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.

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