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"The Good Life" Show - Food, Wine, Travel & Lifestyle

Bio: Mike Wreyford, AKA Mike the “Wine Guy” is a Food, Wine,Travel & Lifestyle Expert. This Writer, Blogger, Foodie/Wine Enthusiast, and Spontaneous Traveler, is the Host & Producer of “The Good LIfe” Show, a popular Weekly Radio Talk Show. Mike combines his lifetime of Travel, 30+ years in the Restaurant / Bar business, an “Ongoing Appreciation of Wine”, along with his marketing and entrepreneurial expertise, to share his passion for Food, Wine, Travel and Lifestyle with friends, fans, and businesses around the world.
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Now displaying: Category: Wine
Sep 22, 2019

Rudd Oakville Estate’s Managing Director Oscar Henquet discovered his passion for the luxury hospitality industry at a very young age while working with his family’s hotel business in The Netherlands. Spending summers amidst vineyards in Provence with his parents, Oscar’s exposure to the world of wine started at a young age.

One of two children, Oscar grew up in the region where Belgium, Holland and Germany intersect, and as a result, quickly learned the importance and value of understanding various cultures while becoming fluent in the English, Dutch, French and German languages. Oscar received a degree in Hotel Management from the Maastricht School of Hotel Management, founded by his grandfather. Upon graduation, Oscar pursued positions abroad, including an 8-month project in China where he was heavily involved with the opening of Crowne Plaza Chengdu in Chengdu, China.

Oscar gained further experience and expertise working at esteemed properties located in Belgium, France and Israel, but it was a trip to New York with his family in 1997 that set his future course: exhilarated by the city’s energy and rhythm, he decided to relocate there.

It was during this period that Oscar decided his future would be spent in the private hospitality sector, where he would apply his understanding of organizational protocols and internal structure, but maintain the level of attention to detail and personal interaction with guests that had attracted him to the industry. In 2003, Oscar accepted a position as Director of Operations at Nicole Farhi USA, where he managed daily food and beverage operations for five years.

While still at Farhi, Oscar opened 202 Restaurant in Chelsea Market, which won New York Magazine’s “Best Brunch” Award in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, Oscar accepted the role of General Manager at Rouge Tomate, where he coordinated the restaurant’s $15 million 2008 opening.

Oscar’s achievements and success at Rouge Tomate over the next two-and-a-half years attracted the ever-watchful eye of Graydon Carter and Jeff Klein at Monkey Bar, and in August 2010, Oscar took on the position of General Manager at the trendy midtown restaurant.

 

Sep 22, 2019

Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English language. These include the James Beard award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year, the Louis Roederer award for Best Consumer Wine Writing, and the International Wine and Spirits award as the Global Wine Communicator of the Year.  In a full-page profile on her, TIME Magazine called Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine.” In 2018, Karen was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Wine.”

But deep global wine knowledge is only part of the story. Karen is considered America’s foremost wine presenter–a speaker who can enchant audiences from 5 to 500, and from wine novices to wine collectors alike. Her customized TED-like talks are accompanied by extraordinary wines which she personally selects for the event.

Karen is also the author of the award-winning book, THE WINE BIBLE, the single best-selling wine book in the United States, praised as “The most informative and entertaining book I’ve ever seen on the subject” (Danny Meyer), “Astounding” (Thomas Keller), and “A masterpiece of wine writing…the single best wine book written in years…” (Kevin Zraly).

The former wine correspondent for the Today Show, Karen was the host of the PBS series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, for which she won an Emmy. Karen is the creator and editor of WineSpeed, the leading digital “e-letter” in the U.S. for fast, authoritative information about wine. Her articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Town & Country, Elle, and Worth. She was the first Food and Wine Editor of USA Today. Karen currently hosts #SipWithKaren, the leading Twitter tasting in the global wine sphere, which each month reaches 20+ million timelines from Indiana to India.

Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies and individual groups. Among Karen’s corporate clients are Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, and Singapore Airlines, as well as numerous law and biotech firms.

Karen is the creator and Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been called “the Harvard of wine education.”

Sep 22, 2019

J Pearce is a boutique wine project that was started by great friends, Andrew Renda and Jarred Pearce. Andy and Jarred met in 2005 when Andy hired Jarred to work alongside him at Vintner’s Collective in downtown Napa.

Prior to Andy’s career in wine, it was a love of food and the restaurant industry where he first gained experience. Like many others, his first job was as a dishwasher for a gourmet caterer in his hometown. By age seventeen, he began cooking at The Country Club in Brookline MA, which is home to three US Opens, and the 1999 Ryder Cup. It was there where he was first introduced to the pairing of haute cuisine and world class wines.

After several years in the food industry, front and back of the house, he chose to start his quest to obtain more knowledge about the world of wine and spirits. The next eight years were spent helping to manage retail wine shops in the Boston area. His exposure was not just limited to California wines, but to a broad spectrum of global offerings.

Countless hours were spent tasting in order to gain a more refined palate and true understanding of what the world of wine has to offer. This passion for a lifelong career in the wine industry was set in motion, and it was time to relocate.

Andy and his bride to be Kelly, sold all of their belongings and packed a car to make the pilgrimage from Boston to Napa, no jobs, just a destination, the legendary Napa Valley!

They made a temporary home in a rental cottage as Andy pursued his dream, putting his passion and knowledge for wine to the test. The better part of the next decade was spent as the Director of Sales of Vintner’s Collective surrounded by top boutique producers. More importantly over that stretch, Kelly and he got married and now have two beautiful children Maxwell and Adelaide. His family is his driving force.

Jul 7, 2019

We started Drive as a home winemaking project in a vintage auto garage in Sonoma County, California. Through years of work in the vineyard, winery, and classroom; a hobby turned into a passion. We are humbled to take part in this journey with you.

Drive Wines was started by John Musto and Tom Young. Hobby winemakers who honed their craft in the vineyards, wineries, and classrooms of Sonoma County. Inspired by their surroundings, they've set out to craft single vineyard wines through passion and grit...

John Musto and Tom Young meet at Santa Rosa Junior College studying Viticulture and Enology. A mutual interest in winemaking drives them to buy a few hundred pounds of grapes for homewinemaking. John & Tom strike a deal with Peter Lewis, exchanging vineyard upkeep for the harvested grapes and production space at Triple Oak Vineyard in Fulton, CA.

Their new "winery", a vintage auto racing garage becomes a major source of inspiration and Drive Wines is born.Expanding their hobby into a business, Drive Wines harvests a small amount of Zinfandel from Puccioni Ranch in Dry Creek Valley. Drive Wines are crafted with the help of winemakers Chris Russi and Jackie van Sant Downes. Drive Wines expands, adding a Rosé of Zinfandel from Comstock Vineyard to their portfolio.

Jul 7, 2019

Idlewild has a relatively concise aim within a broad context: to produce wines of exceptional balance and beauty. It is a journey to pursue Italy’s Piedmont in the elevated hills of Mendocino County, and to find the sides of these varieties that are intriguing, delicious, and haunting.

Each wine is unique and treated as such, though the common thread is balancing depth and seriousness with vibrancy and joy. Emphasis is on the vineyard followed by minimalist winemaking techniques. While not dogmatic in practice, an honest and sustainable approach is fundamental in making wines of purity.

Idlewild has a few homes: a lonely rolling ridge line in Yorkville Highlands, a strip of bench-land in Mendocino county, a funky warehouse turned simple winery, and a Salumi & Wine Bar just off the plaza in Healdsburg, CA.

Wild Ruth Ranch sits in the elevated hills of the Yorkville Highlands in southwest Mendocino. The schist veined sandstone is planted to 15 year old Arneis, Cortese, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo.

Located in Central Mendocino County, Fox Hill Vineyard is managed by Wild Ruth. The rocky elevated slopes are planted to 20-30 year old Arneis, Cortese, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo.

Between Geyserville and Healdsburg sits our cooperative winery (Idlewild, Leo Steen, Ryme Cellars, & Ruth Lewandowski). The focus is on traditional equipment and the joy of sharing and working with friends.

Off the plaza in Healdsburg, you’ll find our Idlewild outpost. Schedule a tasting to learn more about our wines, or stop in for a glass and a plate of salumi: Make a Reservation

Jul 7, 2019

All of Jeff’s wines share a theme of fresh fruit reflective of the varietal flavors inherent in the grapes. Jeff selects grapes from vineyards that provide rich full flavors without loads of astringent tannins.

Personally, Jeff prefers his wines to have zest and vibrant flavors. “Once I release a new vintage I rarely return to the previous year’s wine. My father likes that; it means more of the older wines for him.”

Jeff produces wines from grapes grown throughout California. At last count he was planning to crush over twenty different varieties from nine different appellations for the 2013 vintage. Most of these wines are produced in very small limited quantities. However, there are four principle wines that the winery strives to have available throughout the year and they are: Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Barbera, and Petit Verdot.

Jeff started his adventure in the wine industry in 1977 when he interned with Seagrams at their Paul Masson Sherry Cellars in Madera while studying enology at UC Davis. Upon graduating in 1980, he worked in the cellar at Montevina in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley and was promoted to winemaker in 1982. After a three year stint at the Napa Valley Cooperative Winery from 1987 through 1990, Jeff became the winemaker for the J. Lohr winery in San Jose. It was during his tenure at J. Lohr that it became clear that he was going to have to make wine for himself.

In 1995 Jeff crushed ten tons of zinfandel from the Massoni Ranch in Amador’s Shenandoah Valley and on April First 1997 he released 700 cases of that Zinfandel under his own label. In 1996 and 1997 Jeff made his wine at the Sycamore Creek Winery in Morgan Hill and then from 1998 through the 2010 vintage at the McManis Family Vineyard Winery in Ripon. In 2006 he finally returned to Amador County having purchased a small five acre walnut orchard on Shenandoah Road. In the spring of 2008 Jeff and Margie opened their tasting room. Production facilities followed and Jeff was able to crush the majority of their production in Amador in 2011.

Jul 6, 2019

Since way back in 1989, winemaker Rick Moshin has been producing natural, terroir-driven, and delicious wines in the Russian River Valley. He sustainably farms his own prized Goldridge-soil Pinot Noir vineyards, and using the natural yeasts of his grapes — plus the help of a dedicated winemaking team — he gently makes small-lot, premium wines in our gravity-flow winery on Sonoma County’s famed Westside Road. 

Celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2019, we're still family-owned and -operated, and our focus remains on hand-crafting some of the highest-quality wines in the Russian River Valley AVA. In addition to several styles of Pinot Noir, we make Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Merlot, dessert wines, traditional-method sparkling wine, and a crowd-pleasing, award-winning Rosé of Pinot Noir. 

Come visit our winery and vineyards, where you’re sure to be delighted by our gorgeous swath of California wine country, our friendly, knowledgeable staff,— and our beautiful wines, created purely for your enjoyment!

In the late 1970s, while teaching math at San Jose State University and working a side hustle at a home-brewing supply store, Rick was encouraged to try his hand at winemaking—and fell deeply, madly in love. His hunger for grapes soon inspired him to become a grape broker, earning access to extra fruit while forging relationships with vineyard owners throughout Northern California. This gig allowed him to be in the right place when a certain Pinot Noir vineyardthe first acreage in our estate—went up for sale in 1989.

A self-taught farmer who (along with friends and family) built our gravity-flow winery by hand, Rick enjoys experimenting with different varietals and winemaking methods. His heart will always belong to Pinot Noir, but as a passionate viticulturist and vintner, he remains ever-curious about the whole world of wine. 

Jun 19, 2019

Craig Palmer and Allen Habel, co-founders of the Experience Rosé Today. Experience Rosé brand, which aims to celebrate all things rosé. The new brand will host an array of events in 2018, all honoring the lauded “pink drink,” with the Experience Rosé: The 2018 Competition kicking things off in the Spring. Focusing exclusively on domestic and international rosé wines and directed by globally-renowned wine expert and educator Debra Del Fiorentino, the competition will take place on Wednesday, April 18 at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg. The Experience Rosé brand will offer a collection of curated consumer events beyond the competition as well, including The Great Rosé Pairing for Summer, to be held on Saturday, June 16, at The CIA at Copia in Napa, and The Great Rosé Pairing for Thanksgiving, which will take place Friday, October 19, at Jaxon Keys Winery and Distillery in Hopland.

Experience Rosé is all about providing extraordinary experiences for everyone who revels in our passion for Rosé and its infinite possibilities all year-long. Foodie to newbie. Wine maker to chef. Sponsor to volunteer. Because every day pairs better with Rosé. Fill your glass with us. We promise you a fulfilling experience that will be personal, passionate and perfect.

Celebrating a wide range of rosé winemaking styles and taking place on Wed, Apr 18 at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg, Experience Rose: The 2018 Competition will showcase the best of the best from both domestic and international producers in dry, sparkling and sweet categories.

“We’re excited to introduce these new elements around the Wine Competition,” states Del Fiorentino. “Our goal is to create an event that is beneficial to both our wine competition entrants and the attendees to the two consumer events, as we want everyone to have the best experience possible.”

The Brand will introduce two new wine events to the general public. On Saturday, June 16, 2018, Experience Rosé will debut The Great Rosé Pairing for Summer, to be held at The CIA at Copia in Napa. Event-goers will have the opportunity to sip winning wines paired with gourmet bites inspired by cuisine from the four major rosé producing regions (France, Italy, Spain and the United States/California). The bites will be prepared by teams of CIA students directed by Lars Kronmark, Professor of Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. This curated event will also include special arts programming and Experience Rosé Talks – an educational series featuring presentations, panel discussions and pairings.

Mar 4, 2019

In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach, and his wife Christine, purchased the prized Barbieri Ranch in Russian River Valley’s coveted Olivet Road district. Both came armed with advanced degrees in anthropology but no background in farming or grape growing. That said, they had long dreamt of finding land their family could own and work together. For his part, Louis Barbieri, whose father Itilo planted the vineyard in 1905, was gratified to pass the vineyard on to a family committed to honoring its past, and stewarding its future.

Mar 4, 2019

We are tiny like an acorn. Our winery is framed by tall oak trees. Our wine is aged in oak barrels. So ACORN seemed the perfect name for our winery.

Bill traded in his law books for books on viticulture, pruning shears, and a tractor when we purchased Alegría Vineyards in 1990. In the early years, he was in the vineyards every day, and Betsy helped out on weekends, but within a few years she too was ready for a change and joined Bill full time.

At first, we sold all of our grapes to other wineries, and they produced highly prized Alegría Vineyard-designated wines. Then in 1994, we decided to make some wine ourselves and established ACORN Winery. Our first release, in 1996, was our 1994 Sangiovese.

Gradually, we kept more grapes for ACORN and added other wines. Now we make seven different wines—Russian River Valley Heritage Vines Zinfandel from the original 1890s vineyard, Russian River Valley Axiom® Syrah, Russian River Valley Cabernet Franc, Russian River Valley Sangiovese, Russian River Valley Dolcetto, two proprietary blends—Medley® and Acorn Hill, and a flavorful Rosato (a dry Rosé). We still sell half our grapes to other wineries. Several of them vineyard-designate the wines.

Our production remains small, at about 3,000 cases each year. All our wines are made from grapes we grow ourselves at Alegría. Every wine is a field blend, following the ancient tradition represented in the mixed planting that is our original 120-year old vineyard. Every wine is made by co-fermenting multiple varieties. We like to say that our wines are blended from the day they are picked. This is what sets ACORN wines apart.

Today, after 25 years, we continue to find alegría living in the middle of our vineyards, enjoying the cool Russian River Valley climate, and continuing a long tradition by sustainably growing premium quality grapes and producing acclaimed award-winning wines.

Mar 4, 2019

Debbie is responsible for managing Wine Road events, which include the annual event weekends Wine & Food Affair, Winter WINEland and Barrel Tasting. In her current position Debbie is the first line of contact for participating wineries (up to 100) as well as helping visitors plan their event experience. She coordinates with the health department, hires security, designs programs, event maps and working with a designer comes up with the inspiration for the overall event theme and look for all printed and online materials.

Along with these event planning tasks, Debbie works with advertisers and our PR Manager to make sure our events are getting the exposure needed to always bring in new customers.

Mar 4, 2019

Claudia Vecchio has assumed the position of CEO of Sonoma County Tourism.

Vecchio has many years of experience in the industry, including multiple leadership roles in tourism organisations, serving as the State Tourism director at the Ohio Department of Development, Division of Travel and Tourism, and senior vice president overseeing the tourism group at Edelman PR in Chicago.

In her new role, Vecchio will try to drive Sonoma County Tourism into record-breaking years, with out-of-the-box ideas and by sharing the message that wine country is open for business and ready to deliver the world-class experience that is expected.

She replaces Ken Fischang, who stepped down in May. Interim Sonoma County Tourism CEO Tim Zahner told the Las Vegas Review Journal that, after the fires, Vecchio will have plenty on her plate when she arrives.

“Claudia is stepping into a situation where the community of Sonoma County and the board and staff of Sonoma County Tourism have come together to not only support one another in our time of need, but also to rally around and get the word out that we are open for business and ready to welcome visitors to the Northern California they love,” Zahner said. 

Vecchio leaves her position as the first director of the state Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, which consists of the Commission on Tourism, Division of Museums and History, Nevada Arts Council and the Nevada Indian Commission.

“In addition to its extraordinary natural beauty, Sonoma County exudes an incredible spirit of independent thinking, creativity and fortitude that truly sets it apart from any other destination,” Vecchio said in a statement. “The truest sense of this spirit has been on full display during the recent fires. It’s a privilege to join a team and represent a countywide tourism industry that can come together through challenging times to not only support one another, but also to rally around and get the word out that we are open for business and ready to welcome visitors to Northern California.”

Vecchio said it should be a fairly easy transition on the marketing side, as Sonoma County has a few things in common with Nevada, like its independent, creative, maverick spirit.

“It’s wineries versus casinos,” she said. “They are important drivers, but I see so much more to talk about.” 

Vecchio long has been a fan of and visitor to Sonoma County, having family in Bodega Bay. Upon moving to Sonoma County, she had planned to rent, but after the destructive fires and the even tighter rental market, she is in the process of buying a home.

Vecchio is a former president of Destination Integration in Dallas and head of Ohio’s tourism office. She began working in Nevada in November 2011.

She also has managed national brand launch campaigns for Taco Bell, Frito-Lay and Norwegian Cruise Lines and was on the promotion team that launched the Fox Broadcasting Network’s television programming. She also was a tour manager for the international education and entertainment organization, Up With People.

Nov 11, 2018

A graduate from the University of California at Davis, Rachele developed a successful sales career in technology for RICOH U.S.A. for the past 22 years. During this time, she met and married Mitch Spaletta, the farmer she prayed she would one day meet. With a passion for people and talent for selling, the experience and knowledge gained through working for “Corporate America” would develop into a business she could call her own. “When you truly believe in something, and you are passionate about it, it’s not really selling!” - Rachele Spaletta

Nov 11, 2018

Catherine is an extraordinary wine aficionado with an exceptionally strong wine tasting palate. As a Master Sommelier, Catherine is a highly informed by wine scholars, expert wine judges, wine consultants. As a with passion of wine, she is highly personable, engaging for connecting with people and bringing overly complicated world of wine to an enjoyable level for everyone.

Catherine is the Master Sommelier at Planet Grape® LLC, a wine consulting firm providing content, reviews, corporate & private tastings, restaurant wine program development. She created her alter-ego, grape goddess®, to help bring wine down to earth for consumers as well as those entering the wine industry. She is one of a handful of female professional sabreurs (fencer) in the world, opening a bottle of Champagne with a sword in a dazzling theatrical performance.

 

Nov 6, 2018
  • SUMMARY: The wind and fire storms of October 8 changed my personal and professional life. Personally, the firestorm incinerated the forest surrounding my house, keeping my family out of our home for 7 months and creating years of work to repair the landscape I live in. Professionally, it immediately focused my work as an art curator and California environmental historian toward the new topic of environmental crisis that has resulted in a constant situation of California On Fire. 
  • The night of October 8 is permanently etched in my mind as I watched dozens of fires eventually gather into three monster firestorms surrounding my ridgetop home above the Napa and Sonoma Valleys: At midnight from my forest-ensconced mountaintop home above the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, I saw the shocking sight of the huge Atlas Peak fire burning 20 miles away. Over the course of the night we learned that Santa Rosa, Calistoga, Kenwood and Glen Ellen had all been wracked by the firestorm and within 24 hours 100,000 people were evacuated and 300,000 affected.
  •  My 9-year-old daughter, husband and I became long-term evacuees, living in a hotel for 7 months due to the catastrophic fire damage to the forest surrounding our home, and to our entire water and power system: The firestorm raged directly over my house and the dense forest surrounding my home, completely incinerating the forest that encircled my house, destroying all our water and electrical utility systems we ourselves build and maintain, including three huge water tanks, high voltage power poles, above-ground utilities that took 7 months to rebuild.
  • Our home itself was saved by our local volunteer firefighters, the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department, all of whom are also our neighbors. Of over 130 homes on the mountaintop where I live close to 50 home were destroyed by fire. The effort to save those remaining by a cooperative joint firefighting effort, but local volunteer firefighters who know the rural area helped guide that effort. Nearly half of the firefighters also lost their homes in the fires as they were fighting to save ours.
  • My personal experiences of the 2017 North Bay Firestorms immediately inspired my professional work with the two hats I wear. One hat I wear is as an art exhibition curator; the other hat I wear is as a California environmental historian, researcher and writer: As a trained historian, I am helping lead an oral history project in my local mountain community about the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department. I have interviewed all of the volunteer firefighters in my mountain area about their experiences. I plan to publish that story when we finish the interview project. My work as an art historian and exhibition curator inspired me to create an art exhibition and film screening event to show work by artists who immediately began creating art in response to the fires; 4 of the 11 artists in the show lost everything. We have worked hard to open this show in October for the anniversary of the 2017 fires. We thank Todd Zapolski for his generosity working collectively with us to provide a beautiful and accessible exhibition space in his shopping and dining development in downtown Napa, called First Street Napa. Our Art Responds project also includes an online public exhibition for anyone out there (adults, artists, kids, families) who has images inspired by California fires that you want to share online -- photographs, pictures from your phone, drawings, artwork, any image you can upload will be exhibited online. 
  • CONCLUSION: My experiences from that terrifying night of October 8, 2017 to now a year later, have led me to seek creative ways to channel the grief, terror, sadness and deep empathy that we all feel as we collectively recall, tell and rebuild our stories from the 2017 Fires in California. But this is not only a story for people who lived it in the Wine Country in 2017, but for all people in all places affected by wildfire and firestorm. For me, art is what allows us to begin and continue having the conversations we need to remember, share, heal, rebuild and move forward.
Nov 5, 2018

Michael Long, son of Larry and Linda, and Head Winemaker, Michael graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fresno State University with a Bachelors of Science in Enology.

Michael was just 15 years old when his parents purchased the land that Amador Cellars now sits on.

His love and passion for grape growing and winemaking blossomed as he began to learn more about the process and gained an appreciation for what it takes to make a nice bottle of wine.  

Michael began working in the vineyard as a teenager and gradually became more involved in other aspects of the business, including working side by side with father and winemaker, Larry.  

Michael became the Assistant Winemaker in 2008 and held the position for 5 years prior to taking the reins from his father as Head Winemaker in 2013.  

Michael is also very involved with the grape growing and farming, and you may find him pouring in the tasting room and at events from time to time.

Nov 5, 2018

Sicilia was inspired by a 2005 visit to Italy. Our mission is to provide quality grapes for quality wine making through partnerships with winemakers committed to European wine styles.

We employ the best farming techniques possible in order to produce high quality grapes of the Italian variety to produce high quality wine. We want to utilize the terrior (ie temperature rainfall soil type wind and rain), to develop varietals that may not be immediately recognized by current wine drinkers but wine enthusiasts will be amazed with these varietals once exposed to them.

Sep 30, 2018

History of Missouri Wine

  •  Missouri was known as wine country prior to Prohibition
  •  Our state wine has both German and Italian influences
  •  We have an amazing American Story – the convergence of many cultures, the survival of vineyards during Prohibition, support of the war efforts with high quality grapes, and the revival of the winemaking industry in our state, which began with our St. James founders, Jim and Pat Hofherr.

The Senate Bill

  • Peter can discuss the history of the bill, his involvement, and what it means for the industry, our great state, and St. James Winery

History of St. James Winery

  • Jim wanted to make amazing wine for family and friends and Pat agreed - as long as they could make a business out of it. It was her idea to open the tasting room right along Route 66 and share their amazing products with a wider audience.
  • Peter is the second generation ownership of our family company now, but in the past has also served our state as the Director of Agriculture and continues to work hand-in-hand on federal and state legislation impacting our industry
  • St. James Winery now produces 500,000 gallons of wine per year

The Future at St. James Winery

  • Our Vines and Wines Chambourcin is a relatively new grape — it was commercialized in 1963

Cynthiana (aka Norton): the official grape of the State of Missouri and is considered the cornerstone of the Missouri wine industry.  A fruity and complex, full-bodied dry red wine with flavors of red stone fruit, raspberries

and blackberries. Smooth tannins and a terrific texture make it a perfect partner with barbecue or aromatic cheeses.

Top Awards

  • 2018 Best Native American Red Wine, Platinum (94 pts) Critics Challenge International
  • 2018 Gold Pacific Rim International
  • 2016 Best Varietal/Best of Class/Gold New World
  • 2016 Double Gold Florida State Fair International
  • 2016 Gold Finger Lakes International
  • 2016 Gold Mid-American
Sep 30, 2018

With a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, in political science, six years as the director of government relations with the nation’s second-largest student loan provider, and as a member of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s senior staff and advisory team, Gorman spent almost 20 years honing his prowess as a government relations professional and political strategist before pursuing his love of the grape.

Raised in Lodi in the ’80s, Gorman was not completely unfamiliar with life in a wine region, but he didn’t start to find his passion for it until the mid-2000s when a co-worker introduced him to the wineries of the California foothills. At the same time, Lodi was experiencing its own wine revolution, and weekends often found him wine tasting in Lodi and across California. Gorman says that as his appointment with the Schwarzenegger administration was coming to an end, he was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the country’s leaders in Washington, D.C., and he found his focus was shifting. Though he’d grown up around vineyards, he hadn’t really known or cared much about wine until he started hearing stories about the people who made it.

“All of my extra time was being spent on wine,” he says. “I was really excited about California wines.”

In 2012, Gorman and his then-fiancé (now husband) Kyle Peppers moved to Maryland so Peppers could attend graduate school. Unenthused about the potential professional options for Gorman in D.C., the couple agreed it was time for Gorman to follow his new passion for wine full time, starting with a $10-per-hour job at a wine retail shop, so he could start learning everything he could about the industry from the ground up.

“It wasn’t exactly a midlife crisis,” Gorman says with a wry smile, “but I did make a total career change in my 40s.”

One of the two brands of Amador County-made wines represented at the wine shop where he worked in Baltimore was Scott Harvey Wines. So when a tasting room manager position opened up at the actual winery in 2014, Gorman knew it was his opportunity to officially get his foot in the door of the California wine industry. Out of more than 90 applicants, Gorman was selected for the position and almost overnight became an Amador County resident.

“The plan was for it to be a stepping stone to Napa or Sonoma,” Gorman says. “Bay Area was the goal.”

After only a few short weeks, though, Amador began to work its magic on the couple, especially Gorman.

“I didn’t just get excited about the wine,” he says. “I got excited about the people and the passion that drives this small community.”

Jul 30, 2018

Christopher Sawyer is an internationally-renowned sommelier, wine educator, journalist, consultant, critic and public speaker. He travels the world following trends in wine and participating as a VIP judge in the world’s top wine competitions, and has been featured in a wide range of national media, including USAToday, MSN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Redbook, The Hollywood Reporter, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, CNN and Esquire.

Already legendary in the industry for his encyclopedic wine knowledge and rich wine industry relationships around the globe, Sawyer has been a personal sommelier for an array of luminaries and aficionados. Christopher has also become renowned for his unusual and entertaining ability to pair wines with just about any pop cultural experience. His wine pairings for movies are already celebrated, and have been featured in major national media.

Less well known to the public, but famous among wine world insiders, are his wine and music pairings. A popular college radio DJ while at UC Davis, he partnered with DJ Shadow and others to create some of the most buzzed-about music sets for his listeners during those years. Now, he’s become legendary for secret midnight sessions held in the cellar of his 19th Century Sonoma County farmhouse, where star winemakers, celebrity chefs, restaurateurs and lucky friends taste pairings from his extensive international wine collection matched to selections from his incredible stash of rare and cutting edge vinyl.

Jul 30, 2018

Kalā Wines is a Certified Craft Winery in Sonoma County, California and owners Santosh and Cynthia Alexander have a specific mission: to produce wines that pair well with diverse world cuisines. Ultimately, they want to bring more people together around the dinner table to share stories, talk philosophy, and focus on the important things in life. “We need to foster real human connections and conviviality in our increasingly virtual social environment by re-emphasizing the age-old tradition of friends and family gathering around food and drink”, says Santosh.

Kalā was inspired by a passion for the vast cultural diversity of cuisines around the globe, and the desire to create wines that pay tribute to them. There’s a reason we’ve named ourselves after the ancient Sanskrit word for art. Just as “Kalā” is a primal term for the craft of expression, Kalā Wines is dedicated to the purest possible expression of the grape.

Santosh developed his winemaking philosophy while traveling the globe working in tech. Along the way, he met winemakers who loved to sit down, discuss wines, and get to know you. He met chefs who wanted to introduce themselves to you and learn about your mood and what your favorite flavors are before cooking a meal for you. In these situations, it wasn’t all about business. It was about finding a way to connect as humans and share experiences. As a result, Kalā Wines tries to capture the feeling and soulfulness of great winemaking for its customers. It only produces around 350 cases of wine a year, including a rosé, a malbec, a merlot, an old-vine grenache, and an old-vine zinfandel. In 2018, Santosh will also make an old-vine carignane and pinot noir. Every wine comes from a single vineyard, and Santosh says it’s all about sourcing grapes from really special, sustainably farmed, small, family-owned vineyards. Craft wines from craft vineyards.

 

Jul 30, 2018

Danni Lin (B.S., M.S.), CEO of GREAT WINE, Inc., would like to share her entrepreneurial journey. Under her leadership, GREAT WINE now has an online store, and understands that technology does not only make a product; it also creates an environment in which symbiotic parts of the wine world will thrive together to create higher product demand and supply.

Besides adopting groundbreaking technology in winemaking, GREAT WINE also collaborates with myVinotype – a smart wine recommendation platform for wine-related businesses and connoisseurs to learn more about clients’ wine preferences.

Launched in 2011, myVinotype first started as a website widget and a consumer survey. By 2016, the platform has launched an iOS app, and has become available in eight languages worldwide. All these features are supported by data analytics in order to be more client-oriented.

GREAT WINE is a huge success in the USA. In 2016, GREAT WINE opened its first tasting room in the Seattle Metro Area to offer wine tasting and vinotyping experiences to clients. It is ready to accept future challenges it may encounter during the expansion phase.

Our CEO Danni Lin is devoted to inspire more clients to engage in the global cultural exchanges of wine, with the opening of the first international satellite tasting room in China in September 2017.

Before becoming the CEO of GREAT WINE, Lin was a Data Scientist at Microsoft. Like many, Lin had experiences of going into a supermarket, and got lost in massive product lists and ads. She thought her likes and dislikes were related to how knowledgeable she was in wine – until she had a conversation with Tim Hanni.

Hanni is one of the first Americans to become Master of Wine, and introduced Lin to the scientific concept of “vinotype,” i.e. wine preferences and sensory abilities of people. Lin then transformed from a wine novice to a wine educator who encouraged consumers to speak their mind – what they really enjoy drinking and experiencing.

In 2016, GREAT WINE opened its first tasting room in the Seattle Metro Area to offer wine tasting and vinotyping experiences to clients. Lin did not let tasting and learning end in a brick-and-mortar store; she started a wine club for her clients so they can enjoy “vinotyped” selection of wines at home.

Jul 1, 2018

Rod Keeling and Jan Schaefer of Keeling Schaefer Vineyards in Pearce, AZ. Keeling Schaefer Vineyards is located on Rock Creek at the base of the Chiricahua Mountains at about 5000 ft. elevation, about a 45-minute drive from downtown Willcox in southeastern Arizona. They are proving to be key players in the Arizona wine industry in their relatively short time on the playing field. Their wines have been received with both national recognition and local praise. Rod has also been an influential factor in the industry through his actions as the President of the Arizona Wine Growers Association, heading into his third term. Having been instrumental in changing the wine laws which allow the smaller boutique wineries to have more control to self distribute and consequentially reach higher profits, Rod has seen the intense growth in the industry that such legislation has helped to provide.

Rod and Jan have harnessed their unique and individual abilities to create really great wine. In talking with the team, it’s clear that the success of their wines is due to the marriage of their strengths. As Rod explains it, he does most of the physical work, while Jan stays integral to the wine-making through her natural palate. “She’s got a palate that’s much better than mine. I can tell certain things about the wine. I can detect the flaws. I can tell whether it’s good or bad. But I can’t [pick up] the details she can.” Rod credits the blending as the step that takes the wine to the next level, making a good wine great. Humbly, he basically says he’s the physical labor and the chemist. His contribution is in growing the grapes, doing the crush and assisting the mechanical operations. He says, “I think a good wine-maker has to be a good wine drinker,” and although he likes wine and accredits basic tasting skills to himself, he doesn’t have the natural innate palate that he adoringly attributes to Jan. Not to say that the lines never cross, both partners are involved throughout the process, but Rod’s passion is the numbers and Jan’s talents are a key factor to the finish of the wine. It’s obvious that they’ve transcended their romantic love to the love of wine-making.

It all began for Rod when he fortuitously tasted a glass of wine with a friend at PF Chang’s in 1994. At that time in Arizona there were few wine bars, no real wine scene and even finding quality wines by the glass was difficult. His friend, Roger Egan, had worked in California through the 1970’s, during the initial boom of the California wine industry, where he had met Mike Grgich. Knowing that Grgich had produced fine wine he recommended that Rod splurge for the $9 glass of the Grgich Hills Zinfandel. Rod was blown away. “Oh my God! I didn’t know wine could taste like that . . . [it was] a big blockbuster Zin!” That’s when he said to himself that he had to figure this out. How could wine taste like that and how could he learn to produce it? Previously, he felt that if he was going to drink wine it would be inexpensive because it was “just OK”. White wine was fine because it was refreshing. But red wine, nothing had ever tasted like that glass of Zinfandel before. “But that got me going because I thought I could make it myself. I’ve got to try making this!” . . . plus he sheepishly admits that he really didn’t want the pay the $9 per glass.

Jul 1, 2018

Will Clark readily admits that his passion in life is California Foothill wines. He retired from investment banking in the early 1990’s, and with wife Jeanne, opened up his shop at 200 Main Street in Downieville. Jeanne runs the antiques and collectibles shop next door.

“We came here to do what we really wanted to do,” said Will. “People don’t expect us to be here. But really, Downieville is the first town north of Nevada City where you can find good food, lodging – and major historical lore about the area.” It all comes together in a mountain setting at the confluence of two rivers, with an enormous amount of Gold Country history. Will boasts a stock of around 50 wines. Here are some of my favorites from the tasting:

2006 Hatcher Cabernet Sauvignon, Sierra Foothills. Will believes this is his current best value in a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Hatcher winery is located in Murphys, Calaveras County, and they source most of their fruit from vineyards near Angels Camp. The fruit for this wine was sourced from the vineyard of Lori Kautz. Winemaker Matthew Hatcher has crafted this wine to have aromas of tropical fruit, volcanic minerality, anise and other exotic spices. Flavor is lush and ripe with flavors of melon, ginger, and spice, ending in a clean finish. Enjoy with spicy Asian foods, BBQ, lamb. 14.6% alcohol. $17.50/bottle at 49 Wines.

Jun 24, 2018

When a young Jon McDaniel began his studies in politics and corporate law, his goal was "to take over the world, in a good way," he jokes. During a brief stint at a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., McDaniel realized the cutthroat political arena wasn't his scene. So when one of the firm's clients, a wine retailer, offered him a job, he dropped everything and reset his course.

In the dozen years since, McDaniel has tried his hand at almost every role in the industry, working in retail, export, distribution and even winemaking. In 2010, after beverage consulting for the World Cup in South Africa, he finally figured out where he fit most comfortably into the wine world: restaurants. McDaniel joined the team at Los Olivos Wine Merchant and Café in Santa Barbara, Calif., then was lured to the Midwest to work as manager and sommelier for the Purple Pig in Chicago.

Now 34 ("going on 85," he quips), McDaniel is the corporate beverage director for the newly renamed Gage Hospitality Group, which includes five Chicago-area restaurants: Acanto, the Gage, Beacon Tavern, Coda di Volpe and the Dawson. He also finds time to teach hospitality classes and make wine under his own label. Editorial assistant Lexi Williams caught up with McDaniel to check on his progress toward (wine) world domination.

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