Category Archives: Varietal

Get Your Virtual ZinEx-perience!

While the annual ZinEx weekend was in late January, you can still a LIVE Virtual Seminar & Tasting event on March 4th, 4pm PST. Sign up HERE! Then, scroll down for the first set of Meet The Maker mini-seminars that was recorded for your viewing convenience.

This first day of Zinfandel features five locations; Paso Robles, North Sonoma, Dry Creek, Napa Valley & Italy. Check out the detailed list of moderators (including me!) and wineries below.

(Virtual ZinEX, Day 1 from New York Wine Events on Vimeo.)

Paso Robles: Moderated by Randy Caparoso | J. Dusi | Chronic Cellars | Ridge Vineyards | Peachy Canyon |

North Sonoma: Moderated by Ian Blackburn BACA Wines | Hartford Family Winery | Martinelli Winery | Mauritson Wines

Dry Creek: Moderated by Chris Sawyer | Armida Winery | Dry Creek Vineyard | Pedroncelli | Seghesio Family Vineyards

Napa Valley: Moderated by Chris Sawyer | Elyse Wines | Leonard Wine Company | Mike & Molly Hendry | Robert Biale Vineyards

Italy: Moderated by Sam Kimball | Felline Accademia dei Racemi

ZIN EX Goes Virtual in 2021!

With a series of online events catered to your tasting experience, ZIN EX goes LIVE ONLINE on January 30 & 31, featuring more than three dozen outstanding California wineries. Registration is OPEN NOW which is offered FREE to the general public. In particular be sure to join my 2 Meet The Maker panels on Saturday Jan 30, of the 10 toal moderated sessions on both days between 1-4pm, featuring winemakers or winery principals, among the multiple memorable excursions:

  • Dry Creek Valley Legendary Zinfandel Vineyards – 2:15pm
  • Napa Valley Legendary Zinfandel Vineyards – 2:45pm

Attendees will be able to watch the Legendary Zinfandel Vineyards panel discussions via live stream on the Main Stage, they can ask questions via real-time chat, visit Virtual Booths to speak directly with key winery personnel. Participating wineries will offer special promotions before, during, and after the event with wine details. Guests can purchase the wine in advance to taste along or go shopping post-event.

See you there! Christopher

The Varietal Show Gets Cozy With Wine Legend Gary Eberle!

Gary Eberle is a California icon of wine, and The Varietal Show was fortunate enough to not only sit down and taste his Eberle Winery 1983 & 1989 Cabernet Sauvignon, but also chat about the interconnections between Paso Robles, UC Davis and CA wine history!

Check it out here and remember to hit LIKESHARE, and FOLLOW my channel for more exciting weekly episodes on Tuesdays at 12:30pm!


An Ode to Zinfandel 2020

Did you miss Zinfandel Day on Thursday November 19th? That’s OK, I have you covered here for an extended celebration with my recent article Preserving the Zinfandel Legacy of Mendocino County published on the ZAP Blog. (And mark your calendar for some social zintancing with ZinEx in January 2021!)

It was my pleasure to taste and muse about the fabulous flavors from a memorable visit up north: My Mendocino trek also involved a few conversations that are documented on The Varietal Show, from my YouTube channel; including Chef Mark Dym of Little River Inn; Steve Alden spinning the tale of Murder Ridge; and this extra little repost below from my visit with Lorenzo Pacini at the famous Pacini Vineyard! Enjoy and FOLLOW my channel for more exciting episodes to come . . .

Where’s Waldo? Find the visitor flying around in one of these three videos. Name that bird! #GoMendo

Rhône Adventures Continue with Tablas Creek Vineyards on The Varietal Show

In this Part Two from my discussion with Jason Haas of Tablas Creek Vineyards, he reflects about lessons from his dad with wine, and he shares three tiers of red blends including a tasty Mourvedre on The Varietal Show.

Find out more about their Rhône connection on our Rhone Rangers Webinar, Thursday November 19th! As well as a viewing of Tablas Creek Vineyards, Part One, on The Varietal Show.

Check it out here and remember to hit LIKESHARE, and FOLLOW my channel for more exciting weekly episodes on Tuesdays at 12:30pm!

Tablas-Creek-Proprietor-Jason-Haas CROP

Rhône At Home With This November 19th Webinar!

Jump in on this Webinar with ME and the Rhone Rangers, that I will be moderating next Thursday, November 19th, at 4pm PST! White Rhône-blends are perfect for sipping fireside and celebrating the holiday season: Hear direct from the winemaker’s who craft these incredibly versatile wines, optimal in any season. Discover favorites to pair with your Thanksgiving menu!

Advance registration via Zoom is required; click here to Register. Featured wines include:

Caliza Winery, Paso Robles – Carl Bowker, 2019 Kissin’ Cousins (47% Viognier, 31% Grenache Blanc, 22% Roussanne)

Kita Wines, Santa Barbara County – Tara Gomez, 2018 T’aya (Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc)

Terre Rouge/Easton Wines, Sierra Foothills – Bill Easton, 2013 Enigma (49% Marsanne, 26% Viognier, 24% Roussanne, 1% Grenache Blanc)

Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles – Jason Haas, 2018 Esprit de Tablas Blanc (66% Roussanne, 21% Grenache Blanc, 8% Picpoul Blanc, 3% Picardan, 2% Clairette Blanc)


Caption this! In the days before social distancing at Hospice du Rhône, a Paso Robles staple in years gone by.

Take a Rhône Rendezvous on The Varietal Show With Tablas Creek Vineyards

On my way down to judge at the Central Coast Wine Competition, The Varietal Show made a little stop to explore the joys of red wines made with Rhône varietals grown on the marvelous Tablas Creek Vineyards estate properties: This first part features the first tasting of the 2018 Tablas Creek Esprit Rouge, come back for more next week!

Check it out here and remember to hit LIKESHARE, and FOLLOW my channel for more exciting weekly episodes on Tuesdays at 12:30pm!

Pinot Noir at Keller Estate with The Varietal Show

The Varietal Show talks about Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir with my friend Ana Keller of Keller Estate. Enjoy our conversation and then make your tasting appointment to try it for yourself! (And if you fancy Pinot Gris, then watch our previous episode . . .)

Be first to watch when you SUBSCRIBE to my You Tube Channel for new episodes on Tuesdays at 12:30pm.

Setting PINOT NOIR free at vineyards of Keller Estate!

#MerlotMe Mania Continues!

Just a brief reminder about my Masters of Merlot Webinar with Cuvaison & Duckhorn Vineyards on Wednesday October 28th at 5pm PST: Reserve your Zoom space NOW!

Also, with Merlot Month ending on Saturday, we just had to squeeze in one more treat (no tricks!). Join ME along with two powerhouse Merlot producers, Peju Winery & Markham Vineyards, for a celebration of Napa Valley Merlot, its beauty, and styles, October 29th at 5pm PST, join via Zoom and Facebook Live.

The #MerlotMe festivities may continue even past October, moving toward International Merlot Day on Saturday November 7th: Keep tuned in for further developments! Cheers, Chris

Masters of Merlot: Duckhorn Vineyards & Cuvaison, October 28th

Join me in celebration of International Merlot Month as I host a very special virtual tasting with two of America’s most acclaimed MERLOT winemakers, Renée Ary of Duckhorn Vineyards and Steve “Roggy” Rogstad from Cuvaison. Together, we’ll explore how these two iconic wineries helped to establish Napa Valley Merlot as one of America’s greatest wines, and how they are leading the way in showcasing the beauty and sophistication of Merlot in the modern era.

Click Here To Register
ZOOM Webinar – Wednesday October 28 at 5pm

Top: Steve “Roggy” Rogstad from Cuvaison
Above: Renée Ary of Duckhorn Vineyards
Top: Steve “Roggy” Rogstad from Cuvaison
Above: Renée Ary of Duckhorn Vineyards

As we taste through sought-after wines from both wineries, Renée and Roggy will discuss what makes great Napa Valley Merlot so extraordinary, how beautifully it pairs with food, and how the film Sideways was actually good for Merlot. Whether you’re a Merlot fanatic, or are just discovering how approachable, age-worthy, and simply delicious Merlot is, this is a tasting you do not want to miss!

We will sample wines from the famed vine rows of Duckhorn’s Three Palms Vineyard in Calistoga, which was the source for Wine Spectator’s 2017 “Wine of the Year,” to Cuvaison’s legendary estate in the cooler Los Carneros region of Napa—which has unique parallels to the Merlot heartland of Bordeaux’s Right Bank—to learn about the terroirs where Merlot achieves its finest expressions. JOIN US!

2017 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Three Palms Vineyard
2017 Cuvaison Arcilla Merlot