Tag Archive for 'sonoma'

Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Anaba Wines

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Anaba (“Anna-bah”) takes its name from the cool upward-flowing breezes called anabic winds that frequently stream through the estate Carneros vineyard during the warm summer months. Owner John Sweazey is thought to be the first vintner in Northern California to harness wind power to supplement power in his tasting room and storage facility.

The Director of Winemaking and Vineyard Operations, and the General Manager of Anaba is Jennifer Marion, a graduate of UC Davis who as been at Anaba since its launch. Join us as we talk with Jennifer about her multifaceted role at the winery and the Rhone and Burgundian varietals she crafts at Anaba. Along the way, the Grape Radio crew has quite a few laughs in this thoroughly enjoyable conversation.

For more info:

Anaba Wines: www.anabawines.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #333
(47:35 min 43.6MB)

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Meet Soliste Cellars – with Claude Koeberle

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Claude Koeberle is quite a fascinating study and has been called a “force of nature.” He is opinionated (“Many of California’s fruit-forward wines do not pair well with food”), devoted to Pinot Noir with religious fervor (“Cabernet Sauvignon is an evil weed”), and talkative. He could impress you with his culinary accomplishments (Apprenticed under Paul Bocuse and Alain Chappell, became the youngest 3 Star Michelin Chef in Paris, Chef at Ma Maison and L’Orangerie in Los Angeles, James Beard Award as a master chef, French Laundry partner, and one of the driving forces behind Creative Culinary Concepts, Inc., and K World Cuisine, Inc.), but he would rather talk at length about how he has taken old world (Burgundian) beliefs and applied them to produce wines with finesse and balance that work in harmony with fine cuisine.

Together with long time friend and business partner, Donald Plumley and their respective spouses, Claude started Soliste in 2005 with the release of a Sonatera Vineyard Pinot Noir. The name Soliste is derived from the special barrel or “soliste” that Burgundian winemakers reserve for their family and friends.

Join us as we talk with Claude Koeberle about his culinary career, and how it led him on a journey into wine.

For more info:
Soliste: www.soliste.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #331
(1:20:47 min 74.0 MB)

Go West Young Man – with Jean-Charles Boisset

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Jean-Charles Boisset was born into the world of wine. His parents, Jean-Claude and Claudine, had founded the family winery in 1961 in one of the most traditional winegrowing regions in the world – the village of Vougeot, in Burgundy. Born in a room above the family cellars, he grew up within view of the centuries-old vineyards of Château du Clos Vougeot. His involvement began early, accompanying his grandfather to the vineyards, playing in the barrel rooms and, as a teen, working several summers in the winery and cellars.

Jean-Charles completed his studies at the University of London, and moved to the U.S. for graduate studies in business and finance. He soon began work with Boisset’s American operation, and successfully developed a domestic portfolio of wines, while building a sales and marketing arm for the U.S. and Canada. He then joined the family management team back in Burgundy as Vice-President, and began to expand the Boisset holdings to become the third largest wines-and-spirits concern in France. He also ramped up the quality level by focusing on small-production wines from vineyards with very low yields that relied on organic or biodynamic farming methods.

However, having been exposed to American culture at a young age by both his parents and grandparents, Jean-Charles headed West again – ultimately to the vineyards of California. Continuing his search for premium New World terroir for Pinot Noir, Boisset added DeLoach Vineyards to its portfolio in 2003, followed by the 2009 purchase of Raymond Vineyards, and the 2011 purchase of Buena Vista Winery. The family had now also firmly planted their roots in California. Today, the Boisset family collection includes wineries that share more than 18 centuries of combined winemaking heritage and tradition in some of the world’s most prestigious terroirs, from Burgundy to the South of France, and to California’s Napa Valley and Russian River Valley. As if this weren’t enough, Jean-Charles would also find amour, marrying Gina Gallo in 2009, thus creating an immediate royal wine-family.

Join us as we talk with the charming and ebullient Jean-Charles, President of Boisset Family Estates, about his affection for California, his many wine innovations, and all things wine and philosophy.

For more info: Boisset Family Estates: www.boissetfamilyestates.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #327
(1:14:18 min 68.0MB)

Laurel Glen – Cabernet, Sonoma Style

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Laurel Glen Vineyard, a thousand feet up the slopes of Sonoma Mountain, was well known as an excellent site for Cabernet Sauvignon even before the 1st vintage of Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 1981. But it was the 16 acre vineyard developed in the 1970’s by Sonoma wine pioneer Patrick Campbell that really put it on the map.

Finally, after 30 vintages, Patrick Campbell sold the vineyard and winery to a group of wine lovers, led by wine industry veteran Bettina Sichel. Bettina had helped launch Quintessa and went on to develop its reputation and profile distribution over the next decade as director of sales and marketing. The daughter of Peter M.F. Sichel, the man responsible for making Blue Nun a household name in America, she is the fifth generation of the Sichel family to work in the wine business. The new Laurel Glen team includes viticulturalist Phil Coturri, winemaker Randall Watkins and renowned vintner David Ramey.

Join us as we talk with Bettina about what it takes (besides money) to take over an established winery and vineyard, and continue to steer it in all the right directions.

For more info: Laurel Glen Vineyard: www.laurelglen.com

Sponsor: The Wine Club, Fine Wine Merchants: www.thewineclub.com

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Show #307
(42:23 min 40MB)

20 Years of Williams Selyem – Part 2

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As most people know, Burt and Ed sold the winery to John and Kathe Dyson in 1998, and Bob Cabral became new winemaker with the impossible task of replacing a legend in the wine world. Bob has strived to continue the tradition of excellence in crafting Williams Selyem wines, thus making the idea of a second “Bob Years” 10-year retrospective even more intriguing.

Join us for Part 2 as we hear from winemaker Bob Cabral about his trial by fire.

For More Info: World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Sponsor: Porter Family Vineyards – Napa Valley: www.porterfamilyvineyards.com

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Show #276
(48:33 min 34MB)

20 Years of Williams Selyem – Part 1

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In March of 2010, the World of Pinot Noir was celebrating its Tenth Anniversary. Something special ought to be done, the organizers thought. How about making one of the seminars a ten-year retrospective tasting from a well-known winery? Yes, that would be something special. However, when the retrospective covers ten years of Pinot Noirs from Williams Selyem, well it probably doesn’t get any better or more interesting than that. And of course, this is only Part 1 – Part 2 will cover the most recent 10 years next week.

From its humble beginnings in 1981, Burt Williams and Ed Selyem took their little garage project wine, originally named Hacienda Del Rio, to awards, kudos, and critical accolades. The wines were mostly sold via mailing list, but the wine’s reputation and scarcity only added to its allure, and ultimately, the wines became so popular that they started a waiting list to get on the mailing list.

Join us for Part 1 as we hear about the “Bert Years” from Williams Selyem’s current winemaker Bob Cabral and restaurateur Michael Jordan. A story that has become a legend in the world of pinot noir.

For More Info: World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Sponsor: Porter Family Vineyards – Napa Valley: www.porterfamilyvineyards.com

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Show #275
(1:06:37 min 48MB)

Sonoma County Road Trip

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We decided to make a trek up to Sonoma County to visit with a few personalities from the Kendall-Jackson stable of wineries.

Our first stop was to visit with Melissa Stackhouse, winemaker for La Crema. The love for farming came naturally for Melissa, having spent summers on her grandparents’ farm in rural Minnesota. But, it was a visit to Washington State’s San Juan Islands that actually introduced her to wine. And, as they say in fishing, the hook was set. A UC Davis education was next on the agenda, followed by several internships which finally led her to La Crema in 2001 as assistant winemaker. By 2003, she was running the place.

Next, we were off to meet with Don Hartford at Hartford Family Winery in the Russian River Valley. Don attended University of Massachusetts at Amherst, obtained his law degree from Santa Clara University, and his legal career has included a Tokyo law firm, a large San Francisco-based firm, Jess Jackson’s practice of Constitutional law, and work at the California Supreme Court. The law notwithstanding, Don has immersed himself in winemaking and winery management over the past 20 years. He also owns and farms a small vineyard of old-vine Zinfandel behind his home. This 90-year old vineyard is located on seven acres and is head-pruned to produce annual yields of about 1.5 tons an acre. Almost by itself, stewardship of this property has returned Don to his Massachusetts farming roots.

Then, we spent some quality time with Randy Ullom, of Kendall-Jackson Estates. Randy was originally hired in 1993 by Jess Jackson as the winemaker at Camelot Vineyards. That same year, Jackson also put him in charge of heading up a new Chilean operation as founding winemaker and general manager of Viña Calina. Then in 1996, Ullom helped Jackson establish wine production in Argentina with the Tapiz label. In 1997, Ullom was made winemaster for Kendall-Jackson Winery. In 2006, he also became the company’s Chief Operating Officer, reflecting his intimate involvement in the both the viticultural and winemaking programs of Kendall-Jackson.

Finally, we talked with Alex Réblé, winemaker for Matanzas Creek. Originally from the Bordeaux region of France, Alex was educated at the Agricultural School of Libourne and Blanquefort and mentored by Jean-Claude Berrouet (then winemaker at Pétrus and La Fleur-Pétrus).  After working at Chateau La Tour Carnet for a year, Alex turned his attention to the New World. Wanting to try his hand with Burgundian varieties, he took a job at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon, working with Joe Dobbes. Then, he was on to the Napa Valley in 1998, to work with Luc Morlet at Newton Vineyards, Ken Deis at Flora Springs Winery, and Daniel Baron at Silver Oak and Twomey. Finally, he joined Matanzas Creek in 2001 as cellar master, becoming its winemaker in 2010.

For more information on Jackson Family Wines: www.kj.com

Sponsor: VinAssure, Wine Preservation System : www.vinassure.com

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Show #270
(1:15:01 min 41MB)

Bitten by the Wine Bug

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Shane Finley had been bitten by the wine bug. So, in 2001 he decided to ditch the New York corporate insurance world and try his hand at something different – making wine. After contacting Wells Guthrie at Copain to ask about an opportunity to intern, Shane packed his worldly belongings and headed for California. The mentorship there would lead Shane to work a harvest in Australia, and travel to France to work with Pierre Gaillard in the Northern Rhône. After returning to California, Shane became cellarmaster at Copain, then assistant winemaker at Paul Hobbs, before finally taking his current position in 2006 at Kosta Browne.

As the associate winemaker at Kosta Browne winery, Shane works very closely with Michael Browne making world class Pinot Noir. It would seem, at this point, that he had possibly achieved most of his ambitions in the world of wine. Well, not entirely. It had been a great journey so far, but Shane wanted to begin a personal wine project – a label of his own. Of all the grapes he had worked with thus far, Syrah seemed to speak to him the most. Thus was born Shane Wine Cellars – his family project devoted to producing Syrah. In addition, Shane is making Pinot Noir under the Spell label, as a friends and family venture.

Join us as we talk with Shane about his philosophy and approach to winemaking – as well as his love for both Pinot Noir and Syrah.

For more info on Shane Cellars: www.shanewines.com

Sponsor: Wine Beserker: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #259
(55:59min 40MB)

The Napa Road Show – Part 1

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It’s always a pleasure to visit Northern California’s Wine Country. There’s so much to see and do – as well as taste and smell. With this in mind, we were quite pleased to accompany a small group recently, and head up to Napa and Sonoma to visit to with some familiar wineries; plus, we were able to make some new friends along the way.

Join us as we visit with Mary Rocca and Eric Grigsby of Rocca Family Winery, as well as their winemaker, Paul Colantuoni. We’ll also visit with John Komes and Sean Garvey to see what’s happening at Flora Springs, and then talk with Todd Graff from Frank Family Winery.

Sponsor: GrapeNutz, Wine Site: www.grape-nutz.com

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Part 1

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Show #250 A
(51:13 min 35MB)

The Napa Road Show – Part 2

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In part 2, we sit down with Randy Lynch and Rob Hunter to hear more about Bennett lane Winery in the Calistoga area of Napa Valley. Then, we’ll head west up over the Mayacamas Mountains to Sonoma County and visit with winemaker George Bursick at J Vineyards and Winery. And finally, we talk with Kimberly Pfendler and her winemaker Greg Bjornstad about bringing their efforts to fruition at Pfendler Vineyard in the famed Petaluma Gap.

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Part 2

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Show #250 B
(49:35 min 36MB)

The Boys of John Ash & Co: An Interview with Dan Kosta

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The Santa Rosa restaurant, John Ash & Co., has played a little known but remarkably important role in the history of Sonoma County wine. John Ash & Co. was known for spawning numerous innovative and progressive wine trends that have since become commonplace in restaurants today. Restaurant wine-by-the-glass service originated in California at John Ash & Co., and organized blind tastings of wines and creatively themed wine dinners emphasizing food and wine pairings were first popularized at the restaurant. John Ash & Co. was among the first restaurants to have a wine bar and an associated retail wine store.

Over the years, numerous ex-employees of the restaurant have went on to become successful winemakers, winegrowers and key employees in various wine related businesses.

Listen to Dan Kosta, a former Wine Director at John Ash & Co. talk about his experiences that led up to him co-founding Kosta Browne with Michael Browne, another former John Ash & Co. employee.

For more info on John Ash & Co: www.chefjohnash.com

For more info on the wines of Kosta Browne: www.kostabrowne.com

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #228
(36:30 min 26MB)

Talking Wine with Russell Bevan

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Does the name Russell Bevan ring a bell? Well, it probably does to most wine-geek denizens of the internet. Russell (and alter ego Bacchus) was there at the start, when wine-based bulletin boards and discussion groups emerged from their cocoons.

A rabid wine fan from the time he could buy wine (actually, even before), Russell wanted to learn everything he could about the subject. Eventually, he found many others across the country like himself who were thoroughly into wine. Before long, Russell found himself leading groups of thirsty geeks on extended wine tours of his favorite region, California. These tours became the things of legend, and soon other geeks were doing likewise, exploring and indulging their passion in the California grape scene.

So, where did all this crazy passion for wine lead Russell? Right into winemaking. When he was offered a ton of high-quality Cabernet fruit from a very respected source in Napa Valley, Russell jumped at the chance and made his first Bevan Cellars Cabernet. And where did that lead him? The winemaking job at this same source – Showkett Vineyards. Fast forward to today, Russell leads some of the same friends on a new adventure, hand-sorting through grapes in an all-out effort to make a “yummy” wine.

Join us as we talk with Russell about the early days, the present challenges, and how he and his inspiration Victoria realize a dream of what must seem like the perfect life.

For more info on:

Bevan Cellars: www.bevancellars.com
Drystack Cellars: www.drystackwinery.com
Showket Vineyards: www.showketvineyards.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies, Mailing List: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #205
(1:16:34min 55MB)

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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

GrapeRadio has been the subject of numerous news reports by: The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, The Financial Times of London, and Wired Magazine.