Each year the Napa Valley Wine Library Association host an annual wine tasting which is attended by many of Napa Valley’s wineries. 2015 was their 53rd event yet you may not have heard about it. Listen and find out why. (It’s private but there’s a way you can get in!) Michaela Rodeno, a former Napa Valley CEO, now owner of Villa Ragazzi, is my guest.

In this episode we visit the highly awarded Navarro Vineyards, run by a couple of seasoned hippies, and the appealing Balo Vineyards. Winemaker Alex Crangle enlightened us on the winery’s efforts to be thoughtful stewards of the land.

 

lunch w ted and deborah  Interviewing Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn following a very nice lunch

Balo Vineyards Alex Crangle Chatting with Alex about Balo Vineyards

Travel with me to Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. You’ll learn the valley has a warmer climate to the west and a cooler climate to the east allowing for a wide range of wine varieties to be grown. In this first episode I visit Drew Family Cellars, Handley Cellars, and Husch Vineyards.

 

jason drew Winemaker Jason Drew

in the vineyard w mila Walking the mountaintop vineyard with Milla Handley

Husch Vineyards -aged wine The aged wine we tasted with Zac Robinson at Husch Vineyards

This legendary winemaker still holds the world record for the most money raised for one bottle of wine at auction. She talks about that experience, her family, and the many clients with whom she continues to work, which includes La Sirena Wines: Heidi Barrett’s Own Winery.

Heidi Barrett glass

For a unique viewpoint of Napa Valley (in more ways than one) take the drive to Smith-Madrone Winery perched high atop Spring Mountain. Stuart and Charlie Smith have been up there since the early 70s crafting wine the way they feel it should be made. Their style hasn’t always been in favor but as tastes have changed they’ve become fashionable again.

 

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A morning view of Napa Valley from Smith-Madrone before the fog had fully lifted.

Learn about this unique concept in the wine industry. They connect passionate wine enthusiasts with critically-acclaimed winemakers who produce small production, single vineyard wines specifically for this concept. Members can choose the winemakers and the amount of bottles they want to buy. I talk with founder Dave Trebilcock and vice president Matt Smith.

On occasion the wine road takes me to some unexpected places but I never would have guessed I’d end up in the pit garage at Sonoma Raceway. That’s where I met Larry Foyt. He’s the team director for Foyt Racing and with nephew A.J. Foyt IV they have created Foyt Family Wines. I also talk with managing partner Chris Perry about their fundraising for Anova Education.

 

Larry Foyt              Foyt Indy car

 

I was honored to have a chance to spend time with Peter Mondavi Jr. during Peter Sr.’s 100th birthday celebration. Hear the interview about this iconic Napa Valley family.

Dominic & Whitney-Windsor Lounge

On a corner in Old Downtown Windsor, in Sonoma County, is the Windsor Tasting Lounge and Old Redwood Brewing Company. A perfect location for friends who love both beer and wine. Meet Dominic and Aaron and learn what these two neighbors have to offer.

Kosta Browne is a luxury tier wine producer. Their reputation for flavorful, intense Pinot Noir and Chardonnay has created a multiple year wait to get on their allocation list. Hear about their background and philosophy from winemaker Michael Browne.

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.

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.

 

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These young ladies have plenty of restaurant and winery experience which led Colleen and Aubrey to open their own dream bar offering the best wine and beer California has to offer. To make it more intriguing they picked a spot in a corner alley in downtown Napa, similar to a great find in Paris.

CadetBeerandWineBar.com

 

Cadet Wine Bar2

 

 

 

Owner and visionary Dario Sattui shares the story of his desire to build an authentic 13th century Tuscan castle in Napa Valley. As he followed his passion sacrifices had to be made building this architectural wonder.

 

Castello di Amorosa hall Dario_Upper Loggia

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.

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Learn about the history of the Martinelli Winery, founded by 19 year old Italian immigrant Giuseppe Martinelli and his young wife, Luisa in the 1880s.

George and Regina Martinelli and their families are keeping the legacy alive with their wine making and historic tasting room in Russian River Valley.

Regina Martinelli                martinelli web 2

Martinelli-Tasting-Room

 

In this music related show you’ll hear my interview with two guys who were at Woodstock. Graham Nash was one of the first major acts to play the new City Winery venue in Napa. During the same week Rolling Stone photographer from the 60s, Baron Wolman, appeared at Markham Vineyards for his 40th Anniversary of Woodstock exhibition. I talk with Greg Strange about the exhibition, then Baron by phone prior to his arrival.

 

Baron Wolman

Owners Bruce and Cheryl Lawton have big plans for a wine cave. In the meantime they’re serving out of their tasting lounge at 21001 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville. Pech Merle may be small but with winemaker John Pepe they’re piling up the awards. I joined them under the oak cathedral to talk about their success.

Kerry is a sought after wine consultant in California, India, Israel and now Costa Rica. Join me as I talk with Kerry about his travels and experience while enjoying his wine, Palmeri.

 

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.