Despite blizzards in the Northwest, tornadoes in Texas, or Trump-dominated newscasts everywhere, it’s spring in California. Translation: the race is on against Mother Nature to prune and prep 928,000 acres of vineyards for the 2016 season. But what exactly does “pruning” entail? Tired of reading confusing articles on canes, cordons, and spurs, I convinced a […]
There’s only one reason to attend a wine passport weekend: to get tipsy in a pastoral setting as cheaply as possible. Despite being marketed as the ideal combination of education and a buzz, with one ticket promising “free” tasting at dozens of wineries, neither learning nor drinking well are guaranteed.
Despite a slow and steady rise among American foodies, dessert wines are still getting the short end of the booze stick, often losing to well liquor as a dessert companion despite the existence of a perfect off-dry wine for everything from cheesecake to Almond Joy bars.
For a grape that’s notoriously difficult to grow, Pinot Noir is ubiquitous in wine regions from its ancestral home in central France to mountainous Australian vineyards, and even hot California deserts where it doesn’t thrive. While Sideways may take credit for making this berry-scented red easy to sell, the world should thank Cisterican monks and ancient […]
Farmers and vintners alike would argue magic doesn’t exist in the vineyards that quench our thirst each year, but I’d argue clover — four-leafed or not — comes close, and has been doing so for millennia. Trifolium, commonly known as clover, is a “nitrogen-fixing” plant, meaning it returns nitrogen from the air back to soils, […]
The Unified Wine and Grape Symposium is a big deal for the city of Sacramento. Parking rates go up from $8/day to $40/day, and wine lovers from across California and the world descend on the capital city’s massive convention center. But the Symposium’s attendees are a different type of wine enthusiast. They are not chic sommeliers […]
Images of winter in the vineyard make the vines look sturdy, tranquil, and often quite dead. But beneath the picture-perfect dusting of snowflakes across Tuscany or clovers that blanket dormant Napa vineyards, there’s an incredible amount of microscopic activity happening the in the vineyard. Dormant vines are far from dead, and they’re not just asleep, either.
Tasting rooms are the dive bars of wine country. From flashing crown-donning birthday girls to UC Davis biochemists and local news anchors, you can expect to find a wide variety of individuals there. Even the Pope might walk in for a sip. Whether in “rustic” reclaimed barns complete with crystal chandeliers, or exquisitely modern hilltop […]
After the sticky, 16-hour days that characterize the wine harvest, most winemakers are eager for the quiet of winter in the cellar. Yet despite often losing up to half of their staff as the workload recedes, winter quiet doesn’t mean an end to critical tasks. These sticky harvest days jumpstart of the wine process: thousands of pounds […]