Man at bottom, is not entirely guilty
since he did not begin history,
nor entirely innocent
since he continues it.
I hold appointments as adjunct full professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information (where I am resident) and the School of Law. For the past 9 years, I have taught at UC Berkeley Law (computer crime law, privacy law, internet law, and a seminar on the Federal Trade Commission). Speaking of the FTC, I just completed a book about the agency, Federal Trade Commission Privacy Law and Policy (Cambridge University Press 2016). I am a faculty director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and an elected member of the American Law Institute.
I am currently working on consumers’ expectations when buying digital media, on deterrence of financially-motivated computer crime, and on the conflicts arising from EU–U.S. data transfers.
Much of my work is done in collaboration with George Washington University Law School Professor Daniel J. Solove. We edit the SSRN Information Privacy Law eJournal; run the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, an academic paper workshop for privacy professors and practitioners; and the Privacy Law Salon.
I am of counsel to Gunderson Dettmer LLP, a law firm that advises emerging technology companies. I participate in several computer crime working groups, such as the San Francisco Electronic Crimes Task Force, Europol’s Data Protection Experts Network, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s new Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group. I am a member of Palantir’s Council on Privacy and Civil Liberties. My work is directly or indirectly supported by many technology companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Palantir, and Nokia.
I am trained as a lawyer and am a double-dawg.
Here is my STATA Cheat Sheet.
The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned. Its sole message is: “What appears is good; what is good appears.”
Chris Jay Hoofnagle
212 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
|2016–present||Adjunct Full Professor
School of Information
University of California, Berkeley
|2016–present||Adjunct Full Professor
School of Law
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
University of California, Berkeley
Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
|2009–2015||Lecturer in Residence
School of Law
University of California, Berkeley
Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic
University of California, Berkeley
Center for Internet and Society
Stanford Law School
Electronic Privacy Information Center
|J.D.||University of Georgia School of Law, 2000|
|BA||University of Georgia, 1996|
American Law Institute
Washington, DC Bar
|2000–2005||Member (now inactive)
|Academic Publishing (h-index = 17, i10 = 23)|
|In Progress Works||What We Buy When We “Buy Now,” 165 Univ. of Penn. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2017)(with Aaron Perzanowski).
-Reviewed in Jotwell: Robert Hillman, What Does “Buy Now” Really Mean?, Jotwell (October 10, 2016) (reviewing Aaron Perzanowski & Chris Jay Hoofnagle, What We Buy When We Buy Now, 165 U. Pa. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2017)
|Privacy and Adult Websites, Forthcoming TBD (2017), with Ibrahim Altaweel and Maximilian Hils.|
|The Role of the Federal Trade Commission in Regulating Surveillance, in The Cambridge Handbook of Surveillance Law (David Gray and Stephen Henderson, eds)(Cambridge University Press forthcoming 2016)(invited contribution)|
|Online Pharmacies and Technology Crime, in The Handbook of Technology, Crime and Justice (Michael McGuire and Thomas J. Holt, eds.) (Routledge Press forthcoming 2016)(invited contribution)|
|Monetary Remedies in Federal Trade Commission Privacy Enforcement, in Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy (Evan Selinger, Jules Polonetsky, & Omer Tene, eds)(Cambridge University Press forthcoming 2016).|
Books & Book Chapters
|Federal Trade Commission Privacy Law and Policy (Cambridge University Press 2016).
-Reviewed in ICON: Bilyana Petkova, Book Review: Federal Trade Commission Privacy Law and Policy, 14(3) Int J Constitutional Law 781–783 (2016)
-Reviewed in EDPLR: Ferretti, F. , & Mantelero, A., Book Review, 2(2) European Data Protection Law Review 278–283 (2016)
|Post Privacy’s Paternalism, in Informationsfreiheit Und Informationsrecht: Jahrbuch, 2011|
|Putting Identity Theft on Ice: Freezing Credit Reports To Prevent Lending to Impostors, in Securing Privacy in the Internet Age (Chander, Radin, Gelman, eds.) (Stanford University Press 2008).|
|Privacy Self-Regulation: A Decade of Disappointment, in Jane K. Winn, Consumer Protection in the Age of the Information Economy (Ashgate Pub Co. 2006).|
|The EFOIA Amendments of 1996, in Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws (Harry A. Hammitt, David L. Sobel and Mark S. Zaid, eds) (2002).|
|Consumer Privacy in the E-Commerce Marketplace 2002, in Practicing Law Institute Third Annual Institute on Privacy Law (2002).|
|Journal Articles||US Regulatory Values and Privacy Consequences: Implications for the European Citizen, 2(2) European Data Protection Law Review (2016)(author proof)(peer reviewed)|
|Assessing the Federal Trade Commission’s Privacy Assessments, 14(2) IEEE Security & Privacy 58–64 (Mar/Apr. 2016)(peer reviewed)
|Web Privacy Census, Technology Science (2015), with Ibrahim Altaweel and Nathaniel Good (peer reviewed)|
|Native Advertising and Endorsement: Schema, Source-Based Misleadingness, and Omission of Material Facts, Technology Science (2015), with Eduard Meleshinsky (peer reviewed)|
|Alan Westin’s Privacy Homo Economicus, 49 Wake Forest Law Review 261 (2014), with Jennifer M. Urban.|
|‘Free’: Accounting for the Cost of the Internet’s Most Popular Price, with Professor Jan Whittington, in 61 UCLA L. Rev. 606 (2014).
-Reviewed in Paul Ohm, Free for the Taking (Or Why Libertarians Are Wrong About Markets for Privacy) Jotwell, May 26, 2014
-Selected for “Privacy Paper for Policy Makers,” a volume of peer-selected papers on policy-relevant privacy research, September 2014.
|Mobile Payments: Consumer Benefits & New Privacy Concerns, European Financial Review, Feb. 20, 2013, with Professor Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.|
|Unpacking Privacy’s Price, in 90 North Carolina Law Review 1327 (2012), with Professor Jan Whittington.|
|Behavioral Advertising: The Offer You Cannot Refuse, 6 Harvard Law & Policy Review 273 (2012), with Ashkan Soltani & Nathaniel Good).
-Received the 2014 CPDP Multidisciplinary Privacy Award.
|Internalizing Identity Theft, 13 UCLA L. & Tech. R. 1 (2009).|
|Beyond Google and Evil: How Policy Makers, Journalists and Consumers Should Talk Differently About Google and Privacy, First Monday, Vol. 14, No. 4-6, April 2009.|
|Toward a Market for Bank Safety, 21 Loy. Consumer L. Rev. 101 (Fall 2008).|
|Identity Theft: Making the Unknown Knowns Known, 21 Harv. J. of L. & Tech. 97 (Fall 2007).|
|The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Privacy In the Coming Decade, 3 I/S J. of Law & Policy 723 (2007), with U-Penn. Annenberg Professor Joseph Turow, and UC-Berkeley Law Professor Deirdre K. Mulligan; Nathaniel Good, and Jens Grossklags.|
|A Model Regime of Privacy Protection, 2006 U. Illinois L. Rev. 357, with George Washington School of Law Professor Daniel J. Solove.|
|Big Brother’s Little Helpers: How ChoicePoint and Other Commercial Data Brokers Collect, Process, and Package Your Data for Law Enforcement, 29 N.C. J. OF Int’l L. & Comm. Reg. 595 (Summer 2004).|
|Reflections on the UNC JOLT Symposium: The Privacy Self-Regulation Race to the Bottom, 5 N. C. J. of L. & Tech. 213 (2004).|
|Digital Rights Management: Many Technical Controls on Digital Content Distribution Can Create A Surveillance Society, 5 Columbia U. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 6 (2003).|
|Matters of Public Concern and the Public University Professor, 27 J. OF College & Univ. L. 669 (2001)(peer reviewed).|
|Conference Papers||The Privacy Pragmatic as Privacy Vulnerable, Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2014) Workshop on Privacy Personas and Segmentation (PPS), July 9-11, 2014, Menlo Park, CA, with Professor Jennifer M. Urban.|
|How the Fair Credit Reporting Act Regulates Big Data, Future of Privacy Forum Workshop on Big Data and Privacy: Making Ends Meet (2013)|
|Privacy and Modern Advertising: Most US Internet Users Want ‘Do Not Track’ to Stop Collection of Data about their Online Activities, Amsterdam Privacy Conference (APC 2012), with Professor Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.|
|Online Privacy: Towards Informational Self-Determination on the Internet, Dagstuhl Manifesto (Nov. 2011), with Professors Simone Fischer-Hübner, Kai Rannenberg, Michael Waidner, Ioannis Krontiris, and Michael Marhöfer.|
|Flash Cookies and Privacy, CODEX Privacy 2010 (March 2010), with Ashkan Soltani, Shannon Canty, Quentin Mayo, and Lauren Thomas.|
|An Economic Map of Cybercrime Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (2009), with Alvaro A. Cárdenas, Svetlana Radosavac, Jens Grossklags, & John Chuang).|
|Reports||The Origin of Fair Information Practices: Archive of the Meetings of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Automated Personal Data Systems (SACAPDS)(2014).|
|Privacy and Advertising Mail (2012), with Professor Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.|
|Mobile Phones and Privacy (2012), with Professor Jennifer M. Urban and Su Li.|
|Mobile Payments: Consumer Benefits & New Privacy Concerns (2012) with Professor Jennifer M. Urban & Su Li.|
|Flash Cookies and Privacy II: Now with HTML5 and ETag Respawning (2011), with Ashkan Soltani, Nathan Good, Dietrich J. Wambach & Mika D. Ayenson.|
|Comparative Study of Different Approaches to New Privacy Challenges, in particular, in the light of technological developments. USA Country Report, for the European Commission Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security Report (2010).|
|How Different are Young Adults from Older Adults When it Comes to Information Privacy Attitudes and Policies? (2010), with Jennifer King, Su Li, and U-Penn. Annenberg Professor Joseph Turow.
-Selected for “Privacy Paper for Policy Makers,” a volume of peer-selected papers on policy-relevant privacy research, September 2010.
|Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities that Enable It (2009),with U-Penn. Annenberg Professor Joseph Turow, Jennifer King, Michael Hennessy, and Amy Bleakley.|
|Exploring Information Sharing through California’s ‘Shine the Light’ Law (2009), with Lauren Thomas.|
|What Californians Understand about Privacy Online (2008), with Jennifer King.|
|What Californians Understand About Privacy Offline (2008), with Jennifer King.|
|A Supermajority of Californians Supports Limits on Law Enforcement Access to Cell Phone Location Information (2008), with Jennifer King.|
|Consumer Information Sharing: Where the Sun Still Don’t Shine (2007), with Jennifer King.|
|Opeds||FTC’s Early Consumer Protection Challenges Endure, Law360, Mar. 7, 2016.|
|Businesses are invading your privacy, The Hill, Jan. 6, 2016|
|The Potemkinism of Privacy Pragmatism: Civil liberties are too important to be left to the technologists, Slate, Sept. 2, 2014|
|Exit, Voice, and the Privacy Paradox, Medium, Aug. 4, 2014|
|Can Advertisers Learn that No Means No?, 10 Privacy & Security Law Report 1398, (Sept. 26, 2011), with Ashkan Soltani, Nathan Good, Dietrich J. Wambach & Mika D. Ayenson.|
|Mobile Payments: The Challenge of Protecting Consumers and Innovation, 10 Privacy & Security Law Report 212 (Feb. 7, 2011), with Elizabeth Eraker and Colin Hector), reprinted in 75 United States Law Week 2095 (Mar. 15, 2011).|
|Amicus Briefs||Amicus brief in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No 13-1339 (SCT 2015)(with Professors Julie Cohen, Lauren Willis, and Paul Ohm).|
|Amicus brief in FTC v. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, LLC, et al., 14-3514 (3rd Cir. 2014)(with Professor Catherine Crump).|
|Amicus brief in Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., et al., 13-cv-01887-ES-SCM (D.N.J. May 28, 2013)(with Public Citizen Litigation Group).|
|Authored successful petition to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to enhance privacy protections for telephone records in light of “pretexting;” the FCC unanimously granted this petition and adopted opt-in rules for third party sharing of phone records. These rules were upheld in NCTA v. FCC (D.C. Cir. 2009)|
|Kehoe v. Fidelity Federal Bank and Trust, No. 04-13306 (11th Cir. Aug. 31, 2004)|
|ABA v. Lockyer, No. 05-16560 (9th. Cir. Sept. 8, 2004)|
|Remsburg v. Docusearch (“Amy Boyer” case), 149 N.H. 148 (N.H. 2003)|
|2012–2017||Investigator (Professor Vern Paxson, principal investigator) National Science Foundation Social and Economic Factors in Computer Crime|
|2012–2015||Principal Investigator (with Dean of Engineering Professor Shankar Sastry), National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Site|
|2005–2015||Investigator (Professor Deirdre K. Mulligan, principal investigator) National Science Foundation Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Computing|
|2014||Investigator, Center for Long Term Cybersecurity|
|2013||Principal Investigator, Consumer Knowledge Assessment Study (human subjects study concerning consumer protection and deceptive marketing techniques)|
|2012||National Consumer Survey Research 2012, supported by Nokia|
|2010||Consumer Privacy Complaint Tool Development, supported by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment|
|2007||The FACTA Access Study, supported by NSF-TRUST and the California Consumer Protection Foundation|
|2007||National Consumer Survey Research, supported by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment|
|2007||The SB 27 “Shine the Light” Study, supported by the California Consumer Protection Foundation|
|2011–present||Advisor, Palantir Privacy & Civil Liberties Board|
|2016–present||Fellow, Center for Democracy & Technology|
|2016–present||Advisor, K–8 Study Group, Foolproof Foundation|
|2016–present||Member, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group (ISTEG)|
|2014–present||President, Digital Trust Foundation|
|2012–present||Member, Future of Privacy Foundation’s Advisory Council|
|2011–2013||Advisor, LifeLock Council for Identity Protection|
|2011–2012||Advisory Board Member, Without My Consent|
|2010–2012||Director, Catalog Choice|
|2009||Member, TRUSTe Advisory Council|
|2008–2011||Microsoft Consumer Dialogue|
|2008||US Expert to the European Commission, Comparative Study on Different Approaches to Privacy Challenges (JLS/2008/C4/011) (Author of USA Country Report)|
Annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference
|2014–2016||Editorial Board, Bureau of National Affairs, Privacy Law & Security Report,|
|Nov. 2015||Co-Chair (with Professor Helen Nissenbaum) Symposium on Responsible Open Data|
|Oct. 2015||Chair, Privacy Law Scholars Conference Europe, University of Amsterdam|
|Apr. 2015||Chair, BCLT Symposium on “Open Data”|
|Apr. 2015||Programming committee member, TILTing Perspectives, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands|
|Jan. 2015||Programming committee member, Conference on Privacy and Data Protection|
|Feb. 2014||Co-Chair, San Francisco Electronic Crimes Task Force Quarterly Meeting|
|Feb. 2014||Co-Chair, Comparative Perspectives on Online Tracking, Brussels, Belgium|
|Oct. 2012||Programming committee member, Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2012 (APC2012)|
|May 2012||Co-Chair, Web Privacy Measurement, Berkeley|
|Oct. 2011||Chair, Effective Consumer Privacy Enforcement|
|Jun. 2011||Co-Chair, European Online Behavioral Advertising Workshop, Brussels, Belgium|
|May 2011||Programming committee member, Media Law Resource Center “Legal Frontiers in Digital Media,” Stanford|
|Feb. 2011||Co-Chair, Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop on Online Privacy (no. 11061), Dagstuhl, Germany|
|2011||Chair, Privacy Scholars Speaker Series, three events focusing upon employee privacy, human computer interaction, and technology practice before the Federal Trade Commission|
|Mar. 2010||Programming committee member, CODEX: Privacy 2010, Stanford University|
|Spring 2010||Co-Chair (with UW Law Professor Anita Ramasastry, University of Washington School of Law), E-Commerce and Consumer Protection|
|Mar. 2009||Co-Chair (with UW Law Professor Anita Ramasastry), Security Breach Notification Seven Years Later, BCLT/BTLJ 13th Annual Symposium|
|Apr. 2008||The Law and Business of Online Advertising, UC-Berkeley, Apr. 18, 2008|
|Mar. 2008||American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Privacy Law: Developments, Planning, and Litigation, Washington, DC|
|Fall 2016||Privacy Law for Technologists|
|Spring 2016||Problem Based Learning, Education Technology (EdTech): Law, Policy, and Design|
|Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011, Fall 2010, Fall 2009, Fall 2008, Fall 2007||Law and Technology Writing Workshop|
|Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011,||Computer Crime Law|
|Spring 2015, Spring 2010||Advanced Topics in Privacy: Federal Trade Commission and Privacy|
|Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 1010, Fall 2009||Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic|
|Spring 2012, Spring 2009||Information Privacy Law|
|Dissertation Committees / Advising|
|May 2016||Arianne Vanessa Josephine T. Jimenez, Towards A Data Protection Soft Law Framework for the ASEAN Region, UC Berkeley|
|Dec. 2010||Nicole van der Meulen, “Fertile Grounds: The Facilitation of Financial Identity Theft in the United States and the Netherlands,” Tilburg University (Netherlands)|
|2009||Joshua Gomez, Travis Pinnick, and Ashkan Soltani, KnowPrivacy Report|
|2016||MIMS Admissions Committee, School of Information|
|2016||Cybersecurity Curriculum Committee, School of Information|
|2016||Committee on Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS-2) (Berkeley’s IRB.)|
|2014||Member, Committee to select a Chief Privacy Officer|
|2014||Member, Campus Privacy & Technology Committee|
|Hearing on Exploring The Offline And Online Collection And Use Of Consumer Information, Before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection and Communications, Technology, and the Internet, 111 Cong. 1st Sess. (2009).|
|Hearing on Identity Theft: Innovative Solutions for an Evolving Problem, Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security, 110 Cong. 1st Sess. (2007).|
|Hearing on Protecting the Privacy of Consumers’ Social Security Numbers, Before the House Commerce Subcom. on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, 108th Cong. 2d Sess. (2004).|
|Hearing on Enhancing Social Security Number Privacy, Before the House Ways and Means Subcomm. on Social Security, 108th Cong. 2d Sess. (2004).|
|Hearing on Use and Misuse of the Social Security Number, Before the House Ways and Means Subcomm. on Social Security, 108th Cong. (2003).|
|Hearing on H.R. 2622, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, Before the House Financial Services Committee, 108th Cong. (2003).|
|Preserving the Integrity of Social Security Numbers and Preventing Their Misuse by Terrorists and Identity Thieves: Joint Hearing Before the House Ways and Means Subcomm. on Social Security and the House Judiciary Subcomm. on Immigration, Border Security and Claims, 107th Cong. (2002).|
|EdTech: Promise and Peril, Keynote Address, TLPC: Privacy and Education in a Social Environment, Jun. 10, 2016, Istanbul, Turkey|
|Data and Society, Low-SES and Privacy Workshop, New York City, May 2016.|
|Plenary opening panel, Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2015|
|Colorado Clinical Translational Science Institute (CCTSI) at UCAMC, Oct. 2014|
|Information Influx, IVIR 25th Anniversary, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 2014|
|Age and Privacy Attitudes, 32nd International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, Jerusalem, Israel (plenary panel) October 2010.|
|Data Security and Data Privacy in the Payment System, Brooklyn Law School, March 19, 2010.|
|Exploring Privacy Roundtable 3, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC, March 17, 2010.|
|Exploring Privacy Roundtable 2, Federal Trade Commission, Berkeley, CA, January 28, 2010.|
|Exploring Privacy Roundtable 1, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC, December 7, 2009.|
|NSF Future Internet Architecture Summit, Arlington, VA, October 12-15, 2009.|
|Information Technology and Ethical Implications for Privacy and Civil Liberties, University of Pittsburgh, October 10, 2009.|
|A Workshop on Federal Privacy Legislation, New York University School of Law, October 2, 2009.|
|“Beyond Google and Evil,” IPOL Events Series, University of Michigan, March 27, 2009.|
|Identity Theft, Cybercrime Studies Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY), Oct. 20, 2008.|
|Enforcement, Compliance, and Remedies in the Information Society, Center on Law and Information Policy, Fordham University, May 29-30, 2008.|
|Legal Frontiers in Digital Media, Media Law Resource Center, Stanford, CA, May 15-16, 2008.|
|Federal Trade Commission, Security in Numbers, Washington, DC, Dec. 10, 2007 (bookend presentations).|
|Keynote Speaker, IAPP Privacy Academy 2007, San Francisco, CA, Oct. 22, 2007.|
|Federal Trade Commission, Tech-Ade, Washington, DC, Nov. 6, 2006.|
|Regulating Search, Yale Law School Information Society Project, Dec. 3, 2005.|
|New Threats to Freedom and Privacy Online, The 12th Annual J. Herbert Hollomon Memorial Symposium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 6, 2003.|
|STATA, Python, Palantir Gotham, Palantir Contour, Tableau.|
|A search for the terms “Hoofnagle” and “privacy” results in over 1,000 hits in the LexisNexis All News database and over 300 hits in the national television transcripts database. My work regularly appears in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, on NPR, and on major television networks. In 2007, my article on identity theft was profiled by the New York Times.
|Results from 2009 information privacy survey results republished in, Julia Angwin, How Much Should People Worry About the Loss of Online Privacy, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 15, 2011.
I shall tell you a great secret, my friend.
Do not wait for the last judgment.
It takes place every day.
|In 2007, my brother Mark and I started a website which we used to define and explain a phenomenon we called “Denialism.” This grew in reaction to what we were seeing on the political scene–a systematic use of public relations tactics to manipulate scientific and regulatory debates by unprincipled, dangerous political movements, such as the anti-vaccine and 9/11 Truther crowds. Also in 2007, I detailed the free market policy cliché of denialists in a paper titled The Denialists’ Deck of Cards. In these efforts, we took our father’s advice (channeling Pushkin): never argue with fools. We instead try to show the tactics of denialists without directly engaging them. Denialism is now described in the academic literature; in 2009, Michael Specter wrote a book on Denialism; in 2015, Maastricht University will hold a conference on denialism and human rights. For more information about these activities, you could email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com|
In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, and all things tech.
Portrait by Ayrthon Sadikrama
I seek new perfumes, larger blossoms, pleasures still untasted
Northern California Wine Country
Some general advice: Go in the middle of the week!
Stay away from any place with bus parking.
Reservations are just a formality; you can call from the parking lot and they’ll make space for you
My favorite places in Sonoma are Ridge, Hartford, Lynmar, De La Montanya, Arista, Gary Farrell, Unti, Rochioli, Rosenblum.
In Napa, Robert Sinskey, Silver Oak, Hartwell, August Briggs, Vincent Arroyo, Hendry, Summers, Milat, Benessere, Mayacamas
Quick Trip to Silverado Trail
The Viking’s parents were in town, so we spent a day exploring the Silverado Trail. If you want to try the big California cabernets, this is the place to do. The day was a real mixed bag, with some real disappointments. Oh well. It’s a good time to go to wine country, because no one else is there! And everything is discounted.
Our first stop was the Silverado Trail Wine Studio. I wanted to drink some Bighorn. The studio was also pouring Expression 44, a pinot noir from Oregon. We totally struck out–no one was happy with anything tasted. Bighorn recommended Pine Ridge, Mumm, Sterling, Joseph Phelps, Cade, and Steltzner.
Next up: Cliff Lede. This winery has been recommended by many on our various trips, and it’s worth a visit. They have a Jim Dine sculpture with a water feature that creates an interesting heartbeat effect. They had many recommendations: Darioush, Signorello, Chimney Rock, Pine Ridge, Miner Family, and Baldacci. In the Spring Mountain area, they recommended: Sherwin Family, Barnett, Schwieger Family, Pride, Von Strasser, Round Pond, Sullivan, Brian Fleury, Failla, and August Briggs.
Paraduxx is a destination winery, much like Chandon, Mumm, and Lynmar. But you should go, because it is delightful. We had excellent blends in comfy, shady seats, with a view of many oak trees.
We ended the day at Silver Oak, a reliable, but unreasonably expensive place post-renovation. Napa generally is insane with tasting fees, but $20 for 2 nips? Pathetic.
Napa & Sonoma Extravaganza 2009
This year, Dan and I were joined by Marcia and the Viking! Day one: Napa
Hartwell: Our first stop and best of the trip. The 2006 Estate Merlot was my favorite, and the 2005 Estate Reserve Cabernet was excellent. Becky there recommended that we visit Alpha Omega (I am very skeptical of this recommendation, but many have made it now, and Becky’s other recommendations were good), P. B. Hein, White Cottage Ranch, Titus, Volker, and Brown. Further, Becky recommended two useful services: Napa Bee Driven, a reasonably-priced driver service where they use your car instead of a limo, and Small Lots Big Wines, a service that will design a wine country trip for those who would like to visit boutique wineries.
Robert Sinskey was next. This is an enjoyable winery to visit because they pair the tasting with light, tasty snacks. I seem to recall RSV to be less expensive, but on this trip, prices seemed higher and we did not buy any wine. RSV recommended Paraduxx (owned by Duckhorn), Pine Ridge, Cliff Lede, and Rutherford Hill.
We took their advice on Rutherford Hill, in part because some in our party had never had “Rutherford dust,” a quality of the tannins from cabernets grown in this region. It was not a very good recommendation.
We next went to Milat, which was closed, and then went on to August Briggs. This winery came recommended by many over the years, but we were unimpressed. They recommended Summers, Vincent Arroyo, and Envy. Knowing that Summers and Arroyo were good recommendations, we tried our luck with Envy, and it was a good bet. Envy is a collaboration of Nils Venge and Mark Carter; it was a wonderful end to our first day.
Day 2: Sonoma
We got a late start and began at Mazzocco, the best visit for the day. I’d recommend the Stuhlmuller Reserve Chardonnay and the 2006 Dry Creek Cabernet.
Ridge, being virtually next door, beckoned us. If you haven’t been to Ridge Sonoma, go. The structure is straw bale, and it overlooks a valley of old growth, freestanding vines. They were tasting six different wines, including their Monte Bello. One in our party signed up for Monte Bello and ATP, a strong testament to this wonderful place.
We concluded the day with the much-recommended Hop Kiln. I found it yawny.
Napa & Sonoma Extravaganza 2008 #2!
Day 1: Napa
Dan, Marcia and I set out last week for our second wine country extravaganza for the year. This is becoming quite indulgent, and my liver isn’t happy. But the quest for excellent California wines continues! Here it goes:
•We started with one of my favorites–Robert Sinskey. The best wine there was the Three Amigos Vineyard Pinot Noir. I bought some cabernet franc. The nice people at Sinskey recommended that we visit Elizabeth Spencer, Rutherford, and Miner Family.
•We next went to Darioush, which was recommended by many over the years. You shouldn’t go there, unless you like Las Vegas. The tasting fee was $25, and non-refundable. So we left. The nice person working there gave us a free taste of their $80 cabernet; it was syrupy and not worth $80.
•Chimney Rock was our next stop. Solid, expensive, as usual. Their cabernet franc and 2004 cab were winners. They recommended that we visit Benessere and Regusci. These recommendations reflect good taste.
These three wineries above are Stags Leap/Rutherford area wineries that are expensive and consistently produce great wine. For this trip, we wanted to spend more time in Calistoga and St. Helena. So, we drove north and visited some awesome places. If you’re deciding where to go for the day, I’d recommend the wineries below. They’re not as busy, less expensive, and have wonderful wines. It’s difficult to choose which was the best.
•From Summers, we went to Chateau Montelena, a famous winery that is known for winning the Judgement of Paris in 1976, helping put California wines on the map. For some reason (perhaps they hated us), they recommended that we visit Darioush. They also recommended Revana.
•Benessere was next, a favorite from previous trips. They recommended Bennett Lane, St. Clement, Sequoia Grove, Provenance, Turnbull, Ehlers, and Alpha Omega. Some of these recommendations are suspicious, but we’ll see in a future trip.
That was about all we could take for the day. We made it to Bouchon for dinner. Bouchon was very fancy and we collectively felt like geeks among all the shiny people. Our dinner friend recommended Pride and Barnett.
Day 2: Sonoma
Because Marcia had not yet done a proper tour of Northern California’s wine country, we were compelled by the moral imperative to take her to Castello di Amorosa, the $20+ million castle built by Daryl Sattui. This place must be visited, because it is in such bad taste that one is left just gawking at the attention to detail and dream baked into this 100+ room castle complete with ramparts, a moat, and drawbridge. I’ve started to like the place, despite my reservations and the general creepy feeling that this thing causes in me. The wine is good. We enjoyed the La Fantasia in particular, and our bartender made excellent recommendations: Rochioli, Gary Farrell, and Seghesio.
•Bad taste justified, let’s move on to proper Sonoma! We went next to White Oak, which had excellent sauvignon blanc, syrah, and cab. They recommended Hartford, Gary Farrell, Frei Brothers, Iron Horse, and Lynmar. Almost all of these have been favorites from prior trips.
•We had an early lunch at Diavola in Geyserville. It was delicious.
•Meeker has been recommended by many different people during past trips. Overall, I thought their wine was way over the top and too sugary. But it’s fun, and the pours were huge. They recommended Stryker, Mauritson, and Amarda.
Quick Trip to Sonoma
Went on a quick trip to Sonoma to visit some wineries highly recommended on previous trips. First stop was Marimar Estate, where I bought some Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir. They wouldn’t recommend any other places. Next was De La Montanya off the Westside Road. The nice people at DLM recommended Lambert Ridge, Everett Ridge, Passalacqua Vinyards, Ace-In-The-Hole Pub, and Rochioli.
Most interesting wine of the day? A 2004 Hillpoint Pinot Noir from Gee Vineyard in Carneros.
All over Sonoma, one finds animals made of junk now. This one stands at Marimar.
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2008
Dan an I took a shorter extravaganza this year. Many of our choices were based upon wine ratings by the Corkdork and Vinography. We started by heading straight into Sonoma and visiting Cline Cellars, which was an excellent choice. Cline had a number of solid but inexpensive wines; we bought their 2005 Los Carneros Syrah, 2006 Cashmere, and the Ancient Vines Mourvedre. Next, we were off to a tasting room–Family Wine’s Kenwood location–to try some Tandem, but upon arriving, we learned that they didn’t have the license to pour that wine. Nevertheless, the 2005 Primitivo and 2003 Cab from Collier Falls were quite nice, and I bought a Betsy Backacher from Spann.
We drove all the way up to St. Helena to visit Benessere Vinyards, which was the highlight of our trip. Benessere was delicious; we bought their Black Glass Zinfandel and syrah.
We went next to Z-52, but couldn’t find their tasting room, and found ourselves right next to Copia. Turns out that Copia has a daily wine tasting 101 class, offered at 10:15 AM. That’s perfect for anyone new to wine country, and I’d recommend starting at that class and then driving up the Silverado Trail.
Our last stop for the day was yet another tasting room, because it was the only place that one could find D-Cubed. But at Vinters Collective, they wouldn’t open the specific wine we were seeking. Nevertheless, we had a few good wines from Vinoce, Richard Perry, and JC Cellars.
I think that next year we’ll change venues, and go to Santa Barbara instead. We’re tiring of going north, despite the fact that we haven’t visited all of Napa’s 400 wineries (or the hundreds in Sonoma). Also, I just joined Ridge’s Monte Bello, so going south is now an imperative.
Arista, Twomey, and Lynmar
We also went to Twomey, which is owned by Silver Oak and recently took over the space occupied by the very mediocre Roshambo. They’ve fancified the place. It’s still worth a visit. Ended the day at Lynmar (see photo above), which was totally beautiful, and the wines were lovely. Like Arista, Lynmar is a great place to bring a picnic.
Family Winemakers 2007
Dry Stack Cellars (get the rose)
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2007 Pt. 2
Day Two: Sonoma
I’m a much bigger fan of Sonoma, because it’s less commercial, you’re less hurried, and many tastings are free. But we started the day in Calistoga, at the previously-mentioned castle. Castello di Amorsa is a must visit. Just a few miles north of St. Helena, the castle is unbelievable. It has over 100 rooms and is built four floors down. Inside, there are vaulted brick ceilings, al fresco paintings, etc. It’s so cheesy, but the spectacle should been seen. They recommended the worst places—some winery called “J” and the infamous, sucky Roshambo.
Back to Sonoma.
* We started with Hartford Family, where much wine was tasted and purchased. They made a number of excellent recommendations—Arista, Siduri, Dutton Goldfield, Pellegrini, Marimar, and De La Montanya.
* Lunch at Willow Wood Café on Grayton Road was delicious.
* Gary Ferrell was highly recommended on our last trip. The winery has a spectacular view, similar to Arista’s. A perfect picnic location. They recommended Arista, Hartford Family, Lynmar, Porter Creek, and Davis Bynum.
* Moshin was next. Huge pours of pinot noirs there. They recommended Arista, Porter Creek, Rochioli, and Meeker.
* Porter Creek was recommended by many on this trip. We had palate fatigue at this point and didn’t buy any wine, but it was a nice visit. They recommended Arista, De La Montanya, and Rochioli.
* We then went to the highly-recommended Rochioli, which was excellent. They recommended Hop Kill, Arista, and Twomey.
* BTW, Roshambo, which had a great property on the west side road but terrible wine, was bought by Silver Oak, which rebranded the place to Twomey. We didn’t visit, but I’m happy that Silver Oak moved in on that place.
* We retired for a swim at the Madrona Manor, a neat place on Westside Road about a mile from downtown Healdsburg. The Manor was reasonably priced, and had one of the best breakfast buffets I’ve ever had.
* Wednesday night, we visited Rosenblum; a trip there is basically required by the categorical imperative.
* We wrapped up the trip with a pleasant tasting at Williamson. They wouldn’t recommend any wineries, but did try to steer us away from our dinner at Manzanita (which was yummy).
Thus ends my description of another gluttonous trip to wine country.
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2007 Pt. 1
Dan and I recently went on another trip to Napa and Sonoma. Below, there’s a summary of everywhere we went, but the clear winners were Big Horn Cellars, Robert Sinskey, Rochioli (6192 Westside Road), Hartford Family, and the Willow Wood Café.
Based on recommendations given by wineries, the next trip will include visits to Chateau Montelena, Vincent Arroyo, Arista (the best winery we visited on last year’s trip), and De La Montanya.
And the place I really want to go that doesn’t have a tasting room is CrauforD! Mistresses, open your winery up!
Day One: Napa
* We started at Big Horn Cellars, a winery I discovered after enjoying one of their cabs at a friend’s house. We bought their 2002 and 2003 Coomsville Cabernet, and their Syrah. Kevin at Big Horn recommended that we visit Ballentine, Milat, Arger Martucci, Brown Family Estate, Burnett, Rochioli, Sunshine Market in St. Helena, and Cuvee.
* Next, we drove up the Silverado Trail to Plumpjack. There, we bought Syrah and Cade Sauvignon Blanc. Plumpjack had an excellent chardonnay, but it was too expensive for our taste. Blake at Plumpjack recommended that we visit Charles Krug, Frank Family, Darioush, and Chateau Montelena.
* Laziness brought us to Napa Wine Company, which is right next to the Oakville Grocery on 29. The Napa Wine Company now pitches itself as a place to try cult wines. They recommended we visit Chateau Montelena, Vincent Arroyo, and Benessere.
* We had lunch at the Oakville Grocery, and then drove up to Provenance on 29. It was quite nice. They recommended Dutch Henry.
* Next was Heitz on 29. We bought port there. They claimed, falsely, that they had the only free tasting in Napa. They recommended we visit Kreger Family for more.
* We went to the Hollywood-backed Frank Family winery next. They recommended we visit August Briggs, Vincent Arroyo, and Reverie. They also mentioned that a local winery had built an enormous castle in 12th Century style just up the road near Calistoga. Now, this just sounded stupid, but we ended up going on day 2, and it was totally worth the visit.
* We met up with Bob at Pine Ridge, which was expensive but delicious.
* My favorite for the day was Robert Sinskey, on the Silverado Trail near Pine Ridge. Much wine was purchased and picked up. The food was excellent, the wine delicious and reasonably priced.
Napa and Sonoma Extravaganza 2006
Dan and I just returned from our two-day wine country trip. I did a lot of research in advance of the trip to identify off-the-beaten path wineries. Here’s a list of the wineries we visited, and the recommendations that staff at those wineries made to us.
Day 1: Napa
Most of these wineries can be found here.
Chimney Rock was excellent. It was good recommendation from a SF foodie. The staff there recommended that we visit: Chateau Montelena, Clos Pegase, Reverie, Diamond Mountain, Salvestrin, Sullivan, and Far Niente.
We proceeded to the old reliable Silver Oak. We were in and out too fast to get recommendations.
Caymus was next. We both bought Sauvignon Blanc there. Excellent stuff. They recommended visiting Paraduxx and Diamond Mountain.
We then drove up the hill to Mayacamas, which was my favorite Napa winery. The staff there was a bit aloof, and couldn’t readily give recommendations for other wineries. They did mention Chateau Potelle (perhaps because it was next door).
We concluded the day with a visit to Duckhorn and a group tasting room called “Dozen Vintners.” Duckhorn was superb. They recommended we visit Casa Nuestra, Frank Family, Franciscan, and Provenance. The Dozen Vintners seemed to only represent six wineries, but it’s still worth a visit. We had wine from Fife, Howell Mountain, Adams Ridge (my favorite), Reverie, and Eagle & Rose. They recommended we visit St. Clement.
Day 2: Healdsburg
I like Sonoma County more than Napa. It’s less pretentious and less expensive. Most of these wineries can be found here.
Hanna (not to be confused with Hannah), a beautiful property on 128, had excellent Rose. My favorite wine was there–the 1999 “Bismark” Cabernet. It was a bit too expensive for me… Hanna recommended we visit White Oak, Alexander Valley, Fieldstone, Sausal, Striker, Talty, and Raymond Burr.
I got lost driving from Hanna to White Oak, which shouldn’t be possible, given that they are on the same road. So we soldiered on to Bella. Bella recommended we visit Papapietro Perry, Arista, Mauritson, Landmark Ridge, and Nalle.
Next was Unti, where Dan and I both bought grenache and syrah. Unti recommended Nalle, Bella, and Preston.
At the old standby, Ridge, much wine was tasted and purchased. I even signed up for their club. Ridge recommended we visit Preston, Gary Farrell, Hartford Family, Lynmar, Martinelli, Siduri, and Joseph Swan.
We went to Roshambo, which was a real disappointment. The winery pitches itself as a unpretentious place to enjoy wine and fun. But you know, just down the road is Arista. Arista is totally unpretentious. The staff were so nice to us. They poured all sorts of wine, invited us back for a picnic, and I played with the resident cat for like an hour. And the wine was the best of the trip. Arista is a gem. They recommended visiting Moshen, Gary Farrell, Siduri, Mary Edwards, Lynmar, Martinelli, Joseph Swan, and Iron Horse.
The spectacle’s social function is the concrete manufacture of alienation.
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