Monday, April 3, 2017

04/03 DAN SMITH, VILLA SAN-JULIETTE VINEYARD & WINERY, SAM LANDO, LANDO WINES

DAN SMITH - WINEMAKER, VILLA SAN-JULIETTE VINEYARD & WINERY 

TWO FRIENDS. FORTY YEARS OF HISTORY. ONE FATEFUL BOTTLE OF PASO ROBLES CABERNET SAUVIGNON.

Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe met as schoolmates in Liverpool and a friendship blossomed. Both young men loved to entertain and as they grew into adulthood, this shared passion led to careers that often intersected, first as dancers, then as choreographers and finally as producers of entertainment enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.

Despite their demanding schedules, in 2004 these two friends made time to catch up over a dinner in Las Vegas. They asked the sommelier to surprise them with a bottle of Cab, and, when both glasses were poured, the conversation took a momentous turn. The wine was spectacular, spurring an interest in the Paso Robles AVA that would grow into a love affair. And thus, in that first sip, the dream of Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery was born.

Smitten as they were, just one year later Ken and Nigel purchased a pastoral 168-acre property located at the northern edge of the Paso Robles AVA in the small town of San Miguel, California. A healthy vineyard was already established across rolling slopes and ideal soils, so Ken and Nigel directed their energies towards enhancing the natural beauty of the vineyard with a tasting room styled after the Tuscan villas that Nigel had enjoyed during trips to Italy.

One piece remained: A great vineyard deserves a great winemaker. In early 2013 Ken and Nigel invited second-generation winemaker Matt Ortman to lead the winemaking team at Villa San-Juliette. Matt hit the ground running, hiring an outstanding winemaking team while overseeing the construction of Villa San-Juliette’s new state-of-the-art winery. He and his team capped the year off by harvesting what turned out to be a remarkable 2013 vintage.

Ken and Nigel’s belief in Paso Robles wine country comes to fulfillment in Villa San-Juliette’s comfortable tasting room, superb wines, and idyllic vineyard views.

ABOUT DAN SMITH:
Dan Smith was raised in Tualatin, a small city 12 miles south of Portland, Oregon surrounded by the vineyards of the Willamette Valley. As the youngest of five children, he watched his siblings as they progressed through school and various careers and decided at an early age that he needed a plan of action. “It was a mixture of the geography around me, on top of a fascination with my Aunt and Uncle’s obsession with collecting wine that led me to tell my parents that I wanted to be a winemaker when I was 14 years old. Always supportive, they bought me some books to read and even let me paint my room in a wine color theme.”

In 2005, Dan ventured out of Oregon to start school in Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture B.S. program. It was his first experience with California’s Central Coast and he immediately fell in love with the SLO life. Dan met many influential industry leaders and mentors while working on his degree at Cal Poly. “I remember a career discussion before graduation I had with my Viticulture professor, the late Dr. Keith Patterson, where I expressed my desire to keep living and working in the area. He strongly encouraged me to leave the region and get as much experience as possible, then return given the right opportunity.”

Dan took Dr. Patterson’s advice and worked vintages in Sonoma, New Zealand, California’s Central Valley, and back in Oregon before one of his college mentors, Matt Ortman, asked him to become Villa San-Juliette’s Cellar Master in 2013. “It’s been an amazing experience working with the VSJ vineyard and wines along with our small team, and I’m thrilled to step in as Winemaker and continue producing quality, hand-crafted wines.”

WWW.VILLASANJULIETTE.COM


SAM LANDO - LANDO WINES

HANDCRAFTING PINOT NOIR FROM THE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY AND SONOMA COAST

Passionate Pursuit of Pinot Noir
Sam Lando started his career working for some of the large global wine producers, and soon identified his true love of working with and enjoying Pinot Noir.

While his emphasis was sales and marketing, he realized early on the need to understand as much as possible about differing winemaking and viticulture techniques. After working with and becoming friends with some of the best new world wine producers, it was a natural evolution to begin hobby winemaking.

After working for five years with Kosta Browne Winery, he departed at the end of 2012. His work with dear friends was a deeply rewarding experience...personally and professionally. They worked (and played) so well together because of a love and passion for what they did. In addition to their shared affliction for Pinot, they enjoyed the company of great people and food.

In the middle of the 2012 vintage, Sam and his wife Jennifer decided to take the leap and take the winemaking hobby to the next level. They borrowed against their savings and began building the foundation to develop a small Pinot Noir focused winery. The goal is to make intense, yet elegant and balanced wines from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. They push themselves to make great wines they enjoy drinking and take great pride in sharing with their dear friends.

WE BELIEVE IN PRODUCING INTENSELY FLAVORED AND YET BALANCED WINES.
We believe in producing intensely flavored and yet balanced wines. Our definition of balance relates to beautiful and lush aromatics, a sensuous and saturating mid palate, and a lengthy captivating finish – a complete wine from start to finish. These are the wines we enjoy drinking and sharing with friends and family. the majority of our wines are offered to our mailing list friends. Please sign up and join the mailing list to acquire an allocation of our next release of Pinot Noirs.

2015 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR
Release Date: February 2017
Cases Produced: 505
Alcohol: 14.8%
Time in Barrel: 16 months
Recommended Drinking Time: 6 months to 5 years. Should you open a bottle early, please decant or allow to breathe for an hour for maximum enjoyment.
Tasting Notes: Explosive flavors of black cherry and raspberry. The inner play of fresh fruit, baking spices, and sassafras is sensual and comforting. This wine settles in and caresses every aspect of the palate and rounds out to a very lengthy finish. Appreciation for this wine grows with each sip, it’s like going home. It’s everything you want from a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – intense, complex, and yet still elegant. We wish we had more of it!

2015 SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR
Release Date: October 2017
Cases Produced: 430
Alcohol: 14.8%
Time in Barrel: 16 months
Recommended Drinking Time: 6 months to 5 years. Should you open a bottle early, please decant or allow to breathe for an hour for maximum enjoyment.
Tasting Notes: Deep and piercing black berry fruit on the nose. Layers of spice and fresh fruit saturate the palate... The finish reveals notes of fresh blueberry and undertones of minerality and silky tannins.

WWW.LANDOWINES.COM

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