Renee Humphrey

Freelance writer, winery partner with a showbiz background

A Visit to Monterey’s Holman Ranch Estate Wines

By Renee Humphrey | September 24, 2019 |

Thanks to the awesome hospitality of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, I recently had the pleasure of visiting Holman Ranch to taste with father and son winemakers Greg and Chris Vita. They produce two labels of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling for them: Holman Ranch and Jarman, both sourced from estate vineyards in…

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Tasting with Winemaker Arnaud Hereu of Odfjell Vineyards, Chile, 2018

By Renee Humphrey | November 2, 2018 |

Recently we were invited to sit down with Arnaud Hereu, winemaker for the Chilean label Odfjell Vineyards, and taste some of their new releases over dinner. What a delight it was! Arnaud is as vivacious as his winemaking style. He’s traveled the wine world to get a hands-on oenology education, starting with his home turf…

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Tasting Fetzer’s New Premium Fringe Collective Wines, 2016 Vintage

By Renee Humphrey | October 24, 2018 |

We stood atop a hillside in the morning wind, and Sebastian Donoso explained his passion behind making Fetzer’s new Fringe Collective wines. He is enamored with the struggle. What struggle, you may ask. The struggle of the grape to be nourished, the struggle of the vine to take root, the struggle for it to live…

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Tasting and Touring at Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma County, 2018

By Renee Humphrey | September 22, 2018 |

Joel Peterson of Ravenswood is legendary in the Bay Area wine scene. We were recently invited to tour the winery and certain vineyards close the Ravenswood team’s heart. We also dined on the vast patio space that they just opened up near the barrel room and tasting room. We drank Zinfandel while eating BBQ, listening…

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Sake Tasting and Mac Pairing with Sake Social, 2018

By Renee Humphrey | September 19, 2018 |

Mac and cheese is such an U.S. staple that it has its own one syllable moniker. Like Cher or Elvis, we also have Mac. I recently went down a sake/shochu/mac rabbit hole and damn, it was delicious. I first spoke with Marc Smookler, the owner/founder of Sake Social, by far the largest online retailer in the…

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Touring and Tasting at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California, 2018

By Renee Humphrey | August 19, 2018 |

  Did you know you can take the BART train (with a short car service ride from Pleasanton) from the Bay Area to go wine tasting in Livermore Valley? Well, you can! It’s a very price-friendly option with no drinking and driving to worry about. It’s pretty out there, too. Wente has 2000 acres of…

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Wine and Whiskey Tasting in California’s Paso Robles, 2018

By Renee Humphrey | August 16, 2018 |

Paso Robles, in the northern part of San Luis Obispo County, has a storied past: a history of habitation by the Salinan Indians that we can trace back thousands of years, a change of hands to Mexican ownership (before and after the Mexican-American War ,when the U.S. annexed California) and an eventual purchase from a…

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Review: Devils Backbone Pear Lager

By Renee Humphrey | August 3, 2018 |

Devils Backbone Brewing Company has just released its Pear Lager in six-pack bottles. A lovely addition to the fruity beer shelf, this summer lager is one of their rotating seasonal lagers and is available from May through August. It’s a super refreshing golden lager with natural pear flavor that is remarkably understated in its use…

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Wine Touring on Russian River Valley’s Olivet Road

By Renee Humphrey | July 20, 2018 |

Going to the Russian River Valley? Want to find a place to visit several family-owned wineries, be surrounded by lush vineyards, and not have to drive or walk too far to get to each? I offer my day on Olivet Road as a template, a lovely stretch of “Wine Heaven” road between Windsor and Santa Rosa,…

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A Visit to Berkeley’s Broc Cellars

By Renee Humphrey | June 10, 2018 |

All Photography by Leila Seppa. Chris Brockway, originally a Philosophy major from Nebraska, has built a chic city winery, complete with spacious tasting room, in the industrial lands of West Berkeley. One side of Broc Cellars is filled with tanks, barrels, and wine being made with fruit sourced from twelve different California vineyards. The other…

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