Monday, July 18, 2016

07/18 DAVE ROBERTS, RED STITCH WINE, LA DODGERS, GARY PISONI, PISONI VINEYARDS, TRIBUTE MURAL OF EDDIE PISONI AND ELVEZIO “SAW” BRESCHINI

FORMER MLB OUTFIELDER AND CURRENT MANAGER OF THE LA DODGERS DAVE ROBERTS – 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!

OUR TEAM
In life it is clear that wine often brings strangers together around a table and turns them into friends. The Red Stitch story is no different in this regard. Starting around a table in Patagonia, Argentina and bringing the families together for the first time at a Malbec tasting in San Francisco; wine has played a special role in the creation of The Red Stitch Wine Group. Please meet the Aurilias, the Miceks, and the Roberts.

DAVID & TRICIA ROBERTS
David and Tricia Roberts grew up in San Diego, California and were high school sweethearts. The Roberts were married in 1997 and have two children, Cole and Emmerson. In 2010, Tricia completed sommelier school and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. Soon after in 2011, she founded her interior design firm, Tricia Roberts Design and has been incorporating her classic style from coast to coast.

David graduated from UCLA and went on to have a happy and successful 10 year career as a Major League baseball player. He will long be remembered by Boston Red Sox fans for his “Steal of the Century” in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. David retired from playing baseball in the spring of 2009 and is the new Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

David and Tricia developed a shared passion for wine over their time together and took their first of many trips to Napa Valley during the harvest of 2002. They enjoy spending time together as a family with their two children at their home in Southern California.

WWW.REDSTITCHWINE.COM


GARY PISONI – PISONI VINEYARDS

TRIBUTE MURAL OF EDDIE PISONI AND ELVEZIO “SAW” BRESCHINI
Breschini Ranch Barn, Hwy 101 North of Gonzales, CA


GONZALES, CA—The Tribute Mural of the late Eddie Pisoni and 95-year-old Elvezio “Saw” Breschini gradually emerged on the old barn of the Breschini Ranch. Consisting of almost 1,100 individually painted panels, the largest installation of Monterey County-based artist John Cerney can be seen while driving south on Highway 101 before reaching Gonzales, California.

The multi-purpose barn was built circa 1910, most likely as a companion structure for horses and farm equipment to the larger, longer dairy barn on the ranch. Swiss immigrant Bernardo Breschini purchased the property in October 1909 for $250 per acre and 70 cows. Transformed from a dairy and alfalfa operation to row crops, the Breschini Ranch remains in the family.

In 1952, Pisoni and his wife Jane founded Pisoni Farms, growing lettuce, onions, sugar beets, tomatoes, small white beans, broccoli and cauliflower on the Breschini Ranch owned by Jane’s family. While Jane managed the office and handled the accounting, her brother “Saw” helped farm the land, driving the 1940 Farmall 300 tractor depicted in the mural up and down the fertile fields for more than 50 years. Both Eddie and “Saw” were WWII veterans, and all three of them were avid hunters.

Gradually Pisoni Farms expanded from growing 176 acres of quality vegetables to an operation that includes Pisoni Vineyards, located in the Santa Lucia Highlands and renowned for its premium Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.

Almost every day until his death in 2008, Eddie Pisoni headed to the fields and vineyards with his grandson, Mark Pisoni, the third generation of Pisoni Farms to farm the land.

"My grandfather loved farming and loved this ranch. I look at the mural everyday and think of him on the side of that barn, looking over his fields. I hope that he would be proud of the job we are doing," Mark Pisoni said.

ABOUT 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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

07/11 SONJA MAGDEVSKI, CASA DUMETZ WINES, CHRISTOPHER HYDE, HYDE VINEYARDS, HYDE DE VILLAINE




SONJA MAGDEVSKI – WINEMAKER, CASA DUMETZ WINES 

Casa Dumetz is located on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail
388 BELL STREET
LOS ALAMOS, CA 93440

Casa Dumetz Wines started in 2004 with a patch of raw earth, a bucket of grapevines and a sincere commitment to produce authentic, elegant and pleasurable wines.  Our focus is small production Rhone varietals crafted on the foundation of premiere Santa Barbara County fruit. Vineyard tours/barrel sampling sessions available by appointment for wine club members. Wines are sold almost exclusively through our tasting room in historic Los Alamos and via our wine club.

ABOUT SONJA:
I approach my work with a lifetime of exquisite flavors, travels and experiences.  A journalist by training and now a winemaker by passion, I am regularly inspired to never quit searching for that moment – the instant where it all makes sense.  The two professions also continue to challenge me whether through words or wine, to craft timeless stories that are better when shared with others.  I have discovered that winemaking and writing are very similar pursuits – the story is in the grapes, the harvest, the people, and the season. Each year is a fresh renewal. My goal today is to create vibrant, balanced and pleasurable wines using the basic ingredients of premium Santa Barbara County fruit, dedication and hard work.

My undergraduate work is in Political Science from the University of Michigan and my graduate work is in Journalism from Michigan State University. I received a Fulbright Scholarship to The Republic of Macedonia in 1998-1999 to study ethnic issues. The pursuit was to better understand the paths toward peace. I do that now through wine. My wine education and training are primarily on the job, in the vineyard and the cellar, and through the viticulture and enology classes at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, Calif. I started making wine in the garage in 2004 and moved to commercial production in 2008. My mentors and inspirations in Santa Barbara County and beyond are too many to list here.  You’d be reading names and places for days.  Thankfully the list keeps growing each year.  This is a wonderful area to make wine with extraordinary fruit.  Come and visit, taste some wine, and I will tell you all about it.

CASADUMETZWINES.COM


CHRISTOPHER HYDE – GENERAL MANAGER, HYDE VINEYARDS & DIRECTOR OF VITICULTURE, HDV HYDE DE VILLAINE

ABOUT HYDE VINEYARDS:
In 1979, Larry Hyde began planting vineyards on the pasture land in Carneros that would become Hyde Vineyards. Larry’s work experience at various vineyards and wineries and travels through the North Coast region led him to this site, with ideal East facing slopes, gentle sun exposure and cool coastal influence. His experimental attitude and pioneer spirit has brought about one of the most unique vineyards in the area. With a great diversity of clonal selections, experiments in vine row orientation, and rootstalk trials which span over 33 years on what is now nearly 200 acres.

In 1980, Larry met his wife Beta in Burgundy where they had been working harvest in Aubert and Pamela DeVillaine’s estate vineyards. Beta, originally from Poland, came to California a few years later. They have two sons, Christopher and Peter, who grew up at Hyde Vineyards, where they worked and played among the vines, making home-made wine and working in the fields, which they continue to do to this day.

Hyde Vineyards is situated on gently rolling hills. Chardonnay variety, which we grow most of, is facing South-East. The soil is about 36 inches deep, and the subsoil is impenetrable clay. Summer temperatures are cooled by its proximity to San Pablo Bay and by the fog. Ancient creekbeds provide drainage to the red clay loam, and add a scattering of rocks. The new plantings are spaced 5.5 x 7 feet, and the rows are oriented North-South.

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER:
Christopher obtained a degree in Agricultural Business and Viticulture from the California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, California. After some work experience in Marketing at Wilson Daniels Co. in 2007, Christopher went to work at Merryvale Vineyards, where he gained valuable vineyard and cellar experience at the Starmont winery in Carneros.  Chris is now at Hyde Vineyards managing the family farm and studying for a Masters degree at Sonoma State University.

ABOUT HDV - HYDE DE VILLAINE:
HdV is a venture between the Hyde Family of Napa Valley and the de Villaine Family of Burgundy. The families, related by marriage, share long histories in French and Californian winemaking. In HdV, we have brought together our knowledge and experience for the purpose of creating single vineyard wines from the slopes of Hyde Vineyards.

A LEGACY OF FARMING & WINEMAKING
HdV is a family venture between Hyde Vineyards of Napa Valley and Aubert & Pamela de Villaine of Burgundy, France.

Aubert de Villaine, married to the Hyde’s cousin Pamela F. de Villaine, is one of Burgundies most recognized individuals. Born and raised in the rich traditions of France’s greatest winemaking techniques, Aubert brings to the partnership the foundation upon which the venture bases its theories and practices.

Larry Hyde came to the Napa Valley over thirty years ago with a great love of wine and the soil.
In 1979, Larry left his job as an apprentice at some of Napa’s finest wineries to purchase and transform the Carneros soils into what is now known as Hyde Vineyards. Twenty-five years later, Hyde Vineyards has become renown for the unique expression of its Carneros terroir.
Joining our venture in 2002, our winemaker, Stéphane Vivier, brings with him skills in vineyard management and winemaking from around the world. Born and raised in France, Stéphane’s skills were cultivated in the vineyards and cellars of Pommard, Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet and then expanded through his work in New Zealand and the Sonoma Coast Appellation.

HdV is bottled under the coat of arms of the historic de la Guerra family from which Pamela de Villaine and the Hydes descend. The De la Guerra Family is one of the oldest winemaking families in California and traces its winemaking history back to a gold medal received at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Fair.

The partnership feels that this coat of arms symbolizes the sense of tradition, family, and winemaking history that the new venture embodies in its philosophy.

WWW.HYDEWINES.COM
WWW.HDVWINES.COM

Monday, June 27, 2016

06/27 CHRIS UPCHURCH, DELILLE CELLARS IN WOODINVILLE WASHINGTON

CHRIS UPCHURCH - EXECUTIVE WINEMAKER AND COFOUNDER,  DELILLE CELLARS IN WOODINVILLE WASHINGTON 

DeLille Cellars is a boutique artisan winery located in Woodinville, Washington. The winery was founded in 1992 by Charles and Greg Lill, Jay Soloff and celebrated winemaker Chris Upchurch. The mission at DeLille Cellars has always been to create a new Bordeaux blend using Washington State vineyards. From the beginning, the winery has looked towards the prestigious Red Mountain AVA as the foundation of its wines, using grapes from its own vineyards in combination with fruit from other top sites in the Yakima Valley.

In 1992, the winery pioneered its Chaleur Estate Rouge and D2, both blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The team at DeLille believed that blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the traditional style would create wines in which each varietal would contribute its own attributes and would create classically structured wines in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, wines that showcase the purity of fruit that defines Washington State terroir, a “first growth” wine from some of the oldest vines in the state. This belief remains one of the winery’s guiding principles today.

In 1994, DeLille Cellars was fortunate to acquire the rights to Harrison Hill vineyard which had some of the oldest vines in the Washington. Now, with vines over 50 years old, Harrison Hill has become one of the most sought after Bordeaux blends in the state.

Observing the Bordeaux tradition of blending varietals together, in 1995 the team at DeLille chose to make a barrel fermented blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for our first white wine:  DeLille’s Chaleur Estate Blanc. We knew this would create a wine with more complexity, diverse aromas and classic structure than many White varietal wines and which would pair well with a wide variety of food.  From the first, we achieved nuances of white flowers, sweet grass, honey suckle, creamy crème brûlée, toasted almonds and more.  Over the years, Chaleur Estate Blanc has shown us all just how well a properly structured white wine can age.

DeLille Cellars is a portfolio company of Bacchus Capital Management, an investment firm providing strategic capital and making equity investments in United States wineries and wine businesses. www.bacchuswinefund.com

ABOUT CHRIS
Executive Winemaker
“At DeLille, we believe that Washington State is a Grand Cru wine growing region, created 10,000 years ago.  The challenge for us has always been and remains: to create special wines from the uniquely expressive terroir that Mother Nature gave us a long time ago,” states DeLille Cellars’ acclaimed winemaker Chris Upchurch. “We know that this challenge of discovery is never ending, and is becoming tradition here at DeLille Cellars.”

Chris’ love for wine started in his youth, with extensive travel throughout the Grand Cru wine-growing regions of Europe and the west coast of the US. "I had to start off developing my palate and my perspective. How can you make great wine if you don’t know what that is?" he reflected.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington, Chris began his career as a wine merchant, working with several of Seattle’s best-known restaurants. This experience allowed him to hone his palate while tasting wines from around the world. Deep in his heart, Chris knew he wanted to express his passion in the production end of the wine industry.

Armed with his love of wine and commitment to learning its craft, Chris initially developed a successful grape-brokerage business contracting grapes from Washington State and selling them to winemakers. Chris uncovered his true calling once he started spending endless hours in the vineyards. That love of the land, the vine and its fruit, fostered Chris’ passion of winemaking and his passion for charting a course in Washington State.

An acclaimed professional winemaker for over twenty years, Chris still spends much of his time in the vineyards of Washington State, primarily Yakima Valley and Red Mountain AVA’s. Reflecting on the great European winemaking tradition, he remarks “The truly long-lived wines are made in the vineyards. I expect to be here for many years to come.”

WWW.DELILLECELLARS.COM