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Wine Cask, Santa Barbara
ABOUT THE WINEMAKER
Paul Lato is one winemaker whose own story is almost as good as his amazing wines. His highly acclaimed pinot noirs -- always rich and site-specific -- perhaps come from an approach that thinks of wine as food and not drink. Born in Poland, having worked as a sommelier in Toronto, he was drawn to California's Central Coast in 2002.
After informally interning with the legendary Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat, he began making his own wine at Central Coast Wine Services, an incubator of numerous talents over the years. Then, as he puts it, "Robert Parker, by a stroke of luck, tasted my 2002 vintage about a year and a half into its making. The wine was bottled, but I had neither a label nor a name for my winery. After tasting both pinot and syrah, Parker looked at me and said, 'You have a true talent. Hurry up with those names, I want to be the first one to write about you.' With all the challenges I've had over the last 13 years, as someone who started with very little and stubbornly continues without partners and investors, this was truly a blessing. My Parker reviews continued to receive higher and higher points, and as much as I don't like or want to sell my wine on scores, I am very much aware that this is a vital part in the recognition of any brand, especially a new one."
He impressed more than the dean of wine reviewing relatively quickly, taking advantage of "knowing several famous sommeliers from my previous career." In L.A. his wines are on the list at Lucques, Providence, and Craft. In San Francisco, his "first sale was to the Rubicon, with legendary Master Sommelier Larry Stone. Other things came as lucky surprises, like a phone call from Thomas Keller, who accidentally tasted my wine from a friend. Lately, I'm very proud of my new relationship with Wolfgang Puck, for whom I made 100 cases of very special pinot noir, as well as provided wines for his son's upcoming wedding."
ABOUT THE CHEF
A Palos Verdes, CA native, Brandon Cogan followed his passion for food up the California coast, attending the School of Culinary Arts at Santa Barbara City College. After graduating in 1999, Chef Cogan spent the next 15 years working the creative culinary circuit, with stops at Bouchon, Café Luck and Wine Cask, where he took over as chef in 2016. Ask Cogan ‘what style of food’ he likes to prepare and he’s likely to say ‘whatever makes the guest happy’. Cogan adds that early in his career, he realized that simplicity and comfort, hospitality-based cooking that produces food guests crave, would be his driving force.
ABOUT THE WINES
ABOUT THE EVENT
One of the most renowned winemakers in the country is partnering with Sansum Diabetes Research Institute for an extraordinary dining experience in the heart of The American Riviera.
Paul Lato is the featured winemaker at Dinner with the Winemaker, Thursday, September 27, at Wine Cask restaurant in Santa Barbara, a benefit for SDRI.
This is going to be BIG! Paul Lato will be pouring his high scoring, large format bottles, paired with a marvelous multi-course dinner at one of the finest restaurants in Santa Barbara! And for this reason, seating will be limited.
Year after year, Paul Lato’s exciting wines garner critical acclaim and some of the highest scores granted. He’s known as a “pinot guy,” producing superior pinot noir, but Lato is equally devoted to his chardonnays.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate recently ranked Paul Lato’s 2011 Chardonnay “Le Souvenir” one of the top 6 chardonnays in the world!
His grenache, syrah and cuvees are splendid, too! They all have that “Paul Lato-ness.”
Here is a rare opportunity to wine and dine with a true artisan, a former sommelier, who has handcrafted outstanding wines in Santa Barbara County for the last 16 years.
“I make all my wines with soul, passion, and joy that I hope you can taste in each and every sip,” says Lato. “While my earlier vintages compare exceptionally well against the greatest Burgundies, my philosophy remains very clear: to make the greatest wines of California, respecting its land, climate, culture and people.”
Gather with us as we celebrate and enjoy these brilliant wines, expertly paired with excellent wine country cuisine.
“The greatest pleasures of wines are derived from the right food and wine matches,” says Paul, “but truly enjoyed in the company of friends and loved ones.”