New Clairvaux Winery - Vina, CA

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 16:29 -- johnk

New Clairvaux Vineyard Sign

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 Vineyards - Muscadine Grape

Sun, 02/01/2015 - 09:10 -- johnk

Spiriterra Winery


Paul (died November 2019) and the vineyard was sold

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?

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 16:49 -- johnk

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).

Monterey Wine Country

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 14:49 -- johnk

  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.                              

Moseley Family Cellars- Shasta Cascade

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 13:14 -- johnk

Moseley Family Cellars is a small, family-owned winery in Redding California. Mimi and Marty did not start out with tons of dollars in the bank when starting Moseley Family Cellars. However, Mimi and Marty Moseley had tons of passion and some experience in traveling around this planet for a few years and being involved with other ventures. 

With encouragement from friends and family, Marty and Mimi have realized their dream to establish Moseley Family Cellars was born. This couple has eagerly established themselves in the Redding business community and shared their love of fine handcrafted wines. The result was a great wine experience.

The Moseley’s chose to search out the best grapes from top quality vineyards throughout California (Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and local vineyards) to create their sought-after wines. Purchasing grapes, as opposed to growing them allowed for the flexibility to craft Moseley Family Cellar wines exactly the way they wanted. In the winery, Marty and Mimi Moseley take top-quality grapes from the harvest to the crush and through fermentation, all the way through aging to bottling.

Dakaro Cellars - California's Shasta Cascade

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 17:00 -- johnk


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.


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