Regional Profile: Sonoma County

Where: Hugging the Pacific Coast and running east until it hits the Mayacamas Mountains, Sonoma County is about an hour north of San Francisco.   What: A vast and varied wine region that nevertheless boasts a strong sense of pride, community and … Continue reading

Regional Profile: Santa Ynez Valley

Where: “Part Two” of Santa Barbara County, Santa Ynez Valley AVA runs parallel with the southern California coast as it veers abruptly east in line with the Transverse Ranges’ Santa Ynez Mountains. The coastal city of Santa Barbara itself is … Continue reading

Regional Profile: Santa Maria Valley

Where: “Part One” of Santa Barbara County, Santa Maria Valley AVA occupies the northeastern quadrant of this roughly rectangular county. Mountains hem both the top and bottom of the appellation, and fog and wind funnel straight into Santa Maria from … Continue reading

Regional Profile: Napa Valley

Where: Saddled between the Mayacamas Mountains to the west and the Vaca range to the east, Napa Valley is an hour’s drive northeast from San Francisco. It’s an American Viticultural Area within northern California’s Napa County, and it houses 16 … Continue reading

Winery Profile: Domaine Sigalas

Who: Domaine Sigalas   What: Greek Grandmaster of Santorini’s Singularity   Where: Santorini, Greece   Why: Because Paris Sigalas kicked things off in 1991, making wine with friends Christos Markozane and Yiannis Toundas in the basement of his beach house … Continue reading

Winery Profile: Dashe Cellars

Who: Dashe Cellars   What: Self-Assured Zinfandel with an Old World Soul   Where: Sonoma, California   Why: Because Michael Dashe started his (unofficial) career by reconditioning an old refrigerator and making homemade beer in it… when he was 15. … Continue reading

Winery Profile: Quinta do Feital

Who: Quinta do Feital   What: Spanish Expat Prioritizing Top Quality in Portugal   Where: Vinho Verde (Minho), Portugal   Why: Because Marcial Dorado is a Spaniard, but he’s working on the opposite side of the Minho River, in Portugal’s … Continue reading

Winery Profile: Julien Sunier

Who: Julien Sunier   What: Fresh Face Spurring the Swell of Beaujolais   Where: Beaujolais, France   Why: Because this native Burgundian was set to inherit a hair salon from his parents, but he decided to dabble in wine instead … Continue reading

Regional Profile: Beaujolais

Where: About 75 miles south of the city of Beaune, Beaujolais caps the southern end of France’s Burgundy region.   What: Classic Gamay with climbing quality. For a while, Beaujolais had an oversimplified reputation. Quantity trumped quality in many parts, … Continue reading

Winery Profile: Valdespino

Who: Valdespino   What: Heritage of Jerez, Showing Off Sherry’s Splendor   Where: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain   Why: Because they’re one of the oldest, most traditional bodegas in Jerez, and they make some of the most old-school, thrillingly refined … Continue reading