2018 Meeting Notes

November 2018: Taste of the Bubbly with Moet Hennessey and presented by Rebekah Turpin.


Kick off the holidays with an informative lesson on French Champagnes. Our presenter has an impressive resume and a wealth of experience and stories to share. Pop a cork and learn with Rebekah.


Certifications: Certified Sommelier, CSW, French Wine Scholar. Current Job: Moet and Hennessy Portfolio Specialist covering San Diego. Other experience: Wine judge for toast of the coast, San Diego international competition, and Sommelier Competition. I have been working in the wine industry for 8 years. I spent about 4 years working as a sommelier at top resorts in southern California like the Park Hyatt Aviara and the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. In my job now, I cover restaurants and hotels in San Diego providing staff education, hosting wine, champagne and spirit dinners, events and over all help our sales team increase sales and exposure to our Moet and Hennessy Brands. These brands include; Veuve Clciquot, Moet and Chandon, Krug, Dom Perignon, Ruinart, Newton winery, Hennessy, Belvedere and several other spirit and wine brands.


Bubblies tasted:

  • Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut $38
  • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label $44
  • Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 $67
  • Veuve Clicquot Rose NV $54
  • Ruinart Blanc de Blanc NV $74
  • Chandon California Etoile Brut $24

October 2018: with Quintessential Wines and presented by Brandon Lee.


Quintessential is a family owned and operated company headquartered in Napa and dedicated exclusively to representing multi- generational, family owned and operated wineries. The owners of Quintessential, the Kreps family, bring a combined 78 years of experience in the fine wine business. They have evolved Quintessential into being one of the leading imports and marketing companies of fine wine in the U.S.A.


These family owned-and-operated producers come from many of the top wine regions around the world. They create wines that offer the best, most authentic expression of the terroir from their respective vineyards.


Wineries included at our SDWG presentation:

  • Frankland Estate - Frankland River, W. Australia
  • EQ – San Antonio Valley, Chile
  • Simonsig - Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Pascual Toso - Maipu, Argentina
  • Henry’s Drive – Padthaway, S. Australia
  • Kay Brothers – McLaren Vale, S. Australia
  • Enzo Bianchi – Mendoza, Argentina

July 2018: Eberle Winery and presented by Winemaker, Chris Eberle.


Chris returned to Eberle Winery after extensive winemaking experiences that spanned six countries and fifteen vintages. He has worked at Eberle Winery as the Assistant Winemaker from 2006 to 2009 and continued to expand his field of knowledge by working in many great wine regions around the world from; South Africa to Germany, then New Zeeland, Australia, and France. Chris was ready and excited to bring what he learned, back to Paso Robles


“From the vineyards to the caves, to Gary & Marcy and the crew, this is like coming home. I always knew I’d be back.”


These are the wines Chris will had on hand for our tasting:

  • 2016 Eberle Estate Chardonnay
  • 2017 Eberle Cotes-du-Robles Blanc
  • 2017 Eberle Viognier, Mill Road Vineyard
  • 2016 Eberle Sangiovese
  • 2016 Eberle Syrah, Steinbeck Vineyard
  • 2016 Eberle Cabernet Syrah blend
  • 2015 Eberle Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2015 Eberle Estate Muscat Canelli

+ one additional surprise!


Paso Robles Pioneer – Gary Eberle

Gary launched his career as a winemaker and as the “Pioneer” of Paso Robles Wine Region by helping to establish his family’s Estrella River Winery & Vineyards. In the late 70’s, he decided to pursue his own project and acquired nearly 64 acres just down the road from Estrella River Winery. Shortly thereafter, Gary released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon debuting the iconic boar logo, depicting the German origin of the name Eberle, meaning “small boar.”


By 1982 the Eberle Winery production facility and tasting room were open for business and in 1991 Gary expanded underground, building the first wine caves in Paso Robles. Now over 38 years later, Gary Eberle still greets guests daily with complimentary wine tastings, public tours of the production facility and 16,000 square feet of underground caves.

June 2018: Left Coast Estate presented by Susanne.


Family owned. 100% estate grown and bottled. Committed to sustainability.


The family founded the Left Coast Estate in 2003. Through a combination of passion and hard work, they've slowly grown into one of the largest contiguous vineyards in Oregon. 


At Left Coast, the estate is what inspired their family to come to Oregon. Their goal is to enhance and share that natural beauty with others through thoughtful winemaking, sustainable practices and habitat conservation. Their vineyards and winery are LIVE certified sustainable. We are 90% solar powered and have partnered with the US Department of Fish & Wildlife to help restore 100 acres of old growth Oregon White Oak on the property to their native savannah state. 


A little about Suzanne, our presenter: 


"We all invent our lives, and perhaps Suzanne has been more inventive than most. Her early education as an art historian brought her two delicious years in Italy and, then moving into publishing, a cover article and related research position in Switzerland. Marriage took her to three years in France where she was seduced, utterly, by the Pinot grape. The unlikely next step was a move to Denver, Colorado and the addition of three darling offspring in the span of five years. As Co director of the University of Denver Publishing Institute, skiing and cycling in alternating seasons, she, very nearly, lived there happily ever after. But the grape could never be denied, and the place was just exactly right from the very first sight and soil test...and the rest, now nearly a glorious decade in the making, is Left Coast Cellars."


Wines tasted: 

  • 2016 Truffle Hill Chardonnay, $24
  • 2012 Blanc de Noir, $55
  • 2015 Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir, $24- 
  • 2015 Latitude 45 Pinot Noir, all Dijon Clone, $38
  • 2015 Right Bank Pinot Noir, all Pommard Clone, $42
  • 2015 Rotie Syrah Noir, $42
  • 2015 Pinot Meunier, $55

May 2018: JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery


Joseph Spellman, MS is Winery Sommelier for JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery. He has worked with wine since 1979, principally as a sommelier, in Chicago’s top restaurant cellars, including Tango, Maxim’s, The Pump Room, The Park Hyatt Hotel, and Charlie Trotter’s. He has also had stints in wine retail, wholesale, and importing companies, as well as the Napa Valley producer Joseph Phelps. He has been a leading wine educator, writer, and consultant, and has led wine seminars in the US, UK, Japan, and Australia.


Joseph earned the prestigious Master Sommelier Diploma, the 29th American to do so, in 1996. He is a frequent instructor and examiner in the Court of Master Sommeliers, and in 2005 was elected Chairman of the American Chapter of the Court. He has also passed the difficult Certified Wine Educator Examination, in 2003, and has studied for the Master of Wine Diploma with its top instructors.


Another rare achievement was winning the 1997 French Sommelier Competition in Paris sponsored by SOPEXA, and the title “Best Sommelier in the World in French Wines and Spirits.” He is only the second American to have done so. In the following year (1998) he was named the Bon Appetit Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year.


Joseph is a major supporter of the arts, serving as an active member in the Lyric Opera Wine Auction Advisory Board. He has led seminars for the Chicago Humanities Festival, various educational and health-oriented charities, and numerous student groups. His donations of tastings for arts, education, and medical charities have consistently fetched high bids for these deserving organizations. A theatre lover, he consulted in 2003 on an original script by Sharon Evans, “Blind Tasting,” at Live Bait Theatre in Chicago.


Among his professional written works, he is most proud of his critically praised wine notes featured in the landmark series of recipe and photography books by Chef Charlie Trotter. He was the principal wine writer of the 2003, 2006, and 2009 Lyric Opera Auction Catalogues. He also has written grape descriptions for the Wine Grapes posters produced by Ten Speed Press; and over the years he has contributed to the magazines Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Santé, Decanter, and Appellation.


As a professional palate, he has tasted for Beverage Testing Institute, United Airlines, the Grand Jury Européen, the Oregon State Fair, Star Wine, the Jefferson Cup, and the Detroit Wine Competition. He has coordinated several wine dinners for the James Beard Foundation and many of its chef-contributors, as well as promotional and charity wine dinners around the US. He has spoken at wine festivals in Aspen, Kohler, Kapalua, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Santa Fe, Taos, Telluride, San Diego, Carmel, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Pinehurst, the Mohegan Sun, Disney properties, and Chicago.

April 2018: LaZarre Wines


LaZarre Wines is a small, family-run venture created by veteran Central Coast winemaker Adam LaZarre and his wife Angie.  The brand was started in 2003 primarily as a high-end, single-vineyard Pinot Noir project and has grown to include such varietals as Merlot, Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc, Vin Gris and Chardonnay.


Adam has developed relationships with many great growers on the Central Coast through his decades of wine making at various wine companies.  Adam and Angie have continued these relationships and source their fruit from some of the best of these growers.

These wines are limited in their production and are really the best offerings the LaZarre’s can deliver in any vintage.


The LaZarre’s are completely committed to providing the very best possible wines at any price and will continue to do so until they depart the earth.  After all, wine is a gift from God and should be enjoyed responsibly, or at least naked.

March 2018: Tenuta Torciano Winery & Wine School presented by Chiara & Valentina Lunare


There were  13 Tuscan products to taste.


This included 8 wines, 3 olive oils, Balsamic Vinegar and a Dessert Wine.


We learned why certain foods are paired with wine along with a wine school to learn how wine is made in Tuscany, how the soil, climate and the history makes Tuscan wine one the of best in the world!

February 2018: Pierce Ranch Vineyards Presenter: Josh Pierce, Owner


Pierce Ranch Vineyards is a small, family - owned operation centered in Southern

Monterey County’s San Antonio Valley Appellation. They produce limited-run, estate

grown wine with an emphasis on Spanish and Portuguese varietals.


Josh presented 8 wines and may bring a production sample of wine.


Wines that were tasted:

  • 2012 Tinto Cão
  • 2014 Arinto
  • 2014 Graciano
  • 2015 Petite Sirah, Lot 1 (100% whole cluster)
  • 2015 Petite Sirah, Lot 2 (65% whole cluster)
  • 2015 Touriga Nacional
  • 2016 Verdelho
  • 2016 Touriga Franca (barrel sample)

January 2018: Orflia Winery and Vineyards


Orfila Vineyards & Winery presented by Tami Wong (Sommelier) 


Tami Wong is stepping in for Justin Mund, Winemaker / General Manager for Orfila Vineyard and Winery.  Tami is a Certified Sommelier, a regular on the wine judge circuit and presented to the Wine Guild in 2016.  


Tami is now assisting Justin at Orfila as a Winery Representative, and will have highly rated Pinot Noirs, other red wines, white wines and barrel samples for tasting! 


So, don’t miss out, come support one of our best local wineries.