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San Ynez

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Visiting Louis Lucas in his Vineyard During #WBC14

“Climate. Soil. Care.” These are the three words Louis Lucas kept repeating in the course of our visit together. Though he is remarkably famous here on the West Coast having grown up the son of a third generation grape grower and at an early age tending the vineyards of many of the most famous houses, […]



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Visiting Rideau Vineyards in Solvang #WBC2014

“Welcome,” says Iris Rideau, welcoming me into her gorgeous winery made from a house over 130 years old. Well dressed, self assured, and charismatic Iris had success in creating a number of businesses before turning her attention to winemaking. Though her personal love is Rhone Varietals (especially Viognier, which is made here in two styles) […]



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Visisiting Buttonwood Winery in Solvang, CA #WBC14

“Karen wanted to see you but she’s in the bottling plant right now,” says Nicole Carnevale, Director of Sales at Buttonwood winery in Solvang. This is a family winery that makes an assortment of wines that Karen Steinwachs, the owner and winemaker, likes to think of as “food wine” — wines with good acidity and […]



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Conversation with Chris Hammell of Bien Nacido Vineyard

  Chris Hammell looks like a football player (or an actor, depending on his mood) and is modest enough to be dismissive of being voted Grower of the year by Wine & Spirits magazine. I am sitting here in his deliciously air conditioned office on a hot summer evening, sipping a glass of Au Bon climate […]



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Visiting Brander Winery San Ynez #WBC14

Meet Josh Hamilton (pictured above) who is the Tasting Room manager here at Brander and is telling me all about the Brander family. The winery was established in 1975 by Erik Brander, and now Fred (his son) is owner and winemaker. Sauvignon Blanc is king here, with 9 different labels produced each year, ranging from […]



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Visiting Gypsy Canyon Winery in Santa Rita Hills

“We wanted to change our life and live in the country,” says Deborah Hall, Winemaker and owner of Gypsy Canyon Winery.  She fell in love with this gorgeous property in 1994 and moved to this remote area in Santa Rita Hills with her young family in 1997, and planted Pinot Noir in 1999. Fast forward […]



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Santa Ynez Inn Rocks

  Fab visit to the Santa Ynez Inn, a luxury hotel in the tiny (and I mean very small!) ‘old west’ town of Santa Ynez. Arriving here one drives through what can only be called a stage set at MGM studios where Westerns were filmed. In fact, there are even hitching posts in front of […]



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Rusack Vineyards in San Ynez

John Falcone As a Californian, I was incredibly loyal to my native state and spent many long, sun-soaked weekends checking out all the new wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. Now that I am on the East coast and more Old World focused as a result of my (more Old World) wine studies, it is […]