San Francisco Wine Week: November 2008 Archives

Cameron Hughes Wine

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lotserieswine.jpgSelling Lots for a Little
by Robert Farmer

Sometimes it's about the craft and sometimes it's about craftiness. For Cameron Hughes, making and selling wines has been about ample doses of both. Most people who peruse the wine aisles at Costco know the company. And it is his relationship with the big-box bulk retailer that really put Cameron Hughes and his eponymous wine company on the map.

SF Wine Week: Pam Simpson - Chase Cellars

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people_pam.jpgMaking Zinfandel with Deep Roots
by Robert Farmer

With a nod to the history of Napa Valley and an eye toward its history, S.E. Chase Cellars is one of a growing breed of nimble "boutiques" in the region making wine for an appreciative niche audience. The winery is founded by the great-great grandson of Sarah Esther Chase Bourn, who came to Napa Valley in the late 1800s in search of the therapeutic waters gushing from the ground in the valley's northern end. She stayed to tend the land, settling on the Madrona Estate, a ranch that would ultimately become a vineyard. Sarah's son grew grapes for wine in the first iteration of Napa's Wine Country and during that time built the imposing stone structure for wine production and storage that today houses the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena.
sfwineweek.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

In a city that's practically synonymous with fine food and wine, it seems only fitting that San Francisco should play host to a highly anticipated series of November wine events known collectively as SF Wine Week. And with a bevy of chic nightlife venues lined up and a who's-who of winery and industry sponsors clamoring to get behind it, the unprecedented week-long celebration of wine in the city seems primed to catapult San Francisco to still greater heights of vinous renown.

SF Wine Week: Sommelier Mark Bright

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By Courtney Cochran

markbright.jpgWhen I first met Mark Bright several years ago, I was struck by the way the twentysomething wine guru seemed wise beyond his years.  I suppose that's inevitable for someone who was named sommelier at the venerable Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas on his 21st birthday, then turned heads as a sommelier standout at lauded San Francisco restaurant Michael Mina.

Now a partner in the popular SoMa eatery and wine shop Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant, Chicago native Bright oversees the restaurant's wine program - an imaginative collection that includes edgy selections from his recent travels in China and Japan - and adjacent retail shop, as well as the wine program at partner eatery Oola.

SF Wine Week: Sommelier Cezar Kusik

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Wine Week Heralds New Beginning for Sommelier
By Courtney Cochran

cezarKusic_pic1.jpgIt took Cezar Kusik, erstwhile wine director for the recently shuttered Rubicon in San Francisco, three weeks to catalog, pack up and ship off what remained of the restaurant's widely renowned wine cellar this fall. Dubbed "beyond words" and "hands-down one of the best [lists] that I have ever seen" by standout Bay Area wine blogger Alder Yarrow , Rubicon's wine list was honed over the years by Master Sommelier Larry Stone, who himself encouraged Kusik's interest in wine not long after the aspiring writer landed a job as a bartender at the restaurant in 1997.