Show 300, December 1, 2018: Founding Winemaker Dieter Cronje, Presqu’ile Winery, Santa Maria

Dieter CronjeLocated in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley, Presqu’ile (pronounced press-KEEL) is a small, family-run winery dedicated to crafting exceptional cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Made using grapes from their own sustainably certified Presqu’ile Vineyard, and from a handful of the finest winegrowing sites in the valley, Presqu’ile wines capture the essence of their vineyards and vintage, and have earned acclaim for their elegance and balance.

Situated high atop a hill, with stunning ocean and vineyard views, Presqu’ile offers one of California’s most memorable wine tasting experiences. Join the Murphy Family, and enjoy a taste of southern hospitality on California’s beautiful Central Coast.

“A cool-climate Pinot Noir specialist, and one of the Central Coast’s rising star winemakers, Dieter Cronje brings a unique perspective, gained in two hemispheres, to Presqu’ile. As the winery’s founding winemaker, Dieter had the rare opportunity to contribute his insights to the original planting of Presqu’ile’s 73-acre estate vineyard, an experience that gave him an intimate knowledge of the vineyard’s rich diversity.”

“He also collaborated with Presqu’ile’s founders, the Murphy family, during the design of Presqu’ile’s purpose-built winery. In this gravity-flow winery, Dieter preserves the vineyard’s diversity by working in small lots, and applying a gentle, minimalist approach that accentuates the character of the vineyards. The resulting wines offer the purity, elegance and signature spice that have made Santa Maria Valley famous among connoisseurs of great cool-climate Pinot Noir.”

Founding Winemaker Dieter Cronje pulls the cork for us.

Play

Show 298, November 17, 2018: Kyle Meyer, Proprietor, Wine Exchange, Part 2 – Best Holiday Wine Picks for Value

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIt’s the best in premium wines priced at a value for your Holiday Table and gifting with our resident wine authority Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange. This is Part 2 of his special Holiday 2018 report.

First it’s a recap of what varietals really work on the Thanksgiving table. Unfortunately it’s just not the time for rich, buttery California Chardonnays or tannic Cabernet Sauvignons. Bubbly works surprisingly well throughout the feast as well as Oregon Pinot Noirs.

There is more depth to Italian Lambrusco from Emily-Romagna than you probably are aware of.

Kyle’s pick is Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Sobrara Vecchia Modena Premium Secco 2016. It’s a drier style. Priced at a surprising $15.00!

“93 Points! Very fine texture to this Lambrusco with sliced watermelon, apple and hints of raspberry. Medium body, dry and delicious fruit. Bright acidity. Goes with everything. Served chilled. Drink now. – James Suckling

Play

Show 277, June 16, 2018: Jay Boberg, Co-Founder, Nicolas-Jay, Dundee, Oregon

Jay BobergNicolas-Jay is a pinot noir venture located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Celebrated Burgundian winemaker, Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet, and music and media entrepreneur, Jay Boberg, lend their individual talents and shared dedication to the winery, where traditional French winemaking meets quintessential Oregon terroir.

Fruit for the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is sourced from almost every AVA in the Willamette Valley, ensuring optimal blending potential and representation of the diversity of pinot noir in the appellation. Unique sites include vineyards located in the high-elevation Eola-Amity Hills, the foothills of the cool coastal range in the McMinnville AVA, the warm red-soiled vineyards of the Dundee Hills and our expressive Bishop Creek Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. This wine is sourced almost exclusively from biodynamic, organic and LIVE certified vineyards.

“Pinot Noir is my desert island wine,” says Jay Boberg, “and I love the Pinots from Oregon. I’ve been drinking wines from Willamette Valley since 1983. People used to talk about their potential, but now you can taste what that potential has become—earth and elegance.”

In 2012, as Jay was winding down his fulltime role in the music industry, he approached his friend, Jean-Nicolas, with the idea of starting a winery together in Willamette Valley. “Jean-Nicolas and I have been friends since 1988. We share very similar philosophies about life, business, wine and friendship. Nicolas-Jay is about making the very best Pinot Noir we can possibly make.

It is also about building something together that one day we hope our kids will be a part of. When you look at the great domaines of the world, these two ideas go hand in hand.

Nicolas-Jay has recently opened a rustic farm house tasting room in Dundee near their Bishop Creek Vineyard. Tasting by appointment only, please.

Jay Boberg is our guest.

Play

Show 265, March 17, 2018: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton

Gray HartleyHartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner / chef Frank Ostini (made famous in in the Oscar-winning feature “Sideways”) and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley. Frank and Gray first made wine at home in 1979. They found their first Pinot Noir in 1981. The project moved to a winery in 1984 to make wines exclusively for the Hitching Post Restaurant.

Their passioned focus has been to work with the California Central Coast’s best vineyards producing many Pinot Noirs, a couple Syrahs and a red blend of Merlot named Gen Red. They also produce a dry barrel fermented rose named Pinks.

Hitching Post Wines strives to create handcrafted, flavorful wines that possess poise and balance so that they may complement the food at Chef Frank Ostini’s wildly popular Hitching Post Restaurant.

Co-Winemaker & Partner, Gray Hartley pulls the cork for us.

Play

Show 265, March 17, 2018: Gray Hartley, Founder & Co-Winemaker, Hitching Post Wines, Buellton Continues..

Gray HartleyFrank Ostini and Gray Hartley of Hitching Post Wines believe that great wines are made in the vineyard. Their winemaking philosophy is that they are caretakers who guide the wine into the bottle. As the wine matures it is simply left to gently age in the barrel. This minimalist approach allows Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines to reflect the character of the vineyard and the vintage, preserving the essence of the grape for you to enjoy when you open the bottle.

Hitching Post Wines are admired by those who appreciate Santa Barbara wines for their fresh fruit, spice, earthy complexities, and refreshing acidity. Their goal is to put a “slice of Santa Barbara County in each bottle and a piece of their soul in every glass of Hitching Post Wine.”

“Highliner is the “Best fisherman in the fleet” and our flagship Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Each vintage is crafted from our best vineyards and best barrels.” Highliner was featured in the 2014 Oscar-winning film, “Sideways” that brought international attention to the Hitching Post brand.

“Sideways” was based on a (then unpublished) novel by author Rex Pickett who really enjoyed hanging out at Hitching Post restaurant and savoring ample glasses of pinot noir. Gray shares the unlikely story of what happened thereafter.

“We shaped this cuvee to include mostly Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict, and Fiddlestix Vineyards grapes. Delicious today with flavors of red cherry, plum, mint, white pepper sand blood orange, this Highliner (2014) is destined to give pleasure for many years.”

Play

Show 239, September 2, 2017: Restaurateur & Chef Michael McCarty, Michael’s Santa Monica & Michael’s New York Part Two

Michael McCartyWhen Chef & Restaurateur Michael McCarty opened the landmark Michael’s in Santa Monica back in 1979 I’m not sure he even suspected that he would become one of the pioneers of what is known as California cuisine along with Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. He pioneered having museum quality art on the restaurant’s wall with not a hint of pretention.

Michael is also known for mentoring rising, young culinary talent that have gone on to open their own successful restaurants. This distinguished alumni club includes Jonathan Waxman, Nancy Silverton, Brooke Williamson, Mark Peel, Ken Frank and Sang Yoon.

Just about a year ago Michael (working with his son, Chas) totally rejuvenated Michael’s Santa Monica by bringing-in a 28-year old rising-star chef with avant-garde ideas. Chef Miles Thompson is already earning deserved accolades from food critics and bringing in a younger crowd of new guests. Michael shares the entertaining story of how he and Chas came to select Chef Thompson.

Dining in the lush, shaded garden patio at Michael’s all these years later remains a uniquely L.A. experience.

Michael, usually, has a hillside vineyard on his residential property in Malibu. Just now he’s harvesting his Pinot Noir grapes for the 2017 vintage of The Malibu Vineyard.

If you’d like to see what Chef Miles Thompson is like away from Michael’s (and where he eats) take a look at his Chef’s Night Out video from Vice.

Play

Show 228, June 17, 2017: Matt Sobczak, Certified Sommelier, Presqu’ile, Santa Maria

Matt SobczakLocated in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley, Presqu’ile (pronounced press-KEEL) is a small, family-run winery dedicated to crafting exceptional cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Designed and planted to create a diverse tapestry of vineyard blocks, the sustainably certified, 73-acre Presqu’ile Vineyard features an array of clones, exposures and elevations. Made using this estate fruit and grapes from a handful of the finest vineyards in the valley, Presqu’ile’s wines capture the essence of their vineyards and vintages, and have earned acclaim for their elegance and balance. The striking, contemporary winery building and tasting room are a destination on their own.

Presqu’ile is a multigenerational collaboration between Madison and Suzanne Murphy, their three adult children, Matt, Anna and Jonathan, and their daughters-in-law, Amanda and Lindsey. No strangers to agriculture, four generations of the Murphy family have been farming land in Louisiana going back almost a century.

The Murphys are also a family of wine lovers, with a deep appreciation for the world’s great Pinot Noirs. This love of the land, combined with their shared reverence for great wine, and a deep desire to create something meaningful and enduring together, led the Murphys to pool their talents and establish Presqu’ile Winery.

Certified Sommelier Matt Sobczak, Presqu’ile’s Assistant Tasting Room Manager, joins us with the story.

 

Play

Show 220, April 22, 2017: Wine Stemware Made Easy, Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, Wine Exchange

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIf premium wine wasn’t expensive enough as it is there is also the perplexing matter of what stemware to properly serve the wine in. Lot of hype out there…Some of the fine, imported wine glasses are plenty pricey.

Time to separate the practical from the impressive salesmanship. Our resident wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, joins us with sound advice on what you really should buy when it comes to wine glasses that won’t break the bank.

Thankfully Kyle keeps this simple for us. He suggests even a hard-core wine connoisseurs only needs a Champagne Flute, a White Wine glass, a Bordeaux / Cabernet glass and a wider bowl Burgundy / Pinot Noir glass. Respectable stemware can be had for $10 to $12 per glass. Kyle also suggests a cut glass rim versus a rolled rim.

Play

Show 219, April 15, 2017: Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Manager, Ca’ Del Grevino Estate, Santa Maria, CA

Jon Karlo MaciasCa’ Del Grevino is located in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County. The vineyard is located just 10 miles from the Pacific Coast and benefits greatly from cool, maritime influences. The vineyard is planted methodically and meticulously, with special attention paid to varietals best suited to the estate’s terroir. Taking into account the soils, the meso- and micro-climates, the coastal influences and the orientation of the sun upon the hillsides, you can find here Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache, Dolcetto, Riesling and Syrah.

“Our vineyard produces some of the finest wines in California. The region’s cool climate, geology and topography provide the opportunity to create uncompromised, premium wines. Ca’ Del Grevino, meaning “House of Grewal Family Wines”, produces fine wines steeped in Italian tradition with a distinctive California style.”

Ca’ Del Grevino is the signature wine brand of our estate representing regality, tradition and opulence. Nestled in California’s prestigious Central Coast is the lovely Santa Maria Valley. The unique micro-climate of the valley produces cool mornings and long warm afternoons. Together with us the best quality fruit produced and attention to detail produces our award -winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, White Riesling and Syrah wines.”

Ca’ Del Grevino wines are available to their Wine Club members and at their distinctive area Tasting Rooms. Each Tasting Room has a bit of a different character. The Orcutt Tasting Room is also a Café. The Los Olivos Tasting Room skillfully pairs their wines with cheese, charcuterie or chocolate plates. The Tasting Room in Santa Barbara is in the vibrant “Funk Zone” at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. An attraction there is Helena’s Bakery with a menu of custom-baked sweet and savory goods.

 

Jon Karlo Macias, Café & Tasting Room Manager, walks us through the lush vineyard estate.

Play

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…

Play