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 572, April 6, 2024: Gary Eberle, Patriarch of Eberle Winery, Paso Robles Part One

Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery

“Affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the Paso Robles wine region, Gary Eberle’s contributions to the California and U.S. wine trade are significant. Eberle was the first to place the Paso Robles AVA designation on the Eberle Winery Cabernet Sauvignon label and he subsequently co-founded the distinctive Paso Robles terroir as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 1983. With a staunch commitment to the possibility of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Eberle was also the first to plant Syrah on the Central Coast and make a 100 percent Syrah varietal wine in the United States. As chief promoter for his brand, Eberle has worked relentlessly for almost 50 years building awareness of the Paso Robles and California wines through his passionate promotion to consumers, media and trade across the country. These milestones have proven to be significant as Paso Robles has become a respected force in the wine industry.” Gary Eberle joins us to uncork all that is Eberle Winery.

“Eberle began his academic studies at Penn State University where he played football and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He then attended Louisiana State University before heading west to California where he completed his coursework for a PhD in enology and viticulture from U.C. Davis in 1973. “I chose Paso Robles based on Dr. Olmo’s recommendation that Paso Robles was the place to grow world-class Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Eberle. “I think we’ve achieved that,” he added.””

“Once in Paso Robles, Eberle launched his career as partner and winemaker with Estrella River Winery & Vineyards. In the late 70s, he decided to pursue his own project and acquired nearly 64 acres just down the road from Estrella River Winery. Shortly thereafter, Gary released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon and opened the winery and tasting room in 1983.”

“Eberle Winery has showcased the history and diversity of the Paso Robles Appellation since 1979. Eberle Winery continues to be family owned and operated.  With an annual case production of 26,000, Eberle wines are distributed in 34 states and six countries. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with wine tasting and cave tours. 805-238-9607.”

Another attribute of Gary Eberle over his long tenure in Paso Robles is that his mission was to promote Paso Robles as a destination region for producing premium wines. Promoting the Eberle Winery was always secondary. Gary attributes this to another lesson learned from pioneering California winemaker Robert Mondavi. “Mr. Mondavi” (as Gary always deferentially refers to the late Robert Mondavi as) in his travels always promoted Napa Valley first as the locale for premium wines before pitching the Robert Mondavi Winery itself.

Show 572, April 6, 2024: Gary Eberle, Patriarch of Eberle Winery, Paso Robles Part Two

Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery

Affectionately known as the “Godfather” of the Paso Robles wine region, Gary Eberle’s contributions to the California and U.S. wine trade are significant. Eberle was the first to place the Paso Robles AVA designation on the Eberle Winery Cabernet Sauvignon label and he subsequently co-founded the distinctive Paso Robles terroir as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 1983. With a staunch commitment to the possibility of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Eberle was also the first to plant Syrah on the Central Coast and make a 100 percent Syrah varietal wine in the United States. As chief promoter for his brand, Eberle has worked relentlessly for almost 50 years building awareness of the Paso Robles and California wines through his passionate promotion to consumers, media and trade across the country. These milestones have proven to be significant as Paso Robles has become a respected force in the wine industry.” Gary Eberle continuers with us to uncork all that is Eberle Winery.

“Eberle began his academic studies at Penn State University where he played football and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He then attended Louisiana State University before heading west to California where he completed his coursework for a PhD in enology and viticulture from U.C. Davis in 1973. “I chose Paso Robles based on Dr. Olmo’s recommendation that Paso Robles was the place to grow world-class Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Eberle. “I think we’ve achieved that,” he added.””

“Once in Paso Robles, Eberle launched his career as partner and winemaker with Estrella River Winery & Vineyards. In the late 70s, he decided to pursue his own project and acquired nearly 64 acres just down the road from Estrella River Winery. Shortly thereafter, Gary released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon and opened the winery and tasting room in 1983.”

“Eberle Winery has showcased the history and diversity of the Paso Robles Appellation since 1979. Eberle Winery continues to be family owned and operated.  With an annual case production of 26,000, Eberle wines are distributed in 34 states and six countries. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with wine tasting and cave tours. 805-238-9607.”

Another attribute of Gary Eberle over his long tenure in Paso Robles is that his mission was to promote Paso Robles as a destination region for producing premium wines. Promoting the Eberle Winery was always secondary. Gary attributes this to another lesson learned from pioneering California winemaker Robert Mondavi. “Mr. Mondavi” (as Gary always deferentially refers to the late Robert Mondavi as) in his travels always promoted Napa Valley first as the locale for premium wines before pitching the Robert Mondavi Winery itself.

Show 562, January 27, 2024: Winemaker Paul Warson, Warson Wine Co., Santa Barbara County

Paul Warson of Warson Wine Company

“Winemaker Paul Warson of Warson Wine Co. grew up in Los Angeles, attended UC Davis where he eventually studied Fermentation Science. Before his final year he worked at a sparkling winery in Carneros when he decided he would spend his career doing what he did for his summer vacation. Upon completion of his degree, he was invited back to see, “the other side of things.””

“Feeling he needed a change of perspective, Paul traveled to Australia, where he lived and worked for six months. With the change in varietals, climate, and overall attitude to winemaking, Paul discovered a different approach to the craft he studied and trained in for so long. Desiring to seek outside perspectives to winemaking, when Paul returned to California, he worked at Chateau Potelle, back when it was owned by both Jean-Noel and Marketta Fourmeaux and sat atop Mount Veeder. It was here Paul integrated his schooling, his experience from Australia, along with what he learned from the owners: that with each wine that is created, the winemaker has an intimate commitment to both the wine and the consumer, to craft wines that are distinctive and true to their place.”

“After working an additional nine years in Napa Valley, a conversation with Bill Foley brought Paul to Firestone Vineyard, in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he was winemaker and General Manager for nine years. By this time, estate vineyards had become Paul’s specialty, and he was able to elevate all of the tiers for each winery he worked for.”

Warson Wine Company started as a need Paul felt he had to fulfill. An inner call, to again make wine on his terms, for people to enjoy, but now with the fruit he chooses.” At present Paul is primarily sourcing fruit from familiar, esteemed vineyards in Santa Barbara County.

Paul has a special, limited time offer for listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” When you go to Warson Wine Co. and order wine when you get to the payment area type in “830AM” in the discount/offer code box for a 15 % discount! Nice…

Paul Warson joins us to uncork all that is Warson Wine Co.

Show 553, November 25, 2023: Switchback Ridge Winery, Calistoga, with Sommelier Pierson Ryan Part One

Ryan Pierson of Switchback Ridge

Switchback Ridge winery produces handcrafted estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga, Napa Valley.” In recent years they have added a non-estate Sauvignon Blanc (with meticulously sourced premium fruit) to broaden the line.

“In 1914, Eliza and Mads Peterson purchased a 100-acre property located on the floor of the Napa Valley at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. Both Eliza and Mads had immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s–Eliza from Ireland and Mads from Denmark–and headed westward as so many did at that time, seeking a place to call home.”

“The property, located just off the Silverado Trail between St. Helena and Calistoga, hosted a small Zinfandel vineyard. With the onset of Prohibition in 1920, prunes quickly became the cash crop in Napa Valley, and the Petersons planted a plum orchard to help provide for their large family. Caring for the orchard, as well as a large vegetable garden and numerous farm animals, was a full-time job for the whole family, including the six boys and three girls.”

“When the time came to pass the property on, the daughters, and not the sons, took the responsibility. Vera, Carrie, and Mae worked to preserve the family legacy, maintaining the buildings, plum orchard, vegetable garden and livestock. Vera worked the land, Carrie managed the books and Mae returned each summer to help the harvest. Vera’s son, John Peterson, grew up working the farm and, in turn, taught his children, Trish, Kelly and Johnny, the reward of hard work. The inspiration sparked by Mads’s dream, set a true legacy in motion.”

“Slowly the plum orchards transitioned to vineyards, and by the 1990s grape vines were thriving on the property that once hosted plums. The soils with plenty of drainage and a warm, sunny climate made the area perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah. There are currently 21 acres under vine, which includes a sixty-plus year-old block of dry farmed Petite Sirah that John Peterson helped plant as a young child.”

“The inspiration to embark upon a family wine project first came to Kelly (representing the 4th generation of Peterson Family ownership) in 1995 with the death of her great aunt, Carrie. Auntie, as she was affectionately called, emphatically insisted that her old vine block of Petite Sirah, or “Pets” as she called them, “not be touched” when the property was replanted in 1990. At the time there was little respect or interest in Petite Sirah and total acreage in California was down to an all-time low of only 1,700 acres. After her death, there was a renewed interest in the variety and Kelly vowed to make a Petite Sirah varietal wine in her honor. That dream became a reality in 1999, with the help of family friend and winemaker Bob Foley, when Switchback Ridge produced its first vintage.”

“Switchback Ridge is named for the winding trails in the hills above the vineyard that John explored as a child. Today Kelly Peterson continues the legacy that began with her great-grandfather, Mads, over a hundred years ago.”

Certified Sommelier Pierson Ryan who is the National Sales Director for Switchback Ridge joins us to pull the cork on all that is Switchback Ridge.

Show 553, November 25, 2023: Switchback Ridge Winery, Calistoga, with Sommelier Pierson Ryan Part Two

Ryan Pierson of Switchback Ridge

Switchback Ridge winery produces handcrafted estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga, Napa Valley.” In recent years they have added a non-estate Sauvignon Blanc (with meticulously sourced fruit) to broaden the line.

“In 1914, Eliza and Mads Peterson purchased a 100-acre property located on the floor of the Napa Valley at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. Both Eliza and Mads had immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s–Eliza from Ireland and Mads from Denmark–and headed westward as so many did at that time, seeking a place to call home.”

“When the time came to pass the property on, the daughters, and not the sons, took the responsibility. Vera, Carrie, and Mae worked to preserve the family legacy, maintaining the buildings, plum orchard, vegetable garden and livestock. Vera worked the land, Carrie managed the books and Mae returned each summer to help the harvest. Vera’s son, John Peterson, grew up working the farm and, in turn, taught his children, Trish, Kelly and Johnny, the reward of hard work. The inspiration sparked by Mads’s dream, set a true legacy in motion.”

“Slowly the plum orchards transitioned to vineyards, and by the 1990s grape vines were thriving on the property that once hosted plums. The soils with plenty of drainage and a warm, sunny climate made the area perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah. There are currently 21 acres under vine, which includes a sixty-plus year-old block of dry farmed Petite Sirah that John Peterson helped plant as a young child.”

“The inspiration to embark upon a family wine project first came to Kelly (representing the 4th generation of Peterson Family ownership) in 1995 with the death of her great aunt, Carrie. Auntie, as she was affectionately called, emphatically insisted that her old vine block of Petite Sirah, or “Pets” as she called them, “not be touched” when the property was replanted in 1990. At the time there was little respect or interest in Petite Sirah and total acreage in California was down to an all-time low of only 1,700 acres. After her death, there was a renewed interest in the variety and Kelly vowed to make a Petite Sirah varietal wine in her honor. That dream became a reality in 1999, with the help of family friend and winemaker Bob Foley, when Switchback Ridge produced its first vintage.”

“Switchback Ridge is named for the winding trails in the hills above the vineyard that John explored as a child. Today Kelly Peterson continues the legacy that began with her great-grandfather, Mads, over a hundred years ago.”

Certified Sommelier Pierson Ryan who is the National Sales Director for Switchback Ridge stays with us pulling the cork on all that is Switchback Ridge.

Show 526, May 20, 2023: Notre Vue Estate Winery and Vineyards with Estate General Manager, Geoffrey Thompson Part One

Geoffrey Thompson of Notre Vue Estate Winery and Vineyards

Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards is a breathtaking property spanning 710 acres located just minutes south of Healdsburg, and directly in the town of Windsor’s backyard. The vast views from the summit are a patchwork of vineyards and open space seamlessly woven together, hence the French name “Notre Vue” which means Our View. The property features 350 acres of “Forever Wild” protected open space and 250 acres of beautiful rolling vineyards. Their wines are made in the European style, focusing on finesse and purity, and made with low intervention, clean winemaking styles.”

“Notre Vue Estate takes pride as a certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery producing ultra-premium wines from their estate vineyards that straddle two of California’s most famous viticultural appellations: Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill, located in Sonoma County. What makes them special is the diversity of terroir that sweeps across the rich tapestry of their land, allowing Notre Vue to grow a selection of 16 grape varieties, including some European varieties rarely found in Sonoma County. The 710-acre estate boasts many diverse microclimates, including rare soil and slope combinations. The wines  produced at their estate vineyards are recognized for their uniqueness and richness.”

“Grapes have been grown on the property since 1869 and commercially for wines since 1907. Notre Vue Estate & Winery produces wines under the Notre Vue label which are sold primarily at their tasting salons and in select restaurants. Notre Vue also produces wines under the Balverne label which is a brand that was historically famous in the 1980’s being poured at the White House multiple times as well as the famous Hollywood Brown Derby, the original Spago in West Hollywood and Sparks Steakhouse in New York.”

“Balverne wines were produced on the estate in the 1980’s and the brand was carefully resurrected by the Notre Vue Estate owners in 2012 to honor Balverne’s history. In 2022, Notre Vue Estate celebrated its 30 year anniversary under the current ownership. Notre Vue Estate is now helmed by co-founder Renée Brown-Stein. In addition to producing multiple wines under our two labels they also sell their grapes to many premium wineries in Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Notre Vue grapes are found in some of the most well-known wines from Sonoma and Napa.”

“Notre Vue Estate is committed to the highest level of service in providing more than just wine tastings. They provide crafted experiences of wine, food and nature that create lifetime memories for the Estate’s guests. With breathtaking views at the Block 23 Terrace and Lakeside Pavilion, the estate is a place where you can enjoy the natural environment, beautiful vistas, and appreciate the overall rustic elegance along with the welcoming charm that are all a part of the essence that is Notre Vue Estate.” By advance appointment only.

The Estate General Manager, Geoffrey Thompson, joins us to uncork all that is Notre Vue Estate Winery and Vineyards.

Show 526, May 20, 2023: Notre Vue Estate Winery and Vineyards with Estate General Manager, Geoffrey Thompson Part Two

Geoffrey Thompson of Notre Vue Estate Winery and Vineyards

Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards is a breathtaking property spanning 710 acres located just minutes south of Healdsburg, and directly in the town of Windsor’s backyard. The vast views from the summit are a patchwork of vineyards and open space seamlessly woven together, hence the French name “Notre Vue” which means Our View. The property features 350 acres of “Forever Wild” protected open space and 250 acres of beautiful rolling vineyards. Their wines are made in the European style, focusing on finesse and purity, and made with low intervention, clean winemaking styles.”

“Notre Vue Estate takes pride as a certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery producing ultra-premium wines from their estate vineyards that straddle two of California’s most famous viticultural appellations: Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill, located in Sonoma County. What makes them special is the diversity of terroir that sweeps across the rich tapestry of their land, allowing Notre Vue to grow a selection of 16 grape varieties, including some European varieties rarely found in Sonoma County. The 710-acre estate boasts many diverse microclimates, including rare soil and slope combinations. The wines  produced at their estate vineyards are recognized for their uniqueness and richness.”

“In 2022, Notre Vue Estate celebrated its 30 year anniversary under the current ownership. Notre Vue Estate is now helmed by co-founder Renée Brown-Stein. In addition to producing multiple wines under their two labels (Notre Vue Estate and Balverne) they also sell their grapes to many premium wineries in Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Notre Vue grapes are found in some of the most well-known wines from Sonoma and Napa.”

The Estate General Manager, Geoffrey Thompson, continues with us to uncork all that is Notre Vue Estate Winery and Vineyards.

Show 498, November 5, 2022: Jason Moore, Winemaker & Founding Partner, Modus Operandi Cellars, St. Helena, Napa Valley Part One

Jason Moore of Modus Operandi Cellars

Jason Moore is the winemaker and founding partner of Modus Operandi Cellars (2004) in the Napa Valley, a limited production boutique winery.

“For Jason wine is one of those things that to many people can incite a tremendous amount of feelings and emotions. Wine is enchanting and mysterious, gives joy, confuses, and inspires. In many cases, these complexities lead to a love which leads to a strong passion for wine. For Jason it lead to founding Modus Operandi Cellars.”

From Jason Moore –“I have to pinch myself almost daily as I am truly living my dream… the dream of being a Winemaker in California. Growing up in Dallas, Winemaker wasn’t exactly the most obvious career path that springs to mind, but at the age of 24 and after working as a waiter in several of the city’s finest restaurants, acquiring a love for all things wine, getting the go-ahead from my bride to be, and selling everything that we owned, we were off to California where, yes, I had the lofty aspiration of becoming a Winemaker.”

“Completely self-taught thru diligent self-study and the utilization of winemaking mentors, I knew that true learning when it comes to such a stylistically artistic, yet mind blowing organic and mystifying thing such as winemaking, can ONLY be accomplished through MAKING WINE. There is absolutely no substitute. I honed my craft in the garage of an elderly vineyard owner in Napa. He grew the grapes, I made the wine, and we split the product on bottling day.”

“In 2004 at the age of 26, I officially started my professional career by launching Modus Operandi Cellars with 200 cases of Napa Cabernet. I am so thankful to God that at such a young age I found my passion and am fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it as a career. I believe that winemaking is an art form that is supported by science, however a solid conceptual understanding of the science is also necessary.”

Three premium Modus Operandi Cellars tasting experiences are available including two St. Helena winery tastings and an interactive, at-home tasting.

Winemaker Jason Moore joins us to pull the cork on all that is Modus Operandi Cellars.

Show 498, November 5, 2022: Jason Moore, Winemaker & Founding Partner, Modus Operandi Cellars, St. Helena, Napa Valley Part Two

Jason Moore of Modus Operandi Cellars

Jason Moore is the winemaker and founding partner of Modus Operandi Cellars (2004) in the Napa Valley, a limited production boutique winery.

“For Jason wine is one of those things that to many people can incite a tremendous amount of feelings and emotions. Wine is enchanting and mysterious, gives joy, confuses, and inspires. In many cases, these complexities lead to a love which leads to a strong passion for wine. For Jason it lead to founding Modus Operandi Cellars.”

From Jason Moore –“I have to pinch myself almost daily as I am truly living my dream… the dream of being a Winemaker in California. Growing up in Dallas, Winemaker wasn’t exactly the most obvious career path that springs to mind, but at the age of 24 and after working as a waiter in several of the city’s finest restaurants, acquiring a love for all things wine, getting the go-ahead from my bride to be, and selling everything that we owned, we were off to California where, yes, I had the lofty aspiration of becoming a Winemaker.”

“Completely self-taught thru diligent self-study and the utilization of winemaking mentors, I knew that true learning when it comes to such a stylistically artistic, yet mind blowing organic and mystifying thing such as winemaking, can ONLY be accomplished through MAKING WINE. There is absolutely no substitute. I honed my craft in the garage of an elderly vineyard owner in Napa. He grew the grapes, I made the wine, and we split the product on bottling day.”

“In 2004 at the age of 26, I officially started my professional career by launching Modus Operandi Cellars with 200 cases of Napa Cabernet. I am so thankful to God that at such a young age I found my passion and am fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it as a career. I believe that winemaking is an art form that is supported by science, however a solid conceptual understanding of the science is also necessary.”

Three premium Modus Operandi Cellars tasting experiences are available including two St. Helena winery tastings and an interactive, at-home tasting.

In early September Jason was the host (with Chef de Cuisine Zach Scherer) of a sold-out Modus Operandi Cellars Wine Dinner (5 courses) at Bello by Sandro Nardone in Newport Beach. A standout course was the Elk Sirloin with charred farmers market peppers and bone marrow & jus vinaigrette matched with the 2019 Farella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville.

Jason also highlighted his 2020 Vicarious Pinot Noir including explaining the background of the Vicarious label.

Winemaker Jason Moore joins us to pull the cork on all that is Modus Operandi Cellars.