Thursday, October 7, 2010

10/8-Victor Cassanova, Tim Meinken, Steve Evans

Victor Cassanova-Chef from Culina, Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills
Culina is now taking reservations for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Capturing the cosmopolitan ethose of Los Angeles, Culina, Modern Italian presents a lively neighborhood gathering spot where sophisticated cuisine and levity join hands. Culina, from the Latin word for "kitchen" showcases the intersection of traditional and modern Italian cuisine with a menu guided by exceptional ingredients. Guests can linger over small plates and wine or settle in for a night of superior dining in the garden. The menu features Los Angeles' only crudo bar with the finest selections of hand prepared raw seafood, as well as homemade pastas, pizzas, the freshest Burrata and salami, and authentic entrees developed by Restaurant Chef Victor Casanova. Our wine program offers approximately 200 wines, most available by carafe, from Italy and the rest of the world, with a range of unique aperitifs and cocktails. Culina provides the perfect atmosphere to see and be seen!

Tim Meinken-Owner, Sapphire Hill Vineyards and Winery
The history of Sapphire Hill Vineyards can be traced to the El Molino Ranchero belonging to General Mariano Vallejo. General Vallejo, the last Mexican Governor of California before his overthrow during the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt, granted the Ranchero in 1834 to his brother-in-law, Captain John Cooper. Captain Cooper, in turn, sold 120 acres in 1869 to a Massachusetts relative, Lucy Sullivan, and her husband, Levi Grant Grove. Sapphire Hill is located on the original homestead of Lucy and Levi Grove.
The Levi Grove Ranch consisted of some of the most beautiful rolling hillside land in the area. Of the original house, barn, windmill and various out-buildings, all that remains today is the original homestead chimney made from rocks taken from the nearby Russian River. The house burned in a great fire in 1916. While developing the vineyards at Sapphire Hill, several primitive iron and steel farm implements were found on the site.

In 1989, longtime friends and winery partners Tim Meinken, Anne Giere, John Hall, and Denice Engstrom searched Sonoma County for the perfect site to grow the cool-climate varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the tradition of the great Burgundian vintners. The Sapphire Hill Vineyard, located in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley appellation and named for the cool, sapphire-blue nights of the area, was the perfect choice.
As they set about the task of planting 32 hillside acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and later Syrah grapes, they employed the latest technology of vertical canopy management, drip irrigation, and high-density planting techniques. In the early years the grapes were sold to such prestigious wineries as Rodney Strong, Sonoma-Cutrer, La Crema, and Murphy-Goode Estate Winery.
As the vineyards reached their full maturity and potential, the partners set out with the 1997 vintage to make the finest wines possible from their estate-grown grapes. In 2002 Sapphire Hill Winery established their own winery in Healdsburg, CA. They are located at 51 Front Street in the historic Old Roma Station.
Sapphire Hill’s award-winning winemaker, Tim Meinken, believes the current releases of Sapphire Hill show concentrated, elegant flavors, while retaining subtle nuances of their Russian River Valley roots. Their Chardonnay is complemented by an estate Pinot Noir and Syrah, and several Old-Vine Zinfandels.

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