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What to sip for Earth Day

There was a time, not long ago, when the word organic on a wine label meant a bottle best avoided. Thankfully, today the o word is no longer a dirty word. We look for wines made naturally, from organically, biodynamically or sustainably grown grapes. With Earth Day just around the corner, what better time to celebrate the abundance of green, earth-friendly wines.

Where Winemakers Are Distillers

With a dozen craft distillery tasting rooms to visit and a new speakeasy downtown, Paso Robles, on California’s Central Coast, is swiftly becoming a cocktail mecca. Most of these distillers are winemakers, as well, which is one reason you’ll find so many distilleries inside of or attached to wineries.

Our Sip, Sip, Hooray! Wine Podcast is here

We started planning this in early spring 2018. As TV veterans, “In Wine Country” host Mary Babbitt and I (executive producer) thought a podcast would be much easier than TV. Ha! We had lots of technical issues to overcome, audio editing to learn, and working around both our very busy schedules. But finally, we present to you “Sip, Sip, Hooray!” the podcast where wine is always fun.

The Magic of Mount Eden Vineyards

Fog blankets Silicon Valley, as seen from Mount Eden Vineyards. (Courtesy of Mount Eden Vineyards)

Two miles up a mostly unpaved, twisty road with corkscrew turns, Mount Eden Vineyards‘ estate vineyards and winery are slowly revealed to visitors making the drive up from Saratoga. Similarly, the rich, layered history behind the wine label has been developing over the past 75 years.

Here, perched on a mountaintop 2,000 feet above Silicon Valley, grape grower and winemaker Jeffrey Patterson crafts some of the most exquisite, most critically acclaimed wines in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with a distinct “taste of place” that shows regional character.

Bubbly season is here!

What I love most about the holidays is the ample opportunities for a festive toast. And there’s no better drink for that than Champagne and sparkling wine. Bubbles pair perfectly with just about any holiday food, from turkey and stuffing to roast ham, and of course oysters and lobster. 

What to drink this October: Wine Picks from #DDWA

As the season changes from late summer to early fall, my tastes in wine change too. Sure, I still want a crisp, cool white on those warm autumn days, but as the sun sets and a chill develops, I’m reaching for lighter, brighter reds too. You probably think that means Pinot Noir. Nope, I want something exciting and different. That’s why I turn to Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor to show me the way.

In his October 2018 list, Dan puts the spotlight on seven Napa Valley producers, some you may know, and others worth discovering. I’ve been a Neyers fan for a long time, especially of the Rhone varietals, but a $60 Napa Cab? Yes please!

Blending artisan glass and wine on California’s Central Coast

You wouldn’t expect to find a wine bar inside a glass factory — or would you? Visit Annieglass in Watsonville, on the California Coast, between Santa Cruz and Monterey, and you’ll find local wines being poured among shelves of just fired glass platters, bowls, vases and more. Annie Morhauser, the brainchild behind the design, launched her artisan, sustainable glass studio 35 years ago. Her unique techniques and organic designs have garnered a loyal following, not only for their beauty and collectibility, but also for their functionality for day-to-day living. Two of Annieglass’ iconic pieces — from the frosted and sandblasted Shells series,— are on permanent display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Annie’s factory has been open for tours and shopping, but in May 2017, she added Craftbar, a wine bar and crafts workshop mashup. On weekends, you’ll find local wine and beer at the bar, offered along with a…