Norton Safeweb

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pinot Noir Taking Over

Sonoma County's most planted grape is Chardonnay. That should be no surprise as Chard is the number one selling wine in the country. For a very long time Cabernet Sauvignon was the second most planted and by far the most planted red wine grape.

Pinot Noir has officially passed Cabernet.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Spring 2016 Events in Sonoma County

Listed below are major wine and non-wine events in Sonoma County for March into June 2016.

It's a perfect time in the wine country with warming temperatures, vines starting the new year's growth, wildflowers, and lots of exciting events to tempt you.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sonoma Valley photos

Feb 24, 2016 along Highway 12 between the towns of Sonoma and Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. Spring has definitely sprung!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Westside Road, Dry Creek Valley Photos

Feb 23, 2016 in southern Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County. Most vines have been pruned by now as spring growth will be starting soon. Lots of flowering cover crops in the rows between vines.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Napa Legend, Peter Mondavi, Passes at 101

Charles Krug Winery's Peter Mondavi, Sr. lived an extraordinary 101 years. His parents purchased Charles Krug in 1943, a winery that was already over eight decades old. Mondavi became president of the winery in 1976.

Locally, Peter is most known for his infamous feud with his brother, Robert. Because of this Robert left the winery in the 1960s and soon started Robert Mondavi Winery, the first premium winery in Napa Valley and the rest, as they say, is history.

Things never quite healed between the brothers and you can bet Charles was a bit jealous of Robert's success after leaving the family's winery. Both brothers contributed a lot to modern California wine making.

Article on Peter's life from the Napa Register.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy Holiday! (National Drink Wine Day)

Hope you didn't go into work today cuz it's a holiday -- National Drink Wine Day. Okay, some of us don't need a holiday, but it's always nice to have an excuse. It's a great holiday as you don't have to buy presents, cook a big meal for the family, or hang out with bratty kids. All you have to do is find a wine bar and drink up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Russian River Valley Zinfandel

If you drink Zinfandel you are likely familiar with a few regions of California that specialize in this luscious varietal. Lodi, Dry Creek Valley, Paso Robles and Amador County may be names you recognize from wine labels. BTW if you're not a Zinfandel fan you are missing out!

The Russian River Valley appellation in Sonoma County sits in an area that gets cooling afternoon breezes off the Pacific. This area is known mostly for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two cool climate grapes. But Zinfandel?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Red Wine Headaches?

There are people that say red wine gives them headaches. White wine is apparently okay. What's the difference between the two that could lead to this reaction?

It can be difficult to figure out exactly what may be causing the problem as no two people react the same.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Beer to Wine Conversion Chart

If you love beer, especially craft beers, and find wine kind of overwhelming here are suggestions for wines to try based on your favorite beers.

This is quite helpful if you are visiting Sonoma County because even though you want to spend the weekend at Russian River Brewery and Lagunitas others in your party came for the wine. Hint: Suggest a brewery for a lunch stop.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Direct-to-Consumer Shipping from a Winery

You'd think the rules allowing wineries to ship their product directly to you would be easy to understand. But no, consumers are confused. Actually, wineries are, too. There are companies that make a living figuring this out and doing all the required paperwork for the winery. Trying to be compliant with the laws of 50 different states is nearly impossible for a small business.

At a high level here's what it looks like at the beginning of 2016:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Where to Get Your Cabernet Fix in Sonoma County

Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of red wines. A wine you can age, you can serve with a great dinner, a wine of complexity. When most visitors come to the area thinking of Cab they think of Napa Valley. And Napa does have lots of great, and usually expensive, Cabernet, but maybe you should think Sonoma.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Four Bottles a Day--That's All You Need

A gentleman in Spain just passed away at 107 years old. What led to the long life? He says because he drank four bottles of red wine a day. The guy never drank water just his homemade wine.

Drink red wine and live forever

You'll notice in his picture in the news article he looks pretty damn happy, too!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wineries Changing Hands

The year is still young, but the sale of North Coast wineries hasn't slowed down from the 2015 pace. Within the first few weeks of 2016 several smaller operations have changed owners--I think for the better.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

You're Not Drinking Enough Sparkling Wine

image from
Neither am I.

Most of us think of sparkling wine only for wedding toasts, for New Year's Eve, and maybe for Valentine's Day. There's actually an excuse for drinking it almost every day!

Why is sparkling wine (aka Champagne) so great? Let us count the ways.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Where to get your Pinot Noir fix in Sonoma County

Pinot Noir is a cool-climate grape so it thrives in the less warm micro-climates of Sonoma County. This would be the Sonoma Coast, Carneros, and Russian River Valley appellations. This list is all about the Russian River Valley as there are many more choices of places to visit.