World of Pinot

World of Pinot Noir – Alice in Wine Land

I started attending World of Pinot Noir, or “WOPN,” a decade ago. Back then, tastings were held in a couple of tents perched atop a cliff in Pismo Beach. These days, the event takes place at the gorgeous Bacara Resort and Spa, a resort well known for its stunning vistas, great golf course, and stellar service. Every year, I see the same faces, which validates my theory “once a Pinot person, always a Pinot person.” Unlike other varieties, I have…

Greg La Follette

Wednesdays with Winemakers – Greg La Follette

I am excited to announce a new series: “Wednesdays with Winemakers.” It is intended to offer a glimpse into the minds and hearts of your favorite vintners and winemakers. My first winemaking hero is none other than Greg La Follette. His extraordinary career began at Beaulieu Vineyards with mentorship by André Tchelistcheff. He traveled all over the world (and still does!) to make wine. His stellar efforts are behind building Flowers Vineyards and Winery, Tandem, his namesake brand and many…

Estate Vineyards

Top Ten Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Wineries

In this installment of my appellational series, I decided to profile two adjoining America Viticultural Areas in San Luis Obispo wine country, Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande. These two areas share a proximity to the ocean and a cool climate that naturally lends itself to growing gorgeous Chardonnays and powerful Pinot Noirs. Edna Valley became an AVA in 1987; Arroyo Grande in 1990. Despite being twice the size of Edna Valley there are only three wineries in Arroyo Grande (compared to eighteen…

Sea Smoke Cellars

Top Ten Sta. Rita Hills Wineries

Sta. Rita Hills American Viticultural Appellation is located on California’s Central Coast in Santa Barbara County. One of the smallest in California, it was granted AVA status in 2001. In 2005, the originally named Santa Rita Hills AVA was notified by a 135-year-old winery in Chile, named “Vina Santa Rita,” that the title already exists, so it became “Sta.” Rita Hills. A total area of 30,700 acres, it is home to sixty vineyards, planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Syrah and a few others. Heavy Pacific Ocean’s marine influence is…

Niner

Top Fifteen Wineries of Paso Robles

Paso Robles Wine Country is located halfway between Northern and Central California is the state’s largest un-subdivided AVA with 614,000 acres. With 32,000 acres planted and over 200 wineries, it ranks fourth after Napa, Sonoma and Monterey. Established in 1983, it’s home to some of the most exciting wines made in the state. Well established wineries are complimented by renegades; pioneers who flock to the area in search of their viticultural voice. These folks don’t know the meaning of compromise and continue to push the proverbial envelope…

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Nantucket Wine Festival

Vintners and consumers are exceptionally enthusiastic about a very special event that takes place in May on the historic island of Nantucket, thirty miles off Cape Cod. Now in its 19th year, the Nantucket Wine Festival (NWF) has become one of the most coveted wine and food affairs in the country. Virtually overnight, the laid back, impossibly charming vacation spot transforms into an epicenter of world-class wines and spectacular food. Over hundred and fifty wineries and dozens of restaurants await…

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