Monday, November 19, 2012

11/19-Michael Horn talks to Joey Tensley and Mike(DeSimone) & Jeff(Jenssen)

Joey Tensley - Tensley Wines
In 1998 Joey Tensley launched Tensley Wines with one hundred cases and one single goal – to make wines that let the unique and little-known vineyards of Santa Barbara County speak for themselves.  Thirteen years later Tensley is a 4,000 case-a-year business with Syrahs in the Wine Spectator's Top 100, a history of high scores with Robert Parker, and a Food and Wine Magazine award for producing the "Top Syrah in America Over $20."

Joey's first experience with wine took place when he was just twelve-years-old and his soccer team toured a winery while taking part in a tournament in Bordeaux. Joey vividly recalls the chill of the old caves and the aromas of wines fermenting in barrel.  From that moment on he knew he wanted to be a winemaker. "Which pretty much made me the only kid in Bakersfield, California, with that particular dream," Joey says. "We all raced go-carts and most of my friends wanted to be race car drivers."

Ten years later, in 1993, Joey got his start in the wine business working as a "cellar rat" for Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara County.  After only three years he became the assistant winemaker at Babcock Vineyards.  There Joey came to appreciate the importance of the vineyard and the grower. He also came to appreciate the uniqueness of Santa Barbara County as a growing region. "We're one of the only places in the world with a mountain range that runs east-west.  That gives us a lot of different microclimates."

In 1998 Joey moved on to become the assistant winemaker at Beckmen Vineyards.  There he was offered space to launch his own label. He decided to produce only vineyard designated Syrahs from Santa Barbara County.  He also decided that those Syrahs would all be priced the same and made in the same fashion. He stays true to those methods today.

By 2001 Tensley Wines' original 100 cases had grown to 750 cases, and Joey had moved into his own winery in Buellton, California. Tensley appeared on prestigious wine lists from coast to coast including Manhattan's Gotham Bar and Grill, Chicago's Bin 36, and Picasso in Las Vegas.

Mike and Jeff - World Wine Guys
The southern hemisphere is fast becoming the hottest source of delicious, affordable wine--and this is the first book to focus entirely on this bourgeoning industry. Created by the renowned “World Wine Guys,” Wines of the Southern Hemisphere provides the latest information on the best wineries in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, and Uruguay. In addition, the guide features interviews with top winemakers and recipes to pair with their wines.

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, known as the World Wine Guys, are Entertaining and Lifestyle Contributing Editors for Wine Enthusiast magazine. Their work has also appeared in Wine Spectator,,International Living, and The European. The duo has judged the prestigious Concours des Vins wine competition in Chablis, France. In 2010 they were inducted into the Confrerie des Piliers Chablisiens. They are the proud authors of the Port Wine chapter in Kevin Zraly's The Ultimate Wine Companion: The Complete Guide to Understanding Wine by the World's Foremost Wine Authorities and have written the upcoming The Fire Island Cookbook. Mike and Jeff were the first guests to pair wine with food on Martha Stewart's Hallmark Channel show and were featured guests on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit their website, worldwineguys,.com to see more, as well as Wine Enthusiast's They reside in New York City and southern Spain.

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