Lisa and Ariana are the daughters of the Peju family who owns and operate Peju wines in Napa Valley. They were raised in the wine world. In 2016 the family bought 100 acres of land in Carneros with a view of the bay for the girls to spread their wings. Naming the property Calmére, a combination of the French for calm and sea, they proceeded to grow some really glorious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines came to market in 2018 and and are really, really beautiful. They also make single block and higher end pinots that just get prettier as the prices do increase. Not as heavy as a Belle Glos- not as light or as earthy as Pinot Noir from Oregon. Stunning…
Estimated Retail $35.

Ali and Eric have one of my favorite stories. German born Eric and Texas native Alison met at K&L Merchants in California and eloped to Hawaii, then started a winery. The label is framed by the green leaves of the leis that they wore at their wedding. Their pup, Lord Sandwich is also the cutest mascot ever.
The rosé is made in Rheingau, Germany and is crisp and bright. This is the patio sipper for social distancing get togethers at my house.
Estimated Retail $22.

In 2018 this wine was #7 on the Wine Spectator “Best Wines” list. Joe Stark didn’t know much about the wine business when he started Colene Clemens in 2005, but he loved Pinot Noir, and he had Stephen Goff (formerly of Beaux Freres). Stark found a distinctive location where the Chehalem Mountains meet the Ribbon Ridge. Wines are farmed sustainably with a focus on organic practices and crop rotation. A blend gleaned from the entire estate, Dopp Creek is the winery’s most approachable Pinot with vibrant raspberry and exotic spice notes. A fuller bodied Pinot Noir due to the 350-650 elevations at which the grapes are grown.
Estimated Retail $30.

I was lucky enough to visit the Pence facility last summer as part of Mission: Santa Barbara, an industry conference. They have some of the most beautiful grounds I have ever seen with grottos and seating areas galore. Pence is a ranch, farm, winery, vineyard and event venue. They raise horses as well as forty head of cattle and sweet but gigantic dogs. Olives and other vegetables are raised and sold to L.A. restaurants. Pence makes thier own olive oil and the crackers that are served in the tasting room are often made from their own grain. They are local, sustainable and a gem in the region. Sashi Moorman crafts the wines here drawing from over twenty five years in the industry making Pinot Noir (Ojai, Sandhi, Stolpman and Domaine De La Côte are all previous clients). Pence Pinot Noir has a delicacy from the daily fogs that roll in that shows the drinker the character of Pinots from this area. 
Estimated Retail $22.

Riesling is delicious. It also isn’t always syrupy sweet, in fact generally it is not. Riesling is perpetually misunderstood. This Riesling is always in my fridge. Oregon makes some stunning Rieslings but winemakers always seem hesitant to bring them out for fear that drinkers will shun them for the unfashionable status of the grape. This needs to change. The Nut House Riesling is so called because the winemaking facility used to be a hazelnut storage house before becoming a winery. This self-described ‘off-dry’ Riesling has the characteristic high acidity with lime, ginger and apricot. Perfect with Thai food or sipping on a hot summer’s day. So basically the perfect wine to fight the Texas heat. 
Estimated Retail $26.

The fruit that makes up the Paring wines comes off the vineyards that are either too young or not quiet the style that winemaker Matt Dees is looking for in Jonata and The Hilt. In my opinion this makes these wines a killer deal. Matt is incredibly talented, kind, a fascinating character and handsome to boot. The Paring Red is the perfect house wine, it won’t ever embarrass you. It’s 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20%, Merlot, 20%, Cabernet Franc & 10%, Petit Verdot makes for a wine that can be sipped on its own or paired with your Friday night steak or burger.