Balance is the Key at Australian Winery, Groom Wines


Do you think wines can resemble their makers?


We do. A good example is Groom Wines and Founder/Winemaker Daryl Groom, upcoming in our International Wine Club Series.


Daryl’s wines have a wonderful balance to them, and that balance can be seen in Daryl’s life as well. The Groom Wines Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc we’re featuring are harmonious expressions of the grapes. Their elements merge together so gracefully.

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Breathtaking Wildflowers in California Wine Country


It’s spring! Just the word feels warm and wonderful. And nothing says it better than wildflowers.

In California wine country, you can admire beautiful pink Fairy Lanterns or Western Trillium on the Central Coast, between sips of Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara or Rhone wine in Paso Robles.

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Napa Valley Winery Bacio Divino Cellars Boasts Passion In Every Vintage


Our wine club members know we’re always talking about the passion evident at California’s small artisan wineries — winemakers who keep crazy hours and will do almost anything to make sure their bottlings are the best they can be. We’ve caught up with the owner of Napa Valley winery, Bacio Divino Cellars to see how it all started.


On the “passion scale” we’ve got to give Bacio Divino Cellars a ‘10’. The story of founder Claus Janzen is unmatched by any others we heard for its elements of dedication, energy and yes, passion.


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A Romantic Food & Wine Pairing Recipe from Sunstone


Ah, spring! Isn’t it glorious? No wonder spring is the time of year when romance just seems to be in the air … and what better way to encourage romance than with a beautiful candlelit dinner with the perfect wine?

Well, we have the perfect recipe for you lovebirds out there: a fabulous grilled lamb chop dish served with Sunstone’s lovely red, Intermezzo (part our our March Premier Series Wine Club shipment). This small family winery is one of California’s most romantic. Situated in Santa Barbara’s gorgeous Santa Ynez Valley, Sunstone has a touch of Provence in the South of France, where leisurely meals with fabulous wines mix with the fragrance of lavender and some of the world’s best vineyards. You can book a stay at the Villa at Sunstone and luxuriate at one of the most charming and creative winery accommodations we have ever had the pleasure to visit.

Sunstone is host to dozens of weddings every year, but you don’t have to make that the reason to visit. There are plenty of events in California wine country that are happening throughout the year. This recipe toasts the love that inspired them all. Enjoy!

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Top Dogs at California Wineries

Gamble, 2013

We used to think that the luckiest employees at any winery were the winemakers. They get to enjoy it all–the vineyards, harvest, making the wine, then going to winemaker dinners to chat it up their vintages and eat great food.

But we were wrong. The luckiest members of the team are the dogs.

Who else has such a great job description? Morning jogs through vineyards, roll in dirt, eat, take another jog, nap, drink, share cellar workers’ sandwiches, afternoon snooze on sunny rug in tasting room, snacks, accept visitors’ adoration … the list goes on.

How do we get into this new kind of wine club, because it sure sounds good to us!

We’d like to salute several wonderful winery dogs who rate high on job satisfaction.

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Cheers to Spring In California Wine Country


“Spring is Nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’”
–Robin Williams, Comedian, Actor


On March 13, the weather folks predicted 79˚F in the Napa Valley –it  seems that spring has sprung in California wine country. The mustard bloom (January through March) is now being joined by eager shoots of wildflowers. Soon, their delicate petals will be bobbing between the vine rows in a happy riot of color and joy.

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Wine in Ireland – Toast Saint Patrick’s Day!


This may surprise you — it did us — but there are wineries in Ireland. Ireland is actually listed as a wine producing country by the European Union. Sure, Saint Patrick would have to walk many a mile to find a bottle of Irish wine, but it does exist.


The few Irish wineries are located in the southwest portion of the country, mostly around Cork.  We think it is because of the climate and not the name.   If global temperatures rise more, winemaking in Ireland may as well.

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‘The Cradle of Wine’ – Italy Entices Wine Lovers

villaraiano  villaraianovineyard



We’ve featured Italy many times in our International Series, and for good reason. This boot-shaped country is the world’s cradle of wine. Winemaking dates back thousands of years in Italy. Many cultures, from the Phoenicians, to the Greeks and Romans and more, have influenced wine in Italy.


This country has 20 winegrowing regions, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. Italy actually has hundreds of sub-appellations, and fine wine can be found from north to south. Italy’s length gives it a huge range of climates and soils so that it boasts the world’s most diverse terroir.

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A Great Restaurant in the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara Wine Country


Mattei’s Tavern, Los Olivos
(805) 688-3550
Under new ownership since 2013, Mattei’s Tavern in little Los Olivos.


In the heart of Santa Ynez Valley, Los Olivos has become THE place to visit with its 19+ tasting rooms, and Mattei’s is the perfect choice for dinner.

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William Jamieson, Master Cooper


Cooperage – An Insider’s View
Will Jamieson, Master Cooper – Demptos, USA
(continued from the article in Uncorked – A Toast to Barrels)


World renowned Demptos was the first cooperage to open its doors in Napa.  Managing Partner and Master Cooper Will Jamieson began working at Demptos in 1982.  As an apprentice cooper at age 16 in the Highlands of Scotland, he had learned how to make barrels for whiskey.  Demptos sent him to Bordeaux to master cooperage for winemaking.  Will graciously shared some insights with us into the art of cooperage.

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