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 […]

Personal Favorites and Competition Winners

Personal favorites and competition winners are at the center of this edition of California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Barry Herbst is also in for today’s show. Since everyone in the wine business is in Sacramento at the Unified Symposium today, which is an important meeting for the wine business, none of the usual winemakers and winery owners were available. Steve, Dan and Barry taste a Chardonnay, a Riesling, some Merlots and a […]

Clark Smith and Steve Ausburne

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. (This is a repeat podcast of a show recorded live on March 15, 2017, because California Wine Country was pre-empted this week due to NBA programming on the home radio station KSRO.) Clark Smith: and Steve Ausburne and Thumbprint Cellars: and Clark Smith is a winemaker who has […]

rebecca robinson

Rebecca Robinson from ZAP

Rebecca Robinson is today’s featured guest on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Rebecca is the Executive Director of ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers. ZAP will be holding ZIN EX, the Zinfandel Experience, in San Francisco, January 18-20 dedicated to Zinfandel. Robert Larsen is also back in the studio today. He spent many years at Robert Strong and now runs The Larsen Projekt. (He was last on California Wine Country in September of […]

dan berger and barry herbst

Dan Berger and Barry Herbst Favorites

Dan Berger and Barry Herbst join Steve Jaxon to talk about some of their personal favorite wines, on California Wine Country this week. (This show is slightly abbreviated due to time constraints from a Golden State Warriors’ NBA basketball game being broadcast live on KSRO this afternoon.) Recap of this week’s wines tasted: 2015 Chardonnay, Black Kite Cellars Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne Davis Family Vineyards 2015 Throne, Russian River Valley red blend J. Keverson […]

tom simoneau

Tom Simoneau’s Best of 2017

Tom Simoneau is a back for his traditional end-of-the-year show with his Wines of the Year and a phone interview with his winemaker of the year, Susan Lueker of Simi Winery. Tom Simoneau’s website Wine Country Live will have the listing of these wines, with information about each wine and winery, and about where they can be purchased. The shows gets an appropriate opening with the popping of a cork out of a bottle of sparkling […]

carol shelton

Carol Shelton, Winemaker

Carol Shelton joins Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger on California Wine Country today. For more information visit her website Dan Berger met Carol Shelton when she was making wines for Windsor Vineyards. They were winning gold medals in a lot of competitions but they were not widely known because they were not readily available at retail. So Dan wrote about how she was taking good fruit and making great wine. She explains how she spent 20 […]

ana diogo-draper

Ana Diogo-Draper of Artesa Winery

Ana Diogo-Draper of Artesa Winery joins Steve Jaxon, Dan Berger and Barry Herbst today. (There was no California Wine Country recorded on Dec. 7 due to a Golden State Warriors NBA game pre-empting programming on KSRO.) Ana Diogo-Draper started at Artesa in 2013, became head winemaker in 2015, and we have some 2015 wines to try today. The winery has been around for quite a while, Dan says the winery, which is located in the Carneros […]

siduri wines and lando wines

Siduri Wines and Lando Wines

Adam Lee from Siduri Wines and Sam Lando from Lando Wines join Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger today, Barry Herbst is also in the studio. Adam begins by telling how he and his wife started Siduri Wines in 1994 with $24,000 and produced 107 cases in their first year. They took a sample to a wine writer who liked the wine and got them some press. They grew the winery from there up to about 25,000 cases […]

Black Kite Cellars and Cartograph Wines

Black Kite Cellars and Cartograph Wines share the spotlight, as Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines and Jeff Gaffner from Black Kite Cellars join Steve Jaxon, Dan Berger and Barry Herbst on today’s show (which was recorded in March of 2017). Dan introduces his guests as masters of winemaking skill and balance and in particular, their acid levels are always in the range of food compatibility. This, for Dan, is the key to a good wine. He […]

Thanksgiving Wines

Thanksgiving wines are today’s subject, with Barry Herbst and Kate Noble, the events director at Martin Ray Winery.  Julie Combs from the Santa Rosa City Council, also stayed for California Wine Country after discussing local affairs in the previous segment. The first question was about possible fire damage to Bottle Barn and Barry says that they were threatened by the fires but in the end did not suffer any damage. Martin Ray winery suffered a little, […]

mayo family winery

Jeffery Mayo of Mayo Family Wines

Jeffery Mayo of Mayo Family Wines is our guest today. Tom Simoneau is in today while regular co-host Dan Berger is away. Asked to sketch the history of Mayo Family winery, Jeffery tells how his father planted the vineyard with the intention of selling Chardonnay grapes. He attended a party with a local winemaker who told him that rather than sell his grapes to end up in someone else’s blend, he could make his own wine in […]

cool climate wines

Cool Climate Wines, Tim McDonald & Rusty Eddy

Cool climate wines are the theme of today’s show, as Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger welcome Tim McDonald and Rusty Eddy of Wine Spoken Here PR, a public relations firm located in Napa, California specialized in the wine business. Today we will taste wines from two cool climate wineries that are represented by Rusty and Tim. The first is Qupé Winery, located in the Central Coast of California near Santa Barbara. Bob Lindquist of QUPÉ Winery was […]