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Nick Goldschmidt has made wine on three continents and continues his worldwide wine interests from his headquarters vineyard in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. Courtesy photo
ColumnsTaste of Wine

Taste of Wine: The winemaker with the ‘Gold Touch’

If I could choose an ideal winemaker to make wine from a vineyard of some of the highest quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the Sonoma/Napa Valley districts …

First, this person would have to be known worldwide, then know about maximum flavor development through their own vineyards and, finally, have future generations of winemakers to step in on a moment’s notice.

I know of only one such winemaker that fits those big shoes —Nick Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt and his world-traveling family, including wife Yolyn, hail from New Zealand.

“I knew early on that winemaking would become a passion and enrich our lives,” said Goldschmidt. “Even our five children have all become involved, either pitching in during harvest, to becoming a major part of their own bottle brand.”

That’s what I meant with family winemakers who could step in. Daughters Chelsea, Hilary and Katherine have become winemakers under their father’s mentoring.

One such “daughter” wine, Katherine Cabernet, has been a shelf item in some of the most popular wine departments in many cities. This 2018 vintage Katherine Cabernet ($25) comes from the Alexander Valley and is considered a popular casual Cab. The vineyard, known as Stonemason Hill, came alive during its grape ripening harvest with a cooler than normal year but with large grape clusters. Flavor and concentration are excellent.

Goldschmidt points with pride to the two “Gold Touch” premium single estate wines he produces. His Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Yoeman ($75) comes from a small mountain vineyard just south of Geyserville. Eastern morning sun on loam soil extends grape maturation and longer hang time, with late hand-picking producing density and richness of flavor. The palate is filled with luscious black cherry and ripe plum. This wine is supple, long and rich with no edges —100% Cabernet, this wine was aged in small French Taransaud barrels for 30 months.

His other Gold Touch wine is the 2016 Napa Valley PLUS Oakville Game Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon ($90). The vineyard is a 3-acre old vine vineyard on the west side of the Silverado Trail with exceptionally good drainage from the volcanic red clay with gravelly brown loam producing wines with deep concentration. Classic Oakville wine character highlights the lush, elegant style with only the site’s best fruit. As in the 2016 Yoeman, this wine also ages for 30 months in small French barrels.

Goldschmidt continues his worldly pursuits. He closely supervises some 16 other vineyards in six countries. See more at

Here & there

—Our good friend Sal Ercolano at the lovely Seasalt Seafood & Steak is now open for dine-in with lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The full menu will also be available for takeout. A favorite that developed from takeout is Taco Tuesday and Thursday, two steak or fish tacos for $10. Call for details at 858-755-7100.

—I’ve often expressed that even with high-end restaurants, takeout is here to stay. The Wall Street Journal on June 1 echoed that thought. Diners are buying “seconds” along with the entrees. In April, the last reporting period, a rise of 18% in sales was recorded. Bigger orders still won’t compensate for a lost $80 billion in national restaurant sales in March and April. Families are eager to save time and money and “family” feasts seem to be the catchphrase that works in the takeout line.

West End Bar & Kitchen in Del Mar is having a Virtual DAOU Wine Dinner  on Friday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $85 per person, $150 for two. This is a three-course dinner plus a dessert, all paired with three DAOU wines, including one of my personal favorites, the DAOU 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Dinner and wine will be picked up the day of the event between 3 and 5 p.m. Call now for an RSVP at 858-259-5878.

—Tore Trupiano owns Mangia e Bevi in Oceanside. He’s also a three-time Pizza Expo Champion. His newest location was on its way to great success early this year when we all got slammed with the coronavirus pandemic, and sales plummeted. Frustrated that he could not serve his customers correctly, he turned to an offer by the city of Oceanside to provide meals to an assisted living and senior citizen facility. Then, another offer came in from the state of California called “Great Plates Delivered,” bringing three meals a day to qualified seniors in the area. Mangia e Bevi is now focusing its resources on this campaign to help vulnerable seniors. Takeout is still OK for customers. The restaurant will wait till the time is right for dine-in. For more information, call 760-231-1225.

Pacifica Del Mar and the Breeze Café, at the Del Mar Plaza, is open for dine-in. Restaurant service begins at 8 a.m. with breakfast, lunch at noon, bar at 4 p.m., happy hour from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For reservations, call 858-792-0476.

Reach Frank Mangio at [email protected]