ROB BARNETT (CEO & Founder of ‘VinVillage.com’; Founder, Executive Producer, Co-Host of ‘VinVillageRadio’)
After nearly twenty years as a technology entrepreneur, avid wine hobbyist and wine collector, Rob turned wine entrepreneur. A San Diego resident since 1987, Rob has been chasing his love and fascination of wine since back in college during his short-lived “jug wines” phase. After years of self-study, plus the vast knowledge he’s gained through his involvement in a multitude of wine courses, classes, tastings and groups, Rob has taken his passion for wine and developed a ‘wine-lifestyle’. And now, as founder of VinVillage.com, a wine media communications company, and VinVillageRadio, a popular talk-radio show focusing on all things about wine and food, Rob has leveraged his technology background and his immense passion for wine, to make it his profession and his life-style.
SUSAN AND TODD MONTGOMERY (Life-Uncorked)
Susan and Todd Montgomery are a writing/photography team who love documenting their travels and experiences with upbeat articles and vibrant photos. While they have been writing about and photographing the world around them throughout their lives, their move from Wisconsin to Southern California four years ago opened up many new opportunities for their work. They particularly love living in a wine country destination. They hone their skills in reviewing food and wine (both always great loves of theirs) by participating on a Wine Review Council that pairs foods with a variety of wines.
SHAWNA SMOOT (Owner/Wine-Brew Expert Temecula Valley Cheese Company)
Info to follow
CHRIS JOHNSTON (Owner/Wine Maker Middle Ridge Winery)
When winemaker Chris Johnston envisioned starting a boutique winery, he was away from the hassles of everyday city life amid the tall pines and sweet smelling cedars of the popular artist community of Idyllwild, California. The friendliness of the small town inspired Chris to bring people together through the enjoyment of handcrafted, artisan Idyllwild wine. He traveled to vineyards all over California in search of the perfect grapes for Middle Ridge Winery. Today, the wine is made in Temecula, and the original Innovation Lab in Idyllwild continues to be the source of new ideas. A down-to-earth approach to wine and the people who enjoy it makes Middle Ridge wine the perfect match for every conversation.
You can taste Middle Ridge wines at the Crush & Brew in Old Town Temecula, Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe in Idyllwild, and special events in Idyllwild and in selected restaurants. You can also buy Middle Ridge wine on this website as well as sign up for our wine club.
TOM CASO (Owner) - Bulldog Brewery
Tom Caso and his wife Sandy are the owners of Bulldog Brewery. They have been married for 36 years and long time Southern Californian residents. Both are long term entrepreneurs, who decided that Murrieta, CA would be the perfect location for their new business venture. They decided to open this craft brewery with the intent of having a great beer on tap, local wines, a good atmosphere, and a nice food selection so everyone can enjoy an evening at Bulldog Brewery. They would like to personally invite you to: “Stop by for a brew or two!”
ANGELA PIKE (Owner/Wine Expert - D'Canter's Wine Bar & Grill)
32100 Clinton Keith Road, Wildomar, CA 92595
Award Winning Dining in the Temecula Valley
"Every city needs a restaurant like D'Canters" - San Diegan, 2008
Serving American Contemporary Cuisine since 2007, specializing in high quality steaks, seafood & fresh fish paired with surperb wines!
DAVID VERGARI (Wine Maker - Thornton Winery)
Sonoma County Native David Vergari, strives to produce the best wines from vineyards that are exclusively suited to those varietals. David shepherds the wine from vine to bottle, ages them in oak barrels and trusts that if he’s doing his job well, each wine will display its own “voice” – its own distinctive and unique character. In recent years, David has made wines under his eponymously named label and consulted for wineries in California and Chile.
David ascribes his life-long interest in wine at least in part to his Italian ancestry. His first memory of wine goes back to when he was five years old, in his great-uncle’s cellar in San Francisco. For a while in his twenties he worked as a financial analyst, but winemaking was in his blood, and inevitably he decided to change careers and follow his passion.
ERIC DUDLEY (Account Executive at ReviewBuzz)
Music and wine. Just add Eric Dudley and we have the perfect combination for our Chords and Vines show! Eric has been a performing musician and as former owner of Dudley's Wines and Gifts, it was only natural for him to be on our show pairing music and wine. We are very excited to have him as one of our wine experts!!
DON FRANGIPANI (Owner/Winemaker)
39750 De Portola Road Temecula, CA 92592-9024 Phone: (951) 699-8845
Don Frangipani's passion for winemaking was ignited when he began working at Cilurzo Winery in 1995. Through his experience in the Temecula Valley, Don developed the unmistakable quality attributed to the wines produced at Frangipani Estate Winery. The welcoming atmosphere and award-winning wines make it a necessary stop on a day of wine tasting in Temecula Valley.
Frangipani Estate Winery currently produces 5000 cases per year. Estate grown varietals consist of ~ Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese, Grenache, Petite Syrah.
Winemaker Don Frangipani and his wife JoAnn invite you to visit them for a day of wine tasting and enjoy the views of the Temecula Valley Wine Country.
MARK MANFIELD (Owner Lorimar Winery)
"A Fusion of Wine, Art and Music"
Lorimar Vineyards and Winery. 39990 Anza Road, Temecula...
Welcome to Lorimar Winery where our mission is to engage all of your senses with hand-crafted wine, our passionate staff, a working art gallery, live music and breath-taking views. Surrounded by fragrant orange groves and 22 acres of lush estate vines, Lorimar is the perfect Temecula wine tasting get-away. Enjoy Lorimar's award-winning Temecula wines and Temecula winery wedding and events facilities! www.lorimarwinery.com/
Chef Masimo from La Bella Vita in Temecula picked the perfect wines to pair with our musical guests on the September 29, 2013 show. Masimo is not only a great sommelier but is also one of the "best Italian chefs in the nation." Chef Masimo has been an owner and partner of many successful Italian restaurants in Southern California.
JAMES BURGE (Owner/Brewmaster Pure Order Brewing Co.) After more than 10 years of brewing beers and far too long in the conventional workforce, brewmaster James Burge decided it was time to take the leap and open up his own shop. His first move was to settle on a name and central brew style. The name Pure Order comes from the German Rheinheitsgebot (literal translation, Purity Order) of 1516 which states that only four ingredients –malt, hops, yeast and water- can be used in the brewing of beer. From the get go James has sought to combine this ancient tradition with more westernized flavors to create unique, full flavored and drinkable brews.
JIM HART (Wine Maker - Hart Winery) - Second generation winemaker, Jim Hart left an early career in IT to return to his "roots" so to speak, and has since carried on the family's winemaking efforts, becoming lead winemaker in 2013.
CRAIG LARSON (Wine Maker - Callaway Vineyard and Winery)
After growing up in the town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Craig began his working career as a graphic artist. European wines had been a hobby since his youth and years later, Craig abandoned graphic artistry to pursue his dream of becoming a Winemaker. In the beginning, he worked in the cellars of several Washington State wineries and received hands-on experience with some of the area's most respected winemakers.
Craig's formal training began in 1996 at the Covey Run Winery in Zillah, Washington. Within one year, he accepted the postion of Cellar Master at the Paul Thomas Winery in Sunnyside, Washington and then became the Assistant to the Winemaker at the Washington Hills Winery.
In order to expand his knowledge of worldwide wines, Craig received his certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers and joined the renowned Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California as its Wine Director and Sommelier. This invaluable experience exposed him to a wide variety of fine wines and instilled him with an enthusiasm to produce the best vintages possible when he returned to wine production in 2002.
Craig's most recent position has been as the Winemaker at Maryhill Winery in south central Washington State where he had the opportunity to produce quality wines from a vast array of varietals.
From creating award-winning wines, to producing a wine label from its inception, Craig is looking forward to bringing his passion for Old World wines joined with New World winemaking techniques to the Temecula Valley. He believes that great wine starts in the vineyard and continues in the cellar with a combination of science, palate, passion and teamwork.
BUZZ OLSON (Principal Owner/General Manager Tesoro Winery)
43162 Black Deer Loop, Temecula, California 92590
"If we're not making great wines, then there is no reason for us to be here."
TASTING ROOM: 28475 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590
Buzz & Kimberly Olson started their adventure in the wine business in 2003 by acquiring producing vineyards. In 2008, they opened a tasting room for Tesoro Winery in Old Town Temecula's bustling retail & restaurant district on Front Street. At the time, Tesoro was the only winery tasting room in Old Town. Others followed suit, and now there are several winery tasting rooms. Tesoro Winery prides itself of great wines, friendly & knowledgeable hospitality and beautiful ambiance.
Patriot Wines. In 2013, on the winery's 5th anniversary, Buzz developed a plan whereby we could give back to our country's veterans through the sales of Patriot Wines by donating a portion of our sales to non-profit veteran support organizations. In addition, we are pleased to also offer perzonalized labels by adding a picture of a veteran (living or deceased) along with his or her name, rank, years of service or other service data. In this away, we can provide futher oportunities for family and friends to honor the veterans in their lives.
KAY NEEDLE (Owner/Wine Maker - Tucalota Creek Ranch Cellars)
39560 E. Benton Rd., Temecula, California
In 2009 we stated our venture into wine production. Thus Tucalota Creek Ranch Cellars got underway. It has been a slow process with a few stops and starts. Our theme has been Horses, Heroes, and Friends. We have endeavored to bring good wines together with some favorite Horses and a few amazing Heroes, many of which we are proud to call friends. We highlight each wine with a great photo and an interesting story.
PHIL BAILY (Owner Baily Winery & Estate Club)
On your next visit to Temecula, come experience Baily wines at both locations on (Main tasting room on La Serena & Estate Club on Pauba Road) and see for yourself why the Oxford Companion to Wine says that Baily is one of the two “most artistically successful of the small pioneering outfits” in Temecula.
“Phil Baily has been crafting wines at this facility on Pauba Road since 1986,” states Estate Club Director, Lisa Long. “He is definitely one of Temecula’s Winemaking Pioneers. Wine has been his passion since he was a young man in the service. He and Carol built this winery from the ground up, it started as a family business, and it still is to this day.”
Baily Winery’s main tasting room on La Serena is open seven days a week to the public to taste from their current collection of whites and reds. The new Estate Club Tasting Room on Pauba Road offers 5 tastes from the Baily Library Collection of Bordeaux Reds, with vintages dating as far back as 2004. It is open to visitors Thursday – Sunday from 11am to 4pm accommodating small groups of 2 – 12 people by reservation only.
CHERYL SOMMERVILLE aka THE ROVING WINO
"Life is too short to drink cheap wine! Follow me as I go from place to place drinking and eating my way through some of the best (and worst places) around."
Cheryl was on our September 22, 2013 show at Knuckleheads in Temecula. For several years she has been considered the utmost authority on Temecula Valley wines. She also hosts a monthly "Wine Therapy" networking and wine tasting meeting each month. When not "roving" around Cheryl works as a real estate broker for HomeQuest properties. Check out her website for drink recipes and other info at
You can also find her at http://homequestproperties.com/
Neva and Valerie from Tesoro Italian Restaurant. Great job pairing wines and music for our show with Diego Mondragon. Neva paired the Wiens "Crowded Red", Sin Zin "2010 Zinfandel", and also a 2009 from Castello di Bossi winery! Great tasting!
TOM PLANT (WINEormous)
Tom doesn't claim to be an expert in the wine field, but he knows what he likes and is happy to share his discoveries with you. In the past few years he has paid several visits to Paso Robles, have toured wineries in several other states and other countries and he visits the Temecula Valley Wine Country almost daily...it is, after all, in his own back yard. His intent is to introduce you to wineries and winemakers he's found, good restaurants with good wine lists, lots of photos and some good stories. He also offers intimate wine tasting Temecula tours for up to seven people where you will taste some of the best wines in the valley and meet winemakers, winery owners and chefs. You can read Tom's blogs and more about WINEormous at www.wineormous.com