don chigazola

Don Chigazola & Loris Traverso

Don Chigazola is back on California Wine Country this week, with more wines from Italy and with one of his suppliers, Loris Traverso. First, Don Chigazola introduces his friend and collaborator from Italy, Loris Traverso, whose family owns a winery, Vigna Traverso, in Campo di Pietra, between Treviso and Venezia, in the Veneto. Loris is visiting Don Chigazola, who imports Traverso wines. Don Chigazola is based in Santa Rosa. He left the corporate world five years […]

steve macrostie

Steve MacRostie, MacRostie Winery & Vineyards

Steve MacRostie from MacRostie Vineyards is back this week on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Barry Herbst is back from a trip to Portugal to visit the Cork Producer’s consortium there. Steve MacRostie started at Hacienda Winery in the mid-1970s after studying at UC Davis. He was buying grapes and making wine from all over Sonoma County. He then started his own business, MacRostie Winery. It ended up being pretty successful. His […]

Nick Goldschmidt, New Zealand & More

Nick Goldschmidt of Goldschmidt Vineyards is back on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger today, to talk about New Zealand wines and more. Dan Berger notes that New Zealand has made a great impression in the wine world in just the last couple of years. Several new vineyards and wineries there are producing wine that is as good as the wine make anywhere, especially of certain varieties that grow very well there. Nick Goldschmidt […]

Fred Cline

Fred Cline, Cline Cellars & Jacuzzi Wines

Fred Cline from Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Wines is our guest today on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. They started out in Contra Costa County in Oakley, now they are in Sonoma County. Jacuzzi was opened in 2007. The two wineries are across the street from each other on Arnold Drive (Hwy 121) in Sonoma Co. Fred Cline did go to UC Davis to study winemaking but he has been making wine […]

albatross ridge

Garrett Bowlus, Albatross Ridge Winery

Today Tom Simoneau has brought the wine grower and winemaker from Albatross Ridge Winery in Carmel Valley, Garrett Bowlus. Dan Berger has just finished the Rosé competition at the Soda Rock Winery today. Barry Herbst is away, judging a wine competition. The Albatross Ridge Chardonnay was Tom’s Chardonnay of the Year last year. “When the right alchemy of soil, climate and grape clone come together, a wise winemaker gets out of the way, and the results evoke […]

james hall

James Hall, Patz and Hall

James Hall, a co-founder of Patz & Hall, is today’s guest on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Barry Herbst is away today working as a judge at the Press Democrat Wine Competition. Patz & Hall Wines Tasted with James Hall Today 2014 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2014 Two Dryers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Bootlegger’s Hill Pinot Noir James Hall is back on the show after a couple of […]

Ames Morison

Ames Morison, Medlock Ames Winery

Our guest is Ames Morison, one of the partners in Medlock Ames Winery, who is back on the show today after a six-year absence.  Mark Tchelistcheff, grand nephew of André, and filmmaker, was going to be in today. He couldn’t make it but he will call in later. Dan Berger and Barry Herbst are also in. André The Voice of Wine, is the title of Mark’s documentary film about his influential uncle André Tchelistcheff. It will be […]

Oded Shakked

Oded Shakked of Longboard Vineyards

Tom Simoneau presents Oded Shakked of Longboard Vineyards, today on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. They begin by tasting the sparkling wine, which is made with no dosage, so it is absolutely dry. It was Tom Simoneau’s Sparkling Wine of the Year for 2017. They can use the term Methode Champenois, without calling the wine “Champagne” which is a protected term of origin. Steve is not a huge sparkling wine fan but […]

kerry damskey

Kerry Damskey, Winemaker & Consultant

Kerry Damskey is today’s guest on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon, Dan Berger and Barry Herbst. Kerry Damskey is an influential winemaker and wine consultant, with clients in California and also in Israel, Costa Rica and India. He consults in “winemaking, strategic consulting and operational management for vineyards and wineries, worldwide.” Kerry describes growing up in the Bay Area in Berkeley and Los Altos, and thought he would go to Cal and become an anthropologist. […]


Franchetti’s Wood Fired Kitchen & Wines

Gesine and John Franchetti from Franchetti’s Wood Fire Kitchen are our guests on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Everyone has brought some wines to taste and for pairings with some of the food that they have brought from their restaurant. Dan explains that there is great food in Sonoma County, in an atmosphere that is not fancy but is more focussed on the quality and variety of food and pairings with great […]

john buechsenstein

John Buechsenstein, winemaker & author

John Buechsenstein is today’s guest on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. John is a winemaker and has taught about wine at UC Davis, as an adjunct professor in UC Davis Extension, since he was a graduate student there, 40 years ago. He has just published a new book called Wine and Place, A Terroir Reader and today’s show is a discussion of Terroir including tastings of four different wines chosen as examples […]

david ramey

David Ramey, Winemaker

The featured guest on California Wine Country today is David Ramey, who is the winemaker for Ramey Wine Cellars and Sidebar Cellars. Steve Jaxon begins by citing the timeline on the Ramey Wine Cellars website and David tells about how he started making wine in 1996. He and some friends who all had liberal arts degrees went back to UC Davis to study wine, then he worked abroad, in France and Australia, then at different wineries in […]

john pepe

John Pepe, Winemaker, Pech Merle Winery

John Pepe, winemaker at Pech Merle Winery, joins Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger in the studio today. Barry Herbst is also in. Bruce and Cheryl Lawton own the Pech Merle property and started the winery, and John Pepe is their winemaker. His story in wine begins as he is from an Italian family. Both grandfathers made wine at home. His paternal grandfather made wine at home in Cleveland and his mother’s family did the same thing […]

simi winery

Simi Winery and photographer George Rose

Simi Winery is the subject of today’s show, featuring their two winemakers, Susan Luker and Lisa Evich, with Tom Simoneau, Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Also in today are George Rose, wine photographer and Barry Herbst from Bottle Barn. Tom Simoneau’s Winery of the Year for 2017 is Simi Winery and Susan Luker and Lisa Evich, both winemakers at Simi Winery are in the studio today with Damy Tamburrino, their visitor’s center manager. Today’s Wines Tasted: Simi […]

byron kusoge

Byron Kosuge, Winemaker

Byron Kosuge, winemaker, is today’s guest on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Byron Kosuge is the winemaker at his own label, B Kosuge Wines, and he is or has been the winemaker at several other wineries in California and one in Chile. As the show opens, Steve asks Dan about his wine column this week, which is about Italian wine. Dan described the lesson of the article this way; no matter if […]

balletto vineyards

Balletto Vineyards

John Balletto and Anthony Beckman from Balletto Vineyards are back with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger on California Wine Country today. Dan says that their secret is controlling the source of fruit from every single grape all the way to the bottle, and the variety of types of wine they make. First they taste the 2015 Russian River Chardonnay, their flagship Chard. That year, you would get 2 tons per acre, the shortest year in about […]