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Tuesday, 23 October 2018 23:02

Napa Growers Call 2018 “Picture-Perfect”

By Dan Clarke                                                                                                                                

Angwin, Napa County, October 24, 2018 - Growers delivered a sanguine picture of Napa’a 2018 vintage yesterday.

Tuesday, 09 October 2018 23:34

Napa Truffle Festival

TASTE News Service, October 10, 2018 - The American Truffle Company returns to Napa January 18-21, with the ninth annual Napa Truffle Festival.

Tuesday, 09 October 2018 11:18

Phil Mickelson Pops Cork for Charity

TASTE News Service, October 9, 2018 – Korbel California Champagne once again held the “Spray-Off” Challenge at Silverado Resort in Napa.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 10:27

Mondavi Winemaking Team Evolves

TASTE News Service, July 18, 2018 - In July 2018 Genevieve Janssens transitions from Director of Winemaking to Chief Winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery, and Nova Cadamatre, MW, re-joins the team as Senior Director of Winemaking.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 23:55

Cakebread Launches Phoenix Rosé

Cakebread Phoenix Rose bottle Picmonkey

TASTE News Service, February 13, 2018 - What do you do when Mother Nature hands you fires and smoke during the 2017 California grape harvest? Cakebread Cellars, one of Napa Valley’s signature wineries, responded to the challenge by making a limited-edition rosé wine, specially crafted to support the Napa and Sonoma Valley wildfire recovery efforts.

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 11:34

Nearly Back to Normal

By Dan Clarke

Three weeks ago fire broke out in the wine country of Northern California. It wasn’t just one fire, but several fires and unusually high winds spread them quickly.

International Wine Challenge Picmonkey

TASTE News Service, May 11, 2016 - Winemakers from the USA showed they are a force to be reckoned with at the International Wine Challenge 2016, with a serious haul of medals.

Langham Huntington Pasadena PicmonkeyPasadena'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 moment in its history to build on this tradition.

"We are very excited to find that more and more restaurateurs, sommeliers and consumers are really starting to understand how delicious and food-friendly sparkling wines are," says Hugh Davies, Schramsberg's second-generation vintner. "With this tour, we have the chance to develop a series of extraordinary dinners with outstanding chefs, to create dining experiences that will be remembered for years to come."

Schramsberg first came to the nation's attention at President Nixon's 1972 summit with China, when the 1969 Blanc de Blancs was poured for the "Toast to Peace." The wines have continued to be served at presidential dinners while winning many awards, including the James Beard Award in 1996. The winery has maintained its dedication to preserving its attachment to local land, culture and history, while remaining a family operation.

Hugh Davies' parents, Jack and Jamie, revived one of Napa's most historic wineries back in 1965 to establish Schramsberg Vineyards as the nation's first craft sparkling wine house. Dedicated to maintaining the property's historical and natural integrity, the family has preserved and restored the century-old buildings and caves on the property, as well as taken rigorous steps to be certified as a Napa Green Winery on Napa Green Land. At the same time, the Davies have achieved something unique: quality sparkling wine evocative of California's terroir. By sourcing grapes from a deep range of North Coast cool-climate sites, Schramsberg has come to be known as California's premier producer of sparkling wine.

At the time of Hugh's father's death in 1998, the family established the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Land Preservation Fund "to preserve, protect and promote agricultural land in the Napa Valley," continuing to put into practice words passed on from his father: "This place was created long before any of us were here, and our job is to ensure that it will last long after we're gone."

Eight dinners will be held during October and November 2015 in the following cities:

Houston, TX: October 8 | Table on Post Oak

Boulder, CO: October 13 | Flagstaff House

Pasadena, CA: October 15 | Langham Hotel

New York, NY: October 27 | Chef's Club

Seattle, WA: November 4 | Loulay

Chicago, IL: November 12 | RPM Steak

San Francisco, CA: November 20 | to be announced

Bonita Springs, FL: December 3 | Angelina's Ristorante

 

Editor’s note:  Clicking on the picture of the Schramsberg cave below will take you to a short video narrated by Hugh Davies.

Schramsberg Vineyards cave and bottles Picmonkey

Carneros Wine Alliance logo Picmonkey

TASTE News Service June 18, 2015 - The non-profit Carneros Wine Alliance will host a “Year of the Ram” 30th Birthday Bash on Saturday afternoon, July 25. The event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group’s founding as well as the 2015 Year of the Ram (“carneros” in Spanish) in the Chinese zodiac calendar. The Carneros wine region has American Viticultural Area (AVA) status and includes land in the southern parts of both Sonoma and Napa Counties.

Though famous for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which represent approximately 90% of planted vineyard acres in Carneros, the remaining 10% includes varietals ranging from Syrah and Merlot to the more unusual Marsanne, Roussane, Albariño, Petit Verdot, Pinot Meunier, Vermentino, Grenache Blanc, and Tempranillo.

Anne Moller RackeAnne Moller Racke“When we founded the Carneros Wine Alliance 30 years ago we saw the potential for The Carneros AVA to be considered a leading appellation for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” reflected Anne Moller-Racke, CWA president and president and winegrower of The Donum Estate in Carneros. “Now, Carneros is known around the world as a producer of world-class wines and a wine capital in its own right. I’m so very proud and honored to have been part of this history and I’m looking forward to the next three decades of promoting our beautiful appellation and the wines that are created here.”

The 30th Birthday Bash is open to the public. A broad selection of Carneros wines is to be paired with locally sourced appetizers while participants enjoy live music and art at the stunning di Rosa property in the heart of Carneros. Tickets to the 30th Birthday Bash are limited and available at $100 a person. A portion of the proceeds will benefit di Rosa, a non-profit contemporary art museum celebrating the artists of Northern California. For further details visit: carneros.com/yearoftheram-30anniversary.

About the Carneros Wine Alliance:

The Carneros Wine Alliance is a non-profit association of wineries and grape-growers in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA). Carneros is located at the crossroads of two major wine regions, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. A cool-climate appellation influenced by the waters of the San Francisco Bay, Carneros has long been known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine production.

About di Rosa:

Located on over 200 acres in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, di Rosa celebrates the artists of Northern California through a wide array of exhibitions and educational programs for all ages. The permanent collection features nearly 2,000 works by 800 regional artists working from the 1960s to the present. A wide range of styles, media, and subject matter provide an overview of the creative energy and freedom to experiment that characterize this region of California. For more information, hours, and tour schedules, visit diRosaArt.org.

Sutter Home White Zinfandel 40th Ann Picmonkey

TASTE News Service, February 24, 2015 – The creation of White Zinfandel dates back to 1972, when Bob Trinchero was experimenting with ways to make his acclaimed Amador County Zinfandel even more robust. Emulating the French rosés he greatly admired, Bob fermented the free-run, drawn-off juice of his Zinfandel to dryness and barrel-aged it before bottling the pale pink elixir as a curiosity item for his tasting room clientele. He called this wine “White Zinfandel.” 

In 1975, the White Zinfandel suffered a stuck-fermentation, which occurs when the fermentation stalls before all the grape sugar could be converted into alcohol. Despite his best efforts, Bob could not restart the fermentation, so he bottled, with about 2% residual sugar and a tinge of pink color. As a result, Bob created a new category of wine and White Zinfandel was the first wine “varietal” created in the U.S. 

The sweeter tasting profile and approachable style helped White Zinfandel to instantly become a crowd-pleaser. Bob invented a wine that appealed to the masses, and Sutter Home quickly became a house-hold name. This change transformed the American opinion of wine, and gave people an option beyond the traditional varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Suddenly, people were asking for it, buying bottles and then cases.

During the 1980s, Sutter Home White Zinfandel became the single most popular premium wine in the United States, with sales growing exponentially from 25,000 cases in 1981 to more than 4.5 million by 1987. This unprecedented sales success spawned numerous emulative "blush" wines.

Originally founded in 1890, the Sutter Home Winery was closed during Prohibition, and reopened by the Trinchero family in 1948. The winery remains family-owned.

In 1994, Wine Spectator credited Bob Trinchero with the prestigious “Distinguished Service Award” “for inviting a whole new segment of the population to try a glass of wine.” Today, an original Sutter Home White Zinfandel bottle lives in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

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