Monthly Archives: May 2009

Washington Wine Industry Wants Tougher Labeling Rules

    Washington state growers recently spoke in favor of stricter rules
governing the content of wines billed as Washington products.

     Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Chair Brenton Roy of
Oasis Farms (Prosser) and WAWGG Director Todd Newhouse of Upland
Vineyards (Outlook) testified on behalf of the association at the

     WAWGG and the Washington Wine Institute are backing the bill,
which received first reading by state lawmakers on January 29. The bill
seeks to require that Washington wines be made 95% from…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Blending Wine & Music in the U.K.

    Casella Wines, the company behind Australian wine brand Yellow
Tail, is set to launch a music and wine promotional campaign in the
United Kingdom.

     According to Just Drinks, Yellow Tail Sample Sessions aims to
match a genre of music with a style of wine, the company said.

     Senior Yellow Tail winemaker Emma Norbiato and Australian deejay
Rob O’Neil have created eight matches for the promotion, including…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Tasting Features Spanish & Portuguese Varities

    The Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society (TAPAS)
has announced that the most extensive annual tasting of domestically
produced Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines in North America will
take place this year on Sunday, June 14 at the Fort Mason Conference
Center in San Francisco.

     From 2 to 4:30 p.m., consumers will have an opportunity to taste
wines produced by TAPAS members from grape varieties indigenous to
Spain and Portugal that are now cultivated in America, in a delightful
walk-around setting in…

Posted in Wine in the Glass

Another New AVA for Washington

    Washington state’s wine industry continues to grow, scoring its
second American Viticultural Area of the year with designation of the
Lake Chelan AVA, Wines & Vines reports.

     “We’ve always known that we were growing world-class grapes up
here, but now the whole world’s going to know about us,” said Steve
Kludt of Lake Chelan Winery, who opened the AVA’s first winery in 2000
and co-founded the Lake Chelan Wine Valley Association.

     “We still have to produce good wines and grow world-class grapes,
but at least now we’re going to start getting recognized and…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Sorry Kermit: Being Green Isn't All That Difficult

    Turns out, it is fairly easy being green. And the rewards go way
beyond feeling good about yourself, U.S. grape growers largely agree.

     According to Beverage World, farmers in wine regions the world
over are eschewing pesticides and chemical fertilizers, returning to
the practices that growers’ great-grandfathers used before anyone knew
what “organic” was.

     “This approach just brings your vineyard alive,” said John Fetzer,
owner of Saracina Vineyards in Mendocino County, Calif., where the
“green-growing” movement is nearly universal. “You end up with…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Grape-Growing Comes to… London?!?

    London’s first commercial vineyard since Medieval times has been planted, according to Decanter.

     Nearly 1,500 Bacchus vines were hand-planted at Forty Hall Organic Farm in the London Borough of Enfield.

     “Bacchus is ideally suited to cool-climate wine production and
produces a crisp, light white wine with Sauvignon characteristics of
gooseberry and fresh grass. It’s a perfect wine for summer picnics,”
said Sarah Vaughan-Roberts, the vineyard manager.

     Vaughan-Roberts hopes that the free-draining, gravelly…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

A Taste of the Russian River Valley

    I love sharing wine events with our Vinesse club members and
visitors to because wine-related trips and vacations
almost always result in great, long-lasting memories.

     One of the best of Northern California’s annual festivals takes
place in mid-August. It’s the Grape to Glass Weekend, presented by the
Russian River Valley Winegrowers in Sonoma County. I’ve attended six of
the 13 events held thus far, and the 14th annual Grape to Glass is

Posted in Editor's Journal

A Snapshot of the Wine Industry

    Silicon Valley Bank, a leading provider of commercial banking
services to the wine industry, has released its annual “State of the
Wine Industry Report.”

     Based on in-house expertise and primary research among West Coast
wineries, the report forecasts flat growth in the fine wine segment and
modest growth in higher volume segments in 2009. Silicon Valley Bank’s
research also finds that the distribution channel for modest wine
producers and many smaller brands is effectively closed, suggesting
lasting changes in sales strategies.

     “Wine businesses across the board are being pushed to new limits
in the current environment,” said Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon
Valley Bank’s Wine Division and author of the report. “The sustained

Posted in The Wine Business

Columbia Winery: Top Wedding Venue

***image2***     The Knot (, a leading wedding Web site and
publisher of The Knot Weddings magazine, surveyed more than 21,000
recent brides to get real reviews on the top wedding vendors and venues
across the country.

     Washington’s Columbia Winery received the coveted designation and
“Editor’s Choice” as top wedding and reception venue in the “Knot Best
of Weddings 2009” magazine.

     Founded in 1962 as Washington’s first winery, Columbia Winery
offers an elegant reception facility in its Victorian mansion.
Surrounded by lush…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

Several Charities Benefit from Livermore Wine Auction

    The 2009 Livermore Valley Wine Auction raised $200,000 for various
East Bay children’s charities — the same total it raised last year,
the San Francisco Business Times reports.

     The sold-out event at Concannon Vineyard attracted 250 attendees,
according to the foundation, which is affiliated with the 42-member
Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association. Ticket prices were lowered
from $250 per person in 2008 to $175 this year, to keep attendance
robust in a tough economy, a spokeswoman said.

     To adapt to the current mood, the foundation “lowered the ticket
price and offered several wine and food pairing stations instead of the
traditional banquet,” Darcie Kent, the Winegrowers…

Posted in Wine Buzz
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