Articles by Laura Ness

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

Alara Wins

Every once in a while, somebody wins the lottery on their first try, or scores a 3-pointer from across the court. Janu Goelz did the equivalent by winning Best of Show at the Central Coast Wine Competition for her 2017 Alara Cellars’s 2017 Grenache Blanc, San Benito County. [...]

Palate thrills

The Santa Clara Valley isn’t known for this grape, but in the case of Sarah’s Vineyard, chardonnay does indeed have history. The newly released 2016 Estate Chardonnay, $32, is a study in restraint. Although the nose gives away its barrel-fermented origins, the oak, 25 [...]

Savoring sips

Get ready to “Party Like It’s 1979,” as the Garlic Festival celebrates 40 years of family fun Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29. Genuine Iron Chef Michael Symon hosts the Garlic Showdown on Sunday, and there’s a new kids’ cooking competition, plus an electronic [...]

50 Shades of Pink

Rosés are here to stay. Rosés of all hues can be found in Santa Clara Valley, from pale pink to hearty red. Most are made using the saignée, or “bleeding off” method, where the free-run juice from just-picked reds is collected and fermented before the reds are de-stemmed [...]

Days of Joy

Tim Slater has been making wine at Sarah’s Vineyard for long enough now, he feels he’s figured it out. An engineer by trade and an artist at heart, he’s a rocket-science level brain, with the capacity to simultaneously carry on multiple conversations on various topics, [...]

Martin Ranch

Martin Ranch is the perfect love story. If wine is bottled poetry, Thérèse and Dan Martin have written many sonnets to one another, and to their fellow wine lovers, each with their own voice and pen. His style, under the JD Hurley label, is fresh and consumer-friendly, with [...]

Wine tips

We’re blessed with so many wineries—each focusing on something unique. I love discovering new sips from the Valley to share. 2017 Aver Family Grenache Blanc, $35 Part of the Family Album series, the label bears a photo of Carolyn’s parents on their wedding day in 1953. A [...]

Charity vine

The South Valley Wine Auction held Friday, May 11, at the Morgan Hill Community Center was a great success, with more than 250 attendees. Although the final numbers are not yet in, more than $30,000 was raised for local charities. Pamala Meador, president of the Morgan Hill [...]

Rooted in Rhône

Did you know that Santa Clara Valley has produced premium Rhône varietals for more than 150 years? Four local wineries, Aver Family Vineyards, La Vie Dansante Wines, Lion Ranch Vineyards and Sarah’s Vineyard, recently launched the GSM Society to spotlight Rhônes crafted from [...]

Rosés all abloom

The blooming popularity of all things pink meant a record number of submissions to the 2018 Experience Rosé Competition, held on April 18 at Soda Rock Winery in the heart of Healdsburg’s Alexander Valley. An outstanding breadth of rosés in every possible hue, from the [...]
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