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  The Central Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA) stretches roughly 250 miles along the coastline of California, from San Francisco County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south, averaging about 25 miles in width. A very large AVA, the Central Coast encompasses approximately four million acres, of which 90,300 acres are planted to winegrapes. The region produces almost 15 percent of the state’s total winegrape production and is home to about 360 wineries.   An area further south, loosely called the Southern California Region, includes five AVAs that cover 267,500 acres in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino…
(Editor's note: This article originally appear in 2002, when the author was privileged to attend a dinner honoring California's greatest winemaker.)   by Dan Clarke   Tchelistcheff monument now at BV. Photo by Creative Common.André Tchelistcheff may have been the most significant figure in the history of American wine. The Russian born and French trained winemaker immigrated to the United States in 1938, beginning a lifelong association with Beaulieu Vineyard (BV). Though he died eight years ago at age 92, friends and colleagues said his presence was still felt at a tribute held in his honor Monday evening, the 5th…
(Editor’s note: The following essay appeared in the November 1990 edition of the California Wine Press and has been rerun in California Wine and Food. In some ways the world has changed since then—wages have risen and the price of top-quality wines has, too--but the hand picking of winegrapes remains much the same.)   By Dan Clarke   They start to gather in the darkness. It’s still a little chilly and most are wearing light jackets or wool plaid overshirts. Later they will peel these off and work in tee-shirts. Merlot vines on rolling hills of Bancroft Vineyard. Photo by…
by Dan Clarke   Only one award was made to the Grower of the Year, but several people received it.John and Gail show visitor a picture of trophy salmon from a recent vacation. In January the California Association of Winegrape Growers, otherwise known as CAWG, initiated this award for an individual, family or company representing “an outstanding example of excellence in viticulture and management, and is recognized by others for innovation and leadership within the industry.” The John Kautz Family of Lodi were the collective honorees. John and Gail Kautz are Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Kautz Family Vineyards. All four…
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