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 [...]

Cholame Vineyard | San Miguel – Monterey County, CA

Cholame Vineyard | San Miguel – Monterey County, CA

With the Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure just around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to write about one of my favorite new Garagiste winemakers, Cholame Vineyard. Cholame (pronounced "Sho-Lamb") doesn't have a tasting room, so you have to catch them at festivals such as the Garagiste Festival, at local wine events, or [...]

Williams Selyem Winery | Healdsburg, CA

Williams Selyem Winery | Healdsburg, CA

If I had to declare a favorite wine, without hesitation it would be Pinot Noir.  There are a million other varietals that I love to drink but in my mind, nothing compares to an amazing Pinot.  And this weekend I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite California Pinot Noir makers, Williams Selyem. [...]

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 [...]

Exploring Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone – Part 1

Exploring Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone – Part 1

In what was once an old, rundown industrial area just west of Santa Barbara's bustling shopping district, the Funk Zone has emerged as a hub of unique art, culture, food & artisan wine.  In my opinion, it's one of the best things to happen to Santa Barbara in a long time. With a number of shops, galleries, [...]