Show 277, June 16, 2018: NZ Wine Navigator Dinner at Napa Valley Grille, Westwood

Brian CousinsAt NZ Wine Navigator (virtual store,) you’ll discover the finest selection of artisanal New Zealand wines available in the US delivered right to your door. Personally selected by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (the first MS in New Zealand and the official global ambassador of New Zealand wines), these wines prove that New Zealand is much more than Sauvignon Blanc.

Westwood’s Napa Valley Grille is hosting a special NZ Wine Navigator Dinner there on Thursday evening, June 28th. Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas (direct from New Zealand) will be attending to present the wines and interact with the guests.

Expect, as one of the courses, an exceptional lamb dish matched with both a Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Napa Valley Grille’s General Manager, Brian Cousins, and Executive Chef Kenny Spost pull the cork for us on the specifics.

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Show 267, March 31, 2018: Winemaker Stuart Spencer, Program Manager, Lodi Winegrape Commission

Stuart SpencerNestled between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Lodi Wine Country, a region fast becoming one of California’s true wine stars. Lodi Wine Country offers a rural atmosphere and relaxed pace for you to enjoy its beautiful vineyards and premium wines.

Lodi is predominately a red winegrowing region, with approximately two-thirds of the acreage dedicated to red varieties. Lodi is home to all of California’s leading varieties, and has long been the leading producer and California’s best kept secret for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. However, with over 100 varieties now in production, Lodi offers a vast portfolio of diverse and interesting wines.

“The most obvious distinction that sets Lodi apart is our treasure trove of own-rooted old vineyards. There are literally hundreds of these old blocks throughout the region that, in many cases, have yet to be discovered or had the opportunity to truly express their real character.” –Stuart Spencer

Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World producing over 40 percent of California’s premium Zinfandel. Journalists and wine enthusiasts alike have long recognized Lodi as the home of highly acclaimed Old Vine Zinfandels, with some plantings dating back to 1888. These vines, many of which are still planted on their own roots, are naturally low-yielding due to their age and consistently produce high quality fruit. Although expensive to maintain, Lodi winegrowers are committed to continuing this California heritage.

Winemaker Stuart Spencer of Lodi’s St. Amant Winery and also the Program Manager for the Lodi Winegrape Commission pulls the cork for us.

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Show 257, January 20, 2018: Master Sommelier Cameron J. Douglas, NZ Wine Navigator Part One

Cameron DouglasCameron Douglas enjoys the distinction of being New Zealand’s first certified Master Sommelier. He serves on the Board for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. He takes his position as unofficial Ambassador for New Zealand wine very seriously. Cameron is an experienced wine writer, commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant.

Cameron also serves as the curator for NZ Wine Navigator. There is lots more to know about premium New Zealand wines than simply the big name grassy, Sauvignon Blancs that have earned the country deserved global acclaim.

We’ll meet him.

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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 163, March 12, 2016: Winemaker Tim Bell, Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg

Tim Bell of Dry Creek Vineyard“The history of Dry Creek Vineyard is a long and colorful one. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before his arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was little more than a few family farms and prune orchards. It was Dave’s vision to start a Loire Valley inspired winery, which triggered a viticultural reawakening in northern Sonoma County.

Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery.

Upon his arrival, Dave began taking winemaking classes at UC Davis as a graduate student. On the weekends, he spent time looking at vineyard land from Monterey to Mendocino. It was during one of those weekend trips that fate drew Dave to the Dry Creek Valley. When he saw an old prune orchard across the street from the Dry Creek General Store, Dave realized that he had found his dream location.

He purchased the orchard and began planting vines. Captivated by his memories of Loire-style wines, Sauvignon Blanc seemed destined to figure prominently in the Dry Creek Vineyard portfolio. However, several famed vineyard specialists advised him against planting Sauvignon Blanc. Always looking to push the envelope, Dave planted the varietal anyway and the rest is history.

Today, our second-generation family owned winery continues to evolve and grow to meet the demands of a global wine marketplace. The primary mission of our winery is to produce distinctive wines that overdeliver on quality. For more than 40 years, this pursuit of winemaking excellence has led to many international awards and accolades. With a loyal following of wine club members and customers, the future of Dry Creek Vineyard has never been brighter.”

Winemaker Tim Bell is our guest.

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Show 163, March 12, 2016: Winemaker Tim Bell, Dry Creek Vineyard, Healdsburg Continues…

Tim Bell of Dry Creek VineyardDry Creek Vineyard was the first winery established in the Dry Creek Valley area of California after Prohibition. It was founder David Stare’s vision to plant Sauvignon Blanc grapes that firmly cemented the winery’s legacy as one of California’s most important wineries. It’s still proudly Family-owned.

“Our wines show that Sonoma County and Dry Creek Valley can compete with any wine growing region in the world. Since 1972, our winemaking style has been to produce classic varietals that define their varietal category. From our signature offerings to our single vineyard and limited release wines, each bottling personifies our family’s passion to produce elegant, balanced and food-friendly wines. The wine from Dry Creek Vineyard reflects our desire for excellence.”

“Our Signature wines represent our passion for producing balanced wines that are true to the terroir in which they are grown. Each of our signature wines offers wonderful intensity of fruit, supple texture and a rich mouthfeel which make them easy to enjoy and extremely food friendly. At Dry Creek Vineyard we product a wide array of wines, many under $20, making them affordable for almost any special occasion or celebration.”

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Show 148, November 28, 2015: Holman Ranch Vineyards & Will’s Fargo Steakhouse + Bar

Nick Elliott of Holman Ranch and VineyardsThe historic 400-acre Holman Ranch and Vineyards dates back to 1928. Located at the north eastern tip of the Carmel Valley Appellation, the family-owned Holman Ranch resides approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast.

Immersed in history and romance, the ranch has not only proven to be an excellent growing location for their vineyards but also for the Tuscan varietal olive trees which have flourished under the temperate climate. It’s also a one-of-a-kind executive retreat and special events venue.

The Holman Ranch estate grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 19 acres of undulating terrain. The wines produced are unfiltered and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to bottle. The estate wines include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Rose of Pinot Noir. The winery itself is located in an environmentally-friendly underground cave.

The Holman Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room is located near the Ranch at 19 E. E. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley. In addition to the Holman Ranch Estate varietals their new label is Jarman. It’s strictly limited release, estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Grand Estate Wine Club members have access to hosted two-night stays at the Ranch’s Hospitality Cottages. Each comfortable Cottage is decorated with rare movie posters of a Hollywood notable who stayed on the Ranch in earlier years.

The Holman Ranch also owns the nearby Wills Fargo Steakhouse + Bar on W. Carmel Valley Road. It’s been a local tradition since 1959. An evening at Will’s Fargo brings back a bygone era and offers some of the finest food on the Monterey Peninsula under the direction of long-time Executive Chef Jerome Viel.

Guest Services Manager and Partner, Nick Elliott, joins us.

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Show 5: November 3, 2012: Tom Leahy of OneHope Wines Part One

Tom Leahy, the President of ONEHOPE Wine Co., was in-studio to tell their incredible story of cause marketing. They donate an impressive 50 per cent of their profits to worthy charities. They will sell some 44,000 cases of premium wine this year via their website, retail, and in better restaurants.

Folio Wine Partners (a division of Michael Mondavi Family Estates) produces their portfolio of fine wines in concert with ONEHOPE. Michael’s son, Rob Mondavi, Jr., is the esteemed winemaker. Rob is the grandson of pioneering California winemaker Robert Mondavi.

The current wine portfolio, all proprietary blends, includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir Reserve.

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