Monthly Archives: April 2011

Chilean Wine Company Buys Fetzer

Wineries can be small, family-operated
businesses.

They also can be big businesses. Very
big.

We were reminded of this recently when Brown-Forman sold
Fetzer Vineyards in Mendocino County, California, to Chilean wine
producer Vina Concha y Toro.

Posted in The Wine Business

Malbec is on a Roll

If there were any doubts that Malbec is the wine variety of the
moment, sales figures recently released by the Symphony IRI Group
(SIRI) put them to rest.

SIRI compiles data based on
items scanned at major supermarkets and drug stores. For the first
quarter of 2011, dollar sales at retail for wines from Argentina
increased by an impressive 34 percent.

Posted in The Wine Business

What Makes Wine "Legs" Nice?

QUESTION: My wife and I were at a tasting room recently, when I
heard one of the other customers say, “Nice legs!” After I figured out
that the guy wasn’t making a move on my wife, I asked the woman behind
the bar what that meant.

She said, “‘legs’ refer to the little droplets of wine that run
down the inside of a glass after the wine has been swirled.” I guess my
next question is, “What makes those ‘legs’ nice?”

Posted in Wine FAQ

New Flavors Coming to Farmers' Markets

Some of the best farmers’ markets anywhere in the country are
held in the state of Washington–which makes sense, since the Evergreen
State has a climate that’s favorable to a wide variety of
crops.

Well, some of those farmers’ markets are about
to get even better, thanks to a bill signed by Governor Chris
Gregoire.

The bill green-lights a limited number of
farmers’ markets to offer samples of beer and wine for
purchase.

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

LEED Certification for Niner Wine Estates

After years of planning and constructing, Niner Wine Estates
has been awarded LEED Silver Certification, established by the U.S.
Green Building Council.

“We are simply thrilled,” said
owners Richard and Pam Niner in a press release. “We recognize that
LEED Certification is a significant achievement, given the complexities
of a winery operation, and one that was very important to our entire
team.”

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) is the preeminent building rating program that is the nationally
accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of
high-performance green buildings.

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Dealing With Ridiculous Restaurant Wine Prices

Coming up in the May edition of The Grapevine, the official
online publication of the wine clubs of Vinesse, club members will read a
story dealing with the dos and don’ts of ordering wine in a
restaurant.

It’s really not as complicated as the
ceremonial depictions in movies and on TV, and it’s not even necessary
to smell the cork–which is fortunate, considering so many wines now are
sealed with cork alternatives.

Posted in Editor's Journal

Phillips Family Honored by Napa Growers

The Napa Valley Grapegrowers announced that the Phillips
family, long-time winegrape growers in Oakville, were selected as the
2011 recipient of the prestigious Napa Valley Grower of the Year
award.

This marks the first time a family, rather than
an individual, was chosen for this distinction.

Posted in Wine Buzz

The Man Who Helped Make "Napa" Special

Andy Beckstoffer, featured in yesterday’s preview of the 2011
Auction Napa Valley, was a leader in developing a winery definition
ordinance that required Napa wineries to focus on making wines from Napa
grapes.

By the time the litigious dust (from Rutherford and elsewhere in the
valley) had settled, wineries could no longer include “Napa” in their
names if the grapes they used to make their wines were grown
elsewhere.

Posted in Wine Buzz

Wine Industry Icon Passes Away

In some newspapers around the country, the
obituary for Jess
Jackson probably was placed in the Sports
section.

Jackson was well known in the world of
thoroughbred horse racing
as the owner of two-time American Horse of the Year Curlin, as well as
2009
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.

Posted in Wine Buzz

Beckstoffer's "Grapes" Should Bring in a Lot

For the first time in its 31-year history, the prestigious
Auction Napa Valley, sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners, is offering an
auction lot of ultra-premium wines made from grapes grown by an independent
grower from historic vineyard lands.

The auction lot contains wines from Andy Beckstoffer’s
heritage vineyards: To Kalon in Oakville, Dr. Crane in St. Helena, and Vineyard
Georges III in Rutherford.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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