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 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 423, May 1, 2021: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part One

Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County.”

“Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.”

“Saracina cultivates 40 acres of vineyards on six different parcels. The soils vary greatly from rocky to black clay and gravelly loam, allowing for the cultivation of numerous varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. This area has wet winters and dry summers with very warm days and cool nights providing for ripe, plush fruit to be balanced by firm acidity. Winemaking is led by Alex MacGregor.”

“At Saracina, the modern, eco-friendly tasting room and winery facility blend comfortably into the rural landscape. Saracina’s openness and unspoiled yet well-tended beauty is unique in the Mendocino County, as are the wine caves, the first of their kind in the county dug out of solid rock over a two-year period. By prior appointment throughout the year, the winery also offers Wine Cave Tours, Private Tastings with the Winemaker, and last but not least, Estate Tours in a motorized “Mule.””

The Saracina Vineyards estate is again fully open for visitors with all health and safeky oroticols being observed.

Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor joins us to gently pull the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

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Show 423, May 1, 2021: Winemaker Alex MacGregor, Saracina Vineyards Mendocino Part Two

Saracina Vineyards Mendocino is a Certified California Sustainable (CSWA) winery and vineyard located in Hopland, in the southern part of Mendocino County about 30 miles north of Healdsburg. This 250-acre ranch, which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and all manner of bird and wild animal life. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful estate in Mendocino County.”

“Originally founded by the husband and wife team of John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since its inception.”

“Saracina cultivates 40 acres of vineyards on six different parcels. The soils vary greatly from rocky to black clay and gravelly loam, allowing for the cultivation of numerous varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. This area has wet winters and dry summers with very warm days and cool nights providing for ripe, plush fruit to be balanced by firm acidity. Winemaking is led by Alex MacGregor.”

“At Saracina, the modern, eco-friendly tasting room and winery facility blend comfortably into the rural landscape. Saracina’s openness and unspoiled yet well-tended beauty is unique in the Mendocino County, as are the wine caves, the first of their kind in the county dug out of solid rock over a two-year period. By prior appointment throughout the year, the winery also offers Wine Cave Tours, Private Tastings with the Winemaker, and last but not least, Estate Tours in a motorized “Mule.””

The Saracina Vineyards estate is again fully open for visitors with proper social distancing and all safety protocols in place.

Long-time winemaker Alex MacGregor continues with us artfully pulling the cork on Saracina Mendocino.

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Show 418, March 27, 2021: ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson

Ryan Fredrickson of ArT Wine Preserver

“Winemakers and restaurateurs agree. There’s an art to preserving wine. While you may have heard it’s important to let wine “breathe,” this causes oxygen to degrade the bottle the longer it’s been opened. Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.”

“Argon gas is the preferred method by winemakers to prevent oxidation that spoils wine. ArT Wine Preserver® is an affordable, recyclable wine saver (packaged in a convenient can) that uses pure argon gas to displace oxygen.”

“ArT Wine Preserver® is on a mission to reduce waste, starting with wine. According to the National Resources Defense Council, wine waste is part of the 40 percent of food that is wasted in the United States every day. In the United States alone, the company estimates home consumers pour more than $1.27 billion dollars of wine down the drain, and restaurants pour out another 18+ million bottles!”

“ArT Wine Preserver® Founder Ryan Frederickson’s former career as an engineer took a different path after a vacation in California wine country. After learning about how much work goes into producing each bottle, and just how much waste occurs due to oxidation, he decided to put his previous experience working in the argon gas industry to use.”

“Naming the product ArT, short for “Argon Technology, the wine preserving canister contains 100% pure argon gas to keep opened bottles of wine fresh up to three times longer.”

Founder Ryan Frederickson joins us with wine glass in hand.

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

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.”

Outdoor wine tasting (under the current regulations) is available at the Forestville Tasting Room. The tasting can also be enjoyed at the nearby “home” vineyard, Starscape Vineyard. Also a vineyard picnic and tasting option are available.

Winemaker & Proprietor Adrian Manspeaker continues with us and artfully pulls the cork on Joseph Jewell 2018 Pinot Noir, Alderpoint Vineyard.

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Show 397, October 31, 2020: Carole Lawson – Founder & CEO of the Craft Wine Association

Carole Lawson of the Craft Wine Association“Established in 2016, CraftWine.org is a membership organization that helps the owners, vintners, and winemakers of small production wineries to increase the market for Craft Wine. The association certifies Craft Wineries and sponsors an online marketplace called NxtCrush that directly supports wineries who can sell their certified and distinctly American wine directly to consumers.”

CraftWine.org is on a mission to make craft wine as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. Carole Lawson is the Founder and CEO of CraftWine.org.

“After leaving behind her work in the emerging technology sector, working with the likes of Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter on behalf of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a second successful career as the Chief Information Officer for high-profile organizations across multiple states, Carole founded the Craft Wine Association. Using her background in emerging markets, she is working to make Craft Wine, distinctly American wine, as available in the marketplace as craft beer and spirits. Carole is also a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.”

Carole provided tantalizing snapshots of Terragena Vineyard & Winery in Humboldt County and Koi Zen Cellars in San Diego who are both Craft Wine Association members operating in the Golden State.

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Show 386, August 15, 2020: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part One

Tom Homewood and Sean Hopkins of Awen WinecraftAwen Winecraft officially started commercially in 2016 by winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood. They had been producing small lots of hand-crafted hobby wine for over a decade, starting in California focusing primarily on red wines. After many years of honing their winemaking skills producing 4 to 16 Barrels per year, Sean and Tom decided it was time to try to make a business of their passion. Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends.”

“Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends.”

“Additionally, Sean and Tom were given the opportunity to manage a small boutique vineyard in 2014, which allowed them to really experience home winemaking ‘grape to glass’.”

“Finally, after commuting up from the Bay Area roughly 30 times for winemaking duties, Tom packed up his family and made Southern Oregon his home in the summer of 2016 to help start Awen Winecraft.”

“Awen” is a celtic/druidic symbol describing the spark of creativity or divine inspiration or illumination.

Proprietors and Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood gently pull the cork on Awen Winecraft for us.

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Show 386, August 15, 2020: Awen Winecraft with Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood Part Two

Tom Homewood and Sean Hopkins of Awen WinecraftAwen Winecraft officially started commercially in 2016 by winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood. They had been producing small lots of hand-crafted hobby wine for over a decade, starting in California focusing primarily on red wines. After many years of honing their winemaking skills producing 4 to 16 Barrels per year, Sean and Tom decided it was time to try to make a business of their passion. Sean moved to Southern Oregon in the summer of 2011 and began experimenting with the Rogue and Applegate AVA grapes, again, exclusively focused on red wines in the region, which offers an abundance of red wine grapes that they previously hadn’t used. They moved on to white wines in 2013, and worked on creating both 100% varietals as well as blends.”

“Finally, after commuting up from the Bay Area roughly 30 times for winemaking duties, Tom packed up his family and made Southern Oregon his home in the summer of 2016 to help start Awen Winecraft.”

“Awen” is a celtic/druidic symbol describing the spark of creativity or divine inspiration or illumination.

“Working with Herb Quady, Brian Gruber, and Nichole Schulte at Barrel 42, we are bridging the gap from Hobbyist to professional, and are appreciative of their mentorship. We also appreciate all of the efforts of both the master growers that we work with, as well as the help and feedback we have received from other winemakers.”

Proprietors and Winemakers Sean Hopkins and Tom Homewood continue the fruit-forward conversation with us about Southern Oregon’s Awen Winecraft. Sean and Tom describe their noteworthy 2018 Albarino with an Applegate Valley AVA and their 2017 Sangiovese from the Rogue Valley.

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