Monday, June 19, 2017

06/19 STEVE CASS, CASS VINEYARD AND WINERY, SEAN D. PITTS, HAPPY CANYON VINEYARD

STEVE CASS - OWNER, CASS VINEYARD AND WINERY

THE CASS STORY
In 1999, Steve Cass retired from his career of twenty years at Charles Schwab.   Forty-eight at the time, Steve had planned a sailing trip around the world with his wife Alice in order to give some thought as to what to do with their retirement years. After a few weeks on a boat with Steve in the Mediterranean on a stormy test sailing trip, Alice informed Steve that there was no way she was going to participate in this trip!

Thinking about what to do now, Steve knew he wanted to move out of the San Francisco Bay Area. He had visited Paso Robles a few years before and really liked the area and also subsequently heard it was quite the burgeoning wine country.  A great place to start a vineyard.  He then took on an exploratory trip to find a potential home and vineyard site.  He was with a real estate agent and Paso Robles pioneer grape grower Jim Smoot when they came upon the then pastureland of Cass Vineyard.  A year later in 2000 the 145 acre Cass Vineyard was established with twelve varieties to be planted. The barn to house all the farming equipment was built at roughly the same time.

In 2002, the man that built the new Cass residence and barn, Ted Plemons, and Steve Cass took a golfing/wine-tasting trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa to celebrate the completion of the residence and the establishment of the vineyard. During this trip they fell in love with the South African wine style and the ambiance of the tasting rooms there.

One night during this trip they sat down for dinner at a fancy South African restaurant and were amazed to see how inexpensive their bill was due to the value of the South African rand being so low. So, they ordered another bottle of wine, or two… During the consumption of these Syrahs Steve and Ted agreed to become business partners in starting a winery. Ted is a builder and knew how tough building permits could be to come by in regards to starting a tasting room. He had seen multiple year waiting periods with some Santa Ynez wineries at the time. So they decided to jump at the opportunity because at the time building permits for wineries in Paso Robles were relatively easy to come by.

The next day, they took a trip to the local University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, and put up a job wanted sign for an assistant winemaker.  After a short interview process, Cass found winemaker Lood Kotze who ended up being head winemaker at Cass up until 2014.  Once the vineyard began to bear fruit in 2003, the first vintage began. Two years later when the barn was finished being converted into a tasting room and the reds had aged a few years in the barrel, the Cass Winery tasting room opened its doors in May 2005.

WWW.CASSWINES.COM


SEAN D. PITTS EXECUTIVE WINEMAKER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAPPY CANYON VINEYARD


OUR FAMILY
Happy Canyon Vineyard is a family owned and operated estate vineyard and boutique winery on the central coast of California that has gained esteem with our award winning Bordeaux varietal wines. Our vineyard is nestled into the undulating hills of the beautiful Piocho Ranch at the eastern most edge of the Santa Ynez Valley. The ranch and vineyard is where we, the Barrack family, call home. We have taken great pride over the years in being stewards of the land and created wines that are unique to the beauty, richness, and heritage of the “terroir”. On our ranch we have two regulation sized Polo fields and many powerful Polo ponies where we blend our commitment to excellence in wine with a passion for Polo.

SEAN D. PITTS
As Executive Winemaker and Managing Director of Happy Canyon Vineyard, Sean Pitts is responsible for all operations of the vineyard and winery including overseeing winemaking, partner contracts and personnel management. Sean oversees the sales and marketing programs, distribution, financial management, wine tasting room and day to day functions. Sean is responsible for inventory control, as well as meeting financial and strategic goals of the winery. Sean currently holds all fiscal management duties, including financial analysis; budget creation, forecasting, managing labor cost and P&L oversight. As part of the Happy Canyon Vineyard family, Sean ensures ongoing performance of the business by facilitating decisions on strategy, long and short term objectives, determining wine styles, managing vineyards and bulk wine production.

Sean holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Prior to working for Happy Canyon Vineyard Sean worked for over 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry working for companies such as Amgen, Genentech and Novartis

VINEYARD
Happy Canyon Vineyard is nestled into the undulating hills of the beautiful Piocho Ranch, home to the Barrack family. The Barracks have taken great pride over the years in being stewards of the land and have created something that is unique to the beauty and richness of the place. Piocho, is a Native American Indian word meaning “where the two rivers meet and go to heaven”. The ranch is also home to the “Piocho” polo team.

There are the two top wines called Brand and Ten–Goal and two companion wines; PIOCHO is the champion wine which is a classic Bordeaux style. There is also a nouveau styled Bordeaux blend released each Easter (perfect with Spring Lamb) called CHUKKER.

The Cabernet Sauvignon Block 8 is a truly special vineyard; head trained vines planted to the steep hillside adjacent to the road. No tractor works here as the terrain has been untouched by machine.

WWW.HAPPYCANYONVINEYARD.COM

Monday, June 12, 2017

06/12 IAN BLACKBURN, WINE LA, BEEKEEPER CELLARS, LARRY SCHAFFER, TERCERO WINES

IAN BLACKBURN – OWNER/FOUNDER, WINE LA & FOUNDER/CO-WINEMAKER, BEEKEEPER CELLARS

ABOUT WINELA
wineLA is about enhancing the wine culture of Los Angeles. To do so, wine must be in rhythm with fashion, music, food and other beverages.  It must take advantage of the geography, the architecture and the centers of interest. Los Angeles is a giant playground with an amazing array of venues, spaces, wine bars, restaurants, beaches, roof tops, gardens, and magical views. We want to be a part of the LA lifestyle, the wine lifestyle, and celebrate the people, the place and the passion.

wineLA will promote significant events, occasional classes, and tastings of merit. This is phase two of what we started 20 years ago at LearnAboutWine.com - America’s first wine education website and first in wine event creation. LearnAboutWine will now evolve onto a digital platform; the transformation will take some time; so we will slowly rebrand our event efforts onto wineLA, reduce the number of activities we focus on, and elevate our efforts to focus on the next big thing… Doing what is best for the wine industry and the communities we serve.  Edicts:  innovate, evolve and excite.

We thank you for joining our newsletter, we will be sending fewer emails and packing them with amazing content. We want to be your wine content provider and would love to hear about your favorite places, your music, your locations - we want to be under the influence of what ignites your passion for Los Angeles.

ABOUT IAN BLACKBURN, CSW, JWE ‐ LEARNABOUTWINE & WINELA PROFESSIONAL SOMMELIER
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).

ABOUT BEEKEEPER CELLARS
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 www.learnaboutwine.com and www.wineLA.com.  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 exam...an ongoing pursuit.

WWW.WINELA.COM
WWW.BEEKEEPERCELLARS.COM


LARRY SCHAFFER FROM TERCERO WINES

ABOUT TERCERO:
The idea for tercero wines surfaced a number of years back. Larry Schaffer had been in the educational and trade publishing industry for a number of years and had achieved all he had set out to do. It was time for a change . . . . but to what? Larry’s dreams of becoming a professional volleyball player were never going to happen, so he looked towards something he had always been interested in but never understood completely – winemaking. One thing that really interested him was the ‘why’ involved – how in the heck do you start with a grape and end up with this wine? Or that one? He needed to know more – and he needed to challenge his brain.

Fast forward four years . . . and Larry begins his new career in earnest as the Enologist for Fess Parker Winery, a well-respected winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Why Santa Barbara County? The winemaking community is willing and wanting to help each other, but more importantly, it is simply an incredible place to raise children!

Fast forward another year, and Larry is ready to ‘take the plunge’ and start buying grapes to make his own wines! It’s scary and challenging at the same time – no matter how much you read about it or do it for others, it’s quite different when it’s ‘your own baby’ . . . But it’s also a way for Larry to ‘marry’ his past with his present – to use his sales/marketing skills along with his technical winemaking skills to see what he can produce . . .

WWW.TERCEROWINES.COM

Monday, June 5, 2017

06/05 SOMMELIER HOWARD PRICE, CARY GOTT, CALLA LILY VINEYARDS & WINERY

SOMMELIER HOWARD PRICE 

Howard Price joins the show to chat wine trends and his most recent and upcoming food and wine experiences.


CARY GOTT – CHIEF WINEMAKER, CALLA LILY VINEYARDS & WINERY (NAPA VALLEY)

Calla Lily Vineyards & Winery 
6307 Pope Valley Road, Pope Valley CA 94567

In 2013 Anthony Fung and Andy Chui, Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs, came to ‘winemaker extraordinaire’ Cary Gott for his help in finding a vineyard-winery to buy in the Napa Valley. They subsequently acquired the former Budge Brown Winery in Pope Valley. The winery was built in 2010 and is a handsome example of a fully equipped and modern Napa Valley winery. Today this spot is the home for Calla Lily Estate & Winery, a line of wines which Messrs. Fung and Chui market in Asia.

CALLA LILY: 
Messrs. Anthony Fung and Andy Chui are creating an elegant portfolio of wines around the imagery of the calla lily, a flower of enormous beauty and refinement—attributes which the winery’s wines will strive to express. They chose the calla lily as the symbol for their project: in China calla lilies are considered to be the quintessential flower of elegance, beauty and purity, and are the flower of choice to send when you are in love. The winery proudly displays a scroll of a calla lily created by a calligrapher in Changli, in the Hebei province of China, created as a gift for the winery.

THE VINEYARD: 
The 95 acre Calla Lily estate vineyard sits in the heart of Pope Valley, on the eastern hillside of Napa County. The first vines were planted in 1995. The estate vineyard consists of 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 acres of Petite Sirah and 1 acre each of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. The gently contoured vineyard slopes provide ideal conditions for the grapes. The contours also serve as natural protection for frost in winter and extreme heat in summer. The soils predominantly belong to the Bressa-Dibble complex—well-drained, composed of fine-grained sandstone and shale.

There are two natural reservoirs, a graceful garden and a number of historic buildings which give the property a unique personality.

ABOUT CARY GOTT – CHIEF WINEMAKER
Cary is a fourth generation winemaker with over 40 years of experience in making world class wines in the Napa Valley. He has created and managed multiple ultra-premium vineyards; he was the Senior Vice President of Seagram Classics, the President of Sterling Vineyards and the Winemaster of Mumm Napa Valley.

CALLALILYWINES.COM 
CARYGOTT.COM

Monday, May 22, 2017

05/22 LARRY HYDE, HYDE VINEYARDS, WHISKEY EXPERT DEBBIE SHOCAIR AKA ‘THE WHISKEY MISTRESS’

LARRY HYDE - HYDE VINEYARDS

Before Hyde Vineyards, Larry studied law at UC Berkeley and then chemistry at UC Davis before finding his passion in wine. Gaining work experience at great vineyards like Gallo, Ridge Vineyards, Cuvaison, Stag’s Leap, Robert Mondavi Winery and Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Larry went on to purchase Hyde Vineyards with the help of his father, Richard Sr. and brought along with him his extensive knowledge of wine making and viticulture to Hyde Vineyards at a time when the wine industry in California was transcending into the world-class wine region it is today.

In 1980, one year after Larry purchased Hyde Vineyards, Larry met his wife, Beta, in Burgundy, where they had been working harvest in Aubert and Pamela DeVillaine’s estate vineyards. Beta, originally from Poland, came to California a few years later. Larry and Beta have two sons, Peter and Christopher who grew up in the vineyard, which was their playground and home, experimenting with homemade wine and working in the fields, which they continue to do to this day.

In 2000, Larry Hyde co-founded HdV Winery, a partnership with Aubert de Villaine. Aubert, who married Larry’s cousin, Pamela F. de Villaine, and on who’s vineyard Larry met Beta, is one of Burgundy’s most recognized individuals who was born and raised in the traditions of France’s greatest winemaking techniques. HdV Winery resides in the northern part of Napa, just minutes away from Hyde Vineyards.

In 2009, Larry and his sons founded Larry Hyde and Sons winery, which currently produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but in the near future will add Merlot and Zinfandel to the portfolio along with a home on Hyde Vineyards with a brand new winery that is currently in construction.

Today, Hyde Vineyards has grown to nearly 200 acres and works with over 30 wineries in the valley. Larry still manages the vineyards with the help of his two sons, and serves as a director on the Napa Valley Grape growers, Issues Committee and GWISS committee.

HYDEVINEYARDS.COM


WHISKEY EXPERT DEBBIE SHOCAIR AKA ‘THE WHISKEY MISTRESS’

Known as The Whiskey Mistress...Whiskey expert DEBBIE SHOCAIR gives lectures on whiskey and leads tastings. She also does professional whiskey sessions and events, private parties, and writes articles and international reviews.





Monday, May 15, 2017

05/15 ALAN VIADER, VIADER VINEYARDS & WINERY, HEATHER MURAN, SAN LUIS OBISPO WINE COUNTRY ASSOCIATION, BARRELS IN THE PLAZA

ALAN VIADER - DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS/WINEMAKER, VIADER VINEYARDS & WINERY

VIADER is a leading first growth Napa Valley winery and vineyard estate locatedjust northeast of St. Helena on the steep rocky slopes of Howell Mountain at an elevation of 1300 feet. VIADER is recognized around the world for consistently producing award winning, very limited production red wines and Bordeaux-style blends.

Founding winemaker Delia Viader, PhD. applies a unique approach to grapegrowing and winemaking, challenging new world conventions while honoring old world traditions; resulting in a highly sought after and coveted cult wine – their flagship VIADER “Liquid Cashmere” Proprietary Red Blend. Delia forged the vision for this hillside estate vineyard and exceptional wine blend in 1986.

Today, Alan and Janet Viader join their mother Delia in the continuation of the VIADER estate. Through their direct involvement in daily operations, this multigenerational family business manifests a commitment to world-class winemaking and vineyard management, while offering an elevated yet welcoming level of hospitality.

VIADER.COM


HEATHER MURAN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SAN LUIS OBISPO WINE COUNTRY ASSOCIATION – NEWS/UPDATES AND UPCOMING EVENTS 

ABOUT SLO WINE COUNTRY:
The wineries of SLO Wine Country boast an average distance of just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in prevailing marine conditions that are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California.

SLO Wine Country includes two small adjoining American Viticultural Areas—the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley—and other nearby winegrowing areas.  Each of these areas shares a unifying proximity to the ocean, as well as to each other. Collectively, these growing conditions forge a unifying wine quality that is native to SLO Wine Country:

Cool
The reliable cooling effect of the nearby Pacific Ocean ensures a long growing season, enabling the grapes to achieve physiological ripeness and natural balance. Cool-climate varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel in the heart of SLO Wine Country, and even the warmest areas benefit from considerable marine influence.

Consistent
The ocean proximity also exerts a moderating effect on the climate, minimizing temperature swings so that growing conditions are rarely hot or cold. The result is an extraordinarily steady growing season that fosters balanced ripening and consistent quality from vintage to vintage.

Complex
The imprint of the ocean is also evident in SLO Wine Country's uncommonly complex soils, which are frequently riddled with ancient sea fossils. Soil variation enables the winegrower to mix and match varietals to specific soil profiles, or to add more "colors" to the palette of a single varietal, heightening overall quality and complexity.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

BARRELS IN THE PLAZA
Thursday, June 22nd • 4:30-7:30pm
Mission Plaza, Downtown San Luis Obispo
$60 Ticket / $30 Designated Driver
Tickets include a commemorative wine glass and complimentary wine & food pairings throughout the event.

Break out the Barrels! We'll be featuring over 50 wineries and restaurants dishing out world class wines and tantalizing treats for Thursday evening's “Barrels in the Plaza” grand tasting in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo City, adjacent to the historic Mission de Tolosa. Your ticket includes winetasting, edibles from local chefs throughout SLO County and live music by Bear Market Riot. This is one street party you won't want to miss!

4X2 PASSPORT TO SLO WINE COUNTRY
Friday & Saturday, June 23rd & 24th
4 Tastings x 2 Days = 8 Great Wine Experiences
$75 Passport / $20 Designated Driver
Includes 4 locations per day for a total of 8 visits.

Walk the vineyards, barrel sample the new vintage, and enjoy open houses, wine tastings and festivities all day Friday & Saturday! Just pick up your wristband, wineglass and passport booklet at the first winery you head to and bring them along to enjoy the festivities!

SLOWINE.COM

Monday, May 8, 2017

05/08 JAMES DAVIDIAN, CAPRICE VINEYARDS, JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET, RAYMOND VINEYARDS, RED VELVET LABELED RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON

JAMES DAVIDIAN - OWNER, CAPRICE VINEYARDS

We are located at 970 Old Stage Road in Central Point, Oregon. Just 1 mile North of downtown historic Jacksonville, Oregon (towards Central Point).

There’s something for everyone at Caprice Vineyards: wine tasting, shopping for unique hand-spun items in our shop, visiting with the Alpacas, enjoying a snack plate or simply taking in the beautiful scenery. All ages are welcome.

Our vineyard, at more than 30 years old, is one of the oldest vineyards in Southern Oregon, with seven acres of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon vines. They are self-rooted and deeply invested in the rich clay loam of the western Rogue Valley.

The hot summer days with cool nights are very similar to the Bordeaux region of France, so the types of grapes that thrive there, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, also grow very well in this region. These vines produce rich, ripe grapes with exceptional sugar, color, and flavor. From such grapes the great vintage wines of the world are made.

WWW.CAPRICEVINEYARDS.COM


PROPRIETOR JEAN-CHARLES BOISSET, RAYMOND VINEYARDS  -  RAYMOND VINEYARDS RELEASES RED VELVET LABELED  RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY

ABOUT RAYMOND VINEYARDS 
Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, comprises over 325 acres 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. The winery’s unique attributes led it to be named Sunset’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, and one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2013. To learn more, please visit: www.raymondvineyards.com.

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 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. To learn more about the Boisset Collection, please visit www.boissetcollection.com.

WWW.BOISSETCOLLECTION.COM
WWW.RAYMONDVINEYARDS.COM

Monday, May 1, 2017

05/01 FRANK OSTINI FROM HITCHING POST WINERY, 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS, DAVID HUNT, HUNT CELLARS

FRANK OSTINI FROM HITCHING POST WINERY - 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS

The California Winemasters is a perennial Wine Spectator Top 10 Charity Wine Auction set for May 20, 2017 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.  This extraordinary event showcases 50 international chefs and 75 of California’s Finest Wineries.  “Winemasters” has raised nearly $29 million in support of the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The CF Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle.  Its focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF and ultimately, to find a cure.

The Foundation’s drug development success has been recognized by Harvard Business School and by publications such as Forbes, Discover Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Make your reservations NOW for this wine tasting extraordinaire and spectacular hors d’oeuvres dinner!

CALIFORNIAWINEMASTERS.ORG 
HITCHINGPOSTWINES.COM


DAVID HUNT – OWNER & WINEMAKER, HUNT CELLARS

Our Story
It started over 20 years ago as a fantasy: living on a lush beautiful vineyard, producing your own style of favorite premium varietal wines that are well received and appreciated by those who have discovered the wines and shared them amongst friends.

Now, drive along the scenic Highway 46 West, about three miles west of the 101 Fwy at Oakdale Road, you will find this dream has become reality for David Hunt, Winemaker and owner of Hunt Cellars, a winery committed to producing “Memorable Wines”. We believe that great wines leave indelible impressions when poured with wonderful meals and great friends and scintillating conversations. Hunt Cellars was founded on the philosophy of producing wines that you will look forward to simply sipping by a cozy fireplace or pairing with your favorite meals to enhance that special event or moment in time.

How It Began
When The Hunt Family decided to pursue their dream they were uncertain where they would choose to build their vineyard. The Hunts spent exhaustive days and weekends traveling to various premium wine regions from Oregon, Washington, and throughout the State of California. They finally narrowed their decision down to the Central coast to San Luis Obispo County. Paso Robles was selected because of its rich diversity in soils, superb growing climate and unique styles of wine making along with the spirit of graciousness and traditional American values.

Eventually after looking at numerous parcels of vineyard potential property, they settled on uniquely beautiful property containing over 550 acres on Highway 41 in Creston. This unique property met their criteria in topography, soil composition and unparralled beauty. Within the 550 acres there are four terrior’s with varying elevations containing soil composites that mirror the great wine regions of the world. They were convinced that they could grow wonderful exciting intense fruit here on this property.

HUNTCELLARS.COM

Monday, April 24, 2017

04/24 TRES GOETTING, ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS, RICKEY TROMBETTA STANCLIFF, THE PETALUMA GAP WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE

TRES GOETTING - WINEMAKER, ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS 

All truly passionate winemakers dream of the day when they get an opportunity to immerse themselves in unique vineyards and fully utilize their talents to create something really special. Some never quite make it, while others, with the passion, work ethic, and a knack for blending science and artistry, ascend to the top.

Tres Goetting is a 26 year veteran Napa Valley enologist and viticulturalist who has already made his mark and fine reputation at a few Napa Valley wineries, but he looks to Biale as his career “moment in the spotlight”.

Tres first paid his dues as a teenaged “cellar rat” in 1987. Then, following college and armed with a razor-sharp palate, took steady steps to move up – hand-crafting wines at three touted Napa Valley grower/producers. Now he has stepped up again to find his ideal niche at Biale.

Tres first worked at a small family winery in his hometown of Napa, then went off to college to major in Agricultural Science and Forestry with minors in Environmental Ethics and Music at Cal State University at Humboldt. After college, Tres realized that, rather than the forest, Napa Valley and winemaking was where he really wanted to be. He rose from the cellar to assistant winemaker at St. Clement Vineyards in St. Helena, where he developed his keen wine sense and where he was immersed in every aspect of wine production from grapes to glass.

Tres’s most recent winemaking stint was with the highly-respected Krupp Brothers Winery/Stagecoach Vineyards and Valley of the Moon Winery’s new top tier Zinfandel program. Tres has also produced the custom wine for the prestigious Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur.

Prior to Krupp Brothers, Tres worked in all aspects of winemaking as associate winemaker at Ladera Vineyards (2004 to 2010), where he gained career experience working with estate vineyards and closely managing his staff to transition the fruit from vine to barrel to bottle.

Tres works in harmony with Biale’s vineyards guru, Bob Biale, to co-manage and fully understand the intricacies of each of Biale’s vineyards – hands on. Unleashing the full potential and ultimate expression of each unique vineyard is the winery’s goal, which is why winemaking at Biale is such an ideal situation for Tres. He couldn’t be happier, and Bob Biale appreciates having a fellow vineyards/ “vit” guy help to size up these older and sometimes quirky Zinfandel vineyards with their dry farming, deep roots, big trunks, and sometimes – mixed varieties.

Says Tres, “I believe in minimalistic vinification techniques in the winery. I feel that it is best to focus efforts in the vineyard to get things right so that the wines do not require a lot of attention and will ultimately speak of the vineyards from which they were grown.”

As for Zinfandel in particular, Tres has a special fascination, “I love Zinfandel because it is a mysterious varietal that never ceases to amaze.”

In music circles, Tres and his family are known to be a longtime, vital part of Napa’s music scene. He is a professional bassist who plays with local winemaker bands and occasionally with high profile artists.

SPRING WINES CELEBRATION @ ROBERT BIALE VINEYARDS
APRIL 29, 2017
AKA “Spring Chicken Day” this is the traditional official release of new vintage Biale wines. Come to enjoy the chance to taste and purchase the new wines along with New Orleans inspired bites, and hob nob with the Biale founders, families, and Biale growers.
Think you know your Biale wines? Join in on the first ever Chicken challenge!
Price: Club $30 | Non-Club $45 | 5+ Year Members FREE
Time: 1-4pm
Reservations Required!

THE SILVERADO PICKUPS PLAY BOTTLEROCK NAPA VALLEY 2017
May 26-28, 2017
The Silverado Pickups return to BottleRock for the fifth year in a row!
BottleRock Napa Valley

BIALE.COM


RICKEY TROMBETTA STANCLIFF - PRESIDENT, THE PETALUMA GAP WINEGROWERS ALLIANCE 

THE GAP
The Petaluma Gap is the gateway to the Sonoma Coast region. Although not yet a designated appellation, the Petaluma Gap is producing premium grapes that make the Sonoma Coast Appellation one of California’s best areas to grow primarily Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah grapes. The wind and the fog are the Petaluma Gap’s trademark. The “Gap” is actually a wind gap named after a coastal mountain opening that stretches east from the Pacific through the town of Petaluma and then roars south to San Pablo Bay.

The Petaluma Gap has a 150-year tradition of growing grapes. The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance is dedicated to supporting growing wine grapes and production of premium wines in the Petaluma Gap. Our vineyards are tucked and hidden in the most unexpected places. Crest a hill, round a curve, look into the little nooks and crannies that make up the Lakeville, Adobe Road, or west county landscape, and you’ll notice more and more pockets of green, made up of rows and rows of grapevines. The vines bring brilliant patches of color to the golden grasses that support the neighboring pastures of cows and sheep. These are the vines of the Petaluma Gap and the source of some of the most exciting wines to hit the California wine scene in a very long time.

The Petaluma Gap produces wines for some of Sonoma County’s finest wineries including: Keller Estate Winery, Guarachi Family Wines, deLoach Vineyards, Flowers Vineyard and Winery, Hart’s Desire Wines, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Kosta-Browne Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Loxton Cellars, Sojourn Cellars, Schramsberg Vineyards, and Zepaltas Wines.

PETALUMAGAP.COM 

TROMBETTA FAMILY WINES
PINOT NOIR & CHARDONNAY FROM THE SONOMA COAST
Our limited production wines by mother-and-daughter duo Rickey Trombetta Stancliff and Erica Stancliff hail from the region of Sonoma referred to as the Petaluma Gap.  We select clones of Pinot Noir that exemplify the rich minerality, soils and cool weather of the Sonoma Coast, resulting in a beautifully balanced wine, enhancing every meal. Each and every bottle has been hand-harvested, fermented with native yeast, and allowed to develop with native malolactic fermentation in barrels.

WWW.TROMBETTAWINES.COM

Monday, April 17, 2017

04/17 EMMA SWAIN, ST. SUPÉRY ESTATE VINEYARDS AND WINERY PRESENTS: THE ART OF CHEESE, MORGEN MCLAUGHLIN, SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS SPRING WEEKEND & FESTIVAL

EMMA SWAIN FROM ST. SUPERY TALKS ABOUT ARTS IN APRIL, A FULL MONTH LONG EVENT THROUGHOUT NAPA VALLEY AND HOW THEY’RE PARTICIPATING

ST. SUPÉRY ESTATE VINEYARDS AND WINERY PRESENTS: THE ART OF CHEESE WEEKEND WORKSHOPS

Wine Meets Cheese: Six Slam-Dunk Pairings Hosted by Janet Fletcher
Sunday, April 23, 2017 | 11:00am  Reserve Now                                                                           $75 per person | $70 Wine Club
Learn how to create the kind of marriages that make sparks fly. In this sit-down tasting, you will sample six St. Supéry Estate Vineyard wines and six cheeses that are made for each other. Your guides: St. Supéry Estate Sommelier, Tom Markakis and Napa Valley's Janet Fletcher, publisher of the popular Planet Cheese blog and author of the bestselling Cheese & Wine. Janet will share her favorite pairing strategies and answer all your questions about selecting, storing and serving artisan cheese. You will take home a signed copy of Cheese & Wine to ensure that your future pairings are just as successful. Read more about Janet Fletcher: janetfletcher.com.

How to make Homemade Mozzarella Hosted by Chef Nash Cognetti
Sunday, April 23, 2017 | 2:00pm  Reserve Now                                                                                                    
$65 per person | $60 Wine Club
An experience any cheese fan will revel in, watch and learn as St. Helena's Tre Posti's Executive Chef, Nash Cognetti, pulls his signature "Mozzarella al Minuto". You are invited to join in in the process and enjoy the delicious cheese paired with a tasting of St. Supéry Estate wines lead by Estate Sommelier, Tom Markakis.

The Art of Making the Perfect Cheese Plate Hosted by Jessica Lawrenz
Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 11:00am and 2:00pm                                                                                      
                                                                                                             
$65 per person | $60 Wine Club
Join Jessica Lawrenz, the 2017 Cheesemonger Invitational winner, as she teaches how to create the perfect cheese plate. Jessica currently resides in San Diego and mentors the cheese lovers at Venissimo Cheese Shop. She is excited to mentor you as you assemble the perfect plate with local artisan cheese and accouterments. Grouped with three others to assemble your tray, Jessica will share her techniques and tricks of the trade. The workshop will conclude with a perfectly paired St. Supéry Estate wine tasting, hosted by Estate Sommelier, Tom Markakis, while enjoying your freshly made cheese plate. Read more about Jessica Lawrenz: mongermoldandmilk.com.

Cheese from Switerzland Hosted by The Cheese Board Collective, Berkeley
Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 11:00am Reserve Now                                                                                                    
$55 per person | $45 Wine Club
What, exactly, is "Swiss Cheese" and how is it different from those slices at the grocery store? Known as "the original grass fed cheese," come taste your way through a range of cheeses from Switzerland while exploring the rich history behind them. From well-known Gruyere, to hyper-local mountain cheeses, you will learn about transhumance, Emmenthaler eyes, fondue and even a cheese cartel. This class will deepen your appreciation and understanding of this very special family of cheese.

The Cheese Board Collective is a worker owned pizzeria, bakery and cheese shop in Berkeley, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. With 300+ cheeses to offer, we at The Cheese Board firmly believe that there is a cheese for everyone. We look forward to seeing you! Read more about The Cheese Board: cheeseboardcollective.coop.

Point Reyes Hosted by Felice Charlton
Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 2:00pm Reserve Now                                                                                                      
$40 per person | $20 Wine Club
In August of 2000, the first wheel of Original Blues, California's only classic style blue cheese, were introduced to Bay Area consumers, adding to a family legacy of farming that dates back well over 100 years. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company is the Giacomini's way of carrying on their family heritage, honoring the land they love so much, celebrating their passion for farm fresh food, and sharing it all with the people we consider their extended family – cheese lovers all across the country who can now experience the incredible flavors created from their small, family – fun dairy farm.

Join Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company National Sales Director, Felice Charlton, as she introduces you to this family business and walks you through a tasting of four delicious cheeses perfectly paired with St. Supéry Estate wines. Read more about Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company: pointreyescheese.com.

WWW.STSUPERY.COM


MORGEN MCLAUGHLIN - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS - APRIL 20-23 SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS SPRING WEEKEND & FESTIVAL

WHAT'S NEW AT THE SANTA BARBARA VINTNERS SPRING FESTIVAL?

In its 35th year, the Santa Barbara Vintners New Release Spring Weekend is four days of wine, food and fun throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country Thursday, April 20 - Sunday, April 23.

The highlight of the weekend is the New Release Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, April 22 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Early Entry and Connoisseurs Club at 12:00 p.m.) at the beautiful River View Park in Buellton, the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. Enjoy new release wines from participating member wineries; food sampling from more than twenty food purveyors; live music; wine and culinary demonstrations; silent auction; and free parking all included.

The Saturday morning Santa Barbara Wine Seminar from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, minutes from the Festival Grand Tasting, will feature a new release in-depth tasting, and optional lunch, with a wine maker panel moderated by renowned wine writer, Elaine Brown.

Join us on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. for the Big Bottle Bash at K'Syrah, a new special event venue in downtown Solvang, featuring large format wines brought by guests and winery representatives paired with a delicious family-style dinner. In the style of a La Paulee, guests are invited to bring their own bottles to share.

Want to visit up to twelve tasting rooms on an all-inclusive wine tasting pass?  Get a Vintners Visa Wine Country Tasting Pass for unique and complimentary offerings at your choice of twelve participating tasting rooms from Thursday - Sunday. Typically 25 - 40 wineries and tasting rooms participate in this program.

Throughout the four day weekend many wineries host their own events, including open houses, wine maker dinners, vineyard walks, and barrel tastings.

WWW.SBCOUNTYWINES.COM
WWW.SBVINTNERSWEEKEND.COM

Monday, April 10, 2017

04/10 JEAN SESSIONS, SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS, TONY LOMBARDI, LOMBARDI WINES

JEAN SESSIONS - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS

2017 SONOMA COUNTY BARREL AUCTION
APRIL 21, 2017

NEVER BEFORE, NEVER AGAIN WINES.
The Sonoma County Barrel Auction is your chance to own a truly one of a kind wine. Cultivated in Sonoma County’s most acclaimed vineyards. Handcrafted by legendary winemakers. Evaluated by an elite panel of wine authorities. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to taste, and own, a masterpiece of Sonoma County winemaking.

YOUR CHANCE TO OWN A TRUE SONOMA COUNTY ORIGINAL
Presented by the Sonoma County Vintners, the Sonoma County Barrel Auction is a live auction of wine futures from the county’s top growers and winemakers. These once-in-a-lifetime wines represent the exceptional stylistic range and world-class quality of Sonoma County. A team of masters, invited from around the country, will be visibly involved in evaluating the auction lots and participating throughout the event. The Sonoma County Barrel Auction is invitation-only for members of the wine industry, with personal invitations extended by participating wineries to members of the trade and media. Proceeds will support Sonoma County marketing initiatives.

ABOUT SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS

For More Than 70 years, Sonoma County Vintners Has Been the Leading Voice of Sonoma County Wine

Our 250+ members range in size from small, family-owned wineries to large-volume corporations. Collaboration is the cornerstone of our efforts, and our strategic partnerships have resulted in a broad spectrum of forward-thinking programs and events. We work closely with the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau to build the profile of Sonoma County as a distinctive grape-growing and wine-producing region.

From informal winery tastings and tours to Sonoma County’s signature, charitable event, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, our efforts shine the spotlight on Sonoma County as an internationally recognized wine region, and build a strong foundation for our successful global media strategy.

Sonoma County is located an hour north of San Francisco, and is noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions and extraordinary quality.

SONOMAWINE.COM


TONY LOMBARDI – FOUNDER, LOMBARDI WINES

ABOUT LOMBARDI
Lombardi Wines crafts small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast. Founded in 2013, Lombardi Wines honors a rich family history of wine, food and tradition. Small lots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are crafted from the finest vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and are born from Passion, Inspiration and Family.

ABOUT TONY:
A Sonoma County resident for over 40 years, I've been in the retail and wine industries since 1989. After leaving a ten year career managing Safeway retail stores throughout Marin and San Francisco, I took a leap of faith into the wine industry and haven't looked back.

Though the wine industry is ever evolving, it's still about the wine, the people, the lifestyle and our enthusiasm for it. PREVIOUS: PR for Kosta Browne
Winery, Ascentia Wine Estates, J Vineyards & Winery

WWW.LOMBARDIWINES.COM

Monday, April 3, 2017

04/03 DAN SMITH, VILLA SAN-JULIETTE VINEYARD & WINERY, SAM LANDO, LANDO WINES

DAN SMITH - WINEMAKER, VILLA SAN-JULIETTE VINEYARD & WINERY 

TWO FRIENDS. FORTY YEARS OF HISTORY. ONE FATEFUL BOTTLE OF PASO ROBLES CABERNET SAUVIGNON.

Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe met as schoolmates in Liverpool and a friendship blossomed. Both young men loved to entertain and as they grew into adulthood, this shared passion led to careers that often intersected, first as dancers, then as choreographers and finally as producers of entertainment enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.

Despite their demanding schedules, in 2004 these two friends made time to catch up over a dinner in Las Vegas. They asked the sommelier to surprise them with a bottle of Cab, and, when both glasses were poured, the conversation took a momentous turn. The wine was spectacular, spurring an interest in the Paso Robles AVA that would grow into a love affair. And thus, in that first sip, the dream of Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery was born.

Smitten as they were, just one year later Ken and Nigel purchased a pastoral 168-acre property located at the northern edge of the Paso Robles AVA in the small town of San Miguel, California. A healthy vineyard was already established across rolling slopes and ideal soils, so Ken and Nigel directed their energies towards enhancing the natural beauty of the vineyard with a tasting room styled after the Tuscan villas that Nigel had enjoyed during trips to Italy.

One piece remained: A great vineyard deserves a great winemaker. In early 2013 Ken and Nigel invited second-generation winemaker Matt Ortman to lead the winemaking team at Villa San-Juliette. Matt hit the ground running, hiring an outstanding winemaking team while overseeing the construction of Villa San-Juliette’s new state-of-the-art winery. He and his team capped the year off by harvesting what turned out to be a remarkable 2013 vintage.

Ken and Nigel’s belief in Paso Robles wine country comes to fulfillment in Villa San-Juliette’s comfortable tasting room, superb wines, and idyllic vineyard views.

ABOUT DAN SMITH:
Dan Smith was raised in Tualatin, a small city 12 miles south of Portland, Oregon surrounded by the vineyards of the Willamette Valley. As the youngest of five children, he watched his siblings as they progressed through school and various careers and decided at an early age that he needed a plan of action. “It was a mixture of the geography around me, on top of a fascination with my Aunt and Uncle’s obsession with collecting wine that led me to tell my parents that I wanted to be a winemaker when I was 14 years old. Always supportive, they bought me some books to read and even let me paint my room in a wine color theme.”

In 2005, Dan ventured out of Oregon to start school in Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture B.S. program. It was his first experience with California’s Central Coast and he immediately fell in love with the SLO life. Dan met many influential industry leaders and mentors while working on his degree at Cal Poly. “I remember a career discussion before graduation I had with my Viticulture professor, the late Dr. Keith Patterson, where I expressed my desire to keep living and working in the area. He strongly encouraged me to leave the region and get as much experience as possible, then return given the right opportunity.”

Dan took Dr. Patterson’s advice and worked vintages in Sonoma, New Zealand, California’s Central Valley, and back in Oregon before one of his college mentors, Matt Ortman, asked him to become Villa San-Juliette’s Cellar Master in 2013. “It’s been an amazing experience working with the VSJ vineyard and wines along with our small team, and I’m thrilled to step in as Winemaker and continue producing quality, hand-crafted wines.”

WWW.VILLASANJULIETTE.COM


SAM LANDO - LANDO WINES

HANDCRAFTING PINOT NOIR FROM THE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY AND SONOMA COAST

Passionate Pursuit of Pinot Noir
Sam Lando started his career working for some of the large global wine producers, and soon identified his true love of working with and enjoying Pinot Noir.

While his emphasis was sales and marketing, he realized early on the need to understand as much as possible about differing winemaking and viticulture techniques. After working with and becoming friends with some of the best new world wine producers, it was a natural evolution to begin hobby winemaking.

After working for five years with Kosta Browne Winery, he departed at the end of 2012. His work with dear friends was a deeply rewarding experience...personally and professionally. They worked (and played) so well together because of a love and passion for what they did. In addition to their shared affliction for Pinot, they enjoyed the company of great people and food.

In the middle of the 2012 vintage, Sam and his wife Jennifer decided to take the leap and take the winemaking hobby to the next level. They borrowed against their savings and began building the foundation to develop a small Pinot Noir focused winery. The goal is to make intense, yet elegant and balanced wines from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. They push themselves to make great wines they enjoy drinking and take great pride in sharing with their dear friends.

WE BELIEVE IN PRODUCING INTENSELY FLAVORED AND YET BALANCED WINES.
We believe in producing intensely flavored and yet balanced wines. Our definition of balance relates to beautiful and lush aromatics, a sensuous and saturating mid palate, and a lengthy captivating finish – a complete wine from start to finish. These are the wines we enjoy drinking and sharing with friends and family. the majority of our wines are offered to our mailing list friends. Please sign up and join the mailing list to acquire an allocation of our next release of Pinot Noirs.

2015 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR
Release Date: February 2017
Cases Produced: 505
Alcohol: 14.8%
Time in Barrel: 16 months
Recommended Drinking Time: 6 months to 5 years. Should you open a bottle early, please decant or allow to breathe for an hour for maximum enjoyment.
Tasting Notes: Explosive flavors of black cherry and raspberry. The inner play of fresh fruit, baking spices, and sassafras is sensual and comforting. This wine settles in and caresses every aspect of the palate and rounds out to a very lengthy finish. Appreciation for this wine grows with each sip, it’s like going home. It’s everything you want from a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – intense, complex, and yet still elegant. We wish we had more of it!

2015 SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR
Release Date: October 2017
Cases Produced: 430
Alcohol: 14.8%
Time in Barrel: 16 months
Recommended Drinking Time: 6 months to 5 years. Should you open a bottle early, please decant or allow to breathe for an hour for maximum enjoyment.
Tasting Notes: Deep and piercing black berry fruit on the nose. Layers of spice and fresh fruit saturate the palate... The finish reveals notes of fresh blueberry and undertones of minerality and silky tannins.

WWW.LANDOWINES.COM

Monday, March 27, 2017

03/27 WES HAGEN, J. WILKES WINES, DOUG MINNICK, THE GARAGISTE FESTIVAL

WES HAGEN - CONSULTING WINEMAKER, BRAND AMBASSADOR, J. WILKES WINES

Jeff was committed to promoting the Santa Maria Valley; a place he considered home and cared about deeply. By offering a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc under the J. Wilkes imprimatur of quality, we hope to introduce a new generation of wine drinkers to wines of typicity from a venerated appellation. We hope these wines serve not only as ambassadors of an iconic growing region, but also as an introduction to three varietals that merit much pursuit and discovery. The J. Wilkes brand was established in 2001 by Jefferson Wilkes, a widely respected wine industry veteran who loved the community of Santa Maria and sailing the Pacific Coast.  Since Jeff’s passing, the J. Wilkes brand has carried forth with a simple mission: to deliver wines of varietal character, at affordable prices, that highlight the virtues of the Santa Maria Valley appellation.

ABOUT WES: 
Wes worked as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker at Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines in the Sta. Rita Hills for 21 years and is considered an industry leader in Santa Barbara Wine, having served for more than a decade on the Board of Directors for both Santa Barbara County Vintners and Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance. Wes is an accomplished wine writer, researcher and lecturer; He has written for the L.A Times Magazine, Sommelier Journal, Burgundy Report and has appeared and been featured / quoted numerous times in the Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. Wes researched, wrote and had approved the last three AVA’s in Santa Barbara County: Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon and Ballard Canyon. Wes taught the Food and Wine Pairing program at Allan Hancock College for four years and has lectured on the History of Wine and Santa Barbara Wine at Cornell University, Caltech and many, many other prestigious institutions. His most recent achievement is having been nominated for a TED-talk on the History of Wine. Wes has an active and impressive social media following on Facebook (Wes Hagen), Twitter, Instagram and Delectable (@weshagen).

JWILKES.COM


DOUG MINNICK, WINEMAKER & CO-FOUNDER/FESTIVAL DIRECTOR THE GARAGISTE FESTIVAL 

5TH ANNUAL GARAGISTE FESTIVAL

CELEBRATING THE ARTISAN WINEMAKER
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

MARCH 31-APRIL 2 2017 ~ SOLVANG, CA

ABOUT THE GARAGISTE WINE FESTIVALS: 
The Garagiste Wine Festivals (http://www.garagistefestival.com) are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production winemakers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers.
In addition to its flagship annual festival in Paso Robles, CA, the Garagiste Festival line-up includes Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, featuring Santa Ynez Valley garagistes; the Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, in Los Angeles; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. The festivals were named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News,* “one of the premier wine events of the year,” by the LA Times and “Best Festival” by Sunset Magazine’s ‘Best of the West.’ The festivals are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

ABOUT DOUG:
Doug Minnick is the Co-Founder of The Garagiste Festivals. Minnick knew what he wanted to do with his life on February 9th, 1964 when as a 7 year old boy in suburban Chicago, he saw The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. After 11 years playing in rock and roll bands and ignoring his schoolwork, he took off on a cold February day in a 1967 Buick Elektra 225 bound for L.A., palm trees, and the music business as an 18 year old with $500 in his pocket. Working his way up from the mailroom (no kidding) at A&M Records and surviving a successful career as a Music Business executive in the 80s, Doug eventually chucked the corporate music world for the uncertainty of an independent, two-man start-up. Ten years later, with the independent start-up now a multi-million dollar success story, Minnick again proved unable to control his passions, this time tossing the music business for the world of wine. Particularly Central Coast wine. Doug is now the Co-Founder (with Stewart McLennan) of The Garagiste Festivals, which feature high-quality, limited-production artisan winemakers – Garagiste has emerged as the most unique and influential wine event in California. By helping small-production wineries connect with their audience, The Garagiste Festival truly impacts the business of these winemakers while satisfying their fans’ desire to discover high-quality, hard-to-find wines. Everybody wins. Doug owns (with three partners), and is winemaker for, his own winery, Hoi Polloi. http://www.hoipolloiwinery.com/ The Garagiste Festival:Southern Exposure takes place this Friday and Saturday in Solvang, featuring over 40 micro-production wineries.

CALIFORNIAGARAGISTES.COM
WWW.HOIPOLLOIWINERY.COM

Monday, March 20, 2017

03/20 DAVID ORGANISAK, VERITAS IMPORTS, KATRINA FREY, FREY VINEYARDS

DAVID ORGANISAK - CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, VERITAS IMPORTS


Veritas Imports fine and rare wines and spirits from exclusive sources all over the world. Specializing in the classic and mature vintages of Europe’s most elite regions, the company maintains vertical selections of most cru classe Bordeaux, including all of the First Growths, ‘Super-Seconds,” and most other well-known chateaux. Veritas also participates actively in the annual en primeur offerings to the trade, and acquires current vintages directly from chateaux through negociants in Bordeaux.

In addition, Veritas represents on an exclusive basis a select number of producers, importing and distributing their products into one or more markets that Veritas serves. Included among such producers are Americans Ann Colgin and Mike Bonaccorsi: Burgundians J-F Mugnier, Sominiqu Lafon, Etienne de Montille Giroud, Gerard Mugneret, Alain Burguet, Rene Engel and Bonoit EnteL and Bas Armagnac Laberdolive, Cognac Jean Fillioux, and the Poire, Dranboise and Prune of Etienne Brana.

Veritas also serves as a wholesale dealer in the wines and spirits and currently distributes all or a portion of its portfolio into New York, California, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Washington, D.C. Ceritas principally services the restaurant and hotel industry, together with highly-selective specialty retailers. The company carefully ships its wines in refrigerated containers and maintains its stocks in temperature and humidity controlled warehouses. Current inventory exceeds 120,000 bottles from over five hundred distinguished producers.

Veritas is fully licensed by all federal and state authorities having jurisdiction over the conduct of its business and it compliant with all relevant laws, ordinances and rules. Under applicable law, Veritas is not permitted to sell to consumers, although retailers can be recommended in many markets.

VERITASWINE.COM


KATRINA FREY - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FREY VINEYARDS       

America’s first organic and Biodynamic winery - Producing award-winning vegan, gluten free wines with no added sulfites since 1980

We are a third-generation family-owned and operated winery located at the pristine headwaters of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California. At Frey Vineyards we combine the best of modern and traditional winemaking methods to showcase distinctive varietal flavors. Through minimal manipulation in the cellar, we allow the wines to express the authentic character of our soils and climate. For over three decades we have been vanguards in crafting wine without added sulfites, a synthetic preservative added to most other wines (even wines made with organically grown grapes!) that can cause adverse allergic reactions in some people.

Our organic and Biodynamic farming methods encourage care for the soil, groundwater, and wildlife, promoting rich biodiversity in the vineyard. Ninety percent of our land is held as unspoiled natural habitat with a diverse mix of native plants and animals. As stewards of the land, we emphasize producing organic and Biodynamic wine of the highest quality while caring for planet and palate alike.

FREY VINEYARDS – A HISTORY OF AMERICA'S FIRST ORGANIC WINERY
Paul Sr. and Beba Frey grew up a few blocks apart in the gritty New York City of the 1930's and 40's. Paul relished his summer escapes to the Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania. And Beba found bliss each summer on a Catskill Mountains dairy farm (see photo above). Each vowed to escape the city permanently. They later met and married in medical school. While their family grew, they longed for a life closer to nature and finally settled down in Northern California in the early 1960's on their ranch in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County. The 12 children grew up instilled with love and respect for the natural environment, and picked up gardening, farming, and agricultural skills, as their parents had dreamed.  Paul Sr. and Beba rounded out their children’s education by schooling them in the sciences, history, literature, classical arts and music, as well as appreciation for world cuisines paired with wine.

In the late 1960's, Paul and Beba and the older kids planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Gray Riesling on the ranch's old pastureland and sold the fruit to nearby wineries. A decade later, brothers Jonathan and Matthew realized the vineyards' potential when a Cabernet Sauvignon grown by Frey's grapes won a gold medal for a Santa Cruz winery. Frey Vineyards was bonded the next year, in 1980, and soon after became the first organic winery in U.S.

The eldest brother Jonathan and his wife Katrina studied organic agriculture under the tutorship of Alan Chadwick, a green-thumb guru of the California 70's. At the winery's inception, Jonathan introduced high integrity organic practices that are still in place today.  Brother Matthew, learned the mechanical and technical skills of the wine business when working at nearby wineries. A final touch to the new winery's credo was that the wine would be made not only from organically grown grapes, but without any added sulfites. In the late 1980's, Paul Frey Jr. returned from the University of California at Santa Cruz to help perfect the techniques for making wine without the synthetic sulfite preservative, and is today our main winemaker. In 1996, Luke Frey spearheaded the conversion of our estate vineyards to biodynamic cultivation, making Frey Vineyards the first producer of certified Demeter Biodynamic wines in North America.

We are pleased that many local wineries and grape growers have become certified organic and biodynamic as well, for the health of our common environment as well as our customers. Today, a third of all organic grapes in California are grown in Mendocino County, and 15 wineries making wines from organically grown grapes are located here – more than any county in the U.S. The trend of organic grape growing is rapidly spreading in Napa and Sonoma Counties, and across the U.S. Frey Vineyards is the largest of the very few wineries to have taken on the challenge of producing a true organic wine, made with no added sulfites – a practice that is now tradition for our family. Today, more than 30 years since the founding of Frey Vineyards, many of the 12 children and spouses work for the family business. As organic food production is reaching new heights in the U.S., we hope the trend never stops, benefiting taste buds, planet, and the future generations.

ABOUT KATRINA FREY:
There aren't many jobs Katrina hasn't worked at Frey Vineyards. She has worn the hat of grape-picker, bottler, saleswoman – you name it! Katrina developed our sales and marketing branch and acts as our office manager. In addition to her work at the winery Katrina is the President of the Board of Demeter USA (our national Biodynamic certification agency). She gives her time generously to organic issues such as non-GMO activism and food safety, as well as Mendocino County's local Phoenix Hospice. NUnder Katrina's community minded guidance Frey Vineyards has generously donated product and funds to local and national environmental and social justice charities and non-profits. As a leader in the organic industry since day one, Katrina has been a featured speaker at Natural Products Expo East, the All Things Organic trade show and the Sustainable Brands conference.

UPCOMING EVENT:  Frey Wines and Crab Bites! - Friday, January 22, 2016 ~ 4:00pm-7:00pm

WWW.FREYWINE.COM

Monday, March 13, 2017

03/13 MAEVE PESQUERA, DAOU VINEYARDS AND WINERY, JAMES ONTIVEROS, NATIVE 9, ALTA MARIA

MAEVE PESQUERA - SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, DAOU VINEYARDS AND WINERY

THE VISION
Two Brothers: One Dream
Daniel and Georges Daou are committed to producing collectible, world-class Bordeaux style wines to rival those of the most respected appellations in the world.

Their appreciation for quality wine was nurtured throughout childhood, in France, where their father enjoyed good wine with every meal. Daniel and Georges came to appreciate great wines as young adults, and their passion for the fruits of the vine has grown stronger with every passing year.

Georges & Daniel Daou: A Little History
When it came time for college, the two brothers set sail for San Diego, California to attend UCSD, where they graduated with degrees in electrical and computer engineering. After college, the enterprising brothers formed DAOU Systems, where they developed intranet technologies for the medical industry. In less than ten years, the company became one of the top five IPO’s in the country. Throughout the years of building successful technology startups, Daniel never lost his appreciation for wine and his desire to produce it. He began to intensively study winemaking and viticulture, working with great winemakers and learning everything he possibly could about the fine points of producing premium wines. He and Georges soon began a new professional venture that was far closer to their hearts than the technology industry: crafting world-class wines that married the elegance of the French wines they had grown up with, and the concentrated flavors of California wines.

In 2007, Daniel and Georges’ search for the perfect terroir led them to the west mountain Adelaida area of Paso Robles in California. There, they found land that had been part of the historical Hoffman Mountain Ranch Vineyard; land that fit their very strict criteria. They wanted the kind of terroir that could grow Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varietals to rival those from the world’s best wine appellations. The combination of high elevation, cool marine influence, southeast and southwest sun exposure, and high-concentration calcareous-lime soils was exactly what they were looking for. As an added bonus, the one hundred acre property had over seventy farmable acres, making it one of the larger vineyard sites in the Adelaida region.

The property, now nicknamed DAOU Mountain, has expansive views of the luscious countryside. On a promontory rising above the valleys and canyons of this bucolic landscape now stands a stunning, Spanish Colonial style winery and tasting room. At the heart of the winery hangs a bell, dated 1740, that was recovered from a monastery in Spain. This beloved, beautifully painted iron piece was forged before the founding of the United States.

OUR STORY:
In the golden, oak-studded hills of Paso Robles’ acclaimed west side, not far from William Randolph Hearst’s magnificent castle, there is a man with a Homeric vision. His name is Daniel Daou and he is devoting his life and every imaginable resource to creating, first and foremost, a Cabernet Sauvignon that rivals the very best in the world. Gracefully perched atop a stunning promontory at 2,200 feet, the DAOU Spanish Colonial style winery is embraced by a tangible serenity. Hawks wheel and bank while the all-day sun caresses close planted rows of lush, emerald green vines. The 100 percent calcareous soil makes no sound as it parses out nourishment and only a gentle breeze flows up through the Templeton Gap from the Pacific Ocean. The quiet is bewitching; you want to lay down roots here, just as the seven-year-old vines have done. But the sense of peace belies the serious industry at work on this 212 acre estate. No effort is spared to create the luscious varietals and blends that flow from this limited production winery. This kind of synergy happens rarely: superlative climate and terroir, super intensive vineyard culture, and cutting edge viticultural practice. You’re more likely to find it in Bordeaux than Central California. Coupled with the infectious passion and gracious, family style hospitality of the Daou brothers, Georges and Daniel, the result is pure magic. The kind of magic that comes in a bottle.

WWW.DAOUVINEYARDS.COM


WINEMAKER/VITICULTURALIST JAMES ONTIVEROS - NATIVE 9 / ALTA MARIA 

James can trace his California roots back to 1781, when Josef Ontiveros rode on horseback into Alta California and the family became the recipient of a Mexican land grant. At one time, the Ontiveros Family owned over 36,000 acres in modern-day Orange county. They then sold El Cajon de Santa Ana and Los Coyotes and moved to Santa Barbara county. The 1837 Rancho Tepusquet grant – nearly 9,000 acres bordered by the Sisquoc and Cuyama Rivers – was passed to Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros, who constructed the Ontiveros Adobe on the property in 1856. He and his wife raised horses, cattle, sheep, several grain crops and grapes.

Over the eight generations that came before him, this cattle and farm land was divided and passed down until the mid-nineteenth century, at which point it had been completely sold off and none of the original land grant remained in their name.

Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard, one of the vineyard sources for Alta Maria, was not inherited; it has been built over the last 20 years. Mark and Louise, James' mother and father, worked to buy the ranch in 1986 with a wistful view of the original property of Rancho Tepusquet that once had been their own. James was the first in his family to go to college and became interesed in viticulture and winemaking while at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

James grew up ranching, but the wine business was fast becoming James' new love. The irony was that his family were cattle people with a little bit of a farming background; they were cowboys, not winemakers; over time that has changed.

James attendeed California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo working on dual degrees in Fruit Science and Crop Science. While in college in 1997 James planted 8 acres of Pinot Noir at Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard.

James has worked with Kendall-Jackson as a Field Supervisor throughout the Central Coast, with Gallo-Sonoma in grower relations in the North Coast and vineyard manager in Sonoma Coast and the Russian River. Most importantly for Alta Maria’s evolution, James took a position with the Miller family as Director of Sales and Marketing for 10 years which included over-seeing the Bien Nacido Vineyard, Solomon Hills, French Camp, CCWS and Paso Robles wine services. This was the property where his great, great, great, great grandfather Juan Pacifico Ontiveros had built the adobe on their original land grant.

With the 2004 vintage, James joined forces with Paul Wilkins, winemaker and long-time college friend, to start Alta Maria focusing on important sites for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from only the Santa Maria Valley AVA. They wanted to make genuine, honest and authentic wines that were inspired by the old world wines they loved. Much like James’ family history in California, Alta Maria reflects the heritage when times were simpler, people worked with the earth and were fulfilled personally and professionally by hard work.

Since 2005, Paul and James Ontiveros have been making Alta Maria Vineyards wines and in 2011 opened a much-anticipated joint tasting room for Alta Maria Vineyards and Native9 in Los Olivos, California. Alta Maria wines are sold in over a dozen states and export markets.

ALTA MARIA:
Alta Maria is a small, artisan winery focusing on producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the cold and oceanic Santa Maria Valley appellation in Santa Barbara County. Founded by 9th Generation California James Ontiveros, and Winemaker and long-time college friend Paul Wilkins, Alta Maria’s wines are inspired by the old world regions of France and are classic examples of purity, balance and complexity. We strive to make the best wines possible in a very conscientious manner and employ organic and sustainable practices leaving no indelible mark on the people and places around us.

The name “Alta Maria” refers to the upper Santa Maria River, which James’ ancestor, Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros crossed on Saint Mary’s Day, 1855, as he drove cattle from Southern California to his new home at Rancho Tepusquet – now home to some of the globe’s most renowned vines. The picturesque river flowing through the valley was the force responsible for sustaining ranch life in those early days.

The artwork for Alta Maria Vineyards features hand-hewn iron nails used by homesteaders in Santa Maria before the Industrial Revolution introduced mass-produced, machine-cut nails. Despite its lowly function, each nail is unique from the next according to the conditions in which it was made and the expertise of the craftsman.

NATIVE 9 WINES:
“Native9 is the fulfillment of my own American story two centuries in the making. Tracing my roots back to the first men and women who settled in the Santa Maria Valley, I worked for hourly wages along with my parents to buy a small plot of land our ancestors’ 8,900-acre Mexican land grant: a modest cattle ranch where I planted my 8-acre vineyard and a panoramic view of the land that had once been our own. Planted in 1997 by my own two hands with the help of friends and family while I attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard is now considered one of the finest sites for Pinot Noir in California. As a natural extension of my deeply personal vision for this vineyard,Native9 is made in small lots with a nod to bothOld World sensibilities and New World stylistic freedom with the help of my longtime friend and vetted winemaker, Paul Wilkins. Though I wasn’t born into the wine industry by traditional means, I have vine-growing and farming in my blood. The name Native9 reflects my gratitude to the generations of California farmers and ranchers who came before me.”

WWW.ALTAMARIA.COM

Monday, March 6, 2017

03/06 GARY EBERLE, EBERLE WINERY, VINTAGE PASO: ZIN WEEKEND, DAVID W. HEJL, DOMAINE DELLA

GARY EBERLE – ENOLOGIST/GENERAL PARTNER, EBERLE WINERY - VINTAGE PASO: ZIN WEEKEND (MARCH 17-19)

CELEBRATE VINTAGE PASO WEEKEND AT EBERLE WINERY!

THE PASO ROBLES PIONEER GARY EBERLE
Gary Eberle grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and went to Penn State on a football scholarship. After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in biology, he attended Louisiana State University (LSU) where he continued his graduate work studying cellular genetics. While attending LSU, Gary developed an appreciation for wine and changed his academic path to become a winemaker. He traveled west to California to study enology at U.C. Davis where he received a degree in Enology in 1971 and then headed south to Paso Robles in 1973.

Gary launched his career as a winemaker and as the “Pioneer” of Paso Robles Wine Region by helping to establish his family's Estrella River Winery & Vineyards. In the late 70’s, he decided to pursue his own project and acquired nearly 64 acres just down the road from Estrella River Winery. Shortly thereafter, Gary released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon debuting the iconic boar logo, depicting the German origin of the name Eberle, meaning “small boar.”

THE WINERY
By 1984 the Eberle Winery production facility and tasting room were open for business and in 1994 Gary expanded underground, building the first wine caves in Paso Robles. Now, over 30 years later, Gary Eberle still greets guests daily with complimentary wine tastings, public tours of the production facility and 16,000 square feet of underground caves. They also play host to a variety of delicious and entertaining events held at the winery throughout the year.

WWW.EBERLEWINERY.COM


DAVID W. HEJL - FOUNDER / WINEMAKER, DOMAINE DELLA

David Hejl, Former General Manager and CEO of Kosta Browne and Founder and Winemaker of DOMAINE DELLA is introducing a luxury Pinot Noir to the market. This wine label honors his family’s mother who died long before her time. DOMAINE DELLA’s mission is to craft intense and adventurous wines partnering with the very best growers to make a wine that inspires and creates special moments with those that matter and timeless memories. Extremely limited production from the finest sourced grapes in the Russian River and Sonoma Coast offered and first released commercially in 2014.

DOMAINE DELLA wines are released in the Spring and Fall over a three week period twice a year to active “list” members. Join the list www.domainedella.com

WWW.DOMAINEDELLA.COM

Monday, February 27, 2017

02/27 ROBIN KELLEY O'CONNOR, WINE TRENDS, STU SMITH, SMITH-MADRONE


ROBIN KELLEY O'CONNOR - WINE SPECIALIST, BLOGGER AND SOMMELIER – SEASONAL WINE TRENDS

A leading wine educator, international wine judge, wine writer, and sommelier, Robin Kelley O’Connor is a leading wine expert. His thirty years of experience, authority and passion enable  captivating  seminars, dinner events and wine education and allows him to offer an unparalleled suite of services to corporations and individuals from around the world.

Robin serves as a guest wine instructor and examiner for the Intensive Sommelier Training program at the International Culinary Center. ICC is one of the leading culinary educational institutions in the U.S., with campuses in New York and Napa Valley. It is a world class institution dedicated to the culinary arts and vinous education.

Mr. O’Connor was previously Lead Specialist & Head of Wine,
Americas for Christie’s Auction House. He is a Christie’s trained charity auctioneer. Prior to Christie’s, he was Director of Sales and Education for Manhattan wine and spirits retailer Sherry-Lehmann, winner of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2010 Wine Retailer of the Year Award. Preceding Sherry-Lehmann, he was Trade Liaison and director of trade and consumer education in the Americas for the Bordeaux Wine Bureau (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) for 20 years. He remains intimately involved with the Bordeaux wine community and was the first American to be certified as an International Bordeaux Wine Educator.

Robin also has worked with Italian Wine Merchants (IWM), where he was the Director of Education, resident Bordeaux expert, weekly contributor to the IWM blog and "Expert Picks," as well as a member of the editorial team for the daily IWM e-Newsletter.

Robin holds Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Certified Wine Educator (CWE) certifications from the Society of Wine Educatorsand passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier exam. O'Connor served as president of the Society of Wine Educators from 2003-2007, is on the board of directors of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food and has been a regular panelist at the Food and Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen for over 25 years. He speaks annually at  Pebble Beach Food and Wine, the premiere epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast.

As a popular wine educator and spokesperson, he has conducted over 2,500 seminars; written for the Trenton Times, Santé Magazine, Wine & Spirit; and served as senior editor for Kevin Zraly’s Complete Wine Course 25th Anniversary Edition. For over a year during 2008-2009 he traveled around the world with Kevin visiting over 20 Countries, 80 wine regions, 500 appellations and tasted more than 7,000 wines.

Among his many professional honors, Mr. O’Connor bears the distinction of induction into the wine world’s most prestigious institutions, including the Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc- des Graves et de Sauternes-Barsac, the Jurade de Saint-Emilion and Les Hospitaliers de Pomerol.

WWW.RKOVINE.COM  



STU SMITH - GENERAL PARTNER & ENOLOGIST, SMITH-MADRONE

Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery.  Also in the family attic is the Fetherolf family, German farmers from the Palatinate region, who came to America on the Good Ship Thistle in 1730.  The name for the winery came as a tribute to the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and to the Madrone trees which distinguish the property.

In May 1971, with a partnership of family and friends, Stuart Smith bought the ‘terroir’ which today is Smith-Madrone Vineyards & winery. He was 22 years old and had just received his B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and was taking classes towards his Master’s in Viticulture at UC Davis. In trying to find land to plant vineyard in the Napa Valley, through a family friend he explored a forest on the remotest and highest part of Spring Mountain and discovered that the land had been a vineyard in the 1880s and in fact had been part of the wagon trail route between Napa and Santa Rosa. Today he is respected for his expertise and leadership as a mountain vineyardist.

Stuart was born and raised in Santa Monica.  While pursuing his master’s at UC Davis, Stuart was the first teaching assistant for wine industry pioneers Maynard Amerine and Vernon Singleton in 1970-1971. He taught enology at Santa Rosa Junior College and Napa Valley College; he has chaired the 1986 and 2006 Napa Valley Wine Auctions.  He is an active member of the G.O.N.A.D.S. (the Gastronomical Order for Nonsensical and Dissipatory Society), a group of Napa Valley vintners who started getting together for monthly lunches in the 1980s. He served on Napa County’s Watershed Task Force for several years, appointed by the Board of Supervisors; in 2006 he was appointed again by the Board of Supervisors to sit on Napa County General Plan Steering Committee, responsible for updating Napa’s General Plan, a three year project. Stu also serves as auctioneer for an Omaha (NB) charity auction every year.

Stuart served as Scout Master for St. Helena’s (Boy Scout) Troop One for many years. He is an avid canoeist, having canoed through the Quetico Wilderness in Canada many times and often canoes the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in California. He has five children and one grand-child; the family includes a photographer, beekeeper/artist, management information specialist, up-and-coming winemaker, distributor salesman and high school sophomore.

WWW.SMITHMADRONE.COM