From Cellar Angels:
"We're absolutely honored to work with such an esteemed winery and especially on such a fantastic wine as their critically acclaimed 2009 Meritage. As a family-owned winery for over 40 years, they continue to set the bar for both wine quality and customer experience," stated Martin Cody, Cellar Angels founder and president.
"Cellar Angels is all about connecting consumers to great wine while simultaneously giving back. That's precisely what we do at the winery and we have a long tradition of supporting numerous causes. This event allows us to do both and introduce Dry Creek Vineyard to a growing audience," said Dry Creek Vineyard second-generation owner and president Kim Stare Wallace.
You can purchase Dry Creek Vineyard's 2009 Meritage through Saturday, May 25 at 12 a.m. PST. by going to www.cellarangels.com.
The Wine Blog Awards honor the best in independent wine publishing. They are a means not only of identifying the year’s best wine writing and publishing but they also serve to encourage the continued growth of the citizen wine writer and the publishing of useful, entertaining and educational wine commentary
Tom Wark of Wark Communications reports:
The Wine Blog Awards Committee announced the finalists of the 7th Annual Wine Blog Awards yesterday. Thirty different wine blogs were named as finalists in nine categories. Awards will be presented at the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, British Columbia on June 8.
The finalists in the nine Wine Blog Award categories include:
BEST BLOG POST OF THE YEAR
• W. Blake Gray’s “Darth Vader is My Lover: Revelations about Brettanomyces”
• Lilyelaine Wakawaka’s “Escaping Convention: Calibrating to Stark Conditions, a Conversation with Greg Brewer”
• Katie Kelly Bell’s “Adventures in Taste”
• Ron Washam’s “Blind Book Review–‘How to Love Wine’”
• Alfonso Cevalo’s “Rape of the Veneto”
• Ron Washam’s “The Death of Wine Critics”
BEST ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEO ON A WINE BLOG
• The Journey of Jordan
• 4488: Ridge Wine
• Stay Rad
• What’s in the Bottle
• Chasing the Vine
BEST INDUSTRY/BUSINESS WINE BLOG:
• The Gray Report
• The Wine Curmudgeon
• The Academic Wino
• Hosemaster of Wine
• Fermentation: The Daily Wine Blog
BEST WINE REVIEWS ON A WINE BLOG:
• RJ On Wine
• Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews
• Wine Mizer
• Bigger Than Your Head
• Wines of Croatia
BEST SINGLE SUBJECT WINE BLOG:
• On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog
• Washington Wine Report
• New York Cork Report
• Mad About Madeira
• On The Wine Trail in Italy
• Stuart Pigott’s Planet Wine
BEST WINERY BLOG:
• 4488: A Ridge Blog
• The Journey of Jordan
• Been Doon So Long
• Tablas Creek
• Half Full: The J Blog
Best Writing On a Wine Blog:
• Hosemaster of Wine
• Maker’s Table
• Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews
• Jameson Fink
• The Drunken Cyclist
BEST NEW WINE BLOG:
• Chasing the Vine
• What’s in the Bottle
BEST OVERALL WINE BLOG:
• Hosemaster of Wine
• 1 Wine Dude
• The Terroirist
• The UK Wine Show
• Steve Heimoff
The public is welcome to vote for their favorite blogs among the finalists in nine categories until May 24th. Just look for the red Vote button and cast yours at: http://www.wineblogawards.org.
Links to all the finalists as well as access to the voting system can be accessed at: http://www.wineblogawards.org. The Wine Blog Awards are administered by Joel Vincent in collaboration with the Wine Bloggers Conference.
The Wine Blog Awards honor the best in independent wine publishing. They are a means not only of identifying the year’s best wine writing and publishing but the also serve to encourage the continued growth of the citizen wine writer and the publishing of useful, entertaining and educational wine commentary.
This just in from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon:
Linfield College will establish the Oregon Wine Industry Experience with the help of a $48,000 grant from the prestigious James S. Kemper Foundation. The year-long program will prepare students for professional careers in Oregon’s rapidly growing $2.7 billion wine industry.
The program will include a Summer Wine Institute, fall harvest experience, January Term wine career exploration course, and spring internship at a Willamette Valley winery.
Summer Wine Institute
Wine industry professionals from Willamette Valley vineyards and wineries will host and teach courses during a 10-week Summer Wine Institute. Students will learn about grape growing, winemaking and bottling, among other topics. Sustainability issues will be addressed, along with distribution and marketing.
Students will work at the International Pinot Noir Celebration, which draws 800 wine aficionados from around the world to the Linfield College campus in July. They will also have the opportunity to interview members of the Oregon Wine Board and visit wineries.
Fall Harvest Experience
Growers and winery owners say experiencing the wine harvest is a crucial rite of passage for anyone interested in understanding vineyard operations. Every fall, Willamette Valley wineries and vineyards hire temporary harvest employees, and Linfield students will work alongside these employees to learn about the harvesting process.
Wine Career Exploration Course
A course held during Linfield’s January Term will introduce students to the many jobs and positions needed to operate a vineyard and winery, ranging from viticulturist to winemaker, sales manager to marketing director, and label designer to web designer.
Spring Winery Internship
With a foundation of hands-on experience, education and training, students will be able to bring specialized knowledge as well as a broad liberal arts background to winery internships. Each internship experience will be developed around the needs of the winery and the career interests of the student.
The program will operate under the auspices of Linfield’s Career Development Office and the Linfield Center for the Northwest.
Linfield College is located near the birthplace of the earliest vineyards in Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley. The school founded the Oregon Wine History Archive, which houses collections from some of the most significant wineries, vineyards and wine organizations in Northern Oregon. Students and professors have conducted oral histories with wine pioneers and have produced a documentary about the history of the IPNC. A second documentary, scheduled for summer, will look at Latinos in the wine industry.
The Lake County Winegrape Commission is counting down the days to "Wine, Tunes & Classics," a Lake County wine tasting, music and antique car event in Sacramento, on May 25, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street in Sacramento. The event features award-winning Lake County wines from the following participating wineries:
Bell Hill Vineyards
Brassfield Estate Winery
Bullion Creek Vineyards
Cache Creek Vineyards
Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill
Diamond Ridge Vineyards
Gregory Graham Wines
Langtry Estate & Vineyard/Guenoc
Mt. Konocti Winery
Noggle Vineyards & Winery
Rosa d’Oro Vineyards
Shannon Ridge Winery
Thorn Hill Vineyards
Vigilance Winery & Vineyards
Wine, Tunes & Classics is funded in part by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Grant Program. Sponsors include Calpine Corporation, Sutter Health, the Lake County Winery Association and the County of Lake. To buy tickets online, go here.
After a few years of challenging vintages, the 2012 BDO BC Wine Grape Crop Report shows that the total tonnage* has returned to normal levels, increasing by 17% over the previous year, from 22,722 tons in 2011 to 27,257 in 2012.
The increased tonnage over last year is great news for consumers who would like to find more BC wine, but it wasn't a surprise to growers across the province. Vineyard manager Harold Gaudy at Summerhill Pyramid Winery feels that the mild winter that began the season set the way for a good year. "While the rain at the beginning of the year was disappointing, our flowering didn't occur during the big rains and wasn't affected." Gaudy explains that good fruit set prepared the way for a good harvest. The warm temperatures through harvest made for an excellent finish to the vintage.
While many 2012 BC VQA white wines are already in wine stores, consumers must wait until 2014 for most of the red wines, which are showing great promise. The conditions for red wines allowed for great development. BC Grapegrowers' Association president, Manfred Freese noted, "The resultant full ripening of the berries all but guarantees this will be a superior vintage year for red wines."
BC Wine Institute executive director Miles Prodan is pleased to see growth in the tonnage and BC VQA sales over the last year. "Consumers have continued to support BC VQA wine as the category grows, supporting the great quality and value of 100% BC VQA wines."
The 2012 BDO BC Wine Grape Crop Report was compiled confidentially by BDO Canada LLP from volunteered information collected from 110 wineries across the province. "As we have compiled the Wine Grape Crop Report since 2008, we have been able to learn more about industry issues and appreciate the focus and drive of BC's grapegrowers, winemakers and proprietors," says Ken Davidson, C.A., CFP, partner at BDO.
To view the complete report, visit www.WineBC.org/press_room/publications.
*Tonnage reported in short tons. Participation in this survey is voluntary and unaudited, therefore the tonnages and prices reported may differ from actual industry results and are meant as a guide only.
About British Columbia Wine Institute
Representing 131 member wineries throughout the province, the BCWI supports and markets the Wines of British Columbia (BC VQA), which gives consumers assurance they are buying a wine that is 100% from BC. The BCWI also markets the Wine Regions of British Columbia; delivers quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and acts as the voice of BC's wine industry by advocating to government on behalf of its members.
From the Oregon Wine Center:
Oregon’s Wine Country license plate turned a year old, and it’s turning into a big hit with Oregonians who have placed more than 6,000 sets of the specialty plates on their vehicles in the first year. Oregon’s Wine Country plates officially went on sale in May 2012. The plates were authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 2011 and are the first specialty license plates to recognize wine production by any state in the U.S.
Leigh Bartholomew, chairwoman of the Oregon Wine Board, said:
“The popularity of the Wine Country license plates is another indicator of the support that the Oregon wine industry enjoys with the citizens of the state. We are flattered and grateful for such a strong showing of support during the first year of sales.”
Through the end of April, 6,022 sets of Oregon Wine Country plates have been sold, according to the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV). This ranks second to only the Crater Lake specialty plates’ annual sales. Net proceeds from this program are earmarked to directly support tourism and culinary efforts throughout the state. Oregon’s tourism agency, Travel Oregon, administers the grant program which will open in the Spring of 2014. Details of the grant opportunities will be posted on Industry.TravelOregon.com later this year.
From Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California:
In honor of the best selling varietal in the United States, the Wente Family, creators of the Wente Clone of Chardonnay—the most widely planted Chardonnay clone in California—will host a virtual toast on Thursday, May 23, 2013 to celebrate the varietal with excited fans from around the country. Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the Wente family bringing Chardonnay cuttings from France and planting them in the Livermore Valley.
To build upon this milestone, celebrations from Wente Vineyards Event Center in Livermore, California, kick off at 4 p.m. PST on May 23, when the Wente family will appear on a special Tout Suite Social Club live-stream video event, to offer up a special virtual toast to Chardonnay for wine enthusiasts around the country. Admirers of America’s favorite varietal can join in the celebration from their laptops to hear brief remarks from Fourth Generation Winegrowers Carolyn and Philip Wente, before raising a glass together in the first annual Wente Vineyards National Chardonnay Day toast.
Wente Vineyards was the first winery in California to varietally label Chardonnay in 1936, and since then, the family has been producing benchmark Estate grown Chardonnays.
The Wente family’s connection with Chardonnay began with second generation winegrower Ernest Wente, while he was a student at the University of California at Davis. In 1912, with the help of University of California Davis’ academic staff Leon Bonnet, Ernest persuaded his father and winery founder Carl Wente, to import cuttings from the vine nursery at the University of Montpellier in France.
Around the same time, Ernest Wente also sourced budwood from the Gier Vineyard in Pleasanton which had cuttings from Meursault in France. He planted the two sources in his family’s Livermore Valley vineyard and, over the next 30 to 40 years, selected vines that showed favorable traits, and re-planted them to establish the Wente Clone of Chardonnay.
In 1976, the Judgment of Paris featured a 1973 Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena that was comprised largely of the Wente Clone of Chardonnay. When that wine bested some of France’s most prestigious whites in a blind tasting, California Chardonnay plantings grew exponentially from 2700 acres in 1970 to 11,000 acres in 1980 to 45,000 acres in 19882.
Currently, there are almost 100,000 acres of Chardonnay planted in California and it has become the number one selling wine varietal in the U.S. For more information on the Wente family’s Chardonnay history or to host your own National Chardonnay Day celebration by downloading the Chardonnay Party Kit, please visit www.wentevineyards.com/chardonnay. Join the conversation on Wente Vineyards' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages as well.
Reporter Cathy Bussewitz reports today in the Press Democrat that "companies that advertise beverages on social networking sites, blogs, mobile applications and video sharing sites like YouTube will have to include mandatory statements on their profile or brand pages and refrain from making prohibited statements, such as false health claims."
Social media consultant Andrew Healy said it may be difficult for the TTB to keep tabs on this, adding:
“But you don't want to be the winery that they happen upon and want to make an example of."
Read the story.
Kendall-Jackson Winery reports:
CBS announced Rick Tigner, president of Kendall-Jackson Winery — one of America’s favorite family-owned wineries — will revisit his “Undercover Boss” experience on a special segment showcasing the most intriguing bosses from all four seasons of the Emmy Award-winning CBS reality series. The episode, “Undercover Boss: Epic Bosses,” looks at where Tigner is now and how the show changed his life. “Undercover Boss:Epic Bosses” will air Friday, May 17 on CBS (8/7c, check local listings).
Tigner appeared on the show’s third season, during an eye-opening and emotional episode in which he explored all aspects of handcrafted winemaking, from the vineyard to the bottle and everything in between. Along the way, he also uncovered issues with internal communication and employee appreciation.
“It was an incredible opportunity that gave me great insight into our employees,” said Tigner, a 20-year veteran of Kendall-Jackson who stepped into his role as president after winery founder and industry visionary Jess Stonestreet Jackson passed away in 2011.
“Our employees are our biggest strength,” Tigner added. “These are talented individuals who are passionate about their work. The input they shared with me during the ‘Undercover Boss’ experience helped shape the programs and initiatives we have in place today.”
KJ is having a Happy Hour Twitter Party before the show on Friday at 5 p.m. Follow them on Twitter @KJWines and use the party hashtag #KJHappyHour to join in. Learn more online at www.kj.com, and follow KJ on Facebook (kjwines).
Read WBM's previous "Undercover Boss" post for an after-the-show interview with Tigner.
This just in from the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association:
HB 2537 passed out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, May 14, as substituted by Senator John Carona. As suspected, the substitute included language requiring wineries to produce or bottle 51% of the wine they ship. It also requires wineries to maintain complete records of each sale and delivery of wine shipped for at least five years from the date of the sale.
As previously reported, the TWGGA Board of Directors has visited and revisited the language requiring a winery to produce or bottle 51% of the wine they ship. In keeping with the Board consensus, President Ron Yates testified against the committee substitute at the hearing on Tuesday on behalf of TWGGA. The reasons for the Board's opposition to the committee substitute are:
• It protects the distribution tier rather than solving a public health safety and welfare issue for the citizens of Texas.
• It harms existing businesses that are operating within the law.
• It takes away winery operating rights when no public health, safety or welfare issue exists. This is a bad precedent.
• It hinders revenue growth for Texas wineries.
• It places undue reporting burdens on Texas wineries.
Click here to download the bill as it was substituted and passed out of committee.
Please contact your state senator's capitol office immediately, express your concern over this bill and ask them to vote not to suspend the three day constitutional rule for HB 2537. To find out who your state senator is please click the following link: www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx. Please also contact the Lieutenant Governor's office at 512/463-0001 about your concern for this bill.
Please e-mail Dacota Haselwood, TWGGA Chief Governmental Affairs Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments about your conversation with your senator's or the Lieutenant Governor's office or call 210-867-2576 with comments and questions.