My Wife Doesn’t Know Where We Are Going

Today we are leaving on a two-week trip to Europe. Normally, my wife and I plan our trips together and work through the intricate details of itinerary:  where to visit, how much time to spend in each place, what sites we should go to, where to find the best food and wine.  This trip, I… Continue reading My Wife Doesn’t Know Where We Are Going

A B&B That Serves Wine for Breakfast

We traveled to Oregon in late September to drop off a kid at the University of Oregon in Eugene.  Wrapped around that momentous event, we planned a series of adult activities for ourselves:  wine tasting, visiting some nice restaurants, attending an Oregon football game, and staying at some wine country bed and breakfasts.  This post is the… Continue reading A B&B That Serves Wine for Breakfast

Pinot Noir? Pinot Nowhere.

As we rolled up to our final winery of our Oregon visit, we might be forgiven for expecting to enjoy one more glass of Pinot Noir before returning to California.  Certainly, the Willamette Valley, where we spent the beginning of our Oregon wine sojourn, is best known for Pinot Noir:  over 70% of vines are… Continue reading Pinot Noir? Pinot Nowhere.

Rioja, Oregon

The mother (and mother-in-law) of this blog-writing duo was born and raised in Spain and did not come to the United States until she was thirty years old.  She brought with her a fierce pride of her homeland; nowhere was this fierceness more evident than in her preferred beverage: red wine from Rioja.  She refused to… Continue reading Rioja, Oregon

A Fun Little Lie in Eugene, Oregon

Don Essig has been the public address announcer at Autzen Stadium, the football home of the University of Oregon Ducks, for the past 46 years.  In 1990, umbrellas were banned at Oregon football games after fans complained about blocked views.  Fortunately for the fans who attended that first umbrella-less game, it did not rain that… Continue reading A Fun Little Lie in Eugene, Oregon

A Lot of Sass In Willamette Valley

A couple of months ago we “met” an Oregon winemaker named Jerry Sass on Twitter.  At this point we can’t remember if he followed us first or the other way around.  But either way, after checking out his website we liked what we saw in terms of the winery’s story and the approach to winemaking.… Continue reading A Lot of Sass In Willamette Valley

O, Oregon!

We spent nearly a week in Oregon at the end of September, a trip motivated by the need to drop our son off at the U of O. We decided to add a couple of days to the trip and visit some wineries and wine regions we have not been to before.  One of the benefits of writing… Continue reading O, Oregon!

A Restaurant Too Cool For A Name

“Diner.” That’s all it says on the road sign.  “Diner.”  What else do you need to know, right?  Situated along Highway 121 in the Carneros wine region that straddles Napa and Sonoma, the diner’s aromas waft across its parking lot and onto the Highway as cars drive by, either coming into or out of Napa… Continue reading A Restaurant Too Cool For A Name

An All-American Story.

A few days ago we had the pleasure of spending some time (about three hours, actually) with a winery owner that with a one-of-a-kind experience in the wine business.  We visited Ceja Vineyards in Napa and tasted wines and toured the estate property with founder Amelia Ceja.  During this visit, we learned about the inspiring… Continue reading An All-American Story.

Beer? In Wine Country?

If you like underdogs, you would root for one of the few Latino-owned breweries in the United States. But if you really, really like underdogs, you would root for a brewery owned by Mexican immigrants and opened in the heart of Northern California wine country.  For those extreme fans of the underdog, we present Carneros Brewing… Continue reading Beer? In Wine Country?

H2, Oh!

If there is a downside to living in wine country, it’s that we generally have no occasion to stay at the many cool hotels in our area – Napa and Sonoma counties.  Sure, we could shell out the money any time and stay wherever we please, but that would feel wasteful. Last week, though, we… Continue reading H2, Oh!

Identity Crisis? An Aussie Making French Wines in California.

Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County boasts some of the finest vineyards in the region, if not the entire state.  Home to over 9,000 acres of planted vines, Dry Creek Valley is 16 miles long and 2 miles wide, with both valley floor and hillside locations.  In this sub-appellation of Sonoma County, there have been grape… Continue reading Identity Crisis? An Aussie Making French Wines in California.

Cool Day at Kunde

Along Highway 12 between the towns of Sonoma and Santa Rosa, there are multiple wineries nestled in the west-facing slopes of the Maycamas Mountains.  Because we are usually on our way to or from another destination, we had not, until last weekend, stopped at any of them. One winery in particular – Kunde Family – had… Continue reading Cool Day at Kunde

Two Birds. One Stone. Many Plates.

For those who love modern, inventive cuisine, beautiful decor, and superior service, there is a new “must visit” destination in the Napa Valley:   Two Birds/One Stone just north of St. Helena, on the grounds of the Freemark Abbey winery. TBOS had been on our list of places to visit since it opened in June of… Continue reading Two Birds. One Stone. Many Plates.

A Frenchman in Napa Valley

In the past two decades or so, Napa Valley wines have had a profound impact on the global wine industry, influencing how “good” wine taste, how wine should be made (fermentation practices, barrel aging, alcohol content), and certainly how to market wine to consumers.  This influence extends even to France, which has a much longer wine making… Continue reading A Frenchman in Napa Valley

You don’t have to swim upstream to eat here

One of our favorite destinations in California is the town of Jenner, a spot known as the “River’s End” where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. There is something majestic about two bodies of water coming together and this particular location is no exception.  On top of a bluff overlooking this amazing spot sits a fantastic… Continue reading You don’t have to swim upstream to eat here

Wine that fits the bill

Writing a blog can take up a significant amount of precious free time, especially if you feel compelled, as we do, to post at least once a week.  With the pressure of jobs, kids, dogs, and the rest of life, we sometimes ask ourselves “is it worth it?”  Just when one of us feels like taking… Continue reading Wine that fits the bill

Why Is Your Blog So Damn Positive?

We have been blogging for about five months now; in total, we have twenty-two posts about our experiences living in and traveling around Northern California wine country.  Aside from a post about a Napa Valley Golf course and one about a rare sighting in Napa (a brewery!), all of our posts are focused on wineries… Continue reading Why Is Your Blog So Damn Positive?