Refugio Ranch – a hideway for the stars

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After the mayhem of the Wine Bloggers Conference had subsided a bit, the #QBP (and token Joe) decided to stick around a bit longer an enjoy the relative peace of Los Olivos on a Sunday afternoon. As luck would have it, fearless leader Melanie had arranged for a visit to Refugio Ranch Winery for some […]

Ballard Canyon – Syrah Incubator

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Wrapping up my week in Buellton at the Wine Bloggers Conference, the focal tasting seminar on Ballard Canyon and its Syrah was the highlight of the conference for me.  One of the newest AVAs, Ballard Canyon was established within the Santa Ynez Valley in 2013.  Long known as an excellent source for Grenache and Syrah, the area […]

Exploring the wines of Santa Barbara County

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After our #QPB left Los Olivos and settled back in to WBC mode, we had one more adventure to see too before the official conference began.  Earlier this year, I was thrilled to be a guest of the San Francisco Wine School’s inaugural 3-day intensive California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) program, for which I know […]

Kaena & Beckmen: One winemaker, two stories

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 After #GoingRogue with Tercero, it was time to meander down the road a bit to Beckmen Vineyards, were the #QBP had a barrel tasting arranged with Keana and Beckman winemaker, Mikel Sigouin.  I first met Mikel last year at Rhone Rangers in San Francisco, and when I mentioned that some wine bloggers were going to be in […]

Grenache, Garnacha, Garnatxa

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I love Grenache, Garnacha, Garnatxa. There are so many variations that it’s hard to keep track!  From the Rhone to California to the desert crumbled hills of Priorat, Grenache and I have a love affair. Grenache even has it’s own day, in late September, where lovers from around the world converge on Twitter (#GrenacheDay) to […]

A Graceful Grenache

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When I first met Angela Osbourne, she was working with the Natural Process Alliance (NPA) in Santa Rosa in 2010.  I had the opportunity to taste some of her early incarnations and knew we were in for a treat. Originally from New Zealand, Angela moved to California in 2006 to pursue her love of Grenache. […]

This is no shrinking violet!

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Belle Glos Pinot Noir are wines made for Cabernet lovers.  While each of the three vineyards used to make these wines is coastal, they all produce very different wines.  The Wagner family is well known for their contributions to thee wine industry in Napa, through their efforts at Caymus Vineyards.  Going back to the 1800s, the family has […]