Most kids grow up with a backyard that has a grassy lawn to kick the ball around. Maybe a swing set or pool to play in during the summer. My backyard in my tiny New Jersey hometown was different. It was full of wine vines.
My grandfather on my father's side was an immigrant who had a long, rustic wooden shed that took up an entire end of our yard. It was covered in brilliant green leaves and dark purple Concord grapes that bloomed with sweetness in the fall. I'd pick a handful of the grapes off the vine and eat them one by one when I was a kid. Even now, if I pass a grapevine, the scent reminds me of my grandfather's shed.
My grandfather on my mother's side, also an immigrant, was an expert winemaker. Immigrants back then grew their own grapes and made homemade wine, which they bottled up in big jugs. Bright and fresh like a fruity Pinot Noir or a French Beaujolais. My Mom told me stories of how people took advantage of her Dad by falsely befriending him only so they could drink his excellent homemade wine.
Wine is my heritage. Wine is in my DNA. So I'm starting a wine blog.
I've had a monthly wine segment on KFBK for more than five years and been privileged to get to know many of the fine winemakers and winery owners in our region. I've dined and talked wine with winemaker Josh Bendick of Holly's Hill and Matricia Haigood of Miraflores. I've been given private tours of Boeger Winery by patriarch Greg Boeger and checked out the crush up close at Michael-David with David Phillips. Dozens of wineries from Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Calaveras, Nevada and Yolo counties have come into studio for wine tastings over the years.
I want to share my wine adventures with you. I ran into a well-know wine critic you all know who was so busy violently swirling, tasting and spitting out his wine he took all the fun out of it. I hope instead to share the fun of searching for a great glass of red or white.
-- Want to hear about PR hits and misses? How one winemaker invited KFBK for a private party in the foothills. And the other winery promoter who brought us ten bottles of wine -- all empty.
-- Want to know how California wine sales are doing in Asia? I found out after being plied with whiskey and lured into a smoky, karoake den in southern China while searching for a glass of red.
-- Like champagne and sparklers? I'll tell you about my Prosecco sipping contest during a state dinner in Germany with Angela Merkel. And the time I woke up next to a wine cave in France.
Very soon, I'll be posting my first official wine blog. I think you'll like it. It's called: Drinking With Your Kids.
Looking forward to sharing my wine adventures with you!
KFBK Senior Editor Judy Farah has more than 25 years news experience in New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento. She's edited the KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O'Neal the past 16 years while also directing the newsroom by assigning stories to reporters and scheduling guest interviews. Farah started out as a newspaper reporter on the East Coast, covering major stories as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Los Angeles, including the 1984 Olympics, the Oscars, Emmys, the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the criminals trials of the Night Stalker and the Hillside Stranglers.
Farah came to KFBK in 1996, and has helped direct coverage of five presidential elections, five governor's elections and the killing sprees of Yosemite Killer Cary Stayner and Scott Peterson. She reported live for two 13-hour days for KFBK from the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She was also the editor on KFBK's 2011 exclusive report that the Sacramento Kings were considering moving to Anaheim.
A graduate of William Paterson College in New Jersey, Farah has won three Edward R. Murrow awards, including one for Best Writing, while at KFBK. She's also earned three awards from the Northern California Radio Television News Directors Association for Best Series, Best Newscast and Best Sports Segment. She has also written for the Wall Street Journal, TV Guide, Los Angeles and Parents magazines. She was honored with a Jefferson Fellowship in 2009 and traveled to Japan, China and Hong Kong to study the Asian economy. In 2010, she was awarded a RTNDA RIAS Fellowship to travel to Germany, Belgium and Prague to study the European economy.
Farah currently is a national blogger for The Huffington Post and often speaks on news and social media. You can find her on Twitter @newsbabe1530
In her free time, Farah enjoys the outdoors by hiking along the American River bike trail and kayaking. A wine enthusiast, Farah's produced a monthly wine segment on KFBK the past five years and enjoys visiting our local foothill wineries.