Thursday, May 12, 2016



Cameron Parry, Winemaker at Groth Vineyards & Winery, was hired in 2014 as only the third winemaker in Groth’s history since the family’s first vintage in 1982.

Cameron’s winemaking philosophy begins in the vineyards.  “The real work is in the vineyard itself, to grow the very best fruit possible, and not screw it up in the winery” says Cameron.  If you need to find Parry it’s best to start searching in Groth’s 121 acre Oakville Estate Vineyard, or their 44 acre Hillview Vineyard in Yountville.  Looking forward Cameron says, “Having an intimate and daily knowledge of what is happening in our vineyards guides all of my decisions in the cellar.  I strive to showcase the unique characteristics of the vineyard and vintage, and feel honored to be making Cabernet at the epicenter of Napa Valley’s most esteemed Cabernet district.”

Before arriving in Oakville, Cameron spent the last ten years as Winemaker at the historic Napa Valley winery Chateau Montelena.  Parry holds an M.S. degree in Food Science with an emphasis in Enology from the University of California, Davis.  He also holds a joint Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Biology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from New Mexico State University.  Parry is fluent in Spanish and has been a Board member of the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group and serves on the Enology Grants Review Committee for the American Vineyard Foundation.  When not making wine, Parry is an avid outdoorsman who loves rock climbing, canoeing, and backpacking with his family.  “I don’t want my kids to remember a time when they did not go camping, I live outside.”  He also enjoys gardening and is currently experimenting with fifteen different types of tomatoes plants.

Groth Vineyards & Winery believes that a significant portion of the magic in the bottle comes from what goes on out in the vineyards. Our Vineyard Manager, Ben Benson, has been farming on this land since he joined Groth as the very first member of the team in 1982. His years of experience with the Groth estate have enabled us to make sure we have the perfect grape planted in the perfect location. We have matched soil types to rootstock, to grape clone, to trellising. Since 1996 Groth has replanted 90% of our vineyards. This major undertaking allows us to take advantage of the strides that have been reached in the viticulture community over the last decade, and combine them with our history with the land, to give us the ultimate combination between the grapes and the wines that we eventually make from them.

The vineyard philosophy at Groth isn’t a lofty abstraction; it gets right down into the details.  “Each and every vine is managed for its individual needs.” says vineyard manager Ben Benson.  “We prune, thin shoots, or leaf pull for balance throughout the vineyard so that all the grapes have uniform ripening and optimum maturity.”

More often than not, the same practices that promote grape and wine quality also have an environmental payoff.  When Groth replanted, the orientation of the vine rows was changed from cross valley to follow the natural direction of the Napa Valley.  This allows the breezes that come up the Valley from the San Pablo Bay to flow more easily through the vineyards.  The result is increased air circulation, less mildew and rot on the vines and consequently less need for spraying fungicides—better for the wine, better for the environment.

Preserving natural resources is also a key element of sustainable farming, one step further than organic farming.  Sustainable farming practices take into consideration its effects on the whole environment and upon the health of the entire watershed of the Napa Valley.  Water is precious in the state of California.  Encouraging cover crops not only helps establish a healthy insect population that battles ‘bad bugs’ it also preserves soil moisture.  “By encouraging cover crops we actually use less water, and we keep the tractor passes through the vineyards to a minimum,” say Benson.  We no longer use tractors to disc and hoe every weed in the vineyard.  “If you see weeds in the vineyards, it indicates smart farming and fewer chemicals,” says Dennis Groth.

Proper canopy management that lets more sunshine get to the grapes promotes riper flavors, and also discourages the population of destructive insects, like leafhoppers, reducing the need for pesticides.  Benson focuses on balanced vines—making sure that vines are spaced, pruned, trellised and irrigated in a way that produces just the amount of fruit the plants can ripen, no more, no less.  Besides promoting uniform ripeness, balanced vines ultimately require less work—fewer tractor passes, less fuel burned, less soil compaction.

Preserving the land is not only good for the grapes; it’s good for sustaining the family-owned business at Groth.  Dennis and Judy are proud of what they have accomplished and determined to pass it on.  “I’d like to think my kids could make great wine forever off this property,” says Dennis.



On the evening of Friday 13th, actor, writer and director John Schneider is inviting fans around the country to watch his film SMOTHERED, while he does the same. “I want people at home to watch the movie with me, in a virtual sense," Schneider explains. Fans can buy or rent the movie online, and then take part in a collective discussion through social media, as John hosts a LIVE Face Book Q & A, through the John Schneider Studios FB fan page.”

The movie was released in March of this year, and has been getting great reviews. The premise of the story revolves around five horror icons that ditch an unprofitable autograph convention on Friday the 13th to earn some extra cash haunting an RV park. Instead they find themselves being haunted.  Schneider got the idea for SMOTHERED after a convention in Dusseldorf, Germany. Once the event was over, he was talking with several of his friends one evening, when inspiration struck. He then went back to his room and immediately started writing, all before a 6 am flight the next morning
SMOTHERED's cast includes real life horror icons: Kane Hodder, R.A. Mihailoff, Bill Mosley, Malcolm Danare, Don Shanks and Michael Berryman.

Fans can purchase or rent SMOTHERED through COMCAST, 
Warner, DIRECT TV, Amazon, DIRECT TV, Google Play, iTunes, MGO, Sony, Time Warner Cable, MS, Verizon,
The DVD can also be ordered online through: 

SMOTHERED will go to Walmart and other retailers by the summer.

John Richard Schneider  actor and country music singer. He is best known for his portrayal of Bo Duke in the 1970s–1980s American television series The Dukes of Hazzard,[1] Jonathan Kent in the 2001–11 TV series Smallville (an adaptation of Superman).[1] and of James "Jim" Cryer on the television series The Haves and the Have Nots, created by Tyler Perry. Alongside his acting career, Schneider has been a singer since the early 1980s, releasing nine studio albums and a greatest hits package, as well as eighteen singles. This total includes "I've Been Around Enough to Know", "Country Girls", "What's a Memory Like You", and "You're the Last Thing I Needed Tonight", all of which reached the top of the Billboard country singles charts.