• General Wine Stuff

    Harvest interlude: 2020 bringing challenges, but fruit is looking good.

    2020 continues to find ways to challenge all of us, and life out in the vineyard has been no exception. The summer was moving along rather uneventfully in the vineyard, and then August arrived and brought with it an extended heatwave the likes of which haven’t been recorded for 70 years. Grapevines are pretty resilient, but this kind of unrelenting heat can make the usual late-season ripening go a little haywire. That’s been compounded by massive wildfires spurred by a lightning storm about a week ago that are now threatening vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, and Monterey County with the possibility of smoke taint. Here in Lodi, the smoke hasn’t caused…

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  • General Wine Stuff

    Little winery, BIG Rhônes

    One of my favorite Paso Robles wineries is up in today’s hype joint: McPrice Myers, a little westside jewel that’s producing some truly outstanding Rhône varieties. He (McPrice Myers is the winemaker/owner’s name) uses fruit from Paso Robles/Central Coast and Santa Barbara County, and my favorites are probably the intensely flavorful single-vineyard wines from Ballard Canyon’s vaunted Larner Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. These wines are delicious now, and have incredible potential for aging (if you can find the willpower to set a few bottles back for cellaring). They bring in rave reviews and sell out quickly, so keep an eye on their offerings if there’s something specific you want–most…

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    Meet Markus.

    I’ve told you about Markus Niggli’s wines before, and you’ll see his wines appear regularly in my Instagram feed. Because I love them. Peruse the profile I wrote on him and his wines a couple of years ago–his story is fascinating. Just as I was intrigued by Sue Tipton’s bold choice to produce stellar white wines in red-heavy Lodi, the envelope-pushing wines of Markus Niggli likewise impressed me with his iconoclastic approach (and his very, very good wines). If you want to break away from your rut of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Blanc-Gris-Grigio-whatever, you should seek out his white wines–I suggest his Nimmo, a bone-dry white blend that’s…

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    My #1 hype will always be Acquiesce Vineyards.

    I first encountered these wines four years ago, which you can read about here, and then about six months later I wrote a full profile on the winemaker, Sue Tipton, here. Full disclosure: I used to work for them, but this post and the recommendations herein are independently mine. I went to work for them because I think she makes some of the best white wines I’ve ever tasted. I still think they’re some of the best white wines I’ve ever tasted. I encourage you to read that profile on Tipton, but the quick version is that she makes nothing but Rhône whites, both single varieties and blends, and one…

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    California Wineries Need Your Help.

    Hi! My name’s Robin, and I am a one-woman hype joint for small wine producers in California. I know, I know–you thought I was just another wine blogger. Which I am. But we are living in weird, volatile times. I’ve let my personal wine blog go semi-dormant while I work(ed) doing social media for an absolutely brilliant winemaker. But then came COVID and winery closures statewide, and everything is different now. I’m currently unemployed from a job I absolutely loved working for people I respect tremendously–and it may or may not come back when this pandemic finally eases up. As I have pondered what to do with the sudden availability…