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 437, August 7, 2021: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part One

Hany Ali of Europa Village

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the Spanish-accented cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch.

“Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.”

“Born and raised in Egypt, Chef Hany Ali had a passion for the culinary arts at an early age. While Chef Hany was born in Cairo, Egypt, he was raised in a coastal resort city named Hurghada. Hurghada, is best known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fresh seafood, and one of the most popular vacation spots with Europeans. It was an inspiration to a young Hany.”

“After graduation from the International Culinary Institute in Egypt, Chef Hany decided to travel through Europe and Asia exposing his palate to as many different types of cuisines as possible. This allowed him to broaden his talents as a chef and gave him the experience and knowledge needed to begin his career.”

“After over 13 years in the most highly regarded hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Hany found a home in the Temecula Valley Wine Country as the Executive Chef leading the culinary team at Ponte Winery. With a love for the valley, a deep appreciation for each ingredient, and a thirst for unique and thoughtful wine, he hoped his passion was palpable in every plate, sip and bite.”

“With all his many accomplishments, experiences, and rave reviews, Europa Village Wineries and Resort are pleased to have Chef Hany Ali as their Executive Chef and being part of a “food culture that respects local produce, farmers and ranchers.” He showcases that back-to-the-land reverence with farm-fresh valley produce — with some vegetables and herbs harvested just moments beforehand in the kitchen garden out back. But while the sourcing may be local, Chef Hany’s influences are global, resulting in flavorful, inventive border-crossing cuisine. He provides guests with the exceptional service, dedication, and immense love and passion for food that they have come to expect from Europa Village.”

We entice Chef Hany away from his busy kitchens for a chat.

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Show 437, August 7, 2021: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part Two

Hany Ali of Europa Village

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the Spanish-accented cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch.

“Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.”

“Born and raised in Egypt, Chef Hany Ali had a passion for the culinary arts at an early age. While Chef Hany was born in Cairo, Egypt, he was raised in a coastal resort city named Hurghada. Hurghada, is best known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fresh seafood, and one of the most popular vacation spots with Europeans. It was an inspiration to a young Hany.”

“After graduation from the International Culinary Institute in Egypt, Chef Hany decided to travel through Europe and Asia exposing his palate to as many different types of cuisines as possible. This allowed him to broaden his talents as a chef and gave him the experience and knowledge needed to begin his career.”

“After over 13 years in the most highly regarded hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Hany found a home in the Temecula Valley Wine Country as the Executive Chef leading the culinary team at Ponte Winery. With a love for the valley, a deep appreciation for each ingredient, and a thirst for unique and thoughtful wine, he hoped his passion was palpable in every plate, sip and bite.”

“With all his many accomplishments, experiences, and rave reviews, Europa Village Wineries and Resort are pleased to have Chef Hany Ali as their Executive Chef and being part of a “food culture that respects local produce, farmers and ranchers.” He showcases that back-to-the-land reverence with farm-fresh valley produce — with some vegetables and herbs harvested just moments beforehand in the kitchen garden out back. But while the sourcing may be local, Chef Hany’s influences are global, resulting in flavorful, inventive border-crossing cuisine. He provides guests with the exceptional service, dedication, and immense love and passion for food that they have come to expect from Europa Village.”

Chef Hany takes a break from his busy kitchens and rejoins us.

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Show 433, July 10, 2021: Riley Roddick, Winemaker & Proprietress, Hubba Wines, Tin City, Paso Robles Part One

Riley Roddick of Hubba Wines

“Proprietress Riley Hubbard’s (Hubba Wines in Tin City, Paso Robles) journey as a winemaker spans all corners of the world and her wines are a reflection of a myriad of influences, education, and experience. Born and raised in San Diego, Riley received a degree in Ag Business with a minor in Viticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.”

“During her time at Cal Poly, she began her career in wine in Paso Robles at L’Aventure Winery under the tutelage of rogue winemaker Stephan Asseo. From working the tasting room, harvest production, to vineyard work, Hubbard immersed herself in the boutique winery’s lifestyle and lived on the property for a few years.”

“Building on her experience from L’Aventure, Riley moved to the Barossa Valley of Australia and worked a harvest at Torbreck Winery. Committed to learning more, she then moved to Montpellier, France and began working on her Master’s Degree with the Vinafera Euromaster program. She studied in France, worked at Domaine d’Aupilhac in Montpeyroux, France and finished her degree in Udine, Italy in the heart of the Friuli region.”

“Her love of the Central Coast of California called her back to the Paso Robles region where she worked as assistant winemaker at Law Estate Wines moving later to assistant winemaker under Vailia From at Desparada Wines. She continues to consult for Monochrome Wines.”

“Hubba Wines are a reflection of Riley’s international influences, inspiration from friends and family, and her never-ending wanderlust. Share these wines with friends, family, food, and whatever the day brings.”

Hubba Wines in Tin City is open for tastings and special events. Reservations are suggested.

Riley Roddick uncorks all that is Hubba Wines for us.

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Show 433, July 10, 2021: Riley Roddick, Winemaker & Proprietress, Hubba Wines, Tin City, Paso Robles Part Two

Riley Roddick of Hubba Wines

“Proprietress Riley Hubbard’s (Hubba Wines in Tin City, Paso Robles) journey as a winemaker spans all corners of the world and her wines are a reflection of a myriad of influences, education, and experience. Born and raised in San Diego, Riley received a degree in Ag Business with a minor in Viticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.”

“During her time at Cal Poly, she began her career in wine in Paso Robles at L’Aventure Winery under the tutelage of rogue winemaker Stephan Asseo. From working the tasting room, harvest production, to vineyard work, Hubbard immersed herself in the boutique winery’s lifestyle and lived on the property for a few years.”

“Building on her experience from L’Aventure, Riley moved to the Barossa Valley of Australia and worked a harvest at Torbreck Winery. Committed to learning more, she then moved to Montpellier, France and began working on her Master’s Degree with the Vinafera Euromaster program. She studied in France, worked at Domaine d’Aupilhac in Montpeyroux, France and finished her degree in Udine, Italy in the heart of the Friuli region.”

“Her love of the Central Coast of California called her back to the Paso Robles region where she worked as assistant winemaker at Law Estate Wines moving later to assistant winemaker under Vailia From at Desparada Wines. She continues to consult for Monochrome Wines.”

“Hubba Wines are a reflection of Riley’s international influences, inspiration from friends and family, and her never-ending wanderlust. Share these wines with friends, family, food, and whatever the day brings.”

Hubba Wines in Tin City is open for tastings and special events. Reservations are suggested.

Riley Roddick pulls the cork on Hubba Wines’ 2019 The Eskimo and continues with us.

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Show 421, April 17, 2021: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part One

Michael Brughelli of Folded Hills Winery

“In 2017, Andy and Kim Busch started a business in their 50’s which they knew nothing about. Andy, coming from a long line of beer barons, had worked not in the beverage business but rather at Grant’s Farm, the original prototype for the Busch Gardens parks started by his father, Gussie. Folded Hills Winery, Farmstead, Ranch focuses on top notch wine making rather than beer.”

“The Busch’s own Folded Hills, a working ranch, an integrated sustainable farm is located just outside of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. When they purchased a contiguous piece of farming property they learned that the original farmsteader had planted a pre-prohibition vineyard and made wine in the basement of his farmhouse.”

“The Busches had purchased the property to keep the land agricultural in general and organic in particular and in 2014 decided to start farming organic grapes alongside the 18 acres of organic row crops, stone fruits, and animals.”

“As they were deciding what grape varietals to plant everyone told them to “plant what they love to drink”. Andy loves beer – that was no help- although they do have a small patch of hops growing. Kim loved Pinot Noir but the terroir would not grow a quality Pinot. They settled on the Rhône varietals which they knew absolutely nothing about. Now the hillsides are rolling with grape vines of syrah, grenache, Clairette blanc, grenache blanc and marsanne.”

Handsomely appointed Tasting Rooms are located at the vineyard estate in Gaviota and on Old Coast Highway in Montecito. For the guests’ convenience and safety advance appointments are suggested.

Winemaker Michael Brughelli is our guest and gently pull the cork on the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery for us.

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Show 421, April 17, 2021: Winemaker Michael Brughelli, Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead Part Two

Michael Brughelli of Folded Hills Winery

“In 2017, Andy and Kim Busch started a business in their 50’s which they knew nothing about. Andy, coming from a long line of beer barons, had worked not in the beverage business but rather at Grant’s Farm, the original prototype for the Busch Gardens parks started by his father, Gussie. Folded Hills Winery, Farmstead, Ranch focuses on top notch wine making rather than beer.”

“The Busch’s own Folded Hills, a working ranch, an integrated sustainable farm is located just outside of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. When they purchased a contiguous piece of farming property they learned that the original farmsteader had planted a pre-prohibition vineyard and made wine in the basement of his farmhouse.”

“This is a heart project for the Busches and they wanted to bring some of their mid-West roots and family heritage to the project. Many of the wines have names that harken back to their iconic St. Louis history.”

“Their award-winning Lilly Rosé is named for six generations of Lilly’s.” From Lilly Anheuser who married Adolphus Busch in 1861, to their 3 -year old grand-daughter, Lilly. The Grant Grenache is named for the family seat in St. Louis, Grant’s Farm, which was named for Ulysses S. Grant, the original farmsteader of the that land. The August Red and August White are named for Andy’s grandfather and father, August Busch Sr. And Jr. His father, August, Jr., or Gussie, was the one who gave his father the first Clydesdale hitch to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in 1934.

“The Busches still ponder why they decided to launch a business that they knew so little about, so late in life, after their children had left home. But it is working. Folded Hills has won many awards for the wines which are grown organically, following the biodynamic calendar. The wines are hand-crafted in small batches with minimal intervention.”

Winemaker Michael Brughelli oversees all winemaking, working directly with the vineyard and cellar staff in a hands-on fashion. “A California native, Brughelli is perhaps best known as winemaker for Scar of the Sea, a label he co-founded with Mikey Giugni. A darling of critics and sommeliers alike, Scar of the Sea quickly rose in prominence as Brughelli’s wines drew wide notice. In 2019, he sold his portion of Scar of the Sea back to Giugni in order to launch his own consultancy, Vignerons. Previously, Brughelli was at Bien Nacido Vineyard, in the Santa Maria Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County, where over the course of seven seminal years, he rose from Sales Manager to Director of Sales to Director of Supply.”

Winemaker Michael Brughelli continues with us providing the unusual story of Folded Hills Winery.

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Show 385, August 8, 2020: Winemakers Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo, Camins 2 Dreams Winery, Lompoc

Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribo Tena of Camins 2 Dreams in Lompoc CaliforniaWinemakers and life partners Mireia Taribo Tena and Tara Gomez are the creative forces at Camins 2 Deams in Lompoc, their dream winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County.

Their philosophy is to make hand-crafted, terroir-driven wines that are fermented with natural yeast and use minimal intervention in the winery. Camins 2 Dreams believes wine is made in the vineyard and desires to showcase the typicity of each site where the grapes originate.

“We are lucky both to live and make our wines in the Santa Rita Hills where foggy mornings and cool nights combine with marine soils to make the perfect ingredients for outstanding wines.”

Current releases include Gruner Veltliner, Rose of Syrah, and three vineyard specific Syrahs. Grenache and Graciano are in their future. The welcoming Lompoc Tasting Room is currently open by appointment. The fast-growing Wine Club has a 3 bottles twice a year option as well as a 6 bottles twice per year plan.

Tara Gomez, a Native American, is also the founding Winemaker for Kita Wines, a small premium winery in the Santa Ynez Valley owned by the Chumash Tribe (Chumash Casino Resort.) Kita Wines is celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year.

Mireia and Tara join us to pull the cork on Camins 2 Dreams.

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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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