Wineries of the Month

Elena Walch Winery

Elena Walch Winery
Elena Walch is a leading Alto Adige wine estate, in family hands, and belongs to the elite in Italian wine production, with international success. Encouraging quality and innovation, Elena Walch stood at the head of the Alto Adige quality revolution and has gained local and international esteem for her efforts. An architect by trade, Elena Walch married into one of the oldest and most significant wine families of the region and brought new, modern concepts to the traditional establishment. Now, the responsibility for the family business is being put into the hands of the daughters, Julia and Karoline Walch, already the fifth generation.

Alois Lageder Winery
The Alois Lageder winery in Alto Adige comprises fifty hectares of the family’s own vineyards, which are managed on the basis of biodynamic principles. Our holistic approach is reflected in our winegrowing activities, our long-standing relationships with numerous grape growers and our ambition to create awareness for an agriculture that is in tune with nature.

Our wines reflect the diversity of Alto Adige. With the Classical Grape Varietals we want to optimally explore the diversity of our region. For the Compositions we study the individual components in the vineyard and in the cellar. By combining different components, we create wines with a strong character. With the Masterpieces we perfect all aspects of wine growing.

These top-quality wines are from the best sites on our biodynamically-cultivated estates. Our finest wines are made by revealing and emphasizing the distinctive qualities of these vineyards through meticulous fruit selection.

Marco Felluga Winery
Marco Felluga and Russiz Superiore are two of the most prestigious wineries of Collio region: they have an enduring relationship with the wine – began over a century ago, in the second half of 1800, in Istria – that can be considered a true dynasty of winemakers, that has been able to exploit the potential of some varieties and territories suited to the vine.

In the 30’s, after the World War I, Giovanni Felluga decided to move to Friuli and more precisely, in the Collio. Marco, the penultimate of his seven children, continued the family business and in 1956 he founded the company which has his name. Thanks to him, who trained as a young man at the prestigious school of oenology of Conegliano, we have the path of innovation, quality and research.



Wineries of the Month

Bokisch Winery

Bokisch Winery
Although Markus was raised in California, he spent his childhood summers in Spain with his family. In the Spanish tradition, he was given wine with water at meals. As he grew older each year the wine & water started turning from a light pink to a deep purple. Little did Markus know, his taste buds from then on were programmed towards Spanish wines.

In 1992, Liz & Markus moved to Spain and worked in the Spanish wine industry in Raimat and the Penedes. Upon their return, they purchased their Terra Alta Vineyards property in the Clements Hills.

Liquid Farm Winery
Before Liquid Farm, our glasses were often filled with old world wine. We preferred the lower alcohol, cooler climate, and more earth-driven characteristics of European wines.

We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines.We decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County.

Sean Minor Wines
I was born in Kansas surrounded by agriculture and the hard work and values responsible for the enviable work ethic of Midwestern people. The concept of coaxing things out of the earth and bringing them to the dinner table has always been a fascinating aspect. Wine takes this concept to its zenith.

My wine career began after a formal education in finance from Arizona State University where I also met my wife, Nicole. We moved to California after graduation, where I began working for Napa Valley’s Beaulieu Vineyard. I knew right from the start the wine industry was the right place for me.


ITALIAN Wines of the Month


Elena Watch 2018 Schiava Alto Adige
100% Schiava
Alcohol: 13%
Bright ruby red color, pleasant hints of bitter almond. In the mouth just perceptible tannins. Medium-bodied wine, easy to drink. An interesting wine to accompany Mediterranean dishes, pasta dishes and appetizers. We suggest to serve it fresh.

2016 Marco Felluga Collio Bianco Just Molamatta
Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Robolla
Gialla, and Fruiano
Alcohol: 13.5%
Straw yellow in colour. Characterized by an elegant bouquet of fresh fruits with hints of sweetness reminiscent of apples and pears. Coats the palate, is fruity and mineral and the finish confirms the well-balanced aromas presented on the nose. Serve with white fish and rich chicken pasta dishes.


Marco Felluga 2014 Collio Merlot Varneri
100% Merlot
Alcohol: 13%
Deep red colour with light garnet tones. On the nose, it is fresh and ruity with scents reminiscent of red-berry jam and cherries. In the mouth, rich, harmonious with a long finish. Serve with ribs, steak, rich mushroom sauces, or hearty pasta dishes.

2016 Alois Lageder Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 12.5%
Ruby red with a garnet shimmer. Fresh aromatics, fruity red berries, cherry, mineral. Medium bodied, spicy, fruity, soft. Varietal tipicity. Serve with white meats, beef, lamb, poultry, duck, venison, cheeses.

2018 Elena Walch Gewurztraminer Alto Adige DOC
100% Gewurztraminer
Alcohol: 14%
Typical dry Alto Adige charm and personality, gleams in intense straw yellow with hints of gold reflections. Classic Gewürztraminer notes are mirrored in the bouquet – intensively aromatic notes of rose petals, flowers and spices. The wine presents itself rich in finesse on the palate, with fresh fullness, harmonic elegance and a long finish. As a full-flavoured aperitif or accompaniment to a range of savoury, spicy first courses, dishes based on shellfish and grilled fish or flavoured cheese.


2014 Alois Lagader Pinot Noir Krafuss Alto Adige
100% Pinoit Noir
Alcohol: 13.5%
Smooth, elegant wine with berry aromas of raspberry and red currant. Floral notes of violet and forest floor. Silky and lean in texture with a soothing and relaxed temperament. Pair with duck, aged cheeses, beef, or lamb.

2013 Scarbolo Refosco
100% Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso
Alcohol: 13%
Intense and deep, ruby red with violet reflections. Notes of white pepper unfold to aromas of sweet plum jam and earthy spices. Bold taste and robust structure, akin to the charcter of a native “Friulian”. Serve with aged cheeses, rich pasta dishes, beef, or lamb.

ITALIAN Region of the Month


This little region sits on the Adriatic coast, with the Alps bordering it with Austria in the north and Slovenia in the east. The region has an outstanding reputation for its white wines which account for just over 60% of its output. A mixture of local and international grape varieties are grown with great success here. The region’s winemakers are forward-thinking, even pioneering the “Friuli method”, a modern technique for getting juice off the skins quickly.

There are ten DOCs in Friuli although two of these are considered to be exceptional – Collio Goriziano, which is usually known simply as Collio, and Friuli Colli Orientali, which runs from Gorizia along the Slovenian border to Tarcento. Quality is also excellent in the Friuli Isonzo DOC area, where some stylish dry whites are made from Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio and Riesling. Some excellent reds are also made from the Cabernets and Pinot Nero, either as single varietal whites or blends. Carso is a DOC whose red Terrano wines and whites from Malvasia Istriana show great class.


CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month


2017 Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 3% Petite Sirah
Alcohol: 13.5%
Ruby in color and displays aromas of black cherry, plum and violets. Ripe flavors of blackberries and raspberries combined with hints of savory spices coat the palate. The soft tannins and sweet oak balance lead to a long and lingering finish. Pair with a steak, ribs, aged cheeses, or a rich, red pasta dish.

2017 Sean Minor Chardonnay
100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.5%
Golden straw color. Displays aromas of white peach, pears and tropical nuances with subtle notes of butter. On the entry, pear, pineapple and green apple flavors are framed by nice acidity which integrates well with the medium body mouth feel. Pair with white fish, chicken dishes, or a summer salad.


2015 Bokisch Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard
97% Garnacha, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Monastrell
Alcohol: 14.5%
Brilliant red hue of gemstones. Notes of ripe strawberry, raspberry, and cherry candy mix together with a spicy blend of anise, clove and nutmeg. Well-balanced acidy add to the pomegranatelike tannins and flavors of cranberry sauce, watermelon, and mango. Long finish that ends with hit of dried vanilla beans. Pair with tapa of Spanish Membrillo, Manchego and Jamon Serrano.

2015 Bokisch Tempranillo Liberty Oaks and Las Cerezas
98% Tempranillo, 2% Graciano
Alcohol: 14.5%
Deep purple, rich and dark. Aromas of smoky leather, toasted marshmallows and forest fruit. Finish with notes of cardamom, anise and black pepper. Long, lingering finish. Pair with chicken with chocolate mole, butter basted grilled Ribeye or risotto.

2015 Bokisch Veneyards Verdejo Clay Station Vineyards
95% Verdejo, 5% Verdelho
Alcohol: 13.1%
Light hay color. Taste of honeydew melon, Asian pear, with hints of fennel and tonic water. Medium bodied with distinctive minerality with flavors of honey mead, pear, key lime and plantain. Pair with scallops and roast chicken and panko fried manchego.


2015 Snowden ‘The Ranch’ Cabernet
100 % Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.9%
The 2015 Ranch has a brooding bouquet of black plums, cedar and violets. Dark fruit, anise and sage follow on the palate. The wine is seamless and rich supported by warm, chalky tannins. The Ranch is both indulgent and savory with a clean finish. Serve with a juicy steak, a rich, red pasta dish, or aged cheese.

2016 Liquid Farm Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13%
Aromas of dried cranberry, fruit leather, fresh parsley, and tea leaves leaped from the glass. On the palate, the wine is both energetic and sophisticated with great intensity and depth of flavor. The finish is long and savory keeping you wanting to come back for another sip. Pair with roasted chicken, medium aged cheeses, or pork chops.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month

San Joaquin

San Joaquin Valley has five million acres of irrigated farmland. By far the largest producing area in the state, the San Joaquin Valley accounts for more than 50 percent of the total state winegrape crush. There are more than 30 wineries and five AVAs.

The majority of wine, table and raisin grapes in California are grown in this Valley. French Colombard is the leading variety with over 28,000 acres. Chardonnay is the second most planted grape with 16,000 acres. The red winegrape with the most acreage is Zinfandel at 14,000 acres.

Winegrowing in the San Joaquin Valley goes back to the years immediately after statehood in parts of the Valley with readily accessible water. With the advancement of refrigerated wineries in the 1960’s-1980’s, the traditional problems associated with warm weather enology were effectively eliminated. More grapes are produced in the lush soils than every other parts of the state combined. Many premium wines got their start in the San Joaquin Valley, until market and perception mandated their relocation to other areas.



By Debra Williams

Cider Beef Stew
Great winter dish. Another My Great Recipe favorite.

2 lbs. chuck or round steak
3 Tbsp. flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. oil
3 cups apple cider
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 bay leaf
4-6 whole cloves & whole allspice
¼ tsp. dried basil leaves
4 carrots, peeled, quartered
3 potatoes, cut into wedges
2 onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 apple, peeled, sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Cut meat into 1 ½” chunks. Coat with flour, salt, and pepper.In Dutch oven, brown meat in heated oil. Discard excess oil. Stir in cider and lemon juice, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered 1 ½ hours until meat is tender. Add vegetables and apple. Cook 20 minutes longer. Garnish with parsley. Serve with sour dough bread and a sorbet for desert.

Hot Lemon Coffee
Perfect after meal treat on a brisk, cold day.

4 cups strong, hot coffee
4 to 6 Tbsp. sugar
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
½ Tbsp. grated orange rind
½ cut cup whipping cream

Pour hot coffee into saucepan. Stir in sugar and simmer until dissolved. Add orange and lemon juice. Stir in rind. Pour coffee mixture into 4 cups. Top with whipped cream and garnish with orange rind.