Monday, May 2, 2016

05/02 GARY PISONI, PISONI VINEYARDS

GARY PISONI – PISONI VINEYARDS

A special place, Pisoni Vineyards expresses the land and climate of the Santa Lucia Highlands and the spirit of the Pisoni Family. The site is a source of exceptional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. First planted by Gary Pisoni in 1982, Pisoni Vineyards consists of small vineyard blocks arranged on and around the ridges of the mountainous landscape. Ranging in size from one-half to seventeen acres, the vineyard blocks perch at an altitude of 1,300 feet in the granite-laced mountains of the coastal Santa Lucia Range. Inspired by the Burgundy tradition of having several wineries source fruit from the same vineyard, Gary Pisoni has formed relationships with some of the most prestigious Pinot Noir producers in California. With agreements based on handshake alone, these wineries are guaranteed specific rows and blocks each year. They purchase grapes at a per-acre price rather than a per-ton price, which maintains the focus on quality and not yields. In addition to supplying fruit to artisan producers of vineyard-designated wines, the Pisoni Family retains a portion of the vineyard for the production of Pisoni Estate wine.

THE PRACTICE
Vineyard management is meticulous. Under Mark Pisoni's leadership, a long-time permanent crew of 18 skilled individuals perform all the work by hand. Every decision implements sustainable farming practices and long-term considerations. This commitment, combined with the rocky soils and cold Monterey Bay weather, produce serious and compelling wines.

THE FAMILY
In 1952 Jane and Eddie Pisoni began farming vegetables in the fertile Salinas Valley. A celery-crop profit in 1979 provided the down payment for the Santa Lucia Highlands property that became Pisoni Vineyards. Their love for the land provided the place where their son Gary could realize his dreams. Gary developed a love of wine while attending college. He started collecting fine French and German wines, and he made his first wine in his garage in 1978 at the age of twenty-five. In 1982, Gary broke ground and planted the first vines at Pisoni Vineyards. He was up against many obstacles, including not having a water source at the time.

Mark Pisoni, the vineyard manager, completed a B.S. in Agricultural Economics at the University of California, Davis, and an M.S. in Farm Business Management at Cornell University. He oversees the meticulous care of both Pisoni Vineyards and Pisoni Farms.  Jeff Pisoni is the winemaker. He earned a B.S. in Enology at California State University, Fresno, and got hands-on experience at premium wineries before becoming the Pisoni Estate and Lucia winemaker in 2002.

THE WINE
The Pisoni Family produces one wine each year under the label bearing its name: Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir. Although actual quantities vary with fruit yields, typical production is a mere 500 cases annually. Often noted for their deep color and intensity, wines from Pisoni Vineyards offer complex flavors and layers of undulating texture. The rocky mountain soil and the long, cool growing season provide the fundamental character of the wine, and the tannin and acid structure contribute to the age-worthiness.

LUCIA
Lucia vineyard designated Santa Lucia Highlands AVA wines. Lucia is the sister label of the Pisoni Estate wines. Whereas Pisoni Estate is committed to a single expression of the Pisoni Vineyards, Lucia represents the collection of vineyards that the Pisoni Family farms: Pisoni Vineyards, Soberanes Vineyard and Garys' Vineyard (the latter two farmed in partnership with Gary Franscioni).

The wines of Lucia are vineyard designated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from these vineyards and eponymous Santa Lucia Highlands AVA cuvées with varying percentages of each vineyard blended together. Lucia wines are made alongside the Pisoni Estate wines using the same exacting standards for quality. They are sold via mailing list and high-end restaurants and retailers. If you are on the mailing list for Pisoni Estate wines, you will automatically have the opportunity to purchase the Lucia offerings.

WWW.PISONIVINEYARDS.COM


Monday, April 25, 2016

04/25 NICOLE NIELSEN & ROBIN KELLEY O’CONNOR, THE CIA SOMMELIER SUMMIT IN NAPA VALLEY, TOM SILBERKLEIT FROM THE WINE HOUSE PRESS, THE 27TH ANNUAL CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS

NICOLE NIELSEN & ROBIN KELLEY O’CONNOR – LIVE FROM THE CIA SOMMELIER SUMMIT IN NAPA VALLEY

CIA SOMMELIER SUMMIT
April 24–26, 2016!

The second annual CIA Sommelier Summit! Building upon the momentum of last year’s inaugural summit, this three-day conference once again brings together the most dynamic group of wine professionals in one place. Don’t miss this great chance to network with peers and industry leaders all while deeply expanding your knowledge of the fast-paced and ever-changing beverage industry.

About the CIA Sommelier Summit - The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone presents its inaugural CIA Sommelier Summit this spring in Napa Valley. The CIA Sommelier Summit is the most dynamic group of wine professionals gather in one place in the country. It is the best resource for sommeliers looking to advance their careers and gain important connections. Throughout the Summit, attendees will hear from the best minds and palates in the country telling them what they need to know to move ahead in this fast paced industry.

About CIA Wine and Beverage Education - For more than a decade, the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone has been a training ground for the wine industry—from beginners to those still developing their careers to established experts in the beverage business. The Rudd Center’s programs further the mission of the CIA, which is to promote and develop excellence in wine, food, and hospitality.


The Best Wine and Beverage Minds and Palates - Throughout the summit, you will hear from an incredible collection of renowned sommeliers, restaurateurs, vintners, Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, entrepreneurs and more.

TOM SILBERKLEIT FROM THE WINE HOUSE PRESS - THE 27TH ANNUAL CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS

TOM SILBERKLEIT is the award-winning editor and publisher for Wine House Press in Sonoma, California. His books have been featured in USA Today, People, and on Good Morning America.

Tom Silberkleit of Wine House Press in Sonoma is the Publisher of The California Director of Fine Wineries which recently released the 4th edition focusing on destination wineries in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino and the brand new Central Coast edition devoted to Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles. With each edition update, Silberkleit aims to present wineries that standout due to their architecture, gardens, museum-quality art exhibits, gourmet experiences, wine tours and tastings, combined with exemplary wines. Find thoughtful ideas for holiday destinations and contact information for each wineries cited.

ABOUT THE 27TH ANNUAL CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS

Saturday, May 14th, 2016 6PM
at Warner Bros., “Midwest Street”

A wine tasting extraordinaire and spectacular hors d’oeuvres dinner benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. One of WINE SPECTATOR’S “TOP TEN U.S. CHARITY WINE AUCTIONS” will be held on the “Midwest Street” backlot at Warner Bros.

The California Winemasters is a perennial Wine Spectator Top 10 Charity Wine Auction set for May 14, 2016 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.  This extraordinary event showcases 50 international chefs and 75 of California’s Finest Wineries.  “Winemasters” has raised nearly $29 million in support of the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The CF Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle.  It’s focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF and ultimately, to find a cure. The Foundation’s drug development success has been recognized by Harvard Business School and by publications such as Forbes, Discover Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Make your reservations NOW for this wine tasting extraordinaire and spectacular hors d’oeuves dinner!

WWW.CALIFORNIAWINEMASTERS.ORG  
CALIFORNIAFINEWINERIES.COM

Monday, April 18, 2016

4/18 NEIL COLLINS, LONE MADRONE & BRISTOLS CIDER, CENTRAL COAST CIDER FESTIVAL ATASCADERO, DAVID HUNT, HUNT CELLARS

NEIL COLLINS – OWNER & WINEMAKER, LONE MADRONE & BRISTOLS CIDER – CENTRAL COAST CIDER FESTIVAL ATASCADERO 

ABOUT LONE MADRONE:
A lone Madrone stands atop a hill between the mountain and the sea in west Paso Robles, presiding over the rugged vineyard that started it all for brother and sister duo, Neil Collins and Jackie Meisinger.

The Lone Madrone wine label was founded in 1996 with the premier goal of producing distinctive wines exclusively from vineyards in the rugged limestone hills of west side Paso Robles. Growing slowly yet steadily since, the focus has become largely on vineyards that are dry farmed and head trained, which winemaker Neil Collins believes to be “the purest expression of the unparalleled terroir of west Paso Robles.” Neil also feels that when you begin with grapes from vineyards of this quality, in these outrageous soils, it only makes sense to “let them sing for themselves without being masked by our hands.” To this end, all the wines are fermented with native yeasts and native malolactic bacteria then aged in predominantly neutral oak barrels.

Lone Madrone wines are unique not only because of where the grapes were grown, but due to the influence of Neil’s winemaking style. The winery produces some rare single varietal wines, however the majority of Lone Madrone wines are extraordinary blends where you distinguish Neil’s unique winemaking slant formed over years of tasting and blending west side Paso Robles wines. The wines of Lone Madrone are distinctive and characteristically balanced with structure and finesse.

Lone Madrone wines are available to purchase at the tasting room, on line, at Brisotls Cider House in Atascadero and at many restaurants and stores on the central coast.

WWW.LONEMADRONE.COM

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Neil strongly believes that in order to produce wines of the highest caliber you must first start with grapes of exceptional quality. Neil’s technique of marrying old world growing methods and winemaking preferences with new exciting blends of Rhône, Bordeaux and Italian varieties is a result of carefully honing his craft over many harvests. Neil has been working in the wine industry for 21 years, spending time at Wild Horse Winery and then Adelaida where he became winemaker alongside the notorious Mr. Munch. In 1997 he moved his family to the vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-pape in southern France where he spent a year learning the cellars and vineyards of the famed Chateau de Beaucastel, one of the oldest and most highly regarded estates in France. Neil returned to Paso Robles to take up the new role of winemaker and vineyard manager at Tablas Creek Vineyards, the California property of Château de Beaucastel. Since that time, great success has been achieved by Tablas Creek, success in which Neil’s hand has been significant. Neil’s experience in French winemaking complemented his earlier training as a French chef in hometown of Bristol, England.

ABOUT BRISTOLS CIDER:
Bristols cider is a part of the Lone Madrone winery, owned and operated by brother and sister Neil and Jackie and Neil's wife Marci. Jackie and Neil grew up in the West Country of England which is very much cider country. We are not talking murky apple juice here but the fermented version.

When Neil moved to California he was disappointed to find none of the traditional beverage of his home, of which he had been known to partake on occasion. So in 1994 Neil began making small batches of cider from local apples under the Bristols name. Since that time it has evolved into a small line up of ciders. These ciders are all from select varieties of local apples, primarily from See Canyon and Paso Robles, although we have played with fruit from Oregon. All ciders are 100% apple juice and fermented on the native yeasts of the fruit. We ferment different ciders in different casks, some in retired Bourbon casks some in retired white wine barrels but most in stainless steel.

Bristols can be found on draft at a number of the central coast's finest watering holes and select restaurants. The more obscure and quirky bottlings are to be found when available at BRISTOLS CIDER HOUSE only. If you have the passion it will be worth the trip!!

WWW.BRISTOLSCIDER.COM

CENTRAL COAST CIDER FESTIVAL ATASCADERO (MAY 7TH 5-8:30PM):

The First Ever Cider Festival is happening on the Central Coast May 7 at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake. Tickets will sell out, do not miss your chance to taste over 20 local craft cider producers, boogie to great jams and savor a traditional English pig roast dinner - all  included in your ticket.
Tickets Now on Sale
INCLUDES TASTINGS + DINNER + BAND
Full Price $60 (until sold out)
SATURDAY, MAY 7

WWW.CENTRALCOASTCIDERFESTIVAL.COM


DAVID HUNT – OWNER & WINEMAKER, HUNT CELLARS

Our Story
It started over 20 years ago as a fantasy: living on a lush beautiful vineyard, producing your own style of favorite premium varietal wines that are well received and appreciated by those who have discovered the wines and shared them amongst friends.

Now, drive along the scenic Highway 46 West, about three miles west of the 101 Fwy at Oakdale Road, you will find this dream has become reality for David Hunt, Winemaker and owner of Hunt Cellars, a winery committed to producing “Memorable Wines”. We believe that great wines leave indelible impressions when poured with wonderful meals and great friends and scintillating conversations. Hunt Cellars was founded on the philosophy of producing wines that you will look forward to simply sipping by a cozy fireplace or pairing with your favorite meals to enhance that special event or moment in time.

How It Began
When The Hunt Family decided to pursue their dream they were uncertain where they would choose to build their vineyard. The Hunts spent exhaustive days and weekends traveling to various premium wine regions from Oregon, Washington, and throughout the State of California. They finally narrowed their decision down to the Central coast to San Luis Obispo County. Paso Robles was selected because of its rich diversity in soils, superb growing climate and unique styles of wine making along with the spirit of graciousness and traditional American values.

Eventually after looking at numerous parcels of vineyard potential property, they settled on uniquely beautiful property containing over 550 acres on Highway 41 in Creston. This unique property met their criteria in topography, soil composition and unparralled beauty. Within the 550 acres there are four terrior’s with varying elevations containing soil composites that mirror the great wine regions of the world. They were convinced that they could grow wonderful exciting intense fruit here on this property.

Destiny Hunt
The Hunt Family decided to name their vineyard, “Destiny Vineyards,” in honor of their new baby girl they named Destiny who was born in 1996. Just ask Destiny who has the best wines today and she will certainly tell you.

Destiny Vineyard’s first planting consisted of: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cab Franc, Viognier and Zinfandel. The Hunts decided to build a tasting room for their premium wines, which opened in October of 1999.

In 1997 they began producing their first releases of memorable wines… Experience has taught Hunts that in order to make great wines you must simply have the best fruit. At Hunt Cellars, we believe passion, hard work and never giving up until we have put together all the components and structure that will give our wine the varietal character, flavor and velvet finish that will become a trademark of our wines.

View of Destiny Vineyards
As you enter The Hunt Cellars Tasting room, the fun wine experience begins, as you are greeted with either live music or our white grand player piano, which can play any song. Stroll up to our Cabernet Bar, where our warm and friendly staff are eager to lead you through a light hearted and fun sampling of our wines. You may also choose to sip your wines on our spacious 1200 foot veranda, smoke your favorite cigar under our pavilion or simply stroll through our lush inviting landscaped lawns. We want you and your guest to simply have a wonderful time at Hunt Cellars and bring your friends and family back on your next visit to the Paso Robles Wine Country.

How Hunt Cellars Wines Differ from Others
There are many different wineries in the Paso Robles area; few compare to the quality of Hunt Cellars. Hunt uses only the best and rarest mountain grown fruit to produce the best harvest of grapes. Their vineyard’s location has been specifically chosen for its composition and diversity – every step of the production process is designed so Hunt Cellars produces the highest caliber of wine for you to enjoy.

HUNTCELLARS.COM