Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

Start watching
SoCal Update

SoCal Update

Start watching
a large damn with graffiti of a woman with a hammer on it, mountains in the background

Earth Focus Presents

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Professor T

Professor T (Belgium)

Start watching
Artbound

Artbound

Start watching
Emma

Emma

Start watching
Guilt

Guilt

Start watching
Line of Separation Key Art.

Line of Separation

Start watching
Us

Us

Start watching
The Latino Experience

The Latino Experience

Start watching
Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
Independent Lens

Independent Lens

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

A Perfect Earth Day Wine Guide

Support Provided By
DowntoEarth_600x400

Down to Earth: A Seasonal Tour of Sustainable Winegrowing in California pulls off quite a feat, managing to be part coffee table book full of gorgeous photography, part guide to the ever-growing world of environmentally-aware grape growing and winemaking, part cookbook with seasonal recipes. Just released by the Wine Institute (so, yes, it's truly a trade book in that sense), it still makes the case that California, as it so often does in so many fields, is leading the way in wine sustainability.

Despite all the wine writing she's done, the book's author Janet Fletcher, a James Beard winner, admitted in an email interview, "I had no idea California wineries were doing so much to reduce energy use, water use, packaging and other resources, and I had no idea of how many were engaged in this effort to self-assess and make annual progress toward sustainability." Thousands have done some work in these areas, even if not every winery goes so far as to get certified as organic or biodynamic or sustainable (for a host of reasons, from being too small to deal with the paperwork to wanting to be able to, if things are really bad just once in a few years, break out a very directed shot of pesticide).

The book, like grape growing itself, is organized around the seasons, which also allows for a wider range of photos, too. (The paired summer and autumn shots of the same almost artistically curved cabernet vineyard are just two of the gems captured by photographer George Rose.) While it offers all sorts of "sustainability at a glance" tips that no doubt are already being recycled on websites, it focuses on several page profiles of 15 particularly green vineyards or wineries, from big old timers like Gallo and Robert Mondavi to smaller operations like Navarro in Mendocino and Ampelos in the Sta. Rita Hills. These mini-chapters help illustrate ideas about solar use, mobile chicken coops for pest control and fertilization, GPS to help zoom in on particular plant issues and limit the need for response, and so on.

Fletcher also does a fine job explaining issues that might seem perplexing or even wasteful. In the Sangiacomo Family Vineyards section she writes about the process of night harvesting under lights. "The grapes arrive cool at the winery, so the juice doesn't require much chilling. (Most winemakers aim for about fifty-five degrees for white wine fermentation.) The generator for the light machines consumes far less energy then it takes to chill big tanks of juice, and the cool night temperatures are more comfortable for vineyard workers." (And yes, worker quality of life is one big part of the framework of sustainability.)

Ultimately Fletcher admitted, "I think the public is largely unaware of what wineries and growers are doing to conserve resources and operate more sustainably. There's no rolling back this tide. Wineries and growers see the bottom-line benefit of these changes, and they know consumers value these efforts." Down to Earth helps chronicle that change as it's happening. Plus it helps you make a lovely California mussels in basil-saffron white wine broth and roasted garlic with sage and rosemary.

Support Provided By
Read More
A large cliff has a distinct rock formation that look like pillars, which create little crevices for people to go into and explore.

9 Epic Volcanic Attractions and Hot Springs to Visit in California

If you enjoy living on the edge, and one of your greatest wishes is to see a volcanic event in action before your very eyes, you don't have to travel as far as Hawaii or Indonesia. California has an entire volcanic field that's ripe for exploring, east of the Sierra Nevada. Here are nine spots to explore.
Photographic portrait of Mrs. Arcadia de Baker; previously Mrs. Abel Stearns, Arcadia Bandini, ca.1885. She can be seen from the waist up turned slightly to the left in an oval cutout. Her long dark hair is parted up the middle and pulled back to her neck. She is wearing a frilly shawl over a frilly dress with a low neckline.

The Powerful Mexican Woman Who Helped Shape Early Santa Monica

Arcadia Bandini Stearns de Baker was rich, beautiful and connected. This savvy businesswoman would be an important player in early California and helped shape Santa Monica and the west side of Los Angeles.
TunaClub.JPG

Seven Best Places to Visit in and Around Avalon on Catalina Island

Just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Catalina continues to draw visitors with its miles of uninterrupted shoreline, abundant marine life, water sports and dazzling nightlife — much of which can still be enjoyed today in much the same way it was a century ago (with some high-tech improvements).