A Thirst for the Extraordinary: Three Must-Try Wines from the 7th Annual Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure

A Thirst for the Extraordinary:  Three Must-Try Wines from the 7th Annual Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure

A couple of weeks ago, an ex-mormon, an ex-pro snowboarder, a man of mystery known as The Conspirator, and a group of 40 or so of their peers gathered at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Solvang, CA.  You may wonder what would bring this diverse cast of characters together under one roof?  Wine, of course. [...]

Highlights from the Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure | Veterans Hall – Sonoma, CA

Highlights from the Garagiste Festival: Northern Exposure | Veterans Hall – Sonoma, CA

I've said it before and will enthusiastically say it again.  As far as wine festivals go, nothing compares to the California Garagiste Festivals.  From Paso Robles to Solvang to Los Angeles, the Garagiste Festivals have introduced me to some of the best wines I've ever had and have given me an opportunity to meet the [...]

The Wine-ding Roads of Italy: Part 2 – Ca’ Lunae | Liguria

The Wine-ding Roads of Italy: Part 2 – Ca’ Lunae | Liguria

After leaving Cinque Terre, we headed to Fornoli - a tiny village near Lucca in northern Tuscany.  Even though Fornoli was incredibly peaceful and tucked away from the rest of the world, it provided easy access to a wealth of attractions. We sampled some of the world's best Balsamic vinegar at Leonardi in Modena, drove [...]

The Wine-ding Roads of Italy: Part 1 – Buranco Winery | Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre

The Wine-ding Roads of Italy: Part 1 – Buranco Winery | Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre

Since returning from a once-in-a-lifetime trip through Italy this summer, it seems like most people ask the same question - what was your favorite place that you visited? The more I revisit and ponder this question, the more difficult it becomes to answer.  Italy was magical beyond words and every single place we visited was [...]

Dog Friendly Wineries in Sonoma County

Dog Friendly Wineries in Sonoma County

I've been spending a lot of time recently exploring the incredible and diverse wines of Sonoma.  That also means I've been seeking out the best dog-friendly wineries in the area so our furry travel companion Booker can join us on our adventures.  Many wineries in the area welcome dogs in their outdoor tasting areas only, however [...]

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 [...]

Deckman’s en El Mogor & Mogor Badan Winery | El Valle de Guadalupe – Baja, Mexico

Deckman’s en El Mogor & Mogor Badan Winery | El Valle de Guadalupe – Baja, Mexico

It's official... Baja's Valle de Guadalupe wine region has stolen my heart.  I recently spent a long weekend in the area, soaking up all the food, wine and scenery the Valle has to offer. One of my favorite stops along the Valle's Ruta del Vino was Deckman's en El Mogor restaurant and the Mogor Badan Winery - [...]

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 [...]

One Perfect Day in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe Wine Country

One Perfect Day in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe Wine Country

I just recently returned from a weekend in Baja near Ensenada and I'm already working on a plan to go back.  It had been nearly a decade since my last trip south of the border, so I wan't sure what to expect. What I found when we arrived was a magical place full of beauty, [...]