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Winery Profiles

If you've ever been to a Napa Winery, you know that seeing the grapes on the vine and getting to know the story of the winery really goes a long way to coloring your appreciation for what's in the glass. While we love to write off our wine tours as a business expense, we recognize that this isn't possible for the Average Joe. So for you, we have these teeny-tiny winery profiles on your little blinking screen. Hey, don't complain- we are open until 10PM every day but Sunday and work most holidays. It's not all fast cars and easy women.
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    The Alamos winemaking philosophy is to produce flavorful, approachable wines that preserve each varietal’s distinctive aroma, flavor and texture. Yields are kept low and all the vineyards are hand harvested. The wines receive moderate oak aging from a mixture of both French and American oak, depending on varietal and vintage.

    Talented winemaker Felipe Stahlschmidt is committed to producing "Malbecs that are rich, exuberant and full of character."">
    Alamos Winery

    In 2005, with the announcement of Bob & Lily’s retirement, Lisa and Les bought out the Hitchcocks' share of their Spring Mountain winery, leading to the formation of Behrens Family Winery. The name Erna Schein on the label is a dedication to Les’ mother, a woman who was near and dear to all who knew her. Her home was a place of hospitality and friendship, a feeling that we try to replicate here at the winery. She was also a fantastic baker, taking after her mother who was a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef. It is Erna’s original vintage Kitchen Aid pictured on our label. It reminds us that food and wine is our favorite way to create and maintain friendships."">
    Behrens Family Winery

    The family interest in vine cultivation began during the constant search for the best vineyards from which to buy the grapes necessary for wine making. The next step, naturally, was to acquire some of the same vineyards for the family business- and the one after that, to specialise in the Nebbiolo grape and the grand wines made from it.

    That Bruno Giacosa is a perfectionist is obvious from the meticulousness with which he applies his craft. This is the story of his wines."">
    Bruno Giacosa

    From the beginning, the goal of the two brothers was to create a state-of-the-art winery combined with the most advanced science in the vineyards for the production of premium wines.

    Together with the Mariani family, Ezio Rivella, one of Italy's foremost enologists, who understood that due to the richness of the soils and the privileged microclimatic position, the property would have great capacity of development.

    In those years, the brothers, John and Harry, also purchased Bruzzone, a historic winery in Piedmont. Founded in 1860 and specialized in the production of sparkling wines, today is known as Banfi Piemonte."">
    Castello Banfi

    The Donnafugata adventure began in the Rallo family’s historic cellars in Marsala in 1983 and at its Contessa Entellina vineyards in the heart of western Sicily. In 1989, Donnafugata arrived on the island of Pantelleria, commencing its production of naturally sweet wines."">
    Castello Di Donnafugata Wines

    The passion for wine, which has been passed down from generation to generation, has now brought together 120 wine-growers who run 160 hectares of vineyards in a dignified, sustainable manner. 80% of the vineyards are on Kientzheim and Kaysersberg's best slopes.

    The winery is the heir to a tradition that has gone on since 1955 and has invested in efficient production equipment for its cellars to produce an average of 11,000 hectolitres of wine a year (1.5 million bottles), 15% of which are Grands Crus, proud ambassadors of Alsace's gastronomic tradition.

    The winery owes much of its qualitative development to the variety and splendour of the terroirs in the Kaysersberg Valley, where the soils vary between limestone, the softness of clay and the power of silica.

    With 3 well-known Named Places and 4 Grands Crus, including Schlossberg, the 1st "Grand Cru" born in Alsace in 1975 and Kaefferkopf, the last-born in 2007, the winery makes spiritual, authentic, distinctive wines for the pleasure of Epicureans"">
    Cave Kientzheim-keyersberg Wines

    The main job of the wine press is to get juice, or fermented wine, from the grape skins and pulp. For white wines, this happens before fermentation (so the more delicate whites do not pick up any colour or phenolics from the skins) and for the reds, after fermentation, so that the action of the ferment and the alcohol has extracted the good tannins and flavour profiles from the skins.

    Basket pressing all of our wines makes for a very labour-intensive exercise, but the quality of results justifies this for us. The pressing action is very controlled and is extremely gentle. We have also used our collective imaginations here in coming up with a way to make basket pressing oxygen free, thereby preventing oxidation in our whites. This is achieved by using a big plastic bag and some dry ice, which encases the whole basket.

    d’Arenberg is unique in that it is the only winery in Australia to use this age-old basket press method for white wines as well as reds. Chester believes that one of the advantages of basket pressing is cleaner juice, as it is partially filtered through the mass of pulp it drains through in the basket. This saves time in settling and clearing the juice, and brings the procedure much closer to how we like things- minimal interference which enables us to preserve quality. All our wines feature the foot trod/basket pressed logo as a 'badge of honour' for the hard work that goes into producing our wonderful wines.

    There have been jokes that maybe a cellar hand would get the logo branded on his enlarged calf muscles after a long vintage of foot treading!"">
    D'arenberg Wines

    Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dave worked for the B&O Railroad for several years but quickly realized that his true calling was in the wine industry. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery.

    Upon his arrival, Dave began taking winemaking classes at UC Davis as a graduate student. On the weekends, he spent time looking at vineyard land from Monterey to Mendocino. It was during one of those weekend trips that fate drew Dave to the Dry Creek Valley. When he saw an old prune orchard across the street from the Dry Creek General Store, Dave realized that he had found his dream location. He purchased the orchard and began planting vines. Captivated by his memories of Loire-style wines, Sauvignon Blanc seemed destined to figure prominently in the Dry Creek Vineyard portfolio. However, several famed vineyard specialists advised him against planting Sauvignon Blanc. Always looking to push the envelope, Dave planted the varietal anyway and the rest is history.

    Today, our second-generation family owned winery continues to evolve and grow to meet the demands of a global wine marketplace. The primary mission of our winery is to produce distinctive wines that overdeliver on quality. For more than 40 years, this pursuit of winemaking excellence has led to many international awards and accolades. "">
    Dry Creek Vineyard

    It was the lure of winemaking that tempted Bernard Ehlers to buy a small, dying vineyard in the late 1800s and embark on a quest to create the winery that continues to bear his name. He replanted his newly-acquired 10-acre vineyard, established the olive grove that still thrives today and in 1886 completed construction of the stone barn that is now our beautiful winery building and tasting room. His original Bale Mill Winery continued to operate long after his death, run by his wife until the 1920s and then by successive new owners who took advantage of its prime location and unique terroir.

    A century later, another husband and wife team discovered the lure of this idyllic spot in the heart of the Napa Valley. French entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jean and Sylviane Leducq saw the potential for this region to produce wines with the power, balance and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottlings they knew and loved. Over several decades they patiently built a contiguous wine estate- common for French chateaux but increasingly rare in California.

    With the help of renowned enologist, Jacques Boissenot, they gradually acquired individual local vineyards as they came up for sale and replanted with the most suitable clones and rootstock. By the turn of the century they had created the 42-acre estate we farm today, with Bernard Ehlers’ original stone barn and vineyard at its heart and the Ehlers name once again poised to grace wine labels. The 21st Century began with the release of the very first vintage from the Leducq’s new Ehlers Estate.

    Developing the winery had become a passion project for Jean and Sylviane, one they shared long after the sale of their other successful businesses in Europe. Their legacy remains in safe hands today under the leadership of our current winemaker, Kevin Morrisey, who was favored by Sylviane because he shares the same passion for creating sophisticated wines with an old-world charm that capture the character and heritage of our land.

    Ehlers Estate continues a proud tradition of farming with experienced vineyard and cellar teams that share a non-interventionist winemaking philosophy firmly rooted in the belief that terroir defines a wine, but passion, patience and hard work are needed to ensure that it is fully expressed in the bottle.

    Our organic and biodynamic vineyard practices leave a minimal footprint on the land and give us maximum flavor in the grapes. Taking advantage of the robust Estate ecosystem and carefully-chosen rootstocks, our vineyard crew coaxes the vines to fully express the numerous soil types and microclimates found on the estate. Once the grapes are harvested, the cellar crew knows when to be hands on and when to let nature takes its course as the wines ferment, develop and age.

    We strive to be responsible stewards of our land and continue the legacy of Bernard and Anne Ehlers, and Jean and Sylviane Leducq, who saw the potential that today you can taste in every bottle of Ehlers Estate wine.

    100% of the proceeds from the sale of our wines go directly to the Leducq Foundation. Jean and Sylviane Leducq created this foundation in 1996 to support international cardiovascular research, and Ehlers Estate is an asset of the trust."">
    Ehlers Estate

    Dedicated to producing world class Pinot Noir available across all price points, Erath offers three distinct styles of Pinot Noir. The Oregon Pinot is designed to highlight the varietal’s best characteristics, the Estate Selection Pinot Noir highlights the vintage’s best vineyard sites, and the single-vineyard Pinots showcase the distinctive characteristics of their respective growing sites. The winery also produces cool-climate Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc."">
    Erath Winery

    In a unique land in between two regions rich in history, culture and winemaking traditions, the favorable climatic conditions have created the natural environment to cultivate our passion: producing great wines.

    With a bold and essential design, Vitiano represents the modern image of Umbria: a family of innovative wines in taste and packaging, for those who love drinking well every day."">
    Falesco Wines

    Fat Cat: Something like that. You see, our winemaker (John Allbaugh) was a natural born jazz fan. As a young boy, he loved it all. Satchmo, Duke, and Bird. Dizzy, Miles, and Ella. Brubeck, Hancock, and Marsalis. But sadly, Little Johnny was no musician. He tried the piano and couldn’t make it go. And when Johnny blew the sax, nothing good happened.

    You: But Mr. Allbaugh made music with grapes?

    Fat Cat: That’s right. It turns out that what John couldn’t say with a horn, he could swing with the vines. Think of Fat Cat Cellars as an enological expression of a bebop idea. A celebration of soulful vibrations, spontaneous scenes, and good eats. A dialogue between your taste buds and your ear drums.

    You: There’s that Fat Cat dialogue thing I’ve heard about.

    Fat Cat: Most definitely. Fat Cat is all about the dialogue. Wine, music. Music, food. Food, friends. Good friends, good times. It’s simple and complex at the same time. Like a great jazz riff. A ballad in a glass, you dig?"">
    Fat Cat Cellars

    In 1989, after many information-gathering trips to Napa and Sonoma, Walt and Joan purchased 321 acres, including a ridge top, high above the Pacific Ocean on the northern Sonoma Coast. With the same determination they drew on to build their successful nursery business; the Flowers proceeded with the dream of producing their favorite cool-climate varietals in a place they believed uniquely suited to growing them.

    Today, Flowers Winery produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from its two estate properties, Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard and Sea View Ridge Vineyard, as well as select vineyards in the coolest regions of the Sonoma Coast AVA, which are farmed to Flowers’ specifications by their own crews."">
    Flowers Vineyard & Winery

    With an almost fanatical attention to every single barrel of wine, Girard employs classic winemaking techniques:

    -All of the fruit is hand sorted. -Red wines are cold soaked prior to fermentation. -Indigenous yeasts are used for the Chardonnay and each of the red wines. -All wines are aged in 100% French oak, except the Zinfandel and Petite Syrah which see 75% French and 25% American oak. The Sauvignon Blanc is all stainless steel fermented and does not undergo malolactic fermentation."">
    Girard Winery

    Bill’s tireless passion for winemaking and all things Monterey led to Monterey’s designation as a American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1984, literally putting Monterey on the winemaking map.

    Today, Jekel is known for crafting exquisitely distinctive varietals from Riesling and Chardonnay to Cabernet and Pinot Noir."">
    Jekel Vineyards

    Bursting with ripe, juicy flavors in the varietal wines you know and love- from Chardonnay to Merlot to Moscato and beyond-Jellybean wines offer a mouthwatering kaleidoscope of rich flavor experiences. Taste them all, choose your favorite and share them with friends. Jellybean Wines- the start of a great party."">
    Jellybean Wines

    In 2005, I was in the wine cellar with a friend who was also a 3rd generation Sonoma grape grower. We were tinkering around with a new wine that we sourced from some rugged, volcanic vineyards in the Red Hills of Lake County California. We were reminiscing about our fathers, and it reminded me of how my Dad used to tinker around the garage, rebuilding old stock cars with his friends. That rich, approachable wine that we tried back then defines the style and quality that we try to replicate in each vintage. Wines that are bold and expressive, but unassuming and approachable. Funny how it reminds me of someone. My Dad’s name was Joseph, as is mine, but his friends just called him Josh."">
    Josh Cellars

    These two paths that led him to start Joto Sake started in 1986 when he had his first job in the food and beverage industry. That Summer, he worked as a prep cook and bus boy at the Liberty Cafe. In the Fall, when he entered Carleton College, he started studying Japanese. For years, both during and after college, Henry kept studying Japanese and working in restaurants.

    Henry fell in love with sake after visiting Sakagura restaurant in New York City in 2001. From that point on, he visited Sakagura, bought sake at retail, started taking tasting notes and began developing the business plan for Joto Sake.

    In late 2004, Henry left his job as International Marketing Director for Belvedere and Chopin Vodkas and incorporated Joto Sake in early 2005. By August, 2005, Joto received its first container and started selling in the U.S."">
    Joto Sake

    Abandoned after having being used to build the royal castles of the Loire, the quarry was brought back to life by Alcide, who transformed it into magnificent winemaking cellars. It became a network of 15 km of hygienic and solid underground galleries, the constant temperature of which is always about 12°C, with a hygrometry perfectly suited to the production and the conservation of wine.

    At the beginning of this century, Justin-Marcel Monmousseau, the nephew and successor of Alcide, discovered great similarities between the terroirs and grape varieties of the vineyards of Champagne and those of Touraine. Within less than 5 years, he entered "The Fine Sparkling Wine Market" and became internationally renowned."">
    Justin Monmousseau

    As a family-run business, we can put the long-term interests of future generations above short-term financial gains. Our success will be measured by generations of family, rather than by numbers on quarterly reports. We can't just be thinking about today, or tomorrow, or this quarter, or this year. We have to take the long view—100, 200 years—and think of future generations and the environment in which they'll live.

    There are some special places where you just want to be, to live. And among those places are the coastal maritime, cool hills and mountains of the California coast. I’m at peace and spiritually satisfied when I'm in the mountains and hills and benches of California—the very places where the best grapes thrive. The land gives us what we need. It gives us our shelter, our food, our clean air—all of the things we need, except for one: family."">
    Kendall Jackson Wines

    The wines are focused on capturing a level of quality not often found at this price point. A reserve Pinot Noir, along with two single vineyard Pinot Noirs are offered to showcase the fact that terroir representation does not need to come at a price. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or having an intimate evening in, these wines will be sure to enhance any moment."">
    Kudos Wine

    Naturally, our winemaking team seeks to express the essence of the terroir in our wines, capturing the unique personality and flavor profile of the vineyards. Elizabeth Grant-Douglas infuses our winemaking regime with a highly personal touch that combines the best of traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques with a contemporary California style."">
    La Crema Winery

    Perfect for everyday moments, yet equally worthy of an occasion, Lindeman’s immensely popular wines are approachable and accessible, with an unfailing record of consistent quality and timeless appeal.

    From wines for everyday embodied by the iconic Bins Series, to innovations such as the Lindeman’s Early Harvest and the regionally distinct wines of Coonawarra and Hunter Valley, Lindeman’s epitomises a positive outlook.

    The brightness and vitality that comes from 1000 hours of sunshine in every drop of Lindeman’s is worth sharing. Lindeman’s wines are made to be opened, enjoyed with generosity and inspire connection with friends and family, whether it’s unwinding at the end of a busy day, taking a moment to appreciate the small things or simply looking on the bright side of life."">
    Lindeman's Wine

    Today SakéOne is one of six saké brewing facilities in America and the only saké brewery in Oregon. Additionally, SakéOne imports some of the finest Japanese made saké and distributes them throughout the American market. It is important to SakéOne that the U.S. is educated about the saké world and wants to squash the assumptions that saké is a beverage that must be consumed warm. The saké produced at SakéOne is to be served chilled, much like a white wine, and simply enjoyed in a wine glass. To learn more about the art of saké, come to the Kura for a tour and afterwards head to the tasting room to enjoy some premium saké."">
    Sake One

    After the drink, there was the bar. The cocktail immediately spread in popularity at the city's finest coffee houses, which was the term for drinking establishments during the mid-1800s. However, the cocktail is most strongly associated with the wildly popular Sazerac Coffee House located on Exchange Alley. In 1850, the owner Sewell Taylor institutionalized the drink at his coffee house by using only Sazerac de Forge et Fils brandy, which he imported and sold exclusively. The Sazerac cocktail received its name from this coffee house, where it was most often imbibed.

    From the bar, a company was born. In 1869, Thomas H. Handy purchased the Sazerac Coffeehouse and began to acquire and market brands of liquor. He bought out the rights to Peychaud's Bitters in 1873. In the 1890s his company began to bottle and market the Sazerac cocktail, now made with rye whiskey instead of brandy. In addition, the company operated the Sazerac Bar on Royal Street. Later, Handy's former secretary, C. J. O'Reilly, chartered the Sazerac Company. Ever since (except for a stint as a delicatessen and grocery vendor during Prohibition), the Sazerac Company has distilled an ever-increasing line of fine spirits. Today, we are still an independent, American family owned company and proud owners of many of America's most venerable distilling companies - Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, Glenmore Distillery, Barton, Fleischmann, Medley and Mr. Boston."">
    Sazerac Company

    When the Bolsheviks took over, the distilleries were shut down and P.A.’s son Vladimir was chased out of town with pitchforks and also dinner forks, since the whole thing happened suddenly and not everyone had a pitchfork with them.

    Vladimir Smirnov was able to flee to Constantinople and then eventually settle in France where he sold vodka under the name “Smirnoff.” Now safely disguised by a new name and a slightly offensive fake French accent, Vladimir revived the brand.

    Lots of other interesting stuff happened. Vladimir married a model and sang in a band and grew a series of beards, but probably the best thing he did was bring a triple distilled, 10 times filtered, award winning, cola-improving, martini-making vodka to the world. For former czars and current stars. For vodka connoisseurs and people who just like vodka. For everybody."">
    Smirnoff

    Stellar sources organic grapes from a number of independent farms, which, together with the cellar, bottling and packaging plant make up a fair trade structure, the Stellar Winery Multi-Estate. Workers on the farms and in the winery, including seasonal workers, together own 26% of the enterprise through shares in the Stellar Winery Empowerment Trust."">
    Stellar Organic Winery

    It’s truly a lady’s best friend. And it’s fast becoming man’s best friend too."">
    Sweet Bitch Wines

    The story of Maui’s Winery is a great story of sustainability. In 1974, the winery in collaboration with Ulupalakua Ranch began growing grapes, remaining true to the area’s agricultural heritage. While waiting for the grapes to mature, they decided to develop a sparkling wine made from the plentiful pineapples on Maui. A scant amount of this wine was produced, but the public response to the wine was so positive that it was decided to pursue the endeavor of making a still pineapple wine. Three years later, Tedeschi Vineyards released a Maui Blanc pineapple wine from local fruit. In 1984, after years of labor and development, the first grape product was released: Maui Brut Sparkling. "

    From the beginning, the goal of the two brothers was to create a state-of-the-art winery combined with the most advanced science in the vineyards for the production of premium wines.

    Together with the Mariani family, Ezio Rivella, one of Italy's foremost enologists, who understood that due to the richness of the soils and the privileged microclimatic position, the property would have great capacity of development.

    In those years, the brothers, John and Harry, also purchased Bruzzone, a historic winery in Piedmont. Founded in 1860 and specialized in the production of sparkling wines, today is known as Banfi Piemonte."">
    Tedeschi Vineyards

    With a global portfolio of more than 40 world-class brands, the depth and breadth of the portfolio balances segment leaders with small, highly regarded brands considered to be jewels among their peers, as well as brands with strong growth potential."">
    Terlato Wines International

    The Wine Group’s corporate headquarters, located in Livermore, California, are set next to our flagship winery, Concannon Vineyard. The Wine Group markets its products in North America, Western Europe and Asia.

    The Wine Group’s vision is to thrive as the wine and spirits industry’s most admired organization while delighting consumers with unbeatable brand value and continuous innovation to consistently exceed their expectations.

    It is the mission of The Wine Group to drive long-term value creation with the speed, agility and entrepreneurial culture that has defined TWG since its inception. Also, to prosper as an independent, management-owned company and serve as an enduring example for business stewardship for all of TWG’s stakeholders…consumers, customers, employees, owners, society."">
    The Wine Group

    Trapiche represents “the richness of diversity” in Argentina. Throughout its history, it has understood like no other the strength of the viticulture in Argentina and has specialized in obtaining the best from every vineyard to create unique wines.

    This diversity is found in more than 1,000 hectares of its own vineyards and obtaining grapes from more than 200 independent producers in the best wine growing areas of Argentina.

    In its wide and diverse portfolio, Trapiche offers a wine for occasion and every palate. Quality, innovation and diversity have always been Trapiche’s fundamental drivers, the basis on which it stands and moves forward."">
    Trapiche Wines

    Throughout the 1960s Villa Maria was a one-man band, with George’s wife, Gail, supporting him in his venture. He made dry red and white wines, sourcing grapes from the greater Auckland regions. In the early 1970s he started to employ staff and the company began to expand rapidly.

    Today, Villa Maria employs more than 250 permanent staff and exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide."">
    Villa Maria Winery

    Soon afterwards, they brought clones of the classical varietals from Europe to replace those native species. Then, as their vineyards evolved and the high quality of their wines started to shine through, they began to ship their wines to the United States, Canada, Germany and Japan in 1940. This way, San Pedro was also one of the pioneering export companies in Chile."">
    Vina San Pedro Wines

    The new generation of Zonins has already taken its place next to President Gianni Zonin, bringing with it a wave of youthful dynamism and also experience gained on other continents.

    The company's heart is located in Gambellara, in the province of Vicenza, an oasis of verdant hills and well-ordered vineyards. Gambellara is the ancestral home of the Zonin family. It has been famous for viticulture since the 1300s, as testifies by Pier de'Crescenzi in his Trattato d'Agricultura (treatise on Agriculture).

    This history that has manifested itself in the vicissitudes, the hard work and the inspired decisions of a family whose name is inextricably linked to passion for the land, its vines and wine.

    In the historic headquarters of the Company, the Zonins began to produce wines on a small scale in the early 1800s. In the next century, "Commendatore" Domenico Zonin would initiate an aggressive marketing strategy. This dynamic man, born in 1899, lived to the venerable age of 101, technically spanning three centuries. His youthful spirit bore witness to dramatic transformations of a way of life that evolved into modern present day in which a seventh generation of the family runs the firm."">
    Zonin Wines
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