Show 277, June 16, 2018: Jay Boberg, Co-Founder, Nicolas-Jay, Dundee, Oregon

Jay BobergNicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir.

Fruit for the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is sourced from almost every AVA in the Willamette Valley, ensuring optimal blending potential and representation of the diversity of pinot noir in the appellation. Unique sites include vineyards located in the high-elevation Eola-Amity Hills, the foothills of the cool coastal range in the McMinnville AVA, the warm red-soiled vineyards of the Dundee Hills and our expressive Bishop Creek Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. This wine is sourced almost exclusively from biodynamic, organic and LIVE certified vineyards.

“Pinot Noir is my desert island wine,” says Jay Boberg, “and I love the Pinots from Oregon. I’ve been drinking wines from Willamette Valley since 1983. People used to talk about their potential, but now you can taste what that potential has become—earth and elegance.”

In 2012, as Jay was winding down his fulltime role in the music industry, he approached his friend, Jean-Nicolas, with the idea of starting a winery together in Willamette Valley. “Jean-Nicolas and I have been friends since 1988. We share very similar philosophies about life, business, wine and friendship. Nicolas-Jay is about making the very best Pinot Noir we can possibly make.

It is also about building something together that one day we hope our kids will be a part of. When you look at the great domaines of the world, these two ideas go hand in hand.

Nicolas-Jay has recently opened a rustic farm house tasting room in Dundee near their Bishop Creek Vineyard. Tasting by appointment only, please.

Jay Boberg is our guest.

Play

Show 265, March 17, 2018: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton

Gray HartleyHartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant.

Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot named Gen Red. They also produce a dry barrel fermented rose named Pinks.

Hitching Post Wines strives to create handcrafted, flavorful wines that possess poise and balance so that they may complement the food at Chef Frank Ostini’s wildly popular Hitching Post Restaurant.

Co-Winemaker & Partner, Gray Hartley pulls the cork for us.

Play

Show 265, March 17, 2018: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Continues..

Gray HartleyFrank Ostini and Gray Hartley of Hitching Post Wines believe that great wines are made in the vineyard. Their winemaking philosophy is that they are caretakers who guide the wine into the bottle. As the wine matures it is simply left to gently age in the barrel. This minimalist approach allows Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines to reflect the character of the vineyard and the vintage, preserving the essence of the grape for you to enjoy when you open the bottle.

Hitching Post Wines are admired by those who appreciate Santa Barbara wines for their fresh fruit, spice, earthy complexities, and refreshing acidity. Their goal is to put a “slice of Santa Barbara County in each bottle and a piece of their soul in every glass of Hitching Post Wine.”

“Highliner is the “Best fisherman in the fleet” and our flagship Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Each vintage is crafted from our best vineyards and best barrels.” Highliner was featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning film, “Sideways” that brought international attention to the Hitching Post brand.

“Sideways” was based on a (then unpublished) novel by author Rex Pickett who really enjoyed hanging out at Hitching Post restaurant and savoring ample glasses of pinot noir. Gray shares the unlikely story of what happened thereafter.

“We shaped this cuvee to include mostly Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, and Fiddlestix Vineyards grapes. Delicious today with flavors of red cherry, plum, mint, white pepper sand blood orange, this Highliner (2014) is destined to give pleasure for many years.”

Play

Show 239, September 2, 2017: Restaurateur & Chef Michael McCarty, Michael’s Santa Monica & Michael’s New York Part Two

Michael McCartyWhen Chef & Restaurateur Michael McCarty opened the landmark Michael’s in Santa Monica back in 1979 I’m not sure he even suspected that he would become one of the pioneers of what is known as California cuisine along with Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. He pioneered having museum quality art on the restaurant’s wall with not a hint of pretention.

Michael is also known for mentoring rising, young culinary talent that have gone on to open their own successful restaurants. This distinguished alumni club includes Jonathan Waxman, Nancy Silverton, Brooke Williamson, Mark Peel, Ken Frank and Sang Yoon.

Just about a year ago Michael (working with his son, Chas) totally rejuvenated Michael’s Santa Monica by bringing-in a 28-year old rising-star chef with avant-garde ideas. Chef Miles Thompson is already earning deserved accolades from food critics and bringing in a younger crowd of new guests. Michael shares the entertaining story of how he and Chas came to select Chef Thompson.

Dining in the lush, shaded garden patio at Michael’s all these years later remains a uniquely L.A. experience.

Michael, usually, has a hillside vineyard on his residential property in Malibu. Just now he’s harvesting his Pinot Noir grapes for the 2017 vintage of The Malibu Vineyard.

If you’d like to see what Chef Miles Thompson is like away from Michael’s (and where he eats) take a look at his Chef’s Night Out video from Vice.

Play

Show 228, June 17, 2017: Matt Sobczak, Certified Sommelier, Presqu’ile, Santa Maria

Matt SobczakLocated in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley, Presqu’ile (pronounced press-KEEL) is a small, family-run winery dedicated to crafting exceptional cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Designed and planted to create a diverse tapestry of vineyard blocks, the sustainably certified, 73-acre Presqu’ile Vineyard features an array of clones, exposures and elevations. Made using this estate fruit and grapes from a handful of the finest vineyards in the valley, Presqu’ile’s wines capture the essence of their vineyards and vintages, and have earned acclaim for their elegance and balance. The striking, contemporary winery building and tasting room are a destination on their own.

Presqu’ile is a multigenerational collaboration between Madison and Suzanne Murphy, their three adult children, Matt, Anna and Jonathan, and their daughters-in-law, Amanda and Lindsey. No strangers to agriculture, four generations of the Murphy family have been farming land in Louisiana going back almost a century.

The Murphys are also a family of wine lovers, with a deep appreciation for the world’s great Pinot Noirs. This love of the land, combined with their shared reverence for great wine, and a deep desire to create something meaningful and enduring together, led the Murphys to pool their talents and establish Presqu’ile Winery.

Certified Sommelier Matt Sobczak, Presqu’ile’s Assistant Tasting Room Manager, joins us with the story.

 

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIf premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Lot of hype out there…Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey.

Time to separate the practical from the impressive salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy when it comes to wine glasses that won’t break the bank.

Thankfully Kyle keeps this simple for us. He suggests even a hard-core wine connoisseurs only needs a Champagne Flute, a White Wine glass, a Bordeaux / Cabernet glass and a wider bowl Burgundy / Pinot Noir glass. Respectable stemware can be had for $10 to $12 per glass. Kyle also suggests a cut glass rim versus a rolled rim.

Play

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.

Play

Show 218, April 8, 2017: Susan Righetti, Far Western Tavern & Susie Q’s Brand, Santa Maria & Orcutt, CA Part One

Susan RighettiThe Santa Maria area is known for classic Santa Maria BBQ, pinquito beans, and great California Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay. All of these tasty elements are on the menu at Far Western TavernContemporary California Ranch Cuisine in Orcutt established in 1958.

“Welcome to the Far Western Tavern – Contemporary California Ranch Cuisine inspired by local traditions. For more than five decades, spanning three generations of Minetti family ownership, the Far Western Tavern has been driven by a timeless appreciation for regional cuisine and an inherited commitment to hospitality.”

“Our restaurant is recognized as a landmark of Santa Maria Style Barbecue, a renowned regional fare rooted in native ingredients and methods that were first popularized by 19th century rancheros. Our menu blends this local barbecue style with other dishes that reflect our family’s heritage in the Santa Maria Valley’s Swiss-Italian ranching community. Our menus are graced with fresh flavors from the nearby farms, ranches and vineyards.”

“The Far Western Tavern was established in 1958 by Clarence and Rosalie Minetti along with Rosalie’s cousin Richard Maretti and his wife Jean. Originally located in the historic Palace Hotel building in the town of Guadalupe, the Far Western Tavern quickly became a hometown favorite, attracting locals and visitors alike with its legendary fare and welcoming ambiance. Today the restaurant has its home in a beautiful building in Old Town Orcutt.”

“Since those early days, the Far Western Tavern has outlasted countless culinary trends, remaining true to its original style while keeping pace with contemporary tastes. As Clarence was fond of saying, “To last in this business, you have to like people and you have to serve great food. It’s that simple.” Today, Clarence and Rosalie’s children and grandchildren remain committed to advancing the Far Western Tavern tradition.”

Co-Proprietress, Susan Righetti (representing the founding Minetti Family) joins us. She is also the proprietress of Susie Q’s Brand, purveyors of gift packages of signature local food products. It’s all quite a meaty story…

Play

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.

Play

Show 195, October 29, 2016: Winemaker Clarissa Nagy, c nagy Wines, Orcutt, CA

Clarissa NagyEarlier this year we met the passionate Clarissa Nagy who is the distinguished Winemaker at Riverbench in Santa Maria. Separate from Riverbench Clarissa has her own label, c nagy, with a rustic tasting room in historic Orcutt. Clarissa Nagy is our encore guest.

New for the 2016 release is a dry Gewurtztraminer and a Grenache.

“People often ask how I started in the wine industry. It was never my plan to make wine. Actually, my original intention was to work with food. Thankfully, food and wine are often paired together. Through that means, wine found me.”

“I met my husband while we were working together in the wine industry. We made a barrel of 2002 Viognier as a wedding favor. It seemed a fitting gift for our family and friends. My quest for another source of Viognier was encouraged by those who had tasted the “wedding wine.” It would be a longer quest than I expected.”

“I purchased one ton of Pinot Noir in 2004. I wanted to continue making Pinot Noir and work with an amazing vineyard. One thing led to another. In 2005, I began working with 3 different vineyards and my brand was born.”

“Pinot Noir and Syrah were my main focus for the next 6 years. I made a Viognier in 2010, but frost would prevent me from doing so in 2011. The loss of Viognier opened the door to work with Pinot Blanc as well, and my journey continued to unfold. The newest chapter of my story is the addition of the tasting room.”

“Winemaking has become my passion. Sharing that joy with others is a priority. I’d love to be able to bring everyone into the vineyard and cellar to experience winemaking firsthand. Since that isn’t realistic, I offer you a taste of my labor. Here is that experience captured in bottle. I hope to share this passion with you in person. Until then, enjoy!”

 

Play