Monday, July 20, 2015

07/20 BARBARA SATTERFIELD, STA. RITA HILLS WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE, WINE AND FIRE, WINDWARD VINEYARD, MARC GOLDBERG, WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR AWARD, THE MID STATE FAIR

BARBARA SATTERFIELD FROM STA. RITA HILLS WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE TALKS ABOUT THE UPCOMING WINE AND FIRE EVENT

JOIN US FOR A FUN-FILLED WEEKEND FUELED BY WINE AND FIRE 2015

AUGUST 14TH - 16TH
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!

The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers invite you to join us for some Santa Rita Hills hospitality during our annual Wine and Fire event. We are pulling out all the stops for a weekend of world class wines and wood grilled specialty foods. Limited tickets guarantees an intimate wine and food experience so get 'em while they're hot and don't miss Wine and Fire 2015!

KICK OFF BARN PARTY AT SANFORD & BENEDICT BARN
AUGUST 14TH 5:00 - 8:00

The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers are thrilled to have our Wine and Fire weekend opener at the historic Sanford & Benedict Barn. Located just east of the Sanford Winery on Santa Rosa Road, the Barn housed the first winery in the Santa Rita Hills and is located just above the iconic Sanford & Benedict vineyard, planted in 1971.

Our Winemakers will be sharing their library stash, large format bottles and small production bottlings to get you warmed up for the weekend. These wines will be exclusive to this event so don’t miss this opportunity to experience these unique offerings.

An array of pizzas and antipasti presented by Bello Forno Wood Fired Cuisine (www.belloforno.com) will set the pace for a weekend of wine and culinary noshing.

Rock Classics will be performed by The Caverns for your entertainment. This Trio will knock your socks off, guaranteed!

AND THE SECRET INGREDIENT IS …….FIRE!

SATURDAY MORNING SEMINAR BBQ BLAST
AUGUST 15TH 10:30 – 1:30
SANFORD & BENEDICT BARN

O.K. enough about the wine; what about the fire? This year in our Saturday morning seminar we pay homage to the fire and answer that question once and for all. In ancient Greek philosophy, fire was commonly associated with the qualities of energy, assertiveness and passion, much like the wines and people from the Sta. Rita Hills.  Our Saturday morning seminar will focus on the fire and passion of local chefs and their four unique grilling styles because, after all, variety is the spice of life.

BBQ Masters Frank Ostini of The Hitching Post II, Matt Toll of Tollhouse BBQ, Argentine BBQ Rodrigo Gimenez and Wood Fired Pizza Chef extraordinaire Steve Clifton are fired up and eager to share some hot grilling tips with you.

Following the BBQ presentation, we will add wine to the fire as our members team up with these local Chefs and pair their wines with BBQ eats for your enjoyment.

Steve Clifton our local expert on everything Italian and noted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer of Brewer-Clifton will be rocking the art of wood-fired flat breads so you, too, can become a pizza oven expert.

Rodrigo Gimenez   grew up on Argentine BBQ. Born and raised in Mendoza, Rodrigo is no stranger to fire roasted meats. A technique fashioned by the gauchos for hundreds of years, this unique cooking style has been the traditional method for grilling in Argentina.

Frank Ostini from The Hitching Post II Restaurant specializes in Open Pit Red Oak BBQ, a central coast classic BBQ style that is gaining attention nationwide. The winemaker from Hartley Ostini wines, Frank is a great ambassador representing our local food and wine region at events across the country.

Matt Toll, Tollhouse BBQ, is a smoking expert for the long slow cook with his dry rub spices and big rig smoker. Timing is everything when it comes to smoking and Matt will teach you the trade secrets of the closed smoker.

The Luck is a two woman Americana band from Lompoc that  will be joining us at the BBQ Blast. Their unique line up of bass, drums and vocals offers a new take on Rockabilly, Folk and Blues.

WINE AND FIRE GRAND TASTING AT LA PURISIMA MISSION
AUGUST 15TH 5:00 - 8:00

Forty plus member wineries and sizzling local chefs and farmers will be on hand for an evening of chillin' and grillin' at the beautiful La Purisima Mission, located on the edge of our AVA. Avant, Babe Farms, Campbell Farms, Central Coast Specialty Foods, Homegrown Cowboy, The Hitching Post II, Los Amigos BBQ, RGC Argentine BBQ, Tollhouse BBQ, Scratch Kitchen and the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers will be serving up an amazing selection of local food favorites.

Country Heart will be playing throughout the evening so be sure to spend some time with this local favorite father - daughter duo!

ABOUT STA. RITA HILLS WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE
The Sta. Rita Hills American Viticulture Appellation is located on California’s Central Coast in Santa Barbara County. The Pacific Ocean’s marine layer and afternoon ocean breezes traverse the coastal valley corridors between the Purisima Hills and the Santa Rosa Hills, creating the perfect environment for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other cool climate wine grape varieties.
 
ABOUT THE STA. RITA HILLS WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE:
The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance was formed in 1997 to unify growers and winemakers in the Western Santa Ynez Valley for the purpose of developing their own American Viticulture Area and to promote this unique wine growing region.

The Sta. Rita Hills AVA status was granted in 2001 by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Regulation Division. The mission of the Alliance is to support the viticulture and enological business interests of its 47 Members, as they relate to grapes and wine from our AVA.

WWW.STARITAHILLS.COM


WINEMAKER/OWNER OF WINDWARD VINEYARD MARC GOLDBERG IS SET TO RECEIVE THE PASO ROBLES WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR AWARD AT THE MID STATE FAIR

Pinot Noir is the driving passion of Marc Goldberg and Maggie D'Ambrosia, husband and wife owners of Windward Vineyard. Windward Vineyard is dedicated exclusively to producing Burgundian style Pinot Noir. To make the "Great American Pinot Noir," one that rivals those produced in Burgundy, is the couple's passion.

Marc and Maggie purchased and planted the vineyard in 1989 based upon the terroir and microclimate of the Paso Robles Westside. The combination of the cooling Pacific breezes, the calcareous soil and the 50 degree daily drop in temperature produce exemplary Pinot Noir.

With the Burgundian French term, "Monopole" vision of total control over both the vineyard and the winemaking, the 15-acre vineyard is planted to four notable French clones.

Windward Vineyard is dedicated to putting Paso Robles' Pinot Noir back on the map, following in the footsteps of two significant figures in California wine history. In the late 1960's, consultant Andre Tchelistcheff supervised the Paso Robles Hoffman Mountain Ranch property of Dr. Stanley Hoffman. In the 1970's, Hoffman's Pinot Noirs gained worldwide recognition, and were drinking well over 20 years later.

Since the 1993 debut in 1995, each of Windward's SOLD OUT vintages have achieved inspiring acclaim, particularly within the community of wine aficionados who appreciate the layered complexity of Burgundian styled Pinot Noir. Marc explains. "We knew we could count on the vineyard to produce formidable fruit. It is living up to our expectations as it matures and continues to develop layered complexity."

2015 WINE INDUSTRY AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

The San Luis Obispo County wine industry annually comes together to honor members of the local wine community. These awards recognize passion, dedication, stewardship, innovation and vision demonstrated in the San Luis Obispo County wine community. The 2015 San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Awards go to – Wine Industry Persons of the Year, Vicki Carroll, Hospice du Rhône; WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR, MARC GOLDBERG, WINDWARD VINEYARD; and Winegrape Grower of the Year, Jerry Reaugh, Sereno Vista Vineyard.

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, in partnership with the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association, the Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Area, The Vineyard Team and past award recipients, worked together to identify the 2015 honorees. Peers voted on each recipient upon nomination for their leadership and accomplishments in San Luis Obispo County, California’s third largest wine region.

“It’s great that each year the CA Mid-State Fairs offers the wine industry the opportunity to join our fellow agriculturalists in recognizing the leaders in our industries,” Jennifer Porter, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance said. “These three individuals have devoted themselves to the promotion and protection of San Luis Obispo County’s thriving wine industry and we owe them an enormous amount of respect and appreciation.”

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. Centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, along California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles Wine Country is California’s third largest wine region. It encompasses more than 32,000 vineyard acres and 200 wineries. For more information, visit www.pasowine.com.

WWW.WINDWARDVINEYARD.COM

Monday, July 13, 2015

07/13 JOHN HILLIARD, HILLIARD AND BRUCE WINERY, LARRY SCHAFFER, TERCERO WINES

JOHN HILLIARD – WINEMAKER & PROPRIETOR, HILLIARD AND BRUCE WINERY

For the 2014 harvest, all Hilliard Bruce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were received, sorted, pressed, and are now barrel aging in a new state-of-the-art estate winery. It has been awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council on January 31, 2015 - the very first in Santa Barbara County. Embracing sustainability in the vineyard has translated to every aspect of the winery's purposeful design. Among the many features at the gravity-flow winery is a subterranean naturally humidified cellar with ambient temperature-controlled aging rooms, solar power, no-maintenance core-ten steel siding, creative LED lighting, as well as 40ft solar tubes that bring natural sunlight into the cellar. Views of the Sta. Rita Hills through 120-foot-wide by 2.5-story-tall glass windows can be seen from virtually every corner inside the building - a perfect reminder of the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds us.

WINEMAKERS & PROPRIETORS: JOHN HILLIARD & CHRISTINE BRUCE
Though husband and wife team John Hilliard and Christine Bruce grew up near one another in Houston as children, they didn’t meet again until after both had firmly established creative careers as adults. Christine was a horsewoman and a musician, and left Texas to study classical piano at Boston University before transferring to the Berklee College of Music. There she fell in love with the contemporary jazz music scene and began working as a professional keyboardist upon graduation. As a young man, John Hilliard studied finance and pursued a career selling maritime insurance, until deciding to follow his dreams of painting full-time. He was director and president of Diverse Works, a Houston-based arts organization, and a committee member for both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Glassell Artists in Residence Program. He later took over his family’s shipyard business, where he grew the company from one shipyard to four in just a few years. After they met, the couple took wine tasting classes together at Rice University, and earned certifications as Master Gardeners from Texas A & M and the University of Arizona. They bought a ranch together outside of Houston so Christine could continue her equestrian practice. Cultivation seems to come naturally to both of them, and it wasn’t long before they had not only a thriving garden with every possible vegetable that might grow in the Houston climate, but also a small breeding operation for Arabian horses.

John and Christine left their home in Texas in 2002, after purchasing the 101-acre Hilliard Bruce ranch in the Sta. Rita Hills. Christine wanted a ranch where she could expand her business of breeding Arabian horses, and John was open to new adventures after surviving two life-threatening illnesses. With a love of wine and an eye for precision and design, they planted 21-acres to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, using their own background as gardeners, along with key advice from some of the industry’s best viticulturalists. To further their winemaking experience, they took courses at UC Davis Extension Program, Allan Hancock Viticulture and Enology Program, and the Grayson County College Viticulture and Enology Program.

Today John and Christine are intimately involved with every step of running Hilliard Bruce Vineyard, from viticulture and winemaking to sales. Christine heads Hilliard Bruce’s Chardonnay production, while John focuses on several Pinot Noir bottlings.

WWW.HILLIARDBRUCE.COM



LARRY SCHAFFER – OWNER / WINEMAKER, TERCERO WINES

The idea for tercero wines surfaced a number of years back. Larry Schaffer had been in the educational and trade publishing industry for a number of years and had achieved all he had set out to do. It was time for a change . . . . but to what? Larry’s dreams of becoming a professional volleyball player were never going to happen (heh heh heh), so he looked towards something he had always been interested in but never understood completely – winemaking. One thing that really interested him was the ‘why’ involved – how in the heck do you start with a grape and end up with this wine? Or that one? He needed to know more – and he needed to challenge his brain.

Fast forward four years . . . and Larry begins his new career in earnest as the Enologist for Fess Parker Winery, a well-respected winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Why Santa Barbara County? The winemaking community is willing and wanting to help each other, but more importantly, it is simply an incredible place to raise children!

Fast forward another year, and Larry is ready to ‘take the plunge’ and start buying grapes to make his own wines! It’s scary and challenging at the same time – no matter how much you read about it or do it for others, it’s quite different when it’s ‘your own baby’ . . . But it’s also a way for Larry to ‘marry’ his past with his present – to use his sales/marketing skills along with his technical winemaking skills to see what he can produce . . .

VINEYARDS
Camp 4 Vineyard - Santa Ynez - This vineyard, located in eastern Santa Ynez, was planted in the fall of 1999. It is comprised of approximately 250 acres of vines, with a plethora of varieties planted, including syrah, grenache, mourvedre, cinsault, counouise, carignan, grenache blanc, viognier, marsanne, rousanne, and more. The warmer climates and loam soils of this site have already shown what they can produce for leading wineries including Fess Parker, Epiphany, Tensley, Alban, Curran and more. We source grenache, mourvedre and grenache blanc from here.

Larner Vineyard - Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos - The southern most vineyard in Ballard Canyon, a north/south canyon in the Santa Ynez Valley, is Larner Vineyard. This vineyard was created when Stevan and Christine Larner bought their 133-acre ranch in 1997, fulfilling a dream of owning a vineyard with their children. A Hollywood cinematographer whose credits include "Roots" and "Winds of War," Larner had lived in Italy and so planted a little Malvasia Bianca, one of his favorite grapes, along with the Rhone varieties more typical of the region. They planted approximately 60 acres in the nearly entirely sandy soil. The site and wines produced from their have garnered a tremendous amount of attention from leading reviewers, newspapers, and magazines. Leading wineries that purchase grapes and produce wines from here include Jaffurs, Herman Story, Paul Lato, Bonaccorsi, and many others. We currently source both syrah and grenache from here.

Tierra Alta Vineyard - Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos - This vineyard also lies along with Ballard Canyon area of the Santa Ynez Valley, but is the northernmost vineyard along the canyon. It's soils are somewhat varied, with bits of limestone, but it's mainly gravely loam. It is a beautiful vineyard to see, seemingly rising up to the sky. We purchase syrah from this wonderful vineyard.

Thompson Vineyard - Los Alamos - The steep hillsides and south facing exposure of the Thompson Vineyard ensures complete ripeness and produces an amazing concentration, robust dark crimson color and equally rich flavors. The Thompson vineyard consists of 37 acres planted in Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, and Pinot Gris, but it is known primary for its Estrella Clone of Syrah. The grapes from this vineyard produce chunky and fruit-driven wine in its youth and, with a few years in bottle, develops complex animal notes and subtle Indian spices. The level of viticulture (from Jeff Newton and team) is amazing with the soils depleted of nutrients and the vines rarely crop over 2.5 tons per acre even in the most robust of years.

Watch Hill Vineyard - Los Alamos - Planted in the late 90's and maintained by Coastal Vineyard Care, one of the leading vineyard management companies in the state, this vineyard is planted on a rather steep south-east facing hill. The soil is sandy loam, and the climate is rather cool, with the fog oftentimes settling into the area at night and through mid mornings. It then heats up nicely during the day, leading to grapes that have dark colors and great natural acidity. We currently purchase grenache from this vineyard.

WWW.TERCEROWINES.COM

Monday, July 6, 2015

07/06 DAVE PRAMUK, ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS, JOHN MICEK, RED STITCH WINE

DAVE PRAMUK - CO-FOUNDER & MARKETING - ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS
HISTORY THE BIALE FAMILY

For over seventy years beginning in 1937 the Biale family has grown Zinfandel and a variety of produce on their farm located on the outskirts of the town of Napa. A large population of white leghorn chickens once produced a steady supply of eggs that a young Aldo Biale regularly delivered around town to customers. Most of the Zinfandel grapes were sold to Napa wineries but some grapes were reserved so Aldo could make homemade wine for family and relatives. In 1953 Aldo met his future wife Clementina while on a trip to Italy where his mother, Christina was from. Aldo and Clementina were soon married and began raising their family in Napa in 1954.

HISTORY THE BLACK CHICKEN
photo credit: Keith BorgesAlong with the eggs and produce, a teenaged Aldo began discreetly selling his homemade wine to a few wine-loving Napans. Because his rural home phone was a “PARTY LINE” frequented by nosy eavesdroppers, enterprising Aldo used a code name whereby his customers could order wine without the risk of revealing his secret Zinfandel operation. Thus “Black Chicken” was born – the nickname for a jug of homemade wine from young Aldo’s barrels hidden in the barn
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ABOUT DAVE
Dave Pramuk was born and raised in Napa in a medical family. After graduation from CSU Chico and newspaper work, he began a career working in sales and public relations at Napa Valley wineries. A Founding Partner in Robert Biale Vineyards and lifelong friend of Bob Biale all the way back to grammar school, Dave is a board member of the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley and active in Appellation St. Helena, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers and Petite Sirah’s P.S. I Love You. Dave is responsible for the Biale winery’s marketing, sales, and communications.

WWW.ROBERTBIALEVINEYARDS.COM


JOHN MICEK – OWNER, RED STITCH WINE


Drawn together through a blind tasting group, our families (the Aurilias, Miceks and Roberts) have become close friends and devoted wine enthusiasts. Beginning in 2007, we have enjoyed incredible tastings in our homes and at our favorite restaurants across California and around the world. As our love for wine brought us closer together, our relationships across Napa and Sonoma grew deeper as well. After the 2008 baseball season ended for Rich and Dave, we started to lay the groundwork for our venture into the wine business. Enjoying one incredible tasting after another across the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, visits with Rolando Herrera of Mi Sueño Winery, and the story of his passion for the art of fine wine, led us to friendship and an ultimate partnership. Rolando's knowledge,
relationships and enthusiasm for Red Stitch have given us the opportunity to source incredible grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley.

Since the formation of Red Stitch, Rich, Dave, Tricia, John and Noelle have been intimately involved in the winemaking process, and have worked closely with Rolando and the entire Mi Sueño family to craft a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec that would stand the test of time. This hands-on approach defines our group's desire to be involved in all aspects of the winemaking process. The inclusion of the Malbec varietal in our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is both due to the varietal's outstanding characteristics and the layers that it brings to the wine, as well as the fact that a fantastic Malbec tasting first brought our families together in San Francisco!

Since our inaugural 2007 vintage, we are proud to have deepened our relationships with the wine community. In 2011, we were fortunate to partner with the renowned vineyards Soberanes and Sierra Mar in the Santa Lucia Highlands, to craft two outstanding vineyard designate Pinot Noirs. Both wines have become an integral part of the Red Stitch portfolio, and we could not be more thrilled!

ABOUT JOHN
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, John and Noelle Micek have long shared a passion for fine wine and the beauty of the California wine country. First meeting during their time at Goldman Sachs, the two have shared many trips to wine regions around the world including Argentina, France and Italy. They have also completed Viticulture courses at the University of California at Davis, including Sensory Evaluation of Wine and the Wine Marketing curriculum.

Noelle graduated from Boston College and after a successful career in finance, founded An Organized Nest, Inc., a company delivering organization and design consulting to many of the Bay Area’s most discerning residents. John graduated from the University of Notre Dame and has spent the past 12 years in finance. He is currently working at Criterion Capital Management in San Francisco, where John and Noelle reside with their children, Charlotte and Jack.

WWW.REDSTITCHWINE.COM