All posts tagged: Wine Education

San Antonio Winery – A Los Angeles Landmark in Winemaking

Did you know Los Angeles was once the main wine-producing region in California? The first grapes in the Downtown Los Angeles area were planted in 1833. By 1890, there were vineyards that stretched throughout the majority of the Southern California region, with over 80 wineries in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, Prohibition in 1920 wiped out most of these vineyards, since the production, sale, and transportation of alcohol was prohibited. San Antonio Winery was only three years old when Prohibition began.  The founder, Santo Cambianica found a way to adapt to the situation.  A loophole in the act allowed the production of sacramental wine. Cambianca, a devout Catholic, was able to stay in business by selling the wine for religious services. This was a turn of genius and actually established San Antonio Winery as the largest producer of communal wine in the United States. At the time Prohibition began, the winery was producing around 5,000 cases of wine.  By the end of Prohibition in 1933, San Antonio Winery was producing over 20,000 cases of wine. After …

Featured Winery of the Week – Ampelos Cellars

I’ve been a longtime fan of Ampelos Cellars, but I had never been to their tasting room at the Wine Ghetto in Lompoc, California.  On my quest to discover more about biodynamic wines and farming, my Partner in Wine, Adrienne and I made a trip there and arrived just as they opened.  There is nothing better than having the tasting room all to yourself if you want to have a conversation with the person behind the bar. The wine lineup did not disappoint.  We tasted through a Viognier, Rose of Syrah, two Pinot Noirs, Grenache, Syrache (Grenache/Syrah – read my review here), and a Syrah.  I hoped to try the new bubbles, but none were open.  The tasting notes provided were fantastic and fun with descriptions like, the Pinot Noir is “your best friend from childhood.  The one who never told your mom.” Ampelos Cellars is known for using organic, sustainable and biodynamic farming techniques, and was the first vineyard in the US to be certified in all three. This means they focus on what …

Palate Fatigue

Posts about my quick trip to Santa Barbara Wine Country are coming…but first!! Let’s talk about PALATE FATIGUE. What are your tricks and tips to avoid it? There are a few things I do: 🍷1. The first thing I do is share tastings. I know for most of you this might sound like sacrilege. However, I find sharing tastings not only keeps me honest and clear, but I’m able to taste more before my palate decides it’s done. 🍿2. I like to break up tasting with some food or coffee. It doesn’t have to be a lot. A handful of popcorn helps. It’s just nice to refresh and reset. 💦3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I’m sure this is not news to any of you, but drinking a lot of water helps to keep things fresh. 👅4. When visiting tasting rooms, I rarely hit more than 3 or 4 in one day. Wine events and conferences are a different creature (you will see me spitting at those 😮). At tasting rooms, I like to sip, enjoy and …