USPS Announces Pinot Noir Stamp The United States Postal Service released a 5 cent business
stamp on February 19, 2016, that depicts a cluster of Pinot Noir stamps based on original pen and ink and
watercolor by Art Director Derry Noyes. Unfortunately, you cannot mail a letter with the stamp and it is currently
only available in rolls of 10,000 for $500. I suspect this may be the first of a series of stamps depicting wine
grapes. As an added note, the decision of the USPS to allow shipping of alcohol is still under review. Visit
Family Winemakers Tasting Family Winemakers of California will host its sixth tasting of family
produced California wines on March 20, 2016, at Wyland Center at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego. This
is a one day event and the opportunity to taste over 500 wines offered by over 125 wineries from 60 of
California’s appellations. Consumer tickets are available for $75 at www.16SDconsumer.eventbrite.com.
Dacor Winestation Dacor now sells the first automated, temperature-controlled, four-bottle wine
dispensing and preservation system for the home that is appropriate for the kitchen, den or wine cellar. The
unit, named Discovery™ WineStation, maintains the freshness of your favorite wine for up to 60 days without
the loss of flavor or natural aroma. Visit www.dacor.com/Our-Products/Refrigeration/Discovery-
Direct Air Service Launched Direct nonstop flights on Horizon Air (Alaska Airlines) will start March
16, 2016, between Orange County and Santa Rosa. This is a godsend for those in Southern California who like
to visit the wineries of Russian River Valley.
School House Releases 2012 Pinot Noir School House Vineyard is a fascinating cult producer of
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah Blend and Zinfandel Blend that is rich in Napa Valley history. The vineyard is
located high up Spring Mountain at the intersection of Spring Mountain Road and Langtry Road at 1,500 feet
elevation. The vineyard takes its name from the one-room school house once located here daring to 1889, but
destroyed by fire in the mid 1980s. In 1940, John Gantner’s father bought the 160-acre property which had 35
acres of non-irrigated vines. There were a few operating vineyards in the area at the time, but during
Prohibition many families moved away and abandoned their vineyards and fruit orchards. Today, the second
generation of John Gantner and Nancy Walker do all the vineyard operations where they make their home.
Each of the School House wines are vinified in the caves at neighboring Pride Mountain Vineyards. The first
vintage of School House Pinot Noir was 1957, made from grapes that had been planted in 1953. The original
Pinot Noir budwood was brought from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti by John Daniel of the Inglenook Estate
and he gave the cuttings from his plantings to John Gantner’s father. The 2012 School House Napa Valley
Pinot Noir, 19 barrels, is available for $85, by phoning 707-963-9001 or emailing Nancy at
Nancy@SchoolHouseVineyard.com. Visitors are welcomed by the gracious proprietors by appointment and I
would urge you to take in the history and magnificent wines from this historic estate. I wrote an extensive article
on School House Vineyard after I visited in 2012: www.princeofpinot.com/article/1202/.
2016 Outstanding in the Field Tour Dates Announced Tickets go on sale Sunday, March 20
for the national tour with dinners beginning in California. Visit www.outstandinginthefield.com for the schedule.
Soliste Release First Pinot Noir from 2013 Vintage Claude Koeberle and Donald Plumley
announce that they have released the EXTRAVAGANT Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Like all Soliste Pinot Noirs.
the partners are obsessive and only select the very best grapes through multiple passes at harvest and use
whole cluster fermentation (in this wine, 50%). The wine was aged for 16 months in a single 225-liter French
oak barrel selected from Tonnellerie Rousseau. The EXTRAVAGANT is the one barrel, 23 cases, that stood out
among all the best. In Burgundy, a winemaker may reserve a special barrel for friends and family. They call this
barrel Soliste. Very limited allocation at $100. Visit www.soliste.com to join the allocation list.
Another Grapevine Virus to Worry About www.winesandvines.com reported that the grapevine
Pinot Gris virus (GPGV) has recently been discovered in several Napa Valley vineyards after having been
previously found in many vineyards internationally. The virus has been discovered not only in Pinot Gris, but
also Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A member of the Trichovirus genus, GPGV is believed to be spread by a mite.
The effects of the virus on grapevines and wine quality is poorly characterized at present. FPS has begun
testing all imported and local selections for this virus. It has not been found at the Classic Foundation Vineyard.