Lyle Norton

Iconic French Bordeaux release tops Wine Spectator’s 2019 picks

Iconic French Bordeaux release tops Wine Spectator’s 2019 picks

The United States, at 29 percent, had more wines on the 2019 list than any other country

Iconic French Bordeaux release tops Wine Spectator’s 2019 picks
The Tenuta dell ‘Ornellaia estate in the Bolgheri region. (Courtesy Photo)

The little wine that could: Le Serre Nuove dell ‘Ornellaia

Twenty years have passed since the famed Tenuta dell ‘Ornellaia introduced the first true “second vin”

The Tenuta dell ‘Ornellaia estate in the Bolgheri region. (Courtesy Photo)
Silvia, Primo and Annalisa Franco, producers of Nino Franco NV Rustico Prosecco Superiore - the top wine on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s top 100 wines list of 2019.                                 Courtesy photo

Prosecco leads Wine Enthusiast magazine Top 100 Wines of 2019

‘Tis the season for major wine periodicals to release their lists of top 100 wines.

Silvia, Primo and Annalisa Franco, producers of Nino Franco NV Rustico Prosecco Superiore - the top wine on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s top 100 wines list of 2019.                                 Courtesy photo
Winemaker Jesse Katz’s newest project is Aperture Estate. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The winemaker of the stars opens new estate near Healdsburg

Young veteran winemaker Jesse Katz, producer of Sonoma County Bordeaux-style wines under his Aperture Cellars brand since 2009, is about to take a huge step.

Winemaker Jesse Katz’s newest project is Aperture Estate. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The Jermann Estate in northern Italy has been producing fine wine for generations. (Courtesy photo)

Lux Wines and virtual reality offer immersion into Italian wine portfolio

Tour showcases prominent estates with top-rated vintages

The Jermann Estate in northern Italy has been producing fine wine for generations. (Courtesy photo)
Valpolicella region yields varied choices of Italian wines

Valpolicella region yields varied choices of Italian wines

Verona, in northeast Italy, is a romantic city, steeped with history and beautiful vistas along the Adige River.

Valpolicella region yields varied choices of Italian wines
Heirloom tomato salad with six-month Manchego cheese at Bellota Restaurant, south of Market. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Sustainability and affordability drive Rioja Bodegas LAN wines to U.S. Markets

There is so much to love about Spanish wines from Rioja and other regions.

Heirloom tomato salad with six-month Manchego cheese at Bellota Restaurant, south of Market. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Hidden Ridge Vineyard. (Courtesy photo)

Taking direct consumer wine distribution to a new level

Following a similar model to Netflix, HBO and others in the film industry, Wine Access, is now partnering with established winemakers to produce their own exclusive wines.

Hidden Ridge Vineyard. (Courtesy photo)
David Ramey (Courtesy photo)

New releases expand the boundaries of traditional California-style chardonnay

Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape varietal in the United States…

David Ramey (Courtesy photo)
Chef Dustin Valette and fourth generation vintner Jason Passalacqua. (Karen Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Healdsburg’s Passalacqua Winery takes a minimalist approach

Jason Passalacqua is a fourth generation winemaker in the Dry Creek Valley.

Chef Dustin Valette and fourth generation vintner Jason Passalacqua. (Karen Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The outdoor Live Fire Chef Dinner series at Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)

California’s Long Meadow Ranch Live Fire Chef series showcases local food, wines

It is a location that reaps the benefits of the Long Meadow Ranch business model to source the finest organic wine and foods.

The outdoor Live Fire Chef Dinner series at Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena. (Lyle Norton/Special to S.F. Examiner)
The Seavey Vineyard in Napa Valley (Courtesy photo)

Merlot month helps restore respect to a legend

Not all problems with merlot were caused by the “Sideways Effect.”

The Seavey Vineyard in Napa Valley (Courtesy photo)
This villa at Bricoleur Vineyards is available for those who prefer lush accommodations. (Courtesy photo)

Bricoleur Vineyards opens a new retreat in California

They are either following an aggressive business plan to turn their 40-acre estate into a hospitality retreat or willingly flying by the seat of their pants.

This villa at Bricoleur Vineyards is available for those who prefer lush accommodations. (Courtesy photo)
Vineyards in Bordeaux. (Courtesy photo)

The Iconic Bordeaux wine region is coping with climate change

Although still the premier Bordeaux red varietal, merlot is being scrutinized as a potential future victim of rising temperatures.

Vineyards in Bordeaux. (Courtesy photo)
Kathleen Gaffney, winemaker at Spear Vineyards and Winery. (Courtesy photo)

Sipping through California’s Sta. Rita region

I tend to fall back on some traditional favorites and am never disappointed.

Kathleen Gaffney, winemaker at Spear Vineyards and Winery. (Courtesy photo)
The Diemersdal Estate near Capetown covers 840 acres of which nearly 450 is planted under vine with pinotage, merlot, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and others. (Courtesy photo)

On the Vine: What to pair with crocodile and other African cuisine

Pinotage is a signature grape in South Africa, created in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first Professor of Viticulture at Stellenbosch University.

The Diemersdal Estate near Capetown covers 840 acres of which nearly 450 is planted under vine with pinotage, merlot, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and others. (Courtesy photo)
Sauvignon blanc is California’s fourth most planted white grape. (Courtesy photo)

Eight of the best California sauvignon blanc wines

With so many good sauvignon blanc releases across the state, it’s difficult and subjective to select a few.

Sauvignon blanc is California’s fourth most planted white grape. (Courtesy photo)
Sara Fowler, winemaker at Peju Province Winery. (Special to S.F. Examiner/Lyle Norton)

Peju Province Winery: A story of stability and sustainability

In 1983, Tony and Herta left a florist business in Los Angeles and purchased the 30-acre Rutherford site.

Sara Fowler, winemaker at Peju Province Winery. (Special to S.F. Examiner/Lyle Norton)
Frank Family Vineyards owners Rich and Leslie Frank and their German Shepherd named Magnum. (Courtesy/Frank Family Vineyards)

Frank Family Winery: A vineyard rich in Hollywood history

Stories have been told of Marilyn Monroe making annual visits to Kornell to stock up on the bubbly.

Frank Family Vineyards owners Rich and Leslie Frank and their German Shepherd named Magnum. (Courtesy/Frank Family Vineyards)
Winemaker and Viticulturist Andy Erickson (Courtesy Photo)                                Winemaker and Viticulturist Andy Erickson (Courtesy Photo)

Napa Valley icons share inspirational wines to support Alzheimer’s research

Magnificent wines represent the extraordinary skill of Napa Valley winemakers

Winemaker and Viticulturist Andy Erickson (Courtesy Photo)                                Winemaker and Viticulturist Andy Erickson (Courtesy Photo)