Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

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Ken Zinns
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Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#1 Post by Ken Zinns » March 26th, 2020, 5:09 pm

Very nice new article by Laura Ness on the Edible Monterey Bay website about a couple of the founding fathers of the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region, Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Some cool stories from both of them.

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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#2 Post by Bob G » March 26th, 2020, 6:14 pm

Thanks for posting this link, Ken. A real trip down memory lane.

Santa Cruz Mountain Wines was the first winery mailing list I was ever on in the mid 90's. I still have few bottles from the '92 vintage in the cold cellar, a Duriff, an estate pinot from Jarvis and as Matteson pinot. It's been quite awhile since I opened one and who knows what kind of shape they are in, but they have been stored at 55 for the last 25 years. I've always had a soft spot for Sant Cruz appellation wines. They are typically excellent. Mount Eden was another early love. And I am a big fan of Rhys' wines from the Santa Cruz appellation. The Arnot-Roberts wines from the appellation are also excellent.

Who owns Jarvis Vineyard now?

Thanks again.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#3 Post by Ken Zinns » March 26th, 2020, 7:35 pm

I don’t know who currently owns the old Jarvis property. Ken Burnap sold it to a group of investors who started the Vine Hill label (no longer in business) and sadly they pulled out all of the old vines there in the mid-‘00s. I’m sure that Wes Barton knows more - perhaps he'll chime in here.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#4 Post by George Chadwick » March 26th, 2020, 8:37 pm

That is lovely. My journey with Ken Burnap started with the 1985 86 87 Bates cabernets. Then with my neighbor Dave it turned to the estate pinots. I've had the 1991 and 1992 in the past year, both spicy and lovely

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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#5 Post by Wes Barton » March 26th, 2020, 10:07 pm

Ken Zinns wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 7:35 pm
I don’t know who currently owns the old Jarvis property. Ken Burnap sold it to a group of investors who started the Vine Hill label (no longer in business) and sadly they pulled out all of the old vines there in the mid-‘00s. I’m sure that Wes Barton knows more - perhaps he'll chime in here.
Sad what happened with Vine Hill. Some rich dipshit was in charge and hired a conartist as winemaker. The guy had worked at some massive brewery in the midwest, then interned a harvest or two up in Napa and/or Sonoma (wouldn't state who with), then somehow sold himself to a naive owner. Despite major vineyard expansion, they ripped out the old vines day one. Then the winemaker learned on the job, with some of the first releases majorly flawed. He did get better. I gather they had both major revenue problems and massive inventory. The owner tried to restructure while halting production. Fogarty stepped up and bought all his grapes. It's under new ownership now as US Grant Winery, with Jarvis renamed Union Vineyard. A local industry friend went there and tasted and was impressed. Early days, and I don't really know anything, but I see you can fork out for a six pack of '15s. https://www.usgrant.com/vineyard/
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#6 Post by Mike Evans » March 27th, 2020, 6:06 am

Bob G wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 6:14 pm
Thanks for posting this link, Ken. A real trip down memory lane.

Santa Cruz Mountain Wines was the first winery mailing list I was ever on in the mid 90's. I still have few bottles from the '92 vintage in the cold cellar, a Duriff, an estate pinot from Jarvis and as Matteson pinot. It's been quite awhile since I opened one and who knows what kind of shape they are in, but they have been stored at 55 for the last 25 years. I've always had a soft spot for Sant Cruz appellation wines. They are typically excellent. Mount Eden was another early love. And I am a big fan of Rhys' wines from the Santa Cruz appellation. The Arnot-Roberts wines from the appellation are also excellent.

Who owns Jarvis Vineyard now?

Thanks again.
The 1992 Matteson Pinot was the first great American Pinot Noir I ever had. I recall pouring it blind for my tasting group that had a huge Old World bias and most of the guesses were Grand Cru Burgundies, as the notion that a California Pinot could combine delicacy with concentration and intensity at that level never crossed their minds.

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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#7 Post by Kevin Harvey » March 27th, 2020, 8:23 am

It's great to some well-deserved recognition for these unsung hero pioneers. Their wines were very motivational for me. This is a great reminder to open a few bottles!!
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#8 Post by Wes Barton » March 27th, 2020, 12:15 pm

Mike Evans wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 6:06 am
Bob G wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 6:14 pm
Thanks for posting this link, Ken. A real trip down memory lane.

Santa Cruz Mountain Wines was the first winery mailing list I was ever on in the mid 90's. I still have few bottles from the '92 vintage in the cold cellar, a Duriff, an estate pinot from Jarvis and as Matteson pinot. It's been quite awhile since I opened one and who knows what kind of shape they are in, but they have been stored at 55 for the last 25 years. I've always had a soft spot for Sant Cruz appellation wines. They are typically excellent. Mount Eden was another early love. And I am a big fan of Rhys' wines from the Santa Cruz appellation. The Arnot-Roberts wines from the appellation are also excellent.

Who owns Jarvis Vineyard now?

Thanks again.
The 1992 Matteson Pinot was the first great American Pinot Noir I ever had. I recall pouring it blind for my tasting group that had a huge Old World bias and most of the guesses were Grand Cru Burgundies, as the notion that a California Pinot could combine delicacy with concentration and intensity at that level never crossed their minds.
That was the best vineyard in Corralitos, imo. There are certainly other contenders these days, but it's an excellent site. It's gone through 5-6 names, which I f*ck love (he said sarcastically). Why not just respect the legacy of a great vineyard, rather than rebranding when you buy, throwing that asset into the garbage? I don't get it. Who reading this knows that's the Woodruff Vineyard? Oh, wait! Was the f-ing Woodruff Vineyard. Yet another ownership change, yet another name: Ferrari Family Vineyard. Sounds posh.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#9 Post by ATaylor » March 27th, 2020, 12:25 pm

[/quote]

Sad what happened with Vine Hill. Some rich dipshit was in charge and hired a conartist as winemaker. The guy had worked at some massive brewery in the midwest, then interned a harvest or two up in Napa and/or Sonoma (wouldn't state who with), then somehow sold himself to a naive owner. Despite major vineyard expansion, they ripped out the old vines day one. Then the winemaker learned on the job, with some of the first releases majorly flawed. He did get better. I gather they had both major revenue problems and massive inventory. The owner tried to restructure while halting production. Fogarty stepped up and bought all his grapes. It's under new ownership now as US Grant Winery, with Jarvis renamed Union Vineyard. A local industry friend went there and tasted and was impressed. Early days, and I don't really know anything, but I see you can fork out for a six pack of '15s. https://www.usgrant.com/vineyard/
[/quote]

I was looking at the Manresa "to go" list yesterday and saw this on it and was wondering......actually cheaper to buy at Manresa @ $90 per.
@ndrew

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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#10 Post by Wes Barton » March 27th, 2020, 12:44 pm

ATaylor wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 12:25 pm
Sad what happened with Vine Hill. Some rich dipshit was in charge and hired a conartist as winemaker. The guy had worked at some massive brewery in the midwest, then interned a harvest or two up in Napa and/or Sonoma (wouldn't state who with), then somehow sold himself to a naive owner. Despite major vineyard expansion, they ripped out the old vines day one. Then the winemaker learned on the job, with some of the first releases majorly flawed. He did get better. I gather they had both major revenue problems and massive inventory. The owner tried to restructure while halting production. Fogarty stepped up and bought all his grapes. It's under new ownership now as US Grant Winery, with Jarvis renamed Union Vineyard. A local industry friend went there and tasted and was impressed. Early days, and I don't really know anything, but I see you can fork out for a six pack of '15s. https://www.usgrant.com/vineyard/
I was looking at the Manresa "to go" list yesterday and saw this on it and was wondering......actually cheaper to buy at Manresa @ $90 per.
Try it! Post notes.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#11 Post by Ian Alper » March 27th, 2020, 1:54 pm

Thanks for posting the link. I read this and meant to post about it. I think Edible Monterey has been hitting it out of the park these days. Great article and worthy praise for some of our pioneers.

Mike and Wes - agree with you regarding Matteson Pinot. I am still haunted by an early 90s' version done my Salamander Wine Cellars and consumed at about 15 years of age. One of the best Pinots I have had the pleasure to taste. Quite the surprise!

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Thunder Mtn

#12 Post by TomHill » March 27th, 2020, 3:49 pm

Did Milan Maxminovitch make some wines from Jarvis vnyd. Or was that only Bates Ranch.
Tom

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Re: Thunder Mtn

#13 Post by Wes Barton » March 27th, 2020, 5:00 pm

TomHill wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 3:49 pm
Did Milan Maxminovitch make some wines from Jarvis vnyd. Or was that only Bates Ranch.
Tom
Bates.
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Re: Thunder Mtn

#14 Post by George Chadwick » March 29th, 2020, 11:42 am

Wes Barton wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 5:00 pm
TomHill wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 3:49 pm
Did Milan Maxminovitch make some wines from Jarvis vnyd. Or was that only Bates Ranch.
Tom
Bates.
Milan, his daughter, and his son in law were part of the first wine group I was ever in, which still survives more or less decades later with ever-shifting attendees in informal gatherings in the SF Marina. He was a wonderful man who passed shockingly young. His best known Thunder Mountain cabernets were Bates.

But he also made the red wine he was most proud of, Star Ruby named after a ring he wore, from DeRose and Doc Miller vineyards in Cienega Valley. Also Veranda Vineyard SCruz Pinot, Ciardella Vineyard SCruz Pinot and Chardonnay, Beauregard Ranch SCruz Chardonnay and Cabernet, Bald Mountain Ben Lomond Chardonnay. The Bates Cabernets were my favorites.

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Re: Thunder Mtn

#15 Post by Wes Barton » March 29th, 2020, 12:10 pm

George Chadwick wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 11:42 am
Wes Barton wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 5:00 pm
TomHill wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 3:49 pm
Did Milan Maxminovitch make some wines from Jarvis vnyd. Or was that only Bates Ranch.
Tom
Bates.
His Thunder Mountain cabernets were Bates. But toward the end I think he made some pinots.
He also got CS from Beauregard Ranch and Doc Miller Vyd. in Cienega Valley.
Chards from Beauregard Ranch, Bald Mtn, Ciardella, De Rose.
Pinot Noir from Ciardella and Veranda.
Some CF, Syrah, Merlot...

To take things back, Ciardella Vyd. is the second name for Matteson Vyd. You'll see SCMV Pinots with that name, too. Mr. Matteson died unexpectedly and the ownership changed. The vineyard wasn't kept up, so the quality began slipping. The Woodruffs then bought it and renamed it Terra Serena. They worked on restoring it best they could, then brought in experts to fine tune it. They also weren't happy with the quality of wine being made by the buyers, so replaced them with Big Basin, Wind Gap and Ghostwriter. Or, actually, Kenny coming in for that fruit is what led him to start the Ghostwriter label. With those new producers, they smartly rebranded as Woodruff. (So yes, I agree with one of the four name changes.)
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Re: Thunder Mtn

#16 Post by George Chadwick » March 29th, 2020, 12:28 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:10 pm
George Chadwick wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 11:42 am
Wes Barton wrote:
March 27th, 2020, 5:00 pm


Bates.
His Thunder Mountain cabernets were Bates. But toward the end I think he made some pinots.
He also got CS from Beauregard Ranch and Doc Miller Vyd. in Cienega Valley.
Chards from Beauregard Ranch, Bald Mtn, Ciardella, De Rose.
Pinot Noir from Ciardella and Veranda.
Some CF, Syrah, Merlot...

To take things back, Ciardella Vyd. is the second name for Matteson Vyd. You'll see SCMV Pinots with that name, too. Mr. Matteson died unexpectedly and the ownership changed. The vineyard wasn't kept up, so the quality began slipping. The Woodruffs then bought it and renamed it Terra Serena. They worked on restoring it best they could, then brought in experts to fine tune it. They also weren't happy with the quality of wine being made by the buyers, so replaced them with Big Basin, Wind Gap and Ghostwriter. Or, actually, Kenny coming in for that fruit is what led him to start the Ghostwriter label. With those new producers, they smartly rebranded as Woodruff. (So yes, I agree with one of the four name changes.)
I was editing to add to my post (see above additions) while you were writing this. I was hoping you would tell us about the SCruz vineyards he used and sure enough you have. I like the Big Basin Woodruffs (and Lesters).

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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#17 Post by Mark Golodetz » March 29th, 2020, 12:59 pm

I bought several bottles from 1979 and 1980 from WineBid. I am down to a few bottles, and serve them only to really close friends blind. Nobody ever got close; most guessing either Bordeaux or Heitz Martha’s because of the distinctive Rosemary nose.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#18 Post by Wes Barton » March 29th, 2020, 1:50 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:59 pm
I bought several bottles from 1979 and 1980 from WineBid. I am down to a few bottles, and serve them only to really close friends blind. Nobody ever got close; most guessing either Bordeaux or Heitz Martha’s because of the distinctive Rosemary nose.
We did a big pre-harvest potluck tasting a few years ago at some high elevation undisclosed location in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Theme was bring your best SCM wine. Attendees were a mix of local winemakers and crew and members of the organizer's tasting group. One friend sourced a mag of that '79 Cab, and brought it out saying he wasn't sure if it'll be any good. In unison, three of us said "Oh, it'll be good!" It was. It beat out some pretty spectacular wines, for me.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#19 Post by David Lewin » March 30th, 2020, 1:32 pm

I remember spending a very nice couple of hours with Ken back in the late 70's or early 80's. While I don't remember much. I do remember him trying to decide whether or not to open a bottle (I think was either the 1975 or 1977 Pinot Noir) for a novice couple, and finally deciding that wine was made for drinking and opening it.

I kept one of his offering letters (from 1986) with his notes on earlier vintages on the back and have attached them.

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Re: Thunder Mtn

#20 Post by Ian Brand » March 30th, 2020, 4:19 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:10 pm
[
He also got CS from Beauregard Ranch and Doc Miller Vyd. in Cienega Valley.
We get the Doc Miller now. It still is not in Cienega Valley. We call it Brigantino after the family that now owns it. Most goes into our P'tit Paysan Cabernet, although we will bottle a small amount as single vineyard from the 18 vintage. It's a pretty neat site.

I was very happy to see this article. Ken and Jeff have done wonders for the local scene. I learned a great deal about how to run a winery from Jeff, and his latest batch of proteges are making some pretty mint stuff.

Ian
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#21 Post by Dan Kravitz » March 30th, 2020, 4:45 pm

I am reading this and crying in my beer. I've been a huge fan of SCMV almost literally forever.

I was in California three weeks ago, was going to have dinner with my friend Barry Jackson who has a winery a block from the complex that has SCMV. The idea was we would have dinner and maybe get to visit with Jeff Emery. But the plague intervened, I cancelled dinner in Santa Cruz and flew home a week early.

One of the great, legendary vintages of Ridge Monte Bello is 1984. Three times I've had it side-by-side with other 1984 Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets. Every time it has been brilliant. Every time it has not been quite as good as the wines it was paired with:
1984 Mount Eden
1984 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard Bates Ranch
1984 Ahlgren Bates Ranch

I am so very sorry that I canceled my trip to Santa Cruz, I was going down Thursday afternoon the 12th and was going to visit Rhys Friday. Just 24 hours of heaven after a business trip already battered by the plague. But it was the right thing to do.

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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#22 Post by JDavisRoby » March 30th, 2020, 7:11 pm

Any good stories from dinner at The Hobbit in Orange County?
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Re: Thunder Mtn

#23 Post by JDavisRoby » March 30th, 2020, 7:13 pm

Ian Brand wrote:
March 30th, 2020, 4:19 pm
Wes Barton wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 12:10 pm
[
He also got CS from Beauregard Ranch and Doc Miller Vyd. in Cienega Valley.
We get the Doc Miller now. It still is not in Cienega Valley. We call it Brigantino after the family that now owns it. Most goes into our P'tit Paysan Cabernet, although we will bottle a small amount as single vineyard from the 18 vintage. It's a pretty neat site.

I was very happy to see this article. Ken and Jeff have done wonders for the local scene. I learned a great deal about how to run a winery from Jeff, and his latest batch of proteges are making some pretty mint stuff.

Ian
Care to share if 18 SV CS will be bottled under P’tit or I Brand?
Joshu@

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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#24 Post by Ian Brand » March 30th, 2020, 8:16 pm

We put our single vineyard wines under I. Brand. There will be 3 single vineyard cabs in 2018, the youngest vineyard was planted in 1982, the oldest in the late 50s, which is the Doc Miller Vineyard.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#25 Post by Casey Hartlip » March 30th, 2020, 8:34 pm

I consider Laura Ness a friend. Glad to see her get some love on this board. She does lots of wine judging competitions which is thankless work.
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Re: Nice article by wine writer Laura Ness on Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

#26 Post by Pat K » March 30th, 2020, 8:51 pm

We had a great tasting at Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard last fall. Ended up with:

Pinot Noir, 2014, Bailey's Branchiforte Ridge
Quinta Cruz Touriga, 2013, San Antonio Valley, Pierce Ranch
Quinta Cruz Rabelo, 2010, San Antonio Valley, Pierce Ranch (Domestic Port made from some of the traditional Port grapes)

And we also have a few bottles of Big Basin. Some of which were acquired during most recent Berserker Day sales.

Thank goodness we did that trip when we did. No longer possible for foreseeable future.

And that was the trip we also visited Bonny Doon....sigh.

I wouldn't hesitate to visit SCMV again. Worth the drive from the Monterey area. Glad this geek put it on the itinerary.

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