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Hess Veeder Hills Harvest PicmonkeyHess Mt. Veeder EstateThe Land Trust of Napa County has received an $11,439 donation from The Hess Collection, generated by the winery's participation in the 1% For the Planet environmental advocacy program.

1% For the Planet is a growing global movement of companies donating 1% of sales for local environmental programs. The Hess Collection is a long-time member, and has often selected the Land Trust as the beneficiary of this annual donation. The 380-acre Archer Taylor Preserve, a permanently protected wildlife habitat managed by the Land Trust, is located near the winery.

Each year Hess designates 1% of sales from the Hess Collection Small Block Series of limited-release wines made available exclusively to Hess Collector’s Club members and visitors who purchase the wines at the winery on Mount Veeder for the program. Since the effort began, the winery has donated more than $50,000 from the sales of the limited production wines, and other sustainability promotions.

“Our commitment to sustainability began when founder Donald Hess first came to Mount Veeder and Napa in the late 1970’s,” explained Timothy Persson, Chief Executive Officer of The Hess Collection, who noted that the winery has earned certifications for both its vineyards and winery operations from the Napa Green, Fish Friendly Farming and California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance programs. “The Land Trust of Napa County shares our values, and we’re pleased to partner with them to preserve the character and precious green space of Napa County.”

“We are very grateful to The Hess Collection for this generous donation,” said Doug Parker, CEO of Land Trust of Napa County. “The Hess Collection’s contribution is a great help toward permanently protecting the landscape of Napa County and we are proud to be supported by and associated with Donald Hess, Timothy Persson, and the entire team at The Hess Collection in this meaningful way.”

About the Land Trust of Napa County

The Land Trust of Napa County is a community-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving the character of Napa by permanently protecting land. Established in 1976, today the Land Trust has grown to over 1,700 active members and supporters. In its 36-year history, the Land Trust has completed over 150 land conservation projects with landowners across the county, protecting more than 53,000 acres of land - over 10% of Napa County.

About Hess Family Wine Estates

Hess Family Estates produces terroir driven wines on four continents, and includes the wines of The Hess Collection on Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley; Artezin from California’s North Coast; Sequana, highlighting Sonoma’s Russian River Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands of the Central Coast; MacPhail Family Wines, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay expressions principally from Sonoma’s Sonoma Coast; Peter Lehmann wines from Australia’s Barossa Valley; Colomé and Amalaya from the Salta Province of Argentina; and Glen Carlou from Paarl, South Africa.

Editor's Note: The Resource Directory of Taste California Travel has links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options in Wine Country. Also there are links to winery websites and craft beer purveyors.

from TASTE News Service

Scott Harvey in front of Vineyard Picmonkey"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 requests for winemakers to aim lower."

Trained in Germany in the Old World style, Scott believes that balance is critical to good wine making results. In a recent interview with Dan Berger, writer for the Sonoma County, California – based newspaper and online site, Press Democrat, the writer explored the winemaker’s perspective on the place of alcohol level in wine making. “Balance is the key to all great wines, said Scott Harvey. “I prefer to make my Napa Valley Cabernets come in at 13.5%.” Many Napa Valley cult wines come in with labels from 14.5% to 15.5% “although from the way they taste, they could well be at least 1.5% higher.” said Scott.

“I pick wine grapes when the grapes still taste like Cabernet grapes or Zinfandel grapes—rather than like raisins. Most winemakers are afraid to pick this early, but I listen to the grapes.” Scott picks Cabernet grapes at the moment when they are red fruits, not black fruits, turning into raisins. It’s what Scott calls “The Perfect Moment” in his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br9H29iYsC8

A lower alcohol wine can be an award-winning wine. For example, Jana Cathedral Napa Valley 2006 ($65) has an alcohol level of 13.5%. This limited production Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the winner of a double Gold Medal at the America Fine Wine Competition. “I made this wine in the European style with low pH and low alcohol, so it pairs very well with an elegant and rich meal,” Scott explained. “I named it for Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona, where I proposed marriage to Jana.”

Another Scott Harvey award-winner, with a 13.5% alcohol level, is Scott Harvey 2009 J&S Reserve Barbera, which was singled out at the California State Fair with a Gold Medal - 94 Points. “The rich full flavors express both the varietal and the terroir of Amador County,” explains Scott. “This Barbera is a blend of the Spinetta Vineyard and Vineyard 1869 of the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County, California.”

Lower alcohol and more balanced results have been more achievable with the more recent cool vintage releases of 2010 and 2011. “It’s the lower temperature vintages that produce less sugar, and with less sugar comes lower alcohol," said Scott.

Scott Harvey Signs Bottle PicmonkeySigning a medal winnerOn the white side, Scott is known for his European Style Riesling, which previously has had alcohol levels as low as 9.5%. Scott will have a new release of his Mendocino Riesling in June. He is also a celebrated wine blender, originally known as the creator behind the popular Ménage à Trois. Most recently, Scott brings his blending skills to his latest award-winning white wine blend, Primero Beso (First Kiss.)

The World Wine Championships, run by Beverage Testing Institute, has just awarded 91 points (rated Exceptional) to Scott’s Primero Beso 2011 White Blend, ($18), with a 12.5% alcohol by volume. The judges rated the blend for its “pale golden yellow color. Aromas of dark fig-date bread and honey with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tangy apple, peach, starfruit and lemon tart accented finish. Very refreshing and lively as a sipper or to pair with spicy Mexican foods.” 4/13/13

About Scott Harvey WinesHandcrafted wines from Napa Valley and Amador County, Scott Harvey Wines produces wines under three labels: Scott Harvey Wines, Jana Winery and InZinerator. Established in 2004, Scott Harvey Wines features Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel, Napa Valley Cathedral Cabernet Sauvignon, Amador County Barberas, Zinfandels and Syrahs along with a variety of one-of-a-kind white and red wine blends. Creator of “niche wines that over deliver,” Scott Harvey, owner and winemaker, has been making quality wines for over 30 years.

Editor's note: Planning a visit to the Napa Valley? You'll find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options there, as well as links to all of Napa's wineries at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

Quinta das Amoras Vinho Tinto Picmonkey 

2010 Vinho Tinto

 

Quinta das Amoras

 Appellation: Vinho Regional Estramadura (Portugal)

 Alcohol: 13.%

 Suggested Retail: $7.99

 

“This wine was found in the wine department of Corti Brothers in Sacramento. Eric, one of the store's wine stewards, suggested it when we asked for a lighter red table wine to accompany a main course of chicken thighs. We found the wine delightful and a reasonable companion to the chicken, which was prepared with some carmelized onions and garlic. The 'Vinho Tinto' on the label is Portugese for 'red wine,' which in this case probably means a modest wine appropriate to the price asked. It is better than that.

“A blend of four grape varieties unfamiliar to most American consumers (Castelão-55%, Touriga Nacional-20%, Camarate-15% and Tinta Miúda-10%) grown just north of Lisbon provide a positive experience for American palates habituated to Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel. Aromas of dark cherry and dried herbs and flowers precede berry and cassis flavors. There's some intriguing return of that dried herb quality found in the first whiff, and maybe soft white pepper or Rutherford-like dust in the taste. There's a perception of just a little vanilla sweetness that may be the product some time the wine spent in oak.”

Food Affinity: While this Vinho Tinto from Quinta das Amoras was light enough to work with chicken thighs, it has enough substance to work with many red meat dishes. Liver and onions (or bacon), comes to mind, as does thinly-sliced beef with bell pepper in a black bean sauce.

 

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