Wine and cheese make you smart and healthy!

Wine and cheese make you smart and healthy!

New studies say cheese doesn’t have health risks, and wine helps your brain

Go ahead — have some cheese with your wine tonight. It turns out that cheese may not be so bad for your health after all.  A recent study challenges some of the health concerns around cheese and dairy: Mainly that they are fatty and lead to potential heart attacks or strokes. The researchers, using previous studies and data found on these dairy products, found cheese doesn’t increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is important to note, however, that the study was funded in part by three dairy organizations, which obviously have a vested interest in positive results. The Global Dairy Platform, Dairy Research Institute and the Dairy Australia (even though the paper says they had no role in study design or data collection and analysis).

And red wine, in moderation, can help your heart and your brain, according to a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. Contrary to previous findings, such as one Swedish report from 2014, cheese, as well as other dairy products like milk and yogurt, may not be more dangerous to your health. The recent findings published in the European Journal of Epidemiology suggest there is no increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes as they sometimes have been said to do, according to another paper.

The wine study looked at wine residue passed through the gut and found that those metabolites are preventing cells from dying because of stress conditions that normally affect neurodegenerative disorders. The research showed different foods have various benefits along the digestive path, and wine, in this case, stops dying cells, and therefore delay potential neurodegenerative diseases.

And… As always, if you need some help finding the best wines for your own wine and cheese tasting activities, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 415-337-4083 or visit!

Taking a moment to remember.

On this Memorial Day, now more than ever, let us remember our heroes.

Remember, honor, and pay tribute to all who have fought and selflessly surrendered the precious gift of life, so that others could live free. Give thanks to those who believed in something greater than themselves. And let us not forget their families whose pain will never go away, but may lessen with our thanks and prayers.

God Bless our fallen, their families, and the men and women in uniform all over the world.

Let us pray for peace and harmony,
…and raise a glass to the United States of America!


“Brilliant” 95 Point Blind Tasting Surprise = FREE SHIPPING

In a recent blind tasting of 2013 Chardonnays a very smaller producer ran away with the big prize!

The lineup of 2013 Chardonnays included:

  • Dehlinger 94 Pts
  • Hartford “Stone Cote” 95 Pts
  • Chasseur “Graton” 94 Pts
  • The Hilt “Old Guard” 95 Pts
  • Seasmoke 95 Pts
  • Del Dotto “Reserve Cinghiale” 95 Pts
  • North 95 Pts
  • DuMOL Chloe 96 Pts
  • Evening Land “Summum” 95 Pts
  • Auteur “Durrell” 95 Pts
My group of 12 tasters voted Auteur “Durrell” FIRST with 6 first, 4 second and 2 third place votes, ahead of DuMOL with 4 first, 5 secon and 3 third place votes, and Seasmoke with 2 first, 2 second no third place votes.

Auteur 2013 Chardonnay “Durrel” Sonoma Coast 
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 51.99
Use code AUTEUR during checkout

The wine over delivers on both nose and palate.  This small production single vineyard “Durrell” Chardonnay delivers a laser beam of aromatics and flavors. On the nose hints of green apple, tropical fruit that is followed on the lush palate by citrus, honeydew, mango and a touch of butter scotch and a whiff of citurs. Offering great depth and velocity, the wine finishes long with a hint of minerality.

Robert Parker 95 Points: “The 2013 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard saw 30% new oak but again no malolactic fermentation. This is a brilliant Chardonnay with full-bodied intensity, plenty of minerality, some subtle tropical fruits such as tangerine and mango, but more quince, white currants and citrus oil. It has the ability to last 5-7 years, if not longer.”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Matt Murphy grew up in Arkansas among a “wine savvy family”.  While studying molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Matt followed his emerging appreciation of fine wine, and his love of the land, and worked a summer at Signorello Estate in Napa Valley. At Signorello, Matt found that he loved working in the vineyard, and the collaborative nature of making wine.  After graduating he moved west and continued his quest to learn more about winemaking the the vineyards.  After a decade exploring, the Matt and his parents purchased an estate and started from scratch.  Today the vineyard is very well-regarded, as they sell grapes to a ½ dozen wineries. The Murphys produce a small amount of wine under their own label as well.

Presqu’ile Pinot Noir “Estate” Santa Maria Valley
Retail 65.00 – TODAY’S SPECIAL 49.99
Use code PRES during checkout

Galloni 94 Points: “The 2013 Pinot Noir Presqu’ile is round, succulent and deeply expressive. Juicy dark cherries, plums, sweet spice, flowers and herbs form an attractive fabric. Pliant and open-knit, the 2013 is impressive for many reasons, including its terrific balance and sense of harmony, two qualities that require serious work here. The 2013 was done with just a touch of whole clusters (15%) and aged for ten months in mostly neutral oak.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Overachiever Napa Cab at ½ the Price

In 1979 Bill and Mary Seavey bought the present Seavey Vineyard from an old family friend. It had been a vineyard in the 1870s, although by the 1970s it was a cattle ranch. While Bill continued his San Francisco law practice, Mary and he set about restoring the property and replanting the former vineyard. The four Seavey sons spent high school and college vacations working at the vineyard, and the Seavey daughter and her two daughters came out from Boston to help from time to time. The vineyard was completely replanted in 1983 and the first Cabernet was released in 1990 which received a 95 Point rating from Robert Parker!  Many of his wines received ratings up to 99 points!  So a real legacy. Sadly Mary passed away in 2008 and Bill left us last year, but their memory will last forever!
Seavey 2013 “Caravina” Cabernet, Napa Valley 
Retail 70.00 – GGWC 67.00
Use code SEAVEY during checkout
This wine is bursting with blackberries, vanilla, smoky tobacco and dark chocolate. On the palate this opulent youngster offers up gobs of red and black stone fruit, touch of spice and mint.  The wine finishes with a soft silky finish.  A great expression and at $67.00 it is ½ the price of their other Cabernet!  A well valued purchase!

Galloni 94 Points:Seavey’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Caravina is one of the very finest values in Napa Valley. Supple, radiant and expressive, the 2013 is a pure joy to taste, as it expresses plenty of site-specific nuance in a more approachable style than the estate’s flagships. Bright red cherry, plum, spice, mint, licorice and sweet floral notes meld into the soft, open-knit finish. This is a real overachiever, especially for the price.”

Click here or on the links above to order!



From By Nick Hines

When Americans come of a certain age, they learn about the birds and the bees. When biodynamic vineyards come of age, though, vineyard owners think back on the story of the bees and the grapes.

If you’ve ever strolled through an organic or biodynamic vineyard, you’ve likely come across a beehive on the property. Depending on your list of fears and allergies, you may have been hesitant around that beehive. But beehives are an important part of organic and biodynamic vineyards, and they always have been.

The story of the bees and the grapes goes back to the early 1900s and Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and scientist who is the father of biodynamics. People who adhere to biodynamics are people who take “a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.” For vineyard owners, that means using natural growing techniques and bringing in a variety of animals to make an entire sustainable ecosystem.

Steiner gave a series of nine lectures on the importance of bees and the beehive to the ecosystem. The lectures are about “the unconscious wisdom contained in the beehive” and how the beehive “relates to the human experiences of health, civilization, and the cosmos,” according to the Rudolf Steiner Archive.  That love of bees translates to organic and biodynamic vineyard owners today, but bees aren’t necessarily required for grape production.

Grape vines are hermaphrodites. They have both male and female reproductive organs, so they can self-fertilize. In short, they don’t need bees to make grapes. The plants around the grape vines, however, do need bees, and those other plants create a healthier environment for the vines.

“Much of an area’s agricultural health depends on nitrogen balance,” Chris Benziger, the brand manager for Benziger Family Winery, told Edible Marin & Wine Country.  “Some areas have too much and others too little. Where our concentrations are high we plant crops that deplete nitrogen, mostly grasses. Where there’s not enough we plant nitrogen fixers, often leguminous. Bees are the primary pollinators for both types of plants, all of which seem to aid in the natural replenishment of other important soil nutrients, as well.”

The flowers that need bees bring in other bugs, and the healthy ecosystem is built. When there’s greater biodiversity and balance, there’s less need for chemicals.

“We keep bees because, simply put, in the vineyard, there isn’t just vines,” Alexis Pollier, the owner of Domaine Alexis Pollier in France, tells VinePair. “There’s a whole biodiversity.”

Bees love grapes as much as biodynamic vineyard owners love bees. When the biodiversity of a vineyard gets out of whack and there are no flowers for bees to flock to, they will go after sap and fruit juice.

Bees won’t bite the grapes to get to the juice, according to UC Davis, but they will gather on grapes that have a crack or puncture wound from birds, other insects, or natural splitting. The bees will then suck the juice out of the ripe grapes.

“Honey bees will visit vineyards to forage on blooms of grapes or various flowering weeds during the spring,” UCD writes, “but they are considered to be nuisances only when they forage on ripe grapes later in the year.”

But on biodynamic and organic vineyards where there’s a healthy ecosystem, the bees have no need to go after the grapes. In short: Follow the teachings of the father of biodynamics and you will have a healthy vineyard with bees. Knock everything off balance, and you’re going to have a bad time.

If you would like to learn more about Napa’s biodynamic wines and vineyards or to schedule a personalized tour or tasting, please give us a call at 415-337-4083 or visit

Multi-Dimensional 2 BARREL Cab Franc

Marilyn Crowley Crawford  was born and raised outside Falkirk, Scotland. She established CrauforD Wine Company in 1999 with intention to honor her seven centuries of Clan Crawfords and the love for Napa Valley. Together with her son Chris, they released their first vintages a year later in 2000. Now, seven years later, Marilyn has since retired and Chris continues to make the CrauforD wines in fine Scottish tradition. Scots are known for quality and a wee nip…in Napa…premium wine

The estate properties consists of about 20 planted acres of grapes. However, only 4 rows of Cabernet Franc are planted on the Crowley’s Oak Knoll, Napa Valley vineyard, so the production will never be very high!

You will not want to miss out on this one!

CrauforD 2013 Cabernet Franc “Piper Don” Estate Oak Knoll, Napa Valley
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 56.99
Use code CRAUFORD during checkout

This is one of the most amazing Cab Francs grown in the Napa Valley.  Only 48 cases (2 barrels) of this wine were produced.  The wine offers up a dark, inky color with aromatics of bold blackstone fruits, dark chocolate, a whiff of tobacco, and a touch of volcanic dust.  The wine is lush and rich in body with great complexity.  Full flavored with more black currant, chocolate, a touch of eartiness this wine is mutli-dimensional.  The finish is long and complex with silky grained tannins.  Sadly the production is very small – too small!

Click here or on the links above to order!


The Pisoni and Franscioni families, now third generation farmers, harness the wildness of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Their farming of the Chardonnay is pinpointed – each grape cluster and leaf positioned just right to be kissed gently by the morning sunshine and shaded from the afternoon sun and brisk Monterey Bay wind. The granitic soil provides a fine structure to grow on. The growing conditions naturally provide concentration and structure in the vines and resulting wine.

Camino 2014 Chardonnay “Soberanes’ Santa Lucia Highlands 
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 46.99
Use code CAM14CHD during checkout

The Old Wente selections of Chardonnay provide great texture and perfume. aromas of yellow plums, honeysuckle blossoms, hazelnuts, and Meyer lemon jump out of the glass. Quite dynamic on the palate, the wine shows a breadth of flavor with mineral, tangerine, white peach, and torched meringue. The finish is long and juicy leaving staying hints of incense.

Robert Parker 93 Points: “Displays delicate white peach, orange marmalade and white currants and virtually no wood in a medium to full-bodied, wonderfully crisp, fleshy, succulent style.” 

Also, be certain to check out their amazing 95 point rated Cabernet!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Mid-Spring observations from California vineyards

Mid-Spring observations from California vineyards


Now that we have hit bud break, the Fruition Sciences field team is noticing differences in shoot length. For most of the valley, we are seeing about 3-4 inches of shoot growth. Of course, the differences in shoot growth are influenced by many factors such as meso-climates, varietals, vineyard practices, etc.

One of the most obvious factors that makes a difference in shoot growth is thus vineyard location. As we drove across the entire state of California, we were able to see pretty obvious visual differences. For the Napa area, the hills are farther along than the valley floor; Carneros is farther along than Napa; Coombsville is slower than the rest of the valley; and Paso Robles is only a little bit farther along than Napa.

One of the major differences we have seen is between Temecula (Southern California) and Napa. Temecula has over 2 feet of shoot growth. This level of growth like is expected in Temecula, which is about 100 growing degree days ahead of Napa and had less cool rainy days than Napa, which means budbreak occurred earlier according to the civil calendar.

Despite all the cool rainy days that we had this winter, it looks like most of our vineyards have dried out. However, we are still seeing a few puddles here and there, especially after another spring shower. The ground seems to be soft, but we are not sinking in like we were this winter. For Napa at this same civil calendar time we are about 50 growing degrees behind last year, but it is hard to tell if it will stay that way.

We are expecting faster and higher shoot elongation rates this year due to the higher rainfall and nitrogen levels. 

Photo taken on 4/14 in a Paso Robles vineyard

Photo taken on 4/17 in a Napa vineyard

Photo taken on 4/18 in a St. Helena Vineyard

Bud break across California vineyards  

Credits: Stephanie Zamorski & Fruition Sciences

MOST AMAZING 94+ Point, 5 Barrel Napa Cab Franc

Not sure where to start, but the shortest way is to say that both Matt Taylor (former winemaker at Araujo) and Francois Morisette were cut from a similar cloth – both loved the gipsy way of live and travel.  Both lived around the world and were exposed to … wine!  Matt has some “movie fame” in his family.  His grandfather Mitch, a larger-than-life figure whom he greatly admired, owned “The Tides Wharf” in the town of Bodega Bay proper, and it was Mitch who gave Alfred Hitchcock permission to film “The Birds” in and around his hotel and restaurant. In return, Mitch got a speaking part in “The Birds”. Plug it all together and you have two crazy guys with a passion – W.I.N.E.!

Chamboule 2014 “N.A.C.R.E.” Cabernet Franc Napa Valley 
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 81.99
Use code NACRE during checkout

Robert Parker 94+: ”Coming from 37-year-old vines in the Coombsville area of Napa Valley and with a deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Franc N.A.C.R.E. offers a pretty fragrance of kirsch, roses and raspberry leaves plus an earthy undercurrent of tree bark, moss and underbrush. Medium-bodied, the palate explodes with perfumed red berry flavors, supported by grainy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and earthy. 100 cases were made.”

Winemaker Notes: “The fruit for the 2014 Cabernet Franc N.A.C.R.E is sourced from Caldwell Vineyard and was harvested by hand based on skin maturity. The final harvest was sorted and transferred into open top oak fermentation vats and done 70% whole cluster. The wine was aged 18 months on primary lees in neutral Demi-Muids. The 2014 Cabernet Franc was bottled unfiltered and un-fined in March 2016.”

Click here or on the links above to order!