WES HAGEN - WINEMAKER, BRAND AMBASSADOR, J. WILKES WINES
JEFF(ERSON) WILKES WAS A WINEGROWER AND WINE GRAPE SALESMAN AT BIEN NACIDO AND SOLOMON HILLS VINEYARDS IN THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY AS WELL AS FRENCH CAMP VINEYARD IN THE PASO ROBLES HIGHLANDS FOR TWENTY YEARS (1981-2001).
Jeff’s tireless promotion and demand for quality anchored the Bien Nacido Vineyard, Solomon Hills and the Santa Maria Valley as the heart and soul of Santa Barbara County winegrowing, providing grapes to some of the greatest winemakers in California. Jeff launched his ‘J.Wilkes’ label in 2001, focusing on Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, and made his last wine in 2010 before his untimely passing late in that same year. Soon after, the label was relaunched as a tribute to Jeff’s unwavering love of the Santa Maria Valley, his commitment to value and quality, and later as a vehicle for blending AVA wines that show the best of the Central Coast and our diversity of meso-climates..
Jeff’s love of the Old West and sailing the Pacific Ocean continue to guide our winemaking team. The freedom that the West and the Pacific represent are in every sip of J.Wilkes, as is the pursuit of discovery that drives humans to search for new experiences and better lives. A bottle of J.Wilkes is an investment to keep your friends and family at the table for an extra hour. We believe the combination of food, love and wine is one of the most important rituals left in this country and is the cure for spending too much time with technology..
ABOUT WES HAGEN:
WES HAGEN IS THE WINEMAKER AND BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR J. WILKES WINES IN THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA. IN 2013, MICHAEL CERVIN (WALL STREET JOURNAL, DECANTER) RATED WES AS ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL WINEMAKERS IN THE UNITED STATES (#68).
Wes worked as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker at Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines in the Sta. Rita Hills for 21 years and is considered an industry leader in Santa Barbara Wine, having served for more than a decade on the Board of Directors for both Santa Barbara County Vintners and Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance.
Wes is an accomplished wine writer, researcher and lecturer; He has written for the L.A Times Magazine, Sommelier Journal, Burgundy Report and has appeared and been featured / quoted numerous times in the Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. Wes researched, wrote and had approved the last three AVA’s in Santa Barbara County: Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon and Ballard Canyon.
Wes taught the Food and Wine Pairing program at Allan Hancock College for four years and has lectured on the History of Wine and Santa Barbara Wine at Cornell University, Caltech and many, many other prestigious institutions. His most recent achievement is having been nominated for a TED-talk on the History of Wine.
Wes has an active and impressive social media following on Facebook (Wes Hagen), Twitter, Instagram and Delectable (@weshagen).
“Every wine deserves an hour at table, delicious food and two people in love. Wine cannot be fully understood unless all three of these conditions are met."" --WD Hagen
IAN BLACKBURN – OWNER/FOUNDER, WINE LA & FOUNDER/CO-WINEMAKER, BEEKEEPER CELLARS – TALKS UPCOMING EVENTS (ITALIAN WINE STARS-OCTOBER 26)
Ian drinks wine for a living and plans 50-100 public and private events a year. Ian stays busy buying collectible wines for high profile clients, planning luxury wine trips for his audience, hosting corporate events, and studying for his Master of Wine. Since 1995, LearnAboutWine has done the hard work of building a better culture for fine wine, opening the doors for more quality products to enter the marketplace and has taught over 800,000 students. With a reach of over 80,000 current subscribers and followers, LearnAboutWine now focuses on the best quality events and classes, and wine credential programs which have graduated over 1000 wine students in the last 9 years with a Junior Wine Executive credential (JWE).
ABOUT BEEKEEPER CELLARS
Beekeeper Cellars is the vision of best friends and co-winemakers Ian Blackburn and Clay Mauritson. The two collaborated after adventurous individual careers in the wine business, and at last, decided to work together on a project of their own.
Clay, a 7th generation grape grower, and his family found themselves the owners of a significant slice of the Rockpile Appellation, through an amazing set of historical land transactions. The Mauritson family realized the potential and parented the creation of the ROCKPILE AVA. In 1998, Ian and Clay climbed the hill and watched the Madrone Spring Vineyard get planted, while discussing the future of Rockpile and the dream it represented.
In 2008, Clay saw the fruits of his family's labor taking shape and came to Ian with a unique opportunity to source some of the Rockpile fruit. He told Ian in the difficult days of 2008, “now is the time to get in and build the business and have it take shape as the market improves, and to not wait until business is strong as you will have a hard time getting access to the right quality assets.” Ian took heed of Clay’s wise comment and said "When your best friend is Clay Mauritson and he offers Rockpile fruit and to assist with winemaking…... you make Zinfandel.”
In Los Angeles, Ian operates a specialty wine marketing organization known as wineLA and has pioneered wine education for the past 20 years (since 1995) through www.learnaboutwine.com and www.wineLA.com. Beekeeper Cellars is also involved in Ian’s Masters of Wine Thesis project and provides him the winemaking training he requires to help pass the difficult Masters of Wine exam...an ongoing pursuit.
ITALIAN WINE STARS WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26, 2016
LA’s LARGEST GATHERING of ULTRA PREMIUM ITALIAN WINES
10% of all proceeds from wine purchases at this event will benefit TJ MARTELL FOUNDATION supporting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
6:00PM - 9:00PM
7:00PM - 9:00PM
PENINSULA BEVERLY HILLS
9882 S Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212