Monday, December 15, 2014

12/15 ERIC JOHANNSEN, CHAMP DE REVES, STEVEN PEPE, CLOS PEPE VINEYARDS

ERIC JOHANNSEN – WINEMAKER, CHAMP DE REVES

ANDERSON VALLEY

Terroir and Culture
As a winegrowing region, there is no other Pinot Noir AVA in America that has more potential. The features of the valley are a Mecca for the cultivation of Pinot: here one finds daily, cooling maritime influence, dramatic geological contours with high mountains on either side of the valley, rocky soils and a mix of classic California flora and trees.

The ensuing range of Pinot Noir flavor profiles and firm structural elements leave no doubt that the Anderson Valley is qualitatively superb.

Culturally, Anderson Valley is entirely unique. Isolated, eccentric, rugged and populated by artists, winegrowers, orchardists and long-time residents, it has its own flavor and a colorful, much-beloved history.
CHAMP DE RÊVES
Inspired focus on a single wine
We make only one wine—Pinot Noir. Characterized by aromas and flavors of blue/black fruit, floral and spice elements, earth and a distinct minerality, Champ de Rêves’ calling card is its mouthfeel, which exhibits both a silky textural trait and a firm, gravelly structure that's a testament to its high altitude origins.

Champ de Rêves winemaker Eric Johannsen has over a decade of experience in Pinot Noir winemaking throughout the vineyards of California.

“Anderson Valley is like nowhere else. The region manages to express the quintessential nuance and complexity of Pinot Noir, while at the same time conferring optimal ripeness. Add an epic vineyard with dozens of tiny, unique blocks, and there's plenty of cause for excitement.”— Eric Johannsen

CHAMPDEREVESVINEYARDS.COM


STEVEN PEPE – CLOS PEPE VINEYARDS  - DEFINING THE EDGE:  A SURVEY OF THE EASTERN BOUNDARY LINE OF THE STA. RITA HILLS AVA.

Clos Pepe Vineyard was purchased by Steve and Cathy Pepe in 1994 as a horse ranch, and established the 9th vineyard in what would become the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Specializing in cool-climate, small production, craft-based Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Clos Pepe is now recognized as a leader in local and national wine culture, wine education and providing fruit to some of the best winemakers in California.

The Italians say, ‘Il vino e' la Poesia della Terra.’  Wine is the poetry of the earth.  There is nothing that can obfuscate Pinot Noir’s ability to speak of a time and place.  Of every plant on earth, Pinot Noir is unique in its ability to show every angle of a vintage, every silt particle in the soil, and every drop of morning dew that wet its leaves. Tea, coffee, white truffles—these can tell a story and confound us with their deliciousness, but the uncontested Queen of Natural Complexity must be Pinot Noir. We anticipate each vintage with a proper mix of anxiety and hope, knowing Mother Nature and the Sta. Rita Hills have a plan that will allow time and effort to fill a glass.

VINEYARD PHILOSOPHY

There are no secrets at Clos Pepe. We don't hide our cultural practices, yields, harvest chemistry or our winemaking methods. We believe that the combination of climate, people and dirt combine to make a quality of fruit and wine that is perfectly unique and impossible to reproduce.

Great wine is about place, but without the hard work and planning of our crew and staff, Clos Pepe would be a hillside covered with weeds, grasses and a few flowers. So there is some 'magic' to the way we farm, but it is more like taking the tarnish off of a silver chalice than building the chalice itself. The key to enable this piece of land to express itself naturally through the wines we grow--to let the Vintage's voice emerge in harmony with vineyard and varietal.

CLOSPEPE.COM

Monday, December 8, 2014

12/08 MIKE TRUJILLO, SEQUOIA GROVE WINERY, BRIAN TALLEY, TALLEY VINEYARDS

MIKE TRUJILLO - PRESIDENT, DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING, SEQUOIA GROVE WINERY    

OUR  HISTORY
Sequoia Grove is a family-owned winery founded in 1979 in a 110-year old barn beneath a grove of Sequoia trees in Rutherford, Napa Valley. It is here where we’ve honed our craft of creating world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and other Napa Valley wines that emphasize elegance, finesse, structure and balance.  Our consistent philosophy of making wines with varietal character that are reflective of the land helped establish Sequoia Grove as one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Napa Valley.  Our 24-acre Estate Vineyard and 50-acre Tonella Ranch Vineyard are both located in the heart of Rutherford, where the superb climate and gravelly-loam soils impart distinct flavor in the Bordeaux varieties.

NAPA VALLEY WINES
Our Napa Valley Wines represent the core of our wine.  Sourced from our own Estate vineyards and other A-list vineyards, our Napa Valley Wines are made in a food-friendly style that emphasizes structure and balance.  Our limited-production top-tier red blend, Cambium, is crafted from the very best barrels to capture a portrait of the vintage in a luxurious and elegant frame.

ABOUT MICHAEL TRUJILLO - PRESIDENT, DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING
With more than 30 years of winemaking experience in Napa Valley, Michael Trujillo has continually enhanced the quality of the wines at Sequoia Grove, among other projects initiating important expansion of Estate vineyard holdings and creating Cambium, an iconic new wine in the Sequoia Grove portfolio.

Trujillo’s introduction to winemaking occurred in 1982 when, on spring break from his engineering program at Colorado College, he took a road trip to California and dropped by Sequoia Grove to visit family friend Jim Allen, who then offered him a job. Trujillo learned his craft in the vineyards and winery from Jim Allen, as well as from consultants André Tchelistcheff and Tony Soter; “André taught me the importance of balance, and Tony taught me modern techniques and ways to avoid winemaking problems,” he says.

COMING UP:
A TASTE FOR CABERNET – SELECT DATES

For 2 to 12 people
1 hr 15 min
$50.00 per person

"A Taste for Cabernet” is a private experience that uses Sequoia Grove’s vineyard-designated Cabernet program to illustrate how what’s in the vineyard gets into the glass. Cabernet is meant to be enjoyed with food, so after the tasting, it’s time to demystify the rules of food & wine pairing—because while some of the popular pairing rules work, others are best broken. Instead of matching food and wine by weight or color, we offer a different approach to optimize your enjoyment of Cabernet.

WWW.SEQUOIAGROVE.COM


BRIAN TALLEY – OWNER/WINEGROWER, TALLEY VINEYARDS - GREAT ROBERT PARKER REVIEWS FOR TALLEY VINEYARDS

BIO
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.

HISTORY
For three generations the Talley family has farmed in the Southern 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 winegrapes 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 165 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 state-of-the-art 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 30,000 cases annually.  Brian and Johnine Talley own and operate Talley Vineyards, while Brian, Todd, Ryan and Rosemary Talley manage Talley Farms.

**IN THE NEWS**
Robert Parker's New Reviews  - We are thrilled to share our excellent scores from Jeb Dunnuck of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

"I was blown away by this latest set of releases from winemaker Brian Talley. Across the board, the wines have fabulous typicity, purity and class, and are some of the greatest expressions of the varieties coming out of California today. I can't recommend them enough. Note, the Bishop's Peak release comes from purchased grapes from a variety of Central Coast Vineyards."

WWW.TALLEYVINEYARDS.COM

Monday, December 1, 2014

12/01 MORGAN MCLAUGHLIN, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY VINTNERS ASSOCIATION, KEY TO WINE COUNTRY, CLAY MAURITSON, MAURITSON ESTATE WINES

MORGAN MCLAUGHLIN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SANTA BARBARA COUNTY VINTNERS ASSOCIATION – KEY TO WINE COUNTRY 

The Key to Wine Country is your opportunity to unlock  unique and exclusive experiences in Santa Barbara Wine Country.

MEET THE WINEMAKERS
FOOD & WINE PAIRINGS
BARREL TASTINGS
BLENDING SESSIONS
OPEN HOUSES
DISCOUNTS
& SPECIALS

It's like a wine tasting passport...a passport that gets you in the VIP line no one knows about.

Your Key will allow you into special experiences and events, along with giving you special offers and deals,  at 38 participating wineries and at 10 restaurants throughout Santa Barbara County December 5 - 7.  Once you purchase a Key, you will receive a secret password that will enable you to make reservations to attend these experiences and events. There is no limit or maximum amount of events you can attend. Don't forget to book a transportation package on Saturday and Sunday, so you don't have to worry about wine tasting and driving. Keys are limited, so purchase yours today!

WWW.SBCOUNTYWINES.COM


CLAY MAURITSON - OWNER AND WINEMAKER, MAURITSON ESTATE WINES

Six generations of farming has taught us a few things about choosing premium fruit! Each harvest, the best from our 230 acres throughout the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys is reserved for our Estate Wines. These wines, which include our signature Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, showcase the fruit-forward, floral and spice-driven characteristics attributed to these appellations.

BIO

Up and coming young winemaker, Clay Mauritson, is the sixth generation in a family of grape growers. Born and raised in the Dry Creek Valley, Clay was destined for the wine business.

In college Clay exhibited his prowess on the gridiron, playing outside linebacker for the University of Oregon Ducks in the 1995 Rose Bowl and the 1996 Cotton Bowl. Clay graduated in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Economics. Armed with his new degree he came back to Sonoma County to officially enter the wine industry.

Clay worked for 5 years at Kenwood Vineyards in the Sales & Marketing Department (starting even before he graduated from college), spending much of his time traveling and making sales contacts as Assistant National Sales Manager. After leaving Kenwood, Clay had the opportunity to work with the winemakers at Taft Street Vineyards and Dry Creek Vineyards, allowing him to hone his winemaking skills and gain additional knowledge of winery operations. From the 1998 vintage Clay produced his first bottling of Dry Creek Zinfandel under the Mauritson label, and in 2002 he began devoting his efforts full-time to the Mauritson Family Winery project.

Clay's winemaking philosophy is simple…you need exceptional fruit to make exceptional wine. This is where the advantage of having a family heritage of grape growers becomes obvious…270 acres of family vineyard and strong relationships built over the years with other growers have given Clay access to some of the best fruit that Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley and Rockpile have to offer. Devoted to making exceptional wines, Clay is on his way to becoming one of California's foremost young winemakers.

Clay lives in Healdsburg with his wife Carrie-Anne and dogs SoHo and Chelsea.