Articles by Laura Ness

About Laura Ness
Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.

All a-sparkle

One wants something light, effervescent and joyful to welcome the New Year. Queue the sparkling wine, along with Auld Lang Syne. While some strictly quaff Champagne from France for the holidays, many prefer domestic. If you want to fill your flute with local bubbles, several [...]

Dinner party

Want to toast with local wines as you sit down to your holiday feasts? Begin with the 2017 Guglielmo Grignolino Rosé and the 2016 Lion Ranch Grenache Blanc, move to a 2015 Aver Family Carignane, 2015 Alara Tempranillo or 2015 Medeiros Sangiovese and finish with a Thérèse [...]

Apricot Bliss

Few born before 1970, says author Lisa Prince Newman, will forget the endless magic carpet of white blossoms that once covered the Santa Clara Valley. Prunes, apricot, peach and cherries trees dominated what was then known as the Valley of the Heart’s Delight, as far as the [...]

Dream job

George Troquato has been the award-winning winemaker at Cinnabar since 1990. The Los Gatos native, who graduated in 1985 from Cal Poly with a degree in crop science, made the first five vintages of Testarossa, from 1994 to 1998. A resident of San Jose with his wife, Kristi, a [...]


Pick up a bottle of Calerrain wine and your eye is drawn to the embossed coastline of California running from top to bottom of the textured white label. Tracing the Pacific’s edge, it also traces the journey of Geoff and Chantelle Mace as they traverse the California terrain [...]

Mural Magnifico

Garlic may be top dog in Gilroy, but wine’s not far behind. And there’s a mural to prove it. At Fifth Street and Monterey Road, right across from the famed “Garlic Capital of the World” mural painted 25 years ago, you will find one depicting Santa Clara Valley wine [...]

Artist in the vineyard

Do you remember the smog-ridden ’80s in Los Angeles? Viticulturist Ron Mosley of Vinescape, a vineyard installation and management company dealing with more than 100 vineyards throughout the Santa Clara Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains, sure does. “It was hell,” Mosley [...]

Farming family

When you get here, you’ve come as far as you can on this dead-end road, but what a place to end. A streamside picnic grove amid the redwoods awaits you, with tables and chairs and little tree trunks to sit on for weddings and such. Although the signs at the gate portend [...]

Visiting South Valley vineyards

Have passport, will travel! It’s a common cry for those bitten by the travel bug. For wine lovers, however, travel takes on a whole new meaning—typical destinations revolve around terroir and taste. For the South Valley oenophile, or wine connoisseur, making a complete [...]

Edgy aroma

Not the easiest varietal to pronounce, so make sure you don’t have a mouth full of spaghetti when you ask someone to pass the Guglielmo Grignolino, a sassy red wine that will spice up any summertime repast, pasta or no. This is an unusual grape in California, and it’s not [...]
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