Arrowood Vineyards & Winery in Glen Ellen offers Viognier as well as the usual staples like Chardonnay. Photo: Chris Stewart, The Chronicle 2006 / SF Arrowood Vineyards & Winery in Glen Ellen offers Viognier as...
Red Wine India Sonoma never fails to surprise me. Just when I think I've figured it out, it drops another chip onto the table and reveals an unexpected hand.
Wine To India For that reason, I seek out the improbable when I head up Highway 101. While Sonoma is one of California's historic wine regions, with a legacy of making not just fancy wines but the bottles (and jugs, and casks) that quenched a nation's thirst well before Prohibition, that's a jumping-off point for exploring the region's unexpected treasures.
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John Shafer and his family brought a surprisingly haphazard and improvisational approach to learning the winery trade, but Jay McInerney finds that the results are some of Napa Valley's finest wines.
Wines In India Like more than a few Napa Valley wineries, Shafer Vineyards had its inception in a midlife crisis. John Shafer was a 48-year-old former bomber pilot working for a textbook publisher in Chicago when he decided to pile his family into the station wagon not long after reading a 1972 Bank of America investors report about the bright future of the California wine industry. Just how quixotic a gamble this move was is vividly illustrated in "A Vineyard in Napa," a memoir by John's son Doug Shafer. Shafer has become one of Napa's most beloved and dependable brands—the wine-world equivalent of Danny Meyer's New York restaurant group—despite fire, biblical infestations of insects in the vineyards, bacterial spoilage in the cellar, as well as self-professed ignorance and incompetence among the principals.
Red Wine India Anyone who imagines the wine world as an exclusive club wherein snobs sniff and sneer at the masses would be pleasantly surprised to meet John and Doug Shafer. Unlike many who took up vinous second careers in Napa, John Shafer wasn't a wine lover with a palate honed by French grand crus; he drank bourbon and the occasional bottle of Mateus. Now 88, he has a manner as straightforward and upright as his posture, his Midwestern earnestness plainly visible beneath the urbane demeanor of a former sales executive. Doug, who was 17 when he left Chicago, has way more California in his makeup; he's less polished and less reserved than his father and is by his own admission more comfortable outdoors in the vineyard than at a cocktail party. Until recently neither had ever visited any of the renowned wine regions of Europe. But meanwhile they created one of the world's most coveted red wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon called Hillside Select.
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Napa Valley accounts for less than 4 percent of America’s total wine production. Yet it’s the country’s best-known wine region.
India Wines Napa rocketed to the forefront of American winemaking in 1976, when British wine merchant Steven Spurrier organized a wine competition in Paris to pit California’s best Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon against the best wines France had to offer.
Wines In India Everyone assumed that France would win. After all, the nation had been making wine for thousands of years and was widely regarded as the world’s top wine region. But with both its whites and reds, California won.
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Have you ever heard an Argentine speak Spanish? Many people around the world claim the accent in Argentina is the most distinct and precise of any Spanish-speaking country in the world.
Wine In India Alma Negra Sparkling Malbec That’s right: a sparkling Malbec. Every year we get just a bit of this, and everyone goes crazy for it, and it disappears so quickly it seems like it wasn’t even here. Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to try this fascinating and alluring wine. The amazing thing about this Malbec is that the process of making it sparkling keeps the finish very dry; so although it has the power and scope of a Malbec, it’s presence is remarkably light. With Thanksgiving and other holidays coming up, this is sure to be a great addition to your table.
India Wines Nieto Torrontes Torrontes is always an aromatic and floral wine. A friend once described it “like drinking the flowers of fruit trees.” Torrontes as a grape just continues to gain momentum and reputation, and has been the favorite at a number of our earlier tastings. Here’s another great example then! The Nieto has more of a citrus presence, yet still carries the floral and apple notes. The unique feature of this selection however is that it simultaneously seems sweet and yet dry too.
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The ghouls are beginning to crawl out, spiderwebs are getting tangled, decorations and candy are abound and we are all getting into Halloween party mode. In that case, why not arrive in costume with a bottle of Halloween-appropriate wine.
India Wine A spooky label is a good start -- and there are plenty of wines we can recommend with spooky labels. They may look scary (and even have a frightening backstory to boot) but they are delicious.
Wine In India Gray Ghost Chardonnay Anything with ghost in the name deserves a nod on Halloween. Named for a long-dead Confederate colonel, the wine may not have quite a paranormal association but it certainly has a haunting history.
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