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Napa Rocks but Keeps on Rolling

Napa Rocks but Keeps on Rolling


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At 3:20 a.m. on Sunday, August 24, a strong 6.0 earthquake hit the little-known West Napa Fault. What felt like a loud, rumbling, roaring freight train hit the towns of American Canyon and Napa, the county seat, particularly hard. The “Up Valley” towns of Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga were shaken but spared. The middle-of-the-night timing of the earthquake was actually fortuitous since people weren't working in wineries or dining out in Napa Valley’s numerous restaurants. Most of the damage was due to falling brick, cosmetic damage to building exteriors, or to breakables when bottles and glasses tumbled off of shelves, tables, and counters. Barrels, both full and empty, fell over in wineries and wine storage facilities.

Yet despite the extensive shaking, relatively little was actually damaged in the area, and Napa Valley has resumed business as usual. Visitors may not see any evidence at all from the earthquake, except in downtown Napa. Though some buildings and homes in the city of Napa were extensively and dramatically damaged, fortunately they were the exception. The few severely damaged buildings, like the historic Napa Courthouse and Napa Post Office, were mostly constructed of brick, stone, or unreinforced masonry.

Most businesses and homeowners have cleaned up and many of the initially closed businesses have reopened. Importantly, for visitors, Napa Valley’s prime lodging facilities such as the Villagio, Meadowood, Silverado Resort, the Napa River Inn, and The Meritage Resort among others are open and doing fine. The Andaz Hotel in downtown Napa remains closed for the time being.

Napa Valley’s hot dining scene fared pretty well after employers and staff rushed to clean up broken glassware. After an initial mess, Napa’s Oxbow Public Market — a fantastic collection of high-end food purveyors and restaurants — opened right up. "We've got an amazing group of tenants and a supportive community," said Oxbow founder Steve Carlin. All Up Valley restaurants are open for business and most in the city of Napa have reopened. Napa’s remaining closed restaurants include: Carpe Diem, Don Perico, and Sushi Mambo.

City Winery, a major live performance venue in Napa, reopened quickly; but the beautiful Uptown Theater, though structurally sound, sustained damage to its interior ceiling. It is expected to be fixed and open by early November.

Napa Valley’s wineries as a whole suffered little damage but a few did take some lumps, like The Hess Collection located on Napa’s Mt. Veeder. “It remains a great time of year to visit, and now we’ll have a bit more to talk about as we swirl, sip and spit.” said Jim Caudill, The Hess Collection’s Director of Public Relations & Hospitality. Two wineries also affected were Laird and Bouchaine Winery. Despite some damage, all Napa Valley Wineries are open for business.

“For almost all in the wine business the earthquake came as a big surprise,” said Grant Long Jr., winemaker at Blue Oak Estate Wines located in Coombsville. “But the way the valley has banded together to help those that were affected is no surprise.” Blue Oak produces one of the best Merlots in California. “Whether it be a recession, drought or earthquake, the valley will always stand by each other through tough times.” Tor Kenward, the proprietor of the prestigious Kenward Family Wines, located in St. Helena said, “Wine barrels are made of oak because it is the one of the world’s hardest woods, and that only with fire can be bent. Most of all our barrels survived because of this.” Kenward went on to say, “Natural disasters test us like the staves of the barrels we use, they put us to the fire, bend us, and make us better neighbors, better people, collectively magnificent.” Tor Kenward produces four fantastic, opulent chardonnays.

Napa Valley is going full steam ahead, quake or no quake. Guests will still discover great wineries, sumptuous lodging, amazing weather, fine dining, luxurious spas, balloon rides, and more. In fact, Napa Valley Rocks!, is a brand new, rapidly organized event coming to Napa, September 25 through September 28. It will feature four days of music, wine and culinary events, community gatherings, and more. And 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund to help the people and businesses most affected by the earthquake. Visit the event website for details.

Sunday’s concert at the Napa Valley Fairgrounds in particular should be a blast. The very cool band, “Grass Child” (from Napa), and other musical acts will be performing. The cost is $20 per person and various food trucks and vendors will be selling food/drinks onsite (cash only). Visitors from the Bay Area and beyond are invited to the fun and to see how Napa is still rocking.

Michael Dellar, CEO of the Lark Creek Restaurant Group and owner of Fish Story restaurant in the heart of downtown Napa, said that “Downtown will survive with flying colors. It has so much momentum that a set back like this is only a pause.” Fish Story only had a few broken bottles. “I am as bullish as ever.”

Bob Ecker is a travel writer based in Napa Valley.


8 Spots To See a Celebrity In Napa Valley

Beautiful people love beautiful places, so it’s not surprising that celebrities come to Napa Valley to enjoy the scenery and celebrate special occasions. Here are our best spots in the area to come across, dine amongst, and relax around the stars of film, television, sports, and the culinary world.

Meadowood Napa Valley Resort
This beautiful estate is a hit for celebrity weddings. Last summer, baseball great Derek Jeter tied the knot with Hannah Davis and 100 of their closest friends at this luxurious hotel. Even John Legend has gone on record saying that Meadowood is his number one place to visit thanks to their world-renowned restaurant and picturesque gardens. Need more John Legend in your life? Head down to Raymond Vineyards to check out his LVE Wine collaboration with Jean Charles Boisett.

Insider’s Tip: Interested in more celebrity and wine collaborations? Venture up to CADE Winery or down to Stags Leap District to Odette Estate , both owned by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.

Calistoga Ranch
The perfect place to get back to nature with a touch of glamour, the Calistoga Ranch spares no expense to make sure that you are treated like royalty from your arrival to departure. This must be why the Queen of Jordan frequently visits. Be sure to take in the views just like Lady Gaga and go hiking on their beautiful grounds. This 157-acre spread also features a candlelit, granite wine cave that was once rented by P. Diddy for a romantic dinner, but is open regularly for guests to attend meditation sessions and host private events.

Insider’s Tip: Reserve an Oak Creek Lodge where you can relax in your very private oasis with deckside outdoor shower and hot tub for optimal relaxation.

Solage
Easily one of the hippest hotels and venues to spot stars and get a glimpse of the luxe life, and supposedly Allison Williams of HBO’s Girls fame prefers to relax here on her visits to Napa Valley. With every stay you have access to the resort’s beach cruisers and a fleet of Mercedes and with their interesting rooms, fabulous service, amazing spa, pristine pool and hot tub, and the delicious meals at their SolBar restaurant, you’ll never want to leave.

Insider’s Tip: Live the lux life by adding a few somethings extra into your plush suite at Solage. Check out their special upgrades, offered exclusively through Napavalley.com

Calistoga
Just taking a walk or a ride around town might find you shoulder to shoulder with Hollywood’s A-list including the likes of Will Smith, Francis Ford Coppola, and Hilary Swank. And of course, we must mention that 49ers football legend Joe Montana owns a home here. As the Valley’s most northern town, Calistoga is the perfect amount of quaint and bustling with a touch of modern dining experiences you don’t want to miss.

Insider’s Tip: Sports legends are finding sweet retirement living in Calistoga’s wine region. Visit Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver’s Seaver Vineyards on Diamond Mountain and former St. Louis Ram’s Head Coach Dick Vermeil has a downtown tasting room, Vermeil Wines.

Bottega Restaurant
If it’s good enough for Victoria and David Beckham, then it’s good enough for us! Book your reservation at the Yountville Italian hotspot yourself where the owner and chef Michael Chiarello is a celebrity in his own right with shows on the Food Network. Catch Chef in the back working the line, rolling out fresh pasta dough and sharing stories.

Insider’s Tip: Don’t want to miss a celebrity sighting, like Wynonna Judd? Then stick to eating at the bar. Plus, you won’t have to wait for a table, and the bartenders are wonderfully attentive for drinks and the restaurant has quite the robust bar menu.

Auction Napa Valley
Touted as the world’s grandest wine event, Auction Napa Valley is a 4-day party to help raise money for the Napa community. Featuring bidding wars on elaborate dinners, exotic vacations and yes, lots and lots of wine. If the who’s-who of the wine world is more to your taste, then be sure to attend the illustrious event. Past guests have included Oprah, Michelle Pheifer, Kate Upton, Courtney Cox and Dennis Quaid are just a few on the celebrities that have attended. From Michelin-starred restaurateurs, to legendary vinters, to the Hollywood “friends”, you can expect to dine and give with the best of them.

Insider’s Tip: In 2017, the entire Coppola family was named chairs of the event. So expect to see some very familiar (and famous) faces in the crowd.

Napa Valley Film Festival
Where else can you catch movie stars then at the premiere of their own films? Of course, you can view much more than actors at the Napa Valley Film Festival from compelling documentaries to hilarious shorts, there’s a film for every taste. Every year NVFF honors a variety of Hollywood stars from Kurt Russell and Matthew McConaughey to Shailene Woodley and John Travolta.

Insider’s Tip: For the most intimate access to filmmakers and stars purchasing Patron Circle VIP tickets guarantees you seats at the tables of well known Hollywood movers and shakers.

BottleRock Napa Valley
If you have an ear for music, then be sure to attend the 3-day music festival that takes over the area every year celebrating the start of summer. This concert is known for amazing food vendors, high-end wine tastings, and craft beer tents. And of course, the musicians themselves. Listen to and rock out with Maroon 5, Tom Petty, Macklemore, Modest Mouse, and many more.

Insider’s Tip: Looking to keep rockin’ after Friday and Saturday’s events, hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train’s Hidden Tracks after party! Join them 8pm-midnight for music, food and drinks both nights between Third and Soscol as they celebrate the kick off event of the summer!


Celebrate National Tequila Day with these Delicious Twists on the Margarita

National Tequila Day – July 24 th

National Tequila Day July 24

Every Year around the third week of July, we have another opportunity to celebrate, rejoice, and indulge in our favorite libations from south of the border with National Tequila Day. It’s the special day to get into sipping this famous Mexican Spirit – Tequila. In honor of this day, I must wear my shirt celebrating this divine agave nectar – “Tequila – Mexican Chardonnay!” To further the celebration of the day, I must play the song by Soulrocker, Michael Franti and Spearhead, who also honors this special day with his well-known song, “My Favorite Wine is Tequila!

National Tequila Day was recently established over the last 20 years in the United States and Mexico. Mexico actually celebrated their first National Tequila day on March 16, 2019. National Tequila Day in the United States began to emerge in the late 1990s and is celebrated every year on July 24 and is dedicated to the celebration and promotion of Mexico’s native drink from Jalisco.

Tequila was first produced in the 16 th Century very near where it is still produced today near the surrounding areas of the city of Tequila, however, it was not officially established until 1666. This fermented beverage made from the agave plant was known as pulque and was consumed in pre-Columbian central Mexico before any European influence.

Tequila is produced in the area around the town of Tequila in the region of Jalisco, Mexico. This national drink from México is made from the blue agave plant and can only officially be called Tequila is if made in this region. There are many other variations of the beverage made in and around Mexico but cannot take on the name. Just like with sparkling wines produced around the world. The only ones that can be designated as true Champagne are those that are actually produced in Champagne, France.

Mexican laws specifically designate that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco along with limited municipalities in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila is recognized as a product origin of Mexico in more than 40 countries and it is protected through NAFTA in Canada and the USA.

  • Blanco Tequila (“white”) is unaged Tequila and bottle and stored immediately after distillation or aged less than two months in neutral oak or stainless steel. It is the harsher of the 100% agave tequilas with the bold flavors of the distilled agave upfront.
  • Reposado (“rested”) is aged a minimum of two months buy no more than a year in oak barrels. Reposado and Anejo are smoother, more subtle, and less complex.
  • Anejo (“aged” or “Vintage”) aged a minimum of one year but less than three years in oak barrels. The more that it is aged the more the tequila takes on the flavors of the wood while the harshness of the alcohol mellows.
  • Extra Anejo (“extra aged” or “ultra-aged”) This is a newer category of Tequila and was established in 2006 – The extra Anejo is aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels

In Mexico, the most traditional way to drink Tequila is without lime and salt where outside of Mexico, a shot of Tequila is served with a slice of lime and salt, while licking the hand and putting salt on it, taking the shot of tequila quickly, licking the salt off of the hand and then biting into the lime.

There is also the Tequila Slammer which is a mixture of Tequila and a carbonated soft drink like 7up. Another variation of that is the Tequila Bang Bang which is a mixture of Tequila and Sparkling wine. This is usually done in groups or parties where everyone takes their “Slammer” or “BangBang” slams it on the table when it bubbly and frothy and then slam it down.

My personal preference is none of the above. I much prefer to sip a good Reposado or Anejo slowly to take in the lovely flavors of these ages beauties much like sipping a good Cognac.

In celebration of National Tequila Day, I like to indulge in a specialty Margarita. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to create your own specialty concoction. Happy National Tequila Day!

Margarita Recipes to Celebrate National Tequila Day

Whether it is Cinco de Mayo, National Margarita Day, National Tequila Day, National Cocktail Day, Your Birthday, or Someone else’s Birthday, just about any day is a good day for a Margarita. Here are a few Margarita Recipes to get your spirit moving!

History of the Margarita

Where did the Margarita originate? Over the years many have taken claim to the creation of the infamous tequila drink – “The Margarita.” The cocktail the “Daisy” was a similar drink made with brandy instead of Tequila. Though during prohibition people traveled over the border and picked up tequila which was substituted for the brandy. Daisy in Spanish is Margarita.

In 1937, there was a recipe for a “Picador” using the same mix of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice in a cocktail book. There are others that claim that Dallas socialite Margarita Sames created the drink for her guests at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. The first known published recipe was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire. Though in 1945, the first importer of Jose Cuervo promoted the slogan – “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name.”

Nowadays, there are so many creators and mixologists of tequila drinks with different versions and flavors of the Margarita with so many variations of Margarita recipes. In essence, all of us who have concocted our own Margarita recipes can take our own five minutes of claim to fame too. Here are a few of some of my favorite twists on the colorful Margarita, some with my own input and diversions to the recipe. It’s your turn to take it and run with it!

The Traditional Margarita

The Traditional Margarita

Makes 2 Margaritas – increase ingredients as needed depending on the number of Margaritas you are preparing.

  • 4 OZ Blanco tequila
  • 2 OZ Cointreau or triple sec
  • 4 OZ fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Slices of lime or lime wedges

Fill a Cocktail shaker with ice along with the tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled glass or serve on the rocks.

Another Spin on the Traditional Rita – The San Antonio Margarita

San Antonio Margarita

Recipe Inspired by well-known Texan Josie Davidson whose father received this recipe from Mario Cantu, owner of Mario’s, an old-line Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio. This famed Margarita recipe was passed on to the New York Times in 2015. It’s a five-star winner with 818 five star ratings!

  • 1 cup plus a splash of tequila
  • 1 cup plus a splash of orange liquor
  • 1 cup plus a splash of freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine all of the liquids in a pitcher with 6 ounces of water and stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Then serve over ice in glasses with salted rims. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

24 Karat Gold Margarita by Loews Miami Beach Hotel

It seems like ages ago, but just like yesterday that we traveled across the country to Loews Miami Beach Hotel. It was only a few months ago in February that we were invited to participate in the exquisite festivities held at the hotel for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in South Beach. During our visit, we had the distinct pleasure of joining Steve Turk – Food and Beverage Director for Loews, Linda Villafane – Director of Public Relations for Loews Miami Beach and Contributing Food Writer for Forbes in the hotel’s spectacular lounge, Bar Collins, for a pre-celebration toast. We were all dressed to the nines, looking like royalty for the evening’s formal festivities celebrating SOBEWFF. This set the perfect stage and the perfect opportunity to toast with the bar’s famous in-house Margarita, the “24 Karat Rita.”

These brilliantly decorated tumblers arrived at our table glowing of effervescent sparkles adorning the glass rims and the floating lime wheels. Almost to pretty to drink, but feeling decadent and adventurous, we all cheered and jumped right into these jeweled libations.

Their specific recipe remains a bit of a secret. We do know it includes a generous pour of Roca Patron Silver over crushed ice, with fresh lime juice, a bit of Cointreau, adorned with edible 24k gold leaf and lime zest! Bravo Bar Collins – you definitely knocked it out of the park!

Black Grape and Chili Margarita – Courtesy Food and Wine

Black Grape and Chili Margarita

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Ice
  • 4 oz Concord grape juice
  • 3 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 5 ox triple sec
  • Serrano chili pepper with seeds thinly sliced
  • Black Grapes for garnish

Mix the chili powder with the salt and sugar. Moisten the rim of the two glasses with a lime wedge and dip the glasses into the coast around the rim.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the grape juice, tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and 4 slices of serrano Chilies and then strain into the two glasses. Garnish with sliced serranos, lime wedges, and grapes to serve.

Blue Margarita

If you are dreaming of the Azur waters of Mexico or the Caribbean and can’t get there right now, this refreshing Blue Margarita will definitely take you there. Take a sip, close your eyes, and just imagine being there! I do it every time, and if it’s a little too chilly outside, I just turn on my favorite travel video of the beaches of Mexico and it takes me right back!

  • 1 cup of tequila, preferably Reposado
  • 1/3 cup of Curacao (Blue)
  • 1/3 Cup of Cointreau or Triple Sec (orange-flavored liquor)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
  • Limes wedges for garnish

Combine the tequila, Curacao, triple sec, and lime juice in a large pitcher with crushed ice or you can pour it on the rocks into tumbler glasses or decorative glasses for a straight-up Margarita.

According to master mixologist Dale DeGroff, a drink called the Tequila Daisy was served at Tijuana’s Agua Caliente racetrack in the 1920s. It was made with lemon juice, tequila, and a sweet ingredient—the template for a Margarita.

The Jalapeno Basil Lime Frozen Margarita

This recipe is inspired by the recipe created by the Vancouver duo – The Food Gays. I just love the Jalapeno kick and the twist with the basil added.

  • ¼ cup basil
  • ½ cup jalapeno with seeds
  • 6 oz of barrel-aged tequila – or a good Reposado
  • 3 oz triple sec
  • Juice from 4 limes
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey or agave syrup
  • 2-3 cups ice
  • Salt for the rim
  • Lime wedges for the garnish

Muddle the basil and jalapeno together, then add the tequila. Let it infuse for 24 hours in the refrigerator. The next day strain and just keep the liquid, discard the basil, and jalapeno. In a blender add the tequila mix the triple sec, the lime juice, the honey, and ice, then blend until smooth. Pour into your salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with lime wedges.

Spicy Margarita Punch

It’s the combination of the cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, and mint that takes the flavors of this Margarita off the charts. This is a perfect libation to pre-make ahead of time for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

  • 1 large or 2 medium cucumbers
  • 2 jalapenos thinly sliced – one for the mixture and one for the garnish
  • ¼ up of de-stemmed cilantro
  • ¼ cup of mint
  • One bottle of Silver Tequila – 750 mills
  • 2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup of agave nectar
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • Ice, lime wedges, and salt for serving

In a large bowl or punch bowl if you intend to use one, muddle (mash) the cucumber with the jalapeno, cilantro, and mint. Add the tequila, lime juice, agave, orange juice and stir well. Refrigerate for at least an hour or you can keep if overnight if you are making it ahead of time.

Strain the liquids from the mixture and discard the solids. Keep it in the punch bowl or put the mixture into a large service pitcher along with some ice. Serve into salted rimmed glasses and garnish with thinly sliced cucumber, jalapeno slices, and limes wedges.

The Mayan Mule

The Mayan Mule Margarita

Well, what can I say about this one except you just have to try it!

Serving Size per glass 1

A South of the Border twist on the Moscow Mule

  • 5 ounces of aged gold tequila preferably a Reposado
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 3-4 ounces of ginger beer
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Sliced lime into a wheel to garnish
  • Mint sprig to garnish

Combine the tequila and lime juice in a tall glass.

Add the ginger beer and Angostura bitters and stir.

Garnish with the lime wheel and sprig of mint.

The “DanaRita”

A recipe created and made for many years by my husband Dana which is a Margarita that has become legendary amongst our family and friends. It is one of the most requested and popular libations when we all congregate. “Dana, can you make me one of your DanaRitas?”

Dana’s Inspiration – Simplicity – Make people smile, feel smart and witty, and dance in public.

Key observations to making a really stellar margarita – A quality margarita is not green or slushy. Look for a golden color and pour over ice cubes.

Preferences – Salt on the rim (optional but traditional for sure) any size glass but tall one is preferable. And for the tequila – Reposado is preferred which is more flavorful and has that rich golden color from the toast of the barrel aging.

  • 50/50 ratio of tequila to everything else
  • Everything Else – Orange flavor liquor (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or just fresh-squeezed oranges)
  • Fresh Squeezed Lime – Lots of it
  • Splash of Sparkling water to give it a little zest
  • Ice

Using an 8-ounce glass, salted rim or not, squeeze a whole lime into the glass, squeeze a half orange (about 2 oz juice)

Add 2 ounces tequila, then add about 1 ounce of sparkling water. Add ice then a splash of Cointreau or Grand Marnier on the top.

Mango Coconut Chili Margarita

Mango Coconut Chili Margarita

If you are lucky enough to be spending the Cinco de Mayo celebration someplace tropical you may want to make this spin on the traditional margarita. I am sure you will find plenty of fresh mangos and coconuts in abundance. Just the thought of it makes we want to beam up someplace tropical right now, sit under a palm tree listening to waves crashing, and the warm ocean breezes blowing across my body while relaxing to the soft sounds in the distance to a steel drum band. Can I go now, please?

Almost the next best thing to being in the tropics right now is indulging in this delightful tropical tequila libation.

  • 1 ripe mango (1 cup cubed or if you can’t find it fresh, a bag of frozen mango, or mango sorbet as a last resort)
  • 1 cup of Orange juice – fresh squeezed preferred
  • 1 cup of Fresh Coconut Water or Store-bought Coconut water
  • A few Chunks of Fresh Coconut or a small scoop coconut sorbet or coconut flavor rum – your preference
  • Several Medium-Sized Limes
  • 3 ounces of Silver Tequila or Reposado
  • 5 ounces of Cointreau or Triple Sec Orange Liqueur
  • A dash of hot sauce – your preference or not, some like it hot!
  • 1-3 Tablespoons of Agave Nectar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • Lime Wedges for Garnish
  • Chili Powder and Sea Salt mixed for rimming the glass. I also like to use Tajin Clasico con Limon

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until creamy. Be sure to taste it so that you can adjust it whether you want to add more Tequila, Orange Liqueur or Agave Nectar. If you like the spice of it, add in a bit more chili powder or hot sauce.

The Brave Bull

The Brave Bull

After a long day of Cinco de Mayo festivities or any fiesta activities, it’s time to relax before siesta in the evening with a Brave Bull. It is sometimes referred to as a Mexican Black Russian. It is a cocktail that was introduced in a 1960’s action movie and it truly lives up to its name. This is a unique and quirky combination of Kahlua and Tequila Blanco, but you can use your tequila of preference. This is my husband’s go-to late-night libation and his preference on which tequila is to use one of his favorite Reposado tequilas we usually have on hand. Sometimes we add in a little milk or cream, somewhat like a White Russian or you could call it a Brave White Bull! Buenos Noches!

The recipe is easy – it is one part Kahlua and 2 parts tequila over ice. Though you can also do 50/50 on the mixture too!

Please post your comments and photos of your own versions of the famed Margarita!


Napa Rocks but Keeps on Rolling - Recipes

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Purchase a bottle, pour yourself a glass and taste the recognition.

Introducing Star Trek Wines, a collection of special vintages inspired by the Star Trek universe. The first two releases are a Chateau Picard Cru Bourgeois from the real multi-generational winery in Bordeaux, France, and a Special Reserve United Federation of Planets Old Vine Zinfandel from Sonoma, CA. Fans of the popular Star Trek: Picard series will recognize Chateau Picard as Jean-Luc Picard’s family vineyard in France’s La Barre region.

In 2020, in its quest for authenticity, Star Trek Wines enlisted the talents of several of the world’s leading Star Trek and Klingon experts to help make Klingon Bloodwine, including research with leaders of the Klingon Assault Group and Klingon Language Institute to get the cultural and historic elements correct.

Also released in 2020, the next generation of the United Federation of Planets wines, a Sauvignon Blanc, made from north coast California grapes. Each limited-edition bottle is individually numbered. Designed as a companion to the United Federation of Planets Old Vine Zinfandel, its futuristic round shape and unique label cut were inspired by the StarFleet Delta and are a nod to Star Trek: The Next Generation official issue uniforms. The bottles elegant design and premium wine quality were created as if they were to be served at official United Federation of Planets gatherings including diplomatic banquets, Federation Council meetings, and planetary assemblies. Both Federation wines pay homage to the history and mission of The Federation, a dream that became a reality and spread throughout the galaxy.


Best Under $50: 2018 Flora Springs Family Select Chardonnay

With its misty mornings and sunny afternoons, Napa Valley has the natural climate for peak chardonnay production. Winemaker Ken Deis at Flora Springs knows how to romance the land to make that chardonnay soar. Their refreshing 2018 Family Select was aged for ten months in French oak barrels, culminating as one of the top bottles representing the region, variety and vintage.

Bold, dry, and easy to love, this wine is creamy, lemony and toasty with a nice mineral tension. Make it a match with shellfish, creamy soups and sauce-covered meats.


History of the Margarita

Where did the Margarita originate? Over the years many have taken claim to the creation of the infamous tequila drink – “The Margarita.” The cocktail the “Daisy” was a similar drink made with brandy instead of Tequila. Though during prohibition people traveled over the border and picked up tequila which was substituted for the brandy. Daisy in Spanish is Margarita.

In 1937, there was a recipe for a “Picador” using the same mix of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice in a cocktail book. There are others that claim that Dallas socialite Margarita Sames created the drink for her guests at her Acapulco vacation home in 1948. The first known published recipe was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire. Though in 1945, the first importer of Jose Cuervo promoted the slogan – “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name.”

Nowadays, there are so many creators and mixologists of tequila drinks with different versions and flavors of the Margarita with so many variations of Margarita recipes. In essence, all of us who have concocted our own Margarita recipes can take our own five minutes of claim to fame too. Here are a few of some of my favorite twists on the colorful Margarita, some with my own input and diversions to the recipe. It’s your turn to take it and run with it!

It’s Margarita-Thirty!! Cheers and Happy Cinco Mayo!

The Traditional Margarita

The Traditional Margarita

Makes 2 Margaritas – increase ingredients as needed depending on the number of Margaritas you are preparing.

  • 4 OZ Blanco tequila
  • 2 OZ Cointreau or triple sec
  • 4 OZ fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Slices of lime or lime wedges

Fill a Cocktail shaker with ice along with the tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled glass or serve on the rocks.

Another Spin on the Traditional Rita – The San Antonio Margarita

San Antonio Margarita

Recipe Inspired by well-known Texan Josie Davidson whose father received this recipe from Mario Cantu, owner of Mario’s, an old-line Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio. This famed Margarita recipe was passed on to the New York Times in 2015. It’s a five-star winner with 818 five star ratings!

  • 1 cup plus a splash of tequila
  • 1 cup plus a splash of orange liquor
  • 1 cup plus a splash of freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine all of the liquids in a pitcher with 6 ounces of water and stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Then serve over ice in glasses with salted rims. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

24 Karat Gold Margarita by Loews Miami Beach Hotel

It seems like ages ago, but just like yesterday that we traveled across the country to Loews Miami Beach Hotel. It was only a few months ago in February that we were invited to participate in the exquisite festivities held at the hotel for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in South Beach. During our visit, we had the distinct pleasure of joining Steve Turk – Food and Beverage Director for Loews, Linda Villafane – Director of Public Relations for Loews Miami Beach and Contributing Food Writer for Forbes in the hotel’s spectacular lounge, Bar Collins, for a pre-celebration toast. We were all dressed to the nines, looking like royalty for the evening’s formal festivities celebrating SOBEWFF. This set the perfect stage and the perfect opportunity to toast with the bar’s famous in-house Margarita, the “24 Karat Rita.”

These brilliantly decorated tumblers arrived at our table glowing of effervescent sparkles adorning the glass rims and the floating lime wheels. Almost to pretty to drink, but feeling decadent and adventurous, we all cheered and jumped right into these jeweled libations.

Their specific recipe remains a bit of a secret. We do know it includes a generous pour of Roca Patron Silver over crushed ice, with fresh lime juice, a bit of Cointreau, adorned with edible 24k gold leaf and lime zest! Bravo Bar Collins – you definitely knocked it out of the park!

Black Grape and Chili Margarita – Courtesy Food and Wine

Black Grape and Chili Margarita

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Ice
  • 4 oz Concord grape juice
  • 3 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 5 ox triple sec
  • Serrano chili pepper with seeds thinly sliced
  • Black Grapes for garnish

Mix the chili powder with the salt and sugar. Moisten the rim of the two glasses with a lime wedge and dip the glasses into the coast around the rim.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the grape juice, tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and 4 slices of serrano Chilies and then strain into the two glasses. Garnish with sliced serranos, lime wedges, and grapes to serve.

Blue Margarita

If you are dreaming of the Azur waters of Mexico or the Caribbean and can’t get there right now, this refreshing Blue Margarita will definitely take you there. Take a sip, close your eyes, and just imagine being there! I do it every time, and if it’s a little too chilly outside, I just turn on my favorite travel video of the beaches of Mexico and it takes me right back!

  • 1 cup of tequila, preferably Reposado
  • 1/3 cup of Curacao (Blue)
  • 1/3 Cup of Cointreau or Triple Sec (orange-flavored liquor)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
  • Limes wedges for garnish

Combine the tequila, Curacao, triple sec, and lime juice in a large pitcher with crushed ice or you can pour it on the rocks into tumbler glasses or decorative glasses for a straight-up Margarita.

According to master mixologist Dale DeGroff, a drink called the Tequila Daisy was served at Tijuana’s Agua Caliente racetrack in the 1920s. It was made with lemon juice, tequila, and a sweet ingredient—the template for a Margarita.

The Jalapeno Basil Lime Frozen Margarita

This recipe is inspired by the recipe created by the Vancouver duo – The Food Gays. I just love the Jalapeno kick and the twist with the basil added.

  • ¼ cup basil
  • ½ cup jalapeno with seeds
  • 6 oz of barrel-aged tequila – or a good Reposado
  • 3 oz triple sec
  • Juice from 4 limes
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey or agave syrup
  • 2-3 cups ice
  • Salt for the rim
  • Lime wedges for the garnish

Muddle the basil and jalapeno together, then add the tequila. Let it infuse for 24 hours in the refrigerator. The next day strain and just keep the liquid, discard the basil, and jalapeno. In a blender add the tequila mix the triple sec, the lime juice, the honey, and ice, then blend until smooth. Pour into your salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with lime wedges.

Spicy Margarita Punch

It’s the combination of the cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, and mint that takes the flavors of this Margarita off the charts. This is a perfect libation to pre-make ahead of time for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

  • 1 large or 2 medium cucumbers
  • 2 jalapenos thinly sliced – one for the mixture and one for the garnish
  • ¼ up of de-stemmed cilantro
  • ¼ cup of mint
  • One bottle of Silver Tequila – 750 mills
  • 2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup of agave nectar
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • Ice, lime wedges, and salt for serving

In a large bowl or punch bowl if you intend to use one, muddle (mash) the cucumber with the jalapeno, cilantro, and mint. Add the tequila, lime juice, agave, orange juice and stir well. Refrigerate for at least an hour or you can keep if overnight if you are making it ahead of time.

Strain the liquids from the mixture and discard the solids. Keep it in the punch bowl or put the mixture into a large service pitcher along with some ice. Serve into salted rimmed glasses and garnish with thinly sliced cucumber, jalapeno slices, and limes wedges.

The Mayan Mule

The Mayan Mule Margarita

Well, what can I say about this one except you just have to try it!

Serving Size per glass 1

A South of the Border twist on the Moscow Mule

  • 5 ounces of aged gold tequila preferably a Reposado
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 3-4 ounces of ginger beer
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Sliced lime into a wheel to garnish
  • Mint sprig to garnish

Combine the tequila and lime juice in a tall glass.

Add the ginger beer and Angostura bitters and stir.

Garnish with the lime wheel and sprig of mint.

The “DanaRita”

A recipe created and made for many years by my husband Dana which is a Margarita that has become legendary amongst our family and friends. It is one of the most requested and popular libations when we all congregate. “Dana, can you make me one of your DanaRitas?”

Dana’s Inspiration – Simplicity – Make people smile, feel smart and witty, and dance in public.

Key observations to making a really stellar margarita – A quality margarita is not green or slushy. Look for a golden color and pour over ice cubes.

Preferences – Salt on the rim (optional but traditional for sure) any size glass but tall one is preferable. And for the tequila – Reposado is preferred which is more flavorful and has that rich golden color from the toast of the barrel aging.

  • 50/50 ratio of tequila to everything else
  • Everything Else – Orange flavor liquor (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or just fresh-squeezed oranges)
  • Fresh Squeezed Lime – Lots of it
  • Splash of Sparkling water to give it a little zest
  • Ice

Using an 8-ounce glass, salted rim or not, squeeze a whole lime into the glass, squeeze a half orange (about 2 oz juice)

Add 2 ounces tequila, then add about 1 ounce of sparkling water. Add ice then a splash of Cointreau or Grand Marnier on the top.

Mango Coconut Chili Margarita

Mango Coconut Chili Margarita

If you are lucky enough to be spending the Cinco de Mayo celebration someplace tropical you may want to make this spin on the traditional margarita. I am sure you will find plenty of fresh mangos and coconuts in abundance. Just the thought of it makes we want to beam up someplace tropical right now, sit under a palm tree listening to waves crashing, and the warm ocean breezes blowing across my body while relaxing to the soft sounds in the distance to a steel drum band. Can I go now, please?

Almost the next best thing to being in the tropics right now is indulging in this delightful tropical tequila libation.

  • 1 ripe mango (1 cup cubed or if you can’t find it fresh, a bag of frozen mango, or mango sorbet as a last resort)
  • 1 cup of Orange juice – fresh squeezed preferred
  • 1 cup of Fresh Coconut Water or Store-bought Coconut water
  • A few Chunks of Fresh Coconut or a small scoop coconut sorbet or coconut flavor rum – your preference
  • Several Medium-Sized Limes
  • 3 ounces of Silver Tequila or Reposado
  • 5 ounces of Cointreau or Triple Sec Orange Liqueur
  • A dash of hot sauce – your preference or not, some like it hot!
  • 1-3 Tablespoons of Agave Nectar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • Lime Wedges for Garnish
  • Chili Powder and Sea Salt mixed for rimming the glass. I also like to use Tajin Clasico con Limon

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until creamy. Be sure to taste it so that you can adjust it whether you want to add more Tequila, Orange Liqueur or Agave Nectar. If you like the spice of it, add in a bit more chili powder or hot sauce.

The Brave Bull

The Brave Bull

After a long day of Cinco de Mayo festivities or any fiesta activities, it’s time to relax before siesta in the evening with a Brave Bull. It is sometimes referred to as a Mexican Black Russian. It is a cocktail that was introduced in a 1960’s action movie and it truly lives up to its name. This is a unique and quirky combination of Kahlua and Tequila Blanco, but you can use your tequila of preference. This is my husband’s go-to late-night libation and his preference on which tequila is to use one of his favorite Reposado tequilas we usually have on hand. Sometimes we add in a little milk or cream, somewhat like a White Russian or you could call it a Brave White Bull! Buenos Noches!

The recipe is easy – it is one part Kahlua and 2 parts tequila over ice. Though you can also do 50/50 on the mixture too!

Please post your comments and photos of your own versions of the famed Margarita!


Seismic shifts: Wines on fault lines

Can the complex topography created by faults in the earth&rsquos crust really make a difference to a vineyard&rsquos terroir &ndash and its wines? Elin McCoy speaks to geologists and winemakers to find out.

Rhys Vineyards has plots either side of the San Andreas Fault, some just 300m apart, which have different soils and taste profiles

As I take in the sweeping vista of Santa Cruz&rsquos mountain ridges from Rhys Vineyards&rsquo Alpine Vineyard, owner Kevin Harvey explains the complex geology beneath our feet. Below us, California&rsquos infamous San Andreas Fault is slowly, inexorably, grinding away.

I can&rsquot help picturing a massive earthquake creating a vast chasm that will swallow up the vines &ndash and maybe us too. Which gets me to wondering why so many vineyards around the world, from California to New Zealand, have been planted in geological fault zones.

Harvey, a venture capitalist who fell in love with Pinot Noir, spent more than a decade hunting for unique rocky sites where he thought the variety would shine. He wasn&rsquot looking for land near a fault line, but says, &lsquoSoils near fault zones are often more diverse. They allow drastic differences in rocks and dirt to be located close to each other.&rsquo

Two of Rhys&rsquos seven vineyards are only 300m apart, one on either side of the fault, but they have completely different soils. The wines from them taste completely different, too.

The San Andreas Fault bisects the Santa Cruz Mountain appellation, but also runs north to the West Sonoma Coast, where its actions created an equally tormented geologic jumble and shaped the ridge on which David Hirsch began planting his Hirsch Vineyards in 1980. He bought the land because he thought its proximity to the Pacific Ocean was key. But now he likes to say, &lsquothe San Andreas Fault defines our wines&rsquo.

Understanding fault lines

Think of a fault as a fracture in the earth along which rocks have been moved to one side or the other. According to the theory of plate tectonics, a jigsaw puzzle of huge plates of the earth&rsquos crust float on top of a molten rock core. When the Pacific and North American plates crush against each other as they slide sideways, the movement creates zones of broken rock. The 1,000km-long San Andreas Fault is the boundary between the plates &ndash and it&rsquos where earthquakes occur that change the surface of the land.

Not all faults are alike. They can be short or long, wide or narrow, active or inactive. &lsquoOne thing faults do is create complex topography,&rsquo says retired Stanford University geologist David Howell, who is working to unravel the geological mysteries of Bill Harlan&rsquos new Napa Valley Promontory Estate project. &lsquoWithout earthquakes there would be no Napa Valley. Without faults, the Santa Cruz Mountains might look like the flat prairies of Nebraska.&rsquo

Professor Alex Maltman of Aberystwyth University, who is writing a book on vineyards and geology, points out that faults not only juxtapose different kinds of bedrock, they affect ground water flow, form valleys, cause erosion and escarpments and more. Indirectly all this may help form sites with exposures and microclimates ideal for grape growing and influences the way vineyards are planted.

An aerial view that clearly shows the San Andreas Fault. It bisects the Santa Cruz Mountain AVA, home to producers such as Rhys Vineyards and Hirsch Vineyards

But the patchwork of soils and crushed rocks from different eras that faults create may be the most important. Long ago, a New Zealand winemaker told me that he thought all the world&rsquos great vineyards lay next to fault lines. And when you start checking the geology of various regions, it&rsquos easy to be persuaded that he&rsquos right.

Faults underlie Marlborough, Hawke&rsquos Bay and Martinborough in New Zealand Alsace, Burgundy, Gigondas and Jura in France Heathcote and McLaren Vale in Australia, parts of Italy, southern Oregon, and many more global wine spots. Plenty of winemakers are convinced their effect on terroir has an effect on the wines.

In Alsace, for example, two main northsouth fault lines criss-crossed by smaller ones created bedrock that&rsquos a mosaic of cracks and disruptions. The resulting patches of highly distinctive soils packed into a small area may be the reason for differences in taste and character among the 51 grands crus. The volcanic soil in the famous Rangen vineyard, right next to one main fault line, is rich in minerals found in very few of France&rsquos vineyards. Not surprisingly, all of the old vineyard roads follow the fault lines.

An eruption on the Nîmes fault in Gigondas pushed up limestone slabs (very rare in the Rhône Valley) to high elevations, and those terraces are where the best Grenache wines, with richness and freshness, come from.

In southern Oregon, terrain variation in the Fault Line Vineyard at Abacela winery in the Umpqua Valley, named for the fault that runs diagonally through the property, allows owner Earl Jones to grow a number of different grapes. On one side of the fault are 20 millionyear- old cobblestones, and on the other rocks that are 10 times older harvest dates between the two differ by two weeks.

Nowhere have faults created more named bits of earth than in Burgundy&rsquos Côte d&rsquoOr. James Wilson, author of Terroir, points out that all the grand cru vineyards are on the upslope of the fault line, where activity aeons ago threw up the limestone that&rsquos made the vineyards famous.

Risk and reward

Workers move fallen wine barrels at Saintsbury Winery in Carneros following the 2014 earthquake that shook southern Napa

Planting on an active fault line has risks, and consequences can be dire. South of San Francisco, the San Andreas Fault runs directly under Cienega Valley Vineyards&rsquo winery. As the plates move 1.3cm a year, the fault is slowly tearing the building apart.

Napa&rsquos 2014 earthquake destroyed old vintages in Saintsbury&rsquos winery in Carneros and left a scar slicing through the vineyard. Three years ago, a New Zealand quake caused crashing tanks in wineries in Marlborough&rsquos Awatare Valley, and in the huge Chilean earthquake of 2010 some small wineries in Maule lost half of their stock.

But can vines planted on fault lines or in fault zones really convey some kind of special earthy, mineral character to the resulting wines? While some winemakers say yes, geologists scoff at the idea.

Jean Trimbach, whose family owns Maison Trimbach in Alsace, assured me at a tasting in New York of his greatest Rieslings that the fault line in Ribeauvillé, around which his vineyards are clustered, contributes energy, complexity and minerality to his wines. &lsquoThe terroir there is very different from other soils in Alsace,&rsquo he says. &lsquoThe limestone gives the acidity that accounts for our steely style.&rsquo His newest bottling is from the Geisberg grand cru, which lies on the fault line.

Ribeauvillé in Alsace where Trimbach Rieslings, including its wine from the Geisberg grand cru, are made around the fault line

Hirsch believes the soil complexity and diversity in his vineyard, caused by the San Andreas Fault, imparts a broader palette of flavours to his wines. He&rsquos sub-divided the site into 60 blocks and admits that when he&rsquos in a mystical mood, he speculates about the wines having an energetic aspect that he connects to the fault. &lsquoI fantasise about the heat and pressure in the earth,&rsquo he says. &lsquoI imagine a lot of energy and dynamism coming through.&rsquo

The idea of emanations from deep inside the earth showing up in the glass is a seductive vision, even if geologists roll their eyes and call it a geological fantasy. &lsquoThere&rsquos nothing mystical about a fault,&rsquo Maltman writes tersely in an email to me. &lsquoNo vortexes or mysterious energies.&rsquo

No science correlates complexity of a vineyard with complexity in its wines. The relationship between geology and the taste of wine is still poorly understood.

Structural geologist Kevin Pogue at Whitman College did suggest a possible reason for wine taste differences. &lsquoIf a large fault pulverised rocks, it would be easier for water to penetrate and leach out various chemical nutrients, which vine roots could absorb.&rsquo

There&rsquos no scientific evidence, really, that fault-line vineyards directly affect the aroma and taste of their wines. But, glass in hand, I keep thinking of the wonderfully earthy character of Rhys Vineyards&rsquo Pinots and all those wine regions formed by faults.

Awarded journalist and author Elin McCoy writes for a variety of publications, including Bloomberg News

All rights reserved by Future plc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Decanter.


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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Do you ever have one of those, I-just-got-back-from-vacation-but-now-i&rsquom-stressed-out-beyond-belief-moments?

Well, I just did! Last week our internet was down literally all week, so when I would normally be getting all my posts done for this week I could&rsquont. I am so not one of those, write a post 12 hours before it goes live kinda girl. It literally makes me sweat, shake, and then my brain goes blank. Which of course is what you want before you need to write a post, right? NOT!

Anywho, I&rsquom a little stressed out because I want to give ya&rsquoll top notch recipes and posts, I want to share the awesome pictures I had from our Napa trip, my parents came into town Thursday , AND Cason&rsquos birthday and birthday party are on Sunday !

P.S. What kind of cupcake would you want to eat if you were turning 2?

I don&rsquot know about you, but when I get stressed out I just want to eat. I&rsquom not sure if its because Cinco de Mayo is on the horizon or what, but I am all about Mexican food today! In particular Enchiladas, they are usually my go-to meal when we are out at a restaurant.

Even though I have a love affair with enchiladas , I absolutely LOATHE putting them together. Most of the time I make a huge mess where my kitchen is beyond recognition and then when its time serve I can never get them out in their individual rolls. Whats the point?

Well, no more! Ladies and Gentleman, let me introduce you to the Enchilada Casserole a.k.a. &ldquotime saver&rdquo a.k.a.a. &ldquomy new latin lover&rdquo a.k.a.a.a &hellip.. yeah I got nothing. 🙂

Chicken Suizas is one of my favorite enchiladas, so it was a no brainer to make it at home, but making it into a enchilada casserole = sheer genius. These enchiladas come together in no time, taste super authentic, left my kitchen clean, AND are gluten-free! Boo-ya!


Rock On

The smoke wasn’t quite as thick this year in wine country, but the love needn’t be any thinner. That spirit was on full display last weekend when I stopped by Soda Rock Winery, having heard rumor of a “pop-up” wine tasting, and found the parking lot nearly full, and the grounds teeming with wine tasters sipping caramel-scented Chardonnay. I could hardly get an elbow on the bar.

Yep—that Soda Rock, the Alexander Valley winery that recently burned down in the Kincade fire of October 2019. Turns out, the historic redwood barn adjacent the winery, although it leaks daylight through its spindly boards, rebuffed the flames (with the help of firefighters who arrived in the nick of time) and still stands, only slightly singed. With my nose in a glass of red, cherry-fruited Postmaster Zinfandel, I stroll over to inspect the site of the wine’s namesake. Soda Rock’s stone facade was originally built as the area’s post office. And it wasn’t really a winery when embers jumped across Highway 128 the week before. “Soda Rock primarily was an events center with a fabulous tasting room,” explains Antoine Favero, winemaker and general manager for Mazzocco Sonoma, where he also makes Soda Rock wines. “So the good thing is that we still have some juice. Unfortunately, we did have case goods there.” The Wilson Artisan Wineries group owns Mazzocco and Soda Rock.

“I went there yesterday and it was not a good day,” Favero says. But he’s sanguine about the future. “We’re going to pick ourselves up and rebuild and keep on going!” For now, he’s focused on the challenges that power outages, evacuations and smoke present for the 2019 vintage. “We were very, very lucky this year, because about 97 percent of the grapes had been picked before the fire,” Favero says. “The bad thing was, yeah, we had to leave some behind,” because of smoke tainted grapes, he explains. “But you can’t win it all—it’s just the nature of the beast right now.”

Grapes safely picked and crushed, however, were bubbling away when the power went out. “I grew up in South America, where every other day we had a power outage,” Favero shrugs. “So I don’t freak out. But in the United States? It’s kinda going back to my third world country.” Modern wineries control temperatures with cooling systems to guide fermentations to suit the winemaker’s style. “This is something brand new for me. I have never, in my 30 years of winemaking, been away from my fermentations for eight days,” Favero says. He could check on them nearly every day, but do little else. Nevertheless, he feels that the high quality of the fruit this year will prevail. “Whatever we had in tank before the fire, I think is going to be wonderful.”



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