From a visit to one of my favorite wineries, Gargiulo Vineyards.
  • One of Spain's Most Exciting Wines

    January 18, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Envínate I previously wrote about Envínate in Vitality from Spain when I reviewed the 2018 Albahra, so today’s post will be short and sweet for your Saturday afternoon reading. If you haven’t read my prior post linked above, I recommend you do to discover the background of this incredible winery who is producing… Read more

  • Utterly Complex Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Franc

    January 17, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Jonata I previously wrote about Jonata twice, first in Why Wait for Screaming Eagle? when I reviewed the 2005 El Corazón de Jonata and then in Santa Ynez Sangiovese when I reviewed the 2010 Tierra. Long story short, if you haven’t read these prior posts, Jonata is owned by Stan Kroenke who also owns… Read more

  • Delicious Mourvèdre from Bandol

    January 16, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine de la Tour du Bon Domaine de la Tour du Bon traces its history back to 1925 when a couple purchased a working farm that consisted of vast countryside and olive trees. During the 1930s, the property hosted pigs, sheep, bees, fig and olive trees, and vines that would ultimately take over… Read more

  • Fun Carmenère for a Great Price

    January 15, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Viña Tarapacá Viña Tarapacá was founded in the Maipo Valley at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in 1874 by Don Francisco de Rojas y Salamanca, under the name Viñas de Rojas. A renowned winemaker, Don Francisco received his first wine accolade at Viñas de Rojas in 1875 (Silver Medal at the International… Read more

  • Burgundian Elegance in Oregon

    January 14, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Beaux Frères The groundwork for Beaux Frères occurred in the late 1980s when Michael Etzel discovered an 88 acre pig farm for sale on Ribbon Ridge in the Northern Willamette Valley, Oregon. Though he and his family lived in Colorado at the time, Michael decided to purchase the farm with brother-in-law Robert Parker… Read more

  • Value Cotes du Rhône

    January 13, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine de Coste Chaude Though the estate stretches further in history, Domaine de Coste Chaude as it exists today was remodeled during the 1960s and André Guichon, a wine merchant from Chambéry, bought it in 1969. The estate again changed hands in 1994 when it was purchased by the Fues family and they… Read more

  • Gotta Get That Money (Road)

    January 12, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Gargiulo Vineyards Gargiulo is a small, family-owned winery in Oakville, Napa Valley that produces about 3,400 cases of wine each year from two vineyards. Owners Jeff and Valerie Gargiulo bought their first vineyard, Money Road Ranch, in 1992 to fulfill their winemaking dream, adding to the property in 1997 by purchasing the 575… Read more

  • Utterly Elegant, Aged Bordeaux

    January 11, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Château Léoville Las Cases Château Léoville Las Cases is a historical Bordeaux estate rated as a Second Growth (Deuxième Cru) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Though the estate used to be much larger and is one of the oldest in the Médoc, it was split up between 1826 and 1840 as… Read more

  • Historical Châteauneuf-du-Pape – for a Great Value!

    January 10, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Château La Nerthe Château La Nerthe was established in 1560 by the Tulle de Villefranche family, though they had lived in Avignon since the 14th century. Located in the Provence region in southeast France, Château La Nerthe sits about 80km north of Marseille and occupies 92 hectares of vines in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation.… Read more

  • Remarkably Profound Oregon Pinot Noir

    January 9, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Antica Terra Antica Terra was established in 2005 by Scott Adelson, John Mavredakis, and Michael Kramer, three friends and partners who had collaborated before and dreamed of owning a vineyard together. This being said, vines were first planted in 1989 on the property, an 11 acre vineyard on pre-historic seabed in the Eola-Amity… Read more

  • Baby BOND

    January 8, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Mascot Wine Mascot Wine was “founded” in 2008 with their first commercial release, however this wine was produced by Will Harlan years beforehand to be shared with family and friends. The Mascot started as Will’s personal experiment, born from the youngest vines of Harlan Estate, Promontory, and BOND when he convinced the winemaking… Read more

  • Nobility in Piedmont

    January 7, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Cordero di Montezemolo The Cordero di Montezemolo winery traces its roots to 1340, however the Cordero di Montezemolo family is of Spanish origin and did not settle in Piedmont until the mid-1400s. Though the family has deep roots in Piedmont, they did not find foundation in wine but rather in printing/typesetting businesses as… Read more

  • A Fierce and Violent Storm

    January 6, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Realm Cellars Realm Cellars was founded in 2002 with a focus on producing high-quality, limited production Bordeaux blend and single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines. I previously wrote about them back on October 23, 2019 in “This Blessed Plot, This Earth…” when reviewing the 2016 The Bard. For further details on their wines, inspiration… Read more

  • Young and Exciting NorCal Pinot Noir

    January 5, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Trail Marker Wine Co. Trail Marker Wine Co. was founded in 2012 by Drew Huffine and Emily Virgil, a husband and wife duo. Drew originally studied English during his undergraduate and Masters programs, however after working for the Colorado Wine Company and being encouraged by Kent Humphrey of Eric Kent Wines to work… Read more

  • The Steve Jobs of Wine

    January 4, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Paul Hobbs Winery Paul Hobbs Winery was founded in 1991 by Paul Hobbs with his initial release of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon from purchased fruit. Paul grew up in upstate New York on a working family farm and orchard, so one could say agriculture was in his blood from an early… Read more

  • The Beginning of Modern Winemaking in Napa Valley

    January 3, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Heitz Wine Cellars Heitz Cellars was founded in 1961 by Joe and Alice Heitz with the purchase of a small 8.5 acre vineyard planted to Grignolino in the Napa Valley. Joe was previously enlisted in the US Air Force during World War II, though afterwards he started taking classes at UC Davis in… Read more

  • The World's Most Famous Champagne

    January 2, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Louis Roederer Louis Roederer is based in Reims, France and was founded in 1776, though the estate did not achieve its namesake until 1833 when Louis Roederer inherited the Champagne house from his uncle. During the mid-1800s, Louis took a visionary approach by overseeing and mastering every stage of his wine’s creation while… Read more

  • Diamond Mountain Perfection

    January 1, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Lokoya Lokoya was founded in 1995 by wine industry visionary Jess Jackson. Though Jackson had a well-established portfolio of wineries beginning with Kendall-Jackson in 1974, he established Lokoya to produce four distinct bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon from some of the Napa Valley’s most famous mountain appellations. 24 years later, Lokoya produces some of… Read more

  • Striking [Red] Oil in the Russian River Valley

    December 31, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Twomey Cellars Twomey Cellars was founded in 1999 by Ray Duncan and his son David following Ray’s successful founding of Silver Oak Cellars in 1972. Though Ray’s background is in oil entrepreneurship (he founded Duncan Oil in Colorado), he started buying land in the Napa and Alexander Valleys during the 1970s with the… Read more

  • The Maestro

    December 30, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Beaulieu Vineyard Beaulieu Vineyard is one of the most historic wineries in Napa Valley, founded in 1900 by Georges de Latour and his wife Fernande. I previously wrote about their history in A Winery Synonymous with Napa Valley Itself back on December 8, and if you are unfamiliar with the winery or their history… Read more

  • Napa Fruit Bomb

    December 29, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Nickel & Nickel Winery Nickel & Nickel was established in Oakville, Napa Valley in 1997 by Gil and Beth Nickel. Though Gil was born in Oklahoma and has a background in the nursery business (his family owned Greenleaf Nursery which is one of the largest wholesale nurseries in the country), Gil and Beth… Read more

  • Corsican Beauty

    December 28, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Comte Abbatucci Domaine Comte Abbatucci was founded in 1950 (though wine history of the family estate dates back more than a century) by Antoine Abbatucci. The Abbatucci name, however, has even deeper roots in Corsica that stretch at least as far back as the French Revolution. Jean-Charles Abbatucci and Jacques-Pierre Abbatucci, for… Read more

  • Rising Star in Barolo

    December 27, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Giulia Negri The story behind Giulia Negri and her wines is a unique one, with Giulia taking over her family’s well-established Barolo estate at the age of 24. Though she studied management and biology during college, Giulia returned to the Langhe commune of La Morra after a palate-shaping journey through Burgundy. Inspired by… Read more

  • One of the Napa Greats

    December 26, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Joseph Phelps Vineyards Joseph Phelps Vineyards was founded in 1973 by Joseph Phelps and remains a family-owned and operated estate to this day. Though Phelps’ background is in construction and entrepreneurship, he grew an early interest in wine and established vineyards on a 670 acre former cattle ranch in Napa Valley. In 1998,… Read more

  • Premier American Sparkling

    December 25, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Schramsberg Vineyards Schramsberg Vineyards was founded in 1862 by Jacob Schram when he purchased 200 acres and began the development of hillside vineyards in Napa. In 1870, Chinese laborers dug what became the first hillside caves in Napa Valley for aging and storing wine, with the winery quickly ramping up production. By 1880,… Read more

  • High Quality People Pleaser

    December 24, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Alpha Omega This is an easy one today so I can prepare for the Christmas Eve festivities, and if you celebrate the holiday as well my wine review shouldn’t keep you too busy! I wrote about Alpha Omega a couple times in the past, first reviewing the 2015 Unoaked Chardonnay in A Napa… Read more

  • Both Complexity and Elegance from Sonoma County

    December 23, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Vérité Winery Vérité was founded in 1998 by wine industry visionary Jess Jackson. Though Jackson is most well-known for starting Kendall-Jackson after purchasing 80 acres of land he converted to vineyards in 1974 (he started bottling his own wine in 1982), he always wanted to create a wine that would stand up to… Read more

  • A Beautiful Marriage of Oakville and Stags Leap District

    December 22, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Futo Wines Futo Wines was founded in 2002 by Tom and Kyle Futo when they purchased Oakford Vineyards. Futo started as a 40 acre property with 7 acres planted under vine in the hills of Oakville, though Tom and Kyle added an adjoining 117 acres in 2004. This new property resulted in the… Read more

  • Sweet Berry Wine!!

    December 21, 2019 by

    Supposed to spit it out…..but no way Jose am I spittin’ this stuff out, it tastes like fruit! Dr. Steve Brule Today’s Story: Las Jaras Wines Las Jaras Wines was founded in 2014 by winemaker Joel Burt and Hollywood comedian/director Eric Wareheim. Joel Burt, a winemaker at Domaine Chandon, was growing tired of making wines… Read more

  • Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove

    December 20, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine du Gros ‘Noré Domaine du Gros ‘Noré was founded in 1997 by Alain Pascal, though he and his father Honoré grew and sold grapes on the property beforehand. Born in a small house surrounded by the vineyards in Bandol, Alain grew up to become an amateur boxer (thanks to his burly build… Read more

  • Relatively New GSM from Paso

    December 19, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Booker Vineyard Booker Vineyard as it exists today stems from the purchase of 100 acres by Eric and Lisa Jensen in 2001. The history of this land, however, traces back to the late 1920s when Claude and Dick Booker, two orphaned brothers, purchased land on Paso’s Westside that amassed to more than 1,200… Read more

  • One of the Last Remnants

    December 18, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Château de la Guimonière Château de la Guimonière was a very historic 15th Century estate with origins dating to the château built there in 1487. The estate’s vineyards were located on the hillsides of Layon à Chaume in the town of Rochefort sur ​​Loire and occupied 19 hectares under vine. 16 hectares of… Read more

  • Bordeaux in California

    December 17, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Jordan Vineyard & Winery Jordan Vineyard & Winery was founded in 1972 by Tom and Sally Jordan, a husband and wife duo from Colorado. During the early years of their marriage, Tom and Sally shared a passion for French food and wine that they expanded upon by traveling throughout France, ultimately realizing they… Read more

  • Liquid Gold

    December 16, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Château d’Yquem Château d’Yquem has a very long, mysterious history that traces its roots back to the 15th Century. One of the most interesting snippets of this history, for instance, is that the estate belonged to the King of England during the Middle Ages! In 1593, however, southwest France again came under control… Read more

  • Left Bank Elegance

    December 15, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Château Palmer Château Palmer is a historic winery in the Margaux appellation of Bordeaux with roots back to 1748. Once part of Château d’Issan, 50 hectares of vines came to the Gascq family through division of d’Issan by the estate’s heirs in 1748. The Gascq family took this land and started producing wine… Read more

  • High Quality Napa Cab That Won't Break the Bank

    December 14, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Groth Vineyards & Winery Groth was founded in Oakville in 1982 by Dennis, a former executive at Atari, and Judy Groth. Though Groth is now very well-established in the heart of the Napa Valley and Dennis is highly involved in the wine community there, the couple almost purchased vineyard property in Sonoma County… Read more

  • Youthful Burgundian Elegance

    December 13, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Joseph Drouhin Joseph Drouhin is one of the great historic producers in Burgundy, with origins dating back to 1880. Today, it is one of the largest estates consisting of 78 hectares (193 acres) throughout Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, and Côte Chalonnaise. I previously wrote about the estate on November 2… Read more

  • Preeminent California Zin

    December 12, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Turley Wine Cellars Turley was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley, the brother of famed winemaker Helen Turley. During the earlier years, Helen even consulted for her brother’s new winery. Though Larry entered the wine business more than a decade earlier in 1981 by co-founding Frog’s Leap Winery in Rutherford, he learned his… Read more

  • Beauty from Howell Mountain

    December 11, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery O’Shaughnessy is a small, family-owned winery founded by Betty O’Shaughnessy Woolls and Paul Woolls in the late 1990s. Betty’s background is in real estate investment and development, though she grew a passion for food and wine that ultimately brought her to Napa Valley in 1990 when she purchased a home… Read more

  • Beautiful Expression of Teroldego

    December 10, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Agricola Foradori Agricola Foradori traces its roots back to 1901 when the winery was established, however it did not come into the Foradori family until 1939 when Vittorio Foradori purchased it. The winery became a family venture when Roberto Foradori joined in 1960, coincidentally the same year of the family’s first vintage. Years… Read more

  • The Matriarch of Diamond Mountain

    December 9, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Davies Vineyards Davies Vineyards is one of the most historic wineries in the Napa Valley, known as having the first hillside caves for storing and aging wine in the region. While known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Davies also produces Pinot Noir as well as Sparkling wine under the Schramsberg label. For more on… Read more

  • A Winery Synonymous with Napa Valley Itself

    December 8, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Beaulieu Vineyard Beaulieu Vineyard is one of the most historic wineries in Napa Valley, founded in 1900 by Georges de Latour and his wife Fernande. Located in the Rutherford AVA, BV got its name from Fernande when she first saw the property and said it was a “beautiful place,” or “beau lieu.” Georges… Read more

  • Rising Star in Sonoma County

    December 7, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Daniel Cohn Wine Company (Bellacosa) Daniel Cohn started Bellacosa following the sale of his family’s famous winery, BR Cohn, in 2015. Having grown up in the Sonoma Valley, Daniel was surrounded by wine since an early age. He walked the vineyards as a young boy and played in the soil, worked in the… Read more

  • For the Bold and the Daring

    December 6, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Leon Barral Domaine Leon Barral was founded in 1993 in the Faugères appellation, which lies within the heart of Languedoc-Roussillon (the Languedoc). Didier Barral, the proprietor today, is the 13th generation of his family to grow grapes though he is the first to start estate bottling his own wine under the domaine.… Read more

  • A Fixture in Chassagne-Montrachet

    December 5, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils The history of Domaine Bernard Moreau began in 1809 when Auguste Moreau built a cellar near the Champs Gain vineyard for ease when farming his Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It wasn’t until the 1930s, however, under Marcel Moreau that the family’s holdings started to grow exponentially. For instance,… Read more

  • Opulent CdP

    December 4, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Château de Beaucastel A much-needed easy one today, as I’m still recovering from all the wine I drank over the Thanksgiving holiday and this past weekend… I previously wrote about Château de Beaucastel on October 27 in Ethereal Chateauneuf-du-Pape, coincidentally reviewing a different vintage of the same wine today. Long story short, Beaucastel… Read more

  • Nearly Lost but Rising Again

    December 3, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Commendatore G.B. Burlotto Burlotto, founded in the commune of Verduno during the mid-19th century by Giovan Battista Burlotto, is another historic Barolo estate. A pioneer during his time dominated by French wine, Burlotto started bottling his Barolo bearing his estate’s name before even Giacomo Conterno’s Monprivato. This was a radical move, as all… Read more

  • No Rudy Kurniawan Here

    December 2, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Ponsot Domaine Ponsot traces its roots back to 1872 when William Ponsot acquired a home and vineyards that included plots in Clos des Monts-Luisants, Clos de la Roche, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Combottes, and Charmes Chambertin. Though he bottled a small amount of wine at this time, Ponsot used this mainly for personal use… Read more

  • Delicious Sauvignon Blanc from Two Rockstars

    December 1, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Favia Wines Favia was founded in 2003 by viticulturist Annie Favia and winemaker Andy Erickson, a husband and wife duo. Annie has experience working with John Kongsgaard and Cathy Corison, though her viticulturist expertise came working under David Abreu. Andy also has an extensive resume, which includes winemaking stints at Screaming Eagle, Dalla… Read more

  • Deep-Rooted Presence in Nuits-Saint-Georges

    November 30, 2019 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Henri Gouges Though the Gouges family has deep-rooted history in grape farming going back 400 years, Henri Gouges didn’t form his domaine until 1920. When he no longer liked the idea of selling his fruit to négociants, Henri started producing, bottling, and selling his own wine in an effort to make higher… Read more

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