Monday, September 19, 2016

9/19 MORGEN MCLAUGHLIN, SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS, CELEBRATION OF HARVEST WEEKEND, EUGENIA KEEGAN, GRAN MORAINE

MORGEN MCLAUGHLIN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS – CELEBRATION OF HARVEST WEEKEND OCTOBER 7-10

ABOUT SB COUNTY VINTNERS ASSOCIATION
The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association is a non-profit organization (501c6) founded in 1983 to support and promote Santa Barbara County as a premium wine producing and wine grape growing region. The Vintners’ Association produces festivals, seminars, and wine tastings as well as providing information to consumers and the wine and travel media.

Through the Santa Barbara Vintners’ Foundation, the Association contributes to the community through local charitable, art and educational and scholarship organizations with proceeds from its various events, such as Santa Barbara Wine Auction, held every other year and benefitting Direct Relief International, and silent auctions at all the Association’s festivals.

ABOUT MORGEN MCLAUGHLIN: 
Morgen has been deeply involved in the wine and tourism industries since childhood through her family's various projects on the East Coast and Colorado.  Wanting to follow her own path outside of wine, Morgen graduated from Boston College with degrees in English and Secondary Education.  As she prepared to enroll in Graduate School, she was pulled back into the family wine business as the General Manager and eventual Co-owner of McLaughlin Vineyards.  After twelve years at the winery and diversifying the business into special events, direct to consumer initiatives and ag-tourism projects, she left to become the President and CEO of Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association in Corning, New York.  Morgen led the organization and region through six and a half years of tremendous growth and national and international visibility.  Morgen lives in Santa Barbara County with her husband (a fellow wine professional) and three sons. She currently serves on the Visit Santa Barbara Board of Directors, Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation Board of Directors, Santa Barbara County Agriculture Advisory Committee, and the Santa Barbara County Right to Farm Committee.

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF HARVEST EXCITEMENT
 Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the Celebration of Harvest Weekend October 7-10 brings together wine makers, grape growers, chefs, and wine lovers for four days of merriment. From the four day Vintners Visa, Friday Harvest Dinner, Saturday Wine Seminar, Saturday Festival Grand Tasting, to the many winery special events, you don't want to miss this must attend weekend in Santa Barbara Wine Country.

The highlight of the weekend is the Saturday afternoon Celebration of Harvest Festival Grand Tasting held on the beautiful grounds of the Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., with early entry available at 12:00 p.m. One hundred Santa Barbara County wineries will pour their newest releases alongside some of the region's best restaurants and food purveyors.

Additionally, Edible Santa Barbara will present wine and culinary demonstrations throughtout the day. Live music from two different bands will provide the perfect backdrop. The Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation Silent Auction will have wine country experiences and large format bottles available for bidding with all proceeds benefitting local chariities, including the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Tickets start at $80 per person (plus ticketing fee) for an all-inclusive experience that includes wine, food, and convenient parking.

VINTNERS VISA (FRIDAY-MONDAY)
Extend your stay and see harvest in action! The Vintners Visa is your wine tasting pass to many tasting rooms throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country October 7 - 10 (Friday - Monday.)  Taste wine at up to 12 different participating wineries and tasting rooms for the price of the visa.  The Vintners Visa is valued at more than $180 per person, but is only $50 each!

HARVEST WINE DINNER (FRIDAY)
On Friday evening the Santa Barbara County wine community will take a small respite from the harvest, along with attending wine lovers, who will all reach deep into their personal cellars, to attend the Harvest Dinner at Root 246 in the Fountain Courtyard, in downtown Solvang. Wine lovers will enjoy a walk-around meal. Tickets are $105 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity, and a bottle of wine to share with fellow guests in the La Paulée style.

WOMEN IN WINE SEMINAR (SATURDAY)
Join us for a morning of wine and conversation at the Santa Barbara Wine Seminar on Saturday, October 8 from 10-11:30am at the Hotel Corque in Solvang (walking distance to the Festival.) The seminar theme this year is "Women in Santa Barbara County Wine". The event features six women wine makers from Santa Barbara County sharing their wines and personal stories expertly guided by moderator Gabe Saglie, local wine and travel writer. Tickets are $35 person and are limited.

WWW.SBCOUNTYWINES.COM 


EUGENIA KEEGAN - GENERAL MANAGER AND WINEMAKER, GRAN MORAINE

Extraordinary people are often found in special places. Such is the case with Eugenia Keegan and Ken Kupperman. With perspective that comes from years spent in the world’s most famous wine regions, the management team of Eugenia and Ken bring international renown to the Willamette Valley. Their viticultural expertise and winemaking knowledge are matched with unbridled passion that help make Gran Moraine such a memorable place.

Eugenia has held many top positions during her 38 years in the wine business. She began her career with Joseph Swan Vineyards as a cellar/vineyard worker in 1976. That experience led her to numerous opportunities, including cellar intern positions in Burgundy at the prestigious producers Pousse d’Or in Volnay and Etienne Sauzet in Puligny-Montrachet. Most significantly, she took the position of business manager at Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa, California, in 1982, during the early days of the winery’s start-up and later was promoted to president and CEO. In January of 1996, she accepted the position of president at Vine Cliff Winery, also in Napa.

Eugenia’s travels took her to Oregon in 2003, where she ventured into the world of wine distribution as the founder and co-owner of Tsarina Wines, a small fine-wine-only distributor based in Portland. In 2006 Tsarina merged with the Henry Wine Group of Oregon, and Eugenia continued as co-owner and president until 2009, when the company was sold. All through the years, she has been an industry consultant and has owned her own wine brand (Keegan Cellars in the Russian River Valley and now in the Roussillon, France). Just recently, she was the acting general manager of The Four Graces in Dundee, Oregon, prior to joining Gran Moraine as general manager in April of 2014.

THE SCULPTING POWER OF FLOODS
Gran Moraine takes its name from cataclysmic floods that occurred in the northern Willamette Valley of Oregon during the last ice age. As the glaciers receded they released a torrent of water from the once giant Lake Missoula. These famous Missoula Floods traveled across the Columbia basin helping to carve out the Columbia Gorge.

The Willamette Valley became an extremely large temporary lake and was left with huge deposits of silt as well as giant boulders with origins in current British Columbia and Idaho. These are known by geologists as erratic rocks. These erratic rock outcroppings boldly manifest themselves throughout our vineyard. They were once part of the giant glacial dam’s moraine – what we refer to as the "Gran Moraine."

STAMP OF TERROIR
The Yamhill-Carlton AVA status was granted in 2004 to distinguish fruit grown in the oldest marine sedimentary-based soils in the greater Willamette Valley. These soils and the growing conditions create wine with a profile that is distinct from that of wine from the surrounding AVAs in several significant ways. More specifically, the Pinot Noirs lean to black fruit, minerality, and floral—rose and violet—elements.

In addition, the AVA is located primarily on hillsides between 200 and 500 feet in elevation, the sweet spot for distinctive, age-worthy Pinot Noir. Although the spring can often be wet and cool, it is normal for this AVA to enjoy a more Mediterranean weather pattern from July through mid-October, as the Coast Range protects the northern parts of the Willamette Valley.

VITICULTURE
The planting of Gran Moraine was completed in 2005 with several of the best recognized Dijon clones for Pinot Noir (667, 777, 115, 114 and Pommard) and Chardonnay (76 and 95), which were grafted to both 3309 and Riparia Gloire, two well-known rootstocks that reduce vigor and promote maturity and physiological ripeness in the climatic conditions that prevail in the Willamette Valley. The clones, block sizes, and row directions were matched to the many mesoclimates on the property to maximize the potential throughout.

WINEMAKING
The most pure, intense, and expressive fruit is grown in places that barely ripen a crop. This is a result of the fruit maturing in cooler temperatures, which helps preserve flavors and acidity. In temperate climates, ripening occurs under the waning hours of autumn days, as well as the duress of imminent season-ending frost. Gran Moraine’s vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA of Oregon allow the Burgundian varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to achieve ripeness under these ideal conditions.

The climate of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA combined with the sedimentary rock–based soils of our growing sites produces wines with nuanced fruit and earth characters driven by ageable tannins that are structured yet elegant when young. The fruit is picked at a point thought to best express the profoundness of both the site and the vintage. After hand harvesting, it is brought at most a mere 15-minute drive to our winery.

At the winery, the fruit is hand sorted before careful processing in which our Pinot Noir is fed by gravity into open-topped tanks. Depending on the vintage, block, and clone, the fruit is left for a cold maceration period of three to eight days. During fermentation, we use punchdowns as our primary method of cap management. At the end of alcoholic fermentation, the wine is racked to 100 percent French oak barrels for maturation and slowly undergoes natural malolactic fermentation.

The end result is a wine we are confident showcases our tireless attention to detail in both the vineyard and the winery. We believe these wines are a true expression of the vintage, the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and the culture of Oregon’s north Willamette Valley.

WWW.GRANMORAINE.COM

Monday, September 12, 2016

9/12 LYNN QUINTANILLA, BEST CHEESE CORPORATION, AMY LEE, ROCKY POINT CELLARS

LYNN QUINTANILLA – DISTRICT SALES MANAGER FOR BEST CHEESE CORPORATION

Located in New York’s Westchester county, Best Cheese Corporation is the exclusive importer of Uniekaas® Specialty Dutch Cheeses in the United States and Canada since 1995. Uniekaas was founded in the mid 1950’s, when a small humble cooperative of cheese makers joined forces to share their knowledge and resources. This joint effort produced the leader in the Dutch cheese market, specializing in unique Gouda styles made from cow, goat or sheep milk. With Uniekaas, the integrity of the Dutch Cheese making process and traditions are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Best Cheese is the owner and operator of the independently-run Coach Farm®, a farmstead goat dairy and creamery in Pine Plains, NY. You can find our products in select Whole Foods and Safeway stores, as well as many other regional grocery retailers and specialty cheese shops.

VALUES
At Best Cheese Corporation, we strive to bring only the finest quality cheeses to your table. In order to do this, our company’s heart beats around these three key values 24 hours of every day. We are dedicated to always having the:

BESTPEOPLE
We take pride in having exceptional staff here to work for you. Being qualified, dedicated, and passionate about cheese is what drives our company forward.

BESTSERVICE
Providing exceptional customer service is of the utmost importance. We are dedicated to cultivating and nurturing a winning network of consumers and suppliers because together we can offer much more than quality cheeses.

BESTCHEESE
Quality starts at the source. All cheeses sold by our company are made with fresh Grade A milk, free from antibiotics and hormones. We promise to not only demand the best products from producers but to also seek new innovative flavors satisfying to palates everywhere.

BRANDS

UNIEKAAS
Directly translated to English, Uniekaas means “one cheese” and that’s exactly what the company stands for. In the early 1900’s, the Dutch cheese market comprised of small independent cheese producers handling all aspects of cheese production. It wasn’t until the mid 1950’s that a small cooperative of cheese makers came together to share their knowledge and resources to create what is known today as Uniekaas. This formation helped to build one of the leaders in the Dutch cheese market which focused on exploring new ways to create Gouda cheeses without ever losing the importance of Dutch cheese making traditions. Today, Uniekaas is known for bringing unique styles of specialty Dutch cheese to markets across the world. From its flagship brand Parrano®, to unique gouda styles made from cow, goat, or sheep milk. Uniekaas is a leader of Dutch cheese steeped in decades of tradition and exploration.

COACH FARMS
Faithful to the traditional methods of the French farmstead cheesemaker, we at Coach Farm are turning out authentic, artisanal goat cheeses that were once found only in the remote villages of France. Our farm is located in a small Hudson Valley village, just two hours outside of new York City. We have over 900 French Alpine dairy goats, born and raised on our farm. The small, white-tiled creamery where we make our cheeses connects directly to the milking parlor, ensuring only the freshest cheeses!

PARRANO
Parrano® is an unforgettable cheese made from an authentic Italian recipe. It incorporates the alluring, nutty, and fine-aged flavor profile of Parmesan with the pliant, versatile texture of a young Dutch Gouda, making it easier to slice, shred or melt. Parrano is perfect as a snack, on its own, or added to any of your favorite recipes.

BESTCHEESEUSA.COM


AMY LEE – OWNER, ROCKY POINT CELLARS

ROCKY POINT CELLARS, WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR
The boutique wines of the Willamette Valley continue to grow in reputation due to the passion of the people of the region and the unique terroir we are blessed to work with.  We specialize in single vineyard designated wines that we believe best express this place - focused on Pinot Noir and delving into Sauvignon Blanc, and Grenache.  The wines of Rocky Point are crafted with great care in honor and memory of three generations who have dedicated hard work and love to create a place to share and enjoy with family and friends.

MORE ABOUT ROCKY POINT
In 2009, having spent more than a decade in the global wine industry, I made the decision to start up Rocky Point Cellars.  My goal was and still is that of producing a bottle of uncompromising wine utilizing the wonderful connections, lessons of labor, and a passion for quality that I have gained along my journey in wine thus far.  My decision to begin the project came only after securing a prime lot of Pinot Noir from one of my favorite vineyards in the Willamette Valley - the Le Cadeau (Black Hole) Vineyard.  The Rocky Point brand has continued to carefully grow - slowly and surely, with the thoughtful addition of small lots of premium fruit from truly exceptional vineyards.

The premier vintage - 2010!  I met Tom & Deb Mortimer, owners of the Le Cadeau Vineyard and Winery, through my day job selling ERMITAGE barrels.  This incredible couple summarizes the love and dedication that this region's reputation is built on.  They graciously invited me into their home, vineyard, cellar, and soon after agreed to provide me with an acre of beautiful Pommard growing on the rockiest hillside I have yet to find in Oregon.  We call the block Lot 50 - an homage to my family who homesteaded the steepest lot of granite and tamarack on what would later become Rocky Point on Priest Lake in the wonderland of the Northern Selkirk range.

We continue to grow and learn with each passing vintage and we hope this shines through in the quality of the wines you'll find at Rocky Point Cellars.  In March, we relocated the cellar to Carlton where we are thrilled to be working with Dave Grooters and Steve Ryan.

Thank you to all who have supported this effort through your advice, your kind words of encouragement, and by purchasing and sharing the wine.

ABOUT AMY LEE
Amy's career in the wine industry occurred absolutely by chance after finishing up an MBA and moving to Hong Kong for a job with the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.  It was at a dinner party in Hong Kong that Amy was offered the opportunity to move to Beijing as the Director of Key Account Sales for China's largest wine importer.  Over the next several years Amy was introduced to some of the world’s best wine producers and found her true love in Pinot Noir – from Oregon.  A Northwest native and ready to return to clean air and abundant recreation, Amy accepted a position with the French cooperage ERMITAGE Tonnellerie as sales manager for Washington, Oregon, the Central Coast of California, and Asia.   The move back from China to the NW was the trigger that enabled Amy to start her Pinot Noir project - Rocky Point - a gathering point of family, friends, and spirit.

WWW.ROCKYPOINTCELLARS.COM

Monday, August 29, 2016

8/29 BRIAN TALLEY, TALLEY VINEYARDS, TONY LOMBARDI, LOMBARDI WINES

BRIAN TALLEY - OWNER/WINEGROWER, TALLEY VINEYARDS - CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF WINEMAKING 

THIRTY YEARS FOR TALLEY VINEYARDS

Celebrating 30 years of winemaking and three generations of family farming history, Talley Vineyards specializes in estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Arroyo Grande Valley in San Luis Obispo Wine Country. The winery’s vision, “to make and share wines that capture the special character of our place,” is a legacy from Talley Farms, a specialty vegetable operation established by the family in 1948. It wasn’t until 1982, with the planting of the Rincon Vineyard, that Talley transitioned into the wine business and produced its first vintage in 1986. As the winemaking program evolved, Talley has increased its single vineyard selections to reflect the unique personalities of each of its vineyard sites. Talley Vineyards also continues to partner with Talley Farms, which is now a leader in the local farm-to-table movement, enjoying enormous success with Fresh Harvest, its CSA program that launched in 2012. The newest collaborative effort launched this summer is the Talley Farms Fresh Harvest Farm Stand, which is open to the public and sits adjacent to the Talley Vineyards tasting room.

HISTORY
For three generations the Talley family has farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County. The tradition began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. During the 1970s extensive planting of wine grapes began in the neighboring Edna Valley and Santa Barbara County areas.  After observation and extensive analysis, Oliver's son, Don Talley, was convinced of the potential to grow high quality chardonnay and pinot noir on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms.  Don planted a small test plot in 1982 on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard that included chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. Over time the varietal and clonal selections were refined and planting expanded to a total of 190 acres in the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys.

Talley Vineyards produced its first wine in 1986 with the production of 450 cases. The winery's first five vintages were produced in a small winery adjacent to one of Talley Farms’ vegetable coolers. In the fall of 1991, a winery was completed at the foot of the Rincon Vineyard. A 12,000 square foot barrel and case goods storage building was added in 2000, followed by a new tasting room in 2002. Talley Vineyards currently produces about 36,000 cases annually.  Brian and Johnine Talley own and operate Talley Vineyards, while Brian, Todd, Ryan and Rosemary Talley manage Talley Farms.

ABOUT BRIAN TALLEY, OWNER/WINEGROWER
Brian Talley is a third generation farmer born and raised in Arroyo Grande.  While attending UC Berkeley, where he earned degrees in History and Natural Resource Economics, he worked in a wine shop called Curds and Whey where he fell in love with wine.

Brian began his career in the family business at age 12 when he started harvesting vegetables at Talley Farms.  He became General Manager of Talley Vineyards in 1991 and now serves as President of Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms.  Brian is recognized as a leader in the local wine industry and was cofounder of the World of Pinot Noir, has served as President of the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association and been recognized by both Robert Parker and the local wine industry as a Wine Industry Person of the Year.

Brian loves cooking, wine and travel as well as running, cycling and golf.  He lives at the edge of Talley Farms with his wife Johnine and daughters Elizabeth and Olivia.

WWW.TALLEYVINEYARDS.COM
WWW.TALLEYFARMSFRESHHARVEST.COM
WWW.LASVENTANASRANCH.COM


TONY LOMBARDI – FOUNDER, LOMBARDI WINES

ABOUT LOMBARDI
Lombardi Wines crafts small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast. Founded in 2013, Lombardi Wines honors a rich family history of wine, food and tradition. Small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are crafted from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and are born from Passion, Inspiration and Family.

ABOUT TONY:
A Sonoma County resident for over 40 years, I've been in the retail and wine industries since 1989. After leaving a ten year career managing Safeway retail stores throughout Marin and San Francisco, I took a leap of faith into the wine industry and haven't looked back.

Though the wine industry is ever evolving, it's still about the wine, the people, the lifestyle and our enthusiasm for it. PREVIOUS: PR for Kosta Browne
Winery, Ascentia Wine Estates, J Vineyards & Winery

WINES

Sonoma Coast 2014 PINOT NOIR
AROMATICS
This 2014 Pinot Noir reveals aromas of blackberry,black cherry and ripe currants in the nose with a dust of cocoa. Very pleasing with a slightly creamy texture.

ON THE PALATE
The 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir delivers dark black fruits that slowly melt into all areas of the mouth. There is focused acidity and fine tannins that carry the rich blackberry, anise, cedar, black licorice and mocha flavors toward the mid-palate, leading to a lingering finish of black cherry and dried currants.

Sonoma Coast 2014 CHARDONNAY
AROMATICS
The 2014 Chardonnay shows beautiful aromas of layered green apple, lemon-lime citrus, orange blossom, honeysuckle and sweet vanilla.

ON THE PALATE
This Sonoma Coast Chardonnay offers layers of tight, vibrant peach, pear, and tangerine flavors on the palate, followed by a subtle crème brûlée texture. The finish gradually turns crisp with a final wash of mouthwatering natural acidity.

WWW.LOMBARDIWINES.COM