LIOCO Wine | Santa Rosa – Sonoma, CA

LIOCO Wine | Santa Rosa – Sonoma, CA

My visit to LIOCO Wine in Santa Rosa couldn't have happened at a better time.  For the past few months, I've been studying for my Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) certification through the Society of Wine Educators, which has proven to be an extremely challenging, often overwhelming, and very exciting experience.  While I've loved learning [...]

Porter-Bass Estate Winery | Guerneville – Sonoma, CA

Porter-Bass Estate Winery | Guerneville – Sonoma, CA

Small, back road wineries are my absolute favorite.  Even though they may be harder to find, the reward is definitely worth the effort. Aside from the slightly more complicated journey, back road wineries offer an experience you'd never find along the main tasting routes.  Many small wineries are family owned with rich histories and deep [...]

Larner Vineyard & Winery | Los Olivos, CA

Larner Vineyard & Winery | Los Olivos, CA

Oftentimes when I visit a winery, I find that I enjoy meeting the people involved in making the wine just as much as I enjoy the wine itself.  Such was the case when I visited Larner Vineyard & Winery in Los Olivos, CA. I'm fascinated by the winemaking process and am always excited when I get [...]

Law Estate Wines | Paso Robles, CA — A Post-Opening Update…

Law Estate Wines | Paso Robles, CA — A Post-Opening Update…

Last time I visited Law Estate Wines, it was more of a construction site than a finished project.  This past weekend, I visited the winery again in its completed form and was utterly blown away.  From the friendly and personal attention of the staff to the breathtaking architecture to the incredible wines, Law Estate is beyond [...]

Wind Gap Wines | The Barlow – Sebastopol, CA

Wind Gap Wines | The Barlow – Sebastopol, CA

I've noticed a trend recently of winemakers using a very minimalist approach to their craft.  By selecting the best grapes from specific vineyard sites, using wild yeasts, and remaining as non-interventionist as possible, they're allowing the fruit to express itself in an honest, unique way. An excellent example of this sort of wine making is [...]

Santa Barbara Public Market

Santa Barbara Public Market

Lovers of artisanal, local food & wine in Santa Barbara recently had their prayers answered with the opening of the Santa Barbara Public Market. From the outside, the large yet unassuming building that houses the Santa Barbara Public Market (a former Vons grocery store) could easily be missed.  However, inside lies a bright, clean, modern [...]

Babcock Winery & Vineyards | Lompoc, CA

Babcock Winery & Vineyards | Lompoc, CA

One of my favorite new wineries is actually not new at all. Established in 1978, Babcock Winery & Vineyards in Lompoc, CA has a rich history in the Santa Ynez Valley and is one of the best producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir around. Back in 1978, Mona & Walter Babcock purchased a 110 acre property on [...]