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Chenin Blanc Petite Sirah Conference to Highlight Many New Research, Marketing and Grower Developments

October 18, 2013


Clarksburg CA, (October 17, 2013)—Covering Chenin Blanc and Petite Sirah from the vineyard, to the market, to the consumer is the broad range of the first annual Chenin Blanc Petite Sirah Conference at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, November 14-15. Created by a group of Clarksburg growers and vintners, the conference will bring leading wine industry professionals together with media, technology, marketing, sales and direct to consumer experts to foster learning and discussion.

The Conference starts with Concannon Vineyard's first plantings around l960 through the newest research on designer yeasts and bacteria to social media and wine apps and finally to where the two varietals fit on consumer palatal preferences," said John Beckman, general manager of the historic Mill, which is fifteen minutes from Sacramento. Featured speakers include Sara Schneider, wine editor, Sunset magazine; Christian Miller, research director, Wine Opinions; Roger Boulton, Ph.D., chairman, Department of Viticulture & Enology; Christine Lilienthal, vice president, marketing, Delicato Family Vineyards; Will Warto, portfolio manager, Epic wines; Craig Root, Craig Root and Associates; Tim Hanni, MW, CWE, wine industry faculty - Sonoma State University; Paul Mabray, chief strategy officer, Vintank among others. Moderator for the program is Rich Kushman, Good Life columnist at The Sacramento Bee.

The Chenin Blanc panel will be moderated by Steve Heringer, Sr., Heringer Estate Vineyards and include Stacy Clark, Charles Krug Winery; Grant Hemingway, Picnic Wine Company; and Larry Dizmang, Rendez-vous Winery (invited). The Petite Sirah panel will be moderated by Jo Diaz, executive director, PS I Love You and include Karen J. Wood, Cedar Creek Ranch Wines; Miro Tcholakov, Trentadue Winery and Miro Cellars; Mark McKenna, Andis Wines and Ken Wilson, Wilson Wines. A trade show and networking continental breakfast will be held both mornings.

The Media & Trade Tasting featuring a wide range of Chenin Blanc and Petite Sirah wines from California and is scheduled from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14 followed by a Consumer Welcome Wine tasting from 6-9 p.m. All events will be held at Old Sugar Mill. A  portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Green Restaurants Alliance of Sacramento (GRAS). The GRAS wine program seeks to bring awareness to 'sustainable' or natural practices in winemaking and the wine industry.

Special tributes will be paid to wine author and columnist Gerald Asher, who famously wrote in Gourmet magazine concerning Chenin Blanc in Clarksburg, "the right grape in the right place." and to James Concannon, Concannon Vineyard and father of America’s first Petite Sirah. The Farm to Fork networking lunches will be created by acclaimed Chef Adam Pechal, Tuli Bistro.

To register for the conference, buy tickets for the Consumer Tasting or more information, visit Chenin Blanc Petite Sirah conference. Wineries and restaurants who wish to participate in the tastings, please contact Mary Tye at 530-520-6706 or Pooch Pucilowski at 916-812-2020, conference co-chairs. Attendance is limited.

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