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The Grapevine

A Glance at the 2011 International Food & Wine Festival


Single Vineyard, Oak Knoll

Eight generations of winemaking. One family. One special vineyard. One exceptional wine.

Our Single Vineyard collection is inspired by the Herzog family’s ongoing commitment to sourcing and prospecting new vineyards. With innovation and creativity, we are able to explore the intricacies of terroir and the uniqueness of time and place in the vineyard. For us, this is hands-on, artisan winemaking at its best.

The Oak Knoll District in Napa Valley is slightly off the beaten path, mostly hidden from tourists, and boasting a rich history of winegrowing and tradition. Just north of the town of Napa between Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail, it is known as one of the most diverse growing regions in Napa. The climate is influenced significantly by cooling wind and fog from the San Pablo Bay, as well as warm air from the north. Our 2008 Oak Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, full-bodied wine, boasting ripe plum, black cherry, cassis and earthy flavors in the mouth. Firm tannins are framed by subtle sweet oak nuances and a long, persistent finish. This selection may be cellared for 10 years.

4th Annual International Food & Wine Festival

Some of the finest names in kosher wine today are coming to Oxnard, California on February 16 to celebrate the kosher renaissance of fine drinking and dining. They hail from France, Spain, Italy, Israel and (of course) California and include such renowned wineries as Leoville Poyferré, Pontet Canet, Yon Figeac, Giraud, Malartic La Graviere and Laurent Perrier (from France); Capçanes Flor de Primavera (Spain); Domaine du Castel, Yatir, and Barkan (Israel); and Herzog and Covenant (California). Hosted by Herzog Wine Cellars, this annual event offers attendees a most extensive and exclusive array of high-end kosher wines as well as the opportunity to meet winemakers who rarely find time to come to California.

In addition to the impressive wine line-up, attendees will be treated to a mouth-watering selection of gourmet delicacies prepared Chef Todd Aarons, of Tierra Sur restaurant, located at Herzog Wine Cellars. Tierra Sur was recently recognized by Zagat as the top rated restaurant in Ventura County. Chef Aarons continues to dazzle diners with his Mediterranean-influenced cooking, which will be on display for all to enjoy throughout the festival.

At the spacious, contemporary Herzog Wine Cellars, guests will not only be able to taste wines and enjoy dishes prepared by Chef Aarons and his staff, but they will also be able to view the winemaking facility, located about one hour north of downtown Los Angeles, a mile off Route 101 at the southern edge of Oxnard. Tickets are available for purchase at www.shopherzog.com.

Tierra Sur tops the list of county’s best according to ZAGAT

Situated inside a winery in an industrial park in Oxnard, five-year old Tierra Sur Restaurant is a bit ‘under the radar’ in the dining world. But with a recent review and score from Zagat Survey, the world’s most trusted source for consumer-generated dining survey information, Tierra Sur hopes to change that.

The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that lies within Ventura County’s largest working winery, Herzog Wine Cellars, is no stranger to rave reviews and press attention. Recently though, what is also known as the “burgundy bible” reaffirmed this with an amazingly high score for the dining spot that also happens to be kosher:

Food: 27

Decor: 20

Service: 25

With a top score of 30 for each category, which is seldom if ever given, “Zagat’s rating is a tremendous feather in our hat,” says Executive Chef Todd Aarons. The cumulative score given to Tierra Sur makes it the highest-rated restaurant within Ventura County.

Herzog Wine Cellars and Tierra Sur restaurant opened in July of 2005. The Herzog family’s winemaking history dates back for generations, but the Oxnard facility was the first venture which offered a public tasting room and restaurant. Chef Aarons helped create the vision for Tierra Sur, pulling from his background at such restaurants as Zuni Café in San Francisco and Savoy in Manhattan. Originally from southern California, Aarons returned here to create a restaurant that is driven by farm fresh, local ingredients. The name, Tierra Sur, celebrates this, along with the fact that it lies at the gateway to the Central Coast wine region. Chef Aarons works with several local farmers to ensure the freshest, seasonal ingredients. Many menu items are also cooked outdoors over a wood-fired grill, giving his cuisine a rustic quality representative of his cooking philosophy. Diners may enjoy a wine tasting of the Herzog’s many labels at the tasting bar before or after dining. The marriage of food and wine created at Tierra Sur is unlike any other place in the county.

Pickled Pears on NBC Los Angeles – Channel 4 with Chef Aarons

Please click on the link below to view a segment of “Weekend Bites” on NBC-Los Angeles Channel 4 News with our very own, Chef Todd Aarons.

Pickled Pears with Chef Todd Aarons

If These Walls Could Talk…

The year was 1968 – almost 40 years before Herzog Wine Cellars would open its doors in Oxnard, California. Our sister winery, Kedem, had been operating in upstate New York since 1948. Housed in what was once the local railroad station, the tasting room was steeped in history and nostalgia. One day, a traveler emerged from near the adjacent railroad tracks and wandered into the Kedem tasting room. He was a painter looking for work, and asked if he could paint some pictures for the tasting room. The late Ernest Herzog, who at that time ran the winery, agreed. Not only would he be helping out a stranger, but also gaining some artwork to adorn the weathered walls. The result was seven amazingly beautiful paintings, each one encompassing a different aspect of winemaking. To this day, we wonder about the traveler’s past – he captured the vineyard scenes and winemaking process with such accuracy and detail, it seems as if he himself might have once worked in the wine industry. The paintings truly seem to encompass the Herzog family’s rich history of winemaking – from the vineyards of Czekoslovakia in Europe, to New York, and finally, to California. Ernest was amazed by the works of art, and even more so when the stranger would only accept a mere $100 for his work. To this day, the paintings hang in the Kedem tasting room, having witnessed the last sixty years of daily life there. In honor of our history and family, we have decided to release a line of wine labels commemorating these paintings. We have also cleaned the original paintings, had them reproduced into the beautiful gicleés you see here, and hung them upon these walls for all to enjoy.

Upcoming releases

The next Single Vineyard release coming off the bottling line!

From the Winemaker: Barrel Tasting

117 barrels in the cellar of 08 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The cellar crew is pulling 40 samples today for winemaker Joe to taste through to make sure they’re up to the level of quality he wants. He can only do about 40 at a time or else his palate will get fatigued.

Clone Six Cabernet Sauvignon – in the making

Beautiful grapes just arrived for our Clone Six Cabernet Sauvignon from Chalk Hill. Amazing color, intensity and concentration in these grapes!

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