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 286, August 18, 2018: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWe’re uncorking it again with our distinguished wine expert, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange.

Is there a relationship between quality and price when it comes to California’s cult wines? What is the pricing model? Where is the value to be found if it can perhaps be found at all?

Most of the cult wines of California are coming from the elite Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is King! In the rarified growing areas of Napa there is very little room to expand vineyards.


Show 264, March 10, 2018: Evan Goldstein, MS, The Wines of Alentejo, Portugal

Evan GoldsteinFor North Europeans in search of a summer trifecta of sun, sea and sand, Portugal’s southern coastline exerts an irresistible allure. Savvy International wine lovers are now following suit, on a separate voyage of discovery into the country’s hot, dry interior and the vineyards of southern Portugal’s Alentejo (ah-len-TAY-zhoo) region.

As with many areas of Southern Europe, wine has been made in the Alentejo for time immemorial, most of it spent in quiet obscurity. But with a winemaking revival well underway, supported by the investment of EU funds, that is fast starting to change.

Alentejo is blessed with an astonishing array of native grapes. With over 250 indigenous grape varieties, Portugal, has the highest density of native grapes per square mile of any country in the world, including Italy. Proud local producers concentrate on those native grapes, which are often blended.

Evan Goldstein, MS, an authority on the wines of Portugal, is our guide to one of the most promising wine regions in southern Europe today.


Show 175, June 11, 2016: Visit Temecula Valley

Visit Temecula Valley Wine CountryTemecula Valley has evolved into a diverse and appealing visitors’ destination. In addition to the attractions of the Pechanga Resort & Casino, there is historic Old Town and dozens of praise-worthy wineries. Visit Temecula Valley is the umbrella organization for promoting Temecula Valley as a destination. Marketing & PR Manager Annette Brown and 1st Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Ken Westmyer (GM of Temecula’s Quality Inn) join us.

“Come play with us in Temecula Valley, Southern California Wine Country. Nestled quietly among rolling hills and vineyards, under clear azure skies, Temecula Valley Wine Country is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. “

“Have a glass of wine during lunch at one of our many award-winning wineries. Gaze upon our lush vineyards, beautiful estates and awe-inspiring scenery from high above in a hot-air balloon. Stroll upon our verdant golf courses as you putt your worries away. Test lady luck and play the night away at Pechanga Resort and Casino. Explore Old Town with the kids where the Wild West still lives.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to partake of one of the early morning departure hot air balloon experiences floating over the Temecula Valley Wine Country. The views are simply spectacular. The calming sensation of floating in air with the birds is unrivaled. You might end your journey at one of Temecula’s premium wineries for a glass of sparkling wine and breakfast. That’s a really soft landing !


Show 43, October 12, 2013: Duskie Estes, Executive Chef and Co-Proprietor of zazu kitchen + farm, Sebastopol. CA

Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart of Zazu Kitchen and FarmOne of the most exciting chef teams operating in the Sonoma County wine country is Chef Duskie Estes and Salumist John Stewart (wife & husband) who are the proprietors of the newly relocated zazu kitchen + farm located at The Barlow (a former apple juice processing facility restored and reconceived as a home for artisan food producers including boutique wineries) in Sebastopol. Some of the vegetables used at the restaurant are actually grown in large tubs on the restaurant’s inviting patio. They were mentored by pioneering Seattle chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas before relocating to Sonoma County to go off on their own.

The original zazu restaurant (part of a former chicken coop) was founded in Santa Rosa in 2001. It was located in a rustic roadhouse way out of town surrounded by rural farms and vineyards. If a local didn’t tell you about it you’d probably never know it was even there. Their regulars include some of the most distinguished winemakers in Sonoma County. The eclectic wine list includes reserve selections that you just don’t see outside of the private stash of the wineries.

Duskie and John were living farm-to-table long before that became a marketing buzzword for chefs. They raise their own chicken and ducks to provide the eggs for their fresh pasta and their praise-worthy gelati. Their daughter operates a rabbit meat business.