Monday, February 12, 2018

02/12 DAN FREDMAN, WORLD OF PINOT NOIR, GARY PISONI, PISONI VINEYARDS

WORLD OF PINOT NOIR BOARD MEMBER, DAN FREDMAN TALKS ABOUT THE POPULAR PAIRING DINNERS AND HOW TO GET TICKETS

WORLD OF PINOT NOIR
March 2-3, 2018
RITZ-CARLTON BACARA
Santa Barbara, California
The annual World of Pinot Noir event gathers the planet’s foremost Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars in a weekend-long seaside celebration of this delicious and storied wine.

Each year more than 200 Pinot Noir producers from around the world convene on California’s coast to share and discuss their wines. Santa Barbara is blessed with a climate that provides fresh fare year-round; taste how our talented chefs pair their most creative, locally focused dishes with Pinot Noir from around the world.


GARY PISONI – PISONI VINEYARDS

THE FAMILY
Three generations of living on and working the land comprising Pisoni Vineyards has inserted this beloved place into our family’s DNA. Looking out over this land we feel our connection to it running deep and strong, like looking at our children and seeing our own reflections.

Walking, watching, farming and feeling each of the 20 distinctive parcels in 40 acres, we breathe in energy and beauty and breathe out pride and knowing. Each day, season and generation brings a deeper sense of belonging, stewardship and evolving.

Farming is what we do. Gary’s parents, Jane and Eddie Pisoni, first started farming in the Salinas Valley in 1952. They fostered this sense of pride for farming, place and family that has carried through the Pisoni Family ever since.

It was Gary who, in following his passion for wine, introduced the family to growing grapes in the mountains—at a time when everyone thought he was crazy to do so.

The Pisoni family’s goal: grow exceptional grapes to make exceptional wine. Wines made by the Pisoni family are bottled under the Pisoni Estate and Lucia labels.  Gary and his two sons, Mark and Jeff, farm and produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from their three vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands: Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes vineyards.  These vineyards and wines represent an extreme commitment to farming and classical winemaking.

ABOUT GARY PISONI
True dedication to Pinot Noir.
Gary Pisoni exudes passion—for adventure, for family, for grape growing, for wine. He combines all of these by pouring his enthusiasm and energy into Pisoni Vineyards. Described as “the new face of American Pinot Noir” and “Burgundian-crazy about his vines,” Gary grows grapes using meticulous viticultural practices. Over the last 30+ years, he has transformed the mountainous property where his parents once grew vegetables, grazed a few horses and head of cattle into one of California’s most renowned vineyards.

Monday, February 5, 2018

02/05 BOB CABRAL, THREE STICKS WINES, ALLEN BALIK, THE CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION, A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS

BOB CABRAL - DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING, THREE STICKS WINES & FOUNDER/WINEMAKER, BOB CABRAL WINES
 
ABOUT THREE STICKS WINES: 
Three Sticks Wines is a boutique, family-owned winery founded by Bill Price (William S. Price III). Founded in 2002, the winery is named for Bill’s surfing nickname, “Billy Three Sticks,” which was assigned to him in his youth as a reference to the three Roman numerals that follow his name. As a long-time fan and collector of wines from the Durell Vineyard, Price purchased  the property from Ed Durell in 1998, and launched Three Sticks a few years later.

In 2015, Bob Cabral, former winemaker for Williams Selyem, and Ryan Prichard, former assistant winemaker for Medlock Ames, joined the Three Sticks Team. Don Van Staaveren, who had been with Three Sticks since 2004, remains as Winemaker Emeritus. Cabral and Prichard will be focusing on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production, while Van Staaveren will continue to focus on the Cabernets.

The winery is housed in an industrial area near downtown Sonoma, among a cluster of other artisan wine producers known as the Eighth Street Wineries. In keeping with the winery’s “no crush” policy, every lot of grapes to come in is treated with utmost care and minimal handling. The winemaking team insists on keeping every vineyard block separate from the others from the moment they are picked on through fermentation, barrel aging and final blending.

In 2014, Three Sticks opened a tasting salon in downtown Sonoma: The Adobe (a.k.a. the VallejoCasteñada Adobe, #theadobe). Built circa 1842 and located just off the plaza in downtown Sonoma, the Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe was one of Sonoma’s oldest and longest occupied residences and remains one of the last standing buildings from California’s Mexican Period. It’s transformation into the Three Sticks tasting salon was directed by noted San Francisco designer Ken Fulk.

ABOUT BOB
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 May 1998 thru December 2014 Bob was winemaker & general manager for Williams Selyem Winery in Healdsburg. 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 new state-of the art winery in 2009.

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 1984, 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 18 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,” 2 years after being awarded the first perfect 100 point Pinot Noir in North America. He joined Three Sticks in 2015, with fervent enthusiasm.


BARBARA BALIK FROM THE CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION - A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS

A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS  

The California Winemasters is a perennial Wine Spectator Top 10 Charity Wine Auction set for May 19, 2018 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.  This extraordinary event showcases 50 international chefs and 75 of California’s Finest Wineries.  “Winemasters” has raised more than $30 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.  Its 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’oeuvres dinner!

ABOUT THE CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. We fund more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. We are a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle. Our 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. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease.

Monday, January 29, 2018

01/29 LARRY VAN AALST, SONOMA HAPPENINGS, WES HAGEN, J. WILKES WINES, CYRIL CHAPPELLET, CHAPPELLET


LARRY VAN AALST – WINE TRENDS AND SONOMA HAPPENINGS

LARRY IS AN EXPERT ON WINE WHO IS SOUGHT AFTER FOR, TASTING AND MAJOR SOMMELIER EVENTS IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA. HE COMMENTS ON THE INDUSTRY, WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SONOMA AREA AND HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT WINE.


WES HAGEN - WINEMAKER, BRAND AMBASSADOR, J. WILKES WINES


J. Wilkes is a brand dedicated to producing wines from the greatest American Viticultural Areas (AVA’s) on the Central Coast of California. Instead of the ‘selfie’ of vineyard designation, we believe the greatest value and expression of a winegrowing area is careful blending of vineyards and harvest dates. Our goal in crafting these wines is to source the highest quality fruit and to age and bottle our wines with a focus on allowing vintage and region to show clearly and deliciously. We invite you to navigate this website as Jeff Wilkes sailed the Pacific—note the cool breeze and the manifest beauty in every moment, in every sip. Our winemaker Wes Hagen is always available to answer your questions.



CYRIL CHAPPELLET - CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, CHAPPELLET 

The Chappellet family’s romance with Pritchard Hill started more than four decades ago when Donn and Molly Chappellet first glimpsed its magnificent vista of forests and wildflower-filled meadows. Inspired by the notion that Bacchus loves the hills, the Chappellets followed the advice of renowned winemaker André Tchelistcheff and settled on Pritchard Hill’s rocky slopes, becoming the first winery to plant vineyards exclusively on high-elevation hillsides. From these Pritchard Hill vineyards, the Chappellets have been crafting extraordinary, age-worthy wines since 1967. Pritchard Hill’s rugged terroir has become legendary for producing wines with great intensity and depth—qualities that define the world's finest Cabernet Sauvignons. As a result, Chappellet wines have consistently received the highest praise from critics, and are sought after by the world's premier collectors. Today, a second generation of the family has joined their parents in embracing the romance of Pritchard Hill. They are passionate about preserving the land and continuing what Donn and Molly began—making extraordinary wines.