Napa Valley native Tim Carl, a former chef and current vintner, explores the valley and reports back on what he finds in “Local Tastes” – cutting-edge food, premium wines and the often-fascinating people who make them happen." 

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“Lynn, just a reminder, I’m heading out again tonight,” I called to my wife from our living room as I readied for my trip up the California coastline.

Thomas Brown makes wine for many clients, often producing some of the highest-scoring and most sought-after wines in California. One of these brands is Schrader, a small producer based out of Calistoga that makes a few thousand cases of cabernet sauvignon-based wines that primarily source gr…

No one else seemed to notice the old man who stared at me from the street for what had seemed like minutes, his matted beard and filthy clothing hanging off his emaciated body like so much Spanish moss, his vacuous eyes unblinking.

Changes in Las Vegas, the sale of Ovid Winery and the closing of the San Francisco restaurant RN-74 and the Santa Rosa-based Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine seem unrelated, but they are not. All of them point toward the changing future in the world of wine, and those who are listen…

Even if the president’s budget never gets through Congress wholly intact, the chilling effect on the wine market will have broad unintended consequences.

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If you’re like me you’ve become almost numb to headlines touting another Napa Valley auction that has brought in millions of dollars for some worthy cause. But what has become more interesting to me is how these raised millions are being used and what the generated-fund levels might indicate…

The 2017 Wine Business Monthly rankings are out, and the results highlight what everyone in the wine business already knows: The competition in the world of wine sales is staggering.

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The definition of synthetic is a substance made by chemical synthesis to imitate a natural product, and it is a word that is growing in importance and value as a rush of new companies seeks to reinvent food as we know it.

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When Jen Rainin, owner of Rainin vineyards in the Diamond Mountain appellation in the hills above Calistoga, woke on New Year’s Day 2016, the first thing she did was check her email. One message informed her that a Hall wine made from their grapes had received 100 points from the influential…

Everyone in Napa recognizes Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous quote, “Wine is bottled poetry.” His statement adorns Highway 29 at the entrance to the heart of the Napa Valley.

In the Napa Valley veraison, the onset of ripening when grapes begin to take on color and accumulate sugar and flavor, normally begins in July, with different varietals starting the process a few days or weeks apart. In contrast to last year, 2016 seems to be pretty normal in both ripening a…

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Every year, Silicon Valley Bank puts out a highly anticipated wine report. This year’s news is cautionary at best, with only a few positive highlights.

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Bettina Rouas knows what it takes to make and sustain one of the most highly regarded restaurants in the Napa Valley. Owner of the Angèle’s eatery on Napa’s waterfront, she’s spent her life in and around restaurants. Her father, Claude Rouas, was one of the world’s leading restaurateurs, and…

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Back in July 2015, I wrote a story in The Weekly Calistogan titled “Calistoga: A cornucopia of dining options.” I believe it might be good to revisit some of that article and see where we stand. Below are a few of the highlights:

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A friend of mine from New York, Eric, called me the other day. He was coming out to California for a meeting in San Francisco and planned to spend the weekend visiting the Napa Valley. Eric told me he’d recently divorced and met a new woman, and he wanted to show her “the best of what the Na…

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Since late 2012, Ciccio in Yountville has become a hot spot in the Napa Valley, with would-be diners sometimes waiting hours for a table or spot at the bar for a brick-oven-fired pizza or other Italian-inspired food. And by the way that diners and critics gush over the food, wine and experie…

In the “Local Tastes” column, I will be exploring food and wine throughout the Napa Valley. As a part of the process, I wanted to know the number of restaurants and wineries in the area. That would seem to be a pretty straightforward question, but it has turned out to be much more complicate…

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