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Friday, November 17, 2017

November 13, 2107 - Spirit Works Distillery and Georgos Wines, Giving Back

Following the horrific Napa and Sonoma fires, Slow Living Radio welcomes guest to our show who are giving back to the community to help rebuild.  Georgos Wine also lost some of their vineyards, so tell the story of rebuilding.  

Ashby Marshall

Like their unique Sloe Gin, husband and wife team, Timo and Ashby Marshall bring a combination of traditional British legacy and innovative West Coast style to Spirit Works Distillery.

Timo comes from a small village in the southwest of England called Thurlstone. This is where his family has been refining their sloe gin recipe for generations. While they didn’t make their own gin from grain to glass, they did employ the traditional method of steeping sloe berries in gin, picked along the coastal hills. Ashby, on the other hand, is West Coast bred and has a deep passion and impressive palate for whiskey and it’s intricacies. She is thrilled to be the first (in fact only, male or female) female distiller in her family.

Together, Timo and Ashby have spent years working together in a variety of fields including fast boat driving, IRATA climbing, and as sailing instructors. So it is with this clear path to distillation that you will find them here at the distillery working side by side working the still, offering distillery tours, cleaning tanks, running the business, training puppies, and creating the best California Distillery tasting room possible. All with their incredible small staff of dedicated, passionate, mostly female producers of Vodka, Gin, Sloe Gin, Barrel Gin, Straight Wheat Whiskey, and Straight Rye Whiskey made batch by batch, grain to glass.


Georgos Zanganas

Crafting (nu) Greek wines in Sonoma, CA - #GreekWineRedefined

After moving to America to work as an engineer, Georgos Zanganas experienced that a glass of wine was an invitation to a roaring headache. Back home, he never experienced these symptoms because Greek wines have lower alcohol content (less sugar) and low level of histamines and sulfites. While he could easily find other Greek products (yogurt, olive oil, etc.), he could not find Greek wines at local retail stores and restaurants. Since wine is a staple of a Greek diet, he believed that everyone deserved access to these healthier wines, so he set about making ultra-premium Greek wines, at a non-premium price, right here in the U.S. . The rest, as they say, is history.

Georgos wine is made with NON-GMO grapes.

As Georgos often says:  ‘Greek yogurt that everyone in America loves and enjoys, is made in New York , the best Greek Wines are made in Sonoma’.

The winery supports UCSF and the Alcohol and Addiction Research Group. See details and how to contribute: 

You can find Georgos Greek Wines at Wholefoods or directly at

Thursday, October 26, 2017

23 October - Perfect Puree and Charbay Wizards of Elixer

The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley and Charbay Distillery host
The Wizards of Elixirs Cocktail Competition to Support Four Counties Affected by the Fires
Costumes Encouraged on October 30th at CIA at COPIA

WHO: The Perfect Purée of Napa ValleyCharbay Distillery, & COPIA host their first annual Wizards of Elixirs Cocktail Competition to benefit families affected by the fires in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Originally slated for the Napa Valley High School Boosters program, in light of the current needs of those devastated by the fires, the Boosters are hoping that attendees will give far and large.

WHAT: The Wizards of Elixirs, a friendly cocktail competition fashioned in walk-around style at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia location in Napa, The Wizards of Elixirs invites guests to sample cocktails by 13 of Wine Country’s top bartenders as they vie for the People’s Choice Award and apps prepared by the CIA. After The Wizard of Elixir is crowned, stay for a Halloween costume dance party from 8-11 p.m. Costumes are encouraged but not required.  Light bites provided by the CIA.

WHERE: CIA at Copia,  500 1st St., Napa, CA (free parking)

WHEN: 6-11 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30, 2017

TICKETS: $35 at or $40 at the door. Tickets include cocktail tasting, light snacks and one raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets will be available to purchase. Ticket and raffle ticket proceeds will benefit numerous families affected by the devastating fires. Must be 21 to attend with ID required for admission.

MORE INFO: Visit the Wizards of Elixirs event page for information and updates.

Participating Wine Country Bartenders Include:
Andaz, Vincent Lunden, Napa
Bank Café & Bar, Cornelia Mathis, Napa
Ca’Momi, Jonny Tindall, Napa
Celadon, Howard Phsu & Hernan Hernandez, Napa
CIA at Copia, Seth Johnson, Napa
Goose & Gander, Rafa Barba, St. Helena
Harvest Table, Mike Hallmark, St. Helena
Johnny's, Dan Kaiser, Calistoga
Pizzeria Tra Vigne, Dane Hempel, St. Helena
Sam's Social Club, Jason Escudero, Calistoga
Solage, Kelly Dallas, Calisotga
The Charter Oak Restaurant, Michael Wagner, St. Helena

Marko J. Karakasevic: XIIIth Generation Winemaker & Master Distiller

Born in California, Marko Karakasevic grew up around pumps, hoses and tanks. This was his father's world and the family always lived close to the winery where Miles, his father, made wine. Marko graduated from St. Helena High School and spent a year at Davis where he began his studies in sports physical therapy. However, harvests would find Marko working in various Napa Valley wineries.

After working in a Napa Valley tasting room, he discovered he liked all sides of the wine business—from production to sharing his winemaking experience with visitors.
In the fall of '95, Marko realized he wanted to apprentice under his father and be the 13th generation to carry on the Karakasevic family tradition. That's when his parents realized: "He's the man we've been looking for."

From that point on, he has submitted to the same tough routine of generations of Karakasevic men and women before him: learning the winemaking, the distilling and the running of a family business where one must wear many hats. The Charbay Distillers' Port is a spirited salute to this father and son team. Marko conceived the idea of Charbay's whole-fruit flavored vodka program. He found the fruit and designed the packaging. Now, with two generations of enthusiastic winemakers/distillers behind the Charbay label, there are even more releases of "perfumes for the soul" to watch for.

Give Marko a few days off and he'll head down to Baja. There's a little town where they all know him and he enjoys being on the water or riding four wheelers. BV, 'Before Vodka', his travels were longer. One was a summer trip through South America with time in Cusco and Machu Picchu during the Summer Solstice. Lately his trips have been New York and Las Vegas! Marko, like everyone in this family, likes to travel & explore. No matter where he roams, always loves coming home to his St. Helena and his mountain top.

Marko married his long-time girlfriend Jenni Olson in April of 2009. Everyone agrees, she's a great addition to the family.

He became a Master Distiller with the release of his Doubled & Twisted Light Whiskey, after a nearly 30 year apprenticeship with his father. In the last five years or so, he has been moving more and more into the worlds of Whiskey and Tequila. Getting the opportunity to distill Tequila in the one of the most Iconic 75 year old distilleries in Arandas, Jalisco, the Highlands of Tequila, has been not only a wonderful experience, but, a game changer, a new path for Charbay. Being able to create a tequila in their (Marko and Miles) style with their concepts and their distilling methods, is something truly cherished. It shows too.

Whiskey also has also been a game changer. The fact that beer is distilled into whiskey, and by using Gold Medal winning drinking beer as his base "distiller's beer" has also allowed him to change the playing field, and carve out yet another niche.