California Central Coast Wine Recommendation: What is One Central Coast Wine Worth Seeking Out? asked our panel of wine experts their recommendation for one California Central Coast wine worth seeking out (but which won't break the bank): Tucked into the sun-drenched hills of Paso Robles, the vineyards and winery of L’Aventure continue to impress. Directing the project from the soil up is Stephan Asseo, a ‘renegade’ vigneron who understands that incredible wine must be and can only be a truthful expression of place. Never short on sensibility, Asseo planted his warm Central Coast vineyards to Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon , and Petit Verdot in the late 1990’s and has since been reaping the benefits. Find L'Aventure Wines During a recent visit to the estate, I had the pleasure of tasting the 2006 L'Aventure Optimus , a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Syrah, 5% Petit Verdot. This is a big, big wine that is as friendly and approachable when young as it is soft, supple and voluptuous while it ages. If you can find it, try it. This wine frequently sells out and is highly sought after. (About $45) - Benjamin Spencer , a diploma student with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, writes for about wine from a winemaker's perspective.

Santa Barbara County Wine: The State of the Grape 2008

In about 1820, a San Antonio winery was built in what is now Goleta, just north of the City of Santa Barbara. The wine was made predominately for the missions as sacramental wine, but the padres undoubtedly made a little extra on the side. The lonely adobe winery is still standing and nearly 200 years later, the wine industry in Santa Barbara County is thriving, in spite of the fluctuations of the economy, transitional markets, fickle consumers and inconsistent harvests.

America’s Best Rhone Style Red Wines: 11th Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting Reviewed

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series. Last month we discussed the white Rhone style wines offered at the 2008 Rhone Rangers tasting event at Fort Mason in San Francisco on March 18. This month we turn to the reds, of which we tasted 50. Among those we tasted were some old favorites and some wineries or bottlings with which we were not yet familiar. We don’t pretend that we tasted a representative group of wines, because our sample was skewed to wines we have loved in the past and others about which we have heard positive comments.

Of Purpose, Pigmy Goats and Pinot Noir: Flying Goat Cellars

Norm Yost started his career into the world of wine as a beer drinking football player, specifically offensive guard and tackle. Sure, he was at UC Davis, but he had been recruited right out of high school to play football, Division 2, not to do any mamby-pamby wine related stuff. His roommate in college was studying fermentation science and enology and would conduct wine tastings, which got Norm's attention. “I was really intrigued by it,” he recalled.