Featured Wineries


La Cuadrilla means the crew in Spanish. You’ll see these words printed on one of the Stolpman wines, a wine that’s the pride of their vineyard crew. Each year since 1994, the Stolpmans’ vineyard manager, Ruben Solorzano, gives his crew a two-acre block of land to farm on their own. By withholding any instructions for [...]

When I first met Brandon Sparks-Gillis, he was speaking passionately about rocks. He was holding one in his hand – a grayish green-colored rock called Serpentinite. It came from the vineyard where he grows his Sauvignon Blanc in a new appellation called Happy Canyon (sounds like a great place, right?). Brandon often carries rocks around [...]

Ivo and Claudio Nardi run their family winery in the hills of Veneto in the northeast of Italy. Encouraged by their father and mother, in 1985 they converted the family’s vineyard to organic and became leaders in organic and biodynamic farming in Italy. Ivo says that during his agricultural studies, he became aware of the [...]

I had a near-perfect day on Sunday.  I attended Big Basin Vineyard’s Spring Release Celebration in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one of just two days a year owner Bradley Brown opens his winery to the public. Bradley’s vineyard is just up the road from the Big Basin Redwood State Park. The views of the tree-covered [...]

Bulmaro Montes says that he and his brother have more than 90 years’ experience growing grapes. He means 90 years combined, of course. Still, there aren’t many grape growers who can make such a claim. Bulmaro and Manuel are 63 and 72 years old, two of the oldest active growers in the Napa Valley. They [...]

Walter Georis takes multi-tasking to a whole new level. He owns a winery, a vineyard, three restaurants and a record label. He is an artist, musician and grape grower. Fortunately he had the sense to hire a winemaker as he couldn’t possibly master one more thing! And it’s an interesting story how he found his [...]

Aero, Irie and Bleecker are important members of the Smith family and fixtures at the Paraiso winery. Aero is an eight-year-old golden retriever who loves bologna sandwiches; Irie is a five-year-old Australian Shephard who sneezes when he meets new people; and Bleecker is a two-and-a-half-year-old Golden Doodle who likes to frolic in the fountain with [...]


Jonathan Lachs planned to go to medical school — until he became distracted by wine. As a pre-med student in the late 70’s, he took a course in winemaking, just for fun. After getting the second highest score in his class for the Grenache he made, he decided to change his life course. And it [...]

Looking out across Cathy Corison’s vineyard, I see a clear delineation between her vineyard and her neighbor’s. The difference? Cathy’s Kronos vineyard, home of some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the Napa Valley, is covered in vibrant yellow mustard flowers. Her neighbor’s vineyard is brown. Cathy attributes the health of Kronos to 16 [...]

Not too long after the Santa Lucia Highlands became an official AVA (American Viticultural Area) in the early 1990’s, Dan and Donna Lee bought a 65-acre property in the northern end of the region. Their vineyard, which they named “Double L” (“Double Luck” for their twin daughters, Annie and Jackie), is now one of the [...]