Norton Safeweb

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bennett Valley, Sonoma County

Fans of California wine have probably experienced several of Sonoma County's grape growing regions. Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley are all pretty well known. There are a bunch of smaller appellations not so well known, like Bennett Valley.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Visiting Sonoma for the Wine? The Beer?

Thousands come to Sonoma County to sip from the hundreds of winery tasting rooms. There's everything from Korbel with their millions of cases of bubbly to guys making a couple hundred cases a year. You might be surprised by how many come for the craft beer. Russian River Brewery and Lagunitas are the most famous, but there are a couple dozen brewpubs in the county.

If you're coming make time to sample hard cider. There are several cider makers in the county and now a tasting room has opened for one of the "micro-cideries." Article from the Press Democrat.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

At Chateau St. Jean Winery (photos)

October 24th at Chateau St. Jean Winery in Sonoma Valley
 Click on photos to enlarge

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wine for the Zombie Apocalypse

You know it's coming because of the rash of zombie movies. You also know you can't live on just ammo and toilet paper. So what wines should you have stashed in your bunker while you wait for Bruce Willis in a black helicopter to save you?

Monday, October 20, 2014

When the Rules Don't Apply to You

There are many rules and regulations in the alcohol beverage industry at the federal, state and local levels. The County of Sonoma regulates the sale and production at wineries because it is a commercial venture usually taking place in a rural area. There are concerns with noise, traffic, water use, etc. Once a winery is okayed there will be rules like whether or not you can be open to the public for tasting, what the hours are, if you can hold special daytime or evening events, and the number of people you can have on the property at one time. Much of this has to do with concerns of the neighbors and traffic safety.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Red Wine Bath

We've all read numerous news articles about red wine supposedly being healthy for you. This one is a first though. A member of the Knicks NBA team is having red wine spa treatments for an injury. No, really!


The last paragraph is the best: "Are you using quality wine?" "I don't know, I haven't tasted it."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October in the Russian River Valley (photos)

Oct 15, 2014, after a brief rainstorm
along Olivet Road, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County.
Starting to see some fall colors.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wine-buying demographics--what people don't talk about much

Large wineries (examples: Gallo, Kendall-Jackson) and beverage corporations (examples: Constellation, Treasury) along with outside marketing research groups spend lots of time and money looking at who buys wine. What's going to happen with the aging Baby Boomers? What are the Millennials buying? What can Gen X afford now and ten years from now?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Favorites from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair

The first weekend of October is a grand tasting of the wines of Sonoma County. I was there for one day, three hours, and barely scratched the surface. In fact, I had just gotten to the Cabernets at closing time! Of the wines I tasted these were the favorites.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Versatility of Zinfandel

California Zinfandel is an interesting wine. 

Premium Zinfandel is grown in diverse areas like Mendocino County in the North Coast, Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Lodi in the Central Valley, and Paso Robles on the Central Coast. Several appellations of Sonoma County are known for great Zins, such as Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, and Rockpile. In nearby Napa County the Howell Mountain area is well known for Zinfandel.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Future of Wine: Boomers to Millennials

The Baby Boomers fueled the growth in New World wine starting in the 1970s then through the '80s and '90s when that generation was middle-aged and had buying power for premium wine. Now that Boomers are reaching retirement and fixed incomes the torch is being handed over to Gen-X and the Millennials. You can read a lot of material about how Millennials are changing wine--it's the big subject on the future of wine.