Peter Dills readily admits to being born into a world of food. The son of noted restaurant critic Elmer Dills, Peter and his family moved to Pasadena in 1970 from the “Crab Capitol of the World,” Baltimore.
As far back as he can remember Peter was following his father from restaurant to restaurant, always tasting, always learning about food and always discovering new and exciting foods.
As his food adventure comes full circle, he now stars on KABC radio and TV with the popular Food and Travel show, "Dining with Dills", named after his father.
Listen to Peter SUNDAYS at 5pm on KABC 790AM Talk Radio. You can watch “Dining with Dills” TV show in Southern California on the Charter channel 101 Saturday and Sunday at 7pm. Daily reviews are on the PBS OC Channel and HLN.
“We all have to eat and most of us eat out fairly often. So, why not eat well? I feel that it’s my job to tell diners about some of the places where they can indeed eat well. Visit my site often and give me your feedback on the different foods, wines, and locations I review.”
Since 1988, founder and winemaker James Hall has guided the Patz & Hall winemaking program, instilling it with his own boldness, imagination and trademark perfectionism. Combining a belief in great viticulture, traditional winemaking practices, and the judicious use of innovative techniques, James has earned a reputation for crafting dramatic benchmark Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that balance vibrant power with vineyard-inspired depth and sophistication.
The son of an English professor, who was also a wine enthusiast, James developed an early appreciation for fine wine during travels with his family to Europe in the late 1960s. While studying liberal arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz, James met Anne Moses, and together the two began exploring their shared interest in wine. Though not part of his curriculum, James started studying winemaking textbooks in his spare time. Inspired, he transferred to the University of California, Davis, to study viticulture and enology. Eager to experience the hands-on work of winemaking, James took his first winery job at Felton-Empire in 1981, where he was able to learn from renowned winemakers Leo McCloskey and Patrick Mahaney. “Leo was the scientist, obsessed with unraveling the mysteries of wine, Pat was the craftsman, meticulously working with the raw materials. It was a remarkable experience learning these complementary approaches.”
In 1983, James joined Napa Valley’s Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards as assistant winemaker. There, he spent four years developing his expertise crafting barrel-fermented, small-lot Chardonnays. While at Flora Springs, James struck up a close friendship with sales manager Donald Patz, and the two soon discovered that they shared a similar philosophical approach to wine and winemaking. In the spring of 1988, while working as the winemaker and estate manager for Honig Winery, James teamed up with Donald and Heather Patz, and Anne Moses to make and release Patz & Hall’s inaugural Napa Valley Chardonnay.
As Patz & Hall’s winemaker for over a quarter century, James has built lasting relationships with such renowned growers as Larry Hyde, Charlie and Bud Chenoweth, Gary Pisoni and Lee Martinelli to create an acclaimed portfolio of single-vineyard wines. At the same time, he has designed and implemented cutting-edge equipment and procedures, including a custom punch-over device, in an effort to constantly enhance quality. A master of his craft, and a widely respected veteran winemaker, James is regularly asked to speak about artisan winemaking.
NEW SONOMA HOUSE AT PATZ & HALL IS UNVEILED
Located in the heart of Sonoma wine country, the Sonoma House at Patz & Hall features enhanced visitor amenities and a 12-acre estate vineyard.
Patz & Hall is happy to announce the opening of its new Sonoma House at Patz & Hall at 21200 8th Street East, just a few miles south of the Sonoma town square. Located near the Highway 12 corridor, against a backdrop of vineyards and mountains, the Sonoma House features a luxurious new Tasting Salon. Guests at the Tasting Salon are welcomed for private, by-appointment seated tastings of Patz & Hall’s acclaimed vineyard-designate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, paired with gourmet savory panna cotta food complements. The new location also includes a drop-in tasting bar, a member-exclusive Reserve Room and an expansive patio surrounded by 12 acres of estate vineyards newly planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Sonoma House Salon welcomes guests for by-appointment tastings Thursday through Monday at 10:30 am, 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm. These seated, private tastings include six Chardonnay and Pinot Noir single-vineyard-designate wines, paired with a seasonally inspired selection of four savory panna cottas catered by Chef Natalie Niksa of La Saison. The winter 2014 lineup of panna cottas includes lemongrass with Dungeness crab, ham and egg with mustard, truffles and milk, and candy cap and beech mushroom. The Salon experience is $50 per person and lasts approximately 60 minutes.
The Sonoma House also offers seated, by-appointment tastings at its stylish tasting bar, Wednesday through Sunday. These tastings begin on the hour starting at 10 a.m. with the last tasting at 4 p.m. The tasting bar experience features four Patz & Hall wines served in an intimate group setting at the 12-seat marble bar, at a cost of $25 per person. Tasting bar guests may also purchase cheese plates exclusively featuring artisan Sonoma County cheeses, as well as select prepared specialty items from the Sonoma House shop. Drop-in tasting bar guests are accommodated if space is available.
The Patz & Hall team has been chronicling the construction of the Sonoma House since August 2013 atsonomahouseblog.com.
ABOUT PATZ & HALL
Founded in 1988, Patz & Hall combines the collective expertise of Donald Patz, Anne Moses, Heather Patz and James Hall. Together, this team has turned a desire to craft benchmark, single-vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs into one of California’s most respected artisan wineries. By cultivating personal relationships with a handful of California’s finest winegrowers, Patz & Hall has created an acclaimed portfolio of wines highlighting the terroir-inspired character of top vineyards in the Sonoma Coast, Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, Mendocino County and Santa Lucia Highlands appellations.