Judy Schultze interest in wine and winemaking goes back about 25 years, when she first lived in Chicago, but took numerous business and pleasure trips to Europe, and began learning about winemaking in France. The attraction to the world of wine continued when Judy and her husband Jim lived overseas, first Australia for five years, where they came to love Australian wines, particularly the small boutique wineries near where they lived in Melbourne; then England for two years, which enabled them to make frequent trips to the vineyards of France, Italy and Spain.
Judy and Jim Schultze are the sole proprietors of Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards and Winery. This pair is dedicated to making the finest wine possible combining the best of Burgundian tradition with recent advances in winemaking knowledge. The sole focus of this winery is on the two great varietals from Burgundy, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, grown in their own estate vineyards.
In the summer of 1994, Judy returned home to the central coast of California; in 1995, land adjacent to their property in Corralitos became available, and this is when Judy and her wine-loving partner began to think of growing grapes. The two of them started doing research as to which grapes were most suitable to their microclimate in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, and found that it was uniquely suited for pinot noir grapes. (Wine Spectator has identified the Santa Cruz Mountain appellation as the most underrated wine appellation in the world.)
Westbrook Wine Farm - Vineyard and Winery was conceived and created by Tammy Krause and California wine industry veteran, Ray Krause in 1995. After a ten year search for the heat summations, elevation, orientation, air drainage, soils, hydrology and market proximity, the O’Neals location at 1500 feet in elevation near Bass Lake and the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park was selected. Their selection and search has rewarded them well as the vineyard has proven appropriate for growing the seven of the eight approved red Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. The 40 acre site was a challenge but the Krause's cleared the site for the vineyard and waterways were protected in cooperation with the USDA /NRCS fire fuel reduction and wildlife protection program.
In a tiny Northern California town called Vina, there's a winery that's definitely stands alone, a little off the beaten track. That likely because this area Tehama County is better known for olive groves and cattle ranches than grapes. Having been urged by more than one wine maker in the Shasta Cascade and in Tehama county to try New Clairvaux’s wines I recently made it a point to stop in on my way home from visiting my family in the Redding area. It was an interesting little detour jumping off Interstate 5 and over to Highway 99. I had not been on this part of 99 for some years. It was nice to drive past the orchards and ranches. I was looking forward to tasting the wines produced under the watchful eye of Aimee Sunseri who is the winemaker at New Clairvaux.
Spiriterra is a small family-run wine producer based in the hills of the Vaca Mountain Range – with vineyards above Lake Hennessey. Husband and wife, Paul and Shirley Dean moved here in 1996 after they took a trip to California to specifically watch the “Big Game” between Stanford and Cal Berkeley (their daughter Ashley was at Stanford at the time. Ashley has since joined with here parents in the family business). During their visit, they drove up to the Napa Valley to do some wine tasting when Paul happened to glance at one of the real estate magazines sitting outside one of the grocery stores and Paul called up one of the agents who introduced him to a hillside property, by the end of that week the Dean’s had purchased 52 hillside acres. The Dean Family uprooted themselves from their long time home in Connecticut and moved to the Napa Valley permanently. Several acres of Cabernet Sauvignon were planted on-site at the time of their purchase – and for many years they sold the fruit until 2009 when they held back all of this varietal and made their first Cabernet wine.
Which word do wine lovers and wine professionals most often misspell?
That word is palate.
It is often spelled as palette
(a small wooden or plastic disc artist use for paints)
(a foundation, often made of wood, for stacking items).
Are you looking for great scenery, wonderful cuisine and lots of sites to see? Great tasting wines come with the territory and you are welcome to Monterey Wine Country. Monterey County produces complex, balanced and somewhat pampered wines. Whether you choose a classic Chardonnay or Riesling, an elegant Pinot Noir and Merlot, a rich Cabernet or a Syrah you will agree that Monterey Wine Country and her vintners have much to offer.
Monterey has nine unique winegrowing regions and some 85 vintners. You will also find nearly 30 tasting rooms that open to the public. When you make your way down the California Wine Trails, with Monterey as your destination, you will be able to enjoy some of California’s fine products of the vine as well as take in some of most beautiful scenery California has to offer. So enjoy a little mental journey to Monterey as your read of her wine trail other pleasures that await your arrival.
What does fait accompli mean?
Boutique wineries seem to be springing up in ideal locations for the grapes and the wines they produce. David and Kathy Roth have developed just such a vineyard and winery in Whitmore. They have been creating wonderful wines from their eight acres of chosen varietals that blend beautifully to please the palates of a growing number of fans. I have made several stops by Dakaro Cellars to meet with the owners and enjoy some conversation on the veranda overlooking the vineyard and appreciate some of their well-crafted wines as well.
The Roth’s got started years ago with a passion and a dream. They both went back to school to learn everything they needed to know to begin their new venture. Kathy studied sustainable viticulture and David the art of winemaking. In 2006 they began preparing their land where Big Spring Vineyards sits just off Whitmore Road. Up the winding gravel road is a garden area that looks back over the vineyard with the winery hidden just over the ridge above. David and Kathy planted their first grapes in 2007. A local spring feeds their vines through a gravity flow watering system; they look forward to adding another eight acres of vines to the eight currently in production.