Friday, December 28, 2012

12/28-Michael Jordan talks to Michael Rossi


Michael Rossi - Chef , The Ranch Restaurant

THE RANCH Restaurant features true American regional cuisine. We’re cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. We honor California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Our seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season- as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from our own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.

You can look forward to mountain lamb flown in from Colorado; steaks and beef from the highest quality ranches in the U.S. and seafood sourced from those who ensure the sustainability and the bounty of our oceans. The dining experience is in an atmosphere of comfort and truly old-fashioned genuine hospitality. THE RANCH’s wine program features an extensive and complete cellar and a world class selection of wine served in a friendly "non-intimidating" style. The restaurant's bar features a large selection of wines by the glass along with selected hand-crafted draft beers and the latest in mixology with fresh ingredients and great flavors. Don’t fret, there is also plenty of cold longnecks in THE RANCH Saloon to cool down with after dancing the two-step, line dancing, or learning the California state dance, the "west coast swing" to your favorite country artists!

Friday, December 21, 2012

12/21-Michael Jordan talks to Michael Rossi & Tom Greenough

Michael Rossi - Chef , The Ranch Restaurant

THE RANCH Restaurant features true American regional cuisine. We’re cooking from scratch with the finest ingredients possible to capture the rustic style of wine country and the freshest flavors of the farm. We honor California’s great ranches, farms and dairies, the artisan bread bakers and cheese and wine makers. Our seasonally driven menu showcases the freshest produce in season- as nature intended. The emphasis is on farm to table, fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables from local farms and from our own ranch in the Santa Ana Mountains.

You can look forward to mountain lamb flown in from Colorado; steaks and beef from the highest quality ranches in the U.S. and seafood sourced from those who ensure the sustainability and the bounty of our oceans. The dining experience is in an atmosphere of comfort and truly old-fashioned genuine hospitality. THE RANCH’s wine program features an extensive and complete cellar and a world class selection of wine served in a friendly "non-intimidating" style. The restaurant's bar features a large selection of wines by the glass along with selected hand-crafted draft beers and the latest in mixology with fresh ingredients and great flavors. Don’t fret, there is also plenty of cold longnecks in THE RANCH Saloon to cool down with after dancing the two-step, line dancing, or learning the California state dance, the "west coast swing" to your favorite country artists!



Tom Greenough - Winemaker, Saucelito Canyon Vineyard
Tom literally spent his first year in the vineyard, before his parents Bill and Nancy moved from their house in the canyon to a more convenient location in Edna Valley. Tom would visit the vineyard regularly throughout his childhood, helping out during harvest and doing odd jobs for his father. He later attended St. Mary’s College of California in the Bay Area, where he studied history and excelled as a member of the crew rowing team. After graduation, he returned to the Central Coast—and to the vineyard, of course. He ascended to the position of winemaker in 2009. “This is where I am at home,” he says. “I’m like my father. I like working outside and getting dirty, and taking a hands-on approach to the winemaking. I am looking forward to trying new things while maintaining the family traditions that we have here.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

12/14-Michael Jordan visits with Michael Fink & Michele Truchard

Michael Fink - Assistant Winemaker, Kynsi Winery

Kynsi winery resides in a charming and renovated 1940's dairy located in the EdnaValley Appellation of San Luis Obispo on the South Central Coast of California.
The climate is strongly influenced by the ocean providing ideal temperate growing conditions for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Syrah and other cool growing varieties.
Our passion for quality from the vineyard to the bottle is manifested in lush, generously complex, elegantly balanced wines that reflect distinctive terrior and true varietal character.
We invite you to experience the charm and sophistication of Kynsi wines.





John Anthony Vineyards was destine to become a reality. From early on in his life, John Anthony Truchard walked vineyard rows, brushed dirt from his knees, and picked grape skins from his fingernails. He was meant to create handcrafted wines while focusing on growing the best fruit possible. He knew he wanted to do it differently. Gone were the days of purchasing a forty acre estate, building a winery, and planting vines. He instead would lease select land, evaluate soils and microclimates, and plant only what would strive in the choice locations.
Today John and Michele Truchard own and operate this successful brand. They feature small vineyard sites from the Oak Knoll District, Carneros and Coombsville regions, and showcase their wines in the downtown Napa tasting lounge. They manage a small team of dedicated team members and push them to create something special with each and every client interaction. John and Michele have redefined the traditional Napa Valley experience with the introduction of custom vineyard tours, late night tastings, and an incredible line up of events.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

12/7-Michael Jordan speaks to Steve Mathis and Bill Kesselring

Steve Mathis - Partner, Phantom Rivers Wine
Steve Mathis is the current president of Phantom Rivers and is also responsible for marketing.  Linda Thunen is our secretary and treasurer, and compliance officer.  Gary Smith is our assistant winemaker, Diana Smith is in charge of events, advertising, and merchandise, Susan Mathis is our promotional marketing manager, and John and Kerri Klacking are our Nevada expansion team.



Bill Kesselring - Wine Maker, Peloton Cellars
Peloton Cellars® is the creation of four friends from “back-in-the-day”. It is our mission to create high-quality wines 
that are a pleasure to drink any night of the week and enjoy with any meal. All of our wines are crafted from the lush, fertile soil of the Paso Robles wine region of California’s Central Coast. From our well-balanced Cabernet to our crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, we pour (figuratively, of course) our love, knowledge and experience for making great wine into every bottle.
As for the name, the word “peloton” is French for “group”, but more specifically refers to the dynamic, main pack of riders in a cycling race. Since our love for wine rivals our passion for riding bikes, we feel that our wine embodies the color and spirit of cycling, it is only fitting to pay homage to two of our favorite pastimes.




Friday, November 30, 2012

11/30-Michael Jordan visits with Steve Autry

Steve Autry - Winemaker, Autry Cellars
In 1983 Steve Autry had a wine epiphany while drinking a Zinfandel. He had no idea that wine could be that spectacular and said, “Someday I want to make a wine like that!”
A bass player in jazz and rock bands, with past careers in aerospace research and commercial beekeeping, Steve combined his artistic talent with his scientific knowledge and became a full time artisan winemaker in 2001.
Autry’s award winning wines are indeed spectacular. Autry Cellars very limited production allows him to meticulously care for each wine as if it were his own child. As they are released into the world each year, adopt them while you can and drink to the epiphany of 1983. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

11/23-Encore Broadcast Michael Jordan visits with Kyle Twitchell and Sofia Partida


Kyle Twitchell - St Michelle Wine Estates


Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the ‘String’. Our collection of estate wineries are the ‘Pearls.’ We call this our ‘String of Pearls,’ describing a collection of estate wineries whose vineyards produce some of the best wines in the world.
Significantly, it also highlights our company philosophy: We believe that each “pearl’s” luster is best revealed when the vineyard and wine-making decisions are made on site by the people who grow the grapes and make the wine. The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates company is simply the “string,” providing administrative and financial support for these extraordinary wine properties.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates President and CEO Ted Baseler notes, “With Chateau Ste. Michelle as our first pearl, over the years we have developed or acquired other wineries that meet our high standards of quality and whose wines are distinctive. These wines reflect the place where they are grown.”

From Washington State’s short, warm summers and sparse soil, to the cooler climate and mineral-rich soil of the Willamette Valley to the complex soil and longer, hot summers of the Napa Valley, the terroir of the pearl on our string is as unique as each wine in our portfolio.


Sofia Partida - Partida Tequila
Why is Tequila Partida so unique? Because it’s a meeting of the old and the new.

Tequila Partida is the product of an outstanding marriage between traditional Tequila making and cutting edge technology. And it's this extraordinary combination that gives each and every sip of Tequila Partida something special, the pure natural essence of blue agave.

Our blue agave is like no other. It's cultivated for 7-10 years until the piñas are perfectly ripened with concentrated sugars, harvested by hand and then slowly baked in state-of-the-art stainless steel autoclaves. The reason: To preserve the freshness of each sacred agave.

* F. Paul Pacult, Spirit Journal

Friday, November 16, 2012

11/16-Encore Broadcast Michael Jordan talks with Ashley Hepworth, John Teeling and Jason Joyce


Ashley Hepworth - Winemaker Joseph Phelps Vineyards

When Joe Phelps founded his estate winery and vineyards in 1973, he did so with a clear vision for the work and commitment that would be required to create the best wines possible. Essential to his goal was assembling a winemaking team who would embrace his dedication, attention to detail, and tremendous passion for the craft of winemaking itself. Today, the talented winemaking team of Ashley Hepworth, Napa Winemaker, Damian Parker, Director of Winemaking, Philippe Pessereau, Director of Vineyard Operations, Kelly Fields, Napa Assistant Winemaker and Justin Ennis, Freestone Assistant Winemaker, have taken Joe’s vision to heights even he could never have imagined.
Ashley summarizes the Joseph Phelps winemaking philosophy as: “…creating the very best wine from the vintage we’ve been given; to take what we get from the vineyard and to express the terroir and the beauty of the vineyard in every bottle of wine.”


John Teeling & Jason Joyce - Calcareous Vineyard
Indulge your senses in the award winning wines and breathtaking views of Calcareous Vineyard. We selected our name, Calcareous as a tribute to the terroir. The calcareous limestone soil and varied microclimates allow us to produce Bordeaux, Rhone and Burgundy varietals simultaneously. 

Come visit us Daily 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.; 3430 Peachy Canyon Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. 805.239.0289. 

Food & Wine pairing menu available for purchase from Thomas Hill Organics on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-3pm. 

Our motto, "Let the Soil Speak", says it all. 

At Calcareous Vineyard, we strive to bring the best out of the limestone soil profiles and cool ocean breezes. Our winemaker, Jason Joyce, believes that the best winemaking begins in the vineyards. Our owners wholeheartedly agree and encourage the entire staff to focus on quality and style, one vine at a time, and one customer at a time. Calcareous harvests grapes from its own vineyards on Peachy Canyon Road and from long term leases with premium vineyards all situated on the westside slopes of Paso Robles. In addition, small blocks of premium fruit are purchased from family owned vineyards on the westside. Our wines are rich in herbal and fruit aromas, perfectly balanced and elegantly refined. We look forward to your arrival at the top.


Friday, November 9, 2012

11/9-Michael Jordan talks with Ashley Hepworth, John Teeling & Jason Joyce

Ashley Hepworth - Winemaker Joseph Phelps Vineyards

When Joe Phelps founded his estate winery and vineyards in 1973, he did so with a clear vision for the work and commitment that would be required to create the best wines possible. Essential to his goal was assembling a winemaking team who would embrace his dedication, attention to detail, and tremendous passion for the craft of winemaking itself. Today, the talented winemaking team of Ashley Hepworth, Napa Winemaker, Damian Parker, Director of Winemaking, Philippe Pessereau, Director of Vineyard Operations, Kelly Fields, Napa Assistant Winemaker and Justin Ennis, Freestone Assistant Winemaker, have taken Joe’s vision to heights even he could never have imagined.
Ashley summarizes the Joseph Phelps winemaking philosophy as: “…creating the very best wine from the vintage we’ve been given; to take what we get from the vineyard and to express the terroir and the beauty of the vineyard in every bottle of wine.”


John Teeling & Jason Joyce - Calcareous Vineyard
Indulge your senses in the award winning wines and breathtaking views of Calcareous Vineyard. We selected our name, Calcareous as a tribute to the terroir. The calcareous limestone soil and varied microclimates allow us to produce Bordeaux, Rhone and Burgundy varietals simultaneously. 

Come visit us Daily 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.; 3430 Peachy Canyon Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446. 805.239.0289. 

Food & Wine pairing menu available for purchase from Thomas Hill Organics on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-3pm. 

Our motto, "Let the Soil Speak", says it all. 

At Calcareous Vineyard, we strive to bring the best out of the limestone soil profiles and cool ocean breezes. Our winemaker, Jason Joyce, believes that the best winemaking begins in the vineyards. Our owners wholeheartedly agree and encourage the entire staff to focus on quality and style, one vine at a time, and one customer at a time. Calcareous harvests grapes from its own vineyards on Peachy Canyon Road and from long term leases with premium vineyards all situated on the westside slopes of Paso Robles. In addition, small blocks of premium fruit are purchased from family owned vineyards on the westside. Our wines are rich in herbal and fruit aromas, perfectly balanced and elegantly refined. We look forward to your arrival at the top.


Friday, November 2, 2012

11/02-Michael Jordan visits with Kyle Twitchell and Sofia Partida

Kyle Twitchell - St Michelle Wine Estates

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the ‘String’. Our collection of estate wineries are the ‘Pearls.’ We call this our ‘String of Pearls,’ describing a collection of estate wineries whose vineyards produce some of the best wines in the world.
Significantly, it also highlights our company philosophy: We believe that each “pearl’s” luster is best revealed when the vineyard and wine-making decisions are made on site by the people who grow the grapes and make the wine. The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates company is simply the “string,” providing administrative and financial support for these extraordinary wine properties.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates President and CEO Ted Baseler notes, “With Chateau Ste. Michelle as our first pearl, over the years we have developed or acquired other wineries that meet our high standards of quality and whose wines are distinctive. These wines reflect the place where they are grown.”
From Washington State’s short, warm summers and sparse soil, to the cooler climate and mineral-rich soil of the Willamette Valley to the complex soil and longer, hot summers of the Napa Valley, the terroir of the pearl on our string is as unique as each wine in our portfolio.



Sofia Partida - Partida Tequila
Why is Tequila Partida so unique? Because it’s a meeting of the old and the new.

Tequila Partida is the product of an outstanding marriage between traditional Tequila making and cutting edge technology. And it's this extraordinary combination that gives each and every sip of Tequila Partida something special, the pure natural essence of blue agave.

Our blue agave is like no other. It's cultivated for 7-10 years until the piñas are perfectly ripened with concentrated sugars, harvested by hand and then slowly baked in state-of-the-art stainless steel autoclaves. The reason: To preserve the freshness of each sacred agave.

* F. Paul Pacult, Spirit Journal

Friday, October 26, 2012

10/26-Michael Jordan talks to Lisa Broman Augustine & Ray Signorello

Lisa Broman Augustine - Director of Sales & Marketing, Broman Cellars

Bob Broman has been a winemaker all his adult life. He jokingly tells how he began his winemaking career as a painter after graduating from the University of California at Davis. He says he learned to brush, roll and spray paint as a cellar worker at Martini.
He then moved on to Concannon Winery in Livermore where he was given the opportunity to cut his winemaking teeth, first as assistant winemaker, and later as winemaker. Stags Leap Wine Cellars was his next winemaking position where he stayed for over five years before moving on to Guenoc and then to St. Supery Vineyards and Winery. Additionally, he has practiced his winemaking and management skills by consulting in FranceRepublic of GeorgiaItaly and Chile. Each move, he says, helped heighten, improve and hone his winemaking skills.
It was during his eight plus years at St. Supery that he met Deborah Russell, a Wine Country Realtor. She had hired her mother to do telemarketing for her real estate profession and Bob just happened to be one of her prospecting calls.
Bob didn’t buy from her, but they had a lot in common and immediately clicked. So when he offered to repay her for her work by taking her on a twilight picnic in the vineyards, the rest became history.
Today, Broman Cellars is a family passion, with daughter Lisa also working side by side with Bob at the winery.  Production is a whopping 1,000 cases consisting of small, ultra premium, hand-crafted lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. The goal of Broman Cellars is to grow slowly but remain small enough that Bob can continue to pay individual attention to the wines.
Bob and Deborah, have received their winery permit and are drawing plans for the winery which will be located on the property shared with their home on 11 ½ acres on Deer Park Road in St. Helena.  In the interim, they are remodeling the house and caring for their two acre cabernet vineyard.


Ray Signorello Jr. began his journey as winemaker and vineyard owner in the Napa Valley during the mid 1980's. Ray, born in San Francisco, California, moved to Vancouver, Canada where the Signorello family continues to maintain a home. Ray divides his time between Napa, San Francisco, Vancouver and business related travel.
Ray's father, Ray Sr., initiated the vineyard project during the mid 1970's by purchasing the 100-acre estate located on the Silverado Trail in the beautiful Napa Valley. Ray Sr. worked side by side with Ray Jr., establishing the winery's reputation for excellence until his passing in the fall of 1998.



Friday, October 19, 2012

10/19-Encore Broadcast Michael Jordan talks with Tommy Lasorda, Charlie Hough and Tim Wallach


Tommy Lasorda - Hall of Fame Dodger Manager
Tommy Lasorda is best known for managing the Los Angeles Dodgers for twenty seasons (1977-1996); he has been a part of the Dodgers organization for over fifty years total (for some time as a pitcher for the team). While Lasorda led the Dodgers, they won 1,599 games, eight National League West titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series. He still works within the organization. 
Tommy Lasorda has once again put together a winning line-up and team with his selection of Italian wines. The Lasorda wines have been carefully selected by Casa Torelli Imports from leading wine producing regions of Italy. Of the first eight varietals to grace American tabletops, Lasorda is so very proud of the Trebbiano and Montelpuciano D'Abruzzo wines. These varietals hail from the homeland of his father, Sabatino Lasorda. The Lasorda wines have also received medals at the Los Angeles International wine competition, receiving a Gold Medal with his Chianti Classico DOCG and a Bronze Medal for his Chardonnay di Sicilia DOC. 
Tommy Lasorda looks forward to sharing his Lasorda branded Italian wines with his family and friends throughout the world; these will be some of the best Italian wines you will ever experience. Sure to be
a hit, actually, "A HOMERUN".





Charlie Hough - Former Major League Baseball Knuckle Baller
Charles Oliver (Charlie) Hough (born January 5, 1948 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a formerMajor League Baseball knuckleball pitcher. He is currently a senior adviser of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers.



Tim Wallach - Dodgers Third Base Coach
Timothy Charles Wallach (born September 14, 1957), nicknamed "Eli" in reference to actor Eli Wallach, is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1980 to 1996for the Montreal ExposLos Angeles Dodgers, and California Angels.

Friday, October 12, 2012

10/12-Michael Jordan visits with Aron Weinkauf, Miles and Ryan MacDonnell

Aron Weinkauf - Winemaker/Vineyard Manager, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery

In May of 2011 Aron Weinkauf was named Spottswoode’s Winemaker, assuming the role from Jennifer Williams. Aron grew up in Reno, Nevada before moving to Georgia to study at Berry College. While at Berry he was able to travel and study in Europe, where he first began to learn about wine. Upon returning to the states Aron determined that winemaking would be an extremely rewarding profession, considering his fondness for wine and food and his love of farming and family. He moved to Fresno to study winemaking and graduated with his Viticulture and Enology degree from Fresno State University in 2005. He worked for a local Madera Winery while attending school, and then worked a 2005 harvest internship in Sonoma County.
Aron joined Spottswoode’s production team as Assistant Winemaker in the spring of 2006. He added Vineyard Manager to his title in 2009, and in his dual roles of Winemaker and Vineyard Manager at our small Estate Vineyard and Winery, Aron enthusiastically pursues our commitment to the organic farming of the finest grapes and the crafting of the finest wines, without compromise.
Aron is married, and as of early 2010, he and Claire are the proud parents of a puppy named Cachou.



Located in the heart of the Napa Valley, for more than a century the Rutherford region has been recognized for producing red wines of incomparable opulence and elegance. Although measuring a mere six square miles, this coveted winegrowing area is home to some of the oldest and most storied wineries in the United States. Within this community, we are neighbored by such acclaimed wineries as Beaulieu Vineyards, Caymus, Cakebread, Honig, Frog’s Leap and Rubicon Estate.

Offering a unique mix of microclimate and soil composition, Rutherford has proven ideal for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as premium Italian and Spanish olives. Offering abundant sunshine, warm daytime temperatures and only moderate cooling influences, Rutherford yields fruit with ripe, robust character. Adding to this character is Rutherford’s unique alluvial soils deposited over millennia by the Napa and Russian rivers as well as the Conn Creek. These vibrant and diverse soils add to the region’s rich palette of flavors.
Situated at the main Rutherford crossroads, between Beaulieu Vineyards and Caymus Winery, Round Pond has been growing premium winegrapes since the early 1980s. Cultivated with meticulous care, our grapes have been sold to several of the most preeminent wineries in the region. Recognizing our estate’s ecological diversity, we also undertook the planting of several varieties of imported Italian and Spanish olive trees for the production of premium oils. Because we are passionate about offering the finest gourmet items from the gifts nature has given us we constructed a state-of-the art-mill to ensure absolute quality in the production of our artisan oils.

In addition, using a small selection of extraordinary grapes from our vineyard’s 350 planted acres, Round Pond has established an acclaimed estate wine program focusing on world-class Cabernet Sauvignon produced in extremely limited quantities. Made in conjunction with our super-premium estate wines, we also produce prized red wine vinegars using the revered Orleans Method.

About the name Round Pond - As a child, founder Bob MacDonnell spent many summers relaxing and camping by the water near Lake Frederick in West Point, New York. Named Round Pond, this source of idyllic youthful memories became the inspiration for the MacDonnell family’s Napa Valley home. Envisioned as a natural and serene retreat, Round Pond Estate is lovingly cultivated using sustainable methods to ensure its integrity for generations to come.

Friday, October 5, 2012

10/5-Michael Jordan visits with Tommy Lasorda, Charlie Hough and Tim Wallach

Tommy Lasorda - Hall of Fame Dodger Manager
Tommy Lasorda is best known for managing the Los Angeles Dodgers for twenty seasons (1977-1996); he has been a part of the Dodgers organization for over fifty years total (for some time as a pitcher for the team). While Lasorda led the Dodgers, they won 1,599 games, eight National League West titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series. He still works within the organization. 
Tommy Lasorda has once again put together a winning line-up and team with his selection of Italian wines. The Lasorda wines have been carefully selected by Casa Torelli Imports from leading wine producing regions of Italy. Of the first eight varietals to grace American tabletops, Lasorda is so very proud of the Trebbiano and Montelpuciano D'Abruzzo wines. These varietals hail from the homeland of his father, Sabatino Lasorda. The Lasorda wines have also received medals at the Los Angeles International wine competition, receiving a Gold Medal with his Chianti Classico DOCG and a Bronze Medal for his Chardonnay di Sicilia DOC. 
Tommy Lasorda looks forward to sharing his Lasorda branded Italian wines with his family and friends throughout the world; these will be some of the best Italian wines you will ever experience. Sure to be
a hit, actually, "A HOMERUN".





Charlie Hough - Former Major League Baseball Knuckle Baller
Charles Oliver (Charlie) Hough (born January 5, 1948 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a formerMajor League Baseball knuckleball pitcher. He is currently a senior adviser of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers.



Tim Wallach - Dodgers Third Base Coach
Timothy Charles Wallach (born September 14, 1957), nicknamed "Eli" in reference to actor Eli Wallach, is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1980 to 1996for the Montreal ExposLos Angeles Dodgers, and California Angels.








Friday, September 28, 2012

9/28-Michael Jordan talks to Neil McNally & James R. Young

Neil McNally - Rosenthal Estate Wines

Yes, wine in Malibu. The grapes for our wines are grown not on the famous beach, playground to the stars and surfers' Mecca, but in a scenic valley four miles inland and 1400 feet above the coastal fog. In 1987 Los Angeles businessman George Rosenthal began planting vineyards at his 250 acre Malibu retreat, but only after he spent two years carefully checking soil composition, drainage, and weather conditions to make sure he planted the correct varietals in the most ideal locations on his property. The work proved worthwhile and Malibu Newton Canyon is now recognized as its own distinct AVA (American Viticultural Area) or appellation. Thirty-two acres of hillside vines are now planted in this unique microclimate, where cool evening breezes temper warm, sunny days.
It's an intense undertaking that requires a labor of love. The slopes are steep and everything from canopy management to harvest has to be attended to by hand. The wines are then aged in French oak barrels under the watchful eye of winemaker Christian Roguenant who strives to bring out their unique character. The reds are vinified with limited intervention to highlight terroir and the Chardonnay is made in a Burgundian style yielding a lightly oaked, crisp wine that complements a wide array of foods.
We invite you to visit us at our Malibu Wine Tasting Room that boasts views of the Pacific Ocean and is an amazing location to relax and enjoy the sunset while sipping a glass of your favorite Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate or Surfrider wine. We are located on the Pacific Coast Highway, just 300 yards north of Topanga Canyon and across the street from the gorgeous and inviting Topanga State Beach. We hope to see you there soon where you can enjoy a bottle of wine and taste the flavors of Malibu for yourself.




James R. Young - Owner Robert Young Estate Winery

Jim Young, the oldest son of Robert Young, learned grape farming at his father’s side. Jim now heads winegrowing for all the family vineyards. He earned a degree from the University of California at Davis in plant science with a specialty in viticulture and enology, then in 1975 returned home to Robert Young Vineyards to continue the family tradition of innovative farming. In 1987, he implemented the planting of six-foot-wide vine rows. To create a more balanced vine, he introduced new trellising systems. “These systems open up the canopy and moderate the vigor of the vine,” he explains. “The larger canopy surface area encourages healthier exposure of the grapes to sunlight, which greatly improves the flavors of the wine.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

9/21-Michael Jordan visits with Maurice Wedell & Lee Hodo

Maurice Wedell - Wedell Cellars

The Wedell Cellars dream began in the late 1970's when Maurice Wedell began working with a well known French Restauranteur in Los Angeles. During the next ten years with the restauranteur's guidance, Maurice developed a passion for wine. This passion led Maurice in 1988 to move along with his wife Susan, and their newborn son Justin, to the Central Coast of California, an area that produces some highly acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Immediately, the Wedell's planted a small experimental vineyard of Chardonnay in what became the first step in realizing their dream of creating a wine styled after the great Burgundies of France.
Knowing that they would need expert guidance in their quest to create such a wine they sought out John Alban of Alban Vineyards to assist in the management of the vineyard and to make their wine. The first vintage in1994 consisted of one barrel of wine, twenty-eight cases of Chardonnay were produced from their own grapes and from grapes purchased from John Alban. Encouraged by the results in 1994, Maurice and Susan decided to expand production gradually over the next few years by purchasing grapes from selected vineyards in Edna Valley while planting and maturing their own vineyard capable of producing enough grapes for their wine.

In early 1995 four acres of Chardonnay and one+ acre of Pinot Noir were planted on a steep hillside in the southern end of Edna Valley to achieve this goal.  The photograph on the right is that of Maurice planting the first vine in this magnificent vineyard.  Realizing that ripeness has never been a problem in California, a north facing hillside was chosen to delay bud break and increase the "hang time" of the grapes, thus allowing for higher acids and lower sugars than what is normally found in Edna Valley. The Chardonnay was planted at density of 1100 vines per acre and the Pinot Noir was planted at a density of almost 2000 vines per acre. Our Vineyard practice is to crop thin to one cluster per shoot and no more than four shoots per vine. The vineyard began to produce Chardonnay in 1999 and Pinot Noir in 2000. Beginning with the 2000 vintage a watercolor of this vineyard is on the label of all Wedell Cellars Hillside Vineyard wines. TheHillside Vineyard designation on a limited amount of our production signifies the best of our estate grown fruit, typically our Hillside Vineyard designated production is limited to one to three barrels per year of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Over the next few years as the vineyard reaches full production the purchase of grapes will be limited to select lots of custom grown Pinot Noir,  beginning in 2004 we began to source fruit for our second Pinot Noir from two separate vineyards in the highly regarded Santa Rita Hills Appellation of Santa Barbara, the 2004 Wedell Cellars Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir was released in July 2006 and has a new label featuring a grape vine created by well known artist Joanne Beaule Ruggles. In early 2005 three acres of Chardonnay in the Hillside Vineyard were grafted over to Pinot Noir, reducing our estate Chardonnay planting to one acre while increasing our estate Pinot Noir planting to four+ acres, the grafted vines yielded a small crop beginning in 2006.
Wedell Cellars wines have been recognized by various wine writers for their excellence, indeed, one well known wine publication, Decanter Magazine, stated in an article that Wedell Cellars Pinot Noir could easily be mistaken for the finest French Pinot Noir made, Domaine de la Romanee Conti..


Between the 36 member wineries of the Amador Vintners Association, there’s always a wine event of some sort going on in Amador. For a list and descriptions of upcoming events, click on our Events Calendar.
In addition to winery events, the Amador Vintners annually sponsor two weekend wine extravaganzas: the “Big Crush” in October, during the exciting fall harvest season; and “Behind the Cellar Door” in March.
Our next major event will be the BIG CRUSH HARVEST FESTIVAL OCTOBER 6 AND 7, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

9/14-Michael Jordan visits with Bruno Tait & Janet Soderberg

Bruno Tait – Maker of wine from Barossa called “The Ball Buster”
Tait Wines is located at the southern end of the famous Barossa Valley, in a town called Lyndoch in South Australia, and overlooks the spectacular Barossa Ranges. The panoramic view is an ideal setting for enjoying Tait Wines. The cellar door is a place which is relaxed and friendly and where personalized wine tasting can be experienced. Displays at the winery give a working history of the traditional winemaking and viticultural methods.

The owners of the winery are brothers Michael and Bruno Tait, and Bruno's wife, Michelle. They purchased the property in 1994 with the purpose of continuing their family's involvement in the winemaking industry. Although fairly new to the winemaking aspect of the industry, the Tait family has long established roots in the South Australian wine industry. Their father, Giovanni Tait (1927-1997), migrated to Australia from Italy in 1957 to take up work as a cooper in the Barossa. His high skill and craftsmanship in his chosen trade led him to B Seppelts and Sons where he took an active role in the production and maturation of wine in oak casks. He learned cooperage from his father and grandfather before migrating to Australia. The family had practiced the art of cooperage for over 100 years, making and repairing oak barrels used for the maturation of both table and fortified wine.



Janet Soderberg - From Altamira in the Uco Valley in Mendoza

Jan is a native of Chicago, growing up in the Northwest suburbs before moving to Denver to obtain a degree in journalism from the University of Denver. Upon returing to Chicago, she attended John Marshall Law School, was graduated, and is licensed to practice law in Illinois. Jan's spent her career in financial services, and before leaving Chicago for Wall Street, she received her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
While Jan's name, Soderberg, reflects her father's German-Swedish roots, her interest in wine came through her Italian heritage.

Friday, September 7, 2012

9/7-Michael Jordan talks to Paul Kronenberg & David Young

Paul Kronenberg - President Family Winemakers Organization
Family Winemakers of California advocates the rights and interests of its members to freely produce, market and sell their products, and is dedicated to preserving the diversity of California wine. 

In fulfilling its mission, the association has sponsored legislation in the past 12 years to expand the ability of wineries, particularly small producers, to compete in the marketplace. Additionally, FWC has taken a leadership role in pushing and funding the litigation strategy to open up domestic markets for direct-to-consumer wine sales. That investment resulted in the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned discriminatory laws in Michigan and New York.  FWC recently prevailed in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in its case against Massachusetts's discriminatory production cap law.





David Young - Owner Minassian/Young Winery
A husband and wife, David Young and Amparo L. Young, winemakers and owners.

David knew at an early age that he wanted to be involved in winemaking.  He pursued his abiding passion for winemaking at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Fruit Science.

Amparo, like David, has always had a fascination for plants.  During her career she has studied plants at the molecular and biochemical level.  She furthered her passion by earning her doctorate degree from UC Berkeley in Plant Biology.

Fate brought these two lives together, one knowing the process of wine making and the other, knowing the plant molecular and biochemical pathways.  David and Amparo have a common scientific background which influences their daily lives as well as their winemaking philosophy.

“Our winemaking philosophy is to produce wines in a consistent manner, where the differences between vintages arise only from variables we cannot control such as temperature and rainfall.  In addition, most wines are produced without blending fruit from multiple vineyards.  This minimalist approach ensures that every vintage is representative of the terroir for each vineyard.”




Friday, August 31, 2012

8/31-Michael Jordan talks with George Bursick & Cris Cherry


George Bursick belongs to the winemaking generation that formed and continues to shape California's reputation as one of the world's premiere wine regions. The Sonoma County native brings more than 30 years of wine industry experience, as well as an intimate understanding of how to most purely express the wines that thrive in Russian River Valley. He crafts our Pinot NoirChardonnayPinot Gris,Vin Gris and Pinotage wines.
George holds a Master's in Enology from UC Davis, and has made wines at Beringer, McDowell Valley Vineyards, and Ferrari-Carano, where he remained Executive Winemaker for 21 years. He plays drums with the likes of Mike Martini, Ed Sbragia and other key industry players in a band called Private Reserve. George and his wife, JoAnn, live in Alexander Valley with their two sons.


Villa Creek Cellars was founded in 2001 by Cris and JoAnn Cherry. The Cherry's goal is to harness the extreme terroirs of the west side of Paso Robles. As owner and wine director of Villa Creek Restaurant, Cris created a diverse list featuring fine boutique producers from around the globe. This global influence has helped to shape wines he creates at Villa Creek Cellars. JoAnn designs the labels that characterize what goes into the bottle. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Carignan, Grenache Blanc, and  Roussanne are among the grape varieties that make up the Villa Creek portfolio of fine wines.