Friday, April 1, 2011

4/1 Kathy Joseph from Fiddlehead Cellars, Matt Viotto from Talbott Vineyards

Michael Horn Talks With Kathy Joseph from Fiddlehead Cellars!

Kathy Joseph established Fiddlehead Cellars to capture the pure essence of the two grape varietals that she loves best – Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Now in her twentieth vintage as “Head Fiddle”, Kathy continues to passionately pursue her goal of creating stylistic Sauvignon Blancs and silky, intense Pinot Noirs. Terroir-driven, Fiddlehead’s Sauvignon Blanc wines hail from the stellar eastern-end of the Santa Ynez Valley, while her estate Pinot Noirs showcase the cooler Santa Rita Hills in the western-most part of that transverse valley. And loving the nuances of place, Kathy continues to craft intriguing Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Fiddlehead produces approximately 5,000 cases of wine each year, with all of the hands-on care and attention, and personal interest in each barrel of wine that fine wine requires. The wines are made at “FiddleHeadquarters”, our winery in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. The Fiddlehead business office is in Davis, California – Kathy’s home away from Fiddlestix! Fiddlehead team has a quest to make superb Sauvignon Blanc and perfect Pinot Noir.

For more info on Fiddlehead Cellars, go to

Matt Viotto Tells Us All About Talbott Vineyards!

Viotto joined Talbott Vineyards in February of 2010 as director of sales overseeing both national and global sales for the winery’s portfolio of estate-grown Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. In the year since, Viotto has increased sales for Talbott Vineyards by 49 percent, while also expanding Talbott into new markets. As vice president of sales and marketing, Viotto will manage the winery’s in-house sales team, as well as Talbott Vineyards’ marketing program.

A veteran of The Chalone Wine Group and Diageo, Chateau & Estate Wines, Viotto came to Talbott with extensive experience working with high-end Monterey County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He was the California sales manager for Chalone Wine Group prior to the Diageo purchase in 2005. During this transition, Viotto was instrumental in integrating Chalone Wine Estates into Diageo’s extensive global portfolio. As Diageo’s Southern California market manager, Viotto led 15 California sales teams including the broad-market and the chain divisions. At the same time, he was responsible for increasing growth eight percent in 2008 and 13 percent in 2009—both in down markets.

Working closely with Dan Karlsen, Talbott Vineyards’ winemaker and general manager, Viotto has managed the careful growth of the family-owned winery to 100,000 cases. This growth has been achieved without line extensions, and all Talbott wines continue to be produced using 100 percent estate-grown grapes. “Our vineyard and winemaking programs are as strong as they have ever been, and we are producing the best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in our history,” says Karlsen. “Matt understands all the passion and hard work that goes into making our wines. It’s gratifying to see that message get out to more people as a result of Matt’s sales expertise and leadership. We are proud to name him our vice president of sales and marketing.”

Talbott Vineyards was established in 1982, when founder Robb Talbott personally planted his mountainous Diamond T Vineyard. Today, Talbott Vineyards’ estate program encompasses two of Monterey County’s most respected winegrowing areas: the Santa Lucia Highlands, where Talbott’s famed Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is located, and the Carmel Valley, which is home to Diamond T. Using this exceptional estate fruit, Talbott Vineyards crafts an acclaimed portfolio of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

For more info, go to!

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