Show 178, July 2, 2016: Doug Minnick, Co-Founder, The Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure

Garagiste FestivalThe Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure returns to The Wiltern theater on July 9th. Over 60+ artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers from across California, including Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and SLO counties; Napa and Sonoma counties, and Paso Robles will pour over 200 wines. Over 30% of the wineries are participating in the Los Angeles festival for the first time. Co-founder Doug Minnick uncorks the festivities for us.

Urban Exposure also presents the LA premiere of one of its signature comparison tasting seminars, “Tasting the Winemaker’s Spice Rack,” on the stage of The Wiltern. Rendarrio Vineyards owner and winemaker Ryan Render and Michael Larner, winemaker and owner of the renowned Larner Vineyard, will use side-by-side comparisons to help wine consumers understand, through their taste buds, how different oak treatments – from type to region to toast – can affect the finished product and change the profile of a single wine.

Renowned for their ‘crazy thrill of discovery,’ one-on-one interactions with winemakers, and fun ‘no-snobs-allowed’ atmosphere, Garagiste Festivals offer wine lovers their only opportunity to taste so many small-production, hard-to-find wines, from so many regions, all in one place – over 60% of Urban Exposure winemakers are without a tasting room.

The Metro Purple Line light rail station is right across the street. Talk about convenience…

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Show 125, June 6, 2015: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery

Michael LarnerLarner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara: the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners.

Michael Larner is an accomplished winemaker, enology professor and viticulturist. His wife, Christina Larner, is the tasting room manager (located in Los Olivos as part of the Los Olivos General Store) as well as a favorite local artist. Monica Larner, a renowned wine critic, returns regularly from her adopted home, Italy, to oversee public relations.

Their case production is a modest 1,000 cases a year. Most of their premium grapes are sold to some 23 other boutique wineries with the resulting Larner Vineyard designation on the label.

Winemaker Michael Larner is our guest.

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Show 125, June 6, 2015: Winemaker Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery Continues…

Michael LarnerLarner Vineyard & Winery is a small, family-run estate located at the heart of the best Rhone grape-growing region in Santa Barbara: the new Ballard Canyon AVA inside the Santa Ynez Valley. Founded by Stevan and Christine Larner as solely a vineyard in 1999, the property today is both a vineyard and winery, established in 2009. It’s now run by the second generation of Larners.

The 134-acre ranch is planted to 34 acres of vine, focused on the Rhone varieties; Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre and Viognier. As a small tribute to Italy, the Larners also have a little block of Malvasia Bianca.

Syrah has become the signature of the Ballard Canyon AVA. A special custom bottle, unique to the AVA, is used for only estate-grown Syrah. The distinctive bottle design is in the final stages of being trademarked.

Most of the premium grapes grown on the ranch are sold to other boutique wineries including Sine Qua Non.

In early 2012, Michael and Christina opened the Los Olivos General Store in the bucolic town of Los Olivos within the historic old gas station on the corner of the flagpole. The store now houses the Larner tasting room, the perfect intimate location to try the family’s exclusive and limited estate offerings.

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