Monday, June 23, 2014



WHO IS SOJOURN CELLARS: Based in the town of Sonoma, Sojourn Cellars is a highly acclaimed winery specializing in the production of artisan Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

We source fruit from celebrated vineyards in both Sonoma and Napa Counties, and we help direct farming operations to assure that our grapes are produced using world-class growing techniques. We consistently produce remarkable wines with a hands-off natural winemaking style that showcases the character and personality of the individual vineyards.

Sojourn feels passionate about creating high-quality wines and always being accessible to the people who buy and enjoy our wines. Sojourn offers seated tastings in a casual, yet sophisticated environment and prides itself on always putting the customer first.

Our highly-rated 2014 Spring Release wines are now available to Sojourn mailing list members!  This release features four Pinot noirs and two Chardonnays from the Sonoma Coast and two Cabernet Sauvignon wines.  Our brand new Campbell Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay is also available pre-release.  Join our Mailing List now to receive an allocation and have an opportunity to purchase these wines.

ABOUT CRAIG: Craig Haserot is co-founder and proprietor of Sojourn Cellars. He oversees sales, marketing, and operations, and he also plays important roles in the finance and winemaking functions of the winery. And while he enjoys his work in all of these different facets of the winery, his favorite part of his job is spending time with customers at release parties, wine events, and Tasting Salon gatherings.

During his nearly ten years in the wine business, Craig has immersed himself in all the aspects of the winery business. On the winemaking front, he has served as unofficial assistant winemaker, planted our estate vineyard (Home Ranch Vineyard), and managed grower relationships at a total of 14 vineyards in 2009. Craig’s main responsibility, however, has been to lead Sojourn’s sales and operations, and his success in these areas has enabled Sojourn’s production to grow to 5000 cases.

After growing up in San Marino, California, Craig attended Humboldt State University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He began his 16-year sales and sales management career in computer software with Ashton-Tate and left it in 2001 after working at Micromuse. Sojourn produced its first Cabernet Sauvignon in 2001 and Craig planted the Home Ranch Vineyard in 2002.



The Auction of Washington Wines is the 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization of the Washington wine industry and has raised more than $30 million since its inception in 1988.

It’s the wine event of the year! THE 27TH ANNUAL AUCTION OF WASHINGTON WINES includes three days of sampling superb wines, visiting with leading winemakers and growers and celebrating Washington’s bounty. We’re personally looking forward to the opportunity to support two deserving local causes and savor cuisine created by acclaimed regional chefs. Join us for one day or all three—you’re sure to enjoy this year’s Auction of Washington Wines! Sample world-class wines, and savor local cuisine created by acclaimed regional chefs. Meet the winemakers. Toast new friends. Your participation at Auction of Washington Wines benefits uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and supports the winemakers of tomorrow through viticulture and enology research at WSU.

We are grateful to Washington winemakers, our dedicated sponsors and generous guests like you for coming together each year to support these eagerly anticipated events. Join us at one or all three days and make a difference for a healthier and more vital Washington.

ABOUT AIMEE: Executive director responsibilities include organizational management and growth of the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW), including leadership, strategic planning, fundraising and donor development.

Aimee brings more than twenty years of non-profit leadership to this role, previously raising financial support for organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, The Salvation Army and PAWS. During her tenure with these organizations, she was not only charged with strategic planning, organizational development, team dynamics and capacity building; Aimee also facilitated major events such as the PAWS Wild Night gala and auction, which set fundraising records year after year, and a million dollar gala and 1500 person breakfast for Boys & Girls Clubs.

“Aimee is the perfect fit for the executive director position,” said Ted Baseler, president of the AWW board and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates president and CEO. “Her breadth of experience professionally with area non-profits, plus her engaging, high-energy personality will make her an asset to the organization, well suited for the leadership role, and a complement to the rest of the event team.”

A native of Eastern Washington, Aimee was raised in a family of farmers, giving her an agricultural savvy that will provide depth when interfacing with the vineyards.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

6/16-Nicole Nielsen visits with Mike Sinor & Paula Moulton

Mike Sinor - Winemaker, Ancient Peaks & Sinor Lavallee Wine Company
Mike Sinor is recognized as one of the Central Coast's highest-rated winemakers. Wines made by Mike have scored 96 points in the WineSpectator™, 95 points in Connoiseur's Guide™, 92 points in Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate™ and 95 points in Wine Enthusiast™. In 2012 Mike was voted as Winemaker of the Year for San Luis Obispo County.
The word that best describes Mike is "Fanatical." He is a self-made winemaker with no formal winemaking education who worked his way up from "cellar rat" through grit, determination and sheer love of wine.
Raised in Visalia, CA, Mike attended California Polythechnic State University at San Luis Obispo with the objective of becoming a high school shop teacher. He financed his college education by working at several local wineries -- an experience that ignited his passion for the craft of making wine. Mike met his future wife, Cheri LaVallee, in a chemistry class at CalPoly (now that's Chemistry 101).
Mike has traveled to France on numerous occasions, delving into the winemaking experiences of Burgunday, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley. He also took a winemaking sabbatical to Australia's Margaret River in 2001. These travels are integral to his winemaking fabric and outlook.
        Winemaker and proprietor of Sinor-LaVallee Wine Company
        Director of Winemaking at Ancient Peaks in Paso Robles
        Consulting Winemaker for Center of Effort in the Edna Valley
        President of San Luis Obispo Vintners Association
        Winemaker at Domaine Alfred Winery in Edna Valley (2000 to 2006)
        Assistant Winemaker at Byron Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley (1994 to 2000)
        Cellar gigs with numerous Central Coast wineries (1991 to 1994)
        Board of Directors of the World of Pinor Noir event held in Pismo Beach each year
For 24 consecutive years, our annual Roll Out The Barrels summer celebration has set the pace for good times, good vibes and good wines in San Luis Obispo County.
The festivities begin with a Thursday evening “Barrels in The Plaza” grand tasting adjacent to the historic Mission in downtown San Luis Obispo. Here, the wines of SLO Wine Country are served with artfully paired treats prepared by local chefs. Then, on Friday evening, our wineries team up with area restaurants to offer a selection of winemaker’s dinners to fit every taste.
Over the weekend, you will enjoy a two-day passport to more than 20 wineries offering wine and food pairings, live entertainment, exclusive specials, barrel and library wine tastings and more.  Plus, you can save $20 on your passport tickets just by booking your stay in the City of San Luis Obispo.  It’s never too early to mark your calendars for this signature SLO Wine Country event.

The author, award-winning winemaker and viticulturist Paula Moulton, is not your typical wine expert; this city-girl-turned-country has made quite a name for herself in a field traditionally dominated by men.
Paula Moulton, of Sonoma, CA, is CEO of A Sip Away. A viticulturist, award-winning winemaker, and author with over 25 years of experience in the wine industry, Moulton has worked with wine talent such as Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery, Mike Benziger of Benziger Family Winery, Jean-Luc Thunevin (Bordeaux's Bad Boy wine), and Phil Coturri of Enterprise Vineyards.  A wine industry leader, Paula has appeared on the Today Show, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and other major media outlets. She holds a BA from U. C. Berkeley in Rhetoric, an AS in viticulture from Santa Rosa Junior College, and a Wine Management degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France.
Seasons Among the Wines: Life Lessons from the California Wine Country invites the reader to experience the California wine country through the eyes of a city girl turned country. Paula Moulton's story is one of wonder and enchantment, unpreparedness and hard lessons, and she has survived the ups and downs associated with producing wine grapes for some of the wine country's best-known wineries. Interspersed throughout is advice for weekend gardeners and wine-loving suburbanites who will find that making wine at home is not only possible, the knowledge they will need is all right here.
Seasons Among the Vines: Life Lessons from the California Wine Country and Paris: Nearly ten years after Paula's husband was killed in a car accident (and three days before the 2003 release of her first book), she took a risk and enrolled in a ten-month wine management program at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. “There was something missing from my knowledge of wine,” says Moulton, “I wanted to learn the old world style of wine and bring it back to the new world.”
In the new edition of Seasons Among the Vines, Paula details the adventures that ensue when she leaves her home in Sonoma to face the unknown in France. In Paris, she has not only the struggles of living in a foreign country to cope with but also the rigors of the French academic system—complete with a one-month stint in Bergerac as a cellar rat and a six-week internship as a sommelier in a prestigious restaurant off Le Champs Elysees.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6/9-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen visit with Allison Levine and Michael Beaulac

Allison Levine - National Verdejo Day
Oviatt Penthouse /
617 South Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90014
6:30-8:30 PM

The first annual Verdejo Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the signature grape of Spanish wine region D.O. Rueda, is fast approaching! Join Rueda and wine lovers nationwide in the celebration of National Verdejo Day - June 12th! With unforgettable wines, dynamic DJs and simultaneous parties in New York City, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles this is an event not to miss! This day comes at a time of skyrocketing interest in Verdejo wines and Rueda, as a region, in the US. Verdejo is a deeply aromatic, dry white wine grape. Take a sip and you'll see why it's utterly perfect for spring and summer sipping(not to mention affordable, too). With their balanced acidity and minerality, wines from Rueda are extremely food-friendly and versatile, ideal for popping at a moment's notice and sharing with friends. Praised as Spain's next rising star, Verdejo has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, GQ, Snooth, Tasting Panel, Wine Spectator, San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table, Fine Cooking, Saveur and many more!

The Rueda Denomination of Origin, the first in the region of Castilla y León, was founded in 1980. Verdejo is the predominant variety in the D.O. while Sauvignon Blanc, Viura and Palomino Fino are also prevalent. The 2012 harvest, a record for Rueda, boasted a total grape production of 77,764,696 kilograms with approximately 13,000 hectares under vine. White varieties represented 98% of the production in 2012 while Verdejo accounted for over 85% of the total crop. Rueda, is on a high plateau with a classic continental climate: long cold winters, short springs, and hot summers. The high elevations (between 2500 and 3000 feet) allow the late maturing Verdejo to develop deep aromas and flavors resulting in dry, fresh wines with great character and brightness. Dark grey-brown rocky soils, rich in calcium and magnesium with good ventilation and drainage, provide textures that vary from sandy-loamy to loamy. This geological substratum has led to the typical gravelly soils present in the best vineyards in the D.O. Rueda. Currently 40 producers export their wines to the US.

Michael Beaulac joined the Pine Ridge Vineyards team as General Manager and Winemaker in 2009. He has worked with some of the most highly regarded wineries in both Sonoma and Napa Valley, including St. Supery, Markham Vineyards and Murphy Goode.
Michael’s interest in wine started with his first really good bottle of wine. He quickly noted thereafter the distinct difference between wines, their appellations and ultimately the quality. He read an article on the impact of fruit quality and winemaking and realized wine was not just a commodity. Wine quality was influenced by fruit quality and terroir.
In 1989, he decided to move to wine country from Portland, Maine to embark on his journey to work in the wine industry. He started at Murphy Goode winery in Alexander Valley, working in the cellar for many years to eventually become the Winemaker for the Pinot Noir and Zinfandel programs. He then met Merry Edwards and went to work with her producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at Laurier. Most recently, Michael worked at St.Supery for seven years with renowned consulting French winemaker Michel Roland.
Michael joined Pine Ridge Vineyards for the opportunity to work with the 200-estate vineyard acres, within 5 AVA’s, comprised of 12 vineyards. This will be Michael’s 23rd harvest.
Michael has been married for 17 years to his wife Cathy. They have a 9-year-old daughter, Esther, and a 14-year-old son, Eric. When Michael is not making wine you can find him on the ski slopes at Lake Tahoe or out to dinner in Napa.
HISTORY: Established in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards produces classically proportioned, expressive wines that embody their history and distinct place of origin. Pine Ridge founder Gary Andrus, inspired by the illustrious wines of Bordeaux, believed in the Napa Valley’s potential to produce wines of similar stature. He planted the property’s original namesake vineyard on a steeply terraced hillside flanked by a dramatic ridgeline of pine trees in the Stags Leap District. Gary’s pioneering efforts with this first vineyard were met with tremendous success as the Bordeaux varietals he planted – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot – thrived and produced wines of great distinction. In the following years, Pine Ridge continued to acquire exceptional vineyard sites across the region. Today, the Estate’s 200-acres span over five renowned Napa Valley appellations – Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Oakville, Carneros and Howell Mountain.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/2-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen talk with Barrie Lynn and Karin Sagar

Barrie Lynn - The Cheese Impresario
Cultivating cheese enthusiasts with a passionate hand-to-mouth approach, Barrie Lynn - The Cheese Impresario is a leading educator on all things cheese. Her uninhibited style and engaging personality afford fun and innovative ways to discover and enjoy the complexities of artisanal cheese.

A former advertising executive with a love of food and wine, she took a client to a Slow Food fundraiser. It was there her passion for artisanal cheese was born. Meeting these cheesemakers, and tasting the diversity and nuance of their cheeses, Barrie Lynn decided her mission is to educate others about the pleasures of cheese.

Barrie Lynn has produced and taught cheese tasting events around the country, including Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival, Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience, the Ministry of Rum San Francisco Rum Festival, the Los Angeles Times Celebration of Food & Wine, Denver International Wine Festival, and Great Tastes Culinary Festival in Baltimore.

Her passion for cheese was brought to the stars of Hollywood via her personally hosted Cheese Tasting Adventure Parties for the Oscars, Emmys and the Golden Globe Awards. She has led cheese tastings for celebrities like Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Jeff Garlin, Actor/Musician Terrence Howard, NFL star Shaun Phillips, musicians Slash, Dee Snyder, and Jason Bonham, as well as the cast & crew of Showtime’s hit TV show WEEDS.

Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario writes the "Cheese Matters" monthly column in The Beverly Hills Times and she is the cheese pairings columnist for Mutineer Magazine. The Cheese Impresario has been featured in USA TODAY, VARIETY, Wine Spectator, The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Candy, the popular food blog EatingLA, KGO TV, KTLA TV and E! Entertainment.

A collaboration of Kapalua Resort partners creating a new spin on the longest running food and wine event in the USA. This celebration of epicurean excellence will convene the finest in food and wine and embrace all things Hawaiian – notably – the fabulous culinary bounty on Maui and here at the world-renowned Kapalua Resort.
Kapalua Wine & Food Festival’s Background and History
The Kapalua Wine & Food Festival was established in 1981 by the non-profit Kapalua Wine Society. The Festival was created to educate, initiate and foster the appreciation of fine wines and culinary products, as well as showcase the natural beauty of Kapalua Resort. The Kapalua Wine & Food Festival is one of the oldest festivals of its kind in the nation.In addition, the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival provides local, national and international vendors an opportunity to showcase their products to our guests, including: resort visitors, Hawaii and Mainland residents, state and national media, hoteliers, restaurateurs and industry insiders.
Over the years, the Festival program has grown to incorporate cooking demonstrations, wine and food pairings, winemakers’ dinners, a golf tournament, tennis clinic, the Kapalua wine tour and two major evening galas, the celebrated Grand Tasting with theme-inspired cuisine and wines from around the world and the spectacular Seafood Festival featuring culinary delights from Hawaii’s most prominent Chefs. New wine enthusiasts and veterans alike have been attracted throughout the years to all the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival has to offer.Each year, local and national writers promote our exclusive Festival throughout the world. What makes the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival unique is its intimacy. Guests have several re-occurring opportunities throughout the weekend to mingle with all attending Master Sommeliers, winemakers and chefs. The Festival is also dedicated to obtaining the finest of wines and attracting proclaimed panelists. Attendance is purposely limited to approximately 3,500 guests throughout the four-day Festival in order to maintain the highest quality and attract only an affluent audience. Consumers are able to sample the best wines and interact with prominent industry leaders in one of the most beautiful resort settings in the world.
The objective each year is to continue to position the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival as the most distinguished culinary Festival in the state of Hawaii, and as one of the most respected in the nation. This distinction is achieved by hand-selecting the participating wineries and celebrity chefs and requiring them to showcase only their most reserved vintages and revered products.