In this episode, you’ll meet Jennifer Brown of BACA, which is a brand of Napa Valley’s Hall Family. They are more or less based in three counties, they source from a good number of appellations across California, and they have two other brands that we’ll touch upon, but we’ll focus on Jennifer’s BACA Wines.
BACA only produces Zinfandel, which I found interesting knowing that Jennifer’s family has gained notoriety for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Jennifer and I met in 2020 at the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers Zinfandel Experience Grand Tasting event and she told me she loved to skip through the Zinfandel vineyards as a child. Zinfandel? Hearing that from a Hall family member struck me with enough curiosity I wanted to hear the full story of how she ended up focusing on Zinfandel instead of the other varieties her family is well-known to produce. Today, you will get to hear that story.
We recorded the interview on BABA’s outdoor lounge sofas.
Just off the outdoor patio area is a Zinfandel vineyard…and a tractor.
The BACA tasting bar. There are more chairs and tables as well.
It’s a desire of the Hall family to include compelling, stunning artwork on all their properties indoors and out. Here’s some of what you’ll see at BACA just west of Healdsburg.
As you’ll hear in the interview BACA offers a playful atmosphere including their own board game which is part of their BACA Sensory Experience.
https://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Jennifer-Baca-copy.png4691386Jeff Davishttps://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Podcast-Logo-for-website-copy.pngJeff Davis2023-10-11 09:48:232023-10-16 08:46:50Jennifer Brown of BACA
Both wineries featured in this podcast, Mersenne Wines and Capo Creek Ranch, pay tribute to musicians. Mersenne created a wine label for a British Indie-Pop band, and Capo Creek has named a vineyard after a beloved singer, guitarist. That’s one aspect of each winery you’ll appreciate as I get in-depth with their stories of overcoming obstacles.
Mitch Rice of Mersenne Prime Artisan Wines entrance into the industry wasn’t too complicated. He had experience as a home winemaker before taking the leap as a winery owner. Though his beginnings were less challenging, delicate maneuvering was needed to “secure” his partner. As it turned out, their brand features a love story that is wrapped in historical lore…which I greatly respect.
However, if you buy a vineyard there are many more hurdles. Sisters Mary and Nadine Roy of Capo Creek Ranch did purchase land and it took several years to get their footing. They’re strumming along now and offer a wine and food pairing that is par excellence! It was quite an unexpected chapter following their lives as owners of a medical practice in Chicago, when one day an unsolicited pamphlet arrived in the mail that completely changed their life’s direction…eventually.
Join me for these tales of persistence by Mersenne Wines and Capo Creek Ranch, as heard On The Wine Road…
2020 North Coast Wine Challenge Best of the Best 98 pt. score!
2015 “SO45” Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon produced in collaboration with the British Indie-Pop band “Scars on 45”. Click the image to learn about them.
Capo Creek Ranch
Social distancing with Nadine and Mary Roy
All of their varietals feature familiar curves of an acoustic guitar. This is one of our favorites, the 2018 Open Mic Grenache Red Blend
The filling and delicious Ultimate Food and Wine Pairing overlooking Dry Creek Valley
What we enjoyed that day. Incredible!
There’s plenty of space at Capo Creek Ranch
The Triple Berry Galette with Chantilly Cream. They are not skimpy portions
https://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Mersenne_Capo-website-2.png12413000Jeff Davishttps://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Podcast-Logo-for-website-copy.pngJeff Davis2021-04-11 09:46:322021-04-11 10:16:10Mersenne Wines & Capo Creek Ranch
On this podcast I feature Seghesio Family Vineyards & Shadowbox Cellars. Winemaker Andy Robinson and Sonoma County’s Seghesio Family Vineyards are celebrating 125 years of grape growing this year. Seghesio is one of the few that made it through Prohibition and continue to this day.
In comparison, owner Justin Preiser’s Shadowbox Cellars is in its infancy at 11 years of winemaking. His fairly new tasting room in downtown Napa was the first wine entity granted an outdoor space, the parklet, during this covid era.
Seghesio Family Vineyards and Shadowbox Cellars are producing outstanding wines and offer enjoyable experiences. Justin’s Salt and Acid Pairing is nearly one-of-a-kind, utilizing a gourmet food item paired with his aged wine. To hear more details about the Salt and Acid Pairing you’ll just have to listen to the podcast. I’ll tell you this, it was surprisingly tasty.
Hit play to join us under the ancient trees in Healdsburg, and streetside in Napa.
I’ve known these guys at Kokomo Winery over five years now. Winemaker Erik Miller was on my first show back in October of 2013. Winegrape grower Randy Peters was kind enough to by my guest every other month a couple years ago when I presented a feature called From Bud to Bottle. And as you’ll hear, my wife and I belong to their wine club.
When I heard they achieved a perfect 100 point score in the North Coast Wine Challenge, I was thrilled for them. Like a friend would be. Sure, it’s not quite the same as receiving 100 points from some international wine critic but when you consider the wineries entering are from six of the most respected wine regions in California, well that’s sayin’ something.
By the way, I knew that wine was special the first time I tasted it, before the award. I remember the moment. It’s sublime. A true representation of the nectar of the gods. Here’s your chance to find out how they did it.
Randy Peters (left), Erik Miller (right)
The winning 2016 Pinot Noir
The Kokomo Winery Tasting Room at Timbercrest Farms, Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg, CA
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I’ve been seeing Breathless Sparkling Wines around more and more lately. They’ve been winning awards, and I hear people say it’s their favorite bottle of bubbles. It was time to find out more about this burgeoning winery. The three sisters who share ownership and responsibilities pursued the endeavor inspired by their mother’s zest for life. I enjoyed a tasting and interview with Sharon, and admitted to her that I prefer still wines over sparkling. The one they have now captured my heart…the silky, lightly sweet Ratafia. Like liquid gold. Speaking of which, they’ve already picked up 10 Gold medals in 2018, four of which were Double Golds. To that I say “Cheers!”
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(Garagiste – A French term used to describe a garage-based winemaking operation. Once seen as a negative, garagiste wineries are now treated with cult-like status.) Ben Papapietro was a garasite in San Francisco. His desire to get into the wine business found him living in his van in a vineyard for months at a time. Some how he managed to keep his newspaper job during his decades-long venture. Along with friend and partner Bruce they managed reached success in Sonoma County with Papapietro Perry Winery. Ben shares his tale with me in this podcast.
https://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Ben-Papapietro-bottle.jpg720582Jeff Davishttps://onthewineroad.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Podcast-Logo-for-website-copy.pngJeff Davis2017-07-28 09:30:482017-07-28 09:30:48Ben of Papapietro Perry Winery
Susie Selby has been a winemaker in Sonoma County for 23 years now but following the loss of her father, who happened to be her partner, she was nearly talked out of pursuing the venture. Facing an uphill battle she chose to forge ahead. Along the way the community has supported her and Selby wine has been served at White House functions more than any other winery in the country. Without a road map she’s found success. As you’ll hear she has maintained her sense of humor and humbleness. Join us for our conversation in Healdsburg on the edge of Dry Creek Valley.
This is the second of three harvest I’ll be participating in this season. This time I join winemaker Ashley Herzberg of Amista Vineyards as they pick Syrah for sparkling wine in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County. You’ll learn how picking for sparkling differs from still wine. After harvest we head to the crush facility for the second segment where you’ll hear how the juice gets it’s red color. It’s a specifically timed process. Tag along with me, won’t you?
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Winemaker Clay Mauritson is part of a six generation winegrowing family, however he’s the first to try his hand at winemaking. His experience in the vineyard has led him to an enlightening project that shows how much the soil has an impact on the flavor and mouthfeel of the wine. In this case he bottled Cabernet Sauvignon grown and managed identically in three different vineyards to express the variances the loam soil can impart on the finished product. Each are uniquely fantastic. In this segment you’ll learn about his Loam Wines project and a bit of the Mauritson Wines family history.
Shelly is the fourth generation Rafanelli winemaker. After considering a career of her own she returned to Dry Creek Valley. Now with her sister Stacy and husband Craig they continue to improve the wine and carry on the family tradition that began over 110 years ago.