Wineries

Raymond Vineyards

May 26, 2011
Raymond Vineyards

Looking for something a little different? Raymond Vineyards fits the bill and then some. Interested in organic and biodynamic farming? They’ve got that. Want to meet a weed-eating sheep named Woolly Wonka? Check. Meanwhile, if you want to  indulge your inner hedonist there’s the Crystal Cellar, which has the usual tanks, etc., you’d find...
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Inglenook Returns

April 12, 2011
Inglenook Returns

  Francis Ford Coppola has worked for years to restore the good name of the Napa Valley’s Inglenook winery. This week he made it literal with the announcement that he had acquired the Inglenook trademark. The director _ although these days he may be known as much for wine as for movies _ also...
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Sterling Vineyards

April 6, 2011
Sterling Vineyards

Sure, there are a lot of great vistas in Northern California wine country. But if you had to pick just one place that would be Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga. You know you’re someplace different when you step into the aerial tram that whisks you up a steep hillside to the winery, a white, monastic-style...
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Calling all Raymonds

April 6, 2011
Calling all Raymonds

Is your name Raymond? The folks at Raymond Vineyards want to hear from you. In what has to be one of the more charming campaigns I’ve come across recently, the winery is interested in hearing from people with the first, last or middle name of Raymond for its I Am Raymond Club. Membership is free...
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Harvest is Happening

September 13, 2010
Harvest is Happening

Harvest is getting its groove on in the Napa Valley. The sparkling wine houses _ who want grapes with a little less sugar than those used for still wines _ have been picking for a few weeks. And I recently had the chance to experience one of the harbingers of harvest, the annual Blessing of the...
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Far Niente Turns 125

July 19, 2010
Far Niente Turns 125

  The Far Niente Winery is turning 125 this year. And the old girl is looking good.  A birthday like that merits a party and that’s what the owners did this weekend, throwing open their gates to about 800 people who flooded the grounds to dine, hear music from world-famous performers _ Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and...
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Domaine Carneros

May 21, 2010
Domaine Carneros

  This handsome property is elegantly styled in the fashion of an 18th-century French chateau. It sits on a slight prominence overlooking the gently rolling vineyards of the Carneros vineyards at the southern tip of the Napa Valley. From the front, the chateau has a staircase worthy of Cinderella _ this is a great...
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Shafer Vineyards

May 14, 2010
Shafer Vineyards

I first visited Shafer Vineyards in 2002. Back then, I knew even less about wine than I do now. For one thing I wore a floaty skirt and slides. Just the thing for walking through the vineyards. For another, as I recall, I merely smiled vaguely when offered a glass of Hillside Select. OK,...
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Rubicon retrospective

March 26, 2010
Rubicon retrospective

If you’re looking for a wine country trip to impress the in-laws or assorted other out-of-towners, Rubicon Estate’s not a bad place to pick. There’s something for movie buffs; the estate is owned _ and was painstakingly restored _ by director Francis Ford Coppola and wife Eleanor. There’s something for history buffs, too, the...
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Travels in France

Lovely Languedoc

  I don’t think six weeks is a long time to take to put together a slideshow on my visit to the Languedoc, do...
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Party like a paparazzi at the Cannes Film Festival

Two things are vital if you want to chase stars at the Cannes Film Festival. First, you need to know a clued-in and friendly...
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