California Cults or First Growths

September 15, 2020 | Ralph Sands Kapcsandy Family I first met Louis Kapcsandy and his son Louis Jr. at Ch. Lynch Bages, in Pauillac in 1998. I was conducting my “Golf and Taste the Greats of Bordeaux tour and at our pre-lunch tasting I was introduced to them by the owner Jean Michell Cazes. He…

The Spring Mountain Experience

July 7, 2020 | Ralph Sands I’m dead serious when I say I have answered this question a thousand times; we are coming back to Napa Valley for vacation, we love it and have been there a few times. Are there any cool or new places you recommend? I ask if they have covered a…

Dalle Valle

July 2, 2020 | Ralph Sands Dalle Valle was founded in 1986 by Naoko and Gustave Dalle Valle and is located on a hillside east of the Silverado Trail in Oakville. In my opinion Dalle Valle has always been a Napa Valley -Cult wine because the wines were awesome from the first release with no…

Robert Mondavi: The Godfather of California Wine

June 23, 2020 | Ralph Sands In my opinion, hundreds of years from now when people reflect on the history wines of California, Robert Mondavi will remain the number one influence in its success; making him the godfather of California wine. He gambled everything; money, family and his reputation to get his winery built in…

Amusce Bouche and Heidi Barrett

June 16, 2020 | Ralph Sands You can call her the flying winemaker or the queen of the cult wines, but wherever you go anywhere in the world of wine, everyone knows the name of Heidi Barrett as one of the greatest winemakers in the world. So far in her great career, and she still…

Iconic Napa Cabernet Sauvignons

June 1, 2020 | Ralph Sands I first met Randy and Debbie Lewis at Oakville Ranch in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains in 1989; this was their first investment and partnership in the wine business. Debbie had been in the wine trade and Randy had just retired from the race car world where he…

Viader Vineyards: A Jewel of Howell Mountain

June 1, 2020 | Ralph Sands Delia Viader is a dynamic woman who makes great wine! Delia was born in Argentina, moved to France at 13, studied at Sorbonne in Paris, MIT, in America, speaks 6 different languages; and along with her son Alan makes one of the greatest wine in Napa Valley. Delia’s vineyard…

World Class Dry Creek Experience!

March 5, 2020 | Ralph Sands I finally did it; I played wine tourist and it was fun! In my 43 years in the business of wine I have been blessed to have hundreds of fantastic culinary and wine experiences in Europe, Asia as well as here in America; the one thing they all have…

Sonoma’s Strong & Open for Business!

January 5, 2020 | Ralph Sands There is not one day in my life that goes by that I do not think about Sonoma county and the numerous towns that represent this beautiful wine country. The reason is simple, I’m 64 years old with an eye on retirement and of all the places on earth…

Wine Country Wildfires

October 30, 2019 Kincade Fire Update Dear Friends, So many of you have reached out to us regarding the wildfires once again ravaging our beautiful state. We sincerely appreciate your messages and kind thoughts, thank you! We thought this would be the best way to give you an update with what is going on for all…

Checking in on the 2019 Vintage !

September 13, 2019 | Ralph Sands Its always about this time of year, during veraison/change of color, that I like to check in with my owner and winemaker friends to see how the vineyards are doing as we head into the final 6 weeks and final ripening stages. It looks like so far so good!…

Burgundy Slowly Relinquishes its Dominance of Pinot Noir…

February 27, 2019 | Ralph Sands Let me be crystal clear from the start; I really love Burgundy. I’ve been there four times, and have tasted and sold the wines for 4 decades. Burgundy will always remain the king of Pinot Noir and this quaint, historic homeland will always be the Holy Grail for those…

The Rose Renaissance!

February 12, 2019 | Ralph Sands Here in America we always copy and integrate into our lives the greatest traditions of Europe. It seems that everyone in America is now wine crazy and has collections and birth year wines for their children, Haute Cuisine and Farm to Table dining are the norm, and beers and…

Korean Food: All Signs Point to California!

January 20, 2019 | Ralph Sands Honesty is always the best policy! That is why I give you a little back ground on myself. I was raised in Daly City California just south of San Francisco, and while the Bay Area is now considered a culinary destination for Asian cuisine it was not that way…

Happy New Year!

Dec 26, 2018 | Ralph Sands Hello, it is Ralph here. I know I may not be looking too good but I/we survived!I believe another great new year is approaching. I, Kim and Altons Sands wish everyone Happy New Year!May Peace and Love always be around. Cheers! Ralph SandsPrimeCellar Consultant 

Season’s Greetings from Prime Pacific Global Management Corporation

Dec 12, 2018

Toymaker Wine Shines Brightly in Shanghai and Hong Kong

Nov 26, 2018 | Ralph Sands It was an exciting week in Asia for the wine of Toymaker from Napa Valley, and the Toymaker team. Five fine wine dinners in five nights; three in Shanghai and two in Hong Kong kept us all very busy but were the perfect places to showcase the passion and…

Wine and Mooncakes!

Sept 11, 2018 | Ralph Sands Wine and Mooncakes! When I was asked to give an outsiders view of what would be the best wines to serve with Mooncakes, my reaction was, what is a Mooncake? About a week later the lovely round pastries arrived at my front door beautifully packaged and my wife Kim…

2018 Vintage off to a Cool and Wet Start!

June 11, 2018 | Ralph Sands After a cool April and May here in California the vineyards are a bit behind schedule, ten days to two weeks but with no rain in the forecast no one is very worried. Everyone is quite sure that the California sunshine will return in full force soon and everything…

2017 Bordeaux: Frosty and Cold!

May 12, 2018 | Ralph Sands The curse of the 7’s in Bordeaux continued in 2017 and about the best thing you can say is that hopefully, with time, 2017 will end up being the best 7 since 1947.  I just returned from my 30thstraight vintage evaluation in Bordeaux and tasted over 1000 wines from…

The Passion After the Fires

March 26, 2018 | Ralph Sands All the Zinfandel was picked by Friday October 6th at the historic Rossi Ranch Vineyard in Sonoma that was first planted in 1910; and spirits were high on the quality of the grapes from all the wineries that buy the fruit. The only varietals that were left to pick…

Happy New Year of the Dog!
A Salute to all Dog Lovers!

February 25, 2018 | Ralph Sands2018 should turn out to be a great year as we celebrate one of the world’s greatest animals the Dog; man and women’s best friend The importance of Dogs in our life cannot be underestimated. During the course of our lives from a young age to our dying day, dogs…

The Best and Worst of 2017…with Happy Thoughts as we Welcome the New Year

January 1, 2018 | Ralph Sands Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way immediately and behind us. The worst has to be the devastating fires that ravaged the people and properties of Napa, Sonoma and Southern California.  While they may now be over, the effect of these fires will be felt in many…

The Magic of Howell Mountain Wine!

Dec 06, 2017 | Ralph Sands When you are a passionate wine lover like I am, you get great joy and excitement when you get to immerse yourself in the study of great wine paired fine cuisine. That is exactly what we did last month showcasing the fine Cabernet Sauvignons made at Lamborn Family Vineyards, in…