Meet the Winemaker
Jean Charles Boisset
JCB by Jean Charles Boisset
Jean-Charles Boisset, the visionary behind JCB, is fervently passionate about Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from both his native Burgundy as well as from Sonoma County, where he owns DeLoach Vineyards. JCB wines are crafted to express a style that embodies only the finest characteristics of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Jean-Charles was in June 2007 named to Decanter Magazine’s list of the Top 50 Power Brokers in the global wine industry. In March 2008, he received the Meininger International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Meininger Group, publishers of Meininger’s Wine Business International, and in December 2008 he was named “Innovator of the Year” by The Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Cameron Hughes Wine
Direct, honest, accessible. These are just three simple words to describe Cameron Hughes. A consumer advocate, Cameron is passionate about bringing extreme wine value to wine lovers at an affordable price.
Cameron involvement with wine and wine sales began at an early age. Then, a few years after college, Cameron’s father, a veteran of the wine business, recruited him to help his direct- marketing team. Cameron found his passion there–he loved selling wine, and he was good at it.
Determined to provide consumers with the highest quality wine at the lowest price, Cameron founded Cameron Hughes Wine and developed his Lot Series. Cameron works with wineries around the world to buy their wine and also contracts with wineries to grow and make wine for the Lot program. CH Wine has developed world-class relationships with growers, sellers, and winery owners to bring truly outstanding wines to you, the wine lover–at amazing prices. It’s a lot of good wine … and a lot of good value.
Bridget was raised in the middle of vineyards in Oakville,CA (bordering Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley) and spent much of her time as a child playing among the vines of her family’s vineyards. She recalls some of her fondest childhood memories were of getting in grape fights with her brother in the vineyards and making wine by stomping grapes with her feet….all at the ripe age of nine! Years later, harvest became her favorite time of year.
Bridget’s uncles own vineyards and sell to some of the most acclaimed wineries in the Napa Valley; making wine is a family tradition. They were her first teachers and she is grateful for it. During college, she drove up to Napa many weekends to help her uncles’ make wine and worked in different wineries to gain in-depth knowledge about various varietals and different winemaking processes used throughout the valley.
From winemaking to sales and marketing, Bridget was exposed to many facets of the business. In 2004 she now felt ready to pursue her life-long dream of producing her own wine, independent of the family. Hence, Courtesan, Brigitte, and Omerta were born.
*Bridget is also Founder & President of Next Generation Winemakers(TM) a group of talented young winemakers that proudly represents and promotes the individual styles of wine being crafted by the next generation. Contact: Bridget@CourtesanWines.com; (415) 713 – 5331
Modus Operandi Wines
My path started in Dallas where by day I was a real estate agent and by night I was a waiter working with many of the city’s finest restaurants. Visibly unhappy with the direction of my life, my wife helped me realize that I needed to make a change and work with something that I truly loved. She and I both knew that I had a deep passion for wine so it seemed to be the obvious answer. Six months later (2002) we had a three week long garage sale, sold everything we owned and moved to California where I had the ambitious aspirations of becoming a Winemaker.
Meeting my mentors…
We arrived and lived in Davis, CA for about four years where the intention was for me to attend the UC Davis’ Enology and Viticulture program. Unfortunately after digging deeper I learned that Davis was just too theory based for my learning style so plan B was to basically educate myself thru my own self study and thru the tutelage of winemaker mentors.
I believe that winemaking is an art form that is supported by tradition and science, and therefore feel that talented winemakers are not exclusively produced from Universities, but can also be the result of something more innate and passionate.
UC Davis extension and Napa College classes were used to supplement my knowledge and fill in the gaps that books couldn’t fill. However, true learning when it comes to such a stylistically artistic, yet mind blowingly organic and mystifying thing such as winemaking can ONLY be accomplished through MAKING WINE. There is absolutely no substitute.
Getting my hands dirty…
Right place, right time, right question… I got lucky by meeting a gentleman at a wine tasting who was a vineyard owner in Napa and was willing to GIVE me grapes from his vineyard to practice with. He even set me up with a place in his garage to make the wine, barrels, bins, and even basic lab equipment. It was the best learning experience that I could of ever asked for as there was no one looking over my shoulder telling me what to do… I had to figure it out myself by putting the theory I had learned to work. I was what they call a garagiste.
All while coddling my garage project, I was busy developing my palate, meeting winemakers (acquiring mentors), and spending time helping out at crush… a few days here, a few days there… just to get a feel for how different wineries worked. In 2005 I was on the harvest Winemaking team at Viader Vineyards & Winery on Howell Mountain.
Paying the bills…
I had been a waiter in fine restaurants for over ten years and from 2003 thru 2006 worked proudly at a restaurant which I consider the pinnacle of my service career… La Toque Restaurant in Rutherford, CA. Working at La Toque opened a lot of doors for me in my quest to meet vineyard owners, winemakers, and other influential personalities in the business. In fact, several of the vineyards that I source from today are a result of me serving the vineyard owner and (probably unprofessionally) asking to buy their fruit while I was serving them.
In 2006 I hung up the waiters apron for good after accepting a management position at the host facility where I would end up making Modus.
Modus Operandi Cellars is born…
Modus Operandi was founded with our first vintage in 2004 by winemaker/partner Jason Moore, and business partners Dr. Myun Han, Steve Vargas, Robert Rogel, and Akira Higa all of whom invested in the vision and passion of a Dallas waiter turned Napa Valley winemaker.
Generally, it takes Daryl Groom less than five minutes from his first greeting to have someone laughing. His innate wit and contagious laugh, coupled with his world-renowned winemaking talents, make him not only the best person to saddle up next to at the dinner table, but also a natural fit for Foggy Bridge Winery.
Daryl joined the team at Alexander Valley’s Geyser Peak Winery in 1989 where he ultimately brought the winery more than two dozen national and international awards for “Winery of the Year” and “Winemaker of the Year.” When Geyser Peak was acquired by Beam Wine Estates and the company grew, Daryl was able to further his experience throughout Northern California and the Central Coast working with a variety of wineries including Gary Farrell and Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards.
Craig MacLean is a veteran winemaker, with over 25 years of experience in the Napa Valley.
He started out earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science, and followed that up with a Masters Degree in Enology, both from the University of California at Davis.
Next came his hands-on education, in the form of two apprenticeships. First as a Harvest Intern under Cathy Corison and Mia Klein at Chappellet Vineyard, and then two years as Assistant Winemaker under Bob Foley at Markham Vineyards.
He then became a full-fledged Winemaker and authored his first wine (93 points, Wine Spectator) at Cain Vineyard and Winery. Since then his wines have received great acclaim. As Winemaker for Spring Mountain Vineyard he created four vintages. One earning a ranking of Number 17 in the World.
Next, Craig teamed up with Rawson Kelham to create Kelham Maclean Wines, where two of his wines were designated a Wine Enthusiast Editors Choice. Subsequently, Craig has served as independent winemaker for a host of vineyards, including Ahnfeldt, Vito Bialla, Brookdale, Ilsley, and Juslyn. Craig is currently the Master Winemaker for JAQK Cellars.
Wine Country Artist Ann Rea
Blending old and new world traditions, San Francisco based artist Ann Rea paints in the timeless tradition of the French Impressionists, with a contemporary point of view. Mentored by contemporary painter, and American Art icon, Wayne Thiebaud, she uses the same oil paint as Van Gough from Old Holland Oil Works established in 1664. Ann’s subject is color inspired by sunlight, as it exists in time.
Winemakers take Rea on a tour of their vineyards. Then she places her easel amongst the vines and captures the seasonal color in oils. Collectors choose from the very best of Rea’s field studies and she creates larger custom sized renditions in her Pacific beach studio.
The collectible status of Rea’s work is quickly increasing. Rea’s work, and her inspiring story, continue to be featured by the national media, most recently on Fine Living, and in “The Wine Enthusiast” and “Fortune” magazines. Rea’s paintings are acquired by a growing list of collectors and celebrities across Northern America and Europe. Ann’s upcoming book series “Colors of Terroir” will be published soon and available on www.annrea.com.
Take home a piece of the Wine Country, visit www.annrea.com.
Jack Storms glass sculpture
Meticulously hand sculpted, these luminous crystal sculptures can take up to six weeks to produce due to the care and precision put into each individual piece. Dichroic glass is encased in pure lead crystal—a cold glass process known by only a handful of artisans throughout the world. Each brilliant sculpture is considered a rare piece of artwork…as valuable as diamonds!
Mr. Storms was introduced to cold glass after graduating with a BA in Art from Plymouth State College. As apprentice to an accomplished glass sculptor, Jack quickly became the studio manager and after just one year, moved to California to open the artists west coast production studio. In 2002, Jack opened Storm Works Studio, and introduced his own unique, fresh designs into the world of cold worked glass. “Many people see cold worked glass as being very technical and distant from the human experience. I try to overcome that and seek to make a bridge from myself to the work. I strive to bring a sense of organic nature to all of my pieces.”
Jack has recently made great headway to new audiences. The Carmel Valley Rotary Club has presented Storms’ work as an emissarial gift to the President of Nigeria to mark the occasion of the first blood bank on the continent of Africa. A commission to produce the LA Music Awards has led to inclusion in the collections of a growing list of celebrities. Juried into both the BAGI and Pilchuck auctions for 2005, 2006 & 2007 Jacks work is sought by discriminating collectors around the world. His newest work “Bella Vino” won the coveted People’s Choice Award at the 2007 BAGI Awards.