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Windstream Cellars - Central Coast


New World Wines with Old World Traditions

This Gold Series selection, Windstream, is being introduced to the wine world through the Gold Medal Wine Club due to the winery’s close association with Gold Medal throughout the years. An initial bottling of approximately 1500 cases has been produced but additional cases will be added from existing sources as the marketing situation dictates. “This is a project that I have long wanted to complete,” remarked Windstream owner Anthony Riboli. “It is a wonderful opportunity to combine two opposite approaches to winemaking.” Riboli explained further that, in addition to himself, French winemaker Arnaud Debons will serve as co-winemaker for all Windstream wines. “We both bring different expertise to the table,” Riboli continued. “Arnaud is a classical French winemaker with an old world approach. I am more California-oriented, and definitely a disciple of what many call new world winemaking techniques.

The fact is that Arnaud and I both tend to push each other due to the differences in our approach. We are both seeking higher quality, and that is the main aim of our winemaking. Sometimes we disagree strongly, but we work together to find pieces of the puzzle that make wines great. You can say we work toward a common ground, and we exchange ideas all the time.” While Windstream is starting off slowly, Riboli feels comfortable that he can gear up the production if the national marketplace shows approval of Windstream’s wines. “We have some really tremendous vineyards to work with, and that is the basic necessity to making really quality wines. If you don’t start with quality fruit, the greatest winemakers in the world would be unable to make the fruit into quality wine.”

The Windstream project had been on the table for several years before reaching fruition. Riboli credits a minor upturn in the wine business as providing the perfect opportunity to launch his new wine entity. Windstream was chosen as the name for the project because Riboli wanted a name that was easily identifiable by the wine buying public and a name that resonated the unique relationship between the pacific coastal winds that regularly provide vineyards along the Central Coast with a myriad of possible scenarios.

“Anyone that has ever attended vineyards in this area knows how dominating the winds can be,” added Riboli. “It is safe to say the winds can either make you or break you, so it is necessary to pay close attention to them on a daily basis. Windstream is simply our way of paying homage to such an important factor in the grapes’ development.” Windstream plans additional wines for its smallish portfolio, but that action will also be dictated by the public’s reaction to the first releases. “I’ve always felt that the public tells you if it wants more or not,” he went on. “And what better way to achieve a true cross section of our country than through the Gold Medal Wine Club’s massive membership. It’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned.”

While Windstream is almost embryonic in nature, its grapes have excellent pedigrees that insure good quality and depth. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Windstream, a winery that will bear careful watching in the future.


  1. Windstream
    2007 Pinot Gris
    Windstream
    Loma Vista Estate Vineyard
    Central Coast

    $18.00

    $20.00
    Special Selection
    id: 534
    Special
    Gold
  2. Windstream
    2005 Proprietary Red Blend
    Windstream
    Two Country Cuvée
    Central Coast

    $19.50

    $22.00
    Special Selection
    id: 533
    Special
    Gold

Old World and New World Winemakers

It is quite rare that two winemakers share the winemaking responsibilities for a particular winery, but that’s exactly the case with the first wines of Windstream. Frenchman Arnaud Debons hails from a small town outside Toulouse in southern France where he worked for several French wine entities. His career also brought him to the prestigious Napa Valley winery Newton Vineyards, who participates in a French winemaker exchange program. At Newton, his wines have won numerous awards and accolades. He joined the Riboli Family of wineries almost seven years ago and has had a hand in making a large number of their award-winning wines.

Anthony Riboli has a masters in enology from UC Davis in 1998 that speaks for itself. While he runs the majority of the Riboli Family wineries, he developed a special interest in working closely with Arnaud Debons on the Windstream project due to their dissimilar approaches to winemaking. Anthony found the entire experience a ‘great deal of fun and an excellent experience.”

The Riboli Family

The residents of Southern California, and greater Los Angeles in particular, are well acquainted with the historic San Antonio Winery that is owned by the Riboli (pronounced ree-bow-lee) Family. The beautiful winery is located within close proximity to landmark Dodgers Stadium.

The Riboli family wine domain covers a wide array of wines and wineries, among them the venerable San Antonio Winery that first produced wine in 1917, San Simeon (Central Coast), Maddalena and Riboli Family Wine Estates of Napa Valley. Anthony Riboli, 35, is the fourth generation of his family to carry on the duties as operational mainstay of the dynasty’s operation. Riboli holds a masters degree in enology from the revered University of California Davis, and has now been involved in the wine business for more than 11 years.

While the Riboli Family’s flagship winery continues to be the San Antonio Winery, Anthony Riboli has broadened the scope of the family’s interests to include a number of new wine entities, including a couple of wineries mentioned above (San Simeon and Riboli Family Estates). Windstream is the latest innovative approach to Anthony Riboli’s wine world. Before considering him an innovator, Riboli must first be measured as a traditionalist. He states firmly that the future of his family’s business can be found in its history, and the actual spirit of togetherness his family has demonstrated over the past ten decades of its existence. ‘Our family remains to this day an extremely tight unit,” Riboli recently explained. ‘Each of us lives within ten minutes of each other and each of us lives within ten minutes of the winery. There exists a commitment on each of our parts to see that we accomplish what we set out to do.” Riboli feels that the eleven years he has spent in the wine industry has softened his family’s outlook on his new projects, undertakings that Riboli feels are vital to the continued growth of the company.

‘I understand that my family had some initial reservations to some of my suggestions. After all I was only 24 when I ventured into the business. But, time and our overall success have made my family optimistic about our family wine portfolio growing and our business prospering.” As the great grandson of the winery’s founder Santo Cambianica, Anthony Riboli points out that the original San Antonio Winery is the sole survivor of more than 100 wineries that dotted Los Angeles immediately after the turn of the 20th Century. ‘We must be doing something right to have lasted this long,” he smiled. ‘I am part of the fourth generation of our family to work in the winery. My brother Michael joined us a couple of years ago to handle some of the marketing and there are others that will probably follow him. Our original business has continued to grow over the years and the new entities we have added are all developing well. Everyone knows that new ideas take time to really develop, but I would say at this time that we are probably ahead of the curve.”

Riboli is also firmly committed to the continued development of vineyards from the Monterey and Central Coast areas of California. ‘We really know these areas and have had a hand in farming them before they even became popular. We have wonderful relationships with a number of growers that we purchase from and have even earned the right to have a say in how the vineyards are cultivated. This allows us a continued flow of fruit from highly successful vineyards that is the key to making great wines.” Anthony Riboli is also quite enthused that his daughter Alena, 3, is in line to become the fifth generation of the original family to come into the wine business. He concedes that she is still young, but winks that the first signs of interest are already apparent. ‘It would really be cool to have her work with us,” he finalized. ‘It would be a fitting end to the picture that was started almost a hundred years ago.”

About The Region

The fruit that makes up Windstream’s wines all comes from the Central Coast region, more specifically from two of its most dependable and quality oriented sub-regions. The Pinot Gris (known in Italian wine as the Pinot Grigio) is from the Riboli Family’s noted Loma Vista Ranch in the Arroyo Seco section of Monterey. The vineyard has consistently produced extremely high-grade fruit that has been utilized in a number of the family’s wine businesses and is considered among the finest vineyards in the entire Monterey area.

The fruit for the Two Country Cuvée comes from two vineyards located in the Paso Robles area, the Steinbeck Vineyard and Brave Oak Vineyard. Both vineyards are long term providers for several of the Riboli Family brands whose vineyards are closely monitored by the production side of the business.


Leek and Pea Risotto with Grilled Calamari


Ingredients

6 cups chicken stock such as leftover-roast-chicken stock
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced and washed
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 pound cleaned small squid, patted dry


Instructions

Bring stock to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan, then keep at a bare simmer. Whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, scallion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl to make vinaigrette. Cook leeks in 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add remaining tablespoon oil and rice to pot and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is coated evenly, about 1 minute. Add wine and briskly simmer, stirring, until most has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup hot stock and briskly simmer, stirring constantly, until stock has been absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, until 1 cup stock is left, 15 to 18 minutes. Add peas, leeks, and remaining cup stock and cook, stirring, until rice is just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in butter and cheese, then remove from heat.
When last cup of stock has been added to risotto, heat grill pan over high heat until hot. 3When risotto is done, season squid with 1/8 teaspoon salt and oil grill pan. Grill squid, pressing down with a spatula and turning halfway through, until opaque and just cooked through, about 1 minute total. Toss with enough lemon vinaigrette to coat. Serve risotto topped with calamari and drizzled with any remaining lemon vinaigrette




Braised Short Rib of Beef


Ingredients

For the Short Ribs:
10 (6-inch) beef short ribs (about 9 pounds
8 cups red wine
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 head garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
3 cups onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 medium onions)
2 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 medium carrots)
2 1/2 cups celery, leaves removed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 celery ribs)
1/2 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups veal stock or low-sodium chicken broth

For Sauce:
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 medium carrots)
1 cup celery, leaves removed and diced (about 2 celery ribs)
2 tablespoons fresh horseradish, grated


Instructions

Prepare Short Ribs:
In resealable, 2-gallon plastic bag, place short ribs. Add wine, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon pepper, fennel seed, mustard seed, and garlic. Place bag in large bowl and marinate in refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove ribs from marinade and drain, reserving liquid. Pat ribs dry and sprinkle with kosher salt and remaining 2 teaspoons pepper. Put rack in middle position in oven and preheat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In heavy, 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1/4 cup oil just until smoking. Working in 3 batches (wipe pan clean and add 1/4 cup oil between batches), sear ribs, turning with tongs, until well-browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer ribs, bone side up and in 1 layer, to a 3- to 4-inch deep roasting pan and set aside. Do not clean skillet. Add onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms to skillet. Over moderately high heat, sauté until onions start to soften, about 15 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to wide, 6-quart sauce pot, making sure to scrape up any brown bits from bottom and sides of skillet. Add reserved marinade and reduce until pan is almost dry, about 1 hour. Add stock and bring to boil. Pour stock mixture over ribs and cover with foil. Transfer to oven and braise until meat is tender and falling off bone, about 2 1/2 hours. Let cool slightly. When ribs are cool enough to handle, remove any excess fat and discard bones. Transfer beef, reserving liquid, to bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

Make sauce:
Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh sieve and into medium saucepan, pressing on solids. Discard solids and skim fat. Add carrots and celery and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 25 minutes. To serve, spoon braising liquid over sauce, making sure to include carrots and celery, and finish with horseradish.



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