Monday, August 14, 2017

08/14 JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET, RAYMOND VINEYARDS, MIKE REYNOLDS, WALT WINES

JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET - PROPRIETOR, RAYMOND VINEYARDS

RAYMOND VINEYARDS PURCHASES THE 55-ACRE  BARTOLUCCI-STICE VINEYARD IN ST. HELENA

Raymond Vineyards, and Boisset Collection, have purchased the 55-acre Bartolucci Vineyard off of Stice Lane in St. Helena. The vineyard is adjacent to Raymond’s existing Stice Vineyard, and has 47 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Following the philosophy of all of Boisset’s estate vineyards, the Bartolucci vineyard will be converted to certified Napa Green, certified organic and certified Biodynamic®   farming. The addition of another estate vineyard in St. Helena, in the heart of the upper Napa Valley near the Raymond winery, shows Boisset’s ongoing, long-term commitment to the region. The addition of the Bartolucci-Stice Vineyard follows the 2015 purchase of the Ticen Ranch on Highway 29, with 25 acres of Rutherford vineyards. Raymond Vineyards now comprises 380 acres in Napa Valley.

“We believe in Napa Valley, and we believe in the importance of a long-term vision of making fine wines with a deep commitment and respect to the most prestigious and high-quality terroir,” said Raymond Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset. “The addition of this phenomenal site in St. Helena from a great Napa family strengthens Raymond and ensures continuity and respect of the Bartolucci’s family legacy.”

The Bartoluccis are a multi-generational Napa Valley farming family that sought another owner to steward their vineyards for generations to come. They found in Boisset a like-minded commitment to family farming that will respect and enhance the quality of the site. The Bartolucci family has been farming in Napa Valley for four generations, starting in the 1920s, while Raymond celebrates a five generation family legacy of winemaking dating to the earliest foundations of the Napa Valley. The Bartolucci-Stice vineyard was originally planted in 1976, just two years after the first harvest of Raymond Vineyards in 1974.

With this year’s release of its 2014 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Raymond is celebrating 40 years of winemaking in Napa Valley since its first vintage in 1974. “We believe that Raymond, today, is characterizing a new style of Napa Valley wine with elegance, finesse, charisma, eloquence and power,” said Boisset.

Since purchasing Raymond in 2009, Boisset has infused the winery with energy, innovation, passion and dynamism while respecting and celebrating its family heritage, and deepening the winery’s commitment to Napa Valley vineyards and farming. Raymond Winemaker Stephanie Putnam, along with Consulting Winemaker Philippe Melka, makes Cabernet Sauvignon from 13 of Napa’s 16 sub-AVAs in order to highlight and express the incredible diversity of the valley and the winery’s dedication to terroir. Under Boisset’s vision, Raymond has been named Sunset magazine’s “Best Tasting Room – Experience Beyond Tasting” in 2011; the 2012 American Winery of the Year and the 2016 Wine and Culture Wine Star by Wine Enthusiast ; the “Best Unique Tasting Experience” by CellarPass; "Best of the Bay – Best Wine Tasting Room, Napa" by the North Bay Bohemian; and named to Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2013 for its Generations Cabernet Sauvignon.

ABOUT RAYMOND VINEYARDS 
Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, comprises a 380-acre estate in Rutherford, St. Helena and Jameson Canyon. Five generations of the Raymond family created a Napa icon, with an enduring reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, power and complexity. Today, guided by the vision of Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset, Raymond Vineyards is one of the wine world’s most dynamic winery destinations. Highly-ranked wines are crafted by Winemaker Stephanie Putnam and Consulting Winemaker Phillipe Melka from Raymond’s certified organic and Biodynamic® estate vineyards and select long-term vineyard partners. The winery’s guest experiences unite education, passion and entertainment, offering diverse opportunities to explore wine. The solar-powered winery is certified by CCOF, Demeter Biodynamic, Napa Green, Fish Friendly Farming and California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

ABOUT BOISSET COLLECTION 
Boisset is a family-owned collection of historic and unique wineries bound together by a common cause: authentic, terroir-driven wines in harmony with their history, their future and the land and people essential to their existence. With more than twenty-five historical and prestigious wineries in the world’s preeminent terroirs, including the Côte d’Or, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, California’s Russian River Valley and the Napa Valley, each house retains its unique history, identity, and style, and all are united in the pursuit of fine wines expressive of their terroir.

WWW.RAYMONDVINEYARDS.COM
WWW.BOISSETCOLLECTION.COM


MIKE REYNOLDS - PRESIDENT, WALT WINES

WHO WE ARE: 1,000 MILES OF PINOT
Owned by Vintners Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall, WALT has a passion for producing wines of a place – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific Coast’s most distinctive vineyard sites. Spanning over 1,000 miles, the WALT portfolio of vineyards includes the Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley, Los Carneros, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Willamette Valley appellations.

Our winemaking philosophy deliberately approaches the vineyard as the priority in making these varieties. As stewards of the grapes, our winemakers work hard to firmly but delicately extract flavors and characteristics so that our wines naturally and honestly express the character of the sites where they are grown. Since the inaugural 2010 vintage, WALT is renowned for its consistency and believes strongly in the timeless qualities of balance and bold, flavorful wines. WALT is a part of the HALL Wines family in Napa Valley, one of the leading luxury wine brands in the world.

WINES
The current WALT portfolio of wines includes 12 Pinot Noirs, 3 Chardonnays, and 1 Rosé of Pinot Noir sourced from premier vineyards along the Pacific Coast representing 1,000 miles of Pinot. We seek locations in cool climates with low-vigor, hillside vineyards that produce bold, elegant, opulent, supple and silky wines. Our wines come from both Estate Vineyards (approx. 140 acres) and 17 unique vineyard partners. Each partner possesses an optimal site, infrastructure and a true passion for quality. We have enormous respect for our extended family of winegrowers.

WWW.WALTWINES.COM

Monday, August 7, 2017

08/07 SCOTT RICH - WINEMAKER, MORAGA VINEYARDS - LA'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS BORDEAUX STYLE WINE, RUSS JOY, STE MICHELLE WINE ESTATES, SONOMA WINE COUNTRY WEEKEND, SONOMA COUNTY WINE AUCTION

SCOTT RICH - WINEMAKER, MORAGA VINEYARDS - LA'S MOST PRESTIGIOUS BORDEAUX STYLE WINE

Moraga Vineyards is a wine growing estate in the Santa Monica Mountains at an elevation of 600 to 900 feet, five miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Los Angeles community of Bel Air. From the care of each individual vine, to the selection and blending processes, to the hand labeling of each bottle, every effort is taken to produce wine of distinctive style and quality.

OUR STORY
Grapes are not foreign to this canyon land. The overland expedition of Don Caspar de Portola, which established the route of the California missions (El Camino Real), passed by Moraga Canyon in August of 1769. In his diary, expedition member Father Juan Crespi mentions a “profusion of wild grapes and Castilian roses in full bloom” in the canyon. Wild roses still exist on the property and are represented on the four corners of the Moraga wine label.

OUR WINES
Our focus is to create the highest quality wine while preserving the essence of place. With the experience of each vintage, we have been able to improve our understanding of the ripening patterns of the vineyards. We selectively pick from vines that have come to full maturity on the basis of taste. Ultimately, it is all about flavor and tannin development.

MORAGAVINEYARDS.COM


RUSS JOY CURRENTLY SERVES AS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS BOARD AND IS A 4TH GENERATION GRAPE GROWER.

TASTE OF SONOMA :
LABOR DAY WEEKEND  |  SEPTEMBER 2, 2017
DONALD AND MAUREEN GREEN MUSIC CENTER AT SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

Nestled in the picturesque foothills of Sonoma County’s esteemed wine country, the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center at Sonoma State University offers an exciting new location for an event where Sonoma County’s top winemakers, growers and chefs come together to celebrate the region’s finest wine and food.

At Taste of Sonoma at Green Music Center at Sonoma State University you’ll taste your way through a microcosm of Sonoma County’s most incredible flavors. Over 200 wineries pour literally thousands of wines. Over 60 local chefs concoct their most perfect pairings. All set within the backdrop of musical inspiration.

Plus, you’re invited to experience seminars and demonstrations that cover a wide range of topics from terroir to technique, as well as chef’s tips and tricks. Taste of Sonoma is THE wine and food event of the year, and it promises a weekend filled with fabulous wine, food and fun. Club Reserve ticket holders also receive exclusive VIP access to the entire event from 11 AM to noon on Saturday, September 2nd prior to the general admission entrance opening at 12 PM.

SONOMAWINECOUNTRYWEEKEND.COM
SONOMACOUNTYWINEAUCTION.COM

Monday, July 31, 2017

7/31 STEVEN URBERG, WINDVANE, FREIXENET USA, BILL PHELPS, JOSEPH PHELPS VINEYARDS

STEVEN URBERG - WINEMAKER, WINDVANE 

WindVane was created as an homage to the wind that contributes to the unique character of Carneros wines. After working in the same vineyards for years, our winemaker Steven Urberg was intrigued by some of the windiest vineyard blocks in the estate. The wines coming from these wind-blown vines are concentrated with great depth of fruit and a generous mouthfeel. WindVane is selected from the very best parcels throughout our 335 acres of estate vineyards in the Carneros region of Northern California. Our unique property has an East facing exposure with a mountain range directly alongside the West side of the vineyards. The mountains provide altitude, shallow rocky soils, shade from the intense afternoon sun and they also serve to funnel the intense Pacific Coast breezes directly onto the vineyards. We select vines from the steepest, rockiest areas of the vineyards where the soils are very thin and the vines are challenged throughout the growing season. They face the natural elements of a cooler marine layer in the mornings and afternoons, and intense wind which results in small crops of very slow ripening fruit that produces intense character.

ABOUT  STEVEN URBERG - WINEMAKER
Steven Urberg’s finely tuned sense of focus, passion for detail, and strong science background are indispensable in crafting Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines. As a young man from Detroit, who came to California by way of U.C. Berkeley for graduate school in chemistry, Steven discovered that winemaking provides a way in which to use his innate technical ability in creating wine as an art.  His journey into winemaking began in 1995, when he decided to take a break from chemistry. He was offered a job at the Hess Collection, working in the cellar, and he never looked back. “The excitement of that first harvest at the Hess Collection inspired me to take a left turn from the path of chemistry research, return to graduate school at U.C. Davis, and pursue my new passion of winemaking,” says Urberg.  With his tremendous ability for hard work and focus, Steven Urberg integrates his scientific background with inspired artistry in crafting elegant and balanced Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines.. The diverse array of clones planted on the Gloria Ferrer estate vineyards, married with the Carneros terroir, result in a palate of flavors that is a dream come true to a scientist with an artistic bent. Clearly, Steven has the discipline and talent required to create the Gloria Ferrer wines that are true expressions of the Carneros region — sparkling and estate varietal wines — vintage to vintage.

WWW.WINDVANEWINES.COM 


BILL PHELPS - EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, JOSEPH PHELPS VINEYARDS 

Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch nearSt. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varieties, Insignia, first produced in 1974.

ABOUT BILL PHELPS - EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND PART OF THE FAMILY’S SECOND GENERATION
Bill Phelps was named Executive Chairman of Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 2016 having servedas President of the winerysince 2008. In his current role Bill’s primary responsibility is to ensure long-term family ownership and operation of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, and to overseestrategic planningfor the winery and vineyard operations in both Napa Valley and the western Sonoma Coast.

Bill moved to Napa Valley in 1998 after a successful 20-year careerin law, primarily in the investment banking industry. In so doing, he became the first member of Phelps’ second generation to have an active role atthe winery on a long-term basis. He worked closely with his father, Joe Phelps, gradually taking on responsibility for the winery’s day-to-day operationsuntil his appointment as President in 2008. Billwasinstrumental in moving the wineryto an entirely estate-grown wine producer, a significant shift in strategy that was fully implemented by the harvestof2009. He was also involved in identifying and acquiring Phelps’ vineyard properties in Freestone on the western Sonoma Coast, and helped to oversee the construction of the winery there as well as the development of the wines.

Bill’s first role at Joseph Phelps Vineyards dates back to 1974 when he worked on the construction crew that built Phelps’ Napa Valley winery. He was on a summer break from college, and he remembers his father, Joe, driving him around Napa Valley and pointing outthelandmarks. “He sensed Napa Valley was going to be an important place for wine.”Today, as Executive Chairman, Bill is most concerned with preserving the legacy of Joseph Phelps Vineyards as a family-owned and operated winery. “Everything wedo is oriented to that goal.”

Bill is a past board member of the Land Trust of Napa County and the Community Foundation of the Napa Valley. He currently serves on the board of the Wine Service Co-Operative and is President of the St. Helena Choral Society.He is a graduate of Colorado College and the University of California’s Hastings College of Law.He and his wife, Andrea, live in St. Helena.

WWW.JOSEPHPHELPS.COM