Sunday, February 13, 2011 

Paso Robles Zinfandel

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Sunday, April 25, 2010 

What a way to spend a Saturday

Bike ride through the wine country
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

biking the winery trail through the Santa Ynez Valley with the Santa Barbara Ski Club. (or rather...driving around picking up everyone's wine purchases)

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Thursday, December 25, 2008 

The San Francisco Chronicle's Top Wines of 2008 list

names quite a number of local wineries.
  • 2006 Alma Rosa El Jabali Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay ($30) Richard Sanford shows his longtime talents with this lavish, ripe single-vineyard Chardonnay. 
  • 2006 Epiphany Cellars Camp Four Vineyard Santa Barbara County Grenache Blanc ($23) From an offshoot label of Los Olivos' Fess Parker Winery comes another terrific vintage of this versatile Rhone grape. 
  • 2006 Kenneth Volk Santa Maria Cuvee Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($26) We enjoyed several of his 2006 Pinots, but this blend was especially winning for its lighter food-friendly profile and approachability. 
  • 2006 Rusack Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($36) Again, John and Helen Falcone find the right mix of fresh fruit and earthy depth in Rusack's mainline bottling. 
  • 2006 Tablas Creek Vineyard Cotes de Tablas Red ($25) The Paso Robles focal point of American Rhone varietals had a solid '06 lineup, but its more affordable Grenache-dominant red in particular seemed to overperform. 
  • 2005 Presidio Artistic License Presidio Vineyard Santa Barbara County Syrah ($39) Douglas Braun's certified biodynamic vineyard just outside the Sta. Rita Hills appellation again shows its extraordinary potential for aromatic Syrah. 
  • 2005 Star Lane Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($50) Former Missouri banker Jim Dierberg's project in Happy Canyon is setting a high standard for Central Coast Cabernet, with help from winemaker Nick de Luca and consultant David Ramey.
  • 2006 Kunin Pape Star Central Coast Red Wine ($18) At a time when Rhone-style California wines seem to come with Chateauneuf-like price tags, Seth Kunin's tribute to that famed appellation remains a terrific find. 
  • 2006 Palmina Honea Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Barbera ($40) In Lompoc's wine ghetto, Steve and Chrystal Clifton have committed themselves to Italian varietals like few have in California. Honea is essentially their estate plot, and this latest Barbera is as exotic as it is compelling. 

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Monday, December 22, 2008 

Foley Wine Group buys the Historic Sebastiani Vineyards

The Foley Wine Group is pouring some more "green" into another "grape" adventure..this time a historic winery in Sonoma.
The historic Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma has been sold to the Foley Wine Group.
...Foley Wine Group, based in Santa Barbara, manages a portfolio of vineyards and wineries in California and the Pacific Northwest, including Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery, Lincourt Vineyards, Firestone Vineyards, Merus, Altus, Goodnight Cellars and Three Rivers Winery. - San Francisco Business Times
The history of Sebastiani Vineyards dates back to 1825. In that year, the Franciscan fathers of nearby mission San Francisco Solano, assisted by local native Americans, first cleared and planted land for their vineyards. These vineyards are among the oldest vineyard sites in northern California. They were acquired in 1904 by Samuele Sebastiani, the founder of our family winery, who immigrated from the wine producing region of Tuscany, Italy in 1895. - Sebastiani Vineyards
The decision by the Sebastiani family to sell their namesake winery rather than conquer their internal divisions will bring to an end a family business that formed Sonoma's wine identity for more than a century.

"This is a benchmark transaction because the Sebastiani name has been synonymous with Sonoma and with California," said Robert Nicholson, principal of International Wine Associates of Healdsburg. "I am sure it was a difficult decision within the family of pioneers in the wine business. But sometimes selling is the right decision. -
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Speaking of local wine happenings, the documentary From Ground to Glass (featuring some big name local vintners) is now available on DVD.
With a background in professional snowboarding and no money, self-taught filmmaker Robert DaFoe decided he wanted to leap into the winemaking business.

With a camera at his side, DaFoe was compelled to track his experiences from harvest to bottle, and all the strife in between — mainly the struggles to find cheap or free wine-related essentials. Things like grapes. And barrels. Oh, and a place to produce it all.

But what’s notable about DaFoe’s film, “From Ground to Glass,” is that he goes beyond merely tracking his own successes and failures — he’s able to get a rare glimpse into the livelihoods of some of the biggest names in the tri-county wine industry. Though the film premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival two years ago, it was released earlier this month on DVD, bringing the faces and histories behind the area’s biggest labels into mass distribution. - Pacific Coast Business Times
Gotta love a wine drinking documentary filmmaker former local who blogs!

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Friday, November 28, 2008 

I'm thankful for....

Gold on the Vines
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

living near Wine Country

and the many Farmer's Markets we have available

Beans stringing along
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008 

More Smokey flavor to Northern California Wines?

We'll have to wait and see.
Now that the smoke has begun to clear from North Coast vineyards, questions are swirling about whether it will linger in the 2008 vintage.

Grape growers and winemakers closest to the wildfires are concerned that the vines may absorb enough of the unsavory smoke compounds to taint the wines.

...Firefighting helicopters have been regular visitors at winery irrigation ponds, and vineyard workers have been sent home many days out of concern for their health. With the start of harvest just a few weeks away, concern is turning to the health of the grapes.

"We certainly have a concern that something could happen, but we really don't know," Sawyer said. "We're basically just waiting to see what develops."- The Press Democrat

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 

Ash has been falling like rain here.

It has been difficult to breath. My little black car looks almost grey with the amount of ash that has collected on it. The sunsets have been a glorious orange/red. But years living here, experiencing decades of fires, I know that sunsets of such beauty could only mean disaster somewhere close by.

And this Zaca Fire that has been raging since July 4, quite possibly could prove disasterous to hundreds of Santa Barbara County residents and a mainstay of our local economy, wine tasting and winery touring. (Remember, Sideways?)
An estimated 200 residents were evacuated monday evening in an area east of Santa Barbara's wine country as the stubborn Zaca wildfire spread and crept closer to homes and ranches.

Officials issued the evacuation order — the first since the fire began on July 4 — about 7:30 p.m. the 25,000-acre blaze burning in the Los Padres National Forest and San Rafael Wilderness moved east and south, coming within about two miles of some residences, said Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Eli Iskow.

A voluntary evacuation order also was issued for 1,000 residents living in and around Los Olivos, he said. - Latte Times
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department has issued an "Evacuation Order" for the residents of Happy Canyon Road above Baseline Road, including the communities of Tunnel Ranch, Peachtree Canyon, Rancho De Los Vistadores, and the Sedgwick Ranch. The Zaca Fire is at McKinley Ridge and is an immediate threat to life and property. Residents who live in or around the identified communities are advised to immediately evacuate. - InciWeb

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