Show 480, June 25, 2022: Iris Vineyards, Springfield, OR with Winemaker Aaron Lieberman and Carl Giavanti Part One

Aaron Lieberman of Iris Vineyards

Iris Vineyards perches in the iris-dotted hills at the southern edge of the Willamette Valley, an 870-acre, high-elevation preserve dedicated to the ancient Greek concept of areté – the tireless striving to achieve one’s fullest potential. Areté guides the proprietors Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye, and winemaker Aaron Lieberman to create fresh, fruit-forward wines that truly honor their source.”

“Richard Boyles and Pamela Frye spent several years searching for a site with the potential to create great Pinot Noir. In 1992, they found a property in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Mountain Range at the south end of the Willamette Valley. It had been clear-cut, exposing sloping hillsides, promising soils, and site’s immense potential for the Burgundian and Alsatian varietals Richard and Pamela loved most. Richard and Pamela committed to replanting 500 acres of the estate to Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine for timber harvesting, and to restoring a diverse forest habitat with multiple native tree and understory species represented.”

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman joined Iris as the head of winemaking in 2008, and has spearheaded the winery’s significant quality advances over the last decade. Like Richard, Aaron has always approached his life and work with areté in mind – striving each day to improve and achieve the best possible result.”

“Iris Vineyards’ winemaking program empowers Aaron to apply areté in every aspect of the work. He describes himself as a shepherd, guiding rather than forcing nature in the direction he wants it to go. This work begins, of course, with growing the best possible grapes. Aaron collaborates with vineyard manager Nathan Sparrow to optimize the growth, health, and maturity of each block of the Chalice Vineyard estate. He also works closely with other Willamette Valley growers and Rogue Valley growers who produce the warm-climate varieties for some of Iris Vineyards’ wine club selections.”

“Aaron’s goal: bright, fruit-forward wines with crisp acidity and low alcohol that honor their origins and deliver exceptional value.”

“Under the Iris Vineyards name, the winery produces a wide range of red, white, and rosé wines from the Chalice Vineyard, as well as from selected vineyards around the state. The Areté label represents the reserve, or premium level of wines – truly the best of the estate.” The Areté label also represents Iris Vineyards’ premium sparkling wine program all done in-house on the Estate.

Earlier this month Iris Vineyards opened a new Wine Bar in Downtown Springfield, Oregon on historic Main Street. Winemaker Aaron has created a selection of wine-based cocktails for the Wine Bar.

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman joins us to pull the cork on all that is Iris Vineyards joined by Oregon-based wine marketing and public relations authority Carl Giavanti.

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Show 480, June 25, 2022: Iris Vineyards, Springfield, OR with Winemaker Aaron Lieberman and Carl Giavanti Part Two

Aaron Lieberman of Iris Vineyards

“Areté (AIR-it-tay) is a concept with deep roots in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. In simple terms, it is the moral imperative to achieve your full potential – the obligation to strive every day to do better, and be the best you can be. At Iris Vineyards, areté means constant attention to their vineyard practices, the wine quality, and Iris’ hospitality.”

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman joined Iris as the head of winemaking in 2008, and has spearheaded the winery’s significant quality advances over the last decade. Like Richard, Aaron has always approached his life and work with areté in mind – striving each day to improve and achieve the best possible result.”

“Iris Vineyards’ winemaking program empowers Aaron to apply areté in every aspect of the work. He describes himself as a shepherd, guiding rather than forcing nature in the direction he wants it to go. This work begins, of course, with growing the best possible grapes. Aaron collaborates with vineyard manager Nathan Sparrow to optimize the growth, health, and maturity of each block of the Chalice Vineyard estate. He also works closely with other Willamette Valley growers and Rogue Valley growers who produce the warm-climate varieties for some of Iris Vineyards’ wine club selections.”

“Aaron’s goal: bright, fruit-forward wines with crisp acidity and low alcohol that honor their origins and deliver exceptional value.”

“Under the Iris Vineyards name, the winery produces a wide range of red, white, and rosé wines from the Chalice Vineyard, as well as from selected vineyards around the state. The Areté label represents the reserve, or premium level of wines – truly the best of the estate.” The Areté label also represents Iris Vineyards’ premium sparkling wine program all unusually done in-house on the Estate.

Earlier this month Iris Vineyards opened a new Wine Bar in Downtown Springfield, Oregon on historic Main Street. Winemaker Aaron has created a selection of wine-based cocktails for the Wine Bar.

Winemaker Aaron Lieberman continues with us to further pull the cork on all that is Iris Vineyards and also joined by Oregon-based wine marketing and public relations authority, Carl Giavanti.

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Show 469, April 9, 2022: Winemaker Joshua Klapper, Founder, Timbre Winery, Arroyo Grande, CA

Joshua Klapper of Timbre Winery

Timbre Winery is a Santa Barbara County winery crafting balanced wines of distinction.” TIMBRE (pronounced TAM·ber or TIM·ber) is the “color” of music. It is what makes two voices sound different, even when singing the same song. It is why two winemakers, working with the same vineyards, make unique wine. As a terroir-driven winery, Timbre makes wines expressive of the places and times from which they came. As winemakers, they channel those sites through their experience, adding their own mark- their Timbre- to the resulting wines.” Founder and Winemaker Josh Klapper (a former restaurant Sommelier) is our guest to pull the cork on all that is Timbre Winery.

“Founded by Joshua Klapper, Timbre Winery is the culmination of years of hard work, and dedication to his craft. It is winemaking expressed through the universal language of musical sound.”

““Timbre Winery is committed to sustainable practices in its vineyard and product sourcing, as well as its production.” They are particularly known for their Pinot Noir but also produce a range of varietals and blends. Timbre also crafts a Hard Apple Cider.

Timbre has a new winery facility in San Luis Obispo and April marks the 5-Year Anniversary of Timbre’s Arroyo Grande Tasting Room.

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Show 448, October 23, 2021: Dennis Murphy, Winemaker & Proprietor, Caprio Cellars, Walla Walla, Washington Part One

Dennis Murphy of Caprio Cellars

Caprio Cellars is a small producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc located in the heart of Walla Walla Valley, WA., one of the premier wine-growing regions in the world.”

“Winemaker/Owner Dennis Murphy purchased the land where Caprio Cellars stands in 2003. Previously wheat fields, Dennis set out to make it the site of his first vineyard. This dream came to fruition in 2005 when the first plantings went in. Dennis named this vineyard “Eleanor” in homage to his late grandmother Eleanor Caprio. The first harvest took place in 2008, and once the first wines were bottled, the operation was given the name Caprio Cellars. Inspired by Dennis’ Italian ancestors’ connection to wine as an essential part of daily life, Caprio Cellars aims to carry on the tradition of establishing a culture of wine like that of Dennis’ Italian heritage while also contributing to the emerging tradition of Walla Walla winemaking.”

“The team at Caprio Cellars believes in the transformative power of hospitality and a shared spirit of generosity. Their aim is to cultivate a wine culture that brings together fellowship, the senses, and discernment – creating a space for the social experience of sharing wine and learning how to appreciate it over time while always serving great food and wines in the European tradition.”

Proprietor Dennis Murphy joins us to uncork all that is Caprio Cellars.

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Show 448, October 23, 2021: Dennis Murphy, Winemaker & Proprietor, Caprio Cellars, Walla Walla, Washington Part Two

Dennis Murphy of Caprio Cellars

Caprio Cellars is a small producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc located in the heart of Walla Walla Valley, WA., one of the premier wine-growing regions in the world.”

“Winemaker/Owner Dennis Murphy purchased the land where Caprio Cellars stands in 2003. Previously wheat fields, Dennis set out to make it the site of his first vineyard. This dream came to fruition in 2005 when the first plantings went in. Dennis named this vineyard “Eleanor” in homage to his late grandmother Eleanor Caprio. The first harvest took place in 2008, and once the first wines were bottled, the operation was given the name Caprio Cellars. Inspired by Dennis’ Italian ancestors’ connection to wine as an essential part of daily life, Caprio Cellars aims to carry on the tradition of establishing a culture of wine like that of Dennis’ Italian heritage while also contributing to the emerging tradition of Walla Walla winemaking.”

“Few Walla Walla wineries own estate vineyards. Caprio Cellars is one of them. The Caprio Estate is comprised of three sites: Eleanor’s, Octave and Sanitella. These sites are in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley and enjoy ideal sun exposure and vine-loving soil, yielding grapes of the highest quality and complexity for their estate wines. The Eleanor site consists of two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and one of Merlot. Octave’s 22-acre hillside vineyard was planted in 2007 and consists of 16 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, two acres of Merlot, two acres of Cabernet Franc, and one acre of Malbec. The newest, high elevation vineyard, Sanitella, in the SeVein, has Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.”

“Caprio Cellars is known in the Walla Walla Valley for their state-of-the-art tasting room and unparalleled hospitality. The entire Caprio team has a background in hospitality, and their ongoing commitment to the relational aspect of their business only adds to the experience of Caprio Cellars wines.”

“In addition to an always complimentary tasting fee, the Caprio Cellars Kitchen offers seasonally inspired plates to accompany every wine tasting. Executive Chef and Walla Walla local Ian Williams strives to source local, organic, and sustainable ingredients for every delicious plate. The Caprio Cellars Tasting Room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. by reservation only. Caprio Cellars also hosts special events and regular winemaker dinners.”

Proprietor Dennis Murphy continues with us while enjoying a glass of his 2018 Eleanor Estate Red Blend.

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Show 446, October 9, 2021: Dierberg Estate Vineyard and Star Lane Vineyard, Santa Barbara County Part Two

Chris King of Star Lane Vineyard

Dierberg Estate Vineyard and Star Lane Vineyard were founded in 1996. Owners Jim and Mary Dierberg started this project with the intent of creating World-Class wines from three different AVA’s in Santa Barbara County. They began by planting vineyards in both Santa Maria Valley and at the beautiful Star Lane Ranch in Happy Canyon. Finally, with the addition of the Drum Canyon Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, Jim and Mary were able to accomplish their goal of crafting unique, terroir-driven wines that capture the best of these three distinctive sites.”

“Under the Dierberg label, the focus is on the delicate and elegant Burgundian varietals; whereas, at Star Lane, the focus is on the more robust and powerful Bordeaux varieties. Their dedication to producing the highest quality wines can be seen from the care in the vineyards, through the winemaking process, to the wine in your glass!”

“The Dierberg’s and Star Lane Vineyards’ Tasting Room (by Appointment only) is located on their Sta. Rita Hills property, Drum Canyon Vineyard. Set towards the back of the property on Drum Canyon Road, the Tasting Room offers a flight of 5 wines featuring Dierberg • Star Lane wines for $25.”

“This tasting showcases the incredible diversity of their three estate vineyards located in Santa Barbara County. The unique climates of each of the three vineyards allows Dierberg & Star Lane to produce: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah.”

“Star Lane Vineyard itself is a Private Estate and is available for privately hosted tours and tastings by appointment only. The curated Estate Tour and Tasting Experience showcases the splendor of the Santa Ynez Valley and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the magic and beauty of the Star Lane Vineyard, Winery & Caves. The 120-minute signature journey begins with a tour of Dierberg’s expansive wine-making facility where guests will experience awe-inspiring views of one of Santa Barbara County’s most historic private ranches.”

Dierberg Estate Vineyard’s and Star Lane Vineyard’s Hospitality Director, Chris King, continues with us to uncork all that is Star Lane Vineyard and Dierberg Estate Vineyard.

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Show 445, October 2, 2021: Chef and Winemaker Frank Ostini, Hitching Post 2 and Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines Part One

Frank Ostini of Hitching Post II

Buellton’s celebrated Chef and Winemaker Frank Ostini is the grill master at Hitching Post 2 Restaurant and the Co-Winemaker at Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines (with Gray Hartley.) We’re talking Santa Barbara County wine and classic Santa Maria BBQ with Chef Frank Ostini.

“On the Central Coast of California BBQ has always meant grilling over an open fire of red oak, a style of cooking that is native to the area and goes back to the days of the Spanish Rancheros. By combining the old and the new, Hitching Post 2 has created an exciting cuisine with outstanding steaks, ribs and chicken, along with fresh fish and seafood and vegetarian options. They also create their own (world class) wines, Hartley – Ostini Hitching Post Wines, for sale and enjoyment in the restaurant and to the wider public.”

“Hitching Post Wines strives to create flavorful handcrafted wines that possess poise and balance, putting a slice of Santa Barbara in each glass, and a piece of their soul in every bottle of Hitching Post. The spacious Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room is located adjacent to Hitching Post 2 restaurant on Highway 246 and has ample parking.”

The Traditional Tasting at Hitching Post Wines priced at $15 per guest offers a flight of five Hitching Post Wines consisting of Pinks 2017; Hometown Pinot Noir 2016; Cork Dancer Pinot Noir 2015; Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2015; and Gen Red 2016.

A Reserve Tasting, priced at $20, includes five wines – Highliner Pinot Noir 2015; Perfect Set Pinot Noir 2015; Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2015; Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir 2015; and Four Top 2012. The caveat of the Reserve Tasting will be its ever-changing menu featuring rare single-vineyard bottlings and special older vintages of Hitching Post.

“Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room would not be complete without the added flavor of Hitching Post 2’s Santa Maria Style BBQ food pairings to enjoy while tasting. Classic crowd-pleasing favorites served from the restaurant for Lunch (mid to late afternoon menu of appetizers & snacks, too) include HP Burgers; Triple-Fried French Fries; Santa Maria BBQ Artichokes; and Grilled Corn Quesadillas.”

Chef Frank also remembers acclaimed Santa Barbara County Winemaker Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year.

The Restaurant and Tasting Room are open Wednesday through Sunday. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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Show 445, October 2, 2021: Chef and Winemaker Frank Ostini, Hitching Post 2 and Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines Part Two

Frank Ostini of Hitching Post II

Buellton’s celebrated Chef and Winemaker Frank Ostini is the grill master at Hitching Post 2 Restaurant and the Co-Winemaker at Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines (with Gray Hartley.) We’re now continuing talking Santa Barbara County wine and classic Santa Maria BBQ with Chef Frank Ostini.

“On the Central Coast of California BBQ has always meant grilling over an open fire of red oak, a style of cooking that is native to the area and goes back to the days of the Spanish Rancheros. By combining the old and the new, Hitching Post 2 has created an exciting cuisine with outstanding steaks, ribs and chicken, along with fresh fish and seafood and vegetarian options. They also create their own (world class) wines, Hartley – Ostini Hitching Post Wines, for sale and enjoyment in the restaurant and to the wider public.”

“Hitching Post Wines strives to create flavorful handcrafted wines that possess poise and balance, putting a slice of Santa Barbara in each glass, and a piece of their soul in every bottle of Hitching Post. The spacious Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room is located adjacent to Hitching Post 2 restaurant on Highway 246 and has ample parking.”

The Traditional Tasting at Hitching Post Wines priced at $15 per guest offers a flight of five Hitching Post Wines consisting of Pinks 2017; Hometown Pinot Noir 2016; Cork Dancer Pinot Noir 2015; Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2015; and Gen Red 2016.

A Reserve Tasting, priced at $20, includes five wines – Highliner Pinot Noir 2015; Perfect Set Pinot Noir 2015; Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2015; Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir 2015; and Four Top 2012. The caveat of the Reserve Tasting will be its ever-changing menu featuring rare single-vineyard bottlings and special older vintages of Hitching Post.

“Hitching Post Wines Tasting Room would not be complete without the added flavor of Hitching Post 2’s Santa Maria Style BBQ food pairings to enjoy while tasting. Classic crowd-pleasing favorites served from the restaurant for Lunch (mid to late afternoon menu of appetizers & snacks, too) include HP Burgers; Triple-Fried French Fries; Santa Maria BBQ Artichokes; and Grilled Corn Quesadillas.”

The Restaurant and Tasting Room are open Wednesday through Sunday. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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Show 426, May 22, 2021: Winemaker Mark Cargasacchi, Jalama Wines, Lompoc

Mark Cargasacchi of Jalama Wines

“The Jalama Wines Tasting Room located in the historic La Plaza building in downtown Palm Springs offers a truly authentic tasting opportunity where guests experience the casual and inviting atmosphere of California’s Central Coast wine country. The Jalama Wines vineyards are located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County.”

“Jalama Wines’ artisan winery produces less than 1,000 cases of wine yearly, including estate Pinot Noir, sourced Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah, and several Rhone blends.” The two estate vineyards are Cargasacchi Vineyard – Sta. Rita Hills and Jalama Vineyard – Santa Barbara County.

“The Palm Springs Tasting Room is the first and only one of its kind in the area. It’s a welcoming spot for anyone who enjoys exceptional wine. You’re likely to meet winemaker Mark Cargasacchi there and get a chance to learn what makes Jalama Wines so special.” The Tasting Room is open Friday through Sunday from 12 Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Winemaker Mark Cargasacchi joins us to pull the cork on Jalama Wines.

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Show 415, March 6, 2021: Belden Barns Winery and Farmstead with Nate and Lauren Belden Part One

Lauren and Nate Belden

“Perched atop Sonoma Mountain, Belden Barns celebrates the totality of farmstead agriculture with a surprising range of exceptional, cool-climate estate bottlings for such a boutique property.  In addition to delicious, terroir-driven wines, they rely on resident farmers Vince and Jenny Trotter for their sustainably grown estate fruit and produce.” 

“Tastings normally take place in a charming old barn — a throwback to an earlier time in Sonoma County farm life. (Currently, all tastings are conducted outside due to COVID 19 restrictions).  Visitors to the (kid-friendly) winery are encouraged to meander around the vines or head downhill to the orchards/produce where they can also hang a wish on the “wishing tree.””

Belden Barns has a program of Spring Virtual Tastings including the launch of their Apple Cider. Nate and Lauren also offer custom virtual tastings for special friends and family celebrations and business gatherings.

“Belden Barns was recently voted one of USA Today’s Top Ten Winery Tours.  Proprietors Nate and Lauren Belden are an amiable couple and their wines (including some highly regarded Pinots, Sparkling Wine, Grenache and what may be the only commercially available Gruner Veltliner in Sonoma County, among other bottlings) are noteworthy.”

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