Since a 2010 discovery of a winery in Armenia near the village of Areni, it is known that winemaking dates as far back as 6,100 years. Mesopotamia has also been considered to be one of the earliest winemaking regions. Now researchers have discovered traces of wine in terracotta jars in a Sicilian cave dating back to the fourth millennia BC, which is also about 6000 years ago.  That means Italians have been making and drinking wine much longer than previously thought, which was suspected to be the first millennia BC. With this recent discovery some historians argue winemaking could go back as far as 10,000 years. It didn’t take long for early humans to craft the elixir of the Gods, did it?


This is an image from the Armenian discovery released with the UCLA/National Geographic press announcement. The ancient-winery study was led by UCLA’s Hans Barnard and partially funded by the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration.(Photo credit: Gregory Areshian)


This is one of the most unique winemaker dinners you’ll experience. Attendees are invited to bring a wine to share that has special meaning to you. The winemakers will also be sharing rare and older vintage wines. I’m really looking forward to it! It’s next Friday, Sept. 1st, 2017.

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This was only the second time I’ve featured just one guest on my radio show since it began in 2014. Today you’ll meet the Godfather of Zinfandel, Joel Peterson. You may not recognize his name but Joel has been bottling and promoting Zinfandel since he started his brand in 1976, Ravenswood Winery. It’s likely you’ve heard of that name. They bottle other varietals and are well known for their slogan, No Wimpy Wines. Now he’s back at the beginning with his new brand, Once & Future. It’s a fascinating story he shares on today’s podcast.


joel peterson

In celebration of the upcoming National Pinot Noir Day, on August 18th, here’s some Pinot trivia for you.

What inspired the French to call a grape variety Pinot Noir? You might know that noir means “black” in French, but what does pinot mean?

The pinot noir grapes are smaller and come in tight clusters. To the French centuries ago it looked very much like a pine cone. Since the grapes are darker than other varieties the word black was also attributed to them. Hence the name Pinot Noir.  I guess they could have gone with Pinot Cône Noir, which does roll nicely off the tongue, but Pinot Noir is sufficient.


Pinot Noir cluster

Whole cluster Pinot Noir in the bin following sorting during the 2015 harvest, Russian River Valley

Have you come across crystals on your wine bottle or cork?  Is that a problem? Not at all.  Wine diamonds, as they’re sometimes called, are tartrates that are formed when potassium or calcium and tartaric acid bind together to form crystals. Both are naturally occurring products of wine grapes and you may know potassium bitartrate as cream of tartar. They are little gems that are often a result of handcrafted wine.

wine crystals

Kendall Jackson’s Harvest Celebration is their newest event, replacing the Tomato Festival.
For details click here.


Kendall Jackson

You are invited to join Carneros wineries and enjoy a summer evening of the latest wine releases as well as a lively game of cornhole during the Carneros Wine Alliance Carneros Wine Tasting and Cornhole Tournament, Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at Liana Estates in Napa. The event will start with a wine tasting of Carneros all-stars including Bouchaine, Cuvaison, Etude, Hyde, Liana Estates, Schug, and Truchard Vineyards. The tasting will be followed by community cornhole tournament with all proceeds donated
to the Carneros and Schell-Vista Fire Departments

Carneros is a tight-knit, lively family and what better way to showcase that than to invite the community to join us for a Cornhole Tournament this summer,” said Carla Bosco, Carneros Wine Alliance Board Chair. “It will be the perfect summer evening of coming together and enjoying the fantastic wines from the Carneros region

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online at
Liana Estates is located at 2750 Las Amigas in Napa, California

The Carneros Wine Alliance is a non-profit association of wineries and grape-growers in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA). Carneros is the bridge between two major wine regions, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. A cool-climate appellation influenced by the waters of the San Francisco Bay, Carneros has long been known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine production. The Carneros Wine Alliance is committed to promoting the distinction, diversity and above all, quality, of grapes and wines from Carneros

Here’s something interesting from Wine Spectator. In 2016, for the first time, investments in fine wine outpaced classic cars. To be clear, more money is spent on classic cars, about twice that of wine, but last year investments in wine were nearly triple that of classic cars. Investments grew considerably for Bordeaux wine and investors are also very interested in Northern Italy wines, specifically the Piedmonte region. If you have bundles of cash at your disposal fine wine is an investment to consider.