Franciscan Estate

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Wine Life Radio welcomes Winemaker Janet Myers

Enjoy the Show (parts 1 and 2)

Also guests from the Durango Wine Experiencefestival

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Are you “Experienced”?
Save the Date for the 9th Annual Durango Wine Experience,
April 23-25, 2015! 
Experience three days of educational seminars, wine dinners and unique tastings featuring hundreds of wineries, artisan spirits and craft beers.

Franciscan Wine Estate

For over 35 years there has been a select group of winemakers in the Napa Valley who have been pioneering the craft of fine wine-making. One of the founding members of this lineage established pristine vineyards in Oakville, and focused on the meticulous franciscan-estate-logo1principles of small-lot wine-making and his unwavering pursuit to capture the supreme expression of the land. Franciscan Estate was established in 1973 and began producing wines of true character from our Oakville estate in 1975. At Franciscan Estate, we only use grapes of the highest quality worthy to bear the Franciscan Estate crest. We strive to create wines of the highest character and excellence in every vintage. This is what devotion to wines of true character is all about. It is in every bottle and embodied in our crest that has been a sign of excellence on our wines for over 20 years.


Ask for the Wines of Black Diamond at your Local Wine Retailer


Durango Wine Experience

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Are you “Experienced”?
Save the Date for the 9th Annual Durango Wine Experience,
April 23-25, 2015!


Experience three days of educational seminars, wine dinners and unique tastings featuring hundreds of wineries, artisan spirits and craft beers. The Walk-About Durango is our signature, casual, multi-location, downtown Durango tasting event on Friday, April 24th, from 4-7pm.

Top local chefs are showcased and the finest wineries, distributors, breweries and distilleries from around the world are featured at the Grand Tasting on Saturday, April 25th, from 3:00-6:30pm. 

Durango is the perfect destination for your wine and culinary adventures.DWExperience_FinalLogosAll
We have multiple Wine Spectator acclaimed restaurants.
Over 50 liquor-licensed establishments.
600+ Hotel Rooms.
200+ galleries, boutiques & shops.

All right here in downtown Durango, Colorado.

Experience the 9th Annual Durango Wine Experience,
April 23-25, 2015!



Wines and Chefs

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Wine Life Radio welcomes the Chefs to the Studio

Enjoy the Show (part 3 and 4)


Food and Wine

When it comes to food and wine pairings, there are those who carelessly match any dish with any libation and those who painstakingly try to balance the flavors of the food with the perfect wine. No matter where you land on the spectrum, there are some dishes that remain challenging (potluck, anyone?), so having knowledge of ways to properly pair wine with your food can truly intensify the enjoyment of eating. It doesn’t get much better than sea bass with Sauvignon Blanc, duck breast with Burgundy and a juicy steak with a classic Cabernet Sauvignon, so here are some pairing tips that promise to make your next dish sing:

How food and wine pairings work

Wine flavors are derived from specific components: sugar, acid, fruit, tannin and alcohol. Foods also have flavor components, such as fat, acid, salt, sugar and bitter. The most successful food and wine pairings feature complementary components, richness and textures.

You can try for either a similar pairing or a contrasting one. For pasta in a rich cream sauce, for example, you could cut through the creamy fat with a crisp, dry, un-oaked white wine. Or you could wrap the flavor of the wine around the richness of the sauce by choosing a big, ripe, soft Chardonnay or Roussanne / Marsanne blend.

Cheers !



Chef Fabio Viviano

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Wine Life Radio welcomes Chef Fabio !

Enjoy the Show (part 2 of 4)


An Emphasis On Quality

Wine is not complicated. I focus all of my time and energy on finding the best fruit and using the best winemaking practices. I do not need to use shiny labels, heavy glass bottles or fancy gimmicks to make my wine stand out. Give it a try and it will speak for itself. I promise to make the best possible wine delivered at a fair price. It’s that simple.

GUYS, this is big news! I am SO excited to share that Wine Spectator has included the Fabio Viviani Wines Collection in their “Unfiltered” column! love how they really focused on my personal connection with winemaking culture and my plans to come out with more vintages soon. Wine Spectator is written for wine consumers and individuals looking to expand their knowledge about food, wine and travel and informs readers of the latest trends.


Chefs with Wine

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Wine Life Radio welcomes the Chefs!

Enjoy the Show (part 1 of 4)


Chef Fabio Viviani has possessed a passion for food since his childhood growing up in Florence, Italy. At age 11, Viviani workedFabio-151-smaller nights at a local bakery (since he was too young to officially join the staff) and, during his teenage years, held several positions in the restaurant industry, even serving under the mentorship of Simone Mugnaini, an iconic figure in the Italian restaurant industry.

Between his training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi and working with culinary luminaries such as Simone Mugnaini, Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Viviani owned and operated five restaurants in Florence, a Farm House and two nightclubs by the time he was 27. Although a well-respected businessman in Italy, he was ready for a change and moved to Ventura County, CA where he opened Café Firenze in Moorpark.

Teaming up with one of Chicago’s most innovative restaurant consulting groups, Dine|Amic, Viviani went on to open Siena Tavern in Chicago in 2013 where it received accolades from Michigan Avenue andChicago Tribune, to name a few. 2014 saw the debut of Mercato by Fabio Viviani, a quick service Italian concept in Chicago and San Diego, the opening of Siena Tavern Miami and the launch of Fabio Viviani Wine Collection.  Viviani is set to open his new steak restaurant, Prime and Provisions, as well as a craft cocktail and small plate concept, both in Chicago in 2015.Fabio-Viviani-Wine

Perhaps best known for his television debut on Bravo’s hit reality series “Top Chef” – earning the “Fan Favorite” title – his on-screen appearances have propelled him to become one of the fastest growing household names in the country.  In addition to competing in Bravo’s “Top Chef All Stars” and starring in the spinoff, “Life After Top Chef,” Viviani has appeared is a recurring guest on television shows such asGood Morning America, The Talk, The Chew, Ellen, Good Day LA, Access Hollywood.

Off screen, Viviani is a regular headliner at global food events and festivals, sells his own line of ceramic cookware, Co-Branded Signature Series Aeternum Evolution and is a proud endorser of beloved brands such as Bialetti Cookware, Bertolli Olive Oil and Bauli authentic Italian baked goods. He has authored three successful cookbooks: Café Firenze Cookbook, New York Times Best-Seller Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, and his most recent cookbook, Fabio’s American Home Kitchen, released in the fall of 2014. Viviani also regularly shares recipes with his fans through his own digital magazine, Fabio’s Magazine.


Wine Tasting

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Best New Area to Taste Wine !wine collection

It’s true that Santa Barbara is a bonafide wine destination… from wineries to wine bars to restaurants with killer wine lists, it would be a shame to be here and not like wine. Insert sad face here! Good thing you love wine! By now you’ve heard about the cool wine area close to the beach called The Funk Zone, but have you heard about the newest wine destination right in the heart of downtown? Clustered within Santa Barbara’s El Paseo complex in the Presidio Neighborhood are several wine tasting rooms, now part of what is officially known as the Wine Collection of El Paseo.

There are six tasting rooms located in this complex of courtyards and side streets, each with their own personality to showcase different styles of wine from Santa Barbara County’s AVAs. Margerum Wine Co. produces white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, as well as reds like Grenache and Syrah. Close by, you can find more of Margerum’s reserve wines in its MWC32 tasting room. Right next door, Happy Canyon Vineyard produces Bordeaux blends from the Happy Canyon AVA, which you can try in their polo-inspired tasting room. Decorated tastefully with equestrian gear, it’s the family’s way of paying homage to the two regulation-sized polo fields at their winery.

Tasty wine hidden among beautiful courtyards and tiny alleyways right in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara? You can’t go wrong. Plus, if you get hungry in between all those tastings, there are several great restaurants in and around El Paseo and the Presidio Neighborhood… it really is a one-stop shop!

Go Taste Some Wine !

Find out more at ! 



Wine has Calories ?

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Calorie Counting on Wine Labels Edges Closer…

Most wine producers “will not cope” with the cost of providing nutritional labels, opponents argue. Do you know how many calories are in that glass of wine you’re drinking? It could soon be hard to ignore, if consumer advocates in Europe have their way.

The European Parliament took a first step last month when it called on the European Commission to draw up legislation requiring nutritional labeling on alcoholic drinks by 2016. If it proceeds, the label on your bottle of Chardonnay could soon be warning you that the glass of wine you’re about to imbibe will increase your nutritional intake by 123 calories (United States Department of Agriculture figures, based on 5 fl oz glass). The resolution – adopted by 63 of the 68 members of the parliament’s health committee – also calls for labels that highlight the dangers of alcohol for pregnant women and motorists.

The British MEP behind the legislation, Glenis Willmott wants to make sure there is no mistake and that consumers get the information they need. “Consumers have a right to know that a glass of wine has the same number of calories as a slice of cake and that drinking while pregnant can harm your baby,” she said.

Cheers !

wine labels


Duckhorn Cabernet

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Keith and Kimberly welcome Renee Ary / Winemaker at Duckhorn

Enjoy the Show (part 4 of 4)


Visit Duckhorn Vineyards merlot

Visit our traditionally designed Estate House where you can taste our delectable wines, stroll in our beautiful gardens, view the winery’s waterfowl collection, and peruse the Duckhorn wine library in our unique temperature-controlled above ground cellar.

Join us for a Wine Tasting Experience or one of our unique Elevated Experiences. For all table side tastings, a charcuterie plate is available for an additional fee with purchase of a wine tasting experience.

Duckhorn Vineayrds Wine Tasting Experiences

Guests are invited to experience our wines in a unique, personalized fashion with seated tastings and individualized attention from our wine educators. A charcuterie plate (designed to be shared by 2 or more) is available for an additional $20, with purchase of a wine tasting experience.

Portfolio Tasting $30

Featuring wines from across our portfolio, this wine tasting experience features five current release wines from our Napa Valley offering. Reservations are required on Saturdays & Sundays, and strongly encouraged Monday-Friday to ensure the best possible experience. All club members receive complimentary wine tasting experiences for up to four adults.

For groups of 5 or more, advanced reservations are required via phone or email, as seating is limited.  Please contact us at (888) 354-8885 or


Ask for the Wines of MaCMurray Estate Vineyards at your Local Wine Retailer





Duckhorn Merlot

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Keith and Kimberly welcome Renee Ary / Winemaker at Duckhorn

Enjoy the Show (part 3 of 4)


Winemaker – Renée Ary

Duckhorn Vineyards Winemaker, Renee Ary

Renée Ary became the fourth winemaker in the four-decade history of Duckhorn Vineyards in 2014. Her promotion came after 11 years as an integral member of the winemaking team-including roles as assistant and associate winemaker. Like the two acclaimed winemakers before her, Renée spent years working alongside her predecessors, honing her craft, refining her gifted palate and mastering the Duckhorn Vineyards style. Today, with an approach that balances artistry, science and a deep respect for the viticultural side of winemaking, Renée guides the entire Duckhorn Vineyards portfolio, crafting wines that offer structure and sophistication, as well as a deep and purposeful sense of place.

Born and raised on the East Coast, Renée moved to California to attend Saint Mary’s College, where she earned a degree in chemistry and art. Fascinated by the intersection between science and an art, winemaking quickly became Renée’s passion, career and way of life. She started in the laboratory of Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, where she spent four years working closely with winemaking luminaries Genevieve Janssens, Steve Leveque and Richard Sowalsky. While Renée gained this invaluable hands-on experience, she augmented her scholarly understanding of winemaking and viticulture with classes at UC Davis and Napa Valley College.

In August of 2003, Renée joined the Duckhorn Vineyards team under then winemaker, Mark Beringer. From Mark, Renée gained a much deeper knowledge of farming, viticulture and the intricacies of Duckhorn’s diverse and storied Estate program. She also refined her blending skills, embracing the intuitive artistry of the blend, and the counterpoint it offered to the more scientific aspects of winemaking. Throughout her first decade at Duckhorn Vineyards, Renée learned every detail of production moving from lab manager to enologist to assistant winemaker to associate winemaker in charge of Duckhorn’s Sauvignon Blanc and Monitor Ledge Vineyard wines.

In early 2014, Renée became the fourth name on the short list of Duckhorn Vineyards winemakers that began with Tom Rinaldi in 1978. As winemaker, Renée works in small lots to preserve the rich complexity of the fruit in the Duckhorn winegrowing program. “From our own Estate vineyards to legendary sites like Three Palms, I am incredibly fortunate to work with some of Napa Valley’s most exceptional grapes,” says Renée. “When you work with fruit of this quality, there is no recipe or formula. My job is to let the vineyards speak and convey the soul of the wine.”

“It’s important to approach a role like this with humility,” adds Renée, “and with the knowledge that I am a part of an ongoing story-that I am contributing to the legacy of a great winery, and building on the work of the talented people who laid the foundation for excellence.”

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Ask your local Wine Retailer for the Wines of Black Diamond




Duckhorn Vineyards

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Keith and Kimberly welcome Renee Ary / Winemaker at Duckhorn Vineyards

Enjoy the Show (part 2 of 4)


Duckhorn / A Premier Producer of Bordeaux Varietal Wines Duckhorn-Vineyards-Case-Study-Thumbnail

Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent almost forty years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978, to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today.

Committed to Quality

The quality of Duckhorn Vineyards’ wines has always been based on a commitment to selecting the finest fruit. Whether carefully sourcing grapes from top sites in the Napa Valley or committing itself to estate vineyards, the winery was built on the belief that great wines begin in the vineyard. At Duckhorn Vineyards this has always meant an emphasis on site and terroir.

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Ask for the Wines of MaCMurray Estate Vineyards at your Local Retailer

macmurray pinot gris