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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Show 384, August 1, 2020: Anchor Valley Wine, Rogue Valley with Partner Ashley Cates

Ashley Cates of Anchor ValleyAlways up for an adventure and full of entrepreneurial spirit, Joe Moxley and Mike Herrera entered into the wine world with the hopes of blazing a new trail, of merging their two business worlds in a way that hadn’t been done before. Their first partnership focused on the rock & roll world and lifestyle, bringing a signature clothing brand to fans of music.

Now, after eleven years partnering together, they’ve broadened their horizons and brought their love of wine to the forefront. The adventure began when the two went wine tasting together in Southern Oregon where they were introduced to acclaimed winemaker, Matthew Cates. It didn’t take long for the trio to form a bond which resulted in the launch of a new limited production, boutique winery they created together named Anchor Valley, based in the Rogue Valley.

Anchor Valley selections include Pinot Rose, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah.

Grapes are all sourced from local vineyards that Winemaker Matthew knows well. The inviting tasting room is in the historic town of Jacksonville, Oregon.

Partner Ashley Cates pulls the cork on Anchor Valley for us.

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Show 375, May 30, 2020: Chef Frank Ostini of Hitching Post 2 Restaurant & Hitching Post Wines

Frank Ostini of Hitching Post IIIt’s hard to believe but until fairly recently Hitching Post Wines (made famous in the Oscar-winning 2004 feature motion picture, “Sideways,”) never had a tasting room. That all changed for the better in August of 2018 when acclaimed winemakers Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini debuted a mid-century farmhouse, destination Tasting Room (with the bonus of lunch service delivered from Hitching Post 2) adjacent to Chef Ostini’s prominent Hitching Post 2 Restaurant in Buellton.

The Tasting Room is still on temporary hiatus but Hitching Post 2 has reopened for pick-up and delivery. Hitching Post Wine packages available, too. Lunch service with wine available by the glass has returned outside under a covered canopy in the picnic area adjacent to the Tasting Room. (Closed on Monday & Tuesday.)

“The Hitching Post 2 blends traditional Santa Maria Barbecue with eclectic local ingredients and award -winning wines for an exciting cuisine that is uniquely its own.”

Chef Frank has put together an impressive Take Home Dinner for Four (Hitching Post BBQ Box) that is delivered to Los Angeles (pick-up at Mar Vista Restaurant every other Tuesday) via Los Alamos Delivers. It includes 1 lb. Prime Top Sirloin Steak, 1 lb. Natural Pork Back Ribs, ½ BBQ’d Fresh Natural Chicken and sides of BBQ’d Baked Potatoes, Rice Pilaf, Assorted Vegetables, Roots Farm Green Salad, Garlic Bread and Salsa. Comes chilled and ready to re-warm at home.

We nudge Chef Frank away from his Santa Maria style BBQ grill to share the details.

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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.

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Show 368, April 11, 2020: Executive Chef & Proprietor Rob Wilson, Glasspar, Dana Point

Rob Wiilson of Glasspar“As executive chef and proprietor of the newly launched Glasspar in Dana Point, Rob Wilson draws upon decades of elite culinary and operational experience and childhood inspiration to present Glasspar’s menu of thoughtfully sourced, respectfully prepared, and creatively presented American seafood.” With dine-in not allowed during the ongoing health crisis Chef Rob has shifted his operation to create the Glasspar Seafood Market providing hard-to-find fresh seafood at better than supermarket pricing on Wednesday (2 to 6:00 p.m.) and Saturday afternoons (Noon to 4:00 p.m.)

For the duration Glasspar has artfully converted into a fresh seafood market. The restaurant, which originally ceased operations all together after the state-mandated dine-in closure, has now morphed its raw bar into a fresh seafood market.

“We saw an opportunity to meet a need in our community,” comments Chef Rob Wilson. “Supermarkets are barren, but we have access to fresh-caught, high-quality seafood from our partners at Superior Seafood and our raw bar is equipped to safely store and display it all. We’re in the business of feeding people and we’re happy to do our part by providing the community with the fresh seafood they can’t find at the market at better-than-supermarket prices.”

Guests are encouraged to place special seafood orders in advance by calling the restaurant at 949.240.6243.

In addition to fresh-caught seafood, the restaurant is selling bottles of wine from its cellar at a discount. Allowed by the temporarily relaxed ABC regulations, Glasspar is offering a selection of its signature pre-batched cocktails packaged in sealed containers to-go for at-home enjoyment.

We’ll reel Chef Rob is to provide the details.

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Show 367, April 4, 2020: Food Writer Yasmin Fahr, Keeping it Simple – Easy Weeknight One-Pot Recipes Part One

Food Writer Yasmin FahrAfter a long day at work (in normal times,) heading home to cook a fussy, complicated meal is the last thing anyone wants to do. Keeping it Simple – Easy Weeknight One-Pot Recipes by Yasmin Fahr is the ultimate collection to have on hand for these moments, featuring over 60 quick, impressive, healthyish, and delicious one-pot/pan/tray dinners that can be whipped up in the time it takes to have a glass of wine.

“Inspired by her column for Serious Eats, One-Pot Wonders, author, food writer and recipe developer Yasmin Fahr’s recipes offer sneaky gems and low-key showstoppers that work every time, and promises each recipe will teach readers a new skill in the kitchen. The ultimate goal is to get dinner on the table quickly, but also to create something truly delicious as a weeknight reward.”

Yasmin Fahr joins us.

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Show 366, March 28, 2020: Chef / Proprietor Suzanne Tracht of Jar Restaurant in Los Angeles

Suzanne Tracht of Jar RestaurantJar, a modern chophouse in the heart of Los Angeles, commands the attention of Angelenos with the allure of Chef / Proprietor Suzanne Tracht’s familiar retro dishes from the American culinary repertoire. Since it’s debut in 2002, Jar’s devoted fans return again and again to enjoy her signature Pot Roast, Kansas City Steak, wild and sustainable Seafood, Lemongrass Chicken, Black Mussels with Lobster Bearnaise & Fennel Salt, award-winning French Fries, market-fresh sides and perfectly mixed martinis.

During the prohibition on dine-in Jar continues to serve guests with Jar to-go, Jar Cocktails to-go, Wines to-go and a boxed Dinner for four.

Chef Suzanne has a long tradition of hosting a welcoming Passover Seder at Jar. While that can’t happen this year she will, instead, create a special Passover family dinner for take-out.

Chef Suzanne joins us with all the salivating menu details.

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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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