Show 421, April 17, 2021: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part One

Michael Brughelli of Folded Hills Winery

“In 2017, Andy and Kim Busch started a business in their 50’s which they knew nothing about. Andy, coming from a long line of beer barons, had worked not in the beverage business but rather at Grant’s Farm, the original prototype for the Busch Gardens parks started by his father, Gussie. Folded Hills Winery, Farmstead, Ranch focuses on top notch wine making rather than beer.”

“The Busch’s own Folded Hills, a working ranch, an integrated sustainable farm is located just outside of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. When they purchased a contiguous piece of farming property they learned that the original farmsteader had planted a pre-prohibition vineyard and made wine in the basement of his farmhouse.”

“The Busches had purchased the property to keep the land agricultural in general and organic in particular and in 2014 decided to start farming organic grapes alongside the 18 acres of organic row crops, stone fruits, and animals.”

“As they were deciding what grape varietals to plant everyone told them to “plant what they love to drink”. Andy loves beer – that was no help- although they do have a small patch of hops growing. Kim loved Pinot Noir but the terroir would not grow a quality Pinot. They settled on the Rhône varietals which they knew absolutely nothing about. Now the hillsides are rolling with grape vines of syrah, grenache, Clairette blanc, grenache blanc and marsanne.”

Handsomely appointed Tasting Rooms are located at the vineyard estate in Gaviota and on Old Coast Highway in Montecito. For the guests’ convenience and safety advance appointments are suggested.

Winemaker Michael Brughelli is our guest and gently pull the cork on the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery for us.

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Show 421, April 17, 2021: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part Two

Michael Brughelli of Folded Hills Winery

“In 2017, Andy and Kim Busch started a business in their 50’s which they knew nothing about. Andy, coming from a long line of beer barons, had worked not in the beverage business but rather at Grant’s Farm, the original prototype for the Busch Gardens parks started by his father, Gussie. Folded Hills Winery, Farmstead, Ranch focuses on top notch wine making rather than beer.”

“The Busch’s own Folded Hills, a working ranch, an integrated sustainable farm is located just outside of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. When they purchased a contiguous piece of farming property they learned that the original farmsteader had planted a pre-prohibition vineyard and made wine in the basement of his farmhouse.”

“This is a heart project for the Busches and they wanted to bring some of their mid-West roots and family heritage to the project. Many of the wines have names that harken back to their iconic St. Louis history.”

“Their award-winning Lilly Rosé is named for six generations of Lilly’s.” From Lilly Anheuser who married Adolphus Busch in 1861, to their 3 -year old grand-daughter, Lilly. The Grant Grenache is named for the family seat in St. Louis, Grant’s Farm, which was named for Ulysses S. Grant, the original farmsteader of the that land. The August Red and August White are named for Andy’s grandfather and father, August Busch Sr. And Jr. His father, August, Jr., or Gussie, was the one who gave his father the first Clydesdale hitch to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in 1934.

“The Busches still ponder why they decided to launch a business that they knew so little about, so late in life, after their children had left home. But it is working. Folded Hills has won many awards for the wines which are grown organically, following the biodynamic calendar. The wines are hand-crafted in small batches with minimal intervention.”

Winemaker Michael Brughelli oversees all winemaking, working directly with the vineyard and cellar staff in a hands-on fashion. “A California native, Brughelli is perhaps best known as winemaker for Scar of the Sea, a label he co-founded with Mikey Giugni. A darling of critics and sommeliers alike, Scar of the Sea quickly rose in prominence as Brughelli’s wines drew wide notice. In 2019, he sold his portion of Scar of the Sea back to Giugni in order to launch his own consultancy, Vignerons. Previously, Brughelli was at Bien Nacido Vineyard, in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County, where over the course of seven seminal years, he rose from Sales Manager to Director of Sales to Director of Supply.”

Winemaker Michael Brughelli continues with us providing the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery.

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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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