Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29-Michael Horn and Nicole Nielsen talk with Jim Fox & Beth Costa

FoxJim Fox is in his 23rd season as the Kings’ television color commentator; joining Bob Miller in the booth for club broadcasts on FS West.

Eighth on the Kings’ all-time scoring list, eighth in assists and ninth in goals with 479 points (186-293=479) in 578 games, Fox spent his entire 10-year career as a member of the Kings after being selected in the first round (10th overall) of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft.  A three time 30-goal scorer, Fox enjoyed his most productive season in 1984-85 when he recorded 83 points (30-53=83), and in 22 career playoff games with the Kings, Fox had 12 points (4-8=12).  Over his playing career with the Kings, Fox also holds the distinction of playing the second most games -- starting, ending and only with the Kings (Dave Taylor holds the mark).

Prior to becoming a King, Fox enjoyed a standout junior career with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).  As the club’s captain during the 1979-80 campaign, Fox scored at least one point in every game, including preseason, regular season and the playoffs, and he was a finalist for the Canadian Jr. Player of the Year after earning OHL Most Valuable Player and Leading Scorer awards.

Internationally, Fox represented Canada at the World Junior Championship in Helsinki (1979-80) and he also earned a bronze medal at the World Championship in Moscow in 1986. Upon retirement as a player in 1990, Fox became Director of Community Relations for the Kings, a position he held until 1994.  During that time, he was responsible for creating the Kings Care Foundation and annual Foundation events such as Tip-A-King, the team’s charity golf tournament and the Kings Youth Hockey Camp.

He remains one of the strongest forces in the Kings community development and charitable efforts, as a special ambassador, and he spends an enormous amount of time supporting and developing programs that benefit the children of our community, while also sitting on the board of the Kings Care Foundation and the Los Angeles Kings Alumni Association.

Fox, 52 (5/18/60), a wine lover, has participated as a judge in the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Los Angeles County Fair “Wines of the World,” both international wine-tasting competitions.  In March 2013, Fox, along with winemaker Mike Smith, will release a 2011 vintage, Sonoma Coast (AVA) “Gap’s Crown Vineyard” Pinot Noir under the brand name “Patiné Cellars.”  Patiné is French for “has skated!”

Fox played himself in the popular 1999 movie “Mystery, Alaska,” and he was the first Kings recipient of the club’s Community Service Award (1988-89).  Since 2003, Fox has also served as honorary co-chairman of the Newport Sports Museum Golf Classic and in September of 2012 he hosted the 2nd annual “Sunset Sip wine tasting fundraiser” to benefit “The Guidance Center.”

During the summer of 2005, Fox worked as a co-teacher of  “Know the Score: Sports Public Relations,” an extension course at UCLA.  In addition to his duties in the broadcasting booth, Fox has also served as the co-host of the Los Angeles-area Emmy Award-winning “Kings Live” (previously known as “Break the Ice”) pre-game show on FSN West for several seasons.

In the October 2, 2006, issue of Sports Illustrated, Fox was named the best analyst in hockey, and in February of 2007, Fox was named as the best TV color commentator in Southern California by the Los Angeles Daily News and columnist Tom Hoffarth, an honor Fox has enjoyed 13 of the last 14 years.  In 2008, the Southern California Sports Broadcasters honored him with the top Pre and Post Game Shows commentator award and in 2009, 2011 and 2012 he was awarded the Television Analyst award.

Also, on February 11, 2006, the Kings held “Jim Fox Day” at STAPLES Center, and Fox was honored on the ice before a game for his 25 years of service to the organization as a player and broadcaster.

From 2005-08, Fox also worked for NHL Radio through the Stanley Cup Finals, as well as working as a studio playoff  analyst for Yahoo! Sports from 2006-09.

A native of Coniston, Ontario, Jim is a resident of Redondo Beach with his wife Susie.  This past summer he co-hosted (for the fifth straight year) with Dave Taylor for the Cystic Fibrosis Golf Classic, the 24th installment of the annual event that raised more than $235,000 and is now at $4,500,000 since its inception.

Winding through some of the most picturesque wine country in California, Wine Road, Northern Sonoma County, takes visitors on a sensually gratifying journey of natural beauty, sublime tasting experiences and memorable personal encounters with the state’s most devoted and individualistic winemakers. Even for veteran wine travelers already well acquainted with California wine country, Wine Road is likely to be uncharted territory, sure to imbue a fresh sense of discovery. Along the way are some of California’s oldest wineries, run by vintners whose commitment to tending the vines and producing world-class wines, true to the appellation, runs back generations.

Founded more than 30 years ago, Wine Road is an association of wineries and lodgings in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys of Northern Sonoma County. From its modest beginning as an organization of nine wineries, it has grown into a spirited constellation of more than 150 wineries and 50 lodgings. It’s not actually a “road” in the sense of a single, continuous stretch of paved highway, but more of a treasure map to the many jewels nestled among the hills and valleys of a region where fresh air, fine wine and exquisite cuisine await those who traverse it.

This lively and committed organization has created a myriad of programs, events and services certain to enhance any visitor’s experience of the region, among them three major events: Winter Wineland, Barrel Tasting and A Wine & Food Affair (schedules and more information can be found at A complimentary Wine Road map is the key to exploring the glories of the area and is also available online at The area is nothing if not rich in history. The Russian River takes its name from the Russian fur trappers who established a trading colony in the early nineteenth century, and following on their heels were French and Italian immigrants who brought their own centuries-old traditions of winemaking to the area. Wine has been made in Sonoma County for over 130 years. Even during the Prohibition years (1920-1933) many wineries continued to make wine for medicinal and sacramental purposes.

The Russian River itself meanders among three AVAs of vineyards that, combined, represent a pastiche of micro-climates and soils that yield a startling diversity of ultra-premium varietals. To be sure, each appellation has its stars: Russian River Valley’s are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; Dry Creek Valley is known for its Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc; and Alexander Valley is known for its Cabernet and Merlot. But literally dozens of other international varietals are grown in all of these regions, including Barbera, Carignane, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Grenache, Reisling and Gewürztraminer, just to name a few.

Monday, July 22, 2013

7/22-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen visit with David Duncan and Stephanie Honig

Silver Oak is single-minded in the pursuit of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. For 40 years, we have produced delicious and distinctive Cabernets from our Napa Valley and Alexander Valley wineries. Each Cabernet is food-friendly, extensively aged to be drinkable upon release, and perfect for enjoying with friends or family.

Stephanie Honig - Honig Vineyard and Winery

Stephanie Honig was born in Havertown, Pennsylvania. When she was six years old, she moved with her family to Buenos Aires, Argentina. After graduating from high-school, Stephanie moved to Florida in 1994, where she attended Florida International University, graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and a raging passion for wine. 

Stephanie moved to Philadelphia and worked as a Sales Manager for Marriott Corporation, and in 2000, moved to New York to pursue a career in the wine industry. She worked as a Sales Manager for Clicquot, Inc., and then at Rudd Winery as the Eastern Regional Sales Manger. In 2005, she earned the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Higher Certificate and the WSET Diploma.

She left Rudd Winery in 2006 to import her own wine brand from Argentina, while also teaching wine classes at the French Culinary Institute in New York and at Florida International University.

In 2006, she moved to the Napa Valley and married Michael Honig. Stephanie works for the family winery teaching wine classes, developing international and national sales, and partnering with Michael in public relations. Stephanie also sits on the board for the American Cancer Society, coordinating a program for Spanish speakers called “Look Good, Feel Better”, and is active in raising funds for mental health research.  She is also the Vice President for an investment club in the Bay Area.
She lives on the Honig property in Rutherford with her husband Michael, their daughters Sophia and Lola and son Sebastian, and their dogs Raisin and Kota.

Monday, July 15, 2013

7/15-Michael Horn and Nicole Nielsen talk with Jean-Charles Boisset & Larry Van Aalst

Jean-Charles Boisset - Boisset Family Estates
Jean-Charles Boisset was born into the world of wine in the village of Vougeot, Burgundy, France. His lifelong passion for wine began as a child, growing up above the cellars and within view of the centuries-old vineyards of Château du Clos Vougeot, the epicenter and birthplace of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. His parents, Jean-Claude and Claudine, founded the family winery in 1961 with an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in one of the most traditional winegrowing regions in the world. Today, the family collection includes wineries that share more than 18 centuries of combined winemaking heritage and tradition in some of the world’s most prestigious terroirs, from Burgundy to the South of France to California’s Napa Valley and Russian River Valley.

Jean-Charles leads the family firm with passionate commitment to fine wine, history, quality and a deep respect for the environment. He implemented organic and Biodynamic farming at the family’s estate vineyards from Burgundy to the Napa Valley. Together with his sister Nathalie, he created Domaine de la Vougeraie, uniting the family’s Burgundy vineyards, including prestigious monopoles such as the Vougeot 1er Cru Clos Blanc de Vougeot – planted in 1110 by the Cistercian monks, into one of Burgundy’s leading domaines. He instituted the concept of "viniculture", redefining the company’s traditional role to encompass a close and active interest in all aspects of winegrowing to ensure premium quality and sustainable farming practices. He refashioned and elevated the family’s founding winery bearing his father’s name – Jean-Claude Boisset – into a premier boutique vigneron in the Cotes de Nuits.

In 2003 Jean-Charles brought DeLoach Vineyards, a pioneering producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, into the family collection. He immediately recognized the similarities to Burgundy: each boasts a confluence of river and mountains and soil that is perfect for growing world-class Pinot Noir. He began a mission, inspired by his Burgundian heritage to produce terroir-driven wines with the same commitment to terroir and organic and Biodynamic farming he had instituted in Burgundy. In 2009 Jean-Charles’ quest for California wineries steeped in history, heritage and a pioneering spirit, led him to Raymond Vineyards in the Napa Valley, where five generations of family winemaking anchors it to the earliest days of the Napa Valley. Under his vision, Raymond has become a leading producer of luxury fine wines, implemented organic and Biodynamic farming on its 100 acre Rutherford estate and become one of the most dynamic winery destinations in California. In 2011, Jean-Charles’ dream of championing California wine history became a reality when Buena Vista Winery, California’s first premium winery, became a part of Boisset Family Estates.
From this great foundation of historical, pioneering wineries in France and California, Jean-Charles sets forth a vision of the wine world centered on family, history, heritage, innovation, passion, a commitment to fine wines and a dedication to sustainable winegrowing.

Larry Van Aalst - CRN Host of the What's Cookin' on Wine Sonoma Wine Report
Professional Wine Judge for the following:

-West Coast Wine Competition
-Grand Harvest Wine Competition
-North of the Gate Wine Competition
-San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
-Sonoma County Harvest Fair
-Mendocino County Wine Competition
-Santa Rosa Press Democrat Wine of the Week

Monday, July 8, 2013

7/8-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen talk with Gary Eisenberger and Chris Slaughter

Gary Eisenberger - President & Co-Founder, Karma Tequila
Karma Tequila is produced from 100% blue agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, a region referred to as the Napa Valley of Mexico and recognized for having the richest volcanic soil and ideal climate. Each agave is hand picked and tested ensuring that only the ripest agave is used. Authentic brick ovens slowly cook the agave allowing all the flavors to be captured in every sip.

Karma’s distillery is family owned and operated utilizing traditional distilling methods that have been passed down from generation to generation for over 70 years. Karma100% agave tequila is handmade in small batches through a multiple distillation process ensuring a complete balance in taste and smoothness.

The Santa Maria Wine Country Association works as a single community voice to elevate, protect and promote the premium wines of this historical, coastal growing region. Members include: Alta Maria, Byron, Cambria, Central Coast Wine Services, CORE Wine Group, Costa de Oro, Cottonwood Canyon, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Native 9, Presqu'ile Winery, Rancho Sisquoc Winery, Riverbench Vineyard, Sierra Madre Vineyard, Tantara Winery, Toretti's Family Vineyard, Tres Hermanas Winery, Vaquero Cellars, Waltzing Bear Wines, Bien Nacido Vineyards, Dierberg Vineyard, Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard, Rancho Real Vineyard and Solomon Hills Vineyard.

Monday, July 1, 2013

7/1-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen visit with Bart O'Brien, Norm Yost and Damon Miele

Bart O'Brien - O'Brien Estate Napa Valley
Barb and Bart got married the year after they met, had 2 children (Emily and Mason), and Bart pursued a career starting various companies. He told Barb he was an entrepreneur when they met. Her response was "I am going to have to marry you because all my sisters are married to Irish entrepreneurs". Barb had signed up for quite an adventure. They bought a house together in Piedmont when she became pregnant with Emily, then the house was sold after Emily was born to finance a temporary Halloween theme park venture called Scaregrounds.

After Scaregrounds failed, Bart went back to high tech and joined Bill Paseman to found Calico Commerce, a software company to configure complex products such as computers for the new sales channel called the internet. After seven long years of living in rental property that was constantly being sold from underneath them, Bart's first software startup, RSA Data Security, was acquired by Security Dynamics for $250 million. Bart had sold most of the stock to finance their wedding, honeymoon, and the purchase of their first house, but fortunately just enough stock was left to purchase their second house in Los Altos Hills in 1997. Then Calico Commerce went public in 1999 at a valuation of $1.8 billion (based on closing price day of IPO). Bart only sold a small portion of his stock before the high tech crash of 2000 and subsequent failure of Calico, but this was enough for a down payment to purchase the Costello Vineyard to make Barb's "dream of owning land in Napa Valley" come true. On the property are 33 acres of vineyards, a bonded winery, and their home. When you visit, you will be treated to an intimate experience in their backyard sitting at picnic tables under oak trees.  Make sure you see the Romantic Portfolio and Romantic Trio wine gift sets. Perfect for unique wedding gifts, they tell a wonderful story of romance through wine.
Bart and Barb live on the estate with their two children, Emily (21) who is attending Napa College, their son Mason (19) who is attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and their five cats Motor, Hobbes, Chicharrón, Malcolm XX, and Gemini. Sasha, our Hungarian Viszhla, who many people met at the winery, recently passed away at the age of 12 from cancer. Sasha, who modeled for the Wine Dogs of Napa Valley book, was the only professional model in the O'Brien family even though everyone agreed she looked like a dog.

Fun Event Highlights:
World of Pinot Noir – of course!
Savor the Central Coast at Hearst Castle
Tons of Hearst corporation/family events at Hearst Castle surrounding properties
Republican National Convention New York City
Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Inauguration
Dick Cheney’s second Inauguration – John Popper from Blues Traveler open the ceremony with a searing harmonica rendition of the Star Spangled Banner
Backstage Catering
-        N’SYNC (definitely the hottest girls on tour were for these guys)
-        Madonna, Cher, Allman Brothers, Black Crowes, Oasis, Bon Jovi, Dylan, Brittany Spears, Rolling Stones etc…Guns n’ Roses with Axl Rose not showing up and the First Union Center in Philly got trashed
-        I have been asked to find just about everything for rock stars, some appropriate and others…well, appropriate if you are a rock star…I guess!

I would put together small dinner parties for Henry Finder the second or assistant editor to David Remnick at the New Yorker magazine – one evening the Pulitzer prize winning writer Toni Morrison attended as a guest. It was an honor to meet her in such an intimate setting I am originally from New Jersey, and grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I worked at a Pennsylvania winery along the Delaware river where they grew cab, pinot noir, and Riesling. Every so often when the stars aligned they would make some great wines. The owners of the winery were from Bratislava, Czechoslovakia of all places.  I moved to California 6 years ago after finishing a masters degree in Mass Communication in Pittsburgh, PA. I arrived in Atascadero and realized not all of California is cosmopolitan. In fact Atascadero (and I do love it up there) was more backwoods than the middle of Pennsylvania. The Central Coast won my heart over and I decided to stay in the area after a stint in the Bay Area teaching 7th grade English for a couple of years.