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Portfolio Envy

The Bradford Wine Group possesses one of the finest broker wine books in all of the Central Coast. Owned by Brad Iwanaga (pictured), the Bradford Wine Group boasts an impressive lineup of wineries in its small, select portfolio. Among its clients are The Hitching Post, Plumpjack Wines, and Rusack Vineyards. Located in downtown Santa Barbara, the Bradford Wine Group has brought to our local wine industry further credibility and clout. Iwanaga believes wholeheartedly in the expressed potential and excellence of Santa Barbara wineries, and his portfolio, which skews toward local wineries, is proof of his support and belief in local winemakers.

Buyer Beware

The other day, I visited a local liquor store. Mind you, I didn’t write “wine retailer.” Not that I have anything against liquor stores. I just want to clarify that fine wine retailers like the Wine Cask, East Beach, Vino Divino, Gelson’s, Renegade Wines, etc. would never employ the tactics I’m about to discuss. Still, at this little Santa Barbara County liquor store, something became evident-older vintages of famous wines it had recently acquired appeared to be questionable at best. And, when the retailer refused to answer my questions regarding their origins of purchase, I became even more suspicious.

Goooooooal in a Glass

My father and I have been exchanging emails about FIFA’s World Cup Soccer. I was born in the Azores Islands, about 800 miles off the coast of Portugal, on one of the smaller islands named Terceira. Soccer is our island’s collective sport of choice.

Top Five Faves from the…

1) Beckmen 2005 Grenache Pur-sima Mountain Vineyard: A bold, chewy red overflowing with plum, blueberry, caramel, and oak. Blended with a little syrah, it’s nothing short of exceptional.

Benessere Winery

Chris Dearden grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, with farming and agriculture in his blood. Soon after graduating from UC Davis with a degree in enology, he assumed his first winemaking post in the Napa Valley at William Hill Winery.

Whitcraft’s New Digs

Do something for 30 years and you’re bound to get pretty good at it. During his three decades in the wine business, Chris Whitcraft has learned just about every aspect, from selling to reselling to writing. And finally, Chris Whitcraft the winemaker has a roof over his head that’s all his own.

Koehler Winery

“I want a 90-point wine,” said Peter Koehler. His namesake winery has been around since 1997 and has produced moderate wines so far. But he recently decided to raise the bar and break into the stratosphere. “I want to be one of the top 20 wineries in the world.” And Koehler is just the man to make that happen.


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