Originally published on Wine Blog ~ Juicy Tales from Jo Diaz:
KEYNOTE SPEAKER ~ Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier, Full Circle Wine Consultant ~ Why Evan Believes in Petite Sirah
Evan Goldstein, MS, is one of the nation’s most prolific food and wine industry veterans. His food and wine career started at age 19 in the kitchens of the Restaurant Le Saintongeais and the Hotel Lancaster in Paris, Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, and Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley, California. In 1984, he joined his mother chef and author Joyce Goldstein in opening the celebrated San Francisco restaurant Square One, where as sommelier his wine lists received a myriad of awards. In 1987, he became the eighth American, and youngest ever at the time, to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier examination. Since 1990, Evan has created education programs, wine training and service hospitality schools with Seagram Chateau & Estates Wines Company, Diageo, Allied Domecq, and most recently, as the Vice President of Global Wine & Brand Education at Beam Wine Estates. In addition, Evan continues to train and examine candidates for the Court of Master Sommeliers as a Founding Board member.
Evan is the author of Five Star Service: Your Guide to Hospitality Excellence (On Premise Communications Inc. publishers) and the critically acclaimed book, Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food and Daring Pairings ( both published by University of California Press). In addition, Goldstein co-authored numerous books with his mother Joyce Goldstein, including Wine and Food Pairing in the Williams Sonoma Lifestyles series, and many others.
Evan is a regular editorial contributor to America’s Santé magazine, a contributing editor for Wine & Dine and Indulgence magazines in Singapore, is the American wine correspondent for Wine Review, South Korea’s leading wine and food magazine, and is a recurring guest wine expert on NBC’s syndicated television show “In Wine Country.” He also makes regular guest appearances on the top-rated “Ronn Owens’ Show” on KGO Radio, and on Saturday morning television’s KPIX “Eyewitness News,” both in San Francisco.
STATE OF GRAPE ~ John Concannon, Fourth Generation Vintner at Concannon Vineyard~ 100 Years of Petite and Going Strong
John Concannon, fourth generation vintner of Concannon Vineyard, grew up in the same house that his great-grandfather, James Concannon, built on the soil of Concannon Vineyard in 1883. Even though wine was in John’s blood, he felt the need to achieve a level of success on his own terms after he finished college at California State University, Chico. “Like my great-grandfather who found success in the rubber stamp business, and my grandfather who had a distinguished career and undying love for military service, I felt compelled to establish my own name and reputation in an alternate field.” After graduation from college, John quickly moved into a sales career and built a solid reputation in sales management working for some of the nation’s top medical device manufacturers. Twenty-two years later, having distinguished himself in the medical field, John returned to represent the Concannon family legacy and help the winery bridge innovation with a storied past.
Working closely with his father Jim, John relies on his extensive business background to help shape Concannon’s commitment to preservation and growth. John was born and raised on the property and worked in every aspect of the winery, from the vineyards to the bottling line to the tasting room, before he even left for college. He is honored to represent his family, blending rich tradition with modern innovation and renewing the family’s commitment to crafting the finest wines possible. Of utmost importance to John in the contemporary wine context is environmental stewardship, and the preservation of Concannon’s rich heritage through sustainable vineyard practices, green technology and community leadership.
VITICULTURE ~ David Coffaro, David Coffaro Estate Vineyard ~ Crafting Petite from a Heritage Vineyard in Dry Creek Vineyard
Dave was buying French Bordeaux in the 70s while he was an investor in the stock market. He knew his time in the world of finance was going to be limited, so when he bought a 20 (or so) acre vineyard in 1979, it made sense to start making wine. His admits that his learning experience is mostly trial and error; but he has never been afraid to ask questions of his winemaking buddies who are Davis grads. Julia at Lambert Bridge Winery was his biggest source of information and she kept him out of trouble. There are also two wine labwho inch provide a great source of knowledge. Dave did take two wine courses, including one on the spoilage of wine.
At first, he was selling his fruit to the Gallos, while David was also a home winemaker, which he enjoyed with family and friends with fruit that was left over from harvest.
By 1994, David began to wonder, as many growers do, how good his fruit was and how good a wine he could make if simply keep all of his grapes and not sell them. He didn’t focus on single varieties; instead, he became a blender of the varieties that grew best in Dry Creek Valley, using Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Carignan as his main components. He took the plunge, started a commercial winery, and has become a top selling cult winery/winemaker. Only producing about 5,000 cases a year, David sells most of his wine through a unique Futures Program. He’s considered a cult favorite among California wineries, by a vast majority of consumers.
On the cutting edge of not only viticulture, but also with his Internet use, David began his wine diary on September 2, 1998, and is considered by many to be the first real wine blogger on the Internet. The Coffaro Vineyards provides weather data from a station located approximately 100 feet from their, offices just to the eastern edge of the vineyards, and data is uploaded to this website every 15 minutes.
ENOLOGY ~ David Mounts, Mounts Family Winery ~ Third Generation Wine Grape Growing Family Successfully Takes on Wine Making, Too
David Mounts spent his life growing up in the vineyards, while working with his father Richard. After graduating in 1998 from Fresno State University with a degree in Viticulture, he went on to work in the vineyard industry. He spent his first six years with Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, developing his vineyard skills and learning quality through sacrifice. David then moved on to manage multiple vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley, where he refined his vineyard practices to grow the highest level of quality for very high end wineries. This gave him exposure to fine wine winemaking practices. With a developing palate for high quality wines, David wanted to apply what he’d learned over the years to his own family’s vineyard. The outside experience gave David the confidence and desire to showcase the grapes and vineyards he knew so well, through the expression of wine.
David’s love for wine and passion for growing high quality wine grapes have driven his determination to preserve and sustain the family’s estate. These are the critical factors that have led to his natural transition of producing his family’s wines. In 2005, David, with the help of his wife Lana and David’s parents, launched Mounts Family Winery. They harvested their first vintage with only 500 cases of wine. Today, they’re producing 3,000 cases of wine annually, while Mounts Vineyards sells approximately 85 percent of their fruit to local wineries throughout Sonoma County and Napa Valley.
ENOLOGY ~ Nils Venge of Saddleback Cellars ~ Creating a “Cult” Petite That Rocks
Nils Venge began his wine career in 1970, when he was a vineyard supervisor in charge of planting operations at Charles Krug Winery. By 1972, he was hired as co-vineyard manager in charge of 400 acres at Sterling Vineyards. Only one year later, Nils took over operations at Villa Mount Eden as general manager and inception winemaker. He made two Cabernet Sauvignons, the 1974 and 1978, which not only put Villa Mount Eden on the map, but also are still talked about today.
By 1976, Nils and his father-in-law purchased the property now known as Saddleback Cellars. By 1982 Nils produces his first label Saddleback Cellars to be released in 1983. Also, from 1982 to 1993, Nils moved westward in Oakville as a minority partner with Dennis Groth and formed Groth Vineyard where he resumed a position of general manager and winemaker. Here is where his expertise as winemaker became known worldwide when Robert Parker, Jr., in 1988, gave the 1985 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve a perfect score – 100 points! The first ever given to a California wine. In 1993, it was time for Nils leaves Groth, so that he can focus on Saddleback Cellars and consult for other wineries. When Nils isn’t at Saddleback Cellars, you’ll find him at one of the many wineries he consults for sampling wines from barrels.
MARKETING ~ Joyce Goldstein, Consultant to Restaurants ~ Food & Wine Pairings for Petite Sirah
A consultant to the restaurant and food industries, Joyce Goldstein’s areas of expertise are recipe development, menu design, and staff training. She improves existing recipes, adds new ones to complement the menu, and works with culinary staff to refine flavors and execution.
For 12 years she was chef and owner of the ground-breaking Mediterranean restaurant Square One in San Francisco. Her menu presented the foods of Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa. Square One won numerous prestigious industry awards for food, wine, and service. She also ran the very successful Caffe Quadro, which served pizza and sandwiches next door to Square One. Prior to this, Joyce was chef of the Cafe at Chez Panisse for three years. She also served as visiting executive chef of the Wine Spectator Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley.
Joyce was founder and director of the California Street Cooking School, San Francisco’s first international cooking school and taught kitchen design for the University of California’s Department of Architecture. Joyce was elected to Who’s Who in Food in 1985. She was voted San Francisco Focus magazine’s Chef of the Year in 1992. She received the James Beard Award for Best Chef in California for 1993, and in 2005 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
Joyce is a prolific cookbook author. Many of her books have won industry awards. She also writes for many magazines such as Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, Wine & Spirits, and Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, and the Sommelier Journal. She currently contributes wine and food pairing columns for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Finally, Joyce is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, and serves on the Awards Committee for the James Beard Foundation.