Friday, July 15, 2016



Hi-Time Wine Cellars is a family-owned retail store located in Costa Mesa, California. Founded by Fritz Hanson and his brother-in-law Jim McVay. Hi-Time opened its cellar doors in 1957  at its original location on 17th and Irvine in Costa Mesa, California. In 1984, the Hanson brothers moved to our present location in Costa Mesa where they built one of the largest underground temperature-controlled wine cellars in the U.S . This 3,000 square foot underground temperature-controlled cellar now includes a selection of 10,000+ wines from many different wineries from all around the world. This selection represents the world's finest growing regions from such diverse areas as California, Oregon, Washington, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Eastern Europe, South Africa, South America and Portugal.

The recently re-designed store now has a retail space of 24,000 square feet. We added many new and exotic labels to our selection. Along with our selection of rare wines you will also discover hard-to-find spirits, espcially in the Bourbon and Scotch aisles, and exotic liquors from all over the world. In addition, we offer a comprehensive selection of North American micro-brews along with some of the best beers the rest of the world creates. Our walk-in beer refrigerator offers over 1,200 different beers from 25+ different countries. Our walk-in tobacco humidor holds over 500 different cigar brands and sizes as well as a great selection of pipes and fine pipe tobaccos.  We also offer gourmet foods, specialty chocolates, cheeses and charcuterie.

We are proud to have been able to serve our customers for over half of a century. Our goal is to provide our customers with one of the largest selections of fine wines and rare spirits from all over the world, at competitive prices and without sacrificing the quality of our customer service. We are looking forward to serving you at our store location, over the phone or online.



Bob is our winemaker, but he is much more than that. He is our founder, patriarch and guiding light. His pursuit of winemaking began in the early 1970's when he and Cathy criss-crossed European vineyards to better understand the why and how of crafting fine wine. His philosophy is pretty simple: focus on what the vineyards have provided. Start with the highest quality fruit you can, treat it vigorously when necessary, gently most of the time, and stay out of its way but watch it closely. Allow the wines to develop slowly, and make sure they provide exceptional pleasure.

Bob holds the degree of Master of Wine (MW), a designation awarded by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London. With a pass rate of about 12% it's a grueling process that's well worth the effort. The Institute of Masters of Wine promotes excellence and achievement in the wine industry. Candidates for the MW are required to pass the most rigorous testing in the wine industry which includes written theory and tasting exams. A graduate thesis on a specific winemaking topic must also be completed: Bob's focus was on the interaction of wine and barrels during the maturation process. In completing the exams Bob was given two additional awards: the Villa Maria Award, for the highest scores on the viticultural exam, and the Robert Mondavi Award, for the highest overall scores in all theory exams.

Our goal is to produce compelling wines with individual character and intensity yet elegant.

Our winemaking starts in the vineyard: over the last 18 years we have partnered with a small collection of select growers in specific vineyards to source fruit to meet our quality and stylistic goals. In each vineyard we collaborate with our growers on specific varieties in specific geographical sites, each identified for its specific combination of soils, aspect, sunlight and temperatures.

Vintage after vintage we work with our growers on the best practices to yield the highest quality grapes we can for that given season. We share common goals, and a work ethic and meticulous attention to detail that satisfies us both. Whether its pruning, thinning, changing the canopy or varying the vine nutrition, we work side by side to get the best results. Harvest decisions are made by ripeness of fruit, sensory analysis and the weather. From year to year decisions are driven by both flavor and physical maturity. We are looking for the moment where the flavors and balance of the grape hits a maturity level that can support a healthy fermentation.

Once the best clusters are hand picked, pre-sorted and brought to the winery, there are numerous pre-crush analyses. Starting in the lab and finishing with a sensory and visual examination every bin is analyzed and recorded. Every lot of fruit receives this treatment, which becomes the driving force of our crush/fermentation decisions. Using up to date sorting equipment and a winemaker friendly cellar we are able to process our wine 100% by a gravity flow process. This not only reduces the risk of added seed tannin but in general is gentler on the wine.
From start to finish our fermentations are effective and efficient, paying close attention to phenolic (tannin) development and never forgetting that everything we do affects the final product. Our palate is our strongest tool!

Once our wines are ready for pressing we pull all of the free run wine and lightly press the skins. Not directed by computer programs or volume goals, our press decisions are guided by our palate. By constantly tasting the wine during the press cycle we start these young wines on a healthy pathway to the future.  Every drop of wine made here is matured only in French oak barrels. The tight grain, supple yet bold tannin notes that come from the forests of central France are the oak characteristics that compliment the fruits we receive from our vineyards.

From fermentation to barrel and finally to bottle our goal is to stay true to our ideologies. Our sanitation process, the usability of our winery, attention to detail and sensory analysis are a few of the tools we incorporate into our daily routine. Strict winemaking, cellar and lab practices drive our goals of making the best wine we can. The art and science of winemaking is a continuous learning adventure, again we look at the law of cause and effect. We make our decisions based on the science of the lab and the outcomes of what has proven effective. The true balance of winemaking is achieved when science and art collide creating a bottle of wine well worth drinking.



The best Pinot event of the year is back, and it's bigger and better than ever! Hosted by WineLA, STARS of Pinot 2016 will be held at the luxurious Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This "STAR"-studded event will feature over 200 Pinot wines created by 60 of the world's top producers. All guests will enjoy unlimited wine tasting, tray passed hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction benefitting the T.J Martell Charity and an assortment of breads, cheeses, and chocolate. VIP guests are invited to attend our VIP Pinot Panels with Discussions & Tastings, enjoy a delicious VIP Buffet, and receive a VIP Gift Bag packed with fabulous items to take home.

JULY 20, 2016
SOFITEL LA at Beverly Hills
8555 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Trade: 12PM-3PM
Gold: 7PM
Silver: 7:30PM
Event ends at 9:30PM

Beekeeper Cellars is the vision of best friends and co-winemakers Ian Blackburn and Clay Mauritson. The two collaborated after adventurous individual careers in the wine business, and at last, decided to work together on a project of their own.

Clay, a 7th generation grape grower, and his family found themselves the owners of a significant slice of the Rockpile Appellation, through an amazing set of historical land transactions. The Mauritson family realized the potential and parented the creation of the ROCKPILE AVA. In 1998, Ian and Clay climbed the hill and watched the Madrone Spring Vineyard get planted, while discussing the future of Rockpile and the dream it represented.

In 2008, Clay saw the fruits of his family's labor taking shape and came to Ian with a unique opportunity to source some of the Rockpile fruit. He told Ian in the difficult days of 2008, “now is the time to get in and build the business and have it take shape as the market improves, and to not wait until business is strong as you will have a hard time getting access to the right quality assets.” Ian took heed of Clay’s wise comment and said "When your best friend is Clay Mauritson and he offers Rockpile fruit and to assist with winemaking…... you make Zinfandel.”

In Los Angeles, Ian operates a specialty wine marketing organization known as wineLA and has pioneered wine education for the past 20 years (since 1995) through and  Beekeeper Cellars is also involved in Ian’s Masters of Wine Thesis project and provides him the winemaking training he requires to help pass the difficult Masters of Wine ongoing pursuit.

Ian drinks wine for a living and plans 50¬‐100 public and private events a year. Ian stays busy buying collectible wines for high profile clients, planning luxury wine  trips  for  his  audience,  hosting  corporate  events,  and  studying  for  his  Master of Wine. Since  1995,  LearnAboutWine  has  done  the  hard  work  of  building  a  better  culture for fine wine, opening the doors for more quality products to enter the  marketplace  and  has  taught  over  800,000  students.    With  a  reach  of  over 80,000  current  subscribers  and  followers,  LearnAboutWine  now  focuses  on  the  best  quality  events and classes, and wine credential programs which have graduated over 1000 wine students in the last 9 years with a Junior Wine Executive credential (JWE).  


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