Monthly Archives: January 2022

  1. Camins 2 Dreams: Two Cultures Align but Picking Dates? Not So Much

    Camins 2 Dreams: Two Cultures Align but Picking Dates? Not So Much

    With Valentine’s Day approaching, we were thinking, naturally, about romance and how we had an instant connection when we were introduced on June 4, 1973, at 9 a.m. in the newsroom of The Miami Herald. There are so many romantic couples in wine, but it doesn’t often happen as quickly as that. Consider Tara Gomez, 48, and Mireia Taribó, 40, the two winemakers and spouses who own Camins 2 Dreams winery in Lompoc, Calif. 

  2. Kitá Wines, First Native American Brand in U.S., Will Close

    Kitá Wines, First Native American Brand in U.S., Will Close

    Kitá Wines of Santa Barbara County, the first U.S. winery and vineyard owned by a Native American tribe with a winemaker from the tribe, will close its doors, Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, said Tuesday.

    In 2010, the coastal Chumash tribe purchased 1,400 acres from the estate of Fess Parker with the intention of building housing that the reservation needed and a community hall. The land, which was once property the tribe had lived on for 9,000 years, according to its website, included the 256-acre Camp 4 Vineyard, on the eastern boundary of the Valley, at the entrance of Happy Canyon AVA, home to other vineyards. Camp 4 refers to the stage coach stop on the route from San Francisco to Yuma, Arizona. Kitá, in the Chumash language, Samala, means “Our Valley Oak.”

    (Winemaker Tara Gomez)

    The tribe hired as winemaker the daughter of one of its elders, Tara Gomez, 48, who in 1998 was one of two women to earn enology degrees from the University of California, Fresno, and who had interned at Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard while a student followed by a fulltime job there after college, and later nine years at J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. Before taking on the assignment, she also traveled to wine regions in Germany, France and Spain, learning how winemakers in those regions worked.

    The tribe had funded her studies at UC-Fresno and her first releases in 2013 of the 2010 and 2011 vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Grenache proved its trust well-placed as the wines won awards and garnered positive reviews. The sustainably farmed vineyard grows 19 types of grapes and Kitá produced 2,000 cases annually.

    “The tribe, with a focus on diversifying our investment portfolio, has made the business decision to leave the wine industry at this time. Tara Gomez successfully produced award-winning wines while telling the story of our tribe to a new audience. We thank Tara for the years of dedication and hard work she poured into Kitá Wines, and we congratulate her on cementing her legacy as a top-flight Native American woman winemaker,” Kahn wrote in response to our query. “Thank you to all of you who enjoyed and supported Kitá Wines throughout the years.”

    Dorothy J. Ga...

  3. Marco Nicolosi of Barone di Villagrande: An Etna Bianco Pioneer

    Marco Nicolosi of Barone di Villagrande: An Etna Bianco Pioneer

    Grape Collective talks with Marco Nicolosi of Barone di Villagrande about the family's unique place in the evolution of the Etna wine region and the particular suitability of the terroir to producing elegant expressions of Etna Bianco.

  4. Sangiacomo Wines: A Grape Farming Family Takes a Leap

    Sangiacomo Wines: A Grape Farming Family Takes a Leap

    "The family business started with Vittorio, who came to California in 1913 from Genoa, Italy. After working on farms and starting a successful scavenging business, he yearned to work with the land as he had done in Italy. So he bought 52 acres of fruit trees in Sonoma in 1927 and the next year married Maria, a young woman also from Genoa. They focused on growing pears and apples and during the Depression, when land was cheap, they kept buying it, working it with their four children." Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher

  5. Domaine de BRAU and the New Look of Languedoc Wine

    Domaine de BRAU and the New Look of Languedoc Wine

    It's easy to see why the sun-drenched region of Languedoc in southern France holds such an enduring appeal to so many people. The charming villages, rolling green hills, sandy seaside and snow-capped mountains will tug at your heartstrings, making you wish...

  6. Nine Oaks Estate: Celebrating Indigenous Georgian Grapes

    Nine Oaks Estate: Celebrating Indigenous Georgian Grapes

    Situated at the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains in the Kakheti region of Georgia is Nine Oaks, an estate formed in 2011 as a collaboration among longtime friends focused on producing traditionally made Georgian wines. Nine...

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