About The Chef – Jeff Jackson Over the past several years, The Range restaurant has quietly established itself as one of the Central Coast’s most exciting culinary experiences. Tucked into the little town of Santa Margarita approximately 20 miles south of Paso Robles, The Range delivers big flavors with a focus on fresh, local ingredients, all amid an easygoing ambiance. Chef Jeff Jackson, who owns the restaurant with his wife Lindsay, is renowned for his deliciously eclectic dishes, prompting the Los Angeles Times to praise him as “a free and unfettered spirit in the kitchen.” In this newsletter, Jeff generously shares his recipe for Elk Medallions with Rosemary Red Onion Marmalade recipe as a dynamic match for our 2008 Petite Sirah.
Chef Jeff Jackson’s Elk Medallions with Rosemary Red Onion Marmalade Enjoy with Vina Robles 2008 Petite Sirah - Jardine Yield: 6 (6 oz. portions)
Rosemary Red Onion Marmalade 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter 3 red onions, peeled and sliced 3 bay leaves ½ Tbsp. fresh rosemary 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
Cook all ingredients until onion begins to caramelize, then add ½ bottle of Petite Sirah and add 2 tablespoons of honey. Reduce to syrup consistency, season with salt and pepper to taste. Hold aside.
Elk Medallions Season the elk medallions generously with salt and pepper and cook until desired temperature and doneness. Let the medallions rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the onion marmalade back to a simmer and add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and a pinch of chopped rosemary. Cook until butter is incorporated and the sauce thickens slightly. Slice the elk steaks thinly against the grain. Spoon onions over elk and serve with favorite potato dish. Bon appétit!
THE BUSY CALM BEFORE THE CRUSH
With the 2010 harvest on the horizon, our cellar preparations are in full swing, clearing the way for a steady stream of incoming fruit that must be handled with care and precision. Indeed, half of the harvest battle is won before the first grape is picked, as thorough planning pays immense dividends in matters of both quality and efficiency. The truth is that harvest preparations are not very romantic. The romance comes later,
when the winemaking begins. Until then, the activities are largely logistical and mechanical. For example, every winery pump must be serviced to replace any worn parts and to
make sure everything is in working order. Cleaning and sanitation are key activities as well. Cleaning involves scrubbing all of the equipment and removing any dust or debris that may have accumulated. Sanitation takes it a step further, eliminating potential microbial elements from any surface that comes into contact with the wine. But not all of the harvest preparations are mundane. In addition to getting the cellar
ready, Winemaker Matthias Gubler and Assistant Winemakers Julie Holme and Craig Holme spend a lot of time in our estate vineyards, monitoring crucial developments such as grape maturity, crop load and canopy coverage. Our vineyards are hilly, so walking through them can be quite strenuous—which is just a taste of even more arduous work to come. “I try to be in the best shape I can heading into harvest,” Julie says. “I keep up my
running schedule and include some strength training months before harvest begins. It gets me ready for the long hours and days of physical labor during harvest, such as digging out tanks and punching down the wines.” This year, Matthias, Craig and Julie have a new helping
hand in the cellar, namely harvest intern Diego Gonzalez. Diego, a native of Uruguay, studied winemaking before traveling the globe to work harvests in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. He belongs to a new wave of young winemakers who embrace the international experience of winemaking, and who are not afraid to leave their comfort zone to expand their knowledge. The same could be said for Matthias, Julie and Craig, which makes Diego a perfect fit for Vina Robles. Every harvest has its surprises, but with our energetic crew paving the way, a lack of preparation won’t be one of them.
Hans Nef, Proprietor & Matthias Gubler, Winemaker
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