Rodney Strong Vineyards, Alan Campbell
Photo Credit: Rodney Strong Vineyards, Alan Campbell

A Chef’s Journey Through Alexander Valley

World-Class Food & Wine Tasting Adventure

Thursdays at 5PM PDT February 25th – April 1st 2021

A six-episode virtual tasting series exploring food and wine in the Alexander Valley hosted by journalist and sommelier, Courtney Humiston.

Join Alexander Valley winemakers, local chefs, and our host moderator for six one-hour virtual tastings of premium wines from our unique Cabernet-driven appellation.

Explore the diversity of Alexander Valley through the eyes of 3 local chefs over a series of 6 virtual tastings, moderated by wine-writer, Sommelier, and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Courtney Humiston. Each chef is challenged to course three varietals per episode and dive into the nuances of what makes the perfect pairing. Travel through the valley, from north to south, valley floor to mountain top, to discover how microclimate and winemaking style can affect each varietal. Our winemakers and hospitality specialists will be on the session to guide you on terroir differences and winemaking techniques and discuss the chef’s pairings.

Courtney Humiston
Guest Moderator

Courtney is a Sommelier, wine journalist and aspiring winemaker based on the Sonoma Coast.

Read More

A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America (AWBP 2011) and Certified Sommelier from The Court of Master Sommeliers, she has worked harvests in both viti- and viniculture and has written about wine and the wine industry for Decanter, The World of Fine Wine, NBC, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Wine & Spirits, among other publications. She holds in BA in English / Creative Writing and has served as a judge for local and international wine competitions, including the prestigious Concours Mondial.

As a sommelier, she has worked at Press Restaurant, which boasts the largest and deepest collection of California wines in the world; as the Wine Director for Charlie Palmer’s legendary Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg and was the opening GM and Wine Director for  Petit Crenn, the second restaurant from three-Michelin-starred Chef Dominique Crenn, where she and her team achieved 3.5 stars from the SF Chronicle and  were included in Best New Restaurants (nationally) for GQ and Saveur. She then managed one of the best restaurants in Norway, where she learned a lot about natural wine and drank a lot of Champagne.

She currently serves as the Editor in Chief for Vineyard Registry, a multi-media platform dedicated to covering and promoting American wine.

Read her work at: http://courtneyhumiston.pressfolios.com

Tim Bodell
Chef Guide
Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Read Tim's Biography

Tim Bodell brings almost 25 years of food and wine experience to his role as Culinary Director at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Bodell relies on his expertise and knowledge to recreate Francis’s cherished family recipes and favorite cuisines from around the world. His background includes years of working in varied roles including Proprietor, Chef, Sous Chef, Saucier, etc in many world class Food and Beverage Operations.

Bodell was born and raised in the Philadelphia area where he learned his love of cooking from his mother. His mother and father were both teachers and nourished and supported his love of cooking.

In his teens, Tim landed a job as a dishwasher and he never looked back, landing his first cook job shortly after at a restaurant in the Philadelphia suburbs. He realized at that time that working in this industry was his calling and that he could turn his passion into a successful career if he worked hard enough.

After graduating high school, Bodell continued to hone his skills in restaurants throughout the Philadelphia area before deciding to attend Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He thrived in this environment and graduated Cum Laude.

Upon graduating from the University, Bodell moved to Oregon to pursue his Culinary passions and eventually settled in Northern California to immerse himself in the San Francisco Bay Area Food and Wine scene.

Bodell has been the Culinary Director at Francis Ford Coppola Winery since 2011. Tim and Staff from the Winery had the pleasure to cook at the James Beard House in 2011 and 2013.

Mateo Granados
Chef Guide
Mateo’s Cocina Latina

Read Mateo's Biography

In a delicious mix of cultures, Yucatan-born chef Mateo Granados has created a unique signature that celebrates rigorously sourced local and sustainable ingredients infused with the vibrant regional flavors of his homeland, crafted with classic French finesse.

Liza Hinman
Chef Guide
The Spinster Sisters

Read Liza's Biography

Liza Hinman is the Chef and Owner of The Spinster Sisters, and a part of the Sonoma County restaurant community since 2004.

Chef Hinman got her start in restaurants during her summers in college- sparking her interest in the food world, and the young “Farm to Table” movement.  Upon graduating Middlebury College, Liza took a job as a member of the editorial staff of Gourmet Magazine, working under the Executive Food Editor.  This job launched her into the culinary world, and, she departed Gourmet in 2001 to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

After receiving her culinary degree, Liza trained in San Francisco under Chefs Dana Tomasino of Woodward’s Garden, Loretta Keller of Bizou and Craig Stoll of Delfina – who were working with the best farmers and producers in the bay area.  In 2005, she migrated north to Sonoma County- and began work at the renowned Santi Restaurant in Geyserville, under Chefs Franco Dunn and Dino Bugica. At Santi she gained a deep appreciation for the regional cuisines of Italy- and started forming lasting relationships with the farmers of northern Sonoma County.

In 2009, Chef Hinman assumed the role of Executive Chef of Santi, delving more deeply into the traditional world of Italian cuisine. In 2010, she designed and oversaw the move to a new location in Santa Rosa, and earned a glowing review from the San Francisco Chronicle upon the restaurant’s re-opening.

The Spinster Sisters is Chef Hinman’s current project.  Located in the SOFA district of Santa Rosa, CA, she opened the restaurant in 2012.  The menu focuses on “Sonoma County Cuisine” – bringing a fresh example of New American dining to Santa Rosa.  Awarded with both local and critical accolades, including the Bohemian’s Best Restaurant in Sonoma County in 2017 and 2018, The Spinster Sisters is now entering its 9th year of operation- and continues to be at the forefront of the dining scene in Sonoma County.

In 2017, Liza and the partners in The Spinster Sisters renovated and opened The Astro, a mid-century modern motel located on Santa Rosa Avenue.  The Astro embraces the same brand of hospitality established at The Spinster Sisters- with a deep focus on the neighborhoods and experiences of Sonoma County.  She is also looking to open her new culinary project, Julliard Garden, in late 2020.

In 2017, Chef Hinman also completed The James Beard Foundation’s inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program- bringing a new focus of business development to her role at the company.  She also became deeply involved in The Healthcare Foundation of Sonoma County- co-chairing a culinary event to raise funds for local healthcare access.

Chef Hinman is a mother to three young children, and resides with her husband, Joe Stewart of The Downtown Bakery, in Healdsburg, in Northern Sonoma County.

EPISODE ONE

Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Tasting Details

TASTING GUIDES:
Tim Bodell, Culinary Director | Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Alice Warnecke Sutro, Founder, Owner, Winemaker | SUTRO
Natalie Dale, Winemaker | Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking | Rodney Strong Vineyards

FEATURED WINERIES:
SUTRO
Virginia Dare Winery
Rodney Strong Vineyards

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Purchase Wine

Menu

Rustic Restaurant
at
Cavatappi Pasta with a Bloomsdale Spinach and Hazelnut Pesto
SUTRO 2020 Sauvignon Blanc

Grilled Chicken Legs and Thighs with Creamy Polenta and Spring Onions
Virginia Dare The Lost Colony Red Blend

Pan Roasted Rack of Lamb with Fingerling Potatoes, Swiss Chard, and Blueberry
Rodney Strong 2015 Alexander’s Crown, Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Click Here for Recipes

THE WINES

SUTRO
2020
Sauvignon blanc

Tech Sheet

Virginia Dare Winery
2015 The Lost Colony
Red Blend

Tech Sheet

Rodney Strong Vineyards
2015 Alexander’s Crown
Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Tech Sheet

THE TASTING GUIDES

Alice Warnecke Sutro
Founder, Owner, Winemaker | SUTRO

Alice Warnecke Sutro is an artist, winemaker and grapegrower. She founded the wine label SUTRO in 2012 and manages all aspects of the business. She is also proud to work in agriculture for her family business: Warnecke Ranch & Vineyard, the inspiration for her wine label and where she sources premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Read More

When she wears that hat (and boots) she is assisting her aunt, Margo Warnecke Merck, to manage the family’s 80-acre vineyard growing premium grapes for winery clients. She is deeply interested in the long-term potential of her local agricultural community and in 2019 joined the Alexander Valley Grapegrowers Association Board and heads their Marketing Committee and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Despite being a busy wine entrepreneur, contributing to her family business and raising two kids, Alice continues to pursue drawing and writing as important ways to explore and enhance our understanding of the world. She holds a BA in Art History from Stanford University and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts, and as a side gig, draws incredible sketch portraits. She shares her passion for exploring the intersection between art, and wine and grapegrowing on the website www.alicesutro.com.
Natalie Dale
Winemaker | Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Natalie Dale is the red wine winemaker for Francis Ford Coppola Winery and has been with The Family Coppola for nearly a decade. With a degree in Fruit Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, she set off and traveled the world to work harvests in Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Oregon gaining nearly 2 decades of experience. Read More

The draw of stellar wine regions closer to friends and family kept her coming back to California. She eventually landed a key part of the winemaking team at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. In 2018, The Family Coppola gave her the opportunity to explore distilling, and she became the Distiller for the Great Women Spirits collection. In this role she creates small-batch, house-crafted, classically styled spirits that are as unique and remarkable as the women honored on each label.  Dale is currently studying for her Masters in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University of Scotland. Her passion as a winemaker and distiller keeps her thirsting for more in every corner of the beverage industry.  When she is not studying, she enjoys yoga, hiking, kayaking, and traveling every chance she gets.
Justin Seidenfeld
Director of Winemaking | Rodney Strong Vineyards

Justin Seidenfeld serves as Director of Winemaking for Rodney Strong Vineyards, the iconic Sonoma County Winery that was founded in 1959 by namesake Rod Strong. Justin’s winemaking career began in Sebastopol, California, where he was an intern at Iron Horse winery in 2005. Read More

He quickly rose from cellar hand to taking on winemaking responsibilities which led to a position in 2006 at the venerable Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley.
As an enologist at Mondavi, Seidenfeld walked some of California’s premiere vineyards including Tokalon, Hyde Vineyards, and Vine Hill Ranch among others gaining a comprehensive understanding of quality land and viticulture, he took that experience into winemaking overseeing small lot Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir winemaking for Robert Mondavi Winery.
Justin oversees all production for our brands, starting with the vineyards all the way to the finished product in the glass. As the leader of an exceptional team Justin takes pride in pushing the boundaries of what is possible for our wines.
Justin graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2006 with a B.S. in Viticulture & Enology. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Dena and daughters Madison, Lila and Reagan. Justin enjoys golfing, playing with his daughters and working on his home. As to his inspiration to a career in winemaking, Justin notes, “people recalling the occasions that wine makes better and memorable is the reason I make wine. Hearing about how and when someone enjoyed a wine I made inspires me.”
Tim Bodell
Culinary Director | Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Tim Bodell brings almost 25 years of food and wine experience to his role as Culinary Director at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Bodell relies on his expertise and knowledge to recreate Francis’s cherished family recipes and favorite cuisines from around the world. Read More

 His background includes years of working in varied roles including Proprietor, Chef, Sous Chef, Saucier, etc in many world class Food and Beverage Operations.  Bodell was born and raised in the Philadelphia area where he learned his love of cooking from his mother. His mother and father were both teachers and nourished and supported his love of cooking.
In his teens, Tim landed a job as a dishwasher and he never looked back, landing his first cook job shortly after at a restaurant in the Philadelphia suburbs. He realized at that time that working in this industry was his calling and that he could turn his passion into a successful career if he worked hard enough.
After graduating high school, Bodell continued to hone his skills in restaurants throughout the Philadelphia area before deciding to attend Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He thrived in this environment and graduated Cum Laude.
Upon graduating from the University, Bodell moved to Oregon to pursue his Culinary passions and eventually settled in Northern California to immerse himself in the San Francisco Bay Area Food and Wine scene.
Bodell has been the Culinary Director at Francis Ford Coppola Winery since 2011. Tim and Staff from the Winery had the pleasure to cook at the James Beard House in 2011 and 2013.

EPISODE TWO

Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Tasting Details

TASTING GUIDES:
Liza Hinman, Chef, Owner | The Spinster Sisters

Brian Nygaard, General Manager | Stuhlmuller Vineyards
Jim Rickards, Owner, Farmer, Winemaker | J. Rickards Winery
Robert Young II, Hospitality Lead | Robert Young Estate

FEATURED WINERIES:
Stuhlmuller Vineyards
J. Rickards Winery
Robert Young Estate

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Purchase Wine

Menu

Crispy Shrimp, Corona beans, Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel Appetizer
Stuhlmuller Vineyards  2018 Estate Chardonnay

Braised Duck Legs with Sour Cherry Compote
J. Rickards Winery 2018 Alexander Valley Old Vine Zinfandel

Herbed Lamb Chops, Radicchio, Flageolets and Olive Tapenade
Robert Young Estate 2018 Malbec

Click Here for Recipes

THE WINES

Stuhlmuller Vineyards
2018
Estate Chardonnay

Tech Sheet

J. Rickards Winery
2018 Alexander Valley
Old Vine Zinfandel

Tech Sheet

Robert Young Estate
2018
Malbec

Tech Sheet

THE TASTING GUIDES

Brian Nygaard
General Manager | Stuhlmuller Vineyards

Brian Nygaard came onboard as the new General Manager at Stuhlmuller Vineyards in early 2020. He has a background in journalism and professional sports where he worked as a GM and Director of Communications for some of the biggest cycling teams in the world. He has an MA in philosophy but is an auto-didact when it comes to wine. A passion that he has shared with the rest of us for the past three decades.

Jim Rickards
Owner, Farmer, Winemaker | J. Rickards Winery

Jim Rickards has been growing some darn fine grapes in northern Alexander Valley since 1976. With a bit of know-how and a lot of gumption, he started J. Rickards Vineyards by bringing back an ancient Zinfandel vineyard that others had left for dead. Read More

A full-time ICU nurse at the time (a job he still works half-time today), Jim built his vineyard operation from the ground up, growing his own food, building his own house, and making sure his tractor always had working headlights for farming at night.
Jim was old-school before old-school became hip. He’s used environmentally sustainable vineyard practices from the get-go, and he and his highly skilled, small vineyard crew have hand-grafted every one of the 54,000+ vines on his property. Together, they grow some of Sonoma County’s most outstanding crops of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petite Sirah – to name just a few.
A farmer first and foremost, Jim still sells half of his fruit but expanded his operation in 2005 to include J. Rickards Winery. His passion for grape growing shines in his handcrafted, small-lot wines, stunning representations of varietal style and unique reflections of the diverse soils and varying microclimates of their vineyards. Jim, his wife Eliza, and the vineyard and winery crews exemplify his motto of “passion … no pretense,” in everything they do. And while rigid “rules” are few and far between around J. Rickards, Jim’s No. 3 rule of wine tasting is perhaps most important: “Never ask Jim a question unless you have 20 minutes to hear the answer.” Ask Jim sometime and he’ll tell you his other rules; just make sure you have the time! 
Robert Young II
Hospitality Lead | Robert Young Estate

Born and raised in Alexander Valley, Robert Young II is part of the fifth generation of the Robert Young Family. His roots run deep with his ancestors first settling in Alexander Valley in 1858. His grandfather, Robert Young was a pioneer in grape growing being the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon in the valley in 1963 and later developing a proprietary Chardonnay clone, Robert Young Clone 17. Read More


Robert grew up living and working in the family business. As a child, he worked in the vineyard and visioned himself staying in the family business. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College, transferred to Sonoma State University, and graduated in 2019 with a BA in Wine Business. He is now the Hospitality Lead at the family’s tasting venue and carrying on the family legacy.
Liza Hinman
Chef, Owner | The Spinster Sisters

Liza Hinman is the Chef and Owner of The Spinster Sisters, and a part of the Sonoma County restaurant community since 2004. Chef Hinman got her start in restaurants during her summers in college- sparking her interest in the food world, and the young “Farm to Table” movement. Read More

Upon graduating Middlebury College, Liza took a job as a member of the editorial staff of Gourmet Magazine, working under the Executive Food Editor.  This job launched her into the culinary world, and, she departed Gourmet in 2001 to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
After receiving her culinary degree, Liza trained in San Francisco under Chefs Dana Tomasino of
Woodward’s Garden, Loretta Keller of Bizou and Craig Stoll of Delfina – who were working with the best farmers and producers in the bay area.  In 2005, she migrated north to Sonoma County- and began work at the renowned Santi Restaurant in Geyserville, under Chefs Franco Dunn and Dino Bugica. At Santi she gained a deep appreciation for the regional cuisines of Italy- and started forming lasting relationships with the farmers of northern Sonoma County.
In 2009, Chef Hinman assumed the role of Executive Chef of Santi, delving more deeply into the traditional world of Italian cuisine. In 2010, she designed and oversaw the move to a new location in Santa Rosa, and earned a glowing review from the San Francisco Chronicle upon the restaurant’s re-opening.
The Spinster Sisters is Chef Hinman’s current project.  Located in the SOFA district of Santa Rosa, CA, she opened the restaurant in 2012.  The menu focuses on “Sonoma County Cuisine” – bringing a fresh example of New American dining to Santa Rosa.  Awarded with both local and critical accolades, including the Bohemian’s Best Restaurant in Sonoma County in 2017 and 2018, The Spinster Sisters is now entering its 9th year of operation- and continues to be at the forefront of the dining scene in Sonoma County.
In 2017, Liza and the partners in The Spinster Sisters renovated and opened The Astro, a mid-century modern motel located on Santa Rosa Avenue.  The Astro embraces the same brand of hospitality established at The Spinster Sisters- with a deep focus on the neighborhoods and experiences of Sonoma County.  She is also looking to open her new culinary project, Julliard Garden, in late 2020.
In 2017, Chef Hinman also completed The James Beard Foundation’s inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program- bringing a new focus of business development to her role at the company.  She also became deeply involved in The Healthcare Foundation of Sonoma County- co-chairing a culinary event to raise funds for local healthcare access.
Chef Hinman is a mother to three young children, and resides with her husband, Joe Stewart of The Downtown Bakery, in Healdsburg, in Northern Sonoma County.

EPISODE THREE

Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Tasting Details

TASTING GUIDES:
Mateo Granados, Chef, Owner | Mateo’s Cocina Latina

Laura Carpenter Hawkes, Proprietor | Carpenter Wine
Katie Murphy, Owner | Alexander Valley Vineyards
Scot Covington, Winemaker | Trione Vineyards & Winery

FEATURED WINERIES:
Carpenter Wine
Alexander Valley Vineyards

Trione Vineyards & Winery

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Purchase Wine

Menu

Seasonal Crab Salad
Carpenter 2018 Sémillon Stone Vineyard Alexander Valley

Roasted Pork Belly, Cranberry Beans, Pistou
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2015 CYRUS

Roasted Cured Duck & Rice
Trione 2016 Primativo

Click Here for Recipes

THE WINES

Carpenter 2018
Sémillon Stone Vineyard
Alexander Valley

Tech Sheet

Alexander Valley Vineyards
2015
CYRUS

Tech Sheet

Trione
2016
Primativo

Tech Sheet

THE TASTING GUIDES

Laura Carpenter Hawkes
Proprietor | Carpenter Wine

Laura Carpenter Hawkes credits her peripatetic upbringing for her love of travel, people and accents. Raised a brat mainly in the East and South, she has called the Bay Area home since 1993, and has been in food, beverage, and hospitality almost as long. Read More

Once the wine bug really took hold, she made a serendipitous series of decisions to make her passion a career. Typically late to the party, she recently got her Level 2 Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and plans to continue studying and practicing stellar service in her adopted hometown of Healdsburg.
Katie Murphy
Owner | Alexander Valley Vineyards

Katie Wetzel Murphy has a unique knowledge of Alexander Valley Vineyards that comes from decades of experience on the historic property that her parents purchased in 1962. In the early days, the family planted grapevines on the property, selling the fruit to other growers, but there was always a desire to make wine from their own grapes.
Read More

From the beginning, her parents Harry and Maggie Wetzel decided that this was to be a family-made wine that reflected their unique property. Katie recalls one of her first crushes with the family: “In the late ‘60s I had to de-stem the grapes and then pull any I missed from the basket press”. When time to bottle, the adobe “cellar” was converted to the adobe “bottling line”. Family and friends were called in to hand bottle and cork those early family made wines. Harry and Maggie made sure that all pitched in, learning as they went.
Katie officially joined Alexander Valley Vineyards in 1979 shortly after earning her B.A. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Davis. At the time, the winery was being run by her brother Hank Wetzel, who was the winemaker, and his wife Linda. It was a natural fit for the family owned winery. Katie recalls “Hank and Linda needed assistance with sales and marketing, our production was growing and we had just entered national distribution.” She quickly jumped into the role of winery ambassador, traveling the country in a quest to find new customers for the fledgling winery, along the way building a sales network to take care of AVV’s accounts. In those early years, few outside of Northern California knew anything about the region, Katie shared her love of the Alexander Valley and knowledge of Sonoma County everywhere she went. Now both areas are household names and known as world class wine regions. Today, she can still be found doing the same. Visitors to the winery often ask about the car with the California Sin Zin license plate. Katie chose the name for AVV’s iconic Zinfandel and has proudly displayed the plate on her car for years.
During her tenure, much has changed at Alexander Valley Vineyards including production, which has increased tenfold. However, Katie’s position at the winery shows one thing hasn’t changed; AVV remains a family business with multiple generations of the Wetzel Family working in the business.
Katie is married to Dennis Murphy of Murphy Ranch. Katie and Denny also cultivate their own vineyard, growing Cabernet Sauvignon on the western benchlands of the Alexander Valley that surround their home.
Scot Covington
Winemaker | Trione Vineyards & Winery

The Trione family appointed Scot Covington winemaker in 2005, in time for him to collaborate closely on the design of their new winery, Trione Vineyards & Winery. Scot brought years of relevant experience to the project. After graduating from California State University, Fresno in 1990 with a B. S. degree in Agricultural Science, Enology, Scot worked in Sonoma County and abroad.
Read More

His mentors are legendary; his winemaking is influenced by years of training under such icons as Bill Bonnetti and Merry Edwards.
Scot began his winemaking career during the 1989 harvest at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, under the guidance of Chardonnay master Bill Bonnetti. “We experimented with every aspect of Chardonnay production, working on vineyard and cellar techniques that are common place today,” recalls Scot. “Sonoma-Cutrer was on the cutting edge of winemaking technology. It was an exciting environment for a beginning winemaker.” Reflecting on those years, Scot remembers Bill Bonnetti as “a detail-oriented perfectionist who shared his knowledge.”
Mateo Granados
Chef, Owner | Mateo’s Cocina Latina

In a delicious mix of cultures, Yucatan-born chef Mateo Granados has created a unique signature that celebrates rigorously sourced local and sustainable ingredients infused with the vibrant regional flavors of his homeland, crafted with classic French finesse.

EPISODE FOUR

Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Tasting Details

TASTING GUIDES:
Tim Bodell, Culinary Director | Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Andrea Furber Card, Director of Winemaking | Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Ames Morison, Founding Partner, Winemaker | Medlock Ames
Robert Young II, Hospitality Lead | Robert Young Estate

FEATURED WINERIES:
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Medlock Ames
Robert Young Estate

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Purchase Wine

Menu

Rustic Restaurant
at
Local Dungeness Crab and Spring Pea Risotto
Francis Ford Coppola 2019 Director’s Cut Sauvignon Blanc

Pork Belly Porchetta Stuffed with Tuscan Kale and Garlic
Medlock Ames 2018 Estate Red

Steak with a Ceci Bean Roasted Garlic Puree and Herb Oil
Robert Young Estate 2017 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Click Here for Recipes

THE WINES

Francis Ford Coppola
2019 Director’s Cut
Sauvignon Blanc

Tech Sheet

Medlock Ames
2018
Estate Red

Tech Sheet

Robert Young Estate
2017 Alexander Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon

Tech Sheet

THE TASTING GUIDES

Andrea Furber Card
Director of Winemaking |
Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Andrea Furber Card is a fourth generation Sonoma County native.  The roots run deep for her family, having had great-grandparents who grew grapes in the northern reaches of the county in 1879 until the imposition of Prohibition.  They instilled a connection to nature and the land that remains with the family four generations later. Read More


Being raised on a small apple orchard in West County she was able to appreciate the bounty of the area. Andrea joined the Coppola Winemaking Team as the Director of Winemaking.  She is a graduate from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Farm and Ranch Management.  She added to her formal education by earning a winemaking certificate from UC Davis and completing the California Agricultural Leadership Program.
After graduation from Cal Poly, she joined Benziger Family Winery and continued to work for 16 years learning and developing her skills not only in wine production and winemaking but tending to the land with emphasis in Sustainability, Organics and Biodynamics®.  She transitioned to Ravenswood Winery in 2017 as winemaker, remaining there until mid-2019. At that time, she joined The Prisoner Wine Company for a year as senior winemaker before moving on to her current role at Coppola.
Andrea loves everything about nature and processes.  She is an avid competitor in Logging Sports, a sport derived from the traditional work in the woods such as log chopping, throwing axes and cross-cut sawing.  When not competing throughout the country and Australia as a member of the US Women’s Team, she can be found on the lake waterskiing, crafting, and enjoying time with family, friends, and pets.  She lives in Santa Rosa with her husband, Casey, and daughter, Avonell.
Ames Morison
Founding Partner, Winemaker
| Medlock Ames

Ames Morison is the winemaker and founding partner of Medlock Ames winery. A Virginian native, Ames graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a degree in Ancient History before working as a teacher in New York.
Read More


He spent three years in the Peace Corps in Guatemala which solidified his desire to be a vocal supporter of organic farming, where he applies diversified agricultural practices to create a balanced and sustainable environment in the vineyards. Light-touch techniques are also healthier options for the vineyard crew that Ames oversees.
Ames planted most of the 55-acre vineyard site as well as supervised the winery’s construction that was completed in time for the 2003 vintage. To prepare to grow grapes and make wines from Bell Mountain, Ames worked in enological and production capacities at several Napa and Sonoma wineries as well as studied viticulture and enology at the University of California at Davis.
Having over 20 years of experience of growing grapes at Bell Mountain, Ames looks to the future and the next 20 years of what wines will grow best there. To that end, he is making changes in the cellar to bring out the best of what Bell Mountain can produce not only in Cabernet Sauvignon but in several of the Bordeaux varietals originally planted as blending grapes. New wines will be released in the next 2-5 years that will showcase what this single vineyard site can do.
When Ames is not walking the vineyard, he can be found spending time outdoors with his son, Ulysses.
Robert Young II
Hospitality Lead | Robert Young Estate

Born and raised in Alexander Valley, Robert Young II is part of the fifth generation of the Robert Young Family. His roots run deep with his ancestors first settling in Alexander Valley in 1858. His grandfather, Robert Young was a pioneer in grape growing being the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon in the valley in 1963 and later developing a proprietary Chardonnay clone, Robert Young Clone 17. Read More


Robert grew up living and working in the family business. As a child, he worked in the vineyard and visioned himself staying in the family business. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College, transferred to Sonoma State University, and graduated in 2019 with a BA in Wine Business. He is now the Hospitality Lead at the family’s tasting venue and carrying on the family legacy.
Tim Bodell
Culinary Director
| Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Tim Bodell brings almost 25 years of food and wine experience to his role as Culinary Director at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Bodell relies on his expertise and knowledge to recreate Francis’s cherished family recipes and favorite cuisines from around the world. Read More

 His background includes years of working in varied roles including Proprietor, Chef, Sous Chef, Saucier, etc in many world class Food and Beverage Operations.  Bodell was born and raised in the Philadelphia area where he learned his love of cooking from his mother. His mother and father were both teachers and nourished and supported his love of cooking.
In his teens, Tim landed a job as a dishwasher and he never looked back, landing his first cook job shortly after at a restaurant in the Philadelphia suburbs. He realized at that time that working in this industry was his calling and that he could turn his passion into a successful career if he worked hard enough.
After graduating high school, Bodell continued to hone his skills in restaurants throughout the Philadelphia area before deciding to attend Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He thrived in this environment and graduated Cum Laude.
Upon graduating from the University, Bodell moved to Oregon to pursue his Culinary passions and eventually settled in Northern California to immerse himself in the San Francisco Bay Area Food and Wine scene.
Bodell has been the Culinary Director at Francis Ford Coppola Winery since 2011. Tim and Staff from the Winery had the pleasure to cook at the James Beard House in 2011 and 2013.

EPISODE FIVE

Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Tasting Details

TASTING GUIDES:
Mateo Granados, Chef, Owner | Mateo’s Cocina Latina

Jim Rickards, Owner, Farmer, Winemaker | J. Rickards Winery
Justin Seidenfeld, Director of Winemaking | Rodney Strong Vineyards
Jake Hawkes, Owner, Winemaker | Hawkes Wines

FEATURED WINERIES:
J. Rickards Winery
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Hawkes Wines

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Purchase Wine

Menu

Roasted Pork Belly, Cured Cabbage Salad, Honey Chili Glaze
J. Rickards 2019 Rose of Grenache

Filet Mignon with Roasted Potatoes
Rodney Strong 2017 Alexander Valley, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Merida’s Garden Duck Alcaparrado & Rice
Hawkes 2016 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Click Here for Recipes

THE WINES

J. Rickards
2019 Ava Rae
Rose of Grenache

Tech Sheet

Rodney Strong Vineyards
2017 Alexander Valley
Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Tech Sheet

Hawkes Wine
2016 Alexander Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon

Tech Sheet

THE TASTING GUIDES

Jim Rickards
Owner, Farmer, Winemaker J. Rickards Winery

Jim Rickards has been growing some darn fine grapes in northern Alexander Valley since 1976. With a bit of know-how and a lot of gumption, he started J. Rickards Vineyards by bringing back an ancient Zinfandel vineyard that others had left for dead. Read More

A full-time ICU nurse at the time (a job he still works half-time today), Jim built his vineyard operation from the ground up, growing his own food, building his own house, and making sure his tractor always had working headlights for farming at night.
Jim was old-school before old-school became hip. He’s used environmentally sustainable vineyard practices from the get-go, and he and his highly skilled, small vineyard crew have hand-grafted every one of the 54,000+ vines on his property. Together, they grow some of Sonoma County’s most outstanding crops of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petite Sirah – to name just a few.
A farmer first and foremost, Jim still sells half of his fruit but expanded his operation in 2005 to include J. Rickards Winery. His passion for grape growing shines in his handcrafted, small-lot wines, stunning representations of varietal style and unique reflections of the diverse soils and varying microclimates of their vineyards. Jim, his wife Eliza, and the vineyard and winery crews exemplify his motto of “passion … no pretense,” in everything they do. And while rigid “rules” are few and far between around J. Rickards, Jim’s No. 3 rule of wine tasting is perhaps most important: “Never ask Jim a question unless you have 20 minutes to hear the answer.” Ask Jim sometime and he’ll tell you his other rules; just make sure you have the time! 
Justin Seidenfeld
Director of Winemaking | Rodney Strong Vineyards

Justin Seidenfeld serves as Director of Winemaking for Rodney Strong Vineyards, the iconic Sonoma County Winery that was founded in 1959 by namesake Rod Strong. Justin’s winemaking career began in Sebastopol, California, where he was an intern at Iron Horse winery in 2005. Read More

He quickly rose from cellar hand to taking on winemaking responsibilities which led to a position in 2006 at the venerable Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley.
As an enologist at Mondavi, Seidenfeld walked some of California’s premiere vineyards including Tokalon, Hyde Vineyards, and Vine Hill Ranch among others gaining a comprehensive understanding of quality land and viticulture, he took that experience into winemaking overseeing small lot Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir winemaking for Robert Mondavi Winery.
Justin oversees all production for our brands, starting with the vineyards all the way to the finished product in the glass. As the leader of an exceptional team Justin takes pride in pushing the boundaries of what is possible for our wines.
Justin graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2006 with a B.S. in Viticulture & Enology. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Dena and daughters Madison, Lila and Reagan. Justin enjoys golfing, playing with his daughters and working on his home. As to his inspiration to a career in winemaking, Justin notes, “people recalling the occasions that wine makes better and memorable is the reason I make wine. Hearing about how and when someone enjoyed a wine I made inspires me.”
Jake Hawkes
Owner, Winemaker | Hawkes Wine

Jacob Hawkes is a bald man in his early forties. He wears glasses and a beard and has a sort of athlete-gone-to-seed figure. He was born and raised on the farm on Chalk Hill Road, where his mother and father still live. Read More


Jake never thought he would make wine for a living. His greatest aspiration was the same as every other child in America: to live anywhere but here. To that end, he left home and bumped around from place to place starting at the age of seventeen. His occupations were various. A construction worker in Rodarte, New Mexico, nightclub doorman in New York, woodchopper in California, grape-picker in Australia, alcoholic in Mexico, metal worker in Oakland, English teacher in San Marcos, Texas, but one common thread ran through all of this: wherever Jake went, he failed. And, when he failed, he came home and worked in the vineyard.
Today, Jake has resigned himself to permanent failure. He will not be this country’s first African American president. For one thing, he’s not African American. The upside is, to his great surprise, he loves what he does at Hawkes. He believes the wines are splendid. In his dreams, he wanders alone on the landscape of great American Cabernet, listening to the wind blow on the stripped branches of the birch trees and looking out on the scorched and empty plain. “I will make great Cabernet for our time”, he shouts into the emptiness. “Pipe down,” his wife says, “You’ll wake the baby.”
Mateo Granados
Chef, Owner
| Mateo’s Cocina Latina

In a delicious mix of cultures, Yucatan-born chef Mateo Granados has created a unique signature that celebrates rigorously sourced local and sustainable ingredients infused with the vibrant regional flavors of his homeland, crafted with classic French finesse.

EPISODE SIX

Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Tasting Details

TASTING GUIDES:
Liza Hinman, Chef, Owner | The Spinster Sisters

Werner Siegert, Proprietor, Vintner | La Cienega Vineyard
Katja Siegert Newman, Managing Parnter | La Cienega Vineyard
Laura Carpenter Hawkes, Owner, Winemaker | Carpenter Wine
David Drake, Winemaker | Lancaster Estate

FEATURED WINERIES:
La Cienega Vineyard
Carpenter Wine
Lancaster Estate

Click Here to Register

Click Here to Purchase Wine

Menu

Burrata Crostini with Roasted Strawberry Onion Jam
La Cienega 2020 Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon

Crab and Radicchio Risotto
Carpenter 2019 Stone Chardonnay

Grilled Pork Chop with cabernet braised plums, creamy farro, fennel, and kale
Lancaster 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Click Here for Recipes

THE WINES

La Cienega
2020 Rose of
Cabernet Sauvignon

Tech Sheet

Carpenter
2019
Stone Chardonnay

Tech Sheet

Lancaster
2017 Estate
Cabernet Sauvignon

Tech Sheet

THE TASTING GUIDES

Werner Siegert
Proprietor, Vintner | La Cienega Vineyard

Werner is the owner and winegrower at La Cienega Vineyard. He immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1962. While serving in our military, a friend told him about the wonders of California. He moved west, earned a degree in marketing, married Helle (who immigrated from Denmark), raised three daughters, and worked more than three decades for Chevron (stationed in San Francisco, Ecuador, Texas, and Singapore). Read More


In 1994 Werner purchased “the land,” 43 acres, which became La Cienega Vineyard. Vines were planted in 1997. Under his careful watch – and many, many hours on the tractor – Werner produced and sold premium, hillside Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for two decades. In 2015 his daughter & son-in-law joined the business, and together they decided to make wine to sell commercially. Their inaugural 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon won a Silver Medal in the 2020 Harvest Challenge for Alexander Valley. When Werner is not in the field, you can find him skiing in the Sierras or playing with his five grandchildren.
Katja Siegert Newman
Managing Partner | La Cienega Vineyard

Katja is a political scientist, consultant, and farmer’s daughter. She began her career in Washington, DC, where she conducted democracy development programs in Latin America. In 2001 she moved to Los Angeles, started a consulting business, raised two boys, earned her Ph.D., and taught Latin American Politics. Read More


She and her husband Sam joined the family wine business in 2015. Katja attended Sonoma State’s Wine Entrepreneurship class with her father Werner in Winter 2019, and together they expanded from growing grapes to making wine. Like her mother Helle, Katja loves to collaborate with girlfriends, and luckily many of them have experience in marketing, branding, advertising, and enjoying wine. She created the La Cienega Ladies Round Table to help her launch award-winning wines. Katja serves on the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee of the Alexander Valley Wine Growers Association.
Laura Carpenter Hawkes
Proprietor | Carpenter Wine

Laura Carpenter Hawkes credits her peripatetic upbringing for her love of travel, people and accents. Raised a brat mainly in the East and South, she has called the Bay Area home since 1993, and has been in food, beverage, and hospitality almost as long. Read More

Once the wine bug really took hold, she made a serendipitous series of decisions to make her passion a career. Typically late to the party, she recently got her Level 2 Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, and plans to continue studying and practicing stellar service in her adopted hometown of Healdsburg.
David Drake
Winemaker
| Lancaster Estate

With his unique background in the Fine Arts, Lancaster Winemaker David Drake never saw himself working in the wine industry, but rather, happened upon it and has never looked back. David was born in Millbrae, California and soon after moved to Alexandria,Virginia where he was raised. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, wine had an early role on his life. Read More


As Head of Regulatory Enforcement for the Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms, David’s father introduced him to “wine laws” at a young age. However, perhaps his father’s most interesting impact on David’s exposure to wine was meeting Ernest Gallo, one of the most influential people to the wine industry. David’s father worked with Gallo as a consultant later on. David remembers one day in particular when the whole family was invited to lunch.
He recalls,“Ernest was about 90 years old, but was still thinking about the business. He was worried about the burgeoning craft beer industry stealing younger drinkers away from wine. I was a younger beer connoisseur at that time so he had a lot of questions for me about what I like about craft beers.”
In 1992, David made his way back to California to finish college and enjoy the weather
and lifestyle that would be afforded to him in Sonoma County. He attended Sonoma State University, graduating with a Fine Arts degree in 1996. Since he was surrounded by some of the best wine in the world and had heard so much about wine during his childhood from his father, he decided to venture into the wine industry through a job at a wine label company. There, he could both utilize his degree and work in the wine industry, an industry that was beginning to peak his interest the more he was exposed to it.
After learning more and more about wine through his work, David decided to apply for jobs in wine production where he could really immerse himself in the industry. In 2000, he start- ed working as a harvest intern at Lancaster Estate and was then hired on full time where he would continue his career for the next 15 years, from intern all the way up to Winemaker. At Lancaster, David has had the opportunity to work with some first-rate winemakers, including David Ramey, from whom he has learned a great deal about making world-class wines. Through his extensive experience in the region, David recognizes the Alexander Valley as a very special appellation.As David puts it,“It is the perfect size.The weather is fantastic and ideal for making Cabernet… and it isn’t Napa.” In fact, he was hooked on Alexander valley Cabs when he first tried the 1997 Estate Cabernet. David continues Lancaster’s tradition of making world-class wine through his personal winemaking philosophy:“In making a great wine, one needs balance. No one part should overtake the wine.”
Liza Hinman
Chef, Owner | The Spinster Sisters

Liza Hinman is the Chef and Owner of The Spinster Sisters, and a part of the Sonoma County restaurant community since 2004. Chef Hinman got her start in restaurants during her summers in college- sparking her interest in the food world, and the young “Farm to Table” movement. Read More

Upon graduating Middlebury College, Liza took a job as a member of the editorial staff of Gourmet Magazine, working under the Executive Food Editor.  This job launched her into the culinary world, and, she departed Gourmet in 2001 to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
After receiving her culinary degree, Liza trained in San Francisco under Chefs Dana Tomasino of
Woodward’s Garden, Loretta Keller of Bizou and Craig Stoll of Delfina – who were working with the best farmers and producers in the bay area.  In 2005, she migrated north to Sonoma County- and began work at the renowned Santi Restaurant in Geyserville, under Chefs Franco Dunn and Dino Bugica. At Santi she gained a deep appreciation for the regional cuisines of Italy- and started forming lasting relationships with the farmers of northern Sonoma County.
In 2009, Chef Hinman assumed the role of Executive Chef of Santi, delving more deeply into the traditional world of Italian cuisine. In 2010, she designed and oversaw the move to a new location in Santa Rosa, and earned a glowing review from the San Francisco Chronicle upon the restaurant’s re-opening.
The Spinster Sisters is Chef Hinman’s current project.  Located in the SOFA district of Santa Rosa, CA, she opened the restaurant in 2012.  The menu focuses on “Sonoma County Cuisine” – bringing a fresh example of New American dining to Santa Rosa.  Awarded with both local and critical accolades, including the Bohemian’s Best Restaurant in Sonoma County in 2017 and 2018, The Spinster Sisters is now entering its 9th year of operation- and continues to be at the forefront of the dining scene in Sonoma County.
In 2017, Liza and the partners in The Spinster Sisters renovated and opened The Astro, a mid-century modern motel located on Santa Rosa Avenue.  The Astro embraces the same brand of hospitality established at The Spinster Sisters- with a deep focus on the neighborhoods and experiences of Sonoma County.  She is also looking to open her new culinary project, Julliard Garden, in late 2020.
In 2017, Chef Hinman also completed The James Beard Foundation’s inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program- bringing a new focus of business development to her role at the company.  She also became deeply involved in The Healthcare Foundation of Sonoma County- co-chairing a culinary event to raise funds for local healthcare access.
Chef Hinman is a mother to three young children, and resides with her husband, Joe Stewart of The Downtown Bakery, in Healdsburg, in Northern Sonoma County.

Time to take notes for your next visit to Alexander Valley! This series is the ultimate insider’s guide to Cab Country, just 90 minutes North of San Francisco.

Background

This Virtual Tasting Event Sponsored by the Alexander Valley Winegrowers

The Alexander Valley Winegrowers is a community of winegrowers and winemakers sharing generations of family, history, and traditions dedicated to world-class grape growing in the Alexander Valley.