Vinify Wine Services Home to Many Pinot Producers Vinify Winery in Santa Rosa is a
modern custom crush facility housing a number of boutique Pinot Noir vintners. An in-house collective tasting
salon will be opening soon and the first ever Vinify Winery Collective Tasting & Sales Event was held on June
11 for the trade and public. Notable producers of Pinot Noir at Vinify include: Baker Lane, Bjornstad Cellars,
Lattanzio Winery, Sojourn Cellars, Barbed Oak Vineyards, Argot Wines, Desmond Wines, Frostwarch Vineyard
& Winery, Olson Ogden Wines, Gracianna Winery, Vaughn Duffy Wines, Wren Hop Vineyards & Winery, and
Pinot Dieback in Sonoma in 2011 A strange syndrome affecting Sonoma Pinot Noir this spring in
which top leaves curl and burn off similar to sulfur burn. Termed “Pinot dieback” or “Pinot leaf curl,” it is has
been considered a more extreme version of a milder leaf curl common with Pinot Noir in cool weather. Clones
115, 777 and Pommard are most affected. The dieback is a physiologic change and not insect-induced. Leaves
have been observed growing back and it is thought that the problem will not affect the overall crop.
The Wine House Pinot Noir Futures The Wine House in Los Angeles holds a Santa Barbara
Futures tasting each year. An exclusive pre-arrival sale is still going on until June 30 for those who did not
attend. Good values on Pinot Noirs from Ampelos, Cargasacchi, Clos Pepe, Costa de Oro, Flying Goat,
Foxen, La Fenetre, Lea, Melville, Ojai Vineyard, Paul Lato, Point Concepcion, and Samsara. Visit
Hotel Healdsburg Partners with Williams Selyem A “Behind the Scenes with Williams
Selyem” package offers a chance to visit the winery which is closed to the public. The package includes a
Deluxe Guest Room, a welcome bottle of 2005 Williams Selyem Blanc de Noir, and tour and tasting at the new
Williams Selyem Winery, and a chef’s tasting menu dinner for two at Dry Creek Kitchen. Available June 1 -
October 21, 2011. Contact the Concierge Desk at 707-922-5249 or e-mail email@example.com.
Recent Wine Business Monthly Closure Survey Natural cork is still the dominant closure for
750ml wine bottles among the wineries surveyed in California, Washington, Oregon, New York and Virginia.
Screw caps have now reached parity with technical corks and synthetic closures. Synthetic closures are
primarily used by large wineries. Closures like Vino-Seal, Vino-Lok and Zork are not widely employed but their
usage is increasing. Amorin, the cork supplier, has reported recently that 70% of wines are closed with cork
stoppers, 16% with metal screw caps and 14% with plastic. Aluminum screw caps can be recycled, and plastic
stoppers can be as well if they are marked with a chasing arrows symbol. Natural cork cannot go in the
recycling bin and is not compostable. Wine drinkers can recycle real cork stoppers through ReCork or
Crushpad Moves Headquarters from Napa Valley to Sonoma Foley Family Wines, the
parent company of Sebastiani and a major investor in Crushpad, has struck a financial deal to allow Crushpad
to move its primary winemaking facility to a portion of the historic Sebastiani Winery in downtown Sonoma.
Crushpad plans to open a tasting bar at this new location later this year, allowing more than 100 Crushpad
clients to offer their wines for sale. Crushpad also plans to have interactive wine education stations, and host
pouring seminars and events in the new location. Clients will still be able to make wine in the Napa Valley at
Bin to Bottle. Crushpad has produced more than 5,000 wines since its founding in 2004 in San Francisco (1 out
of every 100 wines sold in the US). A full list of vineyards available for prospective winemakers is listed at
www.crushpadwine.com/vineyardlist. I will be visiting the new headquarters in June to taste a number of Pinot
Noirs vinified at Crushpad and will report on my experience in a future issue.
Portland Urban Wineries A new association has formed to increase the visibility of Portland urban
wineries that include Grochau Cellars, Hip Chicks Do Wine, Vincent Wine Company, Helioterra Wines, ENSO
Winery and Seven Bridges Winery. Urban wineries are becoming the modern day “garagistes,” and are quite
popular among urbanites. The organizations first tasting event, PDX Urban Wineries Premier was held June 12
at The Slate in Portland. Visit www.pdxurbanwineries.com.
Carlton’s Walk in the Park This event benefits local charities and offers gourmet
foods from local restaurants, fine wines, talented musicians, and colorful art. Notable
Yamhill-Carlton participating wineries include Anne Amie, Belle Pente, Carlton
Winemaker’s Studio, Elk Cove Cellars, The Four Graces, Luminous Hills-7 of Hearts,
Penner-Ash, Scott Paul Wines, Solena Cellars, and Soter Vineyard. Held at Wennerberg
Park in the quaint town of Carlton, Oregon, on Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24.
Admission is only $15. Visit www.caltonswalkinthepark.com for more information.
Farm Dinners There are currently two major traveling farm dinner organizations that set up tables outside
in a farm or vineyard, occasionally in a barn or greenhouse, source food from local purveyors and artisans, and
serve a wine-paired feast. Ingredients are determined by what is fresh the day of the dinner. Farm to Fork
Events is located in Oregon and was founded by Chef Matthew Domingo. Big Table Farm in Gaston will be the
featured winery at an August 20, 2011 dinner. For a list of this season’s dinners, visit the website at
www.farmtoforkevents.com. The same idea has become extremely popular in California where Outstanding in
the Field conducts wine-paired dinners at farms throughout the state as well as the nation. The OITF crew
revitalized a 1953 red and white tour bus that carries the team of Caleb Coe, Jeremy Fenske and Elaine
Skinner and others from site to site. Meals are prepared by celebrated chefs of the region. Farmers,
producers, culinary artisans and diners share the long table. OITF was launched in 1999 by chef and artist Jim
Denevan. Some people have been known to follow the bus around, attending several dinners in succession.
For this year’s list of dinners (many of which are sold out), visit www.outstandinginthefield.com.
Startling Facts to Ponder The Wine Enthusiast reported the following general statistics in the May,
2011 issue. Millennials offer a huge wine market as half the world’s population are under 30 years of age.
96% of Millennials belong to a social network, and Facebook would have the world’s third largest population
after China and India. 67% of Millennials get wine information online, compared to 47% of Boomers. 30% of
Millennials and 61% of GenX are tweeting about wine. At the 33rd Annual Russian River Valley Barrel Tasting
held over two weekends in March 2011, Millennials made up a large portion of the estimated 27,000 people
Many Summer Wine Events in West July 12: Sonoma in
the City, San Francisco (www.sonomawine.com); July14: Forks &
Corks, City Scape in Phoenix, AZ (www.forksandcorks.com); July 16:
Passport to Wineries of Santa Cruz Mtns (www.scmwa.com); July 21:
Taste of Terroir - Livermore Valley Wine & Food Experience,
Pleasanton (www.lvwine.org); July 22-23: Chardonnay Symposium,
Santa Maria (www.thechardonnaysymposium.com); Aug 1-7: San
Francisco Chefs 2011, San Francisco’s premier food, wine and spirits
week, Union Square (www.sfchefs2011.com); Aug 12-14: Wine & Fire,
10th Anniversary of Sta. Rita Hills AVA (www.staritahills.com); Aug
19-21, Grape to Glass, Russian River Valley (www.rrvw.org); Sept 3:
Taste of Sonoma, MacMurray Ranch, Healdsburg
Adelsheim “Best of Vintage” Pinot Noir A prestige cuvée, “Vintage 29,” represents the epitome
of the Adelsheim Vineyard and will not be made in every year. The first release is from 3½ barrels of Pinot Noir
from the 2006 vintage. 972 bottles are available from the winery at $140/bottle. A 3-bottle vertical of 2008
Vintage 31 and 2009 Vintage 32 is available for $500. Visit www.adelsheim.com.
6th International Wine & Heart Health Summit This biannual event is being held in Oregon for
the first time in the heart of the Willamette Valley at the Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg. I look forward to this
conference as it brings together winemakers, winery owners, physicians, and researchers from around the
world to discuss and exchange ideas about wine and health and the biology of wine. This year’s event
includes private winery tours, special tastings, and a black tie wine dinner and auction featuring auctioneer
Matt Kramer. Honorary Co-Chairman is Donald R. Olson, MD, FACS, founder and owner of Torii Mor Winery in
Dundee, Oregon. Visit www.winesummit.com to see the full program.
Moderate Alcohol Decreases Risk of Dementia A recent study from Germany has shown that
moderate intake of alcohol protects against dementia in people over the age of 75. The daily consumption of
alcohol decreases the risk of dementia by nearly 30 per cent compared to nondrinkers and the risk is another
30 percent lower for people who imbibe one to two standard drinks a day. The study also found that the risk of
Alzheimer’s Disease, a specific form of dementia, is similarly reduced with light to moderate alcohol
consumption. Other scientific researchers have considered this study to be vary valid, even after controlling for
factors such as better education, absence of depression, more social contact and not living alone. The study
also confirmed what other similar research has demonstrated, namely, that the beneficial effects of light to
moderate alcohol consumption for those with dementia are significantly increased in wine drinkers compared to
those who drank beer or spirits.
New Wine Label Laws in Canada - US Next? Beginning in 2012, a new Canadian labeling law
requires that both domestic and imported wines that contain proteins that might cause allergy display a warning
label that states, “Contains eggs, fish, or dairy,” as well as sulfite information. The labeling only applies to wines
that have potential allergens remaining in the finished wine, that is, wines that are fined but not filtered. A
similar law was proposed in 2006 in the United States but has not been enacted and remains voluntary.
Opponents of this labeling requirement point out that allergic reactions to fining agents such as isinglass,
albumin and casein are extremely rare and those with serious food allergies should probably avoid wine
West Sonoma County Wineries Eleven wineries within 11 miles now offering many events.
Wineries include 1-Balletto Vineyards & Winery, 2-Dutton Estate Winery, 3-Dutton-Goldfield Winery, 4-
Freestone Vineyards, 5-Graton Ridge Cellars, 6-Hanna Winery & Vineyards, 7-Iron Horse Vineyards, 8-
Miramar Estate Vineyards & Winery 9-Red Car Winery, 10-Russian River Vineyards, and 11-Taft Street Winery.
R² Wine Company Opens Tasting Room Roger Roessler, who founded Roessler Cellars, and
brother, Richard who has been part of the winemaking team at Roessler Cellars, have opened a tasting room
for their new label, R² (R squared) at 653 Broadway in Sonoma. Grand Opening Week was June 10-17. R²
Wine Company offers single vineyard and appellation blended value wines including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay,
Rhone Red and Rhone White, Grenache Blanc and Rosé. In addition, limited production wines are sold only
through the tasting room and to wine club members. Visit the website at www.r2winecompany.com.
WOW Wine Festival West Sonoma County Vintners (not to be confused with West Sonoma County
Wineries above) is having an inaugural event, the West of West (WOW) Wine Festival August 5-7, 2011, in
Occidental. The highlights on Saturday are a seminar on older Pinot Noirs with Burt Williams and Ted Lemon,
a Grand Tasting of wineries in the association, and a Whole Hog Feast with season 3 Iron Chef contestant
Duski Estate of ZaZu Restaurant. Open houses will be held Sunday at all participating wineries including Peay,
Red Car, Littorai, Failla, Freeman, Freestone, Flowers, Martinelli, Cobb, Hirsch, Miramar Torres, Patz & Hall,
Ramey, Boheme, Ceritas, Evening Land, Benziger, Fort Ross, Small Vines, Benovia, Chasseur, Lioco and
Whetstone. For information and tickets, visit www.westsonomacoast.com.
2008 DRC Retail Prices Brother, can you spare several hundred c-notes? Echezeaux - $650, Grands
Echezeaux - $825, La Tache - $1,700, Montrachet - $2,850, and Romanee-Conti - $9,000.
Sta. Rita Hills Wine & Fire 2011 The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a
revival of the Wine & Fire event, August 12-14, 2011. On Friday, August 12, tastings in locations on the eastern
and western boundaries of the region are offered. Saturday morning will feature an in-depth tasting with the
important winemakers and wines of the past decade, and a look at the future of the Sta. Rita Hills. The
seminar will be held at Rancho El Jabali, Richard and Thekla Sanford’s heritage vineyard. Panelists will
include Richard Sanford, Rick Longoria, Bruno D’Alfonso and Kathy Joseph as well as upcoming winemakers,
who will each select a wine that they believe is their best representation of the AVA over the past ten years.
Saturday evening there will be a wine tasting reception in the courtyard of the historic La Purisma Mission in
Lompoc that will include fire-grilled foods. Winery members of the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance will be
open to all visitors through the weekend. A full listing of events will be posted on the Sta. Rita Hills
Winegrowers Alliance website (www.staritahills.com).
George Rose Photography For decades George Rose has covered Hollywood, sports stars, Western
landscapes and wine country. He led a remarkable career at the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Rolling
Stone, and Time Magazine. In 1990, he traded a career in photojournalism for wine, focusing on wine country
photography. Currently, Rose is Public Relations Director at J Vineyards & Winery. Visit the website at
www.georgerose.com to order the book “The Art of Terroir,” or to purchase other wine country photography and
fine art prints.
Sogno del Fiore 6th Annual Wine Tasting Dinner Jerry Fiore hosts this annual event at his
beautiful home in the Santa Ynez Valley (2045 North Refugio Rd., Santa Ynez) on Saturday, August 20, 2011.
Benefiting People Helping People and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, “The Gathering II” includes
a Champagne reception, wine tasting with prominent California wineries, and food from recognized chefs in
Santa Barbara County. Featured Pinot Noir wineries include Arcadian, Carr Vineyards & Winery, Kosta Browne,
Melville, Paul Hobbs, Pisoni, Roar, Sinor-LaVallee, Seagrape Wine Company, and Siduri. Featured chefs are
from The Ballard Inn, The Brothers Restaurant at Matteo’s Tavern, Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods, Full of
Life Flatbread and Trattoria Uliveto. Tickets are $145 per person with a discount for Friends of Friends Wine
Club Members (see www.sognodelfiore.com).
Pinot Family Reunion The 7th Annual Pinot Family Reunion will be held Sunday, July 10, 2011, at John
Ash & Co. at Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa. The event includes a Wine & Food Tasting from 1:00-4:00 ($50)
followed by a Family Style Dinner at 5:00 ($120 all inclusive). Proceeds benefit the Sutter North Bay Woman’s
Breast Care Center and the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Sonoma County. Participating Pinot Noir
vintners include: Alysian, Amphora, Benovia, Dionysus, Emeritus, Ferrari-Carano, Gracianna, Graton Ridge
Cellars, Hartford, Holdredge, Iron Horse, James Family Cellars, John Tyler, Kokomo, Kosta-Browne, La Crema,
Lazy Creek, Littorai, MacMurray Ranch, MacPhail, Martin Ray, Martinelli, Merry Edwards, Moshin, Old World
Winery, Orogeny, Paradise Ridge Winery, Paul Hobbs, Roessler Cellars, Siduri, Small Vines Wines, Suacci-
Carcierre, T.R. Elliott, and Trecini Winery. Visit www.vintnersinn.com for information and tickets.
Wally’s 8th Annual Central Coast Wine & Food Celebration This
annual event will be held Sunday, July 31, 2011, from 1:00 to 4:00 at Wally’s (a wine
retailer) in West Los Angeles. The Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship Fund at University
of California Davis Department of Enology is the benefactor. Many notable Central
Coast wineries will be pouring along with signature dishes from renowned restaurants
including Hitching Post II, Spago Beverly Hills, CUT, Bouchon Beverly Hills, Lucques/
A.O.C./Tavern, The Hungry Cat, Osteria & Pizzeria Mozza, Bouchon Santa Barbara,
The Wine Cask, La Brea Bakery, Jar, Melisse, and Chef Rick’s Santa Maria. A silent
auction includes special wines, winemaker-led-tours, tastings, luncheons and
dinners, and travel packages. Tickets are $95 ($149 for VIP ticket). Visit
Oregon Cult Pinot Noir Cruise 2012. On June 25, 2012, join Oregon winery founders and
winemakers including Rollin and Corby Soles of Argyle and ROCO wineries and Dick and Nancy Ponzi of
Ponzi Vineyards, on a 10-day cruise from Barcelona to Athens. Visit www.foodandwinetrails.com or call
800-367-5348 for details.
Chehalem Winery has Wine on Tap To celebrate its 25th harvest anniversary release, Chehalem
Winery has started a new program in the Newburg, Oregon tasting room, offering wine on tap. Consumers can
buy a 1-liter branded bottle for a $5 deposit, the fill it up with the 2009 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir or the soon to be
released 2010 INOX Chardonnay. The refillable bottles hold significantly more wine than a 750 ml bottle, yet
are priced the same. Visit www.chehalemwines.com.
Society of Wine Educators’ 2011 Conference The 35th Annual Conference will take place in
Providence, Rhode Island, August 3-5, 2011. Both pre-conference and conference activities will be held on the
campus of Johnson & Wales University, the largest educator of hospitality professionals in North America. This
year’s plenary session will focus on Portugal, including a comparative tasting of fortified wines including Port,
Madeira and Moscatel. Over 50 guided lectures and tastings on wine, beer and tea will be offered. A winery
tour of Rhode Island will follow the conference. If you are not a member of the Society of Wine Educators, you
can still get the member rate to the full Conference by using code PRCON11. Visit
Family Winemakers of California 21st Annual Wine Tasting The public is
invited to theFestival Pavilion Fort Mason Center in San Francisco for this huge annual wine
tasting. More than 325 wineries will be pouring a variety of wines at this showcase for small,
family owned wineries. This year there will be take away wine sales offered. Visit
www.familywinemakers.org for information and tickets. As in 2010, Family Winemakers of
California is co-sponsoring a resolution in the California Legislature opposing H.R. 1161.
Sacré bleu! French Drinking Less Wine A report recently from The Telegraph
(www.telegraph.co.uk) stated that French wine consumption had dropped by three billion bottles to just four
billion in two generations. That is equivalent to one bottle per adult each week. 16.5% of the French wine
population are regular wine drinkers, but the younger generations are drinking less often regularly with meals
and show decreased awareness of the significance of wine in French culture.
J. Christopher Winery Begins Phase II Construction The winery and its “Appassionata”
Vineyard are a joint venture project between German winegrower, Ernst Loosen, owner of Dr. Loosen and a
Pinot Noir lover, and veteran Oregon winemaker, Jay Somers, founder of J. Christopher. Phase I of
construction, the underground barrel cellars, was completed in 2010 and Phase II which includes fermentation
rooms, crush pad, bottling room and lab space, will be completed in time for the 2011 harvest. At full build-out,
the winery will have a production capacity of 8,000 cases of Pinot Noir and 2,000 cases of Sauvignon Blanc
and other white wines. The construction is being undertaken with the utmost care and respect for the
environment. The adjoining Appassionata Vineyard will be dry farmed and managed using biodynamic
principles. The winery is located at 17150 NE Hillside Drive, Newberg, Oregon. For more information, visit
Napa Valley Mexican-American Vintners Association (NVMAVA) Mexican-American vintners, growers and wine industry notables have organized NVMAVA, a nonprofit organization formed to promote Napa and Sonoma County wines produced by Mexican-American vintners and the contributions of Mexican-Americans to the California wine industry. To commemorate the founding of NVMAVA, a wine and food event called Bautizo (Spanish for “Christening”) will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2011, at Maldonado Vineyards in Calistoga. At the event, the NVMAVA log will be unveiled and attendees will be able to sample wines from member wineries including Alex Sotelo Cellars, Ceja Vineyards, Delgadillo Cellars, Encanto Vineyards, Maldonado Family Vineyards, Marita’s Vineyards, Mi Sueño, Renteria Wines, Robledo Family Vineyards, Rios Wine Company and Voces Wines. Napa Valley chefs will offer small bites. Tickets are $85 per person in advance. Only 200 attendees will be admitted. For tickets and information, visit www.nvmava.org.
Bronco Wine Company’s Charles Shaw Wines Win Top Medals Charles Shaw wines sell for $1.99 per bottle ($2.99 in some states) and over 600,000,000 bottles have been sold at Trader Joe’s. The wine has become known as “Two-Buck Chuck.” The 2009 California Pinot Grigio won Best of Class/Gold Medal and the 2009 California Shiraz won Double Gold/Best of Class and nine other medals in three major wine competitions (2011 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, 2011 California State Fair Wine Competition, 2011 Jerry D. Mead’s New World International Wine Competition. Several other Charles Shaw wines won lesser medals in 2011. Is it possible they can do it with Pinot Noir?