Monthly Archives: October 2007

Sonoma Valley Wine Auction Benefits 11 Local Nonprofits

    Setting yet another record, the 15th annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction raised $1.2 million over the summer, the Sonoma Index-Tribune reports.

      “We really exceeded our goal,” said Grant Raeside, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance, which sponsors the weekend of events. “We’re extremely excited about our results.”

      On Sunday of the auction weekend, Cline Cellars became the site of an Old West corral for the theme, “The Wild Bunch.” About 600 guests piled…

Posted in Wine Buzz

All About Champagne and the 2007 Harvest in France

    The 2007 harvest in Champagne is set to result in the largest volume of wine ever produced in the appellation, Decanter reports.

      If current figures are correct, this year will beat the record level of 375 million bottles made from the bumper 2004 crop by more than 13 million bottles.

      Vineyard owners have the option of producing additional wine, with the aim of using this surplus to increase…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Sparkling Conversation for the Holidays

     In two days, Halloween will be here, marking the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.

      When I was growing up, we didn’t start shopping until the day after Thanksgiving, when the newspaper was packed with sale fliers and brochures from all the department and specialty stores.

      It seems as if we’ve started a little earlier with each passing year. Before long, Easter will signify the beginning of…

Posted in Editor's Journal

Freemark Abbey: Happy Birthday, and Here's to 40 More!

    Freemark Abbey, one of the pioneer wineries to bring the historic wine renaissance to the Napa Valley and California, just turned 40.

      It was the only winery, also, to have both its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay selected by Steven Spurrier to compete in the famed 1976 Paris tasting, which put Napa and California on the world wine map.

      The purchase of Freemark Abbey by Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke in 2006 constitutes a continuing move into the Napa Valley by…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction

Working the Harvest on Napa's Spring Mountain

      Select sommeliers and wine buyers from across the continent participated in Spring Mountain District’s annual four-day “Touch the Terroir” crush camp during the first week of October.

      “You can read about mountain terroir in almost all wine magazines or books these days, but until you have actually experienced working a hillside vineyard, you can’t really appreciate what it’s like,” says Paul Skinner, noted Napa Valley terroir specialist.

      “Spring Mountain’s terroir is so unique, which explains the special fruit that becomes big, rich, lush, intense, yet elegant wines.
They are some of the best wines in the Napa Valley, in…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

More Harvest News: It's SLO in SLO

***image2***     Colder-than-average temperatures over the winter and early rains and cool temperatures this fall will likely mean fewer grapes in this year’s harvest, San Luis Obispo County growers say.

     But the grapes harvested may be of an exceptionally high quality.

      The wine grape crop is one of the largest moneymakers for the…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Consumers Will Pay More for 'Sustainable' Wines

    “Sustainability” has become a hot topic among members of the U.S. wine industry, with more and more vintners and growers embracing sustainable practices.

     But what does sustainability mean to consumers, and is there truly a market for sustainable products?

     Kate Peringer, marketing communications manager for The Hartman Group, will present the results of a study on this subject at the…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Monterey County Crush Is in Full Swing

    “It’s the best part of the year,” said Israel Ruiz, who works at Hahn Estates winery, tucked away in the Santa Lucia foothills above California’s Salinas Valley.

     Around Monterey County, the processing of this year’s harvest is in full swing at dozens of wineries. Winemakers say they expect a smaller yield this year as a result of more concentrated grapes, made so by the weather conditions. But as is often the case, the small yield is likely to result in better wines.

     Paul Clifton, a winemaker at Hahn Estates, told the Monterey County…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Buena Vista, You Don't Look a Day Over 125!

    More than 200 people turned out at the historic Buena Vista Winery tasting room in Sonoma, Calif., to celebrate the 150th anniversary of California’s first premium commercial winery.

The estate was founded by Agoston Haraszthy in 1857.

Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) entered a statement into the Congressional Record, honoring the winery and its founder. And…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction

Harvest Reports, Marriage Advice and More

    While the winegrape harvest has been underway for several weeks in California’s Napa and Sonoma counties, it’s only now beginning to develop a head of steam in Monterey County to the south.

Reason? The Monterey area is much cooler, so it generally takes longer for the grapes to attain full ripeness.

That time is now, and we’ll have a full report here on…

Posted in Editor's Journal
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