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CALERA WINE COMPANY

My history with Calera goes back to the very beginning in the early 1970s. More recently, I visited the winery again in 2011 and wrote an article entitled Kudos For Calera. And now I have just tasted the current releases (including the stunning 2010 Mt. Harlan Pinot Noirs) and revisited the winery to taste the […]

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THE OJAI VINEYARD

  I recently tasted newly released wines from The Ojai Vineyard and the visited the winery to taste more wines from barrel and bottle. These include wines from the 2010, 2011, and 2012 vintages. Several of the 2010s I reviewed from barrel after my last visit. Now bottled, these wines have evolved beautifully. There are […]

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TYLER WINERY

  I first became acquainted with this new winery just over 2 years ago. I was very impressed with the wines and the dedication and talent of owner/winemaker, Justin Willett. Here is what I had to say: Owner and winemaker Justin Willett started Tyler winery in 2005. Previously he had worked in vineyard management as […]

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ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2011

 INTRODUCTION I previously published a brief note on the 2011 Burgundy vintage where I called it “The Surprise Vintage” (To read that article click here). The weather conditions in 2011 were very unique even for Burgundy. Consider this quote from Aubert de Villaine, Co-Director of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, which was highlighted at the […]

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DOMAINE DONATSCH

   INTRODUCTION On our trip to Lichtenstein in the fall of 2011 we visited the Hofkelleri Des Fursten Von Liechtenstein in Vaduz. This is the winery and vineyards belonging to the Prince of Liechtenstein  (to read about that click here).   Here we had a wonderful visit and tasted some lovely, elegant wines. In the […]

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THE COMPLETE(R) STORY

  Description And History of Completer   Completer is a wine grape that is an indigenous cultivar from Eastern Switzerland. These vines in the area of Malans in the Rhine Valley of Switzerland were known as far back as 765. However, the name Completer is first thought to have appeared in 1321 where the name […]

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SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD & QUINTA CRUZ: TWO IN ONE

INTRODUCTION Previously I posted an article on these two unique wineries. Here is the introduction to that article with a few updated notes:  “This is the story of two wineries, one is the remains of a winery that was established in the early days of the California wine boom and the other is only a […]

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THE BIG KAHUNA LINE UP

    The Fresh and Easy chain of neighborhood markets has a line of wines named Big Kahuna that are priced at the same level as Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck. Recently I came across this notice: “Our exclusive Fresh & Easy wines win a lot of awards – 600 so far – and our […]

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RIDGE VINEYARDS

  CELEBRATING 50 YEARS:  A CALIFORNIA TREASURE On a recent visit to Ridge Vineyards I met with Paul Draper, CEO/Winemaker, and Eric Braugher, VP Wine Making Monte Bello, and tasted some 2011s out of barrel as well as some bottled wines from 2010 back to 1992. The 2011 vintage presented some challenging weather conditions, but, […]

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AU BON CLIMAT & QUPÉ

GREAT WINES IN THE SHED FOR OVER 20 YEARS! Last year, along with my long time friend and contributing editor Ed Lazarus, I visited Au Bon Climat, Qupé, and Chanin at the winery facility in Santa Maria. Au Bon Climat and Qupé are now pioneer winemakers in the area and start up Chanin Winery had […]

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