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Natural Wine: how Natural is Au Naturel? Lumen Wines
Natural Wine: How Natural is Au Naturel?

There is nothing more compelling than natural beauty. Ad men always have said that sex sells (such as this photo, above, of Lane Tanner enjoying a "Pinot bath"), but these days, natural sells almost as well. Natural cosmetics, natural clothing, natural foods, and now natural wine. But just how natural do you want to go?...

Sexy Bombshell Baby

The Fickle Nature of Single Vineyard Pinot Noir The 2015 vintage was more temperamental than a cat in heat. In the Santa Maria Valley, high temperatures and tropical humidity made for a challenging harvest, to say the least. But one little pocket seemed to be hiding its true potential - Pinot Noir grapes of unparalleled...

When it Rains it Pours

Thoughts on the Wettest of Vintages The vineyards are flooding.  Southern California is currently experiencing what the forecasters are calling “the largest weather event in the last six years.” (Let’s just forget about “Stormageddon” two years ago - too bad they used that one up already). Some of the vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley...

Hocus Pocus Vitis Vinifera
Hocus Pocus Vitis Vinifera

Are Winemakers Magicians? Years ago I wrote an article for The Surfer’s Path Magazine about my good friend, Oded Shakked, who was then winemaker at J Vineyards.  During the interview he commented about how people make such a big deal about winemaking.  “Winemakers don’t really deserve all that attention,” he said.  “After all, we are...

Paint by Numbers Pinot
Paint by Numbers Pinot

Will 2016 be the vintage of the decade? 2016 marks the fifth vintage that I have worked alongside my partner and friend, Lane Tanner.  One of the things we love about making wine is that every vintage is different.  While some tasks in the winery may seem mundane, the uniqueness of every harvest ensures that...

A Good Year's Sleep
A good year’s sleep

Thoughts on El Niño and General Lack of Z's “I don’t pay the mortgage that I do for rainy weather,” my Irish friend said to me a few days ago.  “The drought sits just fine with me.” And it’s true: the last few winters in Santa Barbara have been the nicest summers I have ever...

Estar or être…. That is The Question

The Spanish and French have argued for centuries over which side of the border Grenache originates from.  In Spain it is known as Garnacha, and is the most widely planted varietal in the country.  In France it is Grenache, and is a major blending component of wines from the Southern Rhone, most famously in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. ...

New Scores from The Prince of Pinot!

Lumen's 2013 Pinots receive sweet accolades! Click here to read the article in The Pinot File.

What About Bob?

The Controversy over Wine Scores For many decades now, wine critics have been reviewing wines, and wine consumers have been following their guidance.  This fact is hardly surprising given the sheer number of wines on our supermarket shelves, and the high prices we encounter when walking down the aisles.  None of us likes to make...


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