alexander valley vineyards

Alexander Valley Vineyards

Today’s guest is Harry “Hank” Wetzel III, owner and general manager of Alexander Valley Vineyards. The interview contains Hank’s nice summary of malolactic fermentation in winemaking. Dan introduces Alexander Valley Vineyards as one of the iconic Sonoma County wineries. He remembers their first vintage, a 1975 Chardonnay, when Dan started writing about wine. Dan says he tasted the 1975 Chardonnay, loved it, fabulous wine. It was not made with malolactic fermentation so it had good acidity and […]

kunde and martin ray

Kunde Family Winery & Martin Ray Winery

Kunde Family Winery and Martin Ray Winery have both sent guests to today’s show. Jeff Kunde of Kunde Family Winery and Kate Noble of Martin Ray Winery join Steve Jaxon, Dan Berger and Barry Herbst on California Wine Country today. Dan introduces Jeff Kunde as one of the great Sonoma County growers, with a large property between Santa Rosa and Sonoma. They grow many different grape varieties. Jeff says they have 19 varietals. Dan also notes […]

pech merle

John Pepe of Pech Merle Winery

John Pepe, Pech Merle winery winemaker at, is this week’s guest, joining Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. The name Pech Merle is a name in Occitan, an old dialect of French. The R in Merle is silent. It translates to “the cave under the hill” in the Occitan language (pronounced “OC-si-tan”). It is a boutique family run winery. The first vintage was 2008. The founders were visiting Pech Merle in France and liked the name. They decided they […]

Dan Barvick, Paradise Ranch Winery

Dan Barwick, Paradise Ridge Winery’s winemaker is our guest this week, with Daedalus Howell sitting in for Steve Jaxon who is on vacation. Co-host Dan Berger is also in the studio. They taste a rosé, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Noir and a Zinfandel fro Paradise Ridge, and also a Frappato from Sicily. They start with a rosé tasting from Paradise Ridge Winery. Dan suggests Barry tell about how fast rosé wines are selling. Barry says […]

dan berger competition

Dan Berger International Wine Competition

Today was the Dan Berger International Wine Competition and our panel has just come from the final round. Ellen Landis, certified wine judge; http://www.ellenonwine.com/ Tom Silverkleit, editor and publisher of Wine House Press in Sonoma, whose best selling books have been featured in major media. http://www.californiafinewineries.com/ Tom Simoneau, longtime friend of the show and a frequent guest. They and Dan all just came back from Dan Berger’s annual wine competition and they brought all 5 sweepstakes bottles plus […]

smith madrone winery

Stu Smith, Smith-Madrone Wines

Stu Smith, co-founder of Smith-Madrone winery, joins Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger this week. Steve Jaxon opens the show quoting the old Joe E. Lewis joke, which was also used by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.” Stu tells all about starting the winery forty years ago before wine took off and when […]

gary farrell

Teresa Heredia of Gary Farrell Winery

Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger welcome Barry Herbst of Bottle Barn and this week’s special guest, Teresa Heredia, the winemaker at Gary Farrell Winery. Steve asks Teresa Heredia to tell how she became a winemaker. She says she grew up in Pittsburgh, California, which was not a wine producing region when she grew up. She went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and studied microbiology. She was accepted to grad school at UC Davis, where she […]

jordan

Jordan Winery

Tom Simoneau is in this week, with co-host Dan Berger. Tom introduces the guests from Jordan Winery, Ed Jordan, Rob Davis who for 40 years has been the only winemaker Jordan has ever had. Lisa Madsen is also there and John Jordan joins the group later. Rob started in 1976, just after graduating from UC Davis. He tells the story of how Tom and Sally Jordan founded the winery in 1972, and signed the deed for […]

Greg La Follette

Steve Jaxon, co-host Dan Berger, Barry Herbst and guest Greg La Follette talk about Greg’s wines. Along the way, Dan Berger remembers André Tchelistcheff, “the godfather of American wine,” and the black wine glasses appear for a mystery tasting. Dan introduces Greg Follette as, “…one of the great winemakers of America.” Steve asks Greg to introduce Alquimista, which means alchemist in Spanish. https://alquimistacellars.com/ Greg tells how he was fortunate to encounter the great André Tchelistcheff early […]

pedroncelli

Pedroncelli Wines

This week’s guests are Julie Pedroncelli St. John and Ed St. John from J Pedroncelli Wines, as well as Sajive, owner of Bottle Barn, and Barry Herbst, their wine buyer. The first tasting is a Rosé that Dan Berger brought in. It comes from Mount Beautiful, North Canterbury, in New Zealand. Dan says this region will become very well known in the next few years. He says this wine is “soft and sweet” and everyone enjoyed […]

eileen crane

Eileen Crane of Domaine Carneros

This show includes Sonoma County Wine Guy Tom Simoneau who joins Barry Herbst from Bottle Barn, Steve Jaxon and co-host Dan Berger with today’s guest, Eileen Crane from Domaine Carneros. First we taste a brand new Beujolais that Dan brought, then we hear Eileen Crane tell about being hired thirty years ago to build and open Domaine Carneros and how it became one of the most famous and important wineries in the world. Right away they […]

dry creek vineyard

Dry Creek Vineyard’s Tim Bell

Today’s guest is Tim Bell, winemaker at Dry Creek Vineyard. First we taste a very interesting Rosé from Bonny Doon Vineyards in Santa Cruz, then Steve and Dan talk to Tim Bell about Dry Creek Vineyards as they celebrate their 45th anniversary, with tastings of their Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, a Zinfandel and a blended red. Dan Berger opens with a tasting of “A Proper Pink” which is a rosé produced by Randall Graham, owner and […]

winesmith

Clark Smith, WineSmith

Steve Jaxon welcomes Clark Smith of WineSmith to the show today. Also in studio are co-host Dan Berger, Barry Herbst of Bottle Barn and Steve Ausburne from Thumbprint Cellars. Clark Smith is a winemaker who has also taught Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry at UC Davis for many years. Dan Berger introduces him as one of the most inventive and creative winemakers on the scene today. “He has a brilliant history as a winemaker and a lot […]