My Pre-Harvest Assessment – 2020!

What’s going on with the weather,is this a part of the curse known as “Global Warming”? Whatever it is I don’t like it. First, the season started with unusually cooler weather with occasional rains which are very rare in May in this region. And now we have the longest heat wave and extreme fluctuations in […]

“Thou shall not make but authentic wines” – The eleventh commandment

Recently I participated in a panel with six other winemakers to discuss our views on the different styles of wine. One of the winemakers in the panel, representing a well-known, high-end winery, specializing in producing Zinfandels stated that their style of wine is “authentic,” explaining that their varietal wines are always 100% of one variety. […]

The Culture of Aging of Wine

In my mind the aging of wine is definitely a culture. Just think about it. Is it so obvious that a wine will improve with aging? Quite the contrary. If you consider wine to be a food, like you should, the quality of all foods, without exception, will decline with aging. That is why food […]

The Art of Blending

I have some great plans for 2020.  I am putting together a workshop to teach you how to make blends.  But first listen to this: The tradition of making blends from different wine varieties, practiced mainly in the old-world wine regions, dates back to at least 500 years.  As an example, all the wines made […]

The Gallery Collection Club – A Historical Perspective

Before I started the Gallery Collection Club in 2003, I looked around to see what other wineries were doing.  I was surprised to find out that all they were doing was packaging 2 – 6 bottles of their regular wines that they were selling in their tasting room every day and shipping them to their […]

“Noble Grapes” and Other Wine Metaphors –

“Noble Grapes” and Other Wine Metaphors – Have you ever run across the term “noble grapes” and wondered what it means? I have, many times. And to be truthful I wasn’t so sure what it really meant until I investigated. I did not expect to find out that “noble grapes” is a term used to […]

Wine Snobs And Their Cronies

I analyzed this subject very carefully and arrived at the conclusion that there are three kinds of wine snobs: The Regular Wine Snob, the Fake Wine Snob and the Wannabe Wine Snob.  In this article I will describe each one of them at length. The Regular Wine Snob is a special breed of wine lover […]

“2 + 2 = 1” . . . . Our Newest Wine . . . . A Fascinating Story . . .

I am very excited to introduce a new wine called “2+2=1.”  This is serious, I am not joking.  It’s the kind of math that only Einstein can understand.  I created this wine in collaboration with JOLO, a very fine winery from North Carolina, recently nominated as one the seven best wineries outside of California. The […]

Terroir (Revisited) and how it relates to the culture of aging wine

While I already covered the subject of Terroir in my January 2018 Winemaker’s Corner, I decided to revisit this topic since I feel that I left this article somewhat unfinished.  If you are interested in reading my first article, please visit my blog, which you can find on our website  The concept of Terroir, […]

Old Vines Make Better Wines – Myth or Reality

It’s quite common among wine drinkers to believe that “Old Vines Make Better Wines,” since this statement has been traditionally supported by many influential wine magazines and reviewers.  In my opinion, this is not a question that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” I recently purchased 15 different brands of Zinfandel at […]

Cloning – An Old Art in a New World

My winemaking career began in the year 2000 after my wife Elisheva and I decided to purchase 209 acres of raw land in the Shenandoah Valley AVA in El Dorado County. Within a couple of years, we built a winery and planted 20 acres of vineyards, which were expanded to 45 acres over the years. […]

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 […]