Friday, June 2, 2017

06/02 IAN BLACKBURN, WINE LA, BEEKEEPER CELLARS

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

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 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).

WWW.WINELA.COM
WWW.BEEKEEPERCELLARS.COM


JAMES HALL – OWNER/WINEMAKER, PATZ & HALL

Patz & Hall was founded in 1988 by four talented individuals - Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz. Together, they have turned Patz & Hall into one of California’s most highly regarded wineries, with a celebrated portfolio of single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.

WINEMAKING
At Patz & Hall, our approach to winemaking champions quality at every stage of the process. From our partnerships with the finest vineyards to the custom-made French oak cooperage used to age our small-lot Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, we bring together an array of artisan and cutting-edge techniques to create benchmark wines. In our state-of-the-art winery—which was designed exclusively for producing Chardonnay and Pinot—we apply a consistent winemaking style that allows us to find the voice of each vineyard and vintage, while achieving exceptional quality year after year.

OUR WINES
For over 25 years, we have remained committed to handcrafting small-lot and single-vineyard wines, with an exclusive focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Produced using grapes from storied vineyards in the Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, Mendocino County, Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands, these benchmark wines embody our passionate approach to winemaking, and the diversity of world-class California winegrowing.

ABOUT JAMES HALL
Since 1988, founder and winemaker James Hall has guided the Patz & Hall winemaking program, instilling it with his own boldness, imagination and trademark perfectionism. Combining a belief in great viticulture, traditional winemaking practices, and the judicious use of innovative techniques, James has earned a reputation for crafting dramatic benchmark Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that balance vibrant power with vineyard-inspired depth and sophistication.

The son of an English professor, who was also a wine enthusiast, James developed an early appreciation for fine wine during travels with his family to Europe in the late 1960s. While studying liberal arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz, James met Anne Moses, and together the two began exploring their shared interest in wine. Though not part of his curriculum, James started studying winemaking textbooks in his spare time. Inspired, he transferred to the University of California, Davis, to study viticulture and enology. Eager to experience the hands-on work of winemaking, James took his first winery job at Felton-Empire in 1981, where he was able to learn from renowned winemakers Leo McCloskey and Patrick Mahaney. “Leo was the scientist, obsessed with unraveling the mysteries of wine, Pat was the craftsman, meticulously working with the raw materials. It was a remarkable experience learning these complementary approaches.”

In 1983, James joined Napa Valley’s Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards as assistant winemaker. There, he spent four years developing his expertise crafting barrel-fermented, small-lot Chardonnays. While at Flora Springs, James struck up a close friendship with sales manager Donald Patz, and the two soon discovered that they shared a similar philosophical approach to wine and winemaking. In the spring of 1988, while working as the winemaker and estate manager for Honig Winery, James teamed up with Donald and Heather Patz, and Anne Moses to make and release Patz & Hall’s inaugural Napa Valley Chardonnay.

As Patz & Hall’s winemaker for over a quarter century, James has built lasting relationships with such renowned growers as Larry Hyde, Charlie and Bud Chenoweth, Gary Pisoni and Lee Martinelli to create an acclaimed portfolio of single-vineyard wines. At the same time, he has designed and implemented cutting-edge equipment and procedures, including a custom punch-over device, in an effort to constantly enhance quality. A master of his craft, and a widely respected veteran winemaker, James is regularly asked to speak about artisan winemaking.

WWW.PATZHALL.COM

Friday, May 26, 2017

05/26 ROB CAMPBELL, STORY WINERY, DAVID TEIG, FAIRPLEX, CHEERS

ROB CAMPBELL - OWNER, STORY WINERY 

Rob Campbell is a 4th generation San Franciscan. After growing up in San Francisco and nearby Daly City, Rob decided to travel a great distance for college---30 miles!---ending up at San Jose State University’s Jazz Studies program. He graduated with a BA in Jazz Studies and a master’s degree in saxophone performance. It was here that he met his future wife, Tina.

Tina was born in Oregon and her parents moved to the San Jose area when she was a baby. Tina grew up in San Jose and showed a passion for music from an early age. During high school, Tina started studying privately with Isabelle Chapuis-Starr; this led her to San Jose State University where she majored in music, graduating with a BA in flute performance. To help support herself through college, Tina applied for a part-time ‘college job’ at Wells Fargo Bank. That was in 1990 and what started as a college job turned into a career. Today Tina continues to work for Wells Fargo in corporate communications.

During Rob’s master’s degree studies, he discovered that a professional musician’s income would not easily support living in San Francisco. Recognizing that, he put his computer skills to good use while completing his master’s degree by working at Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and ultimately, Digidesign (now a part of Avid Technologies) in the early 1990s. Rob worked his way up the company over the next ten years, eventually becoming the Hardware Product Manager of digital audio workstations. He left product design and became a consultant for Avid’s worldwide training organization as an author, lecturer and Master Trainer. After enough global hopping, Rob decided to stay home in San Francisco and help run the pre-eminent post-production audio facility, One Union Recording, as the Operations Director. It was during this time that Rob took over management and operations of Story Winery.

Rob likes to say he first met his future in-laws at their house on a fateful night after they returned from a winemaker’s dinner at Mirassou Winery in San Jose in 1991. Needless to say, their common interest in wine was apparent from their first encounter. While Rob was dating Tina, her parents, Bruce and Jan Tichenor, bought Story Winery from Ann Story-Ousley. Rob and Tina were actively involved in all aspects of the winery business for the first ten years of their marriage until they decided to have kids and devote themselves to their careers.

Rob and Tina now reside in nearby El Dorado Hills with their three sons, Ethan, Miles, and Chase.

WWW.STORYWINERY.COM


DAVID TEIG - MANAGING DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE AND HOSPITALITY,
FAIRPLEX - TALKS ABOUT AN UPCOMING FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL: CHEERS

CHEERS - L.A.'S WINE, SPIRITS, BEER & FOOD FESTIVAL IS TAKING THE PARTY TO THE FARM AT FAIRPLEX! 

SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017
 7 - 11 PM

A fundraising event to benefit the educational programs of The Learning Centers at Fairplex

Join us in The Farm and taste award-winning wine, spirits, beer and extra virgin olive oil from the Los Angeles International Competitions. If you have always wanted a mojito with ingredients so fresh they are growing right in front of you then you are in the right place. Guests will be able to taste an expertly crafted mojito made from ingredients picked right from The Farm.

Where else can you pair your beverage with hand-made, freshly picked, farm-fresh delights? Or get to enjoy the way that the fragrance of organic ingredients bring out the flavors in your favorite wine, spirit, beer or extra virgin olive oil? Oh! Did we mention the food trucks?! Enjoy the most exciting array of cuisine gathered in one place. From your favorite desserts to international foods… this isn’t your average food and these aren’t your average food trucks!

Find all of this and more only at Cheers and only in The Farm at Fairplex!

WWW.FAIRPLEX.COM

Friday, May 19, 2017

05/19 TIM SNIDER, FESS PARKER WINERY, CYNTHIA PECK, ANGELO'S AND VINCI'S

TIM SNIDER – PRESIDENT, FESS PARKER WINERY

Driving north along the pastoral Foxen Canyon Wine Trail feels like traveling back to California’s early days. Rolling hills frame vast meadows, deer and wildlife roam free, and pristine landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see. This peaceful environment enticed the late Fess Parker into buying a 714-acre ranch here back in 1988. The Texas-born actor, who played the television roles of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 1950s and 1960s, had moved his family to Santa Barbara in the early 1960s and begun construction of a blufftop home. When heavy rains caused it to collapse onto the beach, he revised his plans and headed inland.

There, he discovered the Foxen Canyon property, where he initially planned to run cattle, plant a few grapes to sell to other vintners, and establish a small winery. Parker, an only child, dreamed of starting a family business that he could pass on to future generations. He asked his children to join him, and they planted a five-acre experimental Riesling vineyard in 1989. Eli, his son, started as assistant winemaker and spent three years under the tutelage of acclaimed enologist Jed Steele before taking the helm. Eli then planted more vines and started a four-year project to build a cutting-edge winery and tasting room.

Eli Parker and his sister Ashley continue to stay involved as stewards of the family’s vision for the winery while Ashley’s husband Tim Snider serves as President and oversees day-to-day operations. The family’s vineyard is the 120-acre Rodney’s Vineyard, named after Fess Parker’s late son-in-law, at the 400-acre Foxen Canyon Road estate where the winery is located. They also source grapes from Camp Four vineyard in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, which Parker planted in 1998 as well as vineyards in the cooler Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley appellations. Blair Fox assumed the role of head winemaker in 2005. In recent years, the winery has sharpened its focus to produce more small-lot, vineyard-designated wines made from high-quality Rhone and Burgundian varietals, which have won awards in national wine competitions.

Completed in 1994, the new winery and tasting room are loosely designed after an Australian sheep station, with a grand stone fireplace, stone floors, and a wraparound veranda with picnic tables. The spacious complex is set amid an acre of meticulously landscaped grounds that border the vineyard. The amphitheater-style lawn, rimmed by mature oaks, provides a serene setting for picnics, summer evening performances by Shakespeare Santa Barbara, and other events. Indoors, visitors taste the latest vintages at a worn knotty pine bar, surrounded by photos of Fess Parker as Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone and other memorabilia related to the actor’s television roles.

BIO:
It wouldn't be stretching the truth to say that Tim Snider knows the wine business from the ground up. His first job in the industry was driving a tractor preparing the ground for his family's vineyard in Knight's Valley, Sonoma County, CA. in 1985. For six summers Tim participated in the development of the Snider family’s vineyard working on wide ranging projects from installation of irrigation systems to building deer fences to canopy management. Though Tim didn’t know it at the time, the summers spent in the vineyards would spark a true passion for the wine industry.

After graduating from Williams College in Massachusetts, Tim embarked on a 7-½ year stint at the E&J Gallo Winery. He began at the bottom as a sales representative but had the opportunity to work in several different sales capacities including Northern California Area Sales Manager. From there Tim was able to jump to the Gallo marketing department for several years including a stint as Brand marketing manager working on successful brands such as Ecco Domani, Marcelina and Rancho Zabaco.

In September of 1999 Tim left Gallo to head up the marketing at Fess Parker Winery. Over the past eleven years has held positions of increasing responsibility culminating in being named President of the winery in 2010. He is proud to be part of the team that has developed & launched successful projects such as the Fess Parker single vineyard tier of wines, the family’s boutique rhone-oriented label, Epiphany, and the Frontier Red & Parker Station programs.

In addition to his responsibilities at the Fess Parker Winery, he also oversees sales and distribution of the Snider family’s Fortress label based in Northern California. Tim also served for four years on the Santa Barbara County Vintner's Association Board of Directors, three of which were spent as president, and currently is a member of Rabobank’s Regional Advisory Board. Tim lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Ashley Parker Snider, and their three children. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing golf, basketball and tennis, running, snowboarding, coaching youth basketball and playing the drums.

WWW.FESSPARKERWINES.COM


CYNTHIA PECK – OWNER, ANGELO’S AND VINCI’S                        
OUR HISTORY
Forty-three years ago, our restaurant was built with tradition and has since continued with tradition. At our home in the old marketplace, we tribute our ancestors who came to America in the late 1800’s – their spirit and their recipes!

A little about this old building…
Originally built as an L-shaped marketplace in the days when Fullerton was an orchard (early 1900’s), the local farmers would bring their produce in from the fields by horse and wagon to sell to the townspeople. The original wood trusses of the old roof system may still be seen in the Venetian Room. Approximately twenty years later, renovation of the building changed it from its original L-shape to a square. This was accomplished by the large wood barrel trusses (an unusual truss!), which can be seen in the Sicilian Room and the Piazza Fantasia. During our renovation in 1992, the old wood, terra cotta tiles and brick was salvaged and re-used to keep alive the feeling and memories of those days long ago.

About our décor…
Be prepared when you walk into Angelo’s and Vinci’s Ristorante to be overwhelmed! With surprises in every corner, you won’t know where to look first! You will sit amidst the art of the great masters, in an Italian town square complete with the storefronts of old Italian butcher and cheese mongers, fruit and wine vendors, seamstresses showing their wares, and more. Fairy lights abound under cathedral ceilings as our ancestors smile down at you from the Family Love Altar. Explore and you will be surrounded by colorful Sicilian puppets, the carnival masks and canals of Venice, and the romance of Romeo & Juliet. Find our mystical Room of the Moon…and don’t forget King Kong, Dracula, Frankenstein, witches, ghosts and who-knows-what that await you in the Monster Wine Cellar!

And, as for Hollywood…
Founder, Steven Peck, renowned Hollywood dancer, choreographer and veteran actor of over 100 movies and television performances, has delightful photographs of over 40 years of famous stars, directors and dancers. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Gary Cooper, Robert Taylor, Broderick Crawford, Kirk Douglas, Walter Winchell, Sam Wanamaker, Vincent Minnelli, Sylvester Stallone, Ted Danson, David Hasselhof, Ray Sharkey, Shirley MacLaine, Cyd Charisse, Dolly Parton, Joan Collins, Raquel Welch, Olympia Dukakis, Shelly Winters and so many more. Films from Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., MGM, Desilu, United Artists, Universal Studios, to name a few.

Ask for a “Walking Tour” brochure to find out more about the meaning and dedications behind our décor!

BANQUET & PARTIES
Established in 1971, Angelo’s and Vinci’s Ristorante is a family-run establishment with a festive, theatrical, highly decorative Italian atmosphere that makes any event a celebration!
From a small, intimate rehearsal dinner or bridal shower, to a wedding reception for 650, Angelo’s and Vinci’s can fill just about any wedding need. With a professional staff of wedding coordinators, bartenders, disc jockeys and master of ceremonies, you will both be treated as guests at your own wedding reception!

Planning a birthday party, anniversary dinner, graduation celebration, business meeting? Angelo’s and Vinci’s has a variety of packages and options to suit most any budget!
For an estimate for your event, please call our Banquet Sales office Monday through Friday, 11:00am to 7:00pm.

WWW.ANGELOSANDVINCIS.COM




Friday, April 28, 2017

04/28 ELLIOTT DOLIN, DOLIN MALIBU ESTATE VINEYARDS, HEATHER MURAN, SAN LUIS OBISPO WINE COUNTRY ASSOCIATION

ELLIOTT DOLIN – PROPRIETOR, DOLIN MALIBU ESTATE VINEYARDS 

DOLIN ESTATE RELEASES ITS FIRST RED BLENDS FROM MALIBU COAST AVA 
Elliott and Lynn Dolin, founders of the Malibu-based Dolin Estate, are thrilled to announce the inaugural release of their first red blends from the region. The Blue Note, a blend comprised of Merlot (44%), Cabernet Sauvignon (36%) and Cabernet Franc (20%) will be available beginning in February, and Troubadour, a blend comprised of Cabernet Franc (42%), Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Syrah (14%) and Petite Verdot (9%) will be available later this year. Both wines will retail for $45.  Founded in 2009, Dolin Estate has received critical praise for its estate-grown Malibu Coast Chardonnay and its Malibu Newton Canyon Chardonnay. “We love these red blends for their old-world sensibilities and elegance, and we’re eager to finally share them with our customers,” says Elliott Dolin.

Dolin, whose musical career as a session bassist took him around the world to play with top acts, named the wines for two of his favorite musical venues. The Left Bank-inspired Troubadour blend refers to the West Coast concert venue, while the Right Bank-inspired Blue Note refers to the legendary New York jazz club, as well as the first band in which Elliott Dolin was paid to perform while living on the East Coast. Elliott’s career as a session bassist included work with the original Manhattan Transfer, and artists such as Donna Fargo, Brenda Lee and Ray Price.

The Blue Note and Troubadour are comprised of fruit grown four miles east of the Pacific Ocean in the mountains of Malibu at a 1,450 foot elevation. Because the vineyards sit above the fog line, the grapes receive greater sun exposure and warmer temperatures than Dolin’s estate Chardonnay vineyard, providing ideal conditions for Bordeaux varieties to flourish. Veteran Central Coast Winemaker Kirby Anderson produced the wines, employing small lot winemaking practices like hand-sorting, a three to five day cold-soak, and gentle punch downs to ensure the best possible quality

WWW.DOLINESTATE.COM


HEATHER MURAN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SAN LUIS OBISPO WINE COUNTRY ASSOCIATION 

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

Friday, March 31, 2017

03/31 BOB CABRAL, THREE STICKS WINE, JAY SOMERS, J. CHRISTOPHER WINES

BOB CABRAL - DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING, THREE STICKS WINE            


ABOUT THREE STICKS WINES: 
Three Sticks Wines is a boutique, family-owned winery founded by Bill Price (William S. Price III). Founded in 2002, the winery is named for Bill’s surfing nickname, “Billy Three Sticks,” which was assigned to him in his youth as a reference to the three Roman numerals that follow his name. As a long-time fan and collector of wines from the Durell Vineyard, Price purchased  the property from Ed Durell in 1998, and launched Three Sticks a few years later.

In 2015, Bob Cabral, former winemaker for Williams Selyem, and Ryan Prichard, former assistant winemaker for Medlock Ames, joined the Three Sticks Team. Don Van Staaveren, who had been with Three Sticks since 2004, remains as Winemaker Emeritus. Cabral and Prichard will be focusing on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production, while Van Staaveren will continue to focus on the Cabernets.

The winery is housed in an industrial area near downtown Sonoma, among a cluster of other artisan wine producers known as the Eighth Street Wineries. In keeping with the winery’s “no crush” policy, every lot of grapes to come in is treated with utmost care and minimal handling. The winemaking team insists on keeping every vineyard block separate from the others from the moment they are picked on through fermentation, barrel aging and final blending.

In 2014, Three Sticks opened a tasting salon in downtown Sonoma: The Adobe (a.k.a. the VallejoCasteñada Adobe, #theadobe). Built circa 1842 and located just off the plaza in downtown Sonoma, the Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe was one of Sonoma’s oldest and longest occupied residences and remains one of the last standing buildings from California’s Mexican Period. It’s transformation into the Three Sticks tasting salon was directed by noted San Francisco designer Ken Fulk.

ABOUT BOB:
There is very good reason Bob Cabral’s name is synonymous with great Pinot Noir. With decades of experience in Sonoma County, Bob’s passion, experience and following for his work with the varietal is second to none. From 1998 to 2014 Bob was winemaker for Williams Selyem. There, he led the winery into a new era, overseeing an expansion of new vineyard sources and bottlings for the brand, along with the construction of a state-of the art winery.

Bob’s interest in wine and farming began in childhood helping his grandfather make wine in a barn. Growing up pruning grapes, irrigating vineyards and harvesting grapes became routine on his family’s 70-acre ranch near Escalon, CA. A fourth generation farmer and grape grower from the great San Joaquin Valley, he took all he learned at the family farm and applied it to his degrees at Fresno State University. While in college, his passion for Pinot Noir became evident as he spent every spare dime, and a good chunk of his student loans, on buying wines from all over the world—mostly Burgundy and Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs.

After graduating in the mid-1980s, Bob knew that Sonoma County was where he could best hone his skills and make wines to rival the best in the world. He spent 11 vintages in various winemaking positions—associate winemaker at DeLoach Vineyards, custom crush winemaker at Kunde Family Estate, winemaker at Alderbrook Vineyards and winemaker at Hartford Court Winery—before taking his seminal position at Williams Selyem.

Bob’s winemaking philosophy has remained constant throughout his career—to source and farm the best fruit possible, with minimal intervention in the cellar. He was awarded the 2011 Wine Star Award from the Wine Enthusiast as “Winemaker of the Year.” He joined Three Sticks in 2015, with fervent enthusiasm. Bob lives in the Russian River Valley where and is a devoted husband and father to his wife and daughter.

WWW.THREESTICKSWINES.COM


JAY SOMERS - OWNER/WINEMAKER, J. CHRISTOPHER WINES

From Jay's first sip of Burgundy, there was no turning back. Old World wines are what he has always loved to drink. And since starting J. Christopher Wines in 1996, that's the style of wine he has worked to make here in the New World. We follow biodynamic principles, and all of our wines are handcrafted in small lots, with fruit sourced from some of the best vineyards in Oregon. Our specialties are Pinot Noir made in the traditional style of Burgundy, and Sauvignon Blanc modeled after the great wines of Sancerre.
In 2010, we cemented our bond with the Old World by forming a partnership with famed German winemaker Ernst Loosen. Erni and Jay have a longtime friendship based partly on the fact that they are both Pinot freaks. Working together to produce Pinot Noirs that combined Old World and New World ideas just seemed like a natural. Together, they purchased a beautiful 40-acre property on Chehalem Mountain in Newberg, Oregon. This is the home of the new J. Christopher winery, and the Appassionata vineyard, our first estate vineyard.

ABOUT JAY SOMERS:
Jay Christopher Somers wanted to be a rock star. One of his earliest memories was the day his mother came home with the new Creedence Clearwater Revival album, Cosmos Factory. As the 4-year-old Jay listened over and over to John Fogarty's wailing guitar solo in "Heard it Through the Grapevine," he knew that's what he wanted to do. And yet, rooted somewhere in that song, another message planted itself in his subconscious. Something about grapevines.

Jay eventually did get a guitar — today he has quite a collection — and learned to play with great skill. In terms of careers, however, he did what any college grad with a degree in philosophy would do: he made beer. After several years as a brewer for McMenamins, he met a beautiful woman named Ronda. Ronda liked Jay, but didn't care for beer. Making two of the best decisions of his life, Jay married Ronda and got out of the beer business, deciding to focus, instead, on his latest passion: wine. In the years leading up to the launch of his own winery, Jay had the great fortune to work with Don Kautzner at Adelsheim Vineyard in Oregon, Neil McCallum at Dry Creek Vineyard in New Zealand, and John Paul at Cameron Winery in Oregon. From Don, he learned that it was possible to make Burgundian-style Pinots in Oregon. Through Neil, he gained a passion for white wines. And in John, he found a lifelong friend and mentor.

In his five years at Cameron, Jay adopted an Old World style of vineyard management and winemaking — a style that resulted in wines that tasted more like the Burgundies he loved to drink. With John's encouragement, he bottled his first J. Christopher vintage in 1996, using the Cameron facility and fruit purchased from the neighboring Charlie's vineyard. (Side note: Jay is the first and only winemaker ever to make wine from this excellent vineyard.) His first vintage, like many to follow, sold out in less than a week.

After Jay's third vintage of J. Christopher, his mentor gently and encouragingly nudged the fledgling from the nest. Jay spent the next 11 years making J. Christopher alongside Holloran Vineyard Wines at the Holloran facility in the Willamette Valley. Here, he continued to develop his Burgundian winemaking style: "Don't force the vineyard, don't irrigate the crap out of it, don't spray a bunch of chemicals on it, and do all the hand labor right."

In 2004, an opportunity arose to help the shorthanded crew at the Dr. Loosen winery in Germany's Mosel Valley. A big fan of German Rieslings, Jay pounced on it. Over many bottles of wine after long days of work, he and winemaker Ernst Loosen discovered that they had a mutual taste and passion for Pinot Noir. Erni had long dreamed of owning vineyards in Burgundy, but, turned off by the price, had begun thinking about the second best place in the world to grow Pinot Noir: Oregon. Over many more bottles, the two hatched a plan, and soon began making a collaborative Oregon Pinot called Appassionata. In 2010, they formalized their partnership, bought a 40-acre property on Chehalem Mountain in Newberg, Oregon, and began building a new J. Christopher winery. Jay continues as the winemaker for the partnership, while Erni provides Old World expertise and financial support.

Today, in addition to making wine, Jay plays lead guitar for the Portland band Reduction. Fans of both his music and his wines tell him he's a rock star. So all in all, he feels, things have turned out very well.

ABOUT OUR WINES:
At J. Christopher, we produce handcrafted wines sourced from some of the best vineyards in Oregon's Northern Willamette Valley. We follow biodynamic principles and specialize in Pinot Noir made using the traditional methods of Burgundy. We are one of the few wineries in Oregon to produce Sauvignon Blanc, modeled after the great wines of Sancerre.

Our philosophy is to produce wines in an Old World style that emphasizes focus, length, and balance. As winemaker Jay Somers puts it, "We do not make fruit bombs. We want wines that have a fine balance of fruit, acidity and texture. We want wines that give you more than just a big mid-palate blast — wines that are complete."

The key to this, Jay firmly believes, is patient winemaking — it is vital not to rush things and allow the wines to develop naturally. For example, we would never use cultured yeasts to induce malolactic fermentation in our Pinot Noir. This is a New World technique done to facilitate earlier bottling, but we feel it is damaging to the wine's texture and balance. We want the wines to evolve at their own pace, with a minimum of intervention.

Pinot Noir
Place matters. Our Pinot Noir is made to reflect where it comes from. Our range of Pinot Noir showcases the diversity of the valley's soils, micro-climates and distinct terroir. Our flagship Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is approachable, yet complex; a perfect window into what makes this part of Oregon so special. Our Terroir Series Pinot Noir highlight three individual AVAs within the valley, focusing on the distinct qualities that each area's soils and micro climate bring to the wine. Our Single Vineyard Pinot Noir are bottled to reflect the complete and singular qualities of some of the finest vineyards in the Willamette Valley.

Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc, although not widely planted in the Willamette Valley, is ideally suited to the same climate as Pinot Noir. Winemaker Jay Somers likes to remind you that while Sancerre is known for some of the finest Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Noir is also grown there.

We offer a few different takes on this noble white grape. Our Willamette Valley Sauvignon Blanc is more delicate and focused, with a bright, refreshing finish, while our bottling of the Croft Vineyard showcases the intensity and richness of the this unique vineyard with a softer texture.

Chardonnay
Chardonnay is the natural companion to Pinot Noir. Like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay beautifully reveals the soils and climate of the place it is grown. We produce a pure, unadorned Chardonnay, bottled without oak or malolactic fermentation. This stainless steel fermented Chardonnay is a classic cool climate expression of the variety.

Rosé
We offer a dry rose made for easy-drinking, and pure enjoyment. Our pink wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah, sourced from vineyards on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge.

WWW.JCHRISTOPHERWINES.COM

Friday, March 10, 2017

03/10 SHAUN O'BRYAN, BELMOND EL ENCANTO, MIKE FOOS, DUKES MALIBU

SHAUN O'BRYAN - RESORT MANAGER, BELMOND EL ENCANTO

Santa Barbara’s only Forbes Five-Star resort is an enchanting hideaway for those who cherish privacy and serenity.

One of the most iconic hotels in Santa Barbara, Belmond El Encanto sits high in the hills amid lush gardens with views across the town and ocean. A landmark since the 1920s, its original architectural features have been lovingly brought back to life, while modern additions include an expansive outdoor swimming pool and beautiful boutique spa.

True to its Californian roots, this luxury hotel combines glamour with laidback style.

DINING

Belmond El Encanto offers some of the best restaurants in southern California. Artisanal ingredients and exceptional flavors create an unforgettable dining experience.

Within our Santa Barbara restaurants, each dish is created with locally-sourced seasonal produce. Expect herbs directly from the chef's garden and Belmond El Encanto cheese, each block made from the milk of Ellie, the resort's cow.

THE DINING ROOM AND TERRACE
Dine in the elegant dining room, or delight in a romantic dinner under the stars on the terrace. Either way you’ll be treated to a spectacular gastronomic experience, featuring locally sourced, artisanal ingredients. An innovative menu offers contemporary California-coastal cuisine, complemented with gracious service and a side of stunning Santa Barbara views.

THE LOUNGE
The Lounge is the ideal retreat for light dining or an elegant afternoon tea with friends. Delicately crafted breads and buns come filled with classic British combinations. Tempting scones and French pastries will sweeten any afternoon. Afternoon Tea reservations must be made 24-hours in advance.

THE WINE ROOM
Whether you’re celebrating a special birthday, hosting a retirement dinner or just because, The Wine Room is the perfect place to gather. Take a seat in the warm, intimate setting and savor refined cuisine. Sip perfectly paired wines, selected from local vineyards and beyond.

THE BAR
Meet friends or fellow travellers and linger over the wide range of wines, spirits and exciting cocktails in this lively hub. American bar food is elevated to new flavorful heights for those who wish to drop in for a quick meal.

BELLINI BRUNCH
Treat yourself to bottomless Bellinis or Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne, California-coastal cuisine and live jazz music. A seasonal selection of shared appetizers starts the experience. Then, select from à la carte entrées like Seared Local Swordfish or Riviera Clam Bake. Following this sumptuous meal, head to The Wine Room where an irresistible selection of desserts awaits.

WWW.BELMOND.COM



MIKE FOOS - MANAGER, DUKES MALIBU

Guests head to this festive hangout with ocean views for Hawaiian cuisine & umbrella drinks.

SURFING MEETS HOLLYWOOD
Surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku taught surfing in Malibu and spent time in the area where he was a lifeguard, competed in water sports and also appeared in over 28 Hollywood movies. Duke’s Malibu honors Duke, but also pays tribute to the early days of surfing in Malibu. Adding to the lore, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, the inspiration for the Gidget novel, movie and TV series that sparked the California surfing craze, works at Duke's Malibu as our Ambassador of Aloha.

AMBASSADOR OF ALOHA
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was born August 24, 1890 in Honolulu, Hawaii, the first of six sons and three daughters of Duke and Julia Kahanamoku.
He grew up in carefree Waikiki with the ocean as his playground, doing what he loved – mostly swimming, surfing, canoeing and bodysurfing.

At the age of 21 he won his first Olympic gold medal, then went on to represent the United States in the Olympics for 20 years, winning not only medals but the hearts of people all over the world. He is remembered as a swimmer not just for remarkable speed, but for his grace in the water, his good humor, and his sportsmanship.

WINE WEDNESDAYS
Join us in the Dining Room or the Barefoot Bar for Wine Wednesdays and enjoy $20 off bottled wine with the purchase of two entrees.

WWW.DUKESMALIBU.COM
WWW.TSRESTAURANTS.COM

Friday, February 10, 2017

02/10 STEVE CONTURSI, ARROW & BRANCH, MARTIN DIEDRICH, KEAN COFFEE

STEVE CONTURSI, THE PROPRIETOR OF ARROW & BRANCH 
       
Arrow&Branch was chosen as the name for the couple’s wine as a subtle reference to numismatics. Proprietor Steve Contursi owns one of America’s most respected and renowned coin dealerships: a professional numismatist since 1975, Contursi has bought and sold more than $2 billion worth of United States rare coins, and helps investors, collectors and other dealers acquire the finest quality, historically significant, museum quality U.S. coins. Found on the reverse of most United States coinage is an eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons. The Arrow&Branch name is both a nod to Contursi’s success in the rare coin business, as well as paying homage to both US coinage and Americana. The olive branch signifies the United States as a peace-loving nation, while the arrow portrays the country’s ability to defend itself. Contursi made international headlines in March 2004 when he and the American Numismatic Association unveiled new evidence about “Uncle Sam’s first buck.” The Neil/Carter/Contursi specimen, 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, is believed by many experts to be the very first silver dollar struck by the U.S. A truly historic national treasure, this mint coin represented an economic declaration of independence for the young United States. Contursi loaned the coin to the ANA Money Museum in Colorado from 2004 through 2010 where tens of thousands of visitors have viewed it there and on exhibits around the country. In May 2010, Contursi sold this coin for $7.85 million, setting the record price for a single coin.

ABOUT THE PROPRIETORS:
Arrow&Branch proprietors Steve and Seanne Contursi share a great love for the wines of Bordeaux, particularly those produced with a large quantity of Cabernet Franc, such as Château Cheval Blanc. The couple began their romance while traveling through Bordeaux in the mid 1980’s, and have since found their dreams come true in being able to live and make wine in Napa Valley. They sought out their Coombsville vineyard property with an eye to producing top-quality Bordeaux blend wines from Napa Valley. The Contursi family lives in Laguna Beach and bought the Arrow&Branch Estate Vineyard in November 2007. Etude Wines founder Tony Soter, a renowned Napa Valley winemaker and prominent wine consultant, previously owned the organic vineyard property. The vineyard was the source of Soter’s renowned and highly rated “Little Creek” Cabernet Franc. The Contursi’s have maintained the organic farming and, through their work with the detail-oriented Viticulturalist Mike Wolf, are continually improving this wonderful vineyard site.

The couple constantly shares wines, tasting notes and insights with their highly regarded Winemaker Jennifer Williams and esteemed Viticulturist Michael Wolf. Collecting wine since the mid 1970’s, much of it purchased directly from the chateaux of Bordeaux, the Contursi’s collection has been featured in Wine Spectator magazine as well as on CNBC’s investing news.

Arrow&Branch was chosen as the name for the couple’s wine as a subtle reference to numismatics, the study and collection of coins. Steve Contursi became enamored with coins at seven years of age, when, as a paperboy, he was often paid in coins. He built his childhood pastime into one of America’s most respected and renowned dealerships and now owns Rare Coin Wholesalers and RCW Financial. A professional numismatist since 1975, and armed with a Cum Laude degree in physics, Contursi has bought and sold more than $1 billion worth of United States rare coins, and helps both collectors and other dealers acquire the finest quality, historically significant, museum quality coins. Found on the reverse of most United States coinage is an eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons. The Arrow&Branch name is both a nod to Contursi’s success in the rare coin business, as well as paying homage to both US coinage and Americana. The olive branch signifies the United States as a peace-loving nation, while the arrow portrays the country’s ability to defend itself if that peace or freedom should ever be compromised.

Contursi made international headlines in March 2004 when he and the American Numismatic Association unveiled new evidence about “Uncle Sam’s first buck.” The Neil/Carter/Contursi specimen, 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, is believed by many experts to be the very first silver dollar struck by the U.S. A truly historic national treasure, this mint coin represented an economic declaration of independence for the young United States. Contursi has loaned the now famous coin to the ANA Money Museum in Colorado from 2004 through 2010 where tens of thousands of visitors have viewed it there and on exhibits around the country. In May 2010, Contursi again made the news by selling this coin for $7.85 million, setting the record price for a single coin.

Honored by Lehman College of the City University of New York in 1974 as the graduating physics student with the highest academic achievement, Contursi then attended the University of Minnesota graduate school while moonlighting at a coin shop. Deciding that his future should involve numismatics rather than Newton’s Laws, he opened his own coin shop in a Minneapolis suburb in 1975. Since then, he has held executive positions with several prominent rare coin and precious metals companies including Northwest Territories Gold and Silver Exchange; Miller-Contursi, Inc; James U. Blanchard and Company; and Monex Rare Coins. Contursi has served as President of Rare Coin Wholesalers since January 2001, combining his management skills and numismatic expertise to create one of the country’s foremost dealerships.

Seanne Contursi has worked alongside her husband in the numismatics business, and now with the development of Arrow&Branch, in the fine wine business. The couple enjoys spending time with their five children, ranging in ages from 16 to 32, which usually involves sitting around a table partaking of food and wine. Their eldest son served four years in the United States Air Force, of which they are very proud. Their family continues to grow, as their eldest daughter was wed at Arrow&Branch Vineyard during the summer of 2010 and their first grandchild, from their eldest son was born in the fall of 2010.


WWW.ARROWANDBRANCH.COM


MARTIN DIEDRICH FROM KEAN COFFEE            

Fine organic and fair trade specialty coffees from around the globe roasted fresh daily. Espresso drinks as culinary works of art. Indulgent chocolate drinks. Virtuous teas. Authentically independent. A true community gathering place. Taking coffeehouse culture to the next level.

About Kéan Coffee
Kéan Coffee™ is the newest, most exciting coffeehouse concept by coffeehouse visionary Martin Diedrich. Our mission is to purvey fresh-roasted artisan coffee the way it is meant to be, in a beautiful, eclectic coffeehouse environment. Martin is craft roasting the finest coffees from around the globe on-site, many organic and fair-trade. This enables us to serve our coffee so fresh, most days it has been roasted within hours of the moment it reaches your cup. Our expertly trained baristas are creating the most innovative, cutting edge coffee beverages to be had.

Martin, local coffeehouse pioneer and founder of the Diedrich Coffee chain, left behind the world of corporate culture to return to his origins as an independent coffeehouse operator in order to stay true to his ideals of what a coffeehouse should be and what coffee culture should be. Along with his wife Karen Varese Diedrich, Martin spent two years putting all of his creativity, inspiration and community and global awareness into bringing Kéan Coffee to reality. Martin and Karen Diedrich aptly named this next generation of coffeehouse after their son, Kean.

Kéan Coffee also features an outstanding selection of organic loose-leaf hot and iced teas from Tao of Tea in Portland, Oregon, as well as non-coffee steamers and a decadent chocolate beverage menu. Our pastries and savories are baked fresh daily by small local artisan bakeries. We also offer scrumptious gluten-free and vegan options. Come and enjoy our warm, community atmosphere in the true coffeehouse tradition!

About Martin Diedrich
Martin Diedrich grew up in Guatemala where his family owned a small coffee farm. In 1983, Martin left behind a blossoming career in Mayan archeology and came to Costa Mesa to help his parents with their small custom coffee roastery. During that year his vision emerged to create community meeting places where folks could gather and enjoy his family's high quality coffee. He founded the first Diedrich Coffee coffeehouse in Costa Mesa in 1984. Under Martin's direction, Diedrich Coffee grew to nearly a dozen locations over the next ten years and earned the reputation as "The Best Coffeehouses in Orange County". These original coffeehouses were exciting, creative hives of activity and the most popular gathering places in their respective neighborhoods.

In September of 1996, Diedrich Coffee went public. Within a few years there were more than 30 Diedrich Coffeehouses in California, Colorado and Texas. Martin Diedrich is now considered one of the pioneers of the coffeehouse phenomenon. Martin has been a Master Roaster for 21 years and is an internationally recognized coffee expert. In 2005 Martin was presented with the Specialty Coffee Association's Lifetime Achievement Award an award only bestowed on a handful of other individuals, including, Alfred Peet the founder of Peet's Coffee, Jerry Baldwin the founder of Starbuck's, George Howell the founder of Coffee Connection in Boston, Dr. Illy the family patriarch of the Illy Coffee.

In June of 2004, Martin resigned his position at Diedrich Coffee, and began to manifest a new vision: a state-of-the-art, cutting edge coffeehouse that would bring back the community feeling, coffee connoisseurship, and cultural atmosphere of his early Diedrich coffeehouses, as well as embrace his ideal that businesses should model community and global responsibility and awareness, both environmental and cultural. In December of 2005, Martin and Karen Varese Diedrich opened the doors of Kéan Coffee in Newport Beach, California. Named for their only son, Kean, Kéan Coffee is just a stones throw from the first location where Martin had originally joined his parents Carl and Inga. Kéan Coffee has already developed a loyal following of customers with its high quality artisan coffees fresh roasted onsite daily by Martin himself, in a world-class roaster built and manufactured by his brother Stephan Diedrich in Sandpoint Idaho. Through Kéan Coffee, Martin Diedrich is taking his community coffeehouse vision to the next level.

WWW.KEANCOFFEE.COM