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…

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…

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…

Viticulture: Organic? Sustainable?

By Catherine | On Feb 7, 2016 | 2 Comments

Lots of people are making the effort (and spending the money!) to consume more organic foods. But what about wine? Let’s take a look at the various farming techniques and philosophies that include organic, biodynamic, and sustainable viticulture. First, some definitions. Organic Viticulture This is defined as grapes grown in accordance with principles of organic farming which typically exclude the…


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