Veraison: A time of change

Véraison is a viticulture term representing "the onset of ripening". It is originally French, but has been adopted into English (veraision). The official definition of veraision is "change of color of the grape berries." Veraison represents the transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and … [Read more...]

Working as a Full-Time Vintner

I have enjoyed all things about being a vintner during the last 15 years. Coming from a Silicon Valley career of branding and marketing, however, I was concerned that focusing on only Halleck Vineyard would result in boredom and (God-forbid) drudgery. The years in early Silicon Valley were almost … [Read more...]

Aging White Wines

Strong opinions about aging Letter writers to newspapers rarely have praise to offer. People tend to be motivated to write to wine columnists only when they are upset with something they’ve read or want advice. It takes a strong opinion to write a letter, even about something as unremarkable as … [Read more...]

Sonoma County vs. Sonoma

Sonoma: What's in a name I  have lived in Sebastopol, a community of about 8,000 people, for about 23 years. Sebastopol is in the western region of Sonoma County. It is a southern gateway to the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). I have been growing grapes … [Read more...]

What a Wine List Reveals

A Wine List is a Tool A Wine list is strategic to any restaurant that sells wine. Creating an effective wine list is not for the feint of heart, inexperienced, or narrow-minded. And you can spot any of these characteristics from a quick scan. Let’s go through each to demonstrate. Feint of Heart … [Read more...]

Learn About Wine

I was first introduced to wine as a youngster, being served Mogen David at our temple services in northern Illinois. At home, this unctuous sweet beverage made from concord grapes was dispensed at Passover and many Jewish holidays, as they all include wine. But these early exposures had little to do … [Read more...]

What is Cheap Wine

Many factors make cheap wine There are many factors that determine the price of a bottle of wine. Although many believe this to be arbitrary, it is not. As a vintner myself, making relatively expensive wines, I have explored in depth how to make a cheap wine, certainly a less expensive wine. In … [Read more...]

What Wine Goes With Steak?

Steaks water the mouth just thinking about them. So what wine goes with steak? There is nary a red wine that is not elevated by the rich succulent savoriness of a great steak. The key here is savory! Steak is protein at its height. And the best compliment, perhaps even neutralizers, of that savory … [Read more...]

American Chardonnay

The Kleenex of White Wine: American Chardonnay We all have a story to tell about our introduction and seduction into the world of wine. Most of us started with white wines, unless Jewish and drinking Mogen David for Passover dinners. Many start with sweeter wines, but graduate rapidly to … [Read more...]

Sauvignon Blanc

Bright and Crisp: Sauvignon Blanc An amazingly versatile white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is now very popular. Some versions, a bit on the distinctly grassy style, appeal to wine lovers, notably those Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand with their assertive aroma characteristics. But milder styles of … [Read more...]