2006 Wine and Fire – Santa Rita Hills – Part 2


We continue with the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance Wine and Fire festival.  Join us for the first of Saturday morning’s seminar programs, as we hear from growers and producers about this marvelous cold growing region, and their respective takes on growing great Chardonnay. 


Bryan Babcock of Babcock Winery and Vineyards: www.babcockwinery.com
Alan Phillips of Foley Estate Vineyard: www.foleywines.com
Mike Roth of Demetria Estate: www.demetriaestate.com
Randy Rozak of Rozak Vintners: wine.appellationamerica.com
Steve Clifton of Brewer Clifton: www.brewerclifton.com
Kirby Anderson of Gainey Vineyard: www.gaineyvineyard.com

– Santa Rita Hills Wine Growers Alliance: www.staritahills.com

Sponsor: North Berkeley Wine: www.northberkeleywine.com

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Show #118
(51:29 min 29 MB)

4 Responses to “2006 Wine and Fire – Santa Rita Hills – Part 2”

  1. 1 Blaine Morris Nov 18th, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    I enjoyed this show a great deal! I’ve come full circle on Chardonnay…along with Riesling, I tried to impress my dates with these wines when I was in college 20 years ago. I’ve never completely given up on it, though I admit I went through a ‘down’ cycle with Chard from about eight years ago until about eighteen months ago. While I still prefer reds, I’m totally into it again, though sauv blanc is still the go-to white wine in our house. Well-crafted chardonnays are sublime, ok ones are ok, and most cheap ones are hangover hell. I’ve always liked Santa Barbara Chards, particularly from a QPR standpoint. I’ve been about 50/50 on SRH chards though I must admit I’ve not had too many. I still prefer the RRV chards, but I’m inclined to get one of each of these bottles and recreate the tasting. Thanks for going out on a limb with a show on white wines! Decanter magazine recently had a white wine issue, and in the editor’s notes, they mentioned that the reason the do so little on whites is beacuse the last time the did a white wine issue, it set a circulation low-water mark… As far as the Wine and Fire shows, after the first one I was like, “here we go again with their buddies up in SRH…”, but this chard show was a welcome change for you. How about some shows on RRV Pinots and Chards? Come on guys, I think you’ve reached critical mass on the SRH shows. I know it’s more geographically sensible for you, but come up north a bit more! Thanks for the great shows!

  2. 2 GrapeRadio Bunch Nov 19th, 2006 at 11:08 am

    We appreciate the comments – and hang in there, Blaine. We’ve got some stuff in the can from visits to both Napa and Sonoma.


  3. 3 petercargasacchi Nov 23rd, 2006 at 8:42 pm

    I think more people are rediscovering Chardonnay and white wines in general. The varietal is winning new converts; and with the stainless steel and nuetral barrel wines we are seeing very many “born again” Chardonnay drinkers. I am not sure what the critical mass in terms of consumption is on the newer styles, (actually the chablis style is an old style) but the varietal makes an amazing diversity of wines. I was in the ABC camp myself swearing off Chardonnay about 10 years ago only to be “born again” while tasting some of the amazing steely bright chards from the SRH. (I can thank Wes Hagen for that.) This rebirth has let me branch out to appreciate the range from tropical and pineapple to some of the minerally, mouth watering green apple brine(?) versions that pair so well with food. Now I have helped convert a few people to the stainless chards myself and its quite fun to see people come back the varietal. I am still not much of a fan of the oaky stuff, but I find the tropical chards are excellent aperitifs. When we were planning Wine and Fire it was important to us that we include these wines as there are many outstanding producers in our area. Another region nearby with stunning Chardonnay is the Santa Maria Valley. Some of the wines coming of the Santa Maria bench are simply stunning. I would also put a plug in for Green Valley and Anderson Valley Chardonnay. Wow!!!

  4. 4 GrapeRadio Bunch Nov 27th, 2006 at 10:45 am

    I liked Steve Clifton’s take on the planting of Chardonnay — that we’ve tended to give them shorter shrift, relegating them to the “bottom land” in a vineyard. I also liked Wes’ take — that a white wine (Chardonnay in this case) was exactly where you should put your money, and $ for $ whites represented better wines than many reds.

    I too have come back to Chardonnay to explore the many interpretations that winemakers are giving the variety. Makes me think that these things are cyclical, and sooner or later ‘everything old is new again.’


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