Author Archive | Laura Ness

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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Windy Oaks Opening Carmel Valley Tasting Room

July 18, 2017 – What a difference a year, or two, makes. After a successful launch in Carmel-By-The-Sea, Jim and Judy Schultze of Windy Oaks Estate in Corralitos, are expanding their wine tasting presence from Carmel to Carmel Valley Village. They are moving into the former Joyce tasting room at the east end of the village, since Russell and company have moved on to a bigger and more visible space next door to Testarossa in the middle of town.

Having a presence in both Carmel and Carmel Valley Village will make them the only winery to be perfectly situated to attract visitors on the coast as well as those who prefer the attractions of the Village.

Says Judy, “We will definitely keep downtown Carmel—it makes us money, so why not?! We have … Read More

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Skov, Hunter Hill and Bargetto in the News

June 27, 2017 – Skov, the newly reincarnated label of Annette and David Hunt, has its genesis in the former Roudon-Smith Winery, which became the first Scotts Valley winery of modern times back in 1978. This sunny, secluded spot on Bean Creek Road is once again opening its doors to the public, after a long hiatus.

The official Grand Opening of Skov took place Saturday, June 24. Going forward, tasting room hours will be noon – 5pm on Saturdays, with tastings available by appointment on Sundays. They hope you’ll come, relax and drink in the special ambiance of the place, where time seems to slow down, diminished in scope by the towering redwoods.

But for now, grab a glass and we’ll take a little trip down memory lane.

Back in 1972, … Read More

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18th Barrel Rolling Out for Father’s Day Grand Opening

June 13, 2017 – There’s a reason why Monica Lopez Ramirez and her husband Anthony decided to hold the grand opening of their new wine and beer bar in San Juan Bautista on June 18, which also happens to be Father’s Day.

You see, she has always associated the number 18 with good things. Beginning with her birthday, which is February 18, this young lady has found the number to bring happiness and good fortune, so why not leverage that?

She and Anthony—who own an electrical company and alarm service in Salinas–were married on November 18, 27 years ago, when she was, unsurprisingly, 18 years old. The couple uses the number 18 on their kids’ jerseys, too.

“I am not superstitious!” claims Monica. “But a lot of great things happen on … Read More

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