6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

The Intuitive Wines of Gavin Chanin

Support Provided By
chaninwines

It's no surprise that the delicious Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that Gavin Chanin makes for the Chanin Wine Company get called art. It turns out art is what Chanin studied at UCLA. "I do big abstract paintings, and for me painting is very physical and intuitive," Chanin says. "Wine is very similar. It's obviously very different tools, but it's not like you're sitting down and writing a question and answering it. You're taking a very basic material -- grapes or paint or some medium -- and turning it into something greater than it was before. You're transforming something without altering it or taking something away. It's a great and amazing process in some degree."

At least in Chanin's hands it is. Forbes Magazine recently included him on its "Top 30 Under 30 Food & Wine" list; he was the only winemaker to achieve that honor. "It came at a really busy time; we got the news right after harvest and during bottling," he recalls. "I thought it was cool, but didn't realize how big it was until I got four hundred emails." He quickly adds, "Definitely it's never been a goal of mine to get press. The goals have been on the winemaking side, but it's obviously good to have all the wines well-received."

Those wines tend to come from prized Santa Barbara County properties like the Bien Nacido and Los Alamos Vineyards. "We talk a lot about philosophical things, but at the end of the day you want a wine that pleases you, one with a lot of complexity, structure, and balance," he explains. Older vines help you get that. "They produce less fruit, but the fruit they produce is higher quality. I get to work with some of the oldest commercially planted vines in Santa Barbara in 1973. It's fun to work with vines that are older than you are."

A respect for history and experience runs through Chanin's young career. He started out by volunteering for Bob Lindquist at Qupe and Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat and ended up assistant winemaker for both, whom he calls "essentially the first people to go out and make quality wine in Santa Barbara County." Chanin praises the opportunity to learn from the cellar teams there, but working with the two titans, who between them make a wide range of varietals from numerous vineyards, also "helped me get that wide experience, but then that has helped me narrow down now. I got my winemaker ADD out of my system there and got focused."

That doesn't mean he won't have new projects, as he's very excited about his partnership called Lutum Wines with Bill Price, who he describes as behind "some of the iconic properties in Sonoma," think Kistler, for one. (Lutum is Latin for soil or dirt.) "I feel really lucky to build off of all this experience I've had around me," Chanin admits. "In general it's a really exciting time to be making wine in California. Farmers are operating at a level higher than ever before, there are a lot of new winemakers, the older winemakers, vineyards we've been able to figure out."

As part of Local to Global: Celebrate KCETLink, Gavin Chanin will be presenting a selection of his wines June 3rd at Bouchon in Beverly Hills. To learn more about the event, click here.

Support Provided By
Read More
Close-up view of cherry blossoms in Little Tokyo.

Where to Find the Most Beautiful Blooming Trees in the L.A. Area

While L.A. may be more closely associated with palm trees lining its sidewalks and streets, this sprawling city and its surrounding municipalities is actually a horticultural delight of varied treescapes. Here are seven spots to get a glimpse of great blossoms.
A cup of ginjo sake paired with Tsubaki's kanpachi sashimi

Sake 101 Taught by Courtney Kaplan of Tsubaki and Ototo

Sake has existed for thousands of years. To help introduce and better understand this storied beverage, we turn to Courtney Kaplan, sommelier, sake aficionado and co-owner of restaurants Tsubaki and Ototo in Los Angeles.
An image of the French district in downtown Los Angeles. The image shows Aliso Street in downtown Los Angeles, California, with signs labeling buildings "Griffins Transfer and Storage Co." and "Cafe des Alpes" next to "Eden Hotel," which are located on opposite corners of Aliso and Alameda Streets. A Pacific Electric streetcar sign reads "Sierra Madre" and automobiles and horse-drawn wagons are seen in the dirt road.

What Cinco de Mayo Has to do with the French in Early L.A.

Cinco de Mayo is often celebrated wrongly as Mexican Independence Day, but a dig into the historical landscape of Los Angeles in the early 19th century reveals a complex relationship of French émigrés with a Mexican Los Angeles.