Monthly Archives: September 2007

Music to a Grapevine's Ears

    Music helps grow healthier plants, Wired magazine reports.

     That’s the preliminary result of research by Italian scientists who have been examining vineyards exposed to classical music to see if sound makes the plants grow larger and more quickly.

     While sound has long been thought to influence plant growth, this is the first time anyone has investigated the effects of music outdoors on…

Posted in Wine Buzz

New Napa Area Gets Its Own Tasting Room

    Three owners of five wine brands have banded together to open a new tasting facility in the Suisun Valley appellation, Wines & Vines reports.

     Adjacent to Napa, but still largely unknown, the area has been growing winegrapes since the late 1800s, and was recognized as an American Viticultural Area in 1982.

     Doug Sparks, owner of Sunset Cellars and Twilight Ridge, leased the property that formerly housed West Wine Winery, and will pour his two… brands there.


Posted in Vinesse Style

10 Tips for Tasting Success

   Until we get that law passed that allows people to buy their wine only from Vinesse, we know you’re probably going to stop by a winery (or two or three) when the occasion arises.

     So, to help you get the most out of the touring-and-tasting experience, we offer the following 10 tips…


Posted in Wine in the Glass

Napa Farm Workers to Benefit from Land Donation

   Constellation Brands has announced that its Robert Mondavi Winery has donated the land under the newly-renovated Mondavi Farm Worker Housing Center to the Napa Valley Housing Authority.

     With the transfer in ownership, the NVHA is eligible to receive up to $1.4 million in state grants that will contribute to maintaining Napa County’s farm worker housing.

     “In donating the land where this important facility is located, we are helping to ensure there will be housing in perpetuity for the vineyard workers who are such an integral component of Napa Valley’s wine industry,…  

Posted in Wine Buzz

Pursuing Your Chocolate Passion, Part 1

    You say you missed National Milk Chocolate Day? (It was July 28.)

     Oh, well, guess you’ll just have to wait until next year. Yeah… right.

     Milk chocolate is one of the joys of life, and there’s no shortage of destinations where one may get their fix. Today, we’ll share some of…

Posted in Vinesse Style

Small Harvest Could Actually Benefit Aussie Grape Growers

    Australia’s 2006-07 wine grape harvest fell 25 percent to its lowest level in a decade as a combination of drought and frost hit the vintage hard, the Herald Sun newspaper confirms.

     The Winemakers Federation of Australia said the decline had been tough on grape growers and wineries, but may prove to be a benefit in the longer term, reducing the excessive stockpiles.

     “Following record production over the last three years, the wine sector has welcomed this year’s shortfall and believes that it will go some way to…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Found in Translation: A Fabulous Steak Dinner

    When on the road for Vinesse, I’m often frustrated by restaurant names.

     Specifically, some of the names I encounter in the local Yellow Pages when trying to find a place to eat dinner.

     For instance: Victor’s. (Or any other name.) Unless Victor’s runs an ad telling me what kind of restaurant it is, I have no idea whether its…

Posted in Editor's Journal

Don't Say 'Bye-Bye' to Cork Just Yet

    Antonio Amorim is putting a new cork in wine bottles to keep his company’s profits from spoiling, Bloomberg News reports.

     After losing sales to synthetic stoppers and metal screwcaps, Amorim said he had found a way to stem a decline in market share through a process that gets rid of “cork taint.” The contaminant can render the finest vintage undrinkable, and costs the wine industry hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

     Corticeira Amorim, the world’s biggest maker of wine corks, saw sales decline each year from 2000 through 2004 as consumers turned up…

Posted in The Wine Business

Smile and Say, 'Cheese… and Wine!'

    The catering business can be tough. Some people want to eat like princes but pay like paupers.

     As a result, it’s not unusual to see cheap red wines served with catered spreads. But those wines can be bitter. That’s why smart caterers make sure there is lots of cheese around to accompany those wines: Cheese helps tame or tone down the bitterness so even a cheap wine tastes acceptable.

     When a wine leaves a bitter impression on the tongue, the cause almost always is tannin, a compound that comes from the seeds and stems of…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

Family's Winemaking Roots Run Deep

    At Pietra Santa Winery, the top-of-the-line wines carry the name Vache on their labels.

     Pietra Santa is located in California’s Cienega Valley, part of the Gabilan Mountains foothills, some 25 miles east of Monterey Bay. The estate was first developed during the 1850s by a Frenchman named Theophile Vache, who hailed from the island of Oleron, off France’s Atlantic coast.

     That effort grew into an enterprise known as Valliant Vineyards, and earned Vache a permanent place among the recognized pioneers of…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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