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from TASTE News Service "balance is critical . . . " --Scott HarveyLower alcohol wine represents Napa Valley winemaker Scott Harvey’s commitment to making wine that is drinkable, enjoyable, and enhances good food. At last, new tastes in wine are catching up to Scott Harvey’s training. The winemaker is not alone in his views about the superiority of lower alcohol wines. According to Richard Halstead, CEO of global market research Wine Intelligence, “Alcoholic strength of wine is an issue that consumers take seriously across the world." According to Drinks International, "there has been widespread criticism of 15.5% alcohol blockbusters and…
Steve Burns (left), Wine Institute Director of International Marketing Linsey Gallagher, and Pete Hou of AVIAREPS Marketing Garden, Wine Institute’s China trade representative, visit wine display in Shanghai store. California wines, a key element of the state’s culinary lifestyle that draws visitors from around the world, were presented at a series of events during Governor Brown’s Trade Mission to China April 9 – 12, paving the way for vintner delegations heading to the country later this spring. As part of Wine Institute’s partnership with Visit California, the state’s tourism organization, Golden State wines will be featured at an event billed,…
Jon Fredrikson addresses wine industry leaders at 2013 Unified Symposium Wine sales in the U.S. from all prouction sources—California, other U.S. states and foreign countries—increased 2% from the previous year to a new record of 360.1 million 9-liter cases with an estimated retail value of $34.6 billion,” according to wine industry consultant Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates in Woodside. Of the total, almost two-thirds or 207.7 million cases of California wine account for a 58% share of U.S. wine sales with an estimated retail value of $22 billion. Including exports, 2012 California wine shipments to all markets in…
With the addition of recent results from the Winemakers Challenge and San Francisco Wine Competition, South Coast Winery has now earned a total of 1,800 medals in both domestic and international wine competitions. Jim Carter introduces diners to South Coast winemakers Jon McPherson (left) and Javier Flores (right). Jim Carter’s South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is located in Southern California Temecula Valley Wine Country. The operation has planted vineyards and grown to an annual production of 65,000 cases in just 10 years. The winery has won awards for 40 different varietals. According to Peggy Evans, Executive Director, Temecula Valley…
It all began with a name. Now, 25 years later, Meritage is the fastest growing wine category in the United States -- across all price levels -- and the thirst for wines blended in the tradition of Bordeaux shows no sign of abating. "When the Meritage name was trademarked in 1988, many in the industry thought the idea was crazy," said Susie Bynum, chairman o f The Meritage Alliance, which will kick off a year-long observance of its 25th anniversary this week. "Time has proven them to be wrong. Blended wines -- particularly those crafted from the traditional Bordeaux grape…
The El Dorado Winery Association and its 35 wineries in the Sierra foothills has unveiled a new-look website to accommodate the region’s continually growing popularity and to match the area’s unique energy and acclaimed wines. Madroña is at 3000 feet elevation This latest step comes only a few weeks after the state Department of Food and Agriculture awarded the region a $179,000 Specialty Crop Block Grant to help build a complete marketing effort focused on making all of California and Northern Nevada, and particularly areas like Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Reno and Carson City, more aware of what’s…
LOS GATOS, Calif., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Yields normal to a bit above; quality very high" was the verdict at Testarossa Winery, following this year's wine grape harvest. Testarossa specializes in small lot, vineyard-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of California's best-known winegrowers. After twelve vintages at the winery, winemaker Bill Brosseau is well qualified to discuss the "state of the crush" in the fifteen vineyards and five separate appellations (Santa Lucia Highlands, Sta. Rita Hills, Russian River, Arroyo Grande Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Chalone) that the winery partners with.Bill Brosseau Bill comments, "Following the challenges of the…
L-R: Pablo Zellman, Jaime Rosas, Amador Villalobos, Federico Gonzalez, Tacho Corona,  Gabriel Martinez, Gerardo Mendoza, Antonio Batres, Felix Aguilar, Alonso Raygoza, Geronimo Rico, Randy Krag                                                    Photo By: Casey Carney   by Susan Stout   Ten individuals representing Lake County’s professional vineyard work force received accolades when the Lake County Winegrape Commission presented its first graduating class of the Commission’s Master Vigneron Academy. The graduation and celebration took place in the Lakeport Yacht Club in November.. The 2012 graduates of the yearlong course are Felix Aguilar and Gabriel Martinez of Bella Vista Farming; Antonio Batres and Alonso Raygoza, Beckstoffer-Red Hills; Tarcisio…
by Dan Clarke   Some folks in wine country used to feel tourists got in the way. Twenty years ago a friend was lamenting the growing incursion of tourists in the Napa Valley. Jon managed a vineyard known for producing very high quality Cabernet and Merlot grapes. Yuppies were coming up from the Bay Area, he said. They clogged the main traffic arteries up and down the Valley, especially on the weekends. They impeded business and personal travel for the locals. More than once he'd had to slam on the brakes to avoid crushing a clueless bicyclist who'd decided to…
Steve and Orlando Hot on the heels of the San Francisco Giants World Series win, Ledson Winery is re-releasing limited quantities of its wine collaboration featuring legendary former San Francisco Giant baseball player and Hall of Famer, Orlando Cepeda. Proceeds from the sale of Ledson’s “Baby Bull” Zinfandel will benefit the Ledson Harmony Foundation for Children (www.ledsonharmonyfoundation.com). The special price is $50 per bottle and $70 for a signed bottle. This special offering runs through December 15.   “The Giants are successful because of these young new players like Posey, Baumgarner and Lincecum,” explained Harmony Foundation head Steve Ledson. “They…
E. Fork of Trinity River where China Creek joins.   Wine is rarely made, today, without electricity to power crushers, wine presses, pumps, bottling equipment and lighting. However, for one Northern California winery being off the grid comes naturally. Alpen Cellars, in the Trinity Lakes grape-growing area of the vast Shasta Cascade region of northeast California, gets its power from China Creek, a stream that crosses its property on its course to the east fork of the Trinity River. The winery is located on a 300-acre ranch, ten miles from the nearest source of power. “Power lines ran out here…
Early fall visitors taste at the Sugar Mill.The Old Sugar Mill wine mall has added two area wineries -- Due Vigne di Famiglia and The Dragon & Chicken, home of Draconis Wines by Matt Powell -- making a total of ten tasting rooms. "This makes us a major U.S. wine destination," according to John Beckman, General Manager of the Mill and president of the Clarksburg Wine Company. They join Carvalho Family Winery, Clarksburg Wine Company, Elevation Ten, Heringer Estates, Merlo Family Vineyards, Rendezvous Winery, Three Wine Company and Todd Taylor Wines. Beckman said, “When Sacramentans think of wine and wine…
Life is certainly sweet for one Madera Wine Trail winery known for their sweet dessert wines and their vermouth. Quady Winery earned several accolades recently for their Vya Vermouth and several of their wines. Vya Vermouth impressed the people at Made in America so much that Quady Winery was nominated for and received an American Treasures Award. Since its inception in 2008, Made in America has recognized, promoted, and provided assistance to Darin Peterson, assistant winemaker at Quady Winery, accepts the American Treasure award at Washington DC reception. American businesses committed to production in the United States. Key to this…
by Dan Clarke   I drove over to Livermore yesterday. The occasion was the 10th Petite Sirah Symposium. As you might expect, all assembled had an interest in wines made from the Petite Sirah grape. There were farmers who grew the grape, wine makers, wine marketers and members of the press. Early versions of this annual gathering were held at Foppiano Winery up in Sonoma County. I had attended some of them and the Livermore meeting was a good time to catch up with recent developments. Getting away from the computer on this last day of July took longer than…
A Malbec wine from Madera County took top honors at the 2012 Orange County Fair wine competition in Costa Mesa June 5 and 6. Farview Farm Vineyard, owned by Ray and Tammy Krause of O’Neals, earned a four star gold medal for their Malbec Saint Michael. It was the only Malbec to earn this coveted rating.Ray and Tammy Krause “Gold medals are like belly buttons. A four star gold, well, that’s a different story,” said Krause with the usual quick wit and good-natured grin for which he’s known – almost as much as for his wines. Ray said he’s grateful…
by Dan Clarke   Judging wines beats breaking rocks on a chain gang. Or so I would imagine. But it is work and, done right, it requires a fair degree of concentration. Friday night I was poolside at the home of friends in Sacramento. Somewhere between the grilled lamb appetizers and the filet mignon we were comparing John's Cabernet Sauvignon with a red wine blend. The topic of what each of us had planned for the weekend came up. The following morning I'd be driving up to Plymouth, I said. There I'd be joining 25 or 30 others in judging…
The North Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA) in California, covering more than three million acres, includes Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties, and portions of Marin and Solano counties. The area forms a slightly crooked rectangle, approximately 100 miles long and more than 50 miles wide. A winemaking mecca since the mid 19th century, today the area features about 800 wineries, nearly half of the total wineries in the state. American Viticultural Areas are to appellations of origin as grapes are to fruit. AVAs are delimited grapegrowing areas distinguishable by geographic, climatic and historic features, and the boundaries have been…
Viticulture in California's vast interior valley, nestled between the state's coastal mountain range and the Sierra Nevada, is actually two valleys: the Sacramento Valley in the north and the San Joaquin Valley in the south, which includes the Delta area located in the middle where the two valleys meet. Although the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys are not designated American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), the region produces 70 percent of the state's winegrapes and is home to 15 AVAs. The Sierra Foothills region is an AVA that runs adjacent to both valleys on the east side, along the Sierra Nevada Mountains.…
California winemakers have ridden the wine wave of the past 30 years to achieve a degree of visibility and renown within the industry and beyond. As the number of commercial bricks and mortar California wineries has grown from about 850 in 1998 to over 3000 in 2012, winemakers have taken the center stage, much like football quarterbacks. Whether they were born into a winemaking family, or became a winemaker through sheer will, or even by chance, winemakers have earned their title through hard work and a devotion to the grape. The job requires a strong sense of self-confidence along with…
Napa and Sonoma may get all the press, and the Gold Country may have all of that rugged history, but the wine country of California’s Central Valley has its story too. Rightly famous for its rich soils and temperate climate, the Central Valley can produce wines of character that, when compared to some of those other regions, are a great value. You may not be familiar with some of these California wine regions, but they're definitely worth investigating.   Yolo County Known for its warm days and mild Delta breezes, the wine country of Yolo County yields unforgettable wines of…
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