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Simi Valley Acorn

“It was about 10 years ago that one of the couples started making hobby wine. The Simonsgaards were the first to join their small neighborhood winemaking group, informally called the Indian Meadows Wine Association. From there it “mushroomed,” Lora said, with a dozen couples making the hobby wine. As a result, the cellars around the block are always full, Steve said.”

Valentine and Wine Passport Weekend

The Ventura County Winery Association is planning a special weekend for those of you looking for something to do Valentines’ Day weekend.  February 12-15 will be a Valentine ‘n’ Wine passport weekend where you can stop by one of seven wineries that weekend and be treated to some special food pairings and wine tastings.  This will be a great way to spend with your loved one and/or friends while discovering some of the great wines area Ventura County wineries have to offer.  You can visit all in one day or spread the visits out over the four day period.  Tickets are $35 and include the tastings at each winery, thereby saving nearly 50% in tasting fees.  Participating wineries are located from Camarillo to Ojai.  To purchase your tickets go to   Four Brix Winery isn’t able to participate this year as we haven’t bottled our wines yet.  Maybe next year you will see us at this event.  Cheers!

Wines & Vines – Southern California Wineries Open Doors

“An even newer operation, Four Brix, crushed its first 640 commercial cases last fall. Four Brix will host its inaugural public tasting April 24 at the Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, after a “soft opening” April 7 at a Paso Robles wine bar.

The Four Brix business plan does not include a dedicated tasting room. The virtual winery is owned by three Simi Valley couples, the Simonsgaards, Stewarts and Noonans, who source grapes from many premium California growing regions and produce the wine at In Vino Veritas custom crush in Paso Robles.”

Volver Paso A Paso Tinto 2008, La Mancha, Spain

We popped the cork on this, cellar temperature, dark purple ink wine one hour before tasting.  Lora tried this wine blind.  The bouquet wafted a slight front end of alcohol and   baked bread, with a red raspberry caboose.

The raspberry and tannins explode in the front of your palate.    This is followed with a luscious heavy complete mid palate.  The long lasting finish lies smooth and delicate.  Those of you who remember LA VIE, Raspberry (Les Framboises) hard candies, that came in a small round tin can, this memory is exactly the finish.  I don’t need a LA VIE Raspberry today, but I’ll be searching for a tin tomorrow.  We bought this wine at Bev-Mo  Please let me know your thoughts and comments.

Skoal!  Steve and Lora

Ventura County Wine Trail Association

Herzog Winery

As a Ventura County winery, Four Brix looks forward to joining the VCWTA.  Currently 10 wineries are members and growing!  Ventura County is a desirable destination for many visitors from nearby Los Angeles and Orange Counties, as well as other states.  So why not make it a place to do some wine tasting?  The wineries span from Malibu to Ojai, with stops in Camarillo and Oxnard.

Bella Victorian Winery

Wineries range in style and approach with some grapes coming from a winery’s estate to those grapes harvested and trucked down from Napa Valley.  Stop by the various tasting rooms to try some traditional Cabernet, or a rich Tempranillo.  Maybe your preference is Viognier or a Rhone-style blend.  Whatever you like, there is likely a wine at one of the 10 tasting rooms you will enjoy.

Check out the updated website at for upcoming events.  Decmber is a busy month:  it’s “Pick Up” month when the wine club releases are ready to pick up.  It’s always a party when this is happens.  Come on by & check it out.

Charity Starts at Home

My first International Rotary Project

My husband, Steve, and I have lived in Simi Valley for almost 30 years (Damn that makes me feel old to say that).  We did not want to move to Simi, but could not afford to buy a home in the San Fernando Valley in 1980 and Simi was less expensive back then.  Today you could not trick me with that choice, Simi wins hands down!  For the first 20 years we didn’t know many people in Simi beyond our immediate neighbors, other than the amazing congregation at my church.

Then 9 years ago my pastor invited me to join Rotary. I thought it would be a good way to meet some local business owners, community leaders and give back to the community at the same time. Wow, did I under estimate that. Simi Sunrise Rotary has opened my eyes to a whole new side of Simi Valley I never knew.  This community is filled with charity minded leaders who generously give back at every turn and now, I not only know who they are, but they are dear friends. I feel a much deeper connection to my own home town.

Playground in Zambia Africa

Even though we were happy living in Simi Valley before, we used to dream of retiring and moving to places that were less expensive, or more beautiful, or closer to our families.  Now when Steve and I talk about our retirement we just don’t think we can leave this amazing city where SO many people love to give of their time and money to others. If you’re not already volunteering or haven’t experienced this same pleasure, try it. You might just fall in love with your town or city too.

Arturo Robledo Vineyard Manager

Our Petite Sirah grapes come from Gold Hawk Vineyard in the Russian River Valley area of Sonoma County.  The vineyard is owned by Fred and Michele Berry.

Fred Berry Gold Hawk Vineyard Russian River Valley

The vineyard is blessed with great soil and perfect weather, but without proper care, no vineyard can flourish.  The Berry’s understood this and hired the well-respected Vineyard Manager Arturo Robledo.

With over 35 years of vineyard management expertise, Arturo Robledo is a highly sought after talent in wine country. He built his reputation over a 24-year tenure at Sonoma-Cutrer Winery before starting his own vineyard management company. Arturo had previously been wooed by premium Sonoma Coast vintners to be their head viticulturist. However, he found the excitement and challenge of working with incipient grape-growing operations more alluring.

Arturo truly understands the Russian River climate and terroir, and knows what it takes to produce the highest-quality crop in this environment.  He has a deep viticultural knowledge and an unwavering attention to detail.

Robledo Family Winery

Arturo is currently mentoring his son, Arturo Jr., in practical vineyard management techniques while Arturo Jr. completes his studies at UC Davis. The family’s wine industry legacy also extends to Arturo’s brother Reynaldo who, after a long viticultural career, founded the first Hispanic-owned winery in Sonoma County, Robledo Family Winery.

Four Brix Winery wants to give special thanks to the Berry’s and Arturo and his family.  Thank you for all your hard work and the great fruit we receive from Gold Hawk Vineyard.

Cheers, fb