Friday, May 31, 2013

5/31-Michael Jordan talks to Clay Mauritson & David Ready Jr.

Clay Mauritson - Mauritson Wines
Up and coming young winemaker, Clay Mauritson, is the sixth generation in a family of grape growers. Born and raised in the Dry Creek Valley, Clay was destined for the wine business. In college Clay exhibited his prowess on the gridiron, playing outside linebacker for the University of Oregon Ducks in the 1995 Rose Bowl and the 1996 Cotton Bowl. Clay graduated in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Economics. Armed with his new degree he came back to Sonoma County to officially enter the wine industry. Clay worked for 5 years at Kenwood Vineyards in the Sales & Marketing Department (starting even before he graduated from college), spending much of his time traveling and making sales contacts as Assistant National Sales Manager. After leaving Kenwood, Clay had the opportunity to work with the winemakers at Taft Street Vineyards and Dry Creek Vineyards, allowing him to hone his winemaking skills and gain additional knowledge of winery operations. From the 1998 vintage Clay produced his first bottling of Dry Creek Zinfandel under the Mauritson label, and in 2002 he began devoting his efforts full-time to the Mauritson Family Winery project. Clay's winemaking philosophy is simple…you need exceptional fruit to make exceptional wine. This is where the advantage of having a family heritage of grape growers becomes obvious…270 acres of family vineyard and strong relationships built over the years with other growers have given Clay access to some of the best fruit that Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley and Rockpile have to offer. Devoted to making exceptional wines, Clay is on his way to becoming one of California's foremost young winemakers. Clay lives in Healdsburg with his wife Carrie-Anne and dogs SoHo and Chelsea.

David Ready Jr. - Winemaker, Murphy-Goode
We think our winemaker, David Ready, Jr., is a rock star. Not only did he grow up playing drums in bands around Minneapolis, he also lays down a pretty impressive set of wines. Son of founder Dave Ready, David Jr. first worked harvests in Sonoma County and Australia. Eventually he came back to Murphy-Goode to craft our line-up of Zin, Cab and our original pair—Fume Blanc and Chardonnay. You’ll find David with music playing in the cellar, a Minnesota Viking helmet on his head, and his nose deep in a glass of Murphy-Goode.

Friday, May 24, 2013

5/24-Michael Jordan talks to Stew Lauterbach & Karen Cakebread

Stew Lauterbach - Lauterbach Cellars

Stew Lauterbach grew up in the Chicago area where he developed a love for the outdoors and became an accomplished swimmer. In college, he pursued aquatic sports and taught canoeing and kayaking – often running trips to Canada. During this time he also became a volunteer firefighter and paramedic, which led to his ambition to pursue a medical degree.
Barbara Swary Lauterbach grew up on a farm outside a small rural town in Northwest Ohio. She spent many days of her childhood driving the tractor on her family’s 40 acre farm where the primary crops were winter wheat, oats, alfalfa, soybeans and corn. In this small town, the primary occupations for girls were nursing or teaching – and Barb chose nursing, pursuing her degree in the much larger metropolis of Cincinnati.
Stew met Barb in Cincinnati where he completed his medical degree at The renowned University of Cincinnati. Here they began a 25 year relationship that encompassed their love of adventure, travel, medicine, and, eventually, wine. Upon Stew’s completion of medical school, a residency computer match sent the young couple to Highland Hospital in Oakland, California in 1981, where Stew completed his emergency medicine training.
In California, they soon discovered hiking in the Sierras and the Coastal Range and eventually took a sabbatical to explore the inland waters of Alaska by sailboat. On this trip, the Lauterbachs had a revelation that eventually led them to Sonoma County and Stew’s position in an Emergency Department at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
In this new paradise, Stew and Barb found a ranch in the Russian River Valley, an area famed for grape growing. Here they planted Pinot Noir and Syrah, varietals that flourish in the area.
While Barb enjoyed nursing, the desire for a more flexible schedule and the arrival of son Nathan led to her pursuit of a law degree. Now Barb combines both her medical and legal interests in her position as Director of Legal Services for the Council on Aging of Sonoma County.
Stew has taken on the role of grape grower and winemaker, while continuing to work 11 shifts a month in the County’s trauma center, a job he loves. This stressful medical role is balanced by the patience and tranquility necessary to produce world-class wines in one of California’s most popular wine producing regions. Barb and Nathan are at his side, enjoying the agricultural lifestyle while winning awards for excellent Syrah and Pinot Noir. For this adventurous family, winemaking remains a challenge with great rewards.
Vineyard operations are performed by Lee Martinelli Jr..  Lee is a next door neighbor and farmer extraordinaire.  He won the Sonoma County young farmer of the year award in 2004 and manages his own properties as well as our land.  Lee comes from a family with over 80 years in the Sonoma County wine industry.
The relationship with Lee has been like dying and going to heaven.  He is a perfectionist, who treats the land like his own and has a crew that is incredibly compulsive and efficient.  Communications and cooperation could not be better.
Every effort has been taken to farm in an environmentally sustainable way.  After all, we know that without healthy land there would be no grapes or great wine.  Every year we have been reducing chemicals while continually producing incredible fruit.

Karen Cakebread - Ziata Wines                                                                                              
Twenty-two years of representing the Napa Valley and its wines around the world gave Ziata Wines 
owner/founder Karen Cakebread the desire and know-how to develop her own wine brand, which she 
named in honor of her mother and officially launched in March 2008. 
Karen is a well-known representative of and cheerleader for the Napa Valley. Her wine experience 
started with Cakebread Cellars, for which she worked for 18 years. While living in Hong Kong, she 
assisted with the winery’s marketing efforts in Hong Kong and in Singapore. After moving to the Napa 
Valley in 1989, she oversaw the winery’s educational, corporate hospitality and international marketing 
efforts. She also managed the winery’s American Harvest Workshop, an annual event that brings 
together noted chefs, artisan food purveyors and media to help build awareness and improve the 
availability and marketability of American wine and food products. 

Karen has also worked tirelessly to promote the Napa Valley through her involvement with the
Napa Valley Vintners, the non-profit trade organization responsible for promoting and protecting the 
appellation and its wines. She served on the association’s Board of Directors for four years and has 
chaired various marketing committees. In addition, she has served on the steering committee for its 
annual fundraiser, Auction Napa Valley—the world’s largest charity wine auction—and was a co-chair 
when Cakebread Cellars chaired the Auction in 2006. 

Living and working abroad fed Karen’s sense of adventure and her passion for exploring the world,
and her journeys—beyond work-related travel—have taken her through Nepal, Turkey, Mongolia and 
India. She was also a founding board member of Elaine Mackie Charitable Trust, which raised money for 
breast cancer research by “trekking” mountains around the world, including Mt. Kilimanjaro, with other 
like-minded Napa Valley women, including Paula Kornell, Nancy (Andrus) Duckhorn, Janice Mondavi and 
And as much as she enjoys exploring the world, Karen’s roots are now firmly planted in Calistoga, 
where she lives among her newly established Sauvignon Blanc vines (watch for an estate Sauvignon Blanc 
in a few years) with Pearl and Moet, her lovable Labradors.

Friday, May 17, 2013

5/17-Michael Jordan talks with Alastair Mailing & Allen Balik

Alastair Maling MW, has a winemaking career that has seen him travel many continents, gaining a wealth of experience with an impressive range of varietals. Born and raised in Hawkes Bay, Alastair completed a commerce degree at Lincoln University but was drawn to a career in winemaking. After working a vintage in Hungary, Alastair returned to New Zealand to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Oenology and Viticulture at Lincoln University in 1994, after which he worked a vintage at Esk Valley Estate in Hawkes Bay. Alastair then worked for Hugh Ryman Wines, overseeing winemaking projects in France, California and South Africa before spending six years as a winemaker for International Wine Services in the UK where he was responsible for managing winemaking projects in Europe and South America. In 2000 he passed the prestigious International Master of Wine Exam and in 2002, decided it was time to return to New Zealand. The position of Group Winemaker at Villa Maria provided the perfect opportunity.  In 2011 his responsibilities were extended into his current role of General Manager Winemaking and Viticulture. In November 2003,  Decanter Magazine named Alastair as one of the 'five to watch' when describing the new generation of New Zealand's winemakers.

The 24th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters  Saturday, May 18th, 2013 6 PM at Warner Bros., "Midwest Street"
A wine tasting extraordinaire and spectacular hors d’oeuvres dinner benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. One of WINE SPECTATOR’S “TOP TEN U.S. CHARITY WINE AUCTIONS” will be held on the "Midwest Street" backlot at Warner Bros. 

May 18, 2013 
Warner Bros. Studio  Gate 7 - Forest Lawn Drive Burbank, CA 91522
6:00PM- 10:30PM Tickets: $375 (Tax deductible portion is $250)

Friday, May 10, 2013

5/10-Michael Jordan talks to Judith Fabre McDonough & William S. Bloxsom-Carter

Judith Fabre McDonough - Mariposa Wines

For Judith Fabre McDonough, it's always been about fine wine and food. As a national sales representative for such famous brands as Petrossian Caviar, Caviar Star and Cipriani, Judith has explored the culinary and fine dining universe, learning to expertly pair great food with great wine and create memorable experiences. Now, as the newest fine wine wholesaler in Massachusetts, Judith has focused her love and passion for Italian wines, becoming the exclusive seller of offerings from small family-owned estates in Italy helping make their products available for the first time in the Eastern US. We specialize in handcrafted select elegant beautiful wines currently from five regions, small vineyards, and estates run by Italian familes. We offer some of the country's best examples of chardonnay, pinot grigio, fruili, prosecco, malvasisa, refosco, cabernet, barbera, barbaresco, primitvo and franciacorta previously unavailable in the US.

William S. Bloxsom-Carter - Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage, Playboy Mansion

Mr. William S. Bloxsom-Carter is the Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, California. He has been creating extraordinary food and exclusive wine offerings for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion parties for over 26 years to 100,000 guests annually.
Chef Carter’s philosophy is to bring out the best flavors in food products from beginning to end with minimal intervention and uncompromising standards.
At the Playboy Mansion, Chef Carter has developed an internship/externship program with culinary schools nationwide. The program has garnered an exceptional reputation as the preeminent host facility for students. Additionally, Chef Carter is a recurring featured guest on numerous radio shows syndicated nationwide describing and promoting California wines and foods.
Chef Carter completed intensive studies with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company focusing on their Gold Standards of Hospitality Service to enhance the hospitality experience to all guests attending corporate and charity events at the Playboy Mansion. He initially studied at Florida Institute of Technology. He enhanced his education in hospitality related studies at UC Los Angeles Extension. Additionally, he has successfully completed UC Davis Extension classes in enology studies. He serves as a professional wine judge at competitions throughout California.
In June 1999, he received the PEI AWARD from Ms. Christie Hefner, former Chief Executive Officer of Playboy Enterprises. In April 2002, Chef Carter received the esteemed Auguste Escoffier Medal of Merit from the American Culinary Federation.

Friday, May 3, 2013

5/3-Michael Horn & Paul Stern Fill in for Michael Jordan Live at the Livermore Festival

John Concannon - Concannon Vineyards

If they could speak, the rocks of Concannon Vineyard would tell a tale rich in history. When James Concannon planted his first vineyards and built the winery in 1883, he established Concannon as a founding family of California wine. Now, with four generations of family involvement, our landmark winery shows our enduring commitment to creating outstanding, award-winning wine.
Concannon Vineyard has a proud history of “Firsts.” Always an industry leader, Concannon is the first successful winery to be founded by an Irish immigrant. When James Concannon planted white Bordeaux cuttings in the late 1800s, we became one of the first wineries to make Bordeaux-style wines in California. In 1950, we hired thefirst professional, female winemaker, Katherine Vajda. In 1961, we introduced America’s First Petite Sirah, sparking a love affair with the variety. Our inaugural vintage was so well-received that we have produced it ever since, and it has become our highly regarded flagship wine. Shortly thereafter, Concannon’s role in the California Cabernet Sauvignon industry became truly historic! From the 1970’s onward, the famous “Concannon Clones 7, 8 & 11” provided the backbone of the huge expansion in Cabernet plantings in California’s premium wine regions as well as in many of Napa’s most prestigious vineyards. California Cabernet, the wine that primarily placed California on the world wine map, was built upon our Concannon Clone vines.
Concannon Vineyard will continue its pioneering role as we juxtapose modern technology with our treasured rocks and vines. To prepare for the next century, we have taken steps to restore and refresh, revitalize and re-root. We have restored our historic redwood tasting room, reusing materials and employing green design wherever possible. We have embraced sustainable vineyard practices and re-rooted historic clones in our estate vineyards. We utilize state-of-the-art technology in our winery to ensure quality. With a focus on renewable energy, we have installed solar panels on 80% of our winery’s roof. All of these efforts are designed with one goal in mind, to create extraordinary wines that would make James Concannon proud.

Double Barrel Wine Bar                                         
Double Barrel Wine Bar, which is over a year old, offers award-winning wine and tapas on par with what people expect in cosmopolitan cities like New York or San Francisco- but it is located smack dab in the middle of Downtown Livermore, amongst 53 other wineries in surrounding areas.“Our intention is really to create a warm and welcoming neighborhood vibe that has the best food and the best wine with a globalpalate,” says owner Kristin Armstrong. “We want our bar to be where people can come to relax, connect, and be with the ones they love. It really does become a more modern version of ‘Cheers. ’”
Everything on the tapas menu is made from fresh, locally grown farmers’ market ingredients. The menu is rotated every eight weeks, and a new selection for the fall debuted on Oct. 2. “Everything is made to order, by hand, including all our desserts and award-winning paella,” says Armstrong.
Double Barrel Wine Bar is in a 110-year-old historical building with a 150-seat capacity. Armstrong says that, “You really feel like you’re coming into a private tasting room at the top of a mountain, with a view of hills that resemble our beautiful Tri-Valley wine country.”
In addition to wine and food, Double Barrel Wine Bar also offers live music nightly ranging from jazz to acoustic artists. “People will spontaneously start playing our piano because they’re having such a good time,” says Armstrong. “The back patio is like being in an outdoor living room, earthy and artisan-inspired with fire pits- it’s very relaxing and unique.”  

Rachael Snedecor - Livermore Downtown               Livermore Downtown is committed to preserving Livermore's historic downtown district as the destination place for Livermore residents who want to eat, drink, shop, gather to meet neighbors, and enjoy cultural activities in their hometown.

Livermore Downtown is a member of the California Main Street Association. Backed by the National Historic Trust and the National Main Street Center, Main Street projects take a holistic approach towards economic development. By promoting historic preservation and downtown merchants, and supporting a coordinated approach to design and development, Main Street projects help towns preserve their past as they revitalize their economic and cultural present — they truly become vibrant hometowns that future generations can enjoy.

Livermore boasts a beautiful downtown area, steeped in history reflecting the cattle and wine industries that created a thriving community. We have a very eclectic selection of restaurants and retail shops offering everything from home decor to gift items, fine wines, and, of course western wear.

Our Annual Wine Country Festival, Certified Farmer's Market, Holiday Parade, and Downtown Halloween Carnival bring people to the center of town year round to celebrate the bounties of our agricultural heritage and spirit of our community.