Terroir… and AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas) Are they one and the same?

If you have been to any of my “Tasting with the Winemaker” sessions in our tasting room, chances are you heard me saying, “A wine has a sense of place.” What this really means is that a wine acquires some unique characteristics from the geographical place that the grapes are grown which can identify the […]


The Cork and Wine – A Friend or a Foe

Cork has been the traditional closure for wine bottles. While cloth, leather and clay closures preceded cork, it became the closure of choice in the 1700 after glass blowers were able to manufacture wine bottles of uniform size, shape and design. Some winemakers and other wine aficionados think that the choice of using cork as […]


Age-Worthy Wines – 2007 D’Arideaux Rouge – The Best

I am into my 18th year of winemaking. I went through 17 harvests and made about 200 different wines. Since I had been a wine collector for many years before I became a winemaker, it was very normal for me to want to set aside every year a few cases of the wine from my […]


2014 SandFire Red

With the release of a wine that I named SandFire Red we are celebrating the third anniversary of the Sand fire, which came very close to devastating our winery and our home in 2014. On July 25, 2017, a day before my birthday, the pungent smell of smoke woke me up at 5:00 AM.  I […]


Weather, Degree Days & the Quality of Wine

People have been asking me how this year’s wet weather will affect the quality of the 2017 vintage wine. We must have had at least 70 in. of rain, more than double the average yearly rainfall.  The rains kept coming down all the way into the month of June.  While at times, some parts of […]


“Savoir Vivre” and the French Culture of Wine

In 1998, before Elisheva and I even dreamt about having a winery, we sold our flavor company that we founded 20 years before to a French company from the South of France.  After the acquisition I continued working for them for an additional three years.  While Elisheva and I had travelled extensively in France, it […]


The Myths, Misconceptions & Fake News…About Wine

If you read wine magazines, wine columns in your daily paper or visit wine blogs, does it ever happen that you come across a statement that does not sound quite right to you.  It happens to me all the time.  I find some of these statements to be “myths”, “misconceptions” or plainly “fake news.” As […]


Questions People Ask Me…

I have been compiling a list of questions that people ask me about wine in general and my farming and winemaking techniques and philosophies.  In this winemaker’s corner I will discuss a few of the topics that interest many of our customers. To water or not to water, that’s the question? Recently I came across […]


Are the Millennials Taking Over the Wine Market?

Our original customer base which consisted of predominantly baby-boomers and Gen-X is aging and getting replaced by younger consumers.  In order for us to continue our presence in the wine market it behooves us to understand the character, habits and life style of the new generation known as the millennials.   Recent statistics show that the […]


Aging of Wine 101

Whenever I release a new wine I am often asked to predict its age-worthiness.   If a wine is “age-worthy” it implies that it will improve with aging.   While it is undeniable that wines change with aging, it is questionable whether these changes are always positive.   During aging chemical reactions take place that alter the flavor […]


My Satirical Wine Related New Year’s Resolution

While winemaking has been my lifelong dream it hadn’t materialized until 2001.  Without any doubt the transition into winemaking was one of the most exciting periods of my life.  As this year is drawing to an end and I am starting the 15th year of my winemaking career, I have been doing some soul searching […]


A Time for Reflection-Our Beliefs, Convictions & Core Values

This is Elisheva, Chaim’s wife, partner of 44 years and co-owner of C.G. Di Arie.  Chaim asked me to author the “Winemaker’s Corner” this month.  It’s been 15 years since we first landed in the Sierra Foothills.  During this time our lives changed dramatically.  From being city dwellers we became farmers and in a way […]


Winespeak – Revisited

Winespeak, the language created by wine lovers to describe their wine drinking experience, has no grammar nor rules or boundaries.  For the most part it uses metaphors.  While making and drinking wine goes back to biblical times, winespeak is a language that was created just recently by the baby boomer generation in the post 60’s […]


Bootleggers & Baptists – The Politics of Wine

Recently I came across a book by the name of “Bootleggers and Baptists” that attracted my attention in its unusual title and controversial subject matter.  This catchy phrase was created by Bruce Yandle, an academician and a regulatory economist about 30 years ago.   In a simplified way this theory holds that in order for a […]


Cabernet – from rags to double gold

The Sierra Foothills are probably one of the least known wine regions in California.  It is not because it lacks the right components for creating world class wines.  In fact the desert-like climate of dry hot days and cool nights coupled with soils that are mainly sandy loam and decomposed granite are ideal for growing […]


A Tale of Two “Wine Mavens” – A One Act Tragedy

In this Winemaker’s Corner, I am going to do something that I have never done before – I will pretend to be a playwright.   I have a story to tell which I would like to present it in the form of a play.  To make this perfectly clear, so that I am not accused of […]


Matchmaker! Make me a Match!

(Between Wine and Food) Whenever I pour one of my delectable wines, our food-loving club members often ask me what food would best pair with this wine. In the following paragraphs I will outline a few of my ideas some of which may be quite different than what other people think about this subject. This […]


When Your Heart’s on Fire, You Must Realize, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

When the fire was raging around our property on July 25 this iconic song from my youth came back to me as a reminder of how pain and joy can coexist together in so many different ways. I refused to believe that the fire that started on Sand Hill Road and HW 49, 5 miles […]


Who Needs the 100 Point Scale?

Robert Parker was the first one to use the 100 point scale for evaluating wines in the early 70’s introducing it into his publication “The Wine Advocate”. It took 10 years for Marvin Shanken from the Wine Spectator to follow suit and ten years later in the mid 90’s the two remaining wine magazines Wine […]


Resveratrol Conspiracy – Re-visited

This is not the first time that I am writing about Resveratrol, the chemical naturally occurring in wine and a few other foods which has some amazing therapeutic and disease preventing properties. In an era where people for the most part have become strongly chemophobic the overwhelming interest received by Resveratrol is extraordinary. Right or […]