The blind spots in the American West’s water systems are in full display in Ventura County, a coastal region of Central California that happens to hold the most lucrative farmland in the state. Equally abundant, and somewhat in progress, are opportunities for enlightenment. Which path will prevail?
By CRAWFORD COATES
There are many prized vintages from Valpolicella, a postcard-perfect town near Verona, Italy, known for its rich, slightly sweet wines. Over the years, however, as many of these wines have gotten only sweeter, one vineyard, Bertani, has remained true to the old traditions. The result: a complex, unusually balanced wine called Amarone. Our wine correspondent sets out in search of its secret.
By TIM TEICHGRAEBER
The man was having the day of his life—out fishing Idaho’s gorgeous Snake River, accompanied by his gorgeous wife (“The Duchess of Cascading Water”), and a whopper of a rainbow trout teasing him in the depths of a riffle off the far bank. Then suddenly, his day took a very painful turn.
Story and photography by HOPE STRONG
Gelato, it turns out, is a very different creature from ice cream. And there is a reason that the best gelato tastes so creamy yet still light, so balanced, so indescribably perfect. The secret—according to master gelatieri Andrea Soban of Valenza, Italy—involves patience, exceptional ingredients, and a fine-tuned knowledge of food chemistry.
Story and photography by ERLA ZWINGLE
Where else would you expect to find a band of techno-scientific beer geeks except in the industrial side of San Francisco, Ground Zero for start-ups? Join our fermentation correspondent as she travels to the outer edges of beer flavors with the boys of Method Beer.
By GRACE RUBENSTEIN
Welcome to Craftsmanship’s inaugural gift guide, where we list the best (or at least the most unusual) items that we could find during our first year exploring the artisan world. Our discoveries include fine kitchen knives, cooking pottery, guitars, harmonicas, alcoholic drinks, and, of course, some real children’s toys.
By JOHN MARCOM
Nono Colussi learned his trade in a bakery that has been in continuous operation since 1720. He is now a master of a culinary art that is nearly extinct: making mouth-wateringly light cake out of naturally yeasted dough.
By OWEN EDWARDS
A California biologist found toxic levels of heavy metals in kale, got slammed for it on the internet, and then found evidence that at least one of the toxins could be even more troublesome than he had thought.
Written by TODD OPPENHEIMER
Photography by CLAIRE BLOOMBERG
Our burly white pickup truck is rolling down the highway about 10 miles east of Oaxaca, Mexico, when the ominous dilemma that will define the future of mezcal rises into view. To my left, sitting beside me on the pickup’s bench seat, are Cuauhtémoc Lopez, a mezcal maker who is carrying on his family’s traditional…
Story and photography by GRACE RUBENSTEIN