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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…
TASTE News Service July 29, 2015 - Pat Roney, President of Vintage Wine Estates, confirmed today the acquisition of B.R. Cohn Winery, located in Glen Ellen, California in Sonoma's Valley of the Moon. In 1974, founder Bruce Cohn transformed a former dairy into the Olive Hill Estate Vineyard, named for the property's grove of 140-year old French Picholine olive trees. In 1984, Cohn built the B.R. Cohn Winery on the estate. B.R. Cohn produces a range of critically acclaimed wines including Cabernet Sauvignon from the 61-acre Olive Hill Vineyard. The estate also produces extra-virgin olive oils and vinegars, and is…
Distinguished Professor of Wine Liz Thach TASTE News Service, July 15, 2015 - Master of Wine, Liz Thach has been named Sonoma State University's (SSU) Distinguished Professor of Wine. Dr. Thach will work collaboratively with the faculty, staff, board, and leadership of the Wine Business Institute to conduct ongoing wine research programs; provide thought leadership to the global wine business industry; teach courses, seminars, and workshops in wine and wine business; and connect with SSU alumni working in global wine industry businesses. In addition to the many accolades that Liz has brought to the Wine Business Institute, she has made…
By Dan Clarke Sacramento, California June 18, 2015 - Today the California State Fair announced winners of its 2015 Commercial Wine judging. Wines selected as Best of Show in both red and white categories were made from varieties native to Spain and relatively obscure in this country. Moreover, the grapes were grown and vinified in regions obviously capable of producing great wine, though perhaps not well-known by the average consumer. Picked as Best of Show Red was the 2012 Tempranillo from El Dorado County’s Lewis Grace (Grace Patriot) winery. Honors for Best of Show White went to the 2014 Albarino…
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…
By Dan Clarke   George Starke photo courtesy of St. Helena StarMy friend George Starke died Saturday. After serving his country as a naval officer in World War II, George enjoyed a career as a petroleum engineer. He and his wife Bette moved up to the Napa Valley after leaving Standard Oil. In the early days of his retirement George and Bette were involved in the ownership of Napa Cellars winery, but we met subsequent to that part of his life. George was penning his column, Up and Down the Wine Roads, for the St. Helena Star and I was…
Jack and Jamie Davies TASTE News Service (May 31, 2015) — Schramsberg Vineyards, America’s first craft sparkling wine house, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015. Hugh Davies, second-generation vintner, will be kicking-off various retrospective tastings, winemaker dinners and events beginning in September thru December 2015. The winery is also releasing a special 50th anniversary bottling to commemorate this golden celebration. In 1965, Jack and Jamie Davies revived the Schramsberg winery on the property originally founded in 1862 by German immigrants Jacob and Annie Schram. Their vision was to create the first American sparkling wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes…
Christian O'Kuinghttons of the Atlantis TASTE News Service May 22, 2015 – After 12 years in San Francisco, the annual Pinot Noir Summit is moving. Barbara Drady of Affairs of the Vine has announced her organization has entered into a partnership with the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa to host the event in Reno on July 24th and 25th. Under the direction of sommelier Christian O’Kuinghttons the Atlantis is recognized for an exemplary wine program. The Pinot Noir Summit, the culmination of the Annual Pinot Noir Shootout competition, has become the largest competition of Pinot Noirs in the wine world. For…
Three Palms, America's best-known Merlot vineyard TASTE News Service – May 14, 2015 – Yesterday Duckhorn Wine Company announced that, after 37 years of making wines from its coveted fruit, the company has acquired Napa Valley’s legendary Three Palms Vineyard. Duckhorn Vineyards made its inaugural Three Palms Vineyard Merlot in 1978. This iconic wine helped to pioneer luxury Merlot in California, and played a pivotal role in establishing it as one of North America’s great premium varietals. Three Palms was acquired from Sloan and John Upton for an undisclosed price. Duckhorn Wine Company has been purchasing all of the grapes…
by Julie Ann Kodmur May 13, 2015 Is there a “perception vs. reality” problem in Napa Valley? This publicist thinks so. And if it doesn’t get fixed soon, there may be unfortunate consequences. Let’s dip into a real world scenario. In case you haven’t heard, the Napa Valley is now in the middle of a whirlwind of controversy about whether there should be a moratorium on new wineries and vineyard development (among other related issues). To that end, the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission appointed a task force to consider these issues. Called the Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee, it’s…
  Charleston tasters experience a bit of Napa Valley TASTE News Service, March 30, 2015 - Mira Winery celebrated the Grand Opening of the Napa Valley Education Center & Tasting Room (NVEC) in mid-March. The facility gives visitors a unique Napa experience - a premiere wine destination but in Charleston, S.C., a historic culinary destination. It will offer a number of programs using interactive displays, videos and visiting speakers. “The Napa Valley Education Center & Tasting Room is the first of its kind and we’re thrilled it is finally open,” said Mira President Jim Dyke, Jr. “Napa Valley is one of the…
TASTE News Service March 24, 2015 - E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) and J Vineyards & Winery announced today that Gallo has agreed to purchase the critically-acclaimed sparkling wine producer. Founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan, J Vineyards & Winery is located in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley and produces a wide range of prized sparkling wines, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. According to Roger Nabedian, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Gallo’s Premium Wine Division, "We are very excited to add the J Vineyards & Winery brands to our premium portfolio of wines. The brand’s contemporary elegance…
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