STARS of Pinot | Tesse: Thursday, July 18
STARS of Pinot | Tesse: Thursday, July 18
STARS of Pinot | Tesse: Thursday, July 18
STARS of Pinot | Tesse: Thursday, July 18
STARS of Pinot | Tesse: Thursday, July 18

STARS of Pinot | Tesse: Thursday, July 18

Regular price$120.00
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Ticket

Hosted by Matt Kettmann - Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Matt Kettmann writes for Wine Enthusiast, where he's covered the Central Coast and Southern California since 2014, and the Santa Barbara Independent, where he started his journalism career in 1999. He is also the Author of Vines & Vision: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County.

Choice of Entree: GOLD w/Salmon - mint citrus marinade served with fresh seasonal veggies or GOLD w/Beef Skirt Steak Brochette 9oz - chermoula marinade served with fresh seasonal veggies. *All dietary needs can be met with advanced notice (72 hours)

Wines for presentation from special wines and magnums WAYFARER, ARGOT, DRAGONETTE, and NICOLAS JAY. This ticket includes 7pm Great Tasting Admission.

This ticket includes early access to the great tasting, music from DJ Richard Blade, and heavy appetizers. These include a tray pass of Mini Crab Cakes, Mushroom Tarts and Creamy Burrata Tarts. Alongside a buffet of famous bites: Marguerita Pizza, Mini Chicken Skewer, Shrimp Skewer, Jamon Croquettes, Short Rib Toast, and Penne Cacio e pepe black truffle pasta. This ticket includes 7pm Great Tasting Admission.

This ticket includes full tasting access to the great tasting, music from DJ Richard Blade, and a buffet of famous bites: Marguerita Pizza, Mini Chicken Skewer, Shrimp Skewer, Jamon Croquettes, Short Rib Toast, and Penne Cacio e pepe black truffle pasta that is replenished until 8 pm. Taste with over 35 wineries and 115 wines! Tasting concludes at 9:30 pm. Charity Auction to benefit 501c3 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

This ticket includes full tasting access to the great tasting, music from DJ Richard Blade, and Taste with over 35 wineries and 115 wines! Tasting concludes at 9:30 pm. A single appetizer will be served from 8:30-9:30 pm at the bar for all guests - currently scheduled for a fantastic TESSE Slider and Onion Ring - please let us know of any dietary needs.

PARTICIPATING WINERIES:

Aether is the link between the known and unknown, the sensory and the intangible. Wines are born unformed in a tempestuous ferment. As their gait steadies, we send them into the world to be fully formed only years later. With luck, they reach the plateau where all the elements are poised in perfect tension and exquisite balance.Aether Wine Company is based in Santa Barbara County and produces wines from Sta. Rita Hills. Winemaker/Proprietors Jeffrey Fink and Carrie Chan craft cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the greatest new world vineyards including Sanford Benedict, Drum Canyon and La Rinconada.

Pouring:
Aether, Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills, 2019
Aether, Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County, 2021
Aether, Pinot Sanford Benedict Sta. Rita Hills, 2021
Aether, Pinot Noir Drum Canyon Sta. Rita Hills, 2022

Alma Rosa Winery was founded in 2005 by California wine industry pioneer Richard Sanford and his wife, Thekla. Alma Rosa Winery is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills in Santa Barbara County. Our wines are layered, vibrant and balanced, reflective of the special terroir of the Sta. Rita Hills, which benefits from cool Pacific Ocean breezes funneled inland through the unique transverse mountain range of our region. Our current winemaker, Samra Morris, is showcasing what the estate El Jabali vineyard can do and receiving several notable scores such as 99pts from Jeb Dunnuck for her 2021 Attente Rhone blend and 97pts from the Wine Advocate for her 2020 Barrel Select Pinot Noir.

Pouring:
Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir, 2021
El Jabali Pinot Noir, 2021
Barrel Select Pinot Noir WS, 2020

Ancien is the Quest of a Winemaker in pursuit of his art, and a celebration of the traditions in wine that have inspired him. In 1992, we harvested our first two tons of Pinot Noir from four rows atop a knoll in the southwest corner of Carneros. In the years since, we have continued our pursuit of those rare and special plots where Pinot Noir can rise from great to sublime. Our portfolio of vineyard designates stretches from the Santa Rita Hills, up to Carmel Valley, through Sonoma, Carneros and north to Oregon.

Pouring:
Ancien, Coombsville Pinot Noir, Mink Vineyard, 2021
Ancien, Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir, Red Dog Vineyard, 2021
Ancien, Oregon Pinot Noir, Shea Vineyard, 2021
Ancien, Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix Vineyard, 2021

Argot is a language born from the camaraderie of a particular group of people, often connected by extenuation circumstances, such as love of wine. Argot is both born from the intimacy of said group, and also reinforces it.Justin Harmon initially fell in love with wine purely as a consumer. As the world of wine opened up to him from all perspectives—historical, cultural, artistic, scientific—he began to feel a draw towards the craft of winemaking. Hobby winemaking at home in Chicago led to Sonoma-based harvest internships in 2005, 2006 and 2007.At the end of the 2007 season he realized his dream of making his first commercial wine on the back of a single ton of grapes, which became the first 50 cases of Argot wine. Over the ensuing years Justin, along with his wife Elizabeth, has grown Argot to 3,000 cases and garnered acclaim from all corners of the wine world.

Pouring:
Pinot Noir, Bastard Tongue, Sonoma County, 2021
Pinot Noir, Kanzler Vineyard, Russian River Valley, 2021
Chardonnay, Simpatico Ranch, Bennett Valley, 2021

Doug Margerum has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.Doug launched the Santa Barbara WINE CASK Futures Program in 1984, which elevated the exposure nationally of Santa Barbara Wine Country. From 1986 to 1998, Doug owned VITA NOVA winery with Bob Lindquist (Qupé) and Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat). In 2001, Margerum Wine Company began in a tiny 240 square foot cold room behind Brander Vineyards. The philosophy: return wine making to its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal.Margerum Wine Company produces limited quantities of wines made from grapes grown both our Estate Vineyard and grapes purchased from other top vineyards from in and around Santa Barbara County. The 18 acre Estate Vineyard is planted exclusively to Rhône grape varietals. The acreage is divided between limestone hillsides and gravelly alluvial flatlands along Alamo Pintado Creek. The wines are now made at their state-of-the-art winery located on Industrial Way in Buellton. Margerum carefully selects the vineyards with meticulous attention to detail in all factors influencing the ultimate quality of the wines, including pruning, soil, climate, and farming methods.Margerum primarily produces M5 (a Rhône varietal red blend), single vineyard Syrahs, a co-fermented Syrah called ÜBER, SYBARITE Sauvignon Blanc, M5 White (a blend of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Picpoul Blanc) and RIVIERA Rose. Doug works with the top vineyards from the cool, eastern end of the valley in Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara to the cold vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills towards the western end of the valley.In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug’s middle name and its English meaning is “Lives near the boar’s den”… thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area’s vineyards.Doug’s unique background with retail wine sales, as the sommelier/owner of a Grand Award restaurant and as a wine maker made him sought out by a variety of wineries to assist in the formation of their brands. Doug has consulted for Chêne Bleu super Rhône wines in France, and continues to consult for Happy Canyon Vineyards, and Robert Lieff’s Tipping Tree wines in the Los Olivos District, all in Santa Barbara County, as well as the Santa Barbara wines of Paradise Springs Winery based in Virginia.MWC Mission Statement: Margerum Wine Company is committed to creating handcrafted wines using only the highest quality grapes so that we can make wines that are indicative of the place where they are grown. We strive to make wines naturally, to make wines that have individual characteristics and to make wines with personality. The scale of production is kept at a level where we can touch and know the wine as it is raised to the bottle – the antithesis of mass production. The standards of quality are measured by our criteria – not by external sources. We make wines we personally enjoy – some to drink young; others for long aging in cool cellars for our children to enjoy. Share our wines with your family and friends at the table where they belong.BARDEN Wines Mission Statement: BARDEN is the dream to make the ultimate expression of grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Our access to the top vineyards along with the philosophy and knowledge gained over thirty years in the wine business allows us to make world-class wines. BARDEN’s English meaning is “Lives near the boar's den” … thusly we have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the Sta. Rita Hills.

Pouring:
Barden Fonte, White Blend, Sta. Rita Hills, 2021
Barden Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, 2021
Barden Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, 2021
Barden Syrah, Santa Rita Hills, 2020

Bennett Valley Cellars began its journey from dream to reality some 60 years ago in the vineyardsof the Veneto region in Italy. Young Emilio Zanin eagerly worked in his grandfather’s vineyardbefore and after school, where he learned to love the hard work and passion necessary to makewine. Having achieved the American dream after immigrating in 1969, Emilio and his family have now realized their life-long ambition of having their own vineyards from which to produce premium wine.Nestled in the pristine Bennett Valley AVA of Sonoma County, Bennett Valley Cellars farms 40 acres of Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Our well-drained alluvial (volcanic) soils and fog cooled climate combine to create an ideal growing environment for producing world class wines. The end result is wine with flavors and aromatic characteristics unique to this beautiful valley.

Pouring:
Bennett Valley Cellars, Pinot Noir Simpatico Ranch, 2021

Bernardus is a family owned winery based in Carmel Valley CA - Monterey County. Focusing on single vineyard PINOT NOIR and CHARDONNAY from the Pisoni and Franscioni families in Santa Lucia Highlands.. GARYS' ROSELLAS SIERRA MAR and SOBERANES are stars of our lineup. All between 4 and 16 barrels..ENJOY!

Pouring:
Gary's Vineyard, Pinot Noir, 2022
Rosellas Pinot Noir, 2022
Sierra Mar Pinot Noir, 2022
Soberanes Pinot Noir, 2022

Bohème was founded in 2004 on the ridgetops west of Occidental, California. 5th-generation winegrower Kurt Beitler handcrafts Pinot Noir & Chardonnay from his vineyards in Sonoma Coast & West Sonoma Coast AVAs:The Bohème vineyards are dry/ minimally irrigated, with zero herbicides; Pinot noir vinification follows traditional Burgundy technique: 25-30% whole-cluster fermentation with ~20 mos. élevage in 20-25% new barrels.

Pouring:
Stuller Vineyard - West Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2017
Taylor Ridge Vineyard - West Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2019
English Hill Vineyard - Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2021

Pouring:
Bouchaine Vineyards, Carneros Estate Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, 2023
Bouchaine Vineyards, Carneros Estate Pinot Noir, 2021
Bouchaine Vineyards, Carneros Estate Pommard Clone Pinot Noir, 2021
Bouchaine Vineyards, Carneros Estate Dijon Clone Pinot Noir, 2021
Bouchaine Vineyards, Carneros Estate Terraces Pinot Noir, 2021 (VIP)

Established in 1731 in the heart of one of the world’s most treasured terroirs, Bouchard Père & Fils has dedicated over two centuries to nurture, preserve and convey the essence of Burgundy.Here, we don’t simply craft wine, we bring it to life.From the very heart of the vineyards to the hidden confines of the Château de Beaune, cultivating and winemaking are raised to the highest level of art. Each parcel of our estate gives birth to rare wines that embody the combined qualities of an exceptional land and the outstanding expertise shared from one generation to the next.Stretching over 105 hectares, the estate gracefully weaves through a mosaic of individual parcels with three quarters in Premiers and Grands Crus, making it one of the most splendid embodiments of the Burgundian spirit. Long aware of its responsibilities and impact, Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils has been certified HVE (High Environmental Value) level 3 since 2015 and has committed to a more sustainable viticultural approach since 2009. This initiative is set to lead the entire estate to being certified organic by 2026.

Pouring:
Beaune du Château Rouge, Premier Cru, Exclusivity, 2020
Pommard, Premier Cru, 2018

To work in wine is to work incredibly hard. It is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. It requires deep knowledge in agriculture, science, and business with an instinct for what comprises fine art. It takes vision, patience, grit and being on the right side of serendipity, often. It is as equally uplifting as it is heartbreaking, as preparedness is no guarantee of success.This understanding finds truth in the founding of Croix Estate and where we find ourselves in this moment. Croix Estate began with our founding vintage in 2012, followed by the opening of our winery in 2018, and the steadfast continuance to achieve perfection in the glass annually.The initial concept of Croix was a quixotic collage of random ideas and wines: shock art labels, uncommon grape varieties, uncommon wine regions, no wine made more than one vintage, and on it went from idea to idea, most of which were done, being done, or being re-conceptualized by many others in search of repurposed uniqueness within the winemaking community. Rather than chase a creative, newly used concept, we determined to distill the purpose of Croix Estate into a fundamental pursuit of perfection.

Pouring:
Croix Estate, West Pyramid Pinot Noir, Bucher Vineyard, Russian River Valley, 2022
Croix Estate, 5 Wells Pinot Noir, 5 Wells Vineyard, Russian River Valley, 2022
Stoetz, Ridge Pinot Noir, Ruxton Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, 2022

Brothers John and Steve Dragonette and close friend Brandon Sparks-Gillis founded Dragonette Cellars in 2005 after having worked together at a renowned wine shop in Los Angeles. Their shared passion for great wine brought them to wild, windy and remote northern Santa Barbara County where they spent the next several years seeking out extraordinary, cool-climate vineyards and dedicating themselves to careful, patient, minimalist winemaking.As vignerons, they have committed themselves, above all else, to the mindful farming of precise blocks in exceptional vineyards for low yields and high quality and to the shepherding of these grapes into wines of purity, complexity and balance. Given the remarkable climatic and soil diversity in Santa Barbara County, Dragonette Cellars produces small lots of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay of interest and distinction.Dragonette's wines have received wide acclaim from the world's top wine critics and publications, including multiple 100 point scores (along with dozens of 97+ reviews).

More info can be found at dragonettecellars.com and @dragonettewine on Instagram.

Pouring:
Pinot Noir, 2022
Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2021
Radian Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2020 (VIP)

When acclaimed winemaker Dan Goldfield and legacy farmer Steve Dutton decided to partner and craft their finest versions of Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, they established a legacy spanning over 25 years. Together, they continue to produce exceptional small lot wines sourced from Dutton Ranch's array of over eighty diverse vineyards in western Sonoma County, as well as vineyard designates from other select sites nurtured by old friends along the North Coast. Today, Dutton-Goldfield produces terroir-driven wines with the balance, structure and complexity that have defined Dan Goldfield’s 40-year winemaking career. Pinot Blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel, along with our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay showcase the winery’s diversity, and mission to create food worthy, sustainable, and most importantly, enjoyable wines.

Pouring:
Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Chardonnay, Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley, 2022
Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Pinot Noir, Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley, 2022
Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Chardonnay, Walker Hill Vineyard, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, 2021
Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Pinot Noir, Fox Den Vineyard, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, 2021

Evening Land Vineyards produces acclaimed Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Seven Springs Estate Vineyard on the eastern slopes of the Eola-Amity Hills. Guided by the partnership of Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman, the wines of Evening Land Vineyards are rooted in a reverence for the land and a winemaking legacy steeped in tradition.

Pouring:
Evening Land, Chardonnay, Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills, 2022
Evening Land, Chardonnay, La Source Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills, 2019
Evening Land, Pinot Noir, Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills, 2022
Evening Land, Pinot Noir, Summum Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills, 2021 (VIP)

Hamilton Russell Oregon is a producer of carefully selected single vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is owned and operated by Olive Hamilton Russell. She gained experience through decades long involvement in the world of wine, and played an active role in the management of Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Ashbourne and Southern Right wineries with her husband Anthony Hamilton Russell. It is Hamilton Russell Oregon’s goal to express the very best attributes of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir fruit in a classical style emphasizing spice and structure, and Willamette Valley Chardonnay fruit in a bright, restrained mineral style.

Pouring:
Hamilton Russell Oregon, Pinot Noir, 2021
Hamilton Russell Oregon, Pinot Noir, 2019 (VIP wine)

Hamilton Russell Vineyards – one of the most southerly wine estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea – pioneered viticulture and winemaking in the beautiful, cool, maritime, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The Estate specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which are widely regarded as among the finest in the New World, while bearing, at times, an uncanny resemblance to classic Pinot noir and Chardonnay from the Old World.Owner, Anthony Hamilton Russell, took over from his father and founder, Tim Hamilton Russell in 1991, and bought the business from the family in 1994. Tim originally purchased the undeveloped 170 hectare property in 1975 and was the pioneering winegrower in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley with their first vintage in 1981. Anthony narrowed their focus to Pinot noir and Chardonnay alone and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an “Estate", committing to only work with grapes from their terroir. Extensive soil research in 1994 identified 52 hectares of stony, iron and clay-rich, shale-derived soil as optimal for the individual, classic, origin expressive style they aim for. The team focuses on producing a single estate grown Pinot noir and a single estate grown Chardonnay as a red and white expression of their 52 hectare monopole on their 170 hectare estate.The team is completely dedicated to expressing the personality of Hamilton Russell Vineyards in their wines. Tiny yields and intense worldwide demand keep the elegant, highly individual, estate grown Pinot noir and Chardonnay in short supply.

Pouring:
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot noir, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa, 2022
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South African, 2022

Handley Cellars is small, family-owned winery located at the northwest end of California's Anderson Valley. Founded by Milla Handley in 1982, Handley Cellars was the first winery in the United States established by a woman winemaker in her own name, and the fifth bonded winery in Anderson Valley.Milla Handley sought to make balanced wines that possess distinctive varietal characteristics and reflect the soil and climate in which they were grown. Our current winemaker, Randy Schock, carries on this tradition, crafting elegant, fruit-driven wine. Milla’s daughter Lulu now runs Handley Cellars, with the help of her husband Scott Handley and their two children.

Pouring:
Handley Cellars, Pinot Gris, Anderson Valley, 2022
Handley Cellars, Pinot Noir Blanc, Estate Vineyard, 2023 (VIP)
Handley Cellars, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, 2020
Handley Cellars, Pinot Noir, RSM Estate Vineyard, 2020

Holocene is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from some of the top vineyards in the Willamette Valley.These wines are crafted honestly and transparently, with the goal being to showcase the best possible expression of vintage and terroir from each site I work with. I endeavor to craft some of the very best wines from this beautiful region every year.Since my winemaking days at Bryant Family Vineyard, I have employed low-impact, vineyard-driven winemaking practices with an emphasis on terroir expression and delicacy. I want to help each site I work with be the best possible expression of itself.Our wines are released a couple of times each year, sold via mailing list and to a limited number of distribution partners.

Pouring:
Holocene, Memorialis Pinot Noir, 2022
Holocene, Sidereal Pinot Noir, 2022
Holocene, Apocrypha Pinot Noir, 2022
Holocene, Aureolin Chardonay, 2023

Jaffurs Wine Cellars is dedicated to producing great Rhône and Burgundian varietal wines with a New World independence. 2024 will be our 30th harvest! All of our wines are carefully made in small lots. Approximately 5,000 cases are produced each year. We work closely with our growers in the Santa Ynez, Ballard Canyon, Santa Rita Hills, Los Alamos, and Santa Maria regions. We limit vineyard yields and require that optimal farming practices are observed.In September of 2001 we completed construction of a new winery in the city of Santa Barbara. This modern, climate-controlled facility allows us to make wine at a natural and careful pace. We process all the fruit for our harvest here and the resulting wines show the benefits of this improved process. Come visit us at 819 E. Montecito Street for a glimpse of world class winemaking in the heart of the city!

Pouring:
Jaffurs, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, 2018

Ana Keller, General ManagerSince taking over the reins in 1998, Ana works to create wines that reflect a sense of place, while in harmony with the family's approach to elegant, age-worthy, and food-friendly wines. In 2013 Ana joined the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance's board and was instrumental in creating the Petaluma Gap American Viticultural Area (AVA).

Pouring:
Keller Estate, Brut Rosé Sparkling, 2018
Keller Estate, La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2021
Keller Estate, La Cruz Vineyard Chardonnay, 2021
Keller Estate, CASA Pinot Noir, 2020

Fifty miles northwest of Santa Barbara, California, on a steep, south-facing cliff, a short few miles from the Pacific Ocean, Mail Road meets its end at the geographic center of The Sta. Rita Hills AVA, the historic and iconic Mt. Carmel Vineyard. Established in 1989 – on land surrounding a long since abandoned monastery of cloistered, Carmelite nuns – Mt. Carmel straddles the limestone saddle of a highly-exposed, two-tiered mountain immediately north of the Santa Ynez River, at the eastern end of The Sta. Rita Hills.Mt. Carmel consists of six blocks over a total of 22.5 acres, planted to a variety of own-rooted, organically and principally dry-farmed, heritage chardonnay and pinot noir clones. The vineyard is heavily and uniquely influenced by its combination of elevation (800-1000 feet above sea level) and soil composition (loose, well-drained limestone, botella clay, diatomaceous earth, calcareous deposits and sandy loam).The wines produced by Mt. Carmel fruit are remarkable in their lean toward site specifically and marked by deep concentration, exceptional depth, structural complexity and bracing acidity.

Pouring:
Mail Road Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, 2021
Mail Road Chardonnay, MT Carmel Vineyard, SRH, 2021
Mail Road Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, 2022
Mail Road Pinot Noir, MT Carmel Vineyard, SRH, 2021

Marchelle Wines represents a thrilling new chapter in renowned Sonoma winemaker Greg La Follette's journey. Marchelle is a melding of “Mara and Michelle”, the names of Greg and his partner Kevin’s wives and illustrates a remarkable culmination of their friendship, expertise, passion, and a deep respect for unique and interesting vineyards that is a love story told through wine to their wives.With meticulous attention to detail, Marchelle employs traditional winemaking techniques combined with modern innovations to create wines that harmonize balance, finesse, and complexity. The resulting wines display a purity of fruit, precise acidity, and a seamless integration of flavors—a testament to Greg La Follette's artistry and the exceptional vineyards from which the grapes are sourced.

Pouring:
Marchelle, Pinot Noir, Growers Reserve, Mendocino, United States, 2021
Marchelle, Pinot Noir, Fourth Act, Carneros, United States, 2021

Mount Eden Vineyards is a small historic wine estate perched at 2000 feet overlooking Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, about 50 miles south of San Francisco. Founded in 1945, it is recognized as one of the original “boutique” California winery properties, focusing on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Mount Eden’s lineage of estate bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is the longest in California. Planted in austere, infertile Franciscan shale on a cool, exposed mountaintop, these low-yielding estate vineyards have consistently produced world-class wines for over a half-century. In 2007 Mount Eden acquired an additional 55 acre wine estate in the Saratoga foothills, which was christened Domaine Eden.Since 1981 Jeffrey Patterson has guided the winemaking and grape growing at Mount Eden. His emphasis is on wine growing rather than winemaking; and an obsession with gentleness and naturalness in the handling of the grapes and wines is his ongoing passion.

Pouring:
Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir, 2020
Domaine Eden Pinot Noir, 2020
Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir, 2019
Mount Eden Estate Chardonnay, 2020

Rebecca George, named “Emerging Winemaker of the Year” in 2019 by Antonio Galloni, started making micro-lot Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley in 2014, under her Mojave label. Prior to starting Mojave, Rebecca honed her craft working for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialists including Domaine Méo-Camuzet in Burgundy, as well as Williams Selyem and Marcassin Wines on the Sonoma Coast of California.The focus for Mojave is capturing vibrant and sophisticated expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines coming from some of northern California’s most unique cool-climate terroirs – the Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Pouring:
Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (Fallen Leaf Vineyard), 2022
Hicks Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2019

In California’s Santa Maria Valley, Native9 produces small-lot estate wines that reflect a true expression of the unique climate, soil, and capability of the valley. Native9 is home of Rancho Viñedo Chardonnay, Ranchos de Ontiveros Cabernet Sauvignon, and Native9 Pinot Noir.The story begins in 1781 when Josef Ontiveros rode from Mexico to settle in California. He would become the first in a line of generations of California ranchers and farmers. Now, nine generations after his arrival, James Ontiveros is proud to grow and make wines of superb quality and complexity.Both of the winery’s estate vineyards, Rancho Viñedo and Rancho Ontiveros, have a complex history and yield old-world-inspired wines. Only four miles apart, the soils of Rancho Viñedo are millions of years older than Rancho Ontiveros, and the old vines on their own roots are decades older. At 23, James planted Rancho Ontiveros on a windswept plot at an elevation of 700 feet. The unique soils and elevation led James to plant Pinot Noir, at the time, a risky and unconventional choice. Ultimately, the struggle of the vines in the nutrient-depleted, often inhospitable conditions has an ironic, positive effect on the wine, in what James appropriately calls “the poetic weirdness of life.”

Pouring:
Native9, Pinot Noir, 2019
Ranchos de Ontiveros, Viñedo Chardonnay, 2020
Ranchos de Ontiveros, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017

Like so many other adventures, New Zealand Wine Navigator began with friends, family, and a few excellent bottles of wine. Graham Painter, Founder and CEO, was visiting family in the States and was sent out to fetch a nice wine for dinner. Wanting to show off some of the outstanding wines New Zealand has to offer, he went from one wine store to the next searching for something special; beyond the big-name Sauvignon Blancs. A deep, rich Pinot Noir or Syrah perhaps. How about a superb Riesling... Surely, with the breadth of fine wines being produced in New Zealand, there was something special to be found. That search beget a mission.

Pouring:
No1 Family Estate Rosé Methode - Marlborough, NV
Butterworth Pinot Gris, 2020
Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2021
Mondillo Estate Pinot Noir, 2019
Tankersley Estate Pinot Noir, 2015

Nicolas-Jay is the story of a three-decade friendship between Burgundian winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo and music entrepreneur Jay Boberg. Jean-Nicolas was the architect and innovator behind the rise of Domaine Méo-Camuzet as one of the most sought-after and collectible producers in the last 30 years. Wines of exquisite texture, persistence and density that also precisely represent the landscape and terroir in which they would come from. With this natural understanding of viticulture and wine, combined with the mastery of prestigious terroirs left by his family and developed by himself, Méo-Camuzet rests amongst an elite few in benchmark level wines and the lofty status the Domaine enjoys in Burgundy today. Jay Boberg would bring more than his share of inspiration and vision to the table as the two set forth in the early 2010’s on this quest to produce top-quality Willamette Valley wine together. Jay’s visionary approach for his own craft of launching and marketing influential bands such as R.E.M, The Go-Go’s, Blink-182, Mary J. Blige, Sublime, The Roots and B.B. King would prove invaluable in the brands initial launch. And combined with Jay’s unsurpassed resolve and intentness toward grower relations, vineyard acquisition, estate management, marketing and quality control would create a partnership unlike few other duos in the wine industry.

Pouring:
Affinités Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, 2022
L'Ensemble Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, 2021

Paradise Springs Winery is the first bi-coastal winery in the United States and was first founded in the quaint town of Clifton, Virginia on a historic property just outside of Washington DC by Kirk Wiles and Jane Kincheloe in 2005. The land was granted to the Kincheloe family in 1716 and features a log cabin built in the early 1800's and renovated by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Today, the original winery produces 10,000 cases of Virginia wine annually featuring varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Viognier, and more. In 2014, Paradise Springs opened a second winery location in Santa Barbara, California focusing on high quality, small production wines from the Sta. Rita Hills and Happy Canyon AVAs and working with renowned winemaker and consultant Doug Margerum. The upscale modern tasting room is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara's The Funk Zone just two blocks away from the ocean. Today, Paradise Springs Santa Barbara produces 3,500 cases annually featuring varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Bordeaux-stye varieties. Minimal intervention wines combined with showcasing varieties that express their local terrior from each vineyard site defines the winemaking philosophy of Paradise Springs on each coast.As Paradise Springs continues to build a stellar reputation on each coast locally, the brand wants to continue to get their wines into glasses in new markets that have an appreciation for fine wine showcasing the underrated quality of both the Virginia and Santa Barbara wine growing regions.

Pouring:
Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, 2019
Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict, 2019
Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict, Founder's Block, 2018
Pinot Noir, Fiddlestix, 2022

Gary Pisoni evoked a passion for wine and revolutionized how people perceived Pinot Noir in the Santa Lucia Highlands and California. His 1982 planting in the unlikely terrain of his mountain vineyard was abound with firsts, hurdles and naysayers—until he planted his proprietary selection of Pinot Noir, discovered water and began producing world-renown Pinot Noir.The Pisoni family now farms and makes wine from three vineyards in the appellation: Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes Vineyards. Wines are bottled under the Pisoni Estate, Lucia and Lucy wine labels. Operating the estate today are brothers Mark and Jeff Pisoni. Mark is the farmer and oversees the meticulous care of the vines. Jeff is the winemaker and crafts distinctive wines that represent this place and vision. Together, they continue the multi-generational family enterprise.

Pouring:
Lucia by Pisoni, Estate Cuvée Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2022

Red Car is a small farming and winemaking operation based in Sebastopol and rooted in some of the most unique AVA’s and vineyards in all of California. In 2005 we planted our Estate Vineyard in Fort Ross Seaview and for over two decades have dedicated our lives to producing site specific, balanced wines of exceptional quality, bright fruit, complex aromatics, and moderate alcohol. Together, our team farms and produces Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Old Vine Cabernet from 6 unique vineyards all within 10 miles of the Pacific Ocean. A combined passion for hospitality, a taste for hard work and a steadfast dedication to the craft of winemaking define who we are and the wines we make.Life is a journey. Get on the Red Car.

Pouring:
Red Car, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2023
Red Car, Pinot Noir, West Sonoma Coast, 2021
Red Car, Pinot Noir, Heaven & Earth, Sonoma Coast, 2021
Red Car, Pinot Noir, Estate Vineyard, Fort Ross - Seaview, 2019

Sandhi is a small-production winery, led by Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman, sourcing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from select vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.

Sanskrit for collaboration, Sandhi is a meeting of minds, methods and meticulous practices in the vineyard and the cellar to explore unanswered questions and untapped terroirs. In the Santa Rita Hills we find a tremendous opportunity for all of the above. It was this place–tucked along the southern Central Coast of California, an hour’s drive to any major city but only ten miles from the ocean–that captivated Rajat Parr as a young sommelier two decades ago.

Pouring:
Sandhi, Chardonnay Sta Rita Hills, 2021
Sandhi, Chardonnay, Romance Vineyard Sta Rita Hills, 2021 (VIP)
Sandhi, Pinot Noir, Sta Rita Hills, 2022
Sandhi, Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta Rita Hills, 2020

Devo founder, singer, songwriter, video and commercial director and proprietor of The 50 by 50 Wines, Gerald Casale, has been pursuing his vinifera labor of love since 2012.Gerald's infatuation with Pinot Noir varietals has lead him to produce not only a Burgundian-style red Pinot Noir but a Rose of Pinot Noir and a unique WHITE Pinot Noir as well. He leaves no expression of the Pinot Noir grape unturned.Sourcing his Pinot Noir clones from a single grower in Sonoma Coast for his red and his white Pinot Noir offerings, and from a different single grower in Carneros for his Rose of Pinot Noir Gerald works in collaboration with oenologist, Eric Lyman, in Napa CA to bring his wines to market.Gerald self-distributes his boutique, limited production wines in California having secured accounts at select prestigious restaurants and wine shops up and down the California coast as well as allocating top selections to members of his exclusive wine club - Club 50 by 50.

Pouring:
The 50 by 50, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2021
The 50 by 50, WHITE Pinot Noir, 2022
The 50 by 50, Carneros Rose of Pinot Noir, 2023

Thomas’ entrance into the wine industry was sparked during a 1999 wine tasting trip to the Burgundy wine region in France. At the time he was a senior financial executive for a large biotechnology company and prior to going on that tasting trip, Thomas never dreamed of owning his own vineyards or making wine. It was that wine tasting trip in 1999 that altered his dreams and led him to chart a new course in life… a life in the wine industry as a vintner. With this newfound enthusiasm driving him forward, in 2001, Thomas was able to purchase a 36-acre parcel of land to begin the process of constructing that new future.Located in The Anderson Valley, a cool climate wine appellation in southwestern Mendocino County, Thomas T Thomas Vineyards began in 2008 with Thomas planting a 3-acre pinot noir vineyard. Also, in 2008, Thomas built a winery next to the vineyards, with the understanding that one day he would produce and store his own wine there. From 2011 until 2017, Thomas was a grape grower only, then in 2017, Thomas decided to take a small portion of his grape production to create his own wine brand; A decision that was always part of his long-range plans. Starting in 2018, Thomas stopped selling his grapes to third party wineries and now he takes 100% of his production for his own brand. Currently, Thomas makes four different pinot noir wines, where three wines are produced from 100% estate fruit and the fourth wine has a mix of non-estate fruit. Starting with the 2020 vintage, Thomas added a Chardonnay wine offering, which he sources from quality vineyards in Anderson Valley and recently, Thomas has planted a parcel of estate chardonnay.In his short time as a vintner, Thomas’ wines consistently score 90+ points by several major wine magazines and has won multiple Platinum and Gold medals from major International Wine Competitions. His 2017 Anderson Valley Reserve Pinot Noir was chosen as the Wine of the Year at the 2021 Monterey International Wine Competition and his 2018 Anderson Valley Reserve Pinot Noir was awarded the John Parducci Award and Best Red Wine Mendocino County at the 2021 Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition.

Pouring:
Thomas T Thomas Vineyards, T Anderson Valley Chardonnay, 2020
Thomas T Thomas Vineyards, T Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2020
Thomas T Thomas Vineyards, Estate Grown Pinot Noir, 2020
Thomas T Thomas Vineyards, Reserve Pinot Noir, 2018 (VIP)

Rickey Trombetta, mother and owner, grew up in Sonoma County. Her family home was filled with the comforting smells of home cooking and the welcoming sounds of frequent company. Wine almost always made an appearance, solidifying bonds and instilling in Rickey a nascent love for winemaking.Rickey and her husband Roger tried their hands at home winemaking in the mid 1980s.Throughout their journey from hobby to professional winemakers, Rickey's and Roger’s children played in the vineyards, helped with harvests, and gained an appreciation for the honest work of winemaking.Erica Stancliff, Rickey’s daughter, has always had a natural curiosity for wine. Her mother instilled in her an appreciation for lovingly-grown food. That respect naturally flowed into wine. At age 10, Erica’s discerning palette was discovered by Paul Hobbs during a family dinner. Erica vividly described the intricate flavors of a merlot as mimicking those of her mother’s blackberry cobbler.She followed her blossoming interest in wine to the California State University Fresno’s enology program, to the vineyards of Viña Cobos in Argentina, and back to Napa Valley at Rudd Estate.After learning the ins and outs of the industry at Enartis Vinquiry, Erica joined the family team as winemaker in 2014. She continues to give back to and grow the wine community through her consulting services.The mother-daughter duo’s love for the region and dedication to their craft extends into the larger community. Joining forces with a number of winemakers and growers in the southern Sonoma region, Rickey and Erica set out to distinguish the Petaluma Gap AVA in 2017. Strong, cold winds from the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean dominate the region. Vineyards in the Petaluma Gap AVA produce fruit that create wines that are full-bodied and delightfully fruity, well worthy of distinction.

Pouring:
Chardonnay Gap's Crown Vineyard Petaluma Gap, 2018
Chardonnay Petersen Vineyard Sonoma Coast, 2019
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, 2018
Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast, 2014

Since 2005, proprietor and winemaker Justin Willett has been crafting wines of nuance and delicacy from Santa Barbara County. A native son of Santa Barbara, Justin’s journey as a winemaker is a remarkable story, having grown Tyler Winery to become a globally recognized brand with wines gracing restaurant lists and cellars worldwide.Justin is also the winemaker and founding partner of Lieu Dit, a brand he established in 2011 that focuses specifically on varieties indigenous to the Loire Valley, now grown in Santa Barbara County. In the past, he has partnered with Etienne de Montille of Domaine de Montille in Burgundy and Rodolphe Peters of Champagne Pierre Peters to establish Racines in the Santa Rita Hills.More recently, Justin has partnered with friends in the acquisition of the beloved Fiddlestix Vineyard, giving Tyler two estate vineyards and the ability to celebrate the nuances of the Santa Rita Hills region and its two corridors.

Pouring:
Mae Estate Blanc de Noirs, Sta. Rita Hills, 2020
Mae Estate Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, 2022
Fiddlestix Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, 2022
Mae Estate 'CP' Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, 2021

Nestled beyond a ridgeline towering 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, Wayfarer Vineyard is an oasis in a remote landscape of redwood forests and winding mountain roads. Wayfarer Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay hail from this organically farmed vineyard in Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast’s most dramatic appellation.VintnerJayson Pahlmeyer purchased Wayfarer in 1998 after being introduced to it by winemaker Helen Turley. Renowned vineyard developer David Abreu designed the vineyard as 30 one-acre blocks, each dedicated to an individual clone. The vineyard was completed in 2002 but it wasn’t until ten years later that Cleo Pahlmeyer, Jayson’s daughter, introduced the first Wayfarer estate wines. She continues to lead the winery today.

Pouring:
Wayfarer, Chardonnay 'The Estate', Fort Ross-Seaview, CA, 2021
Wayfarer, Pinot Noir 'The Estate', Fort Ross-Seaview, CA, 2021
Wayfarer, Pinot Noir 'The Traveler', Fort Ross-Seaview, CA, 2013

For 21 years Westwood has been focused on crafting wines that reflect the unique location of the Annadel Gap Vineyard, positioned in the northernmost tip of the Sonoma Valley. In recognition of this special site, we sought to enhance its natural potential, and after years of dedication and determination, we were awarded biodynamic and organic certification. Guided by our world-class winemaking and viticulture team, our goal is to delight consumers with the most authentic expressions of their environment. We are stewards of our vineyard and abide these practices to sustain the land and maximize flavor development.

Pouring:
Westwood Founder's Reserve Pinot Noir Annadel Gap Vineyard Sonoma Valley, 2021
Westwood Founder's Reserve Chardonnay Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard Sonoma Coast, 2022
Westwood Legend Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2021
Westwood Legend Proprietary Red Sonoma County, 2021

Wren Hop is the tale of limited production, single vineyard wines from select cool weather sites in Sonoma County. We use organic practices, specific clonal selections and detailed cluster sorting to create wines of power and opulence.

Pouring:
Chardonnay, Paper Heart, Green Acres Vineyard Sonoma Coast, 2022
Pinot Noir, Shoulder Devi, Wren Hop Vineyards Sonoma Coast, 2021
Pinot Noir, Night Light, Wren Hop Vineyards Russian River Valley, 2019

Like most good stories, the history of Williams Selyem owes much to serendipity. If a grower with an abundance of fruit hadn’t given Burt Williams a few tons of free grapes in the 1970s, Burt might never have discovered his love and flair for winemaking. And if Burt and his partner Ed Selyem had been able to afford the French Burgundies they both favored, they might never have tried making their own Pinot Noir.The two friends didn’t set out to produce wines for anyone but themselves. And they surely never imagined that their humble experiment in home winemaking would spawn a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Together, Burt and Ed set a new standard for American-made Pinot Noir, and elevated Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley to among the best wine growing regions in the world.

Pouring:
Williams Selyem, Drake Estate Chardonnay, 2022
Williams Selyem, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2022
Williams Selyem, Terra de Promissio Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2022

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About

IAN BLACKBURN

I discovered the wine industry while working with Chef’s Thomas Keller and Joachim Splichal in the top dining rooms of Los Angeles. My passion redirected my career from restaurants/hotels to vineyards and wine-education. Now with over 25-years of experience hosting events; leading trips around the wine world; I published a wine book; produced my own wine called Beekeeper Cellars and sat for the difficult Master of Wine Exam! Today, I am considered one of the region's best wine educators and work for my 20,000 followers (follow me), visiting vineyards and wine regions and produce over 100 wine classes and events a year for my businesses and my team. 

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