Friday, July 13, 2012

7/13-Michael Jordan visits with Gary Burk & Craig Camp

Gary Burk - Winemaker, Costa De Oro Winery

Though born into a farming family, Gary’s first love was music. So after earning his business degree from Cal Poly, SLO, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a musician. During his time in LA, Gary’s father Ron Burk and Bob Espinola planted their 30 acre Gold Coast Vineyard. That is when Gary’s interest in grape growing and wine took off. He began selling Gold Coast grapes to winemakers from his LA base.
In 1993 on a visit home to Santa Maria, Gary was fortunate enough to share a dinner with Au Bon Climat's Jim Clendenen and Dominique Lafon of Domaine des Comtes Lafon. After that evening, Gary was hooked ... funny what a great glass of Meursault will do! In 1994 he was invited to work harvest at the Au Bon Climat/Qupe facility and was hired full time in 1995. He worked in production and marketing for ABC/Qupe until August of 2002 when he left to devote all of his time and energy to Costa De Oro. He made one barrel each of Gold Coast Vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in 1994 and has increased production of the Costa de Oro label each year to the current level of 4,500 cases annually. He currently produces his wines at the Central Coast Wines Services facility in Santa Maria.
Gary says, "The transition from music to wine making was easy. There are a lot of similarities in the two industries; both rely on a blending of technique, artistry and feel." His goal is to produce wines with balance, elegance and texture, reflecting Old World Style and Terrior of the vineyard.
Gary has received critical acclaim, receiving 90 point scores or higher from Robert Parker, James Laube/Wine Spectator, and Wine and Spirits Magazine. He has also had wines named in the Top 100 Wines of the Year by Wines and Spirits Magazine (2000), the San Francisco Chronicle (2001), Wine Country Living (2003), and most recently Winner of Best in Show at both the Orange and Santa Barbara County Fairs.

Cornerstone Cellars was born out of a passion for great wines in 1991 when founders Drs. Michael Dragutsky and David Sloas crushed their first five tons of Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Today the founders of Cornerstone Cellars and have been joined by Managing Partner Craig Camp, Winemaker Jeff Keene, in the Napa Valley, and a group of Memphis based partners led by Hal Lewis and John Carrier. All share one goal: to make compelling, exciting wines that speak clearly of the vineyard, variety and vintage from which they are born. All of our wines receive minimal, gentle winemaking relying more on nature than technology as the path to making great wine. All come from organic or sustainably farmed vineyards. As noted, “Craig Camp and winemaker Jeff Keene have propelled Cornerstone Cellars to the top tier of California wineries.”

While our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon remains the cornerstone of our portfolio, this year will see the premiere release of a very special wine. Named simply, "The Cornerstone" this wine represents the pinnacle of our vision of Napa Valley winemaking . Each vintage "The Cornerstone" will be selected from our best barrels of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot. The percentage of each only determined by the gifts Mother Nature gives each vintage. This year we will release the 2009 and it is a very, very special wine indeed. Less than 90 cases were produced.

There is such an exciting range of Cornerstone and Stepping Stone wines that you really need to taste them and there's no better way to do that than visiting our Yountville tasting room, which is located just steps from world famous restaurants like The French Laundry, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, Bottega, Hurley's and Redd. Call             707-945-0388       or for reservations or more information. We are open to the public seven days a week are also pleased to offer a full range of wine clubs offering both exceptional wines and personalized customer service. Visit for complete details.

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