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Monday, March 7, 2016

03/07/2016 - Off the Vine - The World of Vinegar and "Rayzyns"

Slow Living Radio goes back to the vines in this week’s show, but not as you’d expect.  Our guests bring to us two fabulous products that utilize grapes, one in the dried form in a new and unique way, and the other a variety of delicious vinegars. 


Andrew Cates
The Wine Rayzyn Company

Andrew is the RayZyn’s co-founder and leads operations. Andrew had a successful career in the finance world in New York and San Francisco, but he ultimately decided to leave that all behind and "get back to real life".  Returning to his early farming roots, Andrew bought a vineyard in Napa Valley in 2013 -- Segassia -- that was already producing award-winning wines. 

When his family (his father is a cardiologist) came out for a visit soon after, they noticed that much of the fruit remained on the vine.  The idea of the Wine RayZyn Company was born, and now this start-up is harvesting the overlooked grapes and producing a nutrient-packed snack food. Andrew and his family are also helping foster more sustainable practices by helping farmers use more of their harvest without using extra water. 

Andrew also resides on and manages Seggassia vineyard on Mt Veeder in Napa. Fervent about his organic gardening tending not only to his vineyards, but also to his extensive garden, beekeeping and raising chickens.


Jesse Layman
Sparrow Lane Vinegars

An interview with Jesse:

Q: Tell us a little about yourself?

A: I grew up in the Central Valley around family farms and restaurants. So, I think I had the best of both worlds! I not only learned the love of food, but also a love and appreciation of the land. I have been in restaurants for over 23 years as a chef or owner for most of that time. It has been an amazing life, rough at times, yet I absolutely love it. I have three daughters and wanted to create a balance with them, so that they also can be involved in sharing my passion for great food. When the opportunity to join the Sparrow Lane team arose, I knew it was where I would be able to combine all my culinary loves. Since I had been using Sparrow Lane Vinegars for a long time in my own kitchens, it just made sense.

 Q: Why “head chef and marketing guy”?

A: Being hands on, I work directly with distributors, brokers and consumers to develop new business all around the country. I am able to create and share healthy recipes that use vinegars as an ingredient to enhance the true flavor of food utilizing my culinary skills.

 Q: What makes Sparrow Lane Vinegar so different?

A: Following in the footsteps of our founder, we use only the finest wines from the Napa and Sonoma regions, the best fruits and herbs from throughout California, such as a special variety of apples from Santa Rosa. But, our main emphasis is on the time tested Orleans method of making barrel aged vinegars, taking 13 to 24 months to make our vinegars! It allows us to get the best flavor and balance of fruit and acid to create the finest vinegars in the market place.



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