Friday, September 8, 2017

09/08 NINA SVENTITSKY, WINES OF RIOJA IN SPAIN, STEFANIE SALEM, NEWPORT BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

NINA SVENTITSKY - REPRESENTS THE GREAT WINES OF RIOJA IN SPAIN

Mediterranean wine culture was, in the Middle Ages, closely linked to the monastic life, as their major broadcasters were the monks.

Rioja area is no exception and is proud that Gonzalo de Berceo, the first poet who wrote in the Romance language, the wine mentioned in the verses he wrote from his retreat in the Suso Monastery in San Millán de la Cogolla.

The first document to make reference to protecting and ensuring the quality of Rioja wines dating from 1650, even before in 1102, King Sancho of Navarra legally recognized our prestigious wines.

In 1787 was created the Royal Economic Society Rioja Growers, aimed at promoting the cultivation of vines, wine production and trade development.

Already in the twentieth century, in 1902, was issued a Royal Decree which defined the "origin" for application to the wines of Rioja. In 1926 he decreed the creation of the Control Board whose mission was to identify the area of Rioja, control the issuance of the "seal of guarantee" and recommend legal action be taken against infringers and counterfeiters of the name "Rioja". However, until 1945, the agency would not be legally structured.

Finally, the Control Board was constituted in 1953, and thus began to lay the foundations for a modern and efficient performance.

In the evolution to the present Rioja wine is the approval in 1970 of the Rules of the Appellation of Origin and its Regulatory Board. In the same year when the agency acquired a well-defined structure and functions: "The defense of the Denomination of Origin, implementation, monitoring and promoting the quality of the wines covered were mandated, first, the Control Board."

After several amendments to the Regulation Governing the Control Board, which have been adapted to the needs raised in recent years, quality control systems have been perfected and also has enhanced the promotion.

After a long process in which the Denomination of Origin "Rioja" always bet on the quality and control at source, this effort reached its recognition.

On 3 April 1991 a Ministerial Order granted the status of Qualified Denomination of Origin 'Rioja' first and only in Spain that has this range.


STEFANIE SALEM - FOUNDER & CEO, NEWPORT BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

FOURTH ANNUAL NEWPORT BEACH WINE AND FOOD
SEPT 29th - OCT 1st 2017 | NEWPORT BEACH, CA

Newport Beach Wine & Food is the most exclusive, intimate and world-class epicurean lifestyle event in Southern California. You’ll enjoy one-of-a-kind dinners by celebrity chefs and local masters, taste bites from 40 different top restaurants with their executive chefs and sip from over 250 varieties of wines, spirits and craft brews. VIP events, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, master sommelier tasting panels and interactive mixology courses will all be offered throughout the weekend festivities.

CHECK OUT THIS GREAT ARTICLE FROM THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER!



Friday, July 28, 2017

7/28 MARTHA BARRA, BARRA OF MENDOCINO, WINESONG WEEKEND, CHEF WILLIAM CARTER, THE CANYON VILLA BED & BREAKFAST

MARTHA BARRA - OWNER, BARRA OF MENDOCINO - TALKS WINESONG WEEKEND, SEPTEMBER 8-9, 2017

As you take a walk through the vineyard with Charlie Barra, you’ll find yourself surrounded by 60 year old, craggy, grapevines that resemble the sun-baked hands of the farmer that has nurtured them. These hearty, twisted vines, located on the bench lands at the headwaters of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, California, are the source of the superior organic fruit that goes into each bottle of BARRA of Mendocino wines.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Antonio Barra, and his maternal grandfather, Guiseppe Rovera (who immigrated to Mendocino County from Piedmont, Italy in 1906), Charlie began farming grapes in the mid 1940’s. By 1954 he had purchased Redwood Valley Vineyards, the ranch that is home to over 175 acres of organically grown Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Muscat Canelli.

In 1955, when Charlie began planting new vines, he was fortunate to be able to rely on the practical experience of his father and grandfather to help him make the right choice in selecting rootstock and varietal clones. These choices, over the years, have proven that he made the right ones. Choosing to farm organically is just now beginning to pay off with consumer demand growing rapidly for wines grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides or other harmful materials.

With over 6 decades of experience in the back pocket of his Wrangler jeans, Charlie Barra, now 87 years old, farms his organic vineyards with the goal of producing rich, distinguishable fruits that “shine through” in every glass of BARRA of Mendocino organic wine.

WINESONG WEEKEND, SEPTEMBER 8-9, 2017!

Winesong – who we are and what we do…
Winesong is an annual charity auction and wine + food tasting produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation. Proceeds are used to enhance equipment, facilities and services at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. The Diagnostic Imaging Center, Medical Evacuation Helipad, Out-Patient Surgical services and Emergency Department Equipment are just a few of the vital areas that Winesong funds have enhanced. Since 1985 Winesong has raised over $7.5 million for improvements in local healthcare.

WINE & FOOD TASTING
Saturday, September 9th, 2017
11 am – 2 pm
Stroll through the lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens while enjoying vintages poured by world-class wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond, and food from 50 of the finest regional finest food purveyors (see list of wineries and food below). The tasting is accented by various  music groups performing a variety of styles including jazz, classical, blues, calypso and folk rock.

CHARITY AUCTION
Silent Auction: 11 am-2 pm
Live Auction: 2 pm-5 pm
The centerpiece of Winesong weekend is our Charity Auction, featuring both a silent and live auction.  Excitement builds in the Auction Tents with lively bidding for nearly 200 lots, featuring spectacular wines from the world’s most prestigious wine producers, rare vintages, large format bottles plus special vertical and horizontal collections. Other auction highlights include original art from acclaimed California artists, vacations packages and highly coveted international wine getaway packages to Tuscany, France, the Caribbean, and other enchanting parts of the world.  Plus this year, we’re offering South Africa once more! Rounding off the travel offerings are one and two night getaway trips to the West’s most romantic inns, resorts, and spas; and exciting event destinations like Emeril Lagasse’s Carnival du Vin in NOLA, Vintage Albuquerque and the renowned music festivals.  Coupled with the Wine & Food Tasting, the day can’t be beat…

A PINOT NOIR CELEBRATION
Hosted by Little River Inn
Friday, September 8, 2017 | 1-4pm
Enjoy over 30 outstanding wineries and a Taste of Little River Inn’s culinary delights in an intimate setting at the Little River Inn overlooking the beautiful Pacific ocean. This is an opportunity to evaluate wines and learn how classic Pinot Noir improves with age. Savor these lush and elegant wines while you meet and mingle with the winemakers at our seaside setting overlooking the spectacular Pacific Coast. Little River Inn’s best culinary offerings will be specifically paired to the outstanding Pinot Noir being offered.

WWW.BARRAOFMENDOCINO.COM
WINESONG.ORG


CHEF WILLIAM CARTER - THE CANYON VILLA BED & BREAKFAST

The Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast
1455 Kiler Canyon Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446
805-238-3362

Chef William S. Bloxsom-Carter previously worked as the Executive Chef, and Food and Beverage Director for the Playboy Mansion West for over two and half decades. A frequent wine judge he constantly looks for wines to pair with his foods for the multitude of foods he presents. Chef Carter has prepared winery dinners in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles and the Santa Ynez Valley as well as special events for high-profile clients throughout the United States, focusing on the importance of food and wine pairings and extraordinary hospitality service. Additionally, Chef Carter is a recurring featured guest on numerous radio shows syndicated nationwide describing and promoting California wines and foods.

ABOUT THE CANYON VILLA:
An Internationally Recognized Award-winning Bed & Breakfast
The Canyon Villa, where weary wine lovers revive
Like an Italian villa perched on a Tuscan hillside, the Canyon Villa bed and breakfast pampers wine lovers touring Paso Robles wineries or couples seeking a charming retreat. The Canyon Villa offers an intimate setting, lavish amenities, fine food and an ideal location.

At the Canyon Villa, we offer only four guest rooms, each uniquely decorated and each appointed with luxurious extras such as spa tubs and lush towels. You can enjoy your gourmet breakfast in the courtyard or our dining room.

We also offer a cozy great room for relaxing with other guests, and a wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres every afternoon between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. In the summer, enjoy your wine and appetizers in our lovely shaded courtyard, with its trickling fountain and evening breezes.

Beyond the elegant setting of our inn, take a leisurely stroll through our eleven acres while admiring the views. Visit the local wineries, and then enjoy an evening meal at one of Paso Robles' fine restaurants. The Canyon Villa is also the ideal bed and breakfast for day trips to other locales, such as Hearst Castle or Cambria's art galleries.

Indulge your love of wine or your love of each other. Plan a romantic getaway to charming Paso Robles, and plan to indulge in the intimacy and luxury of the Canyon Villa.

VOTE! FOR THE CANYON VILLAS BED AND BREAKFAST - BEST WINE COUNTRY HOTEL/B&B -  NOMINEE: 2017 USA TODAY 10BEST READERS’ CHOICE TRAVEL AWARDS



WWW.THECANYONVILLA.COM
WWW.BEACONVATEL.COM

Friday, July 21, 2017

7/21 CHEF KEVIN MCGUIRE, SOMMELIER MICHAEL ROBB, CHEF JUSTIN WANGLER

CHEF/VP OF FOOD & BEVERAGE, KEVIN MCGUIRE, SOMMELIER MICHAEL ROBB  CORPORATE EXECUTIVE CHEF FROM JACKSON FAMILY WINES, JUSTIN WANGLER JOINED US FOR A LIVE BROADCAST FROM THE ENCHANTMENT RESORT IN SEDONA, ARIZONA

Enchantment Resort is located in Sedona, Arizona, 110 miles North of Phoenix and Scottsdale, and 114 miles south of the Grand Canyon. Surrounded by the towering red rock walls of Northern Arizona's Boynton Canyon, Enchantment Resort combines the rugged grandeur of the Southwest landscape with equal parts luxury and Native American culture. The 70-acre resort is designed to embrace the awe-inspiring scenery with one-story guest accommodations and panoramic views of rock formations and pine forests.

Enchantment lies within red rock Boynton Canyon, a scenic box canyon in the Coconino National Forest. The destination appeals to couples looking for a romantic getaway, friends seeking an active or restorative getaway and multi generational families wanting to reconnect in a place of stunning beauty. More than 100 weekly activities include guided hiking and mountain biking treks, and room keys provide guests with direct access to Boynton Canyon Trail adjacent to the resort. Guests also enjoy exclusive access to Mii amo spa and Seven Canyons golf club.

WWW.ENCHANTMENTRESORT.COM

Friday, July 14, 2017

7/14 BRIAN TALLEY, TALLEY VINEYARDS, PHILLIP CORALLO-TITUS, CHAPPELLET

BRIAN TALLEY - OWNER/WINEGROWER , TALLEY VINEYARDS - NEW COOKBOOK, OUR CALIFORNIA TABLE: CELEBRATING THE SEASONS WITH THE TALLEY FAMILY

For three generations the Talley family has farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County. The tradition began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. During the 1970s extensive planting of wine grapes began in the neighboring Edna Valley and Santa Barbara County areas.  After observation and extensive analysis, Oliver's son, Don Talley, was convinced of the potential to grow high quality chardonnay and pinot noir on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms.  Don planted a small test plot in 1982 on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard that included chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. Over time the varietal and clonal selections were refined and planting expanded to a total of 190 acres in the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys.

Talley Vineyards produced its first wine in 1986 with the production of 450 cases. The winery's first five vintages were produced in a small winery adjacent to one of Talley Farms’ vegetable coolers. In the fall of 1991, a winery was completed at the foot of the Rincon Vineyard. A 12,000 square foot barrel and case goods storage building was added in 2000, followed by a new tasting room in 2002. Talley Vineyards currently produces about 36,000 cases annually.  Brian and Johnine Talley own and operate Talley Vineyards, while Brian, Todd, Ryan and Rosemary Talley manage Talley Farms.

OUR CALIFORNIA TABLE: CELEBRATING THE SEASONS WITH THE TALLEY FAMILY

The beautiful coffee table-style book traces the four-generation legacy of the Talley family, one of California’s most notable agricultural families with roots in the Central Coast dating back to the 1940’s.

The inspiring story, written by Brian Talley, president of Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms, features more than 50 of the family’s most beloved recipes accompanied by stunning images from photographer Jeremy Ball. The collectible book tells how the family business grew from humble, Depression-era origins to become one of California’s leading producers of fresh vegetables and the maker of acclaimed estate bottled wines. The recipes are grouped season-to-season to showcase the best bounty of each Talley harvest offering the family’s take on such regional classics as Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Wilted Greens, Rock Cod Veracruz, Honey-Glazed Quail with Grilled Radicchio and Red Onions and Dungeness Crab with Pink Sauce.

Focusing on a wide range of produce, including bell peppers, spinach, Napa cabbage, lemons, avocados and Brussels sprouts, Our California Table emphasizes true farm to table cuisine and wine pairing.

Talley Vineyards established its first plantings in 1982, one of the only wineries in the Arroyo Grande Valley viticultural area, which has some of the coolest temperatures for grape growing in the state. Since its first vintage was released in 1986, Talley Vineyards has won wide acclaim for its estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is recognized as a benchmark producer of these varietals.

Profits from the sale of Our California Table benefit the Fund for Vineyard and Farm Workers. Established in 2004 by Talley and his wife, Johnine, the fund provides grants to non-profit organizations that assist San Luis Obispo County agricultural workers and their families. It has raised more than $600,000 since its inception, with a goal to establish a $1 million endowment so the fund can continue in perpetuity.

WWW.TALLEYVINEYARDS.COM
WWW.TALLEYFARMSFRESHHARVEST.COM
WWW.LASVENTANASRANCH.COM


PHILLIP CORALLO-TITUS - WINEMAKER, CHAPPELLET 

OUR STORY: 
The Chappellet family’s romance with Pritchard Hill started more than four decades ago when Donn and Molly Chappellet first glimpsed its magnificent vista of forests and wildflower-filled meadows. Inspired by the notion that Bacchus loves the hills, the Chappellets followed the advice of renowned winemaker André Tchelistcheff and settled on Pritchard Hill’s rocky slopes, becoming the first winery to plant vineyards exclusively on high-elevation hillsides. From these Pritchard Hill vineyards, the Chappellets have been crafting extraordinary, age-worthy wines since 1967. Pritchard Hill’s rugged terroir has become legendary for producing wines with great intensity and depth—qualities that define the world's finest Cabernet Sauvignons. As a result, Chappellet wines have consistently received the highest praise from critics, and are sought after by the world's premier collectors. Today, a second generation of the family has joined their parents in embracing the romance of Pritchard Hill. They are passionate about preserving the land and continuing what Donn and Molly began—making extraordinary wines.

WINEMAKER:
Chappellet wines are crafted to embody the terroir and the intensity of fruit that have made Pritchard Hill famous.Recognized for their signature mix of grandeur, power and purity, these coveted bottlings are the result of a winemaking process that begins in the vineyard, and champions its diversity.​ In the winery, renowned winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus—who has been guiding Chappellet’s winemaking program since 1990—individually ferments and ages lots from numerous vineyard blocks to maintain their distinctive character. These lots benefit from an array of maceration and fermentation practices. Adding even more depth and complexity, Phillip has established a barrel program utilizing the finest barrels from elite coopers and forests. With roots deep in the land, and a belief in constantly working to enhance the quality and character of Pritchard Hill’s fruit, Chappellet has earned acclaim for making California’s finest hillside Cabernet Sauvignons. The Chappellet portfolio also includes exceptional Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and the highly regarded Mountain Cuvée blend.

ABOUT PHILLIP CORALLO-TITUS, WINEMAKER
As Chappellet’s winemaker for more than two decades, Phillip Corallo-Titus has guided the winery’s storied winemaking program, building on Chappellet’s legacy as one of California’s preeminent producers of Cabernet Sauvignon. A gifted winemaker with a passion for experimentation, Phillip has embraced the diversity of Pritchard Hill to craft benchmark wines that authentically express the terroir-inspired complexity and character of their mountain origins.

Phillip discovered his passion for viticulture and wine at the age of 12 when he began helping his father in the family vineyard. This early exposure to working the vines was complemented at the dinner table, where Phillip’s father would pour French wines from his cellar. Building on this foundation, Phillip studied agronomy, viticulture and enology at the University of California, Davis. A dedicated student of wine, Phillip also traveled to France to learn about the great wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy.

In 1981, Phillip joined the Chappellet team as assistant winemaker, where he spent four years honing his craft and learning about the estate vineyards before pursuing winemaking opportunities at Stratford and Cartlidge & Brown wineries. In 1990, Donn Chappellet invited Phillip to return to the winery as Chappellet’s winemaker, a position he has held ever since.

Working side-by-side with Jon-Mark Chappellet and longtime vineyard manager Dave Pirio, Phillip’s approach to winemaking begins in the vineyard. From his focus on harvesting at ideal ripeness to his emphasis on maintaining the integrity of Chappellet’s numerous vineyard blocks throughout the fermentation and aging process, Phillip strives to make wines that reflect both the vineyard and the vintage.In the winery, he handles the grapes very gently and uses an array of fermentation, maceration and cellaring techniques to accentuate and preserve the distinctiveness of each varietal.

In addition to his role as winemaker for Chappellet, Phillip also makes wine for Titus, his family's label. Phillip lives in Napa with his wife, Laura, and their two sons.


Friday, June 30, 2017

06/30 NICOLE BERTOTTI POPE, STOLO FAMILY VINEYARDS, STEVE MACROSTIE, MACROSTIE WINERY AND VINEYARDS

NICOLE BERTOTTI POPE - WINEMAKER, STOLO FAMILY VINEYARDS

Like many Southern Californians, Don and Charlene Stolo escaped to Cambria to reset and relax.  After 20 years of visiting the area, Don and Charlene decided that this would be the place  to retire.  They set out looking for their slice of Cambria.  One day they happened upon the rural road of Santa Rosa Creek.  As they came around one of the many curves, they found what they were looking for; 53 acres of beautiful coastal land with an 1880's farmhouse and a huge redwood dairy barn surrounded by the verdant green rolling hills of the north coast.  But, the property was not for sale.

This property became the template by which all other properties were judged as the Stolo's continued their search.  Over the next two years Don and Charlene always came back to that country road just outside of Cambria and incredibly, one day, there was a for sale sign on the property fence.  The Stolo's purchased the property in 2002.  They were now the proud owners of their dream retirement spot…that happened to have a vineyard on it!

The previous owner had planted a nine-acre vineyard on what is now called our Hillside vineyard in 1998.  The vineyard was in neglect but Don and Charlene saw a diamond in the rough.  The Stolo's were told that the vineyard had been planted under the guidance of renowned Rhone style vineyard owner and wine maker, John Alban.   Preliminary research indicated that the varietals, clones and rootstock appeared to be an ideal match for the climate and soils on the property.

Confirming these findings was Don and Charlene's daughter, Maria Stolo Bennetti, now Stolo Winery and Vineyard V.P. and General Manager.  Maria at the time was involved in the premium wine industry in Northern California.  Maria and Don set to work to find additional research regarding the existing vineyard plantings, climate and soil.  They found that the sites microclimate, characterized by morning coastal fog and cool afternoon breezes, would provide an ideal environment for Burgundian varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Northern Rhone Syrah.  The cooling ocean influence would prolong the growing season, allowing the grapes a longer hang time and producing small berries with thick skins.  All perfect for producing the unique flavors and intensity found in cool climate premium wines. The soil analysis was another plus.   The Hillside Vineyard is comprised of Los Osos-Diablo complex soil.  This is a unique coastal soil formed from weathered sandstone and shale.  The soil is high in manganese, a nutrient essential for premium grapevine development.

Though all the research was positive, conventional wisdom in San Luis Obispo County at that time was that a vineyard had to be further inland.  You could not grow premium wine grapes that close to the ocean; it was too cool, too windy, too foggy.  “Everyone told me I was crazy to buy a vineyard so close to the ocean.  They said it couldn’t be done.  The climate was too cool” notes Don Stolo.  But he had a different perspective.  Even though the vineyard sat less than three miles from the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the closest vineyards to the coast in California, Don saw it as plus not a minus.  If it could be done, the property would produce a hands-down micro specific cool climate wine that would be unmatched.  The Stolos decided to take on the challenge.

The first vintage of Stolo Vineyards was bottled in 2004 and much to their expectation, the wine exuded the sense of place they had hoped for.  “Year after year, the property continues to amaze us with its intense presence in the wine.  We could not be happier with the quality, uniqueness, and overall reception the wines have received” Don says.  Now home to approximately 23 acres of sustainably farmed premium grapes, Stolo Vineyard consistently produces 90+ rated wines across the board.

ABOUT NICOLE BERTOTTI POPE:
After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences and Minor in Psychology, Nicole, along with Luke, set off to explore the vineyards of the world.  They traveled and worked in California, Australia, and South Africa, gaining extensive knowledge of unique practices from around the globe.  Nicole landed at Domaine Carneros in the Carneros Region of Napa Valley where she served as Enologist.  She honed her skills producing cool climate Pinot Noir and sparkling wine.

After a few years, Nicole moved back down to the Central Coast for a position at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande, known also for world class cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  She started as their Enologist and moved on to Assistant Winemaker.  Nicole came on as winemaker at Stolo Family Vineyards in 2011 and continues to utilize her knowledge of cool climate wines to produce beautiful representations of our vineyards.  In 2013, Nicole and Luke welcomed their first child, Greyson, into their family.

STOLOFAMILYVINEYARDS.COM


STEVE MACROSTIE -  FOUNDER, MACROSTIE WINERY AND VINEYARDS 

Over the past three decades, MacRostie Winery and Vineyards has established itself as one of the Sonoma Coast’s defining wineries, and a leader in a bright, balanced and age-worthy style of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Today, MacRostie is guided by Sonoma County visionary and winery founder Steve MacRostie, and talented winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen, who together are making the finest wines in the winery’s storied history.

Using grapes farmed by legendary winegrowing families including the Duttons, Sangiacomos, Martinellis and Bacigalupis, and from Steve’s own Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, MacRostie’s Sonoma Coast wines have established themselves as benchmarks, offering a rare intersection between labor-intensive small-lot winemaking, fair pricing and the complexity that can only be achieved by working with the finest vineyards.

Though founded in 1987, the seeds for MacRostie Winery and Vineyards go back to 1974—to the early days of Sonoma County winemaking—when Steve began his career at Hacienda Winery. At a time when most California winemakers were fixated on Bordeaux varieties and Napa Valley, Steve and a handful of other pioneers took a different path, embracing the fog-shrouded vineyards of Sonoma County and their untapped potential for producing some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the world. Steve quickly gained renown as a winemaker capable of making exceptional Burgundian-variety wines. He also began to develop his own style, favoring crispness, complexity and vineyard character, as opposed to overt opulence.

In 1987, Steve established MacRostie. To make his earliest wines, he reached out to growers he knew and respected—leaders of Sonoma County winegrowing, like the Sangiacomo family. MacRostie’s wines were soon widely hailed for their unique balance of cool-climate structure and vibrant fruit. In 1992, years before the modern Pinot Noir boom, MacRostie added Pinot Noir to its portfolio, and quickly developed a devoted following for the pure and elegant style of these wines.

Several years later, inspired by a desire to cultivate his own great piece of land, Steve discovered an amazing mountainside ranch in the Petaluma Gap region on the borderlands of the Sonoma Coast. Planted to Steve’s specifications, this windswept site has become Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, and the cornerstone of the winery’s vineyard program. At the same time, in its drive to represent the entirety of the Sonoma Coast, MacRostie has continued to explore ever-farther west, to sites like Dutton Ranch and Goldrock Ridge, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. To capture the rich expressiveness of the entire appellation, MacRostie works with more than 30 Chardonnay vineyards and over 15 Pinot Noir sites—a remarkable level of diversity for a small winery.

In 2015, MacRostie unveiled its new state-of-the-art Pinot-focused winery and MacRostie Estate House on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley, which is also the home to Thale’s Vineyard, named after Steve’s wife. “I have always wanted a home for MacRostie that expresses who we are as a winery and what we believe in as clearly as our wines do,” says Steve. “Our new home in the Russian River Valley is a culmination of everything we have learned over our first quarter century, and a statement about who we plan to be over the next 25 years.”

ABOUT STEVE MACROSTIE:
In 1974, Steve MacRostie made his first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using grapes from areas that would today include the Sonoma Coast. Back then, there were only about 40 small wineries in Sonoma County. Now there are hundreds. Where Steve helped lead, both geographically and stylistically, others have followed, making the Sonoma Coast one of the world’s great regions for making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. With his relaxed charm, philosophical mind, adventurous spirit and encyclopedic knowledge of Sonoma County viticulture and winemaking, Steve is recognized as one of the region’s great pioneers, strongest advocates and most respected winemakers.

A native Californian, Steve was raised in Sacramento. In the process of preparing for medical school, he earned a degree in biology from Washington’s Whitman College in 1968. Following his time at Whitman, Steve served in the U.S. Army, which trained him as a cryptographer and deployed him to Vicenza in the Veneto region of Italy. While in Europe, Steve took advantage of the opportunity to travel to France, Germany and Spain. European wines were an epiphany for him, far surpassing the few American wines he had tasted. He quickly fell in love with wine, and the idea of winemaking. After the army, Steve abandoned the safe path of a career in medicine, and instead enrolled in the enology program at the UC Davis.

When most young winemakers were focusing on working with Bordeaux varieties and establishing careers in Napa Valley, Steve once again took the road less traveled, and in 1974, he became the inaugural winemaker for Sonoma County’s Hacienda Winery. During his 12 years at Hacienda, Steve honed his craft and earned renown as a gifted winemaker capable of making benchmark Chardonnays and age-worthy Pinot Noirs. In 1987, with the support of his wife Thale, Steve founded MacRostie Winery and Vineyards. At MacRostie, Steve began to pioneer a fresh, elegant style that showed its roots in the cool vineyards of Sonoma County. To achieve this, Steve continued building relationships with the best growers throughout the region— relationships that have lasted for decades.

In 1997, Steve made another bold decision when he established of his own Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in the Petaluma Gap region on the borderlands between Carneros and the Sonoma Coast. Though Wildcat exists on the extreme edge of cool-climate viticulture, it has proven ideal for growing grapes that produce profound, complex and elegant wines. With Wildcat as one its cornerstones, in recent years Steve has focused much of his efforts on further enhancing the MacRostie vineyard program. Because of the relationships he’s developed over his 40-year career, and the universal respect he has from his peers, Steve is able to source the most sought after fruit for MacRostie, including grapes from legendary winegrowing families like the Duttons, Sangiacomos, Ritchies, Martinellis and Bacigalupis,

Steve is still in the winery almost daily, where he works alongside MacRostie’s talented winemaker, Heidi Bridenhagen. Because of their inquisitive natures, Steve and Heidi are constantly trying to improve and grow as winemakers. Together, they challenge and inspire each other, and as a result, Steve and Heidi are making the best wines in MacRostie’s history, while also staying at the forefront of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir viticulture and winemaking.

In recent years, Steve has stepped back from the administrative and business side of the winery, allowing him to focus even more on what he loves—working in the vineyard, working with growers and making wine. As a result, he’s having the most fun he’s had in years.

As a director of the California Wine Institute, Steve continues to be a respected advocate for Sonoma County and the entire wine industry. Steve has served as president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, the Carneros Wine Alliance and the Carneros Quality Alliance. Steve and Thale live in Sonoma Valley.

MACROSTIEWINERY.COM

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