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February, 2022

sustainable vineyard


We celebrate romantic love on February 14, but love comes in many forms. For California winegrowers, love of the land is a widely shared value. After all, their livelihood depends on healthy soil and clean water, which explains why so many vintners have embraced sustainable methods. Sustainable practices reflect not just respect for the land but also concern for employees and the surrounding community. Sustainability is about maintaining a healthy planet for our children and grandchildren, and what legacy could be more loving than that? 

The Pour

California produces a range of sweet wines that would complement this nutty cake. Late-harvest white wines, often made with Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon or a blend of the two, have honeyed aromas and a luscious, silky texture. Dessert wines from the Muscat grape are more floral and highly scented; Orange Muscat, with its aromas of orange blossom and peach, is an uncommon treat. Or ask your wine merchant for a California sparkling wine in an extra dry or demi-sec style. Despite the names, both styles are actually a touch sweet and perfect with an unfrosted cake. 

And don’t forget, February is all about football and the big game is in the Golden State this year. Even if you can’t make it in person, you can celebrate California style at home. Check out our game day wine and food pairings here. 


The Recipe

Toasted Almond, Orange and Olive Oil Cake

When you want to show someone you care, there’s nothing better than a homemade cake! This one is easy to make, impressive to taste and captures three of California’s favorite flavors: navel oranges, olive oil and almonds. Pair with California Muscat or California Late Harvest or Dessert wine.

Wine suggestion: California Muscat or California Late Harvest or Dessert win

Almond, Orange and Olive Oil Cake


  • 1/3 cup (50 g) raw almonds 
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (140 g) sifted all-purpose flour  
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar 
  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole-milk yogurt 
  • ½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) grated orange zest  
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 3 tablespoons (20 g) sliced almonds, for garnish 

Makes one 9-inch (23-cm) cake to serve 8 to 12 


Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan with vegetable spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Dust the sides with flour, shaking out excess. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Toast the raw almonds on a baking sheet until fragrant and lightly colored inside, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely. 

In a food processor, grind the toasted almonds with 1 tablespoon of the sifted flour until fine. In a bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, remaining flour, baking powder and salt. 

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended. Add the sugar gradually and whisk vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the yogurt, olive oil, orange zest and extracts. When well blended, add the dry ingredients. Whisk just until blended; do not overmix. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top. Bake until the cake feels firm on top and just begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto another rack and remove the pan and parchment paper. Invert again onto the first rack to finish cooling. Garnish with orange slices (optional). 

Wine Institute is an association of California wineries and affiliated businesses from the beautiful and diverse wine regions throughout the state. Wine Institute works to create an environment where the wine community can flourish and contribute in a positive fashion to our nation, state and local communities. For information please contact