Mark Aselstine
August 8, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

Not to be missed at Family Winemakers

In our last blog entry we mentioned that Family Winemakers of California has another tasting event in San Francisco coming up shortly. We thought a few of our readers might be interested in a couple of wineries that we’re looking forward to meeting and tasting with at the event. While some of our old favorites will be there including Audelssa, B Cellars, Carter, Demetria, Dranonette, Keenan, Pisoni (easily the most fun table in the place most years), Pride, Round Pond, Siduri, Sojourn and a few others….we wanted to mention three names which previously haven’t appeared at the event in this space.

Figge Cellars: A small production Pinot Noir house in Monterey, Figge is probably the first winery we’ve ever seen to proudly proclaim that they are neither Napa Valley, nor Sonoma County. Instead they grow their grapes in the cooler still environment of Monterey. Frankly, we appreciate a winery that simply says they aren’t mass marketed. Neither are we and the focus on authencity is something which makes us very interested in meeting the people behind Figge.

Patland Estate: We can certainly appreciate the thought that when you visit Napa Valley that it is easy to imagine yourself living the wine country lifestyle and making wine as well. We certainly did the same thing before starting Uncorked Ventures although I personally think the life isn’t quite as glamorous as many people make it out to be (winemakers spend as much time driving fork lifts as they do actually blending wine). All that being said the opportunity to taste and visit an owner/winemaker pouring the wine himself or herself is among the biggest thrills any avid wine drinker can have. We appreciate that the family has spared literally no expense by buying Cabernet Sauvignon from the famed Stagecoach Vineyard.

Von Holt Wines: If there ever was a unique story behind a winery, this might be it. We’ve seen plenty of Bay Area locals grow up to own vineyards after working in the wine industry for a while, or even making a fortune in high tech, but we’ve never seen a winery owned by a former secret service agent before. We’re sure that the attention to detail and selfless nature of the Secret Service lends itself well to owning a winery, albeit in a much less stressful environment. More than anything else we’re looking forward to trying another creation which counts Ed Kurtzman among its employees. Ed is easily one of the foremost winemakers of cool climate Pinot Noir in Sonoma County and his projects always offer something distinctive. As with any great winemaker, their assistant winemakers often pick up much of their experience and expertise and we’re excited to try our first bottle made by John Fones.


Henry Patland's Gravatar
Henry Patland
@ Aug 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM
Thank you for the kind words, we hope to see you at Family Winemakers event and next time in Napa!


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