Entries by Jeff Davis

Chappellet Winery Celebrates 50 years in Napa Valley

Yes, for 50 years the Chappellet family has been crafting exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and other varietals from their Pritchard Hill Estate high above Napa Valley. It started with a leap of faith when Donn Chappellet and family left a successful business in Los Angeles to make the kind of wine he enjoyed. He may have […]

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Donkey And Goat, Berkeley’s Urban Winery

This year’s Wine Expo in Sonoma County featured a seminar on Pét Nat, or Pétillant Naturel. It’s an ancient method of making a sparkling wine with a single fermentation. It predates the more common methode champeniose that is used in Champagne and sparkling wine. On the panel was natural wine producer Jared Brandt of Donkey […]

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The Historic Inglenook Estate Winery

When I attended Wine and Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Wines Tasting event in San Francisco this past October I had the chance to meet Chris Phelps, the associate winemaker at Inglenook Estate Winery. I jumped at the chance to do an interview with Chris. We finally made that happen in December. You may not realize […]

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Ram’s Gate Winery, An Exceptional Experience

The folks Ram’s Gate Winery refer to themselves as the Gateway to Sonoma and the Carneros wine region. It also leads to a full sensory experience with stunning views, architecture, and design, the aroma of the organic garden, the palate-pleasing culinary offerings, and, oh ya, the wine. It truly embodies the meaning of “the nectar […]

ZinEX 2018 Details and Interviews

I rarely upload a full episode of my radio show but I’ll do it for this post as it promotes ZinEX 2018. I’ve attended ZAP’s Zinfandel Experience the past 4 years, but have more often opted for the media tasting event that takes place on Thursday of the event week. This year will be the […]

The World’s Oldest Bottle of Wine and Where it was Found

The world’s oldest wine bottle is believed to date back to the year 325. It was found near the town of Speyer, Germany, in 1867.  Believed it or not, it is unopened and contains 1.5 liters of liquid, which makes it a magnum. The bottle was discovered during an excavation of a 4th-century Roman nobleman’s tomb which contained […]

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Cathy Corison and her top 100 wine

When it comes to winemaking you’ll find Cathy Corison at the intersection of Power and Elegance. You won’t locate that intersection on a map but you can find it in a Corison bottle. Cathy has worked at respected Napa Valley wineries such as Freemark Abbey, Chappellet and her namesake winery for 40 years. Not a […]

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The Petaluma Gap is the Newest American Viticultural Area (AVA)

Congratulations to the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance for FINALLY receiving the much desired, and deserved, AVA designation (American Viticultural Area). The coastal wind and fog in the region truly produce grapes of distinction. Prior to their annual Wind to Wine tasting event last year, I interviewed Doug Cover of the PGWA Board of Directors about their […]

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Brassfield Estate Winery, Lake County Getaway

The Lake County wine region covers a wide area. It’s a bucolic region with stunning views of Clear Lake, the largest lake in California. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now, if you haven’t been to Lake County wine country, it’s well worth the weekend trip. There is some fantastic wine being […]

Where Wine Goes to Die

I came across this fascinating story from John Capone via Quartz Media (qz.com). It answers a question I never thought to ask. That unsold bottle of Merlot is probably winding up in your gas tank The first thing you notice is the smell. An acrid eau-de-wet-garbage mixed with electrical fire and burning diesel. Mad Max meets scratch […]

Earliest Winemaking Anywhere in the World

The University of Toronto and the Georgian National Museum have uncovered evidence of what is now considered the earliest winemaking anywhere in the world. The discovery dates the origin of winemaking to the Neolithic period around 6000 BC. That’s 600 to 1000 years, earlier than the previous discovery made in the Zagros Mountains of Iran. […]

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Kendall-Jackson’s Winemaster Randy Ullom

Hear how a ski trip to Chile, which turned into a three-year adventure, inspired Randy Ullom to take his appreciation for wine and make a career out of it. Eventually, he would join Kendall-Jackson, travel the world, and make what has become the number one selling Chardonnay in America for 25 years in a row. […]

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Schug Winery – A German Immigrant’s Success Story

After nearly three decades in Germany promoting her family’s business, Claudia Schug has returned to Northern California to work with her siblings at Schug Carneros Estate Winery. Although Schug is not a household name, German immigrant Walter Schug played an important roll in the growth of Napa and Sonoma’s wine industry. It’s an interesting story […]

Coca-Cola is related to wine?

Yes, the world’s favorite cola owes its existence to wine. In the mid 1800s ”tonic” wines were introduced. These were fortified with coca, which is the same source of cocaine. Vin Mariani was a popular variety.  Tonic wines were enjoyed by millions across the globe including Queen Victoria and Thomas Edison. An American version was […]

Vineyards to Villages Wine & Food Safari

Vineyards to Villages (V2V) features 23 wineries, 13 restaurants, and 2 hotels raising funds with sales of V2V wine to bring clean water infrastructure to schools in East Africa. As a response to the terrible wildfires, half of the funds raisedwill fund long-term disaster relief efforts for children in Sonoma County that have been most […]

Wines for Halloween

Here are some wines that will fit in well with any Halloween party. They include Truett Hurst’s “Bewitched” which comes in a nicely designed paper wrapped bottle. You can find it at some Safeway stores or from their tasting room in Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg. Louis M. Martini’s “Ghost Pines” has Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and […]

Wizards of Elixirs, October 30th Fundraiser

WHO: The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Charbay Distillery, & COPIA host their first annual Wizards of Elixirs Cocktail Competition to benefit families affected by the fires in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Originally slated for the Napa Valley High School Boosters program, in light of the current needs of those devastated by the […]

The First Successful American Winery

Where was the first successful American winery located? The answer is Cincinnati, Ohio. In the mid-1830s a winery owned by Nicholas Longworth made sparkling wine from Catawba grapes. By the 1850s he was producing 100,000 bottles a year with distribution to Europe and across the U.S. Unfortunately, by the 1860s, black rot and downy mildew […]