Monthly Archives: July 2011

Gearing up to celebrate

As you may know, the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association is one of our clients here at Parker Sanpei & Associates, and we couldn’t be more excited to promote their upcoming Winemakers’ Celebration on Saturday, August 13 from 1 to 4 PM at The Barnyard Shopping Village in Carmel.

The wildly popular Winemakers’ Celebration is in its 19th year of hosting over Monterey County wineries to pour over 200 wines at an outdoor summer festival.  The event will include culinary samples from international restaurants in the Barnyard Shopping Village, jazz music in the square, winemaking displays, and a silent auction featuring several irresistible vacations, spa treatments, and of course, WINES.  Featured wineries and restaurants will offer special promotions and pricing, and the winemakers from 40 wineries will be on hand to meet guests, pour their wines, and answer burning questions like,

“How do you train your Chardonnay vines?”


“What’s your favorite Pinot Noir clone?”

Winery participants include:

Bernardus * Caraccioli Cellars * Carmel Road * Carmel Hills Winery * Chalone * Chateau Julien * Cima Collina * CRU Wine Company * De Tierra * DFV Wines * Galante Vineyards * Graff Family Vineyards * Hahn Winery * Heller Estate Organic Vineyards * Holman Ranch * J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines * Joyce Vineyards * La Rochelle * Line Shack Winery/Lido Bay Winery * Lockwood Vineyard * Manzoni Estate Vineyard * Marin’s Vineyard * Mercy Vineyards * Mesa Del Sol* Michaud Winery * Morgan Winery * Otter Cove Wines * Paraiso Vineyards * Pelerin Wines * Pessagno Winery * Pierce Ranch Vineyards * Poppy * Saint’s Valley Winery * Scheid Vineyards * The Coastview Vineyard * Ventana Vineyards / Le Mistral * Wente * Wrath

And restaurants will include:

Serendipity Farms * Bahama Billy’s * Carmel Valley Roasting Company * Pieces of Heaven * Flanagan * From Scratch Restaurant * Hola * Lugano Swiss Bistro * Robata Sushi Grill * Allegro Gourmet Pizzeria

Conveniently enough, take-home wine purchases will be available the day of the event. Eco friendly 6-pack wine bags will be provided to guests, with purchase.  And if you’re traveling?  UPS will be on hand to make shipping an option.

Price: $30 in advance / $35 at the door / $15 Designated Driver

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association website at or call 831.375.9400

See you at the celebration!


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FIELD TRIP: Photo shoot with David Rowe

David Rowe IV

In a down economy, it is truly magical to see that our public relations business at Parker Sanpei & Associates is growing.  So we felt it was high time we had some professional photos taken of our team for our website.  We just needed to find the right photographer.

Our Account Assistant and Media Researcher, Chanae Rodriguez, recommended her long-time friend David Rowe, so we all met at Old Edna and Clairborne & Churchill Winery for a beautiful morning of photo snapping.  Here are a few shots from our day.

David is a young, talented artist who brought a fresh and creative eye to our session.  Born and raised on California’s Central Coast, he knows the area like the back of his hand and is constantly scouting out new scenic hideaways for his next shoot. While he enjoys photography of all sorts, his passion is really high fashion photography.

For more information on David Rowe, please stop by his website at and tell him PSPR sent you!

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Great flavors benefit great causes: Central Coast Wine Classic 2011

This past weekend, the internationally-famed Central Coast Wine Classic brought the aromas and flavors of the world’s best wines, matched them with the Central Coast’s best ingredients and chefs, and put on a party like none other to benefit area non-profits whose missions involve the healing, performing and studio arts.  The weekend kicked off with celebrity chefs Roy Yamaguchi, D.K. Kodama and George Mavrothalassitis preparing a to-die-for meal on the hill at Hearst Castle; continued with a seaside concert featuring world-renowned percussionist, Airto Moreira, in beautiful Avila Beach; and finished with a reserve tasting that showcased the best wines of 50 California wineries.  Other events included cheese and wine symposia by leaders in the field, a cycling tour of wine country, and wine tastings galore.

The Wine Classic Foundation’s “Fund-A-Need” beneficiary for this year was the Center for Nanomedicine on the University of California at Santa Barbara campus.    The Center for Nanomedicine is a unique collaborative effort between Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and UCSB that applies the science of engineering matter at the molecular and atomic scale to create miniscule “smart devices” that have the potential to diagnose, treat, and cure disease before it can cause symptoms to spread, and to improve the delivery of medicines.  In the words of the Center’s website, “Nanomedicine can increase the quality and length of human life.”

Dr. Jamey Marth was a speaker at this year’s Wine Classic Aucttion, and here he is speaking on “Nature, nurture and nanomedicine” at a TEDxAmericanRiviera conference in Santa Barbara:

The leap from current medical capabilities to those of nanomedicine will be similar in magnitude to the impact on computer science of the transition from vacuum tubes to silicon chips in the 20th century. In the 21st century, nanomedicine will challenge and change the way medicine approaches disease. Through the discovery of disease origins and the use of new imaging and drug delivery systems, we are entering a revolutionary period of unparalleled advances in biomedical research and the practice of medicine.


The Wine Classic is still tallying the results, but based on the proceeds of the highly anticipated Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction, the Center for Nanomedicine will receive a grant in the neighborhood of $110,000 to further operations in research.

Archie McLaren

“Sanford-Burnham’s Center for Nanomedicine at UCSB may well have one of the most profound influences on world-wide medical advancement imaginable,” says Archie McLaren, founder and chair of the Centeral Coast Wine Classic. “Given that possibility, one that seems quite likely, its influence on the community of Santa Barbara could also become quite profound.”

In addition to the Center for Nanomedicine, the Wine Classic Foundation awarded grants to the following:

Avila Beach Civic Association, Coast Caregiver Resource Center in Santa Barbara, Friends of Hapitok in San Luis Obispo, Friends of the Atascadero Martin Polin Library, Friends of the Visual Arts & Design Academy in Santa Barbara, The Link Teens at Work Program in Atascadero & San Miguel, Loaves & Fishes in Paso Robles, North County Rape Crisis & Child Protection Center in Lompoc & Santa Maria, Northern Chumash Cultural Preservation Kinship in San Luis Obispo, Poetic Justice Project in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Master Chorale, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, The Sexual Assault Recovery & Protection Program of SLO County in San Luis Obispo, United Cerebral Palsy in San Luis Obispo and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care in Santa Barbara.

For more information on the Central Coast Wine Classic event or Foundation, please visit

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Jamie, Linda and Jaime at Tantara Winery

At Parker Sanpei & Associates, we tend to be partial to Rhone-varietal wines; Give us a good Syrah, Grenache or Viognier and we’re good to go.  But recently, we had the opportunity to taste through a few bottles of Pinot Noir at Tantara Winery in the Santa Maria Valley, and it reminded us why there are so many Pinot maniacs in the world: When done right, Pinot Noir is perfection.  Period.

Tantara leads a charmed existence in myriad ways.  The winery sits nestled in one of the most picturesque and storied vineyards on the Central Coast, Bien Nacido Vineyard. According to Wikipedia, Bien Nacido traces its roots back to the days when California was property of Mexico.  In 1837, Tomas Olivera received a 9,000-acre Mexican land grant which was later sold to his son-in-law, Juan Pacifico Ontiveros.  Twenty years later, Ontiveros would construct an adobe (still standing) and raise horses, cattle, sheep, several grain crops, and grapes for the production of wine on the land.  Today, grapes are still grown there, and in 2010, Bien Nacido Vineyard was named “Vineyard of the Year” by the California State Fair.

Bien Nacido Vineyard

Aside from its idyllic location, Tantara is also blessed with an extremely gifted winemaker who lives and breathes Pinot Noir. Vintner Jeff Fink brings his rich past to the art of winemaking as a man of many pursuits. As Tantara’s winemaker and co-founder, his attention to detail and obsession with Pinot Noir are the natural extension of previous lives in professional music, sailing, and architecture. With a slight drawl that belies a Virginia upbringing, Fink weaves stories of adventures on stage as a guitarist with funk bands, of navigating treacherous reefs in the Virgin Islands, and of renovating the mid-century homes of famed architect Rudolf Shindler in Southern California with the bottles that have made him the winemaker he is today, from Burgundy to Brosseau.

Jeff Fink

We sat down with Jeff to talk winemaking over a bottle of Tantara’s gorgeous 2007 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir.  Though Tantara started in 1997, Fink’s passion for Pinot began long before.  As a winemaker, he has specialized in single-vineyard Pinots from the Central Coast’s best vineyards, including Bien Nacido, Dierberg, Solomon Hills, Sanford & Benedict, Rio Vista, Talley Rincon, La Colline (Laetitia), Silacci, Pisoni, Garys’, and Brosseau.  Fink tastes through each of his barrels and takes only the absolute best for his finished wines, sometimes cutting up to 85% of his production to ensure quality.  In this day and age of cookie-cutter wines and bang-for-your-buck winemakers, it is heartening to see a winemaker sacrifice so much for the sake of a wine’s soul and quality.

With Jeff at the winery

All of that attention translates to some of the most complex and deliciously earthy Pinots we’ve ever tasted, and we’re not alone!  You can find Tantara Winery in the finest restaurants from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville to Alain Ducasse in New York City.   Sipping through barrel samples at a rustic picnic table overlooking Bien Nacido, we became big fans.  You too can check out Tantara’s wonderful repertoire of vineyard-select Pinots by making an appointment to sit and talk to Jeff.  Make an afternoon of it and bring cheese and crackers (with enough for the winemaker, of course!).  Call 805-938-5051 or e-mail to set up your private tasting.

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