A new winery, The Naked Grape in Modesto CA, recently hosted a special dinner that paired their wines with the fresh, sustainable foods of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen in Santa Monica. The winemaker, Hillary J. Stevens, is a big supporter of locally grown, organic produce. Rustic Canyon's Executive Chef, Evan Funke, sources all of his food from farmers and ranchers that practice sustainable agriculture. It was a perfect marraige of flavors and philosophies.
Dr. Francesco Bellini, passionate winemaker of Domodimonti Natural Wine, married an Italian and relocated to French Canada, but he never forgot his Italian homeland. In 2003, while Francesco and his wife Marisa were visiting Italy, an opportunity came their way to purchase a despaired “antique cantina” with over 98 acres of vineyards along with almost 20 acres of olive groves. The idea of producing their own natural wine in the region where he grew up was the realization of a dream, and they promptly bought the property. But that's just the beginning of a remarkable story. You see, Dr. Bellini is not just a winemaker. He is also an organic chemist, and the driving force behind the realization of one the greatest discoveries of the 21st Century – a drug that seems to cure the dreaded Hepatitis C virus.
When it comes to wine from New Zealand, most people think of only one varietal, and its corresponding wine region. That’s Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough district at the north end of the South Island, of course, which is justifiably renowned, it is true. But there’s much more to that island nation’s vast world of wine than that uniquely crisp and grassy quaff, a fact that is proven every November at the annual Air New Zealand Wine Awards. In 2008, the awards attracted over 1700 entries from New Zealand’s ten winegrowing regions, with the big winners coming not from the Marlborough, but from the Hawke’s Bay.
“Bordeaux”: the word evokes the smell and taste of rich, refined red wine from France with “cashmere tannins,” “elegant fruit,” and “chocolate, tobacco, or cedar chests.”
Around the world, environmentally conscious wineries are at the forefront of the movement to change the way crops are grown. [...]
When it comes to screw-cap closures on fine wines, the Australians have embraced them, New Zealanders adore them, and American winemakers are not far behind. [...]