Your Resource for Wine Region Travel

Brandon Beginning of harvest '08

Dear Reader,

I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend celebration.  We did!  We went up to the Sierra foothills to my Mom's, where she had 11 for dinner.  We had a special visit from my mother-and father-in-law who came up from Los Angeles for the week.  Mom made a traditional turkey with stuffing, my son's girlfriend made an updated version of the green bean casserole that turned out great.  I made twice-baked sweet potatoes with dried cranberries and walnuts (check out the recipe), a cranberry sauce made with pomegranate juice, and the gravy.  My sister-in-law made a delicious chocolate cake with raspberry filling to go with the traditional pumpkin and apple pies bought fresh from the local apple farms.  We had a great time visiting and watching movies.  The festivities really began when Larry opend up a Peachy Canyon '04 Jester.  We then continued with a Peachy Canyon '02 Cabernet Sauvignon, a Dierberg '03 Pinot Noir and a Nalle '05 Pinot Noir.  It was a nice sampling of California wines ranging from Santa Maria to Paso Robles and up to Russian River.  Everyone enjoyed everything!

Larry and I did our final interview with Winemaker B who declared Harvest '08 as over on November 6th.  Now we sit tight and wait to see how the '08 wines turn out.  Just be patient, that is what good winos do!  We are so happy that Winemaker B took the time to let us all know the blow-by-blow details of how the harvest went.  If you missed any of the segments go to the Ask The Winemaker column and click onto the archives.  Remember, if you have any questions for Winemaker B, please post your questions on our blog or email him at  He will get the answers to you as soon as he can.

Last summer just after I launched the website, we interviewed Bob Mosby of  Benovia Winery in Santa Rosa.  They are a small winery in a large facility so they can grow.  It was a different interview than we have done to date as this winery is just getting off the ground.  They are still planting some of their vineyards and are open by appointment only.  Go check them out, they are in a beautiful area of Santa Rosa and they make a really nice Pinot Noir, plus a few other varietals.  Along with this interview there are two new recipes that you should enjoy making and pairing with their wines.

If you've had any wine tasting or food and wine pairing experiences recently that you would like to share, please blog about it.  It's really so easy to do.  Reading about your experiences adds to our knowledge, education, and depth about wine.

Don't worry, drink happy!™

Lori Lapides

How does the climate affect the wine?

Grapes vary slightly in their needs, but vines will usually thrive within certain limits.  An average annual temperature of 57-59 degrees, with a summer average of not less than 66 degrees is ideal.  Summers should not be too hot, nor autumn too cool.  Rain, around 27 inches per year, should fall in winter and spring, too much in summer and autumn can harm the grapes.  Bad weather is a worry; frost, strong winds, hail, and heavy rains are major dangers.  Sunlight is essential to the vines and is most valuable for its ripening.  Check out an article written by Sandra Silven, who has been writing about wine for over 20 years, entitled "Weather rules winegrowing in cold-weather climates".  And for something a bit on the lighter note, watch this video done by Gary Vaynerchuk, host of Wine Library TV, where he reviews wine in very extreme weather. is a website dedicated to help you learn more about wine region traveling:  how each wine region is unique and what it has to offer, the art and science of wine making, some FAQ's on wine etiquette, recipes that go great with different wines, plus much, much more.

Our website features:
Ask the Winemaker column in which our dedicated consultant, Brandon, answers your questions.
Vineyard Views articles where we interview wine industry personalities.
Wine Region area information from wineries and lodging to restaurants, spas and other activities.
Food and Wine Pairing Recipes
Travel Planning Services
where you tell us what you want to see and do on your next wine region getaway, and we will plan it for you.
Blog to write about your wine experiences or read what others wine lovers have to say.

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Be part of helping our website get off the ground, it's easy!  All you have to do is to forward this newsletter along to as many of your friends and family who you think would enjoy reading and learning more about wine and the experiences that traveling in the different wine regions offer.  We would greatly appreciate it.

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Ask The Winemaker

Brandon #3
Harvest 2008
Is Over!

The Final Interview

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Brandon Beginning of harvest '08
Vineyard Views

Benovia Winery spoke with Bob Mosby, general manager of Benovia Winery in Santa Rosa.  Bob, who grew up in Texas, first learned about good wine 30 years ago when he went to explore Europe.  Afterwards he visited Napa and has been hooked on California wines ever since.  He gets to talk and share his love of wine with you when you come in to tour the winery.