Castelli Vineyards – Going Their Own Way in Green Valley

Hiding in Plain Sight in Green Valley When I rolled into the driveway at Castelli Vineyards, I saw Emilio in his rubber boots, hose in hand. After greeting me, he asked how in the world I found Castelli Vineyards. Tiny production, no advertising, no media coverage. I explained I’m a Nebbiolo fan and I found … Continue reading

Morey-Saint-Denis and Domaine Pierre Amiot & Fils

There is no bad time to visit Burgundy. Even late October after harvest can be magic. The grapes have been picked, the vines are shutting down and the crowds are few. As long as you have rainwear and an adventurous attitude, you are all set. If you’re thinking about a visit to the region, I … Continue reading

Biodynamic Bordeaux – Château Fonroque

Chateau Fonroque

Biodynamic Bordeaux To quote Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green”. If your vineyard is located in a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and warm, dry breezes, you have few worries. Organic viticulture is pretty easy, as you have few challenges with mildew, rot, pests, disease. If, on the other hand, your vineyard is … Continue reading

Visual Tour of Biodynamics at Littorai Wines

Integrated Agriculture Thinking at Littorai Wines Do you associate organic and biodynamic viticulture with manure filled cow horns, voodoo, and musty smelling wines? Better think again, some of the top wineries around the world have embraced these approaches. Not because they believe in voodoo, because they have tested the approach and liked the results. A … Continue reading

Biodynamic Beaujolais – Domaine de la Bonne Tonne

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne 2015 Morgon Cote du Py

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne In August, we had the opportunity to spend a day in Beaujolais. In my visits, I especially enjoy digging a little and finding less famous domaines, hard working family operations who nevertheless are making authentic, delicious wines. When I can find a grower using less chemicals, organic or biodynamic viticulture, … Continue reading

Dry Farmed, Organic, Biodynamic, Oh My!

Biodynamics at scale at Bonterra Vineyards

Why Pay Attention to the Dirt? I’ve recently become more interested in the farming aspects of the wines I drink. In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about winery and vineyard visits with an eye to how the dirt is managed. Consider this a preview and to answer the question: “Who Cares?” The Wine is … Continue reading

Sonoma and Napa are Open for Business! #WBC17

Sonoma vineyard in the fall

It’s Been a While It’s been a few years since I’ve been out to Sonoma and Napa, so when the venue for the 2017 Wine Blogger’s Conference was announced (Santa Rosa) I signed up right away! The conference days are super-busy, so I extended my trip to do a little pre-conference wine touring on my … Continue reading

Crawling Through the Cellar at Louis Max

Moral of the Story: When your wine industry friend sets up a visit, JUMP ON IT! While planning our visit in France last fall, I contacted a couple of local Minnesota wine industry folks for any tips or visits we might make while in the Côte de Nuits in Burgundy. I didn’t hear anything back, … Continue reading

Tour and Taste at Château Phélan-Ségur

Château Phélan-Ségur

Château Phélan-Ségur During our week long visit hosted by our friends at Millesima, we were treated to a private visit at Château Phélan-Ségur in St. Estephe. Where the Heck is St. Estephe? You’ll never realize how large the Bordeaux wine region is until you have the opportunity to visit. Several hours drive from end to … Continue reading

Tour the Quaint Village of Sauternes

Sauternes Village at sunrise

The Bordeaux region is large, the village of Sauternes (namesake of the sweet wines of Bordeaux) is about an hour’s drive south from the bustling city of Bordeaux. Our Millesima hosts shipped us off to stay overnight in the village before our grand tour and tasting the next day at Chateau Suduiraut. Sauternes is one … Continue reading

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