Show 421, April 17, 2021: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part One

Michael Brughelli of Folded Hills Winery

“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.”

Handsomely appointed Tasting Rooms are located at the vineyard estate in Gaviota and on Old Coast Highway in Montecito. For the guests’ convenience and safety advance appointments are suggested.

Winemaker Michael Brughelli is our guest and gently pull the cork on the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery for us.

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Show 421, April 17, 2021: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part Two

Michael Brughelli of Folded Hills Winery

“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.”

“This is a heart project for the Busches and they wanted to bring some of their mid-West roots and family heritage to the project. Many of the wines have names that harken back to their iconic St. Louis history.”

“Their award-winning Lilly Rosé is named for six generations of Lilly’s.” From Lilly Anheuser who married Adolphus Busch in 1861, to their 3 -year old grand-daughter, Lilly. The Grant Grenache is named for the family seat in St. Louis, Grant’s Farm, which was named for Ulysses S. Grant, the original farmsteader of the that land. The August Red and August White are named for Andy’s grandfather and father, August Busch Sr. And Jr. His father, August, Jr., or Gussie, was the one who gave his father the first Clydesdale hitch to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in 1934.

“The Busches still ponder why they decided to launch a business that they knew so little about, so late in life, after their children had left home. But it is working. Folded Hills has won many awards for the wines which are grown organically, following the biodynamic calendar. The wines are hand-crafted in small batches with minimal intervention.”

Winemaker Michael Brughelli oversees all winemaking, working directly with the vineyard and cellar staff in a hands-on fashion. “A California native, Brughelli is perhaps best known as winemaker for Scar of the Sea, a label he co-founded with Mikey Giugni. A darling of critics and sommeliers alike, Scar of the Sea quickly rose in prominence as Brughelli’s wines drew wide notice. In 2019, he sold his portion of Scar of the Sea back to Giugni in order to launch his own consultancy, Vignerons. Previously, Brughelli was at Bien Nacido Vineyard, in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County, where over the course of seven seminal years, he rose from Sales Manager to Director of Sales to Director of Supply.”

Winemaker Michael Brughelli continues with us providing the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery.

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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.

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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.

 

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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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