Show 402, December 5, 2020: Rob Lewis, Proprietor, Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery, Wisconsin

Rob Lewis of Lewis Station WineryRob Lewis is the proprietor of both Lewis Station Winery and Stable Rock Winery & Distillery in Wisconsin. He started as an accomplished home winemaker.

“Lewis Station Winery is one of Wisconsin’s unique premium urban wineries in a re-purposed gas station. They specialize in small-batch, hand crafted premium award-winning wines using a low sulfite, natural approach to wine making. Lewis Station also have a large variety of Wisconsin craft beers and an appealing bistro style food menu. They offer “tasting flights” to enjoy the wines of Wisconsin’s First Certified Craft Winery.”

Stable Rock Winery & Distillery is a brand new winery & distillery located in a historic stable, on the banks of the Rock River in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Considering Jefferson’s rich German history, Stable Rock has several German influences with it’s wines and food all while guests sit at authentic German Beer Garden tables and benches obtained directly from Munich, Germany.”

All of Stable Rock’s unique wines and spirits are bottled on site.

Winemaker Rob Lewis joins us to pull the cork on the intriguing specifics of home winemaking. Rob is a proud member of the Craft Wine Association.

Rob explains starter winemaking kits (around $150 each) with all the needed equipment are simple to use and widely available. The instructions are easy to follow. The quality of the resulting wines will perhaps surprise you. Available at your local homebrewing store or at More Wine Making.

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Show 388, August 29, 2020: Jeff Nelson, Founder & CEO, Liquid Farm, Lompoc

Jeff Nelson of Liquid FarmJeff Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Liquid Farm with their distinctive Tasting Room in Los Olivos and the Winery in Lompoc.

“We seek to support local viticulture and honor our palates’ love for old world wines that have naturally high acidity and are not masked by many of the modern-day manipulations.”

“To do so, we selfishly decided to make what we most love to drink: Chardonnay that is earth and mineral driven from cool climates with little or no new oak. To achieve these qualities we were drawn to one of the coolest of all California AVA’s, Sta. Rita Hills. Located in Santa Barbara County, it is home to some of the most Chardonnay-suited, unique, ancient soils in North America.”

“From the climate and soil, to the people and their wines, the Santa Ynez Valley is certainly one of the most special regions we have ever come across.”

“Often said, but very true, all great wine starts in the vineyard. Our project’s name reflects our strong belief in that philosophy. It is truly all about place in combination with the highest quality fruit and letting the varietal and regional TYPICITY of the wine shine through from vineyard to glass…Liquid from Farming.”

“We allow the wines to develop on their own with little intervention, minimal or no new oak and use no additives or machines to manipulate the wines inherent personality. The project is also committed to blending from the handful of special vineyards we work with in the small AVA of Sta. Rita Hills to produce a collection of Chardonnays that are markedly different expressions, but with the same thread of intense minerality and salinity they started with in the vineyard.”

The Liquid Farm collection also includes a Rose of Mourvedre and “SBC” Pinot Noir. James Sparks is the Winemaker.

“Jeff Nelson has been in the wine business for the past 20+ years, working for some of the top Champagne and Burgundy houses. With the name Liquid Farm on Jeff’s mind for many years, it was the catalyst in 2009 for starting the project with the helping guidance of Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette Cellars.”

Jeff Nelson gently pulls the cork for us on all things Liquid Farm.

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Show 360, February 15, 2020: Winemaker Dave Powell, Powell & Son, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Dave Powell of Powell and Son winesPowell & Son wines are sourced from various vineyard sites throughout Australia’s the Barossa and Eden Valleys. Dave and Callum Powell (father and son) employ traditional, minimalist winemaking techniques to produce a wine that speaks of the place that it was grown. Their inspiration for winemaking having its roots in France’s Rhone Valley, Powell & Son red wines are made from the classic Rhone varietals: Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro and its whites: Roussanne, Marsanne as well as Eden Valley Riesling.

Dave was instrumental in preserving from replanting acres of irreplaceable old vine plantings in the Barossa Valley dating from the mid-1800’s. He actually cleaned up some of this vineyard property himself in exchange for the highly-desirable grapes.

“The Powell philosophy is that a great wine is made in the vineyard and so Callum and Dave work the vineyards they use on their own in the Winter and Spring seasons, then in Autumn pick the fruit and vinify using old concrete ferment vats and basket pressing – producing unique and expressive wines from their most prized vineyards throughout the Barossa.”

Dave Powell joins us to pull the cork on Powell & Son.

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Show 359, February 8, 2020: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards’ Winemaker Vince Vidrine Part One

Winemaker Vince VidrineThe welcoming Irvine & Roberts Vineyards and winery is part of the picturesque Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. It’s located just five miles from the heart of Ashland and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The new Irvine & Roberts tasting room on the property offers stunning views of the estate vineyards and the surrounding hills.

“The Irvine & Roberts families bring a unique collection of skills and passions to create their ultra-premium, artistically crafted wines produced in a style that evokes elegance, balance, and richness in their flavors and texture.”

“The estate vineyard is an exceptional example of geology and climate that provides the perfect growing conditions for some of the world’s most complex grapes: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Nestled between the Southern Cascade and Siskiyou Mountain Ranges, our ancient soils are some of the oldest in North America and are located on steep, high-elevation hillsides with glowing morning sun and shady, breezy afternoons.”

Winemaker Vince Vidrine skillfully pulls the cork on Irvine & Roberts Vineyards for us.

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Show 359, February 8, 2020: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards’ Winemaker Vince Vidrine Part Two

Winemaker Vince VidrineIrvine & Roberts Family Vineyards is an alluring family winery in Ashland, Oregon, where we practice sustainable farming and produce ultra-premium Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Our high -altitude vineyard is adorned with distinctive soils, climate, and east facing slopes that produce wines with extraordinary balance, flavor and intensity. We believe great wines come from great soil, so we strive to be conscientious stewards of the land, protecting our vineyard soils through practices that are certified sustainable by LIVE and Salmon Safe. We admit to being obsessive with our grape growing practices to ensure quality in the vineyard, keeping grape yields low and production limited to ensure the optimal health of the vine; allowing us to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with elegance and balance.”

“In 1997, Doug & Dionne Irvine returned to their roots in Oregon with the desire to raise their daughters in the same place that they had such fond childhood memories. Choosing Ashland, they soon discovered that the 80-acre ranch they would call home turned out to be an incredibly unique vineyard site. The first vines were planted in 2007, and the journey continued from there when Doug’s sister and brother in law, Kelly and Duane Roberts, joined Doug and Dionne and created Irvine and Roberts Vineyards.”

“We have a team of artisans and professionals in place to maximize the potential of this amazing site. From our tasting room ambassadors and vineyard artisans, to our management and winemakers and the distinct strengths of the family members themselves, Irvine & Roberts Vineyards is constantly striving for perfection. Out of love and respect for the great wines of the New and Old Worlds, our vision is to add our wines to the legacy of world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.”

Winemaker Vince Vidrine has a great deal of experience working for prestigious wineries in both Oregon and Burgundy and we’re confident he’ll expand on our initial successes to craft complex, balanced and elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.” “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with this team.“”

““We are all completely focused on producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at the highest level,” said Vidrine. “With the completion of this new winery and with a meticulous farming program led by the Results Partners vineyard management team, this project is perfectly poised for an excellent start.”

Winemaker Vince Vidrine continues and skillfully pulls the cork on another Irvine & Roberts Vineyards selection for us.

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Show 353, December 28, 2019: Bells Up Winery with Proprietor & Winemaker Dave Specter Part One

Dave Spector of Bells Up WineryMicro-boutique, un-domaine and always open by appointment, Bells Up Winery in Newberg, Oregon composes fewer than 500 cases of hand crafted, classically styled Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir and Syrah. It’s a 2nd career, passion project of Winemaker Dave Specter and his wife, Sara. The Chief Marketing Officer.

“After more than a decade of success as a corporate tax attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dave Specter was emotionally and physically spent. His wife Sara convinced him to leave the profession and they turned the hobby that brought him joy—winemaking—into his new career. The pair had fallen in love with Newberg and the Willamette Valley while on vacation in 2008, subsequently moving here in 2012 and establishing Bells Up in 2013. The first wines were released Memorial Day 2015, coinciding with the opening of the estate winery/tasting room.”

“Every Bells Up wine is named for a piece of classical music that perfectly epitomizes the wine and/or prominently features the French horn, the instrument owner and winemaker Dave Specter played for more than 20 years.”

Winemaker Dave joins us to pull the cork on Bells Up Winery.

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Show 353, December 28, 2019: Bells Up Winery with Proprietor & Winemaker Dave Specter Part Two

Dave Spector of Bells Up WineryMicro-boutique, un-domaine and always open by appointment, Bells Up Winery in Newberg, Oregon composes fewer than 500 cases of hand crafted, classically styled Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir and Syrah. It’s a 2nd career, passion project of Winemaker Dave Specter and his wife, Sara. The Chief Marketing Officer.

“Winemaker and owner Dave Specter and his wife Sara began making kit wine in their basement in 2006 on their five-year wedding anniversary. Dave, a corporate tax attorney, fell in love with winemaking. He left his legal career in 2009 to work as an unpaid cellar rat to award-winning winemaker Joe Henke of Henke Winery in Cincinnati. Joe mentored Dave for three years, during which time Dave enrolled in the Washington State University online enology course, earning a certificate.”

“In 2011, Dave won two amateur national winemaking competitions with two different wines in two months; a year later the Specters relocated to Newberg. Dave worked fall 2012 harvest under Bryan Weil, winemaker at Alexana in Dundee, and studied viticulture in 2013 in the Chemeketa Community College program. He also served as a member of the board of the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers Association.”

Dave continues the conversation on Bells Up Winery.

Our wine journalist colleague, Cori Solomon, the creator of the LA Wine Writers, was responsible for organizing this trip to the Mt. Hood Territory and Willamette Valley in Oregon. Read her article and tasting notes on visiting Bells Up Winery from her blog, The Written Palette.

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Show 349, November 30, 2019: Winemaker and Ceramicist Andrew Beckham, Beckham Estate Vineyard, Sherwood, OR

Andrew Beckham of Backham Estate VIneyards“Andrew and Annedria Beckham arrived in the Chehalem Mountains, Oregon in 2005 with the dream of purchasing land to build a studio for Andrew’s art. Immersed in the contagious passion of their pioneering neighbors and fascinated by the incredible potential beneath the surface of their high-elevation site, they started a vineyard row by row, coming home from their day jobs to plant vines all night, raising three children all the while. In 2009 they made their first wine.”

“In 2012 their winemaking truly found its voice with the introduction of Andrew’s handmade amphora (clay pot) as unique aging vessels, used in conjunction with organic farming and low-intervention practices that they believe reflect their vineyard best.”

Beckham Estate Vineyards’ traditional, barrel aged wines carry the Beckham Estate label. Andrew’s amphora wines are under the moniker of A.D. Beckham (“creta” pinot noir, “50/50” noir/gris and pinot gris.)

Winemaker Andrew Beckham joins us to pull the cork on Beckham Estate Vineyard for us.

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Show 348, November 9, 2019: Sean Sheehan, Sheehan Winery, Albuquerque, NM

Sean Sheehan of Sheehan WinerySheehan Winery is committed to making high-quality, all natural, boutique wines in New Mexico. Our winery was founded in 2015 by Sean Sheehan, who learned the craft by serving for more than a decade as lead winemaker at some of New Mexico’s finest wineries.”

“Our wines are made exclusively from New Mexico-grown grapes. Sheehan Winery wines reflect the unique combination of sun, high altitude, dry climate and soil of the New Mexico climate. We invite you to enjoy them!”

Winemaker Sean Sheehan is with us to pull the cork.

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Show 336, August 10, 2019: Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld, Rowen Wine Company, Healdsburg, Sonoma County

Justin Seidenfeld of Roden Wine CompanyThe boutique Rowen Wine Company is Rodney Strong Wine Estates new brand of small production, high-elevation wines from a remote and historic part of Sonoma County called The Cooley Ranch. This is the fruition of an 18-year project by Rodney Strong Proprietor Tom Klein under the personal direction of Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld.

The vineyards at Cooley Ranch are above the fog line, which increases the sun exposure and heat that Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux red varietals need to ripen, but also provides cooling during the summer heat, which settles down in the lower valleys.

The 2016 ROWEN red blend is a lush and elegant wine consisting of wonderful high elevation, mountain fruit. The wine has aromas of dark cherries, blackberries and sweet toasted oak from the co-fermented Viognier. On the palate, the wine is balanced and structured from the Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of juicy cassis, light floral and sweet vanilla. Co-fermenting the Syrah with the Viognier is a classic Northern Rhone technique which adds an exotic floral element to the finished wine as well as a rounder mouthfeel.”

“Enjoy this wine now with sharp cheeses and charcuterie, grilled filet mignon, cocoa dusted chocolate torte or cellar for enjoyment for years to come.”

Justin Seidenfeld serves as winemaker for Rodney Strong Vineyards and Rowen Wine Company. Named one of Wine Enthusiasts “Top 40 Under 40” in 2017. Justin brings a bold perspective on crafting unique wines.

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