If California wines still baffle - so many labels! -- you might want to spend a weekend in Yountville, on Route 29 in Napa Valley. A village by this city boy's standards, it's 12 blocks long and four blocks wide, perched on a bit of real estate smaller than 1200 acres.
Sitting on my table are two spectacular bottles of wine, which I had received after a special lunch with winemaker Alison Crary. I had been curious about the wine being served at the exclusive Governor's Ball after the Oscar ceremony... and she had all the answers.
Sta. Rita Hills is definitely starting to fulfill its promise as a source of characterful, balanced and terroir-driven wines, from flavorful Chardonnay and Viognier to minerally and complex Pinot Noir and Syrah.