Show 374, May 23, 2020: Winemaker Clarissa Nagy, c nagy Wines

Clarissa Nagy of c.nagy winesPreviously we’ve met passionate winemaker Clarissa Nagy who has her own boutique label, c nagy, with a rustic tasting room in historic Orcutt. C nagy wines are “A pure expression of grapes from a vineyard celebrating the experience of Santa Barbara County.” Clarissa has a particular affinity for Pinot Noir but other available current releases include Syrah, Grenache, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Blanc.

Curbside pickup of wines by the bottle is currently available at the Tasting Room while the signature tastings are on hold. Clarissa is also hosting a regular series of entertaining and informative virtual tastings.

“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.”

“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!”
– Owner/Winemaker Clarissa Nagy

Winemaker Clarissa Nagy is our encore guest.

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Show 222, May 6, 2017: Tim Rooney, Proprietor, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Orcutt, CA

Tim RooneyRooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. Also famous (Orcutt) for “Old Maud,” a gusher of an oil well discovered there in 1904. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare.

Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries.

“Being of Irish heritage, I have always loved everything Irish. Much of our inspiration developed as our family traveled to Ireland where we toured much of the Emerald Isle. I’m not sure if we missed many Irish pubs along the way, but we loved the people, countryside, and “craic,” as they say. “

“Our love for craft beer began in the early 1980’s where finding anything beyond the basic lagers was difficult. Finally discovering Sierra Nevada, Anchor Brewing, and Sam Adams it opened a new world of freshly made, hoppy greatness.

“For as many Irish pubs we have visited, we have probably discovered more craft breweries, brewpubs, and micro brews throughout California and beyond. Our love for both had us filling a need in the Santa Maria Valley; an Irish Brewpub! Although the original vision was that of a small humble establishment, Rooney’s opened in July of 2010, and has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and authentic Irish pubs on the Central Coast. “

There is no better place to eat well, drink deep, and celebrate every good day than at Rooney’s Irish Pub, where “There are no strangers, only friends we’ve never met.”

Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is our guest.

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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…

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

Susan RighettiThe Far Western Tavern’s Susan Righetti continues…

“Welcome to the Far Western Tavern – Contemporary California Ranch Cuisine inspired by local traditions.

“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.”

Buon appetito!

-The Minetti Family

“Sharing the unique flavors of the Santa Maria Valley with the world”

“As a young girl, OrcSanta Maria style cuisine was always a central part of gatherings at our family ranch. I can still recall the aroma of my mom’s beans simmering on the stove, while ranch-raised steaks, seasoned with the perfect blend of garlic, salt and pepper, sizzled over coals of red oak.”

“This style of cooking, pioneered by Spanish vaqueros of the Santa Maria valley over a hundred years ago, is unique to the central coast of California. The cuts of meat, the flavorful seasonings and the use of local ingredients, like plump, pink pinquito beans, have been passed down for generations; including to my parents, whose love of Santa Maria barbeque led them to open the Far Western Tavern in 1958.”

“While I was working at my parent’s restaurant I enjoyed meeting diners from all over the world who traveled here to experience Santa Maria cuisine. It inspired me to find a way to share the wonderful flavors of my family’s culinary heritage beyond the restaurant. So in 1981, I created the first Susie Q Brand products and created relationships with local grocers who kindly put them on their store shelves.”

“I’m proud that Susie Q Brand is the original maker of authentic, artfully-crafted Santa Maria style food, and even as we’ve grown, we’re still a family run business. Today my children, and even grandchildren, help us share more of our family recipes, including delicious Santa Maria style salsas, locally grown pinquito beans, and red oak chips for grilling – everything you need to create an authentic Santa Maria style barbeque in your own home!” – Susan Righetti

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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!”

 

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Show 182, July 30, 2016: Clarissa Nagy, Winemaker – Riverbench Vineyard & Winery, Santa Maria & Proprietress/Winemaker of c nagy

Clarissa NagySince 2012 Clarissa Nagy has been the Winemaker at Santa Maria’s Riverbench Vineyard & Winery. Riverbench Vineyard was established in 1973 when its first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were planted on the property.

Clarissa also has her own label, c nagy, with a rustic tasting room in Orcutt. Her first release was in 2005. Clarissa uncorks it for us.

Situated on the southeastern edge of the Santa Maria Valley, the northernmost AVA in Santa Barbara County, the Riverbench vineyard currently consists of 107 acres of Pinot Noir and 77 acres of Chardonnay. In 2008, Riverbench committed themselves to a premium sparkling wine program.

Riverbench continues to work hard making wines that are inspired by Champagne in France. In 2015, they added the third great grape varietal famous in that area, Pinot Meunier, to the Riverbench vineyard. They anticipate incorporating these grapes into their sparkling wine blends beginning in 2017.

Clarissa fell in love with the aromas of Pinot Noir when she started working with wine in 1995. She received a Bachelor of Science in Food Science from California Polytechnic State University, and began her career as a Lab Technician at Edna Valley Vineyards. From there she moved through the roles of Research Assistant Winemaker at Byron Winery, Assistant Winemaker and Vineyard Supervisor at Longoria Winery, and winemaker for Bonaccorsi Wine Company since 2006.

Clarissa is known for her elegant and sophisticated winemaking style, and for her appreciation for fruit that comes from the Santa Maria Valley. She continues to refine Riverbench wines each vintage, and adds her own unique twists to their portfolio.

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