Finally, Pinot: New Releases Take Tercero Wines in New Direction
By Gabe Saglie   |   May 3, 2022

“People do tell me – ‘Wait, I thought you said you’d never do pinot!’” jokes winemaker Larry Schaffer. We’re chatting inside his sleek Tercero tasting room in downtown Los Olivos. And he’s pouring me his latest release: pinot noir. Schaffer’s Tercero label has always been a bastion for imaginative, thoughtful Rhône wines. And his approach […]

Mission Accomplished: New Rusack Visitor Center Redefines the Wine Tasting Experience
By Gabe Saglie   |   March 1, 2022

I’ve discovered the perfect afternoon sipper – Rusack Vineyards just released its 2021 Boundless Mission ($28), a wine that is, quite literally, history in a bottle. The mission grape was brought over to the Americas in the 1700s by Spanish Catholic missionaries who didn’t want to go without table and sacramental wine along the way. […]

 

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A Dozen Rosés: You’ll Love These Pink Wines for Valentine’s Day
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 11, 2022

It’s all about skin contact! An apropos start of a story about Valentine’s Day, I guess. But we’re talking wine here, and those pink sippers that look and smell and taste so pretty, they’re sure to be our go-to thirst quenchers this Valentine’s Day. That seductive hue is, indeed, the product of calculated contact between […]

A Bloom in the Air
By Ian Wickman   |   February 1, 2022

One of the things I love about Montecito this time of year is the incredible scents that start filling the air. Each week something new is wafting in the breeze. Today, as I walk out the door, a wall of jasmine greets me. Next, it will soon give way to the intoxicating aroma of orange […]

Calling All Pinot Lovers: Premier Wine Event Makes Santa Barbara Comeback
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 1, 2022

Pinot noir buffs from all over the world have their eyes – not to mention, their taste buds – set squarely on Santa Barbara. After a COVID-driven virtual-only experience last year, and a truncated live event at the pandemic’s onset in March of 2020, the World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) is making a big in-person […]

Sip Without the Buzz: Santa Barbara’s Miller Family Launches Alcohol-Free Wines
By Gabe Saglie   |   January 18, 2022

One of Santa Barbara’s most prolific wine producers just expanded its impressive portfolio. Miller Family Wine Company, with brands from high-end Bien Nacido to mainstream Butternut, premiered the Hand on Heart label earlier this month. What makes these wines unique is the alcohol – there isn’t any. Hand on Heart inaugural wines, with a launch […]

Year in Review: Wine
By Gabe Saglie   |   January 4, 2022

Wine Pioneer Jim Clendenen Passes Santa Barbara County lost one of its most prominent champions in 2021. Jim Clendenen passed away May 15 at age 68. His ebullient, electric personality was certainly a Clendenen calling card, much like his undulating blond hair and steady parade of loud shirts. “It’s funny, I always think that winemakers […]

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  • The Balancing Act
    By Ian Wickman   |   January 4, 2022

    As we wind down 2021 and ring in the new year, it is time to discuss the single most important concept in crafting a cocktail and that is balance. Balance is that elusive point where all the ingredients harmonize, and the result is so much more than the mere sum of its parts. Have you […]

    Game of Clones: Rusack Vineyards Launches New Lineup of Wines
    By Gabe Saglie   |   October 19, 2021

    The appeal of Rusack Vineyards’ brand new 2019 Sauvignon Blanc ($26) has a lot to do with a clone called musqué. Referred to as “clone 27” in the biz, it’s well-known for its powerful perfume. “We’re going for a really aromatic white wine style,” winemaker Steve Gerbac told me this week. “We want you to […]

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    Turning Tide: New Wine Label Spotlights Sustainability
    By Gabe Saglie   |   October 5, 2021

    Her new label, Turning Tide, marks a significant shift for winemaker Alisa Jacobson. As director of winemaking for 19 years for the mega producer Joel Gott, she oversaw the production of some 1.6 million cases of wine a year. With her new pet project, she’s spearheading a far smaller output of right around 1,000 cases […]

    Supreme Tribute: Montecito Importer’s New Wine Honors Justice Ginsburg
    By Gabe Saglie   |   September 21, 2021

    A Montecito importer is commemorating Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death with the launch of a limited-edition wine. The 2018 “Ruth” Special Edition Roussanne is an organic white wine produced in France. It’ll officially become available on September 18, to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the passing of the revered Supreme Court justice. Justice Ginsburg served […]

    Wine Parties Are Back: California Wine Festival Signals Post-Pandemic Return
    By Gabe Saglie   |   September 14, 2021

    When Travelzoo surveyed its 16 million U.S. member base early this summer, gauging comfort levels around events and activities, 34% said they were ready to attend a wine festival. And as the summer’s rolled on, and as vaccinations have increased, that number, even while tempered by the emergence of COVID-19 variants, has grown. That’s a […]

    Babcock Winds Down Summer with Vintage Market, Art + Wine Affair
    By Claudia Schou   |   September 7, 2021

    Expand your culinary palate this week at Babcock Winery’s Vintage Market, Art + Wine Event. Wine lovers can sip crisp or silky wines paired with savory, handcrafted dishes prepared by local catering outfit Valle Fresh. End the summer sipping rosé while shopping for unique finds for your closet and keepsakes for your home. The hillside […]

    Through Different Eyes: New Collaboration Showcases Famous Vineyard in New Light
    By Gabe Saglie   |   August 24, 2021

    Much of the storied reputation of Bien Nacido Vineyards stems from the scrupulous involvement of its owners. Brothers Bob and Steve Miller planted Bien Nacido — “well born” in Spanish — in 1973, a rolling plot in the Santa Maria Valley whose rocky soils and cool climate would go on to create one of the […]

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