Friday, March 25, 2011

3/25 Michael Jordan Talks With Robert Larson from Rodney Strong Wines & Tobin Sharp from High Time

Robert Larson tells us the story behind Rodney Strong Wines and share some delicious wine tips!

Rodney Strong was one of the pioneers of Sonoma County’s modern wine industry, an acknowledged visionary who understood the potential that Sonoma’s soil and climate held for producing world-class wines. A successful dancer before retiring and turning to his second love, winemaking, Rodney Strong established Sonoma County’s 13th bonded winery in 1959.

Rodney Strong Vineyards grows and produces wines from grapes grown exclusively in Sonoma County’s finest appellations: Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and Sonoma Coast. Rod was one of the first to plant pinot noir in the Russian River Valley, the first to produce and release a Chalk Hill chardonnay, and the first to make a single-vineyard cabernet in Sonoma County. The winery’s 14 unique estate vineyards represent a perfect combination of varietal selection and place, the unique soil and climate as well as farming and winemaking techniques.

The winery’s current offerings include sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, zinfandel, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, Symmetry, a red meritage wine and a couple of single-vineyard cabernet sauvignons from Alexander Valley.

Since 1989, the Klein family, who has been involved in California agriculture for four generations, has privately owned the winery.

Tobin Sharp Talks To Us About Hi-Time 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.

Shortly after opening the store, Fritz’s younger brother Chuck Hanson joined the Hi-Time team. Chuck became interested in wine right away and became the store’s primary wine buyer. Most of the business at that time consisted of distilled spirits and jug wines. Chuck remembers that the first wines to make a big impression on him were those of Charles Krug and Louis Martini.

Harold Hanson, who was in the military overseas at the time, joined Hi-Time after completing his tour of duty. While in the service in Europe, Harold took pictures of wine caves in Burgundy. Bringing the photos back to his brothers, it was decided that they would build a wine cave within the store. Harold became the General Manger for the store, a position he held for over 40 years.

In 1984, the Hanson brothers moved to their 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 feet underground temperature-controlled cellar now includes a selection of 10,000+ wines from many different wineries and vintages. 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 and Portugal.

The recently re-designed store now has a retail space of 24,000 square feet. They added many new and exotic labels to their selection. Along with their selection of rare wines you will also find hard-to-find spirits and exotic liquors from all over the world. In addition, they offer a comprehensive selection of North American micro-brews along with some of the best beers the rest of the world creates. Their walk-in beer refrigerator offers over 1,000 different beers from 25 different countries. Their walk-in tobacco humidor holds over 400 different cigar brands and sizes, including Davidoff, A. Fuentes, Cohiba, Ashton, Avo and Macanudo, as well as a great selection of pipes and fine pipe tobaccos.

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