JULIAN P. VAN WINKLE, III
Julian P. Van Winkle, III is the third generation Van Winkle to produce bourbon whiskey in Kentucky. He joined his father, Julian Jr., in 1977. At that time, Old Rip Van Winkle produced only two labels of their wheated bourbon whiskey. They were a 10-year 90 and 107 proof Old Rip Van Winkle. Since then Julian has added 12-year, 15-year, 20-year and 23-year bourbon labels to the Van Winkle selection of premium bourbon whiskeys. He has also added a 13-year premium rye whiskey to the whiskey portfolio. All of these whiskeys have received ratings in the 90’s by the Beverage Tasting Institute of Chicago, with the 20-year, “Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve” receiving a 99 rating. Julian has operated the company by himself since his father’s death in 1977. However, he was joined by his son Preston in June 2001, the fourth generation Van Winkle to venture into the whiskey business.
In January of 2009, Julian was honored to be nominated as a Fellow at the Southern Foodways Alliance annual fundraiser at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Next January, at he same fundraising event, he will be inducted as the new member into the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs. This is a tremendous honor as the group members are some of the most talented people around.
In March of 2009 & 2010, Julian was nominated for a James Beard award under the category of Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional. The James Beard awards are the Oscars of the Food & Beverage world. The award in 2009 was won by Dale DeGroff, one of the world’s best mycologists. The 2010 award was won by John Shafer, one of Napa’s best wine makers. In May of 2011, Julian won the prestigious Wine & Spirits award and was at the Lincoln Center in New York City to receive the award. He was the first Kentuckian to receive a James Beard Award.
MERRY EDWARDS WINERY
One of California’s first woman winemakers, Merry Edwards began her career at Mount Eden Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1974. She went on to become the founding winemaker at Matanzas Creek in 1977 and remained there until 1984. For the next decade, Merry consulted for numerous wineries, large and small, in Oregon and many diverse appellations of California. In 1997, family and friends joined Merry to found Merry Edwards Winery, with a focus on producing Pinot Noirs with a sense of place from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. In 2008, she and her husband, Ken Coopersmith, completed their winery on the site of Coopersmith Vineyard. It was then expanded in 2010. In this venue, tastings are hosted to educate visitors about Merry’s handcrafted wines and site-specific viticulture.
Ken was her helpmate in the installation of her first vineyard, Meredith Estate in 1998. This was followed by Coopersmith in 2001. Long-term leases were then negotiated for Warren’s Hill, Flax Vineyard and Georganne. Although most of those earlier plantings were Pinot Noir, 2014 new Sauvignon Blanc developments got under way at a new property in Forestville and on the lower slope of Meredith. At Merry and Ken’s new home property in Sebastopol, a Pinot Noir vineyard has been planted to Merry’s Clone –UCD 37. Along with two regional blends, six vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs are bottled. In 2001, a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc was added to the portfolio. Merry is also now making a single-vineyard designate Chardonnay from the venerable Olivet Lane, as well as an occasional late harvest Sauvignon Blanc and late-disgorged-style of sparkling wine.
In 2013, Merry’s 40th year as a winemaker, she was not only inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, she also won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer and Spirits Professional in the United States, just the fourth woman to be so honored. Merry’s wines are available direct from the winery and in fine restaurants throughout the United States.
CANTINA DEL PINO
Domizio Cavazza was the director of the Royal Enological School in Alba from 1888-1913. When he arrived he surprised everyone by purchasing land and making his home in Barbaresco. The noble families expected he would reside near the more famous estates in Barolo. He purchased the Ovello cascina (farmhouse and land) and he began making wine. For the first time the wine made from the nebbiolo vineyards surrounding the village was called Barbaresco. For the people of this area it was a huge compliment. Cavazza was very charismatic and an outspoken supporter of the farmers in the Langhe. Cavazza celebrated the birth of his first son by planting what became a well-known landmark in the region, a large Mediterranean pine tree. The estate began to be known as ‘cantina del pino’ or winery of the pine. Renato Vacca’s great grandfather purchased the vineyards after Sig. Cavazza prematurely died and his family moved to Torino. The Vacca family has been here ever since.
CHATEAU STE MICHELLE
At Chateau Ste. Michelle, our award-winning wines interweave with our rich heritage to create a wine experience you’ll never forget. “Great wine can only come from Italy or California”, or at least that was the misconception the Chateau’s founding fathers set out to prove wrong when they first broke ground years ago and pioneered the Washington wine region. Built on the 1912 estate owned by Seattle lumber baron Frederick Stimson, the winery’s roots date back to the Repeal of Prohibition. In 1967 under legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, a new line of premium vinifera wines was introduced called Ste. Michelle Vintners. The first vines were planted at Cold Creek Vineyard in Eastern Washington in 1972. Four years later, Ste. Michelle Vintners built a French style winery Chateau in Woodinville, and changed its name to Chateau Ste. Michelle. Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard planted in 1991. Since then, we have combined Old World winemaking traditions with New World innovation. In fact, Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one for red and one for white. The whites are made at the Chateau in Woodinville, WA, while the reds are made at our Canoe Ridge Estate winery in Eastern Washington.
Adelaida Cellars’ family owned vineyards include five distinct properties in the craggy mountainous terrain of Paso Robles’ Adelaida District. Only 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean on steep elevated sites, a diverse planting of 24 varieties with an emphasis in Rhones, old vine pinot noir, dry farmed zinfandel, and mountain style cabernet sauvignon, our stressed vines produce low yields of precise flavor.
In 2012, Adelaida Cellars welcomed Jeremy Weintraub as Winemaker. “Jeremy brings an enormous amount of experience and perspective to our winery,” says Adelaida General manager Jessica Kollhoff. “We are very excited about what he sees in our vineyards and how he works with vineyard and cellar crews to craft the best wines for our customers.” “I have always thought of myself as a winegrower, more than a winemaker,” says Weintraub. “And that philosophy aligns with the concept behind Adelaida. With some of the most compelling vineyard sites on the West Side of Paso Robles producing stunning fruit, my job is to capture that quality in the bottle.”
ROW ELEVEN WINE COMPANY
The Row Eleven Wine Company was founded in 2004 in California by well-known winemaker Richard de los Reyes and veteran entrepreneur and private investor Ken Conner. From the start, Row Eleven has had the advantage of knowing where the best soils and vineyards are for growing Pinot Noir grapes. We waited seventeen years before we started, using that time to study other winemakers’ successes and failures. We learned the best techniques for every vineyard.
In 2005, Craig Boggs joined Row Eleven as a partner and National Sales Manager. He brought to Row Eleven over twenty years of experience in marketing and sales. As a result of the partnership, Row Eleven immediately opened fourteen states in one of the most difficult distribution eras in the history of the wine industry.
Row Eleven’s philosophy is that fresh grapes make better wine. So, Row Eleven crushes its grapes within 30 minutes of harvesting – every time. The result? Delicious wine. Row Eleven practices classical style winemaking with a modern twist to produce multi-dimensional wines. Row Eleven’s specialty? Pinot Noir – one of the hardest wines to make as it comes from the most tempestuous grapes. “One minute the wine is beautiful and open and the next moody and closed”, says Richard, “You hold your breath when you release these wines to the world. But when everything is wright, they are in a world all their own”.
My wife, Nicki, and I came up with the name Grassroots for a Southern-themed restaurant idea we had in Sandpoint, Idaho. The restaurant never happened, but a few years later, we did open up Riverside Wine and Spirits in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Riverside quickly became the place for wine in Chattanooga, and after we sold our half to our partner in 2003, Nicki and I used our wine connections from the store to start Grassroots Wholesale and Imports in Birmingham, Alabama. A year later we opened another branch in South Carolina.
As it happens, Grassroots is a great name for our wine company and embodies a lot of what we do. By and large, our portfolio is filled with farmer-produced wine, from our most expensive Grower Champagnes to our everyday house wines. If our wines are not estate produced, they are usually made by a former farmer or vineyard manager. Our bumper sticker motto is: “Farms, not Factories” or “Tractors, not Tankers”
Our portfolio is filled with small, family-owned producers that over-deliver in value at every price point. Likewise, most of our customers are small, family-owned restaurants and stores who appreciate the value of supporting locally owned businesses and want to bring their customers the highest quality wines available. Today, the Grassroots family employs more than 30 people in Alabama and South Carolina. We happily support more than 30 charitable events in our states. We are extremely proud of our people, our products, and our communities.
When we look for wines to import, at Broadbent Selections Inc., we have a few absolutes. First and foremost, the wine must be the very best of its type. It’s not enough for a wine to please us; its quality and value must bowl us over. It’s been said that the difference between a good meal and a great meal is that, with the former, you finish the meal thinking, “The food was good”. With a great meal however, you think, “Life is good”. And that’s precisely what we look for, and what we’re proud to represent; wines that gratify not just the palate, but the soul. Yet, we do more than represent wine. We also represent the people and passion behind those wines, which is why, since we were found in 1996, our focus has always been on family-owned wineries-on places with personality and stories, and on wines that come from the heart. Quality and character: those are absolutes. We’re extremely proud of both the wines we represent at Broadbent Selections and the great people behind them.
MCCARUS BEVERAGE COMPANY
McCarus Beverage Co. was founded by brothers David and Matt McCarus, the strength of this bond is the backbone of everything we do. We are focused on sharing the love, trust, loyalty and respect held between brothers with each of our producers, as we understand that these same attributes are necessary when farming the land, growing the grapes and making wine. Beyond distribution, we team up with some of South Carolina’s best restaurants and chefs hosting wine dinners and events, allowing us to spread our enthusiasm with as many people as possible around the same comforting setting where we spent most of our time growing up, the dinner table.
Siblings and Co-Presidents of Sokol Blosser, Alex and Alison Sokol Blosser tell their story of how Sokol Blosser came to be…When our parents Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser planted their first vines in 1971, they needed all of their youthful self-confidence, energy and determination to make their way because there was no wine industry in Oregon. Today, with over 500 wineries and more than 19,000 acres of vineyards, Oregon wines are available throughout the world. Sokol Blosser has survived, grown and prospered as a family-owned and run operation, and we are proud of have been part of developing and shaping Oregon’s now prominent wine industry. We strive to create wines of world class quality that are produced sustainably, mindful of the environment, and that express the distinctive flavors of our hillsides vineyards. Sokol Blosser wines reflect who we are – our values and our sense of place.
The enduring dedication of the Keenan winery staff is the reason for the excellent quality of all of our wines. These close relationships are a foundation for a truly comprehensive knowledge of winemaking and grape growing on Spring Mountain. Our approach to winemaking is collaborative, and we work in concert with general manager Matt Gardner and cellar master Randy Kewell, both of whom have worked on the Keenan estate since 1995. Together we establish the winemaking protocols, aging, and style of Keenan wines. This outstanding combination of skill, long-term commitment, and meticulous attention to detail is the key to producing wines that reflect a more natural and balanced style. We prefer a conservative, minimal approach that allows the true varietal flavor to stand out in each of the wines we produce. A clear example is our use of less new French oak in the aging process, allowing the pure flavors of each grape variety to prevail in the finished wine. Michael Keenan takes the responsibility for all final decisions, choosing a ‘wait-and-taste’ approach to determine the optimum length of time each of the Keenan wines spends in barrel and bottle prior to release. These decisions are determined by his palate rather than as a response to market pressure. We think you’ll agree that our wines reveal wonderful character, combined with complex, tight-knit tannins, great structure, and definitive age-ability.
Winesellers, Ltd is a globally recognized importer and marketer of fine wines to the US market. Our portfolio represents the finest quality of wines in their respective price category and has widespread distribution throughout all 50 states. Our team of sales professionals, intimately familiar with their respective regions of the country, make it possible to sell our products to both remote areas and central markets through a network of distributors renowned for excellent account service and market penetration.
This is not just a story of wine, this is a story about family. Founded in 1978 by Yale Sager, Winesellers, Ltd. began as a one-man operation importing and selling wines primarily in the Midwest. Over the last four decades, Winesellers, Ltd. has evolved into a globally recognized importer and marketer of family-owned wineries and brands produced in both well-known and unique regions from around the world. The Sager family is proud of their enduring relationships with their wholesalers and suppliers, some whom have been a part of Winesellers portfolio from the very beginning.
TREASURY WINE ESTATES
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is one of the world’s largest wine companies, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Through world-class winemaking and brand marketing, our business is focused on meeting evolving consumer interests across the globe, and on delivering sustainable growth. Everything we do is dedicated to realizing our vision of becoming the world’s most celebrated wine company.
Treasury Wine Estates is committed to being a positive force in the communities in which we operate. Our Corporate Responsibility (CR) program helps ensure that TWE fulfils this commitment. Through this program, we manage environmental and social risks both now and in the future, identify new initiatives to improve our performance and engagement with communities, while at the same time driving sustainability and competitive advantage. We report annually on our CR program and initiatives, including our progress against the United Nations Global Compact principles and our measures to prevent modern slavery.
The 130 years old winery of Maison Saint AIX is situated in the south of France, just an hour north-east of Aix en Provence. In the rural area of Mont Sainte Victoire, the beautiful light inspired both Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh to create their most famous work. At this special place, the makers of AIX Rose are working year after year with similar inspiration to create the wonderful AIX Rose.
AIX Rose finds it’s origin on about 75Ha (200 acres) situated on a plateau at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level. With over 300 days of sunlight per year and cooler nights the grapes allow for optimal maturation. South western exposure and the common Mistral wind makes a perfect protection for the vines, drying them after rain or dew. All things considered, Maison Saint AIX has the perfect conditions to grow Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Counoise, the grape varieties for a leading rose from Provence.
Maintenance of the vineyard is crucial for the quality of the wine. Recently, an extensive replanting program was initiated by planting 4 hectares of Grenache. Over the next few years many hectares will be replanted, mainly with Grenache en Syrah vines.
Furthermore, new temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and pneumatic presses were recently installed, applying the latest wine processing technology to continuously control and improve the quality of AIX Rose.
Advintage Distributing was founded in 2003 when Owner Henri Gabriel set out to build a company that valued its employees, paid homage to producers, and would raise the bar on the caliber of wine available in South Carolina. Starting from humble beginnings, the Team hustled to assemble the finest wine portfolio, while wearing many different hats, to earn trust and loyalty. By early 2006 Advintage had eclipsed 15 employees, moved into a larger warehouse, and, in an effort to respond to a growing trend, added Craft Beer to its portfolio.
After realizing unimaginable growth, Henri moved the company into its present 40,000 sqft warehouse facility. In 2012 he invested in industry-specific ERP software, had a state of the art picking module designed, and added Artisanal Spirits to the portfolio. Ultimately, he was preparing the company for the growth and opportunity he could see on the horizon. By late 2014 Advintage was 70 employees strong.
The next opportunity presented itself in the form of Juice Wine Purveyors, a state-wide Fine Wine & Artisanal Spirits Wholesaler based in Raleigh, NC, which was founded in 2006. Founder of Juice, Don Holloway, and Henri had worked together earlier in their careers. Don led Juice for seven years, then realizing the need for growth capital and product diversification, looked to Henri to take the company and its 30 employees to the next level. Juice was an excellent way for Advintage to expand its footprint to cover both Carolinas, continue to over-deliver for suppliers and customers, and find synergies in buying power. “Advintage Distributing of North Carolina” was officially announced in January 2015. The dual state company is now home to over 100 employees.
Beverage Director – Home Team BBQ
A New York native, Adam Rothstein attended New York University during which time he split his time between classes and working in restaurants with the intent on pursuing a culinary education after his studies. While working as a busboy, Adam began studying wine in the hopes of earning a promotion. The study turned into a passion, and remained a focal point of his career in New York. Adam’s love of wine quickly expanded to include cocktails and craft spirits, and what had originally been intended to be a culinary career path had evolved into one in beverage. Over the next 11 years, Adam worked in various management positions in the front of house at some of New York City’s most celebrated cocktail bars and restaurants including Empellon Cocina, Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, and most recently Seamstress. After visiting Charleston in 2012, Adam fell in love with the thriving hospitality and culinary community, relocating in December 2015. Adam joined Home Team BBQ for the opening of the Downtown location and will oversee the bar and beverage programs throughout the restaurant group.
Director of Hospitality & Performance – The Neighborhood Dining Group
Kenny Lyons is the Director of Hospitality and Performance of the Neighborhood Dining group, where he oversees the success of the company’s seven restaurants across the Southeast. He works closely with all aspects of service, including managing and training staff, as well as operational controls and finances. Lyons first joined Neighborhood Dining Group in 2013 as the Senior Manager and Beverage Director of Husk Nashville, and was quickly promoted to General Manager before relocating to Charleston, SC to fill his current role.
Growing up as a traveling athlete with parents who often worked late, Lyons spent many of his childhood dinners eating out, and, without realizing it at the time, developed an appreciation for the hospitality that came with a restaurant meal. Lyons went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, having double majored in finance and real estate. It was there in Oxford, Miss. that Kenny entered into the restaurant world, first at Bottletree Bakery as a server and then as a server and bar manager at L & M’s Kitchen and Salumeria.
Realizing that both his business degrees and restaurant experience gave him the foundation for a career in hospitality, Lyons took on leadership roles with renowned restaurants across the South. Lyons gained further experience under chefs like Dan Latham in Oxford, and Bob Waggoner and Louis Osteen at Watermark in Nashville. While serving as Beverage Director and Front of House Manager at Watermark, he learned the importance of cultivating strong relationships with guests, local purveyors, and distributors, as well as the skills required to lead a restaurant team internally.
Joining Husk Nashville under the leadership of Chef Sean Brock in 2013, Lyons helped Husk achieve national acclaim including GQ’s “Most Outstanding Restaurants” and Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants” in 2014. Lyons worked closely with Chef Brock to develop Husk Nashville’s acclaimed bourbon list and wine program before moving up the ranks of the Neighborhood Dining Group and relocating to Charleston.
Now based in the Lowcountry, Lyons has his hand in all facets of the seven NDG restaurants around the Southeast. He works closely with both the business and creative sides of the company, conceptualizing new restaurants and improving the infrastructure and sustainability of the current restaurants and brands.
In his free time, you can find Lyons on the golf course, expanding his bourbon and wine collection, and cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels.