When you think of summer wine festivals, does your mind go to sunshine? Of course it does! Well, leave it to me to recommend wine festivals in August that take place in two of the coldest, foggiest summer climates in the world: the Sonoma Coast and San Francisco. Cold weather is not a guarantee; I have been surprised in the … Read the rest

Three generations of Nardis. Claudio, Ivo & five brothers make up the third.

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 … Read the rest


Owner, Bradley Brown

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 mountains from … Read the rest

Bulmaro and Mara Montes

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 are … Read the rest

Spring has arrived and it’s time for a road trip. Some of my favorite wine regions are stunning at this time of year. Places like the Sierra Foothills and Santa Cruz Mountains offer endless opportunities for adventure from wine tasting to hiking to zip-lining through a redwood forest. You won’t want to rush. Take the whole weekend!

April 14-15 and Read the rest

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 winemaker, Damien Georis (no relation), … Read the rest

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 the birds.

But the real … Read the rest

Whether driving through the Santa Cruz Mountains or exploring hundreds of wineries in one San Francisco location, these events cover a broad range of wines, vineyards and styles. The best part about attending any of these is meeting the talented people behind the wines.


In Pursuit of Balance is the … Read the rest

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 was meant to be. He … Read the rest

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 years of organic farming, a … Read the rest