Sonoma Sparklers Tour

For this theme tour, we’ll visit five Sonoma wineries with backgrounds different to those found in Napa. Instead of French Champagne houses, we’ll visit a Spanish Cava house and a German family ~ perhaps not such an obscure concept when one considers the role of Krug, Bollinger, Deutz, and Heidsieck in the history of Champagne. Once you take this SPARKLE TOUR, I want you to … Continue reading Sonoma Sparklers Tour

Genetic Instability and How it Affects Wine

Grapevines are relatively complicated plants. They take several years to reach sexual maturity. They respond to their environment with an enormous range of growth characteristics. They live for a very long time withstanding widely varied climatic conditions. They produce berries containing such a cornucopia of compounds, we are just now beginning to appreciate how extensive their chemical inventory may be. One can easily make the … Continue reading Genetic Instability and How it Affects Wine

Sonoma Pinot Styles Tour

Pinot noir is certainly not unique to Sonoma, at least not in California the way it is unique (in France) to Burgundy (with minor exposure in Alsace next door). But Sonoma does especially well with Pinot Noir, has more acres of PN than any other single County in North America, and supports significant stylistic differences from district to district. Sonoma is also well known for … Continue reading Sonoma Pinot Styles Tour

Sauvignon Blanc Smackdown Tour

Enjoy this theme tour. All the wineries will have other wines as well, so it’s not one-dimensional, in case you’re unsure Sauv Blanc deserves your entire focus. If you try all three days, it takes you completely through Napa, northern Sonoma, and out to the beautiful Sonoma coast. That’s a lot of really great countryside driving. At the end you will be in wonderful shape … Continue reading Sauvignon Blanc Smackdown Tour

Healdsburg Walking Tour

Any Walking Wine Tour in Healdsburg is bound to be more extensive than we suggest for most cities elsewhere. There are some 30 Tasting Rooms in Healdsburg. Several, such as Stephens & Walker or Pezzi-King make excellent wines which deserve attention. We suggest others, but without easily defensible reasons. Murphy-Goode is an example of winery from which I’ve enjoyed many wines over the years. I … Continue reading Healdsburg Walking Tour

3rd Generation Farmers Tour

In this 3-day weekend itinerary, wineries marked in green are open to the public. Wineries marked in red require appointments. Bullet point suggestions are drive-by viewing and/or optional stops. OVERNIGHT STAY & MORNING COFFEE:   BURLINGTON HOTEL, Port Costa DINNER: BULL VALLEY ROADHOUSE               AFTER DINNER DRINKS: WAREHOUSE CAFE Salvestrin ~ Very nice Cabs over a decade of vintages. Historic location. LUNCH: NAPA VALLEY OLIVE OIL MFG … Continue reading 3rd Generation Farmers Tour

Roussanne ~ My Quaker Moment in the Rhône

Twenty-plus years ago I was traveling with a bunch of friends in the southern Rhône Valley. We went to visit an art academy in a tributary valley called the Luberon ~ a district subsequently given a big dose of notoriety by Peter Mayle. We stayed in the little village of Gordes, a couple thousand feet above the valley floor with a magnificent view, and an … Continue reading Roussanne ~ My Quaker Moment in the Rhône

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What is Bruce Cass Wine Tours?

Bruce Cass began teaching wine in the Bay Area in 1972. Although Bruce passed away in September 2016, we hope to continue his legacy of engaging wine education. After 40 years of teaching, with an audience of tens of thousands of happy students, Bruce had a vision for a new business which would produce self-guided tours of California’s top wine regions as smart-phone applications. He … Continue reading What is Bruce Cass Wine Tours?

Napa Architecture Tour

In this 3-day weekend itinerary, wineries marked in green are open to the public. Wineries marked in red require appointments. Bullet point suggestions are drive-by viewing and/or optional stops. Figure a minimum of 40 sites by which you will at least want to drive. Surely a full weekend; maybe even three or four days. A serviceable pair of binoculars wouldn’t go amiss, and a camera … Continue reading Napa Architecture Tour

Sierra Foothills: Getting There

For wine purposes the Sierra Foothills stretch 200 miles north and south along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. The eastern boundary is definitely geo-political: the contour line at 4,000 feet of elevation is, in most cases, the western border of the US National Forest. Whether or not 4,000 feet of elevation in the Sierra Nevada actually imposes a climatic limitation on grape growing … Continue reading Sierra Foothills: Getting There