Wine Column

Paul Dolan

Rooted and Visionary. Rooted is the first word that comes to mind when describing Paul Dolan. As a fourth generation winemaker his family “roots” are part of California’s wine history. His business philosophy is laid out in his book “True to Our Roots.” His organic and biodynamic farming practices ensure that the roots of his vines, which ultimately are the… Read the rest
Wine Column

Patianna Organic Vineyards

At Patianna Organic Vineyards along Old River Road north of old Hopland biodiversity is apparent at first sight. Chickens scratch between grape vines. Goats nibble in riparian borders. Owl boxes mark remains of pesky rodents. Lush compost piles will enrich the soil. Biodynamic and organic describe Patianna’s operation and lifestyle. As workers pull off an abundance of lush leaves from… Read the rest
Wine Column

Parducci Wine Cellars

Historic and Green. Mendocino County’s oldest winery is now also its greenest. As the first carbon neutral winery in the country Parducci Wine Cellars combines a reverence for the historic with a commitment to minimizing their impact on the environment. And it is a multi family venture with a highly respected winemaking team. First the history. Founded in 1921during Prohibition… Read the rest
Wine Column

Pacific Star Winery

Location to a Fault. Pacific Star is the only winery California perched on bluffs above the ocean. Twelve miles north of Fort Bragg the magnificent location of winemaker Sally’s Ottoson’s business and home on the Mendocino Coast is worth the trip. Besides its proximity to lapping waves, passing whales, amazing sunsets and variety of “signature blend” wines poured daily, there’sanother… Read the rest
Wine Column

Nelson Family Vineyards

Some Things Old, Some Things New. An old wagon wheel hangs over the newly stuccoed fireplace in the Nelson Family Vineyards tasting room. Redwoods planted in 1933 shade a dance floor built last year. Vineyards next to the popular strawberry stand on Highway 101 just south of Ukiah. are on their way to organic certification. The first crop of canola… Read the rest
Wine Column

Milano Family Winery

Located in one of Mendocino County’s remaining authentic hop kilns, Milano Family Winery is worth a visit to see the historic structure, to meet the vivacious nurse turned winemaker, the techie inventor of wine business software, to picnic next to giant tortoises and to taste some wonderfully easy drinking wine. “I always wanted to live in a small town,” says… Read the rest
Wine Column

McNab Ridge Winery

Next Generation of a Legacy. Rich Parducci, grandson of Mendocino County’s winemaking patriarch John Parducci, takes the reins of the family legacy with his own style. Rich Parducci is confident, unassuming and absolutely at ease carrying on in his grandfather’s footsteps. “I started working the bottling line at Parducci when I was 12,” says Rich Parducci, now 43. At the… Read the rest
Wine Column

McFadden Vineyard & Farm

Wine, Herbs and Energy. Guinness McFadden, with both an understated presence and commanding charisma, has combined his business sense with a penchant for anticipating trends in the California food, wine and energy scene for nearly forty years. As the proprietor of McFadden Farm in Potter Valley he splits his time between farming, winemaking, marketing and running a small power plant.… Read the rest
Wine Column

McDowell Valley Vineyards

Southern France meets Cowboy Vintner Take an old Mendocino County vineyard in a beautiful valley, overlay a commitment to sustainability, merge two longtime Mendocino grape growing families, and blend southern French wine grapes with a horseback riding vintner. The result is McDowell Valley Vineyards under the helm of Vicky and Bill Crawford. Bill (known as Billy to friends and family)… Read the rest
Wine Column

Mariah Vineyards

Island in the Sky. To get a perspective of Mariah Vineyards location you have to drive over the hills toward the coast. When billowy cotton puffs of fog fill up the valleys, the coastal mountain peaks jut up like islands, just like–as the Mendocino Ridge appellation is nicknamed—“Islands in the Sky.” Magical and magnificent are two ways to describe Mariah… Read the rest
Wine Column

Maple Creek Winery

Art, Wine and More. Art and wine are the main inspirations at Maple Creek Winery, home of Artevino and Maple Creek brands. You’ll also find baseball, western chic and a love of food blended into the tastefully rustic Maple Creek Winery off Highway 128 near Yorkville. Proprietors Linda Stutz and Tom Rodrigues have transformed what was once a goat farm… Read the rest
Wine Column

Londer Vineyards

From Eye Doc to Winemaker. When Larry and Shirlee Londer decided to make a midlife move into winemaking they developed a business plan. They soon discovered that the best plans can be sidelined by unexpected circumstances. After moving from New Mexico to Anderson Valley a fortuitous meeting with the perfect consultant meant moving up their timeline and plan. It also… Read the rest
Wine Column

LeVin Winery & Vineyards

Talented Duo Share Organic Farm He’s a singer songwriter and trained classical musician. She’s a graphic artist related to Gumby. Together they make award winning wines. Stepping into the kitchen on a Sunday morning at the home of LeVin Winery and Vineyards’ owners Eric Levin and Holly Harman, I was met by the sizzle of a cast iron skillet on… Read the rest
Wine Column

Lazy Creek Vineyards

Mention Lazy Creek Vineyards to fans of this idyllic winery and eyes glaze over, mouths water and an audible sigh escapes. Falling in love with Lazy Creek is as easy as driving through the front gate, say new owners Don and Rhonda Carano (echoing the sentiment expressed by the previous owners Josh and MaryBeth Chandler). “It’s the place I fantasize… Read the rest
Wine Column

Jeriko Estate

Fetzer Clan’s Artist. Jeriko Estate’s Mediterranean villa on the west side of Highway 101 north of Hopland pulls me in with its adobe colored walls, red tiled roofs, and graceful archways. Artist, architect, and youngest son of Mendocino’s winegrowing Fetzer clan, Daniel Fetzer created his winery by drawing from what was here and overlaying it with early California, Tuscan and… Read the rest
Wine Column

Jaxon Keys

Winery and Distillery. Jaxon Keys may be one of Mendocino County’s newest wineries but its new winemaker Fred Nickel brings a wealth of local experience. Although Nickel has been at Jaxon Keys for just three months his tenure in the wine industry spans the last three decades of Mendocino’s winery growth and development. Nestled against the western hills, along Highway… Read the rest
Wine Column

Hopland Passport

Celebrate the Crush. As the grape harvest winds down, Hopland’s wineries celebrate with their semi-annual Hopland Passport next weekend on October 24 and 25. Fourteen wineries showcasing wines made from Italian, Burgundian, Rhone and Bordeaux varietals add food, music, bocce, barrel tastings and new releases to their individual celebrations. The two-day event takes place on Friday and Saturday from 11:00… Read the rest
Wine Column

Gibsons’ Hillside Vineyards

Grapes and Community. Above their Hillside Vineyards Norma and Morgan Gibson’s Mediterranean-ranch style home is filled with the warmth and coziness of family photos, a cookie jar collection and Norma’s paintings. Their vineyards located on the Talmage Bench grow some of the best Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc grapes around. And both are known for giving back to the community. Norma,… Read the rest

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