The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

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February 2018
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Staglin Family VineyardSCORE:

Staglin Estate Cab LabelI often tell my clients, and anyone who will listen really, that I’m all about finding quality wine for the price–no matter the price.  Basically what I’m talking about is getting a good bang for your buck.

Typically this strategy finds me scouring competition results for under priced stars and other moderately priced choices.  However that doesn’t mean I won’t recommend bottles from the upper end of the market when warranted.  

The 2006 Staglin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is warranted indeed.   Read More

Bonterra Winery, an Organic AdvocateSCORE:

Going green is now more hip than ever, but Bonterra Winery has long believed in organic practices.  In fact, their vineyards have been certified organic for more than 15 years. 

Their grapes are grown without the use of any artificial fertilizers or synthetic chemicals to build a living soil that encourages natural pest/predator balance. By fostering the health of the soil, Bonterra believes the plant will in turn be healthier and therefore produce better fruit for winemaking. Read More

Daou Vineyards, Paso Robles, CASCORE:

After just two years business, brothers Daniel and Georges Daou might be on the cusp of producing what could be the first true cult wine out of the Paso Robles AVA.

Heady talk when you consider they have not yet produced, nor even harvested, their first estate crop. However, if past business success is any measure of future potential, these siblings with San Diego ties are going to wow wine enthusiasts for decades. Read More

Top 5 Winery Visits in NapaSCORE:

Entrance to the World Famous Napa Valley

Entrance to the World Famous Napa Valley

When visiting the Napa Valley, finding a special winery to enjoy a tasting is as easy as absorbing the magic that makes this one of the great wine regions on earth. Cruising along Highway 29 or the Silverado Trail (the two most traveled roads that border the majority of the wineries) the vineyards sprawl from mountain range to mountain range, from San Francisco Bay north past Calistoga. There are literally hundreds of wineries to choose from, the vast majority willing to share their history, character, and beautiful views while tasting their vino for just a few dollars.

Read More