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Goldeneye Winery: It’s Never Too Early for a Good Christmas Story

Goldeneye Winery: It’s Never Too Early for a Good Christmas Story

By Bob Johnson This is a Christmas story. CHAPTER 1 In 1996, some eight years before the movie “Sideways” sparked the widespread planting of Pinot Noir vineyards from Santa Barbara County to Mendocino County, the Goldeneye Winery was… Read more


A Pleasant Surprise in the O.C.’s South County

A Pleasant Surprise in the O.C.’s South County

By Bob Johnson I have to be honest: When I dropped by Rancho Capistrano Winery, located just steps from the historic mission founded by Father Junipero Serra in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., in 1776, I wasn’t expecting much. A winery in the… Read more


Bunn Thai Bistro in Grover Beach, California

Bunn Thai Bistro in Grover Beach, California

Bunn Thai Bistro By Mary Frederiksen, AKA The Happy Cooker The past two summers, we have visited Nipomo, California for an extended stay vacation. During the summer months, this town offers cool weather with daytime highs in the 70s. This is… Read more


A Benchmark Celebration: Fiddlehead Cellars 728

A Benchmark Celebration: Fiddlehead Cellars 728

By Glen Frederiksen You may recall my discussion of this event, now in its third year, HERE. It just so happened that the Happy Cooker and Your Humble Scribe were in the Central Coast at the time of the event, and decided to cruise in…. Read more


In Conversation with Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke Cellars

In Conversation with Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke Cellars

By Glen Frederiksen One of the most anticipated highlights of our annual summer escape to the cool climes of California’s Central Coast is visiting with Victor Gallegos, General Manager of Sea Smoke Cellars in Santa Rita Hills. We met up at… Read more


Ten Acre: Carving Out a Niche in the Russian River Valley

Ten Acre: Carving Out a Niche in the Russian River Valley

By Bob Johnson Bella Vineyards is known for Zinfandel, as my recent blog on the Dry Creek Valley estate demonstrated. Proprietors Scott and Lynn Adams have worked hard to develop the brand and the reputation. But they do not live on the Bella… Read more


Arrowood: The Legend, the Winery

By Glen Frederiksen One of the first Chardonnays I fell in love with back in the mid-1980s was the Robert Young bottling from Chateau St. Jean. I remember looking up the winemaker, to see who had crafted such a precise, beguiling wine. It was… Read more


Bella Vineyards: A ‘Fun’ Approach to Zinfandel

Bella Vineyards: A ‘Fun’ Approach to Zinfandel

By Bob Johnson Mention the word “fun” when discussing wine, and many people would envision a glass of blush or perhaps a rosé… typically with a hint (or a lot) of sweetness. A rustic sign welcomes visitors to Bella Vineyards in the Dry… Read more


Hilliard Bruce Winery: Breeding Fine Wines in the Santa Rita Hills

Hilliard Bruce Winery: Breeding Fine Wines in the Santa Rita Hills

By Glen Frederiksen Sometimes, the Wine Muse cannot be ignored. For John Hilliard, a brush with death more than a decade ago led him to the Santa Rita Hills of California to pursue his life-long passion for wine. He and wife Christine Bruce… Read more


A Fun Way to Celebrate Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

By Glen Frederiksen For thirty years now, I have been chasing after my personal wine muse, and I have had many wonderful experiences along the Appellation Highways of the wine world. Being a Southern California native, it was only natural that I… Read more