Kevin Patzkowsky, Heart’s Leap Winery

Many times when guests come in to the KHSU radio studio for an interview, they bring samples of their products.  It is always a treat to have such a bounty, but it was super bounteous when Kevin Patzkowsky came into the studio.  He was bearing 3 bottles of wine — and one of them had that look I savor.  It was so recently bottled that it didn’t even have a real label on it, but 2016 Dry Riesling was written on the bottle.

Kevin reminds me of one of the main things that I love about Humboldt County.  People here are multi-dimensional. I’ve often said that the most interesting people on the planet live in Humboldt.  Sometimes circumstances like a shaky economy will force people to take several jobs to make a living (not as romantic in real life as it may sound).  I think that just the fact that many people have several jobs creates a norm that says it’s ok to explore areas that are outside of our traditional jobs.

So…Kevin is a contractor!  And a wine-maker!  and he makes some darned fine wines — so be sure to check out his interview, and his Facebook site  to find out where you can get a hold of a delicious wine that was crafted by a true Humboldtian, with many talents!


Wrangletown Cider Company, Pat Knittel

Jennifer and Pat...before we started drinking the cider and wine she brought!

Jennifer and Pat…before we started drinking the cider and wine she brought!

It’s the label that will catch your eye — so many new start up hard cider companies it’s hard to keep up. A couple of women wrangling in the streets — well, if you know your Humboldt County history you know that Freshwater was once called Wrangletown.  Story goes there were a couple of women who had taken to brawling in the streets of the town.  Now why did we ever decide that Freshwater was a better name for that town?

Pat Knittel, with a heavy duty background producing wine in Napa and Sonoma — wanted to come home to Wrangletown — in Humboldt County where she was raised.  And she realized that hard cider was her path home (she still makes wine – North Story Wines– but a gal’s got to branch out, right?)  So there we were at about 10:30 a.m. tasting up the hard cider which was lovely and dry — pairing meals with hard cider is the next new thing.

One last word of advice (besides don’t start sipping hard cider at 10:30 a.m.) — if you have only tasted those mass produced hard ciders and think they taste like bubbly ultra sweet apple juice with an edge — give Wrangletown a try!  You’ll be doing cider pairings instead of wine — a whole new world will open up, and it’s a delicious one.

Listen Here

Check out her website

Blue Lake Winery, Frank Onstine

IMG_1514 IMG_1515 IMG_1517I learned about Frank Onstine from my good friends Jerry and Gisela Rohde.  Frank has a small winery — Gisela called it a Nano-Winery (so obviously smaller than a Micro-Winery)…in fact Frank is his only employee — which means he does everything that needs to be done including being Chief Bottle Washer.  He also has some very good friends who volunteer to help him when he needs it — and payment is getting to hang out with Frank (who is a very interesting guy — soon I’ll be posting an interview we did about Abalone Diving — and I’m sure I’m just at the tip of the iceberg)…and nice meals with great wine.

After you listen to the interview here,  drink up these photos!  You might want to buddy up and get in on the making and drinking of wine!Bluelake winery bottling crew Blue Lake Winery dinner table

Check out his facebook page

Humboldt Honeywine, Paul Leslie

If you are like me…you’ve tried mead — and generally found it to be very sweet and cloying — and next time someone offered you a taste of mead…well, you passed.

I am so glad I didn’t pass when I went to the Saturday Arcata Farmers Market and tucked away in a tent that sort of reminded me of the middle east somehow — I saw Paul Leslie was offering tastes of Humboldt Honeywine.  (If you are a long-time Humboldt resident — you also enjoy the play on the words Humboldt Honey).  I tasted it and  experienced a complex myriad of flavors that completely took my taste buds by surprise.  It wasn’t dry — but it certainly wasn’t the sweet honey flavor that I expected (was very happy about that)…I really really liked it!

So give it a try and keep an open mind — even if you haven’t liked honeywine or mead in the past — Humboldt Honeywine might just be your next big find —

Listen Here and check out  Humboldt Honey Wine Facebook Page

David Winnett, Winnett Vineyards in Willow Creek

Image owning a winery of your own — well, not just a winery but a vineyard too.  I’m thinking about that Kianu Reeves film Walk in the Clouds, makes you want to stomp grapes like Lucille Ball in that old I Love Lucy episode!  So they grow the grapes and make the wine — they also planted some olive trees and Henry Robertson has been curing the olives off the trees.  All of this in lovely Willow Creek California!

Well I interviewed David in a 10 minute session on the Food for Thought show — but soon realized I didn’t even scratch the surface of his knowledge and experience about wine and food…so don’t be surprised if we hear from him again in a future episode, or 2 or 3…

To check out their website

Listen Here

Lina Carro, Violet Green Winery

A small winery…how small?  Lina and her husband, Don Wattenbarger are the only employees turning out some very fine wines.  Why the name?  They are very fond of the birds that come and go at their home and winery, especially the lovely violet green swallows.  Want to know more?  pour yourself a glass of certified organic Syrah and listen to their story.

Violet Green Winery

Listen Here

Moonstone Crossing Winery

I’ve finally done it — finally got Don Bremm into the studio for an interview.  I had harassed him for quite a while, usually contacting him at the worst possible time (during the crush).  But finally I caught up with him and learned about the business of winemaking in Humboldt. give it a listen and you can check out his website.

Robert Goodman Winery

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing both Arin McBlaine, Head Chef of the new Robert Goodman Winery restaurant, and Robert Goodman, owner.  It will be interesting to follow the restaurant’s progress as they continue to work to incorporate local food into the menu.  They are on the lookout for some locally raised pork, so if you are raising them — you might want to give Arin a call.

Listen to the interview with Arin, click here.

Listen to the interview with Robert Goodman, click here.
Robert Goodman Winery

They also have a Facebook page.

Curtis and Davids Winery

Dave Brown with Curtis and David Winery talks about his start in the wine industry, how wine is made and the importance of choosing a good bottle of wine. This is a two part interview:

For more information about Curtis and David Winery click here