seattle, but still a bit off the beaten path, you can
explore the wineries of the Olympic Peninsula. And it truly will be an
exploration because chances are you’ve never even heard of any of the

     The reason: Most of them churn out fewer than 2,000 cases of wine
per year. With such limited production, combined with strong local
demand, it’s rare to encounter an Olympic Peninsula wine anywhere
except on…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

Next Spring, Hop on Over to Hopland

     I’ve always thought of Hopland as sort of the “gateway” to Mendocino County wine country.

     Which makes no sense whatsoever, when you think about it.

     The town was named for its historic crop of great significance: hops… which are used in the making of beer, not wine.

     And if you’re looking for a fabulous handcrafted beer on a hot summer day, Hopland definitely is…

Posted in Editor's Journal
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