From a visit to one of my favorite wineries, Gargiulo Vineyards.
  • Outstanding Value from Chianti Classico

    March 28, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Castello di Volpaia Castello di Volpaia is a historic winery situated in the fortified medieval village of Volpaia in the heart of Chianti Classico. Drenched in winemaking history, Volpaia’s viticultural roots trace to 1172 and they were a founding member of the Lega del Chianti (Chianti League) in 1250. In 1966, a printer… Read more

  • Remarkably Affordable Grand Cru Chablis

    March 27, 2020 by

    Today’s Wine: 2014 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 100% Chardonnay; 12% ABV The 2014 Les Clos is gorgeous deep gold in color and transparent. I let this open up in the glass for about 45 minutes to an hour and the nose showcases aromas of lemon citrus, white peach, stone fruit, golden apple, white florals,… Read more

  • Pinotage Off the Beaten Path

    March 26, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Beaumont Family Wines Beaumont Family Wines, as the name implies, is a small family owned and operated winery established in 1974 by Jayne and Raoul Beaumont in Bot River, South Africa. Though the farm was originally established in the 1700s by the Dutch East India Company and is home to the region’s oldest… Read more

  • Old-World-Styled Pinot Noir From California

    March 25, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Mount Eden Vineyards Mount Eden Vineyards was established in 1945 in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation of California, with a focus of crafting small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Located at an elevation of 2,000 feet above the Santa Clara Valley floor, Mount Eden Vineyards is widely considered one of… Read more

  • Small Batch Bordeaux Blend From Paso Robles

    March 24, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Aleksander Wine Aleksander is a small, family-owned boutique winery established by NBA player Sasha Vujacic and his family when his parents Goran and Ksenija discovered their property in 2009. On what became S&G Estate, a 30 acre property in Paso Robles complete with estate vineyards and its own winery, Aleksander produces Merlot-dominant Bordeaux… Read more

  • Delicious Entry Level Alsatian Riesling

    March 23, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Weinbach Domaine Weinbach was established in 1612 by Capuchin friars and is named for the stream meandering through the property. Located at the foot of a hill called Schlossberg in Alsace, France, the property has been planted to vine since as early as the 9th century and the vineyards are surrounded by… Read more

  • Unique and Powerful Shiraz

    March 22, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: d’Arenberg d’Arenberg (known as Bundarra at the time) was established in 1912 by Joseph Osborn in McLaren Vale after he sold his stable of prize winning race horses to purchase the property. They planted their first vineyards to 8 acres of Shiraz, though only 4 acres survived, and Joseph and his son Frank… Read more

  • Incredible Value in a Second Wine

    March 17, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Château Montrose Château Montrose is a historical Bordeaux wine estate located in Saint-Estèphe and established in 1815 by Etienne Théodore Dumoulin on a patch of land his family purchased from Nicolas Alexandre de Ségur but largely forgot. At the time of Etienne’s death in 1861, the estate spanned 95 hectares though his heirs… Read more

  • High Quality Value Barolo

    March 13, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Paolo Scavino Paolo Scavino was founded by Lorenzo Scavino and his son Paolo in 1921 in Castiglione Falletto within the Barolo region of Italy. Throughout its history, Paolo Scavino remains a family endeavor born on traditions of farming and today Enrico Scavino (3rd generation) and his daughters Enrica and Elisa (4th generation) operate… Read more

  • Boutique Napa Winery With a Unique Origin

    March 12, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Phifer Pavitt Phifer Pavitt is a boutique, family-owned winery located in the Napa Valley (Calistoga) and owned by Suzanne Phifer Pavitt and her husband Shane Pavitt. Though Suzanne grew up in rural Georgia and Shane in Manhattan Beach, CA, the couple share a love of wine and explored properties along the west coast… Read more

  • Elegant Rioja That Won’t Break the Bank

    March 11, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Bodegas Muga Bodegas Muga is a family-owned winery established in 1932 in Haro, La Rioja, Spain by Isaac Muga and his wife Aurora Caño. Their children, Manuel and Isacín, picked up the baton to carry the winery into its second generation, however it is truly the current third generation responsible for modernizing the… Read more

  • Not Your Typical Cali Zin

    March 10, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Joseph Swan Vineyards Joseph Swan Vineyards was founded during the early 1970s by Joe Swan, a man whose passion for wine spawned at an early age through reading. However, Joe’s career did not begin in wine but rather as an artist, a flight instructor for the Army Air Corps during WWII, and ultimately… Read more

  • Boutique Napa Valley Estate for Family and Friends

    March 9, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Zakin Family Estate Zakin Family Estate consists of 150 acres situated between 1,250 and 1,450 feet above the Napa Valley floor with southwestern exposure on Howell Mountain, though only 3.8 acres are planted to vine. Janice and Jonathan Zakin purchased the property in 1998 to build their dream home, and at the time… Read more

  • An Artist’s Barolo

    March 8, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Vietti Vietti was established in the late 1800s by Carlo Vietti in Castiglione Falletto, a small village within the Piedmont region of Italy. Throughout its history, Vietti passed from generation to generation and today its guides Luca Currado Vietti and his wife Elena make up the family’s fourth of winemaking. Though Krause Holdings… Read more

  • Premier Napa Valley Rosé

    March 7, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Blankiet Estate Blankiet’s roots start with Claude and Katherine Blankiet, a couple who spent years searching for land conducive to grape growing on the western foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. Finally, in early 1996, an agent working with the Blankiet family showed them an undeveloped property above the famous Napanook vineyard (and Dominus… Read more

  • Premium Cabernet Sauvignon From a Boutique Napa Vineyard

    March 6, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Adler Deutsch Vineyard Adler Deutsch Vineyard is a very small, 2-acre vineyard located on the edge of the West Rutherford Bench and owned by vintners Bob Adler and Alexis Deutsch-Adler. ADV works with Cabernet Sauvignon (though some of their wines can be a blend of around 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot)… Read more

  • Refreshing Small-Batch Languedoc Blanc

    March 5, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Saint Sylvestre Domaine Saint Sylvestre was established at the end of 2010 by husband and wife duo Vincent and Sophie Guizard. Located in the small commune of Puéchabon within the Terrasses du Larzac appellation of the Languedoc region in France, the domaine consists of roughly 8 hectares of vines planted to Roussanne,… Read more

  • Budget-Friendly Pinot Noir

    March 4, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Meiomi Meiomi was established in 2006 by Joe Wagner while he was working for his father Chuck at Caymus Vineyards. Coincidentally, Meiomi sort of spawned, in a way, from Belle Glos which was a Joe Wagner single-vineyard Pinot Noir project whose 2017 Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir I reviewed in The Caymus of… Read more

  • Youthful but Delicious Nuits-St-Georges

    March 3, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Jean Grivot Domaine Jean Grivot is a relatively small family owned and operated Burgundian estate now under guide of the fifth generation Étienne Grivot, his wife Marielle, and their daughter Mathilde who took over winemaking from her parents in 2017. Étienne took over the domaine from his father Jean Grivot in 1987,… Read more

  • Napa Valley Power and Elegance

    March 2, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Corison Winery Corison Winery is a small, family-operated farm and winery founded in 1987 when Cathy Corison started purchasing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena. In 1995, Cathy and her husband William purchased Kronos Vineyard which afforded them the ability to construct a winery on this century-plus-old farm with… Read more

  • A California Titan

    March 1, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Diamond Creek Vineyards Diamond Creek was established in 1968 by Al Brounstein, a former pharmaceuticals wholesaler based in Southern California. During the 1960s, Al desired a career change and discovered a 70 acre property on Diamond Mountain which he believed to be perfect for producing wine and offer him a new venture. In… Read more

  • Quite Possibly My Best Value Bourgogne Rouge to Date

    February 27, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Thibault Liger-Belair Successeurs Thibault Liger-Belair Successeurs was established alongside Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair in 2001. Though the Liger-Belair family owned the domaine for 250 years, it certainly did not fall to Thibault in a linear path. In 1720, Claude Marey who was the mayor of Nuits-Saint-Georges and a vineyard owner established C. Marey wine… Read more

  • Great Value from the Douro Valley

    February 26, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Churchill’s Churchill’s is a relatively young Port wine company, founded in 1981 by John Graham which made it the first to be established in 50 years. Though John comes from a long lineage of Port winemakers of Graham’s, he wanted to start his own venture to explore his own individual style of Port.… Read more

  • Delicious Middle-Road Sweet Wine

    February 25, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Coume del Mas Coume del Mas was established in 2001 by Philippe and Nathalie Gard and today encompasses roughly 15 hectares of vines on the steep slopes of Banyuls sur Mer. Though the Gards work an incredibly challenging terroir, they work almost entirely by hand and in close contact with their vines to… Read more

  • La La Land

    February 24, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Guigal Guigal was established in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis, a small village in the Côte-Rôtie appellation of the northern Rhône region in France. Etienne arrived in Côte-Rôtie at the age of 14 in 1924, and early in his career he helped develop Vidal-Fleury for 15 years before starting his namesake venture.… Read more

  • The Queen of Burgundy

    February 23, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Maison Leroy Maison Leroy was founded in 1868 by François Leroy who was a winemaker and vineyard owner at Auxey-Duresses as well as Meursault, Pommard, Chambertin, Musigny, Clos Vougeot, and Richebourg. Though François sold his wines through Comptoir des Proprietaires de la Cote-d’Or in Beaune, his desire of enlarging his business led to… Read more

  • Aged Terroir-Driven Pommard

    February 22, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine de Courcel Domaine de Courcel was founded roughly 400 years ago in the village of Pommard and is a family winery throughout its history. To this end, today the estate is managed by Anne Bommelaer and Marie de Courcel and its owners include three sisters and one brother who are descendants of… Read more

  • Napa People-Pleaser of Palpable Quality

    February 21, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: John Anthony Vineyards John Anthony Vineyards was established by John Anthony Truchard and his wife Michele after he planted his own vineyards during the late 1990s and harvested his first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in 2003. A second generation vintner, John learned a great deal about farming and winemaking at an… Read more

  • Remarkable Value from Toro

    February 20, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Bodega Numanthia Numanthia is a somewhat young winery, founded in 1998 and located in Valdefinjas in the region of Castile and León in northwestern Spain. The winery is named for the ancient city of Numancia, one whose residents resisted Roman rule for 20 years before ultimately sacrificing their lives instead of surrendering to… Read more

  • Incredible Value from Andy Erickson

    February 19, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Leviathan Wine Leviathan was founded in 2004 by renowned winemaker Andy Erickson. Andy’s goal with creating Leviathan was to create a unique red blend sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot from some of Northern California’s best vineyards and each year releasing a bottling of different blends. For those of you who… Read more

  • Pioneer of the Russian River Valley

    February 18, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery Gary Farrell is one of the great pioneering winemakers in the Russian River Valley, playing a big role in marketing the area and Sonoma County as a whole as one of the greatest regions for Pinot Noir before the Russian River Valley even had its own AVA status.… Read more

  • An Italian Legend

    February 17, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Mastroberardino Mastroberardino is a family-operated winery founded in 1878 in Atripalda within the Provincia di Avellino in the Campania region of southern Italy. While widely known for their production of Taurasi DOCG, Mastroberardino further cemented themselves into Italian viticultural history through tireless efforts to identify and protect native ancient varieties in Campania, particularly… Read more

  • An Italian Great

    February 16, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Marchesi Antinori and Tenuta Tignanello Marchesi Antinori traces its roots to 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined the Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri (Florentine Winemakers’ Guild) and the family has been making wine since through 26 generations. I recently reviewed one of the family’s other wines, the 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Tenuta Tignanello… Read more

  • Textbook Small-Lot Syrah

    February 15, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Nicora Wines Nicora Wines was established by Nick Elliott and its name is a combination of his own name and his great-grandfather’s name, Ora. Nick’s great-grandfather utilized his entrepreneurial spirit to turn a passion into his own business, which inspired Nick to follow his own dream of creating a winery. No stranger to… Read more

  • Value Argentinian Malbec

    February 14, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Anko Anko (which means “high water” in the native Indian language of Salta, Argentina) is a small winery founded in 2008 by Fernando Saavedra Jr. and his father in mountainous northwestern Argentina. Along with Anko’s winemaker Alejandro (Colo) Sejanovich, Fernando strives to create terroir-driven Malbecs that display the unique growing conditions of Salta,… Read more

  • Revisiting an Old Friend

    February 13, 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

  • Velvety Smooth Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

    February 12, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Davies Vineyards Davies Vineyards is one of the most storied wineries in the Napa Valley, tracing their roots back to 1862 when Jacob Schram purchased 200 acres and began developing hillside vineyards. The winery, at the time called Schramsberg, greatly ramped up production by the late 1800s and proved a success, however after… Read more

  • A Friend of Henri Jayer Is a Friend of Mine

    February 11, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Domaine Philippe Charlopin Domaine Philippe Charlopin was established by Philippe when he purchased his first vines in Gevrey-Chambertin in 1978. The son of a vigneron who rented vines rather than owned his own, Philippe comes from humble beginnings and started his own career as a vigneron-ouvrier in 1977. Throughout his early years, Philippe… Read more

  • Chianti Classico for a Remarkable Value

    February 10, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Marchesi Antinori Marchesi Antinori traces its roots to 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined the Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri (Florentine Winemakers’ Guild) and the family has been making wine since through 26 generations. While the historic epicenter of the Antinori “empire” rests in Tuscany and Umbria, over time the family purchased vineyards… Read more

  • Unique Blend from Walla Walla

    February 9, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: K Vintners K Vintners was established by Charles Smith as his first winery in December 2001. Located at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla, Washington, K Vintners produces small lot single vineyard Syrah and field blends of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Viognier which are all picked by hand,… Read more

  • Yountville Hidden Gem

    February 8, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Kapcsàndy Family Winery Kapcsàndy Family Winery was established by Lou Kapcsàndy and is a small, family owned and operated estate in Yountville of the Napa Valley. An immigrant from Hungary, Lou arrived in the United States in 1956 and worked as a chemical engineer and manufacturer in the Bay Area of California and… Read more

  • Baby Grange

    February 7, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Penfolds Penfolds was founded in 1844 by Dr. Christopher Penfold, an English physician by trade, and his wife Mary. Penfolds is one of the oldest and most famous wineries in Australia, with the first vines planted by Dr. and Mrs. Penfold with cuttings they brought when they emigrated there. Over time Penfolds grew… Read more

  • Ridge Hits the Mark Again

    February 6, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Ridge Vineyards I’m traveling today, so I figured I would make this easy and review a wine whose backstory I shared earlier in History. Quality. Ridge. when I reviewed the 2015 GSM and Consistently Delicious Zin when I reviewed the 2012 Geyserville. If you are unfamiliar with this historic Californian wine estate, I… Read more

  • Fun Orange Wine for the Adventurous

    February 5, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Tre Monti Tre Monti was established in 1974 by Sergio and Thea Navacchia. Thea was a major driving force behind the winery throughout their inaugural decade-plus, and together with her husband Sergio became pioneers in a sense by planting large densities per hectare and experimenting with non-traditional vines. During the 1980s, the couple… Read more

  • Barolo That Won’t Break the Bank

    February 4, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: G.D. Vajra G.D. Vajra was established in 1972 by Aldo Vaira and is named after his father Giuseppe Domenico. A few years earlier, in 1968 to be exact, Aldo joined a mass of student protestors in the streets of Turin however was discovered by his father and immediately sent to his grandparents’ farm… Read more

  • Pinot Noir From the Team Behind Far Niente

    February 3, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: EnRoute Winery EnRoute was founded in 2007 by the partners behind Far Niente Winery thanks to their passion for Pinot Noir. Since they stick to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon at their Far Niente estate, the owners decided it best to create EnRoute in the Russian River Valley, an AVA within Sonoma County known… Read more

  • The Wine That Shocked the World

    February 2, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Chateau Montelena Chateau Montelena traces its roots back to 1882 when Alfred L. Tubbs purchased 254 acres of rugged land with the dream of turning it into vineyards. Tubbs first planted his vineyards before constructing the chateau in 1886 and bringing in a winemaker from France, and by 1896 the A.L. Tubbs Winery… Read more

  • Delightful South African Red

    February 1, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Paserene Paserene is a relatively new, small, and family operated winery founded by Martin Smith and Ndabe Mareda with the first vintage in 2013. The winery gets its name from the Latin word “Passeriformes”which is used to describe traveling birds including swifts and swallows, and Martin chose this name in homage of his… Read more

  • The Caymus of Pinot Noir

    January 31, 2020 by

    Today’s Story: Belle Glos Belle Glos was established in 2001 by Joe Wagner, a fifth generation Napa Valley winemaker who grew up in the vineyards and worked alongside his father at Caymus Vineyards. With great admiration for Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, his grandmother and co-founder of Caymus Vineyards, Joe named his new endeavor in her… Read more

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