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 […]

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 […]