So. What’s this all about.

Welcome to my new wine blog!  EXACTLY what the world needs, no?  Perhaps–but I think this will be fun (for all of us).

First, a little about me.  I’m a nature and landscape photographer, which you can find out more about here and here.  I’m a writer.  My major in and early career out of college was journalism.  I used to be a newspaper reporter and editor (and then the internet came along, and let’s just not talk about what happened to print journalism)–and I loved reporting.  Specifically, I loved telling people’s stories.  And I’ve never really stopped loving that, even if I’m no longer a working journalist.

Some of my faves in my wine stash
Some of my faves in my wine stash

I’m also a wine lover.  I moved to Los Angeles, California at the beginning of 2000, and experienced my first wine tasting a couple of years after that when I moved to the bay area.  Like so many of us are, I was hooked.  I am fascinated by process and varietals and terroir and every other little thing.  I kept tasting.  Sonoma County.  Napa County.  Livermore Valley.  Mendocino County.  Lake County.  Then I moved back to LA.  Santa Barbara County.  Monterey County.  San Luis Obispo County!  I began researching which wineries I wanted to try on future trips, because this was serious fun.  In researching new wineries to try, I look at two things.  One, I like to see which varietals they grow and/or specialize in.  And two, I go straight to the “about” page on their website, because I want to know their story.  Most of the time, that’s what gets me to their tasting counter.  And the great thing about wineries, especially small wineries, is that so many of them have great stories.

Now, in perhaps the best case of serendipity ever (for me), it so happens that one of my favorite places to photograph–Big Sur and the hills of the central coast–is right in the middle of one of the state’s best wine regions.  So I explore.  A lot.  I have my biases as a result of these explorations–I think the wines of west Paso Robles (west of Highway 101 and north of Highway 46) are pure magic.  I think some of the best and most interesting wines come from this very specific area.  There are still scores of wineries there I have yet to try–as well as places as far afield as I can get to.  So what does this have to do with this blog?

Well–I like wine.  I love to write.  The photography should go without saying.  I’ve got a decent palate and know my way around a wine list without embarrassing myself.  But I really get excited about the stories–and that’s what I love to talk about.  For a while now I’ve kicked around the idea of starting a wine blog, but didn’t see any need to reinvent the wheel.  There are some fantastically good wine blogs out there, and plenty of folks who are great at reviewing wines.  But again, the stories.

So that’s what I’ll be doing–when I come across a winery with something interesting to share, whether it’s in how they got their start or maybe where their winemaker came from or any number of things that make me curious enough to walk in and sample their wines, that’s what I’ll share here along with the occasional review (because opinions are a thing I have plenty of) and other wine-related chatter.

Now go get your glass, and let’s hear some stories.