Show 441, September 4, 2021: Winemaker and Chef Pietro Buttitta, Prima Materia, Lake County, CA Part One

Pietro Buttitta of Prima Materia

“Winemaker Pietro Buttitta of Prima Materia makes American-Italian wines from his 12-acre vineyard in Lake County, CA. His is a quest to not just get it right, but simply to get to making good, balanced wines. In his effort, he knows he’s up against perceptions borne 20 years ago about Italian varietals made in California. His is, fortunately, not those wines.”

“Prima Materia doesn’t use herbicides or pesticides, and they naturally craft unfined and unfiltered wines using traditional methods that produce ageable bottles that respect classical styles interpreted through their vineyard.”

“Prima Materia is the product of two decades spent working in vineyards, wineries, and cooking in restaurant kitchens that ranged from Michelin starred to hamburger (and fried chicken) consulting. This culinary background is part of the winemaking approach, and every bottle hopes to capture a distinctive, Old-World inflected voice in harmony with California’s vast and evolving wine history.”

“The wines are crafted in small batches of two to ten barrels each, producing 1,200 to 1,500 cases per year. The winemaking and grape-growing are intensively hands-on, using stems and time, gravity and buckets, rather than fancy, impersonal machinery or mechanized processes. Prima Materia’s wines are unsulfured for much of their lives, allowing them to evolve as living things and new oak is rarely used. The wines are unfined, unfiltered, hand harvested, and hand bottled, and they are clean, stable and ready for long aging.”

Pietro Buttitta joins us to uncork all that is Prima Materia.

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Show 441, September 4, 2021: Winemaker and Chef Pietro Buttitta, Prima Materia, Lake County, CA Part Two

Pietro Buttitta of Prima Materia

Winemaker Pietro Buttitta of Prima Materia makes American-Italian wines from his 12-acre vineyard in Lake County, CA. His is a quest to not just get it right, but simply to get to making good, balanced wines. In his effort, he knows he’s up against perceptions borne 20 years ago about Italian varietals made in California. His is, fortunately, not those wines.”

“Prima Materia doesn’t use herbicides or pesticides, and they naturally craft unfined and unfiltered wines using traditional methods that produce ageable bottles that respect classical styles interpreted through their vineyard.”

“Prima Materia is the product of two decades spent working in vineyards, wineries, and cooking in restaurant kitchens that ranged from Michelin starred to hamburger (and fried chicken) consulting. This culinary background is part of the winemaking approach, and every bottle hopes to capture a distinctive, Old-World inflected voice in harmony with California’s vast and evolving wine history.”

“The wines are crafted in small batches of two to ten barrels each, producing 1,200 to 1,500 cases per year. The winemaking and grape-growing are intensively hands-on, using stems and time, gravity and buckets, rather than fancy, impersonal machinery or mechanized processes. Prima Materia’s wines are unsulfured for much of their lives, allowing them to evolve as living things and new oak is rarely used. The wines are unfined, unfiltered, hand harvested, and hand bottled, and they are clean, stable and ready for long aging.”

Prima Materia’s main tasting room is located at 49th & Telegraph Avenue in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, Ca., and you can also try the wines at Riggers Loft in Richmond, California.

Pietro Buttitta pours a glass of his 2017 Estate Bottled Sangiovese (Kelsey Bench) and continues with us.

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Show 418, March 27, 2021: Victor Gallegos, Vice President & General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Part One

Victor Gallegos of Sea Smoke

“For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.”

“At Sea Smoke, our objective is to produce the best Pinot Noir possible from our unique vineyard site. Located on south-facing hillside bluffs, our estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure – producing grapes with optimum flavor, color and tannin development. The heat generated during the day is moderated each evening by a marine fog layer (sea “smoke”), which travels up the Santa Ynez River canyon, cooling the vines and resulting in a longer ripening period. This extended ‘hangtime’ allows the grape tannins to fully ripen prior to harvest, creating wines that are rich and supple.”

“Our pursuit of great Pinot Noir can also be seen in the meticulous management of our estate vineyard. We strive for low crop yields and small grape clusters of intense flavor. To this end, our rich clay soils are planted with ten, top-quality Pinot Noir clones on vigor reducing rootstocks. While we employ the latest technology in the vineyard to help us achieve vine balance and vigor reduction, we also recognize that technology is no replacement for skilled people.”

“Every one of our vines receives personal handling from our vineyard crew seven to eight times each year – every vine. As stewards of this remarkable piece of land, we are also dedicated to its long-term wellbeing. In this spirit, we have been farming Sea Smoke sustainably since 2003, and now farm 80 acres biodynamically, including the blocks destined for our Sea Smoke Chardonnay and Sea Spray Blanc de Noirs.”

When you log on to the Sea Smoke website the first introductory image is a short video featuring a sweeping aerial panorama of this magnificent vineyard estate.

Victor Gallegos, Sea Smoke’s long-time Vice President and General Manager gently pulls the cork on Sea Smoke for us.

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Show 401, November 28, 2020: Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, Joseph Jewell Wines, Forestville Part One

Adrain Jewell Manspeaker of Joseph Jewell Wines“From a small garagiste operation Joseph Jewell Wines, under the direction of Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker, has morphed into one of Humboldt & Sonoma County’s leading Pinot Noir producers. Joseph Jewell began in 2006 with two barrels of wine. Today, they make roughly 15% of the total wine production from Humboldt County’s 150 acres of vineyards. The wines produced three 90-plus scores and their history is just starting to be written.”

Joseph Jewell Wines sources exceptional fruit from independently owned vineyard properties in Sonoma and Humboldt counties, selecting sites with unique soil profiles and weather conditions. As part of their commitment to the future, they seek out growers who implement sustainable farming practices. Working closely with the property owners throughout the year allows Joseph Jewell to monitor the grapes’ progress and cultivate fruit that delivers the distinctive character of the site. Their goal is a finished wine that celebrates the singularity of the vineyard from which it came—the optimal expression of place captured vintage after vintage.”

Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker artfully pulls the cork on Joseph Jewell Wines for us.

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Show 396, October 24, 2020: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part One

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Hawk Vineyard and WinesThe Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. There is also a sparkling wine program.

At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel “the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

“The quality of the fruit directly impacts the quality of the wine produced from it. At Kessler-Haak, they believe winemaking begins in the vineyard and that they are wine growers first and foremost and winemakers second. Winegrower & Winemaker Dan and Owner/Partner Ellen Haak-Kessler live on and work in the vineyard. Coaxing the best fruit from each vine requires an integral involvement with the grape growing process; being there each day, touching the vines and soil and being hands-on in all aspects of the farming.”

The welcoming Lompoc Tasting Room is open Thursday through Sunday. No appointment needed. Check Website for hours.

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler pulls the cork on Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines for us.

 

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Show 396, October 24, 2020: Dan Kessler, Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines, Lompoc Part Two

Dan Kessler of Kessler-Hawk Vineyard and WinesThe Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines vineyard is located on Hwy 246, 11 miles west of Buellton in the cooler northwestern section of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Fog graces the vineyard most mornings; followed by cool Pacific ocean breezes and bright sunny afternoons. These conditions nurture gentle ripening of Kessler-Haak’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at lower sugars with crisp acidity and the higher levels of spice commonly seen in cool climate viticulture. There is also a sparkling wine program.

At Kessler-Haak the approach is that “great wine is produced in the vineyard.” Consequently, they feel “the best winemaking approach is a minimalistic one, relying on traditional methods and techniques.”

“As winemakers, the goal at Kessler-Haak is to craft great food friendly wines that speak of place and time. The single most important factor influencing this goal is the decision of when to harvest. They base this decision on a combination of factors including: sugar levels, pH, flavors, visual appearance of the fruit and vines, seed ripeness and the style of wine we are striving to create. Ripeness in a given year, which ultimately reflects time and place, is the optimal confluence of these factors.”

The welcoming Lompoc Tasting Room is open Thursday through Sunday. No appointment needed. Check Website for hours.

Grower and Winemaker Dan Kessler of Kessler-Haak Vineyard and Wines in Lompoc continues with 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 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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Show 345, October 19, 2019: Alloro Vineyard, Sherwood, OR with Proprietor & Vineyard Manager David Nemarnik Part Two

David Nemarnik of Alloro VineyardAlloro Vineyard brings Old-World allure to Oregon. Nestled in the south-facing slopes of the Chehalem Mountains just 30 minutes outside of Portland, the 70-acre Alloro estate is a bucolic homage to timeless tradition. From the iconic Italian farmhouse and culinary gardens to the heirloom sheep that graze the vineyard cover crops, and herd of Hereford cattle, the winery and vineyard is built upon the sustainable holistic agricultural practices, respectful stewardship, and intense passion for food and wine of David Nemarnik, Alloro’s founder and vineyard manager.”

“Alloro makes wine exclusively from 33 acres of estate vineyards perched on sloping hillsides in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The Vineyard is dry-farmed, and tended with the lightest possible touch. L.I.V.E.-certified, Salmon-Safe agricultural practices strive to promote natural biodiversity and improve sustainability every year. The site’s Laurelwood series of soils—dark brown loess topsoil layered on brick-red decomposed basalt Jory soils that act as a sponge—offer optimal fertility and moisture for the micro-climate.”

Alloro produces three estate Pinot Noirs, Chardonnay, Riesling, Rose of Pinot Noir, and Vino Nettare—a dessert wine made from Muscat and Riesling.”

Proprietor David Nemarnik continues.

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