Monday, June 28, 2010

6/28 - Beth Costa, Peter Mondavi,

Beth Costa  Executive Director Russian River Wine Road   
Wending through some of the most picturesque wine country in California, Wine Road, Northern Sonoma County, takes visitors on a sensually gratifying journey of natural beauty, sublime tasting experiences and memorable personal encounters with the state’s most devoted and  individualistic winemakers. Even for veteran wine travelers already well acquainted with  California wine country, Wine Road is likely to be uncharted territory, sure to imbue a fresh sense of discovery. Along the way are some of California’s oldest wineries, run by vintners whose commitment to tending the vines and producing world-class wines, true to the  appellation, runs back generations. Founded more than 30 years ago, Wine Road is an association of wineries and lodgings in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys of Northern Sonoma County. From its modest  beginning as an organization of nine wineries, it has grown into a spirited constellation of more than 150 wineries and 50 lodgings. It’s not actually a “road” in the sense of a single, continuous stretch of paved  highway, but more of a treasure map to the many jewels nestled among the hills and valleys of a region where fresh air, fine wine and exquisite cuisine await those who traverse it.
Peter Mondavi, Jr.   "Charles Krug Winery "   
As the third generation member of the family who owns and operates C. Mondavi & Sons, Peter Mondavi, Jr. now leads the vision for the historic Charles Krug Napa Valley brand. His responsibilities include day-to-day operations such as winemaking and overseeing the 850 acres of Napa Valley estate land, in addition to directing sales and marketing for this brand. As co-proprietor, he works closely with his father and brother, Marc, to carry forward the legacy of the Peter Mondavi Family and steward all of the winery's brands.
The second son of Peter and Blanche Mondavi, Peter Mondavi, Jr. was born in 1958 and raised on the historic winery property. Peter Jr. followed in his father's footsteps by attending Stanford University, where he earned a BS and an MS in Engineering, then an MBA. Peter's engineering background has proved a valuable asset to the winery; he has directed a number of key design projects, including the development of a state-of-the-art winemaking facility. His business education has contributed to the development and execution of the company's long-term strategic plan.  Peter Jr. is overseeing an ambitious, $21.6 million winery and vineyard investment program, focused on replanting the family's 850 acres of prized Napa Valley land and upgrading winemaking operations. The intention is to enhance Charles Krug Winery's reputation as one of Napa Valley's premier properties, centering on the family's tradition of innovation, integrity and quality.  He is a member of numerous wine-related organizations, including the Wine and Food Society of San Francisco and the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. He is a former board member of both the Napa Valley Vintners Association and the Family Winemakers of California.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

6/21-Luis Mora

Luis Mora-Grotto Custom Wine Cellars

Love for wine mixed with ingenuity is the foundation of the leading manufacturer and distributor of premium wine cellar products that confidently says, “Only the best can have the Grotto name on it.” Grotto Custom Wine Cellars and Cabinets has lived up to its claim of superior quality due to the hard work and experience of its founder, Luis Mora.

Prior to the company’s incorporation, Luis Mora had his hands full with wine related ventures. His love for wine was initially kindled by his engagement in a wine company in the late 90’s. To satisfy his interest in wine, he worked as a Sommelier of various upscale restaurants in Orange County. His interaction with other wine lovers and customers of these restaurants fueled his fascination towards wines.

Being a wine lover himself, Mora went to purchase a refrigerator for his collections. It was then that he found out that such items were not available to easily purchase at that time. After extensive research, he was able to locate a company to sell him a wine cooler. That company was located 3,000 miles away in New York. Yet house guests, friends and family loved his wine cooler and wanted one for their own use. And a business idea was born.

Mora was able to purchase more wine coolers from the manufacture and resold them to clients in California. was his new business that grew quickly after Mora made more contacts with home owners and restaurants that were in need of yet more space to house their wine collections.

His natural inclination for innovation and his desire to be the originator and provider for his new found market won him over. He went back to researching to find solutions for his new clients which led him to a Los Angeles wood maker. That partnership was the foundation of Grotto Custom Wine Cellars and the creation of high quality hand crafted wine racks and cellars at an affordable cost.

Mora started with a small garage in Los Angeles to manufacture wine racks which had to quickly expand. The venture continued to increase and a good relationship with wine stores and wine lovers was established. They opened the business for clients nationwide, which also resulted in their need to recruit Mexico craftsmen for the quality of wood work they deliver. All Grotto products are now achieved through the time-honored tradition of old-world quality, hand-made workmanship and attention to detail.

The continuous growth of the business has reached over 120 employees in the last six years. Grotto Custom Wine Cellars continues to grow as they also expand their offerings from not only wine racks and cellars but also a variety of new and exciting wine accessories.

With the continuously growing wine industry, Luis Mora’s fascination with wines will surely continue to ferment as satisfying as the wines being held by the wine racks and cellars Grotto creates and offers its growing number of clients.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

6/14 - Adrian Maher, Allan Scott, Alessia Botturi

What's Cookin' on Wine, the Nations' Premiere Wine Show with Master Sommelier, Michael Jordan & Sommelier, Mike Horn delivers free-form fun with food and wine from Ruth's Chris Steak House in Pasadena, CA. The guys bring you the latest news and trends in the World of Wine, and always have a personal experience and anecdote to share. The show for the premiere wine makers and personalities in the World of Wine is What's Cookin' on Wine with Michael Jordan and Mike Horn.

Allan Scott - Allan Scott Family Winemakers
Alessia Botturi - Sommelier
Adrian Maher - Maher Productions

Friday, June 4, 2010

6/7 - David Hunt, Kevin Brown

David Hunt - Founder of Hunt Cellars
Now drive along the scenic Highway 46 West, about three miles west of the101 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.

Kevin Brown -   GM  Matteos Italian Restaurant  LA
Since it first came onto the scene in 1963, Matteo’s in West L.A. has been the epitome of cool. Maybe it was because Frank Sinatra—an old pal of Matty “Matteo” Jordan’s from back home in Hoboken—often came to dinner along with his rat pack crowd. Maybe it was the mix of great Italian food, tuxedoed waiters and an upscale supper club atmosphere. Or maybe it was just because no matter who you were, you were greeted like a friend as you enjoyed your dinner next to a Who’s Who of Hollywood movers and shakers. What’s amazing is that more than 40 years and a whole new generation later, the restaurant, now under new ownership, still has that winning combination of homey and hip.

Arlene Wszalek - Partner SW14 Group
Saturday, June 12, 2010 - Vintage Hollywood 2010 is shaping up to be a spectacular evening! Our event will take place at the Pacific Palisades home of Mr. Ray Leonard and Mrs. Bernadette Leonard (boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard). Our emcee for the evening will be KNX 1070 Newsradio on-air personality Jim Thornton, and our celebrity auctioneer will be actor/comedian Greg Proops. Winemakers and proprietors from two dozen prestigious producers will be pouring their wines, and a dozen of California's top restaurants will provide the food. Our live and silent auctions will offer dozens of amazing wine, food, travel and VIP items. We allow a maximum of 350 guests into Vintage Hollywood, so buy your tickets now before they sell out! Proceeds from Vintage Hollywood 2010 will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Vintage Hollywood sponsorships start at $1,000 and offer unique extras including (depending on sponsorship level) a private Dinner with the Winemakers on Friday, June 11, signed bottles of wine, limousine transportation to and from the event, and more. Call Annie Aft at (310) 559-6325. To purchase individual tickets to Vintage Hollywood ($200 each).