Waddling Winemakers on Parade in Stellenbosch, South Africa

A fun and innovative winery near Stellenbosch, South Africa uses a 1,000-strong duck brigade to help eradicate vineyard pests.

Piedmont, Italy: Monferrato’s Slow Food, Wine & Truffles

Motoring through Italy’s Piemonte or Piedmont region, I sometimes felt as though I’d been whisked back in time a few decades, perhaps even centuries. The dramatic hills of the Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato districts were wrapped with rows of grapevines and orchards, crowned with handsome fortresses, and dotted with villages wearing terra-cotta rooftops. Large-scale industry was largely absent from this swathe of the Northern ItalianContinue reading “Piedmont, Italy: Monferrato’s Slow Food, Wine & Truffles”

Tasting Central California: A Paso Robles Wine Tour

Six decades ago, my grandparents and their then-eight children piled into the family car and drove to San Luis Obispo from Minnesota. My grandfather was to begin a teaching position there. Though the family’s chapter in San Luis Obispo (SLO) ended up being a short one (frankly, I don’t know how they bid farewell toContinue reading “Tasting Central California: A Paso Robles Wine Tour”

A Land of Hidden Gems: Moldova’s Wine, Food & Monasteries

On a quest to discover Moldovan wine, food and culture, we embarked on an adventure in the countryside, having just left the small European country’s capital city of Chisinau. Roadside merchants sold their wares: wicker baskets, colorful mums wearing autumnal hues, and large bowls containing green grapes fashioned into a pyramid shape. Farmers picked applesContinue reading “A Land of Hidden Gems: Moldova’s Wine, Food & Monasteries”

Soaking up the Details (and the Wine) of Saint-Emilion – Bordeaux, France

Enclosed by vineyards producing some of Bordeaux’s most esteemed wine, it’s no wonder that the village of Saint-Emilion is one of the region’s most alluring destinations. During a weekend there earlier this year, I found myself effortlessly charmed by Saint-Emilion’s graceful limestone buildings, its window-boxes brimming with beautiful blooms, its almond-flavored macarons, and elegant wine culture. By day, Shawn and I ascendedContinue reading “Soaking up the Details (and the Wine) of Saint-Emilion – Bordeaux, France”

Grape Diplomacy in the Moldovan Countryside

In the late-afternoon light, the gingerbread homes of the Moldovan village, Rosu, were bathed in golden hues. The homes’ green and periwinkle-blue fences, and wooden adornments on their gables cast frilly shadows on the dirt road, as Shawn and I embarked on an evening stroll. The wire arbors over the homes’ driveways were brimming withContinue reading “Grape Diplomacy in the Moldovan Countryside”

Hvar Island: A Croatian Odyssey of Music, History & Wine

The Croatian island of Hvar is renowned for its 2,800 hours of sunshine, intensely-blue water, luxury yachts, and summertime nightlife. Visiting there during an early spring weekend, however, Shawn and I encountered something quite different from the Hvar of postcards: refreshing rain showers, landscapes that appeared to be wearing a sepia filter because of clouds overhead,Continue reading “Hvar Island: A Croatian Odyssey of Music, History & Wine”

Photo du Jour: Georges the French Bulldog – Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

Georges, a regal French Bulldog, stands guard at a wine shop in the village of Saint-Emilion France, situated in Bourdeaux wine country. We recently met Georges, who spends his days sunbathing and greeting wine tasters at his master’s shop. A firetruck-red likeness of Georges also sits in the entry way, but laid-back Georges garners most of theContinue reading “Photo du Jour: Georges the French Bulldog – Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux”