The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2015

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46  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2015 IN THE BIZ A fter an hour into my afternoon with Joel Gott and Charles Bieler, I realized these two have never heard the phrase "biting off more than you can chew," and somehow, against all human odds or expectation, these guys make it work. Between the two of them, they have a multitude of irons in the fire, including, but not limited to, a handful of wine brands, a spirits label, several restaurants and who knows how many forthcoming endeavors. And somehow they still find time to have personal lives, hobbies and opinions on the best micro-brews this side of the Mississippi. I caught up with these two in in Los Angeles as they traipsed across the country spreading the love for their respective projects. "Our 'road show' is a great excuse to get out of the winery," explained Gott, as we lunched with a handful of Angeleno somms and wine buyers at the Ace Hotel's chic brasserie, L.A. Chapter, sipping and discussing the latest releases from Gott and Bieler. What is astounding about Gott and Bieler, aside from their energy, is their constant desire to innovate and push forward the sub-$20 category of wines, through inventive packaging (they have run the gamut from jug bottles to Tetra Paks), a "not just Cab and Chardonnay" approach to grape varieties (they've had their hands on almost everything, from Albariño to Zinfandel) and thoughtful partnerships (they have created brands with Washington winemaker Charles Smith, serial entrepreneur Roger Scommenga and Master Sommelier Richard Betts, to name a few). While Gott continues to bring "small-production winemaking techniques to a large- production scale," Bieler champions his campaign to bring rosé to the mainstream. Given the fact that his family previously owned the renowned Château Routas in Provence, one might say Bieler has rosé in his blood. When he started making wine in the States, his goal was "to show the world that we could make balanced rosé, with natural acidity, and tension." In subsequent years, Bieler has become known as the pioneer of rose, inviting rosé drinkers to step away from the cloying and fruity, and embrace the "savory, earthy and spicy." Reinventing the Steal JOEL GOTT AND CHARLES BIELER CONTINUE TO BRING HIGH- QUALITY WINEMAKING TO THE $20-AND-UNDER CATEGORY photos and story by Karen Moneymaker Charles Bieler and Joel Gott at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The epitome of "cool", the Ace Hotel is the harbinger of hipster progress, blending the old and the new effortlessly at its newest location in Downtown Los Angeles. In 2013, the Ace Hotel partnered with Brooklyn restaurant team Jud Mongell and Ken Addington to create L.A. Chapter, an urbane and thoughtfully created brasserie on the ground floor and mezzanine of the hotel that also services the hotel's coffee shop and stunning rooftop bar. L.A. Chapter brings to DTLA comfort food that is conversant to the discerning palate. To round out the team, Dan Sabo joined the crew as Beverage Manager for the downtown hotspot, bringing with him over a decade of experience in the NYC cocktail scene. Dan Sabo, Beverage Manager for the Ace Hotel, taking in the Downtown Los Angeles skyline at the hotel's rooftop bar. A New Capture in DTLA

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