DAY Three


Check In & Networking

January 9 @ 8:15 am - 8:45 am

Meet us on the patio for coffee and treats.

What Syrah Can Be - Chapter 2

January 9 @ 8:45 am - 10:45 am

Ticket Price: $95

Syrah was a focal point at Wine Speak 2018 and we now continue the discussion with a new trio of Syrah champions. We will delve into Syrah’s place in the New World and experience different expressions of the variety. The idea is to generate a better understanding of what Syrah can be in different parts of California, grown on varying soils and made with different techniques. The sharing continues with this second chapter of “What Syrah Can Be.”

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Bob Lindquist, Qupe – Central Coast

Bob is an iconic, long-time Syrah maestro who has been working with this grape variety in California since the 1980s. He helped show the world that Syrah could produce something unique and special in sandy loam soils and in the cool climate of Bien Nacido Vineyard. Over the years, he stayed true to his beliefs and vision, making ethereal, well textured and balanced renditions rather than the more en vogue ripe, hedonistic and therefore higher-scoring versions.  A very respected wine writer recently tasted the 1987 Qupe Syrah and noted that it was one of the best wines he had had in recent years. Imagine how much knowledge and experience Bob has to offer.

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Pax Mahle, Wind Gap and Pax Mahle Wines – Sonoma

Pax is one of the New Age winemaking prodigies who will shed light on what Syrah can be.  His inaugural bottling, the 1997 Syrah “Alder Springs,” was a big, rich hillside Syrah and subsequent bottlings and vintages made Pax Wine Cellars a smash hit. The high scores were perennially rolling in and demand skyrocketed. With the 2006 vintage, Pax launched his Wind Gap label. His Syrahs have since been more transparent, restrained and balanced. Here is our chance to hear this brilliant and talented winemaker’s story both in the vineyard and the winery. “We create honest wines—unadulterated products of time and space that are meant to be consumed enthusiastically and often,” he says.

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Jason Drew, Drew Wines – Mendocino Ridge

When we first met Jason, he was the associate winemaker at Babcock, down in what is now called Sta. Rita Hills. “The toughest thing for me when I was down there was to make a wine that had restraint,” he says. So he and wife Molly turned their attention northward. In 2004, they found an old 26-acre apple orchard on a 1,200-foot-elevation ridgetop in Elk, less than four miles from the ocean.  He has now found his spot and produces mainly Syrah and Pinot Noir from various single vineyards in his area while waiting for his own estate plantings to come on line. His views on Santa Barbara, Sonoma Coast, Mendocino Ridge, Anderson Valley—the vines, soils, aspects, wind—should be quite insightful.

Creating Your Perfect Blend

January 9 @ 11:00 am - 12:45 pm

Ticket Price: $150

In this hands-on workshop emceed by Wine Speak co-founder Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins, master sommeliers and winemakers alike will illuminate the magic of blending—and then guide you through the creation of your own masterpiece wine blend. It begins with experts Peter Neptune, MS, and Matt Kettmann and others sharing insights into the history of blends and their importance in today’s winemaking world. Next, winemakers Mike Sinor and Stewart Cameron of Ancient Peaks Winery will present you with four separate red varietal lots from Margarita Vineyard. They will talk about both the technical and artistic aspects of blending, then turn you loose to create your own special blend. At the conclusion, your blend will be bottled, labeled and wax-dipped for you to enjoy back home. This is a can’t miss experience for lovers of blended wines—because, as in life, the sum is often more beautiful than its parts.

Paso Paired Luncheon

January 9 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Ticket Price: $95

Randy Caparoso -- longtime award-winning restaurateur and Editor-at-Large of The SOMM Journal -- and Chef Cheyne Jackson of Santa Margarita’s The Range Restaurant have combined their talents to create an ultimate luncheon highlighting four of Paso Robles’ most amazing wines (by Daou Vineyards, Epoch Estate, L’Aventure Winery and Tablas Creek Vineyard). Emceeing the event will be none other than Fred Dame MS, Global Wine Ambassador of Daou Vineyards & Winery. Other than the fact that this will be a 4-course affair, we can promise you this: There will be culinary fireworks, involving unexpected, yet edifying, combinations. Prepare to have your senses wowed!

The State of Zinfandel Seminar

January 9 @ 3:15 pm to 4:15 pm

Ticket Price: $70

For the first time, Wine Speak dives deeply into Zinfandel, California’s heritage grape. Zinfandel continues to evolve in the modern era, ranging from big, jammy wines to leaner, spicier expressions. In this panel discussion, two leading Zinfandel producers—one from the Central Coast, another from the North Coast—will share their philosophies on this native variety, and answer a key question along the way: What does Zinfandel’s past tell us about its future?

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Matt Trevisan, Linne Calodo – Paso Robles

As the proprietor and winemaker at Linne Calodo, Matt has established himself as a Paso Robles icon. He founded Linne Calodo with his wife Maureen in 2002, and his wines were met with immediate critical acclaim. Matt is a master at blending, focusing on Zinfandel and Rhône varieties from a comprehensive matrix of different vineyards, soils and ripeness levels. In doing so, he creates daring and distinctive blends such as Sticks and Stones, Contrarian and Problem Child. Matt’s experience with Zinfandel—both as a stand-alone variety and as a blending component—adds a wealth of insight to our discussion on California’s heritage grape.


Fred Scherrer, Scherrer Wines – Alexander Valley

Fred completed his technical training at U.C. Davis before delving into “real world” winemaking back home in Sonoma County. He was the winemaker at Dehlinger Vineyard for 10 years starting in 1988. He also began making Zinfandel under the Scherrer name in 1991, using fruit from his father’s vineyard (first planted in 1912) in Alexander Valley. In 1998, Fred began devoting himself full time to his Scherrer label. The original estate vineyard is located on a bench composed of gravelly clay loam soils and remains a centerpiece of the Scherrer portfolio. Fred’s 25+ years of experience with Zinfandel provides a unique perspective on both the history and future of this variety.

BYOB Casual Dinner

January 9 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Ticket Price: $95

“BYOB” – Bring your own bottle that inspires others. Let’s get together, hang out, and have some fun! Join the luminaries of Wine Speak for a casual night of fine food, special wines and industry camaraderie at the Historic Carlton Hotel.  We ask that you bring an inspiring bottle of wine to share in the effort to foster camaraderie and make new friends.  Availability is limited.