The sky is a murky navy, outlined only by the jagged edges of California’s Mayacama and Vaca Mountains, as I head out to Stagecoach Vineyard on a chilly morning. There’s a surprising amount of traffic on Highway 29 at 5:00 a.m., which means one thing: It’s harvest. On the valley floor lies a sleeping giant […]
Smell is closely associated with memory, something that wine reminds us of at the most unexpected times. Sometimes, when sticking your nose in a glass as a mere formality, a wave of recognition washes over. I once blind-tasted a wine so striking that, although I couldn’t pinpoint the producer, grape, or region, I immediately recollected […]
Though often left in the shadows of its more popular relative Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc is just as noteworthy as its big, bad offspring. In fact, Cabernet Sauvignon wouldn’t even exist without this powerful little dark-skinned grape! Responsible for some of the most renowned reds of the Loire Valley, as well as a key player […]
Get a group of wine nerds together and more likely than not, when asked to choose between Cabernet Franc over Cabernet Sauvignon, the decision would be unanimous. Cab Franc would win every time. Somewhere along the line, Cabernet, Cab, and all other forms of nickname somehow became synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon. But what about the other […]
Cabernet Franc, the quiet parent grape of flashy Cabernet Sauvignon, plummy Merlot, and tannic Carménère, deserves far more attention than it gets, especially during the holiday season when wine recommendations reach a fever pitch. Not only does Cabernet Franc create wines of exceptional character, but it matches beautifully with fall comfort food, and will never, […]
For those of you that haven’t heard, the Loire Valley is *still* one of the wine world’s best kept secrets. Situated in the northwestern part of France, the Loire Valley wine region encompasses various terroirs along the length of France’s longest river, starting with Muscadet on the Atlantic coast, all the way to Sancerre, just […]
When it starts to get warm and barbecue season commences, we all rejoice. Picnics, grilled meats, poolside lounging, what more could you want? And yet, despite all the richness of spring and summer, it seems that our beverage choices get narrower.
All photos by Jeff Licciardello Let’s face it: winemaking is pretty much the coolest job ever, so if you’ve ever thought about quitting your day job and going into the winemaking trade, you’re not alone. The problem is that winemaking can be seriously difficult, expensive, time consuming, and often downright illegal.