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Introducing the 2018 Hot Brands -- Lagier Meredith Vineyard

by Erin Kirschenmann
January 22, 2019

Every year, when Wine Business Monthly creates our annual list of Hot Brands, we look for vintners, growers, wineries and wines that are making a statement in our industry. Quality is always an important consideration, but Hot Brands is more than a list of the “best” or most interesting wines we've tasted during the year.

When we set out to choose our Hot Brands, our goal is to always represent the American wine industry. Often, that means discovering a new winery in an established region while also paying homage to the stalwarts who continue to move the industry forward. It means we look at wineries in non-West Coast, “traditional” winemaking states, or those who might be bucking a trend or trying new techniques. Our editors look for wines that are embodiments of national trends or have soaring sales. Sometimes we’ll choose the winemaker, not the wine.

Quite often, we end up with a couple of wines that were unexpected. During the search for a Pinot Noir, for example, we’ll discover a producer who is also making Tempranillo—and is doing such a good job of it, we adjust our plans to get that Tempranillo in. We’re never quite sure how the list will turn out, but it’s a chance for us to explore new regions, varietals and new winemakers.

In the end, this list is comprised of wines that we here at Wine Business Monthly would serve to winemakers. That’s exactly what we do, as representatives from each of these wineries were on-hand to serve their wines to winemakers, grape growers and industry members at our annual Bottle Bash party at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, this year held January 29, 2019. Cheers!

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img 1Lagier Meredith Vineyard
2016 Tribidrag, Mount Veeder, Napa, CA

Nestled up on Mount Veeder, accessible only by an admittedly “scary” road, lies the vineyard of two wine industry pioneers and legends: Steve Lagier and Carole Meredith. The two have contributed to some of the wine industry’s most important gains in knowledge and have put their talents to use at their property and winery, Lagier Meredith.

The wine industry can thank Meredith for her work at UC Davis in helping to determine the parentage of some of the most popular grape varieties, like Syrah, as well as the discovery that Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc were parents to Cabernet Sauvignon—and that Zinfandel, such an important grape to California, originated in Croatia.

It was at UC Davis where she met Steve Lagier, who at the time ran the research program for a professor looking into the various chemical effects of vine-training practices, work that had not been done before. After his time at the university, he went on to make wine for friends in the Napa Valley and at Robert Mondavi Winery, where he notably created the first program to track and project fruit availability.

In 1986, the couple bought a property on Mount Veeder, planted some of the acreage to winegrapes and began making wine from the fruit.

The full story on Lagier Meredith Vineyard ~ and all our Hot Brands ~ will be available in our February 2019 issue of Wine Business Monthly. You can come by our booth (#1620) at Unified and pick up a copy or click here to subscribe to WBM.

Taste all the Hot Brands at our Annual Bottle Bash, Jan. 29, 2019, the night before the Unified Symposium.

Click here to register


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