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Life is Cabernet

Varietal Grandeur

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Add Madera to your list of weekend wine trip destinations. Yes, I can visualize your raised eyebrows. Madera?

Why would you want to go up the San Joaquin Valley to Madera to taste wine?

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Gold Standard

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Some years back, I was talking with Gary Eberle, the genial owner of Eberle Winery in Paso Robles, about why he enters wine competitions. He told me: “Only five percent of the people who come into our tasting room have ever heard of Robert Parker [considered America’s preeminent wine critic]. Only twenty percent have ever heard of the Wine Spectator [wine magazine]. But everyone understands a gold medal.”

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Vino Amour

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Two such wineries underscored for me how passion, commitment, focus, and great grape sources combine to make fabulous wine. Surh Luchtel Cellars and Selene Wines exemplify what happens when those qualities converge.

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Swirl & Burble

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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The biggest hurdle for the uninitiated wine drinker is wine’s complexity. It’s not a simple beverage. It’s a living thing with a lifespan much like a human’s. It’s like a bell-curve, going up from infancy and plateauing at maturity, then beginning a slow decline to old age.

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Zero Defects

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Rosa Lee deLeuze was holding court. She and her son, Brett, were at the recent Yosemite Vintners’ Holidays seminar in Yosemite National Park relating how their family got into the wine business.

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Vintage for the Ages

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Don Galleano was having a heck of a time with his new cellphone. Don is old school and new technology confounds him. His new phone, complete with all the bells and whistles his son Dominic suggested he needed, was ringing, and Don couldn’t figure out how to answer it. Finally, in frustration, he yelled, “Dominic! How the hell do you answer this damn thing?”

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Liquid Harmony

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Walk into their winery and feel the harmony: Larry gregariously chatting up customers, April quietly tending to business, their kids playing. More often than not, they’ll have a movie or a baseball game playing on the “big screen” on their north wall that hangs from the ceiling.

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Bordeaux Brilliance

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Among French wines, only Bordeaux wines are classified, a monumental effort accomplished in 1855, and maintained to this day. Bordeaux, of course, is subdivided into various sub-appellations: Margaux, Pauillac, St. Estephe, Medoc, St. Emilion, and Pomerol among them. Only five Bordeaux wines are classified “First Growth,” the top tier, and these wines command huge prices...

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Bringing the Love

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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The man behind this coastal winery is producing some delicious blends while showing his love for Bakersfield.

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A Taste from the Heart

Written by Mike Stepanovich

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Wine guru Mike Stepanovich was wowed by the wines at Corison—where you'll taste flavors from another era.

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