On this podcast you’ll meet Nate Belden of Belden Barns.

He grew up on a farm but spent a number of his adult years working in New York and San Francisco. After a while he felt the unrelenting tug of country life once again. Although his wife Lauren grew up in New York City, surprisingly, she had a similar dream of living a rural life. But grape growing and Belden Barns wine isn’t their only focus. They partnered with Jenny and Vince Trotter to offer Farmstead Goods. Visit their website here.

Hear how Nate and Lauren’s yearning for country life came true as we talk…in the barn.

 

Belden Barns

The set up in the milking barn.

Belden Barns

There’s a good story about the reason for the Poetry Room. Ask them if you ever see Nate or Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belden Barns

Their vineyard atop magical Sonoma Mountain

 

This dynamic event offers an extraordinary immersive opportunity for wine enthusiasts to taste incomparable wines, visit acclaimed vineyards, meet passionate vintners and growers, and experience the welcoming community spirit of the Sonoma Valley wine region. Top vintners and growers include Hanzell Vineyards, Ram’s Gate Winery, Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, and many more.

I focused on Signature Sonoma Valley on my radio show that aired 3/24/18. The audio is below. I interviewed winemaker Joel Peterson, best known as the co-founder of Ravenswood Winery, and Steve Sangiacomo from the longtime wine growing family in Sonoma Valley who are just about to launch Sangiacomo Wines. You can get their perspective on the weekend and maybe I’ll see  you there Friday, April 6th – Sunday the 8th  Click here for more details and tickets for Signature Sonoma Valley.

 

Signature Sonoma Valley Signature Sonoma Valley

After nearly three decades in Germany promoting her family’s business, Claudia Schug has returned to Northern California to work with her siblings at Schug Carneros Estate Winery. Although Schug is not a household name, German immigrant Walter Schug played an important roll in the growth of Napa and Sonoma’s wine industry. It’s an interesting story Claudia shares about how her father made his way to America for good with his new wife in tow and the few belongings they had all crammed into a VW bug. It’s a tale of the American Dream coming to life for this immigrant family.

 

vw

The new Schug immigrants crossing America.

 

W & G

Walter and Gertrud

 

pond

The lilly pond. A favorite home for frogs and ducks.

view

The beautiful view from the winery.

 

 

South of the town of Sonoma, in the southern end of Sonoma Valley, is a wide open plain with farmland, vineyards, and the flat and wetlands of San Pablo Bay. Nestled back against the tip of the Sonoma Mountains, in the midst of unexpected lush surroundings, is Cline Cellars. It’s a favorite wine and destination for many across the U.S. For 15 years the director of winemaking, Charlie Tsegeletos, has been crafting a great number of wines back behind that oasis, which also includes the Italian varietals for Cline’s other property, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Fortunately for him, the winery sits across the street. Both are enjoyable to visit but are individually unique properties. I reached out to Charlie during a busy harvest but he managed to carve out some time for me.

cline Cellars

The lush surroundings at Cline Cellars

Cline Carp

The descendants of America’s first carp

 

National Rosé Day was June 10th and to mark that occasion I interviewed 3 winemakers who craft distinctive versions of refreshing pink wine. I traveled from Napa Valley (Stewart Cellars) to Sonoma County (Taft Street Winery) and hit Glen Ellen in between (Laurel Glen Vineyard). This is the season for Rosé and over the last few years that style of wine has been getting quite interesting as winemakers search for creative ways to produce it. That’s what you’ll hear on this podcast. So find a warm spot in the sun with a chilled glass of Rosé and let’s get started. Cheers!

 

National Rosé Day

Blair Guthrie of Stewart Cellars

 

National Rosé Day

Mike Martini of Taft Street Winery

 

National Rosé Day

Randall Watkins of Laurel Glen Vineyard

Michael Sebastiani of Highway 12 Winery has been in the vineyards since he was ten, if not younger. In his 20s he began working with Paul Giusto at Viansa Sonoma. While there they hatched the idea of starting their own brand. Highway 12 passes through the iconic vineyards of Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, Los Carneros and Napa Valley. No better name could capture the essence of the wine they wanted to offer. In this podcast you’ll hear what it takes to start and operate a winery as they speak candidly about the challenges and their ultimate success with Highway 12, Carneros Highway and The Highwayman. It’s time to travel On The Wine Road.

 

A Legendary Wine Experience

From the heights of Moon Mountain to the windswept hills of Carneros, Signature Sonoma Valley is an exclusive, two-day immersion into the incomparable wines, acclaimed vineyards and welcoming community of Sonoma Valley. This is the inaugural event and one you will never forget. To learn more click the image below.

 

You’re invited to join me on a foggy morning in May as I meet winemaker and viticulturist Tom Meadowcroft. We walk through the Louvau Vineyard in Russian River Valley, Sonoma County. We discuss bloom, his winemaking process and those he respects. In this intimate conversation you’ll feel you’re standing and walking along side of us.

The Meadowcroft tasting room is in Cornerstone Plaza south of the town of Sonoma. I really enjoy his Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and the other wines he crafts.

 

 

tom-meadowcroft-tom

You don’t meet many Scotsmen in Northern California. There aren’t many Scottish winemakers in the U.S., especially those who focus almost exclusively on Syrah but Steve Law of MacLaren Wine embodies all of those characteristics. He’s doing it well having been lauded by Sonoma Magazine and Wine and Spirits magazine. This inspired me to join him in his tasting room after hours to learn about his passion and wine making.

 

Steve Law-MacLaren

Earlier this year I finally had a chance to meet with winemaker Morgan Twain Peterson of Bedrock Wine Co. Over the last few years he’s been making some of the best wine in the world according to Wine Spectator. Learn about his past, the family vineyard and his wine making style.

 

In the two weeks following the 2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair I featured several Best of Class Winners on my show. Here are two of them. Joe Benziger of Imagery Estate Winery likes to make the lesser grown varietals, especially those from Northern Italy. Diane Wilson of Wilson Artisan Wineries seems to win the most awards each year. I’ve been wanting to talk with her for a while now. We finally hooked up.

 

Joe Benziger_BarDiane Wilson

I talk with Jeff Kunde about their century old family history in Sonoma Valley. From mountain top tastings to underground caves there’s much to see at the Kunde Family Estate.

Meet Joe Benziger who left the Benziger Family Winery to make his own small production, hand crafted wine at Imagery Estate Winery. Joe loves producing the lesser grown varieties, many from the Northern Italy region. Join me on his outdoor patio in Sonoma Valley as we talk about his passion.

ImageryEstateWinery_joe

Join me as I walk the vineyard with Peter Mathis. He followed his dream of planting a grenache vineyard. It’s only 7 and half acres but his day job helps pay the bills. That means he works 7 days a week to explore his passion. As the awards indicate, it’s a worthy effort.