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Maui Calls event will uncork premium wines at the MACC

August 1, 2011 - Carla Tracy

Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului will uncork Maui Calls Aug. 12, its annual signature fundraiser.

From 6 to 10 p.m. that Friday evening, you may sip premium wines from a host of wineries, savor gourmet pupu by top island chefs, bid at silent and live auctions, and then dance the night away to Jimmy Mac and the Kool Kats. All under Maui’s starry skies.

This blog is all about the wines. The next one will be all about the foods.

”As an owner of Hawaii's largest locally owned and operated wine wholesaler, I'm honored to have my company, JMD Beverages, be selected to provide the wines for Maui Calls,” says wine guru Alan Jahns.

“I've said it before, and I’ll say it again. I've been to a lot of these wine and food events over the past 25 plus years. The ladies in charge of putting this together at the MACC deserve a lot of credit for keeping the quality at such a high level.”

“The line-up of wineries and chefs is unprecedented, one of the toughest tickets of the year! As a Maui resident since 1978, I say Maui Calls is extra special.”

Jahns and his JMD Beverages will bring in superstars such as DuMOL, Chappellet, Merry Edwards and the hot new-kid called Mi Sueno — all first timers to the event. Heidi Barrett’s off-the-charts wines such as Amuse Bouche, La Sirena and Au Sommet will be represented by Ashlee Hallengren, her national sales manager.

"Returning crowd favorites include Duckhorn, Rombauer, Domaine Serene, Bonny Doon, Miner Family, Paradigm and Saintsbury along with three-time attendees that deserve special recognition — Landmark, Handley and Selby."

"The owners of the last three wineries will all be working their own tables this year, and should provide pinot noir, Dijon-clone chardonnay and other varietals as well as good conversation and discussion for attendees.”

"When you combine the new superstar additions, with the list of top-flight returnees, 2011 is by far the best group of wineries I've ever put together for Maui Calls!”

Below are descriptions of these wineries sent to me via email from Jahns:

Amuse Bouche Winery “Napa Valley,” Au Sommet Winery “Napa Valley,” and La Sirena Winery “Napa Valley” will be represented by: Ashlee Hallengren (National Sales Manager).

”A group of wineries co-owned by winemaking superstar Heidi Peterson Barrett (of Screaming Eagle fame) and her longtime friend John Schwartz. La Sirena which means "the Mermaid" in Italian and Spanish is a way of representing two of her great passions (wine-making and ocean sports). Au Sommet is inspired by the cabernet based wines of Bordeaux’s left-bank (Haut Medoc) and Amuse Bouche is a Pomerol-inspired Merlot from Napa Valley. Recognizing that the cult wine phenomenon has created an almost aspirational class structure among collectors, the partners decided to make these limited edition wines available to a much broader consumer base.”

Bonny Doon Vineyard (“Earth”): Barbara Smith (National Sales Manager)

”It's been over 20 years since that famous Wine Spectator (April 15, 1989) cover story, with Randall Grahm gamely dressed up as the "Rhône Ranger"... Today the Santa Cruz pioneer has gone back to his roots, producing exclusively Biodynamic estate grown wines under the original (Rhone) Cigare labels and the Ca’ del Solo labels specializing exclusively in Italian & Spanish varietals. Everything is made using stelvin closures (death to the cork!). Bonny Doon Vineyard is today a mid-sized 35,000 case winery.”

Domaine Serene (Willamette Valley, Oregon): Michelle Farkas (National Sales Manager)

”Oregon’s showpiece property dedicated to making the world’s greatest estate-grown pinot noir — as well as Dijon-clone chardonnay.”

Duckhorn Wine Co.: Michelle Watkins (Western Regional Sales) will represent Duckhorn Vineyards (Napa Valley), Goldeneye (Anderson Valley) and Paraduxx (Napa Valley).

”Dan Duckhorn, a Napa Valley visionary, became famous for Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot -- and still makes California’s best versions of each varietal. But they will also feature some of their newest ventures: Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration and Decoy. Paraduxx's goal is to craft a world-class blend with a distinctly Californian personality by using Zinfandel, California’s grape -- with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Goldeneye is Duckhorn’s showpiece winery, an investment in pinot noir and Mendocino’s Anderson Valley. Migration and Decoy labels are designed to bring the Duckhorn name & quality to the masses.”

Miner Family Vineyards (Napa Valley): Jack Edwards (National Sales Manager).

”Founded in 1998 by Dave and Emily Miner, this family-owned winery is tucked among some of the Napa Valley’s elite addresses along the eastern hills of the Oakville appellation (Dalle Valle, Shafer, Screaming Eagle, etc.). Miner has been making some of the most sought-after wines in the past 10 years.”

Paradigm (Napa Valley): Sean Crowley (Director of Sales and Marketing).

”The quintessential Napa Valley family estate, Paradigm’s wines have been made (since its first vintage in 1991) by superstar winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett. Heidi's father, Dick Peterson, was instrumental in laying out and designing the winery for owners Ren and Marilyn Harris, two winegrowers with extraordinarily deep roots in Napa Valley dating back to the mid-1800‘s.”

Handley Cellars (Anderson Valley): Milla Handley (Owner-Winemaker).

Milla Handley is one of the pioneers in Mendocino's Anderson Valley --- which has become one of the trendiest pinot noir growing regions. Milla moved there before it was cool. Not resting on her laurels, her property was recently certified organic.”

Selby Winery (Sonoma County): Susie Selby (Owner-Winemaker).

Entirely self-taught, Selby learned the wine industry from the ground up, chasing a passion ... now she owns the quintessential Sonoma Winery, sourcing grapes from some of the top vineyards in the region. And in a time when Chardonnay is very un-cool, Susie is not afraid to tell anyone who cares that it is her favorite white wine. Her award-winning Chardonnay comes from the best vineyards in the Russian River Valley.”

Landmark Vineyards (Sonoma Valley): Mike Colhoun (Owner).

Owned & operated by John Deere’s great-great-great-grandson, this gem of a winery is located on a spectacular piece of land at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in the Sonoma Valley. Since it’s beginnings, Landmark has been doing all of the right things and sparing no expense, even hiring world-renowned consulting enologist Helen Turley... This collaboration led to some excellent winemaking, consistently garnering rave reviews from the wine writers, appearing on The Wine Spectator Top 100 list 6 times since 1997.”

Rombauer Vineyards & Winery (Napa Valley): Alan Cannon (National Sales Manager.)

” ‘Big Blue,’ as Rombauer’s Chardonnay is affectionately known, is one of the hottest wines in the U.S. And they’ll be showing their fabulous red wines, too.”

Chappellet Vineyards & Winery (Napa Valley): Sean Gallagher (National Sales Manager).

”The hillside area east of Rutherford in the Napa Valley reads like a ‘Who's Who’ of Cult Cabernet producers: Colgin, David Arthur, etc.. Back in 1967, the Chappellet family fell in love with the spectacular vistas of Pritchard Hill --- a great way to get away from everything (they thought!), actually becoming the second winery to be established in the Napa Valley after Prohibition. Today the six Chappellet children share their parent's romance with Pritchard Hill's harsh soils and magnificent views. They are passionate about preserving the land by using sustainable and organic farming techniques.”

DuMOL Winery (Sonoma County): Tom Pillsbury (Director of Sales).

”Only 15 years old, this Sonoma winery has become one of California’s most treasured producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and has developed a devoted cadre of followers. Today, DuMOL has an established list of vineyard sources, now numbering 23, a talented winemaker in Andy Smith, who has been at the helm since 2000, and a modern, well-outfitted winery in Windsor, California that opened in time for the 2008 harvest.”

Mi Sueño Winery (Napa Valley): Tom Bracamontes (Director of Sales & Marketing).

”The immigrants’ story”is alive and well in America in the form of those who come to this country and discover winemaking to be their vocation and who go on to make remarkable contributions. Mi Sueno, the product of Rolando Herrera’s commitment to wine, is just such story. Like many others, he and his family immigrated from Mexico and toiled for years under the Napa sun, gaining experience and respect for the vine. He now produces some the regions most exciting wines in a completely natural, un-manufactured style.”

Saintsbury (Carneros): Jonathan Nahrgang (National Sales Manager).

”College chums David Graves and Dick Ward brought world-wide legitimacy to California pinot noir, while also putting Carneros on the map back in the mid-1980s.”

Merry Edwards Wines (Sonoma County): Jackie Tisthammer (National Sales Manager).

”Pinot Noir specialist.... Before Merry Edwards, there were no women winemakers in California! One of the State’s pioneers, she helped put Mount Eden and Matanzas Creek on the map back in the '70s and '80s.

TICKET INFORMATION: Individual tickets to Maui Calls are $175, $195, $250, $500 – call the MACC Box Office at 242-SHOW or order online at Maui Arts & Cultural Center Website.

Tables of 10: $1950, $2500, $5000, $10,000 – call Kathy MacGlashan at 243-4225 or email:


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Blog Photos

Chairs Ilsa Mitchell Jencks, left, and Tricia Shoemaker flank wine distributor Alan Jahns