Monday, October 30, 2017

10/30 KEVIN SASS, HALTER RANCH IN PASO ROBLES, MASTER SOMMELIER BRAHM CALLAHAN, HIMMEL HOSPITALITY GROUP

KEVIN SASS - WINEMAKER, HALTER RANCH IN PASO ROBLES

WELCOME TO HALTER RANCH
Historic Halter Ranch is a vineyard and winery located in the heart of the Paso Robles' Westside Adelaida District. California’s Central Coast Wine Country has ideal conditions for growing superior wine grapes and producing world-class wines. The 100% estate-grown wines are sustainably farmed on westside limestone soils. Tradition and innovation mix at Halter Ranch to produce Bordeaux and Rhône-style wines of the highest quality.

RANCH HISTORY
The history of Halter Ranch Vineyard dates to the 1880′s, when the ranch was part of a 3,600-acre holding owned by businessman Edwin Smith. Born in New Jersey, Smith had been a wholesale butcher in San Francisco, but migrated to the Adelaida area west of Paso Robles in 1874. In 1881, Smith acquired what was to become Halter Ranch and built a grand Victorian farmhouse on the property. He became a dealer in farm produce and livestock, and also invested heavily in silver mining. A horse racing enthusiast, Smith kept a private box at Tanforan Race Track and a stable of thoroughbreds on his estate.

In 1885, Smith’s mansion burned to the ground, but he immediately rebuilt it, enjoying another dozen years of prosperity before his business empire floundered. In the early 1900s, the estate was broken up. In 1943 1200 acres were purchased by the MacGillivray family, who farmed it for the next 50-plus years, introducing the first grapevines in 1996. The beautiful Victorian farmhouse Smith built in 1885 is a still the cornerstone of the Adelaida District and remains a Paso Robles landmark.

In June, 2000, Hansjörg Wyss purchased 900 acres of the ranch, renovated Smith’s historic farmhouse, and began enlarging the vineyard to its present 280 acres. Born and raised in Switzerland, Hansjörg believes Paso Robles is the best place in California to pursue his dream of producing world-class grapes and wines, a dream we are now busy realizing.

WWW.HALTERRANCH.COM


MASTER SOMMELIER BRAHM CALLAHAN - CORPORATE BEVERAGE DIRECTOR, HIMMEL HOSPITALITY GROUP

Brahm Callahan, 33, serves as Beverage Director of Himmel Hospitality Group and its three restaurants: Grill 23 & Bar, Post 390 and Harvest restaurant. Brahm is a Master Sommelier, one of only 157 professionals in North America who hold the title – the highest distinction available in the beverage service industry.  Raised in Western Massachusetts, Brahm had an early introduction to the wine world at age 17, when he learned the business side of the industry at The Shelburne Falls Wine Merchant, in Shelburne Falls, MA. Under the direction of mentor Paul-Thiery de la Blotier, it took just a short year before Brahm was put in charge of running wine tastings, managing the cellar, and working on dinners with winemakers and local restaurants.

While attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Brahm continued working at the Wine Merchant, and worked part time as a Wine Steward in many of Western Massachusetts’ top restaurants, also. After moving to Boston to pursue a Master’s Degree in Classics and Ancient History at Boston College, Brahm embraced the city’s wine community and began working as a sommelier while finishing his graduate work. During his time at some of Boston’s top-rated restaurants, including Excelsior and Rialto, Brahm developed an interest in small producers who make terroir-driven wines.  In 2009, Brahm joined Himmel Hospitality Group as part of the opening team for Post 390, an urban tavern in Boston featuring seasonally inspired menus. There, Brahm created a beverage program that included an expansive list of approachable and accessible wines, a selection of upwards of 40 craft beers and a competitive cocktail program.

In 2010, Brahm joined the team at Grill 23 & Bar as Wine Director, where he developed an award- winning list of more than 1,900 selections, focusing specifically on new cult producers while maintaining a balance that offers bottles for wine connoisseurs and novices alike.  In August 2015, Himmel Hospitality Group appointed Brahm as Beverage Director. In his current role, he’s responsible for developing a training program for all Sommelier and Bar Managers to ensure excellence for guests’ experience and employee growth at all three restaurants. 

In 2016, Brahm became the brand ambassador for Spain’s Ribera del Duero and Rueda wine regions. As a longtime champion of small producers who make high-quality, terroir-driven wines, the partnership allows him to educate the trade and public about each DO (denominacion de origen).  In 2017, Brahm and his team at Grill 23 & Bar were one of five restaurants, 89 in total since it’s’ 1981 inception, to win the highly-coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award. The Grand Award is the ultimate recognition for restaurants with the best wine programs in the world. 

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