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The Winemakers of A Long Pour {photo essay}

June 22, 2011 The Press Comments Off
The Winemakers of A Long Pour {photo essay}

For a second year in a row, A Long Pour is a finalist for the Wine Blog Awards, this time for Best Graphics, Photography, and Presentation (you can vote here). A Long Pour is a lot of hard work and it is nice to get some recognition. But really, all of this made me think of the many great winemakers who have invited me into their wineries and homes, told me their stories, shared their wines, and in some cases let me take their picture.

This is to them…thank you. … Continue Reading

The Regions – Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley

The Regions – Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley

I remember when I first heard that a Sommelier, a good Sommelier, I mean a really good one, could decipher not only varietal and region, but even vineyard source and vintage in a blind tasting. It blew my mind. It still blows my mind. The fact that any person can know that much about wine or about anything for that matter, is impressive to say the least.

As time went on and I was exposed to more wine (and better wine), I began to comprehend how someone could accomplish such as task. While I am many long pours away from picking out a vineyard designate 1997 Burgundy from a group of Pinots from around the World, I have learned to start picking our distinct differences in California wines. The more I drink the more I am trained to recognize characteristics common to varietals and regions from all over the state.

… Continue Reading

The Best of 52 Weeks – And the Winners Are…

December 30, 2010 The Press 1 Comment
The Best of 52 Weeks – And the Winners Are…

So as promised, the best of 52 Weeks with California wine. In most cases, it was hard to select winners. I had so many great experiences over the year that it was hard to say the what is listed below were the best. But you have to pick someone. And the winners are… … Continue Reading

The Ojai Vineyard – Part II

The Ojai Vineyard – Part II

Two weeks ago I wrote about The Ojai Vineyard and my time with Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. Much of the story centered on Adam’s decision to tone back the amount of alcohol in some of his wines over the past several years. At the outset, I did not intend to write a story that focused so heavily on the controversy that came along with his decision. Nor did I plan on writing so extensively about his relationship with wine critics (one in particular). These topics just became a big part of our conversation that day.

Yet, I am pleased I wrote it. In preparing for my interview with Adam, I came across much chatter about him. Some was in praise of the winemaker and some was not. A small portion of it was borderline character assassination. Therefore, I was happy to present Adam’s fair and balanced side of the story.

Read the original interview here: The Ojai Vineyard: “Legends, Myths, and Fantastic Chardonnay”. … Continue Reading

The Ojai Vineyard – Myths, Rumors, and Fantastic Chardonnay

April 28, 2010 Fifty-Two Weeks 2 Comments
The Ojai Vineyard – Myths, Rumors, and Fantastic Chardonnay

For nearly thirty years, Adam Tolmach of The Ojai Vineyard, has been making critically acclaimed wines from his humble family-owned winery on the outskirts of Ojai. He boasts a career that spans over three decades including stints at Zaca Mesa (he was the third employee), Edna Valley, a harvest in Burgundy, and ten years as a partner with Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat. Adam is a quiet guy with a charming sense of humor and a gentle demeanor. He enjoys being off the normal beaten path of the California wine scene. “There’s tons of gossip that goes on in the wine scene,” he tells me, “and I don’t have any interest in it at all actually.” Although Adam’s wines have earned him praise from critics and colleagues alike, as well as a devoted following over the years, he tries to avoid too much time in the limelight. “He never promotes himself,” his assistant winemaker Fabien Castel tells us.

However, there has been much debate and attention focused on Adam on forums like eRoperParker and Decanter in recent years, centered on a Los Angeles Times article entitled, “Are California Wines Over the Top?” The article included a quite fantastic quote that set the internet wine pundits a-buzz. “I’d stopped drinking my own wines,” it quoted Adam as saying. It prompted headlines on various blogs such as, “Adam Tolmach of Ojai Vineyards is in the LA Times today. It looks like Adam has gotten tired of serving the dark Sith lord Darth Parker…” The article, focused on Ojai Vineyard’s recent efforts to tame the alcohol content of some of their wines, wines that previously received very good scores from critics, such as Robert Parker. … Continue Reading

{Archives}

Bonny Doon: Day of the Doon IX {Photo Essay}

September 22, 2011

Bonny Doon: Day of the Doon IX {Photo Essay}

We have grown rather accustomed to long trips for short stays, so much so that a 500 mile weekend is not such a big deal anymore. There are a lot of events we are invited to and we can only attend a few of them. But when Randall Graham asks you to attend, you attend. [...]

Secret Project {the reveal}

August 17, 2011

Secret Project {the reveal}

A few weeks ago I posted the “Secret Project” with some shots of  a friend’s new winery taking shape. At the time, the space was still in a raw state, holes in the ground, bare walls, cut concrete. In terms of photographing a new winery, one might say there was not much to see, no [...]

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