Q & A with Robert Pepi

Consulting Winemaker For Callaway Wines

Introduced almost 40 years ago by Ely Callaway, inventor of the”BigBertha” golf club, Callaway wines have always been known for their quality and style. Rooted in the fresh varietal character of coastal vineyards, Callaway wines offer fresh, fruit-forward flavors, full body and a crisp, clean finish. Careful winemaking under the guidance of acclaimed Wine Consultant Robert Pepi, who pioneered the “Two Heart Canopy” trellising system, ensures wines that are the perfect complement to today’s lighter yet flavorful cuisine.



This Chardonnay was harvested to preserve the fruit and freshness of the varietal, grapes from Lodi and the Central Coast were included in the blend to add depth and complexity. Fermentation and ageing techniques optimize the fruit characteristics of the grape.



This Sauvignon Blanc was harvested to maximize the freshness and fruit of the grape. The wine was slowly fermented in stainless steel tanks at an average temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to create a tantalizing nose and a fresh clean finish.



The grapes selected for this wine were sourced from Monterey and Lodi. The wine making process ensures that maximum color and flavors are extracted and contact with French and American oak for between 3 and 6 months gives the wine complexity and toasty vanilla nuances.



The grapes selected for this wine were sourced from Lodi and Monterey. The wine making process ensures that maximum color and flavors are extracted and contact with French and American oak for between 3 and 6 months gives the wine complexity and ripe fruit characteristics.


Q & A with Robert Pepi

ITM: Bob, thanks for spending some time with us. How did you get involved in the Callaway project?

RP: My initial involvement with the Callaway wines was through Bruce Hunter, a long time friend who used to sell my families wines before the winery was sold to Kendall Jackson. Bruce represents Callaway for Shaw-Ross and thought as a winemaking consultant I could have a positive effect on the quality and image of the Callaway wines.

ITM: You are introducing a new Reserve program for Callaway, what will be the distinction from the Cellar Selection?

RP: We are excited about the new Reserve program for Callaway that will be released shortly. While we have always been pleased with the value offered with our Cellar Selection wines that are blends from different appellations in California, we felt there was an opportunity to create some excitement focusing on specific varieties from smaller appellations. This allows the winemaker to search for that illusive climate/soil combination that brings out beautiful fruit expression when paired with the right variety and clone of grape.

ITM: You’re getting some real acceptance in the marketplace; InterContinental Hotel Group has started using the Sauvignon Blanc by-the-glass in their world class beverage program, for example. What would you like to convey to the readership are the best features and benefits you could bring to their wine programs?

RP: We are pleased with the InterContinental Hotel Group’s use of our Sauvignon Blanc by-the-glass in their world class beverage program. I think that this Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect example of how the Callaway wines offer quality and value, but also true varietal identity not usually seen at this affordable price range.

ITM: You had mentioned to me that you thought the Cellar Selection wines would be perfect for banquet and catering programs, can you elaborate on that?

RP: The Cellar Selection wines from Callaway offer quality and strong varietal identity. What makes these wines such a nice fit for the banquet and catering programs, though, is that the vineyard sources combined with the winemaking techniques translate into wines that not only can be appreciated alone, but really shine when paired with food, and add to the overall dining experience.

ITM: Thanks Bob and continued success on the line.

About the author

In The Mix Magazine

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