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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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 352, December 21, 2019: Literary Libations – What To Drink With What You Read by Amira Makansi Part Two

Amira Makansi of Literary LibationsWant to know what to drink with all your favorite books? May we suggest Literary Libations – What To Drink With What You Read by Amira Makansi. “From Homer to Hemingway, Virginia Woolf to Margaret Atwood, comes the first definitive guide to reading and drinking!”

Readers will learn more about the world’s most iconic books while enhancing their knowledge of wine, beer and spirits. The volume is also a guide to crafting modern and classic cocktails.

We continue our spirited conversation with author Amira Makansi.

“Amira K. Makansi is a wine industry professional who has worked in many if not all aspects of the wine industry. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in history, she quickly abandoned her quest to become a lawyer in favor of pursuing a career in all things beverage-related. She has worked for eight wineries, two distribution companies, and three restaurants, spanning from Chicago’s prestigious dining scene to an Alsatian winery whose first vintage predates the French revolution.”

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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 328, June 15, 2019: Irvine & Roberts Vineyards with Doug & Dionne Irvine Part Two

Doug and Dionne Irvine of Irvine and Roberts VineyardsAt Irvine & Roberts Vineyards they grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the distinctive Rogue Valley AVA. The Rogue Valley is the region where the first Oregon vineyard was planted in the 19th Century.

“Irvine & 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.”

Principals Doug & Dionne Irvine continue the conversation…

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Show 314, March 9, 2019: Enrique Valero, General Manager, Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, Winery & Boutique Luxury Hotel, Spain

Enrique ValeroThe internationally recognized wines of Spain’s Abadía Retuerta have enjoyed three consecutive years in the top 100 wines of the world, according to the preeminent authority, Wine Spectator. While wines were produced on the estate centuries ago, the current winery is only two-and-a-half decades old and is known for its award-winning single terroir wines.

“There are 54 vine plots each with very distinct characteristics, each analysed, controlled, worked, vinified and tasted separately. Each terroir is planted with a single varietal or grape variety. The planting is 70% Tempranillo grapes, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, with the remaining 10% divided between Merlot and Petit Verdot (an innovation used to make a single-varietal wine).”

“The winery’s gold-standard wine is the Selección Especial, which reflects the essence of the estate – 75% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Proof of its superb quality, the 2001 Selección Especial was awarded “Best Red Wine in the World – Red Wine Trophy” in 2005 by London’s prestigious International Wine Challenge competition. In addition, Selección Especial is the first Spanish wine to be included for three consecutive years on the list of the 100 Best Wines in the World, which has been published annually since 1988 by Wine Spectator magazine.”

The estate also includes Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, possibly Spain’s most extraordinary luxury hotel located in a restored historic abbey on the magnificent 1,730-acre estate.

Under a vaulted ceiling of pure Gothic style at LeDomaine, framed by thick stone walls and anchored by a 17th-century fresco of The Last Supper, the Refectorio is a sanctuary of haute cuisine with one Michelin Star, maintained since 2014. Executive Chef Marc Segarra prepares innovative and seasonal gastronomic fare in the contemporary kitchen, using the freshest local ingredients procured from specialty local suppliers as well as LeDomaine’s own fields.

In addition to the Refectorio, located in the abbey’s former refectory, guests dine on specialty dishes, tapas and small plates in the Vinoteca restaurant with a wine-cellar atmosphere, and al fresco on seasonal dishes in spring and summer in the Jardin del Cloustro and at the Pool Bar. Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine uses the resources from the estate to produce specially Crafted Spanish Foods: wine salt, pine nuts and honey.

Enrique Valero, both the winery’s and hotel’s accomplished General Manager joins us on the long-distance line from Spain.

 

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