It all began when the Becker family began searching for a log cabin to renovate for their Texas Hill Country getaway from their main residence in San Antonio. Inspired by travels abroad where they developed a passion for wines, the Beckers felt that central Texas was ripe for supporting more top quality vineyards. They purchased a cabin in 1990 on 46 acres of raw land and quickly discovered that native mustang grapes left over from German settlers grew abundantly in the fallow f
I’ve been going to Livermore California for more than 25 years. My sister lived there and worked at Livermore Labs, where a lot of winemakers actually come from. We would pack a picnic and head out to the wineries. Back in the 90’s, Livermore was an up and coming wine region living in the shadow of its famous neighbors to the north, Napa and Sonoma. Today in the 2000’s, the valley is its own wine region and unique destination. Livermore Valley has its own AVA with 12 districts representing diff
Carrie Wynkoop loves discovering and sharing great Oregon wine. But when she began her explorations over 20 years ago, she joined one wine club after another but was unable to find any exclusively focusing on Oregon, even though the state is a top U.S. producer. Wynkoop decided to take matters into her own able hands, establishing her very own Cellar 503.
Established in 1858, sixth-generation family-owned Gundlach Bundschu Winery is located on the southwestern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountain Range in the Sonoma Valley's southernmost point. The winery's very own 320-acre Rhinefarm is situated on terrain defined by a unique combination of steep hillsides and a cool valley floor perfect for estate grown Bordeaux reds and cool climate varietals.
Sustainability defines Gundlach Bundschu's core operations at every level. Their acute deficit irrigatio
A vast valley protected between two mountain ranges, northern Spain's La Rioja features terrain, wind conditions, and soil that differs from one village to the next. The River Ebro flows through it all from west to east flanked by the Cantabria Mountains to the north and the La Demanda Range to the south.
Vivanco Family Vineyards, a fourth-generation estate established 100 years ago by great grandfather Pedro Vivanco González, remains a small operation in La Rioja's Alberite. It wasn't until th
The state of Washington consists of many diverse microclimates--from the rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula to the eastern portion of the state averaging around eight inches of rain. The craggy Cascade Range separates the western and damper portion of the state from the eastern and drier side. All of these microclimates provide the 900 wineries unique areas to grow more than 40 different varietals of wine, making Washington State the second-largest premium grape-growing region in the nation.
This year I have fallen, head over heels, for nuanced seducers and seductresses, earthily robust, sometimes slightly bubbly, always true to their origins, offering sensations of mountain and sea. Bracingly refreshing, sometimes rounded, feminine whites, powerful masculine reds: I am speaking, of course, about today’s Greek wine, much of which is made by the men and women in the photo above. Since the late 1970s Greek winemakers have reborn Greek wine. I can still find retsina a truly acquired
A rocky peninsula reaches into the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean along with thousands of islands (though just 227 inhabited) defined by hot dry climates and diverse cultural influences. Europe's southernmost and ancient country with the longest grape growing heritage. It is on the Greee's volcanic island of Santorini that Domaine Hatzidakis produces some stunningly tasty wines that are now thankfully available worldwide.
Domaine Hatzidakis got its start in 1996 when a small vineyard was
Grand Cru, Medoc, St Émilion, Bordeaux Left and Right Banks - all terms of which I was aware, but wanted much more information. That’s the beauty of a river cruise with wine as its main topic (and the wine isn’t bad either, to put it mildly!). We were about to embark on an eight-day UniWorld boutique wine river cruise along the Garonne River - an area settled by ancient Romans and once ruled by the English, but every bit a French region.
Each evening of the cruise started by imbibing in the "
In mid-September, France celebrated its cultural patrimony by opening buildings and gardens that are normally closed to the public. This year's theme was "Hidden Patrimony," and I profited from the occasion to visit a 600 m2 vineyard that is tucked away in the nearby town of Neuilly-Plaisance.
Getting there by public transportation was a challenge, but I was up to it: a metro ride to the Châtelet station, an RER train ride to Neuilly-Plaisance, a local bus ride to a spot several blocks f
Up until recently I had no idea what the wines from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region tasted like. I had my first taste at Tilghman Island Inn in Maryland’s Talbot County during a game & wine pairing dinner. I was impressed by its unique flavor profile. Lo and behold, a few months later I was alerted to the fact that Gerard Bertrand, an innovative and sustainable winemaker based in this same region was awarded “European Winery of the Year” at Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Annual Wine Star Award
When you think New Mexico, do you think skiing? Georgia O’Keefe? Hatch chilies? Sunsets over red rock? John Wayne in the Rio Grande? Or, perhaps, Tempranillo, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling? Visit a New Mexico Winery, and you just may forget Mr. Wayne, or at least, enjoy him with a refreshing Riesling.
Franciscan monks began growing wine grapes in New Mexico around 1630, just a decade after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth a continent away. By the late 1800’s, New Mexico had more
Jazz lovers from Southern California and all over the Western United States have been coming to Thornton Winery in Temecula (north of San Diego) for an amazing twenty six seasons. And amazingly, both the talent line up and the concert experience continue to get better. I’ve been fortunate to have seen some of the true giants of contemporary jazz, including Lee Ritenour, David Sanborn, Bob James, Brian Culbertson, and Keiko Matsui at this intimate and acoustically excellent venue. But Saturday’s
It was truly a Bella Notte—a “beautiful night” at the Europa Village Winery in the Temecula Valley Wine Country in Southern California, where the winery’s first musical, internationally-themed wine dinner of the fall season took place recently. Europa holds these wine pairing dinners occasionally and they are always exceptional events.
We were with friends from Nebraska who had never before experienced the magic of a wine country evening with such luscious food, exquisite wine, and musical entert
Walking upward on steep cobbled lanes through the village of Lugano Switzerland still enshrouded by morning mists rising from Lago di Lugano is certainly one of life's finer ways to get a workout. If you're up for even more climbing (or a short cab ride), include a visit to Fattoria Moncucchetto, Lugano’s only urban winery.
On a narrow plateau carved out high above the village with breathtaking lake views, family-run Fattoria Moncucchetto sources their base Merlot grapes from a tiny 2.5 acres ons
Well…I am impressed. America’s first wine country not only boasts some solid wines, but also has its very own state grape glass – the Riedal Crystal Norton Wine Glass. Hardly anyone gets that, let alone a small wine district in the middle of the country. I had a chance to taste some great wines in that glass and spend a few days in Lake of the Ozarks and Columbia, Missouri, hanging out at some great wineries, tasting and talking with owners, winemakers, and chefs. If you’re headed to the Midw
Sweet wine, traditional wine, the best contribution wine magazine, some wine promoter and even wine software, where else would you imagine you can find the whole thing about wine, none other than in Wine Country Tour, California. This Northern California region is considered as world-renowned wine-growing region in the United States. The Golden State has been producing wine nearly more than 200 years, since the days of the early Spanish missionaries. From Mendocino to Santa Barbara, California b
Exploring a dynamic portfolio of wine is always rewarding, but when you add in unsurpassed hospitality offered by the winery owners, assistant winemaker and informed staff, you know you’ve arrived at Barrister Winery. This charming winery, tasting room and entertainment center is located in an old warehouse within the historic Davenport art district of Spokane. In fact, this winery is perfectly situated in a hundred year old brick and massive wooden beam structure, once a car dealership storage
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Barili Cellars of Washington State
Sometimes “smaller is better” when it comes to crafting limited amounts of premium wine. Serious wine lovers and connoisseurs are focusing their palates towards small producers who craft superior wines in small lots, using old world techniques, with limited non-commercial technology. Barili Cellars in downtown Spokane, Washington is one of those artisan venues who create “rare treasures of bottled delights.” A visit to their u
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