Show 306, January 12, 2019: William Lewis, Founding Partner, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Newport Beach

Sir William Lewis of the Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in TustinThe upcoming Newport Beach Restaurant Week is a 14-day dining event that takes place January 14 -27, 2019. The event showcases Newport Beach as one of Orange County’s premier dining destinations offering diners a wide variety of culinary experiences. Participating restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus with lunches available for just $10, $15, $20, or $25, and dinners for $20, $30, $40 or $50.

Founding Partner William Lewis (also the resident wine guru) of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar (a participating restaurant in Newport Beach Restaurant Week) joins us with a preview.

As William points out there are few restaurants in Newport Beach who can rival their Newport Bay view! Their elaborate, 4-course dinner menu priced at $50 is a great value. The guest has choices within every course. Think Zinfandel Braised Angus Beef Short Rib as the Main…

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Show 267, March 31, 2018: Winemaker Stuart Spencer, Program Manager, Lodi Winegrape Commission

Stuart SpencerNestled between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Lodi Wine Country, a region fast becoming one of California’s true wine stars. Lodi Wine Country offers a rural atmosphere and relaxed pace for you to enjoy its beautiful vineyards and premium wines.

Lodi is predominately a red winegrowing region, with approximately two-thirds of the acreage dedicated to red varieties. Lodi is home to all of California’s leading varieties, and has long been the leading producer and California’s best kept secret for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. However, with over 100 varieties now in production, Lodi offers a vast portfolio of diverse and interesting wines.

“The most obvious distinction that sets Lodi apart is our treasure trove of own-rooted old vineyards. There are literally hundreds of these old blocks throughout the region that, in many cases, have yet to be discovered or had the opportunity to truly express their real character.” –Stuart Spencer

Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World producing over 40 percent of California’s premium Zinfandel. Journalists and wine enthusiasts alike have long recognized Lodi as the home of highly acclaimed Old Vine Zinfandels, with some plantings dating back to 1888. These vines, many of which are still planted on their own roots, are naturally low-yielding due to their age and consistently produce high quality fruit. Although expensive to maintain, Lodi winegrowers are committed to continuing this California heritage.

Winemaker Stuart Spencer of Lodi’s St. Amant Winery and also the Program Manager for the Lodi Winegrape Commission pulls the cork for us.

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Show 161, February 27, 2016: Craig Larson, Winemaker, Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Andrew Gruel of Slapfish and Graig Larson of Callaway Vineyard and Winery at the Pechanga Wine FestivalTemecula’s historic Callaway Vineyards & Winery has come a long way since it returned to local ownership in 2005. Callaway is recognized as the first winery in the Temecula Valley. Case production on the planted 70-acre vineyard estate is now a more modest 13,000 cases a year. It’s all sold from the renovated winery tasting room (with magnificent vineyard views), online, and via their loyal wine club.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery currently grows seven different varietals. The winery property now has 20 acres of Estate vineyards planted with Viognier, Syrah, Dolcetto, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Grenache, Roussanne, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The Lin family owns an additional 200 acres of property at the corner of De Portola Road and Monte de Oro, of which approximately 50 acres are currently planted with Chardonnay, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Muscat Canelli and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Craig Larson has been the distinguished Winemaker there for the last eight years. We’ll meet him.

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Show 126, June 13, 2015: Camron King, Executive Director, Lodi Wine Commission

Camron King of the Lodi Winegrape AssociationThe about-to-be-discovered “Lodi Wine Country” is one of California’s major winegrowing regions. It’s located 100 miles east of San Francisco near the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta, south of Sacramento and west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Lodi is characterized by rural atmosphere where wineries and farms run by 4th and 5th generation families operate in tandem with a new group of vintners who have brought creative winemaking and cutting–edge technology to the region.

In Lodi, grape growing is inextricably woven into the culture : the city of Lodi’s police department prominently features a grape cluster in its logo, and high school teams are named after grape varieties.

Lodi has been a major winegrape growing region for over 150 years. Unlike many U.S. wine regions, Lodi actually prospered during Prohibition and as such has been a continuous source of wine grapes since the 1850s. In fact, when early trappers wandered into what is now Lodi, they called one stream they discovered “Wine Creek” because of the proliferation of wild vines found there. As more and more Italian and German immigrants made their homes in Lodi, vinifera varieties such as Zinfandel, Tokay, and Alicante appeared by the 1880s.

Camron King, the Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission joins us with all the exciting 411.

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Show 125, June 6, 2015: Kyle Meyer, Co-Proprietor, The Wine Exchange

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeKyle Meyer, co-proprietor of the Wine Exchange in Santa Ana, is one of our on-point, resident wine authorities. He’s back with us to discuss old vine wines. You see this designation on a lot of wine labels. There is, unfortunately, no legal definition for “old.” It’s typically 40 to 50 years old. What should the casual wine aficionado know about buying and enjoying old vine wines?

Some grape vines in California can still produce modest clusters of fruit after 125 years. The yields are very small. Locally there are some small clusters of old vine Zinfandel growing in Cucamonga that are farmed.

Warm and dry conditions add to the longevity of grape vines. Overseas The Rhone region of France, Australia, and Spain are well-known for areas of old vine wines.

On Saturday afternoon, June 13th Wine Exchange is hosting their Grand Re-Opening Tasting Alley Party and Project Hope Alliance Community Fundraiser in Santa Ana. The festivities include the outside Tasting Alley Party as well as the in-store, door–busting deals.

For $40, guests will experience upwards of 30 wine tastings as well as a sandwich or burger from local TK Burgers. Proceeds from the Tasting Alley are donated to Share Our Wine Foundation and their direct beneficiary, Project Hope Alliance.

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Show 5: November 3, 2012: Tom Leahy of OneHope Wines Part One

Tom Leahy, the President of ONEHOPE Wine Co., was in-studio to tell their incredible story of cause marketing. They donate an impressive 50 per cent of their profits to worthy charities. They will sell some 44,000 cases of premium wine this year via their website, retail, and in better restaurants.

Folio Wine Partners (a division of Michael Mondavi Family Estates) produces their portfolio of fine wines in concert with ONEHOPE. Michael’s son, Rob Mondavi, Jr., is the esteemed winemaker. Rob is the grandson of pioneering California winemaker Robert Mondavi.

The current wine portfolio, all proprietary blends, includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir Reserve.

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