Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

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Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#151 Post by robert creth »

Ahlgren is selling of its inventory of older wines.

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#152 Post by jcoley3 »

+everyone on Havens. Merlot, Borriquot, and most importantly, the Pinot collaboration with Peter Franus (perhaps Ca's most underrated winemaker) called, IIRC 'Beau Terroir.' My first taste as a kid of good California Pinot Noir.

Also, Londer and Lazy Creek.

And Dain. I was there in the vineyards and at Crushpad for some of the 07s, and. I wish my friend was still making wine, but I also know how content he is these days, so I guess that one is OK.
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#153 Post by Mel Knox »

I still have my Seven Lions hat. When my assistant went to collect on a barrel bill, Mr Barlow threatened to shoot him. Whatever happened to his daughter?? So I don't mourn that winery, but I mourn for Fred Williams.

Re La Crema: we also called it La Crema Vinaigre when Jason Korman owned it. Or as we called him, Jason Konman. Jason was JC Boisset and Jerome Francois' landlord when they attended high school in the DC area...good times, he was never there.
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#154 Post by jcoley3 »

Mel Knox wrote:I still have my Seven Lions hat. When my assistant went to collect on a barrel bill, Mr Barlow threatened to shoot him. Whatever happened to his daughter?? So I don't mourn that winery, but I mourn for Fred Williams.
Not a winery I miss. The lone Zin I can remember was over 17% ABV, and showed all of it and more.
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#155 Post by Thomas Keim »

T Welch wrote:I sold Fetzer wines in 1980, including Zins from Lolonis, Scharffenberger and Ricetti vineyards. I think 10 out of 11 of Barney's children worked for the winery back then.
I was a buyer for a large retail chain back then, and we used to fly through the Fetzer varietals. But the wholesaler couldn't give away the single vineyard Zins, so we used to purchase them at cost from the supplier and sell them for $6 - $7 a bottle - such great wines -

And if you were ever at the winery, they had a little bar back in the woods of their property, they called it "Big Dog" Saloon or something like that? Anyways, they grew a very special crop back there and only 'insiders' were allowed to visit. My first visit to Fetzer (1981), a couple of wine salesmen in their 60s back then whispered in my ear (on the plane ride) that they always went back this old saloon and "smoked dope" with the Fetzer boys. It seemed so evil to them at the time, and they were so secretive about it, worried they would lose their jobs if anyone found out. And I must admit, it was a pretty damn good crop those boys grew.
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#156 Post by Marc Frontario »

michaelhavens wrote:Yes, I am in cahoots with Morgan Twain-Peterson in the Abrente brand. Also to look for in a few months: Cave Dog, a Merlot/Cab Franc blend I'm now making from the vineyard blocks I formerly used in Bourriquot. First release will be the 2014.
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#157 Post by Evan Pontoriero »

jcoley3 wrote:
Mel Knox wrote:I still have my Seven Lions hat. When my assistant went to collect on a barrel bill, Mr Barlow threatened to shoot him. Whatever happened to his daughter?? So I don't mourn that winery, but I mourn for Fred Williams.
Not a winery I miss. The lone Zin I can remember was over 17% ABV, and showed all of it and more.

Probably Poor Man's Flat. It was wickedly extracted and huge from century vines. The Three Amigos was amazing though.
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#158 Post by Evan Pontoriero »

Mel Knox wrote:I still have my Seven Lions hat. When my assistant went to collect on a barrel bill, Mr Barlow threatened to shoot him. Whatever happened to his daughter?? So I don't mourn that winery, but I mourn for Fred Williams.

Re La Crema: we also called it La Crema Vinaigre when Jason Korman owned it. Or as we called him, Jason Konman. Jason was JC Boisset and Jerome Francois' landlord when they attended high school in the DC area...good times, he was never there.

Nice story Mel.

I have a mag of 1980 LCV Winery Lake PN, looking for the right time with wine club folks to open.
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#159 Post by Chris Atkins »

Nobody has mentioned Versant. Bold wines from high on Prichard Hill. Continuum now owns the vineyard.

I'll second Gary Galleron. Gary produced some of the absolute best Cabernet made in the Napa Valley during the 1990's.

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#160 Post by John Webber »

Clos Pepe

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#161 Post by michaelhavens »

Marc Frontario wrote:Original Havens.....Michaels blend was the best bordeaux look alike
Thanks, Marc. My 2014 Cave Dog will be released next year, made from the same blocks I formerly used in Bourriquot. Website will be announced here.

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#162 Post by Richard Leland »

Mel Knox wrote:Don't know what happened to Russ Woodbury...he did a lot of consulting.
Russ died about 20 years - way too young.
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#163 Post by Mel Knox »

Agreed. Sorry to hear about this.
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#164 Post by Ian Brand »

TomHill wrote:

I'll play along, Mel.
How about Quail Ridge. And Veedercrest. And Woodbury. And Cassayre-Forni. And EastSideWnry...incredible stocks of old dessert wines.
And Charles LeFranc.

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#165 Post by michaelhavens »

Cave Dog is launched! This is the only red wine I now make, from the vineyard blocks I formerly used in Bourriquot. First release in March, 2016, mailing list signup here: http://www.cavedogwine.com. Also a little more information on FB page, Cave Dog Wine.
Last edited by michaelhavens on December 31st, 2015, 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#166 Post by Seo S a l i m i »

michaelhavens wrote:Cave Dog is launched! This is the only red wine I now make, from the vineyard blocks I formerly used in Bourriquot. First release in March, 2016, mailing list signup here: http://www.cavedogwine.com. Also a little more information on FB page, cavedogwine.
Signed up. Looking forward to release details.

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#167 Post by Jud Reis »

Signed up as well. Very excited to see what the wines are like!

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#168 Post by Al Osterheld »

Markus S wrote:
Greg D wrote:... I have a soft spot for SCM wineries in the first place...
Ever miss Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard?

I never met Milan, but seem to remember he used to post to alt.food.wine back in the late 90's.
Had a chardonnay of his that really threw me off tasting blind.
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard is still around, now owned by Jeff Emery, the former assistant winemaker. He couldn't afford to buy the vineyard, though, and the current style is different. Milan was Thunder Mountain.

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#169 Post by Craig Williams »

This may not count: Lynncrest Vineyards on top of Spring Mountain now Marston Family Vineyards. This winery produced the 1974 Eisele Vineyard, which was subsequently purchased in bulk by Bill Collins @ Conn Creek. John Henderson was the winemaker @ Lynncrest who I believe also subsequently moved to Conn Creek as winemaker.
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#170 Post by Greg Harter »

Thunder Mountain was the first one that came to mind. Their Cabernet was amazing. Don't have any left, but had one earlier this year at a friends, and they still are amazing.

My favorite that I miss must be Lytton Springs winery. While their zinfandels were hit or miss. Some years were dirty and nearly undrinkable, but when they were on, it was an amazing rustic, brambly zinfandel.

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#171 Post by Nevin Miller »

Jake Bilbro wrote:
Mike Evans wrote:I'll supplement my earlier response with McDowell and Limerick Lane (now reincarnated, and apparently better than ever, but the pricing, while fair, isn't the ridiculous value that the $15 1994 Collins Vineyard, which I recently learned was made by Joel Peterson, offered).
Mike,
Thanks for the vote of confidence on the quality and relative value of our wines at Limerick Lane as they currently stand.

Reading your post made me wonder about something... As the current owner of both Limerick Lane and McDowell, both brands and vineyards that have great reputations for potential quality as well as historically ridiculous value, would the original owners of both properties/wineries been better off to position their products as "fair" as opposed to "ridiculous values?" Having first hand knowledge of both of their situations, I can't help but wonder if their incredible generosity didn't end up hurting them... Or maybe it was a mixture of generosity and running a business with a slightly less than sharp pencil?

I want to be VERY clear I have utmost respect for both of the prior owners of our properties.

I also know I just initiated a bit of topic drift on this thread but as the producer of Old Vine Red, I think I have a pretty good pulse on how hard it is to make quality wine at a competitive price. I guess I'm wondering if the 1994 Collins Vineyard Zin would still have been perceived as fairly priced at $20 instead of $15 and if it had been, would the original owners still be in business today?

Maybe there are too many other factors to take into consideration...but it is an interesting question to me and one I never really thought about until I read your post so thank you for that!

Jake Bilbro
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Hey Jake

My step-father Jerry Aronson is first cousins with Bob Bilbro. Is that your father or grandfather? Jerry knew Marietta, Bob's wife's Aunt. Jerry, at 85, is alive and happy in Maui

And in a small world story, I've known Mike Collins since the early 90's, and drank lots of 1994 Collins Zin's!

Best regards;

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#172 Post by Dennis Kanagie »

Bud Carey wrote:Match!!!
p a u l b a t t a g l i a wrote:match- huge fan of randy, his philosophy and his wines.
Surprised I didn't see more mention of Match in this thread given Randy's wines' status as a (former) board darling. Is it because many of us still have plenty of his wines in our cellars?
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#173 Post by Andrew Kaufman »

Mentioned above, HMR - Dr. Hoffman was still alive just a short time ago. Pioneer in Paso. Andre Tchelistcheff helped set up the winery. Real CA history there.

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#174 Post by Joel Pulver »

For the 4 or 5 people on previous pages that mentioned Karl Lawrence, the wine maker Mike Trujillo has started his own winery .... Trujillo. Slightly more expensive then the old KL but sourcing from many of the same growers as before.

The new Karl Lawrence that has emerged or about to emerge is not the same winemaker.

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#175 Post by Seo S a l i m i »

Joel Pulver wrote:For the 4 or 5 people on previous pages that mentioned Karl Lawrence, the wine maker Mike Trujillo has started his own winery .... Trujillo. Slightly more expensive then the old KL but sourcing from many of the same growers as before.

The new Karl Lawrence that has emerged or about to emerge is not the same winemaker.

FWIW - I buy Trujilo wines. Good wines, but a very different style than what KL was. Trujilo is much more fruit forward and glycerin like in my opinion. What's this about KL emerging again? This is the second time I've heard this but couldnt find any information... link??

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#176 Post by Joel Pulver »

Seo,


PM sent with info

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#177 Post by Terry H a r r i s »

Bob Hunnicutt wrote: July 27th, 2015, 4:41 pm
Ed Kurtzman wrote:Bellerose from Dry Creek. Their Bordeaux blends were similar to Quilceda Creek's when they started out. I'm glad I have a couple of '85 Bellerose magnums.
Didn't know anyone else remembered Bellerose.
Or the old Fountain Grove Winery for that matter.
Was just wondering what happened to Bellerose Vineyards. I really enjoyed some of their Bordeaux blends from the mid-90s.
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#178 Post by Leonard A Mauney »

Guilliams was nice. Steltzner is not the same.

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#179 Post by mowen »

Kitchak
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#180 Post by Mel Knox »

Did anybody mention the original Jade Mountain??

The original Balverne??

The original Chalone, Acacia,and Edna Valley....

Long Vineyards??

Donna Maria??
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#181 Post by dougwilder »

Mel Knox wrote: March 8th, 2021, 11:51 pm Did anybody mention the original Jade Mountain??

The original Balverne??

The original Chalone, Acacia,and Edna Valley....

Long Vineyards??

Donna Maria??
You forgot Carmenet Colombard from Saviez Vineyard. I sold pallets of that stuff in the day.
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#182 Post by Gary Schulte »

Many listed above I would agree with. I would add Lane Tanner for her nervy pinot noirs that aged well and also Pesenti for their zins. I remember when Turley bought the Pesenti property as my spouse and I stopped at the newly opened Turley tasting room. They were selling Pesenti zins side by side with Turley zins and I really really liked the spicy zins from Pesenti over the coveted Turley.

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#183 Post by Tom R W »

Joel W wrote: March 5th, 2015, 5:21 pm So... I was thinking about this today while stuck in LA traffic coming home.

A few weeks ago I was on WineBid and came across a few bottles of Cab Franc that sparked my interest.

It was 2001 Guilliams Cab Franc

Price seemed right...
2001? Good Napa Vintage, right?
Cab Franc? I LOVE ME SOME Cab Franc!
Spring Mountain? OK... Wow, this is getting better.

So, I think "Hey, I'm not familiar with these guys but I think I need to be. This is right in my wheelhouse"

I look them up on Google and on the search function on WB.... and Poof, Sold. Gone.

It got me thinking, we know the winery business is a rough one. This board has a ton of knowledge, experience and a great memory.

Plenty of wineries have gone the way of the Dodo.... share with us a few wineries where you think, "Damn, I really miss that juice!"
I saw this thread title and without opening it immediately thought of Guilliams on Spring Mtn and now see its the OP's inspiration!

First bought Guilliams Cab from a local retailer back in the 90's and loved it for $20/bottle. Kept buying the Cab, Cab Franc, Merlot whenever I would find it, excellent QPR. Kept calling John and Shawn every time I'd visit Napa to see if they'd let me stop by. They were making the wine out of their converted Garage! It was awesome! I brought a group of good friends through during the '12 harvest and they let us perform punchdowns in the garage. One of my all-time favorite visits in Napa. Only have 8 bottles left. Sad.
I've tried to track down bottles from the new owner, but they're primarily sold in Asia and the grapes appear to be blended across many vineyards now.

Really wish they were still around.
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#184 Post by Roy Piper »

Matt Latuchie wrote: March 7th, 2015, 12:13 pm Thunder Mountain. Plus, it clearly had the finest label of all time.
I thought their mid-90s Cabs were even better than Montebello.
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#185 Post by Roy Piper »

Villa Mt Eden. When i was getting into wine in 1991-93 I used to drink their $12-15 wines all the time.
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#186 Post by B. Buzzini »

SILO! Loved that wine in the 1997 vintage. I think that was their only vintage? Use to be Savannah-Chanelle...another defunct?

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#187 Post by Jud Reis »

B. Buzzini wrote: March 9th, 2021, 2:20 pm SILO! Loved that wine in the 1997 vintage. I think that was their only vintage? Use to be Savannah-Chanelle...another defunct?

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Drank a boatload of Savannah Chantelle pinots that a friend in the biz was blowing out 15 years ago, great wines. I think they are still in business?

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#188 Post by Josh Grossman »

No mention of Renaissance. Evidently you all didn't drink the Kool-aid.

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#189 Post by Joel Pulver »

BTraub wrote: March 5th, 2015, 5:55 pm More recently, Karl Lawrence.

Of course a lot of greats from the '70's died and were reincarnated in Fred Franzia's portfolio, as jug wines trying to live off the old reputations of once-good wineries--Hacienda, Grand Cru, and of course most (in)famously of all, Charles Shaw. In any meaningful sense, those original wineries are long gone.

A couple of older ones that I can remember are Roddis and Fretter, but as noted above, Tom Hill probably followed dozens of them from the very start--and to the very finish.
Mike Trujillo was the old wine maker for Karl Lawrence. He has had his own winery Trujillo for about 10 years now.

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#190 Post by Mel Knox »

Originally the Saviez Columbard grapes were fermented at Chalone and sold as Chalone wine, then as Gavilan. I assume the vineyard has been replanted to something more profitable.

I have a great Renaissance story: they loved to trade wine and in 1991 or so they called me up to see if I would trade wine for barrels. Having just read some article about never shutting the door etc I said, Well, send me some samples. It helped that I already knew Gideon B. The samples were great, esp the sweet wines. The original winemaker was a German winemaker named Karl Werner, who had also been the winemaker at Mondavi. So his widow and others knew how to do it. An English wine merchant came by looking for some wine for a private label. He bought two containers.
Karl 's widow remarried and the family makes olive oil under the Apollo label from their own trees. It's excellent.
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#191 Post by Wes Barton »

Josh Grossman wrote: March 9th, 2021, 3:03 pm No mention of Renaissance. Evidently you all didn't drink the Kool-aid.
There is Clos Saron, which some here are fans of. Same winemaker and some of the same grapes. Just bottled an OV Zin from grapes Renaissance used to source.

Savannah-Chanel is still around. I'd guess they just don't need as wide of a net, with club and local sales. It's been a few years, but they always had a well attended tasting room.
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#192 Post by John Glas »

Kitchak
I sampled that at their first release party in Minneapolis and tried other vintages. Outstanding wines and in my opinion priced right. Marketing probably did them in as you need to get reviews from WS, etc. to get the word out. I thought they would score very well and advised them to send in some samples. It is hard to compete if the word does not get out.

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#193 Post by Mel Knox »

Bellerose is now Flanagan, I believe. It was Everett Ridge for a while.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#194 Post by M. Meer »

Leonard A Mauney wrote: March 8th, 2021, 9:56 pm Steltzner is not the same.
Loved their wines. I have yet to try the label since they sold their vineyard. I see that Myriad and Vice Versa are making Cabernet from Steltzner Vineyard, but those are out of my normal buying range.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#195 Post by J Cangiano »

Breaker made some great cabs over the past 15 years.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#196 Post by jnbrown »

Harrison - Clarke.
I wonder what became of their vineyard in Ballard Canyon.

Also used to like August Ridge in Paso.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#197 Post by John Morris »

dougwilder wrote: March 9th, 2021, 12:23 am
Mel Knox wrote: March 8th, 2021, 11:51 pm Did anybody mention the original Jade Mountain??

The original Balverne??

The original Chalone, Acacia,and Edna Valley....

Long Vineyards??

Donna Maria??
You forgot Carmenet Colombard from Saviez Vineyard. I sold pallets of that stuff in the day.
Great stuff!
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#198 Post by John Morris »

Terry H a r r i s wrote: March 8th, 2021, 9:12 pm Was just wondering what happened to Bellerose Vineyards. I really enjoyed some of their Bordeaux blends from the mid-90s.
Those were special -- very balanced and satisfying, I remember.
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#199 Post by John Morris »

Mel Knox wrote: March 8th, 2021, 11:51 pm Did anybody mention the original Jade Mountain??

The original Balverne??

The original Chalone, Acacia,and Edna Valley....

Long Vineyards??

Donna Maria??
A friend scored a bunch of Long's late harvest rieslings as they winery was shutting down. They were world class. I'm only sorry that I've drunk all of mine!
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Re: Your favorite Cali Wineries... that are gone now?

#200 Post by Sean Devaney »

This thread coming back to life is great. A winery that I forgot to mention was Congress Springs. Some great Chards, Pinots and estate Zin. Now Savannah Chanell.

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