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Santa Barbara Returns to Its Downtown Wine Roots


Santa Barbara had the good fortune of being the site of one of the numerous California missions built by the Franciscan Brothers in the late 18th century.

The good brothers needed altar wine and a source of reliable drink. Wells and stored water had a habit of becoming contaminated. Whether by choice or necessity, they used a grape variety now known as Mission...

Make a Date to Visit Grapevine, Y'all


One of my favorite under-the-radar "winelands" is the town of Grapevine, Texas, just outside Dallas.

While the city of Santa Barbara, Calif., is gaining widespread recognition for its relatively new "urban wine trail"--as you'll read about tomorrow here on VinesseTODAY--Grapevine has been attracting visitors to its downtown winery tasting rooms and wine bars for years...

2 Tasty Ways to Bid Adieu to July


If you've never been to the town of Gilroy, not far from San Francisco, you don't really need a map to find it.

Just follow your nose, as the aroma of fresh garlic is unavoidable.

Gilroy bills itself as the garlic capital of the world, and each summer, all-things-garlic are celebrated during the Gilroy Garlic Festival...

Demystifying "Organic" Wines


Have you ever had a glass of wine from southern France?

How about central Spain?

If so, chances are you"ve consumed an "organic" wine--perhaps without even knowing it...

R.I.P., Ignazio Vella


During World War I, it was virtually impossible to find Parmesan cheese in American markets.

In 1931, Gaetano Vella, known to friends as Tom, developed a wonderful Dry Monterey Jack cheese, which was marketed as a Parmesan substitute. His Vella Cheese Co. was located in the northern California town of Sonoma.

Vella's son, Ignazio (better known as Ig), not only took over the family business during the 1980s, he took it to a whole new level...

The Essentials of Life


The federal government has come out with a revised version of the "food pyramid," which now is shaped more like a pie--a sugar-free, no-flavor apple pie, no doubt.

After close examination of the new guide to healthful eating, we were struck by the absence of two life-sustaining food groups: wine and chocolate.

Fortunately, the Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau in California has come up with a culinary program to address this obvious oversight.

Wining & Dining, Cosmopolitan-Style


Las Vegas has been hurting more than most cities during the economic downturn of the past several years, but one sign that things are looking up is the opening of a new hotel on the famed Las Vegas Strip: The Cosmopolitan.

Like most of the new millennium resorts in Vegas, The Cosmo (as the locals are calling it) is huge. So huge, in fact, that it's home to 13 restaurants, several of which are under the direction of world-famous chefs and/or restaurateurs.

The Wine Trails of Ohio


There's always something to do at the wineries of Ohio, particularly during the summer months.

What's that? You say you didn't know there was much of a wine culture in Ohio?

Read on...

No Training Wheels Necessary


When traversing the Silverado Trail--that's the road less traveled that more or less parallels busy Highway 29 in the Napa Valley--one must-stop is ZD Wines, a maker of wonderful Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, among other varieties.

And this summer, ZD is providing two reasons to visit beyond just the wine-tasting experience.

Train Is Making Tracks in the Wine World


The music group Train hopes to do for wine what Jimmy Buffett has done for margaritas.

The group--which consists of Scott Underwood, Patrick Monahan and Jimmy Stafford--recently released a Petite Sirah wine dubbed "Drops of Jupiter."

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