Monday, November 28, 2011

11/28-Michael Horn talks to Stephen Ross & Adam Lee

Stephen Ross - Stephen Ross Wine Cellars
In the summer of 1994, Stephen Ross Dooley started his label Stephen Ross at a custom crush winery in Santa Maria. By the next year he moved to Talley Vineyards to make his wines and in 1998 moved to Courtside Cellars in the Edna Valley - a large custom crush winery that Dooley designed and helped establish.
In 2001 he developed an estate vineyard planted exclusively to Pinot Noir in partnership with Talley Vineyards called Stone Corral Vineyard; it is located in the Edna Valley, a designated American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Home to several well-known vineyards, the Edna Valley exemplifies the characteristic microclimate and geologic features, which are the hallmark of the south central coast; an east-west valley, which mitigates its temperate climate with cooling, ocean-borne breezes. This provides a long growing season ideal for the development of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Petite Sirah grapes.

More recently, in 2005 he invested in new winemaking equipment and moved to Santa Maria where he leased a winery building to make his wine directly under his control. In 2008 Stephen Ross moved to a new building at 178 Suburban Road , San Luis Obispo for wine production as well as a tasting room.

Adam Lee - Siduri Wines

Siduri started more than 15 years ago in our native Texas.  At the time it was a dream shared by two wine geeks (us!) who wanted nothing more than to move to California and make killer Pinot Noir from the finest vineyards we could find. Today that dream is a reality.
In 2004 Siduri celebrated its 10 year anniversary. We can hardly believe it, but between two wine labels (Siduri and sister label Novy Family Wines) and three beautiful children, we are beyond blessed and beyond busy! With our small but tireless crew we produce over 25 different Pinot Noir wines each year, representing the largest Pinot Noir focus of any California winery.
We invite you to use this site to learn more about our wines, winemaking, and vineyards as well as to access our online tasting notes.  To receive information directly from the winery on special wine offerings, events and tastings, please take a moment to join our mailing list.
Next time your travels take you to the wine country, be sure to give us a call. We would be delighted to have you visit the winery for a personal tour and tasting.
Thanks again for your interest in Siduri. We love what we do and enjoy the opportunity to share with others.
Adam & Dianna Lee

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21-Michael Horn talks to Mark Cummins & Dan Teldeschi

Mark Cummins - Winemaker, Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards

We recently tapped Mark Cummins to lead the Kelsey's into the new decade.
As a winemaker, Mark has worked in wineries and vineyards for over two decades. He grew up in the Silicon Valley, in the shadow of the venerable Ridge Winery and soon became drawn to the discipline and lifestyle of the vinters.
"The craft of winemaking requires use of both sides of the brain, lying in the crossroads of art and science," Mark says, "I enjoy how wines are an integral part of celebrating life."
Mark has worked various Crushes in the Napa Valey, the Sierra Foothills and Santa Cruz Mountains before he found his home on the Central Coast. He found a passion for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while working at Byron in Santa Maria, and he has carried that passion with him here to Kelsey since August of '09.
"I am bringing more of a focus on Pinot Noir, and making some Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and Zinfandel from some vineyards I enjoy," he says, adding to the already tried and true Kelsey portfolio, "my philosopy is to find balance in each wine, and that varies in style from grape to grape and vineyard to vineyard."

Teldeschi Winery is a premium wine producer in Dry Creek Valley. The Teldeschi Family owns approximately 70 acres of vineyards in the AVAand makes mainly Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Muscat.

Brothers Dan and John Teldeschi currently run the winery. Their parents, Frank and Catarina, established most of the vineyards. Although Frank has passed away, Catarina remains the family matriarch and land owner.
Frank sold grapes to home winemakers in San Francisco in the difficult years following World War II. There was very little commercial demand for wine grapes at this time, but the Teldeschis persisted, and found buyers wherever they could. The Frei Brothers and Seghesio Family were two of their consistent customers followed by Pedroncelli and Ravenswood in later years.
In addition to Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Malvasia, Cinsault, and Gamay are planted. There is also a bit of French Colombard and Palomino. These are rustic grapes not exceptionally valued for winemaking that John Teldeschi says he feeds to the deer and turkeys so they don’t eat his better varietals.
Teldeschi Winery makes a number of wines with a focus on Zinfandel. The family also produces outstanding Petite Sirah, a Port-style wine with Zinfandel grapes, and a blend Carignane, Valdiguie, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah called Terranova. This wine is made in memory of Dan and John’s father, Frank Teldeschi.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

11/14-Michael Horn talks to Eileen Crane & John Thunen

Eileen Crane - Founding Winemaker CEO Domaine Carneros
Eileen, Domaine Carneros' founding winemaker and president is equally at home in the world of food and fine dining. Raised with a keen appreciation for fine wines and haute cuisine, Eileen originally prepared for a culinary career, earning a master’s degree in nutrition followed by professional training at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America.
After two years of teaching nutrition at the University of Connecticut, Eileen made the decision to turn her passion for wine into a profession, headed west, and enrolled in the U.C. Davis Enology and Viticulture program. Upon completion of her studies, she was hired by Domaine Chandon, where she progressed to the position of assistant winemaker.

The next move for the young winemaker involved a task that most lifelong veterans of the industry never undertake--building a winery. Hired as winemaker and vice president of Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves, she was entrusted with the dual responsibilities of overseeing the design and construction of the facility in addition to developing the line of sparkling wines.

It turned out to be an experience that served her well. Selected personally by Claude Taittinger for the position of President/Winemaker of Domaine Carneros, dedicated to producing world-class sparkling wines made in the French tradition from famed Carneros region grapes, Eileen oversaw the planning and development of the beautiful Carneros landmark chateau, vineyards and winemaking facility. In 2003, Eileen directed the planning and construction of Domaine Carneros' second winemaking facility, dedicated exclusively to the production of Pinot Noir wines.

It is understandable that Taittinger and Eileen Crane have joined forces as they share a common winemaking style. The elegant, delicate, yet intense style for which Taittinger is well respected is what Eileen strives for. No less surprising is the fact that the joint venture is located in Carneros. Carneros and Eileen Crane go together, as do Carneros and sparkling wine.

Carneros is famous for production of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, two key ingredients of a premium sparkling wine. An area blessed with a long, cool growing season, Carneros produces grapes which are particularly fine for sparkling wine as they have greater fruit maturity and produce wines with superb balance and a long finish.

In 1992 Domaine Carneros started producing small quantities of fine Estate Pinot Noir. The wines are appreciated for their great depth, balance and long silky finish. In 2003, Domaine Carneros completed a dedicated Pinot Noir Facility that incorporated the largest solar collection system on any winery in the world.

Eileen Crane is one of a handful of women who are now in the forefront of the wine industry in California. Recently recognized as one of the 75 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times, Eileen is actively involved in numerous wine and civic organizations and is a past president of both the Carneros Quality Alliance and the California Classic Methods/Classic Varieties Society (CM/CV) and currently Chairs the Board of Napa Valley Hospice.

John Thunen Ph. D Winemaker - Phantom Rivers Wine

The Nipomo Wine Group was created in 2004 by four couples who share a passion for making wine and enjoying the life style of the California Central Coast. Each one of us brings a unique skill to the company which includes: wine making, business administration, marketing, scientific theory, cooking, and wine & food pairing.
The name Phantom Rivers was selected for our winery as it pertains to the misty fog that evaporates into the air. Streams of fog flow in and out of the valleys and wind their way up the old maritime valleys hugging the courses of ancient rivers. This fog cools the vineyards at night and early morning which extends the hang time of the grapes on the vine. This all adds to the distinctive flavors and complexities of Central Coast Wines.
We do not believe a single property is capable of producing the best fruit for each varietal, as the terroir required for each varietal is different. Therefore we focus our efforts in finding the perfect area for each varietal and purchasing grapes from those farmers.
While we are all winemakers, the title of Wine Maker for Phantom Rivers belongs to John Thunen, PhD. John had an extensive career in the aerospace industry during which time he stayed “grounded” by making wine. During the past 30 years, John has honed his skills as an exceptional winemaker in much the same way he did as a Physicist, using scientific method coupled with natural artistic ability. For years John led a team of scientists, now he leads our team of winemakers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/07-Jennifer Horn talks to Tami Semler & Rudi Bauer

The rich, fascinating history of Saddlerock Ranch began more than three centuries ago when the vast expanse of land surrounding the Santa Monica Mountains was part of the original Spanish Land Grant. The area of more than 200,000 acres was a perfect site for sheep and cattle, and up until the 1930's, was known as El Malibu.

Local caves are filled with ancient pictographs painted by the Chumash Indians, dating back to the Portola Expedition of 1769. The beautiful pictographs of this culture have become very rare due to erosion and weathering, but some of the most well preserved examples remain on the ranch and have been studied by archeologists and photographed for books on the subject.

Today, the Semler Family owns Saddlerock Ranch. Ronnie and Lisa Semler, along with their nine children, have lived on the ranch for over twenty-seven years.

Austrian-born Rudi's reputation as a winemaker goes ahead of him, and his list of awards is extensive. Rudi gained a degree in viticulture and winemaking in Salzburg, and gained experience in Austria and Germany before his arrival in New Zealand in 1985. He worked at Mission Vineyard in Hawkes Bay until 1989, doing vintages in his offseasons in California and Oregon.
His Oregon experience gave Rudi a taste for pinot noir, and he moved to Central Otago to make the region's first gold and trophy pinot noir at Rippon Vineyard in 1991 in the Royal Easter Show 1993. His 1992 Rippon Vineyard Selection also won gold, and trophy. Rudi moved on to Canterbury to produce consistent medal-winners for Giesen over five years, before returning to Central Otago in 1997 to continue his success.
Rudi is a partner in a new vineyard, Quartz Reef, at Bendigo, whose first Sparkling Chauvet, made in association with French winemaker Clothilde Chauvet (also formerly a winemaker at Rippon), has just been released. He will leave the CO Wine Company next year to concentrate on developments at Quartz Reef.
Rudi says Otago wines have a good portfolio, with the flagship being Pinot Noir, because of its consistency and quality. He has strong confidence in Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Chardonnay and especially Pinot Gris.