Friday, February 28, 2014

2/28 2014 World Of Pinot Noir, Shane Moore, Jackson Family Wines, Penny Loving, Station Imports, Paul Lato, Paul Lato Wines, Eric Johannsen, Champ de Reves Vineyards, Dieter Cronje, Presqu’ile

Michael Jordan and Michael Horn are broadcasting LIVE from the 2014 World Of Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara!

Taste Pinot Noir from more than 220 producers throughout the weekend's events!  

Join them as they speak with some of the best in the industry!

Shane Moore - Associate Winemaker, Jackson Family Wines

Penny Loving - Station Imports

Paul Lato – Paul Lato Wines

Eric Johannsen – Winemaker, Champ de Reves Vineyards

Dieter Cronje – Winemaker, Presqu’ile

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2/21-Michael Jordan visits with Heather Muran & Emma Swain

Heather Muran - Executive Director, SLO Wine CountryIn SLO Wine Country, the wineries are located just five miles from the ocean on average. The prevailing marine conditions are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California and beyond—which has a profound impact on the wines. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are, of course, among the varietals that thrive amid the cool and exceptionally long growing season. Other standouts include aromatic whites such as Albarino, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gruner Veltliner, all rare, refreshing and exemplary of SLO Wine Country.
SLO Wine Country is home to some iconic California wineries, such as Talley, Chamisal, Claiborne & Churchill, Saucelito Canyon and Edna Valley Vineyard. In recent years, however, several new wineries have come along and there’s a fresh energy to the region right now. So you have this interesting juxtaposition—it’s an established wine region, but also up and coming.
Visitor Experience
This is California’s “beachy” wine country. Here, a casual flip-flop lifestyle comes with a progressive taste for food and wine. Locally, it’s called the “SLO Life,” with an unhurried and unscripted vibe that sets it apart from any other wine country.
SLO Wine Country is an intimate region populated by less than 30 wineries along storybook terrain from backroads to beach towns to the university town of San Luis Obispo. On the SLO Coastal Wine Route (Price Canyon Road), you can turn off 101 in Pismo Beach and find yourself in the heart of SLO Wine Country in just five minutes. You can see a map here:
Media Bulletin (Things to talk about)
The surf’s always up in SLO Wine Country. Here, in southern San Luis Obispo County on California’s Central Coast, our wineries reside an average distance of just five miles from the ocean, resulting in prevailing marine conditions that are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California and beyond. Which is why we are known for producing standout Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, aromatic whites and other wines—and for our laid-back vibe that locals call the “SLO Life.” From beachfront tasting rooms to storybook backroads, here’s what’s shaking in SLO Wine Country this season:
Gracious Growlers: Talley Offers Wine on Tap
Talley Vineyards has tapped into a new way to enjoy fine wine—reusable glass “growlers” that you can fill up and take home to enjoy with family and friends. Just purchase a Talley growler (1.89 liters) at the tasting room and fill it up with your choice of red or white wine, then return when you’re ready for a refill. The available varietals and blends change seasonally. As with traditional craft beer growlers, Talley’s growler program enables the winery to create special small batches of wine just for on-tap customers. Also, because the growlers require less packaging, they are environmentally friendly and create cost savings that are passed along to the wine drinker.
Claiborne & Churchill Showcases “Mature” Riesling
While aromatic white wines are typically enjoyed in their vibrant youth, some are surprisingly ageworthy as well—which is why Claiborne & Churchill Vintners took the unusual step of bottle aging its 2010 Estate Riesling for two years prior to releasing the wine. “We want our customers to have the chance to experience the extraordinary pleasures of a mature Riesling,” says Proprietor Clay Thompson. He says that these pleasures are “all about texture and structure, rather than flowers and fruit, foregoing the easy charm of a young Riesling for the complex patina that only a mature Riesling can offer.”
The Wine Shed—A Wine Bar with Levity
Are you ready for a fresh riff on the traditional wine bar? Located on Broad Street in San Luis Obispo, just minutes from the heart of SLO Wine Country, the Wine Shed offers an impressive list of local wines on tap, all available by the glass. The Wine Shed’s innovative keg-and-tap system ensures the integrity of each glass of wine. “The Wine Shed is designed to bring some needed levity to the wine bar concept,” says co-owner Steve Sutton. “We think of the Wine Shed as a place that’s more of a neighborhood pub, not a wine bar.” The Wine Shed is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. (and to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays) and also offers craft beers and personal pizzas.
Featured Winery Quick Hit: Kelsey See Canyon
While most wineries are surrounded by vines, Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards is nestled among the apple orchards of Avila Valley, just two miles from Avila Beach. Not surprisingly, the winery makes limited-production “apple wines” in addition to its fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other wines. This family-owned winery also offers a distinctive tasting room experience, with a quaint garden tucked along See Canyon Creek in the company of peacocks.

Emma Swain - CEO, St Supery
One of a kind wines from the very best winemakers are on the auction block this weekend at Premiere Napa Valley!
Produced in California's renowned Napa Valley, Premiere Napa Valley is one of the rarest wine brands in the world. For 17 years the region's top winemakers have offered ultra-boutique wines to the trade, crafted in as few as 60 bottles and never more than 240 bottles, as individual bottlings for the brand known as Premiere Napa Valley.
These wines, created each only once, by 200 different wineries are offered as futures at auction only to the wine trade—individual restaurateurs and wine retailers—so they have the most unique, and some of the very best wines made from America’s leading appellation. Essentially think of Premiere Napa Valley as a brand consisting of 200 "single vineyard," small case production offerings.
Each wine from each producer is one-of-a-kind, and will not be found in the market except by the wine seller who secures the unique wine via an annual trade auction held each winter. Though reminiscent of how Hospice de Beaune wines are produced, the process is uniquely American. The winemakers take a gloves-off approach, often using varieties they may not bottle as a stand-alone, or perhaps a noted white-wine-only house producing a red wine. These wines are innovative and showcase the region's sense of explorations in fine winemaking.
Premiere Napa Valley
Saturday, February 22, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

2/14 Quincey Blake, Patland Estate Vineyards, Melissa Stackhouse, J Vineyards and Winery

The Beginning - Rarely is it that someone visits the beautiful and tranquil Napa Valley, without imagining themselves leading the life of a winemaker. There is something wholesome and true about making wine.

Twenty-five years ago, when Henry and Olga first came to Napa as a young couple, it was no different. They could not escape the lure of this charming land, and so they returned, year after year. The welcoming atmosphere, the wonderful wine, the laughter, and the beautiful scenery just kept bringing them back.

On one occasion, they visited a small wine cellar, where the owner himself was pouring wine for the visitors; no other employees were in sight. The wine they tasted was excellent and so the little vineyard became a must for the pair on each of their visits. Little by little, they saw the transformation the winery underwent, from a small, dark cellar to a magnificent estate, a heaven for wine enthusiasts and art lovers. That winery became an inspiration for them.

Despite raising three young boys and working full time to promote a High Tech Company Henry began in 1995, the Patlands were inspired. Motivated by what they saw, they began looking for a way to turn their dream of a winemaking into a reality. After several years of searching, they finally found the gem they were looking for; a place that spoke right to their hearts, the beautiful and serene Terra Del Cuore, which translates from Italian as “Land of the Heart."

Once the idea of wine making truly took root, the next step was to decide on what wine to create. The Patlands, always being fans of the traditional, heavy and full bodied Napa style red wines, decided to create exceptional, distinctive red wines they themselves would enjoy.

The Wine - At the time of the purchase, Terra del Cuore had Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese grapes planted on the estate’s property.
In 2007, those were the grapes that went into the Proprietary Red Wine. The result being a unique ruby garnet blend, rich in aromas of red berries, clove, vanilla, cigar spice and nutmeg. The wine came to possess an elegantly soft, satin-like approachable finish. This particular blend is exclusive to the 2007 production only.

In 2008, upon returning from the wine country of Argentina and Chile, and following the advice of Jay Buoncristiani, Patland Estate’s winemaker, the decision was made to convert the vines present on the property into Malbec. The climate, the location, and the quality of the soil seemed ideal for a consistently great production of a rich Malbec blend.

For the Patland Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wines, the Patlands purchased highly desirable grapes from Stagecoach Vineyards.

For Cabernet Sauvignon, Jay blended 95% of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with 5% of Malbec and created a dark, rich wine, deeply layered with aromas of black cherry, truffle, molasses, French oak, sage, vanilla and black pepper. The persistent yet balanced finish exhibits excellent depth, purity and elegance.

For the Syrah, he used 100% Syrah grapes and the wine emerged possesses the complex aromas of vibrant wild berries, toffee, maple, dark chocolate, white pepper and violets. Ripe dark berries, cedar spice and mocha continue to gush forth during the ultra fleshy velvet-textured long finish.



Sparkling Wines - Since our founding in Healdsburg, California in 1986, we have made our sparkling wine using MĂȘthode Champenoise, the traditional technique of making Champagne in the eponymous region northeast of Paris, France.

Similar to Champagne, the sparkling wines of J are made from hand-harvested Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes. But our unique Russian River Valley terroir contributes a distinctly American character with bright fruit, full mouthfeel, and balanced finish.

ABOUT MELISSA: Agriculture has played a crucial role in the life of J’s winemaker, Melissa Stackhouse. Growing up in a Michigan farming community, and having grandparents who were farmers in rural Minnesota, she became keenly aware of their dedication to the land at an early age.

“Their hard work resulted in many wonderful meals, cooked with the fresh ingredients straight from the farm,” says Stackhouse. “I developed an appreciation for fresh food from the garden, and it ultimately led to agriculture as a career choice.”

After spending some time in New Zealand working on organic farms, Melissa decided to pursue grape growing and winemaking. She enrolled in the University of California at Davis, where in 1998 she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology. While earning her degree, and in the years following, she worked at such prestigious wineries as Robert Mondavi, Peter Michael, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Sterling Vineyards, and Alexander Valley Cellars.
In 2003, she moved to Sonoma County to pursue her interest in Pinot Noir by becoming the winemaker at La Crema. It was there that she took notice of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley and its distinctive soils, numerous clonal selections, and cool-climate vineyards. Melissa remained winemaker at La Crema until 2010 when she was named Winemaster for all Pinot Noir production at Jackson Family Wines.

In her role at J Vineyards & Winery, Melissa builds upon existing programs in J's nine estate-owned vineyards. She also develops long-term relationships with key growers in the Russian River Valley.

“Each one of our vineyards has a unique personality,” she says. “We are digging deep into the soil to better understand and encourage the right expression of flavor for each estate vineyard. It is important to distinguish and separate these flavor profiles, whether it becomes a J varietal or sparkling wine.”


Sunday, February 9, 2014

2/7-Michael Jordan visits with Peter Mondavi Jr. & Rick Longoria

Peter Mondavi Jr. - Charles Krug Winery
Now under the guidance of Peter Mondavi Sr., the Charles Krug Winery honors its roots while forging ahead to the future. From the Wild West to the twenty-first century, relatively crude beginnings gave way to the finest form of winemaking.

Founded in 1861 by Charles Krug, the 27-year old Prussian immigrant came to America with little besides willpower and a willingness to work hard to build the cornerstone of the first winery in the Napa Valley. He became the major local winery figure of his era, greatly influencing Napa Valley's development as a world-renown wine producing region.

His leadership was said to be inspirational and his ideas innovative. Charles Krug introduced the cider press for winemaking, the first of which is still on display at the winery. He carefully selected rootstocks, varietals and vineyard sites - a novel concept in late 19th century America. 

After his death in 1892, James Moffitt held the winery in proprietorship through Prohibition. By 1943, he found a pioneering spirit in Cesare Mondavi, an Italian immigrant with a passion for wine, and sold the winery to his family for $75,000.

At 60 years old, Cesare Mondavi spearheaded a dramatic renaissance in the decade that followed. Wine historian Charles Sullivan writes in his book, Napa Wine, “By the early 1950s it was irrefutable that the Valley's Big Four had been augmented by one - the Charles Krug Winery”.

Cesare died in 1959 leaving Rosa as President with sons Robert as General Manager and Peter as Vice President. In 1966, Robert moved south to Oakville and began construction of his own winery. Upon Rosa's death in 1976, Peter became President of the winery. 

Peter's industry innovations from his studies at Stanford and Berkeley included revolutionary research on cold fermentation, enabling the production of exceptionally crisp, fruity white wines. His pioneering efforts to plant vineyards in the Carneros region with chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, cold sterile filtration techniques and aging wine in small French oak barrels contributed to his being named one of the twelve “Living Legends” in 1999 by the Napa Valley Vintners Association.

Above all else, Charles Krug Winery is a family winery. Peter Sr. and his sons Marc and Peter Jr. continue their dedication to producing the finest Bordeaux style wines in the Napa Valley. To achieve this, they initiated a nine-year, $22 million investment program completed in 2010. Over 400 of the winery's 850 prime acres in Napa Valley have been re-planted and state-of-the-art winemaking equipment is now in use.
VALENTINE’S DAY PROMOTIONS: Wines for your Sweetheart
This Valentine's Day send that someone special a gift they are sure to love, wine from the Charles Krug winery!
Please order by Tuesday February 11th, for standard ground delivery by Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day 3-pack
·         2012 Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc
·         2011 Napa Valley Merlot
·         Lot XVII Zinfandel Port
$95 / Club $76. Shipping is just $10.
Valentine's Day 6-pack
Two bottles each of the same great wines, plus an even better shipping deal.
$190/ Club $152. Shipping included.

Established in 1982, Longoria Wines is a small family owned winery producing acclaimed artisanal wines from some of the finest vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Pioneer winemaker Rick Longoria has been involved in the local wine industry since 1976. His wines are distinctive for their purity of varietal and site expression, balance and compatibility with food. Visitors are welcome at the Longoria Tasting Room located downtown in the village of Los Olivos (open daily) and the Longoria Winery located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto (open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).
Rick Longoria / Biography -  The son of an Air Force enlisted serviceman, Rick was born at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, Nevada. The family later moved to air bases in Wyoming, Minnesota, Alaska, and finally to Los Angeles, California. Rick completed his high school years in Lompoc, and entered college at UC Santa Barbara. After two years he transferred to UC Berkeley, where he graduated in 1973 with a degree in Sociology.
It was during his student days at Berkeley that he discovered the wine country of Sonoma and Napa. The bucolic countryside, and the sights and smells of the wine cellars attracted Rick. He had absorbed much of the philosophies of the counterculture during his college days, and the craft of winemaking seemed to embody many of them. Not knowing anything about the business, Rick shelved his daydreams to the back of his consciousness in favor of plans to obtain a law degree. Rick decided to take a year off before entering law school, and traveled to South America. Rick traveled throughout Colombia and Ecuador for nearly five months. It was during this trip that he came to realize that his heart was not in law but rather the possibility of working in a winery. When he returned he sent dozens of inquiries to wineries looking for work. He got lucky and was hired as a rookie cellarman at one of his favorite wineries, the historic Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma.
It was here at Buena Vista that he met the famed winemaker, Andre Tchelistcheff, who was the consultant there. Andre saw the enthusiasm and motivation Rick had and took an interest in helping his career. Andre told Rick about the new Firestone winery he was consulting for in Santa Barbara County. Andre was very excited about the potential of this new wine region. Having spent part of his teen years in the area, Rick was intrigued about moving back and still staying in the wine business. After Andre told him that the Firestone winery was looking for a cellar foreman, Rick interviewed, received the job and moved to Los Olivos in May 1976.
Rick met his wife Diana at Firestone and they were married in 1977. Soon after he decided to seek a more responsible position in Northern California, and took the job of Cellarmaster at Chappellet Vineyards in the Napa Valley in 1978.  Though Rick enjoyed his time at Chappellet, the contrast in styles between Napa Valley and Santa Ynez Valley made Rick realize that he felt more at home in the less hectic, more down to earth Santa Ynez Valley. Rick found out about a position at a new small winery, J. Carey Cellars, was hired on the spot as the winemaker and moved back to the Valley in May 1979.
The portfolio at J. Carey Cellars consisted of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. By this time in the development of the wine regions in Santa Barbara County, it was becoming clear that the initial successes were coming from the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Rick was making neither of those at J. Carey Cellars, so in 1982 he decided to start his own brand to focus on just those two varietals.
In 1985, Rick became the winemaker for The Gainey Vineyard, a new state of the art winery located on the 3600 acre Gainey Ranch. Over the next twelve years Rick enjoyed much success in producing some of the best wines in the area and thereby establishing Gainey as one of the region's top wineries.
In 1997 Rick and Diana felt like it was time to devote their full energies to their small wine business, and both left their jobs to build their business into what it is today.
The holiday of passion, romance and love. We feel those three wonderful things can be enhanced with our 2010 Syrah Vino Dulce.
This glorious port-style wine is sweet with balanced acidity and a long lingering finish that will make your Valentine's Day even more memorable.
Our harvest intern and tasting room associate, Emily, baked us a rich flourless chocolate cake that is pure heaven with our Vino Dulce. Our whole staff heartily recommends it.
Other suggested pairings are Blue Castello cheese, dark chocolate and candlelight.
Retail Price: $23 Club Price: $19.55
Get your 2010 Syrah Vino Dulce

Monday, February 3, 2014

1/31-Larry Van Aalst guest hosts with Bill Smart & Scot Covington

Bill Smart - Director, Communications at Dry Creek Vineyard
Director of Communications at Dry Creek Vineyard, Bill was one of the judges at The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The largest competition of American wines held anywhere was recently held in Cloverdale California, the public tasting will be at Fort Mason in San Francisco Feb. 15.
Bill will be with us to talk about what it is like being involved with such a huge tasting, and also tell us about the big winners from Dry Creek Vineyard.

Living the dream in Sonoma County , Scot is the Winemaker at Trione Winery in the Alexander Valley. Known for their "only the best" approach to wine, Scot will be with us to talk about what it's like to win a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition