Travel California Wine Country’s Back Roads This Summer

California’s northern Central Coast, extending from the San Francisco Bay to Monterey County, is the focus this month as part of Wine Institute’s Wine Country Back Roads series. California is home to dozens of distinct wine regions, including some of the world’s most famous destinations. But hidden among even the high-profile appellations are the wine roads less traveled. These welcoming regions feature stunning rural scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors. There’s still plenty of time this summer to discover off-the-beaten path wine roads and regions, and the Central Coast is a great place to do it.

The entire Central Coast wine region and Santa Cruz Mountains stretches roughly 250 miles along the California coastline, extending from San Francisco County to Santa Barbara County. Grapes there are among the oldest in the state, planted by Franciscan monks in the late 18th century as they made their way north on El Camino Real (known today as Highway 101). Now hosting thousands of acres of vineyards and hundreds of wineries, California’s Central Coast and Santa Cruz Mountains are home to 14 percent of the state’s winegrapes.

TASTE: Not far from San Francisco, with its famously steep hills and Victorian architecture, you’ll find several hospitable wineries near the East Bay cities of Moraga, Oakland, Berkeley as well as Treasure Island to help you kick off your Central Coast adventure.

Nearby Livermore Valley, 35 miles east of San Francisco, is the one of the state’s oldest wine regions and the genetic source of 80 percent of California’s Chardonnay vines. Along with its iconic Chardonnay, Livermore is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Italian, Rhone and Spanish varieties. Discover the region’s rolling hills and scenic canyons along the Burgundy Wine Trail, or enjoy mountain vistas on the Red Trail.

The Santa Clara Valley, also known today as Silicon Valley, includes more than 30 wineries, many clustered near Gilroy and San Martin. The Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Santa Clara Valley, was among the first American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) to be defined by its steep mountain topography. The area played a pivotal role in California’s winemaking history with viticultural roots going back more than a century. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot predominate on the warmer eastern inland side of the AVA, while Pinot Noir thrives on the coastal side and ridge tops. The region boasts more than 60 wineries. For a scenic overview, try the Silicon Valley Wine Trail in the hillsides above Silicon Valley, or the coastal Corralitos Wine Trail, at the sunny, southern portion of the AVA.

San Benito County, set in an idyllic valley about 75 miles southeast of Santa Cruz, has been growing winegrapes since the mid-1800s, planted by French and German immigrants. The region grows a wide variety of grapes but is best known for Pinot Noir and Syrah. Find wineries near the towns of Hollister and San Juan Bautista.

Heading back to the coast, Monterey County is known or having one of California’s longest growing seasons, thanks to cool marine air that blows in from Monterey Bay. Franciscan friars introduced winegrapes to the area more than 200 years ago, and over 40 varieties are planted there today—including more Chardonnay than in any other county in America. Monterey is also well known for its cool-climate Pinot Noir. With eight distinctive AVAs within its borders and 82 wineries, Monterey offers an array of tasting opportunities. The River Road Wine Trail, set among the canyons and slopes of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, highlights Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with northern Rhône varieties such as Syrah. Beautiful Carmel Valley is renowned for producing rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

TOUR: The Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport event on July 20 includes special tastings at more than 40 participating wineries. (As a bonus, passport experiences can be redeemed for a full year after the event.) The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park is nearby with its multiple attractions. Livermore Valley hosts Taste Our Terroir July 25-28, a four-day food and wine affair offering wine tasting adventures, garden tours, food pairing events, seminars, falcon demonstrations and more. Music in the vineyards is a Santa Clara specialty, with performances scheduled at individual wineries throughout the summer. While visiting San Benito County, take a hike among towering rock spires and observe falcons and golden eagles in flight at Pinnacles National Monument, formed by ancient volcanos. On Monterey’s Cannery Row, sample local wines at A Taste of Monterey and visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium or John Steinbeck Museum.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see San Francisco Travel, Livermore Valley Wine Country, Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, Discover San Benito County and Monterey Wine Country.
For all of the wine regions included in this series, use the discovercaliforniawines.com interactive map to search wineries by amenities such as tours, gardens and picnic areas, and view winery events around the state.

To see Wine Institute’s Back Roads guides to other California wine regions, visit https://discovercaliforniawines.com/media-trade/news.

Vérité Unveils New Single “Youth”

Singer, songwriter Verite unveils new single Youth. The track was written by the artist in collaboration with Andrew Maury (Lewis Del Mar, Shawn Mendes, RAC) and Zach Nicita (Anne-Marie, Louis The Child, MS MR), who also produced. Click HERE to listen!

Vérité said about the meaning behind the track, Youth is a rare look back. When I was younger I was tangled in a relationship with an older, manipulative, shitty human. Such a par for the course, all too common cliche it actually annoys me. It amazes me how much I thought I needed this person and how small I made myself to accommodate him. How he was someone I’ve had to process, recover from, and become healthy in spite of and I am someone he never thought of again. Youth is about how someone can be so all encompassing to one person while the other views them as such a small blip on a screen that they’d never look back or remember.

In addition, Vérité is set to open for X Ambassadors on their headlining North American tour this fall. Her support dates kick off on November 1st at State Theatre in Portland, ME and wrap on November 20th at Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, CA. See routing below and click HERE for more info!

Vérité recently debuted Gone her first single in two years, via NYLON. Co-written and produced by singer-songwriter Madi Diaz and Konrad Snyder, the song reintroduced the musician, capturing the devastating effects of something ending. Carried by haunting crescendos and Vérité’s powerhouse vocals, the track sees the singer pleading for time to stand still for a little while longer before her world turns upside down. The video features stunning visuals with the backdrop of Ojai, CA and was directed by Charlie Manton. Click HERE to watch!

Following the release of her 2017 LP Somewhere In Between, Vérité has become the definition of thriving in the new music industry as an independent artist. Since her project began, Vérité has garnered 250M + streams across all platforms with 1.4+ monthly listeners. Her debut album has over 50M streams, while her cover of The 1975’s Somebody Else has been streamed 111M times.

2019 TOUR DATES

Kim Viera releases new single “AY AY AY” feat. Pitbull

Puerto Rican singer and songwriter Kim Viera releases her brand new singleAy Ay Ay feat. Pitbull today.

Listen to “Ay Ay Ay”: HERE

Kim’s sultry vocals ride over the summer-ready production verse by verse leading up to an addictive catchy hook. The Pitbull collaboration adds an extra flair creating a dance-ready hit.

In many ways, Kim Viera was destined to merge cultures in her music. Growing up of Puerto Rican descent in an artist-friendly New York household, her parents both worked in the entertainment industry. Dad launched, owned, and operated a live production company, and Mom could be heard as a backup singer for Willie Colon, Ruben Bladés, and more. Yearly vacations in Puerto Rico represented that balance as the travel mixtape spanned Selena, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, La India, Sia, Brandy, and Whitney Houston. A vocal powerhouse, she made her introduction on viral hits alongside YouTube mega-star Kurt Schneider in between writing for superstars such as Lil Wayne. In 2016, she landed a major label deal with Republic Records and made waves by contributing “Tribe” to the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Pitch Perfect 3. This anthem quickly clocked 1.8 million Spotify streams. Along the way, she honed her “American Latina” style and set fire with her single “Como” feat. Daddy Yankee. It exploded as an international smash with 40.8 million cumulative streams and counting, while the music video surpassed 24 million views in under a year. Meanwhile, she garnered acclaim from Billboard and NPR who pegged it among “Our Favorite Latin Songs This Week, upon release, setting the stage for her first 2019 anthem “Here For Ya” and now “Ay Ay Ay” feat. Pitbull.

Follow Kim Viera:
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NAS releases highly anticipated new album “The Lost Tapes 2”

LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE

WATCH NAS’ INTERVIEW ON THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH HERE 

NAS AND MARY J. BLIGE’S “ROYALTY TOUR”, OPENED JULY 11TH IN WEST PALM BEACH

Art by Daniel Arsham

New Era and BornxRaised Team Up for New Dodgers Collection

Today, international sports and lifestyle brand, New Era Cap Co., Inc. announces the launch of the New Era x BornxRaised Los Angeles Dodgers Collection. The limited-edition collection celebrates the city of Los Angeles and captures the spirit of BornxRaised and the Los Angeles Dodgers in an extraordinary way. Consisting of headwear and apparel, the collection will retail for $50-$200 and will be available at 12 p.m. (PST) on July 19 at bornxraised.com and neweracap.com.

The New Era x BornxRaised Los Angeles Dodgers Collection features an iconic 59FIFTY® cap in classic Dodgers blue with a monochromatic BornxRaised stitched logo and Los Angeles Dodgers logo in a white raised embroidery. Additional details include a Kelly Green undervisor, a matching New Era flag at the left-wear side and an embroidered MLB Batterman Logo at the rear. The apparel collection includes four tees and seven hoodies with iconic Dodgers graphics and the BornxRaised logo.

“BornxRaised proudly represents the subcultures of Los Angeles and the Dodgers are woven into the fabric of the city’s identity,” said Tim Shanahan, Director of Baseball at New Era Cap. “The New Era x BornxRaised Los Angeles Dodgers Collection celebrates the city and we’re excited to be a part of this unique collaboration.”

“We have released several successful projects with New Era, and we are excited to release this new project, which is so close to our hearts,” said Spanto, founder of BornxRaised. “BornxRaised continues to tell stories for the Los Angeles community, our home.”

 

Kate Tempest x Late Night with Seth Meyers

British spoken word artist, rapper, poet, novelist and playwright Kate Tempest debuted a fiery and passionate performance of her track “Firesmoke” from her new album The Book Of Traps & Lessons on Late Night with Seth Meyers last night—watch it HERE! 
 
The performance comes on the heels of a slew of headline shows and festival performances around the world in celebration of her third studio album. U.S. fans can catch Tempest on her headlining tour this fall—kicking off
 on September 24th at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom, she will be making stops in New York, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.katetempest.co.uk/.
 
Kate Tempest will also appear on episode three of Rick Rubin’s and Showtime Documentary Films’ new docu-series, SHANGRI-LA, which airs next Friday, July 26th on Showtime. The four-part docu-series is a collaboration from Academy Award® and Emmy® winner Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor, 20 Feet From Stardom), legendary music producer Rick Rubin and director Jeff Malmberg (Marwencol) and focuses on creative conversation and the emotional side of music-making.
 
The Book Of Traps & Lessons
 was crafted with Rubin and Carey over the course of the past five years. It follows Tempest’s previous releases, 2014’s Everybody Down and 2016’s Let Them Eat Chaos, both of which were shortlisted for Mercury Prize in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Last year, Kate Tempest was nominated at The BRIT Awards for Best Female Solo Performer.
 
A handful of words often tell you everything you need to know. When asked, who is
 Kate Tempest? She gives a brief, albeit telling answer. “Kate Tempest is the words,” she responds. You haven’t ever seen, heard, or experienced anyone quite like her. Tempest uncovers the missing link between the Golden Ages of literature and hip-hop. The London-born BRIT Award-nominated spoken word artist, rapper, poet, novelist, and playwright rhymes with a century-turning fury. Since her emergence in 2011, she has redefined what it means to be a wordsmith in the Modern Age. To date, she has published three poetry collections, staged three plays, and released two studio albums. Along the way, she entranced audiences on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” and more. Not to mention, she garnered widespread critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Forbes, and more, to name a few. In the midst of this whirlwind journey, she performed a passage of her popular 75-minute narrative poem, Brand New Ancients, on Charlie Rose. Legendary producer and American Recordings Founder Rick Rubin caught the show, tracked down her phone number, and made a call. This set a series of events in motion that led to her 2019 debut album for American Recordings, The Book Of Traps & Lessons, out now.
 
KATE TEMPEST U.S. TOUR DATES:
September 24 // Los Angeles, CA // Teragram Ballroom
September 25 // San Francisco, CA // The Fillmore
September 27 // Portland, OR // Wonder Ballroom
September 29 // Seattle, WA // Showbox
October 1 // Brooklyn, NY // Elsewhere Hall
 
THE BOOK OF TRAPS & LESSONS
 TRACKLIST:

  1. “Thirsty”
  2. “Keep Moving Don’t Move”
  3. “Brown Eyed Man”
  4. “Three Sided Coin”
  5. “I Trap You”
  6. “All Humans Too Late”
  7. “Hold Your Own”
  8. “Lessons”
  9. “Firesmoke”
  10. “Holy Elixir”
  11. “People’s Faces” 

Social House “Haunt You” Video

Buzzing LA duo Social House—made up of Michael “Mikey” Foster and Charles “Scootie” Anderson—reveal the video for their latest single, “Haunt You,” today—watch and share HERE!
 

Billboard, who exclusively premiered the video earlier today, hails it as “Foster and Anderson’s most emotive, vulnerable work yet.” Of the song, the duo says, “This video is an ode to our loved ones. A reminder to cherish the time we have.” Released last month, “Haunt You” has already received praise from MTV, Stereogum, CNN, Business Insider, Idolator, PopCrush, Ones To Watch and many more. It is the first track from Social House’s debut EP, Everything Changed…, out on August 9th via School Boy Records/Republic Records.
 
Retreating to Big Bear, CA earlier this year, the duo recorded the song after the success of their debut single, “
Magic In The Hamptons” feat. Lil Yachty, which has over 100 million streams to date. Stay tuned for more from Social House!
 
Both born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA,
 Michael “Mikey” Foster and Charles “Scootie” Anderson initially struck a chord by sharing feelings from behind-the-scenes. The musicians met by way of producer Tommy Brown, sharing a house and creative hub in Sherman Oaks, CA. Together with Brown, they collectively penned and produced multiplatinum number one smashes such as “thank u, next” and “7 Rings” for Ariana Grande’s blockbuster thank u, next. One day, the pair cooked up an idea they couldn’t part with, which resulted in their debut single as Social House, “Magic in the Hamptons” feat. Lil Yachty. Not only did the track surpass over 100 million cumulative streams within a year, but it also paved the way for widespread acclaim from Billboard, Refinery29, HotNewHipHop, LADYGUNN, Ones To Watch and more. Now, they welcome everyone home on their new single “Haunt You.”

Volbeat “Cheapside Sloggers” Music Video

Multi-platinum Danish rock band Volbeat have just debuted the music video for their new song “Cheapside Sloggers,” featuring a guest guitar solo by Gary Holt of Exodus and Slayer. The track comes from their forthcoming seventh album Rewind, Replay, Rebound, out August 2nd via Republic Records.
 
“I wanted to add something new and not typical, so why not bring in
 Gary Holt? He is a great guitar player, and the solo sounds great,” says singer and vocalist Michael Poulsen.
 
The video was directed by Shan Dan Horan of Shadow Born Group, who has previously created many lyric videos for the band, including “Parasite,” “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown,” “For Evigt,” “The Bliss,” “Black Rose,” and “Seal The Deal” from
 Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie. Watch the video for “Cheapside Sloggers (feat. Gary Holt)” here.
 
Recently the band shared the music video for the song “
Last Day Under The Sun,” which has quickly entered the top 5 at Rock Radio. Watch the video for “Last Day Under The Sun” here.

Volbeat will release their seventh studio album Rewind, Replay, Rebound on August 2nd via Republic Records. For the album, Volbeat Michael Poulsen (guitars/vocals), Rob Caggiano (guitars), Kaspar Boye Larsen (bass), and Jon Larsen (drums) —build upon the distinct, psychobilly, punk-tinged rock ‘n’ roll sound they are known for, while reaching for new creative summits. “The whole point for us going into the studio, is because you still have something to prove — not just for the fans, but mostly for yourself,” says Poulsen. “We would not be able to do this record if it wasn’t for the work we have done in the past. No matter how old the band gets or how many records we do, there is always going to be that signature sound.” Rewind, Replay, Rebound is available for pre-order on all formats here, including a 2 CD deluxe edition, a special deluxe edition box set, and transparent and blue colored vinyl, numbered and limited to 1,000 copies each.

At this point in their already storied career, Volbeat have opened for Metallica, Motorhead and Slipknot, garnered a 2014 Best Metal Performance Grammy nomination for “Room 24” and won multiple Danish Music Awards. For this album, they mine their own personal histories and that of their genre. The song “When We Were Kids” finds Volbeat ruminating on immortality and innocence we all naively experience in our youth, while “Rewind the Exit” and “Die to Live” both explore how the pursuit of perfection can be a hollow goal.

Rewind, Replay, Rebound was produced by long-time collaborator Jacob Hansen and co-produced by Rob Caggiano and Michael Poulsen. This marks the first studio album with Kaspar Boye Larsen on bass. To achieve the album’s sound the band also drew upon a myriad of guests including backing vocalist Mia Maja and the Harlem Gospel Choir, who both return after appearing on 2016’s Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie. Clutch vocalist Neil Fallon is featured on “Die to Live,” a collaboration that is the result of the bands touring together and a love for the singer’s gruff and powerful style. Raynier Jacob Jacildo (piano) and Doug Corocran (saxophone) of JD McPherson’s band also lend their talents to the song. Ultimately, Volbeat have not lost their passion to create and progress. It’s that which keeps them hungry — and musically honest on the new album.

The band will spend the Summer on the road in North America with Slipknot as special guests on their Knotfest Roadshow North American Tour alongside Gojira and Behemoth. The 29-date tour will kick off July 26th in Mountain View, CA with additional stops in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Austin (full dates below).  Tickets for these dates are on sale now here.
 
The band has also announced the first leg of the
 Rewind, Replay, Rebound World Tour, with support from Baroness & Danko Jones. This tour will find the band performing in cities across the UK and Europe including London, Madrid, Berlin, Hamburg and Stockholm (full dates below) and tickets for all dates are on sale now here.

VOLBEAT emerged from Copenhagen in 2001. Since then, they’ve tirelessly clawed their way to hard rock’s upper echelon with endless touring and a string of six beloved full-length albums. Recently, their 2010 album Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, which features hit singles “A Warrior’s Call” and “Heaven Nor Hell,” received RIAA Gold Certification. 2013’s Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies bowed at #9 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release marking the highest U.S. chart entry for a Danish Act since 1997 until the band’s 2016 album Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie topped it by debuting at #4. Most recently the band released Let’s Boogie! Live At Telia Parken, a concert film and album documenting their landmark 2017 Copenhagen show in front of 48,250 fans, the largest show a Danish band has ever performed in Denmark.

Headlining 10th Annual LA Times The Taste

The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for The Taste, its annual festival celebrating Southern California’s diverse culinary scene. Hosted by The Times’ acclaimed Food staff, the famous backlot will transform into the ultimate block party for three individual evening events, August 30 through September 1. Admission includes unlimited tastings from the area’s best restaurants, a variety of wine, beer and seasonal cocktails, plus access to cooking demonstrations and talks by renowned chefs.

  • Friday, Aug. 30, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
    L.A. Times Food Columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson will cook up a special on-stage presentation of one of his favorite projects for the Food section. Paola Da Re and Giorgia Sinatra (Pasta Sisters) will lead an Italian cooking demonstration with Chiara Soldati (La Scolca) who will lead a wine discussion, presented by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. The Times’ Wine Club will launch with a demo by expert Mark Oldman. Take a wine tour through France with Ira Norof (Southern Glazer’s), Erin Landsberg (American Wine & Spirits) and Troy Chappel (Southern Glazer’s). Restaurants include: 40 Love, Baldoria Bar + Kitchen, Bibigo Kitchen, Burritos La Palma, Casa Vega, Donut Friend, Fat Dragon, Izakaya Osen, LBK Pizzeria, Love & Salt, Ma’am Sir, Mainland Poke, MANEATINGPLANT, Park’s BBQ, Pop’s Bagels, Prawn Coastal, Rao’s Hollywood, Salazar, SLAB, Supercool Creamery and Wurstküche.
  • Saturday, Aug. 31, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
    Delicious food and plenty of spice will be the order of the night with Kim Prince (Hotville Chicken) as she showcases her famous Nashville hot chicken with L.A. Times Senior Food Writer Jenn Harris. Chefs Pawan, Nakul and Arjun Mahendro (Badmaash) will demonstrate their mix of contemporary and nostalgic approaches in creating delicious Indian fare, hosted by Times Cooking Editor Genevieve Ko. Get a rice wine 101 with a sake demo by Courtney Kaplan (Ototo). The Bar Stage will feature Ira Norof and Wes Hagen (J. Wilkes Wines) talking wine, enlightenment and contentment. Restaurants include: Baltaire, Bull & Butterfly, Castaway, Coni’Seafood, Employees Only, Faith & Flower, Granville, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Little Sister, Madre, Mister O’s, Nic’s on Beverly, Ocean Prime, Pedalers Fork, Pikoh, Sosta, The Bellwether, Viviane and a special collaboration between Freedman’s and Genghis Cohen.
  • Sunday, Sept. 1, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
    Teresa Montaño (Otoño) will demonstrate how to cook one of her favorite Spanish-inspired dishes with L.A. Times Food Writer Amy Scattergood. Learn how to make the perfect Tijuana-style taco with Jorge Alvarez-Tostado and Victor Delgado (Tacos 1986). Chris Bianco (Tartine Bianco) will show home cooks how to make a relaxed Italian meal with Times Deputy Food Editor Andrea Chang. Tobin Shea (Redbird) will shake up a seasonal mocktail, and the Bar Stage will feature a discussion about women in wine with Ira Norof, Chiara Soldati and Lora Tagliarina (Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits). Restaurants include: Aqui es Texcoco, Bone Kettle, Cal Mare, Chao Krung, Eve, HomeState, Jitlada, Kobee Factory, Lalibela Ethiopian, Le Comptoir, LN2, Mora Italiano, Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Same Same, The Bazaar by José Andrés and Triple Beam Pizza.

Los Angeles Times’ The Taste is produced in association with Best Events. The Collins College of Hospitality Management and L.A. Regional Food Bank are the event’s charity beneficiaries. Tickets range from $115 to $190; a discount will be available exclusively to Times subscribers for select events starting July 19. For the second year in a row, The Taste will travel to Costa Mesa for three events over two days in October (Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19), with the programming lineup to be announced in September. Details and tickets: latimes.com/TheTaste. Connect on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @TheTasteLA (#TasteLA).

Photo Courtesy: Wally Skalij