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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Show 359, February 8, 2020: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards’ Winemaker Vince Vidrine Part One

Winemaker Vince VidrineThe welcoming Irvine & Roberts Vineyards and winery is part of the picturesque Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. It’s located just five miles from the heart of Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The new Irvine & Roberts tasting room on the property offers stunning views of the estate vineyards and the surrounding hills.

“The Irvine & Roberts families bring a unique collection of skills and passions to create their ultra-premium, artistically crafted wines produced in a style that evokes elegance, balance, and richness in their flavors and texture.”

“The estate vineyard is an exceptional example of geology and climate that provides the perfect growing conditions for some of the world’s most complex grapes: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Nestled between the Southern Cascade and Siskiyou Mountain Ranges, our ancient soils are some of the oldest in North America and are located on steep, high-elevation hillsides with glowing morning sun and shady, breezy afternoons.”

Winemaker Vince Vidrine skillfully pulls the cork on Irvine & Roberts Vineyards for us.

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Show 359, February 8, 2020: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards’ Winemaker Vince Vidrine Part Two

Winemaker Vince VidrineIrvine & Roberts Family Vineyards is an alluring family winery in Ashland, Oregon, where we practice sustainable farming and produce ultra-premium Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Our high -altitude vineyard is adorned with distinctive soils, climate, and east facing slopes that produce wines with extraordinary balance, flavor and intensity. We believe great wines come from great soil, so we strive to be conscientious stewards of the land, protecting our vineyard soils through practices that are certified sustainable by LIVE and Salmon Safe. We admit to being obsessive with our grape growing practices to ensure quality in the vineyard, keeping grape yields low and production limited to ensure the optimal health of the vine; allowing us to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with elegance and balance.”

“In 1997, Doug & Dionne Irvine returned to their roots in Oregon with the desire to raise their daughters in the same place that they had such fond childhood memories. Choosing Ashland, they soon discovered that the 80-acre ranch they would call home turned out to be an incredibly unique vineyard site. The first vines were planted in 2007, and the journey continued from there when Doug’s sister and brother in law, Kelly and Duane Roberts, joined Doug and Dionne and created Irvine and Roberts Vineyards.”

“We have a team of artisans and professionals in place to maximize the potential of this amazing site. From our tasting room ambassadors and vineyard artisans, to our management and winemakers and the distinct strengths of the family members themselves, Irvine & Roberts Vineyards is constantly striving for perfection. Out of love and respect for the great wines of the New and Old Worlds, our vision is to add our wines to the legacy of world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.”

Winemaker Vince Vidrine has a great deal of experience working for prestigious wineries in both Oregon and Burgundy and we’re confident he’ll expand on our initial successes to craft complex, balanced and elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.” “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with this team.“”

““We are all completely focused on producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at the highest level,” said Vidrine. “With the completion of this new winery and with a meticulous farming program led by the Results Partners vineyard management team, this project is perfectly poised for an excellent start.”

Winemaker Vince Vidrine continues and skillfully pulls the cork on another Irvine & Roberts Vineyards selection for us.

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Show 357, January 25, 2020: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part One

Dan Marca of Dancin VineyardsDANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Tuscan Italian-esque vineyard estate known for award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca. We last visited the picturesque hillside estate in 2015 and the facilities for guests have expanded since then.

The Marcas take only one thing more seriously than hospitality – growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes of exceptional quality and making premium wine that expresses the terroir of their special site while spotlighting the grape’s essential character.

“Our winery and tasting room are set magnificently on the forested foothills of Southern Oregon overlooking the Rogue Valley, one of the most unique terroirs in the wine making world. You’ll imagine you’ve been transported to Tuscany or Burgundy, or both!”

Dan pulls the DANCIN Vineyards cork for us with an update.

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Show 357, January 25, 2020: Dancin Vineyards with Proprietor Dan Marca Part Two

Dan Marca of Dancin VineyardsDANCIN Vineyards (Medford, Oregon) is a lush, Tuscan Italian-esque vineyard estate known for award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay where tasting is an experience of enjoyment and relaxation, where wines are served alongside harmonious food pairings. The hospitable proprietors are the gracious husband & wife team of Dan and Cindy Marca. We last visited the picturesque hillside estate in 2015 and the facilities for guests have expanded since then. Time for an update.

“DANCIN is the discipline of cultivating seven separate clones of Pinot Noir along with four distinct clones of Chardonnay to create several exquisite expressions of Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We blend these clones the way an artist mixes hues on a painter’s palette. We also artfully craft Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel and Port-style Pinot Noir. This, our various wines and vintages are named after movements within ballet, a form of dance wherein dedication and discipline are integral to the grace and beauty of the final performance.”

Proprietor Dan Marca continues.

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Show 353, December 28, 2019: Bells Up Winery with Proprietor & Winemaker Dave Specter Part One

Dave Spector of Bells Up WineryMicro-boutique, un-domaine and always open by appointment, Bells Up Winery in Newberg, Oregon composes fewer than 500 cases of hand crafted, classically styled Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir and Syrah. It’s a 2nd career, passion project of Winemaker Dave Specter and his wife, Sara. The Chief Marketing Officer.

“After more than a decade of success as a corporate tax attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dave Specter was emotionally and physically spent. His wife Sara convinced him to leave the profession and they turned the hobby that brought him joy—winemaking—into his new career. The pair had fallen in love with Newberg and the Willamette Valley while on vacation in 2008, subsequently moving here in 2012 and establishing Bells Up in 2013. The first wines were released Memorial Day 2015, coinciding with the opening of the estate winery/tasting room.”

“Every Bells Up wine is named for a piece of classical music that perfectly epitomizes the wine and/or prominently features the French horn, the instrument owner and winemaker Dave Specter played for more than 20 years.”

Winemaker Dave joins us to pull the cork on Bells Up Winery.

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Show 345, October 19, 2019: Alloro Vineyard, Sherwood, OR with Proprietor & Vineyard Manager David Nemarnik Part One

David Nemarnik of Alloro VineyardAlloro Vineyard in Sherwood brings Old-World allure to Oregon, just 30 minutes southwest of Portland. The 80-acre estate is a bucolic homage to Italian tradition, from its iconic Tuscan farmhouse and culinary gardens to the heirloom sheep that graze the vineyard cover crops. “Alloro” is Italian for laurel—a salute to founder David Nemarnik’s Italian/Croatian heritage, and the Laurel Ridge site itself. Holistic agricultural practices and respectful stewardship create terroir-driven wines showcasing purity of fruit with a clear sense of place.”

“David Nemarnik grew up in Portland helping his parents start a produce business, and has been fascinated with growing and fermenting his whole life. In 1999, he founded the Alloro estate to create world-class Pinot Noir in a manner that honors his family’s food & wine traditions and respect for the land. Today, Nemarnik lives on the property with his daughter, surrounded by wine grapes, culinary gardens, olive trees, chickens, sheep, and registered Hereford cattle.”

David pulls the cork on Alloro for us.

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