Growing up in East Los Angeles, Curt was not a wine country kid raised among the vines. He got a glimpse of the wine world when coming to the central coast at the age of 20. He became enamored with winemaking and jumped right in.
His wine label Sans Liege (sahn leej) or "without allegiance" aptly describes his tenacity to pursue winemaking on the central coast unhindered by the trappings of any particular style. He is excited to to have the opportunity to be a part of a winemaking region which is still shaping its history. For Sans Liege he focuses on Rhone varietals (especially Grenache) and favors character over notoriety when choosing vineyards for in diversity lies the promise of uncommon opportunity. He also crafts his foundational wines, Groundwork Wine Co. which are pure varietal expressions at an everyday price point
Winemaker Curt Schalchlin produces: Sans Liege and Groundwork Wines
Field Recordings is 35-year old winemaker Andrew Jones’ personal catalog of the people and places he values most. Spending his days as a vine nursery fieldman planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, Andrew is sometimes offered small lots of their best fruit on the side. Having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he has a keen eye for diamonds in the rough: sites that are unknown or under-appreciated but hold enormous untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards.
The Field Recordings wines are a catalog of single vineyard sites that produces wines with a sense of place and personality. In addition to the single vineyard wines, multi-vineyard blends are put together under the Wonderwall, Alloy Wine Works and FICTION labels.
Wonderwall focuses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from extreme, coastal locations. Breaking through and breaking rules.
Alloy Wine Works is a collection of wines packaged only in 375ml cans. The perfect balance of inventive spirit and rural charm. Each can is pure craft wine, not to be "hip" or "relevant", but because we want to.
FICTION, the original spin-off label, is a white, red and rose wine produced from multiple vineyards and multiple varieties. Taking what the season gives us and creating a blend made for every occasion. Ready for tonight, tomorrow or this weekend.
— Field Recordings
Winemaker Andrew Jones produces: Field Recordings, Fiction, Wonderwall, Alloy Wine Works and Foxie.
Union Sacre exists at the meeting of worlds. Made by two long time friends, Xavier and Philip, who arrived at the Central Coast from opposite ends of the Earth. Xavier is a WSET certified, oenology degree holding ex-boxer from France, Philip is a self-taught designer from Michigan who kind of misses living in a van.
Between the two of them, Xavier and Philip have 25+ years experience working in Central Coast wineries. Xavier has been cellar master or assistant winemaker for some of the Central Coasts most luminous wineries, including: Sans Liege, Arcadian and Herman Story. Philip cut his teeth at Proof Wine Collective before taking on the creative director role at Herman Story and Desparada. The wines of Union Sacre are focused on elegant, single vineyard, single varietal wines that are table friendly. Varietals include: Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sangiovese.
Union Sacre is an homage to beauty’s odd ability to build unexpected bridges. These are not wines of privilege and power, these are wines made from a lifetime of labor for the untelevised tables that unite the very heart of the world.
~ Xavier Arnaudin, winemaker and Philip Muzzy, partner
Russell P. From began Herman Story Wines in 2001 with 7 barrels stashed in his employer’s cellar. What started as a modest homage to his rancher grandfather has become a beacon to those seeking opulent, structured Syrah and Grenache. To maintain balance while giving flavor full stage, Russell works with 30 top-tier vineyards in 7+ distinct growing regions between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. Vineyards of particular note include: Bien Nacido, Chelle Mountain, John Sebastiano, Larner, Presqui’le and White Hawk. From's dedication has held the attention of discriminating consumers and reviewers alike, earning him a coveted position in Wine Spectator's Top 100 List in 2014 for his On the Road Grenache and and average 90+ score on CellarTracker across all wines and vintages.
Founded in 2010. Vailia Esh traveled around North & South American before finding her home in Paso Robles making wine. She loves the freedom and isn’t forced into one particular style. She’s free to play, to discover and push towards new horizons. Working in a place so young, there is an unavoidable temptation to use the guideposts left by regions like Pauillac, Chateauneuf or Montalcino. This is a place as singular as those, but she’s still plottingher own trail. That’s why the Desparada wines are guided more by spirit than style. Each wine stands for a particular vision, and in each vintage she uses her new knowledge, varietals and vineyards to bring that vision into sharper focus.
Folkway Wine Company is the beloved project of Lino and Anthony Bozzano. Discarding the prevailing wisdom of the day in favor of observation and experience, they seek to capture the character of each site in its unique expression of Bordeaux varietals with honesty and integrity. Born to American Italians walnut and cherry farmers in Californias Central Valley, Lino and Anthony are true sons of the land.
The Fableist is a collaboration between winemakers Curt Schalchlin and Andrew Jones. Curt, owner and vintner of the heralded winery, Sans Liege, is known for his critically acclaimed, yet affordable wines. Andrew, winemaker of Field Recordings spends his days planning and planting vineyards and has stood foot in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast. Together, they produce The Fableist, a collaboration that gives special attention to the craft and story behind each wine.
No one has ever said that I’m a saint. Let’s just say I’ve got a bit of life experience. I learned about holiness from my childhood in the Middle East. I learned about selfless dedication from some former coworkers who shall remain nameless. I learned about benevolence from ex-girlfriends. And I learned about virtue from ...well, no one, actually. Virtue eludes me.
I was deeply involved in the restaurant industry in Washington, D.C., when I took a trip to Napa in 2006. I decided that I had to move to California, so I worked a harvest and then finally got to Paso Robles in 2010. I worked in fine dining, and started a wine brokerage. I had found my people. After settling in at Herman Story Wines in 2013, I started making a little of my own wine.
The name Saint K is a nod to my proclivity to earn a reputation. The label is a little freaky, it reflects my love for post-apocalyptic/urban-decay scenes and my sly regard for certain landlords I’ve known. My skin-contact Grenache Blanc and a Mourvedre echo the inner-city elegance I know so well.
No one ever said that I’m a saint … I might as well own it.
The first glass of wine I ever had was at the age of 8 over an Italian dinner table. Around our table, the conversation only ever covered three topics: “how delicious was last nights meal?”, “wow, this wine tastes great” and “what’s for dinner tomorrow night?!” When no one was looking, my grandmother would refill my empty glass. Little did she know she was investing in my professional development. By the time I was 12, I knew good wines should have “legs” and tannins. I didn’t know what that meant but I sure knew I liked legs.
Despite my early wine exposure, I decided to study business and graphic design. When all my peers got their first design internships, I found myself pruning grapes and meandering through rows of vines. I felt like I could finally breathe when my viticulture class took me beyond the four white classroom walls.
I happened to land the gig of a lifetime based on a chance question from my nowwife and a willing winemaker to work with a naive college kid. I made my first batch of wine in a [brand spankin’ new] trash can stored in a closet at Herman Story Wines. My wife and I hand bottled it on our front porch and drank it with friends, usually over cheap meals and late nights.
Now I feel like my wildest dreams have come true, producing micro lots of high quality wine in brand new oak. And, damn, it tastes good. To me, Ultima Tulie represents superseding our perceived or selfimposed limits. Ultima Tulie represents my love for exploring in nature, living life with purpose, loving the people I encounter, and hopefully finishing a damn good bottle of wine while I do so. My wine IS my Ultima Tulie. What’s yours?
Outré is a personal project by Shannon Burke. Shannon is the owner of BURKE, a wine brokerage which represents wine producers throughout the state, with a strong focus on California’s highly dynamic and versatile central coast. Outré is a serial collaboration between talented winemakers and artisans to produce wines not normally seen in California.
This first release from this series is a Graciano by winemaker Curt Schalchlin and artist Leif Erik Johansen. Curt, owner and vintner of Sans Liege Wines, is known for producing critically acclaimed central coast Rhone wines. Leif erik is a self-taught creative who focuses his pieces on man’s relationship to nature and his surroundings. The artwork he produced for the label was commissioned specifically for our first release.
Denis Hoey is a native of Sacramento, where he grew up in a family that appreciated wines and exposed him to a wide range of quality wines that helped develop his palate. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Business Management in 2004. Soon after that, he met Jeff Emery, owner and winemaker at Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Their relationship quickly turned into an Old World apprenticeship for Denis, and he is currently the production manager for SCMV. This experience has been the foundation of Denis’ education.
Denis made his first wine from the 2005 harvest, and from there built his limited production Odonata Wines into the multi-varietal cellar it is today. He blends old world methods with new world technique to make nouveau-style wines. He strives to produce wines that are rich, textured, and balanced, and that respect terroir and varietal character. His success is based on careful attention to detail and the purposeful use of each step in winemaking: grape sources, fermentation technique, pressing regiment, barrel selection, and aging program. The result is clean, focused wines.
Denis is committed to expanding his horizons with respect to grape types and sources, production techniques, and aging programs. There are endless possibilities with respect to winemaking. His openness and commitment is what drives the winery to produce cutting edge wines of top quality.
— Odonata Wines
Winemaker Denis Hoeyproduces: Odonata Wines and DamselflyCellars
Waits-Mast Family Cellars is a San Francisco-based boutique winery focused on small lot pinot noir (and some other surprises) from exceptional Mendocino County vineyards. Founded by Jennifer Waits and Brian Mast in 2005, Waits-Mast Family Cellars is the realization of winemaking dreams fostered by journeys to wine regions across California and by a few special trips to taste in France, Switzerland and New Zealand.
Anderson Valley has captivated Jennifer and Brian since the turn of the millennium, when they discovered the region during romantic getaways that transitioned into full-blown wine weekends at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. Although they initially felt overwhelmed at the event's technical conference, they were soon nerding out with growers and winemakers about soil types, grape clones, and stem inclusion debates. Through it all, the warm and welcoming wine community of Anderson Valley prompted them to take their love for pinot noir to a new level.
In 2005 they crafted their first barrel of pinot noir and by 2007 they launched Waits-Mast Family Cellars as a small commercial brand that cemented their shift from wine geeks to vintners. Shalini Sekhar has been the winemaker for Waits-Mast Family Cellars since the 2013 vintage.
Photo Credit Scott Chernis
Wentzel Vineyard, Anderson Valley
Nash Mill Vineyard, Anderson Valley
Tin City Cider Co.
TIN CITY CIDER is a collaboration between winemakers Curt Schalchlin, Mikey Giugni, and Andrew Jones. Curt, owner and vintner of the heralded winery, Sans Liege, is known for his critically acclaimed, yet affordable wines. Mikey’s fascination in wine and the ocean resulted in his winery and cidery, Scar of the Sea, which emphasizes where the grapes and apples are grown. Andrew, winemaker of Field Recordings spends his days planning and planting vineyards and has stood foot in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast. Together, they produce TIN CITY CIDER, a carefully crafted cider made with the best California apples.
Korbin Kameron’s small production wines are crafted from the fundamentals of: high quality stemming from low yielding vines on their estate vineyard; farming with holistic organic practices to nurture unparalleled fruit that truly expresses and celebrates the land; and achieving vibrant wines with elegant personalities both in and out of the bottle.
The 19 acre estate vineyard sits majestically on the ridge of Mt. Veeder bi-sected by the Napa/Sonoma County line in the Moon Mountain District AVA.
Portalupi Winery began many years ago in a small coastal town in Northern California where Tim Borges and Jane Portalupi first met as children. Destiny prevailed, they reunited in 2001 and were married. With Jane's background in retail marketing and Tim's 35 years of experience in winemaking in California, they decided their talents were the perfect complement to start Portalupi Wines. Portalupi Winery’s first release was in 2002 with a long-term goal to deliver exquisitely crafted wines worthy of their generation’s history of Italian winemaking.
Their inspiration comes from their Nonna, Marina Portalupi, who immigrated to Northern California from Piemonte, Italy. She brought with her more than just her knowledge of winemaking. She also brought along the traditions and beliefs of how wine was meant to be enjoyed regularly with friends and family. Each wine in the Portalupi portfolio is made with the passion and a love of bringing people together to enjoy the simple things in life. Tim and Jane believe that all of life's problems can be solved with great food and wine. Portalupi is a tribute to the original intent of the Cal-Ital lifestyle established by their Italian ancestors when they settled in Northern California.
Since 2002, Portalupi has grown their portfolio of wines to include Italian as well as traditional wines with a focus on Zinfandel, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Charbono, and Vermentino. Portalupi strives to maintain a portfolio of small artisan growers who share their passion of expression and they intentionally make wines that capture the essence of each appellation.
Portalupi launched Vaso di Marina, an Italian blend bottled in a milk jug, when they opened their tasting room in 2011. The origin of Vaso di Marina goes back to Marina Portalupi, who first bottled her wine in Italy for the village in a milk jug. Just as she had done in Italy, when she opened Luna Park Grocery in San Jose, California, she kept a small barrel of her vino di tavola to serve in her store. And every day, customers would bring in empty milk bottles, or whatever vessel they had, to fill up and take home. It is in honor of Marina and in her spirit that Portalupi makes Vaso di Marina.
Portalupi Winery has grown since 2002 and in 2011 opened a tasting room at the heart of Northern California, in Healdsburg. In the 3 ½ years, the reception by the wine community and the general public has established Portalupi as a boutique, family wine destination.
— Portalupi Winery
Winemakers Tim Borges and Jane Portalupi produce: Portalupi Wines and Vaso di Marina.