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episode 4: farming for the future



Photography for Episode 3 by the lovely Summer Staeb (unless otherwise noted)

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Mama Alice.jpg

Alice Anderson

Pronunciation: "ahm-veev"

​Translation: soulful, lively soul, living soul 

  • the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.

  • high-mindedness; noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage.

  • the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity and separate from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

Mikey and Gina Guigni

Mikey and Gina Giugni are a husband and wife team that operate two brands respectively, Scar of the Sea and Lady of the Sunshine, out of their winery in San Luis Obispo, CA.  Mikey works with local vineyards and farmers to source grapes for Scar of the Sea and Gina farms the 6.5 acre Chene Vineyard in Edna Valley using biodynamic farming practices.  Both Scar of the Sea and Lady of the Sunshine reflect Mikey and Gina's intentions to make wine with minimal intervention.  The wines are inspired by less is more, using native yeast, natural acidity, and neutral oak to reflect the vineyard sites they farm, work with, and care for.


(photo by Summer Staeb)


Matt Kettmann

Matt Kettmann is a senior editor of the Santa Barbara Independent, where he's worked for 20 years, and a contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast, where he reviews more than 200 wines each month and covers the culinary culture of the Central Coast and Southern California. A fifth generation Californian originally from San Jose, Matt has also written for the New York Times, Smithsonian, Wine Spectator, and many other publications both regional and international in scope. He will soon publish Vines & Vision: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County, a groundbreaking, 600-page project with photographer Macduff Everton, and continues to make small batches of wine in most vintages under the name Periodista.

Alison Thompson - L.A. Lepiane Wines

L.A. Lepiane Wines was established in 2013 with the simple goal of crafting vibrant, exciting, balanced wines made by my own two hands.

The name of my project is a nod to my great grandfather, Luigi A. Lepiane, who came from Piane Crati in Calabria, Italy with a dream of making a successful life for his family in the New Country. He settled in Hollister, California, where he established a grocery store and his own winery, L.A. Lepiane.

Three generations later, that deep Calabrian love of food and family guided me through my education and career. I studied biology and Italian at U.C. Santa Barbara, devoting a semester to studying abroad in Siena, Italy, where my love for Italian food and wines turned into a healthy obsession. Later, while earning my master’s degree in Viticulture from U.C. Davis, I jumped at the chance to work for one of the top wine producers in Barolo, Italy, making some of the best wines in the world.

Now at home in Santa Barbara, California, I have embraced the region’s unique ability to grow Barbera and Nebbiolo, alongside more well known grapes like Grenache. It is both thrilling and challenging to work with grapes so few have experience with here in California.

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Photo courtesy of L.A. Lepiane Wines


Alecia Moore - Two Wolves

One of my beliefs is that anything is possible. I think I’ve proven that in my life. I believe in the magic of the moon, in the beauty and healing of Mother Nature, in the cycles and the seasons, and that a good day consists of laughter, authentic connection and sunshine on your face.

Photo Courtesy of Two Wolves

Steve Matthiasson

Steve dreamt of farming his entire life. He became an obsessed gardener and cook while studying philosophy in college. In 1994, while back in grad school for horticulture after three years as a bike messenger/wannabe farmer, he found a job in vineyards and orchards working for a small sustainable agriculture consulting firm. In 1999 he co-authored the California manual on sustainable vineyard practices. In 2002 he started consulting on vineyard practices in Napa. He still loves the challenge of solving vineyard problems for others, but since 2003 the primary focus has been on our own family farming and winemaking. Steve is a life-long student of the craft of viticulture.

Tyler Thomas

Tyler Thomas started with Dierberg and Star Lane Vineyards in the Summer of 2013. His affinity with the Central Coast started early, with his first full-time harvest job, at Fiddlehead Cellars. Though his career later steered him up to Sonoma, his recent return has been welcomed. “The entire valley made its imprint on me then as I sampled vineyards in both Happy Canyon and Sta. Rita Hills.  To be returning now after 10 years to make site driven estate wines is thrilling.”

“My goal is to make wines that please by their compelling nature.  That is you find yourself both hedonistically and intellectually compelled to go back to the wine over and over again.  Many wines can draw your first glance, but I want one that can sustain your desire.”  Thomas believes that to do this we must cultivate not only vineyards and wine, but people.  “I believe the greatest wines are not made but discovered by quality oriented individuals.”  Many say that great wine starts in the vineyard (and it does), but Tyler’s goal will be to distill what truly makes an impact to the governing components of why a wine tastes the way it tastes and focus on those things.

Thomas is responsible for the day-to-day details of winemaking, from harvest to the final blending of the wines. He completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Botany at Colorado State University, and received a masters in Viticulture and Enology at U.C. Davis.


Photo courtesy of Dierberg-Starlane



Photography by: Summer Staeb

Summer was born and raised in Southern California where she currently resides. Her work evokes a sense of nostalgia for times past, days well spent, and the moments that bring people together. She shoots lifestyle, event, fine art and travel photography. Most of her work is shot on 35mm and medium format film. (Summer shot the beautiful photos that accompany Episode 3 that provide a visual component to our journey).

Original Music by:
The Salty Strings

Coming out of the coastal mountain town of Santa Barbara, CA, Salty Strings is a 5-piece string band setting out to transcend the boundaries of traditional bluegrass music. Sprinkling in notes of latin and jazz and adding percussive elements, this untraditional band puts on an engaging live performance filled with fast-picking originals and old-timey favorites. You can often find them playing their instruments along a coastal bluff as the sun is setting,
​their strings ever so salty.


This episode is brought to you in part by Sei Querce Wines. Among natural oak woodlands that rise from the banks of the Russian River to 1300’ in the Mayacama Mountains overlooking Geyserville, Sei Querce grows 60 acres of premium Bordeaux variety grapes. Since 2010, they have been selling our fruit exclusively to top Napa and Sonoma wineries. They now include their own small lot, hand-crafted wines, selected from the very best organic fruit they grow. The name “Sei Querce”, Italian for “six oaks,” is a reminder of the six venerable oak species that define and dominate the land we call home and the land that grows our wine.

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