February 10, 2011 |
It's hard to pronounce, and it can make wines that smell gamy. But Mourvèdre just might be the best grape grown in Paso Robles, one of California's hottest wine regions. Mourvèdre (more-VEH-dra) has strong endorsements from two leaders of the region. Tablas Creek's French founders chose Paso Robles for their first American winery in large measure because they saw it as ideal for Mourvèdre. And Justin Smith, owner of Saxum, says Mourvèdre is the grape that got him into Rhône-style wines in the first place.
January 20, 2011 |
Imagine turning Tax Day into a holiday. That's what happened with Tu Bishvat, the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shvat, which is Thursday. During the time of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Tu Bishvat was the date for determining the age of fruit trees in order to calculate how much tax was owed on the harvest. After the temple was destroyed about 2,000 years ago and most of the Jews were exiled, Tu Bishvat became a festival celebrated by eating fruit associated with the land of Israel.
January 11, 2011 |
A UCLA-led team reported Monday that it had discovered a 6,000-year-old facility in an Armenian cave that contained everything necessary to produce wine from grapes, including a grape press, fermentation vats, storage jars, wine-soaked pottery shards and even a cup and drinking bowl. The ancient winery is at least 1,000 years older than any similar installation previously known, and it was found in the same cave where researchers in June announced the discovery of the world's oldest leather shoe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2010 |
Alison Wrigley Rusack stepped off the porch of an old house on a private ranch on the rugged southwestern edge of Santa Catalina Island, where her clan once raised Arabian horses. Under sunny skies, she cast an appraising eye at the surrounding peaks, lush ravines and aging structures of El Rancho Escondido. It was a favorite family gathering place, passed down by her great-grandfather, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., who bought Santa Catalina Island Co. ? which owns all the developable land on the island ?
November 4, 2010 |
For the last 30 years, the red wine spotlight in and around Italy's Piedmont region has been dominated by its big guns, Barolo and Barbaresco. And rightly so: These majestic wines are some of the country's noblest. But there is also an unsung retinue of alternative bottlings, both from the Langhe region (where the Barolo and Barbaresco growing areas are located) and from lesser-known areas beyond its borders. These areas are finally gaining a toehold in the U.S. market and proving just how diverse the region is. Northwest Italy almost seems like a confluence of several great European red wine regions, possessing reds with the majesty of Bordeaux, suppleness of Burgundy, stature of Hermitage and charm of Beaujolais or the Côtes du Rhône.
October 14, 2010 |
Kim Jong Eun, newly anointed as North Korea's next leader, is quickly learning one of the oldest axioms of power: Heavy lies the crown. Just days after tens of thousands cheered as the youngest son of Kim Jong Il stood on a podium with his ailing father at a lavish military parade in Pyongyang, bad press is already besieging the future ruler. In the first public signs of discord, Kim Jong Eun's older half-brother has questioned the family's hereditary transfer of power. Kim Jong Nam told Japan's TV Asahi that he is "against third-generation succession," adding , "I think there were internal factors.
September 30, 2010 |
Days after record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures across much of the state, the 2010 wine grape harvest has officially lurched into gear, weeks later than normal, kicking off the final acts of one of the strangest California vintages in recent memory. Just a little more than a week ago, the day before the autumnal equinox, Sonoma winemaker Merry Edwards had her harvest staff stuffing envelopes for a fall mailing and once again taking a mop to the floors of her barely used crushpad.
HOME & GARDEN
September 25, 2010 |
Most parents have to beg or bribe their offspring to work in the garden, but not Pasadena resident Robin Stever. Upon returning home one day, she discovered her son Marco Barrantes cutting down trees and digging up their frontyard. For years Stever had dreamed about owning a vineyard and, lo and behold, her son had decided to act. That surprise effort, begun in 2003 during Barrantes' summer break from his landscape architecture and urban planning studies at UC Berkeley, was his first step in transforming the nondescript 1-acre property into Rancho La Loma, a romantically rough-around-the-edges homestead that evokes early California, complete with a vineyard, orchard, vegetable garden and chickens.
September 19, 2010
SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CALIF. San Miguel Island day trip When, where: Sept. 25, departs from Island Packers, Ventura Harbor Highlights: The Catalina Island Conservancy and Island Packers provide the chance to explore San Miguel, the westernmost Channel Island. The day includes hiking, a visit to an 11,600-year-old Chumash site and a stop at Point Bennett, home to one of the world's densest concentrations of wildlife, including more than 30,000 seals and sea lions.
September 2, 2010 |
Defying the trend of generic internationalization in the wine world, Rueda in northern Spain has come back full circle to its unique local grape. Verdejo makes for one of the most delightful white wines of summer: aromatic and lively, with refreshing lime fruit and pretty jasmine notes. The price range is reasonable, about $9 to $20. No wonder Rueda is the only region in Spain where exports actually increased during the worldwide economic downturn of 2009. Verdejo's comeback is a feel-good story for people who don't want wine everywhere to be the same.