Pruning Grape Vines with Vince

 [By Richard Sheppard in Calistoga, California]  Vince Tofanelli is one of the founding members of our wine group. His family’s vineyard is located in Calistoga, California and he farms and sells most of the grapes to local wineries but retains about 20% of the crop for his own label, Tofanelli Family Vineyard. The 40 acre […]

Napa Valley Grape Crush

[By Richard Sheppard in Calistoga, California]  I live just over an hour’s drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge, in the Sonoma County wine country. At this time of year, golden leafed vineyards blanket the rolling hillsides and you can smell the aroma of fermenting grape juice for miles. With all the grapes picked and […]

Spirits of the Vine

[By Richard Sheppard in Calistoga, California] The morning air is brisk as I arrive at Vince Tofanelli’s Calistoga vineyard. Although the sun has yet to peek over the hills, the sky is on fire with oranges and reds. Already the baseball capped heads of grape pickers bob up and down above the vines. Everything is rush-rush. […]

A Visit with Winemaker Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena

[By Richard Sheppard in Napa Valley, California] It’s not every day I get to meet a world famous winemaker, but through my friend Kristina King, I was lucky enough to discuss wine production and storage with Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena in Napa Country California. Even though there was plenty of wine, sketching, of course, was my […]

Barrel to Bottle

[By Richard Sheppard in Napa Valley, California] Rising at dawn, I make the sleepy-eyed half hour drive from from where I live in Healdsburg (Sonoma County, California) to Calistoga (Napa County), to see my friend Vince Tofanelli’s wine bottling operation first hand. Pulling into the dirt parking lot, I see Vince gesturing to a man […]