I Got Seduced by California's Other Wine Country
Born and bred in Manhattan, I never thought Southern California and I would get along. The laid-back lass in a bikini top and cut-off jean shorts — you know, the one Katy Perry sings about — was simply too foreign from the fast-walking, black-wearing New Yorker I’ve become.
But then I heard that acres of vineyards blanket rolling hills just 2½ hours north of LA. The area is hundreds of miles from Napa or Sonoma, as I learned, but a destination in its own right. Made famous by the 2004 movie “Sideways,” the Central Coast is prime for drinking, eating and being merry.
Kurt Russell Discovers That Winemaking Grows on Him
Russell has long decompressed from filming movies like “Backdraft” by nurturing an interest in wine, a passion that deepened as he and longtime partner Goldie Hawn biked around grapevine-intensive regions like France, Italy and the Napa Valley. “I started to notice especially the Burgundy area and the grand crus. I fell in love with pinot,” Russell says. It wasn’t until Russell shot Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” in the Santa Rita Hills north of Santa Barbara that he started tasting with an eye toward someday making his own wine. After meeting Peter and Rebecca Work of Ampelos Cellar, he was inspired by their organic and sustainable biodynamic farming methods.
Kate Hudson on Wine and Show Business
The co-owner of Hudson Bellamy Wines and Hollywood actress sits down with Wine Enthusiast in an exclusive interview to discuss her favorite wines, the family business and her approach to winemaking.
Ampelos Wines’ biodynamic brilliance Part 1
Cool climate elegance, intoxicating aromas and pure, concentrated fruit and spice, Ampelos Cellars wines are simply stunning. From Pinot Noir to Viognier, these wines are electric, alive in their varietal expression, exquisite in their balance and finesse.
Ampelos Wines’ biodynamic brilliance Part 2
Ampelos "Rho" Pinot Noir is a big, lush wine, with concentrated aromas and flavors. What sensory delights do these wines hold?
Sharing a Love for Greece, One Pour at a Time
California’s Central Coast boasts a Greek-inspired winery called Ampelos Cellars. Philhellenes Peter and Rebecca Work have infused their love for Greece, and are sharing that love, one pour at a time.
Kurt Russell on Wine
The Hollywood star talks exclusively to Wine Enthusiast about his passion for winemaking and his new tasting room in California.
Editing Wine with Kurt Russell
CELEB SIPPER: Kurt Russell sniffs his way toward a 2012 blend of pinot noir for his Gogi project at the Ampelos Cellars facility in Lompoc, where owner/winemaker Peter Work (right) advises the actor.
The Ampelos Cellars Hat Trick: Organic, Biodynamic, and Sustainable
Some wineries say things like, "Well, we're organic, mostly, unless we really need to spray... plus all that paperwork...and the expense." Some say, "We like most of Rudolf Steiner's teachings, but we might fudge the biodynamics if the right moon doesn't happen when we have to get the grapes in.
California Rosés - 10 to Brighten Your Day
Tasting Highlights bring the best wines from our editors’ most recent tastings to WineSpectator.com members. Temperatures are rising here in California as summer approaches, and it’s ideal weather for drinking rosé.
Ampelos Cellars: A winery that is cutting edge, passionate and proud
Since the Wine Institute has designated April as Earth Month, Examiner is exploring wineries that utilize sustainable practices in most aspects of their grape growing and wine making process. Each winery employs their own set of standards and principles to attain their goal of sustainability. One winery that is determined to pave the way to establishing a strong foothold in the green practices movement and a pioneer in the field is Ampelos Cellars.
Kurt Russell's life as an actor plays out by his own rules
Classic Hollywood: Kurt Russell's zigzag career has been propelled by his choice to pursue his dreams outside Hollywood. Since making the Quentin Tarantino "Death Proof" segment of "Grind House" in 2007, Russell has turned much of his attention to making wine. In his quest to make "great" pinot, he teamed Ampelos Cellars in Sta. Rita Hills.
Wine 101: Shoot Thinning, Watering & Flowers
Farming is usually about growing as much fruit as possible, but for the fine wine grapes grown in the manner of Ampelos Vineyard and most other properties in the Sta. Rita Hills, less is more, so potential clusters-to-be are chopped from the vines while other growths get strategically snipped away.
Wine 101: Buds are Breaking
If your travels have taken you through Santa Barbara wine country in recent days, you’ve probably noticed that the vines are starting to come to life by shooting out their first green leaves. This is bud break, and the perfect time for the next installment in our Wine 101 series, with Professor Peter Work of Ampelos Vineyard answering our questions about this critical time in the growing season.
Wine 101: Powers of Pruning
In 2012, a good friend and I enrolled in what might best be called Wine Grape Growing 101, a yearlong experience of following the seasons in Santa Barbara County vineyards on the way to making our first barrel of wine.