The SOMM Journal

October / November 2016

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Page 117 of 132

{ }  117 From atop Beckmen's Purisima Mountain, at an elevation of 1,250 feet, there's a 360-degree view of the Santa Ynez Valley. "It's windy up here, which dries the vines and makes it more of a challenge for us," says Steve Beckmen, who bought the property in 1996. He specializes in Syrah and Grenache. (1) Winemaker Michael Larner and (2) Christina LoCasio Larner; (3) Winemaker Steve Gerbac of Rusack Vineyards; (4) Food & Beverage Director Wendy Shoemaker of St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco; (5) Lead Sommelier Rachel Macalisang of The Bazaar by José Andres, L.A.; (6) Sommelier Jienna Basaldu of 58 Degrees & Holding Co., Sacramento; (7) Wine Director Lindsey Desmidt at Park Tavern, San Francisco; (8) Ballard Canyon Vineyard Manager Ruben Solorzano; (9) Sommelier Kristin Galvin of 58 Degrees& Holding Co., Sacramento; (10) Meridith May, Publisher of The Somm Journal; (11) Managing Partner Pete Stolpman; (12) Allyson Gorsuch, Deputy Editor of The Somm Journal; (13) Wine Director Karine Adolphe at Bi-Rite, San Francisco; (14) Wine Consultant James LaMar; (15) Wine Director Nathaniel Muñoz of The Rose Café, L.A.; (16) Sommelier Albert Letizia of The Bazaar by José Andres, L.A.; (17) Wine Director Jesus Evangelista III at Georgie at Montage Beverly Hills; (18) Vintner Steve Beckmen; and (19) Sommelier/Cellar Master Eric Denq at Spago Beverly Hills. As an aside, I found the hosts in Santa Barbara to be, first and foremost, outright lovers of wine. Never before on my wine voyages have I been treated to iconic producers from outside the region—just because they love the producers, they love the wines and they wanted to share them with fellow wine lovers. I have always thought, too, that when wineries are not afraid to place their wines next to some of the best in the business, it speaks loudly as a testament to their confidence in their own wines. Thanks to the generosity of our hosts, we had the opportunity to taste François Cotat, Thierry Allemond, Penfolds Grange, Heitz Martha's Vineyard, Gaja Darmagi, Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino and Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc, some with remarkable age. These trips are all about learning, and sharing these iconic wines allowed the entire group to learn additional lessons, lessons that speak to the core of this industry—what makes great wine and why do we do it—great wine brings people together; it's that simple. —Allyson Gorsuch 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

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