Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2/24-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen talk with Chris Silva

Chris Silva - President & CEO, St Francis Winery
A fifth-generation Sonoma County native, Christopher Silva is firmly rooted in Sonoma County agriculture. He was raised in a family of Petaluma dairy farmers, and nine years after graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, he retired from practicing law to join St. Francis Winery. At the age of 38, he became President & CEO of St. Francis in 2003. He understands firsthand that a farmer’s footprint and intimate knowledge of the soil, microclimates and terroir of the region are the most important ingredients for healthy vines.
As President & CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Chris has a specific focus: crafting world class Sonoma wine. St. Francis is best known for rich, complex Sonoma County Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and “Old Vines” Zinfandel. Widely awarded as a quality leader, St. Francis is committed to being the premier producer of handcrafted Sonoma wines in each of its categories.
Under Chris’ leadership, St. Francis has also been recognized for its many green practices. A 457-kilowatt Solar Energy System, installed in 2004, provides up to 40% of the Winery’s energy from the sun. St. Francis has taken aggressive steps in water and creek conservation, recycling, eco-friendly packaging, and created an on-site sustainable vegetable garden to support its culinary programs. St. Francis is Certified Sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. 
Committed to mentorship and community involvement, Chris served on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sonoma County and is now on the Dean’s National Advisory Board of the UNLV Harrah College of Hotel Administration. In 2011 he was honored by UNLV as the “Food & Beverage Industry Executive of the Year” and was named “2011 Healthy Business Leader” by the Northern California Center for Well Being in recognition of his workforce wellness initiatives at St. Francis. In recent years, North Bay Business Journal has repeatedly named St. Francis Winery & Vineyards one of the "Best Places to Work" in Northern California.
Chris was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for 2011. His son Joseph and daughter Sydney are sixth-generation Sonoma County natives and attend local public school, where Chris served on their School District Foundation Board. He has taught college classes in legal research and legal writing, and lectures nationally regarding wine, law, and business. Chris' life story and approach to running a business have been featured in The New York Times, Luxist, AOL Daily Finance, and Corporate Wellness Magazine.
“Our time at St. Francis will not be measured in years. It will be measured by the contributions each one of us makes—as individuals—to constantly improving the quality of our grapes and our wines. ‘Good enough’ is contrary to our mission.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2/17-Mike Horn & Nicole Nielsen visit with Jean Charles Boisset

Jean Charles Boisset - Boisset Family Estates
Jean-Charles Boisset was born into the world of wine in the village of
Vougeot, Burgundy, France. His lifelong passion for wine began as a child, growing up above the cellars and within view of the centuries-old vineyards of Ch√Ęteau du Clos Vougeot, the epicenter and birthplace of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. His parents, Jean-Claude and Claudine, founded the family winery in 1961 with an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in one of the most traditional winegrowing regions in the world. Today, the family collection includes wineries that share more than 18 centuries of combined winemaking heritage and tradition in some of the world's most prestigious terroirs, from Burgundy to the South of France to California's Napa Valley and Russian River Valley.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2/10-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen visit with Ray Signorello Jr. and Larry Van Aalst

Ray Signorello Jr. - Proprietor, Signorello Estate
Ray Signorello Jr. began his journey as winemaker and vineyard owner in the Napa Valley during the mid 1980′s. Ray, born in San Francisco, California, moved to Vancouver, Canada where the Signorello family continues to maintain a home. Ray divides his time between Napa, San Francisco, Vancouver and business related travel. Ray’s father, Ray Sr., initiated the vineyard project during the mid 1970′s by purchasing the 100-acre estate located on the Silverado Trail in the beautiful Napa Valley. Ray Sr. worked side by side with Ray Jr., establishing the winery’s reputation for excellence until his passing in the fall of 1998.
No Turning Back
Signorellos’ original plan was to grow quality grapes to sell to existing wineries, but the harvest of 1985 changed this plan into a new level of evolvement. The bountiful crop allowed Signorellos to custom crush the excess grapes. This opportunity demonstrated what fabulous wine their vineyards were capable of producing. The project continues to grow, as do the spectacular 42 acres planted in several different varietals. Ray’s continuing effort represents the invested energies that created this reality from a dream.
In 1986 the Signorellos began the second phase of the venture, this was the building of the main winery structure. This beautiful building is used for barrel storage, wine tasting and retail sales. Along with the building of the winery, wine production was expanded to include Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. By the end of the 1980′s the Signorello family was thoroughly committed to making wine as well as growing grapes.
The decade of the nineties proved to be pivotal for Signorello Estate. In 1990 the first planting of red varietals began on the property- Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah.
What brought the Signorellos to the Napa Valley was the romantic side of winemaking; growing grapes, working the land, and enjoying the wine country lifestyle of camaraderie, good wine and great meals. While the Valley lifestyle is a very real part of the business, there is a serious responsibility to making a dream become a reality, both father and son realized this fact early in the endeavor.
This venture was a dream; now it is reality. We have enjoyed every moment of it, and we look forward to continuing on to make quality wines from the Napa Valley!




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.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2/3-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen talk with April Dewinter & Lynn Quintanilla

April Dewinter & Lynn Quintanilla - Somerdale Cheese
Somerdale International was founded in 1990 by business partners, Stephen Jones and Ernie Waldron. Since then the company has grown and we now export to over 50 countries around the World, supplying over 250 cheeses. For over twenty years, both Ernie and Stephen have searched the British countryside to bring you the very best of British Cheese. –
Based in the Somerset town of Taunton, Somerdale is one of Britain's leading exporters of British cheese and dairy products. The company represents dairies throughout the UK and exports a vast range of quality cheeses from some of the largest Cheddar makers down to small, traditional farmstead dairies.


Regular shipments of British cheese and dairy products are made to all corners of the globe, by road, sea and air.

**IN STUDIO WITH SAMPLES**