It’s been a long time since I’ve featured a winemaker in my 12 Questions Q&A series and I’m excited to bring it back! This month, I’m catching up with Santa Barbara County Winemaker Blair Fox, the talented winemaker for Fess Parker Winery and his own two labels, Fox Wine Co. and Blair Fox Cellars.
I admit it… I am a taco addict. I never seem to tire of this Mexican food staple that makes its way into my stomach on a weekly basis. Which I guess is okay since I live in Santa Barbara where there are plenty of taco options! One of my favorite taco spots, though, is a relative newcomer to Santa Barbara: Corazón Cocina.
Located in the northern part of Napa Valley, Calistoga is a great place to experience all there is to do in wine country. Surrounded by world-class wineries, you’ll find mineral spas, chic restaurants, luxury resorts and even modest inns and family-owned establishments. A vacation in small-town Calistoga can be what you want it to be, but tends to encourage a slower pace. To help you take advantage, I’ve put together my Guide to Calistoga – where to eat, drink and stay in one of the most relaxing areas in all of Napa Valley!
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!