Lyle Norton

Dave McGee, founder and co-winemaker at Monochrome Wines. (Courtesy photo)

Paso Robles vintner sets out to prove the white wine skeptics wrong

Experimentation is a distinctive characteristic of winemakers who began, as hobbyists, making…

Dave McGee, founder and co-winemaker at Monochrome Wines. (Courtesy photo)
In 2018, wineries shipped over six million cases directly to consumers throughout the country except Utah, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, four states that still prohibit it. (Courtesy photo)

More wine drinkers are opting to skip stores for direct shipping

Recently, for a friend’s birthday gift, I phoned a local Sonoma County…

In 2018, wineries shipped over six million cases directly to consumers throughout the country except Utah, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama, four states that still prohibit it. (Courtesy photo)
The new tasting room at Clos du Val winery (Courtesy photo)

Clos du Val winery continues to make history

It is the perfect scenario for a Hollywood movie. A dream come…

The new tasting room at Clos du Val winery (Courtesy photo)
Higher temperatures have actually benefitted growers of riesling grapes in Germany. Winemakers in the U.S. may not be so lucky. (Courtesy photo)

Vineyards adjust to climate change and the news is not all bad for wine drinkers

With everything that surrounds the mystique of wine, it is, essentially, an…

Higher temperatures have actually benefitted growers of riesling grapes in Germany. Winemakers in the U.S. may not be so lucky. (Courtesy photo)
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the recognizable green bottle of Laudemio Frescobaldi extra virgin olive oil is replaced for the vintage 2018 by one with a sleek gold finish. (Lyle Norton, Special to S.F. Examiner)

Pairing wines with an olive oil born of tragedy

Were it not for a catastrophic winter frost more than three decades…

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the recognizable green bottle of Laudemio Frescobaldi extra virgin olive oil is replaced for the vintage 2018 by one with a sleek gold finish. (Lyle Norton, Special to S.F. Examiner)
Lillie Coit, of Coit Tower fame, once lived at Larkmead, a winery with a colorful history. (Courtesy photo)

The storied history, and elegant wines, of Larkmead

All wineries have a story, but few match that of Larkmead, located…

Lillie Coit, of Coit Tower fame, once lived at Larkmead, a winery with a colorful history. (Courtesy photo)
At Seghesio Family Vineyards, the designation of “old vines” begins at 50 years. (Courtesy photo)

An immigrant’s Sonoma legacy: Zinfandel and other Italian varietals

Today, Sonoma County’s Seghesio Family Vineyards is well-known for its fine zinfandel…

At Seghesio Family Vineyards, the designation of “old vines” begins at 50 years. (Courtesy photo)
Lioco co-owners Matt and Sara Licklider (right) sharing wine with friends. (Courtesy photo)

Wine that favors nuance over sheer power

Sometimes the availability of special fruit can lure winemakers out of their…

Lioco co-owners Matt and Sara Licklider (right) sharing wine with friends. (Courtesy photo)
No matter what your stemware of choice is, you can’t go wrong with serving bubbly over the holidays. (Courtesy photo)

Flutes may be out, but sparkling wine and champagne are always in

Champagne and sparkling wines are always part of holidays and special occasions…

No matter what your stemware of choice is, you can’t go wrong with serving bubbly over the holidays. (Courtesy photo)
There are numerous  tasting rooms within blocks of the Healdsburg town square. (Courtesy photo)

Wine tasting around the square in Healdsburg

Quaint downtown Healdsburg is always an enjoyable visit, especially during this season.…

There are numerous  tasting rooms within blocks of the Healdsburg town square. (Courtesy photo)
Lindsey and Chris Wanner, owners of West Coast Wine and Cheese in Cow Hollow and Mill Valley. (Courtesy photo)

Selling the best of the West wines —along with the cheese

Chris Wanner, who owns West Coast Wine and Cheese with his wife…

Lindsey and Chris Wanner, owners of West Coast Wine and Cheese in Cow Hollow and Mill Valley. (Courtesy photo)
Known as the world’s southernmost wine growing region and New Zealand’s most scenic, Central Otago has emerged onto the global stage for its production of pinot noir. (Courtesy photo)

Finding pleasure in pinot noir for its versatility and compatibility

Now that winter is upon us, an assessment of my small wine…

Known as the world’s southernmost wine growing region and New Zealand’s most scenic, Central Otago has emerged onto the global stage for its production of pinot noir. (Courtesy photo)
The grenache-dominant Le Vieux Donjon from Chateaunef-du-Pape in the

An Italian red tops Wine Spectator’s list of best wines of 2018

Wine Spectator is releasing its annual “Top 100” wines list. Some critics…

The grenache-dominant Le Vieux Donjon from Chateaunef-du-Pape in the
Attendees at the Masters of Merlot tasting seminar are, L-R Moderator Anthony Giglio, Chris Carpenter ( Mt. Brave/LaJota), Cleo Pahlmeyer, (Pahlmeyer), PJ Alviso (Duckhorn), Ted Edwards (Freemark Abbey). (Special to the Examiner/Lyle Norton)

Tasting Fine Napa Valley Merlots

At a recent “Masters of Merlot” event at the COPIA Center in…

Attendees at the Masters of Merlot tasting seminar are, L-R Moderator Anthony Giglio, Chris Carpenter ( Mt. Brave/LaJota), Cleo Pahlmeyer, (Pahlmeyer), PJ Alviso (Duckhorn), Ted Edwards (Freemark Abbey). (Special to the Examiner/Lyle Norton)
Vas Kiniris and Dustin Wilson attend SOMM 3 Film San Francisco Premiere on Oct. 25 at Clay Theatre in San Francisco, CA (Courtesy Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography)

Revisiting an epic story of wine and winning

The documentary film, “Somm” chronicled the arduous regime of four young sommeliers,…

Vas Kiniris and Dustin Wilson attend SOMM 3 Film San Francisco Premiere on Oct. 25 at Clay Theatre in San Francisco, CA (Courtesy Andrew Caulfield for Drew Altizer Photography)
Spring Mountain Winery. (Courtesy photo)

The Smith Brothers are still making wine on Spring Mountain

On the westside of the Napa Valley, high above St. Helena is…

Spring Mountain Winery. (Courtesy photo)
Visiting the winery again years after I first tasted Terry Hoage’s wines, they still stand high above the norm.(Courtesy)

From professional football player to formidable producer of Rhone-style wines

I discovered Terry Hoage’s wine years ago at a “Paso On The…

Visiting the winery again years after I first tasted Terry Hoage’s wines, they still stand high above the norm.(Courtesy)
Adele Martrot is one the newest generation of winemakers at Domaine de Martrot. Courtesy.

The women winemakers of Domaine de Martrot

Adele and Elsa Martrot are winemakers from the Meursault village in Burgundy,…

Adele Martrot is one the newest generation of winemakers at Domaine de Martrot. Courtesy.
Pouilly Fume’ in France. (courtesy photo)

The lesser known white wines of France’s Pouilly Fume’

While cruising the Canal Lateral de Loire, we moored the boat near…

Pouilly Fume’ in France. (courtesy photo)
(Courtesy Karen Norton)

The road to Conceito Vinhas

For many, the thrill of the wine experience is the search, finding…

(Courtesy Karen Norton)