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MARCH 5-8, 2015

18 WINE & FOOD EVENTS

RELAIS & cHATEAUX Chefs

WORLD-CLASS Wineries

March 5-8, 2015

 
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A four day foodie extravaganza featuring an exclusive roster
of Relais & Châteaux Chefs and wine estates.



The inaugural 2014 Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest brought a bounty of prestigious chefs, wineries and luxury brands from around the world to beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea to celebrate Relais & Châteaux’s 60th birthday. For the 2015 GourmetFest we have created an even more exciting lineup of Relais & Châteaux Chefs from around-the-world paired with an impressive collection of wine estates and spirits. Over the course of four days guests can experience a range of events in one location, often only available to the seasoned food and wine traveler. From an ample gathering of local and international wineries and passionate chefs to intimate dinners featuring the best wines in the world and the cooking of Michelin starred chefs, guests will be given a unique experience that only the Relais & Châteaux brand can provide.


Visit Our Online Charity Auction

All of the proceeds from the Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest 2015 online auction goes to support the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Rancho Cielo and Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation.


Accomodations

Please contact Amanda Gospodnetich, Reservations Manager directly for room accommodations, rates and availability at 831.622.5907 or agospodnetich@mirabelgroup.com


FEATURED PARTICIPANTS

Blake Sillix

Owner / Winemaker
The Fearrington House

Colin Bedford is the executive chef of The Fearrington House Restaurant, one of the most venerable farm-to-fork restaurants in the South, where his cuisine is an interplay of the legendary culinary traditions of the American South, local ingredients, and his own English roots.

Anyone who has chatted with 34-year-old Bedford might quickly guess he grew up in England. Bedford’s culinary interests started at an early age, he says, enamored by his mother’s home baking and helping his father water the vegetable garden. After graduating from Yeovil College in Somerset with a Diploma in Hospitality, he took on his first full-time job in 1996.

He became an apprentice at The Castle Hotel, a Norman fortress built in the 12th century, where he worked under esteemed British chef Phil Vickery. The Castle, like Fearrington, is a family-run property, known for fostering up-and-coming chefs.

Bedford joined The Fearrington House in 2005 and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2008. Since then, his exceptional menus have won critical acclaim. The Fearrington House earned a national ranking as one of the top hotel food destinations in the world (Condé Nast Traveler). It is also one of only two inn and restaurant combinations in the U.S. to have the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond award for both, totaling 10 stars and 10 diamonds. In 2012, Bedford was named a Grand Chef by Relais & Châteaux, the international culinary world’s highest honor.

Fearrington House is the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the country to be Green Certified by the not-for-profit Green Restaurant Association.

Colin Bedford

Executive Chef
The Fearrington House

Colin Bedford is the executive chef of The Fearrington House Restaurant, one of the most venerable farm-to-fork restaurants in the South, where his cuisine is an interplay of the legendary culinary traditions of the American South, local ingredients, and his own English roots.

Anyone who has chatted with 34-year-old Bedford might quickly guess he grew up in England. Bedford’s culinary interests started at an early age, he says, enamored by his mother’s home baking and helping his father water the vegetable garden. After graduating from Yeovil College in Somerset with a Diploma in Hospitality, he took on his first full-time job in 1996.

He became an apprentice at The Castle Hotel, a Norman fortress built in the 12th century, where he worked under esteemed British chef Phil Vickery. The Castle, like Fearrington, is a family-run property, known for fostering up-and-coming chefs.

Bedford joined The Fearrington House in 2005 and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2008. Since then, his exceptional menus have won critical acclaim. The Fearrington House earned a national ranking as one of the top hotel food destinations in the world (Condé Nast Traveler). It is also one of only two inn and restaurant combinations in the U.S. to have the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond award for both, totaling 10 stars and 10 diamonds. In 2012, Bedford was named a Grand Chef by Relais & Châteaux, the international culinary world’s highest honor.

Fearrington House is the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the country to be Green Certified by the not-for-profit Green Restaurant Association.

Dan Karlsen

Winemaker / General Manager
Talbott Vineyards

Growing up in Sonoma, Dan was exposed to Wine at an early age. Living in the countryside, he learned to appreciate the natural world. After working as a carpenter and electrician to put himself through school and earn a degree in marine biology, Dan joined the team at Dry Creek Vineyard, where he fell in love with winemaking. Since then, Dan has been the winemaker for a who’s who of California’s top wineries, including Domaine Carneros and Monterey’s Chalone Winery.

Dan is a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir specialist, and a true hedonist, who brings three decades of winemaking, viticultural and management experience to his role as Winemaker/General Manager for Talbott Vineyards. Guiding the Winery’s dedicated team, Dan practices a meticulous approach to farming, bringing out the full potential from Talbott’s estate vineyards. In the winery, he combines technical know-how with intuitiveness to produce world-renowned Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs—wines that show the power of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard and the elegance of Diamond T.

As a winegrower, Dan’s vineyard-first approach has helped to usher in a new era for Talbott’s vineyards. Dan believes in sustainable practices and he oversees all aspects of farming. Dan is a contrarian Winemaker, who makes classic wines through modern winemaking techniques to produce the finest Wines in Talbott’s history.

Events

Seafood Grill

Nathan Kandler

Winemaker
Lexington Wines

Appointed Winemaker at Thomas Fogarty Wine Estate in 2013, Nathan Kandler embraces the founders’ original goal — to make wines that express the property’s unique terroir, hallmark elegance and definitive character. “Our coastal climate, high elevation and thin rocky soils are unique and define our authentic site-expressive wines. I find the Santa Cruz Mountains the most compelling region in California when it comes to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” he says.

In the vineyard, Nathan collaborates with Michael Martella — the Estate’s Viticulturist — micro-managing by row, experimenting with cover crops and compost tea applications. “We are fostering a living soil that will preserve and revitalize our vines. After just one season of intensive cover cropping, we saw dramatic improvements in our older vineyards.”

Growing up in Lansing, Michigan, Nathan discovered wine during a family trip to Europe. “My first memorable experience occurred at a Paris bistro, right across the Seine River from the Louvre. I ate steak frites and we drank Cru Beaujolais. I was young and it was years before I developed an interest in fine wine, but it all began with this fantastic, yet simple meal.”

Taking a hiatus from college studies, Nathan worked in upscale restaurants, and wine captured his attention in a big way. “I packed my car and moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Santa Rosa, California, where I began viticulture studies at the Junior College.” In 2003 he completed his B.S. in Enology at California State University, Fresno, a program known for hands-on and practical experience.

Nathan enriched his education with jobs in the cellars of Sonoma and Napa County wineries, as well as a full time harvest stint at Testarossa in Los Gatos. In 2004, before joining Fogarty, he headed to Australia to work a harvest at Tobreck winery in Barossa Valley. “Torbreck is fascinating. Traditional methods abound in the cellar, and winemakers place the vineyard above winemaking.”

Michael Martella hired Nathan in summer, 2004. “Michael’s openness to experimentation in the cellar allowed me to practice whole cluster fermentation, using native yeasts and uninhibited, natural malolactic fermentation.” Nathan remains a proponent of minimal intervention in the cellar, preferring to capture and preserve flavors born of soil and climate. He says, “As the California wine industry matures and becomes less insular, we are recognizing the beauty in celebrating divergent terroir. People look for wines that strut their differences, especially those derived from the soil and climate.”

Nathan, with his wife and daughter, Marta and Olivia, live on the Thomas Fogarty Estate. He stays in tune with the vineyards, surrounding woodlands and wildlife during regular, early morning walks with Lewis, his dog. An outdoor enthusiast, Nathan enjoys an active lifestyle: running, snowboarding, playing golf and soccer, and traveling.

Events

Welcome Party

Craig Camp

Partner
Cornerstone Cellars

Craig Camp is a veteran fine wine professional with more than three decades of experience in every facet of the industry including importing, exporting, distribution, marketing, sales and production.

He joined Direct Import Wine Company as partner and Vice-President in 1980. From 1980 to 1995 he was responsible for sales and the selection of the wine portfolio, which was recognized as one of the most elite in the United States filled with cutting edge wine estates from around the world. In 1995 the company was purchased by the Terlato Wine Group, which promoted him to President and over the next three year period he increased sales from $3 million to $15 million dollars annually. During these years Camp visited and worked harvests in nearly all of the world’s fine wine regions.

In 2000 he left to pursue an education in wine production and spent the next three years working in Italy, where he studied winemaking and worked in the cellars of some of Italy’s most elite wine estates in Barolo and Barbaresco. During this time Camp was also Italian wine and food editor and Site Director of eGullet.org, the Internet’s largest food and wine discussion forum.

Upon return to the United States in 2004 he took over as President of Anne Amie Vineyards, previously known as Chateau Benoit. Over the next several years he brought a company that was losing several million dollars a year to the break even point and totally revolutionized the winemaking transforming a winery known for mediocre wines into one of Oregon’s most respected producers.

In 2009 he moved to the Napa Valley to take over operations of the renowned Cornerstone Cellars, famed for producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon since 1991. In his first two years Camp has increased sales by over 700% and expanded production from 2,000 to 10,000 cases. In addition, Cornerstone Cellars has opened its first tasting room direct retail operation in Yountville, the culinary heart of Napa, and launched the new Cornerstone Oregon brand in cooperation with Tony Rynders, the premier winemaker in the Pacific Northwest.

Camp is recognized as an industry leader in the use of online marketing and Social Media marketing. He has been recognized for his online work by Food and Wine Magazine and Saveur Magazine. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Howell Mountain Vintners and Growers Association and on the Napa Valley Vintners Association Marketing and Social Media Marketing Committees. He has also been accepted into the University of California at Davis online Enology Degree program, which only accepts a small fraction of those who apply

Events

Welcome Party

Mark Buzan

Sales Representative
Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants

Mark has spent the last 16 years enjoying a career in wine. While in Arizona, Mark served as Wine Director for The Boulders Resort in Carefree, L’Auberge de Sedona and The Enchantment Resort in Sedona. In 2006, he took his talents to California to take on the Wine Director role at the famed Highlands Inn. Here, he served as Wine Director for the 21st Annual Masters of Food & Wine event, the last “Masters” to be held at the historical property. From there, Mark served on the founding team for The Pebble Beach Food & Wine event and helped create the event from the ground up. Mark also served as Sommelier Captain for the Wine Spectator Wine Experience events in Las Vegas, NV and New York, NY. Mark also enjoyed 2.5 years as Wine Director at Bernardus Lodge in beautiful Carmel Valley, CA. He now enjoys a new career in wine distribution with Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants based out of San Francisco, CA. He lives in Carmel Valley with his beautiful wife Alicia and two daughters Anna and Ella. This is Marks first time contributing to the Relais and Châteaux GourmetFest, though he truly looks forward to his participation.

Pax Mahle

Owner / Winemaker
Wind Gap Wines

Pax Mahle founded Pax Wine Cellars in 2000 with his wife Pamela and has been creating game-changing wines ever since. Years of critical acclaim from Robert Parker, Steven Tanzer & The Wine Spectator solidified Pax Mahle’s reputation with Syrah and gave him the access to the vineyards that he would later use to launch Wind Gap Wines.

Wind Gap Wines is a fascinating project started by the Mahle’s in 2006. Wind Gap has never been about making the “perfect” wine, It has always been about making honest, authentic and compelling wine from special vineyard sites, which is closer to their idea of perfect anyways. What interests them about wine is what makes it different- the subtle nuances and characteristics that tell a particular wine’s story, regardless of appellation.

Wind Gap currently bottles Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Gris, Trousseau Gris, Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo and Pamela & Pax are very excited to re-launch Pax Wine Cellars in late 2012 utilizing the same vineyards they used to start the original Pax in 2000.

Events

Welcome Party

Neil Collins

Winemaker
Tablas Creek Vineyard

Neil was born and raised in Bristol, England. Trained as a chef, he moved into winemaking with stints with John Munch at Adelaida Cellars and Ken Volk at Wild Horse. At Adelaida, Neil met Robert Haas and the Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel when they were just beginning the search for Tablas Creek. Neil was so intrigued by the project that he offered his services, and spent a year working and learning at Chateau de Beaucastel.

Before the year was finished, Neil was offered the winemaker position at Tablas Creek, and he has overseen both the organic vineyard and the winery since 1998.

His philosophy is that great wines can only come from great grapes, and that the art of winemaking is founded on starting out with the very best grapes and bringing their juice through fermentation as naturally as possible.

Events

Seafood Grill

Josh Jensen

Winemakerr
Calera Wine Company

Josh Jensen is a native Californian who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Josh graduated from Yale in 1966 with a degree in history and subsequently earned a masters degree in Anthropology at Oxford. After Oxford, he lived in France for several years, becoming fluent in French and learning about French wines with lengthy visits to Bordeaux, Alsace and Champagne and of course, Burgundy. During that time, he made the decision to turn his love of Burgundian wines into his life’s work. Josh founded Calera Wine Company in 1975, and now has a total of 84 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Viognier planted in the Mt. Harlan AVA, San Benito County, Hollister, California

Mark Chesebro

Winegrower
Chesebro Wines

Chesebro Wines is the vision of Mark Chesebro, winegrower, who owns and operates this 2k case per year labor of love in bucolic Carmel Valley. All lots are 300 cases or less, and show a penchant for offbeat, as well as mainstream varietals. Mark is passionate about preserving the true voice of each vineyard site, from soil to glass. Mark’s commitment to high quality wines at reasonable prices will be evident from your first visit to the welcoming tasting room in beautiful Carmel Valley Village. Come find out what artisan wines, lovingly farmed and made by hand, truly taste like..

Events

Seafood Grill

Jennifer Lamb

Owner
Herb Lamb Vineyards

Jennifer & Herb Lamb purchased their hillside vineyard in the foothills of Howell Mountain in the Napa Valley and planted Cabernet Sauvignon in 1987. Herb owned an agricultural chemical business and focused on farming the vineyard, while Jennifer, who had worked in the hospitality, public relations and marketing arms of the wine industry for over 25 years, took control of all sales and marketing. She enlarged the brands by adding the Two Old Dogs labels and selectively expanded both the direct to consumer and national distribution of the wines, as well as opening an exclusive Tasting Room by appointment only. The sought-after HL Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is now available in select markets and fine dining throughout the US and in four other countries.

Events

Welcome Party

François Carillon

The Carillon family domaine dates back to the sixteenth century. The winemaking tradition has been passed down from father to son since 1632, when a Carillon viticulteur is recorded and even since 1520, when a Jehan Carillon is mentioned in archives. The family still occupies the same site as they did then, between the church and the old château which belonged to the original nobles of the village. The motif on their label, showing a grape harvesting knife and the year 1632, is a reproduction of a carving above the door frame. The cuverie is built with the stones of the old château.

The domaine was further extended when Louis married; his wife was from Chassagne-Montrachet. Over the years, additional buildings throughout the village were added to the Carillon's holdings and converted to winemaking facilities. The couple's sons, Jacques and François, continued in the family tradition, with Jacques making the wines and François looking after the vines. In 2009, the brothers decided to separate the domaine. The 2009 vintage was the last under the shared domaine, and 2010 was the first vintage where the wine was made in separate cellars.

François Carillon's estate wines include Bourgogne Aligoté, Puligny-Montrachet Villages, Puligny-Montrachet Perrières, Champ-Gains and Combettes, Chassagne-Montrachet Macherelles and Clos St. Jean, and Chevalier-Montrachet. He established a négociant business which includes Bourgogne Blanc, St. Aubin Charmois and Puligny-Montrachet Folatières and Referts. His aim, through purchase or fermage, is to increase his estate wines and decrease his négociant business. 50% of the Bourgogne Blanc is now estate and will be combined with purchased fruit, which will leave very little as pure négociant.

"François prefers to prune hard and debud vigorously in the spring in order to restrict yields and ensure good ripening and concentrated flavours. He finds this preferable to a green harvest in the summer by which time he feels it is too late to produce a balanced crop." (Remington Norman, The Great Domaines of Burgundy)

The white wine vinification is in the traditional Burgundy style, with fermentation in small oak casks. The wines are aged in Allier oak, 10-25% of which is new, with 10-15% for the villages and up to 25% for the premiers crus.

"The 2010s are the first wines François Carillon has vinified on his own following the division of the family estate, Louis Carillon. I was very impressed with what I tasted, but, and perhaps even more importantly, deeply struck by the attention to detail, especially in the vineyards." The Wine Advocate

Massolino

The history of the Massolinos and their wine became entwined with the history of Serralunga d’Alba in 1896, when Giovanni founded the estate. Giovanni was the very first person to bring the electric current to the village. An enterprising, tenacious and creative man, progenitor of a family that has made the combination of inspiration and tradition something of which to be proud.

The first wine cellar was built by Giuseppe, son of the founder Giovanni, who, together with his sister Angela, extended his estate into the best soils and, in 1934, was one of the founders of the Consortium for the Defence of Barolo and Barbaresco. At that time, Giuseppe had six children. Three of them, Giovanni, Camilla and Renato, followed in their father’s footsteps, expanding the estate with the purchase of cru vineyards which are authentic jewels: Margheria, Parafada and Vigna Rionda.

TIn the 1990’s Franco and Roberto, both oenologists, joined the family estate. Their work condenses the experience of an entire family and the ambition of a new generation, determined to make an important contribution to the innovation of oenological and agronomical techniques and to the image of the estate in Italy and abroad.

TMaking wine with passion, in its land of origin, preserving the typical characteristics of the indigenous grape varieties, being convinced that there is a deep and tangible link between the vines, hills and winegrowers, made up of affinities cemented, by habit, to the land. Since 1896, the Massolino family has been making wine this way, loyal to this philosophy and to the capacity for innovation in the name of tradition. In short, loyal to itself.

Located in the historic centre of Serralunga d’Alba, our wine cellar was once very small, built into the marl below the house that was the birthplace of much of our family.

In those times, the complicated social situation, combined with economic hardship, imposed a complex reality on people, with a focus on self-sustenance; because of this, crops were diversified, grains and nuts were produced and Piedmontese cattle were raised. Midway through the 30s, we “moved”, if you can say that, to the other side of the only road that crosses the village of Serralunga, situated on the top of one of the most beautiful hills of the Langhe, in Piedmont. Below the family estate we have organised the first vinification and aging department.

Massolino wines are the result of a privileged relationship with the vineyard, interpreting all its peculiarities and nuances. A relationship built up day by day, personally supervising every moment in the production chain in all twenty three hectares of the estate. From the vineyard to the cellar, from the vine to the bottle.

The classic Barolo is made with Nebbiolo grapes cultivated in vineyards situated in the area of Serralunga d’Alba at an altitude of 320 – 360 m above sea level, with a total surface area of 7 hectares. The soil is mainly calcareous with sometimes consistent variations from zone to zone.

The different subzones where the grapes originate give them a broad and variable spectrum of perfumes, ranging from the classic spicy notes to those of a sweeter, floral and fruity nature.

The Margheria vineyard is situated in Serralunga d’Alba at an altitude of 340 m above sea level. The total surface area is 1.5 hectares and the vineyard enjoys excellent exposure. Together with Parafada and Vigna Rionda, it is one of the most important and famous cru vineyards of Serralunga, purchased by the estate towards the end of the Seventies. As far as soil type is concerned, it is calcareous with a good percentage of sand, adding elegance, mineral and spicy notes to the wine.

The Parafada vineyard is also located in the municipality of Serralunga d’Alba. It reaches an altitude of 330 m above sea level and occupies 1.13 hectares of land. The soil consists of marly lime.

The age of the vineyard, the splendid exposure due south and the ridge protected from the wind give us grapes of absolute excellence.

The vineyard situated in “Vigna Rionda” is in one of the best positions in Serralunga: when Giovanni and Renato Massolino decided to buy it, they chose to exchange it for a larger vineyard. Set at an altitude of 330 m above sea level, it occupies a total surface area of 2.3 hectares. This vineyard too is made up of marly lime soil, which produces an important, potent wine, suitable for long ageing.

The vineyard “Parussi” is located in Castiglione Falletto. Its altitude is 300 m above sea level, the total area is 1.3 hectares.The excellent south-easterly/south-westerly exposure of the vineyard, situated on the crest of the hill, in the Parussi, sub-zone,guarantees the production of extraordinary quality grapes, with the tannic structure and expression of the land of Castiglione Falletto.

Kent Torrey

President & CEO
The Cheese Shop Inc.

Question: what provides your senses with delectable eye candy, sensual smells, all while tantalizing your taste buds? Answer: everything at THE CHEESE SHOP!!!

Simply put, Kent and his staff of The Cheese Shop Inc, in downtown Carmel~by~the~Sea, California, ROCKS when it comes to their selections of wonderful world class wines, their incredible array of cheeses, and gastronomic gourmet foods!!! A visit to Carmel is just not complete without a stop at this world-renowned store!

On any given day you will find Kent and his extremely amiable staff sampling from over 200 different cheeses from around the world, passing along to the customers wonderful insights from the history of that particular cheese’s origins, or how that cheese can be used in intricate dishes, to tips on throwing great wine & cheese tasting parties, or how to pack a romantic picnic full of their goodies to be enjoy while watching a stunning sunset at the Carmel beach. Hearsay has it that many marriage proposals were the results of such picnics!

AND alas, to the bemusement of his staff, Kent will always be offering up one of his litany of “cheesy” jokes to both entertain, and make you groan all at once!! Life is just too short not to have FUN, and when it comes to eating and drinking, The Cheese Shop makes you have FUN!!!

Over the years, Kent has been fortunate enough to assist the public and professional trade through various media sources, publications and staged events with highlights including this September’s 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Fest, and others like: Gourmet Fest Carmel, ZAP in San Francisco, LA Food & Wine Festival, World of Pinot Noir Festival, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Masters of Food & Wine, Blackberry Farm, Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, Taste of Washington, Big Sur Food & Wine Festival, Central Coast Classic, and the Les Amis D’Escoffier Society Foundation Inc. In addition The Cheese Shop has been featured on the Travel Channel worldwide as a "Must See Destination" & showcased on the Food Network for their world famous pesto.

Being from the state of Hawaii, Kent has infused the “O’hana” spirit into this family oriented business, which has celebrated 41 years of eating and drinking! Kent’s mantra: “Eat Cheese, Drink Wine, Live Life Happy!!”

Events

Welcome Party

Josh Pierce

General Manager
Pierce Ranch Vineyards

Josh Pierce is the General Manager and one of the proprietors of Pierce Ranch Vineyards, located in southern Monterey County’s San Antonio Valley. A Salinas native and fifth-generation resident of the county, he has lived, worked, and studied in numerous parts of Northern California, Wisconsin, and Chicago, before returning to the area in 2007. .

Events

Seafood Grill

David Fink

Owner
Fink Family Estate Vineyard

A mere 1.2 acres and planted in 2000 to 10 clones of pinot noir, including 777, 667, and swan clone own rooted, the vineyard is situated in mid Carmel Valley on a south facing hillside of up to 30 degree slope-The terraces reveal a terroir of clay and Carmel Valley Chalk, which imparts a wonderful minerality to the wine. There are 3 distinct blocks, the terraced hillside planted in a spacing of 8x4, the lower block of a planting of 6x4 and the guesthouse block in a spacing of 5x3. The dense planting on a single cordon, makes for very low yields and intense fruit quality. The climate is low region one, with warm days and very cool nights, so the growing season is extended, with hang time for the fruit of up to 120 days. Average harvest date is mid October.

Events

Welcome Party

Dean DeKorth

Winemaker
Bernardus Winery

French-style wines have emerged in Carmel Valley. A passionate viticulturalist, enologist, craftsman and artist, Dean De Korth is ideally suited to continue Ben Pon’s philosophy of implementing Old World winemaking techniques in our New World setting. You won’t hear Dean describe wines in terms of numbers; rather he strives for something well beyond chemistry. His goal is to create wines that express the noblest expression of each vineyard and each varietal; wines that balance finesse and elegance with focus and power.

De Korth, a native of the Monterey Bay area, moved to France in the 1980’s where he first earned a degree in French language studies at the Université de Nantes before pursuing his Enology and Viticulture degrees at the Lycée Viti-Vinicole in Beaune and the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon. He then spent four years working for the celebrated wineries of Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet and Domaine des Comtes Lafon, before working for three years as cellarmaster for Domaine Pierre Morey in Meursault.

In the 1990’s, Dean returned to the Monterey Bay area where he worked as winemaker for several of the Central Coast’s most prestigious wineries, including Morgan, David Bruce and Talbott. Then in 2005, De Korth began his collaboration with Ben Pon at Bernardus which was immediately rewarded with their 2005 Sauvignon Blanc being declared the best in America by the Wall Street Journal.

The opportunity to work with Ben and the very best vineyards and vineyard growers (including our own Matt Shea) in Arroyo Seco, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Carmel Valley, is the culmination of his career: “I feel that my years of hard work and dedication have brought me to this place, to share in Ben Pon’s dream of creating some of the world’s best wines in this most beautiful place on Earth.”

Events

Seafood Grill

Dan Lee

Winegrower
Morgan Winery

Coming from a small town in California's Central Valley, Da11 Morgan Lee had prepared initially for the study of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis. It was late in his college career that he discovered enology satisfied his interest in both science and agriculture. Immediately enrolling in the graduate enology program, Dan completed his studies and was hired as winemaker at Jekel Winery in Monterey County.

After serving his apprenticeship at Jekel. Dan moved up the road to Durney Vineyard where he continued to make Monterey wines. While making wine full-time for Durney, Dan aspired to craft his own label. It was at a meeting of the Monterey County Winegrowers Association that he shared his vision with a banker. In addition to becoming his business advisor, that banker would also become Dan's wife.

In 1982, Dan and Donna Lee opened the doors of Morgan Winery. Their very first Monterey Chardonnay earned a Gold Medal at the LA County Fair and a Platinum Medal from Wine & Spirits Magazine. Since then, Morgan has become one of the Central Coast's most recognized labels, earning "Winery of the Year" honors from Wine & Spirits in I996 and from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003. In 2005, Dan introduced a second label. Lee Family Farms-intended to provide a fun outlet for his exploration of "alternative" varietals.

Able to pick and choose fruit sources from around the state, Dan eventually turned more of his attention to the Santa Lucia Highlands and single vineyard releases. Dan and Donna invested in their belief in the Highlands with the purchase of the Double L Vinevard in 1996. Todav the Double L is one of the best known vinevards in California. Dan's leadership and expertise in the district led to his being named the first Board President of the newly formed Santa Lucia Highlands' winegrowers association in 2005.

Dan and Donna Lee reside in Salinas. Twin daughters Annie and Jackie (the inspiration for the "Double Luck" vineyard moniker) arc in college; son Josh is in high school.

Mike Dunn

Winemaker
Dunn Vineyards

Son, cellar master and assistant winemaker. Mike attended Davis and graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1988. Mike has been working full time since 1999 at the winery, each year taking on more and more responsibilities. He has also provided new information, practices and procedures. Mike and his wife, Kara, started their own wine label Retro Cellars in 2003. He is enjoying making two different Petite Sirah wines. Mike and Kara have 2 beautiful children, one in an art college and the other in high school. Mike, who’s former career was owning and operating a mountain and road bike shop, is responsible for his family’s love of biking. When Mike isn’t working you might see him on a bike or singing with his band- The Last Resort. Music has been a passion of Mike’s for years, and it’s obvious if you engage him in the topic.

Events

Welcome Party

Mike Trupiano

Wine Director
San Ysidro Ranch

Michael Trupiano brings with him 13 years of experience in the Food and Beverage industry. Starting as a busser in a small café in Santa Barbara, California, Mike eventually made his way to become Wine Director and General Manager of the Stonehouse restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. It was here that Mike was awarded the Wine Spectator, Grand Award for his wine list. One of 74 in the world. He has contributed to print articles in the publications, Sommelier Journal, Wine Spectator, Los Angeles Times, Tasting Panel and Edible. Mike has also been involved with many Food and Wine Festivals around the country. These include: World of Pinot Noir, GourmetFest, Big Sur Food & Wine, The Wine Experience.

Nils Venge

Owner / Winemaker
Saddleback Cellars

Nils Venge is universally regarded as one of the foremost pioneers of the Napa Valley wine industry. Born to Danish immigrants, Venge's exposure to wine came at an early age: his parents operated a wine and liquor import and distribution company in Southern California. Venge continued his pursuit of wine at the University of California in Davis where he earned a BS in Viticulture in 1967.

Following a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Navy Reservist, Venge moved to the Napa Valley to pursue his interest in winemaking. In the subsequent years, Venge worked for the notable wineries Charles Krug, Sterling, Villa Mount Eden and Groth. During his tenure at Groth, Venge became the first American winemaker to receive a perfect 100 point rating from Wine Critic Robert Parker Jr. The 1985 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon catapulted Venge to a venerated position in the California wine industry.

Nils Venge continues to produce outstanding wines at his Oakville facility, Saddleback Cellars.

Events

Welcome Party

Bill Brosseau

Winemaker
Testarossa Winery

Bill Brosseau has been with Testarossa since the year 2000. Bill brings extensive viticultural experience in the field and from the classroom. He studied at UC Davis where he received his Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Enology. His unique approach to winemaking comes from working both sides of the equation—in the vineyard and in the cellar. Because Bill is also a grower, he brings invaluable hands-on experience and a unique perspective that allows him to supply the winery with only the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit to translate into the most sought-after wines. Key to this is Bill’s ability to establish close, long-term relationships with the top vineyards, ensuring exceptional quality vintage to vintage.

Events

Seafood Grill

James Schultze

Co-Proprietor
Windy Oaks Estate

James Schultze is the manager of the Carmel tasting room of Windy Oaks Estate. He is the oldest son of the Proprietors/Winemaker, Judy & Jim Schultze, and has been intimately involved in the family business since he was a teenager. He grew up in their vineyard, and has worked in all facets of winemaking, vineyard management, and marketing and distribution of their premium wines, with particular focus on marketing and customer relations.

Events

Welcome Party

Vanessa Wong

Winemaker
Peay Vineyards

Vanessa Wong joined brothers Nick and Andy Peay of Peay Vineyards for their first vintage in 2001. Previously, Vanessa worked at several wineries in the Napa Valley and upon graduation from the UC Davis Enology program spent a year in France at l'Institut d'Œnologie in Bordeaux. Upon completion of her studies she traveled between Europe and Australia to explore the diversity of winemaking, returning twice to France to work at Château Lafite-Rothschild in Pauillac and Domaine Jean Gros in Vosne-Romaneé. Settling back in California she served as enologist at Franciscan Oakville Estates before heading to Peter Michael Winery where she made wine from the 1996 to the 2000 vintage first as assistant winemaker, then later as winemaker.

Vanessa’s goal is to make world-class, estate wines that express the unique climate and soil from her vineyard on the West Sonoma Coast.

Steve McIntyre

Winemaker
McIntyre Vineyards

In 1982 Steve McIntyre received his master’s degree in enology from California State University, Fresno. In 1982 he and his wife Kimberly moved to Carmel Valley, California to develop Galante Vineyards and Winery. In late 1983 Steve took a position with Smith & Hook Winery in Soledad, Calif. as an Assistant Winemaker, later returning to his agrarian roots to become viticulturist in 1985.

In 1992 Steve and Kimberly started Monterey Pacific, Inc., a viticulture management and development company, which rapidly grew from 432 acres to become the 7th largest vineyard management company in the U.S. at over 10,000 acres.

Monterey Pacific currently grows or manages grapes for such notable wineries as Le Mistral, Morgan, Bernardus, Testarosa, Muira, Ventana, La Rochelle, Hahn, J. Lohr, Diagio and Constellation to name a few.

While producing grapes in a responsible and sustainable manner Steve and Kim decided to apply the skills they had learned over nearly two decades to something more personal. In 2000 they released their first wines under the McIntyre Vineyards label. The wines reflect their acquired experience, combined with fanatically grown grapes from multiple appellations. The project has provided focus to their life’s passion.

Steve is an appointed member and past chairman of the CDFA Pierces Disease Board, member of the California Association of Grape Growers and a graduate of Class 21 of the California Ag Leadership Program. Steve and Kim have 3 children and reside in Salinas, California.

Events

Seafood Grill

Dawn Galante

Proprietor / COO
Dawn's Dream Winery

With a passion for life and a head for business, Dawn Galante had a dream of producing approachable wines of exceptional quality and elegance. Since the launch of her winery in 2012, Dawn’s wines have won several awards, including Best Pinot Noir of Monterey County, Best Pinot Noir Rosé of Monterey County, and Double Gold & Best in Class for her Pinot Noir Rosé at the Grand Harvest Awards in San Francisco. Dawn’s passion for wine is matched by her passion for helping women and children. In addition to wine, Dawn’s other Dream is to donate product, money, or time to support non-profit organizations for women and children both locally and globally. Dawn is consistently donating wine for a cause, giving back approximately 15% of her proceeds to select organizations, or personally attending or sponsoring charity events and walks. Dawn is a big supporter of Rising International, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Kinship Center, Voices for Children, and Girls Inc., to name a few.

As living proof that dreamers exist and excel, Dawn has built her life on free-thinker Henry David Thoreau’s belief that “Dreams are the touchstones of our character.”

Events

Seafood Grill

Kevin Lynch

Event Coordinator
Lagunitas Brewing Company

From points distant and beyond we all converged on Petaluma in 1993 and ’94 with an unenunciated desire to be more than we were before. The core of Lagunitas came from Chicago, St Louis, Memphis, Walker Creek, and the highlands of Quincy.

The Chicago contingent initiated the brewing and the gravitational effect of its suchness did the rest. We all loved the beer but the mission was larger than the ordinary joy of a hoppy-sweet quaff. It was driven unseen by an urge to communicate with people, to find our diasporidic tribe, and to connect with other souls adrift on a culture that had lost its center and spun its inhabitants to the four winds to wander lost and bereft with a longing to re-enter the light. Beer, we have learned, has always been a good lubricant for social intercourse!

The Lagunitas Brewing Co. was not so much an act of ordinary ‘foundling’ as it was willed into being by the unspoken desire of supportive beer-lovers in Northern California after which they continued to nurture their creation and urged us forward to fulfill the unifying needs of that same beer-loving diaspora from coast to coast and beyond. It is good to have friends!

Gary Franscioni

Owner
ROAR Wines

We are a family winery specializing in small lots of Santa Lucia Highland's Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Viognier. Our roots in the Santa Lucia Highlands are quite deep. Both Gary and Rosella grew up in California's agricultural heartland where Gary’s family has farmed for over 100 years. After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in agribusiness, Gary took over the running of the family farm business, which owned and managed over 200 acres of row crops in the Salinas Valley. Recognizing the region's potential for premium wine grapes, we planted Rosella's Vineyard in 1996. We also co-own and manage the Garys' Vineyard with Gary Pisoni of Pisoni Vineyard.

Both vineyards have developed a reputation among high-end wineries for low yields of intensely flavored grapes. In 2007 and 2008, we planted two new vineyards; our own "high altitude" Sierra Mar Vineyard, which is located six miles south of Garys' Vineyard at 1000 ft elevation; and the Soberanes Vineyard, just south of Garys' Vineyard, developed in partnership with the Pisoni Family. After working with several wineries to develop the pedigree of the vineyards and the region, we decided in 2001 to make our wine. As third generation growers, our goal with ROAR Wines is to make small lots of wine that are a pure reflection of the Santa Lucia Highlands and in particular the signature flavors of our vines. The name ROAR comes from the sound of the Monterey Bay winds that roar through our vineyards as well as the thrilling sound of a roaring crowd.

Richard Alfaro

Winegrower
Alfaro Family Vineyards

After a long and satisfying career as the founder of Alfaro’s Micro Bakery, one of California’s premier gourmet bakeries, Richard Alfaro was presented with a unique opportunity in the form of an aging 75 acre apple farm in Corralitos. An offer was made on the baking company by an interested buyer, and in 1998 this forgotten piece of land was lovingly transformed by Richard and his wife Mary Kay, into what is now known as Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery. In the ensuing years, the Bread Baker became the Winemaker, captivating discriminating wine drinkers along the way.

Today there are a total of 38 acres under vine in Corralitos, 18 more in Aptos, and all of the vines are cared for personally by Richard and his crew. The acreage is comprised of mature Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and Gruner Veltliner, the primary white grape of Austria. All of the production from start to finish occurs in house so the grapes take a very short trip from vineyard to bottle. Two of the vineyards are named after the Alfaro’s teenage children, Lindsay Paige and Ryan Spencer. Wife Mary Kay, a certified sommelier, assists Richard while running the office, managing the tasting room and handling the needs of their growing wine club.

Events

Seafood Grill

Anthony Yount

Winemaker
Kinero Cellars

My passion for white wine, no doubt, stemmed from my father’s distaste for it. It’s not that I set out to make white wine out of spite, but rather, he inspired me. You see, he claimed to only like red wine, so it became my goal to find balanced and interesting whites that he would like. It didn’t take long as he slowly began to appreciate the depth and complexity that carefully sculpted whites can deliver. When I was presented with the opportunity to make my own wine, it was an easy decision to focus on making white wines. These wines are not only for those drinkers that enjoy the nuances of a handcrafted white wine, but also for those who pretend not to.

Events

Seafood Grill

Jim Clendenen

The Mind Behind
Au Bon Climat

Jim Clendenen was born in Akron, Ohio to gastronomically impoverished parents during the culinary Dark Ages of the American 1950s. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with High Honors in Pre-Law in 1976. It was during his "junior year abroad" in 1974, while turning 21 in France, that he discovered life beyond tacos. After graduation, a one month stay in both Burgundy and Champagne convinced him to attempt a career in wine rather than continue on to law school.

Beginning with the 1978 harvest, Jim Clendenen was assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa Winery for three vintages, a valued training experience. In 1981 his vision broadened with three harvests in one year as Jim worked crush and directed the harvest at wineries in Australia and France. Three harvests in one year confirmed his masochistic tendencies.

In 1982, Clendenen decided, along with Adam Tolmach, to start a winery dedicated to Burgundian varietals in leased quarters. Adam left in 1990 to pursue his own efforts leaving Jim solo at the helm. Through careful re-investment from its own production, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well exposed vineyard") has grown over its history to over 50,000 cases.

Au Bon Climat sources fruit from several of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Central Coast. These include Clendenen’s own Le Bon Climat Vineyard and estate plantings at the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard – both in Santa Maria Valley, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, Los Alamos Vineyard (Santa Barbara County), and San Luis Obispo County's Talley Vineyard.

The winery has cultivated an international reputation for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Jim Clendenen, the “Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat, is recognized worldwide for his classically styled wines. In addition to his Burgundian-focused Au Bon Climat wines, Jim also established another brand, Clendenen Family Vineyards. This project of passion allows him to make artisan, small lots of distinctive wines from a wider spectrum of varieties in styles conducive to small lots. He has received high acclaim for Italian varietals particularly his Nebbiolo that has a five year aging regimen in barrel. In 1989 and 1990 Au Bon Climat was on Robert Parker's short list of Best Wineries in the World, and in 1991 was selected by Oz Clark as one of fifty world-wide creators of Modern Classic Wines. Dan Berger of the Los Angeles Times named Clendenen the "Los Angeles Time Winemaker of the Year" in 1992; Food & Wine magazine named him "Winemaker of the Year" in 2001. Germany's leading wine magazine, Wein Gourmet, in 2004 name Clendenen “Winemaker of the World;” and in 2007, Jim was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.”

Molly Chappellet

Owner
Chappellet Winery

Described as a designer, landscape gardener, author, photographer, chef and entertainer, Molly Chappellet and her husband Donn, co-founded Chappellet Winery in 1967. Their shared conviction that there was a simpler, more down-to-earth way to rear their Six children, coupled with their desire to produce world-class wines, brought them to Pritchard Hill. Born and raised in Beverly Hills, Molly studied art at UCLA and Scripps College. When she moved to Pritchard Hill, her training in art was challenged by bigger canvases and three-dimensional opportunities. With acres of land to mold and clients to entertain, she has made her garden and events her artistic pallet. Her work in sculpting the land and painting with the textures of trees and plants has earned Molly's spectacular garden much critical acclaim. Recently she was featured as “Place Marker” in Site/Lines, the prestigious Foundation for Landscape Studies publication in New York.

Molly has authored five books including the James Beard Award winning “A Vineyard Garden”. She also travels giving lectures and has appeared on numerous Television programs.

In 2012 an extension of her vineyard art was witnessed at Auction Napa Valley. As Chairperson, she chose the theme of Origins. – The Origins of the Wine, the Vine, the life of the Vine from seed to ashes was illustrated in large sculptures throughout 15 acres of the Meadowood golf course. Original musical compositions, including nature sounds, wind, rain and vineyard workers, enhanced the experience.

Cyril Chappellet

CEO
Chappellet Winery

Moving to Pritchard Hill when he was 10 years old, Cyril Chappellet has witnessed the transformation of the Napa Valley into one of the world’s great winegrowing regions. The eldest son of Molly and Donn Chappellet, Cyril grew up working in the vineyard and winery. At 18, Donn and Molly encouraged Cyril to make his own career choices and to explore life away from the family business.

After studying farm management at Cal Poly and completing his business education at Pepperdine University, Cyril began a career in corporate planning and acquisitions. In 1988, after nearly a decade of honing his business skills, Cyril returned to Pritchard Hill to join the Chappellet team. “The finest wineries around the world reflect a commitment that goes beyond one generation,” says Cyril. “At Chappellet, this ongoing commitment is key to our continued ability to make extraordinary wines. It has also elevated Pritchard Hill as one of the world’s finest locations for producing ultra-premium wine.”

Prior to being named chairman of the board, Cyril spent many years as the winery’s managing director. In this role, he was instrumental in guiding the day-to-day workings of the winery, overseeing sales and marketing efforts and working with his parents and siblings to ensure the ongoing vitality of the business. During his tenure as managing director, Chappellet was recognized for making some of the finest wines in its storied history, and Pritchard Hill catapulted to center stage as California’s premier location for mountain-grown Bordeaux varietals, most notably, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cyril was elected chairman of the winery’s family-run board of directors in 2012, becoming the only person other than his father, Donn, to hold this position in the history of Chappellet Vineyard. Today, Cyril is actively involved in every aspect of the winery’s operations and works closely with his family to ensure the continued success of Chappellet.

Cyril’s intimate connection with Pritchard Hill, where he lives with his wife Blakesley and their quarter horses, Dragon, Patron and Rico, often finds him lending a skilled hand wherever needed. Whether building a horse corral, driving a forklift in the winery, or barbecuing for guests, Cyril enjoys being hands-on. “Doing whatever it takes is the nature of a family business,” says Cyril. “It is also part of the charm.”

In addition to the many hats he wears at Chappellet, Cyril has been a board member of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, of which Chappellet was the 18th registered member. (There are 425 members today.) He is also actively involved with the Wine Service Co-Op that Chappellet helped to found in 1972. Cyril also served as chair of the 2012 Auction Napa Valley, which raised $8.2 million for local charities. When not working on behalf of Chappellet or the Napa Valley wine industry, Cyril is an avid horseman, and a member of the Charlie Russell Riders and Los Rancheros Visitadores.

Events

Welcome Party

Ian Brand

Winemaker
I. Brand & Family

I Brand & Family Wines is a small producer in the Monterey Bay area of California’s Central Coast making wines from vineyards within a 100-mile radius of our Salinas winery in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Santa Clara counties, with an eye for showcasing the best qualities of what we feel is an underappreciated winegrowing region. We search beyond the traditionally esteemed sites and focus on fortuitous alignments of soil, slope, aspect and variety.

After graduating from college in Vermont, winemaker, owner and native New Englander Ian Brand found a job on the Alaskan Peninsula leading groups of tourists to see grizzly bears in the wild. He continued his adventures for five years, ski-bumming, surf-bumming, doing wildlife surveys in the canyons of Utah, and joining the Peace Corps in Ecuador, eventually ending up broke and homeless in Santa Cruz. He felt lucky to find a job at the Bonny Doon Vineyard, where his first harvest hooked him on winemaking. He joined Big Basin Vineyards, an acclaimed Santa Cruz Mountains producer, as vineyard manager and assistant winemaker for four years. In 2008, he and his wife Heather decided to move to Monterey County and strike out on their own.

Winegrapes in this area benefit from the regular influx of cooling sea air from the 11,000 foot deep Monterey Marine Canyon. Dramatic microclimates result from onshore breezes and fog as they interplay with the coastal mountain ranges, valleys and California sunshine. Combined with varied soils and substrates, predominantly granite based and marine sediments, west of the San Andreas Fault on the Pacific Plate, these microclimates create a bevy of interesting vineyards.

Whether it’s Cabernet Franc from rocky, granitic Paicines, Albariño from the calcium rich bench on the eastern edge of the Santa Lucias, or Mourvédre rosé off the white clays and limestones of Spur Ranch, each site is carefully selected for its potential. With Le P’tit Paysan focused on French country expression and La Marea focused on Spanish varieties, I Brand and Family winery is providing a refined alternative to astute wine enthusiasts for their daily glass of wine.

Francis Wolf

Chef de Cuisine
Le Hatley Restaurant at Manoir Hovey

For over twelve years, Chef Francis Wolf has been an integral part of the Manoir Hovey Relais & Chateaux kitchen team. Francis began his culinary apprenticeship in his home province of Quebec, going on to hone his skills at celebrated New York restaurants under the auspices of chefs like Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud and Charlie Palmer, and then, later, in San Francisco with Gary Danko.

Francis Wolf regularly travels to the United States and Europe to glean inspiration from the world's great restaurants. Always seeking a balance between texture and flavour, Chef Wolf never hesitates to experiment with new culinary methods. Intrigued by traditional and cutting-edge recipes, he enjoys using rare or forgotten ingredients. At Manoir Hovey, he frequents the onsite and local gardens with enthusiasm, and visits regularly with small unique producers always seeking the most fresh and seasonal local produce to compliment Le Hatley Restaurant’s ever changing menus. Day after day, his creations reveal the wonders of our regional terroir, making us savour and appreciate Quebec and Canada’s colourful local abundance.

Bonnie Graves

President & Founder
Girl Meets Grape

Bonnie Graves is the founder, president and voice of Girl Meets Grape, a wine and lifestyle agency based in Los Angeles and launched in 2005. Bonnie was born in Salt Lake City and raised on the Jersey shore, both areas known for many things if not the vineyards. She graduated from Harvard magna cum laude before she could legally drink. She collects weird rocks and old maps. She speaks a pile of fancy languages. She wound up a sommelier. Bonnie worked in restaurants for 15 years before paroling herself to marry the cute guy who is now the father of her two cute kids – life works like that. Momma needs wine and a whole lotta latte. Follow her @girlmeetsgrape and visit girlmeetsgrape.com

Carlton McCoy, MS

Master Sommelier & Wine Director
The Little Nell

Carlton McCoy was named wine director of element 47 at The Little Nell in July, marking an incredible rise through the food and wine industry that began with a high school culinary program for underprivileged youth.

Carlton is one of the youngest people in the world to have earned the master sommelier diploma and is the second African American to do so. Just 30 years old, Carlton earned his master sommelier diploma in May of 2013 (at the age of 28!), joining an elite group of wine professionals who have achieved the highest distinction afforded in the wine industry. But growing up, no wine was served in Carlton’s home.

He was raised in a rough neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and spent his time assisting his grandmother with her church-based catering business. In high school he enrolled in the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), which helps underprivileged youth get a head start on culinary careers. He was awarded a scholarship to The Culinary Institute of America, where he was called to his true passion: wine and service.

Carlton has a sense of adventure, travelling the world in search of great wine and spirits. He has graced several celebrated restaurants including Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit, Tom Colicchio’s Craft Steak in New York, Eric Zeibold’s CityZen at The Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C., and worked with Doug Anderson at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Carlton arrived at The Little Nell in November 2011, inspired by the hotel's Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning program and the property's exciting reputation as a training ground for master sommeliers. The Little Nell has had more masters come through its wine program than any other establishment in the country, with 10 masters working or having worked on property. He has received many awards including the Forbes 30 under 30, Wine Enthusiest Best New Sommelier, Star Chefs’s Rising Star Sommelier among others.

This season, Carlton debuted a new, unpretentious wine tasting program in the cellar at The Little Nell, enabling guests to have a casual après ski tasting (or some late-night fun) with a sommelier. When Carlton is not serving, studying or tasting wine, he is out running, biking, hiking, skiing or spending time with his “little buddy” through the Buddy Program, Aspen’s youth mentoring program.

Kale Anderson

Director of Winemaking
Pahlmeyer

Kale Anderson’s passion is producing wines with a sense of place – balancing science and artistry. As Pahlmeyer’s Director of Winemaking – Napa Valley, he oversees the production of Pahlmeyer’s Napa Valley wines, including the iconic Bordeaux-style blend, Proprietary Red and the winery’s Waters Ranch Vineyard high above the Napa Valley.

With more than 10 years of winemaking experience working with luminaries such as Mark Aubert, Philippe Melka and David Abreu, Kale’s connection to the craft is deeply rooted . A California native reared in Santa Rosa, his interest in the wine industry led him to earn a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis in 2002. After graduation, Kale held an internship at Colgin Cellars’ Pritchard Hill Estate, and served as assistant winemaker at Terra Valentine where he also managed an extensive custom-crush program.

In 2005, Kale joined Cliff Lede Vineyards where he was promoted from assistant winemaker to winemaker for the winery’s Poetry and Cliff Lede labels.

"At Pahlmeyer, I’ll be following in the footsteps of such esteemed winemakers as Randy Dunn, Bob Levy, Helen Turley and Erin Green. It’s an honor and a challenge I’m thrilled to take on,” said Kale. “With Jayson's excitement and commitment, and the phenomenal team here, we’re primed to continue the winery’s incredible success. It's Pahlmeyer 6.0!"

Events

Welcome Party

Lauren Ackerman

Owner
Ackerman Family Vineyards

AFV Overall:

"Since our very first days in Coombsville, we’ve been inspired by legendary Napa Valley names and meaningful winemaking. We identify with wines that are rooted in tradition, but made in the spirit of today. Our small vineyard has become synonymous with the quality the Coombsville AVA produces. We never looked back after we released our first commercial vintage in 2007— our 2003 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. About it, Master of Wine Peter Marks’ has said, "…consider yourself fortunate if you still have this in your cellar.

From the beginning, all of our actions in the vineyard have been purposeful. We began sustainable farming in 2004, and by 2009 we earned our California Certified Organic Farm (CCOF) label – a designation no other Coombsville winery has obtained. To us, it’s a testament to our patience, time and enthusiasm. Our wines—a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with softer edges and lower alcohol levels—are contemporary expressions that reflect our evolving vineyard valley. As of today, we’ve made only one other wine; Alavigna Tosca, meaning "in the spirit of " Tuscany. It speaks to our love of approachable wine, down to earth food, sophisticated culture and special places. For us, it encapsulates “the sweet life.”

Laurens Story:

"Lauren started her career in the information technology field, working in various marketing and sales positions for entrepreneurial technology companies until starting her own firm, Wavelength Marketing, Inc. in 1982. Through Wavelength, she helped to set up national reseller channels for companies such as Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and others before selling the company to a U.K.-based firm in 1988. Lauren moved to the Bay Area from Southern California that same year and consulted with Philips Semiconductors, Motorola and PacificCare in national and international market channels and consumer database development.

Her non-profit career started in 1999 through her board involvement in Napa with Justin-Siena High School; Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts (she served as Chair for three years); Blue Oak School; The Napa Valley Community Foundation (serving as Chair for two years); the Napa Valley Arts Council; The Institute of International Education (IIE) and NapaLearns. Currently, Lauren is on the boards of Napa Valley Film Festival, di Rosa and SEE International. She also served on the Board of Vintage Bank (NorthBay Bancorp) before its purchase by Umpqua Bank in 2006.

Lauren has a BA Degree from the University of Southern California and her MBA degree from Pepperdine University. She is also an alumni of the Rockefeller Foundation; TPW program in 2003."

Events

Welcome Party

Jennifer Backman

Executive Chef
Weekapaug Inn

A Rhode Island culinary veteran, Chef Jennifer Backman joined the Weekapaug Inn as Executive Chef from nearby sister property, Ocean House. Chef Backman sharpened her skills as sous chef in Seasons restaurant at Ocean House during the resort’s opening in 2010, before stepping into the executive sous chef position in January 2012. Chef Backman was instrumental in guiding the direction of the cuisine throughout the resort, and incorporated local produce and the ethical use of the sea to create unique and unforgettable dining experiences. Prior to joining the Ocean House team, she spent five years as executive sous chef at Castle Hill Inn & Resort in Newport, R.I. Previously, she served as sous chef at the Rhode Island Country Club, and worked as a cook at the Gatehouse Restaurant in Providence, R.I. and Cinquanta in Karlsruhe, Germany. Chef Backman graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.

Warren Barr

Executive Chef
The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn

The Pointe Restaurant is the perfect location for Executive Chef Warren Barr to showcase his talent for creating memorable dining experiences for guests of the renowned Wickaninnish Inn.

Chef Barr has been a key member of the Inn’s culinary leadership team since 2010, starting as Sous Chef alongside Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Nutting

Chef Barr took the reins as Executive Chef in early 2013 coinciding with the departure of Nick Nutting. Warren is well-acquainted with being promoted from within. He entered the doors of Vancouver’s Four Diamond restaurant Le Crocodile as apprentice, quickly graduating to the role of Chef de Partie.

Chef Barr spent five seasons as the Executive Chef of Prince Edward Island’s The Inn at Bay Fortune, recognized as a pioneer of farm-to-table cuisine and of Canadian food culture.

Winters were spent in Montreal’s critically acclaimed eateries, including Café Ferreira and Restaurant XO at the stunning Hotel Saint-James. There, Barr honed his expertise in European preparation styles, a style he learned to love during his early career working in the French Alps.

At the Wickaninnish Inn, Chef Barr is successfully filling the very big shoes left behind by the Wick’s past greats in the kitchen, including Chefs Rod Butters, Andrew Springett and Nicholas Nutting. Following the legacy of his predecessors, Barr continues to dazzle diners with creative combinations and delectable plates, while injecting his love of all things Canadian into every meal.

Barr’s passion for locally sourced, sustainable and high-quality ingredients is evident in all aspects of the Inn’s culinary program. Much of the fresh seafood served in The Pointe is fished from the very waters overlooked by restaurant. The kitchen team delights in using produce dropped at the doorstep straight from independent farmers from across Vancouver Island. Everything, absolutely everything, served at the Inn is made from scratch, and whenever possible, includes only locally sourced ingredients.

In May 2014 The Pointe Restaurant placed 24th in the listing of top Canadian 50 Restaurants announced in the third-annual Vacay.ca Dining Guide of 2014.

Chuck Bancroft

Ranger

Chuck Bancroft was a Ranger at Point Lobos from 1981 until his retirement in 2011. He is a naturalist, an avid birder, photographer, cook and wine enthusiast. Chuck became associated with The Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz in 1985 and has been working with Phil Carpenter since that time doing joint presentations and leading hunts.

Ryan Beauregard

Winemaker

Beauregard Vineyards

I discovered a love for making wine at a very young age. I grew up at the Beauregard Ranch (the original vineyard purchased by my great-grandfather in 1949) and played as a child among the vines. Different places in the vineyards have different soil types and different smells-sandy loam topsoils with underlaying limestone surrounded by redwood tress on one end and chaparral at the other-and those smells are ingrained into my earliest memories. To this day I can smell a wine in the cellar and know specifically where it came from on the home ranch. Later in life, I had opportunities to travel to Europe and see how the French make wine. I was instantly ready to put modern style winemaking by the wayside and employ old world techniques in my own cellar practices.

Events

Seafood Grill

William Ballentine

Owner / Winemaker
William Cole Vineyards

The fourth generation in his family to make wine in Napa Valley, William Ballentine, Jr. has winemaking in his blood. Growing up among the vines, tending grapes and making wine, a legacy handed down to him by his grandfathers and great grandfathers, has become the dominant theme of Bill’s life.

Starting his career by working with the Gallo Family in the 1980s, Bill later returned to his roots at Ballentine Vineyards in the 80s and 90s developing the winery from the ground up. In 1998 he became the winemaker for St Clement Winery staying until 2001 when he left to found William Cole Vineyards. Bill Graduated from Fresno State University where he studied business along with oenology and viticulture.

Events

Welcome Party

Beccy Breeze

Assistant Chef Sommelier
Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

Beccy has twenty years experience working in the wine business. She has worked in direct sales, wholesale, education, hospitality, as a cellar master, sommelier, and wine director. She has worked with restaurant wine programs as diverse as wine bars to Michelin starred Wine Spectator Award Winners including Sierra Mar, Murray Circle, RN74, Aziza and Casanova. She currently works as a sommelier at Aubergine, at L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Châteaux property that recently received Forbes Travel Guide’s highest rating of five stars. She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Beccy is a veteran of the wine event circuit having worked Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest, Pebble Beach Food and Wine, Los Angeles Food and Wine, Central Coast Wine Classic, Big Sur Food and Wine and Eat Drink SF. This is Beccy’s second year working the Gourmet​Fest and is excited to give back to the community.

Garrett Bowlus

Winegrower
Albatross Ridge

Our Story
In the early 1930’s my great-grandfather William Hawley Bowlus began launching his one of a kind “Albatross” sailplanes off the ridges of Carmel Valley. Today our family carries on his avant-garde legacy farming Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on a steep Carmel Valley ridge overlooking the Carmel-By-The-Sea and the Pacific Ocean only seven miles in the distance.

Estate Vineyard
The Albatross Ridge Estate vineyard contains twenty-five acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay rooted upon a steep and rocky Carmel Valley ridge rising over 1250 feet in elevation overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Our vineyard elevation and close proximity to the ocean create a unique micro-climate that keeps temperatures mild throughout the summer allowing the fruit to ripen very slowly and extend our growing season into late October. Our cumulative “Growing Degree Days” from our site are between 1750-1950 Degree Days, making our vineyard location one of the coolest sites to ripen Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The low vigor soils of the vineyard site consist of fossilized diatomaceous marine shale, clay loam and rock.

Winegrowing Philosophy
Our philosophy is simple, to express the terroir of the vineyard and preserve the unique story of each vintage. We thoughtfully farm our vineyard using a combination of sustainable and organic practices. Our goal is to handle our wines as minimally as possible in order to preserve and display the unique flavors that result from our hard work in the vineyard. We choose to use native yeasts and allow fermentation to occur naturally, and our wines are unfined and unfiltered. We are passionate about producing balanced, age-worthy and most importantly food friendly wines that reflect their place of origin.

Visit our Tasting Room
The Albatross Ridge wine tasting room is located just across from Carmel Plaza and inside the Court of the Fountains on Mission St. between Ocean Ave. and Seventh in downtown Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Events

Seafood Grill

Bradley Brown

Winemaker & Proprietor
Big Basin Vineyards

Bradley’s interest in wine was initially inspired by his father, Glenn, who was an avid home winemaker and lover of German wines. His interest grew exponentially after he reached legal drinking age and was further fueled by a Francophile brother who spent seven years in Paris and the Rhone Valley culminating in a harvest working for Emanual Raynaud at Chateau Rayas. Upon moving to California after college, Bradley quickly made friends with local winemakers and took advantage of opportunities to taste wines and participate in the winemaking process.

When it came time for a career change that would be compatible with his passions in life, grape growing and winemaking were the obvious choices. He was introduced to Rhone Ranger John Alban who agreed to consult for Bradley. First came the planting of the Rattlesnake Rock Estate vineyard in 2000 followed by his foray into winemaking with the first vintage in 2002. Bradley built a winery in 2003 using redwoods sustainably harvested from the Estate and has grown the portfolio from one wine to over sixteen wines including five different single vineyard Pinot noirs. Being a farmer himself he understands the importance of vineyard site and viticultural practices and has made it his mission to seek out the very best sites throughout the Santa Cruz and Gabilan Mountains. He committed to organic farming as a way to improve the expression of site and had the entire Estate vineyard Certified Organic by CCOF.

Big Basin Vineyards has had an extensive number of reviews published by major wine critics including Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Rhone Report, Wine and Spirits, Burghound, Prince of Pinot and others. Antonio Galloni writing for the Wine Advocate recently had this to say about Bradley, "Proprietor Bradley Brown crafts some of the most compelling, small-production artisan wines in California’s Central Coast. With each passing year, the wines are more refined and polished, making Big Basin one of the most dynamic up and coming wineries in the state.” Passionately driven to produce authentic and compelling wines, Bradley has continued to evolve his minimal intervention winemaking with the use of more whole clusters and less new Oak. Recently, Big Basin Vineyards was selected to join 32 of California’s top Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers to be represented at In Pursuit of Balance - one of the only wine tasting organizations in the US today that carefully selects it’s members through juried blind tastings by respected professionals. In Pursuit of Balance seeks to promote dialogue around the meaning and relevance of balance in California pinot noir and chardonnay. Bradley is presently serving on the Board of Directors for the Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association. His wife Samantha is a highly respected yoga teacher and the second floor of the winery is a yoga studio where Bradley and the other employees take advantage of the weekly yoga classes. Bradley and Samantha have two young sons, Kiran and Lakota, both of whom love grapes and tractors.

Events

Seafood Grill

Michel Bras

Bras

Chef Michel Bras’ biography is deceptively short and for one good reason: this master of “la cuisine du terroir” never left his territory. Unlike so many other chefs of his caliber, influence, and generation, Bras never found a good enough reason to leave his beloved Aubrac. There are no apprenticeships, no stages, no other restaurants to list under his name. He is a self–taught and self–made man.

Bras was born to a blacksmith–father and chef–mother in Gabriac in 1946. He schooled in a nearby town and from an early age started helping his mother, a Cordon Bleu–trained chef, tend her pots at the family’s hotel/restaurant Lou Mazuc. Bras credits his mother with introducing him to the cuisine of Aubrac—a region in central southern France that he describes as lacking any “specific gastronomical virtue unlike other regions.” His childhood was filled with delicious memories of his mother’s cooking, making simple ingredients taste extraordinary, and a deep respect for Aubrac.

Though Bras never left the Lou Mazuc kitchen to train elsewhere, he studied culinary literature, philosophy, and photography with zeal. He cooked and created from his intuition, as he does to this day. When Bras was 33 years old, he took over the inn from his parents. His innovative cooking caught the attention of famed French restaurant guide Gault et Millau; Lou Mazuc was awarded two Michelin stars under his guise.

Bras’ passionate pursuit to connect his cuisine to nature—thus to “create a restaurant in the middle of nature”—led him to open hotel/restaurant Michel Bras in 1992. The ultra–modern structure is built of nearly all glass with slate and granite, and sits on a plateau overlooking the landscape of Aubrac. Bras was awarded with three Michelin stars in 1999. Bras, now joined by his son, who is gradually taking the helm of the kitchen, renamed his restaurant Bras Michel & Sébastien in 2003.

Jonathan Cartwright

Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux
Muse by Jonathan Cartwright

Jonathan Cartwright was appointed Group Chef de Cuisine for Grace Hotels in 2011. He has global responsibility for defining and managing the dining experience across all Grace properties, respecting local gastronomic traditions and making use of local ingredients while applying the creativity and attention to detail that has won him numerous plaudits throughout his international career.

Chef Cartwright also holds the position of Executive Chef at the White Barn Inn, which will be officially rebranded as The White Barn Grace upon joining the Grace Hotels portfolio in 2014. The hotel’s restaurant offers a combined AAA Five Star Diamond and Forbes Five Star dining experience, and is acknowledged as one of the finest restaurants in northeast USA. Chef Cartwright’s talents are recognized worldwide, where he has earned the distinctive title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, and has cooked at the prestigious James Beard House and the Versailles Palace in France.

Chef Cartwright’s first task in his role of Group Chef de Cuisine was the transformation of the main restaurant at The Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, Rhode Island (at the time, the latest addition to the Grace Hotels portfolio). The restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, opened to vast critical acclaim, receiving the title of ‘Best Hotel Restaurant’ by Rhode Island Monthly in 2011 and securing the prestigious AAA 4 diamond award in 2012.

Applying the same principles, he opened the second Muse by Jonathan Cartwright in November 2013, which forms part of Grace Cafayate in northwest Argentina. This fine dining restaurant showcases modern European cuisine whilst paying homage to local Argentinian traditions and using the best local ingredients including beef, goat and llama.

Most recently he oversaw the opening of the third ‘Muse by Jonathan Cartwright’ at the newly refurbished Mayflower Grace situated in the idyllic town of Washington in Connecticut. The restaurant offers modern European cuisine, incorporating the best of local and seasonal produce for the ultimate gastronomic experience.

Originally from Yorkshire, England, Cartwright has been at home in the kitchen since age 15. He brings to New England an international sensibility and mastery of cuisine gained while serving some of the world’s finest Relais & Châteaux properties including Blantyre in Lenox, Mass., the Horned Dorset Primavera in Puerto Rico and the Hotel Bareiss in the Black Forest region of Germany. “I believe that my menu creations are influenced by a love of European-style cooking acquired from my experiences,” says Cartwright. “This is fused with the many culinary and cultural inspirations of my present home, coastal Maine.”

Before joining the White Barn Inn in 1994, Cartwright was Executive Chef of the Relais & Châteaux Horned Dorset Primavera in Puerto Rico. After his training apprenticeships, he continued to study under Anton Edelmann, Maitre Chef de Cuisine at The Savoy Hotel, London. In 1989, while still at the Savoy, he accompanied Edelmann to New York’s Pierre Hotel and to the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills to help with celebrations honoring the Savoy Hotel's 100th anniversary.

Carissa Chappellet

Co-Owner
Chappellet Winery

As a trained lawyer, skilled mediator, artist, author and photographer, Carissa assists in running the Chappellet Winery alongside her family, together they are committed to the long-term sustainability of their iconic winery.

A passionate spokesperson on behalf of Chappellet, Carissa has also earned the title of ambassador-at-large. Traveling throughout the country and overseas with her life-partner, Archie McLaren. Archie is a noted wine expert, founder of the Central Coast Wine Classic, writer and radio personality. At the winery Carissa oversees the legal affairs of the company. Carissa has also applied her numerous artistic talents to her work. Her first book, The Romance of California Vineyards, a visual tour of the wine country was published in 1997. Her second book, The Dragons of Pritchard Hill, is a fanciful history of the Napa Valley through the eyes of her dragons. Her latest endevour, Poetic Moon, features her poetry inspired by her life in Big Sur and the Napa Valley. Her photography has been published in A Vineyard Garden, Gardens of the Wine Country, Longhouse, and the “Central Coast Wine Classic Catalog”.

An active member in the wine community, Carissa is on the board of directors for the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation, a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and is a founding member of A Woman’s Palate (celebrating wine by women, for women). When not working on behalf of Chappellet, Carissa explores her many areas of interest and expertise, which include a passion for bluegrass music, playing the mandolin, hiking, gardening, and cycling.

Château de Beaucastel

Beaucastel's terroir is marked by the Rhone violence. It is made with a layer of marine molasses (sandstone) of the Miocene period, covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones, know as galets, bear evidence of the time when the Rhone, a torrent at this time, tore fragments of rocks from the Alps and deposited them along its course.

The meso-climate plays an important rôle with a low rainfall, beautiful sunshine and spectacular temperature difference. Here the galets make an essential contribution in the qulaity of the vintage: they retain heat of hte day adn radiate it to the vines during the night. The Mistral wind that goes into the very old vines, with gnarled feet, dries and clean the vines planted in the traditional style called "gobelet".

Lanshu Chen

Executive Chef
Le Moût Restaurant

The happiness of sharing lightens the journey for perfection, the most pleasant companion ever.

After 4 years in Foreign Literatures in the National Taiwan University, Lanshu decided to follow her craftsmanship passion and left for Paris. It took her another 4 years there to explore the world of gastronomy, receiving pastry diploma of Le Cordon Bleu and the complete culinary training in school Ferrandi. Later on she obtained the CAP certificate of cuisine in 2006.

She then worked in several grand restaurants as Les Ambassadeurs with Chef Jean-­‐François Piège and Jérôme Chaucesse, Relais d’Auteuil with Chef Patrick Pignol, and also in the pastry atelier of legendary Pâtissier Pierre Hermé. Outside of France, Lanshu’s experience at The French Laundry in Napa Valley opened to her another world and inspired her with their devoted pursuit of perfection in this temple of gastronomy.

In 2008, Lanshu came back to Taiwan. Out of her passion about food and the eagerness to share the happiness to cook, she opened the restaurant Le Moût in Taichung City. After years of efforts, Le Moût has achieved the most renowned French restaurant in the country. Lanshu was entitled as Grand Chef of Relais & Châteaux in 2011 and became the first female Grand Chef in Asia. With classic French ambiance, Lanshu creates her own "Cuisine de Terroir" by fusing local specialties with best ingredients from all over the world. She interprets her memories and emotions toward different cultures as a gastronomic language. People may easily perceive the unique naïveté from the balance and fineness of her dishes. Nevertheless, the preciseness to every detail completes the true spirit of Haute Cuisine. And she never ceases to surpass herself…

Justin Cogley

Executive Chef
Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

Cogley comes to Carmel by way of Chicago, Illinois, where he was instrumental in opening the Elysian Hotel’s new kitchen as executive sous chef. He previously worked at Charlie Trotter’s critically acclaimed restaurant for four years, claiming the position of chef de cuisine for the last two. As such, he was responsible for menu creation, special events, and extensive instruction and management of the culinary staff.

With delicate interplay between creativity, tradition, and respect for his ingredients, Cogley’s food is deeply unique. His style is a sophisticated balance between innovation and unwavering deference for the finest ingredients he procures. “If I had to describe my food,” Cogley says, “I would say each plate has a purpose.” Cogley’s goal is to inspire guests to enjoy a broad combination of flavors and textures. He may present a diner with a vegetable prepared three ways on his plate but, Cogley says, “each of the flavors will be unique and pure.”

Under the direction of Chef Cogley and his team Aubergine has enjoyed substantial acclaim. In December 2013, Cogley was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, joining an esteemed list of internationally celebrated chefs. In early 2014 Aubergine received Forbes Travel Guide’s highest Five-Star rating recognizing excellence in restaurants. Food & Wine magazine named Justin Cogley "Best New Chef" in 2013.

Gary Danko

Executive Chef, Owner
Gary Danko

Gary Danko is widely recognized as one of America's most talented and respected chefs. His achievements include a James Beard Foundation "Best Chef - California" award and reflect his lifelong pursuit of excellence in the culinary arts. Danko's successes can be attributed to his many years of study and hard work, combined with an innate ability to create dishes of both elegance and depth that evoke the simple pleasures and warmth of home cooking.

Danko combines classical training with focuses on French, Mediterranean, and regional American cooking. He incorporates influential culinary traditions from around the world into his own work, adding seasonings and techniques drawn from Asia and India. He infuses precise technique with creative flair and adventuresome spirit to create a cuisine of great finesse and balanced flavors. Danko is dedicated to using seasonal, locally grown and raised foods. He forged close relationships with artisan cheese, meat, and produce suppliers long before other chefs discovered the virtues of this approach.

Danko was reared in the small town of Massena in upstate New York. He credits his parents for his strong work ethic. Cooking was learned at his mother's knee. A Louisiana native, she deftly balanced flavors through the judicious use of simple seasonings, and focused on farm-fresh ingredients. Those lessons guide him to this day. His father, an architect and builder, launched Danko's interest in restaurants when he undertook the remodeling of The Village Inn, a local eatery. Danko, then only fourteen years old, worked his way through high school at that restaurant, and had worked in all facets of the restaurant business by the time he graduated in 1975.

Always convinced of his calling, Danko enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His classmates included Bradley Ogden and Susan Feniger. A top student, he mastered the techniques of professional cooking.

It was as a student at the CIA that Danko discovered Madeleine Kamman's The Making of a Cook. Her visionary and creative approach to cooking deeply inspired Danko, who continued to learn more from this accomplished chef.

After he graduated in 1977, Danko moved to San Francisco and spent the next three years working as a lunch chef at a small bookstore/bistro and as an expediter/waiter at the Waterfront Restaurant in the evening. He enjoyed this opportunity to explore the Bay Area, but eventually returned east to the traditional roots of his evolving style. Moving to Vermont, he became the chef at the highly regarded Tucker Hill Inn, where his creativity and distinctive style flourished. Exhilarated by the profusion of fresh and flavorful local products such as butter, cheeses, poultry, and produce, Danko began to change his menu nightly, an uncommon practice at the time.

Avidly following Madeleine Kamman's career, Danko enrolled in her class at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School in 1983 and finally introduced himself to the person whose writing had so inspired him. A year later he enrolled in her cooking school in New Hampshire. He distinguished himself at the school and at its adjacent restaurant, and this marked the beginning of a close friendship. Although Danko received his formal training at the CIA, he credits his study under Madeleine Kamman with refining his skills and developing the approach that embodies his personal cooking style today.

Madeleine Kamman subsequently appointed Danko to Beringer Vineyards' food and wine externship. Impressed with Danko's talents, Beringer hired him as executive chef in 1985, and in this position he helped build Beringer's culinary center into a successful, respected educational program that garnered considerable recognition and respect. A year later, Kamman established her School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards in the Napa Valley. When Beringer purchased Chateau Souverain in Sonoma County, Danko took the helm of its restaurant as executive chef. It was there that Danko's achievements first attracted national acclaim. In 1989, Food & Wine magazine selected him as one of the ten best new chefs in America, and the Wine Spectator featured him on the cover of its issue focusing on wine country fine dining.

After four years at Chateau Souverain, Danko left to become the chef of the Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, which then attained well-deserved status as one of the country's finest restaurants and earned a rare San Francisco Chronicle four-star rating. In 1995, Danko won the James Beard Foundation's "Best Chef - California" award.

While at The Ritz-Carlton, Danko appeared as a featured chef on the TV Food Network and on the PBS Great Chefs series. He also worked with Jacques Pepin on the Cooking with Claudine series. In addition, he taught extensively and earned the respect of food editors and writers as a source of exceptional information and recipes.

He left The Ritz-Carlton in 1996 to begin work on a cookbook and to continue laying the groundwork for his own restaurant. In the interim he took on the challenge of launching Viognier, the restaurant at the new Draeger's Market Place in San Mateo, California. He had been a frequent and popular instructor at Draeger's Cooking School, which offers cooking classes taught by this country's foremost chefs. During his two-year tenure as a consultant at Viognier, he fashioned a successful restaurant that was featured and lauded in respected local and national publications. Columnist John Mariani recognized these achievements by bestowing Esquire Magazine's coveted "Best New Restaurant" award on Viognier. This was the second time Danko had received the award, the first being at the Dining Room of the Ritz-Carlton in 1993.

With Viognier thriving, a phone call from Michel Elkaim, the owner of Chez Michel restaurant in San Francisco, brought Danko's plan for his own restaurant to life. Chez Michel, which closed in the spring of 1999, was the precise location that Danko had determined was ideal years before. This phone call led to the creation of GARY DANKO, the restaurant.

Paul Draper

CEO / Winemaker
Ridge Vineyards

Paul Draper grew up on an eighty-acre farm near the Chicago suburb of Barrington. After attending the Choate School and receiving a degree in philosophy from Stanford University, he lived for two years in northern Italy. He went on to attend the University of Paris and traveled extensively in France. In both Italy and France he sought out and studied traditional winemaking practices. In the mid-sixties, with a close friend, he set up a small winery in the coast range of Chile and produced several vintages of old vine cabernet sauvignon. He joined Ridge Vineyards in 1969 and resides atop Monte Bello Ridge with his wife, pianist and author Maureen McCarthy Draper. He is known for the fine cabernets and chardonnays of the Monte Bello estate vineyards, and as a pioneer in the production of long-lived, complex zinfandels.

Elizabeth Huettinger

Wine Director
Addison at the Grand Del Mar

Advanced Sommelier Elizabeth Huettinger is responsible for the maintenance of Addison’s 37,000-bottle wine collection. She supervises the highly trained and credentialed sommelier team, as well as contributes to the outstanding wine dinners, tastings and educational seminars for which Addison is known. Working closely with Executive Chef/Director William Bradley, she considers herself a curator of wine and other beverages and continues to hone her skills at successfully breaking convention within the art of fine food and wine pairing. In addition, Huettinger serves as the wine director of Addison’s sister restaurant in La Jolla, Bijou French Bistro. Previously, Huettinger, with her mantra of making wine experiences approachable to the guest, served as the assistant wine director at world-famed Spago in Beverly Hills, working closely with wine director and Master Sommelier Christopher Miller. Previous to that, she was a sommelier/manager at the former Cavaillon in San Diego. In addition, she worked as a sommelier at Carmel, California’s Aubergine at L’Auberge, where she managed the bar and cocktail program.

Gaia Gaja

Owner
Gaja

Gaia Gaja had a wine named in her honour (GAIA & REY Chardonnay) even before she took her first steps. Born in Barbaresco, in Italy’s renowned Piedmont region, Gaia Gaja is the fifth generation of her family to work at the Gaja Winery. In addition to her responsibilities in Barbaresco, she has represented the Winery throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.

The eldest of three children of Angelo and Lucia Gaja, Gaia and her sister, Rossana, and brother, Giovanni, live in Barbaresco.

Jack Galante

Owner
Galante Vineyards

At Galante Vineyards our philosophy is simple: grow the finest grapes possible and let the fruit express itself in the wine. Since all of our grapes are estate grown, each bottle of wine we produce embodies the characteristics of our unique region, exhibiting the natural flavors that are born from the land.

The Galante Family has a long history in the Monterey area. Owner Jack Galante's great grandfather, J.F. Devendorf, was the founder of the town of Carmel. He later built the Pine Inn and the prestigious Highlands Inn.

In 1969, Jack's parents purchased a 700-acre cattle ranch in rustic Carmel Valley. While still maintaining a working cattle ranch, the Galantes, in 1983, began growing premium grapes on their property, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1994, Jack Galante decided to build a winery and use some of his grapes to produce ultra-premium estate bottled wines. Today Galante is recognized as one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Monterey County and all of California.

We also participate in and hold many events throughout the year. Please refer to our calendar of events. For a one on one approach, tours and tasting, by appointment only, offer a personal look into our winemaking process. We can also arrange a private tasting/party for small groups or large corporations.

Graham Gaspard

CEO
Black River Caviar

Black River Caviar is the first and only caviar brand farmed in the Southern Hemisphere. Based on decades of research and a strong tradition of epicurean delight, Black River Caviar is the result of a true combination of Science and Art.

For the past two decades, Black River Caviar has been breeding sturgeons of Russian origin in the pristine waters of the Rio Negro under strict control in order to make high-quality caviar to please the most discriminating palates throughout the world. Black River Caviar’s facility is designed in such a way that it mimics the habitat in which these fish grow in the wild. Harvesting of the fish is done individually and not seasonally or as a school. “As we like to say, Our fish never swim in the same water twice.” Apart from respecting the animal's quality of life and its environment, the combination of the wild and the controlled allows sturgeons to grow in a natural way, creating a more consistently flavorful product.

The worldwide acceptance of our products and recognition of our sustainable efforts includes selection of Black River Caviar as the exclusive purveyor to Seabourn Cruise Lines, and the achievement of the top “Green” rating from the Marine Conservation Institute.

Bibiana González Rave

Consulting Winemaker
Wayfarer

Bibiana González Rave’s adventurous spirit and inexorable passion are evident in both her past pursuit to learn winemaking and her ongoing quest to perfect it. Studying and working in the vineyards and cellars of Burgundy, Côte-Rôtie, Bordeaux, Alsace and Cognac, she earned a Technician of Viticulture and Oenology diploma in Angoulême, followed by a Diploma of Oenology, with honors, from the University of Bordeaux. Her academic and field work awarded her an extraordinary opportunity at Château Haut-Brion where she gained a palpable understanding of the winemaker as the artist: “I used to think that by learning the most minuscule details about winemaking, I would create amazing wines. I came to understand that it is much more: the experience, the vineyards, the place and who you are as a winemaker…this is what gives wine its soul.”

Her appetite to learn winemaking styles in regions around the world led her to harvests in California and South Africa. Still, she found that the fundamental approach to viticulture in France resonated truest for her – especially the Burgundian method where vineyards tend to be quite small and are ardently managed by a single winegrower. Bibiana gained 14 years of insight and experience working in several esteemed California wineries before becoming winemaker at Lynmar Estate in 2009 where she oversaw the entire winegrowing and winemaking process.

Recognizing Bibiana’s fiery dedication and talent, Jayson Pahlmeyer invited her to join the Pahlmeyer team as consulting winemaker in 2012 to grow and make Wayfarer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Bibiana immediately fell in love with the vineyard’s outstanding characteristics, exciting block composition and manageable size – reminiscent of Burgundy. Bibiana now knows each vineyard block intimately and attends to them obsessively. “With preparation and understanding, you know how to respond to each block,” she explains. “It goes beyond data and details, there is a feeling – a relationship a winemaker develops with the vineyard that produces the magical result of exceptional wines.”

Jacob Jasinski

Chef de Cuisine
Seasons Restaurant at Ocean House

Committed to promoting Ocean House's legacy of unforgettable farm-to-table cuisine, Executive Sous Chef Jacob Jasinski joined the Ocean House team in 2014. Chef Jacob, who has previously held positions at noted properties as Atlanta's Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Kennebunkport's White Barn Inn and, most recently, Newport's Castle Hill Inn, brings to the Ocean House kitchens more than a decade's worth of information and inspiration. A graduate of the International Institute of Culinary Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts, Chef Jacob got his start as a sous chef at the White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island, where he stayed until 2005. After a year-long stint as a personal chef in Tuscon, Arizona, he took the money he had and traveled abroad. Working as a stagiaire, Chef Jacob was exposed to the artful cuisine of Osteria da Fiore, one of only two Michelin-star restaurants in Venice, Italy, and France's Domaine de Clairefontaine, also a Michelin-star-rated restaurant. Upon his return to the states, Chef Jacob continued to build his portfolio at Le Bernardin in New York City, The Salt Exchange in Portland, Maine and The Mansion in Las Vegas, under the guidance of Joël Robuchon, before returning to his New England roots.

Maximilian Kast

Wine Director
Fearrington House Restaurant

A native of the Detroit area, Maximilian Kast’s passion for food and history led him to the world of wine. Previous to starting at the Fearrington House, Max was Food and Wine Director of Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, one of the United States’ most highly rated luxury resorts. Max joined The Fearrington House in North Carolina in 2007 as Sommelier, and within a year was promoted to Wine Director with responsibilities for the beverage program for the entire property. Since starting at the Fearrington House, Max has helped the restaurant attain Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux and Forbes Five Stars. Max is an Advanced Sommelier currently holding the Theory portion of the MS Exam, he was nominated as a rising star Sommelier by StarChefs.com in 2013 and was first runner-up in the TopSomm 2014 National Finals.

Alexander Karuse

Co-Founder / Winemaker with John Locke
Birichino

A Boston native, Alex owes his adventure in wine to years spent as a student in Provence . Though he mainly drank beers in the park, he was fortunate to live with a Frenchman who had photographed the classic wine- making text, Emile Peynaud’s Knowing and Making Wine, and exposed him to Vieux Télégraphes from the 1970s with Mamie’s traditional daubes Provençales. Alex moved west, worked a year in the financial sector in San Francisco before following a dream by writing Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard in whose cellars he met his business partner John Locke. For 5 years, Alex learned to clean tanks, barrels, floors, do punch- downs and pumpovers into the wee hours, drive forklifts & trucks. Eventually, he realized how wet the cellar was, and for more than a decade went over to the Dark Side (Sales) before the desire to make his own wine resurfaced in 2008.

John, a Michigan native, had arrived in 1990 at Randall’s doorstep after a career working as a consultant to a law firm in Washington DC. John was willing to work for free, and did for a time. John must be the only winemaker whose first harvest in the Northern hemisphere started in February with the first vintages of the Vin de Glacière. John had left Bonny Doon Vineyard in 2007, but was called out of winemaking retirement to launch Birichino with Alex in 2008. Over 17 years, John also had acquired some serious winemaking chops having spent years as winemaker for Randall, and also with Andre Ostertag of Domaine Ostertag in Alsace, all across the south of France, in Northern and Southern Italy and even Maharashtra, India for a time.

Fundamentally, Alex & John make wines they like to drink; wines lower in alcohol, higher-toned in terms of aromatics and brightness, produced with minimal intervention often via native yeasts, and cellared in stain- less or neutral barrels. Thanks to long standing relationships with 3rd generation growers with old vines on land they could never afford to buy, they are fortunate to make what they love, and doubly fortunate that folks around the globe have taken a liking to what they produce, because they would have a hard time drinking it all themselves, thought that remains the backup plan.

Events

Seafood Grill

Ernst Loosen

Owner
Dr. Loosen

Ernst Loosen was born into a great tradition of German winemaking. The Dr. Loosen estate on the Mosel River has been in his family for over 200 years, so you’d think it only natural for him to take up the family legacy as a profession. The truth is, though, that as a youngster Ernst was more fascinated by the numerous Roman ruins in the area than by the family vineyards. So he went off to college to study archaeology.

In the mid-1980s, however, Ernst was faced with a decision. His father fell ill and was ready to turn the estate over to the next generation, but none of his brothers or sisters was old enough or interested enough to take it on. Happily, as it turns out, Ernst agreed to take on the estate and finally found his true calling among the broken slate of his family’s vineyards rather than the hewn stones of an old Roman ruin.

Having made the decision, Ernst dove into winemaking with his customary fervor. He had already completed studies at Geisenheim, Germany’s renowned winemaking school, and now he embarked on a self-directed review of the great wines of the world. He traveled to Austria, to Burgundy and Alsace, even to California and Australia. He went wherever great wine was being made, seeking out the best winemakers to find out what they had in common. What he discovered was that they all share a dedication to producing intense, concentrated wines that boldly proclaim their heritage. And they all ascribed to the philosophy that a great wine begins in your head — that is, you must have a clear vision of what you are striving for, before you pick a single grape.

They also have a worldly outlook that allows them to maintain respect for tradition while allowing judicious use of improved viticultural practices and modern winemaking techniques when they will improve quality. It is a philosophy that balances the old with the new. It is a way of thinking that has allowed him to move beyond the easy and familiar, the tried and not necessarily so true, to make wines that stand out as truly distinctive and world-class.

When Ernst Loosen assumed control of the Dr. Loosen estate in 1988, he recognized a lot of potential that was going unused. His father and grandfather had both been more involved in politics than winemaking, so nothing much had been done to maintain the vineyards or update the cellar. Because his predecessors had been unwilling to invest in new vines for what was essentially a family hobby, Ernst inherited a good number of ungrafted vines that were well over 100 years old — vines perfectly suited to the low-yield, highly concentrated style he wanted to produce.

His father’s neglect of the cellar also ended up working in Ernst’s favor. With no high-tech equipment to tempt them, Ernst and his cellarmaster had no choice but to make wines in a minimalist manner, with very little handling and long, slow fermentations.

Since Ernst took over, Dr. Loosen wines have received countless awards and glowing reviews in the press. The estate has become a member of the prestigious VDP, Germany’s association of top-rated wine estates, and has been named one of the 10 best estates in Germany by nearly every wine publication worldwide. Ernst was named Germany’s Winemaker of the Year in the 2001 edition of Gault Millau’s Weinguide Deutschland and Decanter magazine’s Man of the Year in 2005.

Ever restless for new adventures, in 1996 Ernst took over the historic J.L. Wolf estate, in the Pfalz region of Germany. Here he produces the more full-bodied style of Rhine valley Riesling, as well as the Pinot varieties that are traditional in that area.

Looking to the New World to rejuvenate the image of Riesling, in 1999 Ernst entered into a joint venture with Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington state. Together they produce a Washington Riesling, called Eroica, which has set a new bar for expressive, top-quality Riesling in the United States. The wine is regularly praised as the finest example of American Riesling currently being produced.

In addition to his passion for Riesling, Ernst is a lifelong Pinot Noir fanatic, a variety that he has produced in the Pfalz since 1996. After numerous visits to Oregon over the years, he found a kindred spirit in winemaker Jay Somers, founder of J. Christopher Wines. They formed a partnership in 2010, built a new J. Christopher winery and are establishing a new vineyard in the northern Willamette Valley.

Mark Manzoni

Owner
Manzoni Cellars

The Manzoni Estate Vineyard takes great pride in presenting you with wine from the finest quality grapes. They believe that their stewardship of the land, their purposefully small yields, and their detailed attention to every aspect of production results in a more flavorful, better tasting selection to grace your table.

"Since 1999, we have worked to become a wine name of discretion. We continue to grow grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County and work diligently to evolve our practices and to increase the quality of our wines.

"It is this dedication that gives us distinction in a rapidly expanding industry – dedication to standards of hard work, integrity, and uncompromising quality creates wines worthy of our customers tastes."

Fine winemaking is both an art and a passion, but also requires an understanding of the science of alchemy. The Manzoni family relies on the idea of terroir. This is the time-honored method of combining soil, slope, sun exposure, with a nod to the gods of weather that let the grape varieties show their unique characteristics.

They have chosen to grow grapes on California's cool coastal mountains, ridges, and hillsides and benchlands. Here, they strive to give you the richest, most intense flavors with a unique and memorable character.

"We believe that our family philosophy and our beliefs in vineyard methods, along with our dedication to perfecting our winemaking skills, result in amazing wines that you will find consistently intense, complex and palate pleasing."

Events

Seafood Grill

Ron Mendoza

Executive Pastry Chef
Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

Ron Mendoza is the Executive Pastry Chef for Aubergine and its sister properties Cantinetta Luca and Salumeria Luca. Formerly of Patina, Sona, and Boule in Los Angeles and the prestigious The French Laundry in Yountville, Chef Mendoza brings years of training and experience to his position; this is his third position at a Relais & Châteaux property.

Mendoza began his culinary career at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, CA. Upon graduating he began working at Joachim Splichal’s Patina Restaurant, where he began rigorous pastry training under Michelle Myers. His successful relationship with both David and Michelle Myers continued when they asked him to help open their acclaimed restaurant, Sona. He helped them open Boule Patisserie in Los Angeles as the director of operations, overseeing the launch of one of the city’s most highly regarded specialty pastry shops. It was at this time that Mendoza was recognized as a “Rising Star” by StarChefs.com.

In 2006 he accepted the position of Pastry Sous Chef at the famed French Laundry in Yountville, California. While there he immersed himself in the Thomas Keller culture, where he cultivated a quest for perfection and a passionate respect for ingredients.

In the fall of 2007 Mendoza moved to Carmel to join the award-winning team at L’Auberge Carmel and Aubergine. Mendoza’s style is creative, using techniques both modern and classical and strives for balance in flavors and textures.

Diego Muñoz

Executive Chef
Astrid & Gastón Casa Moreyra

My cooking career started quitting from university in 1998, when I decided to leave Peru to Canada to start my cooking education, finished school in Paris 1st place on Le Grande Diplome at Le Cordon Bleu, after that start sailing with Silversea Cruises, then move to Australia where join the Palazzo Versace at the Gold Coast, went for a while to Mugaritz in the basque, and then sailing again with Silversea, where went all the way to Executive Sous Chef. 2006 Sous Chef at Bilson's, 2007 El Bulli, 2008 back to Bilson's returning to El Bulli for a bit more. 2009 first job in Peru Excecutive Chef at one of the Orient Express properties in Lima, 2011 back to Australia, Royal Mail Hotel in Victoria first then Bilson's as Head Chef, where had a really good year on 2011 recovering the 3rd hat in 4 month, nominated Chef of the year, restaurant of the year and best vegetarian restaurant.

In 2012 come back to Peru to run the new project of Astrid & Gaston Casa Moreyra changing all the kitchen philosophy and putting everything ready from the old house in Cantuarias Miraflores to the move to Casa Moreyra San Isidro, got 1st restaurant on the best 50 best restaurants Latin America on it’s first issue, this year 2nd, got 14th on the 50 Best restaurants in the world 2013 and 18th on 2014, taking the leadership of the restaurant after Gaston Acurio step aside of it in September 2014.

Nathaniel Muñoz

Chef Sommelier
Aubergine at L'Auberge Carmel

Nathaniel has been a steward of wine and service along California's Central Coast for nearly 15 years. He has captured the sense of hospitality and raw beauty that pervades these communities while cultivating promising relationships along the way.

Nathaniel approached finer service at Seagrass Restaurant in Santa Barbara, owned and operated by Mitchel Sjervin. He honed his palate under John Locke, Wine Director at Soif Wine Bar & Restaurant in Santa Cruz. Nathaniel also established a service focused culture with the esoteric wines of Randall Grahm at Le Cigare Volant.

Love for food and wine is shown in his unshakeable enthusiasm. Nathaniel loves being on the floor during service, interacting with his guests as he is always focused on the guests' needs.

In 2012, he earned his Introductory & Certified Sommelier certifications through the Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2013, Nathaniel joined the ranks as the Restaurant Director at Aubergine. His attention to detail and passion for wine has made him a wonderful candidate in creating the steps of service, crafting a coastal cuisine focused wine program and overseeing day-to-day operations here at Aubergine.

In 2014, Aubergine was awarded Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star Rating. Nathaniel was also appointed as Chef Sommelier of Relais & Chateaux GourmetFest 2014. Ultimately, Nathaniel aligns his passion for creating memorable guest experiences with having "The Heart of a Servant", the core value of David Fink, owner Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group.

Beth Novak Milliken

President & CEO
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery

In 1987, Beth Novak Milliken joined her mother, Mary Novak, becoming the first second-generation family member to become actively involved in guiding Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery. In the more than quarter century since, Beth has played a key role in establishing the Spottswoode Estate Vineyard as one of the world’s great winegrowing sites, and Spottswoode as one of Napa Valley’s most iconic and respected wineries. She has also quietly built a reputation as a leader in the Napa Valley community, advocating on behalf of the wine industry, and the social and environmental causes she holds dear.

Moving to Napa Valley with her parents in 1972, Beth grew up surrounded by the vineyards. Like her four siblings, Beth’s chores included tasks like suckering the vines and cleaning out the emitters.While her youth in Napa Valley may have planted the seed for her future, ironically, it was a year spent studying abroad in Europe that made her begin thinking about a career in wine. After earning a degree in economics from UCLA, Beth joined a San Francisco-based wine brokerage representing clients like Caymus, Joseph Phelps and Pine Ridge.

When Mary asked Beth to help out “a little” at the winery, it didn’t take long for a few days a week to become a permanent way of life. “Back then, we were on our third release, and we were still in the red,” says Beth. “Two things became immediately obvious to me: this was a full time position, and I absolutely loved being a part of the winery!” One of Beth’s first major decisions was to acquire the historic adjacent Kraft property to expand the estate and establish a barrel room and offices in its beautiful buildings. Since then, Beth has played an integral role in the thoughtful evolution of Spottswoode. During her tenure, Beth has overseen the replanting of the estate in response to phylloxera, the vineyard’s CCOF organic certification in 1992, and the building of the Spottswoode Estate Winery in 1999.

In addition, Beth has been a strong and effective voice for the Napa Valley wine community. Reflecting the high regard she is held in by her peers, in 1998, Beth was elected the youngest president of the Napa Valley Vintners, becoming the first woman to hold the position. A believer in leading by example, Beth and Mary worked with four women winemakers in a row at Spottswoode, before promoting current winemaker Aron Weinkauf. Beth also spearheaded the restoration of Spring Creek, which defines the southern boundary of the estate vineyard. In 2010, Beth and Mary were honorary chairs of Auction Napa Valley, a hugely successful event that raised more than $8,500,000 for Napa Valley nonprofits, and in 2007, Spottswoode joined 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of Spottswoode’s gross revenues each year to nonprofits that support a healthier world.

Above all else, Beth sees herself as a steward of her family’s winegrowing estate. “Our family has a four-decade relationship with this land that now spans three generations. I grew up here, along with my four siblings, and now the third generation is enjoying the property.When you own a family winery like ours, the cellar is like a photo album, each vintage of our Spottswoode Estate Cabernet is a picture of a year in our family’s life.This is why it has always been so important to us that our wines reflect who we are, and what we believe in, both in terms of the way we farm our vineyard and the balanced style of our wines.”

Juan Carlos Pagola

Commerical Director
Almaviva Winery

Juan Carlos Pagola has been involved in the Chilean export industry since 2002, dedicating over seven years to the wine industry.

Starting his career in the wine business as Export Manager for Viña Undurraga in Chile, looking after the USA market, he was later promoted to Export Manager for the North American market - where he spent more than five years.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, with vast experience in the marketing of products and services for international markets across sales, marketing, financial planning, management and project administration areas.

Before joining Viña Almaviva S.A., Juan Carlos Pagola was Commercial Director for an Extra Virgin Olive Oil producer company in Chile. He has been the Commercial Director for Viña Almaviva S.A. since 2011.

Jeffrey Patterson

President & Winemaker
Mount Eden Vineyards

A native Californian, Jeffrey Patterson graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1975 with a degree in biology. While in Berkeley, he witnessed and participated in the emergence of northern California’s fine wine and food culture and in 1979 he enrolled at U.C. Davis enology program, where he studied for two years.

In 1981, Patterson became assistant winemaker at Mount Eden Vineyards. Jeffrey and his wife Ellie left Berkeley to begin a new life 2,000 feet above the Santa Clara Valley. A little over a year after his arrival, Patterson was promoted to head winemaker and general manager, and Ellie became the winery’s business manager. In 1986, they became significant shareholders in the company and in 2008 the Patterson’s acquired the majority of the ownership with their two children, Sophie and Reid.

Jean-Luc Pepin

Sales Director
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé

Many domaines in Burgundy can trace their roots back over 100 years, but only a handful can claim more than 200 years of history. Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé can trace a line back over 550 years, to 1450 and the Chambolle vines of one Jean Moisson. Highly regarded as the greatest estate in Chambolle Musigny, today the domaine is headed by its 20th generation – Claire de Causans and Marie de Ladoucette, the granddaughters of the late Comte Georges de Vogüé.

The philosophy at de Vogüé is one which tries to blend tradition and modernity. Nothing is done systematically in either the vineyard or the cellar. There is a constant adaptation to both vineyard and vintage conditions. De Vogüé sees themselves as intermediaries: nature is the boss, and they then guide the wine.

Gary Pisoni

Winemaker
Pisoni Vineyards & Lucia Vineyards

Gary Pisoni exudes passion—for adventure, for family, for grape growing, for wine. He has managed to combine all of these by pouring his enthusiasm and energy into Pisoni Vineyards & Winery.

Described as “the new face of American Pinot Noir” and “Burgundian-crazy about his vines,” Gary grows grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands using meticulous viticultural practices. Over the last 20 years, he has transformed the mountainous property where his parents once grazed a couple of horses and few head of cattle into one of California’s most renowned vineyards.

The Pisoni family has two goals: grow exceptional grapes for high-end wineries and to make wine under the family labels, Pisoni Estate and Lucia Vineyards. Gary and his two sons, Mark and Jeff, farm and produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from their three vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands: Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes Vineyards. These vineyards and wines represent an extreme commitment to farming and classical winemaking.

Bibiana & Jeff Pisoni

Co-Owner / Co-Winemaker
Shared Notes

Shared Notes is the winemaking joint-venture between wife and husband, Bibiana Gonzalez Rave and Jeff Pisoni. Both had early desires of making wine, and spent most of their lives doing so. The year 2012, however, marked the first vintage that they produced a wine together. Previously, during the grape harvest, Bibiana and Jeff were like the proverbial ships passing in the night. Early grape picks and late nights at the winery left them rarely crossing paths. Now, Bibiana and Jeff do cross paths—to discuss ideas and taste samples. You can sometimes catch them in front of a grapevine, the press, a fermenting tank, or a barrel...most likely with a glass in hand.

Derek Poirier

Ecole du Grand Chocolat Pastry Chef Western USA
Valrhona

Derek Poirier, Ecole du Grand Chocolat Pastry Chef Western USA and 2014 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America, brings his experience and skills honed in the top hotels of the US and Canada in his work with the French chocolate maker. He teaches and conducts demonstrations in restaurants, hotels and culinary schools throughout the US and Canada.

He also develops recipes and teaches master classes attended by an international array of pastry chefs who travel to Valrhona’s famed L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat located in Tain l’Hermitage in the wine region of France’s Rhone Valley. He has represented the U.S. and Canada in world pastry competitions, including in 2003 and 2005, as a member of Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in Lyon, France which brings together the top pastry chefs from 22 countries. He advised the Team USA chefs who were training for the 2009 and 2011 competition.

In June 2014, Dessert Professional magazine, the nation's leading publication of pastry, ice cream and chocolate industries, inducted Chef Derek Poirier into the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America for 2014.

A native of Vancouver, BC, he currently makes his home in Arizona.

Jerry Regester

Executive Chef
Santa Lucia Preserve

Born and raised in the Northeast, Jerry began his career training at the New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated in 1991. Following his culinary training, Regester worked under renowned chef Jeff Buben at Washington D.C.’s famed three-star Occidental Restaurant.

During his training at culinary school, Jerry fell in love with wine and decided to move west, following his dreams to work in the wine country, where he accepted a job at Domaine Chandon working under Chef Phillip Jeanty.While working at Domaine Chandon, Jerry met Chef Cal Stamenov whom he followed to Carmel to work as his Chef de Cuisine at Pacific’s Edge, Highlands Inn. While there, Jerry had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s greatest chefs at the famed Masters of Food and Wine.

Chef Jerry was named Executive Chef at Wente Vineyards, following his term at The Highlands Inn, where he ran a daily changing menu that emphasized wine and food pairings.

Regester later became the Executive Sous Chef at The Lodge at Pebble Beach where he spent three years of his time as Chef de Cuisine at Stillwater Bar and Grill. His main agenda was to redesign the restaurant, focusing on a seasonally changing menu using sustainable seafood and local ingredients. Chef Jerry was also the Executive Chef of the very first Pebble Beach Food and Wine Event.

From Pebble Beach, Regester relocated to Cielo Restaurant at Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur. Jerry created the menu anew daily alongside a weekly changing wine offering.

In April of 2008, The InterContinental The Clement Monterey named Jerry Regester to the position of Executive Chef. In his role, Jerry oversaw The C Restaurant, Banquet Operations, and the To Go window. Jerry’s focus was using sustainable ingredients and adhering to the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch Program.

Chef Jerry has been involved in many food and wine events to include the famed Masters of Food and Wine, Pebble Beach Food and Wine, Big Sur Food and Wine, Cooking for Solutions, and the Carmel Tomato Fest where he garnered first prize for his recipe for “Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Soup”, to name just a few.

Chef Jerry Regester describes his cooking style as “rustic elegance with refined flavors” and believes that great cuisine begins with great ingredients.

Olivier Roellinger

Chef & Owner
Les Maisons de Bricourt

Château Richeux, a big 1920s villa, faces the Mont St-Michel in the middle of the countryside. The sea, the sky, the earth, infinite blues, greens, greys blend into each other - everything that has shaped us is here, in the crashing waves, the gusts of wind, the striking natural beauty. We wanted this place to be suspended between sky and earth, facing the sea which is visible from the eleven rooms and two apartments, through the big mullioned windows. Each room encourages rest, refreshment and meditation. The furniture comes from antique shops or belongs to the original house - the soft or bright colours complement the sea view, while all the comforts are there to carry you away.

Château Richeux also houses "le Restaurant le Coquillage", whose dining room with its soft light and dark wood is designed not to disturb your contemplation of the sea. Here, you will taste cooking that seeks healthy simplicity and elegance, several hot and cold shellfish and fish dishes served in a convivial atmosphere. There is also "dishes that change with the wind and the moon from O. Roellinger", specially conceived to allow you to taste some of our classic dishes and new creations : marine, vegetable and spice dishes, cheeses from Brittany and Normandy, the sweets trolley... all of this maintains a link with my spirit of culinary adventure !

Toby Rowland-Jones

Sommelier
Grasing's of Carmel

Toby Rowland-Jones, Welsh-born bon-vivant and founder of the Big Sur Food and Wine Festival has a long history in event management and especially in wine festival work. Currently sommelier at Grasing’s of Carmel, working with one of the Peninsula’s largest wine lists, he has also organized the sommelier crew for the magical Central Coast Wine Classic, and also oversaw the wine teams for the Masters of Food and Wine for many years. Toby also organizes the wine panels and food service for the successful Auction Lunch for the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta, an event he has helped with since 2001.

Moving from the UK in 1978 to California, Toby’s love of wine and overall good living has permeated his life. He is a board member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs as a Conseil Gastronomique, and a board member of the local chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food as Business Development Director.

Taylor Shellfish Farms



Our mission is to sustainably farm quality shellfish from larvae to table while being responsible community citizens and active stewards for our marine environment.

We are the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the United States. Under the leadership of the Taylor family of Shelton, WA, our business has grown to nearly 500 employees and 11,000 acres of tidelands along the Washington coast and British Columbia. We also operate additional hatchery and nursery facilities in Hawaii and California, a shellfish distribution business in Hong Kong, and are partners growing Fiji Pearls with J. Hunter Pearls Fiji, Ltd.

It all started with our great grandfather, who tried his hand at everything from ranching with Wyatt Earp in Arizona to searching for gold in Alaska, but knew he’d found true gold when he began farming the tiny Olympia oyster in the pristine waters of Puget Sound in the 1890s. Since then, every generation of Taylors has grown up with a deep and abiding love for shellfish and for the close-knit communities and rugged landscapes of western Washington.

Tetsuya Wakuda

Chef & Owner
Tetsuya's

Tetsuya Wakuda grew up in the Japanese town of Hamamatsu in the Shizuoka Prefecture. With a limited knowledge of English, and of the country which would become his home, Tetsuya arrived in Australia at the age of twenty-two, never imagining he would one day be embraced as one of the nation's favourite chefs. Landing in Sydney in 1982 with nothing more than a small suitcase and a love of food, Tetsuya found his very first job as a kitchen hand at Fishwives in Surry Hills. A year later he was introduced to Sydney chef Tony Bilson, who was looking for a Japanese cook to make sushi at Kinsela's. It was at Kinsela's that Tetsuya learned classical French techniques, thus forming the beginnings of his own style of cooking, marrying the French technique with the Japanese philosophy of using natural, seasonal flavours.

"I made a lot of things up along the way and, luckily for me, people liked the way it tasted." Tetsuya Wakuda

Tetsuya left Kinsela's in 1983 and, in partnership with the head waiter, opened Ultimo's. Six years later, in 1989, he went on to open his own restaurant, Tetsuya's, on a small site in the Sydney suburb of Rozelle. Relocating to the CBD in November 2000, Tetsuya refurbished the heritage-listed site at 529 Kent St to create his dream restaurant, complete with dining rooms overlooking an exquisite Japanese garden.

Tetsuya is proud to promote the traditions and cuisine of Japan, and was honoured to be selected as the Japanese sake industry's first overseas Sake Samurai (or ambassador) in 2006.

In addition to the restaurant, Tetsuya has introduced some of his most loved and admired recipes to kitchen and book shelves across the globe, with his cookbook Tetsuya, and expanding range of gourmet products.

Over the course of his career, Tetsuya has won acclaim not only in Australia, but also internationally. Tetsuya's featured in Restaurant Magazine (London) World's 50 Best Restaurants from the list's inception in 2002 through to 2012, and Tetsuya has earned international recognition as one of the world's great chefs, acknowledged by his peers, the media, and diners around the globe. Tetsuya was proud to be awarded the inaugural Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide People's Choice Award for 2011 and 2013, thus cementing his reputation as one of the most respected and beloved chefs in the industry today.

2010 saw Tetsuya embark upon an exciting culinary venture in Singapore. His new restaurant, Waku Ghin, is located in the spectacular Marina Bay Sands, and has received the same exceptional reviews as Tetsuya continues to enjoy for his eponymous restaurant in Sydney.

Thibault Liger-Belair

Cultivation and trading wines has been a family business since the early 18th century. The establishments C.Marey and Comte Liger-Belair, created in 1720 at Nuits Saint-Georges, later quoted on the Lyon Stock Exchange in 1923, counted amongst the most important wine merchant houses in Burgundy. Building on the quality of harvests and that wines, the family endeavoured to enlarge the domaine and to distribute the best wines of Burgundy, both in France and around the world.

After six years of study of vine growing and oenology, Thibault starts his career in a company specialized in the communication around the wine business, located in Paris. He works with and tastes the greatest wines of the world. After two years, he launches ‘Wine and Co’ an internet wine merchant. Since 2001 Thibault Liger Belair acts as chairman of Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair and is fully involved in the production of wines.

Liz Miller

Pastry Chef
The Barn at Blackberry Farm

Inspired by southern cuisine and her upbringing in Pennsylvania, Liz Miller leads Blackberry Farm’s pastry team in creating new and inspiring pastry dishes. A graduate of both the DCT Swiss Hotel & Business Management School and IUP Academy of Culinary Arts, Liz came to Blackberry Farm in 2011 from The Inn at Little Washington. As the pastry chef, Liz is responsible for managing the pastry team as well as menu planning, new dessert creation and chocolates.

Windy Oaks Estate

“Since 1999, Jim Schultze and his family have been building a reputation for ethereal pinot noir from the little-known Corralitos area. As Corralitos’ profile grows, Windy Oaks is a standard-bearer.” Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle.

On a ridge overlooking the Monterey Bay, Windy Oaks estate pinot noir vineyards enjoy the moderating influence of the Bay with one of the longest growing seasons of any pinot noir vineyard in California. From 26 acres of vineyard, Jim Schultze, the owner, winemaker, and vineyard manager produces small lots of pinot noir, using whole cluster and native yeast fermentation. The estate pinot noir is aged in French oak barrels for a minimum of 18 months. All these factors combine to produce an elegant and complex wine, age-worthy, but always drinkable upon release.

Events

Seafood Grill

Contact Us

831-622-5909   info@gourmetfestcarmel.com



Presented by the Mirabel Hotel & Restaurant Group