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I love meeting winemakers and hearing their stories of how they fell onto the path of becoming a winemaker. Every person has a different journey as to what drew them into the wine industry. When I sat down with Megan McGrath Gates, winemaker at Lucas & Lewellen in the Santa Ynez Valley, she shared her story with me, which started with a childhood dream. But, even with a dream, she never imagined she would end up making wine. And yet she has. Megan's childhood dreams have become her reality as I wrote about recently in the Napa Valley Register and am sharing here.

When Megan McGrath Gates was a little girl, she would listen to the stories of her grandparents. A ninth-generation Californian, Gates was raised in Riverside. But, her ancestors were ranchers and she is a direct descendant of the historic Olivas family in Ventura, California.

Despite her ancestors, Gates was a typical suburban kid. Her dad is a lawyer and her mom is a teacher. She is one of six children and has a twin sister. With all of the romantic stories about her family, she dreamed about being a rancher and living a bucolic life.

This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register. There is a saying in the wine business that “it takes a lot of good beer to make great wine.” After a long...

The Please The Palate pick of the week is easy this week! It is the World of Pinot Noir, an annual weekend wine event that takes place in Santa Barbara that celebrates all things Pinot Noir. So, if you like Pinot Noir, like me, you will understand my pick! 2018 marks the 18th year of World of Pinot Noir (WOPN). This was my fourth year in a row to attend, yet it was my fifth festival since it was the one of very first weekend wine events I ever attended in 2004. There were Pinot Noirs from across the globe - Burgundy, New Zealand, Hungary, Chile, Oregon, Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Medocino, Lake County, Petaluma Gap, Monterrey, Washington, Napa and more!