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California Scheming

Starting a food and wine revolution

  • Upscale burger bar, Gott’s Roadside, is the perfect expression of Joel Gott’s belief that great wine can be appreciated in everyday settings.
  • Joel Gott
  • Three Thieves lineup
 

Joel Gott’s ancestors played a pioneering role in the California wine industry. Such deep roots haven’t prevented him from embracing modern practices for the wines he produces. With a steadfast well-made, well-priced wine philosophy, Gott is a welcome ambassador to the new wave of wine.

What does it mean to be a fifth-generation winemaker?
I have a lot of crazy relatives who all somehow make a living making wine. I tried to avoid it, but there’s nothing quite like being a winemaker.

Zinfandel was the first wine produced under your Joel Gott label. Why is it such a special variety for you?
Because I basically grew up at Montevina Winery in the 1970s and my dad was mostly making Zin.

What’s the best thing about making wine?
Seeing the vineyards at this time of year and then watching them develop all the way until harvest.

What’s on the menu at Gott’s Roadside?
We have about nine different types of burgers, fried calamari, fish, shrimp and ahi poke tacos, regular, garlic and sweet potato fries, salads and more. In addition, there are great shakes, beer and wine. I particularly like the specials we offer, especially in the summer when we use produce from our garden in the back of the restaurant. We’ll literally pick some zucchini and an hour later it’s deep fried with an aioli and ready to eat. So good.

How did you get connected with Hatch Show Print, which produced some of your labels?
One of my partners in Three Thieves, Charles Bieler, was fascinated with the old rock and roll posters of the past. Hatch Show Print, based in Nashville, made and currently makes all kinds of great, original custom posters for all types of events. You should really check them out.

What’s the secret to making wine accessible to consumers?
Price!

What’s next for Three Thieves?
The continued hunt around the world for new varietals to add to our portfolio.



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