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Barossa Valley Wine

The entrance at Rockford

Entrepreneurs have one common trait: an unwavering belief in their vision despite the odds and the naysayers. Rockford Wines was started with no money, no customers, and no reputation…just a dream. A tough way to start a winery in the Barossa Valley in the mid 1980’s when the industry was in such poor shape, the government was paying people to pull vines and use the land for pasture! Thirty-five years later, Rockford stands as a testament to one man’s determined focus combined with a steadfast refusal to compromise on his core values.

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Alpha Box & Dice: Letter Perfect

Alpha Box & Dice: Letter Perfect


Posted on Feb 13, 2019

Mclaren Vale wine Australia

Winemaker Sam Berketa

When we were first introduced to Alpha Box & Dice in Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region, we admit we were skeptical about a winery that is currently working with 29 different varieties from over 40 different plots. Like seeing a thick menu at a restaurant, our first thought was how could they possibly produce so many wines well—and with just one winemaker? Our concerns quickly dissolved when we sat down with Winemaker Sam Berketa and learned that there clearly was a method behind the seemingly apparent madness.

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Wine High Club: Air New Zealand

Wine High Club: Air New Zealand


Posted on Feb 6, 2019

business class airline

Air New Zealand Business Premier

In previous Wine High Club features, we’ve highlighted airlines including Air France, Air Canada and KLM who each consult with a well-known Sommelier or Master of Wine to help curate their business class wine lists. Air New Zealand has taken the focus on wine one step further by consulting with no less than 7 of New Zealand’s leading wine experts. On a recent flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, we were prepared to test whether their offering would end up being that much better than the competition…or if it would be a case of too many oenophiles in the cellar.

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Powell & Son: It’s Complicated

Powell & Son: It’s Complicated


Posted on Jan 30, 2019

Barossa Valley australia

Michael Sawyer, Chris, and Dave Powell.

We had the pleasure to spend three hours tasting and talking with iconic Australian winemaker Dave Powell, his general manager Michael Sawyer and two close friends of ours at the Powell & Son winery in Barossa, South Australia.It’s complicated because of the patchwork of history that has led up to the creation of Powell and Son and the extraordinary wines they are making. That history is largely yesterday’s news, but it is also context for the story that was about to unfold for us.

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Elderton Wines

Vineyard views at Elderton Wines in the Barossa.

A recent trip took us down to Australia to stay with friends who live in Adelaide and tour the local wine regions. Adelaide is the largest city in the Province of South Australia, a port city on the island’s southern coast and South Australia’s capital. It is within an hour’s drive of three of South Australia’s most important wine regions. This is gorgeous real estate, rolling hills that are dedicated to grazing lands and various crops including vineyards. It is sparsely populated and still has that rural, undiscovered feel to it. And as we found, it is a terrific place to visit and taste. There is a great variety of wines to try: numerous different white and red varieties and a surprising range of microclimates, resulting in wines of many different styles. In addition to tasting some terrific wines, we also discovered an amazing foodie culture when we were there. It is a fabulous wine region to visit and we are already thinking about a return visit.

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willamette valley oregon wine

Some of the vineyards at Youngberg Hill.

Biodynamics (also referred to as Biodynamic Farming or Biodynamic Agriculture) is definitely a hot topic in the wine world theses days. Some of the most revered vineyards in the world have adopted the practice. We are talking the likes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine LeRoy, Maison M. Chapoutier, Domaine Zind Humbrecht, to name just a handful of the more than 700 worldwide wine estates employing this controversial and little understood practice.

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Bodegas Muga: True to Tradition

Bodegas Muga: True to Tradition


Posted on Jan 9, 2019

Rioja spain wine haro

Lunch at Muga.

Bodegas Muga is one of the leading wineries in Spain’s elite wine region of Rioja. We not only got to tour and taste at Muga, but the winery hosted us at a very special private lunch at their winery.  Ten of us were a part of the very exclusive Bordeaux to Rioja wine tour put on by Iberian Wines Tours and it was Iberian’s connection with the winery that got us this special invitation. One of the great things about going on these tours is that you get into places that you simply cannot on your own.

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1998 Cuvée William Deutz

1998 Cuvée William Deutz


Posted on Dec 26, 2018

black and whiteDeutz is one of Champagne’s Grande Marques , the name the Champenoise give to the big houses in the region such as Moët Chandon, Taitinger, Bollinger, Veuve Cliquot, Pol Roger and the like. Founded in 1838 it was originally known as Deutz Geldermann, taking its name from founders William Deutz and Pierre-Hubert Geldermann, both involved in the wine trade by profession. Deutz is located in the village of Ay, one of the 17 villages in Champagne to be awarded the very prestigious Grande Cru status.

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