Show 394, October 10, 2020: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part One

Ross Halleck of Halleck VineyardHalleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noir’s, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck.

“They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy.”

“A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast. A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.”

“In 2019, Halleck Vineyard was again judged “BEST OF CLASS” in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition in North America. Sunset Magazine anointed the Halleck Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc “BEST OF CLASS” in the United States, and the California State Fair judged the Halleck Dry Gewurztraminer #1 White Wine in California.”

We’ll meet Owner & Vintner Ross Halleck.

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Show 394, October 10, 2020: Halleck Vineyard with Proprietor Ross Halleck Part Two

Ross Halleck of Halleck VineyardHalleck Vineyard, known for their award-winning Pinot Noir’s, is a family journey of business partners Jennifer and Ross Halleck.

They planted the Halleck Vineyard in 1993, the very first in the hills of Sebastopol, in western Sonoma County. Intended as a college fund for their infant son, two more sons and six years later until their first harvest, this seemed a flight of fancy.

“A one- acre site, Halleck Vineyard is perched above the Russian River watershed and flanked on the west by the slopes to the Pacific Ocean. It commands an expansive view of the rolling Sonoma County hills to the northeast. A passion for Pinot leads the charge of the Halleck wines.”

“In 2019, Halleck Vineyard was again judged “BEST OF CLASS” in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition in North America. Sunset Magazine anointed the Halleck Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc “BEST OF CLASS” in the United States, and the California State Fair judged the Halleck Dry Gewurztraminer #1 White Wine in California.”

“The Halleck Vineyard logo represents an H for Halleck. More importantly, it expresses “one-to-one”, depicted as Roman numerals. We hope to foster a personal connection with everyone who enjoys our wine. Hence we invite people to our home, travel to meet them, share meals, and invite them on trips around the world.”

“Viewing the dot as a grape, it has served as a plant of power for over 8,000 years, 1,000 years before Mesopotamia and the birth of civilization. It was most certainly in the realm of the spiritual practitioner, healer, or shaman. Wine is viewed as sacred in almost all the major religions. And for good reason. It has the unique ability to connect us, elevating a conversation and enhancing intimacy, building community.”

“The circle represents our community. Our mission is “Building Community Through Wine.””

Owner & Vintner Ross Halleck continues with us as he pours a glass of Hillside Cuvee Pinot Noir.

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Show 388, August 29, 2020: Jeff Nelson, Founder & CEO, Liquid Farm, Lompoc

Jeff Nelson of Liquid FarmJeff Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Liquid Farm with their distinctive Tasting Room in Los Olivos and the Winery in Lompoc.

“We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines that have naturally high acidity and are not masked by many of the modern-day manipulations.”

“To do so, we selfishly decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County, it is home to some of the most Chardonnay-suited, unique, ancient soils in North America.”

“From the climate and soil, to the people and their wines, the Santa Ynez Valley is certainly one of the most special regions we have ever come across.”

“Often said, but very true, all great wine starts in the vineyard. Our project’s name reflects our strong belief in that philosophy. It is truly all about place in combination with the highest quality fruit and letting the varietal and regional TYPICITY of the wine shine through from vineyard to glass…Liquid from Farming.”

“We allow the wines to develop on their own with little intervention, minimal or no new oak and use no additives or machines to manipulate the wines inherent personality. The project is also committed to blending from the handful of special vineyards we work with in the small AVA of Sta. Rita Hills to produce a collection of Chardonnays that are markedly different expressions, but with the same thread of intense minerality and salinity they started with in the vineyard.”

The Liquid Farm collection also includes a Rose of Mourvedre and “SBC” Pinot Noir. James Sparks is the Winemaker.

“Jeff Nelson has been in the wine business for the past 20+ years, working for some of the top Champagne and Burgundy houses. With the name Liquid Farm on Jeff’s mind for many years, it was the catalyst in 2009 for starting the project with the helping guidance of Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette Cellars.”

Jeff Nelson gently pulls the cork for us on all things Liquid Farm.

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Show 384, August 1, 2020: Anchor Valley Wine, Rogue Valley with Partner Ashley Cates

Ashley Cates of Anchor ValleyAlways up for an adventure and full of entrepreneurial spirit, Joe Moxley and Mike Herrera entered into the wine world with the hopes of blazing a new trail, of merging their two business worlds in a way that hadn’t been done before. Their first partnership focused on the rock & roll world and lifestyle, bringing a signature clothing brand to fans of music.

Now, after eleven years partnering together, they’ve broadened their horizons and brought their love of wine to the forefront. The adventure began when the two went wine tasting together in Southern Oregon where they were introduced to acclaimed winemaker, Matthew Cates. It didn’t take long for the trio to form a bond which resulted in the launch of a new limited production, boutique winery they created together named Anchor Valley, based in the Rogue Valley.

Anchor Valley selections include Pinot Rose, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah.

Grapes are all sourced from local vineyards that Winemaker Matthew knows well. The inviting tasting room is in the historic town of Jacksonville, Oregon.

Partner Ashley Cates pulls the cork on Anchor Valley for us.

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Founder & Winemaker Ben Papapietro, Papapietro Perry Winery Part One

Ben Papapietro of Papapietro Perry WineryPapapietro Perry Winery is a boutique, family-owned winery located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, which has specialized in making remarkable, classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, as well as a small selection of other varietals from Sonoma such as Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Rosé. Committed to quality for more than twenty years, Ben and Yolanda Papapietro and Bruce and Renae Perry, two couples who began making wine as a hobby in a San Francisco basement in 1980, have consistently produced small lots of award-winning and critically-acclaimed wines, handmade from harvest to punch down.”

Papapietro Perry produces annually 8,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Rose. The Appellations are Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

Winemaker and Founder Ben Papapietro pulls the cork on Papapietro Perry for us.

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Show 381, July 11, 2020: Founder & Winemaker Ben Papapietro, Papapietro Perry Winery Part Two

Ben Papapietro of Papapietro Perry WineryPapapietro Perry Winery is a boutique, family-owned winery located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, which has specialized in making remarkable, classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, as well as a small selection of other varietals from Sonoma such as Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Rosé. Committed to quality for more than twenty years, Ben and Yolanda Papapietro and Bruce and Renae Perry, two couples who began making wine as a hobby in a San Francisco basement in 1980, have consistently produced small lots of award-winning and critically-acclaimed wines, handmade from harvest to punch down.

Papapietro Perry produces annually 8,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Rose. The Appellations are Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley.

“Papapietrio Perry Wine is in good company with many exceptional Sonoma County winetasting experiences in Dry Creek Valley. The winery is housed in an antique and authentic, renovated fruit processing barn at the historic Timber Crest Farms Collective near Healdsburg. A rare “Past & Present” seated wine tasting focused on past and current releases of Pinot Noir, as well as carefully-curated cheese and wine pairings, are both available by appointment while enjoying views of Dry Creek Valley from the winery’s elegant and covered outdoor hospitality and entertaining space. When the weather is inclement, tastings are also available in the winery barrel room.”

Winemaker and Founder Ben Papapietro pours a 2nd glass of Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir for us.

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Show 364, March 14, 2020: Winemaker Richard Sanford, Alma Rosa Winery, Santa Rita Hills

Richard Sanford of Alma Rosa WineryAlma Rosa Winery was founded in 2005 by California wine industry pioneer Richard Sanford and his wife, Thekla. They named the winery after the 1839 Rancho Santa Rosa land grant that historically encompassed this region of Santa Barbara County. Richard Sanford was the first to plant Pinot Noir in the area in 1971 after detailed research of climate and geologic records. Richard went on to launch two wineries before creating Alma Rosa (which he sold in 2015.)” Today Richard serves as Founder and Winery Ambassador for Alma Rosa Winery. Richard pulls the cork on Alma Rosa for us.

“Richard Sanford was inducted into the Vintner’s Hall of Fame in 2012 for his contributions to the California wine industry. Following his service in Vietnam, Richard Sanford dreamed of discovering a West Coast climate zone similar to the Burgundy region of France and producing wine that would rival the best in the world. With a degree in Geography from UC Berkeley, he identified a remarkable geographic anomaly: the transverse mountain ranges of California where the valleys open to the west, allowing cool maritime air to moderate the growing climate.”

“After locating acreage with well-drained soils in the targeted climate zone, Richard planted the first Pinot Noir vineyard in the Central Coast in 1971 — the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. A decade later, he and his wife Thekla founded Sanford Winery, where they produced award-winning wines for over 25 years.”

“In 2005, the Sanfords launched Alma Rosa Winery to pursue their commitment to organic farming and sustainable business practices. Today, those practices are continued by Bob & Barb Zorich, who purchased Alma Rosa Winery in 2014.”

Richard invites listeners to visit for a sit-down tasting experience in Alma Rosa Winery’s stunning Buellton tasting room. Guests are able to enjoy the Alma Rosa wines in a welcoming and well-appointed tasting room that is comfortably furnished and filled with the beautiful natural light of Santa Barbara County. They offer a rotating selection of 5 wines to taste from their portfolio of Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Rhone varietals and sparkling wines.

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Show 363, March 7, 2020: Folded Hills, Winery, Farmstead and Ranch in Santa Ynez Valley Part One

Kim Busch of Folded Hills“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.”

Tasting Rooms are located at the vineyard estate in Gaviota and on Old Coast Highway in Montecito.

Proprietress Kim Busch and General Manger Tymari Lore are our guests and gently pull the cork on the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery for us.

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Show 361, February 22, 2020: Winemaker & Proprietor Steve Lutz, Lenné Estate, Yamhill, Oregon Part One

Steve Lutz of Lenne EstateLenné Estate grows distinctive Pinot Noir vines in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Owner Steve Lutz began his wine career in Napa Valley, working cellars and managing tasting rooms for the Mondavis and Bill Harlan in the 1980s. He and his English wife Karen moved to Oregon in 1998, and began scouting vineyard sites after Karen inherited some money from her father Lenny, for whom the winery is named. Steve knew instantly when he had found the right site—poor soils and south-facing hillsides at 420-575 feet elevation are ideal for world-class Oregon Pinot Noir—and he planted his first vines in 2001. Six long years later, the vineyard finally achieved a normal fruit set, and Steve opened a tasting room on site.”

“Lutz is fond of boasting that his steep, 20.9-acre hillside vineyard has the poorest soil in Yamhill County—the ancient, nutrient-poor Peavine variety, which limits vine vigor and forces the plants to root deep into the earth and struggle for survival. Thousands have died, but the carnage is worth it; the dry-farmed vines that do survive produce small, naturally concentrated berries that yield distinct mocha aromatics, and rich mid-palate texture. The estate is planted to five clones of Pinot Noir (Pommard, 777, 115, 114, and 667), ranging in age from 13-16 years.”

A pair of Estate Chardonnays (classic in the Oregon style) were added in 2017.

Steve Lutz pulls the cork on Lenne Estate for us.

 

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Show 361, February 22, 2020: Winemaker & Proprietor Steve Lutz, Lenné Estate, Yamhill, Oregon Part Two

Steve Lutz of Lenne EstateLenné Estate grows distinctive Pinot Noir vines in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Owner Steve Lutz began his wine career in Napa Valley, working cellars and managing tasting rooms for the Mondavis and Bill Harlan in the 1980s. He and his English wife Karen moved to Oregon in 1998, and began scouting vineyard sites after Karen inherited some money from her father Lenny, for whom the winery is named. Steve knew instantly when he had found the right site—poor soils and south-facing hillsides at 420-575 feet elevation are ideal for world-class Oregon Pinot Noir—and he planted his first vines in 2001. Six long years later, the vineyard finally achieved a normal fruit set, and Steve opened a tasting room on site.”

“Steve Lutz crafts the Lenné Estate wines with a minimalist’s restraint, seeking to showcase the vineyard’s unique terroir. Minimal oxidation, no centrifugal pumping, and only 11 months in a maximum of 35% new oak allow him to get the wines into the bottle as intact as possible.”

“Lenné produces Pinot Noir under three labels: Le Nez (representing the estate vineyard), Lenné cinq élus (a blend of the best barrel from each of the five clones), and Lenné Estate, which includes a barrel selection of the best wine from the estate, as well as clone-specific bottlings—Karen Pommard (named for Steve’s wife), Jill’s 115 (named for Karen’s mother), Eleanor’s 114 (named for Steve’s mother), and Kill Hill (a blend of 114 and 667 from the hillside with the highest vine mortality rate).

A pair of Estate Chardonnays (classic in the Oregon style) were added in 2017.

Total annual production is 1500-2000 cases.”

We continue our conversation with Proprietor/Winemaker Steve Lutz.

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