5 Rocking Wineries Owned By Bay Area Musicians
Are their grapes as good as their tunes? You be the judge.
The talent: Boz Scaggs, singer + guitarist
The story: Co-founder of SF music club Slim's and co-owner of The Great American Music Hall, Scaggs is as particular about his wines as he is about his bluesy riffs. He produces only small-batch Rhône-style red blends and a boutique rosé on his certified-organic Napa vineyard.
Pairing: 2010 Scaggs Vineyard Rosé with "Look What You've Done to Me."
Location: (Oakville), scaggsvineyard.com
The talent: Les Claypool, lead singer + bassist, Primus
The story: “It was either a plane or a vineyard," says Claypool of his decision to throw down bucks for Russian River Valley property in 1994. The East Bay rocker initially set out to make cabernet before realizing that his lush land was better suited to a smooth pinot noir.
Suggested Pairing: 2012 CC Pachyderm Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Claypool's latest project with Sean Lennon.
Location: 6761 Sebastopol Ave, Suite 500 (Sebastopol), claypoolcellars.com
The talent: Jonathan Cain, keyboardist, Journey
The story: In 1980, the Chicago native moved to the Bay Area to join the legendary San Francisco band Journey, and to pursue his passion for mixing pinot noirs. Since Cain's winemaking debut, a 2006 collaboration with De La Montanya Winery & Vineyards in Healdsburg, the self-proclaimed “pinotphile" has graduated to creating his own small-batch wines with grapes sourced from vines in his quarter-acre backyard in Novato.
Pairing: 2008 Napa Valley Red Wine with “Don't Stop Believin'." (Of, course)
Location: (Healdsburg), finalewines.com
Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co.
The talent: Jimmy Stafford, lead guitarist, Train
The story: A collaboration between Stafford and esteemed winemaker James Foster (Flipflop Wines, The Wine Group), the Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. has managed to bottle Bay Area pride, even going as far as suggesting pairings with Ghirardelli chocolate. All proceeds benefit Family House, an SF-based nonprofit that provides temporary housing for families with terminally ill children.
Pairing: Drops of Jupiter California red wine with its namesake song.
More info: savemesanfranciscowineco.com
Earl Stevens Selections
The talent: E-40, rapper
The story: After celebrating the grape in hit songs such as “Carlos Rossi" and “Santana DVX," Vallejo-based rapper Earl Stevens (aka E-40)—whose moniker comes from his uncanny ability to chug 40-ounce malt liquor bottles—has launched three blends of his own, including a bold Function Red Blend and a fruity Mangoscato, which, at 18 percent alcohol, packs quite the punch.
Pairing: Function Red Blend and 1992's “Carlos Rossi."
More info: earlstevensselections.com