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

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
FZG3mkG-show-poster2x3-nOossfs.png

SoCal Update

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
MZihTLV-show-poster2x3-5CKaGu8.jpg

Independent Lens

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

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.

California Wine: Super Natural

Support Provided By
Photo courtesy La Clarine Farm
Photo courtesy La Clarine Farm   

See our California Matters with Mark Bittman segment on native pollinators here.

Working in the wine industry, I am exposed to salespeople using terms like organic, biodynamic, and occasionally, natural. "Organic" today holds about as much credibility as the term foodie: it is used ubiquitously and often as an afterthought to help sell a product.

"Biodynamic" holds a lot more credence despite wrongly being likened to witchcraft. And the term "natural" comes by only once and a while, and is both mysterious and rare in its application. At La Clarine farm, nestled in the Sierra Foothills, Caroline Hoel and Hank Beckmeyer see the winemaking process as a dance between the earth, the vines, the weather and the hand of man.

Here, the role of winemaker is to make smart choices about varietal selection, proceed to foot stomping the grapes, and then allow fermentation to start spontaneously. The wines ferment outside for as long as six months to a year. At La Clarine, they talk about the idea of terroir -- a combination of place, weather, and vine -- as a "quantum field" in which the winemaker is integrally involved, much like the idea that a scientist's very observation of an experiment unavoidably and necessarily changes the results.

The 2010 Piedi Grandi was created with this in mind and with the addition of yet another influence. After reading a book about avant garde musical legend John Cage, Hoel and Beckmeyer took the idea of randomness and applied it to the blending of this wine, literally flipping a coin to decide grape percentages. What came out of this game of chance is a wine that is almost beyond definition. A blend composed of Nebbiolo, Syrah, Mouvedre, Viognier and Rousanne leads to a wine full of wonder. On the nose you are gently handed a rose with slightly crushed and dried petals, coupled with hand-muddled cherries and spice.The first sip brings clean dense fruit with the texture of silk that finishes with a mouthwatering acidity.

This wine takes the idea of cross-dressing to a new level of elegance. Masculine and feminine notes perfectly intermingle in a way that is strong and sexy. Pair this brilliance in a bottle with anything that you want to make seem more magical. Its uniqueness cannot be limited to the glass. It will make any food taste better, any conversation more interesting and any evening more memorable.

La Clarine 2010 Piedi Grandi; retails about $20.

Support Provided By
Read More
An asymmetrical ceramic dish holds a small, bite-sized piece of white steamed fish sitting in a thin, broth-y sauce. The fish is topped with a fine green powder. Additionally, someone is pouring more of the sauce from a small ceramic container.

Michelin Star Chef Finds Confidence in the Flavors of His Taiwanese Upbringing

Los Angeles' Kato Restaurant, where the dishes are edible mnemonic devices for Asian Americans, is an homage to Chef Jon Yao's Taiwanese heritage.
A coloring page created by the Los Angeles Public Library's Octavia Lab. An illustration of Manuela C. García sitting next to a phonograph. Behind her is a faint sheet music background.

Manuela C. García, the Voice Behind a Treasure Trove of Old Mexican Songs

Born in Los Angeles in the late 1860s, Manuela C. García is the voice behind over 100 songs in Charles Lummis' recordings of Southwest musical heritage. Known mostly by historians specializing in 19th-century Mexican American music, her voice connects California's present musical history with its past.
A sign for Pine Ave Pier in Long Beach, California.

Where to Explore L.A.'s Most Fascinating Piers, Both Past and Present

As Los Angeles heads into the summer, find some time to see this historical piers and beaches across the county.