Danica Patrick on Racing Cars and Making Wine


Photo by William Bucquoy

Excerpt from: Wine Enthusiast
By: Christina Julian

Danica Patrick was 10 when she drove her first go-kart. In 2005, she became the first woman to score a top-five finish at the Indianapolis 500. Three years later, she landed a major-league win at Indy Japan 300.

Patrick purchased Somnium on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley in 2009, naming it the Latin word for dream, because owning a winery was hers. This year, she released the first bottling, a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. Patrick also released a fitness book, Pretty Intense (Avery, 2017), which sums up how this NASCAR favorite races through life. Click here for full article

Behemoth Begone

Monthly_022018Excerpt from: NorthBay Biz magazine
By: Christina Julian

I’ll admit it. I am addicted to Amazon. I can say this here, but as a debut author, if I were to mention this in writer circles, I would be excommunicated indefinitely because Amazon is to author and publisher—the antichrist—gobbling up the lion’s share of the market and profit. But like any good addict I see past all the evils because my fix was born out of necessity. Click here for full article

Ready to Pour

Jan2018_CoverFExcerpt from: NorthBay Biz magazine
By: Christina Julian

Communities are resilient. A fact that always amazes me every time hard times hit. It’s not that I’m expecting people not to band together, because that’s what we do. Especially in a tightly knit community like Napa Valley. Signs of thanks to our firefighters and first responders paint our city and town streets more than a month after the wildfires hit. In a valley where the livelihood dives and thrives with the whims of Mother Nature, our people and grapes are built to withstand it all. Like the loyal hounds that chase winery owners through vineyard rows, we lick our wounds, and then get back to business. If you live here, you know this. As for the rest of the world—it’s a message that needs to be spread—Napa Valley is still standing—and ready to pour. Click here for full article

Calistoga’s Drinking Problem

March2018_CoverTOPRINTExcerpt from: NorthBay Biz magazine
By: Christina Julian

Last year I received multiple notices that read: “Important Information About Your Drinking Water.” These notices detailed all the ways in which Calistoga drinking water is polluted. The data stings, but it’s not news. I’ve known our water stinks, metaphorically and literally, for years. Ever since I was pregnant with the twins, I’ve been unable to stomach the stench of our tap water. On a good day, it smells musty and moldy. On moderate ones, more like swamp water. And on the worst of days (often), poopy diapers. Click here for full article

Vanity Projects

April_2017_CvrFINALFINALCelebrity Wine Brands: Real or Reaching for it?
Excerpt from: NorthBay Biz magazine
By: Christina Julian

The wine industry has its own breed of vanity projects, what I like to call celebrity winery syndrome.

As a writer on the cusp of having my first novel published, I’ve gained insight into the good, bad and underbelly of the publishing world. On the one hand you have the elusive brass ring of a writer’s world—the Big Five publishers (Harper Collins, Penguin Random House and the like). On the furthest rung from the top there exists a shady side—vanity publishers—where writers pay to play. These houses bill themselves as real publishers but in reality, are anything but, charging authors for what any reputable publisher does as part of doing business.

The wine industry has its own breed of vanity projects, what I like to call celebrity winery syndrome. A quick glance on Google reveals countless illustrious wine brands with everyone from Sting, Brangelina, ACDC, Drew Barrymore, Nicki Minaj, Fergie, and Sonoma resident Ben Flajnik from “The Bachelor” getting in on the act. But perhaps one of the most relevant (or irrelevant depending on where you stand) vanity wine projects around would have to be Trump Winery in Virginia.

Walking down the virtual wine-industry corridors of Google drives me to consider this premise: Just because you could do it, does not mean you should? (Hello, Mr. Executive Order Trump!).

Unless of course the wine is just that good. Click here for full article


March2017_CvrFinalFrom Napa to Sonoma to Hollywood, wine-related programming goes mainstream.

Article excerpt from: NorthBay Biz magazine
By: Christina Julian

A reality craze was born on “Celebrity Apprentice” the moment “The Donald” barked out “You’re fired!” No one could’ve predicted the landslide of expose-style film and TV that would follow (nor the creator’s ascent to the White House). While the state of the nation remains uncertain, the future of reality TV is not. With the proliferation of streaming film and television through service providers like Amazon and Netflix, the accessibility of original content feels boundless and the time ripe for wine-related programing to go mainstream. Here’s a slice of what’s coming your way. Click here for full article