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

Friday, February 3, 2017

02/03 MARTIN DIEDRICH, KEAN COFFEE, WES HAGEN, J. WILKES WINES

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


WES HAGEN - WINEMAKER, BRAND AMBASSADOR, J. WILKES WINES

A STORY AS BIG AS THE WEST

JEFF(ERSON) WILKES WAS A WINEGROWER AND WINE GRAPE SALESMAN AT BIEN NACIDO AND SOLOMON HILLS VINEYARDS IN THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY AS WELL AS FRENCH CAMP VINEYARD IN THE PASO ROBLES HIGHLANDS FOR TWENTY YEARS (1981-2001).

Jeff’s tireless promotion and demand for quality anchored the Bien Nacido Vineyard, Solomon Hills and the Santa Maria Valley as the heart and soul of Santa Barbara County winegrowing, providing grapes to some of the greatest winemakers in California. Jeff launched his ‘J.Wilkes’ label in 2001, focusing on Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, and made his last wine in 2010 before his untimely passing late in that same year. Soon after, the label was relaunched as a tribute to Jeff’s unwavering love of the Santa Maria Valley, his commitment to value and quality, and later as a vehicle for blending AVA wines that show the best of the Central Coast and our diversity of meso-climates..

Jeff’s love of the Old West and sailing the Pacific Ocean continue to guide our winemaking team. The freedom that the West and the Pacific represent are in every sip of J.Wilkes, as is the pursuit of discovery that drives humans to search for new experiences and better lives. A bottle of J.Wilkes is an investment to keep your friends and family at the table for an extra hour. We believe the combination of food, love and wine is one of the most important rituals left in this country and is the cure for spending too much time with technology..

ABOUT WES HAGEN:
WES HAGEN IS THE WINEMAKER AND BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR J. WILKES WINES IN THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA. IN 2013, MICHAEL CERVIN (WALL STREET JOURNAL, DECANTER) RATED WES AS ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL WINEMAKERS IN THE UNITED STATES (#68).

Wes worked as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker at  Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines in the Sta. Rita Hills for 21 years and is considered an industry leader in Santa Barbara Wine, having served for more than a decade on the Board of Directors for both Santa Barbara County Vintners and Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance.

Wes is an accomplished wine writer, researcher and lecturer; He has written for the L.A Times Magazine, Sommelier Journal, Burgundy Report and has appeared and been featured / quoted numerous times in the Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. Wes researched, wrote and had approved the last three AVA’s in Santa Barbara County: Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon and Ballard Canyon.

Wes taught the Food and Wine Pairing program at Allan Hancock College for four years and has lectured on the History of Wine and Santa Barbara Wine at Cornell University, Caltech and many, many other prestigious institutions. His most recent achievement is having been nominated for a TED-talk on the History of Wine.

Wes has an active and impressive social media following on Facebook (Wes Hagen), Twitter, Instagram and Delectable (@weshagen).

“Every wine deserves an hour at table, delicious food and two people in love.  Wine cannot be fully understood unless all three of these conditions are met.""  --WD Hagen

JWILKES.COM


Friday, January 6, 2017

01/06 TOM BRACAMONTES, LA COMPETENCIA IMPORTS LLC, DAVID TEIG, SHERATON FAIRPLEX HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTER

TOM BRACAMONTES - LA COMPETENCIA IMPORTS LLC: AN IMPORTER, DISTRIBUTOR & WHOLESALER OF WINES FROM BAJA, MEXICO

LA COMPETENCIA IMPORTS, LLC.
Named in honor of my grandfather, Ramón Gómez, LA Competencia Imports will strive to replicate the level of customer service and connection to the community that he was known for. From humble beginnings in León, Guanajuato, México he proved that through hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.

PROUDLY REPRESENTING:
Solar Fortun
Viñas de la Erre
Fluxus
Casa Magoni
D'Poncelis
Corona Del Valle
Totol
El Mogor

BAJA WINE COUNTRY
The wine producing regions of Baja, like wine itself, have gotten better with age. In the past few years there has been an explosion of creative juices flowing south of the border as new and exciting wineries and wines are popping up seemingly overnight. Some have called it the 'renaissance of Baja's wine country' and the excitement is growing.

The Guadalupe Valley just northeast of Ensenada is at the forefront of the Baja wine movement and has over 80 wineries - artisan, boutique, and commercial, both large and small who are producing some remarkable wines. Our guide features an in-depth look at 40 of the wineries. The people of the region are fascinating and they love to share their passion with visitors. So dive in and and discover the magical wine destinations the Guadalupe Valley has to offer!

GUADALUPE VALLEY WINERIES
Valle de Guadalupe has a wealth of wineries to explore - some 50+ and growing! The range of wineries includes artisan wineries, boutique wineries, and commercial wineries both large and small. Several of the wineries you can conveniently pop into while traipsing around the valley and others require a reservation. At many of the wineries you can visit with the winemakers themselves, making it an especially memorable experience.

WWW.LACOMPETENCIAIMPORTS.COM


DAVID TEIG – DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE/COMPLEX EXECUTIVE CHEF, SHERATON FAIRPLEX HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTER

THEY IMPLEMENT SUSTAINABLE AND SEASONAL MENUS USING INGREDIENTS FROM THEIR ONE-ACRE FARM

THE FARM AT FAIRPLEX
The Farm at Fairplex is a five-acre organic working farm located on the campus of Fairplex, home of the LA County Fair and more than 300 year-round events. With more than 150 California specialty crops, The Farm serves as a community educational component of The Learning Centers at Fairplex and as an abundant garden whose seasonal bounty is used in the delicious cuisine of McKinley's Grille and the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center's catering menu. The Farm at Fairplex also features al fresco dining at its finest. Farm events feature custom menus inspired by in-season herbs, fruits and vegetables harvested from our organically grown five acres of plantings.

McKinley's Bar
Catch up with friends, family or co-workers over drinks at McKinley's Bar.  Enjoy a variety of featured drinks and light appetizers with good company and a casual environment.
 
McKinley's Grille
A perfect blend of Southern California style and food can be found at this popular Pomona restaurant.  Enjoy a menu with something for every appetite.  From dinner with friends or family to a business lunch, McKinley's offers a great atmosphere with a casually sophisticated menu.

JOIN US FOR AN INTIMATE, UNFORGETTABLE EVENING OF FARM-TO-TABLE DINING
Enjoy al fresco dining on the Fairplex farm grounds, and treat yourself to a true farm-to-table culinary experience that is sure to excite your palate.  Once a month, Executive Chef Vincent Cavalli will indulge you by creating a a five-course dinner using local, sustainable ingredients hand picked from the hotel's own five-acre organic farm. Enjoy the natural surroundings as the Sheraton Fairplex culinary team prepare your dinner and brings the table to the farm.

Each course is specially crafted to highlight the farm's seasonal, flourishing produce and is paired with award-winning California wines or local craft beer.  Chef Cavalli collaborates closely on menu design with the featured winemaker or brewer to ensure that each course compliments the next and there is a natural progression of flavors throughout the meal. From the moment you arrive at the farm, you'll be guided through your experience by the featured local winemaker or brewer, Chef Cavalli and occasionally a Master Sommelier.

WWW.SHERATONFAIRPLEX.COM
WWW.FAIRPLEX.COM

Friday, December 16, 2016

12/16 TONY LOMBARDI, LOMBARDI WINES, CHARLENE PETERS, VISIT CALISTOGA, CONNOR CLARK, HI TIME WINE CELLARS

TONY LOMBARDI - LOMBARDI WINES

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

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

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

WWW.LOMBARDIWINES.COM


CHARLENE PETERS - MARKETING & PR MANAGER, VISIT CALISTOGA – SEASONAL HAPPENINGS & CALISTOGA'S ANNUAL WINTER IN THE WINERIES PASSPORT 

Calistoga readies for seventh Winter in the Wineries Passport Series

Explore and enjoy tastes from the top of Napa Valley through Feb. 5, 2017

The Calistoga Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau has announced the dates of its seventh Winter in the Wineries Passport Series, beginning Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, and running through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Calistoga’s Winter in the Wineries Passport program allows passport holders access to 15 wine tastings any time during this two-month period. Additionally, passport holders will receive special restaurant offers and discounts at several of Calistoga’s lodging properties and downtown shops.

Pre-orders for passports are available online: http://visitcalistoga.com/winter-in-the-wineries-passport/ or by calling 707-942-6333. The passport price of $50 is valued at an estimated $300 in wine tastings alone and is considered the best value of tasting in Napa Valley, not to mention a great gift idea for the holidays!

With every passport stamped, passport holders are sure to enjoy the opportunity to swirl and sip in celebration of the Napa Valley’s Cabernet Season. Participating wineries include Calistoga’s boutique wineries and main street tasting rooms. Well-known wineries participating include Chateau Montelena, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris, as featured in the 2008 Hollywood film, “Bottle Shock”. Another well-known stop is Castello di Amorosa, the authentically-styled 13th-century Tuscan castle, complete with torture chamber.

Now through Dec. 1, a contest to win two Passports, a two-night stay at Calistoga Spa Hot Springs Resort, a V.I.P. Tasting/Tour at Fairwinds Estate, and dinner for two at Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery will be available through the VisitCalistoga.com website. The winner will be announced Dec. 2 via the VisitCalistoga.com website.

“Winter in the Wineries Passport program is a great way for wine novices and experts to experience Napa Valley varietals and Calistoga’s unique offerings,” said Chris Canning, executive director of the Calistoga Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center. “We are excited to welcome another year of the passport series as a great way for visitors to leisurely explore and sip through the city during Cabernet Season.”

Passports are available to pre-order online at VisitCalistoga.com or by calling the Welcome Center, 707-942-6333. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of Calistoga’s Winter in the Wineries Passport Series both personally and to give as the perfect holiday gift for wine lovers to experience the intimate nature of this charming community. Passport holders are encouraged to share their Winter in the Wineries experiences on social media using the hashtag: #TastesFromTheTop

For more information about Calistoga’s Winter in the Wineries Passport program and participating wineries, log on to VisitCalistoga.com or call (707) 942-6333.

About Calistoga Chamber of Commerce
The city of Calistoga is a Napa Valley town known for its natural geothermal waters, popular spas, relaxed atmosphere, adventures hiking and biking trails, wide variety of wineries and great dining. For information about lodging and dining options, local wineries, spas and events in Calistoga, visit www.VisitCalistoga.com. You can also find Visit Calistoga on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VisitCalistoga, Twitter @VisitCalistoga  and Instagram at VisitCalistoga.

VISITCALISTOGA.COM


CONNOR CLARK FROM HI TIME WINE CELLARS

Hi-Time Wine Cellars is a family-owned retail store located in Costa Mesa, California. Founded by Fritz Hanson and his brother-in-law Jim McVay. Hi-Time opened its cellar doors in 1957  at its original location on 17th and Irvine in Costa Mesa, California. In 1984, the Hanson brothers moved to our present location in Costa Mesa where they built one of the largest underground temperature-controlled wine cellars in the U.S .

This 3,000 square foot underground temperature-controlled cellar now includes a selection of 10,000+ wines from many different wineries from all around the world. This selection represents the world's finest growing regions from such diverse areas as California, Oregon, Washington, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Eastern Europe, South Africa, South America and Portugal.

The recently re-designed store now has a retail space of 24,000 square feet. We added many new and exotic labels to our selection. Along with our selection of rare wines you will also discover hard-to-find spirits, espcially in the Bourbon and Scotch aisles, and exotic liquors from all over the world. In addition, we offer a comprehensive selection of North American micro-brews along with some of the best beers the rest of the world creates. Our walk-in beer refrigerator offers over 1,200 different beers from 25+ different countries. Our walk-in tobacco humidor holds over 500 different cigar brands and sizes as well as a great selection of pipes and fine pipe tobaccos.  We also offer gourmet foods, specialty chocolates, cheeses and charcuterie.

We are proud to have been able to serve our customers for over half of a century. Our goal is to provide our customers with one of the largest selections of fine wines and rare spirits from all over the world, at competitive prices and without sacrificing the quality of our customer service.

WWW.HITIMEWINE.NET

Friday, December 9, 2016

12/09 DARIO SATTUI, CASTELLO DI AMOROSA, DON HUFFMAN, NOMACORC

DARIO SATTUI – OWNER, CASTELLO DI AMOROSA IN CALISTOGA 

HISTORY OF CASTELLO DI AMOROSA:
Castello di Amorosa is a castle and a winery located near Calistoga, California. First opening its doors to the public in April 2007, the castle is the pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui, who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885. The winery sits on property that was once part of an estate owned by Edward Turner Bale.

THE CASTLE
The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet (11,200 m2). Key details and building techniques are architecturally faithful to the 12th and 13th century time period. Among many other features it has: a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet (9.1 m) great hall with a 22-foot (6.7 m)-high coffered ceiling.

The torture chamber has an authentic 300-year-old iron maiden which Sattui states he bought for $13,000 in Pienza, Italy, a replica rack, prison chambers and other torture devices. The great hall features frescoes painted by two Italian artists who took about a year and a half to complete and showcases a 500 year old fireplace.

The masonry, ironwork and woodwork was fashioned by hand using old world crafting techniques. Building materials included 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone, in addition to paving stones, terra cotta roofing tiles and some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe. Extending into the hillside adjacent to the castle lies a labyrinth of caves some 900 feet (270 m) in length. Beneath the castle are a 2-acre (8,100 m2) barrel cellar and tasting rooms where visitors can sample the wines-all sold only at the Castle.

Due to Napa County restrictions, the castle and grounds cannot be rented for weddings or receptions, but are available to rent for corporate gatherings and fund raisers. In May 2012 the county ordered the winery to cease holding a weekly Catholic Mass in the chapel located on the grounds due to lack of use permits, reviews by county agencies, including traffic and building code compliance. The services were among just a few in the area where Catholics could attend a traditional Latin Mass.

HISTORY OF V. SATTUI WINERY:
V. Sattui Winery stands today as the result of hard work, dedication, and the extraordinary vision of two men who happen to be related.  Vittorio Sattui started the business in 1885 after emigrating from Genoa, Italy.  The law-abiding Vittorio was forced to shut down when Prohibition went into effect, and the winery would lay dormant until 1976, when Vittorio’s great-grandson, Dario, would realize his dream of resurrecting the family business in the town of St. Helena in Napa Valley.

WWW.CASTELLODIAMOROSA.COM
WWW.VSATTUI.COM


DON  HUFFMAN - SUSTAINABILITY & WINE EDUCATION MANAGER, NOMACORC 

Don is a 25 year wine industry veteran, entrepreneur, agriculture advocate, winemaker, alternative energy lobbyist, and marketing communications professional. With agency and client-side marketing communications expertise, Don has worked with such as brands - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Delicato Family Vineyards, Paso Robles Vintners and Growers, Mendocino Wine Growers, Miller/Coors, Sodexo/Marriott, Safeway Stores, Napa Auto Parts, McDonald's Restaurants, Pella Windows, Macromedia, Hewlett-Packard and more.

An extremely creative, strategic contributor to the marketing/communication process, Don is always mindful of all green oriented issues relating to communications, farming and operations. Today, Don's primary responsibilities for Nomacorc LLC include: North American on/off-premise wine education; developing retail marketing intelligence and strategic planning; initiating pre/post-consumer sustainability programs; and fostering relationships with private label and custom-crush providers.

Don lives with his wife and three girls in Napa, California and is a community advocate serving on several boards including: serving as the current board President for the Napa County Office of Education and as a Director on the 25th District Agriculture Association for the State of California.
“We’re changing the way winemakers think about making and closing wine.”
— Gert Noël, founder, Nomacorc

Originally conceived as an entrepreneur’s solution to cork taint and bottle variation, Nomacorc is now one of the largest producers of wine closures. Since the company’s inception in 1999, Nomacorc co-extruded wine corks have become a trusted and widely-used way to close wine, protecting nearly 2.5 billion bottles of wine around the world each year.

In January 2015, Nomacorc became a part of Vinventions LLC, a leading global innovator of complete wine closure solutions. Vinventions™ is the creation of family entrepreneur Marc Noël, Chairman, in association with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg, CEO, and further partners.
In partnering with Nomacorc, the goal of Vinventions is to become the most innovative, operationally excellent and trusted supplier of complete wine closure solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry.

WWW.NOMACORC.COM

Friday, November 4, 2016

11/04 RICK RUIZ – PRESIDENT, CHARLES WOODSON WINES JAMEY WHETSTONE - PROPRIETOR AND WINEMAKER , WHETSTONE WINE CELLARS

RICK RUIZ – PRESIDENT, CHARLES WOODSON WINES

CHARLES WOODSON WINES IS A PROJECT THAT EMERGED FROM CURIOSITY, FRIENDSHIP AND A DESIRE TO SPREAD GOOD FORTUNE.

Charles Woodson discovered his appreciation for wine in 1998 when he arrived in Napa with the Oakland Raiders for training camp. He was intrigued when he noticed that everywhere he went people were enjoying a bottle of wine. It didn’t matter if it was an opulent dinner, low key lunch, or lazy afternoon. He was drawn to the fact that people seemed to slow down and come together over a glass of wine. Being the curious type, he not only wanted to participate in this ritual, he wanted to learn how to create it himself.

In 2001 Charles, met Rick Ruiz who was working at Robert Mondavi Winery. Rick invited Charles to visit the winery and showed him around the cellar while explaining the winemaking process from start to finish.  In that moment, Charles’ desire to actually make a wine was launched. The two worked together with another friend – who happened to be acclaimed international winemaker, Gustavo A. Gonzalez – to create the first barrel of Charles Woodson Wines. They produced a 2001 vintage Merlot that was used to support the various charities with which Charles is involved.

OUR VINEYARD AND FARMING PRACTICES
The Charles Woodson Wines vineyard is farmed with the same artisanship, precision and delicate care that is at the core of the winemaking philosophy. After an in-depth sourcing process that led Charles Woodson and the winemaking team through some of the most coveted vineyards in the Napa Valley, the site exhibiting the highest potential to define Charles Woodson Wines as a wine of structure and elegance was selected.

The chosen vineyard, owned by Heitz Bros. Vineyards, has a pedigree as exclusive as its northern Napa Valley location. The original vines were planted in 1904 by Michael and Louise, the grandparents of the current Heitz Bros. owners. As recent immigrants from the Alsace region of what was then Germany, now France, the couple wanted to find a place where they could raise a family while putting Michael’s horticultural background to use.

The result of their search was the purchase of 50 acres of prime Napa Valley soil located at the base of Diamond Mountain, just two and a half miles south of the town of Calistoga. Michael made an assortment of wines from the original vines which included varieties such as Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, and Charbono.

This section of land is still held by the Heitz family and is managed by one of the third generation brothers, Mark. A true farmer, Mark does not make wine. He prides himself on focusing solely on the grape growing process which allows him to direct all of his time and attention toward cultivating the highest quality vines possible.

After years of working in the soil and learning the climate conditions, Mark concluded that the most optimal varietals to grow in this site are of the Bordeaux family. The majority of his land is now dedicated to the production of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that grow next to esteemed neighbors including Sterling, Clos Pegase and Schramsberg.

CHARLESWOODSONWINES.COM



JAMEY WHETSTONE - PROPRIETOR AND WINEMAKER , WHETSTONE WINE CELLARS

Jamey Whetstone sampling grapes from the Pleasant Hill vineyard in Russian RiverWhetstone Wine Cellars is a small family-owned luxury wine brand located in the heart of the Napa Valley. Here’s our story, told in Jamey Whetstone’s words:

Born in Florence, SC, I grew up the son of a Baptist preacher and moved around quite a bit before settling in Wilmington, NC. I relocated to Napa in 1996 to manage Mustards Grill, figuring I’d gain restaurant experience before heading back home to the Carolinas to open a restaurant of my own. Napa had other plans for me. My winemaking education began in 1998 at Turley Wine Cellars, where learning how to change the clutch on a tractor was more valued than knowledge of Bordeaux First Growths. I had the opportunity to take a summer sabbatical working for the Seysses family at Domaine Dujac in Morey-Saint-Denis, which cemented my love for Pinot Noir. After returning from France, I founded Whetstone Wine Cellars in 2002 while continuing my apprenticeship at Turley. In 2005, I left Turley in order to take the leap toward growing the Whetstone brand.

We purchased Whetstone Estate in February of 2011, and opened our doors in July of 2013. The centerpiece of the property is a 19th century French-style chateau, now our tasting salon, which sits on two acres located at the base of Atlas Peak Road in Napa. Other than gaining a physical location, the most significant change in the trajectory of Whetstone Wine Cellars was the full-time addition of my wife, Michelle. She’s behind the overall operations and aesthetic of our brand, and introduced our simple but effective sales motto: to be more in touch with the lost art of face-to-face communication. With the touch-screen ease of the digital sales world, we’ve made this grassroots approach a priority here at Whetstone. The quality of our wines coupled with the gorgeous setting, relaxed atmosphere and Southern hospitality make for a truly unique Wine Country experience. We look forward to seeing you soon!

U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S : W I N E  D I N N E R  //  B O U L D E R ,  C O
   What:    Join Jamey Whetstone at Frasca Food & Wine for
                 an epic 4-course prix fixe dinner!
    When:    Monday, November 14th // 5:30PM
    Where:   Frasca Food & Wine
                  1738 Pearl Street // Boulder, CO
    Price:     $50 per person + optional wine pairing
                       *tax and gratuity not included
    RSVP:    303.442.6966 // Space limited so call NOW!

WWW.WHETSTONEWINECELLARS.COM

Friday, October 28, 2016

10/28 BOB WEIL, THE RESORT AT LONGBOAT KEY CLUB, 6TH ANNUAL “BACCHUS ON THE BEACH”, RAFAEL HERNANDEZ, THE WINERY RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR IN NEWPORT BEACH

BOB WEIL - DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE OPERATIONS, THE RESORT AT LONGBOAT KEY CLUB - 6TH ANNUAL “BACCHUS ON THE BEACH”

Robert Weil has been with Longboat Key Club since 2001. Prior to his move to Longboat Key Club, he worked for Club Corp. of America in establishments from Washington DC to Atlanta. Weil was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, graduated from NC State University with a degree in history/education. He is a certified executive chef by the American Culinary Federation. He is married to Jane, has a son, Tristan, and daughter Eva Jane. When he's not cooking, he enjoys outdoor activities and gardening.

OUR RESORT
The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a 410-acre beachfront resort and private membership club located on the barrier island of Longboat Key, just off the coast of Sarasota, Florida. The Resort and Links on Longboat Golf Course are bordered on the west by the Gulf of Mexico with the Harbourside Golf Course, Longboat Key Club Moorings and Tennis Gardens bordered by Sarasota Bay on the east.  With an emphasis on privacy, exclusivity, and personalized service, The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a true luxury vacation destination offering 223 luxury suites, tennis, golf, fitness facilities, The Spa, private beach access, a 291 slip deep-water marina, and 8 restaurants and lounges all at one property. Renowned as a beautiful, tropical island paradise, resort guests will feel pampered and away from it all yet still have easy access to local attractions, shopping, dining, cultural events and two international airports.

6TH ANNUAL “BACCHUS ON THE BEACH” STONE CRAB CELEBRATION & WINEMAKER AUCTION TO BENEFIT MOTE MARINE LABORATORY & AQUARIUM AND COMBAT WOUNDED VETERAN CHALLENGE AND SCUBANAUTS INTERNATIONAL 

Experience vintages from over 35 vintners and specialty distillers, culinary creations from the Chefs of Longboat Key Club, dancing in the sand and exciting wine and travel auction.
 
The sixth annual Bacchus on the Beach Stone Crab Celebration & Winemaker Auction will take place November 10 and 11, 2016, once again bringing some of the most prestigious winemakers and producers to the beautiful beach-setting at The Resort at Longboat Key Club. Guests are invited to attend one of the specialty wine dinners on November 10th, the upscale wine-tasting event on the beach on November 11th, or go “all-in” and attend both.  This is truly one of the most exclusive and intimate wine events on the west coast of Florida.

The beachside event is well known for its outstanding selection of premium vintages, specialty spirits and local craft brews all featured as a complement to the reason for the season, stone crabs!  A feast for food-lovers and wine aficionados, the event is well known for its one-of-a-kind live auction showcasing exceptional wines, travel, adventure and dinner packages. This is the “must-have” ticket to kick-start a fabulous new season of island living.

The beneficiary of this year’s event is Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, supporting the organizations marine research institution as well as the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and SCUBAnauts International*.  Tickets to the wine dinners are $135 per person.  Tickets for the Bacchus on the Beach Stone Crab & Wine Auction are $150 per person. To purchase tickets call (941) 387-1662, or by email at membership@longboatkeyclub.com.  Follow us, #Bachus2016.

BACCHUS ON THE BEACH, WINE DINNERS 
Thursday, November 10, 2016

  • Gulfside Plancha with Wild Horse Winery North Beach, 5:30 Reception, 6:00 pm Dinner Featuring Todd Ricard, Winemaker 
  • An Evening with Woodward Canyon Winer Spike & Tee’s, 6:30 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Dinner Featuring Thomas Woodley, Winemaker 
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards Wine Dinner   Sands Pointe Restaurant, 7:00 pm Reception, 7:30pm Dinner Featuring Justin Seidenfeld, Winemaker 
  • An Evening at Portofino with Jankara Winery and Coterno Fontino Winery Portofino Restaurant, 7:30 pm Reception, 8:00 pm Dinner Featuring Renato and Angela Spanu, and Fabio Fantino and Noemi Conterno, Winemakers  


“BACCHUS ON THE BEACH” STONE CRAB CELEBRATION & WINEMAKER AUCTION 
Thursday, November 11, 2016
Beach Festival Tent • 5:30 pm

The 6th annual Bacchus on the Beach Stone Crab Celebration & Wine Auction will be better than ever with over 100 selections from our featured wineries and producers!  Enjoy the ambiance of the evening along the Gulf of Mexico as you participate in the Grand Tasting, enjoy stone crab and unique dishes prepared by the Chefs of Longboat Key Club, dance in the sand and aim high at the live auction as rare vintages, unique travel packages and outdoor adventures are presented to benefit Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and SCUBAnauts programs. A party with a purpose! $150 per person.

LIVE AUCTION PACKAGES 
Spotted Eagle Ray Charter with Mote Marine Scientists
Behind the Scenes Tour of Mote Marine Laboratory
Cafe L’Europe, four-course, five star wine dinner for six, by Scene Magazine

WWW.LONGBOATKEYCLUB.COM


RAFAEL HERNANDEZ - THE WINE DIRECTOR, THE WINERY RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR IN NEWPORT BEACH

ABOUT THE WINERY RESTAURANT
3131 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar pairs contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. Located on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach, The Winery was named "Restaurant of the Year" by the Orange County Concierge Association in its first year in business. The restaurant's wine list, which currently offers 650 selections, changes weekly, offering diners a wide range of varietals from around the world.  Guests can look into and even tour the restaurants' climate-controlled cellars, which can hold up to 7,500 bottles! The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar offers a warm and passionate menu complimented by the perfect wines -- endless possibilities and something to suit every palate.

DINING AT THE WINERY NEWPORT BEACH
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar's Newport Beach location is on Pacific Coast Highway, overlooking the Marina. The Winery Restaurant Newport Beach provides the same rich experience as its flagship location at The District in Tustin, with the successful pairing of contemporary California regional cuisine, with a hip, vibrant, sophisticated setting, to create a cutting-edge dining experience. They have been recipients of many awards and honors, including RIVIERA Magazine and the Orange County Business Journal’s “Restaurant of the Year,” as well as the prestigious Southern California Restaurant Writers Association’s “Restaurateurs of the Year.”

The Winery Newport Beach transports guests to a relaxing Napa or Sonoma getaway. Upon entering, they will be greeted with sumptuous stone slabs and warm wood flooring, a fourteen-foot high glass private wine locker display, majestic stone, dazzling light fixtures and an immediate view of the Pacific Ocean. Finishes throughout will be luxurious yet inviting, including a backlit precious agate stone host desk and bar top on each floor. Unique, beautiful stone and warm, comfortable upholstery are planned throughout. Real wine barrel staves have been designed to adorn the bar lounge tables and ceiling elements, tying in the restaurant’s particular focus on wine.

WWW.THEWINERYRESTAURANT.NET