Tag Archive for: Sonoma

Why did I decide to travel to Ram’s Gate Winery to do a story on how winemakers and owners choose a wine barrel? In my 11 years in and around the wine industry, people have often asked me about barrels, yet related to the surface details, like whether a winery uses French oak, or 100% new oak, how many months does the wine age in oak, etcetera. Well, there are so many other details involved with barrel selection and how they can be used, it will make your head spin!

So, if your head hasn’t been spun in a while, listen in to my conversation with Joe Nielsen. He’s as smart as he is chill, which allows him to easily change hats from the positions of general manager to winemaker, often several times a day at the south Sonoma winery. Before I get into the barrel discussion, I’ll ask him about a topic that’s new to me, pressure bombs. It’s a technique they use as a means to keep an eye on the health and needs of the vineyard. Yet, as it turns out, the method is not nearly as intense as the name suggests. No explosions occur at Ram’s Gate Winery.

Ram's Gate Winery

Joe with Assistant Winemaker Rachel Bordes

A couple of the wines we discussed

Ram's Gate Winery

The 2019 Grenache Syrah, Cellar Note

Ram's Gate Winery

The 2021 Pinot Blanc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see the extensive selection of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay among other varietals visit
RamsGateWinery.com/Acquire

In my mind and according to my palate, they’re all exceptional

 

 

This podcast offers something a little different. Yes, I do talk about wine – Italian and French varietals, but tasty cuisine as well.

The settings for VJB Cellars and The Girl and the Fig Restaurant are entirely different, yet each offer extraordinary experiences. My guests are Italian immigrant Vittorio Belmonte and Sonoma chef & restaurant owner Sondra Bernstein. Their wine and culinary businesses are successful but both started from humble beginnings. Needless to say, that provides a compelling story.

 

 

Cappuccino with Vittorio & a Chat with Sondra of Girl and the Fig

On today’s podcast Nancy Light, the Vice President of Communications at the Wine Institute rings me up to discuss the fact that September is California Wine Month. There are over 70 events occurring throughout the state. We touch upon many in the Sonoma, Napa regions as well as a few in other appellations. You just might be inspired to plan a trip around one of the events. I’m parking the car and picking up the phone for this On The Wine Road Podcast.

For a list of events visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com

 

California Wine Month

Nancy Light of the Wine Institute

California Wine Month

This is one of our favorite events of the year. The wine has been voted the top in surrounding North Bay counties and the chefs who attend are among the most popular. We’ll be there and hope to see you too!  For details click here.  For tickets, click here.

north coast wine and food

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

 

This was only the second time I’ve featured just one guest on my radio show since it began in 2014. Today you’ll meet the Godfather of Zinfandel, Joel Peterson. You may not recognize his name but Joel has been bottling and promoting Zinfandel since he started his brand in 1976, Ravenswood Winery. It’s likely you’ve heard of that name. They bottle other varietals and are well known for their slogan, No Wimpy Wines. Now he’s back at the beginning with his new brand, Once & Future. It’s a fascinating story he shares on today’s podcast.

 

joel peterson

You know, one wine country’s best-kept secrets are the smaller, boutique wineries who, more often than not, make stellar hand-crafted wine. Without cruising around Northern California in person you wouldn’t know of most of them. This podcast features one, Paul Mathew Vineyards. Winemaker Mat Gustafson and his wife Barb make a great team, and if you happen to be in Sonoma County they offer fantastic food and wine pairing dinners. The road Mat traveled in becoming a winemaker was long and took many turns, most in the right direction. I think you’ll enjoy his story. Heck, it might even give you hope while you pursue your dream.

 

 

Paul Mathew Vineyards

Paul Mathew Vineyards

 

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.