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SHAKERS > inspiring spirits

California has 17 grap producing complex and sustainably farming thi

pe crush districts. District 7 is Monterey County, a windy and cool coastal region known for d balanced wines. For nearly 50 years, the Scheid family and their dedicated employees have been is remarkable land. Amazing Place | Amazing Wines

here’s what’s shakin’

opening toast

the idea • distilled to stir curiosity around a booming industry and the personalities that make it shake.

Publisher Ryan Sanchez Art Director Manny Espinoza Photography Manny Espinoza

I feel lucky to be surrounded by so much inspiration. I find it in community members, in the charity network we are growing among the West’s spirits industry, and in individuals like Jim Nantz (p. 40), Emily Yett (p. 60) and Isiah Thomas (p. 86). As much as anywhere else these days, I find it in a boxer named Jose Ramirez, 25. He’s a special young man in terms of his speed and skill, but I admire his perspective on life—and his heart for his hometown—more than anything. He has been very disciplined in developing his talent, rising from field worker to Olympian to title belt contender, and has been just as focused on making sure his tiny Central Valley town of Avenal, population 12,466, has enough safe water to drink, and to get his region’s farms and farmworkers back to what they do best: feeding the country. As Sports Illustrated wrote in November, on the eve of his latest bout, which he would dominate to remain undefeated:

Contributing Writers Otis Conklin, Elaine and Scott Harris, Adam Joseph, Heidi Licata, Juanita Rose, Stuart Thornton, Xania V. Woodman, Katie Shea

In the mornings, Ramirez picked bell peppers in fields that line the Central Valley, starting at 6 a.m. and finishing his shift 10 hours later in 100-degree heat. He was 14, then 15, when he did this. He made $400 a week and lived in a house with his family and three other families, 16 people crammed into four bedrooms. That was his future, unless the boxing training he did each evening led to something more.

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This St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) he has the fight of his life at Madison Square Garden in New York against fellow top-flight contender Amir Imam for the junior welterweight world title.

SHAKERS MAGAZINE 831-277-6013 | www.shakersmag.com P.O. Box 1752 Monterey, CA 93942

I will be there, as I’ve been there for each of his fights since El Jefe started supporting Ramirez (21-0, 16 knockouts) two years ago.

Boy, did it.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know he will fight like hell, for both the title and his people. And I know it will be an inspiring performance.

Ryan Sanchez, publisher

High Spirits For those heading for the hills this winter, these distilleries allow visitors to tour, taste and get their après ski on. By Xania V. Woodman


alifornia famously allows the ambitious to ski and surf in one action-packed day, but doesn’t do the snow-and-spirits lifestyle with quite as much verve and flavor as these destinations. Here Shakers takes a look at how these craft masters elevate a day on the slopes with handmade liquors to remember.

Whistling Andy Distilling in Bigfork, Montana Nestled between two ski areas, Whistling Andy Distilling (WhistlingAndy.com) is husbandand-wife owned and operated, as is their eight-room bungalow-style boutique motel, The Islander Inn, and their multilevel bar and restaurant, The Raven, perched right on the shores of Flathead Lake in northwest Montana. Whether you’re riding at Whitefish Mountain Resort (neé Big Mountain) or Blacktail Mountain—both an hour by car—this is where you’ll want to “Sleep, Eat, Drink” and repeat. There’s also ample Nordic (crosscountry) skiing and even dog sledding nearby—this is Montana, after all. At the distillery, which opened in 2011, proprietors Brian Anderson (pictured, p. 16) and Lisa Cloutier and their team craft and sell award-winning Montana whiskey, gin, rum, moonshine and liqueurs. They also make use of local cherries for which the area is renowned.



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Sip on this: After a day of tearing up the slopes, head to the distillery and tasting room for a quick tour (call ahead to schedule) and a flight of head distiller Anderson’s award-winning spirits served neat or in the house cocktails. Labels include the state’s first bourbon, rum, gin, vodka and distillery-only one-offs and experiments. Whistling Andy’s Harvest Select Whiskey combines Montana barley, wheat, corn and rye with deep-aquifer water for an aged whiskey with a fruity nose, warm spice and toasty, caramel notes. Tied with the Harvest Select for top seller is the crisp, dry Cucumber Gin. And don’t overlook the tropical Hibiscus Coconut Rum or Pink Peppercorn & Pear Gin, which was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Spirits of 2017. While you’re in the neighborhood: Glacier Distilling is nestled in the foothills of Glacier National Park, and uses local products to create a full portfolio of spirits, including small-batch whiskeys, brandies and liqueurs inspired by the distillery’s surroundings. *** Frey Ranch Estate Distillery in Fallon, Nevada If your winter travels will take you to the vast Reno/Tahoe ski mecca (Squaw Valley, Kirkwood, Heavenly, North Star, et al), do not miss out on a visit to Frey Ranch Estate Distillery (FreyRanch.com), Nevada’s first and only estate distillery. Located about one hour from Reno, the distillery is owned and operated by Colby and Ashley Frey. Colby’s family has farmed feed grain here for five generations (six if you count their two toddlers). Already legally distilling their own Churchill Vineyards estate wines into brandy in the early years gave the Freys a major leg up when Nevada again legalized commercial distilling in 2010. Sip on this: Frey Ranch Estate Distillery (pictured below right) debuted in October 2014, making exceptionally charactered spirits. Sidle up to the bar in their rustic tasting room for an incredible view of the new 4,000-square-foot distillery (built on the site of a former horse corral) and its star feature, a 500-gallon Vendome copper-and-brass still (pictured p. 17). Pay special attention to the flagship four-grain vodka, and double-gold-winning gin, flavored with juniper and sagebrush from their property and also available oak-finished. The latest reports from Frey Ranch Whiskey Watch say Ashley and Colby have more than 1,500 53-gallon barrels currently aging in their barrelhouse, primarily filled with four-grain estate bourbon (estate-grown corn, wheat, rye and inhouse malted barley), a 100-percent estate-grown rye whiskey and other experimental distillates. The Freys’ first batch of bourbon is expected be ready in October 2018.





While you’re in the neighborhood: The Reno-Tahoe area is dotted with exceptional small distilleries, including Seven Troughs Distilling, Branded Hearts Distillery and Verdi Local Distillery. Also, located right in downtown Reno, The Depot is a combination craft brewery and distillery for the best of both worlds. *** Alpine Distillery in Park City, Utah One of the newest distilleries in the state that cast the deciding vote to repeal Prohibition just happens to be located mere minutes from two world-class ski destinations—Park City Mountain Resort (the largest in the U.S.) and Deer Valley Resort—and an hour from many others including Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird and Alta. Founded by Robert Sergent, the former AVP of surgical innovation for Johnson & Johnson (also the director of game-day operations for the New Orleans Saints), Alpine Distilling (AlpineDistilling.com) celebrated its first birthday in November 2017. When Hurricane Katrina ended his time in New Orleans, Sergent brought his family to the mountains of Utah and carried on his family’s long tradition for distilling, albeit legally. He makes a 100-percent corn vodka, a variety of whiskeys and liqueurs featuring local botanicals and Old World culinary influences. Sip on this: Call ahead to book a tour and witness whatever happens to be going on in the growing distillery that day. In the tasting room, start with Sergent’s French-oak-finished American single malt whiskey, Traveler’s Rest, to calibrate your palate and get the backstory on his family and adventures. From there, transition to Lafayette Liqueur: Kentucky-made bourbon fused with apricot, primrose and cinnamon. Preserve Liqueur (black tea, blood orange, lemon balm, ginger) was inspired by a particular sunset in Utah’s Uinta Mountains. The latest release, Summit Gin, is debuting right now while Sergent puts the finishing touches on the Alpine Elixir, his take on génépy or Chartreuse, made with sage picked (with permission) from the nearby Swaner Nature Preserve. While you’re in the neighborhood: Also check out either or both of two High West Distillery locations, one just off Main Street in the historic district at the Park City ski resort base, and the other just 15 minutes away in Wanship, Utah, on the Blue Sky Ranch property.







Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company


Strange Brew, Beautiful Brew Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company pioneers rare bourbon-barrel aged coffee. By Adam Joseph | Photos by Manny Espinoza


hen owners Dean and Janet McAthie acquired Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company in 2001, their mission was, and still is, to serve “superior handcrafted coffee.”

But serving a killer cup of joe just isn’t always enough to stay alive and thriving in the competitive java jungle. Survival is aided greatly by an ability to stay fresh and relevant. In addition to becoming the Monterey Peninsula’s first coffee roasting company to receive organic certification from the California Certified Organic Farmers, Janet (pictured, p. 22) says CVCRC makes a point to “always keeps things fun and interesting,” deploying everything from a coffee truck to churning out their own best-selling cold brew to using a vintage Farina roaster from the 1940s that initially ran on firewood. The outfit’s latest atypical offering, bourbon-barrel aged coffee, fits the adventurous bill. And extensive searches reveal it’s currently one of the only outposts making it on site on the West Coast. In April 2017, while traveling in New York’s Hudson Valley, CVCRC Director of Coffee Tina Muia was introduced to the universe of bourbon-barrel aged coffee at the Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery gift shop.




Fusing the essence of bourbon or whisky with coffee made so much sense to Muia she couldn’t believe it wasn’t more widespread. She was also surprised how little about bourbon-barrel aged coffee was available online—no formulas or recipes, no DIY YouTube videos or Reddit feeds, nothing. Muia had one lead: a local phone number on the packaging of the bourbon-barrel coffee she bought at the distillery. The proprietor of the tiny mom-and-pop operation gave Muia all the information she needed to pass onto CVCRC roaster Rory Phares (pictured, near left). Phares, who has more than a dozen years roasting experience, had never dabbled in barrel-aged coffee, but quickly learned that the oak barrel was an ingredient just as important as the bourbon and coffee beans. A seven-month stretch of trial and error ensued. Phares experimented with several bourbons, from Knob Creek to Bulleit, before landing on Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Reserve. Next, he had to find the right coffee bean. Phares first tested Sumatra beans, then went with more robust Mexican beans from Oaxaca, but both bean types lacked the flavor profile Phares was after. But he hit a jackpot with an Italian roast on a Colombian bean, which brings a dark chocolate flavor profile

that’s not overpowering. The surprising process starts with soaking the barrel with bourbon and letting it sit until it’s completely absorbed into the wood, which takes 12-18 hours, then 25 pounds of unroasted green coffee beans are added to the bourbon-soaked barrel. Hours of experimentation have led Phares to the conclusion that 18-24 hours is the ideal amount of time to let the beans sit in the barrel; any longer would result in extremely oakiness. The beans are then removed from the barrel and roasted for 12-15 minutes on CVCRC’s small roaster, a 1980s vintage San Franciscan. As the alcohol slowly burns off, the sugar from the booze becomes caramelized, yielding an arsenal of additional flavor notes, including almond and butterscotch. So far, CVCRC has roasted about 100 pounds of this unique and delicious potion, 75 pounds of which have been packaged and sold to the public at their seven locations, in small batches. Janet says the next batch will be available just as this issue hits the street. More at carmelcoffeeroasters.com. SHAKERS > INSPIRING SPIRITS





LABELS WE LOVE M e z c a l | C u l t u r a | C a r m e l , C a l i f.



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1. Mezcal Vago: “Ensamble en Barro” • 70 percent agave espadín y 30 percent agave coyote, double distilled in clay • By Salomón “Tío Rey” Rey Rodriguez • Sola de Vega, Oaxaca, México 2. El Jolgorio Mezcal: 100 percent agave arroqueño, double distilled in copper • By Pedro “Tío Pedro” Vásquez • Miahuatlán, Oaxaca, México 3. Wahaka Mezcal: 100 percent agave tobalá, double distilled in copper • By Alberto “Beto” Morales • San Dionisio Ocotecpec, Oaxaca, México 4. Mezcal Real Minero: 100 percent agave espadín, double distilled in clay • By Don Lorenzo Angeles Mendoza • Santa Catarina Minas, Oaxaca, México 5. Rey Campero Mezcal: “Mezcla Salvaje” agave jabalí, agave Sierra Negra, agave tepextate, double distilled in copper • By Romulo Sánchez Parada • Candelaria Yegolé, Oaxaca, México 6. Mezcal Mezcalosfera de Mezcaloteca: 30 percent agave madrecuixe, 20 percent agave bicuixe, 25 percent agave tobaxiche, 25 percent agave tepextate, double distilled in copper • By Emanuel Ramos • Miahuatlán, Oaxaca, México SHAKERS > INSPIRING SPIRITS



T H E WA L K E R I N N Los Angeles

Little and Legendary Tiny speakeasy The Walker Inn has quickly developed a huge rep in L.A.’s Koreatown with sublime cocktail tasting menus. By Stuart Thornton | Photos by Katie Hoss



“Intimate, warm, comfortable, energetic without becoming uncivilized.�



he drinks at The Walker Inn in Los Angeles are more than a mix of seasonal ingredients and top-shelf liquors. The bartender’s choice tasting menu, a presentation of five drinks customized by the mixologist of the house, have been presented in different themes since the bar opened at 3612 W. 6th St. in 2015. Some of the past menus have included everything from “Alice Waters” (inspired by the chef) to “Science Fair” (inspired by the classic school event) to “Holiday Scoundrels” (inspired by villains from classic holiday movies). The “Pacific Coast Highway” menu includes the Big Sur (previous page), with tea steam designed to resemble coastal fog. The bartender’s choice tasting menu highlights the expertise of bartender/ owner Devon Tarby. Her years as a bartender at the L.A. bars The Varnish and Honeycut helped Tarby develop a philosophy for The Walker Inn. “The idea to do a tasting menu stems from what [co-owner] Alex [Day] and I have over the years experienced as the best-case scenario of putting yourself in a bartender’s hands—when that bartender seems to magically know exactly what drink should come next,” Tarby writes by email. But there’s one problem with this kind of menu: What if the customer wants to order more drinks? Tarby and her staff have found a way around this issue. “We were excited about having the ability to control the

trajectory of a guest’s cocktail experience from start to finish by eliminating this X-factor—when you sit down for a tasting, you know exactly how many drinks you’re signing up for, which allows for a more cohesive experience,” she writes. “We always try to involve something interactive, something visually exciting, a few bites here and there, etc.” The full tasting menu of five drinks runs patrons $70, while a petite tasting costs $35. The Walker Inn also has another menu featuring 50 iconic cocktail classics with prices that run from $15 to $22 apiece. Since opening, The Walker Inn has received several prominent honors. The bar was the only entry from Los Angeles on Bloomberg’s list of “2016’s World’s 50 Best Bars” and was proclaimed the city’s “Best Hidden Cocktail Lounge” by L.A. Weekly. All of the cocktail creations are served up in a speakeasystyle bar behind Koreatown’s The Normandie Club. The room can accommodate 26 people. Tarby describes the space as “intimate, warm, comfortable, energetic without becoming uncivilized”—one of many reasons reservations are strongly recommended. More at walkerinnla.com.




Bourbon and Burlesque | Santa Cruz, Calif.




SPECIAL EVENT Nightclub & Bar Show

“NCB is the authority for our industry—you need to keep up.”


Greatest Show on Earth

The massive—and massively inspiring—Nightclub & Bar Show grows to new grandeur in Las Vegas this spring. By Juanita Rose | Photos by Manny Espinoza


here are some similarities between the annual Nightclub & Bar Show and Sasquatch.

Number one: Both are very, very big—big enough to take on mythical proportions. Number two: Both have to be seen to be believed. After more than 30 years in existence, the Nightclub & Bar Show is the largest such event on Earth, and will draw as many as 36,000 industry pros this March 26-28, when it returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center with more than 600 exhibitors all told. Last year the sheer quantity of revelations were overwhelming—as was their innovative nature. Pioneering robotic beverage delivery systems (called Bbot) revealed how they can drop trays of cocktails from the ceiling, saving time and man power. Vaporized spirits in latex balloons (Alcohol MIST) titilated club owners with a trendy new medium that works surprisingly well. An integrated Champagne sprayer for epic celebrations (the Champagne Gun) appealed to the high rollers who really want to make it rain. And there was more where that came from. As Shakers’ Otis Conklin reported, cannabis-driven products were booming, with items like Cannabinoid Creations’ tasteless CBD drops to plop in various drinks, flavored sodas (Cartoon Cereal Crunch?!), chocolates, candies and tinctures too. Time & Oak debuted a genious barrel-aging stick that goes inside of spirits bottles, adding round American oak flavors in as little as 24 hours. Happy Pills introduced an all-natural hangover killer called Waking Up in Vegas. GrowlerWerks showcased slick new technology with its uKegs that vacuum insulate and pressurize fancy beers in beautiful copper mini barrels. This year a whole new tidal wave of vendors appears, and navigating all the discoveries on the expo floor is an undertaking that demands more than a day of exploring. A peek at this year’s exhibitors reveals

another deeply diverse range of presenters, from the Cicerone Certification Program to Jumbo Stuffed Tater Kegs to Oregon Cherry Growers. THC, CBD and other cannabis-inspired products will only increase their presence now that California has legalized adult use. But the expo, while huge, is also just the beginning. This year the main stage hosts a tribe of standout DJs, including DJ Exodus, Cyberkid, C.L.A. and Josh Bliss, as well as the Shake It Up Flair and Classic Competition that pits the best mixologists on the planet against one another. Dozens of seminars cover topics like “Infusion Without the Confusion,” “Cannabis Beverage Trends” and “Getting Daily Reservations from Instagram in 5 Steps.” And, yes, there is an outsize amount of absurd nightlife. Highlights include Industry Night at Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand, a performance by Tiësto at OMNIA Nightclub at Ceasar’s Palace and a “neon jungle” party at Hyde Bellagio. NCB Advisory Board Chairman Thom Greco understands the ultimate effect of all the programming well. “Nightclub & Bar Show can give you that one new idea, product or promotion that makes the investment in attending well worth it,” he says. “We address how the industry is changing and transforming; success is always about change and keeping up with the trends—the Gen Z crowd, video gaming, live streaming—how does this affect your bottom line or a new concept? “NCB is the authority for our industry—you need to keep up to maintain success.” On with the show. More at ncbshow.com.



“You’re on the golf course with your pals riding around in a golf cart, smoking a cigar and laughing it up. Bad shot? So what? Good shot? Nice! Smile, man. This is the life.”

A radio host and Central Coast personality on what makes him sing. 34

By Otis Conklin | Photo by Manny Espinoza


avid Marzetti doesn’t differentiate between his projects and his passions. They include singing and emcee gigs, ambassador work with the Monterey County Convention Center and—not the least, by a long stretch—golf. He moved to the area after seeing it on television on a broadcast of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am; this spring he will celebrate 16 years broadcasting his “Shagbag Radio Show” after making its annual presence felt on the fairways at Pebble for the Pro-Am. How do you describe “Shag Bag”? Fast-paced, fun, entertaining and informative with three to five guests to keep it fresh. The things I love about the show is the fact that it is a real variety show. On one show we could have a restaurateur, a real estate broker, a theater owner and a boxer. On another show we could feature an author, a cigar roller, a winemaker, and a marathoner. What would surprise people most about the show? That I have featured more than 3,500 guests—and, that the show has been on every Saturday for 16 years! Never missed one. What can golf teach you that nothing else can teach in quite the same way? 1. Be cool, boy: How to maintain control while feeling pressure inside and being cool about it. 2. Honesty: I know I can get away with a 5 on my card, and my playing partners won’t even question it, but I know it was a 6. So, a 6 I will write down. 3. No matter what happens...have fun: It’s a beautiful day, no matter the weather. You’re not working. You’re on the golf course with your pals riding around in a golf cart, smoking a cigar and laughing it up. Bad shot? So what? Good shot? Nice! Smile, man. This is the life. 4. Relax—breathe in that air: It’s good for you! Look around. Nature. Trees. Vistas. Green grass. Birds and stuff. Take it all in. 5. Focus: When you need to. On demand. Good for your brain. 6. Manners/Graciousness: Playing golf makes you say please and thank you and compliment your opponent. Hey—nice shot! “Thanks!” Want me to leave the pin? “Yes please.” How does that translate on air? Some of the same things: relax...focus...have fun no matter what...it’s what you want to do and you’re doing it!

Favorite golf memory? Two hole in ones. The first in Boston in 1986, but the second was at Blackhorse in Seaside. Hole 17. Favorite AT&T Pro-Am memory? In a weird way, it was like 1998-99 and Trump was there with Melania. Not playing. Just as spectators. I see them enter the Lodge—and I figured I’d go get a quick sound byte. I walk up to them and Melania smiles and I stick my hand out to shake Trump’s hand. He looks down at my hand sticking out there like it had lobsters growing out of it. So I kinda draw it back and just ask him a few basic questions about his golf courses and how are they enjoying their time at the Pro Am, etc. I get back to the Media Center and tell the “no-shake” story to some of the journalists in the room and they fill me in on how—at the time— he was a real germaphobe and didn’t shake hands with anyone. I wasn’t put off but I did think to myself, “You don’t want to shake hands with the hand that shook the hand of Frank Sinatra backstage at the Bally Grand in Atlantic City?” Favorite thing about the AT&T? I do a very special star-studded broadcast from the pro shop at Pebble Beach on Saturday morning of the Pro-Am. A lot of the guys who are playing the tournament stop in and say hi on the radio and chat for a few minutes before they tee off. The pro shop is “players only” access and works particularly well for me to catch them because it’s their last chance to use the restroom! I always look forward to seeing my good friend Jim Nantz (see story, 40), as he greets me with that big warm handshake. We catch up with his amazing schedule and all the things he has going on, and he invites me to climb up the steep steps to the CBS broadcast booth with him that overlooks the 18th at Pebble Beach. What a treat! Favorite on-course sipper? It’s hard enough for me to try and keep my head on straight with my game, so I tend to go with the John Daly choice on the course: Diet Coke. Favorite 19th hole tonic? Afterwards I’m a wino—especially Italian stuff. Pinot Grigio on warm days, Chianti or Sangiovese with dinner. More at shagbagshow.com.




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Sportscaster, author and winemaker Jim Nantz follows his heart. By Mary Schley | Photo by Christine Bush 38



IM NANTZ knows a thing or two about callings.

His calling to become a sportscaster for CBS—not ABC or NBC— led to the career he launched decades ago and continues to excel in as the voice of the NFL, PGA Tour, and college basketball. He was the first to call the Super Bowl, the Masters and the NCAA Men’s Final Four all in the same year—a feat he has accomplished four times. Nantz had a calling to move to Pebble Beach, too, and in 2012, he did. He answered another calling, to make wine, when he launched a label with wine partner Peter Deutsch following a chance encounter at a restaurant in Connecticut, and a lot of study and hard work. Their collaboration, fittingly, is named The Calling, and their 2015 Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch Chardonnay was named in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines in the World for 2017, an accomplishment rarely afforded a wine brand as young as theirs. The first vintage of The Calling was produced in 2012. Nantz can peer deep back into his own history to find the roots of both those passions. He was born in Charlotte, N.C., in 1959, but his parents moved around a lot, taking Nantz and his sister to New Orleans, and then to Moraga, east of the San Francisco Bay. “That’s when I first experienced Pebble Beach,” he recalled. “My folks were really committed to showing their two children all the cultural experiences they could.” From golf courses in Del Monte Forest and art galleries in downtown Carmel, to wineries in Napa, the 10-year-old Nantz took it all in, his fascination building all the while. The family relocated back East, and Nantz graduated from high school in New Jersey before heading to college in Houston.



“I joke a little that I have a reputation for claiming hometowns,” he said. By then, his goal of becoming a sportscaster was already wellentrenched. “I had this dream that never waned,” he said. “I was absolutely driven since I was 11 years old to be doing what I’m doing today.” He remembers being awestruck by those who presented ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” (“the thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat”), and the Olympics. “I was mesmerized by the art of storytelling,” he said. “The broadcasters of my youth were tour guides who talked about countries and cultures and fascinating places to visit.” By the time Nantz was at the University of Houston, he “was already making all kinds of proclamations that I was one day going to work for CBS,” he said. “For me, it was such a burning passion that I knew it was going to happen.” Nantz acknowledged he might have gone to another network, but he set his sights on CBS because it’s home to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

“That set off a chain reaction,” he said. He was interning for radio and got picked up as a part-time public-address announcer for the Houston Astros. For a while, he was the No. 1 stringer (a freelance reporter in the field) in the country for CBS Radio Sports, and he was also narrating films for NASA, all while attending classes so he could graduate on time. “I was really getting experience on the air that was well beyond what they were teaching me in school,” he said. After obtaining his degree in radio and television in 1981, Nantz moved to Salt Lake City to anchor and call games for the Utah Jazz.

“It was the most important thing I ever did—of all the things I’ve been blessed to do, whether the Super Bowl or the Masters or the Olympics, it was that,” he said. “It was a labor of love.”

“That was the perfect storytelling venue, with all its beauty and tradition,” he said. “It has a presence about it that exudes really good things. I could see myself one day being there.”

He just had to figure out how. While at the Houston Open golf tournament with some college buddies, Nantz approached a security guard outside a network TV trailer and said he wanted to meet Don Ohlmeyer, who was “Mr. Everything at NBC Sports”—and whose name he had memorized, but whom he had never seen. When the producer walked out, Nantz said he wanted a job. The executive offered him a non-paying gig driving announcers to their broadcast locations. He did it, and was sure to thank Ohlmeyer every day. A job at the Byron Nelson tournament in Dallas followed, this one paying $20 a day, and Nantz capitalized on it by reporting for two radio stations in Houston for free. One of them, a CBS affiliate, asked him to stay on. 40

“I worked 40 hours a week for free for months,” he said, getting to know people, obtaining media credentials, interviewing athletes and editing.

“And two years after that, I got hired by CBS,” he said. It was 1985, and he was 26.

Since then, he has earned three Emmy Awards, five National Sportscaster of the Year awards, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, and the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Nantz serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for the NFL on CBS, including the Super Bowl and Thursday Night Football games, and for college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Final Four. He’s the lead anchor of the network’s golf coverage, announcing the PGA Tour, Masters and the PGA Championship. In 2007, he became the first commentator in history to broadcast the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Final Four and the Masters all in the same year—a feat he repeated in 2010, 2013 and 2016. Anticipation of that achievement was the impetus for Nantz’ writing a book about his dad, Jim Nantz Jr., who suffered from Alzheimer’s for 13 years. Always By My Side, co-authored with friend Eli Spielman, reached No. 3 on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2008. Former President George H.W. Bush, a friend and father figure, wrote the foreword. “It was the most important thing I ever did—of all the things I’ve been blessed to do, whether the Super Bowl or the Masters or the Olympics, it was that,” he said. “It was a labor of love.”




The idea came partly through his own wish to set that broadcasting record in 2007 with his father alongside him—a dream that was thwarted by illness. “I was about to embark on this 63-day journey,” he recalled, and his agent suggested he consider writing about the experience in terms of finding his father in the people he encountered and met along the way, whether they be then-Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy or pro golf luminary Arnold Palmer (who was also a co-owner of the Pebble Beach Co. and passed away in 2016, and at whose memorial service Nantz delivered a eulogy).

Peter Deutsch. I just read your book.’ He said he was in the wine business with his father, ‘and he’s my best friend.’” Deutsch and his family had been importing, distributing and marketing wine for generations, but never worked on the production side. The two reconnected later to discuss Nantz’ ideas.

“Now I suddenly had the fire to do it,” he said.

“I explained how I’ve seen a lot of people get in the ‘celebrity wine business,’ and that it’s not a very successful venture, in most cases,” he said. Nantz told Deutsch he’d put his name on the label if he thought it would help, but he had a feeling it wouldn’t.

The process gave Nantz the opportunity to relive cherished moments with his father. “It was really cathartic for me,” he said.

“People are not going to believe you’re involved in the process,” he explained.

What he hadn’t expected was how much it would resonate with so many. “I’d come out of a golf announce tower or off a football field, and there would be people standing there with the book, and they all had their stories,” he said.

“I had this dream that never waned, I was absolutely driven since I was 11 years old to be doing what I’m doing today.”

The experience also led him and his wife, Courtney, to establish the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at Houston Methodist Hospital. The NNAC helps fund innovative diagnostic discoveries for early and accurate detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementing illnesses, in hopes of one day finding a cure, and focuses on the possible connection between concussions and other traumatic brain injuries in athletes. “It’s all because of that book,” he said. “That’s my proudest accomplishment.”

The book is also what brought him and his wine partner, Peter Deutsch, together. Nantz had decided he wanted to get into the wine business—not as a celebrity with his name on the label, but as a bona fide producer of a top product—and had been traveling, studying, and talking to experts in the field (including Carmel Valley’s Bill Parsons of Parsonage winery) for six years when he met Deutsch in 2009. “I was in Greenwich, Conn., having dinner with my lawyer,” said Nantz. “Over to the table comes a guy who says, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt. I’m

Deutsch shared that if Nantz had, in fact, wanted his name on the label, the business partnership never would have happened. But, as it was, they formed the Deutsch Nantz Alliance, DNA for short, and got to work. They were both busy men with a lot going on in their lives already. “The only reason both of us were interested was if we had a chance to be great—to create the next great premium American wine brand.”

They visited vineyards in California and ended up collaborating with highly regarded Dutton Ranch, eventually becoming the vineyard’s largest grape client. “Joe and Steve [Dutton, whose father started the vineyard in 1968] were the ones we came in and made a pitch to,” Nantz recalled. “We were anxious to create a relationship with them. They were our first-round draft choice.” The inaugural wine from The Calling was released in 2012, and the winery now produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley. “We wanted to do something that would make our dads proud,” he added. “And I wanted to show I had enough dexterity outside the broadcast world to create something iconic.”



The Calling wines have achieved scores of 90 and above multiple times, and Wine Spectator put the 2015 Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch Chardonnay at No. 67 in its Top 100 Wines in the World in 2017. James Laube described the 91-point wine as “Ultra-rich and extracted, offering a firm core of pear, apple, melon and spice flavors. A truly impressive effort, with depth and dimension.” He recommended enjoying it now through 2022. “We’re really proud to make that list,” Nantz said. And the wine sold like wildfire. Nantz savors the moments when he sees one of their wines on a restaurant’s list alongside the heavy hitters of the world, and when he hears stories from people who enjoy drinking it. On a recent flight home after calling a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers, the man next to Nantz mentioned he and his wife had recently sampled six different Chardonnays and had picked The Calling as their favorite. “‘She went back to the store, and she brought back two cases of The Calling,” he said the man told him. “‘And now I’m sitting next to you.’” Nantz said he also enjoys being involved in the distribution of The Calling, which can be found in all 50 states. “To go into any city in America and know there’s going to be anywhere from a couple of restaurants to maybe 100 that are carrying The Calling, and to support those who are supporting us,” is very rewarding, he said, especially in tricky states like Pennsylvania, where the liquor laws and import rules are daunting. He is, of course, very grateful for the support The Calling wines enjoy here at home on the Monterey Peninsula. “People come here as a bucket list item, and they get an experience here that they carry home with them that is very special,” he said. “And if they sample The Calling, and there’s something memorable about the name and they had it in Pebble Beach or Carmel, and then they see it at home and associate us with that experience, we’ve made an impression in some tiny way.” Shakers spoke with Nantz to explore the worlds of broadcasting and winemaking further: 44 Photo credit: Gary Land

What would you tell someone who wants to get into broadcasting? You have to be enterprising; you have to be creative. Nobody cares about your schoolwork in our world. Can you write? Can you execute? Can you perform? Where did your desire to enter the wine business come from? It was really born out of the lifestyle that I was exposed to at an early age in the business, going out to nice dinners and important events. I saw a lot of golfers and celebrities who have their names on the labels and wondered, how much are they really involved? What is their passion? Their purpose? How involved are you in the winemaking process? They send shiners [bottles with no labels] here to the house or wherever I am on the road. They take stuff out of the barrel and FedEx it to me, because it has to happen pretty quickly. We have three winemakers: Wayne Donaldson, who handles Cabernet and red blend; Dan Goldfield— because we wanted to go with the best—and James MacPhail, a Pinot specialist.” What are your goals for the brand? We got into this venture to create the next iconic, premium wine brand. We want it to be multigenerational. We want to be able to hand it off to my kids and Peter’s kids. I want my kids to hopefully one day have the same pride in it as their father does and as Mr. Deutsch does, and his kids, as well. We feel like we’ve got the ball rolling on a project that came together through this moment of serendipity. Which wine do you feel best embodies The Calling? The red blend we make called “Our Tribute.” It’s our platinum level, a very limited production of wines. We wanted to do something that reflected our tribute to our fathers. We don’t want to make

a ton of it. It gets snapped up in a hurry. It’s primarily Cabernet and then a little Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It changes every year. What’s your favorite part of being in the wine business, as opposed to sportscasting? The fact it’s successful, and creating something good — really good. One of the biggest thrills is to walk into a restaurant, open up the wine list and see The Calling side by side with significant brands. We built every step along the road to get there. It’s not easy to get in 10 restaurants, much less thousands.” Why did you move to Pebble Beach? The Pebble Beach calling for me was a big one for a long time, and I can really relate it back to being marched around here as a 10-year-old. I held onto the dream for a long time and in the process looked at so many homes in Carmel and Pebble Beach, and always had the tug. I don’t have any desire to ever live anywhere else. It’s paradise. Katy’s Place restaurant in Carmel has an omelet on the menu that’s named after you. How did that come about? Pre-residency here, I would go to Katy’s every single morning and have breakfast when I was in town. I love the place. Carmel is maybe the best breakfast town in the world, and I’m a breakfast guy. I went through a stretch where I was trying to eat a little healthier, so I created this egg white omelet with Monterey Jack cheese and some healthy things inside of it. I like finely diced jalapeño peppers, but they made those optional, because some people don’t like spicy. I didn’t want potatoes and wanted fruit. They put it up on the board, and it’s been there for years. I have no financial stake in it. As long as it makes them happy, it makes me happy, because they deserve it. They claim it’s their best-selling omelet. More at thecallingwine.com







D E S T I N AT I O N Eldorado Resorts


Little Makeover

Eldorado Resorts complete major renovations as Reno is making an evolutionary leap itself. By Otis Conklin




funny thing happens when Reno looks at itself in the mirror these days. She no longer sees that funky, disrespected stepsister to Lake Tahoe or gets hung up on the backhanded self compliment Biggest Little City in the World. Instead of smoke, slot machines and stained carpet, she sees a striking new skyline and a swell of new tourist draws, including a burgeoning craft beer and spirits scene and Burning Man-centric venues like the National Automobile Museum’s “art car” exhibit.

Meanwhile, Reno’s landmark hotels are reinventing themselves too. One of the biggest parts of that overhaul—and that skyline—are the Eldorado Resorts, a family-operated company that includes 19 properties nationally and three in downtown Reno alone: the eponymous Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus. The group was founded by Reno native Donald Louis Carano, who just passed away in October at 85 after a inspiring life spent trailblazing across all sorts of sectors, including gaming, wine, hotels, restaurants and even law. Beyond the Eldorado Resorts, he launched Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery and the McDonald Carano law firm.

with the likes of Campo, Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, Granite Street Eatery and Midtown Eats and a passionate outdoor recreation community Eldorado Resorts’ Reno properties are coming fresh drawn to nearby North Lake off a $50 million Tahoe and the Truckee River that investment— runs right through the center of following its debut town. as a publicly traded corporation The tech/start-up culture has in 2017—which, played into that rebirth mightily, as one company as famous firms like Apple, Tesla spokesman puts it, and Switch have fallen for the “reflects the overall reasonable cost of living, zero renaissance in state income tax and modest northern Nevada.” operational costs. Regular The Eldorado festivals and events contribute illustrates the to the energy as well, with wider shift well, everything from the Great Reno with its own inBalloon Race to the Best in the West Nugget Rib house butcher shop, bakery, pasta mill, gelatería, Cookoff, which was voted “Best BBQ Festival” by coffee roaster and brewery to complement USA Today’s Top 10 Readers’ Choice in 2016. the many restaurants—and an annual Great Depressurization for the throngs of Burning Man

“Rather than greasy buffets and overweight patrons, she sees a blockbuster farm-to-fork cuisine landscape.”





attendees who love the help of pool parties and massages in transitioning back to “normal” society. Rick Murdock, vice president of sales and marketing, takes pride in the parallel advance of the city and the family’s hotels. “Eldorado Resorts has a tremendous history and passion for shaping the world of entertainment in northern Nevada,” he says.

“As the city continues to evolve, so have we. We’re changing Reno’s reputation of being a ‘gaming-only’ town” “As the city continues to evolve, so have we. We’re changing Reno’s reputation of being a ‘gaming-only’ town, to a destination for awardwinning entertainment, locally-sourced cuisine, eclectic art and familycentric events.” The renovations include seven new eateries, 4,100 remade guest rooms, a new poker hall, an award-winning Midway game area, updates on common spaces and event spaces, upscale dining options by Italian Chef Ivano Centemeri and 15 remodeled bars and lounges. The internationallyrenowned shows continue on a weekly basis and 2018 will also herald the arrival of a new spa and a new pool too. It all makes for quite the reflection of a booming Reno. More at eldoradoresorts.com.



MIXING IT UP Cultura Carmel

A recent Oaxaca Earthquake Relief Dinner at Carmel hotspot Cultura brought in donated art work from Sergio Valero (MĂŠxico City), Beau Bernier Frank (Pacific Grove) and Patricia Qualls (Carmel Valley), guest bartenders Marcella Macias from Mezcal in San Jose, Manny Hernandez from Soif Restaurant in Santa Cruz and Jorge Vargas from Jack Rose Restaurant in Los Gatos. 54

Guest Chef’s for the benefit included: Chef Cal Stamenov from Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley, Calif. Chef Matt Bolton from the C restaurant + bar, Monterey, Calif. Chef Yulanda Santos from Aubergine, Carmel, Calif. Plus Cultura Executive Chef Michelle Estigoy SHAKERS > INSPIRING SPIRITS


SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT Tr e v i H i l l s Vi n e ya r d s


Vineyard Living in San Diego A taste of first-class living, ocean views and private-label wine. By Diba Shooshani


ucked away in the Muth Valley region of lush Lakeside County just 21 miles away from downtown San Diego, thick with California live oak trees, natural rock formation landscapes, and panoramic views as far as the ocean, lies Trevi Hills Vineyards & Fine Homes. The Mediterranean climate allows for anything Tuscan to grow, including Sangiovese, Primitivo, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Michael Larrañaga, the vineyard general manager, is a long-time vigneron. A San Diego native, he is a certified sommelier with the French Court of Sommeliers, trained in the vineyards of Northern California and Italy and involved in the wine and hospitality industry for more than 30 years. “The soil up here is very thin and rocky, which is fantastic for growing grapes,” said Larrañaga. “With the ocean air, all of our canyons run east to west, the ocean air comes right up to the canyons and sits on these grapes. It’s beautiful, the growth here is just perfect and it shows in the wine.” Surrounding the winery is the spacious Tuscan-styled village housing development. With 800 acres, 250 home sites, its vineyards and the winery, Trevi Hills Vineyard & Fine Homes is a destination for wine lovers offering a unique opportunity for its homeowners. “It’s a wonderful place. The pace of life instantly slows down the second you crest the hill, among the scenic vineyards and majestic views. We just want to share it with the world,” says real estate agent Ruth Pugh of Douglas Elliman. Pugh and her team handle the home sales on the development. One of the top agents in San Diego County, Pugh is passionate about what Trevi Hills has to offer to prospective buyers. By simplifying the sales process and focusing on each client’s specific goals has helped the team assist over 10,000 families and counting in the San Diego area.

The homes are 3,000 to 3,500 square feet with indoor-outdoor living with large covered patios, verandas, big one-acre lots or more and often back up to open space. Prices for the luxury homes begin in the low $900,000s. Home sites range from one to 2.5 acres. Homeowners can set aside a portion of their home site as a vineyard, professionally managed by the Trevi Hills Winery Team. “Unlike most development properties, Trevi Hills is offering a piece of the winery to residents by allowing them to utilize parts of their land to grow Tuscan grapes and co-op with the winery,” Pugh says. Stephen H. Kotler, CEO of Douglas Elliman, West believes the sales team has something special. “This is the first time I’ve seen such a specialized property,” he says. “Douglas Elliman California is proud to represent such a unique project. With our database and resources, along with the Pugh Team’s expertise, we look forward to creating the perfect blend of buyers for Trevi Hills.” Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the second largest non-franchise brokerage in the nation. The New York-based brokerage acquired California-based Teles Properties in August 2017. With outposts from Carmel to Coronado, Elliman now has 21 offices, over 650 agents and a full scope of the lush Golden State landscape. Trevi Hills is a project of San Diego-based Pacifica Companies, a multi-national real estate and development company. Local properties include the Hotel La Valencia and the Chula Vista Bayfront. Pacifica is well-known for its environmental conscience in large projects, preserving protected land and restoring natural habitats as part of its large projects. Trevi Hills Winery is located at 1300 Muth Valley Road in Lakeside. It is open 10:100 a.m. to dusk Tuesday through Sunday. Tasting fees are $8 per flight. For inquiries on homes, please visit contact Ruth Pugh via elliman.com. SHAKERS > INSPIRING SPIRITS





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Las Vegas bartender Emily Yett’s soul searching led her to a secret garden of opportunity at Primrose. By Xania V. Woodman Step 1: Jump out of airplane. Step 2: Deploy parachute. Thinking along those same lines, when Las Vegas bartender Emily Yett sought career advancement two years into her tenure as the first female bartender at the city’s award-winning cocktail bar, Herbs & Rye, she left the bar she loved and the mentor she respected in order for another turn of fortune. “It had to be my decision; nobody was going to offer me [a job]. Nobody wanted to take me from Herbs & Rye,” Yett recalls of her spring 2017 departure. “I came to the realization that I was going to have to get out to show people that I was available and capable.” And, indeed, she is. Since her Las Vegas arrival at the age of 26, the SoCal native’s rise to noteworthiness has been speedy and well-balanced. Bartending in San Bernardino County since the moment she turned 21, Yett hoped to specialize in flair bartending, a skill she learned from YouTube videos of Las Vegas’ finest practitioners.


M I XO LO G I ST Las Vegas



“It had to be my decision; nobody was going to offer me [a job].”


Barbacking at Bally’s helped her to obtain her union credentials, which propelled her to doing exhibition-style flair shows at Carlos & Charlie’s and The D Hotel. When The Cromwell opened on the Strip in 2014, Yett flipped the script and went deep into craft cocktails at Bound by Salvatore Calabrese and was trained by his right-hand man, Matteo Belkisis, whom Yett counts among her mentors.

She would also use those skills to win the 2016 Speed Rack competition regionals. But Yett had developed a taste for coaching others while doing a menu-creation and training stint on the maiden voyage of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Harmony of the Seas from France to South Hampton. She also filmed a series of training videos for Embassy Suites, all of which solidified her love of education.

“[Belkisis] really cleaned up my mixology skills,” she says. She remained at Bound for one year, absorbing all the boutique hotel’s lobby bar had to offer. Yett’s dedication paid off when, on her 30th birthday, she worked her first shift at Herbs & Rye, proprietor Nectaly Mendoza’s paean to highvolume, high-quality service. There, under Mendoza’s tutelage, Yett says she added speed and agility to her bar kit, as well as a reverence for mise en place pre-shift preparation. She quickly became a fixture at the classic-cocktail-conscious bar, vested and bowler-hatted, chatting up regulars from her spot at the front corner well.

It was over a long conversation with a colleague that Yett says she realized that no one would come to her with an offer as long as she was still employed at one of the most respected and recognized bars in the city, also the 2016 Spirited Award winner for America’s Best High-Volume Cocktail Bar. Still, “I needed more,” she says. “I want to be Nectaly one day. I want to hold a higher position for myself beyond bartending. I just wanted more of a challenge. It was time: I had to give it up.” And give it up she did, albeit with grace, humor and on the best possible of terms. As a free agent, Yett immediately put her



Moulin Rouge

By Emily Yett for Primrose in Monte Carlo Resort & Casino

1 sugar cube 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters 1Âźounce Lillet Blanc 1Âźounce Lillet Rouge 1 ounce bourbon Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, stir, strain into a rocks glass over quality ice. Garnish with a swath of orange peel and a brandied or maraschino cherry.


networking and crowd-reading skills to work, securing a gig at yet another industry staple, District One Kitchen & Bar, where she introduced mise en place prep. “My brain almost exploded from all the ideas I had to move things around,” she says. “I started by basically ripping apart the bar, organizing it and giving the bar structure.” She also used this time to represent a new line of stackable Cardinal glassware at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

“The number one thing that I want to convey [to staff] is heart and soul. I don’t want to bombard them with a ton of recipes.”

In May of 2017, word of Yett’s solo professional status made its way through her peer network to executives at Sydell Group (parent company to the Nomad, The Line and Freehand hospitality brands), which reached out for a Las Vegas project. Yett presented her proposed cocktail program and was invited to join the opening team at Primrose, a “vegetable-forward” dining concept at Monte Carlo (soon to be the Park MGM) as beverage manager. Primrose opened on Sept. 1, 2017, an airy, feminine, three-meal spot with an inviting bar and lounge; a dining room that brings a bit of the outdoors inside; a cozy, intimate drawing room; an outdoor terracotta terrace; and a leafy, shaded garden. Accompanying the rare vegetable-adoring program is Yett’s cocktail list of American classics with a touch of French and Mediterranean flair. Here, the house dirty martini features kalamata olives, sherry, pickling spices and rosemary; the Bijou is smoked in a glass case before presentation; and the sgroppino is laced with both lavender and crème de violette. A particular highlight of the list is Yett’s Moulin Rouge, a cocktail she created while practicing for the 2016 Last Slinger Standing competition. Assigned a stirred cocktail featuring Lillet Blanc, Yett combined an ounce and a quarter each of Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge with a half ounce of bourbon and gave them the Old-Fashioned treatment with a bitters-soaked sugar cube. “The cherry on top was adding half an ounce of bourbon,” Yett says. “I started with rye and it was too spiced. Adding bourbon really made it pop.”

More than 120 days in at Primrose, Yett welcomes the New Year as an opportunity to address her personal goals for the programs. First up: a new cocktail menu. “Spring and summer is where it’s gonna be for Primrose,” Yett says. “You’ll see a lot of different Spanish-style gin and tonics with different herbs, botanicals, tonic styles and gins from which to choose.” She also predicts her debut menu inclusion, the Di Coco, will rise to top-seller status. “It’s basically a mashup between a piña colada and an Aperol spritz.” “The number one thing that I want to convey [to staff] is heart and soul. I don’t want to bombard them with a ton of recipes. I more want to show them how to take care of guests and make them feel comfortable,” Yett says. Other action items include introducing a little working flair to Primrose bartenders’ repertoires. Nothing too crazy, though: “Just little flicks of the wrist with the tins, spoons, jiggers and ice. The way you garnish with a twist of orange.” Ultimately, Yett would like to parlay her skills as a property mixologist or corporate trainer. And then of course there’s bar ownership. “I never wanted to own my own bar, but now it’s becoming more and more enticing,” she admits. It’s been nearly a year since her departure from Herbs & Rye, but she still looks up to Mendoza. “I want to be like that: I want to excite an entire group of people to make a concept run. I think it’s very admirable to get all those people to care as much as you do. It’s your building, your baby. But sometimes they even care about it a little more than you do. “I want to do that. I want to bring excitement to people.” More at montecarlo.com/primrose.



C O C K TA I L S Carmel Valley, CA

Bar Cart: Herbal Japanese Highball


simple drink made well is what inspires me most these days. Here is a recipe based off of the classic Japanese highball using California bay laurel syrup and Golden Bear’s California Native Plant Bitters. Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add 0.5 oz. California bay laurel syrup, 1.5 oz. Japanese whisky such as Suntory Toki, and top off with club soda. Stir to blend. Add 3 drops of California Native Plant Bitters and express the oils from one lemon peel (twisting a 1” peel to release them) into the drink. —Katie Shea, founder of Bar Cart Cocktail Co. and Golden Bear Bitters. More at barcartcocktailco.com and goldenbearbitters.com


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O: 831.915.8833 christine.handel@elliman.com CalBRE# 01375876






B R A N D B R E A KO U T Hawaii

Island Fever

New wine brand Mana evokes the heart of Hawaii. By Juanita Rose


istorically Hawaii and wine haven’t made the most natural pairing. Ashleigh Hutchison wants to change that.

they’re consciously versatile, marketable and accessible, and made to be priced under $20.

Though her youthful energy belies it, she has worked nearly a quarter century in food and wine, doing about every job, including sales repping cult favorite Miner Family Wines. Now she’s taking her affinity for Hawaiian proverbs beyond her heart—and skin, where her tattoos read Ikeloa Ha’aha’a Mana Pono—and into the wine bottle.

They are also primed for a Hawaii market that’s coming into its own amid a fast-changing wider wine context. “California consumes more wine, but from a branding standpoint, Hawaii can successfully reach a more broad international demographic,” Hutchison says. “It’s an expensive place to do business cost-of-saleswise, but worth every penny if you know the inside track over there.” She points to luxury brands observing that influence and setting up branches in Oahu to capitalize. Meanwhile, she knows the island vibe still enjoys cache—“it is truly a lifestyle and way of living,” she says, “what was once old and cliche is now everywhere and cooler than ever”—but is careful to use the culture respectfully.

The Hawaiian proverb tattooed in the shape of the islands mean (roughly): Serve the land. Live with humility. Live with energy. Live with virtue. They honor the codes Hutchinson learned over the course of a life spent split between Hawaii and coastal California. Now her own Mana label channels her oceanic instincts. The front label includes a wave in a mosaic pattern by Kraftwerk Design; the back explains the name and taps more aquatic energy: “In ancient Polynesian times, it is said mana was the life force or energy within us,” it reads. “In Hawaiian culture, it is one of the sacred ideologies that perpetuates us as individuals. It is movement, motion and fluidity. It is the ocean in its greatness. I created Mana wines to collide the worlds of the mainland and Hawaii through the celebration of drink, family and food. Her first vintage deployed an oaky Arroyo Seco Pinot, a bright Napa Rosé and a North Coast Chardonnay. Easy drinkers all around,

“I asked a lot of locals in Hawaii if Mana was OK to use—if I used it responsibly and gave back to the land and people,” she says, “There comes a level of responsibility with the name of my wine business. The Hawaiian language and their aina [land] is very sacred to them and their ancestors.” They’re also sacred to a certain wine lover, who hopes to spread the understanding a glass at a time. “Mana is a state of mind,” she says, “a sense of place and ohana. I’m hoping this business resonates deep with the consumers and they take the time to enjoy and participate.” More at manawines.com. SHAKERS > INSPIRING SPIRITS


TidBits By Otis Conklin

Breaking news: The one thing that isn’t changing any time soon is…change. The latest round of cocktail updates and developments are dripping with intriguing changes, in delivery systems, marketing tech and tastebud tendencies. Here’s a run around some of them, as Shakers does each issue. Readers are welcome to share their own cocktail industry tidbits for consideration via info@shakersmag.com.

Smooth Operation Craft cocktails on tap are growing in popularity and appearing in more places, but not like this. El Jefe Tequila is pioneering a nitro draft system that takes its blanco tequila, marries it with Top Hat Provisions’ craft concentrate and fresh lime juice and carbonates with nitrogen. That adds a smoother, creamier element and fuller mouth feel to go with the fresh citrus flavors, making it a hit at places like Sake Rok in Las Vegas. More at eljefetequila.com.

Most Interesting Marketing Cold Stunner A head-turner at last year’s Nightclub & Bar Show , Beyond Zero technology allows mixologists to freeze liquor— which has a much lower freezing point than water—at temperatures as frigid as 27 below, creating spirited ice cubes for designer drinks. A machine will cost you a cool $5K, though. More at bzice.com


What insiders are touting as the United States’ first smart spirits bottle has a little something to say. When consumers tap the neck of a bottle of Astral in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Georgia, Jonathan Goldsmith, known as the original Most Interesting Man in the World, offers this: “I told you I don’t always drink beer,” said Goldsmith. “I prefer tequila – Astral Tequila.” At 92 proof, it is pretty good stuff, with a double gold medal from San Francisco World Spirits Competition. More at astraltequila.com.

Scary Good Vino

19 Crimes Wine has spooky good product and smart marketing, which helped earn it Wine Brand of the Year from beverage industry magazine Market Watch. Now the wine house—named for the 19 crimes that would send felons to Australia, and inspired by their resilience— has new labels that deploy augmented reality. With the 19 Crimes app and a smart phone, the criminals on each of seven bottles come to life with a tap on the screen, reciting rough and poetic prose like, “No cage can hold that which is spineless. No man can stop that which is fated to be.”

More at 19crimes.com.

Sounding Tasty The latest lineup from festival organizers at Coachella festival is enough to give music lovers a heady buzz, with the likes of Beyoncé, Eminem and The Weekend headlining a deep roster of scores of performers. But the destination music event, happening April 13-22, also involves some smart social lubricants from neighboring beverage makers. Coachella Valley Brewing uses local dates and grapefruit in elexirs like its Dubbel Date Belgian dark strong ale, and does it with a high efficiency brew system designed to preserve the parched valley’s water. Desert Distilling employs area produce as well for its gin, rum and vodka, and now the valley’s first—and only— craft distillery (with the tagline “crafted right, crafted right here”) starting to earn awards for its spirits.



E AT & D R I N K Los Gatos, Calif.


Sweet Delicious Swamp in the…Glass David Kinch’s Bywater translates a big-time restaurant legacy into tasty drinks, with mad creative style. By Stuart Thornton



“I think they can get away with creativity and techniques and flair that the kitchen wouldn’t be able to get away with.”



s ubiquitous in New Orleans as a bowl of gumbo or a plate of hot beignets are the city’s syrupy sweet rum-based drinks, like hurricanes and frozen daiquiris. Though the drinks are just a step above the liquor spiked fruit punches that used to be served by the gallon to college undergraduates, the cloying cocktails are featured in bars all over Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, and beyond. The Bywater in Los Gatos, owned and operated by David Kinch and Andrew Burnham of Manresa fame, has not only been creating a fusion of New Orleans and California cuisine on its food menu, but it has also found a way to transform the lowly hurricane and frozen daiquiri into refined, respectable cocktails. The classic New Orleans frozen daiquiri is typically a plastic cup full of rum, sugar, lime juice, and crushed ice, but The Bywater’s take on the drink frequently surprises its patrons. “People usually assume it’s going to be a sweet drink, but it actually is not,” The Bywater’s lead bartender Darren Gardner says of the restaurant’s frozen concoction. “It’s a heavy dose of lime, pomegranate, and bitters, so it’s like a tart, boozy, refreshing rum-forward frozen drink.” Then there’s The Bywater’s reinvention of possibly New Orleans’ most consumed cocktail, the hurricane, which is usually a very sugary mix of rum, fruit juice, and syrup. Gardner and his team swap out those

usual ingredients with pureed passionfruit, Campari, lemon juice, simple syrup, and two types of Jamaican rums. “That’s a personal favorite of mine,” Gardner says. “Those end up being some of our bestsellers week after week.” The hurricane and frozen daiquiri are included in The Bywater’s cocktail menu under “Crescent City Classics” alongside other notable New Orleans exports like the Sazerac and the Ramos gin fizz. The restaurant’s showcases other creations in the sections “Exotic Delights,” “Creole Goods,” and “Fancy Cocktails.” “Exotic Delights” have more of a Caribbean influence than the “Crescent City Classics,” Gardner notes. Some ingredients on the current menu include passionfruit, pineapple and crème de noyaux, a liqueur made from apricot kernels. “The [‘Exotic Delights’] drinks aren’t necessarily New Orleans classics, but drinks that are in the refreshing, exotic category,” Gardner says. Then there’s the drinks under the “Creole Goods” heading, which include a rum drink with lemongrass, chili and basil alongside a creation that utilizes allspice, the mix of spices frequently employed in all sorts of foods. “That’s a really cool section, because it has drinks that are an ode to either our kitchen or a New Orleans kitchen so that we use more culinary ingredients,” Gardner says.



Under the “Fancy Cocktails” banner are currently just two drinks, both priced over $20. Some of the rotating drinks in that category are made with allocated spirits, meaning that restaurants can only purchase a limited quantity of the sought-after liquors. “Those are drinks where the spirits aren’t going to get lost with mixtures or other things like that,” Gardner says. “It really showcases the whiskey itself.” The whole of the cocktails served at The Bywater are intended to pair well with the restaurant’s cuisine. “There are a lot of tart drinks that complement our menu, which does feature items that are fairly rich,” Gardner says. It is worth noting that The Bywater’s cocktails change seasonally so that there are editions and deletions four times a year. Gardner notes that the restaurant’s hurricanes and frozen daiquiris are staples that will stay on the menu. One big fan of The Bywater’s cocktails is the restaurant’s chef de cuisine David Morgan, who helped develop the restaurant’s stellar food menu. “I think the bar program goes above and beyond,” he says. “They are very creative, and I think they can get away with creativity and techniques and flair that the kitchen wouldn’t be able to get away with.” More at thebywaterca.com.





Grand Shepherds Pie During fall and winter—or anytime of the year, really— another choice recipe is my grand shepherds pie. I describe it as “Macushla” an Irish song that your taste buds will dance too. It’s so delicious and simple to make. This hearty and richly flavored dish is a meal in itself, made unique by using chunks of Angus beef. Whatever your preference of beer it can be paired perfectly with Guinness (the Irish dry stout, rich and creamy distinctively black beer) or Leopold7 Belgium beer, another unique taste that is unveiled via a creamy head and a savory sharp taste at the end. Use either one in making this dish and make sure you have enough to drink when serving!



DELICIOUS Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes Equal parts olive oil and butter, 1 Tbl each 1 large onion, 1/2 inch cut 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 1/2 Tbl flour 1 1/2 cup Leopold7 Beer 2 cup beef broth or stock 1 can tomato paste Dash or two Worcestershire sauce Salt/pepper, to taste 2 Tsp paprika 1 Tsp sugar Optional: 1 cup peas 3 medium size carrots cut lengthwise, cut 1/2 inch pieces, semi cooked 3 medium size potatoes, peel, cook then make mash potatoes making sure to mash until smooth and fluffy; make enough to cover 1 pie size or 4-6 medium size ramekins Optional: Before serving brush on melted butter and garnish with scallions or fresh parsley

Cooking Time: 2-3 hours Serving size: 4-6

with Heidi Licata

Directions: In a large pot on medium heat add oil and butter. When butter is melted put heat to medium high then add cubed chuck roast, cook until brown, remove meat, set aside. Using same pot deglaze pot by adding onions, lower heat back to medium low, cook until caramelize stage, add minced garlic. Stir in flour scraping and mixing in the flour add meat; this creates a roux and thickens the stew. Add can of tomato paste, paprika, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Add liquids beer and broth, stir all ingredients together. Cook covered on medium low heat 2 1/2 hours stirring periodically. Add peas and carrots. Assembly: Fill pie pan or ramekins with stew, using a spatula and top with a mound of mash potato covering the entire top, Cover with foil bake 30-40 minutes in oven 450 degree uncover and bake for another 15 minutes Helpful hints: I like to make the stew the day before and keep it refrigerated. Day of serving make your mash potatoes, spread over the cold stew—this makes it so much easier to spread, follow the baking instruction under “Assembly.” Before serving brush tops with melted butter and garnish with scallions or fresh parsley. Serve and pair with beer, Enjoy! More recipes at DeliciousandSimple.net






2013 Windy Oaks Estate Syrah Vaccaro Family Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains. By Kerry Winslow | Photo by Manny Espinoza


t’s exciting times at Windy Oaks Estate with a wonderful set of releases from Jim Schulzte’s cellar and a few new surprises in the vines, with a Syrah vineyard right next door coming online and new blocks of Grand Cru Burgundy clones, including a small parcel of hillside Chambertin clone and an expansion of planting/cuttings of their SBC (Special Burgundy Clone) which is a cleaned-up version of de la Romanee-Conti! With Alfaro Family Vineyards and Windy Oaks Estate, Corralitos is a must-visit sub region of the Santa Cruz Mountains and it’s killing it with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it’s a great weekend drive, which I did enjoying gorgeous sunshine and scenic vistas. And it’s great wine, made better by a vineyard spin with Jim Schultze (pictured at right), who started with the 1999 vintage and who has become a leading light in handcrafted small lot Pinots in the area, I’ve always been a fan. (And I just accepted a position with them.) Even though I didn’t get to taste the Grand Cru Burgundy clone wines— the releases sold out—I was thrilled with the new Syrah release from those vines at the neighbor’s southwest facing hillside. It sits on a steep slope at a 1,000 feet above sea level with a view of the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay.


It is everything you’d expect from a Burgundyinspired winemaker and a cool coastal climate site with seductive delicacy. It’s a mediumbodied Syrah, estimated retail $45, with lovely finesse and length with an array of black, blue and red fruits as well as lightly spiced and with a pretty perfume that makes it like a subtle Cote-Rotie. The profile of this Windy Oaks Syrah is opulent, but refined with heady florals and restrained French oak shadings. It was very gently fermented with open top tanks and raised for almost 24 months in once- and twice-used Burgundy barriques, then aged in bottle for a year before its recent release. The 2013 Syrah has violets, rose petal and lavender oil on the nose with boysenberry, strawberry, plum and blueberry fruits along with fine silky tannins, mild acidity as well as savory tones, with mineral notes, dusty spices, kirsch, cedar, vanilla and tangy/minty herb and fennel. This is not an overly rich or dense wine, it comes in under 14 percent and feels satiny, almost Pinotlike—it’s all about charm and grace, not power, drink now and for the next three or four years. It’s a beauty and a shows an intriguing softer side expression of Syrah. More Winslow wine thoughts at grapelive.com.

WINE REVIEW Windy Oaks | Santa Cruz, Calif.

“The profile of this Windy Oaks Syrah is opulent, but refined with heady florals and restrained French oak shadings” SHAKERS > INSPIRING SPIRITS


B R E A KO U T B R A N D Michigan

“He has imbibed in many celebratory bottles of champagne over his illustrious career, and now he has embarked on his own brand of superb sparkling.� 84

On Point

NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas ventures onto the Champagne court with Cheurlin. By Elaine and Scott Harris


siah Thomas played professionally for the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association, became a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA history. He has imbibed in many celebratory bottles of champagne over his illustrious career, and now he has embarked on his own brand of superb sparkling.

Thomas has been awarded in this new realm too, by way of the international wine competitions where his Champagne, Cheurlin, has won awards including 2017 Champagne Producer of the Year by the New York International Wine Competition. SHAKERS > INSPIRING SPIRITS


His Cheurlin Thomas Black Label Collection, Blanc de Blanc Celebrite and the Le Champion Blanc de Noir, along with the Rose de Saignee and the flagship Cheurlin Brut Speciale, are all exquisite in their subtle elegance, pure fruit balance, and delicate tiny beads of bubbles that dance and dazzle in the glass and on the palate. We had a few moments to catch up with this remarkable NBA legend and speak with him about his new venture and the surprising success off the court. Tell us about your new venture. Isiah Thomas: Cheurlin the brand comes from a family of growers with 200 acres in Champagne near the Seine who have been making Champagne since the late 1700s. They pride themselves on Champagne making. We have the best soil, water and weather conditions for Champagne. Being in this format we are very conscious on what we eat and drink, and sometimes when you do drink some products you end up with a headache. I used to think the headache came from the alcohol but now I realize it actual comes from the sugar. There is very little sugar added to our product. Now we are very excited to introduce this to the MGM properties [in Las Vegas]. What motivated you into venturing into the Champagne making process? And have you always had an interest in fine wines? No, I was always an athlete first, as I did not drink, smoke or anything of that nature; I was as pure as the driven snow, so to speak, in some aspects. (Laughs.) The time I was around Champagne was for celebratory reasons usually after a big win. As time went on and I got involved in this space, I realized that Champagne can be a beverage for breakfast, lunch or


Thomas Cheurlin and Isiah Thomas




want to try something more upscale, or they meet someone who introduces them to a better product. The millennials are very inquisitive, ask a lot of questions and they do want to know what they are drinking and they do want to know the story behind the beverage. I was one of those guys when someone asked me what kind wine I wanted to drink, red or white or even Champagne, I really did not know what I was being poured. I was not educated. Now there is more education out there, including more information It appears that your motivation in launching Cheurlin about food, and now the spirits business is doing the is more about enhancing the intimate setting of meals same. People are more conscious on what they are drinking and what they are ordering, and that is why with friends and family verses the club scene. we will have a leg up on the competition. The more I learned about Champagne, the more I realized that it is about the pairing with the meals that How are you engaging others in learning about you eat. So often we think of a certain red or white Cheurlin. Are you using social media to get the wine to go with a meal but Champagne is the perfect word out about your products? beverage, which is why it is such a luxurious drink. I have heard that Champagne is the drink of the Gods, We do use some social media, but we have only been since they can enjoy it anytime of the day or night. in the U.S. six months with this product and I go back If you look at how we came into the business, we did to what my economics teacher told me: to invest not go to the nightclubs, instead we are going into in things you like and love and the good products the hotels and the restaurants, and the big sporting sell themselves through word of mouth. Most of arenas, where people sit, gather to talk and enjoy a the good stuff that we wear, eat or drink sells itself meal and conversation. The best part of this job is through word of mouth. I happen to be here today in Las Vegas by word of mouth through the MGM that I can actually say that I am working doing this. properties. How are you going to engage the 21 crowd that may It is the juice in the bottle that speaks for itself, not the want to try Champagne for the first time? bottle or the packaging—which I designed myself— I have found that younger crowd is no different than but the Champagne. we were when we started drinking, in that they may start with a sweeter beverage but then they may More at cheurlin.com. dinner. The more I got into it the more I understood how Champagne was made and the vineyards from which it come from. Our Champagne is from one vineyard; all the grapes come from the same place and the Champagne makers are from one family. That makes this product extremely special as it has a 90-plus pointed portfolio here in the United States. I believe we are one of two producers with a 90-plus pointed rating.






Profile for Shakers Magazine

Shakers Mag 5.0 > inspiring spirits  

the idea › distilled to stir curiosity around a booming industry and the personalities that make it shake.

Shakers Mag 5.0 > inspiring spirits  

the idea › distilled to stir curiosity around a booming industry and the personalities that make it shake.