Discover white wines from Germany this Summer


Are you tired of the same old same old when it comes to your summer wine choices? Time to try something new! Let’s discover 3 refreshing white wines from Germany and some fun facts you probably didn’t know!

First up: RIESLING

Riesling is a classic, but so so misunderstood. Did you know somms all over the world go crazy about German Rieslings? There’s so many reasons to love it! The most important thing you should know is that Riesling can be sweet, but also DRY! So many people think that Riesling is only sweet (which is also very delicious). If you like a dry style Riesling, look for the word Trocken on the label. This means dry. The Germans are very serious about their wine and give us tons of information of the label, but it definitely takes some schooling to understand it! Another term commonly used is labeling the level of ripeness of the grapes picked at harvest. The longer the grapes stay on the vines, the sweeter they get. Here are the terms in order from driest to sweetest:







Keep in mind that the winemaker might ferment to different levels, so a Kabinett level Riesling grapes could still be vinified to a slightly sweet wine, and a Spätlese Riesling grapes could still be vinified to a fully dry Riesling (in that case, it would be labeled Spätlese Trocken). It can be know confusing if you don’t know the terms, right!? A lot of German producers are starting to indicate the style on labels in English or even put a sweetness scale on the label which makes it a lot easier for us! Another term that is super important to know is the GG (Grosses Gewächs). This essentially means Grand Cru. These grapes are coming from the best vineyard sites and undergo strict quality assessment.

When it comes to food pairing with Riesling it’s quite unique! Depending on the style you’re drinking, German Riesling can pair perfectly with a wide variety of cuisine, partly due to the iconic high acidity. I like to pair Riesling with Asian cuisine, spicy foods and sushi! Due to the generally lower alcohol on German Rieslings, it pairs perfectly with spicier foods. Alcohol tends to make spicy foods burn more!

I really enjoyed this “Bone Dry” Riesling which you can currently find on www.Wine.com for $24.99.

Von Buhl Bone Dry Riesling 2020, Pfalz

Use promo code GERMANY10 for 10% off your purchase of 6 bottles of German wine or more.

This Riesling is very refreshing with notes of lemon, lime zest, white peach, and white florals. It had high acidity-meaning it makes your mouth water a lot. Perfect for a hot summer day!

Second white wine from Germany to be sipping on this summer is:


Pinot Blanc is such an underrated grape IMO! I don’t hear a lot of people talking about Pinot Blanc which is a shame! It just screams summer!!! This one is full of refreshing citrus and apple flavors. Balanced with a beautiful minerality and high acidity.

This wine pairs perfectly with all those summer cheeses like havarti, mozzarella, and feta. Can someone say Caprese salad!? Or watermelon and feta salad with PINOT BLANC!? Um yes please!

Fun fact: the Germans may call Pinot Blanc “Weissburgunder” so be on the look lookout for that! It’s just the German name for the grape. Another fun fact: Germany has the highest number of plantings of the grape in the world!

You can find this one on www.Wine.com for $24.99 as well.

Weingut Wagner Stempel Estate Pinot Blanc 2020, Rheinhessen

And the 3rd German White Wine you should know about is:


Yes, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are synonymous, but a German Pinot Gris and an Italian Pinot Grigio are quite different! This Pinot Gris is packed full of stone fruit flavors like peach and apricot with a ripe citrus like lemon curd. It also has beautiful floral aromas and refreshing minerality and acidity. I find German Pinot Gris to be much smoother than other regions’ as well. I’d pair this with a summer peach salsa, or some brie with apricot jam. It would also go great with seafood and pastas. I’m drooling!

Fun fact: the Germans refer to Pinot Gris as “Grauburgunder” or “Grauer Burgunder” so you might see that on the wine label.

You can find this delicious German Pinot Gris on www.Wine.com for $18.99.

Freiherr von Gleichenstein Hofgarten Grauer Burgunder Trocken 2016, Baden

Remember to use promo code GERMANY10 for 10% off your purchase of 6 bottles of German wine or more!

I hope you enjoyed diving into the key white wines of Germany with me! If you’d like to dive even deeper into the Wines of Germany, follow @germanwineusa on Instagram and be sure to follow me at @bythestem to learn all things wines, food pairings and wine travel!


Love, Your personal sommelier, Casleah


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Taittinger Champagne: a house full of history, hospitality and outstanding wine!

Read below to learn about my recent visit to the historic house of Champagne Taittinger and why it should be top of your list for your next visit to Reims! 

First, the location is very convenient as we finished lunch across the street at Brasserie le Jardin located at two Michelin star Le Creyeres.

After lunch, we took a short walk to the magnificent Champagne Taittinger house, one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses.

It’s quite a large complex with a spacious courtyard where tourists and locals can relax and enjoy the beauty of the house. Upon entering the foyer, I got a sense of pride and history as the bottles are on display and friendly greeters are ready to check you in.

In the entrance lobby there’s also a model of what this place once was. Abbey Church built in the 13th century by Benedictine monks. The church was destroyed by the French Revolution, however, the cellars were preserved. As we continued the tour, history kept getting richer and richer.

First, we had a private showing of the rich history in the theater. What a feeling to be in the same place of the monks creating the early days champagne!!

We proceeded down many many stairs along the windy staircase. Down into the cellars we went. My ears literally popped as we went down!

An original piece from the Abbey Church. And the ancient grave of Saint- Nicaise.

As we continued through the ancient caves and chalk quarries, we were surrounded by aging bottles. The traditional method of making champagne is quite complicated. After the first round of wine is made and the blending is completed, the wine is bottled along with the tirage which is a mixture of yeast, sugar and clarifying agents to create a second round of fermentation. This is where the bubbles are created. Once the fermentation has stopped, the wines can rest “on the lees” or “sur-lie” aging. The is a clumped up matter of the dead yeast cells.

The longer the wine rests on the lees, the more the bready, toasty, nutty aromas are developed in the champagne. These notes are considered to be very prestigious as they add a beautiful complexity to the wine. Some rest on the lees for 7 years or more! Once it’s time to remove the lees sediment from the bottle, a process called riddling will begin. The cellar manager carefully turns the bottles over and over again over the course of several weeks. While turning the bottles, they also turn the bottles gradually upright so they are resting with the neck on the bottle down. This process takes 8-10 weeks.

Here we see 100,000+ bottles resting on the lees. Once the lees has been settled to the neck of the bottle, the cellar manager or winemaker will begin a process called disgorgement. The neck is soaked in a freezing brine solution for 10 minutes so the lees become a solid chunk. Once the cap is released and the bottle is opened, the pressure from the bubbles shoot out the yeast matter and the wine is clarified. It is then topped off with the dosage which determines the sweetness level of the wine. This is why we see the terms Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Sec and Sec to notify us of the level of residual sugar in the final product.

Just when we thought the tour couldn’t get any cooler, we went farther into the ground to 80 meters below. Down here is even more rich history. As we walked through the caves, our tour guide pointed out faces and figures carved in the walls.

People hid in these caves during World War I. What a mystifying experience to be so close to history!

As we continued through we saw ancient doorways and staircases from the Abbey Church.

We explored the chalk quarries from the 3rd and 4th century. At the conclusion of the tour, we thankfully took an elevator back up for the tasting!

Taittinger was so generous to offer us a private room for the tasting. We tasted several outstanding wines from premier cru and grand cru vineyards. Taittinger is distinguished for its extensive vineyard holdings of 752 acres, including prestigious Grand Cru vineyards. We tasted several wines with long aging periods. Taittinger is also known for its highest-quality production: exceeding minimum aging for all cuvées, high percentage of estate grapes and sustainable practices.

I was blown away by the Prelude made of solely grand cru vineyards from the Cote de Blanc. It’s 50% Chardonnay and  50% Pinot Noir with 6 years aging on the lees. It’s a very elegant wine with notes of white floral and white peach.

And what a treat to finish the tasting with the Tete de Cuvée Comtes. It is pronounced like Cōmt. It is made of 5 single Grand Cru vineyards and is 100% Chardonnay. Taittinger uses a higher proportion of Chardonnay grapes in its blends than other large houses expressing the unique personality of the house. For this particular wine, 5% of the wine is aged in oak before blending. It is aged for 10 years on the lees in the ancient chalk cellars. The bottle shape is the shape the ancient monks used and it has been preserved by Taittinger. These wines are absolutely outstanding and consistently receive 90+ points worldwide recognition among connoisseurs.

Another thing you should know about Taittinger is that it is female run by the house President Vitalie Taittinger who continues the family lineage. 

Finally, if you can’t make it to Champagne any time soon, you can experience the richness of this house right in California at Domaine Carneros who is owned by Taittinger and has 30 years of women winemakers. 

Thank you Taittinger for the extraordinary experience and I hope you get to visit soon. 

Your personal sommelier, 


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Discovering Sannio DOP of Southern Italy

Sannio (pronounced like San-yo) is located in the Campania region of Italy. The Campania region is in the southern part of Italy. It is below Rome and just 30 miles east of Naples. It has rolling hillsides and altitude making it the perfect location for vineyards. The soil is mostly clay and limestone, but there are areas where volcanic soil can be found! Sannio is made up of 11,000 hectares (27,181.59 acres) of vineyards. And 7,900 vine growers. There are many different grape varieties that grow here, but the two most famous are Falanghina and Aglianico. I recently attended a beautiful luncheon at N10 Italian Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles with Italian Wine expert Laura Donadini (@theitalianwinegirl) to learn about Sannio wines paired with delicious Italian dishes. 

The first wine we tasted was a sparkling Falanghina from Corte Normanna. It’s a Brut style sparkling wine made in the Charmat method (tank method). Oak aging in uncommon in this region. It spends 11 months on the lees with lees stirring which add complexity and delicate bubbles. This wine is refreshing with high acidity and notes of floral, citrus and a finish with a touch of almond. The almond finish is a marker common on Falanghina. This wine was paired with a Bruschetta with sun dried tomatoes, basil and mixed vegetables on focaccia. The acidity in the tomatoes really balanced the acidity in the wine.

The second was was a still Falanghina from La Guardiense ‘Janare‘. This wine recieved the highest award from the Gambero Rosso called Tre Bicchieri. It has beautiful dusty minerality with aromatic floral notes. It’s has a stunning and unique salinity resembling capers. It has the classic bitter almond finish. What stood out to me about this wine was the mouthfeel. It had an oily texture that is very pleasant on the palate. It has medium plus intensity of aromas, a complex, refreshing acidity and a long lingering finish.  

 Wine number 3 was another still Falanghina from the opposite side of the region from Terre Stregate ‘Svelato’ . This one has 4 months on the lees giving its a cheese rind, yeasty aroma. Along with a refreshing green apple acidity. 

 These Falanghina wines are if the DOC designations. They were paired with a chopped salad consisting of  romaine lettuce, mozzarella cheese, avocado and dill herb dressing. The freaking notes of the salad brought out the citrus notes of the wines. The mozzarella brought if the lees nots as well as the creamy mouthfeel. Great pairing!! 

The tasting concluded with a beautiful complex red wine of Aglianico. This is the famous red wine of Sannio and is of DOCG designation. There are 3 biotypes of Aglianico in Sannio: Taburno, Taurasi, and Vulture. I tasted the Fattoria La Rivolta Aglianico del Taburno DOCG 2018 . It was full of black fruits and spice. It spent 1 year in neutral oak and organically farmed. Full of complexity, these wines have so much aging potential! This wine was paired with shredded braised beef in San Marzano sauce in a homemade Tagliatelle pasta. What a perfect pairing! 

I highly recommend checking out the wines from Sannio for great quality and great value! I hope you discover this up and coming region! Cheers! 

Love, Your Personal Sommelier, Casleah

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Tips for Productivity

Time is the great equalizer. We all get the same amount. We can’t have any more. So make the most of the time we have! Life is now! Here’s some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way of becoming a self employed entrepreneur and business woman! Hope it helps you too!

1. Use a project management tool. I love Asana- It’s a great way to stay organized, make large projects more doable by breaking them into smaller steps and to stay on top of deadlines. You can also assign other people tasks as well. 

2. Use google calendar! This is literally a life saver for me! I put everything in google calendar! I even invite my husband and friends to events. Also when you put in the event address, it tells you when to leave! Every single commitment I make gets a google calendar invite to ensure I’m staying my word and don’t forget any of my commitments! 

3. Get a virtual assistant! My assistant has truly changed my business and my life! She helps me with staying organized, client communications, calendar management, email campaigns, tracking packages, research and much more! If you’re considering getting a virtual assistant, I highly recommend working with Riah at Linq Consulting Solutions . She will matchmake you with the perfect assistant for you! 

4. Pin texts to the top. This little life hack has helped me so much. When you receive a text that you can’t respond to right away, pin it to the top of your texts so you don’t forget to respond later. 

5. Meal Prep! Find a local meal prepper!! I found the amazing Liz who preps delicious and healthy meals for me every week. I doesn’t cost me any more than buying groceries and saves me tons of time and keeps me healthy. Also I’m supporting another local small business owner! Search your area to find a meal prepper near you! 

6. Instacart: get your groceries delivered! Not only does it save me so much time, but it also saves me money from buying things I don’t really need. Also, Ralphs has a whole recipe tab, where you can just add all the ingredients right to your cart! Use this link to get $10 off your next order: https://inst.cr/t/QmZRMG1ObkVC

7. Task Rabbit: learn to delegate the tasks you don’t want to do! I found my amazing cleaning lady through task rabbit. She organized my entire apartment while I worked and studied! 

8. Loom: I discovered this extension recently. Sometimes it’s easier to show it instead of say it. This program allows you to record your screen and yourself on video while you show your client or employee how to do something. Such a time saver instead of typing out step by step instructions. 

9. List of 10 things: my mentor Cristie taught me this one. Once a week I write a list of 10 little things that I have been putting off. It may be a certain email you’ve been leaving unread, or an item you need to return to the store. Just the tiny little annoyances that are taking up brain space. Get them crossed off the list so you can move on to bigger and better things! 

10. TSA Pre Check– I had to add this one in here. It’s $75 for 5 years and saves sooo much time at the airport! Plus you don’t have to take off your shoes. I literally don’t know why you wouldn’t get it. 

11. Press on nails. If you’re like me, having my nails done is so important to me! But its very time consuming and expensive to go to the nail salon every 2 weeks! I’ve discovered $8 sets of press on nails from CVS and Target. It takes me 10 minutes to put on and I’ve never got more compliments on my nails! Just be sure to keep nail glue in your purse in case one pops off! 

12. Unsubscribe- take 20 minutes to unsubscribe to all the unnecessary emails that you just swipe and delete everyday. It will save you so much time in the long run!! 

13. Lastpass: Save all your passwords in one place so you don’t waste time with “Forgot your password” emails. 

14. Write. it. down. Seriously, write everything down! It frees up brain space when you don’t have to remember it! I use the reminders app on my phone. I have it as a widget on my home screen and anytime an thought pops in my head I add to the reminders until I get a chance to send that email, or create that calendar invite.  

15. Practice Gratitude. When we live in gratitude we spend less time worrying about things that don’t matter. I recently started using this journal and I love it! The Five Minute Journal

16. Believe in yourself. When you spend time creating stories about how they’re not going to like you, or your work, you waste precious time! You are capable of more than you think! 

17. Let go of perfect. Repeat after me: It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can always go back in and adjust. Save yourself a lot of time and let go of the need to be perfect. 

These are the tools that have helped me over the last year, and I hope it helps you too!! Would love to hear other tools that you’ve discovered! 

Much love, 

Your personal Sommelier, Casleah 

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River Terrace Inn

Heading to Napa Valley Wine Country and looking for a great spot to stay? Check out River Terrace Inn

Such a cozy hotel with great views and close to downtown Napa. We had a very comfortable stay and the staff was very attentive to make sure all of our needs were met. My favorite perk was the free water bottles available to prep for a full day of wine tasting! 

The property is beautiful with great spots to relax by the fire and sip a glass of wine. 

What blew me away the most about this spot is the food at Alba restaurant! We attended a happy hour and tried multiple dishes that blew us away! Especially the gnocchi! And for breakfast, you can’t miss this apple toast or the overnight chia oats! 

Before your stay, check their events calendar because this place knows how to party! We attended the “Yappy Hour” and enjoyed tons of cute dogs dressed up in Halloween costumes and pumpkin spice margaritas!

Overall, we had a wonderful stay at River Terrace Inn and I can’t wait to go back! Definitely check it out for your next Napa Valley visit! Cheers! 


Casleah Herwaldt

Your personal sommelier

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Winery Recommendations

Here’s a complete list of all the wineries, restaurants and wine bars I recommend in each wine country region that I’ve visited! Enjoy! And keep checking back as I add more!

Before you book your winery trip, check my other blog post: 10 things you should know before visiting Wine Country



Opus One Winery

Why I love it: Outstanding Wine and so much history! They only make one wine, hence the name, but it is all they need! Founded by the legends Robert Mondavi and Rothschild family, it is definitely a site to see! 

Clif Family

Why I love it: The wine, the food, the property! This winery has it all! From the family that brought you Clif bars, definitely don’t miss out on their food and wine pairing opportunities! You can also rent bikes and ride around their stunning property. 

Why I love it: The wine is outstanding! They have stunning little glass private rooms up in the mountains with unbeatable views! 

Napa Cellars

Why I love it: Chill hang out vibes! Love the picnic tables and yard games vibes. This is a great place to relax in the middle of the vines and enjoy their delicious wines. 

Joseph Phelps

Why I love it: outstanding wine and views! 

Del Dotto

Why I love it: They offer barrel tastings! They also do not skimp on the pours! 

Alpha Omega

Why I love it: outstanding wines and views.

Pride Mountain

Why I love it: outstanding views. This is a pretty cool spot because half of the property is in Napa and half in Sonoma! And amazing wines. 

Spring Mountain

Why I love it: Absolutely stunning views and wines! Loved tasting in the old historic home. 

Chimney Rock

Why I love it: Some of my favorite wines in the valley and outstanding hospitality. 

Clos du Vol

Why I love it: the views, the wine and the hospitality! Also an historic winery as they won the 2nd Judgement of Paris. 


Why I love it: The historic building and rich history! Outstanding Wines. 

Walt Wines

Why I love it: Beautiful Pinot Noir! Huge fan of their wine and chocolate pairing option. 


Why I love it: This sparkling house has a stunning property perfect for a picnic! 

Domaine Carneros

Why I love it: This winery owned by Champagne Taittinger, makes outstanding sparkling wines and beautiful property! 

Far Niente

Why I love it: The property feels like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale! Incredible whites and reds and of course their dessert wine, Dolce! 

Sterling Vineyards

Why I love it: This is a fun spot to visit! Gondola ride, grape stomping! 

Robert Mondavi

Why I love it: VERY historic! Founded by the grandfather of Napa, Mr. Robert Mondavi! Definitely, recommend their wine 101 tasting. 

Mayo Family

Why I love it: the cutest little family winery. And bonus: they’re open much later than majority of the wineries in Napa, if you want to squeeze in one more before you end the day! 

Duck Horn

Why I love it: You have got to try their Merlot! And I love this property! 


Why I love it: Stunning property and wines! 


Why I love it: Legendary sparkling house. Definitely do the cave tour! 

Stags Leap Wine Cellars

Why I love it: Legendary winery and outstanding wines. Its pretty magical to see the historical bottle from the Judgement of Paris of 1976.

Silver Oak

Why I love it: Really beautiful wines


Why I love it: Highly recommend that Cabernet experience. Outstanding wines and and beautiful art sculpture along the property. 

Whitehall Lane

Why I love it: Beautiful wines and property! 

Black Stallion

Why I love it: Great wines and a great spot to do a walk in as well! 

Cakebread Cellars

Why I love it: Beautiful Chardonnays!

Elizabeth Spencer

Why I love it: Such a cute little spot on the corner and great wine! Little gem! 


Why I love it: Some of the best views in the whole valley and beautiful wines


Why I love it: Very beautiful Cabernets! 

Louis Martini

Why I love it: Highly recommend their small bites tastings and beautiful wines! 

Pestoni Family Winery

Why I love it: Such a cute family owned spot with great wines. Can walk in to this spot as well. 

Tasting rooms:
Mark Herold

Why I love it: really beautiful wines and conveniently located close to downtown Napa. 

Heron House

Why I love it: This spot is a gem! If you’re into tasting the top vineyard sites in Napa like To Kalon, this is the spot!

RH Wine Vault

Why I love it: Such a beautiful spot to enjoy a flight of wine in a magical cabana. 

Oxbow Market

Why I love it: Such a great market with lots of great options. 

Model Bakery

Why I love it: Great spot for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee! 

Willis Wine Bar

Why I love it: The food is amazing! Highly recommend the Filet Mignon Sliders!

Compline Wine Bar

Why I love it: Such a gem of a spot!! Such an incredible wine list and conveintantly located downtown. 

Press Napa Valley

Why I love it: legendary spot, definitely taste the bacon flight! 


Why I love it: You have to taste the burrata toast!! 


Why I love it: A Michelin star spot, and a super affordable and delicious breakfast!! 

Oakville Grocery

Why I love it: I never miss this spot when I visit Napa! Some of the best sandwiches around! Also like hack, pick them up in the morning and bring a cooler to have lunch on the go. 

Napa Suites

Check out my blog post about Napa Suites!

River Terrace Inn




Why I love it: Definitely get the small bites with their incredible Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay. 


Why I love it: Really beautiful wines and stunning property.

J Vineyards

Why I love it: One of my absolutely FAVORITES! Incredible sparkling wines, food pairings and female winemaker! 


Why I love it: Another female winemaker and incredible Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and views! 

Ferrari Carnero

Why I love it: Beautiful property and delicious wine! 


Why I love it: Movie memorabilia, yummy wines and cool property, plus a pool! 

Rodney Strong

Why I love it: I love checking out the production facility! 

Simi Vineyards

Why I love it: Beautiful property and wines!


El Dorado

Santa Barbara


Why I love it: Beautiful wines and property, love sipping on their outdoor areas


Why I love it: Love love their wines!!!! And the views! 


Why I love it: Beautiful winery and you must try their Albarino! 


Why I love it: oh so many reasons! Female winemaker and boss babe Gretchen. So many unique varieties and wines and beautiful property. 

Holus Bolus

Why I love it: Visit their tasting room in downtown Los Olivos. Master of Wine Amy Christine and her husband Peter do it all! These are wines to nerd out over! 


Why I love it: From the Carhartt family, Chase Carhartt is making absolutely incredible wines! 

Folded Hills

Why I love it: From the Busch family. Not only do they have great wines, you must try their Grenache, they have wild animals like zebras and camels and of course Clydesdales. 


Why I love it: This urban winery is super fun to visit and delicious Syrah! 


Why I love it: Beautiful property and beautiful wines! 


Why I love it: Great Pinot Noir! 


Why I love it: This adorable small family spot, is making some killer wines! 


Why I love it: Hands down some of the best wines I ever had. The Rita’s Crown Chardonnay is what dreams are made of! 


Why I love it: Super fun tasting room in Los Olivos and loved their rose! 

Liquid Farm

Why I love it: The tasting room is gorgeous and the wines are to die for!


Why I love it: absolutely stunning property and beautiful wines! 


Why I love it: made by first female wine maker in Santa Barbara, Lane Tanner making absolutely killer wines. 

Bells Los Alamos

Why I love it: Michelin star, and on Mondays it’s only $50 and half off bottles!! 

First and Oak 

Why I love it: located in beautiful Solvang. I love a great Prix Fixe meal! Sooo yummy and incredible wine list! 

Pico Los Alamos

Why I love it: rated by Wine Enthusiast’s for top wine restaurants and delicious food! 

Sky View
O’Cairns Inn (Lompoc)

Destination drivers
SB Wine Tours


Domaine Serene

Why I love it: Outstanding wines and property

Sokkel Blosser

Why I love it: loved their production tour and wines! 



Why I love it: love the white Merlot, and the duck fat fries! 

Weins Cellars

Why I love it: They have a fun blending class! 

Hart Winery

Why I love it: yummy wines! 

Falkner Winery

Why I love it: Loved the food pairings and the set up! 

Robert Renzoni

Why I love it: delicious Sangiovese and there’s a secret passageway! Oh and the pizza!

Europa Village

Why I love it: super cool spot with a literal tour of Europe! 


Why I love it: My favorite spot in Temecula. The best wines in my opinion! You must try the Syrah and the Zinfandel! Plus they do wine dinners! 


Why I love it: They have a pool in the middle of the vineyards! Its a fun escape! Plus you can get wine and cocktails served right to you poolside! 

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Mount Palomar

Why I love it: Really cool spot with one of the only Solera Systems in the country! 


Why I love it: This place is modern and trendy, great for the IG content. 


Why I love it: adorable, cozy spot with lot of photo opps. 

South Coast Winery
Vine House Bed and Breakfast
Europa Village

Paso Robles

Daou Vineyards

Why I love it: The wines and the views! 

Chateau Margene

Why I love it: adorable family owned spot with great wines! 

Cass Winery

Why I love it: Soo many reasons! Fantastic wines, stunning property, super fun hospitality, and wine dinners! 

Onx Wines

Why I love it: beautiful property and lots of little oasis spots for outdoor sipping. 


Why I love it: Beautiful winery and delicious wines! 

Tablas Creek

Why I love it: I love the wine here! 

Tasting rooms
Seven Oxen

Why I love it: the wines are great! 


Why I love it: One of my absolute favorite places to stay at Cass Winery in the middle of the vines with breakfast served to your room.

Fish Gaucho
Wine dinner at Cass


AJA Vineyards

Why I love it: Family owned spot with incredible views and amazing wines! You can see the bachelor mansion from the top of the vineyards. 


Rove Estate

Why I love it: This winery proves quality wine can come from Michigan! Beautiful Rieslings. 

Mari Vineyards

Why I love it: beautiful property and a great spot to sip! 

Valle de Guadalupe

Check out my blog post on my Mexico Wine Country Experience

LA Cetto

Why I love it: One of the largest wineries in Mexico, great spot to visit! 

Casa de Doña Lupe

Why I love it: This place has it all! Massages, liquor, wine, pizza, hot sauce… So fun! 


Majestic Oak

Why I love it: adorable family spot with great wines!

Topa Mountain

Why I love it: great wine and great views! 


Acquiesce Winery

Why I love it: This place only makes premium white wines and they do it well! 

Peltier Winery

Why I love it: Female, boss babe winemaker and amazing wines! 

Lorenza Real Rose

Why I love it: Mom and daughter team making outstanding old vine rose or cinsault! 

Onesta Wines
McCay Cellars
Klinker Brick Winery
LangeTwins Family Winery
Mettler Family Vineyards

Why I love it: Great wines and beautiful property! 

Turley Wine Cellars
Sandlands Wine
Michael David Winery

Why I love it: porch pounder wines and really amazing property! Must try the pizzas and the pie! Great spot to hang out for hours. 

Harney Lane Winery
Fields Family Wines
Bokisch Vineyards

Why I love it: female winemaker and amazing Spanish wines. Beautiful property! 

Guontonios wood fired

Wine and Roses

Thanks for checking out my guide! I’ll keep adding to it as I visit more places! Hope you find this useful! 

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Where to Stay in Napa Valley

The Embassy Suites Napa Valley exceeded my expectations of a magical wine country vacation for many many reasons!

Photo from Embassy Suites Napa Valley website

Not only does the property feel like instant luxury, its perfectly situated only 1 mile from downtown Napa Valley. Downtown Napa is filled with tons of amazing wine bars, tasting rooms, restaurants, markets and shops. A few that are at the top of my list include: Compline Wine Bar , Oxbow Public Market , Walt Wines Tasting Room , and Allegria . Parking is very easy at this hotel and the door man is super friendly. The staff is ready to check you in and create an unforgettable experience for you.

No detail is missed at this stunning property. The grand entrance makes you feel like royalty as you wait for wine tasting transportation to arrive.

The courtyard is a whole other story. It feels like you are stepping into a fairytale grand escape. The fountain is flowing, the birds are singing, the flowers are so aromatic and instant relaxation takes over. There’s comfortable seating located all around the beautiful little lake creating the perfect spot to sip on your morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. Continental breakfast is included with your stay, which was key for carbing up before a long day of wine tasting. Nothing like watching the swan swim around while eating my morning bagel!

There’s even swans swimming around!!! I mean talk about a fairytale!!!

Photo from Embassy Suites Napa Valley website

Now, lets talk about the rooms. The rooms are very clean and sanitized with a seal on the door when you arrive to ensure high standard cleanliness. The room had a comfy living room area stocked with a mini fridge and wine glasses. They even have some wine available for sale. The bed was extremely comfortable and I could really make myself at home in this room!

As you may know, one of the many perks of staying at the Embassy Suites is the Happy Hour receptions that are included and totally free! This reception includes 3 free drinks and snacks! They even had live music playing during the reception! Perfect way to pregame dinner. One evening, I even decided to stay for dinner. I treated myself with a delicious burger and fries!

I had the absolute best stay at the Embassy Suites Napa Valley and highly recommend this spot for your next trip to Napa Valley if you are looking for luxury combined with comfort. Cheers!!!


Casleah Herwaldt,

Your personal sommelier

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Europa Village in Temecula Valley

Are you visiting wine country in Temecula Valley? Looking for an amazing place to stay and wine taste? Look no further than Europa Village! Europa Village is an incredible concept where it is just that- a village. You can visit Spain, Italy and France all in one day! It’s quite the global experience! There’s so much to do here: restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops, wine tasting and olive oil tasting. Of course, you must do a wine tasting! They grow so many unique varieties from all of the world! We tasted sparkling wine, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Sangiovese, Roussanne and Monastrell, but my favorite was the Reserve Sangiovese.

After wine tasting, you can dine at their delicious Spanish restaurant Bolero. Italian and French restaurants coming soon. When you’ve had your fill, you can mosey on up to your room at the the Europa Inn!

We stayed in the Jacuzzi King Ensuite! Not only was the bed super comfy, but the views were spectacular! Nothing like looking at all the vineyards and over looking the valley floor first thing in the morning. The large jacuzzi bubble bath was the perfect way to end the evening after a long day of wine tasting.

Not only was the room super comfortable and luxurious, the grounds have lots to offer as well! There’s cornhole, hot tub and even a hammock!

Then, in the morning, we feasted at Bolera the Spanish style restaurant. Great food, service and ambiance!

Europa Village is still expanding so go check them out and see everything they have to offer! Happy wine tasting! Cheers!

Love, Casleah

Your personal sommelier

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Celebrating Black Wine Producers for Black History Month

There are a thousand words to describe the chaos that was the year 2020. One thing that was very positive and eye opening for me was the realization of where I am putting my money and energy when deciding to purchase wine. Who am I supporting? One goal I set for myself this year, is to promote more diversity in the wine industry and particularly black owned and black produced wines and wineries. An industry with diversity is an industry that is a better place for all. I’ve been meaning to write this article for a while now, so no time like February- Black history month to share some outstanding black owned and black produced wines with you! Here’s 3 black owned / black produced wines you should check out!

Thomas T. Thomas Vineyards

Out of Mendocino County in the Anderson Valley, we find these lovely Pinot Noirs from Thomas T. Thomas Vineyards . These Burgundian inspired wines came to life in 2001. Thomas visited Burgundy, France and was inspired to bring that environment to California. From the Dijon, Calara and Pommard clones these Pinots are complex with earth and ripe fruit. Very well balanced with oak notes and acidity. Highly recommend checking them out! The Anderson Valley Pinot retails for $45 and the Estate Pinot retails for $65.

Theopolis Vineyards

Also from Mendocino County in the Anderson Valley we find the bold wines of Theopolis Vineyards. Founder and Winemaker Theodora R. Lee is a “bold and dynamic Texan and San Francisco trail lawyer and is now bottling her own wines.” I had the pleasure of tasting the two wines pictured above. The 2017 Petite Sirah is bold and lush. It’s rich in black fruits and complex with black pepper and earth tones. It’s beautifully balanced. The Theopatra’s Cuvee Cerise has an intriguing spice component that adds so much complexity, red and dark fruits yet refreshing with a balanced acidity. This wine is a blend of Mourvedre, Syrah and Petite Sirah. These wines have been highly rated, and I can’t help but agree! The Petite Sirah retails for $39 and Theopatra’s Cuvee retails for $36

Longevity Wines Family Winery

Moving to the Livermore Valley, we find the unique wines of Longevity Wines.” Longevity Wines is a boutique family operated, urban style winery located in the Livermore AVA, whose focus is on quality not quantity.” Winemaker Phil Long has over a decade of experience and started in his garage with his wife! I had the honor of tasting the 4 wines above. The Pinot Blanc is ripe and fruity with a creamy mouthfeel and stunning minerality. The Pinot Gris was is beautiful! I love the hint of skin contact as shown in the “Pink” color. It has orchard fruit notes with a touch of phenolics for complexity. Super fun wine! I also enjoyed the Grenache with ripe fruits of cherry and strawberry. It has beautiful oak notes of vanilla and coconut. Lastly, I tasted the Deb-Ru-Vee blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Petite Sirah. This deep and rich wine has aromas of dark black fruits and lively red fruits. Finishes with a chocolate note and will only get better with age! The Pinot Blanc retails for $26, the “pink” Pinot Grigo is $26, the Grenache retails for $38 and the Blend at $36. Fantastic wines coming from Longevity Wines, definitely recommend!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you go and do your part to support and celebrate diversity in the wine industry!

Love, Casleah

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Alcohol FREE wine!

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical when I first heard of alcohol free wine, but I have to say, this is a trend we can’t ignore. More and more people are picking up products with lower alcohol. Look at the boom of White Claw in the last few years. This boom brought a lower alcohol beverage to the forefront of social gatherings. Not to mention people who are sober, pregnant or just plain don’t want alcohol. Ever craved a mimosa on a Tuesday morning, but can’t have it because you need to work? Well now you can have it all!

The Wine

Codorníu Zero is a zero alochol sparkling wine from Spain. It is made from 100% AIRÉN grape. “The alcohol is gently removed by an innovative vacuum distillation system at low temperature, respecting the wine and minimizing the loss of characteristics.” Serve Chilled.

The Tasting Notes

This wine has a fairly pronounced, refreshing and fruity nose with notes of ripe peach, crushed pineapple, lemon curd, yellow apple and ripe green table grapes. Its slightly off dry with a hint of residual sugar. It has a mouth watering acidity, which makes its delightfully invigorating.

Food Pairings

This wine would be insane paired with fried foods such as fried chicken or French fries. It would be absolutely ideal for spicy foods. When pairing wine with spicy foods, the thing you need to be careful of is the alcohol level. Spicy food makes alcohol in wine even more intense. So this alcohol free wine takes out that difficult pairing factor and makes for the picture perfect pairing. Indian food, Thai food and Mexican food would all be perfect for this wine. Even better yet, combine the spice and the fried and grab a spicy chicken sandwich and paired with this wine, you will be in pure heaven.

Where To Find It?

You can find this lovely, alcohol free wine for $9.99 HERE

Would love to hear your tasting notes! Comment below, Cheers!

Love, Casleah

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