A few weeks ago a fellow blogger suggested we stop by and meet 5th generation winemaker, Ryan Kunde of DRNK Wines at his little winery, hidden off a dirt road in the Pinot Noir centric Russian River Valley. The wines were fantastic and the one on one tasting with Ryan in his winery cave is not to be missed. Read More Here. This is a young man with a famous wine surname who is about to make a big name for himself. Meet Ryan Kunde…
Alan’s story is featured in the new film An American Wine Story…Check it out!
Winemaker interview with Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines – We at Bacchus and Beery, are always on the lookout for stories of people who left successful careers (not millionaire investors) to start over in the wine industry. When asking around northern Sonoma, the name Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines came up over and over again. Alan walked away from career in Public Broadcasting with few prospects, a little wine knowledge and a lot of wine passion. We have now had the pleasure of getting to know Alan and his partner (in life and wine), Serena Lourie . Together they have recently opened a lovely new tasting room right off the square in Healdsburg. Being hands-on owners and winemakers, you are more likely than not, to be greeted by Alan, Serena or both, when you stop by for a visit and a glass of wine.
B&B Wine Blog: Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
Alan Baker: A guy who has more tasks on his list than he has time to complete them. I think the days are long gone when a winemaker could just focus on making great wine. If the world doesn’t know about your wines, it won’t matter how good they are. So I’m almost always in the tasting room, online, or on the road interacting with our customers. Continue reading »
How does a rodeo queen from West Texas transition from a career as an immunology researcher at the National Institutes of Health to ultimately becoming one of the up and coming Next-Gen Napa Valley winemakers, all by the age of 31?
We met Kristy Melton, Clos Du Val’s first female winemaker in it’s 40-year history, at a small tasting in Austin earlier this summer. As she says later in this interview, she is not the stereo-typical “older man with dirty work boots and a dog by my side” winemaker. We enjoyed her youthful enthusiasm and passion for winemaking, not to mention her sharp wit. Kristy Melton may not be a winemaking name you know today…No doubt however, it is a name you will be hearing much more about very soon. Continue reading »
Kelly Fleming is living the dream(s) that so many wine lovers share. First, to own a vineyard / winery and second to build a family business, in touch with nature, to be shared with her children.
In 1998, Kelly purchased 300 acres near Calistoga where today you will find a twelve acre vineyard next to her small yet beautifully designed winery tucked up against the hillside. From the private tasting room you look through glass doors into a 7,000 square foot limestone wine cave cut into the hill. Kelly, as you will see, is a hands-on vintner who has no problem with dirty boots and vineyard dust on her hands.
Bacchus and Beery Wine Blog had the opportunity to meet Kelly in the summer of 2011 to share wine and stories. Kelly is very down-to-earth with a casual elegance, much like her wines. Her easy style combined with her passion for wine made for a lovely Sunday afternoon visit far away from the frenetic pace of so many winery tasting rooms.
Kelly Fleming Wines produces only two varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. The first vintage was 2004. We enjoyed the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc’s beautiful balance with soft flavors of honeycomb, pear, pineapple, vanilla and honeydew melon. The Cabernet was well integrated with soft and supple tannins combined with flavors of dark cherry, dark berries, spice, and smoke with hints of cocoa and toasty vanilla.
The winery offers appointment tastings by contacting the winery. Elegant wines at a winery of understated elegance; Kelly Fleming Wines is a stop worth making.
B & B Wine Blog: Kelly, you are living the dream many of us have, to own our own winery. Tell us why you wanted to open a winery and how you made your dream into a reality.
KF:I wanted to continue to learn. Next I thought about my interest in food, wine and growing things. Once I found this land, the story evolved. First I was only thinking about planting grapes suited to the property. Once I got my hands dirty and spend time on the land, I was forever lost and consumed in farming. Once the grapes came, I contemplated the next step of wine production. After a few years of watching, I wanted to have the winemaking here in our control with our caring hands. Continue reading »