Show 470, April 16, 2022: Samra Morris, Winemaker, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Solvang, CA Part One

Alma Rosa Winery is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills in Santa Barbara County. The wines are layered, vibrant and balanced, and they reflect the special terroir of the Sta.Rita Hills, which benefits from cool Pacific Ocean breezes funneled inland through the unique transverse mountain range of the region.”

“Alma Rosa wines — most produced in small batches of less than 400 cases — represent the best of the Sta. Rita Hills. Guests are invited to try their selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, as well as some of their Rhone varietals, including Syrah and Grenache in their new Solvang Tasting Room.” There are also guest experiences available at the Alma Rosa Ranch.

“The Winery produces 5,000 hand-crafted cases per year focused on Estate and Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards located on a four mile stretch along Santa Rosa Road. Sta. Rita Hills has a large reputation for extraordinary Pinot Noir yet this small area is 6 per cent the size of Napa Valley vineyards and 8 per cent the size of Paso Robles.”

“Founder and Winery Ambassador Richard Sanford planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1971. He provides invaluable experience in guiding Alma Rosa’s focus on excellence and balance in all Alma Rosa does. Winemaker Samra Morris (born and raised in Bosnia) brings sensitivity and technique inspired by great winemakers in California and Burgundy to wine growing and wine-making.” Samra had been the Assistant Winemaker at Alma Rosa and when the former Winemaker abruptly departed right before the 2019 harvest was promoted with confidence by Proprietors Bob and Barb Zorich and General Manager Debra Eagle.

Winemaker Samra Morris joins us to gently pull the cork on all that is Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards.

Show 470, April 16, 2022: Samra Morris, Winemaker, Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Solvang, CA Part Two

Alma Rosa Winery is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills in Santa Barbara County. The wines are layered, vibrant and balanced, and they reflect the special terroir of the Sta.Rita Hills, which benefits from cool Pacific Ocean breezes funneled inland through the unique transverse mountain range of the region.”

“Alma Rosa wines — most produced in small batches of less than 400 cases — represent the best of the Sta. Rita Hills. Guests are invited to try their selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines, as well as some of their Rhone varietals, including Syrah and Grenache in their new Solvang Tasting Room.” There are also guest experiences available at the Alma Rosa Ranch.

“The Winery produces 5,000 hand-crafted cases per year focused on Estate and Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards located on a four mile stretch along Santa Rosa Road. Sta. Rita Hills has a large reputation for extraordinary Pinot Noir yet this small area is 6 per cent the size of Napa Valley vineyards and 8 per cent the size of Paso Robles.”

“Founder and Winery Ambassador Richard Sanford planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1971. He provides invaluable experience in guiding Alma Rosa’s focus on excellence and balance in all Alma Rosa does. Winemaker Samra Morris (born and raised in Bosnia) brings sensitivity and technique inspired by great winemakers in California and Burgundy to wine growing and wine-making.” Samra had been the Assistant Winemaker at Alma Rosa and when the former Winemaker abruptly departed right before the 2019 harvest was promoted with confidence by Proprietors Bob and Barb Zorich and General Manager Debra Eagle.

Winemaker Samra Morris continues with us pouring a glass of Alma Rosa Estate Pinot Noir, El Jabali Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills.

Show 458, January 15, 2022: Lindsay Hoopes, Proprietress, Hoopes Family Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley Part One

Lindsay Hoopes of Hoopes Wines

Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery (Oakville) is a small, family-owned winegrower and producer with deep roots in Napa Valley. Now in it’s second generation, Lindsay Hoopes continues to live and work on the farm with revered dedication to her family heritage in dogged pursuit of perfect wines. Their critically acclaimed wines tell the exquisite story of the Hoopes’ vineyards, their philosophy, and the continued evolution of Napa Valley. With a true sense of place and raison d’être, Hoopes Vineyard wines strive to over deliver in flavor, history, passion, adventure and luxury.”

“Raised on the Hoopes farm by her wine-loving family, Lindsay Hoopes learned how to cultivate grapes and promote Napa’s sense of place and terroir through her father, Spencer Hoopes. Spencer Hoopes loved farming, and developed a passion for wine as the wine industry in Napa blossomed right around him.”

“Spencer Hoopes grew grapes for other vintners and quickly earned repute for some of the best cabernet sauvignon in the Napa Valley. Spencer’s stewardship of the land was heralded by many. When other vintners asked if they could use the Hoopes name to authenticate the high-calibre of their wine, Spencer concluded that, darn it, he should do it himself.”

“Enter Lindsay. Spencer encouraged Lindsay to explore the world and potentially other careers before making a decision to settle at home in the family business. Farming suffers no fools, and Spencer wasn’t just going to give her a job.”

“Lindsay has a wanderlust. After living abroad in many countries, from Ireland to Costa Rica, Lindsay studied international law, worked in international logistics and ultimately worked in homicide at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. But Lindsay eventually made her way back to Napa Valley when a family illness prompted her to take over Hoopes Vineyard in 2012.”

“Lindsay honored her heritage and father’s winemaking philosophy, but retained her sense of adventure by giving Hoopes Family Vineyard some innovative upgrades. She adopted regenerative agricultural practices and bio-diverse farming initiatives, founded a rescue sanctuary for animals, worked with environmental groups for organic and sustainability certification, and created a hub for young wine fans to immerse themselves in California wine culture in what is now the Oasis by Hoopes. Lindsay also now tells the story of Hoopes wine through food in her many culinary partnerships and initiatives.” Hoopes Family Vineyard also hosts a variety intriguing Virtual Events.

The Hoopes Family Vineyard produces small lots of meritorious Cabernet Sauvignon in various expressions, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose and Syrah.

Proprietress Lindsay Hoopes is our guest to pull the cork on Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery.

Show 458, January 15, 2022: Lindsay Hoopes, Proprietress, Hoopes Family Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley Part Two

Lindsay Hoopes of Hoopes Wines

Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery (Oakville) is a small, family-owned winegrower and producer with deep roots in Napa Valley. Now in it’s second generation, Lindsay Hoopes continues to live and work on the farm with revered dedication to her family heritage in dogged pursuit of perfect wines. Their critically acclaimed wines tell the exquisite story of the Hoopes’ vineyards, their philosophy, and the continued evolution of Napa Valley. With a true sense of place and raison d’être, Hoopes Vineyard wines strive to over deliver in flavor, history, passion, adventure and luxury.”

“Raised on the Hoopes farm by her wine-loving family, Lindsay Hoopes learned how to cultivate grapes and promote Napa’s sense of place and terroir through her father, Spencer Hoopes. Spencer Hoopes loved farming, and developed a passion for wine as the wine industry in Napa blossomed right around him.”

“Spencer Hoopes grew grapes for other vintners and quickly earned repute for some of the best cabernet sauvignon in the Napa Valley. Spencer’s stewardship of the land was heralded by many. When other vintners asked if they could use the Hoopes name to authenticate the high-calibre of their wine, Spencer concluded that, darn it, he should do it himself.”

“Enter Lindsay. Spencer encouraged Lindsay to explore the world and potentially other careers before making a decision to settle at home in the family business. Farming suffers no fools, and Spencer wasn’t just going to give her a job.”

“Lindsay has a wanderlust. After living abroad in many countries, from Ireland to Costa Rica, Lindsay studied international law, worked in international logistics and ultimately worked in homicide at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. But Lindsay eventually made her way back to Napa Valley when a family illness prompted her to take over Hoopes Vineyard in 2012.”

“Lindsay honored her heritage and father’s winemaking philosophy, but retained her sense of adventure by giving Hoopes Family Vineyard some innovative upgrades. She adopted regenerative agricultural practices and bio-diverse farming initiatives, founded a rescue sanctuary for animals, worked with environmental groups for organic and sustainability certification, and created a hub for young wine fans to immerse themselves in California wine culture in what is now the Oasis by Hoopes. Lindsay also now tells the story of Hoopes wine through food in her many culinary partnerships and initiatives.” Hoopes Family Vineyard also hosts a variety intriguing Virtual Events.

The Hoopes Family Vineyard produces small lots of meritorious Cabernet Sauvignon in various expressions, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose and Syrah.

Proprietress Lindsay Hoopes continues with us gently pulling the cork on the activities of Hoopes Family Vineyard & Winery.

Show 385, August 8, 2020: Winemakers Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo, Camins 2 Dreams Winery, Lompoc

Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo Tena of Camins 2 Dreams in Lompoc CaliforniaWinemakers and life partners Mireia Taribo Tena and Tara Gomez are the creative forces at Camins 2 Deams in Lompoc, their dream winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County.

Their philosophy is to make hand-crafted, terroir-driven wines that are fermented with natural yeast and use minimal intervention in the winery. Camins 2 Dreams believes wine is made in the vineyard and desires to showcase the typicity of each site where the grapes originate.

“We are lucky both to live and make our wines in the Santa Rita Hills where foggy mornings and cool nights combine with marine soils to make the perfect ingredients for outstanding wines.”

Current releases include Gruner Veltliner, Rose of Syrah, and three vineyard specific Syrahs. Grenache and Graciano are in their future. The welcoming Lompoc Tasting Room is currently open by appointment. The fast-growing Wine Club has a 3 bottles twice a year option as well as a 6 bottles twice per year plan.

Tara Gomez, a Native American, is also the founding Winemaker for Kita Wines, a small premium winery in the Santa Ynez Valley owned by the Chumash Tribe (Chumash Casino Resort.) Kita Wines is celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year.

Mireia and Tara join us to pull the cork on Camins 2 Dreams.

Show 374, May 23, 2020: Winemaker Clarissa Nagy, c nagy Wines

Clarissa Nagy of c.nagy winesPreviously we’ve met passionate winemaker Clarissa Nagy who has her own boutique label, c nagy, with a rustic tasting room in historic Orcutt. C nagy wines are “A pure expression of grapes from a vineyard celebrating the experience of Santa Barbara County.” Clarissa has a particular affinity for Pinot Noir but other available current releases include Syrah, Grenache, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Blanc.

Curbside pickup of wines by the bottle is currently available at the Tasting Room while the signature tastings are on hold. Clarissa is also hosting a regular series of entertaining and informative virtual tastings.

“People often ask how I started in the wine industry. It was never my plan to make wine. Actually, my original intention was to work with food. Thankfully, food and wine are often paired together. Through that means, wine found me.”

“Pinot Noir and Syrah were my main focus for the next 6 years. I made a Viognier in 2010, but frost would prevent me from doing so in 2011. The loss of Viognier opened the door to work with Pinot Blanc as well, and my journey continued to unfold. The newest chapter of my story is the addition of the tasting room.”

“Winemaking has become my passion. Sharing that joy with others is a priority. I’d love to be able to bring everyone into the vineyard and cellar to experience winemaking firsthand. Since that isn’t realistic, I offer you a taste of my labor. Here is that experience captured in bottle. I hope to share this passion with you in person. Until then, enjoy!”
– Owner/Winemaker Clarissa Nagy

Winemaker Clarissa Nagy is our encore guest.

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.

Show 316, March 23, 2019: Winemaker Jeff Pisoni, Pisoni Vineyards, Lucia and Lucy Part One

Jeff PisoniThe Pisoni family’s goal: grow exceptional grapes to make exceptional wine. Wines made by the Pisoni family are bottled under the Pisoni Estate and Lucia labels. Gary and his two sons, Mark and Jeff, farm and produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from their three vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands: Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes vineyards. These vineyards and wines represent an extreme commitment to farming and classical winemaking.

“Lucia wines are created using classic, gentle and thoughtful winemaking techniques. Hand-picked and sorted grapes are fermented with native yeasts and aged in carefully selected French oak barrels. Our state-of-the-art winemaking facility uses gravity flow as part of a custom design conceived to merge the estate vineyards and winery. This affords us complete control of the farming and winemaking process, ensuring consistently superior quality.”

“First planted by Gary Pisoni in 1982, and now managed by his son Mark, Pisoni Vineyards consists of small vineyard blocks arranged on and around the ridges of the mountainous landscape. Ranging in size from one-half to 17 acres, the vineyard blocks perch at an altitude of 1,300 feet in granite-laced mountains of the costal Santa Lucia Range. Each wine is a blend of several blocks on the Estate and handcrafted to best represent the vineyard and spirit of the Pisoni Family. Jeff Pisoni, Gary’s other son, is the winemaker for the Pisoni Estate wines.

Winemaker Jeff Pisoni gently pulls the cork for us.

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.

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.