FROM Matt Kettmann
Drones, lasers and smart water sensors: new technology on California grape fields What are drones doing flying over vineyards, and why are they playing hawk noises? Winemakers are trying out all sorts of new technology to get the most out of their crop, and certain products could have major impacts on the entire farming industry.
Mud from Montecito fertilizes a Los Olivos vineyard At a vineyard in Los Olivos, a winemaker is using a special type of fertilizer: mud from the January 9th debris flow in Montecito. And while high levels of harmful bacteria were found in most of the mud that made its way down from the mountains, winemaker Fred Brander says the mud from his Montecito home is packed with high levels of nutrients.
The rivalry between wine and weed As cities and counties across California begin regulating the newly legal recreational marijuana industry, eager cannabis entrepreneurs are buying up land and property. That has winemakers in Santa Barbara worried they’ll have to compete with the budding industry over land, labor and customers. Can winemakers and weed growers find a way to work together?
A search for Santa Barbara’s oldest grapevines You may think of Santa Barbara’s winemaking industry as relatively new, but in fact, its roots go far back. Venture into the Goleta foothills and you’ll find remnants of San Jose Winery, where the padres of Mission Santa Barbara made wine almost two centuries ago.
Ojai wines make a comeback The Ojai Vineyard promised great things for wine growing in the Ojai Valley when it was founded in 1983. But a grape virus called Pierce’s disease soon began ravaging the region’s vines. Now, wineries and vineyards are returning, using better viticultural techniques to track and control the disease.
New culinary hot spots in Santa Barbara There are always new restaurants popping up in Santa Barbara. Some make it, but others are gone before the end of the year. Local food and wine writer Matt Kettmann dined at a couple spots recently that he thinks have what it takes to last.
Breaking the rules of Old World wine From sourcing top-quality grapes to creating an alluring label, winemakers around the world work hard to make sure their brand stands out. Matt Kettmann from the Santa Barbara Independent has been following one particular guy in Buellton who’s putting a new spin on the industry by super-macerating his wines.
Post disasters, Santa Barbara’s wine industry bounces back The Thomas Fire and mudslides in Montecito weakened Santa Barbara’s tourism industry and impacted local businesses. But, it hasn’t been all bad. Matt Kettmann from the Santa Barbara Independent says some wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley saw more foot traffic than usual, and rescheduled charity events are packed.
A slew of non-alcoholic beverages hits Santa Barbara Boozy beverages often grab the most attention. But, from avocado tea to caffeine water, three new drinks created in Santa Barbara offer an alcohol-free alternative.
Why don't we drink weird wines? We've all heard of Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, but there are actually thousands of grape varieties in the world. Now, a slowly growing number of winemakers in California are beginning to plant varietals most people have never heard of.
The rise of Latino winemakers It's no surprise that immigrants are the backbone of California's wine industry. Most men and women working in the fields are foreign-born, mainly from Mexico and Central America. But, several Latino farmworkers along California's Central Coast and beyond have worked their way to the top and started their own wine labels.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?