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

Monday, June 5, 2017

06/05 SOMMELIER HOWARD PRICE, CARY GOTT, CALLA LILY VINEYARDS & WINERY

SOMMELIER HOWARD PRICE 

Howard Price joins the show to chat wine trends and his most recent and upcoming food and wine experiences.


CARY GOTT – CHIEF WINEMAKER, CALLA LILY VINEYARDS & WINERY (NAPA VALLEY)

Calla Lily Vineyards & Winery 
6307 Pope Valley Road, Pope Valley CA 94567

In 2013 Anthony Fung and Andy Chui, Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs, came to ‘winemaker extraordinaire’ Cary Gott for his help in finding a vineyard-winery to buy in the Napa Valley. They subsequently acquired the former Budge Brown Winery in Pope Valley. The winery was built in 2010 and is a handsome example of a fully equipped and modern Napa Valley winery. Today this spot is the home for Calla Lily Estate & Winery, a line of wines which Messrs. Fung and Chui market in Asia.

CALLA LILY: 
Messrs. Anthony Fung and Andy Chui are creating an elegant portfolio of wines around the imagery of the calla lily, a flower of enormous beauty and refinement—attributes which the winery’s wines will strive to express. They chose the calla lily as the symbol for their project: in China calla lilies are considered to be the quintessential flower of elegance, beauty and purity, and are the flower of choice to send when you are in love. The winery proudly displays a scroll of a calla lily created by a calligrapher in Changli, in the Hebei province of China, created as a gift for the winery.

THE VINEYARD: 
The 95 acre Calla Lily estate vineyard sits in the heart of Pope Valley, on the eastern hillside of Napa County. The first vines were planted in 1995. The estate vineyard consists of 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 acres of Petite Sirah and 1 acre each of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. The gently contoured vineyard slopes provide ideal conditions for the grapes. The contours also serve as natural protection for frost in winter and extreme heat in summer. The soils predominantly belong to the Bressa-Dibble complex—well-drained, composed of fine-grained sandstone and shale.

There are two natural reservoirs, a graceful garden and a number of historic buildings which give the property a unique personality.

ABOUT CARY GOTT – CHIEF WINEMAKER
Cary is a fourth generation winemaker with over 40 years of experience in making world class wines in the Napa Valley. He has created and managed multiple ultra-premium vineyards; he was the Senior Vice President of Seagram Classics, the President of Sterling Vineyards and the Winemaster of Mumm Napa Valley.

CALLALILYWINES.COM 
CARYGOTT.COM

Monday, May 22, 2017

05/22 LARRY HYDE, HYDE VINEYARDS, WHISKEY EXPERT DEBBIE SHOCAIR AKA ‘THE WHISKEY MISTRESS’

LARRY HYDE - HYDE VINEYARDS

Before Hyde Vineyards, Larry studied law at UC Berkeley and then chemistry at UC Davis before finding his passion in wine. Gaining work experience at great vineyards like Gallo, Ridge Vineyards, Cuvaison, Stag’s Leap, Robert Mondavi Winery and Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Larry went on to purchase Hyde Vineyards with the help of his father, Richard Sr. and brought along with him his extensive knowledge of wine making and viticulture to Hyde Vineyards at a time when the wine industry in California was transcending into the world-class wine region it is today.

In 1980, one year after Larry purchased Hyde Vineyards, Larry met his wife, Beta, in Burgundy, where they had been working harvest in Aubert and Pamela DeVillaine’s estate vineyards. Beta, originally from Poland, came to California a few years later. Larry and Beta have two sons, Peter and Christopher who grew up in the vineyard, which was their playground and home, experimenting with homemade wine and working in the fields, which they continue to do to this day.

In 2000, Larry Hyde co-founded HdV Winery, a partnership with Aubert de Villaine. Aubert, who married Larry’s cousin, Pamela F. de Villaine, and on who’s vineyard Larry met Beta, is one of Burgundy’s most recognized individuals who was born and raised in the traditions of France’s greatest winemaking techniques. HdV Winery resides in the northern part of Napa, just minutes away from Hyde Vineyards.

In 2009, Larry and his sons founded Larry Hyde and Sons winery, which currently produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but in the near future will add Merlot and Zinfandel to the portfolio along with a home on Hyde Vineyards with a brand new winery that is currently in construction.

Today, Hyde Vineyards has grown to nearly 200 acres and works with over 30 wineries in the valley. Larry still manages the vineyards with the help of his two sons, and serves as a director on the Napa Valley Grape growers, Issues Committee and GWISS committee.

HYDEVINEYARDS.COM


WHISKEY EXPERT DEBBIE SHOCAIR AKA ‘THE WHISKEY MISTRESS’

Known as The Whiskey Mistress...Whiskey expert DEBBIE SHOCAIR gives lectures on whiskey and leads tastings. She also does professional whiskey sessions and events, private parties, and writes articles and international reviews.





Monday, May 15, 2017

05/15 ALAN VIADER, VIADER VINEYARDS & WINERY, HEATHER MURAN, SAN LUIS OBISPO WINE COUNTRY ASSOCIATION, BARRELS IN THE PLAZA

ALAN VIADER - DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS/WINEMAKER, VIADER VINEYARDS & WINERY

VIADER is a leading first growth Napa Valley winery and vineyard estate locatedjust northeast of St. Helena on the steep rocky slopes of Howell Mountain at an elevation of 1300 feet. VIADER is recognized around the world for consistently producing award winning, very limited production red wines and Bordeaux-style blends.

Founding winemaker Delia Viader, PhD. applies a unique approach to grapegrowing and winemaking, challenging new world conventions while honoring old world traditions; resulting in a highly sought after and coveted cult wine – their flagship VIADER “Liquid Cashmere” Proprietary Red Blend. Delia forged the vision for this hillside estate vineyard and exceptional wine blend in 1986.

Today, Alan and Janet Viader join their mother Delia in the continuation of the VIADER estate. Through their direct involvement in daily operations, this multigenerational family business manifests a commitment to world-class winemaking and vineyard management, while offering an elevated yet welcoming level of hospitality.

VIADER.COM


HEATHER MURAN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SAN LUIS OBISPO WINE COUNTRY ASSOCIATION – NEWS/UPDATES AND UPCOMING EVENTS 

ABOUT SLO WINE COUNTRY:
The wineries of SLO Wine Country boast an average distance of just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in prevailing marine conditions that are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California.

SLO Wine Country includes two small adjoining American Viticultural Areas—the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley—and other nearby winegrowing areas.  Each of these areas shares a unifying proximity to the ocean, as well as to each other. Collectively, these growing conditions forge a unifying wine quality that is native to SLO Wine Country:

Cool
The reliable cooling effect of the nearby Pacific Ocean ensures a long growing season, enabling the grapes to achieve physiological ripeness and natural balance. Cool-climate varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel in the heart of SLO Wine Country, and even the warmest areas benefit from considerable marine influence.

Consistent
The ocean proximity also exerts a moderating effect on the climate, minimizing temperature swings so that growing conditions are rarely hot or cold. The result is an extraordinarily steady growing season that fosters balanced ripening and consistent quality from vintage to vintage.

Complex
The imprint of the ocean is also evident in SLO Wine Country's uncommonly complex soils, which are frequently riddled with ancient sea fossils. Soil variation enables the winegrower to mix and match varietals to specific soil profiles, or to add more "colors" to the palette of a single varietal, heightening overall quality and complexity.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

BARRELS IN THE PLAZA
Thursday, June 22nd • 4:30-7:30pm
Mission Plaza, Downtown San Luis Obispo
$60 Ticket / $30 Designated Driver
Tickets include a commemorative wine glass and complimentary wine & food pairings throughout the event.

Break out the Barrels! We'll be featuring over 50 wineries and restaurants dishing out world class wines and tantalizing treats for Thursday evening's “Barrels in the Plaza” grand tasting in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo City, adjacent to the historic Mission de Tolosa. Your ticket includes winetasting, edibles from local chefs throughout SLO County and live music by Bear Market Riot. This is one street party you won't want to miss!

4X2 PASSPORT TO SLO WINE COUNTRY
Friday & Saturday, June 23rd & 24th
4 Tastings x 2 Days = 8 Great Wine Experiences
$75 Passport / $20 Designated Driver
Includes 4 locations per day for a total of 8 visits.

Walk the vineyards, barrel sample the new vintage, and enjoy open houses, wine tastings and festivities all day Friday & Saturday! Just pick up your wristband, wineglass and passport booklet at the first winery you head to and bring them along to enjoy the festivities!

SLOWINE.COM

Monday, May 8, 2017

05/08 JAMES DAVIDIAN, CAPRICE VINEYARDS, JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET, RAYMOND VINEYARDS, RED VELVET LABELED RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON

JAMES DAVIDIAN - OWNER, CAPRICE VINEYARDS

We are located at 970 Old Stage Road in Central Point, Oregon. Just 1 mile North of downtown historic Jacksonville, Oregon (towards Central Point).

There’s something for everyone at Caprice Vineyards: wine tasting, shopping for unique hand-spun items in our shop, visiting with the Alpacas, enjoying a snack plate or simply taking in the beautiful scenery. All ages are welcome.

Our vineyard, at more than 30 years old, is one of the oldest vineyards in Southern Oregon, with seven acres of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon vines. They are self-rooted and deeply invested in the rich clay loam of the western Rogue Valley.

The hot summer days with cool nights are very similar to the Bordeaux region of France, so the types of grapes that thrive there, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, also grow very well in this region. These vines produce rich, ripe grapes with exceptional sugar, color, and flavor. From such grapes the great vintage wines of the world are made.

WWW.CAPRICEVINEYARDS.COM


PROPRIETOR JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET, RAYMOND VINEYARDS  -  RAYMOND VINEYARDS RELEASES RED VELVET LABELED  RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY

ABOUT RAYMOND VINEYARDS 
Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, comprises over 325 acres 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. The winery’s unique attributes led it to be named Sunset’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, and one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2013. To learn more, please visit: www.raymondvineyards.com.

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 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. To learn more about the Boisset Collection, please visit www.boissetcollection.com.

WWW.BOISSETCOLLECTION.COM
WWW.RAYMONDVINEYARDS.COM

Monday, May 1, 2017

05/01 FRANK OSTINI FROM HITCHING POST WINERY, 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS, DAVID HUNT, HUNT CELLARS

FRANK OSTINI FROM HITCHING POST WINERY - 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS

The California Winemasters is a perennial Wine Spectator Top 10 Charity Wine Auction set for May 20, 2017 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.  This extraordinary event showcases 50 international chefs and 75 of California’s Finest Wineries.  “Winemasters” has raised nearly $29 million in support of the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The CF Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle.  Its focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF and ultimately, to find a cure.

The Foundation’s drug development success has been recognized by Harvard Business School and by publications such as Forbes, Discover Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Make your reservations NOW for this wine tasting extraordinaire and spectacular hors d’oeuvres dinner!

CALIFORNIAWINEMASTERS.ORG 
HITCHINGPOSTWINES.COM


DAVID HUNT – OWNER & WINEMAKER, HUNT CELLARS

Our Story
It started over 20 years ago as a fantasy: living on a lush beautiful vineyard, producing your own style of favorite premium varietal wines that are well received and appreciated by those who have discovered the wines and shared them amongst friends.

Now, drive along the scenic Highway 46 West, about three miles west of the 101 Fwy at Oakdale Road, you will find this dream has become reality for David Hunt, Winemaker and owner of Hunt Cellars, a winery committed to producing “Memorable Wines”. We believe that great wines leave indelible impressions when poured with wonderful meals and great friends and scintillating conversations. Hunt Cellars was founded on the philosophy of producing wines that you will look forward to simply sipping by a cozy fireplace or pairing with your favorite meals to enhance that special event or moment in time.

How It Began
When The Hunt Family decided to pursue their dream they were uncertain where they would choose to build their vineyard. The Hunts spent exhaustive days and weekends traveling to various premium wine regions from Oregon, Washington, and throughout the State of California. They finally narrowed their decision down to the Central coast to San Luis Obispo County. Paso Robles was selected because of its rich diversity in soils, superb growing climate and unique styles of wine making along with the spirit of graciousness and traditional American values.

Eventually after looking at numerous parcels of vineyard potential property, they settled on uniquely beautiful property containing over 550 acres on Highway 41 in Creston. This unique property met their criteria in topography, soil composition and unparralled beauty. Within the 550 acres there are four terrior’s with varying elevations containing soil composites that mirror the great wine regions of the world. They were convinced that they could grow wonderful exciting intense fruit here on this property.

HUNTCELLARS.COM

Monday, April 24, 2017

04/24 TRES GOETTING, ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS, RICKEY TROMBETTA STANCLIFF, THE PETALUMA GAP WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE

TRES GOETTING - WINEMAKER, ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS 

All truly passionate winemakers dream of the day when they get an opportunity to immerse themselves in unique vineyards and fully utilize their talents to create something really special. Some never quite make it, while others, with the passion, work ethic, and a knack for blending science and artistry, ascend to the top.

Tres Goetting is a 26 year veteran Napa Valley enologist and viticulturalist who has already made his mark and fine reputation at a few Napa Valley wineries, but he looks to Biale as his career “moment in the spotlight”.

Tres first paid his dues as a teenaged “cellar rat” in 1987. Then, following college and armed with a razor-sharp palate, took steady steps to move up – hand-crafting wines at three touted Napa Valley grower/producers. Now he has stepped up again to find his ideal niche at Biale.

Tres first worked at a small family winery in his hometown of Napa, then went off to college to major in Agricultural Science and Forestry with minors in Environmental Ethics and Music at Cal State University at Humboldt. After college, Tres realized that, rather than the forest, Napa Valley and winemaking was where he really wanted to be. He rose from the cellar to assistant winemaker at St. Clement Vineyards in St. Helena, where he developed his keen wine sense and where he was immersed in every aspect of wine production from grapes to glass.

Tres’s most recent winemaking stint was with the highly-respected Krupp Brothers Winery/Stagecoach Vineyards and Valley of the Moon Winery’s new top tier Zinfandel program. Tres has also produced the custom wine for the prestigious Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur.

Prior to Krupp Brothers, Tres worked in all aspects of winemaking as associate winemaker at Ladera Vineyards (2004 to 2010), where he gained career experience working with estate vineyards and closely managing his staff to transition the fruit from vine to barrel to bottle.

Tres works in harmony with Biale’s vineyards guru, Bob Biale, to co-manage and fully understand the intricacies of each of Biale’s vineyards – hands on. Unleashing the full potential and ultimate expression of each unique vineyard is the winery’s goal, which is why winemaking at Biale is such an ideal situation for Tres. He couldn’t be happier, and Bob Biale appreciates having a fellow vineyards/ “vit” guy help to size up these older and sometimes quirky Zinfandel vineyards with their dry farming, deep roots, big trunks, and sometimes – mixed varieties.

Says Tres, “I believe in minimalistic vinification techniques in the winery. I feel that it is best to focus efforts in the vineyard to get things right so that the wines do not require a lot of attention and will ultimately speak of the vineyards from which they were grown.”

As for Zinfandel in particular, Tres has a special fascination, “I love Zinfandel because it is a mysterious varietal that never ceases to amaze.”

In music circles, Tres and his family are known to be a longtime, vital part of Napa’s music scene. He is a professional bassist who plays with local winemaker bands and occasionally with high profile artists.

SPRING WINES CELEBRATION @ ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS
APRIL 29, 2017
AKA “Spring Chicken Day” this is the traditional official release of new vintage Biale wines. Come to enjoy the chance to taste and purchase the new wines along with New Orleans inspired bites, and hob nob with the Biale founders, families, and Biale growers.
Think you know your Biale wines? Join in on the first ever Chicken challenge!
Price: Club $30 | Non-Club $45 | 5+ Year Members FREE
Time: 1-4pm
Reservations Required!

THE SILVERADO PICKUPS PLAY BOTTLEROCK NAPA VALLEY 2017
May 26-28, 2017
The Silverado Pickups return to BottleRock for the fifth year in a row!
BottleRock Napa Valley

BIALE.COM


RICKEY TROMBETTA STANCLIFF - PRESIDENT, THE PETALUMA GAP WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE 

THE GAP
The Petaluma Gap is the gateway to the Sonoma Coast region. Although not yet a designated appellation, the Petaluma Gap is producing premium grapes that make the Sonoma Coast Appellation one of California’s best areas to grow primarily Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah grapes. The wind and the fog are the Petaluma Gap’s trademark. The “Gap” is actually a wind gap named after a coastal mountain opening that stretches east from the Pacific through the town of Petaluma and then roars south to San Pablo Bay.

The Petaluma Gap has a 150-year tradition of growing grapes. The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance is dedicated to supporting growing wine grapes and production of premium wines in the Petaluma Gap. Our vineyards are tucked and hidden in the most unexpected places. Crest a hill, round a curve, look into the little nooks and crannies that make up the Lakeville, Adobe Road, or west county landscape, and you’ll notice more and more pockets of green, made up of rows and rows of grapevines. The vines bring brilliant patches of color to the golden grasses that support the neighboring pastures of cows and sheep. These are the vines of the Petaluma Gap and the source of some of the most exciting wines to hit the California wine scene in a very long time.

The Petaluma Gap produces wines for some of Sonoma County’s finest wineries including: Keller Estate Winery, Guarachi Family Wines, deLoach Vineyards, Flowers Vineyard and Winery, Hart’s Desire Wines, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Kosta-Browne Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Loxton Cellars, Sojourn Cellars, Schramsberg Vineyards, and Zepaltas Wines.

PETALUMAGAP.COM 

TROMBETTA FAMILY WINES
PINOT NOIR & CHARDONNAY FROM THE SONOMA COAST
Our limited production wines by mother-and-daughter duo Rickey Trombetta Stancliff and Erica Stancliff hail from the region of Sonoma referred to as the Petaluma Gap.  We select clones of Pinot Noir that exemplify the rich minerality, soils and cool weather of the Sonoma Coast, resulting in a beautifully balanced wine, enhancing every meal. Each and every bottle has been hand-harvested, fermented with native yeast, and allowed to develop with native malolactic fermentation in barrels.

WWW.TROMBETTAWINES.COM

Monday, April 17, 2017

04/17 EMMA SWAIN, ST. SUPÉRY ESTATE VINEYARDS AND WINERY PRESENTS: THE ART OF CHEESE, MORGEN MCLAUGHLIN, SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS SPRING WEEKEND & FESTIVAL

EMMA SWAIN FROM ST. SUPERY TALKS ABOUT ARTS IN APRIL, A FULL MONTH LONG EVENT THROUGHOUT NAPA VALLEY AND HOW THEY’RE PARTICIPATING

ST. SUPÉRY ESTATE VINEYARDS AND WINERY PRESENTS: THE ART OF CHEESE WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Wine Meets Cheese: Six Slam-Dunk Pairings Hosted by Janet Fletcher
Sunday, April 23, 2017 | 11:00am  Reserve Now                                                                           $75 per person | $70 Wine Club
Learn how to create the kind of marriages that make sparks fly. In this sit-down tasting, you will sample six St. Supéry Estate Vineyard wines and six cheeses that are made for each other. Your guides: St. Supéry Estate Sommelier, Tom Markakis and Napa Valley's Janet Fletcher, publisher of the popular Planet Cheese blog and author of the bestselling Cheese & Wine. Janet will share her favorite pairing strategies and answer all your questions about selecting, storing and serving artisan cheese. You will take home a signed copy of Cheese & Wine to ensure that your future pairings are just as successful. Read more about Janet Fletcher: janetfletcher.com.

How to make Homemade Mozzarella Hosted by Chef Nash Cognetti
Sunday, April 23, 2017 | 2:00pm  Reserve Now                                                                                                    
$65 per person | $60 Wine Club
An experience any cheese fan will revel in, watch and learn as St. Helena's Tre Posti's Executive Chef, Nash Cognetti, pulls his signature "Mozzarella al Minuto". You are invited to join in in the process and enjoy the delicious cheese paired with a tasting of St. Supéry Estate wines lead by Estate Sommelier, Tom Markakis.

The Art of Making the Perfect Cheese Plate Hosted by Jessica Lawrenz
Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 11:00am and 2:00pm                                                                                      
                                                                                                             
$65 per person | $60 Wine Club
Join Jessica Lawrenz, the 2017 Cheesemonger Invitational winner, as she teaches how to create the perfect cheese plate. Jessica currently resides in San Diego and mentors the cheese lovers at Venissimo Cheese Shop. She is excited to mentor you as you assemble the perfect plate with local artisan cheese and accouterments. Grouped with three others to assemble your tray, Jessica will share her techniques and tricks of the trade. The workshop will conclude with a perfectly paired St. Supéry Estate wine tasting, hosted by Estate Sommelier, Tom Markakis, while enjoying your freshly made cheese plate. Read more about Jessica Lawrenz: mongermoldandmilk.com.

Cheese from Switerzland Hosted by The Cheese Board Collective, Berkeley
Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 11:00am Reserve Now                                                                                                    
$55 per person | $45 Wine Club
What, exactly, is "Swiss Cheese" and how is it different from those slices at the grocery store? Known as "the original grass fed cheese," come taste your way through a range of cheeses from Switzerland while exploring the rich history behind them. From well-known Gruyere, to hyper-local mountain cheeses, you will learn about transhumance, Emmenthaler eyes, fondue and even a cheese cartel. This class will deepen your appreciation and understanding of this very special family of cheese.

The Cheese Board Collective is a worker owned pizzeria, bakery and cheese shop in Berkeley, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. With 300+ cheeses to offer, we at The Cheese Board firmly believe that there is a cheese for everyone. We look forward to seeing you! Read more about The Cheese Board: cheeseboardcollective.coop.

Point Reyes Hosted by Felice Charlton
Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 2:00pm Reserve Now                                                                                                      
$40 per person | $20 Wine Club
In August of 2000, the first wheel of Original Blues, California's only classic style blue cheese, were introduced to Bay Area consumers, adding to a family legacy of farming that dates back well over 100 years. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company is the Giacomini's way of carrying on their family heritage, honoring the land they love so much, celebrating their passion for farm fresh food, and sharing it all with the people we consider their extended family – cheese lovers all across the country who can now experience the incredible flavors created from their small, family – fun dairy farm.

Join Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company National Sales Director, Felice Charlton, as she introduces you to this family business and walks you through a tasting of four delicious cheeses perfectly paired with St. Supéry Estate wines. Read more about Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company: pointreyescheese.com.

WWW.STSUPERY.COM


MORGEN MCLAUGHLIN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS - APRIL 20-23 SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS SPRING WEEKEND & FESTIVAL

WHAT'S NEW AT THE SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS SPRING FESTIVAL?

In its 35th year, the Santa Barbara Vintners New Release Spring Weekend is four days of wine, food and fun throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country Thursday, April 20 - Sunday, April 23.

The highlight of the weekend is the New Release Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, April 22 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Early Entry and Connoisseurs Club at 12:00 p.m.) at the beautiful River View Park in Buellton, the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. Enjoy new release wines from participating member wineries; food sampling from more than twenty food purveyors; live music; wine and culinary demonstrations; silent auction; and free parking all included.

The Saturday morning Santa Barbara Wine Seminar from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, minutes from the Festival Grand Tasting, will feature a new release in-depth tasting, and optional lunch, with a wine maker panel moderated by renowned wine writer, Elaine Brown.

Join us on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. for the Big Bottle Bash at K'Syrah, a new special event venue in downtown Solvang, featuring large format wines brought by guests and winery representatives paired with a delicious family-style dinner. In the style of a La Paulee, guests are invited to bring their own bottles to share.

Want to visit up to twelve tasting rooms on an all-inclusive wine tasting pass?  Get a Vintners Visa Wine Country Tasting Pass for unique and complimentary offerings at your choice of twelve participating tasting rooms from Thursday - Sunday. Typically 25 - 40 wineries and tasting rooms participate in this program.

Throughout the four day weekend many wineries host their own events, including open houses, wine maker dinners, vineyard walks, and barrel tastings.

WWW.SBCOUNTYWINES.COM
WWW.SBVINTNERSWEEKEND.COM

Monday, April 10, 2017

04/10 JEAN SESSIONS, SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS, TONY LOMBARDI, LOMBARDI WINES

JEAN SESSIONS - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS

2017 SONOMA COUNTY BARREL AUCTION
APRIL 21, 2017

NEVER BEFORE, NEVER AGAIN WINES.
The Sonoma County Barrel Auction is your chance to own a truly one of a kind wine. Cultivated in Sonoma County’s most acclaimed vineyards. Handcrafted by legendary winemakers. Evaluated by an elite panel of wine authorities. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to taste, and own, a masterpiece of Sonoma County winemaking.

YOUR CHANCE TO OWN A TRUE SONOMA COUNTY ORIGINAL
Presented by the Sonoma County Vintners, the Sonoma County Barrel Auction is a live auction of wine futures from the county’s top growers and winemakers. These once-in-a-lifetime wines represent the exceptional stylistic range and world-class quality of Sonoma County. A team of masters, invited from around the country, will be visibly involved in evaluating the auction lots and participating throughout the event. The Sonoma County Barrel Auction is invitation-only for members of the wine industry, with personal invitations extended by participating wineries to members of the trade and media. Proceeds will support Sonoma County marketing initiatives.

ABOUT SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS

For More Than 70 years, Sonoma County Vintners Has Been the Leading Voice of Sonoma County Wine

Our 250+ members range in size from small, family-owned wineries to large-volume corporations. Collaboration is the cornerstone of our efforts, and our strategic partnerships have resulted in a broad spectrum of forward-thinking programs and events. We work closely with the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau to build the profile of Sonoma County as a distinctive grape-growing and wine-producing region.

From informal winery tastings and tours to Sonoma County’s signature, charitable event, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, our efforts shine the spotlight on Sonoma County as an internationally recognized wine region, and build a strong foundation for our successful global media strategy.

Sonoma County is located an hour north of San Francisco, and is noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions and extraordinary quality.

SONOMAWINE.COM


TONY LOMBARDI – FOUNDER, LOMBARDI WINES

ABOUT LOMBARDI
Lombardi Wines crafts small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast. Founded in 2013, Lombardi Wines honors a rich family history of wine, food and tradition. Small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are crafted from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and are born from Passion, Inspiration and Family.

ABOUT TONY:
A Sonoma County resident for over 40 years, I've been in the retail and wine industries since 1989. After leaving a ten year career managing Safeway retail stores throughout Marin and San Francisco, I took a leap of faith into the wine industry and haven't looked back.

Though the wine industry is ever evolving, it's still about the wine, the people, the lifestyle and our enthusiasm for it. PREVIOUS: PR for Kosta Browne
Winery, Ascentia Wine Estates, J Vineyards & Winery

WWW.LOMBARDIWINES.COM