California grenache

Despite Low Yields, California Grenache Is Ready for a Renaissance

Today, California Grenache is among the most sought-after varietals in the region, but this was not always the case. California winegrowers turned away from this traditional Rhone crop in the mid-1900s, believing that Grenache would never attract premium collectors who wanted the rarest wines. As Napa Valley developed its premium reputation, commercialized Grenache lost favor;…

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Chardonnay clones

Raising the Rarest Chardonnay Subspecies: Heat-Loving Chardonnay Clones Create a New Wine Era

Have you ever wondered how Chardonnay grapes grow across a variety of terroirs? Whether in Chablis or the south of France, Chardonnay can be grown to perfection despite the drastic difference in climate. The answer lies with clones; France is home to 34 distinct subspecies of Chardonnay grapes that are specifically bred for the climates…

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cabernet sauvignon 2012

The Year of the Grape: 2012 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon Surpasses Expectations

It’s well known that 2012 was an exceptional growing season for California’s star Cabernets, especially in comparison to the complicated 2011 vintage. The quality of the wines that resulted from the 2012 harvest is accompanied by a spectacular volume produced. With 500,000 tons of Cabernet grapes harvested, California has never seen such a large production…

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Napa Valley terroir

Napa Wines Move toward Classification: Is the Area Creating a Napa Valley Terroir-Specific Cru Classé of Its Own?

The 1939 Treasure Island World’s Fair marked the birth of Napa Valley wine tours as we know them. Under Beringer’s direction, my great uncle enticed movie stars like Clark Gable to visit the then-unknown Napa Valley wine scene for the first time shortly after Prohibition ended. Hollywood soon became enamored with the tiny, premium wineries…

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napa valley wine

Want to Know What the Next “It” Napa Valley Wine Will Be? Watch the Auction

  Once upon a time, snapping up Bordeaux futures and cases of esteemed Burgundies like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti was all the strategy a wine collector needed. But times have changed. For the past few seasons, buying Bordeaux en primeur hasn’t paid off for many investors. Great Burgundies with impeccable pedigree — like DRC —…

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A close-up of damaged grape vines in Michael Vandborg’s drought stricken vineyard in the Lamont farming community in southeastern Joaquin Valley in Kern County, CA on Feb. 26, 2014. USDA photo by David Kosling.

California’s Drought & Wine Country

It’s the middle of March, and Californians from San Francisco to San Diego are enjoying glorious amounts of weather worthy of a coastline cruise in a convertible.  Rosé weather during Thanksgiving weekend?  Yes!  Beach day in December?  That’s right.  Our warm weather induces eye-rolls from our friends out East, who have been literally buried under record-breaking amounts…

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