Happy Canyon

Gargariste Wine Panel

The Garagiste Festival is one of those great wine events where visitors can discover numerous super small brands. In some cases these winemakers only produce a few barrels of wine. It is also worth mentioning that many of these wines are not found in a tasting room, or store shelves due to such low production.

Bob Tillman Eric Mohensi Larry Schaffer

The Saturday seminar in Solvang (Santa Ynez Valley) kicked off with a much lessor known varietal, Mourvedre. The panelist included (left) Bob Tillman from Alta Colina in Paso Robles, Eric Mohseni (middle) from the long time famed Zaca Mesa of Santa Barbara County, and Mr ...

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Adam Henkel Crown Point Wine


Recently I had the opportunity to speak with a former winemaker from a California cult winery, Adam Henkel. Adam packed his family and left behind Napa Valley and a few 100 point scores to come to Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara.
Q - How is the transition for you from Napa to Santa Barbara County?

A - "Certainly more relaxed down here even though this project itself is kind of pressure packed in terms of expectation for this property and the wines that come from this property, and I knew that coming in. I am cool with that, but it is much ...
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World of Pinot Noir


There are always a lot of wines to choose from, and it can be difficult to know what are suggested purchases without having tasted a wine. Few are willing to spend $30, $50, or more on a wine, hoping it will be money well spent.

Vintages change, picking decisions change, blendings can change, and sometimes even winemakers change. I am fortunate enough to taste many wines each year. Some wines I taste at various events and dinners, some are samples sent to me, while others may be tasted in the tasting room. When I see a wine scores a 95 ...

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3CV Cimarone Sauvignon Blanc 

Civil unrest for #CabernetDay 

Today is Cabernet day. As I sit in my home currently over 90 degrees and contemplate which bottle to drink for this Summer day, I cannot over come the heat element. Who doesn't love the king of grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon? I dig it, but cannot bear the thought of drinking Cabernet without sitting on a block of ice or at the very least leaning my head inside the refrigerated section of the grocery store.


While many will undoubtedly be sitting poolside basking in the Summer sun sipping Cabernet today in celebration, well, maybe not. So ...

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Cimarone Wine Le Clos Secret

Wine reviews seem to be widey prevalent with a variance of metrics as indicators for a wines quality. When a wine is worth buying, good or great, those are the only wines worthy of writing or discussing in my estimation. The other wine's simply should not be seen in my view. 

Cimarone 2010 Le Clos Secret is a wine worthy of drinking, buying, discussing, and yes posting here. This Bordeaux style is a seamless blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot, and 5% Malbec from the Cimarone estate located in Happy Canyon of ...

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Multiple Wine Glasses

When visiting the local grocery store, Trader Joes, or COSTCO to shop for wine, I see many people staring into an abyss of wine. I can see the struggle in some of their eyes of not knowing what they should purchase. Most people simply do not want to gamble their money on plonk wine. Research statistics indicate the vast majority select their purchases on price point being the number one contributor.  

Of course there are many different circumstances someone might want a bottle, but at the end of the day, everyone wants something that tastes palatable or better for a ...

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 Happy Canyon Street Sing

If you've had the pleasure of touring Santa Barbara's wine country, you likely visited some combination of Santa Maria Valley, Foxen Trail, Los Olivos, Sta Rita Hills, downtown "funk-zone," or Santa Ynez Valley. These fantastic wine trails are posted clearly on most wine maps. Not all of the great spots are included on the maps for mainstream wine travelers to visit, and not all spots are open to the public. Today's Santa Barbara wine business has grown over the years, including new discoveries and AVA's. One of the younger AVA's (2001) in California, and more ...

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Pinot Clone Post

The movie "Sideways" seems to be a beaten dead horse amongst the wine industry, so much so, it could be called the "S-word."  They say perception is reality and many people's knowledge base sometimes falls on a simple  movie. As exasperated as the discussions might be, the impact has been a lasting one. A well known winemaker called it the "Sideways bump." The Santa Barbara region was heavily blessed with a lot of wine travelers seeking the much talked about Pinot Noir with cash in hand.  While Santa Barbara county may produce some of the best Pinot Noir in ...

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