January 17, 2013 |
In Pursuit of Balance -- a group of wineries that have banded together to change the course of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production -- is scheduled to host its first Los Angeles tasting event on Feb. 6. In honor of the event, Melrose Avenue wine shop DomaineLA is offering a tasting dinner the previous evening, featuring Sandhi Wines and Arnot-Roberts winery. In Pursuit of Balance's event is set for the London Hotel West Hollywood and is to include tastings from its 28 member wineries and two seminars: "Relevance and Purpose in California Chardonnay" and "Exploring Whole Cluster Fermentation in Pinot Noir.
January 14, 2013 |
Take an inexpensive whirl to Sonoma where a wine tour comes with the room. For a limited time, Sonoma Creek Inn is partnering with Platypus Wine Tours to include a day of winery-hopping at a nice price. The inn with 16 rooms (which looks more motel than B&B) is close to downtown Sonoma at 239 Boyes Blvd. With this package, guests spend a day visiting four wineries, usually smaller boutique ones such as Paradise Ridge , Loxton and Benzinger Family Winery . The tour includes transportation and a guide with stops that last an hour to an hour and a half each.
January 8, 2013 |
Wine-tasting in the ... Antelope Valley? OK, it's not the Napa Valley or even Paso Robles, but there's a good coupon deal for the family-owned Antelope Valley Winery in Lancaster. In this offer, two people receive a VIP tour and sipping for $40. The deal: LivingSocial features this deal that takes half off the price of the tour. The winery that has been open since 1980 produces reds, whites and sweet wines too. The VIP tasting provides samples, a barrel room tour, and cheese plate and bottle of wine for two. When: The offer is good through Friday and must be used by May 12. Details: There was still availability when I checked on this deal.
November 9, 2012 |
Amazon.com Inc. is uncorking a new venture. The online retail giant launched a wine marketplace on its website Thursday, with more than 1,000 domestic brands available. For now, wines will be shipped only to a dozen states, including California, and to Washington, D.C. Bottle prices range from less than $10 to more than $100; shipping costs $9.99 for up to six bottles of the same wine. It's an unusual addition for the Seattle company, better known for selling books, household items and Kindles.
November 8, 2012 |
As if shopping on Amazon.com needed to get any more dangerous: The online retailer will now start selling wine in a dedicated section on its site, just in time for the holidays. Visitors to Amazon Wine will have access to more than 1,000 wines from wineries nationwide. Bottle prices range from less than $10 to more than $100, plus shipping costs of $9.99 for up to six bottles. Amazon will serve as a sort of middle man and discovery center, partnering with wineries that provide the wine and use the online marketplace to raise awareness for their brands and make sales.
October 14, 2012 |
Like a fine wine, Paso Robles, Calif., gets better with age. I was delighted to find new downtown restaurants, wine bars and shops since last visiting five years ago. And there are now more than 200 eclectic wineries dotting the region's oak-shaded country roads. Fall is a great time to visit, especially during Harvest Wine Weekend (Oct. 19-21 this year). There's a crush of activities to celebrate the crushing of the grapes: Jump in and try your hand, oops, feet, at grape stomping, get a vino-therapy massage or go to an elegant winemaker dinner or casual barbecue.
July 5, 2012 |
LODI, Calif. — With bottles ready for tasting, a group of Lodi wine producers waited anxiously recently for a delegation of monied businesspeople they hoped to impress. The vintners burst into applause when the group finally arrived, more than an hour late. The guests weren't Hollywood moguls or Silicon Valley venture capitalists. They were potential customers and investors from the city of Shenyang in northern China, coming to check out Lodi as a potential source of affordable wine to supply China's rapidly growing market.
May 27, 2012 |
Let wine snobs snicker when they hear you spent a weekend at a vineyard in Temecula. I took a friend for an overnight stay at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa (34843 Rancho California Road;  587-9463), a 39-acre slice of nirvana where relaxation is inescapable. Twenty-four hours wasn't nearly enough time to enjoy the premises. The bed. I could tell you all about the 76 villas (rooms start at $209) at South Coast and how most come with a fireplace, private patio and a wet bar with a mini-fridge.
May 13, 2012 |
Ask a Venturan and he or she will tell you that the city is both the end of Southern California and the beginning of the central part of the state. With a gorgeous coastline, an affinity for agriculture, a happening night life and a healthy enthusiasm for all things vino, this duality isn't just a clever marketing campaign - it's the real deal. The bed. The 76 rooms at Best Western Plus Inn of Ventura (708 E. Thompson Blvd.;  648-3101, http://www.bestwestern.com western.com, doubles from $85.49 in spring)