North Carolina's Biltmore Estate Wine Company has relaunched its Pas de Deux sparkling wine as a separate brand, and will target younger female wine buyers. A sec-style sparkling wine, Pas de Deux was first released by Biltmore in 2004.
The company said the wine was inspired by the sparkling wines of Italy, and Sharon Fenchak is the winemaker responsible for crafting the 100% Muscat Canelli sparkling wine. Originally released under the moniker Pirouette, the wine was renamed Pas de Deux – a ballet term translating to ‘step of two’ – to evoke images of shared celebration.
“Sparkling wine is trending very strongly right now, especially with younger wine consumers,” says President of Biltmore Estate Wine Company, Jerry Douglas. “We try to stay on top of what our customers want, and our new Pas de Deux is just that: a fun, lively sparkling wine of exceptional quality, priced for any occasion.”
The two-day AgWISE Symposium, presented by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, in partnership with AgSafe, will focus on farmworker safety, health, and human resources issues specifically tailored to agricultural operations located in Northern California. The AgWISE Symposium features 40 sessions, available in both English and Spanish.
The deadline for early registration deadline at a discounted rate is today, Friday, November 22, 2013.
Click here for more information and to register.
At a Special Olympics benefit at the winery last weekend, Willamette Valley Vineyards debuted a wine it created for Governor Kitzhaber and his wife, Cylvia Hayes.
Known as the Governor’s Cuvee, it is 100% Pinot Noir, the state’s signature variety.
The Governor’s wife wanted a big, bold wine and this delivered. Most of the fruit came from the Momtazi Vineyard, of the Maysara Winery. The wine is very closed and tight right now and will need time to evolve.
The Governor and his wife seemed very pleased with the wine.
Willamette Valley Vineyards only bottled one barrel of the wine. Attendees at the Special Olympics dinner each received one and the remaining bottles are destined for the Governor’s wine cellar.
Across the newsdesk this morning:
Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Canada's organic and biodynamic winery, started its harvest of Icewine at their estate Summerhill vineyard last night. Following an already excellent table wine harvest, the ideal weather situation occurred that allowed the team to harvest Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zweigelt from the winery's estate vineyard.
Vineyard manager Willem Semmelink suggested, "After a challenging growing season that saw heavy rain in June, followed by damaging hail in some parts of the Okanagan Valley, the weather ultimately delivered a long, warm Autumn that produced wonderful grapes. We are pleased that the arctic express has arrived so early, allowing us to capture this amazing fruit so early in the season and avoid damage to nature's gift."
Pickers bundled up to pick frozen grapes at Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Frozen grapes are poured into a bin at SummerhIll Pyramid Winery
Icewines are generally more expensive than most table wines for several reasons. Labour costs are higher than normal as a large group of grape pickers must be assembled with sometimes little notice, who are able to pick the entire crop within a few hours before the grapes begin to thaw, often in the middle of the night. The potential for damage to grapes left on the vine also increases due to weather, predators, rot and disease. Conditions in the cellar are also more challenging as the grapes must be pressed while still frozen and special equipment may be used. Fermentation also takes months instead of weeks and unique varieties of yeasts must be used in the process.
Since many of the world's wine growing regions will not experience such extreme temperatures, Canada and Germany produce most of the world's Icewine, usually sold in 375 or 200ml bottles.
Selected Recent Sales of Grapes & Wines in Bulk for November 18, 2013 courtesy of Turrentine Brokerage:
Pinot Noir 2012 wine, Monterey County, 2,200 gallons at $11.00 per gallon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 wine, Mendocino County, 4,200 gallons at $17.00 per gallon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 wine, California, 10,000 gallons at $6.50 per gallon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 wine, Napa Valley, 6,500 gallons at $22.00 per gallon
Sauvignon Blanc 2013 wine, Yountville, 6,400 gallons at $10.50 per gallon
Red Blotch: Challenges and Opportunities, a seminar by Dr. Mark Fuchs, Cornell University, was presented last week at the UC Davis Convention Center. Here's a link to the video. Fuchs spoke for more than an hour, providing an overview of current information about Red Blotch disease of grapevines and the virus causing it. To see more videotaped seminars, go to Integrated Viticulture Online The website is a huge source of educational information.
An overview of digital marketing trends as well as Constellation Brands' digital marketing initiatives in 2012 from Constellation's YouTube channel. It will be interesting to see how these trends have changed in 2013.
The PD/GWSS Board announced the dates for the upcoming Pierce's Disease Symposium:
This year the PD Research Symposium will be held Dec.16-18 in Sacramento at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. More than 100 people from around the world are expected to attend the Symposium, which is intended to bring researchers together to discuss their work and the work of others on Pierce's disease (PD) and its vectors.
The event also gives winegrape growers an opportunity to interact directly with researchers and talk about the impacts of PD and the progress made in finding solutions.
Click here for more information on the PD Research Symposium.
From the news this week:
Dynamic wine industry visionaries combine forces for a good cause as Truett-Hurst Inc. (THI) partners with the Daryl Groom family, founders of the Colby Red wine brand. Sales of Colby Red help raise money for charities that support heart health. As one of the largest cause-marketing wine brands in the U.S., Colby Red has donated over $400,000 in just over two years!
The new Truett- Hurst alliance will help take Colby Red to a whole new level. THI will partner with the Groom family in all facets of the business, particularly warehousing, production, sales, and marketing. Since both parties share a national sales network with Southern
Wine & Spirits, the partnership will allow for more strategic business and philanthropic collaborations nationwide. As in the past, legendary global winemaker Daryl Groom and his son Colby will manage the winemaking, oversee the charitable giving effort, and serve as spokesmen. Through the new agreement, THI will match Groom family donations.
Colby Groom, the son of Daryl and Lisa Groom, now 15 years old, had back-to-back open-heart surgeries just prior to his 10th birthday. His heart story was the genesis for the wine. With a penchant for giving back, he wanted to launch a red wine with his dad to help ensure that no kid would have to go through what he endured. He is now a seasoned volunteer with the American Heart Association. In addition to donating a portion of sales, the partnership plans market-by-market fundraisers featuring Colby and Colby Red for children who suffer from heart defects and need vital treatments and procedures.
In just over two years, almost $400,000 has been donated to heart health charities from sales of Colby Red. Daryl and Colby’s goal is to raise $500,000 by the end of February, American Heart Month, and $1 million by 2016. Daryl Groom explains, “To achieve our aggressive milestones, our company needs an industry partner that is nimble, growing and shares a sense of integrity in the same fashion that has made Colby Red successful to date.” The Groom and Hurst families are friends in the small wine community of Healdsburg and share a philanthropic philosophy within the community and beyond. Daryl’s long-standing friendship with the Truett-Hurst partners helped him decide to combine forces.
Daryl Groom, with a celebrated career in winemaking and a recipient of numerous accolades as Winemaker of the Year, will continue to make the wine and be the face of the brand in the marketplace. Colby Red is a lovely, quaffable California cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot, and Petite Sirah. It sells for $12.99 per bottle. The Today Show called it “one of the best red wines we have ever tasted.”
For more information on Colby Red, visit www.colbyred.com.
“The preliminary outlook for 2013 appears very promising to sustain yields for a second year in a row. The impact on bulk/grape pricing going forward will be somewhat more uncertain, and likely specific to variety.”
-Steven R. Herron, Exchange Bank Commercial Banking Group
From the article "Lenders Report a Great Year for Growers," page 52 in the November issue of WBM. The November issue can now be viewed online here.