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 best-known vineyards in California.

Their … Read the rest

There really isn’t a bad season to go to wine country. In fact, I recommend visiting your favorite wine regions throughout the year to see how the landscape changes. Fall, of course, is an exciting time because the vines are loaded with grapes. And when harvest is over, the leaves change colors, lighting up vineyards in red, orange and gold. … Read the rest

Kristy Charles - Foursight Wines

Kristy Charles

Not many people who live in the Anderson Valley grew up there. And not many people who make Anderson Valley wine actually live there. Kristy Charles is an exception. She is the fourth generation to grow up on her family’s property just outside of the town of Boonville. Her father, Bill, is one of the few remaining speakers … Read the rest

Carrie and Josh Bendick have a two-minute commute to their winery, by foot. They live in a house in the middle of their vineyard – the same house Carrie’s grandparents lived in when the vineyard was once a cattle farm. I stood on the balcony of their tasting room as Josh and Carrie emerged from the vines, a steep hillside … Read the rest

The Karuk tribe calls Orleans the “Center of the Universe.” That’s a big claim for a town with a population of 440. Orleans is about 100 miles from the Oregon border, surrounded by steep gorges along the Klamath River. It marks the convergence of three separate wilderness areas, making it one of the most diverse bioregions in the US. It’s … Read the rest

Robert and daughter, Barbara

Psychiatrist, homeopath and acupuncturist, Dr. Robert J. Gross, owner of Cooper Mountain Vineyards, nurtures his vines in an organic and biodynamic setting. The Willamette Valley has one of the most difficult climates in the US for organic farming because the region gets so much rain, which leads to rot in the vineyards. Rot is tough to … Read the rest

If you are like me, you’re feeling the post-holiday blues and need something fun to look forward to. There are plenty of activities in wine country this month that will give you a reason to get out and explore. Check out new regions, taste with winemakers, discover new restaurants and learn. Most of the events I’ve included are in the … Read the rest

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Does it surprise you that someone who has a good palate for wine also has a good palate for food? I’ve met many great winemakers who are as passionate about food as they are about wine. My conversations with them often stray from the topic of wine to reminiscing about a memorable meal. Many are talented cooks; others delight in … Read the rest

When I stayed on the small island off Bali called Nusa Lembongen, I ran in the mornings before it got too hot, passing small villages along the way. Children waved and yelled, “Hello missus!” from their homes. A lean old man with bare feet and a big smile briefly ran alongside me. I got my exercise in, but more importantly, … Read the rest