Wine Column

Zina Hyde Cunningham

A Boonville Destination. If you haven’t driven through Boonville lately, it’s time for a field trip. New buildings, old buildings with fresh paint and enticing facades, art galleries, an upscale “farm” store, the Hotel, and some good places to eat and taste wine line Boonville’s “main street” along Highway 128. Right in the middle of town, between the Boonville General… Read the rest
Wine Column

Yorkville Cellars

Organic vineyards and a focus on the grape varietals of the famed French winemaking region of Bordeaux are at the center of Yorkville Cellars. As “the most awarded estate winery with certified organically grown grapes,” according to published records, Yorkville Cellars’ acclaims are rewarding. But that’s not all. Located along Highway 128 at the north end of the tiny hamlet… Read the rest
Wine Column

Venturi Vineyards

Tradition and Hands On Quality. Between the mid-1800s and the 1940s many Italian immigrants whose descendants still live in Mendocino County arrived and planted grapes. Among them in the Calpella-Redwood Valley area were the families of Larry and Doreen Venturi. Today, their traditionally farmed and caringly tended grapes are in demand by discriminating winemakers. The Venturis take pride in their… Read the rest
Wine Column

Toulouse Vineyards

A Goose in Philo. Toulouse wines sport a stately goose on their labels. A hilarious goose illustration on the sign at the end of the driveway just north of Philo in Anderson Valley is a conversation starter in the tasting room at Toulouse Vineyards. Down home and friendly with a classy sophistication describes both the people and the wine at… Read the rest
Wine Column

Terra Savia

Symbiosis of Wine and Olives. “I’m the wine guy, she is the olive gal,” begins Jim Milone. He and Yvonne Hall are sitting at the handmade redwood slab picnic table inside the vast wine tasting/olive oil pressing warehouse on the south end of Hopland that is home to Terra Savia wine and extra virgin olive oil and Olivino olive processing.… Read the rest
Wine Column

Standish Wine Company

A Natural Progression. Apples, pears and grapes, family orchards and vineyards interweave the Oswald family’s 100 year old presence in Mendocino County. Throw in a little history that dates to the Mayflower and the story of Standish winery unfolds like the quilt thrown over the couch in the tasting room. A split rail fence borders the property next to Highway… Read the rest
Wine Column

McGourty’s Spirit Canyon Vineyard

Expert in the Vineyard. Glenn McGourty has a reputation in Mendocino County. As a resource for growers, the wine industry and academia, his advice and expertise are often quoted. He is the University of California’s Winegrowing and Plant Science Advisor and there’s isn’t a vineyard or winemaking question he can’t answer. I often call him when looking for accurate information… Read the rest
Wine Column

Simaine Cellars

Organic Single Vineyard Varietals. The first time I tasted Simaine Cellars wines was at the grand opening of West Side Renaissance Market in Ukiah. Winemaker Victor Simon was pouring exceptional Zinfandel, Syrah and Sangiovese. We first met ten years ago at Whaler Vineyard where I had an office space and he was doing cellar work in the winery, work he’s… Read the rest
Wine Column

Silversmith Vineyards

Patience and Polish. “Piece by piece, bottle by bottle, case by case,” is how Tom Johnson describes building Silversmith Winery and his tasting room in Redwood Valley. Tom and Debbie Johnson are both longtime lawyers in Ukiah. Tom oversees the vineyards and production. Debbie does the gardening and many other tasks. “I get the credit and Debbie does the work,”… Read the rest
Wine Column

Scharffenberger Cellars

Mendocino’s House Bubbly. Scharffenberger Brut has been my house California sparkling wine since the winery was founded in 1981. When John Scharffenberger started his winery in Anderson Valley, he had the foresight and talent to put his winemaking skills into “method champenoise” sparkling wine. He was the first to produce it commercially in Mendocino County sourcing grapes from the Anderson… Read the rest
Wine Column

Rosati Family Winery

Mendocino Cabernet. When Mario Rosati purchased an old cattle ranch in southern Mendocino County south of Hopland in 1980, he never dreamed he would be in the wine business. However, when given budwood from one of the world’s most renowned Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, Mario Rosati planted grapevines. At first he and his wife Danelle Storm Rosati made wine just for… Read the rest
Wine Column

Roederer Estate

A Taste of France. Roederer Estate, nestled into the hillside along Highway 128 in Anderson Valley produces, sparkling wine and is unmistakably French. From its parent company to the winemakers who have been on board since Roederer came to Mendocino County, Roederer Estate epitomizes a Gallic classiness and a familial style. A legacy has been passed on from the family-owned… Read the rest
Wine Column

Roderick Vineyards

Stone Mason to Grape Grower. Arriving at Dennis and Marty Roderick’s I step into the kitchen of their charming cottage-like home at lunchtime. Dennis and his crew, long time vineyard specialist Pancho Ibarra and 19-year-old grandson Remy Martin are sitting around the table. Bowls of steaming chili scent the air as I join them. I’ve known Dennis and Marty since… Read the rest
Wine Column

RIVINO

A Natural Progression “Viognier is great with turkey,” says Jason McConnell, winemaker and co-owner with his wife Suzanne Jahnke-McConnell of RIVINO, one of Mendocino County’s newest wineries. Grown at Schrader Ranch Vineyard between Highway 101 and the Russian River “Our just released Rivino Viognier has an earthiness and body that goes with the traditional Thanksgiving flavors,” adds Jahnke-McConnell. The McConnells… Read the rest
Wine Column

Rack & Riddle

Good for Mendocino County. With a tasting room open only by appointment and a winery set up to handle a million gallons of custom made sparkling and still wine, Rack & Riddle fills a niche in the wine world. Custom crush services range from crushing the grapes, fermentation and barrel aging, to bottling include champagne-style sparkling wine production and case… Read the rest
Wine Column

Oster Wine Cellars

Family, Bluegrass and Cabernet. Love, wine, music, family and birthright weave into the story of Oster Wine Cellars. This quintessentially Redwood Valley story begins with Teresa and Ken Oster, who were raised in Redwood Valley, met in kindergarten in Redwood Valley, and now own vineyards and a winery in Redwood Valley. Their married children, Adrianna and Gibson, also live here… Read the rest
Wine Column

Poor Family Vineyards

Some things never change. “You won’t find much change since you were last here,” offered John Poor Jr. when I phoned to make an appointment for an interview. He is one of four generations who live on the Poor family ranch in Hopland. The last time I made the beautiful drive through the foothills dotted with sheep and oak trees… Read the rest
Wine Column

Philo Ridge Vineyards

Off the Grid and Loving It. Whether pouring at a wine tasting or working in the vineyards, Fred Buonanno wears Hawaiian shirts and khaki shorts. He and his energetic winemaking wife Heather McKelvey moved from high tech jobs in the Bay Area to start a winery and live off the grid in Anderson Valley. Since purchasing their property with rundown… Read the rest
Wine Column

Phillips Hill

All Pinot Noir. Phillips Hill Estates’ tasting room, located between Lemon’s Market and Libby’s Restaurant, in downtown Philo has a charming allure. Stepping inside is worth the stop. The former real estate office with the blooming clematis covered porch has been transformed by winemaker-proprietor Toby Hill into an artisan’s den that is perfect for tasting his vineyard designated Pinot Noir… Read the rest
Wine Column

Pettrone

A Family Brand. The classy wine label includes design elements that understatedly allude to the people and stories behind Pettrone Family Cellar, one of Mendocino’s smallest wineries. Three birds, Tuscan terra cotta colored lines on cream paper, and a tiny block encapsulating “AP3” refer to the Pettrone family and Italian heritage. Pettrone winery is the result of a family narrative… Read the rest

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