Friday, April 5, 2013

4/5-Michael Jordan talks to Justin Baldwin & Jeff Stewart

Justin Baldwin - Justin Vineyards & Winery Founder

Former investment and international banker Justin Baldwin founded JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery in 1981 when he purchased 160 acres west of Paso Robles on California's Central Coast and planted his estate vineyards.
Since its inception, Justin has focused his efforts on producing world class Bordeaux style blends from the estate vineyards for the JUSTIN label. Justin is a pioneer in producing this style of wine on the Central Coast and his efforts have been rewarded with past and present vintages earning 90+ points by the major wine trade publications. More encompassing recognition has come from awards such as the Grand Sweepstakes award winner, Best of class, Best of Region, the coveted Pichon Lalande trophy for "World's Best Blended Red Wine" and Wine Spectators Top 10 Wines of the World. Vintages have received numerous accolades by capturing Decanter Magazine's "4 Stars", Restaurant Wine's "3 Forks" and Connoisseurs Guide's" 3 Puffs". Justin has consistently earned the praise of the wine press with recognition from the likes of Robert M. Parker Jr. naming Justin Baldwin one of his "Wine Heroes of the Year" and the "Star of Paso Robles", the James Beard Foundations "Great American Winemaker Award", Quarterly Review of Wine's "Top 3 Cabernet Producers of the Year", and Wine Enthusiast's "Top Cabernet and Blended Wine Producers List" for seven years running.
Food and JUSTIN wines go together. In fact, JUSTIN is the only winery on California’s Central Coast to retain a full-time chef whose kitchen works daily to pair acclaimed JUSTIN wines with fresh seasonal and vineyard grown offerings. Justin is an active participant in the wine world. He is a frequent panelist at prominent food and wine events worldwide, is a board member of the Family Winemakers of California, board member of the Wine Institute, board member of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, vice-chair Paso Robles AVA committee, co-founder of the West Side Grand Crew, the Far out Wineries of Paso Robles and The Wellness Community Central Coast. For his contributions Justin has been named the Paso Robles Wine Industry person of the year and has been made a Commandeur d’ Honneur De L’Ordre Du Bontemps Du Medoc.



Jeff Stewart - Winemaker Hartford Family Winery
Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California, Jeff Stewart is, not surprisingly, an avid skier. But it was a summer trip to France and an enthusiastic chemistry teacher that enticed him away from the mountains and into winemaking.
"My summer in France was really my first experience with wine as part of the family meal. I was fascinated with the lifestyle and the importance of wine in that culture," says Hartford Family Winemaker and General Manager, Jeff Stewart. "I knew I wanted to pursue a career in science and after several conversations with my high school chemistry teacher, I was soon enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at U.C. Davis. The idea of combining agriculture, science and the creativity of making wine, something celebrated and revered in many cultures for thousands of years, was mesmerizing."
Throughout his academic career, Stewart did internship work at Robert Keenan Winery and in 1988 received his degree in Fermentation Science, Viticulture and Enology from the University of California at Davis. Having also held winemaking positions at Laurier, De Loach, Mark West, Kunde, La Crema and most recently Buena Vista Carneros, Jeff brings with him a wealth of experience and an established reputation for quality. His deft hand with cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in particular make him a perfect fit to lead the winemaking team at Hartford Family Winery.

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