Monday, July 25, 2011

7/25-Nicole Nielsen talks to Dan Barwick & Ted Lemon

Dan Barwick - Winemaker Paradise Ridge Winery
Dan Barwick was born in Dover, England. Since the age of 16, Dan has worked in the food and beverage industry. From 1978 thru 1987 he worked as a manager in the famous ‘Harrods Food Halls’ in Knightsbridge London, where he also got his first taste of fine wine. During his time at Harrods, Dan completed a two year University extension course for retail management. From 1987 to 1988 he helped to set up a national chain called ‘PrĂȘt a Manger’, now a house hold name. In 1991 he moved to Sonoma County and worked his first harvest at Matanzas Creek Winery, where his passion for wine exploded. From 1992 to 1995, Dan worked in the cellar at Ferrari- Carano Vineyards & Winery, while completing several wine and viticulture courses. It was in one of these courses he met his future bride, Sonia Byck. Sonia & Dan were married in 1995. In May 1996, the newlyweds began a two year journey throughout the world visiting and working in different areas within the wine industry. Their adventures included harvests in Burgundy, France, Stellenbosch, South Africa, Sydney, Australia and the Barossa Valley, Australia. In 1998 they returned home and Dan took on the duties of ‘winemaker’ for Paradise Ridge Winery. Dan is a judge for numerous wine competitions in Northern California and moonlights as a wine educator at the Santa Rosa Junior College. In his spare time Dan enjoys cooking, gardening, wine & food tasting and pairing, home improvements and studying the wine industry. He also loves spending time with his 8 year old daughter Sophia and 6 year old son Jonathan.

The simple version of Ted Lemon's story: Young American goes to Burgundy. Becomes first American to run a Burgundian wine estate. Comes back and stays true to Pinot's motherland.

That would be the easy version, but it misses a crucial fact. For a quarter-century, Lemon has been hunting along the remote California coast, seeking plac
es that speak absolutely of their roots and making wines that purely reflect a California sense of place.
"Being a slave to Europe is as much a mistake as saying that super-ripe California is a great expression," Lemon says. "You'll never hear what the land is saying if you just say, 'In Europe, they do this.' "
Few winemakers are as committed as Lemon to the sanctity of California terroir. He is a true believer in its potential - specifically in the ability, along a coastal stretch of Sonoma and Mendocino counties, to find unique sites for exceptional grapes. His quest provided the name for the 4,000-case winery he and his wife, Heidi, founded: Littorai, a plural for the Latin of "coasts."
Littorai wines are among the purest, most long-lasting expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the New World. They have earned Lemon a reputation not as a Burgundian interpreter of California, but as a true American master. It is why Ted Lemon is The Chronicle's Winemaker of the Year.

Monday, July 18, 2011

7/18-Michael Horn talks with Jim Fiolek and Gary Pisoni

Jim Fiolek, Exec. Director of the Santa Barbara County Vintner's Association, Tells Us About the Latest Wines & Events in Santa Barbara Wine Country!

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.

For more info, go to

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.

For more info, go to!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

7/11-Michael Horn visits with Marc Mays & Travis Proctor

Marc Mays -  Owner, Estrella Creek Vineyards

The Mays family has a history in Paso Robles dating back to 1916. Peter’s mother, Lillian, was born in the area that year. After 30 years in southern California, she returned to Paso Robles and worked for a number of years at the Paso Robles Inn, while young Peter rode his tricycle around the grounds often getting in trouble for running over the flowers.  Peter’s mother remained a resident of Paso Robles until her passing in 1999.
Peter and Beverly bought their 40 acre Paso Robles property in 1977. After a few years spending weekends and holidays shaping the undeveloped land, the Mays family made the final move from the San Francisco Bay area in 1981. We have called the 40-acre ranch home ever since.

Nestled in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley within the famed Santa Barbara County wine region, Terravant Wine Company is a state-of the-art winemaking facility and deeply experienced wine industry team specializing in ultra-premium Private Label creation and Custom Winemaking services. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

7/4-Encore Broadcast Michael Horn talks to Ryan Zotovich

Happy 4th of July!!

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.