Wine Blog

February 1, 2016

(Pictured above from left to right, front row, Gian, Stefan and Antony  

Back row, Ralph, Julie, Sherri, Alton, Kim, Jon and Captain Rick)


Where does a wine specialist go for a weekend getaway vacation to re charge his batteries and rejuvenate the soul after the busy holiday season? How about Napa Valley! That is exactly what I did with my wife Kim, son Alton and our family friends from Tampa Florida, Rick, Sherri and their 8 year old triplets Gian, Anthny and Stefan.

Napa in the winter is so beautiful, peaceful and quiet that you almost got the feeling that the valley was closed. But it’s not! It’s just winter!

While everyone here in California is fully embracing the wonderful set of winter storms that are bringing rain and snow to help fill our depleted reservoirs after 4 years of draught, the people working in the tasting rooms and restaurants of Napa are taking this time...

October 1, 2015

(Photo from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)


As I reported in this column in July, the 2015 vintage in California has indeed turned out to be hot year with an early harvest and lighter than average production.  Warm to hot weather vintages in California are pretty much the norm producing the style of wines that have made Napa and Sonoma famous; wines with flamboyant ripe fruit and silky textures but just not as much of them in 2015.

Unfortunately 2015 will be a sadly remembered year by the thousands of people tragically affected by the Valley Fire that came so dangerously close to northeastern Napa Valley. The Valley Fire is the third largest fire in the history of California burning over 76,000 acres of land and destroying over 2000 homes and structures while causing 4 deaths.

The wine regions ravaged by the fires and devastation are not your world famous, expensive brands of wi...

August 1, 2015


Dear PrimeCellar members and friends, I hope you and your families are enjoying the warm summer weather. I have just returned from a two week vacation with my 11 year old son Alton, it was a father and son trip to get away from the rigors of busy city life, and spend some quality time together.

We had a wonderful time in the  majestic Mountains of Livingston, Montana and in the incredible Lake Tahoe National Forest here in California. As I return to the business of wine on this warm Sunday afternoon at 4pm, I realize it's the perfect time for a for glass a glass of Kelleher 2012 Sauvignon Blanc!

While my vacation was to avoid big crowds I can just imagine the thousands of vacationers pouring out of the wineries in the lovely Napa Valley after  day of tasting in 85 degree weather and looking for their next glass of wine. Most likely that wine will be white and chilled! A fantas...

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Mr. Ralph Sands

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