Chasing Fire and Flavor: Wine Tasting on the Slopes of Mount Etna
By Jamie Knee   |   June 4, 2024

As summer approaches, the allure of Sicily beckons more travelers, especially following the buzz generated by the show White Lotus. This enchanting island off the southern coast of Italy offers an intoxicating blend of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. In the captivating setting of the shimmering turquoise Mediterranean Sea, fragrant citrus groves, and the dramatic […]

A Winery Takes on Mental Health: Alma Rosa to Host 5th Annual Fundraiser Walk
By Gabe Saglie   |   April 30, 2024

Winemaker Samra Morris and I are sharing wine, and the conversation soon turns to mental health. “It’s a common human experience,” she tells me, “and yet people are still scared to share their struggles with it, for fear that they will be judged.” We agree that COVID exacerbated mental health issues for many of us. […]


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Picpoul de Pinet: Sipping the Maritime Charms of the Languedoc
By Jamie Knee   |   April 9, 2024

Embarking on a recent escapade to the sun-kissed Languedoc region in southern France was like stepping into a masterpiece painted with historic cities, awe-inspiring landscapes, and a cultural tapestry woven with richness. The Languedoc AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) wine region has transformed from a hub of bulk production wines to a powerhouse crafting high-quality gems. […]

Vintners in Ventura 
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 26, 2024

The Ventura Spring Wine Walk & Vendor Fair showcases wineries and craft breweries as well as merchants and other businesses in historic downtown Ventura this Saturday, March 23. The event kicks off with a free Vendor Fair from 11 am – 6:30 pm where local shops, artisans, and other sellers fill Main Street amid continuous […]

Uncorking Rioja: A Wine Journey Like No Other
By Jamie Knee   |   March 12, 2024

As I set foot into the legendary Rioja wine region, I knew I was about to embark on a journey like no other. After enduring countless delays, my long-awaited adventure – to Rioja, Spain, for the prestigious Rioja Wine Educator Certification Course – felt like a triumphant victory. Nestled in the heart of Spain, Rioja […]

Sipping Season: High-Profile Events Target Wine Lovers
By Gabe Saglie   |   March 5, 2024

It’s never too early for great wine. Each year, March marks the start of what I call the Sipping Season. In the vineyards, bud break will begin – dormant vines waking up to welcome what’ll become the year’s harvest. And across the Santa Barbara area, high-profile wine events will begin, too – unique opportunities for […]

In the Name of Love: Experts Choose Seductive Wines for Valentine’s Day
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 13, 2024

I blurted out the word “seductive” to my wife recently, though I was actually describing a wine we were sharing. The 2014 Pas de Deux ($65 at from the Kukkula winery in Paso Robles’s Adelaida District is a 50-50 blend of syrah and grenache, a combination I love. This bottling was extra special, though, […]

  • Crafting Red Wines and Sipping Santa Barbara’s Pinot Noir
    By Jamie Knee   |   February 13, 2024

    As winter sweeps into Santa Barbara, its crisp touch ignites an irresistible craving for soul warming meals, and the perfect wines to match. Embracing hearty pastas, savory stews, and dishes that stick to your ribs, this season demands the company of bold, full-bodied red wines. Many of us savor the richness of red wine, understanding […]

    Santa Maria Valley: A Wine and Fun-Filled Weekend Escape for Santa Barbara Locals
    By Jamie Knee   |   December 12, 2023

    As a wine and travel writer, I’ve had the privilege of exploring some of California’s most charming wine regions. However, I recently stumbled upon a hidden gem a mere hour’s drive from Santa Barbara but a world away in terms of experiences: Santa Maria Valley.  With 34 tasting rooms, over 50 restaurants, and unique attractions […]


    The 12 Wines of Christmas: Local Corks to Pop This Holiday Season
    By Gabe Saglie   |   December 5, 2023

    With last week’s Thanksgiving feasting behind us, the season of holiday eating has officially arrived! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing meals that will run the gamut in terms of flavors and textures, and that means our lineup of wines will need to be just as diverse, to match. Here are 12 wines […]

    Sipping Success and Inclusivity A Toast to Central Coast Women in Wine
    By Jamie Knee   |   November 21, 2023

    On Wednesday, November 1, the inaugural event of Central Coast Women in Wine (CCWW) at La Lieff Wines unfolded as a remarkable evening of celebration and empowerment. The event was hosted by Founders Gretchen Lieff, La Lieff Wines and myself, Jamie Knee (Petite Wine Traveler), sharing a deep passion for the world of wine, and […]

    A Wine Guide for a Joyful Season
    By Jamie Knee   |   November 21, 2023

    The holidays are upon us, and it’s a time of delightful chaos. There’s the turkey to roast, gifts to hunt down, parties to attend, and family clamoring for an invite to the American Riviera for the holidays. As a local Montecito wine specialist, clients often turn to me to curate their wine pairings for festive […]

    Local Holiday Gift Ideas 2023
    By Montecito Journal   |   November 20, 2023

    Rare Brazilian Cabochon Paraiba Tourmaline surrounded by 114 diamonds, set in 18 kt yellow gold and platinum. For over 40 years, Silverhorn has been renowned for its handcrafted jewelry, using rare gemstones and exemplary craftsmanship. Known for award-winning creativity, each piece is artfully crafted with precision. At their Design Studio in Montecito, clients can observe […]

    Across the Valley: Presqu’ile Winery Announces Strategic Expansion
    By Gabe Saglie   |   November 14, 2023

    Presqu’ile’s just-announced land purchase will give it a footprint across two of Santa Barbara County’s most revered wine-growing sites. The family-owned winery has already made a name for itself with the wines produced at its Santa Maria Valley location. Founded in 2007 by the Murphy family, the 123-acres estate just north of Highway 101 is […]