Author of ‘American Wine’ Doesn’t Seem to Know Much About American Wine

Jancis Robinson, author of 'American Wine'

In the introduction to her chapter on California in her newest book, American Wine, the preeminent British wine journalist Jancis Robinson writes, “California is the most important winegrowing state in the U.S., the granddaddy of them all in both prestige and production.” And of that small region within California, she says: “The Napa Valley AVA [...]

The Sex Life of Grapes

Anther fully extended

Flowers are everywhere in the spring in Northern California. On the sides of roads, in the cracks of sidewalks, between the rows of vines, clutched between your teeth. Roses are in full blush, patches of wild poppies dutifully perform their open-close routines with the rising and setting of the sun and the slutty manzanita bushes [...]

Water, Wind and Fire Fight Off Frost

Smudge Pots

After three weeks of nearly non-stop rainfall, it might seem strange to wake up and see sprinklers going off all over the Valley. Counterintuitively, those sprinklers are protecting the just-bursting buds from early-spring frost invasion. According to Tom Hsieh (pronounced shay) of Hanson-Hsieh vineyard in Oak Knoll, the water creates a layer around the bud [...]