Author Archive | Laura Ness

VinoCruz Gets Ready to Open In Soquel

October 17, 2017 – Remember VinoCruz, that smart wine shop concept pioneered by JP Correa and Jeffrey Kongslie? Located at 725 Front Street, in downtown Santa Cruz, this mecca of wines exclusively made by Santa Cruz producers was highly popular and thrived despite being tucked at the back of Abbott Square, in the shadow of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.

When JP and Jeffrey got the call to move back east in 2008, they sold the place to Steve Principe, who made a great go of it until the museum came knocking for the space. Principe then sold the business to Jordan Iversen, graphic artist and website creator for VinoCruz, and Chris and Matt Schofield, father and son. All three are devoted Santa Cruz wine aficionados.

Thinking they’d quickly … Read More

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Carmel Plaza Renovation Moves Towards Completion

October 10, 2017 – The grand opening of Hahn Family Wines tasting room on Thursday is a big achievement for the local winery, as well as another step towards completion of the ongoing renovation of Carmel Plaza shopping center, which will soon include three tasting rooms.

According to Gayle Spears, GM of the Carmel Plaza, the one and a half year project is on track to be completed by the target opening date of November 20, 2017. The bulk of the heavy lifting has been accomplished — the interior courtyard is done, stairs and rails are in place, and things are moving very quickly now.

Spears says multiple trade parties are at work installing gutters and stucco and paint. “Everything is moving right along and the South courtyard should be … Read More

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Ventana Wines to Receive Folktale-Style Makeover

September 26, 2017 – Folktale Winery in Carmel is partnering with Ventana Wines to upgrade nearly 300 acres of vineyards and create an exciting new wine tourism destination expected to breathe new life into the River Road Wine Trail.

Folktale founder and president Gregory Ahn says they are partnering with Ventana owners Randy Pura and Bruce Sterten to completely overhaul the vineyard and historic site. But he is careful to note that they are not outright purchasing Ventana, but instead, working with the owners to revitalize both the vineyard and the facility.

“For now, we have entered into a strategic partnership through which Folktale will be participating in the replanting of the vineyard and helping reimagine the winery facility as a new boutique winemaking facility and hospitality center at the center of Monterey wine … Read More

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Meet Award Winning Winemaker Megan Bell

August 22, 2017 – It’s a wickedly good name for a wine label, Margins. It conjures up so many different notions and concepts, but the intent of winemaker Megan Bell, comes from her personal quest to focus on forgotten or marginalized varietals.

Likewise, Megan Bell herself is not someone you’re likely to forget. She’s the secret shepherd behind Beauregard’s sparkling wine program, and most of the whites produced under this label. She’s been assistant winemaker to Ryan Beauregard for going on three years now, and he makes no bones about his adoration for her.

This summer a 2015 Ben Lomond Mountain Chardonnay she made from start to finish for Beauregard won Double Gold, Best of Class in the International Women’s Wine Competition in Santa Rosa, while Bell’s own 2016 Margins Chenin … Read More

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Can It Be? Fine Wine In Aluminum

July 25, 2017 – When Sabrine Rodems, winemaker at Wrath in the Santa Lucia Highlands, first heard about wine in cans, she laughed it off. “Another silly trend!” she thought. In fact, she admits, “If you told me two years ago that I’d be making wine in cans, I’d have said you were crazy. No way!”

Then her boss, owner Michael Thomas came to her with a wacky idea. How about let’s broaden our wine portfolio into some new areas? He suggested cans. She was plenty skeptical, but they started thinking about how they might add a bit of class to the increasing number of offerings in this category.

As they did their research, they tried lots of wine in cans: some abysmal, most pretty lame. They felt they had … Read More

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