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Auctioneer Fritz Hatton leads bidding on the event's 10 live auction lots. Photo: Nathan DeHartTASTE News Service March 22, 2016 – Lake, Napa and surrounding county residents joined #LakeCountyRising to raise more than $150,000 at the Charity Wine Auction on Sunday at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA. More than 100 guests gathered for the Charity Wine Auction, among whom were Linda Reiff of Napa Valley Vintners, Cyril Chappellet of Chappellet Winery, and Clay Shannon, owner of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines. Proceeds from Sunday’s auction were generated from the event’s 10 live auction lots, 20 silent…
TASTE News Service, March 10, 2016 – Riedel, the 300 year-old family credited with revolutionizing glassware for the enjoyment of wine, has announced an exclusive partnership with the San Francisco Wine School. Inaugurated in November 2015, the partnership names Riedel Crystal as the sole glassware provider to the school, which will use Riedel’s varietal specific stemware for all events, tastings and testing purposes.
Peter Mondavi flanked by sons Marc and Peter Jr.By Dan Clarke February 22, 2016 - This morning brought the news that Peter Mondavi died on Saturday. The patriarch of Charles Krug Winery and CK Mondavi wines was 101 years old at the time of his passing. I had met him a couple of times, but knew him more by reputation than personal contact. When you work around the wine business for any length of time, you get some sense of who the giants of the industry are.
Sommelier Christopher Sawyer (left) and his teammate work on their blends of the 2012 vintage two years ago TASTE News Service, February 14, 2016 - Raymond Vineyards Proprietor, Jean-Charles Boisset, Director of Winemaking, Stephanie Putnam and Thane Knutson, Assistant Winemaker, recently hosted 10 hand-selected sommeliers from across the country to participate in the seventh annual Sommelier Selection Blending Session. The sommeliers were selected for their depth of knowledge and experience, and together they represent some of the best and brightest sommelier talent in the nation.
Beckstoffer Amber Knolls Vineyard TASTE News Service, January 29, 2016 – The Beckstoffer name is synonymous with the highest quality vineyards in Northern California wine growing regions including Napa Valley, Mendocino County and the Red Hills of Lake County. It's the latter where Andy and David Beckstoffer will offer ten experienced or aspiring winemakers the opportunity to receive grapes, free of charge, from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 harvests from their vineyards in the Red Hills AVA.
Joe Montana signs a bottle of 1869By Dan Clarke Nearly 30 years ago Randy Cross called San Francisco 49er fans a “white wine sipping crowd.” The comment from the all-pro guard came after a loss in which he felt the team’s fans exhibited a less than enthusiastic attitude. It was a derisive comment, but maybe not inaccurate. Fans of many teams might be more likely to be beer drinkers or maybe shot-and-a-beer drinkers. However, 49er fans live close to the nation’s most significant wine regions and have a reputation for relative sophistication. It’s likely that they do drink more white…
Once unknown among Spanish wines, Priorat is enjoying a new found appreciation today. Photo Courtesy of Clos Figueras SA By Rosemary George (Zester Daily)   December 17, 2015 - It is extraordinary to consider that about 20 years ago Priorat was an unknown name in the roll call of Spanish wine regions. Today, much has changed. Priorat is now one of just two regions with a designated DOCa classification, a step up from plain DO, the other being Rioja.
TASTE News Service, December 15, 2015 - Whether it's relaxing at home, dining out at a restaurant or celebrating with friends and family, Americans are enjoying wine at a wider variety of occasions than ever before. The survey, commissioned by E. & J. Gallo Winery, found that 85 percent of frequent wine drinkers now believe that wine is appropriate for casual and formal settings alike. The survey of 1,000 frequent wine drinkers between the ages of 21 and 64 is a follow-up to the 2014 survey of the same name, which aims to capture the current state of American wine…
by Dr. Liz Thach, MW and Dr. Kathryn Chang   Editor’s Note: Results of the following Sonoma State University study originally appeared at WineBusiness.com on November 11, 2015 and we appreciate their permission for us to post this abbreviated version of the work of Drs. Thach and Chang. Taste California Travel readers interested in knowing more about the habits of the American wine consumer can access the full results of their study at the link at the link below. As the world’s largest wine market since 2010 (Wine Institute, 2015), the United States has become a focus for most major…
Walter Schug 1935 - 2015By Dan Clarke October 12, 2015 – This morning’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that Walter Schug passed away on Saturday. He was 80 years old. I met him only a few times, but he seemed the kind of guy I’d have liked to know better. Walter and his wife, Gertrud, arrived in California more than half a century ago. They both came from winemaking families and Walter had studied viticulture and enology at Geisenheim before continuing his education at the University of California, Davis. In 1966 Gallo hired Walter Schug as Director of Grower Relations…
Kerry, Tom and Cooper  TASTE News Service, October 4, 2015 -- Veteran winemaker Tom Eddy and his wife Kerry officially opened their new Calistoga winery just in time for the 2015 harvest. Fifteen years after moving up valley to Calistoga from Napa, the Eddys succeeded in completing the initial phase of the winery caves on the estate where they’ll now produce the eponymous Tom Eddy brand. “We’ve been persistent and committed to our life’s goal of having our own facility,” said Tom, “and now that this small cave and winery are a reality . . . we pinch ourselves at…
TASTE News Service, September 28, 2015 - After a coy public relations campaign begun a year ago, American Pioneer Wine Growers (APWG) last week announced the name of its new property, Virginia Dare Winery. Over the past year, APWG has released a series of four wines – The White Doe, Manteo, Two Arrowheads and The Lost Colony – each revealing a different aspect of the Virginia Dare legend ultimately culminating in the unveiling of the new winery name.
Wines of now-lost Shedhorn CellarsTASTE News Service September 15, 2015 – We are saddened by the terrible fire and losses in the Lake County community. Our thoughts go out to all who have lost so much in the Valley Fire. We are grateful for the brave work being done by firefighters and all other first responders to keep our residents safe, and for the tireless efforts of the hundreds of volunteers helping to assist those displaced by the fire. Many in the Lake County wine industry have been impacted by this disaster, some both personally and professionally. Michael and Adawn…
Mike and Robert on the setTASTE News Service September 14, 2015 - Hollywood screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen came to the Napa Valley last week. His visit turned Grgich Hills Estate’s tasting room in Rutherford into a movie set to film Miljenko "Mike" Grgich for Robert's upcoming movie "Judgment of Paris." Mike was reportedly thrilled to be the subject of the very first shoot of the movie. The well-known Kamen has been a writer and producer of acclaimed films like "The Karate Kid", "Fifth Element", "Taken", "The Transporter 2", and "A Walk in the Clouds". He is also the proprietor of…
Pasadena's Langham Hotel will host an October dinnerTASTE News Service, September 5, 2015 -- In celebration of 50 years of producing world-class sparkling wines, Schramsberg Vineyards will convene a nationwide series of winemaker dinners. The dinners will occur in eight cities across the country, educating consumers about the wines produced by Schramsberg and demonstrating how well sparkling wines pair with food. The Napa Valley winery has long created educational opportunities on the topic, including the bi-annual Camp Schramsberg program, hosting food and wine events at its property and developing winemaker dinners at top restaurants nationwide; it will use this special…
By Lisa Mattson Rob Davis Nothing in life is a coincidence. I couldn’t help but think of the power of fate on Monday, August 24, when thirty guests turned out to celebrate Winemaker Rob Davis’s 40th harvest at Jordan Winery. Three months in the making, the entire event was a surprise that involved juggling dates and schedules of friends and colleagues who have known Rob for many decades of his wine career–baseball legends, barrel makers, cork suppliers, journalists, sommeliers, friends, his family and fellow winemakers. When we selected August 24 as our surprise party, we knew it was the only…
Margrit Mondavi's daughters Annie Roberts and Phoebe Holbrook joined her at presentation by Assemblymember Bill Dodd and Senator Lois Wolk.TASTE News Service, August 26, 2015 – Margrit Biever Mondavi was honored at the state Capitol on Monday for her contributions to our region and the state of California. She was joined at the Capitol by friends and family, including her daughters Phoebe Holbrook and Annie Roberts. To mark the occasion Assemblymember Bill Dodd and Senator Lois Wolk presented her a resolution on the floor of the state Assembly. “I’d like to thank Assemblymember Dodd for this great honor. While I’m…
A comfortable addition to Inn at Spanish Bay TASTE News Service, August 25, 2015 – Pebble Beach Resorts has further expanded its offering for wine aficionados with the introduction of Stave Wine Cellar at Spanish Bay. The facility, which takes its name from a stave (one of the individual strips of wood that form the sides of a wine barrel), invites visitors to indulge in wines by the glass, small bites and a selection of hard-to-find bottles for purchase. “When we were designing Stave Wine Cellar, our vision was for it to be a place that reflects the charm and…
David CoffaroTASTE News Service, August 21, 2015  - Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley (WDCV) expect the 2015 winegrape harvest to yield exceptional quality fruit in smaller quantities than the last three vintages, which were larger than normal throughout most of the state of California. Picking began earlier than usual this year, with David Coffaro Estate and Amista Vineyards harvesting grapes for their sparkling wines on July 29 and August 3, respectively. In 2014, Amista Vineyards harvested for their blanc de blanc two days later on August 5. For still wines, many white grapes have already become ripe for picking. Preston…
photo courtesy of Peachey Canyon Winery By Robert Henson, winemaker at Peachey Canyon Winery August 5, 2015 - If you’re not lucky enough to be a winemaker (ahem) you probably get most of your wine from the wine sections of grocery and specialty stores. Unlike winery tasting rooms, however, stores have giant walls of wine and no friendly tasting room associates to help you navigate their depths. Plus, you’re probably in a hurry. So with that in mind, here’s some insider information about how to get the most out of that wall of wine. Don’t limit yourself to wines at…
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