Sonoma County: Articles on California's Sonoma County Wine Region

2003 Chateau St. Jean Reserve Merlot - IntoWineTV Episode 92

"@#$% Sideways! Merlots that Rock". Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Laely Heron, Bartholomew Broadbent, and Loren Sonkin taste and discuss the 2003 Chateau St. Jean Reserve Merlot from Sonoma County, California.

Agoston Haraszthy: The Father of California Wine

If you take a moment to ponder who deserves the title as Father of Californian wine, a few names may pop into mind. Limiting our scope to recent generations, Robert Mondavi might be the most obvious choice, as he helped to transition Napa Valley from its post-prohibition bulk wine doldrums to its rightful place among the greats of the modern wine producing regions.

California Pinot Noir, Sonoma - Wine Vintage Chart

California Pinot Noir    
2009 90 D/H
2008 91 D/H

Judgment of Paris: Film "Bottle Shock" Brings the Paris Tasting of 1976 to the Big Screen

Bottle Shock On May 24, 1976, Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant hoping to stoke sales at his French-wine-only shop, held a wine competition in Paris. In this competition French judges were invited to blind-taste top chardonnays and cabernet sauvignons from France and California. In an event that would later be dubbed the Judgment of Paris, the California wines –included merely to serve as the “sacrificial lambs” to the supposedly superior French wines- won the competition in a shocking upset. This singular event revolutionized the wine industry and put California on the map as a major world producer of fine wine.

This story comes to life on the silver screen for the first time with the film Bottle Shock, starring Bill Pullman, Alan Richman, and Dennis Farina among other notables. I recently chatted with Bottle Shock Co-Writer and Producer Jody Savin about the film.

Why this film now?

To answer this question in a socio-political sense, I would venture to say that we live in challenging times.

Sonoma Winemaker Merry Edwards: A Viticulture and Winemaking Pioneer

Merry Edwards Sorting Grapes There is nothing I enjoy more in my role here at IntoWine than when I get to interview wine industry pros. "Peeking under the hood" and hearing what an accomplished winemaker has to say about their passion is simply fascinating. Recently I had the great fortune of chatting with Sonoma winemaker Merry Edwards about her career, her winemaking philosophy, and Merry Edwards Wines, her eponymous wine label and life-long dream. A pioneer for women in the winemaking industry, Merry Edwards is a renowned viticulturist and winemaker. Her work over the past 30 years has garnered her numerous awards and accolades including being named the "2004 Winemaker of the Year" by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wildcat Mountain: Carneros' and Sonoma's Coolest Vineyard

When veteran winemaker Steve MacRostie went looking for a new vineyard to plant his chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah he discovered Wildcat Mountain in the Carneros/Sonoma region.  "I felt Wildcat would push the envelope, something untried.  The cooler climates, the stressful site, the thinner soils; this is not a safe place to set up a farming operation.  In a business sense it was probably rather stupid," he said plainly.

Tandem Wines' Greg La Follette on Terroir, Points, and Pinot Noir

Greg La Follette is one of the most revered winemakers in Sonoma County, if not the entire wine industry. His wines at both Flowers and his own label, Tandem Wines, have earned numerous accolades. In person, however, his prominence seems more like water under the bridge. Strikingly unpretentious and engaging, Greg La Follette shows far more interest in what you think about his wines today than he does about how they score or what critics say. IntoWine had the good fortune of chatting with Greg recently about winemaking, terroir, and the blessed curse of wine scoring systems.

Winemaker David Vergari Talks Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and....Armed Guards?

Sometimes there are people you encounter in life who, the minute you meet them, you think "This guy has a story to tell and I bet he tells it well." David Vergari is that guy. A veteran winemaker, David launched his own eponymous label, Vergari Wines, in 2003. He recently sat down with IntoWine to share with us his evolution as a winemaker and, most interestingly, the stories "behind the wine".

You founded the Vergari Wine Company in 2003. What inspired you to strike out on your own?

It happened in two ways: gradually, then quite suddenly.

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