Show 573, April 13, 2024: Parable Wines, Silverado Trail, Napa Valley

Trey Eppright of Parable Wines

“The Texas man, Fred Eppright, who once lived in a trailer, now earnestly has charitable endeavors. Assuredly, he holds strongly to success in his business undertakings. But that same Texas man, whose business is commercial real estate, finds himself cajoled by a son, smitten by wine, into the business of wine. The son convinced the father, the wine business could be satisfying, as well as result in a smart family enterprise. Fred, the father, told Trey, the son: “If you can find something that makes sense, bring it to me.” The son did. The father wound up spending a small fortune with the modest hopes of earning a small fortune.”

“This the unusual genesis of Parable Wines, which leads Trey Eppright, the son, to conclude the wine business “is the happiest business, because you give customers what they want.” To which Fred Eppright says, “Trey has that passion. I like that passion, but to me it is a business.””

Kale Anderson of Kale WInes

“With that, the son moved to Calistoga from Austin when Trey found an established winery property once known as Dutch Henry, that had been mostly destroyed in the Glass Fire of 2020. It had a cave, a 2 ½-acre estate vineyard and a tasting room. And he soon identified five additional prized vineyards with which to make very small lots – with the help of renowned Napa Valley winemaker Kale Anderson – and forthwith, Parable Wines was established specializing in premium Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from estate vineyards.”

Trey Eppright and Winemaker Kale Anderson join us to pull the cork on all that is Parable Wines.

Show 543, September 16, 2023: Native9 Wines with Brand Ambassador Wes Hagen Part One

Estate Host Wes Hagen

“Nine generations after the Ontiveros Family’s arrival in California, on the same land that their family once called home, James Ontiveros is proud to grow and make wines with Winemaker Paul Wilkins that are complex as the story of how they came to be.”

“Ranchos de Ontiveros is a culmination of wines (Native9 and Rancho Vinedo) expressing the unique climate, soil, and capability of the Santa Maria Valley. It’s not always pretty, and it’s seldom romantic. But it is, first and foremost, real.”

Native9 wines are sourced from all 8 clones of Pinot Noir at Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard, planted by James in 1997. The grapes are hand-harvested with whole cluster fermentation. Nothing is left out. The Native9 selections are unique, stand-out wines, produced with the land, conditions, and resources James Ontiveros has available to him.”

Rancho Vinedo wines are sourced from the Wente Clone Chardonnay and Martini Clone Pinot Noir from Rancho Vinedo Vineyard, a parcel of the original Rancho Tepusquet Land Grant. The Dona Maria Chardonnay is fresh, vibrant, and mineral driven. She’s lean and impressive. Own-rooted and old vine, this vineyard was planted in 1973 and farmed by the same family until 2012. The first vintage was 2014.”

Wes Hagen, Estate Host and Brand Ambassador joins us to uncork all that is Ranchos De Ontiveros Estate Vineyards.

Wes Hagen personally conducts (by appointment only) Native9 Estate Tours and Tastings on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The fee is $50, If you e-mail Wes and mention the “SoCal Restaurant Show” Wes will generously personally host your tasting of up to 4 adults at no charge.

Show 543, September 16, 2023: Native9 Wines with Brand Ambassador Wes Hagen Part Two

Estate Host Wes Hagen

“Nine generations after the Ontiveros Family’s arrival in California, on the same land that their family once called home, James Ontiveros is proud to grow and make wines with Winemaker Paul Wilkins that are complex as the story of how they came to be.”

“Ranchos de Ontiveros is a culmination of wines (Native9 and Rancho Vinedo) expressing the unique climate, soil, and capability of the Santa Maria Valley. It’s not always pretty, and it’s seldom romantic. But it is, first and foremost, real.”

Native9 wines are sourced from all 8 clones of Pinot Noir at Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard, planted by James in 1997. The grapes are hand-harvested with whole cluster fermentation. Nothing is left out. The Native9 selections are unique, stand-out wines, produced with the land, conditions, and resources James Ontiveros has available to him.”

Rancho Vinedo wines are sourced from the Wente Clone Chardonnay and Martini Clone Pinot Noir from Rancho Vinedo Vineyard, a parcel of the original Rancho Tepusquet Land Grant. The Dona Maria Chardonnay is fresh, vibrant, and mineral driven. She’s lean and impressive. Own-rooted and old vine, this vineyard was planted in 1973 and farmed by the same family until 2012. The first vintage was 2014.”

Wes Hagen, Estate Host and Brand Ambassador continues with us to uncork all that is Ranchos De Ontiveros Estate Vineyards.

Wes Hagen personally conducts (by appointment only) Native9 Estate Tours and Tastings on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The fee is $50, If you e-mail Wes and mention the “SoCal Restaurant Show” Wes will generously personally host your tasting of up to 4 adults at no charge.

Show 474, May 14, 2022: Center of Effort Wines, Edna Valley AVA, CA Part One

Nathan Carlson of Center of Effort

“The rising star of California’s central coast AVA is the Edna Valley, and in these foothills lies a landmark estate vineyard, its roots spanning four decades. Center of Effort is a crown jewel of this trending wine region, famed for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Edna Valley is notable for the state’s coolest wine conditions and long growing season, brought about by the breezes and morning fog from the Pacific Ocean. Center of Effort harnesses the area’s unique and valuable properties to produce wines that are well balanced and complex.”

“Center of Effort’s respect for the vineyard and its unique environment is reflected with emphasis on sustainable viticulture, natural fermentation and other non-invasive, progressive winemaking practices. The opening of their beautiful, state of the art hospitality center has enabled them to share the vineyard experience with style and comfort both indoors and out. Center of Effort’s estate wines represent the intersection of care taking, skill and commitment, and according to Forbes, “the results are pure and elegant expressions of Edna Valley terroir.””

“The winemaking operations at Center of Effort are led by Nathan Carlson, a veteran Edna Valley winemaker, who has worked with Center of Effort estate vineyards since 2008. His experience over this time with the soil, climate, and character of each parcel of the vines has led to a quiet confidence in the ultimate results of their winemaking actions or restraint.”

The striking and elegant Center of Effort Hospitality Center (with an exhibition kitchen) is available for a variety of tastings, tours and culinary experiences.

Winemaker & General Manager Nathan Carlson and Culinary Manager Lindsey Morin join us to pull the cork on all that is Center of Effort.

Show 474, May 14, 2022: Center of Effort Wines, Edna Valley AVA, CA Part Two

Lindsey Morin of Center of Effort

“The rising star of California’s central coast AVA is the Edna Valley, and in these foothills lies a landmark estate vineyard, its roots spanning four decades. Center of Effort is a crown jewel of this trending wine region, famed for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Edna Valley is notable for the state’s coolest wine conditions and long growing season, brought about by the breezes and morning fog from the Pacific Ocean. Center of Effort harnesses the area’s unique and valuable properties to produce wines that are well balanced and complex.”

“Center of Effort’s respect for the vineyard and its unique environment is reflected with emphasis on sustainable viticulture, natural fermentation and other non-invasive, progressive winemaking practices. The opening of their beautiful, state of the art hospitality center has enabled them to share the vineyard experience with style and comfort both indoors and out. Center of Effort’s estate wines represent the intersection of care taking, skill and commitment, and according to Forbes, “the results are pure and elegant expressions of Edna Valley terroir.””

“The winemaking operations at Center of Effort are led by Nathan Carlson, a veteran Edna Valley winemaker, who has worked with Center of Effort estate vineyards since 2008. His experience over this time with the soil, climate, and character of each parcel of the vines has led to a quiet confidence in the ultimate results of their winemaking actions or restraint.”

The striking and tastefully elegant Center of Effort Hospitality Center (with an exhibition kitchen) is available for a variety of tastings, tours and culinary experiences.

Winemaker & General Manager Nathan Carlson and Culinary Manager Lindsey Morin continue with us pulling the cork on all that is Center of Effort.

Show 470, April 16, 2022: Samra Morris, Winemaker, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Solvang, CA Part One

Alma Rosa Winery is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills in Santa Barbara County. The wines are layered, vibrant and balanced, and they reflect the special terroir of the Sta.Rita Hills, which benefits from cool Pacific Ocean breezes funneled inland through the unique transverse mountain range of the region.”

“Alma Rosa wines — most produced in small batches of less than 400 cases — represent the best of the Sta. Rita Hills. Guests are invited to try their selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, as well as some of their Rhone varietals, including Syrah and Grenache in their new Solvang Tasting Room.” There are also guest experiences available at the Alma Rosa Ranch.

“The Winery produces 5,000 hand-crafted cases per year focused on Estate and Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards located on a four mile stretch along Santa Rosa Road. Sta. Rita Hills has a large reputation for extraordinary Pinot Noir yet this small area is 6 per cent the size of Napa Valley vineyards and 8 per cent the size of Paso Robles.”

“Founder and Winery Ambassador Richard Sanford planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1971. He provides invaluable experience in guiding Alma Rosa’s focus on excellence and balance in all Alma Rosa does. Winemaker Samra Morris (born and raised in Bosnia) brings sensitivity and technique inspired by great winemakers in California and Burgundy to wine growing and wine-making.” Samra had been the Assistant Winemaker at Alma Rosa and when the former Winemaker abruptly departed right before the 2019 harvest was promoted with confidence by Proprietors Bob and Barb Zorich and General Manager Debra Eagle.

Winemaker Samra Morris joins us to gently pull the cork on all that is Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards.

Show 470, April 16, 2022: Samra Morris, Winemaker, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Solvang, CA Part Two

Alma Rosa Winery is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills in Santa Barbara County. The wines are layered, vibrant and balanced, and they reflect the special terroir of the Sta.Rita Hills, which benefits from cool Pacific Ocean breezes funneled inland through the unique transverse mountain range of the region.”

“Alma Rosa wines — most produced in small batches of less than 400 cases — represent the best of the Sta. Rita Hills. Guests are invited to try their selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, as well as some of their Rhone varietals, including Syrah and Grenache in their new Solvang Tasting Room.” There are also guest experiences available at the Alma Rosa Ranch.

“The Winery produces 5,000 hand-crafted cases per year focused on Estate and Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards located on a four mile stretch along Santa Rosa Road. Sta. Rita Hills has a large reputation for extraordinary Pinot Noir yet this small area is 6 per cent the size of Napa Valley vineyards and 8 per cent the size of Paso Robles.”

“Founder and Winery Ambassador Richard Sanford planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1971. He provides invaluable experience in guiding Alma Rosa’s focus on excellence and balance in all Alma Rosa does. Winemaker Samra Morris (born and raised in Bosnia) brings sensitivity and technique inspired by great winemakers in California and Burgundy to wine growing and wine-making.” Samra had been the Assistant Winemaker at Alma Rosa and when the former Winemaker abruptly departed right before the 2019 harvest was promoted with confidence by Proprietors Bob and Barb Zorich and General Manager Debra Eagle.

Winemaker Samra Morris continues with us pouring a glass of Alma Rosa Estate Pinot Noir, El Jabali Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills.

Show 467, March 26, 2022: Piedra Creek Winery, San Luis Obispo Part One

Margaret C Zuench and TJ de Jony of Piedra Creek Winery

Piedra Creek Winery was conceived atop a small knoll in the heart of the MacGregor Vineyard overlooking the beautiful Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo, California.” It was founded in 1983 by the late Romeo Zuench and his wife, Margaret. Margaret continues as Owner with her grandson, T.J. de Jony as Winemaker / Proprietor. Before establishing Piedra Creek Winery as a retirement project Romeo was (for 30 years) an accomplished Aerospace Engineer for Rocketdyne International in Canoga Park.

“In 1984 Piedra Creek Winery became the smallest bonded winery in the Edna Valley, if not the state of California, originally producing only a couple hundred cases of estate sourced Chardonnay.”

“The ultra -small batch wines quickly gained notoriety. The grapes used would not come from a selected vineyard, nor from blocks within vineyards, but rather from only the best sections of the 55 -acre Chardonnay vineyard. The result: only the best fruit would be used to make the finest wines possible.”

“In 1999, San Floriano vineyard was planted and Piedra Creek Winery moved. Three clones of Pinot Noir, two clones of Chardonnay and two clones of Lagrein comprise the San Florian vineyard. The unique and meticulous practice of hand selecting only the highest quality fruit played a fundamental role in the formation of San Floriano vineyard.” Romeo was a pioneer in bringing Lagrein grapes (from Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region) to the USA.

Piedra Creek Winery hosts relaxed, intimate tastings on the patio in the middle of their estate vineyard Friday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 3 p.m. For the comfort of all guests advance reservations are a must.

Piedra Creek Winery’s Margaret Zuench and T.J. de Jony are our guests to uncork all that is Piedra Creek Winery.

Show 467, March 26, 2022: Piedra Creek Winery, San Luis Obispo Part Two

Margaret C Zuench and TJ de Jony of Piedra Creek Winery

Piedra Creek Winery was conceived atop a small knoll in the heart of the MacGregor Vineyard overlooking the beautiful Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo, California.” It was founded in 1983 by the late Romeo Zuench and his wife, Margaret. Margaret continues as Owner with her grandson, T.J. de Jony as Winemaker / Proprietor. Before establishing Piedra Creek Winery as a retirement project Romeo was (for 30 years) an accomplished Aerospace Engineer for Rocketdyne International in Canoga Park.

“In 1984 Piedra Creek Winery became the smallest bonded winery in the Edna Valley, if not the state of California, originally producing only a couple hundred cases of estate sourced Chardonnay.”

“The ultra -small batch wines quickly gained notoriety. The grapes used would not come from a selected vineyard, nor from blocks within vineyards, but rather from only the best sections of the 55 -acre Chardonnay vineyard. The result: only the best fruit would be used to make the finest wines possible.”

“In 1999, San Floriano vineyard was planted and Piedra Creek Winery moved. Three clones of Pinot Noir, two clones of Chardonnay and two clones of Lagrein comprise the San Florian vineyard. The unique and meticulous practice of hand selecting only the highest quality fruit played a fundamental role in the formation of San Floriano vineyard.” Romeo was a pioneer in bringing Lagrein grapes (from Italy’s Trentino-Alto Adige region) to the USA.

“It has been said that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make great wine…but it certainly doesn’t hurt.”

Piedra Creek Winery hosts intimate tastings on the patio in the middle of their estate vineyard Friday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 3 p.m. For the comfort of all guests advance reservations are a must.

Piedra Creek Winery’s Margaret Zuench and T.J. de Jony continue as our guests to uncork all that is Piedra Creek Winery.

Show 466, March 19, 2022: Vintner Brian Talley, President, Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms, Arroyo Grande, CA Part One

Brian Talley of Talley Vineyards

Talley Vineyards (cool climate wines from the SLO Coast) Owner & Vintner Brian Talley is a third-generation farmer and second-generation winegrower born and raised in Arroyo Grande. While attending UC Berkeley, where he earned degrees in History and Natural Resource Economics, he worked in a wine shop called Curds and Whey where he fell in love with wine.”

“Brian began his career in the family business at age 12 when he started harvesting vegetables at Talley Farms. He became General Manager of Talley Vineyards in 1991 and now serves as President of Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms. Brian is recognized as a leader in the local wine industry and was cofounder of the World of Pinot Noir, has served as President of the San Luis Obispo Coast Wine Collective and been recognized by both Robert Parker and the local wine industry as a Wine Industry Person of the Year. Most recently he was a leader in the effort to establish the recently approved San Luis Obispo Coast AVA and wrote a farm to table cookbook, Our California Table, Celebrating the Seasons with the Talley Family.”

“Brian loves cooking, wine and travel as well as hiking and golf. He lives at the edge of Talley Farms with his wife Johnine. Brian Talley is our guest to uncork all that is Talley Vineyards.”

Talley Vineyards is known for their Estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. “The Tally Pinot Noirs are Burgundian style with California influence: approachable minerality, delicate fruit, and refreshing energy.” Their Chardonnays are a fresh take on California Chardonnay with citrus, stone fruit, and vivacity shining through in aromas and flavors.”