Results tagged “WineCountry.com Personality” from Wine

Wine Country Personality: Steven Emil Rogstad

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Submitted by Cuvaison Estate Wines

wcPersonality_CuvaisonRogstad_pic1.jpgIf a winemaker's personality could transcend into the wine he begets, Cuvaison wines would reflect something of a "passion-meets-hilarity" note. Winemaker Steven Rogstad is often grinning, as though teetering on the frontier between laughter and inspiration. Disposition aside, Cuvaison, is pleased to have Steve on board, as he consistently produces gracefully balanced, and structured wines.

Born in the cold reaches of North Dakota, Steve enjoyed a quiet adolescence with his family in the nearby small town of Minot. It was a sleepy town for a bright young man, and Rogstad dreamed of becoming like his childhood idol Jacques Cousteau; explorer, ecologist, filmmaker and all-around "ninja" of the 20th century. At the age of 17, and the day after high school graduation, Steve boarded the Empire Builder, and rode across the United States to the University of Washington in Seattle, where he pursued the course of study he loved; Literature and English.

Towards the end of his undergraduate experience, Steve had the opportunity to travel to Paris. Up until that time, he wasn't much of a drinker at all, and certainly didn't have a taste for fine wines. His apartment in Paris was located close to the Buci Marketplace and 6th arrondissement of Paris; hotbeds for culture, food and wine. The Parisian's way of incorporating wine into every facet of life is what really planted the winemaking "bug" in Steve.

Wine Country Personality: Jon Emmerich - Silverado Vineyards

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Jon Emmerich has always worked in the wine industry.  In 1985, Jon interned in the Cognac region in France.  After graduating from The University of California, Davis in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fermentation Science with an emphasis in Enology, he worked a harvest at Stags Leap Wine Cellars.  He then spent a year at Conn Creek Winery and Sebastiani Vineyards before joining Silverado Vineyards as a Lab Technician in 1990.  As it turns out, Jon's lessons took place not only in the classroom, but also in his dorm room. He and a dorm mate, whose family owned a small farm and winery in Lodi, decided to use some of the family fruit to make wine in their dorm room. It was a red lend and, at that point, Jon realized that if he could make decent wine in a dorm room, then he could make really good wine out in the world.

Wine Country Personality: Steve MacRostie

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steve.jpgSteve MacRostie of MacRostie Vineyards

Since beginning his winemaking career almost 35 years ago, Steve MacRostie has developed a reputation as one of California's most respected veteran winemakers. At the same time he has helped to pioneer the use of fruit from both Carneros and the Sonoma Coast. As the founder and original winemaker for MacRostie Winery and Vineyards, Steve has earned wide acclaim for crafting balanced wines, with an emphasis on Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

A native Californian, Steve was born in Pasadena and raised in Sacramento. In the process of preparing for medical school, he earned a degree in biology from Washington's Whitman College in 1968. Following his time at Whitman, Steve served in the U.S. Army, which trained him as a cryptographer and deployed him to Vicenza in the Veneto region of Italy. While in Europe, Steve took advantage of the opportunity to travel to France, Germany and Spain. European wines were an epiphany for him - far surpassing the few American wines he had tasted - and he quickly fell in love with wine, and the idea of winemaking.

WineCountry.com Personality - Kathy Glass

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wcPersonalityPlatypusKathyGlass.jpgA Northern California Favorite with a Southern Accent

When you think of all the best things about the South, gentle conversation, gracious living, and good food come to mind. Nothing is hurried and everything is savored.

That southern tradition adds an extra element to Wine County exploration when you meet Kathy Glass, of Platypus Tours. She imbues the California past time of wine tasting and winery tours with a little southern accent. When you hear the soft lilt of her Alabama upbringing; you know that hospitality and home cooking will be as much a part of your experience as will talking about terroir and grape varietals.

Kathy's first big career was in the financial sector in New York. While Kathy loved her life in the city, 18 years later she traded in her panty hose and pumps for jeans with a taint of vineyard dust and sneakers. She met and married her husband Don and together they started Platypus Tours, a wine tours company, in 2004. Don, who was always in the food and wine industry, found a bus on eBay that was located in St. Louis. He purchased that bus and drove it back to Napa to begin offering specialized tours to meet growing demand. 

Wine Country Personality: Steve Noble Ledson

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wcPersonality_LedsonWinery_SteveNoble.jpgSteve Ledson has always taken pride in doing a good job. While still a young child, he helped his father on the family farm and learned the business like any other proud, hard-working Sonoma County resident...by getting his hands dirty. Early on in life, Steve knew he was destined to dream in details, he achieved success right out of high school by starting a residential development business but soon yearned for something more. After being instilled with the importance of carrying on traditions; Steve Noble Ledson adopted his father's passion for growing grapes--as well as his grandfather's and great-grandfathers before him--and decided to start a winery of his own.

Steve started by planting 17 acres of Merlot in the heart of Sonoma Valley on property on which he hoped to build his dream home surrounded by vineyards just off of Highway 12. In 1993 when his Merlot was ready for its first harvest, Steve had started to build his 16,000 square foot dream home complete in Gothic style, reminiscent of a French castle in Normandy. However, when cars kept pulling into the driveway to look at more than just the vineyards, Steve realized his fantasy home may be better suited as a showpiece perfect for housing tasting rooms, lavish gatherings, and picturesque views.

Wine Country Personality: Winemaker Bill Anderson

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wcPersonalityChateauJulien.jpgThe Chateau Julien team has included Winemaker Bill Anderson since the Wine Estate opened in 1982. After studying enology at UC Davis, Bill joined Chateau Julien Proprietors Bob & Patty Brower with release of the first vintage of Chateau Julien wine - 1982 Merlot & Chardonnay.  Experience and consistency over the years highlight the essence of Chateau Julien wines. Today, over three-quarters of the winery's portfolio consists of its flagship Merlot and complementary Bordeaux varietals. Winemaker Bill Anderson has balanced the art of winemaking and a commitment to quality with each of the nearly thirty Chateau Julien vintages produced since 1982.

Bill's passion for the winemaking process began at the early age of eleven. Bill was fascinated by early childhood stories of his father making wine with friends during the prohibition period. One fall afternoon at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bill eagerly set out to experiment with the fermentation process using apricots from their newly acquired family orchard.  He found an old porcelain 10-gallon crock in the garage, gathered apricots from the backyard and started mixing sugar, apricots and small packages of Fleishman's yeast. While the results tasted awful, the initial aroma of fermenting fruit never left his memory and ultimately led Bill to the study of enology twenty years later. 

His philosophy today continues to be as simple as the elegance he achieves in his wines. "Elegance is what I keep in mind in winemaking. Simple, straightforward, clean; the truth is evident without frivolity. If you have good grapes and treat them well, do all the details every day and let them do what they will naturally do, you will have a good product." 

Chateau Julien Wine Estate
8940 Carmel Valley Road
Carmel Valley, CA 93923
831.624.2600



CharbayPosterScan CroppedPostcard 4x6.jpgCharbay makes wines? Wines, Ports & a new Green Tea Aperitif. Miles is a 12th generation winemaker/master distiller from Yugoslavia. Trained in Europe as an Enologist & Viticulturist, it's what comes naturally to him and now to his son, Marko Karakasevic, too. Miles' life is a multi chaptered story with all that has happened since leaving his homeland. These days he lives beside his winery & distillery on top of Spring Mountain where he ferments, distills & bottles the unusual with the usual.

After he left his home, he studied in Geisenheim before heading to Canada where he was a chemist & a diver for Uniroyal. He was brought into America as an enologist to make wine in Michigan. There he met his wife, Susan, and they headed to California in 1970. He made wines & champagnes for United Vintners in Madera & Escalon California, (the company that owned Italian Swiss Colony). He fermented in one week as much wine as Napa Valley used to make in a year. Those were his big tank years.

Wine Country Personality: Remi Cohen

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personalityMerryvale.jpgMerryvale Vineyards - Vice President of Vineyard Operations


Remi Cohen has been a winegrower and vineyard manager in the Napa Valley since 2001. Remi oversees Merryvale Vineyard's grape growing operations, emphasizing wine quality, sustainable farming practices and green certification on their estate vineyards. 


Remi has worked closely with the Napa Green Farm Certification program and Fish Friendly Farming to develop environmentally friendly farming plans.  Sustainable practices include utilizing permanent cover crops for erosion control, utilizing compost to recycle nutrients, attracting beneficial insects through the use of insectaries, and adjusting canopy management practices to reduce disease pressure. 

Wine Country Personality: Chris Pisani - Winemaker

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personality_zdWines.jpgWhat do you get when you mix Brooklyn attitude with Napa style?  The answer is some great tasting wine.  Chris Pisani, Winemaker for ZD Wines, is a rare combination of east coast street smart and California cool.  Growing up in a big Italian family, Chris learned to appreciate the very things that make Napa so memorable: great food, wine and company.  This real-world education made him a perfect fit at ZD Wines where family is the cornerstone of the winery's values, and great wine and food fall close behind.

During his formative years, Chris studied chemistry in college while spending time with his now-wife, Ina, whose father happened to make wines out of their house in Newburgh, New York.  Chris watched, learned, experimented and soon he was hooked.  The seed was planted and before long, Chris and Ina were moving to California for a taste of life in the wine country.

Wine Country Personality: Eva Bertran

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Like Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Executive Vice President Eva Bertran is a dynamic blend of Spanish style, California charisma and Sonoma Carneros sparkling wine expertise. Part of the original team who helped to launch Gloria Ferrer, Bertran left her native Spain--where her own family was in the wine business--and settled in Sonoma 20 years ago. Since 1986, she has passionately promoted Gloria Ferrer wines, expertly leading diverse aspects of the business as enthusiastically as if it were her own family winery.

"There's a real Spanish sense of family here," explains Bertran of Gloria Ferrer's close-knit, collaborative team. "We pride ourselves on taking care of our employees." It's a tradition that began more than a century ago at Freixenet, which proudly employs people who are the third and even fourth generation of the same family to work for the sparkling wine house.

Wine Country Personality: Rodney Strong

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RStrongHIGHRES.jpgFifty years ago, Rodney Strong started a winery that would ultimately become his namesake Rodney Strong Vineyards, in the northern Sonoma County town of Healdsburg.  It didn't start out that way, first blending wines and selling them with his wife, Charlotte from their home next to the Tiburon yacht club.  Their first wine was actually labeled Tiburon Vintners.

They did move here, though, and Rod became a significant influence in Sonoma County's budding wine industry in the 1960s and 1970s.  It's a fact, as dancer in his younger years, attending the School of American Ballet in New York and traveling to France to dance at the Lido, that neither he or anyone else would have predicted.  When he arrived in the county, the name changed to Windsor Vineyards, then to Sonoma Vineyards and eventually to Rodney Strong Vineyards in 1982.  Along the way, Rod was one of the first to plant pinot noir in Russian River Valley, the first to produce and release a Chalk Hill chardonnay and the first make a single vineyard cabernet in Sonoma County from Alexander's Crown in Alexander Valley

Wine Country Personality: Wine for the Holidays with Kasha Buckley

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kashaBuckleyPic1.jpgby WineCountry.com Staff Member Kasha Buckley

For me, Christmas always brings to mind thoughts of laughter, beautiful lights, decorations, holiday treats, anticipation of presents. Of course, it is also during this holiday season that we spend the most time with special friends and endearing family members while enjoying our favorite bottle of wine.

One of my earliest Christmas memories goes back to the early 80s watching my family share in the festivities with wine glass in hand.  At the time, I was far too young to partake, but it made me joyful all the same for the simple fact that it was oh so fun refilling my mother's and grandparent's wine glasses. It meant playing with the spigot because yes, ladies and gentlemen, our wine came in a box.

I have not personally tasted wine from the box, so cannot in good conscience vouch one way or the other for the quality of that wine. However, whenever I've mentioned this beloved family tradition, folks tend to break out with a few snorts and snickers.  And if you seem to think that boxed wine is a wine faux pas, let me tell you about a few of mine. Does anyone remember wine coolers in the two liter bottle? I do, and my excuse - I was young.  Gradually I did move on to Bartles & James in the actual glass bottles and even dabbled with the peach flavored "wines" which were at least in real wine bottles.

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