Show 219, April 15, 2017: Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Manager, Ca’ Del Grevino Estate, Santa Maria, CA

Jon Karlo MaciasCa’ Del Grevino is located in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County. The vineyard is located just 10 miles from the Pacific Coast and benefits greatly from cool, maritime influences. The vineyard is planted methodically and meticulously, with special attention paid to varietals best suited to the estate’s terroir. Taking into account the soils, the meso- and micro-climates, the coastal influences and the orientation of the sun upon the hillsides, you can find here Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache, Dolcetto, Riesling and Syrah.

“Our vineyard produces some of the finest wines in California. The region’s cool climate, geology and topography provide the opportunity to create uncompromised, premium wines. Ca’ Del Grevino, meaning “House of Grewal Family Wines”, produces fine wines steeped in Italian tradition with a distinctive California style.”

Ca’ Del Grevino is the signature wine brand of our estate representing regality, tradition and opulence. Nestled in California’s prestigious Central Coast is the lovely Santa Maria Valley. The unique micro-climate of the valley produces cool mornings and long warm afternoons. Together with us the best quality fruit produced and attention to detail produces our award -winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, White Riesling and Syrah wines.”

Ca’ Del Grevino wines are available to their Wine Club members and at their distinctive area Tasting Rooms. Each Tasting Room has a bit of a different character. The Orcutt Tasting Room is also a Café. The Los Olivos Tasting Room skillfully pairs their wines with cheese, charcuterie or chocolate plates. The Tasting Room in Santa Barbara is in the vibrant “Funk Zone” at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. An attraction there is Helena’s Bakery with a menu of custom-baked sweet and savory goods.

 

Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Manager, walks us through the lush vineyard estate.

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Show 217, April 1, 2017: Laura Donadoni, Brand Ambassador, Franciacorta

Laura DonadoniFranciacorta is considered by connoisseurs as the luxury Italian sparkling wine. It’s a good value for the quality. The name identifies both the production method as well as its growing area in Italy. It’s also the Consorzio Del Franciacorta.

The Consortium was founded on March 5, 1990 in Corte Franca to guarantee and monitor compliance with the rules for producing Franciacorta wine. The name of the geographic region where its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc vines are grown is used to identify this wine, which is produced exclusively by the method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. In one word, Franciacorta describes an area, a production method and a wine. 

Having moved to its present site at Erbusco in 1993, the Consorzio Franciacorta has about 200 members including wine growers, wine producers, bottlers and others involved in the production chain for the designations Franciacorta DOCG, Curtefranca DOC and Sebino IGT.

Its distinctive logo with a castellated letter F distinguishes its wines and refers back to the ancient mediaeval towers that characterize 19 municipalities in the heart of Lombardy, by the shores of Lake Iseo: Adro, Brescia (part), Capriolo, Cazzago San Martino, Cellatica, Coccaglio, Cologne, Corte Franca, Erbusco, Gussago, Iseo, Monticelli Brusati, Ome, Paderno Franciacorta, Paratico, Passirano, Provaglio, Rodengo Saiano and Rovato,

The cultivation of vines has ancient origins on the hills of Franciacorta, as evidenced by the findings of prehistoric grape seed and the writings of classical authors such as Pliny, Columella and Virgil. Rich archaeological material dating from prehistoric times, such as the remains of stilt house foundations found in the bogs of Sebino, reveal how primitive populations settled here and gradually took over from the Cenomani Gauls, the Romans and the Lombards.

Vine cultivation has been a constant in Franciacorta, where grapes were grown from Roman times to late antiquity and the Middle Ages, thanks to its favorable climatic and soil conditions. Though good and bad periods alike, viticulture in these lands never stopped.

Brand Ambassador Laura Donadoni graciously pops the cork on the Italian bubbly for us.

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Show 192, October 9, 2016: John Terlato, Vice Chairman, Terlato Wine Group

John TerlatoJohn Terlato of Terlato Wines is a distinguished California vintner and well-known wine entrepreneur. He will share with us his recent adventures in Burgundy, France. It’s a great travel destination for any fan of the wine grape!

“You might imagine that if one were to have the good fortune of purchasing a vineyard in California, it would not typically spark interest in a place more than 5,000 away.”

“Here is why I felt the need to visit Burgundy. Sanford Winery is home to the oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in the Santa Barbara area, dating to 1972. It also possesses a magical and unique confluence of climate and soil conditions – remarkably like those of Burgundy. And once our family owned Sanford, I wanted to more deeply understand Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the two iconic varieties of Bourgogne.” – John Terlato

“So what did I learn from all of this? First, it all starts with the soil and farming. Great wines are born from a unique combination of soil, microclimate, and attention to detail in farming. It is this unique confluence that causes great wines to be unique. Nor better…unique.”

 

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Show 154, January 9, 2016: Elliott Dolin, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards

Elliot DolinInspired by a Chardonnay vineyard Elliott and Lynn Dolin planted behind their ocean-view Malibu home in 2006, Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards has quickly emerged as one of the leading producers in the new Malibu Coast AVA which Elliott was instrumental in getting approved.

Following the release of just five vintages of Chardonnay ($39), the winery has plans to expand its Malibu production to include several more wines from the region. In fall 2014 Dolin Estate broadened its scope further with the release of a new line of Central Coast Pinot Noir wines from such highly regarded vineyards as Talley Rincon, Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills. In 2015, Dolin Estate will introduce additional single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from the Central Coast.

Following their first vintage of Dolin Estate Chardonnay, Elliott and Lynn Dolin looked to the Central Coast to find a winemaker whose experience exceeded what was available in Southern California. They set up a meeting with Kirby Anderson at their Malibu Coast Vineyard, and right away they knew they had found a winemaker who shared their appreciation for wines made in a seamless, silky and voluptuous style. In 2010 Kirby began making Dolin Estate’s Chardonnay, and in 2012 he helped expand the portfolio to include Central Coat Rose of Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir.

Lynn Dolin (Elliott’s wife) is also active in the venture. She has a keen eye for style and designed the label for the Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir. It even won a design award at the greatly respected San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Elliott Dolin joins us to share his unusual wine story.

Special thanks to Shawn Burgert at Wandering Wino for providing the wonderful photographs of Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards.

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Show 148, November 28, 2015: Holman Ranch Vineyards & Will’s Fargo Steakhouse + Bar

Nick Elliott of Holman Ranch and VineyardsThe historic 400-acre Holman Ranch and Vineyards dates back to 1928. Located at the north eastern tip of the Carmel Valley Appellation, the family-owned Holman Ranch resides approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast.

Immersed in history and romance, the ranch has not only proven to be an excellent growing location for their vineyards but also for the Tuscan varietal olive trees which have flourished under the temperate climate. It’s also a one-of-a-kind executive retreat and special events venue.

The Holman Ranch estate grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 19 acres of undulating terrain. The wines produced are unfiltered and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to bottle. The estate wines include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose of Pinot Noir. The winery itself is located in an environmentally-friendly underground cave.

The Holman Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room is located near the Ranch at 19 E. E. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley. In addition to the Holman Ranch Estate varietals their new label is Jarman. It’s strictly limited release, estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Grand Estate Wine Club members have access to hosted two-night stays at the Ranch’s Hospitality Cottages. Each comfortable Cottage is decorated with rare movie posters of a Hollywood notable who stayed on the Ranch in earlier years.

The Holman Ranch also owns the nearby Wills Fargo Steakhouse + Bar on W. Carmel Valley Road. It’s been a local tradition since 1959. An evening at Will’s Fargo brings back a bygone era and offers some of the finest food on the Monterey Peninsula under the direction of long-time Executive Chef Jerome Viel.

Guest Services Manager and Partner, Nick Elliott, joins us.

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Show 139, September 26, 2015: DANCIN Vineyards, Co & Proprietor Dan Marca

Dan MarcaDANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Tuscan Italian-esque vineyard estate known for award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca.

The Marcas take only one thing more seriously than hospitality – growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes of exceptional quality and making premium wine that expresses the terroir of their special site while spotlighting the grape’s essential character.

“Our recent expansion allows us to use our estate’s natural topography for a gravity flow system that cuts out the need for pumps. We can get the wine from barrel to bottling with minimal agitation which is integral for great Pinot Noir because its delicate flavor is easily damaged” says owner Dan Marca.

DANCIN was the first vineyard estate in the area to serve food prepared from their own kitchen. The menu is deliciously simple and designed to pair with the wines. Standouts are the stuffed mushrooms and variety of specialty artisan pizzas from Cindy’s wood-fueled oven.

“Dance like Nobody’s Watching.”

Dan Marca is our guest.

 

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Show 94, October 25, 2014: Kyle Meyer, Best Wines

Kyle Meyer of Best WiinesDid you know there are truly wonderful Italian sparkling wines that you don’t see much of in the United States ? These sparkling wines should not be confused with Prosecco which is actually an Italian grape variety.

Our new resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer, President and Director of Purchasing for Best Wines in Santa Ana, gives us the authoritative 411.

The best Italian sparkling wines are made using the Methode Champenoise technique (with a 2nd fermentation in the bottle.) Kyle favorite appellations are Franciacorta and Trento.

Franciacorta comes from the Southern part of Lombardy. The grapes used are Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero and Chardonnay.

Trento uses similar grapes with the addition of Pinot Meunier. Best Wines sampled a delicious Ferrari NV Brut from Trento at C-CAP’s “Sweet & Savory Spectacular” Benefit.

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Show 60, February 8, 2013: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

L.A. Cetto wines are on the wine list at Loteria! Grill in Hollywood, Mariasol Cocina, and Camacho’s Cantina at Universal CityWalk.

They are available at the San Antonio Winery retail store as well as at better beverage shops.

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February 8: Caroline Styne, San Antonio Winery, Andrew Gruel, Brad A. Johnson, Paul Gstrein, Linda Kissam

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Chef Jet and Producer Andy preview the show.

Valentine’s Day is next week so get moving and don’t panic. It falls on a Friday this year. Friday is an especially tough day for restaurants due to Valentine’s Day anxiety so if you want to be a bit more relaxed make your plans for Saturday or Sunday instead. Still the Valentine’s Day orbit but a bit less crazed for the restaurant. You’ll definitely have better service…

Chef jet Tila and Alton BrownFood Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” with host Alton Brown is back on Sunday nights for Season 2. Our own Chef Jet Tila is the most frequently appearing solo judge on this tough competition show that requires strategy as well as cooking chops. Look for Jet’s new episodes starting in February.

It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi and a classic Newport Beach restaurant is serving a special Olympics-themed menu for the duration. We’ll go inside the menu with the creative executive chef. Caroline Styne is the partner and Wine Director (with Chef Suzanne Goin) in Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. We’ll talk with her and get insight on how you keep a firmly established and growing restaurant group fresh for the dining public. We’ll also hear the story of Slapfish which started as a modest food truck and now is a growing international empire. Did you know there is an emerging wine region in Northern Baja? You’ll learn about a promising winery in the Guadalupe Valley founded by Italians. Brad A. Johnson, the restaurant critic for The Orange County Register, joins us to talk about letter grades for restaurants. We’ll also have a visit with travel journalist Linda Kissam, who was recently in Spain touring the wineries representing the 50 best Cavas produced there.

All of that and lots more incredible deliciousness on the “SoCal Restaurant Show.”

Caroline StyneCaroline Styne had an extensive background in specialty food products, catering, and restaurant management before partnering with Chef Suzanne Goin to open Lucques in 1988. In December of 2002, Goin & Styne opened their second restaurant, A.O.C., where the concept of small plates and fifty wines by the glass was born out of their shared passion for going out and sampling a variety of appetizers and intriguing wines. A.O.C. relocated to the face-lifted former Orso space about a mile West on 3rd Street in late 2012. Styne is the Wine Director for all the restaurants.

Tavern, in Brentwood, followed in May of 2009. It offers fine dining all day along with The Larder which has gourmet prepared foods and packaged goods. There is a new Larder at Burton Way in the luxury 8500 Burton Way Apartments on the border of L.A. and Beverly Hills as well as at LAX.

Styne contributed the helpful wine notes to Suzanne’s The A.O.C. Cookbook.

“And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C. there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well – showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine.”

LA Cetto WinesDid you know there is a burgeoning wine industry in Mexico? Finally some of these affordable wines are finding their way into the United States. Shouldn’t a fine Mexican restaurant also offer premium Mexican wines?

One of the premier grape growing areas of Mexico is in the Guadalupe Valley (and adjacent valleys) located in Northern Baja California. It has the rural feel of the flat areas of Sonoma County from 40 years ago.

The predecessor wine interests of L.A. Cetto were established in Baja by Italians in the late 1920s. In 1960 L.A. Cetto acquired their first vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley. Today they have some 2,500 acres in the Valley under the stewardship of the 3rd generation of the Baja-based Cetto Family. They are the largest producer of table wines in Mexico.

L.A’s own San Antonio Winery (dating to 1917) is the distributor of L.A. Cetto wines in Southern California. Allan Stark, a 25-year veteran of San Antonio Winery joins us to tell the L.A. Cetto story and discuss some of their premium reserve wines including Nebbiolo, Chardonnay, and a Brut Sparkling wine.

Andrew GruelFood trucks have proven to be a worthwhile testing ground for innovative food concepts. A great example is Slapfish with a limited service, fast-casual restaurant in Huntington Beach located in a strip center. A new Laguna Beach location will launch later this year.

The partners started with one food truck serving the OC in 2009. By 2011 they had three trucks serving both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel is with us to fill us in on the Slapfish tale. They have just signed a franchise agreement to open 75 full service restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 to 7 years.

They like to characterize Slapfish as a modern seafood shack. It’s a real American seafood experience that revolves around fresh, sustainable fish, prepared simply, but delivering big flavors.

Letter Grades at RestaurantsLast month The Orange County Register’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic, Brad A. Johnson, was looking to review a Newport Beach restaurant. Instead all of the members of his dining group came down with severe cases of food poisoning. When Brad checked the Health Department records of this restaurant he was surprised to learn that they had received a serious violation on each of their previous inspections since they opened two years ago.

Brad is with us to discuss his campaign for Orange County restaurants to receive Letter Grades as a result of their Health Department inspections as is practice in Los Angeles County and other areas of California.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi is underway. Russia is on peoples’ minds.

Paul Gstrein of Bayside RestaurantPaul Gstrein, the long-time (Austria-born) executive chef at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach has been inspired by Russia, too. For the duration of the Games Paul will be featuring Russian dishes as appetizers, entrees, and even desserts. How about Beef Short Rib Borscht and Berkshire Pork Tenderloin Stroganoff?

Please note that not every appetizer or entrée on the special Russian menu will be available each night.

Linda KissamThe very well-traveled Linda Kissam is a respected food, wine, and travel writer who is on the go most of the time. She serves as the 1st Vice President of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association. She is also an author and the Global Wine & Travel Editor-at-Large for Luxe Beat Magazine.

Late last year Linda was invited to Spain to tour the Penedes wine region, the heart of cava sparkling wine production. Her mission was to taste and evaluate 50 fine cavas over an intensive five day period. Linda shares the highlights of this very special experience with us.

Le BernardinChef Jet has been in New York twice over the last two weeks and has enjoyed some standout dining adventures along the way. Jet shares the details of his truly exquisite meal at the classic Le Bernardin. It’s expertly prepared French seafood from Chef Eric Ripert at a very high level.

Jet also visited Ippudo, a well-known Japanese ramen shop.

Podcasts

Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Caroline Styne, Wine Director and Partner, Lucques, A.O.C., The Tavern, and The Larder
Segment Three: Allan Stark, San Antonio Winery, Los Angeles
Segment Four: Andrew Gruel, Executive Chef & Partner, Slapfish
Segment Five: Brad A. Johnson, Restaurant Critic, Orange County Register
Segment Six: Paul Gstrein, Executive Chef, Bayside Restaurant
Segment Seven: Linda Kissam, Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA
Segment Eight: Jet Tila on Manhattan Dining

Show 5: November 3, 2012: Tom Leahy of OneHope Wines Part One

Tom Leahy, the President of ONEHOPE Wine Co., was in-studio to tell their incredible story of cause marketing. They donate an impressive 50 per cent of their profits to worthy charities. They will sell some 44,000 cases of premium wine this year via their website, retail, and in better restaurants.

Folio Wine Partners (a division of Michael Mondavi Family Estates) produces their portfolio of fine wines in concert with ONEHOPE. Michael’s son, Rob Mondavi, Jr., is the esteemed winemaker. Rob is the grandson of pioneering California winemaker Robert Mondavi.

The current wine portfolio, all proprietary blends, includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir Reserve.

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