Wine Blogger’s Conference Returns to Sonoma

By Catherine | On Nov 19, 2017 | No Comments

Pre-Conference Excursion to Napa Valley   I had been anticipating the 2017 Wine Blogger’s Conference with various emotions – excited to visit Sonoma and Napa, thrilled that my daughter, Hilary, was joining me, but also with some trepidation over what we would see as a result of the Wine Country fires.   Hilary and I arrived at the tiny Santa…

Natural Wine

By Catherine | On Oct 1, 2017 | No Comments

One of my favorite new wine shops/wine bars in the Los Angeles area is Stanley’s Wet Goods in Culver City.  Last week, I attended a class on the topic of Natural Wine. There is much disagreement about what constitutes “natural ” wine, but in general, the following characteristics apply: – Grapes grown using sustainable, organic, or biodynamic techniques (see my…

The Cube Project

By Catherine | On Jul 30, 2017 | No Comments

The Cube Project was conceived in 2010 by winemaker Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton, Oregon, Andrew Brooks of Bouchaine in Napa’s Carneros region, and Leslie Mead Renaud from Lincourt Vineyards in Solvang, California. Each participant chose a single block of Pommard Pinot Noir (Pommard was chosen in order to help control variables between the sites) and sent the…

The Wine Abides During WBC16 in Lodi

By Catherine | On Sep 25, 2016 | No Comments

The Friday night wine country excursions are my favorite event during the Wine Blogger’s Conference.  You don’t know where you are going until you get on the bus and I have never been disappointed.  There was a new twist this year during the opening night reception when we were able to select our excursions via a display of “hints.”  After…

Sunrise Harvest in Lodi

By Catherine | On Sep 4, 2016 | 3 Comments

On the second day of the 2016 Wine Blogger’s Pre-Conference Excursion in Lodi, my phone alarm began chiming at 5:00 a.m. I am never awake at this hour! But an experience not to be missed lay ahead. Our fearless leaders, Randy Caparoso and Jenny Heitman, loaded us onto our bus and we drove to the vineyards at Michael David Winery…

Loving Lodi

By Catherine | On Aug 21, 2016 | 1 Comment

The 2016 Wine Blogger’s Conference was held in Lodi, CA from August 10-14.  Lodi is located in the Central Valley and has been growing wine grapes for over 150 years.  Fourth and fifth generation wine growers have been joined by newer vintners and the area, which enjoys a Mediterranean climate, produces a wealth of grape varietals. Best known for Old…

Let’s Talk About Sulfites

By Catherine | On Jul 21, 2016 | No Comments

Countless wine drinkers blame sulfites for headaches or allergic symptoms after consuming wine.  What are sulfites, anyway?  Chemically, sulfite is sulphur dioxide (SO2), an antimicrobial and antioxidant compound that occurs naturally and is also added to numerous foods and wines to retard spoilage. Examples of foods containing sulfites include dried fruit, some canned fruits and vegetables, condiments and many others….

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Stone Tower Winery

By Catherine | On Jun 30, 2016 | No Comments

A visit with my daughter in May provided the opportunity for another wine tasting excursion to Loudoun County, just south of Leesburg, VA.  She had visited Stone Tower Winery in the past and highly recommended it for both its gorgeous setting and excellent wines.  The drive was beautiful, through rolling hills, farmland, and eventually, vineyards.  Stone Tower is located on…

Ballard Canyon

By Catherine | On May 26, 2016 | No Comments

During the 2014 Wine Blogger’s Conference, I was introduced to Ballard Canyon and the world class Syrah that is produced there. While traveling in California recently, I wanted to return to the area and have another opportunity to taste the Syrahs. Ballard Canyon is one of the newest and smallest AVAs (American Viticultural Area).  It is made up of 7,700…

California’s Glorious Central Coast

By Catherine | On Apr 5, 2016 | No Comments

My daughter, Hilary, and I recently returned from a wonderful week in California.  Ever since the 2014 Wine Blogger’s Conference, I have been wanting to return to the Central Coast and this trip presented the opportunity.  After meeting in Los Angeles and spending a relaxing evening in Marina del Rey, we headed up the coast.  Our first stop was at…


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