Saturday, June 25, 2016

Central Valley Winery Offers Perfect Tongue in Cheek Wedding Wine for Brides and Grooms with Sense of Humor and Fun

It takes a lot of audacity to name a wine created to be served at weddings “Ball and Chain,” but Solitary Cellars Wine Co. is no ordinary winery.

Lodi, CA, June 26, 2016 — It takes a lot of audacity to name a wine created to be served at weddings “Ball and Chain,” but Solitary Cellars Wine Co. is no ordinary winery.

Owned by two California state correctional officers, Solitary Cellars is well known for not taking itself too seriously and having fun with the sometimes stuffy and too-proper wine industry.



The tagline for their winery, after all, is: “Solitary Cellars — Wines Without Restraints.” Their wine club is called the Chain Gang, with two levels, Minimum and Maximum Custody, and the tasting room is called the North Block Tasting Room.

Now winery partners Greg “Bergie” Bergersen and Rick “Q” Quesada are having a little more fun by offering brides and grooms with a sense of humor a new wine to serve at their weddings: Ball and Chain, a term that can be applied to both prisoners and wives. Facetiously and with a smile for the latter, of course.

“My wife, Syndi and I were approached by Curtis Williamson and he respectfully asked for our blessing to marry our daughter Paige,” says Bergersen, who retired from corrections in 2014 to start the winery with Quesada, who is still active. “We enthusiastically agreed and that began the conversation about wine served at their wedding dinner.”

Of course, his daughter asked for one of Dad's wines. But not just any wine.

“My daughter asked if we could develop a wine that no one had ever tasted and that would be unique to them,” says Bergersen. “We put the request in motion and developed a Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah blend. The wine was rich, full flavored and very balanced. We decided to call the blend Ball and Chain. The name seemed appropriate as the term has a prison component, as our blends do, but also has to do with a widely used phrase describing a marital relationship, as in ‘the old ball and chain.’

”The wine was not only a big hit at his daughter's wedding, it won a gold medal from the San Joaquin County Wine Growers Association, and Bergersen and Quesada hope other wedding couples take a shine to it.

“We plan on bottling the blend in large-format bottles, because our wedding customers can have the bottles signed by the entire wedding party,” says Bergersen. “We hope the new vintage of Ball and Chain, which is scheduled for a 2016 late fall or early 2017 release will be found at many weddings throughout the country.”

About Solitary Cellars:
Owned and operated by Greg Bergersen and Rick Quesada, two California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officers with more than 45 years of service in California’s most dangerous prisons, Solitary Cellars produces wines in Lodi, California (Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the Year 2015), working with renowned growers from Monterey County, Amador County, Lodi and Lake County. The winery's portfolio of premium wines features deep red wines that show off the essence of California's most-respected vineyards and wine growers.

The Solitary Cellars portfolio currently include the 2014 Code Three (a red wine blend) (Lodi); 2012 and 2013 Liberty Oak Tempranillo (Lodi); 2014 Solitary Cellars Albariño (Lodi); 2013 Evasion Syrah Rosé (Fresno); 2012 and 2013 Solitary Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi); 2013 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah; 2013 Shenandoah Valley Barbera (Amador); 2013 Monterey County Pinot Noir.

The wines are targeted to consumers directly in the tasting room, online and in select restaurants and wine bars.

Solitary Cellars’ winery is located in Lodi and its North Block Tasting Room is located in Madera, California.

Contact:
Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455
https://www.solitarycellars.com/

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Love and Madness Partners with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to Launch Jewelry Collections Celebrating DC Super Heroes

Love and Madness has announced that they will partner with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, to design a series of jewelry collections inspired by DCs’ iconic Super Heroes, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl.

New York, NY, June 23, 2016 – Love and Madness has announced that they will partner with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, to design a series of jewelry collections inspired by DCs’ iconic Super Heroes, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl.

Love and Madness, founded by industry veteran Heather McAvoy, has become widely recognized for its ability to merge pop culture and trend through an assortment of accessories that speak to both the geek girl and the fashion girl, alike.

“As a brand that emphasizes a passion for nostalgia and pop culture, there could not be a more perfect fit for Love and Madness. It is the unique opportunity and vision to merge the needs of both fan girl and fashion girl that drives and inspires us on a daily basis. This partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products enables us to explore new ways to marry the past, present and future through jewelry that speaks to all, taking licensing to an entirely new level,” explains McAvoy.

The empowered, female-run brand, which strives to connect women with their inner strength and influence through the stories told by compelling accessories, will kick off this new licensing partnership with a collection centered around Wonder Woman, honoring the 75th anniversary of the beloved Super Hero.

Rich colors and materials will merge with nostalgic symbols in an assortment of jewelry that exemplifies the Super Hero’s commanding qualities through modern design. The collection will include a tailored variation of the brand’s recently released piece entitled “The Crawl.” In response to the astounding attention garnered by this design, which quickly became a signature for the brand, the wrap will present words and phrases that embody Wonder Woman and all that she is. The style will be further carried throughout the partnership’s various collaborations, continuously evolving to represent each of the iconic characters.

The collections, beginning with the launch of Wonder Woman for Holiday 2016, will be available at a broad range of high-end boutiques and department stores worldwide. For additional details, please visit theloveandmadness.com.

About Love and Madness
Love and Madness merges pop culture and trend through an exciting assortment of jewelry and accessories. The female-run brand is constantly seeking to inspire and innovate through the evolution of both product and partnerships, providing cutting edge design and quality that is accessible to all women. Keep up with the brand at www.theloveandmadness.com and on social @theloveandmadness.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc.), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables, etc.) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics in the world.

WONDER WOMAN, BATGIRL, SUPERGIRL and all related characters and elements © & ™ DC Comics. (s16)

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s16)

For Press Inquiries: Malorie Kaye, Cameo PR, 732-598-2236, malorie@cameopr.com

Contact:
Malorie Kaye
167 Madison Avenue
Suite 205
NY, NY 10016
(732) 598-2236

http://www.cameopr.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Betty Lau, Val Markos, and David Peterson to Join Executive Development Associates’ Advisory Board

Executive Development Associates, Inc. (EDA), a global leader in top-of-the-house leadership development, today announced the addition of Betty Lau, Val Markos, and David Peterson to its advisory board.

Oklahoma City, OK, June 23, 2016 - Executive Development Associates, Inc. (EDA), a global leader in top-of-the-house leadership development, today announced the addition of Betty Lau, Val Markos, and David Peterson to its advisory board.

“As we look at the Trends in Executive Development research as well as broader business trends, we want to ensure that we are thinking about how to develop executives from a future focused, global orientation. In order to do this well, we seek the best and most diverse advisors in our field which is why we are very pleased to announce new members to our highly esteemed advisory board. Betty, Val and David will add thought leadership in the areas of international business, trends in development, and technology’s impact on leadership today. All of our Advisory Board Members are powerful voices in the development of leaders across the globe and each one adds an important component as we think through how to solve some of the most current and challenging leadership issues,” says Bonnie Hagemann, CEO of Executive Development Associates.

Betty Lau is the Global Learning Director of Unilever. She leads the Unilever Coaching Service and is responsible for the leadership development of the top 3,000 leaders within the organization, focusing on the design and execution of global leadership development programs. Before joining Unilever, Betty worked for Novartis where she spent five years as a Program Director at their headquarters office in Basel, Switzerland. In this role, she established Novartis China University, Novartis Russia Corporate University, and the CEO-sponsored LEAD program focusing on developing talents in emerging markets.

The Ministry of Manpower within Singapore’s government appointed Betty as a member of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency’s (WDA) Lifelong Learning Council in October 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Science degree in Marketing from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Val Markos, Ph.D. has served in various executive development roles throughout the course of his career. His areas of expertise lie in succession planning, high potential development programs, executive education, assessment, selection, and development of future leaders. During his 20+ year tenure at BellSouth, Val led the organization’s leadership development efforts including the talent review process, high potential programs, staffing at the executive level, executive education and coaching, and the performance management process. Prior to joining BellSouth, Val worked as an internal consultant in the area of personnel selection and organization development in both the private and public sectors.

In 2006 Val founded Vmark Consulting and has worked with such organizations as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Lowes, Nationwide Insurance, Chick-fil-A, Cox Communications, Emory University, BJC Healthcare, and Ultimate Software. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, as well as a Master of Science and PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Georgia.

David Peterson, Ph.D. joined Google in 2011 as Director of Executive Coaching and Leadership. He coaches senior leaders, manages Google’s network of external and internal coaches, and supports leadership, learning, and executive development initiatives at Google. Before joining Google, David served as leader of world-wide coaching services for PDI Ninth House (now part of KornFerry). In addition to coaching top leaders in organizations such as Salesforce, Sandisk, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Target, Wal-Mart, Shell, Genentech, Mayo Clinic, Harvard, and Stanford University, he provided consultation and thought leadership on how to design and manage organizational coaching programs, how to develop high potential leaders and critical talent, and how to accelerate learning and leadership development at all levels.

David earned his PhD in Counseling and Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Consulting Psychology, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and the Harvard Institute of Coaching.

Lau, Markos, and Peterson join current EDA advisory board members James F. Bolt, Yury Boshyk, Ram Charan, George Consolver, Fariborz Ghadar, Vijay Govindarajan, Jim Kouzes, Sandy Ogg, Chuck Presbury, and Gillian Stamp.

About Executive Development Associates:
Executive Development Associates (EDA) is a leader in creating custom-designed executive development strategies, systems and programs that help organizations build the capabilities needed to achieve their strategic objectives. EDA leads the way in the use of executive development to help organizations successfully address their marketplace challenges and accelerate the execution of their business strategy utilizing various approaches including custom executive development programs, c-suite and executive coaching, action learning, leadership workshops, executive assessment and more. For more information, visit executivedevelopment.com.

Contact:
Steven Infanti
Executive Development Associates
13431 Broadway Ext # 104
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
https://www.executivedevelopment.com/

Monday, June 20, 2016

AOA Lead ‘March against Monsanto’ with New Single and Music Video, ‘Paradise’ (ft. Deploi)!

"Astronauts Of Antiquity superbly deliver. Exquisite vocals and compelling grooves....always rocks the house!" -Time Out London

“Hypnotic listen that drips with beauty.” -Sonicjive.com

"A stunning crossover between urban trip hop and straight pop genres.....powerful lyrics...infectious beat...gets it's message across....now is the prefect time to get on the Astronauts hype train". - Real Music Network

New York, NY, June 20, 2016 -  US based alt­pop/ trip­hop collective, AOA (Astronauts Of Antiquity) debut their single, ‘Paradise’. The song’s recent release date coincided with the March Against Monsanto phenomenon taking place in major cities worldwide. AOA, along with artists such as Neil Young are at the forefront of the March Against Monsanto with their new single, ‘Paradise’, from their upcoming EP, ‘Beyond The Maze’. The track was mixed by Martin Cooke (Muse, Death Cab For Cutie, Flying Lotus) and was mastered by Ian Sefchick from Capitol Records.


AOA’s debut single has already received a considerable buzz. ‘Paradise’ was recently featured in the Huffington Post highlighting the band’s conscious musical efforts towards the harmful effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The single also debuted on the CMJ Hip Hop Charts at #36, climbed to #22 and continues to raise its chart position.

At the heart of ‘Paradise’ is Los Angeles based rapper and spoken word artist Deploi. Deploi’s expansive lyrics are delivered with urgency in matters concerning Monsanto,referencing George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and the obesity epidemic in the West. Tieing in with the core message of ‘Paradise’, AOA’s vocalist, India (Best Female Vocalist–Detroit Music Awards), offers up a distinctly swaggering vocal style with intriguing melodies that are hard to ignore. B. Rhyan (Bernie Worrell) throws dark, haunting guitars over Ivica’s (Sony­Epic) arrangement of electronic soundscapes sending tension and atmosphere throughout the track. ‘Paradise’highlights the many issues with Monsanto’s genetically modified food that has been stated in scientific studies to cause health and environmental problems.

The discussion around Monsanto is a lively one; GMOs remain a hot topic of debate for people everywhere. The March Against Monsanto movement continues to grow and has now garnered over a million followers on Facebook. AOA recently released their accompanying music video for ‘Paradise’, a satirical take on the dangers of corporate dominance. Aside from their quirky magnetism and bohemian charm, AOA has clear, strong messages laced with mesmerizing song craft, gaining attention from the likes of Rick Rubin and Jeannie Hopper.

‘Paradise’ sets the pace for a prolific array of upcoming releases from the talented group. Watch out for AOA as they catapult onto the world stage.

Watch “Paradise” Music Video

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Contact:
Chip Schutzman
Miles High Productions
PO Box 93157
Hollywood, CA 90093
323-806-0400

https://www.aoamusic.com/

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Unique Slow Flowers Workshop in Santa Cruz Features Innovative Bay Area Floral Designer Teresa Sabankaya and Internationally Known Outdoor Living Expert, writer, lecturer and Slow Flowers Founder Debra Prinzing

Innovative Bay Area floral designer Teresa Sabankaya will team up with renowned floral expert Debra Prinzing, founder of Slowflowers.com to offer an inspiring two-part workshop for floral professionals at a beautiful private garden in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz, CA, June 20, 2016 — Innovative Bay Area floral designer Teresa Sabankaya will team up with renowned floral expert Debra Prinzing, founder of Slowflowers.com to offer an inspiring two-part workshop for floral professionals at a beautiful private garden in Santa Cruz.

“Slow Flowers Creative Workshop,” set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, is designed to help floral designers and Farmer-Florists clarify, document and communicate their personal artistic message as a floral professional by focusing on brand-building, floral storytelling and media messaging.

Sabankaya, founder and creative director of Bonny Doon Garden Co. and creator of the unique Bonny Doon Posies arrangements, will work with participants to explore and expand their approach to garden-inspired design and identify the inspiration for their floral designs.

The will participate in her hands-on exercises that build support for their designs’ inspired floral elements and complementary elements and focus on how to make the mechanics that support their style work as they create an arrangement of their own.

Sabankaya, whose floral designs have become highly desirable due to their unique style of arranging and elegant garden appeal, is considered one of the most innovative florists in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Prinzing is a writer, speaker, outdoor living expert and advocate for American flower farming and author of “Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm” and “The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers.”

The website slowflowers.com is an online directory to help people find floral professionals who are committed to using American-grown flowers.

The workshop will take place over one and a half days in a private garden in the Santa Cruz area. Guests will receive location and map to the garden after they register.

Cost for the workshop is $525 and includes all instruction, materials, supplies, flowers, morning coffee/refreshments, two lunches and a cocktail reception in the garden. It also includes a guest's own gallery of images from the sessions and their design work.

In a safe, supportive and intimate setting, the small group will spend 24-plus hours focusing on Slow Flowers “brand building” and how each participant can find his or her own voice as a floral storyteller. Subjects that will be covered include:

• How to evoke and express your personal story as a creative individual
• How to play with words to describe the natural world’s color, texture and form
• How to tell your flower memoir as metaphor for your brand
• How to flex your sensory muscles
• How brand development can capture key distinctives in words and images that define you
• How to use storytelling in a media pitch — learn how to be a resource for targeted media

On the second day, Sabankaya will lead participants in a floral design exercise that identifies the essential spirit of “garden-inspired design.” They will learn how to build the support for the inspired/complementary elements and learn how to make the mechanics work.

After her presentation, participants will choose from local, seasonal roses, dahlias and other signature blooms and create an arrangement that expresses their personal take on garden-inspired design. Sabankaya will cover sourcing of botanical ingredients, growing decisions and foraging approaches. Coached by her, each student will photo-style her/his creation for web, marketing and portfolio use.

During the design portion of this module, Prinzing will interview each participant individually about their philosophy and provide them with tips on creating a floral narrative for their design.

Registrants will be sent a pre-planning packet of exercises created by Prinzing two weeks prior to the workshop. The goal for these exercises is that the more time and thought invested in the exercises, the more rewarding the 24-hour experience will be.

About Teresa Sabankaya:
Sabankaya is the founder and owner since 1999 of The Bonny Doon Garden Company, a full-service floral design studio, florist, and botanical gift shop.

Sabankaya holds an influential position as one of the most innovative florists in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has exhibited her floral art annually at the “Bouquets to Art” exhibition at the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, the National Trust Filoli’s Estate in Woodside, and various other floral design and garden shows.

Sabankaya's floral designs have become highly desirable due to their unique style of arranging and elegant garden appeal. Her wedding floral styles have been featured in numerous wedding blogs and magazines including Smitten, Sweet Violet Bride, Style Me Pretty and Green Wedding Shoes.

She has been featured in Amy Stewart’s “Flower Confidential” book as well as her blog, and was featured “like a florist from 100 years ago” in the PBS documentary “Botany of Desire,” based on Michael Pollen’s bestseller Botany of Desire.

Sabankaya's trademarked creations, Bonny Doon Posies, have been a core part of her retail business from the beginning, and have been featured in such media as “CBS Sunday Morning,” Romantic Homes magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Cruz Sentinel and The New York Times.

She is a Certified Green Gardener; a member of Slowflowers.com, an online directory of florists who source their materials locally; and Greatgardenspeakers.com.

About Debra Prinzing:
Prinzing is an award-winning author, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. She is the founder and producer of the online directory slowflowers.com, a guide to American flower farms, and florists, shops and studios who source domestic and local flowers. She is the author of 10 books, including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet.Her book “Slow Flowers” (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013) received a Silver Medal from Garden Writers Association in 2014.

Prinzing is a contributing editor to Country Gardens magazine and her feature stories on architecture and design appear regularly in the Los Angeles Times’ Home section. She is a contributor to Garden Design, and her work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, online publications and blogs.

A Master Gardener, the Seattle-based Prinzing has studied landscape horticulture and design at South Seattle Community College. She is the current president of Garden Writers Association and a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

For more information, contact Teresa Sabankaya at teresa@bonnydoongardenco.com or by calling (831) 566-9925. To register for the workshop, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/slow-flowers-creative-workshop-tickets-25988990771.

Contact:
Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455
http://slowflowers.com/

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea Announces New Pin it to Win it contest

Post your favorite family pictures anytime throughout the month of July and our favorite post will win a two-night stay in a two-room suite!

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, June 18, 2016 - Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea announces its new Pin it to Win it contest!


This July we are ready for some fun in the sun and what's more fun than kids at the beach Post your favorite family pictures anytime throughout the month of July and our favorite post will win a two-night stay in a two-room suite!

Simply:
* Follow us on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/hofsashouse
* Create A boared titled: Family Getaways
* Add a minimum of 5 pictures of your family vacation destination with the hashtag #HofsasHouseGetaways
* Email a link to your board to marci@chatterboxpublicrelations.com
* One lucky winner will receive a two -night stay at our beautiful hotel in Carmel!
* Contest runs July 1st - July 30th. Winner announced August 5th.

About Hofsas House:
Owned and operated by the Theis Family, Hofsas House Hotel is within walking distance of everything Carmel has to offer, including a stunning beach, fine restaurants and shops and wine tasting. It provides peaceful respite and European charm just minutes from Monterey, Pebble Beach, Big Sur and Pacific Grove. The Hofsas House’s 38 spacious, one-of-a-kind rooms boast European comfort and lovely views and amenities such as fireplaces, private balconies, wet bars, kitchens and patios. Large suites provide the perfect stay for newlyweds and anyone else seeking an extra special getaway. Dutch doors in every room allow guests to welcome in the ocean air, and free WiFi enables them to stay connected — if they want to.

The Hofsas House Hotel family works to ensure every visitor's experience is special, striving to offer the highest quality personal services. Consider the continental breakfast, abundant with fresh French Roast coffee, tea, juice, fruit and pastries from a neighborhood bakery, or the personalized concierge services for guests and their families, including their four-legged family members, who are welcome as well.

For large groups — wedding parties, company meetings, family reunions and others — Hofsas HouseHotel offers a spacious room equipped with a fireplace and full kitchen that can comfortably accommodate 40 people. A heated pool, dry saunas, decks with views and off-street parking are on-site as well.

Hofsas House Hotel is located on San Carlos Street, north of Fourth Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea. For more information, call (831) 624-2745 or visit www.hofsashouse.com.

Contact:
Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455
http://www.hofsashouse.com

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Meet The Team Behind Solitary Cellars Winery

Two corrections officers at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California (Bergersen is recently retired, Quesada is still active) launched their own line of wines in 2014, aptly named Solitary Cellars Wine Company.

Salinas, CA, June 16, 2016 - Prisons and the wine industry don't have a whole lot in common. Unless you're Greg Bergersen and Rick Quesada, that is.

The two corrections officers at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California (Bergersen is recently retired, Quesada is still active) launched their own line of wines in 2014, aptly named Solitary Cellars Wine Company.


And to press the prison-wine connection even more, the tagline for their wine business is, “Solitary Cellars - Wines Without Restraints.” Their wine club is called the Chain Gang, with two levels, Minimum and Maximum Custody. You get the picture.

So how do two longtime law enforcement veterans get into the wine business, a notoriously difficult and fickle endeavor, even for those with experience and expertise in wine and winemaking?

Almost by accident, as it turns out.

“I used to make wine at home under my own label, Bergindi Cellars. Bergindi Cellars was a combination of my work nickname, Bergie and my wife’s name, Syndi. As a home winemaker, making wine was a hobby I enjoyed,” says Bergersen. “I was a member of a local winery's wine club and we would talk about winemaking. As a member perk, they would test my projects in their lab, which was quite small. From there we were asked if we would be interested in developing a brand, and of course the opportunity was too great to let pass. And from there Solitary Cellars was born.

Before long, their wines were outselling the winery's own wines and the winery owner started to put restrictions on the duo, which caused a bit of a conflict.

“So we decided to go into business for ourselves,” says Bergersen about the partnership with Quesada. “We're cut from the same cloth and we work well together. Working in a prison setting allows us to see each other in various situations and under different pressures. We having been tested in critical situations and we see things similarly, so it seemed like a good fit. I deal with the wine, Rick deals with the customer service and loyalty. We just wanted to build a professional business we could be proud of and which represents the standards of all law enforcement professionals.”

Neither of them had any business background, so they basically learned on the job, by trial and error, which Bergersen admits was a “laborious process,” especially the seemingly endless paperwork. “Our business model is simple and tested, make the best wine from the best fruit possible, present the finished product at an appropriate value and provide the absolute best experience. If we do that, the rest will fall into place.”

“It was relatively low risk and it wouldn't be a big loss (if the business failed),” says Quesada, whose prison nickname is “Q.” “We started with three varietals, gained some momentum and soon outgrew the place we were in. We moved our production to Lodi, California because of location and the abundance of high quality fruit from exceptional growers. We then leased the North Block Tasting Room in the ApCal (Appellation California) event center, located in Madera, California for our tasting room.”

The business is a two-man job, with some help from their wives and friends, or as Bergersen puts it, “We do everything.”

And the tasting room, dubbed the North Block Tasting Room, reflects their shared 45 years in law enforcement and corrections, complete mug shots, a replica jail cell, a box of actual prison “shivs” (makeshift knives) and the duo's endless and colorful prison stories.

“We're probably the only tasting room of its kind in the world,” says Bergersen. “But for us it's all about the wines. We want the experience to be the wine. But we do have a bazillion stories!”

Married for 28 years with a 26-year-old daughter who is a nurse, Bergersen spent 25 years as a state prison corrections officer before retiring in 2014 from his position as a Lieutenant. In 2010, Bergersen was named the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Supervisor of the Year. He retired from Valley State Prison as the institutions Public Information Officer and Administrative Assistant to the Warden.

Quesada served four years in the U.S. Army before joining the California Department of Corrections in 1996. Quesada has a resume that is vast and diverse. Quesada could be the most highly trained Lieutenant at Valley State Prison. He is married with a daughter and two sons and lives in Fresno.

Solitary Cellars’ wines is produced using grapes from several of California's best wine-growing regions, including Sonoma County, Lodi, the Santa Lucia Highlands, Lake County, Santa Barbera County and, of course, the Central Valley.

“Our business model is to focus on the regions that grow the best varietals,” says Quesada. “There's the old saying, ‘All good wines start with good fruit,’ so we focus on the growers. We establish relationships with growers. We want to work with the growers with dust on their boots. Our Tempranillo and Albariño are from Markus Bokisch Vineyards who was voted 20 Most Admired Wine Grape growers in North America by Wines and Vines magazine.”

“When people come in, they're shocked at the quality of the wines,” adds Bergersen. “We attribute that to great growers in great growing regions.”

The Solitary Cellars current portfolio consists of the 2014 Code Three (a red wine blend) (Lodi); 2012 and 2013 Liberty Oak Tempranillo (Lodi); 2014 Solitary Cellars Albariño Lodi ; 2013 Evasion Syrah Rosé (Fresno); 2012 and 2013 Solitary Cellars “East Block” Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi); 2013 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah; 2013 Shenandoah Valley Barbera (Amador); 2013 Monterey Pinot Noir.

The wines are targeted to consumers directly in the tasting room, online and in select restaurants and wine bars.

“We are very concerned with the branding of Solitary, we're very conscious of where it's marketed and our brand as a premium wine,” says Bergersen. “There are three areas work very hard at, we manage costs, we provide an exceptional product and experience and we work harder than everyone else.”

Contact:
Marci Bracco Cain
Chatterbox PR
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 747-7455
https://www.solitarycellars.com/