In this episode we had the pleasure of speaking with Shalini Sekhar of Ottavino Wines. We speak to Shalini about:
A former musician, Shalini turned from her Master’s Degree in Flute and Piccolo Performance to a career in wine. After completing her studies at Fresno State University in Enology and Viticulture, she began her journey into winemaking marrying the same combination of art and science that fueled her passion in music. Her experience with boutique producers and Pinot Noir dates back to her time at William Selyem. What followed was a series of steps into the custom crush world where she began working with small clients to execute their visions for their boutique brands beginning with Copain Custom Crush (now Punchdown Cellars), then Bluxome Street Winery, and finally ROAR wines, where she made wine for Waits-Mast Family Cellars, Furthermore Pinot Noir, Neely Wine and several smaller brands. In 2015 she was awarded Winemaker of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition for her work with Furthermore Pinot Noir. She continues to make wine for Waits-Mast and Neely. When Shalini is not at the winery or in the vineyard, she is busy studying for her WSET Diploma and chasing after her two small children.
The Last Sip:
When you finish your day and sit down with your favorite glass of wine, what is on your music playlist?
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In this episode we had the pleasure of speaking with Lloyd Davis of Corner 103 Winery. In this episode we speak to Lloyd about:
Lloyd Davis created Corner 103 as a result of his passion for wine and recognizing that most people are intimidated by it. At Corner 103, they love to share their passion for food and wine and the Sonoma Valley lifestyle. Their concept is simple, to celebrate the local bounty by making elegant/award-winning wines, sharing delicious food prepared by local partners, and creating a warm and welcoming space where guests can relax, slow down and enjoy the finer things in life! They are ranked as one of the top 10 best wineries in the country by USA Today and have 5-star ratings on Yelp and Trip Advisor.
Originally from New York City, Lloyd spent over 30 years in the Banking and Finance industry. He grew up in a family that regularly enjoyed wine with meals. Throughout the years his love of wine grew. While working in the finance industry, Lloyd entered the wine world in 2001 as a financial advisor for a major New York Wine Retailer. He soon fell in love with the art and science of winemaking. In 2006, he became the Managing Partner at Viansa Winery. Under his leadership, Viansa flourished and produced wines that earned over 500 wine competition medals. Lloyd sold Viansa in 2013 and turned his eyes to building a wine brand of his own. In April 2015, he established Corner 103, which draws its name from the location and address of the tasting room. His goals were to (i) create an environment where his guests would feel comfortable learning all aspects of wine in a non-intimidating way; (ii) continue his track record for producing approachable, awarding winning wines; and (iii) demonstrate the proper way to pair wine with food. He wants his guest to understand that they are a “wine expert”! This is because everyone knows what they like and don’t like. Too many people rely on their “wine expert” friends to tell them what is good. But in reality, no one needs anyone to tell them what they like and don’t like!
Lloyd is committed to continuing his track record for producing very approachable, award winning wines and making Corner 103 a “must visit” for all wine lovers, whether expert or novice, coming to Sonoma Valley. When you finish this experience, you be able to impress your friends with the depth of your wine knowledge!
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In this episode we speak with Jamel Freeman a Sommelier residing in Chicago. Jamel and I speak about:
I hail from NYC as a Queens kid (South Ozone Park), I began my career in a few unknown kitchens of lower Manhattan. Eventually, I moved to the left coast, Bay Area where I worked at Michael Mina's Aqua. Family matters caused a move back to NYC where I arrived with a curiosity of food and history. My curiosity lead to learning to mix a stiff drink and some of the stories behind how the beverages came to be. But wine created a bigger draw. I was given a chance off the street to wet my palate in some of Brooklyn's boutique wine shops. Before long I was back in restaurants on the floor this time preaching the gospel of good juice. I haven't looked back…
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Instagram - @jafreeman