william knuttel

William Knuttel Winery

William Knuttel, winemaker of William Knuttle Winery and partner in Ottimino Wines, Square Peg and other labels as well. (We thought we were featuring Ron Rubin Vineyards but Ron was a late scratch.) Bill has also just launched Knuttle Family with his son and daughter. He also recently started Square Peg Winery, with his partner, who needed his own brand and had Pinot Noir growing by his house near Occidental. Ottimino is a Zin from Sonoma […]


WineSong with Jamie Peters

Jamie Peters is today’s guest, here to talk about WineSong, which holds its 33rd annual fund raiser next August. We hear all about WineSong from Jamie and Dan, including food, wine, music all at the Mendocino botanical gardens. Then we taste a couple of Chards, a unique Zin and more. Wine Song is an annual event in Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens about 2 miles south of Ft. Bragg. September 8 and 9, Friday and Saturday. The […]


Trecini Winery & Foley Family Wines

Steve Jaxon welcomes Cathy Vicini from Trecini Winery, Robert Smith, master somellier at Foley Family Wines and Carina Sterzenbach, special events coordinator for Foley Sonoma. Along the way we hear what Steve and Dan thought of the movie Sideways. Steve asks Cathy about the Trecini name. The name comes from The three Vicini, which is their name, and there are three of them, so in Italian the name comes from “i tre Vicini.” Dan explains that […]

dan berger tom simoneau barry herbst

Dan Berger and Barry Herbst

Barry Herbst from Bottle Barn joins Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger this week. (Due to a schedule mixup, Trecini Wines will be on the show next week instead of this week.) First they taste the Yannick Rousseau Colombard, Dan says it is difficult to make it this good, the acid has to be high and has to be well balanced with the sugar. Dan says that in 1965 this was the most planted grape in the United […]

bob cabral

Bob Cabral Wines

Bob Cabral joins Steve Jaxon and co-host Dan Berger, along with Tom Simoneau and Barry Herbst, for today’s California Wine Country, including a toast to the first day of summer. Bob Cabral is currently winemaker at Three Sticks Winery but is here to taste and talk about the three wines that comprise the launch of his own new winery, Bob Cabral Wines. Tom Simoneau introduces Bob Cabral who is is introducing his first ever line of wines. […]

pine ridge vineyards

Michael Beaulac, Pine Ridge Vineyards

Michael Beaulac, Pine Ridge Vineyards winemaker, joins Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger on California Wine Country this week. Dan introduces Michael and tells how he has been making wine for a long time and Dan appreciates his style, which favors acidity. Steve asks Dan to explain the value of acidity. Dan says it’s so well integrated that you don’t taste acidity, but balance. It encourages salivation, which lets you taste food taste even more. Michael uses the term […]

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 Barwick, Paradise Ridge 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

Theresa Heredia of Gary Farrell Winery

Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger welcome Barry Herbst of Bottle Barn and this week’s special guest, Theresa Heredia, the winemaker at Gary Farrell Winery. Steve asks Theresa 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 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 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 […]