Orange Coast Magazine

Author Rusty Gaffney

  • Rusty Gaffney

    Wine Dude

    William “Rusty” Gaffney, M.D. is a retired Orange County ophthalmologist who has had a love affair with wine, and in particular, Pinot Noir, for nearly fifty years. When he retired in 2001, he decided to devote his energies to writing the PinotFile, an online newsletter that was the first wine publication exclusively devoted to Pinot Noir.

    I taste Pinot Noir almost daily along with other varietals, I read about wine and Pinot Noir constantly through all available sources on wine, and visit the wine regions of California and Oregon frequently. I also lead wine tours, organize wine tastings, correspond for the most popular wine podcast on the internet, Grape Radio, and participate in the video-driven offspring of Grape Radio, Grape Vision.

    Over the years, upon my urgings, many wine drinkers have developed a preference for Pinot Noir. They would remark, “Rusty, you’re such a ‘prince’ for introducing me to Pinot Noir.” The moniker stuck, and today my proud title is “Prince of Pinot.”

    I have an enthusiastic reader base throughout the world, in part because I do not take wine or myself too seriously as reflected in the humorous slant to my writing and reporting. I urge wine consumers to explore, experiment and find out what is magical for them, but I hope they always return to Pinot Noir because, “If you drink no Noir, you Pinot Noir.”


La Crema Winery: There’s a Reason for its Popularity

La Crema Winery is part of Sonoma-based Jackson Family Estates, owned by Laura Jackson-Giron and her sister Jennifer Jackson. Located in the Russian River Valley and established in 1979, the winery specializes in pinot noir and chardonnay from cool-climate vineyards throughout California. Read more...

Inaugural Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival is BIG!

The inaugural Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival premieres this weekend, Sept. 19 to 21. Look for a world-class lineup of epicurean events, with a VIP Launch Party at Red O, a Daytime Festival at Newport Beach Civic Center, and a Closing Party at Sherman Library & Gardens. Read more...

Must-Try Wine of Week: 2013 Domaine de Triennes Rosé of Provence France

Chilled dry rosé is the perfect wine for the dog days of summer. In fact, its tastes like summer. Known for its fresh aromas and flavors, rosé is the world’s most versatile food companion, complimenting all the fare of summer, including sausages, hamburgers, grilled chicken, crab or shrimp Louis, and a BLT sandwich piled high with heirloom tomatoes. Read more...

Two New Useful Wine Apps

Here are a couple of very useful new wine apps, and one of them is free. Read more...

Winemaking Leftovers Become Inspired Snacks

Wild California Crisps is a new, healthy, baked snack made from flour milled from the seeds and skins of Sonoma County wine grapes. Created by brothers Mike and Tom Keefer, and friend Dan Brinker, the snack makes use of the winemaking residue known as pomace, which primarily ends in up landfills. Wineries produce pomace in large quantities, amounting to one ton for every five tons of grapes crushed. Read more...

Must-Try Wine of the Week: 2012 Formaglini Vineyards La Quercia Block Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Those who read my Thursday post on Santa Ana wine grower David de Lancellotti know that today’s Must-Try wine is the inaugural 100-case release from his Formaglini Vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains appellation of Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. The ideal 2012 growing season resulted in phenomenal Oregon pinot, boosting the interest in this introductory release. Read more...

Orange County’s David de Lancellotti Releases Inaugural Formaglini Vineyards Pinot Noir

The Wine Dudes recently had the opportunity to talk with Santa Ana resident, David de Lancellotti, a very animated and passionate wine grower. He told us of how, on a 2006 trip to the Willamette Valley to visit his brother Paul’s de Lancellotti Family Vineyards, he’d spied an abandoned Christmas tree farm for sale in the Chehalem Mountains. It was adjacent to the well-known Calkins Lane Vineyard owned by Adelsheim Vineyard, and seemed like a perfect site for growing pinot noir. For David, it was an opportunity for his own family project, and he planted his first three acres of vines there in 2007. Read more...

Oregon’s Cardwell Hill Cellars Has Orange County Roots

A surprisingly large number of winery owners reside in Orange County, as many as 20. I profiled Greg Sanders of Corona Del Mar and White Rose Estate previously in this blog, and now introduce you to my neighbors, the Chapels, who own Cardwell Hill Cellars. Read more...

Must-Try Wine of Week: 2000 Kalin Cellars Livermore Valley Semillon

“No wine before its time” is the motto at Kalin Cellars, founded in 1977 in Marin County by microbiologists Dr. Terry Leighton and his spouse Dr. Frances Leighton. The Leightons believe that because of the style of their winemaking, the wines are not ready to drink for at least five years, and then some. Read more...

Hostage Wines

There’s a curious phenomenon in the California wine industry called “hostage” wines—limited production, highly desirable quaffs sold directly only to select devotees. They’re also called “cult wines” as in “furiously sought after” by wine lovers. Read more...

Priscilla Mayfield on Food in Orange County

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