Monday, August 22, 2016



SBRAGIA FAMILY VINEYARD IS A DREAM THAT I've had for some time, a small, family-owned winery making limited, individual lots of wine from grapes grown in select blocks of my favorite vineyards. I've always had one foot in Sonoma and the other in Napa. Both areas mean a lot to me emotionally. I'm more attached to Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley because it's where I raised my kids. But the wines that I've made at Beringer are like children, so Napa is also a very special place for me. Either way, the wines are intensely personal, an expression not only of terroir, but of my family's winemaking heritage.

Our history in Healdsburg dates back to my grandfather who came from Tuscany in 1904 and worked in many wineries including the historic Italian Swiss Colony. I had the pleasure of working with my father in our family vineyards in Dry Creek Valley while growing up. His philosophy was that winemaking was a natural process; all you needed for good wine was good land, good grapes and good techniques. He was right, and that has been my guiding principle since the start of my career.

A big part of the appeal of doing my own label is working with my family. My son, Adam, makes the wines with me. My youngest son, Kevin, works in the cellar during harvest. Adam's wife, Kathy, runs our HR, and my wife, Jane, and daughter, Gina, are often found helping out in the tasting room. With the birth of Adam and Kathy's two daughters Siena and Gemma Julia, the fifth generation of the Sbragia family continues to thrive here in the beautiful Dry Creek Valley.

The family vineyards are my father's legacy to me and my children. I love this land and making wine from it, and bottling it under the family name affirms all the work my father did for me. It's something I had to do to say thank you to him, my dad, Gino. -Ed Sbragia

At Sbragia Family Vineyards, we source grapes from about 50 acres of family-owned estate vineyards that the Sbragias have been farming for over 100 years in historic Dry Creek Valley, just outside the town of Healdsburg. Ed and Adam also purchase grapes from thier favorite vineyards throughout Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

I've always had one foot in Sonoma and one in Napa, with a deep appreciation and passion for the unique character of each growing region. After 32 years of making wine in the Napa Valley, I returned home to Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma to start a small family-owned winery making limited, individual lots of wine from grapes grown select blocks of my favorite Sonoma and Napa Vineyards." - Ed Sbragia


Joshua Klapper – Winemaker, La Fenêtre / TIMBRE WINERY 

La Fenêtre was founded in 2005 by a sommelier with a simple idea — to produce balanced, food friendly wines from some of the worlds finest vineyard sources. Expressing the terroir of the Santa Maria Valley, and the Central Coast at large is our guiding principle. That means picking at the perfect balance of sugar and acidity, employing minimally invasive techniques in the winery, stringent barrel selection, and a long, slow aging period, both in barrel and bottle.

In my opinion, winemaking is a method of expressing terroir, and not just any terroir, but great terroir.

What is ter·roir (terˈwär/)? The complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. It includes the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.

To recognize great terroir, one needs to have experienced it in its many facets, and that is where my background as a sommelier gives me a leg up. Having tasted many of the world’s greatest wines, greatest vintages, and greatest winemakers, I have learned to read the intrinsic quality of a wine, and through that wine, the place from which it was born.

The goal of our winemaking is to express a snapshot of a place (vineyard) and time (vintage) that will never occur again. That goal is achieved through enhancing and showcasing the terroir, not hiding it. We strive to produce wines of balance which serves to convey not any one element – aroma, sweetness, acidity, alcohol, minerality, earth, complexity – but all of the elements in the wine in perfect harmony. To that end, the fruit is picked at a reasonable level of potential alcohol (nothing obscures terroir like over-ripeness of fruit), and is then handled gently in the winery using minimally invasive techniques. The wine is then given the time in barrel that it needs to become fully realized. No wine is bottled before its time!

Pinot Noir:
Pinot Noir is certainly finicky. You must pay attention to Pinot Noir, but don’t try to poke and prod or you will have destroyed its essence. I believe the key is to start with fruit that has been grown to the highest standards from a place where the terroir’s beauty is evident. We typically destem the fruit into small fermenters, but sometimes, it is added as whole clusters. The wine is then punched down by hand, or gently pumped over until the fermentation is complete. We then collect the free run and press juice in barrel for a long, slow maturation until the wine is ready to be bottled.

Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed in order to keep the harsh elements in the skins and seeds from adulterating the flesh of the grape. The juice is collected and settled before going into barrel where it will spend its entire life in the cellar, from fermentation to aging on the fine lees through to bottling. Chardonnay’s beauty lies in its aromatics and texture, and its ability to take in oxygen during the barrel aging and produce flavors like almonds, coconut, and passion fruit and the texture of silk to accompany the bright citrus qualities inherent in its grapes from the moment of picking.

Riesling, like Pinot Noir, is a great expresser of terroir. Unlike Pinot Noir though, which likes to be handled very carefully so as not to upset its precarious balance, Riesling can be stripped down to its bare bones. The fruit is picked more for its high level of acidity than any other factor inherent in the grape. After whole cluster pressing, the juice is fined with a natural clay, which pulls out solids and leaves the juice perfectly clear. Then, the juice is chilled to 50 degrees to await the start of fermentation, which is slow and methodical (at around 55 degrees) taking from 4-8 weeks to complete. Once the sugar has balanced the acidity in the fruit, the wine is chilled all the way down to 30 degrees to stop fermentation, where it stays until it is ready to be bottled.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016



Born and raised in the South, Amanda Head's strong conservative background is highly evident in both her professional and personal life. A Birmingham, Alabama native, she's lived in Los Angeles since graduating with her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Auburn University. In addition to her business degree, Amanda acquired her minor in Applied Music (voice.) Amanda was the first freshman ever to become Miss Auburn University, where she advocated for music as a form of therapy in schools for students with learning disabilities and in hospitals and nursing homes as therapy for the elderly.  Upon graduation, she moved to California to pursue music and film. Amanda is a seasoned classical singer and has performed in such venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Ford Amphitheater and in Austin, Texas at SXSW Music Festival. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Amanda performed all over the southeast and New York, in musical theater and opera. Amanda's classical background allowed her to be vocally flexible and because of that, she has achieved success in many genres, notably, opera, jazz and pop. Amanda was the lead singer of an electro-pop duo whose first single charted at #36 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40. Her duo toured nationally and found notoriety for their singles “Tear Me Down” and “Strip Me Bare.”

From 2006 to 2016, Amanda was bound to various music contracts which prevented her from speaking publicly about her political positions. After a great deal of consideration, in January of 2016, Amanda decided to step away from the entertainment industry. She had grown increasingly concerned with her generation’s lack of incentive to be involved in our country’s future and wanted to make a difference. Amanda’s first step was to start a video blog called The Hollywood Conservative. With her political persuasion in Los Angeles, she felt she had a niche and a unique perspective for reaching audiences nationally who also are dissatisfied with the direction our leaders are taking our country. In the process of creating branding and putting together her first video blog episode, Amanda was invited to go to CPAC. She gained a great deal of attention in the political realm at CPAC where she was offered her own radio show on Conservative Commandos Radio in Philadelphia. Her show, The Hollywood Conservative, airs every Wednesday on WNJC 1360AM in the Philadelphia market. You can also listen on iheartradio andtunein. Amanda also serves as a weekly guest on The John Cardillo Show on CRN.



Proprietor and winemaker David W. Hejl launched DELLA (now Domaine Della) wines with fellow founders, his sister and brother-in-law, Lee and Ernie LeRoy. Domaine Della honors their mother, Della Winifred Dale, who died long before her time.

Hejl developed a passion for fine wine working as a waiter, sommelier and chef while in school, but found true inspiration living in Paris. He has been crafting Pinot Noir since 2010 and the first releases are scheduled for 2014. The winery will focus on Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast and will be sold through a mailing list.
Domaine Della is my passion realized from the shared vision of fellow founders; my sister and brother-in- law, Lee and Ernie LeRoy. Domaine Della honors our mother who died long before her time. Della Winifred Dale was a strong woman with a relentless commitment to life, raising eleven strong, intense and complex children. She was an extraordinary woman who believed in living the life you always imagined and in pursuing one’s dreams no matter the obstacles.

My passion for fine wine began while putting myself through school working as a waiter, sommelier and chef, but I found my true inspiration while living in Paris. It was there that I first experienced the art of wine, food and culture in a way that was spiritual. Having been a student of fine wine and food my whole life, this project is a culmination of three decades of experience.

I have been hand crafting distinctive Pinot Noir since 2010. Domaine Della was created around my obsession and enchantment with Pinot Noir. I am so grateful to my many mentors over the years to get me to this place. My quest is to create an exceptional wine for you and your shared special moments and memories while executing against the envisioned future of a timeless brand which will endure the generations.

Our mission is to craft intense and adventurous wines by partnering with the very best growers to create an exceptional wine. Scheduled for release in 2014, these wines are extremely limited production. I invite you to experience Domaine Della, a true expression of the place from where it was grown, in harmony and balance from the finest vineyards of Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.

David Hejl is the Founder / Winemaker of Domaine Della and the former General Manager and CEO of Kosta Browne Winery in Sebastopol, California. At Kosta Browne, the team's value creation successfully led us to a letter of intent to divest to a synergistic buyer; that deal is now closed. Prior to joining Kosta Browne, David accumulated over 30 years experience in growth-oriented strategy execution within the food and consumer products industry and held executive positions with Nabisco, Berkshire Hathaway, Gourmet Award Foods, Ruiz Food Products as well as 15 years of private equity experience as a Partner and Operating Team Member with Unique Partners and currently sits on various Boards of Directors.

David received his BS in Accounting and Finance from the University of Nebraska, is a CPA, holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management as well as a graduate of the Wine Executive Program at the University of California, Davis. David is also a noted speaker and has been on the Marketing faculty of the University of San Francisco, McLaren School of Management, Marquette University and the University of St. Thomas.

David and his two boys Andrew and Zachary have lived in Sonoma County for over fifteen years and reside in Bennett Valley. David enjoys running, surfing, skiing, BBQ, winemaking and wine collecting, travel and adventure and spending time with family and friends.


Monday, August 8, 2016



There is very good reason Bob Cabral’s name is synonymous with great Pinot Noir. With decades of experience in Sonoma County, Bob’s passion, experience and following for his work with the varietal is second to none. From 1998 to 2014 Bob was winemaker for Williams Selyem. There, he led the winery into a new era, overseeing an expansion of new vineyard sources and bottlings for the brand, along with the construction of a state-of the art winery.

Bob’s interest in wine and farming began in childhood helping his grandfather make wine in a barn. Growing up pruning grapes, irrigating vineyards and harvesting grapes became routine on his family’s 70-acre ranch near Escalon, CA. A fourth generation farmer and grape grower from the great San Joaquin Valley, he took all he learned at the family farm and applied it to his degrees at Fresno State University.

While in college, his passion for Pinot Noir became evident as he spent every spare dime, and a good chunk of his student loans, on buying wines from all over the world—mostly Burgundy and Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs. After graduating in the mid-1980s, Bob knew that Sonoma County was where he could best hone his skills and make wines to rival the best in the world. He spent 11 vintages in various winemaking positions—associate winemaker at DeLoach Vineyards, custom crush winemaker at Kunde Family Estate, winemaker at Alderbrook Vineyards and winemaker at Hartford Court Winery—before taking his seminal position at Williams Selyem.

Bob’s winemaking philosophy has remained constant throughout his career—to source and farm the best fruit possible, with minimal intervention in the cellar. He was awarded the 2011 Wine Star Award from the Wine Enthusiast as “Winemaker of the Year.” He joined Three Sticks in 2015, with fervent enthusiasm. Bob lives in the Russian River Valley where and is a devoted husband and father to his wife and daughter.

This is the one you've been waiting for! Bob Cabral debuts his vision of our Estate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay in our upcoming Fall Release. Bob and the team are excited to share these wines and our Sonoma Cabernet with you! Update your account now and check out the wines below to get ready for the big day.

2014 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay
Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir
2014 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir
2013 Moon Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon

To reserve your allocation early, contact us at: or 707-996-3328 ext. 1



The Merrill Family’s agricultural heritage and grape growing history dates back at least 8 generations on California’s central coast. A former family ranch still is home to a grape arbor planted in the 19th century. Today, Dana and Marsha Merrill and son Matthew farm the vineyards, while Matthew's winemaking is complemented by winemaker par excellence, Jim Shumate.

After nearly 30 years of growing grapes for many of the finest wineries in California, ranging from ultra premium small producers to the largest international brands, the  Merrill’s decided to produce their own wines.  In addition to the family estate, the finest blocks of grapes from Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties are selected from vineyards managed by a sister firm, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. All wines produced are exclusively farmed by the Merrill's who believe that control from planting and pruning through harvest, fermentation and cellaring is critical for success. It also ensure a uniform dedication to Sustainability, which led our recent Certification to the  SIP program within the Central Coast Vineyard Team.The family believes in community and industry involvement. Dana Merrill was the first San Luis Obispo County Chair of the California Assn of Winegrape Growers,  a charter member of the pioneering vineyard Sustainability group, the Central Coast Vineyard Team and is a past two term Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

Dana is a seventh-generation Californian with roots on the Central Coast dating back to the days of the California Missions. Raised in the Santa Ynez valley, he is a lifelong farmer, having graduated from Cal Poly with an Agriculture Business degree and continuing on to full-time farming soon thereafter. He began raising winegrapes in 1981 and eventually gained extensive experience managing vineyards for top premium brands in Monterey, Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. He founded Mesa Vineyard Management in 1989, and industry leader on the Central Coast, which has allowed him to work side-by-side with many of California wine's biggest players and most coveted vineyards.

In 2002, Dana had the good fortune to discover and purchase one such vineyard on Templeton's South El Pomar Road: what is now called the Pomar Junction Vineyard. For six years the Merrill family labored to bring the 40-acre vineyard up to the standards of the Central Coast Vineyard Team's "Sustainability In Practice" (SIP) certification (one of the program's first participants and champions) and to renovate the existing building for a tasting room. The Pomar Junction tasting room opened in 2008 followed by a production estate winery in 2011.

Dana's community involvement includes acting as a founding member of the widely-respected Central Coast Vineyard Team which teaches and encourages sustainable vineyard practices; chairing the California Association of Winegrape Growers as a representative of Paso Robles; serving on the California Pierce's Disease Board; and serving two terms on the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association boards, among others.  Dana has recently been honored as the 2012 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year.

Mesa Vineyard Management Inc, was founded in 1989 by Dana and Marsha Merrill to offer premium vineyard management services to the Central Coast. Mesa Vineyard Management Inc. specializes in San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Clients include winery and grower-owned acreage.

Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. continues to be a leader in developing the region’s reputation for quality wine growing and in developing new growing techniques, especially Sustainable Farming. It is a founding member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team (SIP The Good Life), and non profit promoting such efforts among local growers and wineries.

In 2001 a corporate headquarters was established in Templeton, CA, which is in the Paso Robles growing region. the company has vertically integrated by establishing Mesa Vineyard Custom Services, a subsidiary specializing in supporting other browsers and wineries with vineyard construction and mechanical harvesting operations.

The Merrill family believes in community and industry involvement. Dana Merrill was the first San Luis Obispo County Chair of the California Association of Winegrape Growers,  a charter member of the pioneering vineyard Sustainability group, the Central Coast Vineyard Team and is a past two term Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.  Dana has been the "Wine Industry Person of the Year" from multiple organizations including the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.