Saturday, August 31, 2013

8/30-Michael Jordan talks to Tegan Passalacqua & Jeff Steele

Tegan Passalacqua - Winemaker & Vineyard Manager, Turley Wine Cellars

A veritable human viticultural vade mecum, Tegan shares Larry Turley’s passion for old vine vineyards and the wines they painstakingly produce.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Sacramento State in 2001, Tegan got his start in the wine business as a lab technician at Napa Wine Company, supplemented by night classes in Viticulture & Oenology at the Napa Junior College.  In 2003 he headed to New Zealand for an internship with Doug Wisor at Craggy Range.  While there he sent a letter to Ehren Jordan, then winemaker for Turley.  Tegan was hired as a harvest intern in 2003 but was quickly offered a full time job when his talent in the vineyard became apparent.  Tegan has since further honed his skills working harvests with Alain Graillot in the northern Rhône Valley as well as Eben Sadie in Swartland, South Africa.
Between his travels & rigorous vineyard duties, Tegan began gradually taking on more of the Turley winemaking responsibilities as well, eventually becoming head Winemaker & Vineyard Manager in 2013.  A founding member of the non-profit Historic Vineyard Society, he now oversees the winemaking and vineyard duties for all 35 vineyards and 28 wines, logging some serious miles on his Subaru.

For the 5th year in a row, cigar connoisseurs and wine enthusiasts will gather in Paso Robles for the Central California Coast’s premiere festival, Crush & Roll West. This celebration of premium cigars, premium wine and the good life, takes place Sept. 6-7, 2013 in the heart of the Central Coast wine country. In addition to sampling world-class cigars and wines, attendees will learn the finer points of both from expert vintners and cigar manufacturers.
This year once again, both the Friday evening and Saturday events will be held at the Paso Robles Event Center, which is home to hundreds of events throughout the year, including the yearly California Mid-State Fair. The Event Center is right off the 101 freeway and is easily accessible from any of the fine Paso Robles hotels and motels. Cost for the two-day event is $140 and there are separate prices for Friday-only, Saturday-only and an Early-bird special. Activities include complimentary cigar and wine tasting, cigar rolling demonstrations, seminars, raffles, auctions, poker tourney, music, and much more.

Roxo Port Cellars is a family owned winery specializing in ultra premium Port-style wines. Metodo Portugues adorns our label and translates to “the Portuguese method.”  We pledge to make Port-style wine using only traditional methods with minimal interference. Our grapes are exclusively hand-picked and sourced from esteemed Paso Robles and Cienega Valley vineyards in California. Each vineyard was carefully selected for its location, farming practices and superior fruit. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

8/23-Michael Jordan speaks with Jim Striegel & David H Bova

Jim Striegel - Red Mare Wines
After working for four years as assistant winemaker at Paradigm for Heidi Barrett, one of the world’s renowned winemakers, Anne Vawter opened her winemaking consultancy with support and encouragement from Heidi, whose referrals now make up Anne’s client list. Shortly after, Anne began her own venture - Red Mare Wines.
An avid horse woman, Anne named her wine label in honor of her red mare, Paradigm, who was a bonus given to her during her time at Paradigm Winery. The inaugural release of Red Mare Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2007 vintage, sold out in just two months. In addition to her Cabernet Sauvignon, Anne also produces a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and will add a Sonoma Chardonnay in the 2011 vintage.
Red Mare Wines sources fruit meticulously from very small, well-respected vineyards throughout the Napa Valley, from a cool enclave of the Carneros to a hill top in Coombsville, and northward on the Valley floor in Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena.  Our 2011 Chardonnay hails from a choice location in the famed Russian River Valley of Sonoma.  We look for vineyards with unique qualities and distinctive character that will come together in the blending process to produce layered and beautifully balanced wines.

David H. Bova is a Partner and Vice President of Pebble Ridge Vineyards and Wine Estates, a
California vineyard and winery-holding company, which owns and operates Millbrook Vineyards & Winery. Presently, Pebble Ridge Vineyards & Wine Estates owns and operates three separate winery properties: Millbrook Winery in the Hudson River Region of New York; Villa Pillo Estate in Tuscany, Italy; Williams & Selyem in the Russian River Region of California; and five separate vineyard properties - Vista Verde Vineyard on California’s Central Coast, Millbrook Vineyard, Litton Estate Vineyard and Drake Road Vineyard for Williams Selyem winery in Sonoma County, California; and Villa Pillo Estate vineyard. Mr. Bova also acts as Vice President and General Manager of Millbrook Vineyards & Winery. 
David Bova and John Dyson founded Millbrook Vineyards & Winery in Dyson's Millbrook garage in 1983. Today, Mr. Bova is responsible for the overall vineyard and winery management at Millbrook, which remains the cornerstone of the Pebble Ridge wine group. He also maintains an advisory role in the management of Williams Selyem a winery in the Sonoma County Russian River Valley. 
Like Millbrook Vineyards & Winery itself, Mr. Bova’s history with wine is rooted in John Dyson’s  viticultural experiments from the early 1980’s. Mr. Bova would visit his sister, Kathe Dyson and her family at the old dairy farm where her husband John was working on converting the land into vinifera vineyards. Every Saturday morning, Dyson would invite him to help. Mr. Bova’s hobby soon grew into a full time business. 
Dyson was able to focus on his political life while still mentoring Mr. Bova to learn the business. Mr. Bova was also maintaining his day job at an ad agency, where he gained experience with marketing through their comprehensive training program. In 1981, Dyson and Mr. Bova established their winemaking company in Dyson’s home garage and called their company “Véraison Wine Cellars” after the French viticulture term meaning "the onset of ripening or the turning point" of the grape. Dyson and Mr. Bova thought Veraison Wine Cellars would be the “turning point” for the Hudson River Valley wine industry with their dedication to vinifera based wines. With Dyson actively continuing his storied career path in the political sector, he trusted Mr. Bova to run the vineyards and winery. Mr. Bova joined Millbrook Vineyards & Winery full time in 1986. 
Mr. Bova has always been on the consumer business track. He graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, with a B.A. in Business Administration in 1980, and attended Pace University in New York City for his Masters of Business Administration. Additionally, Mr. Bova worked for a trade and children’s publishing house as Vice President of Distribution and Warehousing. The back office skills he gained included guiding the transfer of the 1.2 million book inventory from the 100,000 square foot warehouse in Long Island to New Jersey without interrupting their business. Mr. Bova helped lead the New Jersey warehouse and played an integral role in contributing to the company’s success- a precedent he later paralleled at Millbrook.  M I L L B R O O K  Millbrook Vineyards & Winery • 26 Wing Road • Millbrook, NY 12545 • (845) 677-8383 Fax: (845) 677-6186 

Friday, August 16, 2013

8/16-Michael Jordan talks with Jimmie Bradley & Chef William S. Bloxsom-Carter

Jimmie Bradley - GM, Primitivo Wine Bistro
Primitivo has wines from all over the world--Australia, Italy, Chile, Spain, France, South Africa, Argentina and the U.S. They host events like wine tastings, 'Sangria Sundays,' 'Thirsty Thursdays,' and happy hour. Tapas offerings include a lovely beet salad with orange segments, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese in an orange honey vinaigrette.

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, August 9, 2013

8/9-Michael Jordan visits with Rod Berglund & Larry Van Aalst

Rod Berglund - Winemaker, Joseph Swan Vineyards
Rod Berglund, a lifelong Sonoma County resident, began his winemaking career in 1979 at La Crema Vinera (predecessor to La Crema). That same year he produced his first Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Over the years he has made Pinot from many grape growing areas but firmly believes that the Russian River Valley is without peer in the new world for the potential to consistently produce world class Pinot Noir.
A committed terrorist, he believes that wine's first duty is to express a sense of place. In 1987 he joined Joe Swan to help him finish the harvest. The following year he took over the winemaking at Joseph Swan Vineyards and continues to follow in the footsteps of one of California's Pinot pioneers. 

Larry Van Aalst - Sommelier/WCOW Show Host
Host (The Sonoma Report), CRN Digital Talk Radio, Santa Rosa, CA
The Equus Restaurant wine list was judged "Best of Show" in the 1995 and 1998 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. The gallery of Sonoma County wines, nearly 300 bottles hand-picked by their winemakers, sets the tone--wine country splendor in a classic setting. Larry Van Aalst, Equus Sommelier, has been selecting wines for Equus for over a decade. Larry has been judging at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair/San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for over a decade likewise, an opportunity for Larry to keep abreast of fine wines from California.
Larry will discuss 2012 Sonoma harvest and crush and update listeners on the recent rainy weather in Sonoma.

Friday, August 2, 2013

8/2-Michael Jordan talks to Hugh Davies & Morgen McLaughlin

Hugh Davies - Napa Valley Vintners 
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association reports the first of Napa Valley's sparkling wine producers will start picking wine grapes on August 1st, just a week to ten days earlier than in 2012. Grapes for Napa Valley sparkling wines are the first to be harvested, capturing the bright acidity for which these wines are prized. 

After grapes for sparkling wines are picked, next up are a diverse spectrum of white wine grapes, then lighter red wine grapes such as those for Pinot Noir, with all roads then leading to the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest, which can last into late October or early November in Napa Valley's hillside vineyards.

"The 2013 growing season has been a very good year for all of our grape growers," commented Ludovic Dervin, winemaker for Mumm Napa, who will begin picking tomorrow. "It started with a very dry winter and spring, which gave us a bit of a scare as water reserves are very important to ensure a smooth growing season for our vines. But Mother Nature compensated with mild weather during spring so we didn't have to use much water for frost protection, and could wisely use it for the vine canopy growth. The crop looks good and healthy at this point, with yields slightly above average. It is not as big as 2012, but still on the high side. Overall, we are on track for an excellent vintage." 

Napa Valley's other leading sparkling wine producers, Domaine Chandon and Schramsberg Vineyards, will begin picking in the next one to two weeks.

Starting August 16, the NVV will chronicle "Harvest Napa Valley 2013: The Grapest Story Ever Told" at 

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 450 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the worldwide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines.

Morgen McLaughlin - Exec Dir. Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association
Santa Barbara County, CA - Rarely do you find an appellation that is composed of fewer than ten vineyards with no tasting rooms and are all family owned and operated.  In an extraordinary union of winemaking passion, the wineries of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara will be joining together Friday, August 9, opening their doors to industry guests to showcase the wines being produced in Happy Canyon.

Over the course of the day, Crown Point Vineyard, Grassini Family Vineyard, Star Lane Vineyard, Vogelzang Vineyard, and Happy Canyon Vineyard will be pouring their wines on their vineyards. 

Guests will have the opportunity at Star Lane Vineyard to see the 200 acres of vineyards that range in elevation from five-hundred to fifteen-hundred and fifty feet, as well as, tour their three story gravity flow facility and twenty-five-thousand (yes, thousand!) square feet of wine caves. At the sustainably operated Grassini Family Vineyard, guests will have the opportunity to tour an entirely solar powered facility while tasting wine in caves made entirely from reclaimed antique fir milled from timbers in Oregon.  Saunter over to Vogelzang Vineyard where tasting will be al fresco under the native oaks in the center of their seventy-seven acres of vines.  Further down the road at Crown Point Vineyards, the newest addition to the region, enjoy a special tasting flight in the redesigned cellar that will include barrel samples and limited productions wines. 

The day will conclude with an exhibition polo match at Happy Canyon Vineyard where guests will sip estate grown wines on a private polo field while watching the some of the world's top polo players and enjoying an Argentine BBQ cooked on open fire grills field side.
Located in the eastern most end of the valley, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA is the warmest micro-climate in the Santa Ynez Valley.  The rolling terrain, high slopes and varied soils of this region are best suited for growing Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc, creating rich, concentrated wines.   

The Happy Canyon AVA Open House will take place from 1-5PM and the polo/BBQ will go from 5-8PM.  This event is only open to industry guests and limited to 150 people and RSVPS are required.  We will be taking credit cards to hold the reservations. You will be charged $50 per person if you RSVP and do not attend.  The event is free.