The Valley Project Archives - Please The Palate
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This past week, the wine world lost a dear friend. Seth Kunin was a talented winemaker, loving husband and father and friend to us all. His unexpected and untimely death has been a shock to everyone. Death is not easy for anyone and it is a sad time but it is also a time to celebrate him, remember his life and drink his wines. That is why this week the Please The Palate Pick of the Week is every wine made by Seth Kunin. I first met Seth more than 15 years ago. He was the winemaker at Westerly Vineyards and also had his own label, Kunin Wines, in Santa Barbara. I was in the process of leaning about wine as I was also recovering from the dot-com world. Running a wine education business, I would take groups up to Santa Barbara for the day and we always stopped to see Seth. He would meet us at Central Coast Wine Services where he made his wine and would tour us through the facility.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register. Visiting a wine region for the first time can be a daunting experience. For those of us who regularly visit wine regions, we forget how overwhelming it can be. For example, if you were heading to Napa for the first time, would you know the difference between Atlas Peak, Diamond Mountain District and Howell Mountain? Would you know if one area is better known for a grape variety than another? Would you know that the cabernet sauvignon from Atlas Peak has more cherry fruit and acidity than the cabernet sauvignon from Howell Mountain that has notes of blackberry and rich tannins? I have the privilege to travel to many wine regions. I regularly go to Santa Barbara, Napa and Sonoma, as well as some international areas, and over multiple visits have gotten to know these regions and what differentiates one designated AVA over another. I take for granted this knowledge and insight of Santa Barbara wine regions that I have, as I realized when I traveled there this past week with some friends. They had not spent significant time in Santa Barbara wine country, and it was an opportunity to delve into the diversity of the region. Being told about how the transverse mountain range affects the climates from Santa Maria to Happy Canyon is informative, but is difficult to truly comprehend without tasting. Of course, the ideal is to spend time in each AVA, tasting a few wines in each area in order to get a sense of place. But if time does not allow, there are two places that offer an opportunity to gain an understanding of the entire region in one place. The Valley Project
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