Author: Michael Cervin

All about the grapes

Rancho Ventavo Cellars 741 S. A St., Oxnard 483-8084 When owners George Gilpatrick and Faye Hawes started Rancho Ventavo Cellars they decided to make only red wines. I asked Hawes if she feels that she loses some customers because they don’t offer white wines. “We thought, let’s start with just reds and see how many complaints we get,” she says with a slight twinkle in her eye. As you can surmise, they don’t get many complaints. They started their 1,500-case winery 13 years ago. Gilpatrick makes the wine and Hawes sells it. A visit to their tasting room, a...

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BREAKING POINT | How Montecito, the St. Francis and Matilija Dams are irrevocably linked

The St. Francis dam failed 90 years ago this March, spilling 13 billion gallons of water. Matilija Dam in Ojai has for years been scheduled for removal. Montecito had no physical dam, but the release of torrential rain and mud acted like one had burst. It is water that inexorably links these places together. Water is no respecter of persons, animals, geography or economic status, yet it is a force that defines us, and what occasionally defeats us. Failure at St. Francis Thursday, March 12, 1928. William Mulholland, director of the powerful Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,...

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Where wine and art coexist

Millesime Cellars 425 Constitution Ave., unit H Camarillo 896-4049 By age 10 most young girls are becoming infatuated with looks, beauty, fashion and ponies. But for 10-year-old Brittany Rice, she knew she wanted to own her own business. If the name Rice rings a bell, that’s because she’s the daughter of the founders of Sunstone Winery in Santa Barbara and made wine there for a number of years. She also worked as a pastry chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, giving her a strong culinary background. Additionally, large photographic prints, shot while she was in...

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Commonality in Camarillo

Cantara Cellars 126 Wood Road Camarillo 484-9600 Lodi is approximately 370 miles from Ventura. Cantara’s winemaker Mike Brown grew up in Lodi, and his family still has a small ranch there. So when Mike and his wife, Chris, formed Cantara Cellars a decade ago, the easiest part of finding grapes, was from Lodi where they already grew chardonnay. In fact, all of Cantara’s fruit is from there. “Most people have never had an opportunity to taste ultra-premium Lodi wines,” Mike said. “We routinely age our red wines for three to four years to produce rich, balanced, flavorful wines...

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Woman of the vine

VinTura Tasting Room and Wine Rack 14 S. California St. 653-9463 Everyone comes to wine a little differently. For some it’s a magical wine shared with friends, for others it’s because they had an amazing experience in a wine country setting, and then there’s Kristen Shubert’s experience. Shubert, owner of VinTura Tasting Room and Wine Rack in downtown, grew up in Olathe, Kansas, just 30 minutes southwest of Kansas City, and was the manager on duty at a fine dining place when a guest ordered a $3,000 bottle of Lafite-Rothschild.  “I brought the wine out to serve, but...

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  1. NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary – Open Recruitment for Advisory Council Seats

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