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Mike Chelini in Stony Hill Cellar    photo by Alex Rubin By Dan Clarke Fred and Eleanor McCrea planted Chardonnay at their weekend retreat in 1947. This alone would qualify Stony Hill Vineyard for a special mention in Napa Valley history books.
Winemaker Ashley Herzberg and Amista owner Mike Farrow toast first Chardonnay of 2016 harvest TASTE News Service, August 18, 2016 – Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley (WDCV) began their 2016 grape harvest this week, and shared their predictions for the season. Picking began on Saturday, August 13 for Amista Vineyards Sparkling Blanc de Blancs, ten days later than they began harvesting their fruit in 2015.
Chateau Changyu in Shandong Province  By Alan Smith   August 1, 2016 – It’s a good bet that most American wine consumers wouldn’t know all of the world’s biggest selling wines. Maybe they wouldn’t even recognize most of them.
Several separate wine regions (AVAs) are located within the County TASTE News Service, July 18, 2096 - As a wine region, Santa Barbara County offers an impressive range of wines in distinctive styles, and from a wealth of various grape varieties. The region also carries fantastic long-term potential for continued evolution of both style and quality.
Count Agoston Haraszthy TASTE News Service, July 12, 2016 – Buena Vista Winery has unveiled two new wines reflecting the venerable history of Buena Vista Winery – Château Buena Vista Napa Valley Cabernet and La Victoire Champagne. With the launch, the winery revives its historical connections to the Napa Valley and Champagne, and enhances the original ambitious vision of Founder Count Agoston Haraszthy.
Pooch (center) receives Lifetime Achievement Award   TASTE News Service July 2, 2016 – Friends of the California State Fair have presented their Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time wine consultant G.M. “Pooch” Pucilowski. The organization also recognized a legendary Amador County property as Vineyard of the Year.
Tasters have room to stroll at Terra d'Oro TASTE News Service, June 15, 2016 — With an enhanced venue at Terra d’Oro Winery/Montevina Vineyards and a new format providing wine tastings by region at this year’s event, the sixth annual Barbera Festival on Saturday, June 11, continued to delight the palates of festival goers. At Saturday’s event, Barberas were presented by nearly 80 wineries from all over California.
By Dan Clarke Just viewed a delightful video of Simon Tam, Head of Wine at the Hong Kong branch of Christie’s, the British auction house. It reminded me of a dinner my friend Bob Austin, a contributor to an earlier version of Taste California Travel, put together at a Chinese restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area long ago. Our wines were Californian, not French as in the Christie video, but there were more of them. Bob and I secured 16 or 17 different white and red varietals and he worked with the chef to produce a tasting menu of…
It wasn't raining all the timeBy Jen Sleppy May 12, 2016 - Saturday’s Amador Four Fires was well organized. The only glitch was the rain, but as I've seen happen at other festivals, the rain became a positive . . . it created camaraderie and quick friendships as people crammed in together under the tents.
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.
G.M. "Pooch" PucilowskiTASTE News Service, March 31, 2016 – The California State Fair announced today that G.M. “Pooch” Pucilowski has been selected for the 2016 WINE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. Formal presentation will be made at the Friends of the California State Fair Gala, which will be held this year on Thursday, June 23. A nationally-known wine educator and consultant, Pooch has devoted more than 30 years to the pursuit of educating consumers and trade members alike in all aspects of the wine industry. He has served as Chief Judge and Consultant to the California State Fair’s annual Commercial Wine Competition…
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…
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