Monday, June 25, 2012

6/25-Michael Horn talks to Joel Burt

Joel Burt - Assistant Winemaker, Still Wines - Domaine Chandon
Joel Burt was born and raised in California’s Central Valley into a family of organic farmers who grow table grapes, oranges, almonds, and vegetables. He spent summers working in the family vineyards in the hot Central Valley and in Arizona. After high school, Joel worked as a line cook and chef while taking classes at the local college. Through this restaurant experience, Joel was exposed to wine. He became so interested in the process of winemaking that he quit his job and took a seasonal harvest role at a local winery in Lodi. When harvest finished, Joel became the wine buyer at Whole Foods Market during the week and continued working in the winery on the weekends.

Fully committed to the agrarian life of wine, he decided to enroll in CSU Fresno’s Enology program. After earning his degree, he ventured to Napa to continue practicing the craft of winemaking in this world-class wine region. After many vintages in the valley, Joel has found his home at Domaine Chandon. Since 2009, he has been responsible for making elegant still wines from the traditional Champagne grapes of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay at this well known sparkling winery.

Monday, June 18, 2012

6/18-Guest Host Nicole Nielsen talks with Timothy F. Carl & Karen Steinwachs

Timothy F. Carl, PHD - Knights Bridge Winery - Managing Director
A committed partnership of friends, family and community has come together to form Knights Bridge Winery & Vineyards. They bring their considerable resources and talents to this venture, where they have created a solid foundation for the future.

Knights Bridge was founded by friends who are united in their quest for excellence, their deep respect for nature and their abiding love of wine and food. Their passion to share the bounty of the land they love so much led them to create this special place where family and friends can gather around the table to celebrate the richness of life.

Buttonwood Farm is a small gem set amidst the splendor of Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley. Our 39-acre vineyard stretches across a sun-drenched mesa on the eastern portion of our 106-acre property. We started planting in 1983 and now have 33,000 vines, small in the world of wine, but huge to us.

Buttonwood's varietal mix of sauvignon blanc, semillon, marsanne, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and syrah reflects the preferences of owners Betty Williams and her son-in-law, Bret Davenport, for Bordeaux and Rhone style wines. As we expected, they grow perfectly in our warm, eastern Santa Ynez Valley location.

Our winery was completed in time for the crush of 1989. We now produce 8,000 cases of wine a year and quite frankly, have a great time doing it. How could we not given our spectacular surroundings and the congenial winemaking atmosphere of Santa Barbara County? The satisfaction of what we do spills over to our tasting room where laughter and lively conversation abound.

So on your next trip to Santa Barbara County come visit us in the Santa Ynez Valley. We’ll be waiting to welcome you to Buttonwood Farm and taste some wine with you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

6/11-Guest Host Nicole Nielsen visits with Melinda Sweet and Jane Jones & David Dascomb

Melinda Sweet and Jane Jones - J Ludlow Vineyard

We are a family owned winery nestled in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.  Because we are small, we are able to be intimately involved in every step, carefully nurturing our unique wines from grape, to barrel, to bottle.
Wine, paired with good food and enjoyed with great friends and family, enriches and enhances life’s best moments.  For us, fond memories tend to go hand-in-hand with a wonderful bottle of wine.
This is why we chose a jigsaw piece as the symbol of our vineyard – because wine is the piece that connects the elements of a life well-lived and makes the picture complete.
It is our pleasure to share our unique and exceptional wine with you.

David Dascomb - Winemaker/Proprietor Dascomb Cellars
Dascomb Cellars is a family owned and operated boutique winery specializing in hand-crafted wines from the California Central Coast. Planted in 1974, the Estate vineyard, East Valley Vineyard, is home to one of the oldest vineyards in Santa Barbara County.
Winemaker Dave Dascomb believes that he is sipmly building upon what nature has produced. As Dave would say...
"Mother Nature determines if a particular vintage will be good or not. My responsibility is to make it exceptional!"
Exceptional wine is achieved through established farming practices, patience at harvest, old-world cellar practices and a passion for the art of wine making!

Monday, June 4, 2012

6/4-Guest Host Nicole Nielsen talks with Terry Hall & Jim Fiolek

 2012 Auction Napa Valley Event

Mike Horn attended the auction weekend and this was their 32nd Auction.  Terry will talk about the event and give a wrap up of the 2012 Auction Napa Valley

It showcased farm-to-table wine and food of Napa Valley and has become the standard by which other charity wine auctions are measured. 

They have had 32 years of success and have donated over $100 million to local causes. 
Funds go to local, Napa Valley non-profits, including health, youth, education.
It has established a well-integrated community safety net.
One of the organizations funded by Auction Napa Valley is Community Clinic Ole.

The Auction is hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners with over 370 Vintners from the Napa Valley Vintners actively participating.
The 2012 Honorary Chair was the Chappellet Family of Chappellet Winery and Vineyard.

Fact: Napa represents only 4% of California Wine production, yet is very big in stature, quality, and land stewardship with 95% of the wineries family owner.

More information at

Jim Fiolek - Executive Director Santa Barbara County Vintners Association 

Santa Barbara County Vintners' Festival Weekend - April 20, 21, 22, 23. The annual Santa Barbara County Vintners' Festival Weekend attracts wine lovers from near and far for an opportunity to meet member vintners, taste their wines, and enjoy great food and music over a long spring weekend. The highlight of the weekend is the Festival itself, where every one of our 110+ member wineries gather to present their wines, often poured by the winemakers themselves. The Festival also presents some of the best local food from restaurants, catering companies and gourmet food creators. The Festival takes place on Saturday, April 21st, from 1 to 4pm at The Carranza, just outside Los Olivos. This weekend, wineries also present their own events, ranging from Winemaker's Dinners through library tastings and sales to new wine releases and barrel tastings. Check back here to see a full listing of events as they are finalized. A favorite feature of the weekend is the Vintners' Visa - your passport to twelve winery tasting rooms - use the Vintners' Visa to explore new wineries - or revisit old friends.