You know the saying, “Every bottle tells a story.” It may be a cheesy phrase found on wall décor and tea towels, but it’s actually true! There are so many stories behind every wine label — where the grapes came from, the meaning behind a label, the winemaker’s journey into wine… etc. Heck, they even made a movie about the stories behind wine. It’s no different for Story of Soil, the small label started by winemaker Jessica Gasca and her husband, Brady Fiechter. ‘Story’ is even in the name. Given the recent opening of their tasting room in downtown Los Olivos, now’s the time to dive into the story of Story of Soil!
It’s not every day that a Santa Barbara-area winery makes history. As the first winery owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians—who are the first tribe to own and operate both a winery and a vineyard—Kitá Wines has helped the Chumash put their stamp on the wine world.
You may be a budding wine enthusiast, but do you get overwhelmed when the conversation goes from “this wine tastes great!” to actually describing what you’re tasting? Learning what certain wine tasting terms mean can be a powerful skill to have. It’s not only fun to be able to speak in wine lingo, but it can help you understand what you do and don’t like in a wine, eventually helping a sommelier or salesperson steer you in the right direction. There are MANY ways to describe wine, but below are a few common wine tasting terms to start with!
A visit to Maui is always a magical experience, so I was expecting nothing less during our stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua last month. From the moment we arrived up until we left, Nick and I were incredibly pleased with our experience. Sadly, we were only there for two nights, but it was an incredibly luxurious, relaxing and memorable way to start our vacation!
I definitely taste my fair share of wines from California, but Grenache isn’t something I come across all that often. I like Grenache, so it’s always fun to find a good producer. Meet Angela Osborne, the Kiwi behind the label, A Tribute to Grace. For the past few years, she’s dedicated herself to producing single-vineyard, 100% Grenache wines from California. And I have to say, her wines are awesome.
Ah, spring. Over the years, I’ve grown to really appreciate all that spring has to offer — spring green veggies, blooming flowers, the excitement that long summer days are around the corner… and spring brunchin’ with friends. So, to kick off the forthcoming “brunching season,” I got together with a few of Santa Barbara’s finest ladies in the food and flower businesses to throw a Spring Brunch with Wine Pairings — you’ll definitely want to recreate this at home!
Growing up in Santa Barbara, the majority of my childhood was spent at the beach. I did, however, spend a decent amount of time in the Santa Ynez Valley, where my dad had grown up on a ranch. I just remember expansive rolling hills, horses, cattle and cowboys. It’s true – before Santa Ynez was planted to acres and acres of vineyards, the valley was very much a ranching area. No more is this rich history in the ranching world evident than at The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort. Here, the majesty of the ‘Old West’ still lives on… in fact, there are almost as many horses as guests!
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, my idea of the perfect date night is staying in. Forget the fancy prix fixe dinner and crowds — I’d much rather cook a nice meal with my husband at home. But, since Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday this year, that meal has to be special without being time consuming. And the wine? Well, it can’t break the bank either. So, in order to help you nail your Valentine’s Day dinner at home, I’ve collaborated with fellow blogger Robin of CaliGirl Cooking on the perfect Valentine’s Day Wine Pairing Dinner.
Although I don’t drink many Cabernets from Napa Valley, there are a few producers that I admire and would gladly drink their wines any day. Larkmead Vineyards — located in the Calistoga area of the valley — is one of those producers. I first visited Larkmead back in 2008, just a couple of years after the tasting room first opened. So, when I visited Calistoga a couple of months ago, I was excited to return to Larkmead to taste how these wines and the winery as a whole have evolved. Bottom line, it did not disappoint!
Tasting rooms aren’t hard to come by in Sonoma’s downtown square. Wine tasting is one of the main draws of the area, after all. What you won’t find, though, is anything that compares to the charming and historical Adobe at Three Sticks Wines. Step inside The Adobe and you’ll be transported back in time… quite literally! The building is from the mid-1800s. Of course, it’s since been renovated by the Three Sticks folks, but is such a unique place to taste that you won’t want to miss it!