Monday, October 9, 2017

10/09 CHRISTOPHER TARANTO, PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE, PASO HARVEST WINE WEEKEND, ELLIOTT DOLIN, DOLIN MALIBU ESTATE VINEYARDS, LARRY VAN AALST, SONOMA FIRE

CHRISTOPHER TARANTO - COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE - PASO HARVEST WINE WEEKEND OCTOBER 20-22, 2017!

Halfway between the two main California metropolises of Los Angeles and San Francisco is Paso Robles Wine Country. Located along California’s famed Central Coast, the Paso Robles winegrape growing region’s climate is perfect for the production of award-winning premium wines. A long growing season of warm days and cool evenings gives rise to vibrantly ripened fruit with dynamic flavor profiles that translate beautifully in your glass of Paso Robles wine.

Traversing the landscape you will find 40,000 vineyard acres, producing more than 40 winegrape varieties – from Spanish to Italian, Bordeaux to Rhône, including the area’s heritage variety zinfandel. The styles of wine are diverse in this very distinct region.

40,000 vineyard acres & 40 winegrape varieties
Along your journey through Paso Robles Wine Country, take time to stroll the historic downtown to shop and dine. Boutique stores, wine country cuisine, and tasting rooms fill the blocks surrounding Paso Robles’ Downtown City Park. A scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, Paso Robles’ downtown completes the picture of Paso Robles Wine Country.

Neighboring Paso Robles along the coast are the towns of San Simeon, home to Hearst Castle on the north, and the fishing village of Morro Bay to the south. In between you will find Cambria, Harmony, and Cayucos. All are within a short drive and worthy of your exploration. Much like the marine air influence to the winegrapes, the coast is a perfect complement to your Paso Robles Wine Country experience.

We invite you to discover Paso Robles Wine Country. Use the links above to learn more about Paso Robles’ history, its wineries and vineyards and upcoming events. To find out more about visiting Paso Robles Wine Country, explore the touring and visitor information.

HARVEST WINE WEEKEND | OCTOBER 20-22, 2017!

We Harvest Happiness!
It’s time to be happy! A year’s hard work is rewarded with another great harvest. Come celebrate with us during Harvest Wine Weekend, October 20-22, 2017!

In Paso Robles Wine Country, you’ll discover award-winning wines, exceptional restaurants and breathtaking views all without tension or pretension. Try a taste for yourself with more than 140 weekend activities! Winemaker dinners, ceremonial grape stomps, barrel tastings, food and wine pairings, and live music are just a few of the exciting offerings that await!

Visit www.pasowine.com to search the full weekend of harvest events by day, winery or activity. You’re sure to find something to satisfy whatever your palate desires!

PASOWINE.COM


ELLIOTT DOLIN – PROPRIETOR, DOLIN MALIBU ESTATE VINEYARDS - HARVEST UPDATE/UPCOMING EVENTS

Inspired by a Chardonnay vineyard that Elliott and Lynn Dolin planted behind their Malibu home in 2006, Dolin Estate quickly emerged as one of the leading producers of estate Chardonnay in the Malibu Coast. Today its Malibu production has grown to include a second Chardonnay from Malibu Newton Canyon and two proprietary Malibu Coast red blends.

With the 2012 vintage, Dolin Estate broadened its scope beyond the boundaries of Malibu with a line of Central Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. The lineup includes a range of regional blends and single-vineyard designated bottles from revered sites such as Bien Nacido Vineyard, Solomon Hills Vineyard and John Sebastiano Vineyard.

The Dolin Malibu Coast Estate
The Dolin property sits at 400-ft. elevation just off Point Dume State Beach, where it benefits from a coastal microclimate with cool foggy mornings and large diurnal shifts. The site is laid out at a 45-degree eastward facing angle on the property’s sharply grated, south-oriented slope. The blend of Zuma volcanic soils and sandy loam has proven to be a perfect fit for Chardonnay.

Malibu Coast AVA
In 2011, wanting to offer a greater “sense of place” to the region, Elliott helped spearhead the establishment of the Malibu Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA) alongside other Malibu vintners. The Malibu Coast AVA is 46 miles long and eight miles wide, with the majority situated within the Santa Monica National Recreational Area.

Winemaking:
Respected Central Coast winemaker Kirby Anderson brings decades of experience and takes a mindful approach to winemaking at every stage of production, from harvest to bottling, to make balanced wines with rich fruit, bright acidity and voluptuous texture. He makes monthly visits to Malibu during the growing season to meet with Elliott and monitor the development of the fruit. Elliott in turn frequently travels to the winery and vineyards in the Central Coast to offer direction and feedback on the winemaking.

WWW.DOLINESTATE.COM

LARRY VAN AALST –  SONOMA FIRE UPDATE

LARRY HOSTS A WEEKLY PROGRAM ON CRN AND IS AN EXPERT ON WINE WHO IS SOUGHT AFTER FOR, TASTING AND MAJOR SOMMELIER EVENTS IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA. HE COMMENTS ON THE INDUSTRY, WHATS GOING ON IN THE SOMNOMA AREA AND HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT WINE.

Monday, October 2, 2017

10/02 STEPHEN DOOLEY, STEPHEN ROSS WINES, MIXOLOGIST JEN ACKRILL, SKY AND TOP OF WAIKIKI, HAWAII FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

STEPHEN ROSS DOOLEY -  WINEMAKER AND FOUNDER, STEPHEN ROSS WINES 

Small, family owned winery producing hand crafted wines on the South Central Coast of California. 

Stephen Ross Wine Cellars is a premium family run winery located in the Edna Valley specializing in vineyard designated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Winemaker and owner Stephen Dooley has become one of the most respected vintners in the region crafting exceptional wines from some of the most prestigious vineyards in the region.

In 2001 he developed an estate vineyard planted exclusively to Pinot Noir in partnership with Talley Vineyards called Stone Corral Vineyard located in the Edna Valley. Home to several well-known vineyards, the Edna Valley exemplifies the characteristic microclimate and geologic features, which are the hallmark of the south central coast; an east-west valley, which mitigates its temperate climate with cooling, ocean-borne breezes. This provides a long growing season ideal for the development of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Petite Sirah grapes.

Dooley is currently producing wines from grapes grown at prestigious vineyards such as Bien Nacido Vineyard, Oliver’s Vineyard, Dante Dusi Vineyard, Wolff Vineyard and Thomann Station in addition to the estate Stone Corral Vineyard. Pinot Noir is also being sourced from the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA in Monterey County. He also prodces Pinot Gris and Albarino.

The tasting room and winery is just a few miles from the vineyards of Edna Valley and located in the southern end of town in a mostly commercial area. Once inside the attractive tasting room the wines speak volumes for the commitment Steve has made to creating memorable wines.

The tasting room has an up to date modern look with a roomy tasting bar and small stand up tables made from oak barrels. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and ready to provide details of the wine making process and philosophy of the winemaker.

WWW.STEPHENROSSWINE.COM


MIXOLOGIST JEN ACKRILL - DIRECTOR OF MIXOLOGY FOR SKY AND TOP OF WAIKIKI TALKS ABOUT THE SEVENTH ANNUAL HAWAII FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

HAWAI‘I FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL 

The seventh annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival will feature world class food, wine, and COCKTAILS in Ka‘anapali, Maui from October 20-22nd.

Jen Ackrill,  Director of Mixology for Sky and Top of Waikiki, returns to Maui to dazzle guests with her dynamic drinks and charm. With a career spanning more than 17 years, she has developed cocktail programs for some of San Francisco’s premier watering holes including Rye—one of The City's first modern craft cocktail bars. She’s known for making original libations that take a nod from history—with the freshest of local ingredients. This year, the Festival will welcome 200 chefs, winemakers, and mixologists to the two-week long celebration on three islands.

The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. The Festival features a roster of more than 100 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. Co-founded by two of Hawai‘i’s own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry. Proceeds support local beneficiaries committed to sustainability and cultural and educational programs in Hawai‘i.
Dates: HFWF17 is October 20-November 5, 2017 on Maui, the Big Island and O‘ahu
Website to buy tickets and book travel: www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com
                                   
HFWF17 MAUI EVENTS:

20th Annual Roy’s Golf Classic- SOLD OUT
October 20th at Kā‘anapali Golf Course
(Golf tournament was added as the kickoff HFWF event 3 years ago.)
-Fun pairing of chefs, pro golfers, amateurs, food & cocktails spread out over 18 beautiful holes of Kaanapali golf course followed by dinner at Roys Kaanapali. Charity golf event benefits Imua Family Services.
-Hank’s Haute Dogs, Tin Roof’s Sheldon Simeon and more will serve up dishes on the course.

Global Street Food- TICKETS AVAILABLE
October 21st at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
-Beautiful setting on the lawn overlooking Maui’s famous Black Rock Beach
-13 world class chefs such as Jonathan Waxman, Roy Yamaguchi, Raphael Lunetta, and David LeFevere will create street food inspired from cuisine around the world using fresh local ingredients that will be paired with great wines and cocktails by Jen Ackrill and Chandra Lam Lucariello. At the end of the night, there will be a grand fireworks finale.

Hawaiian Airlines Presents Lucky 7 - TICKETS AVAILABLE
October 22nd at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
-Seven course wine-paired dinner featuring six top chefs will be a lucky celebration for our seventh year in a spectacular outdoor setting overlooking the Pacific at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.

WWW.HAWAIIFOODANDWINEFESTIVAL.COM

Monday, September 25, 2017

9/25 AVERYL DUNN, WASHINGTON STATE WINE, 2018 TASTE WASHINGTON FESTIVAL, IAN BLACKBURN, BEEKEEPER CELLARS, WINE LA

AVERYL DUNN FROM WASHINGTON STATE WINE - DATES ANNOUNCED FOR 2018 TASTE WASHINGTON FESTIVAL

DATES ANNOUNCED FOR 2018 TASTE WASHINGTON FESTIVAL
SEATTLE’S PREMIER WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL, TASTE WASHINGTON RETURNS MARCH 22-25, 2018

Coming off its biggest year ever, Taste Washington will be back for another four-day festival March 22-25, 2018. 

This past March, the 20th anniversary celebration drew more than 7,000 attendees – a festival record. The Grand Tasting poured over 675 wines, served bites from 65 restaurants – honoring Capital Grille as 2017 Best Bite award - and shucked 9,600 oysters! Planning for 2018 has begun and will include popular events including the Grand Tasting, educational seminars led by industry leaders, the Red and White Party, Taste Washington on the Farm, and the New Vintage. Tickets to the 21st annual Taste Washington will go on sale December 1, 2017 at www.tastewashington.org.

About Taste Washington:
Taste Washington is the largest single-region wine and food event in the United States, featuring more than 225 Washington State wineries and more than 65 Pacific Northwest restaurants. The 21st annual event will be held on March 22-25, 2018 at various locations in Seattle. The 2018 Taste Washington welcoming sponsor is Alaska Mileage Plan. The Washington State Wine Commission launched Taste Washington in 1998 and the festival is now produced by Visit Seattle. For more information, visit www.tastewashington.org.

About Washington State Wine:
Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSW provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness of the Washington State wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.

WWW.WASHINGTONWINE.ORG
WWW.TASTEWASHINGTON.ORG


IAN BLACKBURN – FOUNDER/CO-WINEMAKER, BEEKEEPER CELLARS & OWNER/FOUNDER, WINE LA 

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.

ABOUT WINELA
wineLA is about enhancing the wine culture of Los Angeles. To do so, wine must be in rhythm with fashion, music, food and other beverages.  It must take advantage of the geography, the architecture and the centers of interest. Los Angeles is a giant playground with an amazing array of venues, spaces, wine bars, restaurants, beaches, roof tops, gardens, and magical views. We want to be a part of the LA lifestyle, the wine lifestyle, and celebrate the people, the place and the passion.

wineLA will promote significant events, occasional classes, and tastings of merit. This is phase two of what we started 20 years ago at LearnAboutWine.com - America’s first wine education website and first in wine event creation. LearnAboutWine will now evolve onto a digital platform; the transformation will take some time; so we will slowly rebrand our event efforts onto wineLA, reduce the number of activities we focus on, and elevate our efforts to focus on the next big thing… Doing what is best for the wine industry and the communities we serve.  Edicts:  innovate, evolve and excite.

We thank you for joining our newsletter, we will be sending fewer emails and packing them with amazing content. We want to be your wine content provider and would love to hear about your favorite places, your music, your locations - we want to be under the influence of what ignites your passion for Los Angeles.

OCTOBER EVENTS:

WINES OF SOUTH AFRICA
100+ WINES - 200 GUESTS
Marina City Club - Marina Del Rey
Oct. 04, 2017 / 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM

THE FOOD EVENT 2017
THE NAME SAYS IT ALL - TONS OF WINE, BEER, FOOD & FUN!
Saddlerock Ranch - Malibu
Oct. 15, 2017 / 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

LA TIMES "BITE NIGHT"
CELEBRATING J. GOLDS TOP 101
The MacArthur - Los Angeles
Oct. 23, 2017 / 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

COLLECTABLE BURGUNDY VS. AGED BAROLO DINNER
Otium - Los Angeles
Oct. 26, 2017 / 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

FALL FOOD + WINE FESTIVAL
33RD ANNUAL EVENT
Parkway Grill - Pasadena
Oct. 29, 2017 / 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

9TH ANNUAL
STARS OF CABERNET
35 WINERIES - 1 NIGHT ONLY
Peninsula Beverly Hills
Nov. 15, 2017 / 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

WWW.WINELA.COM
WWW.BEEKEEPERCELLARS.COM

Monday, September 18, 2017

9/18 CHEF JENNIFER LUTTRELL, POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE, EVA BERTRAN, GLORIA FERRER CAVES & VINEYARDS, GLORIA FERRER’S 3RD ANNUAL GLORIOUS BITES CHALLENGE, ELIZABETH BURCHARD, BALDACCI FAMILY VINEYARDS

CHEF JENNIFER LUTTRELL, POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE & EVA BERTRAN, GLORIA FERRER CAVES & VINEYARDS

GLORIA FERRER’S 3RD ANNUAL GLORIOUS BITES CHALLENGE OPENS FOR ENTRIES 

Do you love food & wine pairing and know how to pull together creative, crowd-pleasing appetizers worthy of a trophy?  Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is searching for the nation’s most glorious appetizer recipe to pair with its Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut and it’s willing to pay $5,000 to get it!  Starting August 15th, budding home cooks age 21 and over are encouraged to channel their inner-foodie and submit their signature appetizer recipe for the 3rd annual nationwide Glorious Bites Challenge. Each recipe entered will be reviewed by a panel of wine and food experts based on originality, perceived taste appeal and perceived ability to pair with the award-winning Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut.  For official rules, entry deadlines and more please visit www.gloriousbites.com.  
Last year, Chera Little of Leander, Texas, beat out over 1,800 entries to take home the grand prize for her recipe for Miso-Maple Glazed Cod Wonton-Cho’s with Crispy Bok Choy Slaw.  This year, twelve semi-finalists will be chosen from all entrants to participate in three live cook-off events scheduled around the country that will culminate in the Glorious Bites Challenge Finals at Gloria Ferrer Winery in Sonoma, California. Tickets for all events are available now! Events include plenty of cookoff excitement, special guests, delicious Gloria Ferrer wines, savory bites and a cooking demonstration by Keynote Judge and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company Executive Chef Jennifer Luttrell.

OUR SIGNATURE BITE FROM POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY 
Gloria Ferrer is happy to once again partner with its Sonoma County neighbor, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, for the Glorious Bites Challenge.  The secret to all the cheeses made on the farm lies in the unique combination of 3 key ingredients: Grade A milk from a closed herd of Holstein cows that graze on the pastures overlooking Tomales Bay, the coastal fog and the salty Pacific breezes. Our three Glorious Bites Finalists will get to see the farm as VIPs and enjoy a five-course dinner the evening before the Glorious Bites Final Event prepared by Executive Chef Jennifer Luttrell.

Luttrell has been the Executive Chef of The Fork, a Culinary and Educational Center on the Giacomini family dairy at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company in Point Reyes, California, since 2011.  For the second year in a row, she will serve as our Keynote Judge at each Gloria Ferrer Glorious Bites Challenge event and has created a delicious signature appetizer using the iconic Point Reyes Original Blue!

WWW.GLORIOUSBITES.COM
WWW.GLORIAFERRER.COM
WWW.POINTREYESCHEESE.COM


ELIZABETH BURCHARD - DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING, BALDACCI FAMILY VINEYARDS 

Our entire selection of wine is treated with the same love and diligence shown in the gift of family.

We are a family-owned winery that specializes in the production of Cabernet Sauvignons. With each sip of our wine, there is no denying the taste of love and hard work put into every bottle.

WWW.BALDACCIVINEYARDS.COM

Monday, September 4, 2017

09/04 BROADCASTING LIVE FROM TASTE OF SONOMA

BROADCASTING LIVE FROM TASTE OF SONOMA
Green Music Center at Sonoma State University

Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Sonoma County’s esteemed wine country, the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University offers an exciting new location for an event where Sonoma County’s top winemakers, growers and chefs come together to celebrate the region’s finest wine and food.

At Taste of Sonoma at Green Music Center at Sonoma State University you’ll taste your way through a microcosm of Sonoma County’s most incredible flavors. Wineries from across Sonoma County pour literally thousands of wines. Local chefs concoct their most perfect pairings. All set within the backdrop of musical inspiration.

Plus, you’re invited to experience seminars and demonstrations that cover a wide range of topics from terroir to technique, as well as chef’s tips and tricks. Taste of Sonoma is THE wine event of the year, and it promises a weekend filled with fabulous wine, food and fun.  Saturday, gates are open from 12pm to 4pm and Club Reserve ticket holders also receive exclusive VIP access to Taste of Sonoma on Saturday from 11:00am – 12:00pm, before the event opens to the general public.

SONOMAWINECOUNTRYWEEKEND.COM
SONOMAWINE.COM

THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE JOINED MIKE AND LARRY ON THIS SPECIAL BROADCAST:

  • BILL SILVER - DEAN, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS & ECONOMICS AT SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY 
  • RAY JOHNSON - DIRECTOR OF THE WINE BUSINESS INSTITUTE AT SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
  • CHEF THOMAS SCHMIDT - JOHN ASH & CO. AND CULINARY HOST  
  • RANDY ULLOM - WINEMAKER,  KENDALL-JACKSON
  • JOE ANDERSON - PROPRIETOR, BENOVIA WINERY 
  • JEAN ARNOLD SESSION - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS 
  • KELIN CASTLEBERRY BACKMAN - MANAGING DIRECTOR,  SONOMA WINE COUNTRY WEEKEND




Monday, August 28, 2017

08/28 PETER MONDAVI JR., CHARLES KRUG WINERY, FRED SCHERRER, SCHERRER WINERY

PETER MONDAVI JR. – CO-PROPRIETOR, CHARLES KRUG WINERY

Now under the guidance of Peter Mondavi Sr., the Charles Krug Winery honors its roots while forging ahead to the future. From the Wild West to the twenty-first century, relatively crude beginnings gave way to the finest form of winemaking.

Founded in 1861 by Charles Krug, the 27-year old Prussian immigrant came to America with little besides willpower and a willingness to work hard to build the cornerstone of the first winery in the Napa Valley. He became the major local winery figure of his era, greatly influencing Napa Valley's development as a world-renown wine producing region.

His leadership was said to be inspirational and his ideas innovative. Charles Krug introduced the cider press for winemaking, the first of which is still on display at the winery. He carefully selected rootstocks, varietals and vineyard sites - a novel concept in late 19th century America.

After his death in 1892, James Moffitt held the winery in proprietorship through Prohibition. By 1943, he found a pioneering spirit in Cesare Mondavi, an Italian immigrant with a passion for wine, and sold the winery to his family for $75,000.

At 60 years old, Cesare Mondavi spearheaded a dramatic renaissance in the decade that followed. Wine historian Charles Sullivan writes in his book, Napa Wine, “By the early 1950s it was irrefutable that the Valley's Big Four had been augmented by one - the Charles Krug Winery”.

Cesare died in 1959 leaving Rosa as President with sons Robert as General Manager and Peter as Vice President. In 1966, Robert moved south to Oakville and began construction of his own winery. Upon Rosa's death in 1976, Peter became President of the winery.

Peter's industry innovations from his studies at Stanford and Berkeley included revolutionary research on cold fermentation, enabling the production of exceptionally crisp, fruity white wines. His pioneering efforts to plant vineyards in the Carneros region with chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, cold sterile filtration techniques and aging wine in small French oak barrels contributed to his being named one of the twelve “Living Legends” in 1999 by the Napa Valley Vintners Association.

Above all else, Charles Krug Winery is a family winery. Peter Sr. and his sons Marc and Peter Jr. continue their dedication to producing the finest Bordeaux style wines in the Napa Valley. To achieve this, they initiated a nine-year, $22 million investment program completed in 2010. Over 400 of the winery's 850 prime acres in Napa Valley have been re-planted and state-of-the-art winemaking equipment is now in use.

WWW.CHARLESKRUG.COM


FRED SCHERRER – SCHERRER WINERY

THE WINERY AND WINEMAKING
“In the mid-1970’s, due to a normal teenage interest in alcoholic beverages, my family allowed me to make some wine from the family vineyard and beer at home (under adult supervision, of course). This led to a UC Davis degree as well as concurrent work at a local winery doing the dirtiest and most menial jobs imaginable. In the mid-1980’s good friends at Duxoup Wine Works (think Marx Brothers for the pronunciation) inspired me to try my hand at my own label so I negotiated cellar space in lieu of a raise by my then-current employer, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards in Anderson Valley (I got a raise anyway). Greenwood Ridge was supportive of my project and decided to have some Scherrer Zinfandel produced for their label as well. Unfortunately, I had a poor business plan and during the first year I realized I was not yet ready for this project. Greenwood Ridge continued to make a small amount of Scherrer Vineyard Zinfandel for many years.

Enter Dehlinger Winery in the late 1980’s. Tom Dehlinger was very supportive of my long-term plans and challenged me to develop a solid business plan, facilitating an important entry into my own project. In return, his winery received my heart and soul for a decade. The final key element in our getting started was from my parents. They allowed me to delay paying them for their fine grapes until we began getting cash flow from our wine sales. By 1997, we were ready to make the move to a facility of our own. In anticipation of this, we were able to add Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to supplement the Zinfandel we were producing, all from my father’s vineyard in Alexander Valley. Tom Dehlinger supported this transition of my focus, allowing me to produce these additional wines in his facility and we parted very amicably after that vintage.

And so after the harvest of 1997, I moved our operation to a corner of an apple packing shed-turned-winery, finally leasing the entire building. During this period, our production grew from just the three varietals from Scherrer Vineyard, to now typically a dozen wines, about half of which are Pinot Noir. Total production is now 4000 to 5000 cases. My good frieStefanie Salem is the Founder & CEO of the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. Salem takes her entrepreneurial and international business background combined with her insatiable love for all things food, wine and cooking to curate and lead all programming for each year’s event. Her 20 years of business experience, which includes living and working in foreign countries, collaborating with political leaders and leading projects with economic corporations, has played a key role in helping her secure high-profile sponsors, participants and partners to make the Festival a true world-class event.

Salem’s impressive career accomplishments have included: promoting foreign investment in emerging markets by working with Heads of State, Ministers and CEO’s of multinational and local corporations in the countries of Greece, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Nigeria. Salem also led editorial advertising in US News and World Report, Sunday Telegraph (UK) and USA Today. Subsequently, she was Founder and President of Hampton Court Publishing, London, which published “In God’s Time, the Building of a Democratic Nation”, focusing on the cultural, historical and political independence of Nigeria where she worked with President Obasanjo, Vice President Abubakar, all 36 Governors and Ministers. After founding the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival in 2014, Salem was honored as one of the “Most Influential People of 2015” by Newport Beach Magazine. In that same year, the Festival was also touted as the “Top 5 Places to Travel to in October (World-wide)” by Forbes Travel.

Salem considers herself a “taste-bud traveler”, gaining much of her inspiration for the Festival by experiencing cultural cuisine throughout her international business travels, and today, traveling the world with her two sons, family and closest friends. Salem also enjoys frequenting restaurants around Orange County, wining and dining with her chef and master sommelier pals, cooking gourmet meals at home and never missing an episode of “Top Chef.”

Salem was born and raised in Southern California and earned her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 1992.nd, Don Bliss helped me whenever I needed a hand (or a finger to dial 911 in the unlikely event of a forklift mistake) during the first years until he sold his fine vineyard and moved back to his native Texas in 2006. Since then, I have been able to impose on a handful of friends and local customers when I have needed help, but still continue to work at the winery pretty much alone most of the year. Judi, my wife, has handled administrative and compliance for the winery since 2002, keeping me out of trouble with bureaucrats and making sure we are able to conform with the complex and changing world of direct shipping and wholesaling laws, reports and fees.”

WWW.SCHERRERWINERY.COM

Monday, August 21, 2017

08/21 JAMIE PETERS, WINESONG, SOMMELIER AUSTIN FLORES, THE WESTIN MAUI RESORT & SPA

JAMIE PETERS - EVENT DIRECTOR FOR WINESONG (MENDOCINO’S PREMIER FOOD & WINE EVENT

ABOUT WINESONG & THE MENDOCINO COAST HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
Winesong is produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Its mission is to help the small rural Hospital provide the best possible medical care to residents as well as the many visitors to the Mendocino Coast. Winesong proceeds have enabled the Hospital to purchase chemotherapy equipment, portable ultrasound machines for the Emergency Room as well as a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Center, Cardiology Equipment, a Bedside Medicine Verification System and most recently, a Nurse Call System and a Patient Monitor Alert & Telemetry System.

OVERVIEW OF EVENTS:

A Pinot Noir Celebration: Meet the Winemakers
Friday, September 8, 2017 | 1 to 4 p.m.
The weekend kicks off with a prestigious Pinot Noir tasting, presented by Winesong and hosted by Little River Inn. Attendees will enjoy Pinot Noir from renowned Anderson Valley, along with wines from other award-winning pinot regions, alongside tastes of Little River Inn’s finest culinary offerings. General Admission Tickets for A Pinot Noir Celebration: Meet the Winemakers are $75 per person.

Wine & Food Grand Tasting in the Gardens
Saturday, September 9, 2017 | 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Stroll through the lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens while enjoying vintages poured by world-class wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond. Sample beer, spirits, and food from 50 of Mendocino County’s finest purveyors. The tasting is accented by various musical groups performing a variety of styles including jazz, classical, blues, calypso and folk rock. General Admission Tickets with festival seating at auction and access to wine and food tasting are $125 per person for Early Responders; $150 per person after June 1st.

Silent & Live Charity Auctions
Saturday, September 9, 2017 | SILENT: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; LIVE: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The centerpiece of Winesong weekend is the Charity Auction, featuring both a silent and live auction. Nearly 200 lots will be on offer, featuring spectacular wines from the world’s most prestigious wine producers, rare vintages, large format bottles and special vertical and horizontal collections, as well as original art from acclaimed California artists and highly coveted international and domestic vacation packages. Auction Reserve Tickets with assigned seating under the auction tent (w/catered lunch) and access to wine and food tasting are $225 per person for Early Responders; $250 per person after June 1st.

WINESONG.ORG


SOMMELIER AUSTIN FLORES - RESTAURANT & BAR MANAGER @ THE WESTIN MAUI RESORT & SPA

ABOUT THE WESTIN MAUI RESORT AND SPA
"Where Heaven and Aloha Meet"™

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa is situated along a spectacular stretch of the famed Ka'anapali Beach. This oceanfront resort blends an endless array of activities and amenities with gracious aloha spirit, perfect for any Hawaiian vacation.

Located beachfront with spectacular views of Lana'i and Moloka'i, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa is just minutes from Maui's many attractions, yet remains a world unto itself, where exclusive services, first-rate restaurants, cultured entertainment and thrilling diversions satisfy every interest.

WWW.WESTINMAUI.COM

Monday, August 14, 2017

08/14 JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET, RAYMOND VINEYARDS, MIKE REYNOLDS, WALT WINES

JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET - PROPRIETOR, RAYMOND VINEYARDS

RAYMOND VINEYARDS PURCHASES THE 55-ACRE  BARTOLUCCI-STICE VINEYARD IN ST. HELENA

Raymond Vineyards, and Boisset Collection, have purchased the 55-acre Bartolucci Vineyard off of Stice Lane in St. Helena. The vineyard is adjacent to Raymond’s existing Stice Vineyard, and has 47 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Following the philosophy of all of Boisset’s estate vineyards, the Bartolucci vineyard will be converted to certified Napa Green, certified organic and certified Biodynamic®   farming. The addition of another estate vineyard in St. Helena, in the heart of the upper Napa Valley near the Raymond winery, shows Boisset’s ongoing, long-term commitment to the region. The addition of the Bartolucci-Stice Vineyard follows the 2015 purchase of the Ticen Ranch on Highway 29, with 25 acres of Rutherford vineyards. Raymond Vineyards now comprises 380 acres in Napa Valley.

“We believe in Napa Valley, and we believe in the importance of a long-term vision of making fine wines with a deep commitment and respect to the most prestigious and high-quality terroir,” said Raymond Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset. “The addition of this phenomenal site in St. Helena from a great Napa family strengthens Raymond and ensures continuity and respect of the Bartolucci’s family legacy.”

The Bartoluccis are a multi-generational Napa Valley farming family that sought another owner to steward their vineyards for generations to come. They found in Boisset a like-minded commitment to family farming that will respect and enhance the quality of the site. The Bartolucci family has been farming in Napa Valley for four generations, starting in the 1920s, while Raymond celebrates a five generation family legacy of winemaking dating to the earliest foundations of the Napa Valley. The Bartolucci-Stice vineyard was originally planted in 1976, just two years after the first harvest of Raymond Vineyards in 1974.

With this year’s release of its 2014 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Raymond is celebrating 40 years of winemaking in Napa Valley since its first vintage in 1974. “We believe that Raymond, today, is characterizing a new style of Napa Valley wine with elegance, finesse, charisma, eloquence and power,” said Boisset.

Since purchasing Raymond in 2009, Boisset has infused the winery with energy, innovation, passion and dynamism while respecting and celebrating its family heritage, and deepening the winery’s commitment to Napa Valley vineyards and farming. Raymond Winemaker Stephanie Putnam, along with Consulting Winemaker Philippe Melka, makes Cabernet Sauvignon from 13 of Napa’s 16 sub-AVAs in order to highlight and express the incredible diversity of the valley and the winery’s dedication to terroir. Under Boisset’s vision, Raymond has been named Sunset magazine’s “Best Tasting Room – Experience Beyond Tasting” in 2011; the 2012 American Winery of the Year and the 2016 Wine and Culture Wine Star by Wine Enthusiast ; the “Best Unique Tasting Experience” by CellarPass; "Best of the Bay – Best Wine Tasting Room, Napa" by the North Bay Bohemian; and named to Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2013 for its Generations Cabernet Sauvignon.

ABOUT RAYMOND VINEYARDS 
Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, comprises a 380-acre estate in Rutherford, St. Helena and Jameson Canyon. Five generations of the Raymond family created a Napa icon, with an enduring reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, power and complexity. Today, guided by the vision of Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset, Raymond Vineyards is one of the wine world’s most dynamic winery destinations. Highly-ranked wines are crafted by Winemaker Stephanie Putnam and Consulting Winemaker Phillipe Melka from Raymond’s certified organic and Biodynamic® estate vineyards and select long-term vineyard partners. The winery’s guest experiences unite education, passion and entertainment, offering diverse opportunities to explore wine. The solar-powered winery is certified by CCOF, Demeter Biodynamic, Napa Green, Fish Friendly Farming and California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

ABOUT BOISSET COLLECTION 
Boisset is a family-owned collection of historic and unique wineries bound together by a common cause: authentic, terroir-driven wines in harmony with their history, their future and the land and people essential to their existence. With more than twenty-five historical and prestigious wineries in the world’s preeminent terroirs, including the Côte d’Or, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, California’s Russian River Valley and the Napa Valley, each house retains its unique history, identity, and style, and all are united in the pursuit of fine wines expressive of their terroir.

WWW.RAYMONDVINEYARDS.COM
WWW.BOISSETCOLLECTION.COM


MIKE REYNOLDS - PRESIDENT, WALT WINES

WHO WE ARE: 1,000 MILES OF PINOT
Owned by Vintners Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall, WALT has a passion for producing wines of a place – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific Coast’s most distinctive vineyard sites. Spanning over 1,000 miles, the WALT portfolio of vineyards includes the Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley, Los Carneros, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Willamette Valley appellations.

Our winemaking philosophy deliberately approaches the vineyard as the priority in making these varieties. As stewards of the grapes, our winemakers work hard to firmly but delicately extract flavors and characteristics so that our wines naturally and honestly express the character of the sites where they are grown. Since the inaugural 2010 vintage, WALT is renowned for its consistency and believes strongly in the timeless qualities of balance and bold, flavorful wines. WALT is a part of the HALL Wines family in Napa Valley, one of the leading luxury wine brands in the world.

WINES
The current WALT portfolio of wines includes 12 Pinot Noirs, 3 Chardonnays, and 1 Rosé of Pinot Noir sourced from premier vineyards along the Pacific Coast representing 1,000 miles of Pinot. We seek locations in cool climates with low-vigor, hillside vineyards that produce bold, elegant, opulent, supple and silky wines. Our wines come from both Estate Vineyards (approx. 140 acres) and 17 unique vineyard partners. Each partner possesses an optimal site, infrastructure and a true passion for quality. We have enormous respect for our extended family of winegrowers.

WWW.WALTWINES.COM

Monday, August 7, 2017

08/07 SCOTT RICH - WINEMAKER, MORAGA VINEYARDS - LA'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS BORDEAUX STYLE WINE, RUSS JOY, STE MICHELLE WINE ESTATES, SONOMA WINE COUNTRY WEEKEND, SONOMA COUNTY WINE AUCTION

SCOTT RICH - WINEMAKER, MORAGA VINEYARDS - LA'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS BORDEAUX STYLE WINE

Moraga Vineyards is a wine growing estate in the Santa Monica Mountains at an elevation of 600 to 900 feet, five miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Los Angeles community of Bel Air. From the care of each individual vine, to the selection and blending processes, to the hand labeling of each bottle, every effort is taken to produce wine of distinctive style and quality.

OUR STORY
Grapes are not foreign to this canyon land. The overland expedition of Don Caspar de Portola, which established the route of the California missions (El Camino Real), passed by Moraga Canyon in August of 1769. In his diary, expedition member Father Juan Crespi mentions a “profusion of wild grapes and Castilian roses in full bloom” in the canyon. Wild roses still exist on the property and are represented on the four corners of the Moraga wine label.

OUR WINES
Our focus is to create the highest quality wine while preserving the essence of place. With the experience of each vintage, we have been able to improve our understanding of the ripening patterns of the vineyards. We selectively pick from vines that have come to full maturity on the basis of taste. Ultimately, it is all about flavor and tannin development.

MORAGAVINEYARDS.COM


RUSS JOY CURRENTLY SERVES AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS BOARD AND IS A 4TH GENERATION GRAPE GROWER.

TASTE OF SONOMA :
LABOR DAY WEEKEND  |  SEPTEMBER 2, 2017
DONALD AND MAUREEN GREEN MUSIC CENTER AT SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Sonoma County’s esteemed wine country, the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center at Sonoma State University offers an exciting new location for an event where Sonoma County’s top winemakers, growers and chefs come together to celebrate the region’s finest wine and food.

At Taste of Sonoma at Green Music Center at Sonoma State University you’ll taste your way through a microcosm of Sonoma County’s most incredible flavors. Over 200 wineries pour literally thousands of wines. Over 60 local chefs concoct their most perfect pairings. All set within the backdrop of musical inspiration.

Plus, you’re invited to experience seminars and demonstrations that cover a wide range of topics from terroir to technique, as well as chef’s tips and tricks. Taste of Sonoma is THE wine and food event of the year, and it promises a weekend filled with fabulous wine, food and fun. Club Reserve ticket holders also receive exclusive VIP access to the entire event from 11 AM to noon on Saturday, September 2nd prior to the general admission entrance opening at 12 PM.

SONOMAWINECOUNTRYWEEKEND.COM
SONOMACOUNTYWINEAUCTION.COM

Monday, July 31, 2017

7/31 STEVEN URBERG, WINDVANE, FREIXENET USA, BILL PHELPS, JOSEPH PHELPS VINEYARDS

STEVEN URBERG - WINEMAKER, WINDVANE 

WindVane was created as an homage to the wind that contributes to the unique character of Carneros wines. After working in the same vineyards for years, our winemaker Steven Urberg was intrigued by some of the windiest vineyard blocks in the estate. The wines coming from these wind-blown vines are concentrated with great depth of fruit and a generous mouthfeel. WindVane is selected from the very best parcels throughout our 335 acres of estate vineyards in the Carneros region of Northern California. Our unique property has an East facing exposure with a mountain range directly alongside the West side of the vineyards. The mountains provide altitude, shallow rocky soils, shade from the intense afternoon sun and they also serve to funnel the intense Pacific Coast breezes directly onto the vineyards. We select vines from the steepest, rockiest areas of the vineyards where the soils are very thin and the vines are challenged throughout the growing season. They face the natural elements of a cooler marine layer in the mornings and afternoons, and intense wind which results in small crops of very slow ripening fruit that produces intense character.

ABOUT  STEVEN URBERG - WINEMAKER
Steven Urberg’s finely tuned sense of focus, passion for detail, and strong science background are indispensable in crafting Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines. As a young man from Detroit, who came to California by way of U.C. Berkeley for graduate school in chemistry, Steven discovered that winemaking provides a way in which to use his innate technical ability in creating wine as an art.  His journey into winemaking began in 1995, when he decided to take a break from chemistry. He was offered a job at the Hess Collection, working in the cellar, and he never looked back. “The excitement of that first harvest at the Hess Collection inspired me to take a left turn from the path of chemistry research, return to graduate school at U.C. Davis, and pursue my new passion of winemaking,” says Urberg.  With his tremendous ability for hard work and focus, Steven Urberg integrates his scientific background with inspired artistry in crafting elegant and balanced Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines.. The diverse array of clones planted on the Gloria Ferrer estate vineyards, married with the Carneros terroir, result in a palate of flavors that is a dream come true to a scientist with an artistic bent. Clearly, Steven has the discipline and talent required to create the Gloria Ferrer wines that are true expressions of the Carneros region — sparkling and estate varietal wines — vintage to vintage.

WWW.WINDVANEWINES.COM 


BILL PHELPS - EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, JOSEPH PHELPS VINEYARDS 

Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch nearSt. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varieties, Insignia, first produced in 1974.

ABOUT BILL PHELPS - EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND PART OF THE FAMILY’S SECOND GENERATION
Bill Phelps was named Executive Chairman of Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 2016 having servedas President of the winerysince 2008. In his current role Bill’s primary responsibility is to ensure long-term family ownership and operation of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, and to overseestrategic planningfor the winery and vineyard operations in both Napa Valley and the western Sonoma Coast.

Bill moved to Napa Valley in 1998 after a successful 20-year careerin law, primarily in the investment banking industry. In so doing, he became the first member of Phelps’ second generation to have an active role atthe winery on a long-term basis. He worked closely with his father, Joe Phelps, gradually taking on responsibility for the winery’s day-to-day operationsuntil his appointment as President in 2008. Billwasinstrumental in moving the wineryto an entirely estate-grown wine producer, a significant shift in strategy that was fully implemented by the harvestof2009. He was also involved in identifying and acquiring Phelps’ vineyard properties in Freestone on the western Sonoma Coast, and helped to oversee the construction of the winery there as well as the development of the wines.

Bill’s first role at Joseph Phelps Vineyards dates back to 1974 when he worked on the construction crew that built Phelps’ Napa Valley winery. He was on a summer break from college, and he remembers his father, Joe, driving him around Napa Valley and pointing outthelandmarks. “He sensed Napa Valley was going to be an important place for wine.”Today, as Executive Chairman, Bill is most concerned with preserving the legacy of Joseph Phelps Vineyards as a family-owned and operated winery. “Everything wedo is oriented to that goal.”

Bill is a past board member of the Land Trust of Napa County and the Community Foundation of the Napa Valley. He currently serves on the board of the Wine Service Co-Operative and is President of the St. Helena Choral Society.He is a graduate of Colorado College and the University of California’s Hastings College of Law.He and his wife, Andrea, live in St. Helena.

WWW.JOSEPHPHELPS.COM


Monday, July 24, 2017

7/24 JOHN CLEWS, KULETO ESTATE WINERY, GUY PACURAR, FATHERS + DAUGHTERS CELLARS

JOHN CLEWS FROM KULETO ESTATE WINERY 

Located on the eastern edge of the Napa Valley overlooking Lake Hennessey and the town of Rutherford, this extraordinary mountaintop estate features 82 individual vineyard blocks, three distinctive soil types, and a range of elevations and exposures. From this rich and diverse palette of fruit, Kuleto Estate produces a small portfolio of exceptional estate grown wines.

WWW.KULETOESTATE.COM 


GUY PACURAR - OWNER, FATHERS + DAUGHTERS CELLARS 

Fathers & Daughters Cellars is one family's labor of love to produce artisanal wines from the Anderson Valley's storied Ferrington Vineyard. Small batches, carefully crafted and fermented using old-world techniques, yield wines that are truly reflective of their terroir. Like the relationship between a father and daughter, these wines will continue to evolve as they mature.

Monday, July 17, 2017

7/17 GAVIN CHANIN, CHANIN WINE COMPANY, SHELLEY KEKUNA, KAANAPALI BEACH RESORT ASSOCIATION

GAVIN CHANIN - FOUNDER/WINEMAKER, CHANIN WINE COMPANY

Chanin Wine Co. is dedicated to crafting wines from Santa Barbara County that reflect the individual vineyard in which they are grown. We focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two grapes that are especially revealing of subtle differences in geography, geology and climate. Our grapes are grown in Santa Barbara County, where cool coastal winds, diverse marine based soils and a long growing season provide an exciting and unique environment for Burgundian varieties.

The vineyards are the focus of all of our wines and each wine is made from grapes grown at one vineyard and not blended. We search out old vines, and make wine from some of the oldest in the county. This allows us to make refreshingly balanced wines at lower alcohol levels than most California “blockbuster” or “cult” styled wines. Through low yields, improved farming techniques and gentle winemaking we aim to create a wine that pairs well with food and is delicious young, but is also age-worthy. All of our vineyards are organic or sustainably farmed.

Our winemaking philosophy is rooted in representing each individual vineyard by emphasizing balance, finesse, and complexity. We avoid excessive alcohol, and modern winemaking additives (such as commercial yeasts, bacteria, enzymes) that can overshadow vineyard characteristics. We also do not filter our wines or use intrusive wine processing machines. The goal is to grow grapes that are so healthy none of the above is needed.

CHANINWINE.COM


SHELLEY KEKUNA - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KAANAPALI BEACH RESORT ASSOCIATION

KAANAPALI. WHERE THE WORLD COMES TO PLAY.
Kaanapali is a three-mile stretch of beach that has been touted as one of the best beaches on Maui, and even in America. Long ago, these sands and lush gardens were enjoyed by Hawaiian kings and queens who sought a relaxing, rejuvenating retreat. The land itself was once comprised of green sugar cane and taro, grown with the help of the Maui sun and a freshwater spring. This magical spot is steeped in culture, from when it was used as a training ground for Hawaiian warriors in ancient times, to the romantic days of “Old Hawaii” in the ’30s and ’40s, to the present.

Today, couples, friends, and families still gravitate here for all this renowned beach has to offer, but also for its fabulous resorts and condos. And Kaanapali Beach Resort provides the best of the best, with easy access to everything you want to see and do. For beauty, excitement, convenience, and comfort, it simply can’t be matched.

SEVENTH ANNUAL HAWAII FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
October 20th-22nd, 2017 the lush paradise of Ka‘anapali Beach Resort will feature a roster of internationally renowned master chefs and culinary personalities for the
Seventh Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival! #HFWF17
kaanapaliresort.com/hawaii-food-wine-festival/

KAANAPALIRESORT.COM


Monday, July 10, 2017

07/10 GARY FRANSCIONI, ROAR WINES, T.J. DE JONY, PIEDRA CREEK WINERY

GARY FRANSCIONI - PROPRIETOR, ROAR WINES

ROAR Wines is the realization of our family’s more than 100-year love affair with the Santa Lucia Highlands. It’s a relationship rooted in four generations of farming and nurtured today in a small portfolio of premium Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier.

Recognizing the region’s potential for premium wine grapes, we planted our first vineyard in 1996 and named it for Rosella. In 1997 we planted the Garys’ Vineyard in partnership with our good friends and fellow grape growers, the Pisoni family. Since then we’ve planted two more vineyards; our “high-altitude” Sierra Mar Vineyard located at 1000ft above the valley floor and the Soberanes Vineyard, a second partnership with the Pisoni family, located on one of the area’s oldest land grants.

In 2001, after years spent developing the pedigree of our vineyards with top-tier wineries, we launched ROAR Wines to showcase the signature flavors of our vineyards and Santa Lucia Highlands in a small portfolio of single vineyard and appellated bottlings. The name ROAR is inspired by our family’s passion for work and play; paying homage to the Monterey Bay winds that roar through our vineyards and the thunderous roar of a stadium full of sports fans.
We hope you enjoy our wines, and look forward to raising a glass together with you soon.
Gary, Rosella, Adam & Nick Franscioni

ABOUT GARY FRANSCIONI
Gary Franscioni is a third generation Santa Lucia Highlands farmer. His grandfather, Silvio Franscioni Sr, immigrated to the area from Switzerland in 1886, and started a dairy. Years later, Gary’s father, Joe Franscioni, shifted the farming focus to row crops including beans, potatoes and sugar beets. Gary grew up in the family business, and developed a deep respect for the land and what it could produce when nurtured properly. Upon graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in agri-business, he took over management of the family’s farming business, which owned and managed more than 200 acres of row crops in the Salinas Valley.

Recognizing the region’s potential for premium wine grapes, Gary turned his focus to viticulture. He planted Rosella’s Vineyard in 1996 and partnered with Gary Pisoni in the Garys’ Vineyard a year later. In 2001, after developing his reputation as a grower with Rosella’s and Garys’ Vineyard, Gary and his wife Rosella launched ROAR Wines.

Today Gary is the driving force behind ROAR, overseeing all vineyard and winery operations.

WWW.ROARWINES.COM


T.J. DE JONY - PIEDRA CREEK WINERY

Piedra Creek Winery was conceived atop a small knoll in the heart of the MacGregor Vineyard overlooking the beautiful Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo, California.

In 1984 Piedra Creek Winery became the smallest bonded winery in the Edna Valley, if not the state of California, originally producing only a couple hundred cases of estate sourced Chardonnay.

The ultra small batch wines quickly gained notoriety. The grapes used would not come from a selected vineyard, nor from blocks within vineyards, but rather from only the best plants of the 55 acre Chardonnay vineyard. The result: only the best fruit would be used to make the finest wines possible.

In 1999, San Floriano vineyard was planted and Piedra Creek Winery moved. The unique and meticulous practice of hand selecting only the highest quality fruit played a fundamental role in the formation of San Floriano vineyard.

Today, Piedra Creek Winery Estate wines are sourced exclusively from the San Floriano vineyard, which was planted with the fixe of producing highest quality fruit. Compact spacing and short rows, are all planted within walking distance of the winemaker’s house. This allows for the utmost attention to detail, resulting in the highest quality of farming, cultivation, grape growing and wine making practices, building on the heritage of Piedra Creek.

PIEDRACREEK.COM

Monday, July 3, 2017

07/03 STEVE CASS, CASS VINEYARD AND WINERY, SEAN D. PITTS, HAPPY CANYON VINEYARD

STEVE CASS - OWNER, CASS VINEYARD AND WINERY

THE CASS STORY
In 1999, Steve Cass retired from his career of twenty years at Charles Schwab.   Forty-eight at the time, Steve had planned a sailing trip around the world with his wife Alice in order to give some thought as to what to do with their retirement years. After a few weeks on a boat with Steve in the Mediterranean on a stormy test sailing trip, Alice informed Steve that there was no way she was going to participate in this trip!

Thinking about what to do now, Steve knew he wanted to move out of the San Francisco Bay Area. He had visited Paso Robles a few years before and really liked the area and also subsequently heard it was quite the burgeoning wine country.  A great place to start a vineyard.  He then took on an exploratory trip to find a potential home and vineyard site.  He was with a real estate agent and Paso Robles pioneer grape grower Jim Smoot when they came upon the then pastureland of Cass Vineyard.  A year later in 2000 the 145 acre Cass Vineyard was established with twelve varieties to be planted. The barn to house all the farming equipment was built at roughly the same time.

In 2002, the man that built the new Cass residence and barn, Ted Plemons, and Steve Cass took a golfing/wine-tasting trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa to celebrate the completion of the residence and the establishment of the vineyard. During this trip they fell in love with the South African wine style and the ambiance of the tasting rooms there.

One night during this trip they sat down for dinner at a fancy South African restaurant and were amazed to see how inexpensive their bill was due to the value of the South African rand being so low. So, they ordered another bottle of wine, or two… During the consumption of these Syrahs Steve and Ted agreed to become business partners in starting a winery. Ted is a builder and knew how tough building permits could be to come by in regards to starting a tasting room. He had seen multiple year waiting periods with some Santa Ynez wineries at the time. So they decided to jump at the opportunity because at the time building permits for wineries in Paso Robles were relatively easy to come by.

The next day, they took a trip to the local University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, and put up a job wanted sign for an assistant winemaker.  After a short interview process, Cass found winemaker Lood Kotze who ended up being head winemaker at Cass up until 2014.  Once the vineyard began to bear fruit in 2003, the first vintage began. Two years later when the barn was finished being converted into a tasting room and the reds had aged a few years in the barrel, the Cass Winery tasting room opened its doors in May 2005.

WWW.CASSWINES.COM


SEAN D. PITTS EXECUTIVE WINEMAKER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAPPY CANYON VINEYARD


OUR FAMILY
Happy Canyon Vineyard is a family owned and operated estate vineyard and boutique winery on the central coast of California that has gained esteem with our award winning Bordeaux varietal wines. Our vineyard is nestled into the undulating hills of the beautiful Piocho Ranch at the eastern most edge of the Santa Ynez Valley. The ranch and vineyard is where we, the Barrack family, call home. We have taken great pride over the years in being stewards of the land and created wines that are unique to the beauty, richness, and heritage of the “terroir”. On our ranch we have two regulation sized Polo fields and many powerful Polo ponies where we blend our commitment to excellence in wine with a passion for Polo.

SEAN D. PITTS
As Executive Winemaker and Managing Director of Happy Canyon Vineyard, Sean Pitts is responsible for all operations of the vineyard and winery including overseeing winemaking, partner contracts and personnel management. Sean oversees the sales and marketing programs, distribution, financial management, wine tasting room and day to day functions. Sean is responsible for inventory control, as well as meeting financial and strategic goals of the winery. Sean currently holds all fiscal management duties, including financial analysis; budget creation, forecasting, managing labor cost and P&L oversight. As part of the Happy Canyon Vineyard family, Sean ensures ongoing performance of the business by facilitating decisions on strategy, long and short term objectives, determining wine styles, managing vineyards and bulk wine production.

Sean holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Prior to working for Happy Canyon Vineyard Sean worked for over 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry working for companies such as Amgen, Genentech and Novartis

VINEYARD
Happy Canyon Vineyard is nestled into the undulating hills of the beautiful Piocho Ranch, home to the Barrack family. The Barracks have taken great pride over the years in being stewards of the land and have created something that is unique to the beauty and richness of the place. Piocho, is a Native American Indian word meaning “where the two rivers meet and go to heaven”. The ranch is also home to the “Piocho” polo team.

There are the two top wines called Brand and Ten–Goal and two companion wines; PIOCHO is the champion wine which is a classic Bordeaux style. There is also a nouveau styled Bordeaux blend released each Easter (perfect with Spring Lamb) called CHUKKER.

The Cabernet Sauvignon Block 8 is a truly special vineyard; head trained vines planted to the steep hillside adjacent to the road. No tractor works here as the terrain has been untouched by machine.

WWW.HAPPYCANYONVINEYARD.COM

Monday, June 26, 2017

06/26 BOB CABRAL, BOB CABRAL WINES, DANA EPPERSON, MIGRATION

BOB CABRAL - FOUNDER/WINEMAKER, BOB CABRAL WINES

WHY NOW?
I’VE BEEN MAKING WINE SINCE THE 70'S. In that time, I’ve worked for some of the most iconic brands, won a bunch of awards, and made fantastic friends who continue to fill my soul with joy. Why, then, would I start my own wine label at this point in life?

To get back to basics: Growing grapes, making wine, and being creative along the way. I also want to use the wine as a way to give back to the community, and support charities in my adopted hometown of Healdsburg, Sonoma County, and beyond.

A funny thing happens in the wine industry—the more success you have as a winemaker, the less independent you become. Sure, the process is always challenging, but with accolades come expectations, and with expectations come a host of responsibilities that are only peripherally connected to the craft. Managing people. Running companies. Marketing the brand all over the world. Don’t get me wrong—I understand these things are important to the bottom line, recognize the value they bring to a winery operation, and appreciate the unique opportunities I had to be that guy. For me, however, it was time to return to the grassroots approach that got me excited about winemaking in the first place.

WINES
IT’S BEEN ALMOST 40 YEARS SINCE MY FIRST VINTAGE. In that time, I’ve made wines for several of the biggest big-name wineries, and in general, crafted them the way other people have wanted them made. Now I see this as my turn to make wine the way I believe it should be made, without apologies, no holds barred.

Another way I like to think of it is “full-throttle” Bob Cabral winemaking. This means the wines are the result of the best of everything I have access to, no considerations for anything less. I’m trying to find the best vineyards to work with; I don’t really care what the grapes cost. I want the best barrels available, and I’m using some custom-toasted barrels for a lot of these wines. The best isn’t always the most expensive, by the way. Really, it’s just that the handcuffs are off. It’s all about my winemaking thought process. I’m trying to make the best wines I think I can craft on a given vintage from the sources that I’ve chosen to use as raw materials. It’s about vision and individual interpretation.

I envisioned these wines having a high yum factor with little winemaking intervention. They’ll go great with food. They have long, full finishes. And they’ll age well. I really don’t want these to be trophy wines. I would like to have people drink them and enjoy them. When people do taste these wines, I hope the experience goes beyond the cranberry, cherry, clove, earthiness, tartness, and other descriptors we’ve come to accept as typical. I want people to feel them, go back to memories of another time, and get caught up in creating new memories, right then and there.

I’m launching with three wines blended by geographical region. You’ll notice that I’m not doing any single-vineyard wines yet, and that’s purposeful. I believe there’s this myth that blended wines are of lesser quality than single-vineyard wines. I completely disagree with that way of thinking about wine. I’ve spent much more time and thought with my blended wines—when I’m making them, I can blend away defects and almost craft the perfect wine. This project is about that passion, and these are the types of wines I love crafting.

WWW.BOBCABRALWINES.COM


DANA EPPERSON - WINEMAKER, MIGRATION 

OUR HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
Since its premier vintage of Pinot Noir in 2001, Duckhorn Wine Company’s Migration has earned acclaim for a refined and compelling style of winemaking that seamlessly balances vibrancy and finesse.

Embodying the lush elegance of cool-climate California winegrowing, Migration’s exploration of the great Burgundian varietals began in the Anderson Valley, where Duckhorn Wine Company cultivates four estate Pinot Noir vineyards, spanning 207 vine acres. Shaped by the valley’s cool nights, fog-shrouded mornings and mild, sunny afternoons, this world-class fruit established Migration’s stylistic identity—producing sophisticated wines with abundant fruit and bright acidity.

Building on what Migration had already achieved with Pinot Noir,making Chardonnay in a similar style became a natural next step. In 2008, Migration produced its first Chardonnay, using fruit from elite vineyard sources in the Russian River Valley. Representing the first Chardonnay in Duckhorn Wine Company's 30-year history, this highly anticipated wine was released in the spring of 2010. Beginning in 2011, Migration also began making a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and together, these two exceptional wines form the cornerstone of the Migration portfolio.

Today, guided by winemaker Dana Epperson — a cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialist — Migration has taken flight. Defined by the idea of movement, Migration is dedicated to going beyond its original home and exploring Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from California's finest cool-climate appellations. "Traditionally at Duckhorn Wine Company," says Dana, "the character of a particular wine is deeply connected to a specific place or region. Migration offers a different paradigm. We are starting with a clearly defined style and exploring how that style can be expressed in different winegrowing regions, which is a fascinating prospect."

WINEMAKING
A third generation Sonoman, Dana Epperson is the gifted winemaker who guides Migration’s exploration of world-class, Burgundian-varietal winemaking. Combining her extensive viticultural background with winemaking experience gained working in several top California wine regions, Dana practices a vineyard-driven approach to winemaking that accentuates the character and complexity of the renowned winegrowing sites Migration partners with.

WWW.MIGRATIONWINES.COM 
DUCKHORN.COM

Monday, June 19, 2017

06/19 STEVE CASS, CASS VINEYARD AND WINERY, SEAN D. PITTS, HAPPY CANYON VINEYARD

STEVE CASS - OWNER, CASS VINEYARD AND WINERY

THE CASS STORY
In 1999, Steve Cass retired from his career of twenty years at Charles Schwab.   Forty-eight at the time, Steve had planned a sailing trip around the world with his wife Alice in order to give some thought as to what to do with their retirement years. After a few weeks on a boat with Steve in the Mediterranean on a stormy test sailing trip, Alice informed Steve that there was no way she was going to participate in this trip!

Thinking about what to do now, Steve knew he wanted to move out of the San Francisco Bay Area. He had visited Paso Robles a few years before and really liked the area and also subsequently heard it was quite the burgeoning wine country.  A great place to start a vineyard.  He then took on an exploratory trip to find a potential home and vineyard site.  He was with a real estate agent and Paso Robles pioneer grape grower Jim Smoot when they came upon the then pastureland of Cass Vineyard.  A year later in 2000 the 145 acre Cass Vineyard was established with twelve varieties to be planted. The barn to house all the farming equipment was built at roughly the same time.

In 2002, the man that built the new Cass residence and barn, Ted Plemons, and Steve Cass took a golfing/wine-tasting trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa to celebrate the completion of the residence and the establishment of the vineyard. During this trip they fell in love with the South African wine style and the ambiance of the tasting rooms there.

One night during this trip they sat down for dinner at a fancy South African restaurant and were amazed to see how inexpensive their bill was due to the value of the South African rand being so low. So, they ordered another bottle of wine, or two… During the consumption of these Syrahs Steve and Ted agreed to become business partners in starting a winery. Ted is a builder and knew how tough building permits could be to come by in regards to starting a tasting room. He had seen multiple year waiting periods with some Santa Ynez wineries at the time. So they decided to jump at the opportunity because at the time building permits for wineries in Paso Robles were relatively easy to come by.

The next day, they took a trip to the local University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, and put up a job wanted sign for an assistant winemaker.  After a short interview process, Cass found winemaker Lood Kotze who ended up being head winemaker at Cass up until 2014.  Once the vineyard began to bear fruit in 2003, the first vintage began. Two years later when the barn was finished being converted into a tasting room and the reds had aged a few years in the barrel, the Cass Winery tasting room opened its doors in May 2005.

WWW.CASSWINES.COM


SEAN D. PITTS EXECUTIVE WINEMAKER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAPPY CANYON VINEYARD


OUR FAMILY
Happy Canyon Vineyard is a family owned and operated estate vineyard and boutique winery on the central coast of California that has gained esteem with our award winning Bordeaux varietal wines. Our vineyard is nestled into the undulating hills of the beautiful Piocho Ranch at the eastern most edge of the Santa Ynez Valley. The ranch and vineyard is where we, the Barrack family, call home. We have taken great pride over the years in being stewards of the land and created wines that are unique to the beauty, richness, and heritage of the “terroir”. On our ranch we have two regulation sized Polo fields and many powerful Polo ponies where we blend our commitment to excellence in wine with a passion for Polo.

SEAN D. PITTS
As Executive Winemaker and Managing Director of Happy Canyon Vineyard, Sean Pitts is responsible for all operations of the vineyard and winery including overseeing winemaking, partner contracts and personnel management. Sean oversees the sales and marketing programs, distribution, financial management, wine tasting room and day to day functions. Sean is responsible for inventory control, as well as meeting financial and strategic goals of the winery. Sean currently holds all fiscal management duties, including financial analysis; budget creation, forecasting, managing labor cost and P&L oversight. As part of the Happy Canyon Vineyard family, Sean ensures ongoing performance of the business by facilitating decisions on strategy, long and short term objectives, determining wine styles, managing vineyards and bulk wine production.

Sean holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Prior to working for Happy Canyon Vineyard Sean worked for over 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry working for companies such as Amgen, Genentech and Novartis

VINEYARD
Happy Canyon Vineyard is nestled into the undulating hills of the beautiful Piocho Ranch, home to the Barrack family. The Barracks have taken great pride over the years in being stewards of the land and have created something that is unique to the beauty and richness of the place. Piocho, is a Native American Indian word meaning “where the two rivers meet and go to heaven”. The ranch is also home to the “Piocho” polo team.

There are the two top wines called Brand and Ten–Goal and two companion wines; PIOCHO is the champion wine which is a classic Bordeaux style. There is also a nouveau styled Bordeaux blend released each Easter (perfect with Spring Lamb) called CHUKKER.

The Cabernet Sauvignon Block 8 is a truly special vineyard; head trained vines planted to the steep hillside adjacent to the road. No tractor works here as the terrain has been untouched by machine.

WWW.HAPPYCANYONVINEYARD.COM

Monday, June 12, 2017

06/12 IAN BLACKBURN, WINE LA, BEEKEEPER CELLARS, LARRY SCHAFFER, TERCERO WINES

IAN BLACKBURN – OWNER/FOUNDER, WINE LA & FOUNDER/CO-WINEMAKER, BEEKEEPER CELLARS

ABOUT WINELA
wineLA is about enhancing the wine culture of Los Angeles. To do so, wine must be in rhythm with fashion, music, food and other beverages.  It must take advantage of the geography, the architecture and the centers of interest. Los Angeles is a giant playground with an amazing array of venues, spaces, wine bars, restaurants, beaches, roof tops, gardens, and magical views. We want to be a part of the LA lifestyle, the wine lifestyle, and celebrate the people, the place and the passion.

wineLA will promote significant events, occasional classes, and tastings of merit. This is phase two of what we started 20 years ago at LearnAboutWine.com - America’s first wine education website and first in wine event creation. LearnAboutWine will now evolve onto a digital platform; the transformation will take some time; so we will slowly rebrand our event efforts onto wineLA, reduce the number of activities we focus on, and elevate our efforts to focus on the next big thing… Doing what is best for the wine industry and the communities we serve.  Edicts:  innovate, evolve and excite.

We thank you for joining our newsletter, we will be sending fewer emails and packing them with amazing content. We want to be your wine content provider and would love to hear about your favorite places, your music, your locations - we want to be under the influence of what ignites your passion for Los Angeles.

ABOUT IAN BLACKBURN, CSW, JWE ‐ LEARNABOUTWINE & WINELA PROFESSIONAL SOMMELIER
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.

WWW.WINELA.COM
WWW.BEEKEEPERCELLARS.COM


LARRY SCHAFFER FROM TERCERO WINES

ABOUT TERCERO:
The idea for tercero wines surfaced a number of years back. Larry Schaffer had been in the educational and trade publishing industry for a number of years and had achieved all he had set out to do. It was time for a change . . . . but to what? Larry’s dreams of becoming a professional volleyball player were never going to happen, so he looked towards something he had always been interested in but never understood completely – winemaking. One thing that really interested him was the ‘why’ involved – how in the heck do you start with a grape and end up with this wine? Or that one? He needed to know more – and he needed to challenge his brain.

Fast forward four years . . . and Larry begins his new career in earnest as the Enologist for Fess Parker Winery, a well-respected winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Why Santa Barbara County? The winemaking community is willing and wanting to help each other, but more importantly, it is simply an incredible place to raise children!

Fast forward another year, and Larry is ready to ‘take the plunge’ and start buying grapes to make his own wines! It’s scary and challenging at the same time – no matter how much you read about it or do it for others, it’s quite different when it’s ‘your own baby’ . . . But it’s also a way for Larry to ‘marry’ his past with his present – to use his sales/marketing skills along with his technical winemaking skills to see what he can produce . . .

WWW.TERCEROWINES.COM