Monday, May 30, 2011

5/30-Encore Broadcast of Ray Franscioni and Dana Merrill

Encore Broadcast. Happy Memorial Day!

Ray Franscioni-Owner Ray Franscioni Wines

Ray Franscioni is third generation Monterey County. Ray and family have gained a reputation for providing the finest grapes to some of the industry’s best known producers. Vintners like Kendall-Jackson, Mer Soleil, Morgan, Cru, and Joullian purchase fruit for their best vintages from the various Franscioni estates.
It is only recently, though, that wine lovers could collect wines from the Franscioni vineyards under the family’s own labels. Teaming with award-winning winemaker Joel Burnstein, Ray Franscioni and family have introduced their limited Puma Road, Pedregal, and Lilia releases. Wines with a delicious sense of place, the result of two decades winegrowing experience...

Dana Merrill-Owner Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery
Dana Merrill’s family dates back 7 generations on California’s Central Coast to the Spanish rancho days. After growing up and farming in the Santa Ynez Valley, he obtained a degree in Ag Business Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He later entered the vineyard management business, starting Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. in 1989. The firm provides management services to growers and wineries.

In 2008, Dana and wife Marsha, son Matthew and wife Nicole created the Pomar Junction brand featuring estate wines from their 120 acre Templeton vineyard and other vineyards they manage. A tasting room was opened as well in November of 2008. The brand is managed by Matthew and Nicole oversees the wine club. Son Keith handles the website and label design. The brand features the SIP Sustainable Certification commencing with some of its 2008 wines.

Dana has been active in industry groups including serving as Chairman of the California Assn. of Winegrape Growers , as a charter member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team and as a board member of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. He was voted San Luis Obispo’s Agriculturist of the Year and Grape Grower of the Year in 2005 and his firm was awarded the IPM Innovator of the Year award by the California Dept of Pesticide Regulation in 2002 for its efforts to promote sustainable farming systems at Pomar Junction and elsewhere.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

5/23-Michael Horn talks to Wes Hagen & Terry Hall

Wes Hagen - Vineyard Manager/Winemaker at Clos Pepe Estate
Winemaker Wes Hagen crafts Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at Clos Pepe. Mr. Hagen was named the Central Coast Winegrower’s Association Grower of the Year in 2001-2002. His wife Chanda also helps with the grape growing and winemaking process.

Like most wineries in the Santa Rita Hills AVA, the focus of Clos Pepe’s attenti
on is on Burgundian varietals. The winery owns 24 acres of Pinot Noir and 4 Chardonnay on their estate vineyard. But they sell most of their grapes and make only a very small amount of wine.
Wes Hagen is the winemaker and vineyard manager at Clos Pepe. He uses sustainable farming practices and is an advocate of organic and biodynamic principles. Through rigorous pruning, bunch thinning, and canopy management, yields are kept extremely low and are 1 to 2 tons per acre.
In the winery, Hagen’s main goal is to preserve the integrity of the grapes until they are vinified. He only uses fruit grown in Clos Pepe’s estate vineyard for his limited production wines.
Hagen sells the majority of his fruit to some of California’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers. These include Diatom, Brewer-Clifton, Ken Browne Wines, Roesseler, AP Vin, and Siduri.
Terry Hall - Napa Valley Vintners                                                                                                        The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association announces its annual Premiere Napa Valley Wine Auction June 2 - June 5, 2011.
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents nearly 400 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5/16-Michael Horn will talk to Chris Connelly, Sonja Magderski and Paul Clifton

Les Deux Chats Cellars was created from our passion for wine and the relationship wine has to Terroir.

We are dedicated to hand-crafted, small lot wines. By keeping our production low, we can give each varietal and vintage the individual attention they require.

The wines are currently sold exclusively through our Wine Club mailing list. If you would like to purchase our wines, we welcome you to join our Wine Club.

Paul Clifton joined the Hahn SLH Estate team in 2003, after finishing a postgraduate degree in Viticulture/Enology in New Zealand. In 1996, he left a career in firefighting to become a winemaker, a hobby of his until then.

Paul built a solid foundation in the industry, starting out in the cellars of Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley, then moving to Byington Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains as assistant winemaker.

As a native of the Monterey Bay, his passions lie in the beauty of the area, its potential for excellence in winegrowing, and the people he works with. His favorite wine varietal is Pinot Noir.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

5/9-Michael Horn talks to Ryan Zotovich

Ryan Zotovich - Zotovich Cellars
A central coast native, Ryan was raised in Los Osos, Ca. Ryan grew up working on the family vineyard. It was here that he cultivated an understanding of Santa Rita Hills and its potential for making outstanding wines. Later attending Cal Poly and earning a degree in Wine and Viticulture, Ryan was exposed to the importance of sound vineyard cultural practices under the guidance of Dr. Keith Patterson. While at Cal Poly Ryan quickly developed a passion for winemaking.

In 2007, Ryan began working with Steve Clifton of Palmina and Brewer-Clifton as an apprentice. A year later he was offered the Cellar Master position at Sea Smoke Cellars by Victor Gallegos. There Ryan worked closely with Kris Curran. Ryan continued working with Sea Smoke through June of 2010 when he and his Uncle agreed to form Zotovich Cellars in partnership. These previous positions have helped to frame a very specific goal: a true passion for superior product.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

5/2-Jim Fiolek, Joben Herrera & Edwardo Bolanos

The Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 to support and promote Santa Barbara County as a premium wine producing and wine grape growing region. The Vintners’ Association produces festivals, seminars and tastings and provides information to consumers and the wine and travel media.

Joben Herrera & Edwardo Bolanos 
Joben Herrera and Edwardo Bolanos will discuss their experiences involving the study, knowledge, and commitment involved in preparring for the Sommelier exam and the value this prestegious title brings to the enhanced enjoyment of wine to the wine drinking public.