Monday, March 14, 2011

3/14 Gary Pisoni, Tantara Wines, Master Sommelier Keith Goldston

Gary Pisoni Visits with Us and Talks About His Wines from the Beautiful Salinas Valley!

When Jane and Eddie Pisoni started farming vegetables in the Salinas Valley in 1946, they had no idea what lie ahead for the future Pisoni generations. They started a heritage that continues today. Their son Gary, an avid wine collector, had ambitious dreams of his own vineyard. In 1982, against many obstacles, Gary planted his first 5 acres of vines. With the success of his first vineyard, he planted an additional 40 acres. Today Pisoni Vineyards consists primarily of Pinot Noir, with most of the grapes sold to recognized producers of vineyard-designated wines. The partnerships with these small wineries are based on long-term friendship and enthusiasm for great wine.

In 1998, they started retaining a small percentage of grapes for their own Pisoni Estate label.

Gary Pisoni exudes passion—for adventure, for family and friends, for grape growing and definitely for wine. He is the Burgundian-crazed founder and visionary of Pisoni Vineyards & Winery. After collecting and making wine for most of his life, Gary wanted to plant a vineyard of his own. He was fascinated by the mountain landscape of the ranch his parents purchased in 1979, so he decided to plant the first vines early in the spring of 1982, without even having a source of water. As he will tell you, the story started with him driving a water truck from the Salinas Valley floor to the vineyard to irrigate his young vines, which would struggle to survive in the shallow, granitic soil.

After ten years, Gary finally discovered a well hidden within the far reaches of the mountains. With this source, Gary propagated his vines and began selling grapes to California’s finest Pinot Noir producers. In 1998, he started the Pisoni Estate label. According to Wine Enthusiast, this free spirit and maverick among winegrowers personifies the new face of American Pinot Noir.

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Winemaker Jeffery Fink Tells Us About Tantara Wines!

Tantara was the name of a horse owned by Bill Cates some years ago. After Tantara was retired to pasture, she defied predictions of an imminent demise and lived to a ripe old age. Horses symbolize elegance, grace and power and in Tantara's case, long life, all of which are qualities they embrace for their wine.

Since 1997, Tantara has been dedicated to producing the very finest Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Located on the beautiful Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley (Santa Barbara County), our wines are sourced from top Central Coast growers and vineyard designate from vineyards such as Bien Nacido, Dierberg, Solomon Hills, Sanford & Benedict, Rio Vista, Talley Rincon, La Colline (Laetitia), Silacci, Pisoni, Garys', and Brosseau. In addition to their two acres of Bien Nacido G Block Pinot Noir, in 1999 they planted ten acres of Pinot Noir and two acres of Syrah which will bring their own vineyard holding to about fourteen acres when these new plantings come online in 2005. This fruit will then make up their estate bottling.Because of their commitment to detail and the finite amount of fruit that meets their standards, total winery production remains small.

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Master Sommelier, Keith Goldston! Keith Will Tell Us About The World of Pinot

In March 2001 Keith Goldston became America's 47th Master Sommelier. He is the proud recipient of the illustrious Krug Cup trophy, passing all three parts of the exam (theory, tasting and practical), on the first attempt. This feat had not been accomplished in over 10 years.

Although Keith is currently one of the world's youngest Master Sommeliers, he brings with him more than 19 years experience working for a variety of prestigious and award winning restaurants & wineries including Domaine Chandon, Masa's, Spago, and Picasso. Wine Spectator has called Keith "a wizard at matching food with interesting wines".

Since passing the Masters Exam Keith has been involved in a variety of projects, many of them with star Chef Charlie Palmer. Keith has worked at Charlie's Las Vegas restaurants; Charlie Palmer Steak and Aureole with its "wine tower" and digital wine list featuring over 4000 different wines. Keith was also hired to open Charlie Palmer Steak Washington D.C. For Charlie Palmer Steak DC, Keith created the "all-American wine list"; offering over 800 wines all exclusively produced in the U.S.A. Keith and Charlie also teamed up to produce a series of private-label wines, where Keith was able to craft the blends with top winemakers in Sonoma. Keith loves to educate and lecture and has had the privilege to teach over 1500 students.

Keith has taught classes at COPIA & the Culinary Institute of America plus travels to exotic locations such as Seoul where he lectured at the Korean Wine Academy and represented the U.S.A. as a wine judge in Korea's first international wine competition. Keith has traveled to India to help with the opening of India's first wine bar, "The Tasting Room" in Mumbai as well as providing extensive staff training for India's top two hotel groups, the Taj and Oberoi. Keith is a regular fixture at the Court of Master Sommeliers Courses, teaching and testing aspiring sommeliers in the ways and standards of the Court.

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