Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine
N.Y. Teaching Winery Gets Underway
Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) in Geneva, N.Y., recently broke ground on a new building to teach vineyard management and winemaking. Part of the $3.6 million, 8,900-square-foot Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture Center, the teaching winery, enology laboratory, aging rooms, classroom and crush pad are scheduled to open in fall 2014.
Massachusetts Seeks Passage of Wine Bill
The American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC) is asking lawmakers to amend and pass H.294, a bill that would allow the shipment of wine to Massachusetts consumers from out-of-state wineries. The AWCC is also seeking an amendment to the bill, which currently bans the shipment of imported wines from out-of-state wine stores.
Amazon Expands Wine Shipping
Amazon.com customers can now place orders on Amazon Wine (www.amazonwine.com) for delivery in New York, Michigan, Arizona and Louisiana. Amazon Wine offers wine delivery to 20 states and the District of Columbia, adding eight states since its launch last year. With the addition of the four new states, customers can purchase directly from more than 700 wine sellers offering over 5,000 labels.
Washington Launches iPad App
The Washington State Wine Commission has announced the launch of a multi-platform national marketing campaign known as "The Recommendeuer." The launch includes the release of an iPad app that pairs wine with humor through an in-depth, interactive wine education led by actor and comedian Greg Proops from “Whose Line is It Anyway?” The free app is downloadable from the Apple app store.
Continued Growth in Russian Wine Sales
The Russian wine industry is expected to see continued growth up to 2017, according to researchers at Canadean, which forecasts a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2.8% during 2012–2017. The biggest gains (4.9% for value and volume) are expected in sparkling wine through 2016. Still wine remains the largest category, accounting for 58.8% (volume) of the Russian market in 2012.
Marc Goodrich Joins Excelsior
Marc Goodrich has been named president of Excelsior Wine Company in Old Brookville, N.Y. Goodrich joins Excelsior Wines from Banfi Vintners, where he most recently served as chief operating officer. Excelsior is an independent importing, sales and marketing venture established between Concha y Toro and its former U.S. importer, Banfi Vintners. Goodrich continues to serve as VP and treasurer at Banfi.
Charles Banks Acquires Qupé
Santa Barbara County, Calif.-based Charles Banks and Terroir Selections have acquired a majority stake in Santa Maria Valley’s Qupé Winery. Qupé’s founder and winemaker Bob Lindquist assumes the role of partner, while Louisa Sawyer Lindquist will continue to assist with sales. Qupé will join Banks’ Terroir Selections portfolio, which includes Sandhi, Mayacamas and Leviathan, among others.
N.Y. Vintners Launch European Joint Venture
Three vintners from New York’s Finger Lakes – Scott Osborn of Fox Run Vineyards, John Martini of Anthony Road Wine Company and Chris Missick of Villa Bellangelo – have joined with European partner Christian Claessens to create the first-ever Finger Lakes European importing company. Based in Luxembourg, the company will import and distribute wines from the respective cool-climate wineries into European markets.
Jess Jackson Biography Published
Jackson Family Wines has announced the publication of the authorized biography of company founder Jess Stonestreet Jackson, entitled "A Man and His Mountain; The Everyman Who Created Kendall-Jackson and Became America's Greatest Wine Entrepreneur." Published by PublicAffairs Books, the biography reveals how he built Kendall-Jackson from nothing and turned it into an ultra-premium wine success story.
WALT Purchases Anderson Creek Vineyard
Craig and Kathryn Walt Hall, owners of Sonoma’s WALT and HALL wines, have purchased a 175-acre Anderson Creek vineyard property. Planted to 33 acres of pinot noir and 2 acres of chardonnay, the vineyard has been a source for WALT’s Anderson Valley AVA wines since 2010. Grapes from the vineyard have also been sold to producers including Littorai and Paul Hobbs.
Truett-Hurst Hip to be Square
Healdsburg, Calif.-based Truett-Hurst Winery has released a new line of California Square fine wines available nationwide and in Canada. California Square comes in three varieties of appellation-based wines packaged in a square bottle for a retail price under $20 each. Created by design firm Stranger & Stranger, the square bottles also offer an eco advantage, taking up less space in shipping and storage.
Trinchero Launches Duck Commander Wines
Trinchero Family Estates of St. Helena, Calif., has collaborated with the Robertson family of Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty fame, to produce Duck Commander Wines. The first vintage will include Triple Threat 2011 Red Blend, Wood Duck 2012 Chardonnay, and Miss Priss 2012 Pink Moscato. Duck Dynasty is A&E’s No. 1 unscripted cable show.
Arbor Mist Scores a Million Fans
Constellation Brands’ Arbor Mist wine-with-fruit recently reached a milestone with its 1 millionth Facebook fan. Designed to create brand advocates, the Arbor Mist digital marketing program invited Facebook fans to choose its new flavors launched earlier this year. According to the Victor, N.Y.-based Constellation, 35% of Arbor Mist fans have increased their brand purchases since joining the Facebook community.
Longtime Russian River Valley winegrower Charles Bacigalupi has died after a brief fight with cancer. He was 89. A dentist and self-taught winegrower, Bacigalupi sold grapes from his 121-acre Westside Road vineyard property to countless wineries over the years. His family is most noted to have sourced chardonnay grapes to the 1973 Chateau Montelena that won the Paris Tasting in 1976.
Born on Sept. 9, 1924, Bacigalupi grew up in Santa Rosa, Calif., where he lived until he was drafted for WWII at the age of 18. He joined the navy and was assigned the duty of dental assistant. After the war, he met his future wife, Helen Long. They settled in Healdsburg, where Bacigalupi practiced dentistry for 39 years.
Charles and Helen were recently honored by the Healdsburg Library and Historical Museum. In addition, the Sonoma County Wine library recorded and printed their oral history. Charles Bacigalupi is survived by his wife Helen, his son John Bacigalupi, and his granddaughters.
NGWI Aids in Red Blotch Detection
The National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI) is participating in the USDA's APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine red blotch technical working group (TWG) to develop pertinent questions for APHIS scientists, and to recommend scientists for the APHIS panel. TWG participants include Franka Gabler of the California Table Grape Commission, Dan Martinez of Martinez Orchards, and Jean-Mari Peltier, NGWI president.
Montana DTC Applications Available
Applications for wineries to ship table wine directly to consumers in Montana are now available on the Montana Department of Revenue and Wine Institute websites. Effective, Oct. 1, 2013, wineries holding a Direct Shipment Endorsement can ship up to 18 nine-liter cases of table wine to a Montana consumer during the license year (Oct. 1 - Sept. 30).
AVF Announces Scholarship Winners
The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) in Napa, Calif., is awarding five grants funded by the André Tchelistcheff and Dr. Richard Peterson Scholarship Programs to graduate students conducting viticulture and enology research. The students include Kayla Burns, Claire Heinitz, Scott Frost and Anna Mantheakis from UC Davis, and Clinton Nelson from Fresno State University.
Washington Wine Awards Students
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation has awarded nearly $12,000 in scholarships to eight students hoping to join the Washington wine industry following their studies. The funds were awarded from three scholarships: the Walter J. Clore Scholarship, the Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Scholarship and the S. W. (Bill) Preston Scholarship. This year’s recipients attend Washington State University, UC Davis and Yakima Valley Community College.
Arroyo Seco Celebrates 30 Years
Monterey County California’s Arroyo Seco district is celebrating its 30th anniversary as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) this fall. One of the smallest AVAs in California, the Arroyo Seco is home to the estate vineyards of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines and Wente Family Estates. In 2007, the Arroyo Seco Winegrowers & Vintners Association was established.
California Honors Hispanic Heritage and Wine
Kicking off California Wine Month and national Hispanic Heritage month, the California legislature honored the Napa Sonoma Mexican-American Vintners Association (NS MAVA) for its contributions to the state’s wine industry at the State Capitol on Sept. 4. The resolution, sponsored by State Senator Noreen Evans, along with 26 senators and assembly members, was read before the NS MAVA representatives in attendance.
Red Mountain AVA Land for Sale
The Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) is preparing to sell 670.08 acres, including approximately 518.76 acres located inside Washington state’s Red Mountain appellation, at auction on Nov. 23, 2013. The KID, which recently obtained water rights to land, plans to sell it in 22 parcels using Musser Bros.' Power Parcels bidding system. The auction will take place at Musser Bros. in Pasco, Wash.
Brad Petersen Elected SCW Chairman
The Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) has announced its 2013/2014 commissioners, including the election of Brad Petersen of Fall Creek Vineyards and Rawah Vineyards as chairman. The SCW also elected Kevin Barr of Redwood Empire Vineyard Management as vice chairman, and Richard Mounts of Mounts Vineyard as treasurer. Glenn Proctor of Puccioni Ranch and Ciatti Company joined as a new commissioner.
Joe Shebl Returns to Renwood Winery
Renwood Winery in Amador County, Calif., has appointed Joe Shebl as director of winemaking and general manager, replacing Dave Crippen. He will oversee winemaking, production and the winery and tasting room management. Shebl, who became Renwood’s winemaker in 2002, left his post in 2009 to gain experience with other Amador County wineries. As director of winemaking, Shebl also will work with consultants Kent Rosenblum and Jeff Cohn.
Haak Promotes Lastowska to Winemaker
Marta Sanchez Lastowska, formerly assistant winemaker for Haak Vineyards & Winery in Santa Fe, Texas, has been promoted to winemaker. Originally from Spain, Lastowska earned a master’s degree in enology at the Agronomic Engineering School of Madrid. Her past experience includes work in New Mexico as a winery lab supervisor, and in North Carolina, where she developed an enology program at Appalachian State University.
Tim Hanni to Promote Wine to Chinese
The Chinese Food Culture Research Association in Beijing has named Tim Hanni, MW vice-chairman for western outreach. The association is responsible for food and beverage certification and promotion in China. A wine consultant in China and author of "Why You Like the Wines You Like" (2013, Amazon), Hanni was selected for his consumer-friendly approach to wine. The association also named Dr. Joe Chuang as chairman.
Jon Ruel Appointed Trefethen President
The Napa Valley’s Trefethen Family Vineyards has promoted Jon Ruel to president. Ruel, who was initially hired as a viticulturist at Trefethen in 2004, was appointed vice president of operations and director of viticulture and winemaking in 2008. Most recently, he served as Trefethen’s chief operating officer. Ruel is also the current president of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers.
J. Lohr Promotes Karl Antink
San Jose, Calif.-based J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has promoted Karl Antink to white winemaker. Antink joined J. Lohr as assistant winemaker in 2006. He will work with Winemaker Jeff Meier to guide the winery’s white wine portfolio in the company’s San Jose facility, and its nearly completed Monterey County winery. Red Winemaker Steve Peck will continue at J. Lohr’s Paso Robles winery.
Vintage Wine Estates Buys Viansa
Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Vintage Wine Estates has purchased Viansa Winery and Marketplace. The adjacent 168-acre estate vineyard and a 113-acre wetland preserve were included in the sale. Vintage says it plans to make a significant investment in the marketplace, estate and event facilities. It also plans to establish a partnership with Ducks Unlimited to initiate restoration of the property’s wetlands.
Paul O’Brien Starts Production
Paul O’Brien Winery, founded by wine industry veterans Dyson Paul DeMara and Scott O’Brien Kelley, has begun production. Their facility, to be located in downtown Roseburg, Ore., will be Umpqua Valley’s first urban winery. Kelley was most recently GM/director of winemaking for Estancia Estates. DeMara is the current owner and winemaker of HillCrest Winery and Distillery, Oregon’s oldest estate winery.
Domaine Ste. Michelle Becomes ‘Michelle Sparkling Wines’
Previously known as Domaine Ste. Michelle, Michelle Sparkling Wines of Woodinville, Wash., offers a fresh take on its wines and new packaging. The Michelle sparkling wines are available nationwide for the suggested retail price of $14. In addition to enhancing wine quality, the packaging was updated to have a more feminine look.
Appellation Acquires Esser Vineyards
Appellation Ventures LLC of St. Helena, Calif., has purchased Esser Vineyards, the winery known for its Monterey County wine portfolio on wine by-the-glass programs at The Ritz-Carlton and The Four Seasons. Manfred Esser, the former Cuvaison Estate Wines president who founded the brand, and his family will serve as brand ambassadors, while Ben Esser Calvi will continue as consulting winemaker.
Balverne Launches New Portfolio
Balverne Winery in Healdsburg, Calif., has launched a new series of wines in select U.S. markets. The new wines, made by Margaret Davenport, include a Chalk Hill-designated 2012 Rose of Sangiovese, a 2012 Russian River Sauvignon Blanc and a 2012 Russian River Chardonnay. A 2010 Russian River Pinot Noir produced by Davenport’s predecessor Julie Lumgair completes the portfolio.
Maryland Governor's Cup Winners Announced
Winners of the 23rd Annual Maryland Wine Governor's Cup were recently announced, with the Best in Show Governor’s Cup awarded to Black Ankle Vineyards of Mt. Airy, Md., for its 2010 Crumbling Rock, a Bordeaux blend. Winemaker Sarah O'Herron accepted the award. Judges from the retail, wholesale, restaurant and press evaluate the wines in this blind competition of Maryland wines.
Virginia Earns Gold in San Francisco
Three Virginia wineries, Barboursville Vineyards, Trump Winery, and Narmada Winery, took home a total of six gold medals at the 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition. The San Francisco International Wine Competition judged 4,539 wines this year from 29 states and 30 countries. In all, Virginia wines earned 43 medals: six gold, 14 silver and 23 bronze.
OSU to Expand Fermentation Science Program
Lawmakers approved $1.2 million for Oregon State University (OSU) to enhance the Agricultural Experiment Station's fermentation sciences program. The funding will support OSU research in the production of high-value wine, beer, cheese, breads and distilled spirits, as well as help establish a research distillery. When complete, OSU will be the first university in the nation with a working research winery, brewery and distillery.
PA Reports Record Spirits Revenue
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board reports that revenues at fine wine and spirits stores reached $2.17 billion in fiscal year 2012-2013, a $93 million or 4.5% increase over the previous year. Retail wine sales showed the strongest growth with a 6% increase. The agency paid a record $512 million in sales tax, liquor tax and transfers to the General Fund.
CANVAS Launches Hospitality Awards
The Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma (CANVAS) has launched the CANVAS Hospitality Excellence Awards, a new annual program to reward exceptional customer service. Hospitality professionals can be nominated by their colleagues for providing "above and beyond" customer service in one of seven categories: Concierges, Tour Guides, Outdoor Activities, Beauty & Health, Restaurant, Retail, and Winery. See www.conciergealliance.com for details.
Oregon Named Friendliest Wine State
Oregon received the No. 1 ranking in the nation for its friendliness to wine consumers, according to a new report by the American Wine Consumer Coalition. Oregon was one of only six states (along with California, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Virginia) whose regulatory environment received an A-plus rating. Among the criteria considered were access to products, government control, blue laws and winery-to-consumer shipping.
VA Wine Sales at All-Time High
According to recent data compiled by the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office, sales of Virginia wine reached an all-time high in fiscal year 2013, increasing by more than 5% from FY2012. Virginia wineries sold more than 511,000 cases of wine in FY2013. Since FY2010, sales of Virginia wines have increased by more than 23%.
New Organization Touts Sauvignon Blanc
Summertime in a Glass (SIAG), a new organization devoted to the promotion of sauvignon blanc, has launched. The group, based in Sunol, Calif., takes an advocacy stance promoting sauvignon blanc within the wine industry and to consumers through marketing campaigns and events. The group is also using the web and social media to spread the word about sauvignon blanc.
AWCC Supports Internet Wine Sales
In hearings held last month to evaluate Internet sales of wine, the American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC) asked the New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) to consider the interests of wine consumers. While the NYSLA had expressed intent to "solicit industry input regarding the regulation of Internet wine sales," no consumers testified at the hearing on Aug. 19.
Cannonball Hires Ken Powers, Expands Team
Healdsburg, Calif.-based Cannonball Wine Company has named Ken Powers vice president business development; Heidi Maul, as assistant winemaker; and the Trellis Group as its national account partner. With more than 26 years of experience, Powers comes to Cannonball from Classic Wine Imports, where he was VP of sales. Maul was formerly an enologist at Sonoma Cutrer and lab technician at Fetzer.
Benovia Winery Hires Jen Walsh
Jen Walsh has been named assistant winemaker of the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Benovia Winery. She will work alongside Benovia Winemaker Mike Sullivan. Previously, Walsh worked for a number of notable California wineries, most recently, as enologist for Miner Family Winery in Oakville. She also has worked for wineries in New Zealand and Chile.
Lynn Krausmann Joins Pellegrini
Pellegrini Wine Company at Olivet Lane Vineyard in Healdsburg, Calif., has appointed Lynn Krausmann as winemaker. Most recently, Krausman was winemaker for Esterlina Vineyards for three years. Prior to that she was winemaker at Williams Selyem and Clos du Bois Wines.
Terry Hall Named Oak Knoll Director
The board of directors of the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) has retained the services of Terry Hall and his TH-ink communications firm. Hall is a former communications director for the Napa Valley Vintners. Prior to that he worked in marketing and communications at Trefethen Family Vineyards.
Heron Hill Hires Eric Frarey
Eric D. Frarey has been appointed director of sales at Heron Hill Winery in Hammondsport, N.Y. Frarey will lead Heron Hill's wholesale sales team, as well as assist in the management of winery operations. He brings 29 years of industry experience in all three tiers: supplier, wholesale and retail, with execution in both on- and off-premise marketing channels.
Fess Parker Appoints David Baird
David Baird has been named assistant winemaker for Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara, Calif., working under the guidance of winemaker Blair Fox. Baird will manage Fess Parker's enology lab and cellar staff. Previously, he was cellar master at Justin. He began his winemaking career as an intern at Edna Valley Vineyard and Halter Ranch Winery.
J. Lohr Promotes Steve Lohr and Jeff Meier
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines in San Jose, Calif., has named second-generation family member and winery co-owner Steve Lohr CEO and chairman of the board. Jeff Meier, a 29-year J. Lohr winemaking veteran was promoted to president and will continue as COO in charge of winemaking facilities. Steve Lohr, previously EVP/COO, will assume overall management. Founder Jerry Lohr will manage the estate vineyard holdings.
Jon-Mark Chappellet Leaves Family Business
After 22 years at Chappellet Vineyard & Winery, Jon-Mark Chappellet has announced he is leaving the day-to-day operations of the family business to pursue entrepreneurial passions. Throughout his tenure, Chappellet served roles in financial management, sales and marketing, brand development, sustainability, quality control and facilities management. As the founder of Chappellet's wine club, he also helped grow the winery's direct-to-consumer business.
Renteria Purchases Brown Ranch
Denise and Oscar Renteria of Renteria Wines have purchased the Brown Ranch Vineyard in the Los Carneros District of Napa Valley from Silverado Premium Partners. The 40-acre parcel has 29 acres planted to pinot noir and chardonnay. The Renterias also own properties on Mt. Veeder and in Pope Valley. An additional 1,500 acres is farmed under contract to their portfolio.
Keel and Curly Announce Contest
In celebration of its 10th anniversary and millionth bottle, Keel and Curley Winery of Plant City, Fla., is launching a Golden Cork Contest a la Willie Wonka. Ten golden corks will be sent out to stores in Keel and Curley wine bottles. Customers who find golden corks will gather at the winery on Oct. 10, 2013 to compete for the grand prize trip to Northern California.
Jadot Buys Resonance Vineyard
Maison Louis Jadot has purchased the 20-acre Resonance Vineyard planted to pinot noir in Oregon's Willamette Valley. This marks the first time that Jadot will produce wine outside of Burgundy. Jacques Lardiere, former Jadot winemaker, is responsible for winemaking with the 2013 harvest. Initially, Jadot will use the Trisaetum Winery facilities near Newberg, Ore. Transaction terms were not disclosed.
Siduri Begins Gluten Testing
Siduri Wines in Santa Rosa, Calif., has begun gluten testing on its Siduri pinot noirs. This information is accessible through wine notes posted on the Siduri website that are linked via QR code from the bottle labels, allowing consumers to review ingredients, winemaking processes and more. The 2012 Siduri Sonoma County Pinot Noir is the first wine featuring the QR code-linked notes.
Laetitia Turns 30
Thirty years after its first vintage of Old World-style sparkling wine, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery is celebrating with a limited edition etched magnum series for purchase. Additionally, the winery will host a Dual Winemaker Dinner on Sept. 14, 2013, featuring the library wines of winemakers Dave Hickey and Eric Hickey paired with dishes from Et Voilá Restaurant.
Inc. Recognizes Cecchetti's Growth
For the third consecutive year, Cecchetti Wine Company of Sonoma, Calif., has been named to the Inc. 500/5000, a list of the nation's most successful private companies. In 2012, Cecchetti sold 340,000 cases of its affordably priced Line 39, Backhouse, Redtree and Exitus wines. Portfolio-wide sales volume increased 30% compared with 2011. This year, the company expects to sell some 380,000 cases.
Milner Heritage Wins Minnesota Gov.'s Cup
The 2012 Little Iza wine from Millner Heritage Vineyard and Winery in Kimball, Minn., won the Minnesota Governor's Cup top-prize trophy at the 2013 International Cold Climate Wine Competition, held at the University of Minnesota. Other "Best of Show" awards went to Wisconsin's Parallel 44, Vermont's Shelburne Vineyard, and the Illinois Sparkling Company.
NY Wine & Food Honors Top Winners
The New York Wine and Grape Foundation announced that McCall Wines of Cutchogue, N.Y., has been named "Winery of the Year" at the annual New York Wine & Food Classic competition. McCall entered seven wines, all of which received medals. Keuka Spring Vineyards 2012 Riesling from the Finger Lakes region took home the Governor's Cup, recognizing the Best of Show or top prize of all 875 entries in the Classic. Find full results at www.newyorkwines.org.
Indy International Award Winners Announced
Huber's Orchard, Winery & Vineyards of Starlight, Ind., topped over 2,300 international entries to win "Wine of the Year" honors for its 2012 Vignoles at the Indy International Wine Competition. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards of Sonoma, Calif., was awarded the Winery of the Year Trophy for the Best International Brand. Washington state's Maryhill Winery won the Winemaker of the Year Trophy for receiving the most gold medals. For more results, visit www.indyinternational.org.
Record Entries for Michigan Wine Competition
At the 36th annual Michigan Wine Competition, open only to wines produced from Michigan fruit, 55 wineries entered a record 450 wines. Judges awarded the top "Best of Class" awards to six wines: Black Star Farms 2012 BeDazzled; Chateau Fontaine 2012 Pinot Blanc; Peninsula Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc; Boathouse Vineyards 2012 "Knot Too Sweet" Riesling; Karma Vista Vineyards 2012 Devil's Head Red; and Brys Estate 2011 "Dry Ice" Riesling Ice Wine. See www.michiganwines.com for more winners.
2013 World of Wine Medalists Announced
The 2013 Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival recently concluded its wine competition, featuring 179 wines from 46 wineries. A total of 13 gold medals were awarded this year, including 6 double-gold medals. Best of Show honors went to Pebblestone Cellars for its 2012 Viognier and to Spangler Vineyards for its 2010 Claret. Cuckoo's Nest Cellars won Best of Show/Other Wine for its 2012 Fizzé.
New Study to Examine Wine Clubs
In September the Wine Market Council of St. Helena, Calif., will launch an in-depth survey of its members’ U.S. wine clubs. The Wine Club Survey will provide participating winery members with data on the overall state of wine clubs, data on their wine club and a comparison of their club to others across the country. For participation information, see www.winemarketcouncil.com.
Oregon Wines to Fly Free
A new partnership between Alaska Airlines, the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) and Travel Oregon will allow domestic Alaska Airlines passengers to check one case of wine for free on return flights out of four Oregon airports and one Washington airport. The Oregon Wines Fly Free program runs Sept. 10-Nov. 20. Additionally, boarding passes entitle travelers to complimentary tastings at 180 wineries.
IGGVA Launches New Ad Campaign
The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association (IGGVA) is launching a new brand identity and supporting advertising campaign at the Illinois Wine Experience during the Illinois State Fair, Aug. 9-18, 2013. The new campaign, created by VALENTI Advertising Design Ideas features the image of Abe Lincoln with a twist and the tagline: “Join the Party.”
WWIF Hosts Record Wine Cup
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (WWIF) in Cashmere, Wash., raised over $40,000 at its 13th Annual Wine Cup at Meadow Springs Country Club. This year’s event raised more funds than any other Wine Cup. All proceeds from the golf tournament support WWIF’s mission to strengthen the future of the Washington wine industry by advancing research, education and leadership.
CSWA Tool Measures Vineyard Emissions
San Francisco-based California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) has introduced an online tool for calculating greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration in California vineyards. Part of CSWA’s online Sustainable Winegrowing Self-Assessment and Performance Metrics system, the DeNitrification and DeComposition (DNDC) tool was developed to help winegrowers “measure to manage” to reduce input costs and emissions.
Strong Turnout for ASEV Conference
Exceeding last year’s attendance, 600 wine and grape industry leaders, researchers and academic representatives from around the world attended the American Society for Enology and Viticulture’s (ASEV) 64th National Conference. Hosted in Monterey, Calif., the conference is a platform for the dissemination of research reports and the presentation of seminars on topics of importance to the wine and grape industry.
Call for Innovation Award Nominees
Bank of the West and Fruition Sciences are accepting nominees for the new Vintage Report Innovation Award, recognizing the most groundbreaking method, practice or approach used during the 2013 vintage. Industry leaders, including Andy Beckstoffer, will judge the competition. The winner will be announced at Fruition Sciences’ 2013 conference in January 2014. Nominations are due by Dec. 6, 2013. For details, email email@example.com.
Foley Invests in Wine Media
Bill Foley, founder of Foley Family Wines and executive chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Financial Inc., has acquired a controlling interest in the Santa Barbara-based Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media, a nationally distributed magazine and backer of wine tourism events. Plans are underway to increase distribution through print, online and mobile apps.
Linda Murphy to Keynote Wine Conference
The Wine Tourism Conference, scheduled for Nov. 13-15 in Portland, Ore., has named Linda Murphy its 2013 keynote speaker. Murphy is the co-author with Jancis Robinson of “American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States.” Previously, Murphy was the wine section editor of The San Francisco Chronicle and managing editor of The New York Times’ wine website.
WWIF Welcomes New Board Directors
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (WWIF) in Cashmere, Wash., has named five new board directors to the team: Bill Shibley, regional vice president at Northwest Farm Credit Services; Stephanie Meier, an attorney at Stoel Rives LLP; Bradley Walker, principal at Walker and Associates; Simon Siegl, principal at CoEfficient Consulting; and Mark Wheeler, a former surgeon and past vice president of development for Phamis Inc.
Cakebread Named Grande Dame
Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), a New York-based organization of leading professional women in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality, will present its Grande Dame Award to Dolores Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars at its annual conference this October. The award, which honors a lifetime of outstanding professional achievement, excellence and charitable/community contributions within the culinary industry, is bestowed biennially.
Darel Allwine Named Col Solare Winemaker
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori, joint venture partners for wineries in California and Washington state, have promoted Darel Allwine to winemaker for Col Solare, the Red Mountain estate founded by the partners in 1995. Entering his 18th harvest in Washington and his ninth on Red Mountain, Allwine most recently was the cellarmaster for Col Solare.
Antonio Treviño Promoted
Antonio Treviño has been promoted to director of winemaking operations for Sonoma Wine Company and Purple Wine Company in Graton, Calif. In this newly created role, he will supervise winemaking activities, private label wine programs, contract bottling services and wine and grape sourcing. Treviño joined Sonoma Wine Company in 2003 as senior winemaker, and later became director of winemaking.
Jim McAllister Joins Morgan Winery
Morgan Winery in Monterey County, Calif., has hired Jim McAllister as director of sales. He will manage the national and international sales network responsible for the wholesale distribution of Morgan and Lee Family Farm wines. Most recently, McAllister was general manager at Alysian Wines.
Winesecrets Hires Luke Bohanan
Wine filtration company American Winesecrets LLC, has hired Luke Bohanan as a production winemaker at its Sebastopol, Calif. winery. Bohanan has a master’s degree in enology from UC Davis and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Tulane. A former Army officer, Bohanan also brings leadership skills from tours of duty in Iraq to his new post.
Araujo Estate Acquired by Chateau Latour
Napa Valley’s Araujo Estate has been purchased by The Artemis Group, owners of Château Latour. The financial company founded by French businessman François Pinault, announced it had acquired Araujo for an undisclosed price. The deal includes the 38-acre Eisele Vineyard, the winery and cave complex, the brand and existing inventory. Araujo’s staff is expected to remain.
Justin Redesigns Tasting Room
Justin Vineyards & Winery recently unveiled its new guest experience in Paso Robles, Calif. Updates include a fully remodeled tasting room, restaurant and guest suites. The recent renovation has added nearly 2,000 square feet to the original tasting room, which now features a contemporary design and large windows framing the estate vineyards. Justin also has a new patio with outdoor tasting bar.
New Visitor Center for Stag’s Leap
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, Calif., has revealed plans for a state-of-the-art Visitor Center overlooking its estate vineyards. Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba created the design for the new Center, which local architect Dan Macdonald of Daniel Macdonald AIA Architects, Inc., and landscape architect Sandra Reed of ZAC Landscape Architects will bring to life. The new Center is expected to cost $7 million.
Attimo Fundraiser Attempts to Break Records
Christiansburg, Va.-based Attimo Winery LLC, the Montgomery County Chamber Foundation and the Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office will attempt to break two records – the longest toast relay and the most bottles of wine uncorked simultaneously – during their Salute Vantaggio fundraising event on Sept. 28. Profits of the event, to be held at Attimo, will go to Auburn Elementary.
New Facility for Boordy Vineyards
In September, Boordy Vineyards, Maryland’s oldest winery, will celebrate the completion of a five-year project to complete its new building and production facility. The 7,200-square-foot building, adjacent to Boordy’s 19th century barns, will house 32 new stainless fermentation tanks, a new laboratory and temperature-controlled room for bottled wine storage. The new winery will be ready for the 2013 vintage.
Kosta Browne Winery Buys First Vineyard
Kosta Browne Winery of Sebastopol, Calif., has announced the acquisition of its first vineyard, a 20-acre block on Keefer Ranch in the Russian River Valley.
Marcy Keefer will continue to farm her remaining 30 acres. This latest expansion follows the winery’s recent deal to secure a long-term lease of 37 acres from Gap’s Crown Vineyard.
A Trio of Riesling Winners
Riesling wines from Wisconsin, New York and California took top honors at the recent Long Beach Grand Cru wine competition. In the American Dry Riesling category, top honors went to Wisconsin’s Wollersheim Winery. The top Medium Dry winner was Wisconsin’s Cedar Creek Winery. The Medium Sweet category winner was New York’s Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars. Topping the Sweet category was Navarro Vineyards of California’s Anderson Valley.
NVV Secures Trade Mark Registration
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) in St. Helena, Calif., has received the Certificate of Trade Mark Registration from the Intellectual Property Office in New Zealand. The registration provides consumer protection against wines illegitimately labeled as from Napa Valley. The Napa Valley brand is similarly protected in Brazil, Canada, India and Thailand. It also has Geographic Indication (GI) status in China.
American Wine Consumer Coalition Launches
Last month marked the launch of The American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC), an organization focused on increasing consumer rights to access wine via direct shipping, supermarket sales and privatization. The new organization is the brainchild of wine blogger and wine industry public relations consultant Tom Wark, who will serve as AWCC executive director. David White has been named AWCC president.
Virginia Releases Bicentennial Red
Virginia recently celebrated the 200th anniversary of its Executive Mansion in Richmond, Va., with the release of ‘1813,’ a bicentennial-themed blended red wine. The wine, of which 1,813 bottles were produced, is not for sale. Instead, the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office will use 1813 to further promote Virginian wine.
WWIF Receives Safety Grant
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (WWIF) has received a $174,000 grant to develop safety education for small to mid-sized wineries. The grant, funded by the state of Washington’s Safety and Health Investment Projects Program, will be used to reduce workplace injuries through on-demand and self-directed training available in English and Spanish, and in multiple formats including mobile apps, CDs and classroom training.
Specialty Wine Retailers Association Renamed
The Specialty Wine Retailers Association in Sacramento, Calif., has changed its name to the National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) to reflect the trade association’s expansion of interests. While still advocating for direct-to-consumer shipping, NAWR is also focusing on third-party marketing, primary source laws and tied-house regulations, as well as promoting Commerce Clause understanding related to alcohol.
UC Davis Ranked No. 1
The University of California, Davis, is No. 1 in the world for teaching and research in the area of agriculture and forestry, according to rankings released this May by QS World University Rankings. The organization provided rankings for agriculture and forestry for the first time this year. UC Davis also placed 12th in environmental sciences and 25th in biological sciences.
Paso Robles Ag Leaders Forge Alliance
The Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions (PRAAGS) is a new official association formed by agricultural leaders interested in finding and implementing solutions for the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. The alliance’s primary purpose is to work cooperatively to secure a sustainable groundwater supply in the Basin. PRAAGS is operated by a board of directors.
Sonoma’s New Economic Wine Research
Sonoma County Winegrowers, Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau are initiating new economic research to measure the full economic impact of winegrowing and winemaking in Sonoma County. Stonebridge Research will conduct the research, following up on data last gathered in 2005. The full report is slated for completion in the fall and release in early 2014.
Exhibit Celebrates Mondavi’s 100th
Last month marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of renowned California vintner Robert Mondavi. To celebrate, UC Davis is unveiling the Robert G. Mondavi: Celebrating the Good Life exhibition. Located in the University’s Peter J. Shields Library, the exhibit features the Robert G. Mondavi Papers collection that was donated in 2011. The exhibit is free and runs through December 2013.
2013 Wine Blog Awards Announced
“Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog” took top honors at the 2013 Wine Blog Awards, held during the recent Wine Bloggers Conference in Pentiction, B.C. Terroirist was awarded “Best Overall Wine Blog.” Eight other categories, including “Best New Wine Blog” and “Best Wine Reviews on a Blog,” were celebrated at the seventh annual awards.
TTB Issues Serving Facts Guidelines
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in Washington, D.C., issued Ruling 2013-2 that allows the alcohol beverage industry to provide consumers “Serving Facts” nutritional information about their products. It also provides guidelines for presenting information in a clear and consistent manner. Additionally, Serving Facts statements may include information about the alcohol content of the product.
UC Davis Tests Remote-Controlled Helicopters
Engineers at UC Davis and Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA field-tested a remote-controlled helicopter fitted with a spray applicator system over the University’s Oakville Experimental Vineyard last month. For 20 years, the small motorcycle-sized helicopter, named RMAX, has been used to apply agricultural sprays to rice fields in Japan. It is now being tested for potential agricultural uses in the U.S.
Auction Napa Valley Shatters Records
The Napa Valley Vintners' (NVV) 33rd annual Auction Napa Valley raised a record-breaking $16.9 million for healthcare and youth education nonprofits in Napa County. The American Wine Classic's record-breaking results exceeded the previous record of $10.5 million raised in 2005 by more than 60%.
Livermore Valley Wine Auction Raises $280,000
The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundation and The Wente Family Foundation for Arts Education report that the 19th annual Livermore Valley Wine Auction raised $280,000. The two foundations will present checks on Aug. 6, 2013 to the beneficiaries: ValleyCare Foundation, Open Heart Kitchen, Happy Talkers, Bankhead Theater and Livermore Valley Education Foundation. Approximately 300 guests attended the May 11th Auction at Wente Vineyards.
Pacific Coast Trail Releases Press Kit
The newly established Pacific Coast Wine Trail has announced the release of a press kit and other marketing materials designed to promote the seven boutique wineries located along the scenic Central Coast of California. Newly created tear sheets provide information on each winery along the Trail. Learn more at www.pacificcoastwinetrail.com.
Wine Institute Elects Board
The Wine Institute in San Francisco, Calif., has announced the election of its 2013-2014 Board Chairman Chris Fehrnstrom of Constellation Brands' Wine & Spirits Division. Other board officers elected include: First Vice Chairman Carolyn Wente of Wente Family Estates; Second Vice Chairman Greg Coleman of E. & J. Gallo Winery; Treasurer Margie Healy of Korbel Champagne Cellars; and Secretary Steve Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. Robert P. (Bobby) Koch remains president and CEO.
Diogo-Draper Names Artesa Assistant Winemaker
Napa-based Artesa Vineyards & Winery has appointed Ana Diogo-Draper as assistant winemaker. Diogo-Draper will report to Director of Winemaking Mark Beringer to support all aspects of wine production, including cellar operations, viticultural management, blending and winery staffing. Most recently, Diogo-Draper was assistant winemaker at Rutherford Hill Winery.
Grgich Hires Eckstein as Associate Winemaker
Michael Eckstein has joined Grgich Hills Estate in Rutherford, Calif., as associate winemaker. Previously, Eckstein was winemaker at Franciscan Oakville Estate for six years. His experience also includes fine wine production at Domaine Chandon, Rudd Vineyards and Winery and Robert Mondavi Winery.
Laurent-Perrier Names Cox VP
Laurent-Perrier U.S., the U.S. subsidiary of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, has appointed Camille L. Cox to vice president of sales. Cox, who will be based in Florida, is responsible for building the U.S. market for the Laurent-Perrier line. Most recently, she was a national sales manager with Pahlmeyer Winery.
Meritage Alliance Elects Board
Susie Bynum, national sales manager for Ehret Family Winery, was re-elected to a third term as chairman of The Meritage Alliance at the group’s annual meeting on May 17. Also elected to one-year terms as officers were Treasurer Donnis Topel, co-owner of Topel Winery, and Secretary Peggy Gsell, brand manager for Boisset Family Estates.
Notaro Joins Stag’s Leap
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori, joint venture partners for wineries in California and Washington State, have named Marcus Notaro the winemaker for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the Napa Valley estate acquired by the partners in 2007. Notaro comes to his new post from the Washington state winery Col Solare, where he was winemaker.
Casey Flat Ranch Hires Bullington as VP
Capay Valley, Calif.-based Casey Flat Ranch has hired Brenda Bullington as vice president of sales and marketing. She will oversee the company’s distribution network, consumer outreach, trade communications, strategic planning and sales and marketing. Previously, Bullington was the western region vice president for Shannon Ridge Vineyards. She is also the former proprietor of Dué Sales and Marketing.
Andrew Will Now a Father-Son Team
Andrew Will Winery of Vashon Island, Wash., has announced that Will Camarda, son of Owner/Winemaker Chris Camarda, will join the family business as assistant winemaker. Will Camarda, for whom the winery is named along with his cousin Andrew, graduated from the University of Washington in 2010 with a bachelor of science degree in geology. He most recently worked at Sound Earth Strategies in Seattle, as a geologist.
Hess Collection Appoints Pearson Director of Marketing
Sarah Pearson has been appointed director of marketing for The Hess Collection winery, reporting to Chief Marketing Officer Derek Bromley. Most recently, Pearson served as a brand manager of Innovation at Constellation Brands, where she launched a successful celebrity wine that quickly grew to 200,000 annual cases. Earlier, she held marketing positions with Freixenet USA and Treasury Wine Estates.
Kane is New Winemaker at Howell Mountain
Bryan Kane has been named winemaker of Howell Mountain Vineyards in Angwin, Calif. Kane has been making wine from Beatty Ranch fruit for nearly a decade, and currently assists at several other Howell Mountain wineries. His passion for mountain fruit has led him to develop his own estate vineyard in the Mayacamas Mountains.
Precept Wine Acquires Yamhela, Skyfall
Seattle, Wash.-based Precept Wine has purchased Yamhela Vineyard in Yamhill, Ore. Precept says it will focus on the 374-acre Yamhela’s premium wine grape-growing potential, expanding the 30 planted acres to 120 acres over five years. In a separate deal, Precept purchased 174 acres in the Yakima Valley, naming the property “Skyfall.” It will undergo a three-year conversion from partial orchard to primarily vineyard land. Terms of both sales, which bring Precept’s Northwest vineyard holdings to approximately 4,200 acres, were undisclosed.
Thomas Fogarty Names Next Gen
After 35 years of winemaking, Thomas Fogarty Winery founders Dr. Thomas Fogarty and Winemaker Michael Martella have announced their successors. Tom Fogarty Jr. now runs the Portola Valley, Calif. estate, while Nathan Kandler, who has worked alongside Martella since 2004, is in charge of production. Martella continues as viticulturist, developing and refining the Estate’s vineyard practices.
Winery Experiments with Ocean Aging
Mira Winery recently concluded a three-month experiment, when the Napa-based producer recovered four cases of its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from 60 feet below in the Atlantic Ocean. Mira is the first American winery to successfully experiment with aging wine in the ocean. “It’s not better, it’s not worse, and it is definitely different,” said Mira Winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez about the land vs. ocean-aged wines.
Shannon Ridge Acquires Historic Property
Shannon Ridge Family of Wines of Lake County, Calif., has purchased 100 acres of the historic Ogulin Estate, located in the High Valley Appellation of Lake County. Shannon Ridge will rebuild and preserve the 1870s-era home and winery on the property. Currently there are 18 acres under vine. The winery plans to plant an additional 62 acres in 2014.
Charles Shaw Wins Gold
Charles Shaw Winery, also known as “Two Buck Chuck,” received high honors at the recent 2013 Orange County Fair Wine Competition. The 2011 Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Charles Shaw Merlot and 2012 Charles Shaw White Zinfandel all won gold medals. The winning wines, produced by the Bronco Wine Company, are current vintage California appellation wines that retail from $2.49 to $3.49 nationally.
Virginia Wine Medals in France
Breaux Vineyards of Purcellville, Va., took home a silver medal from the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2013. One of 807 entries in the sauvignon blanc-only wine competition, Breaux’s unoaked example was the only U.S. wine to medal out of the 231 medals awarded. The competition was held Apr. 26- 27 at Château de Blois in the Loire Valley.
Peter Lehmann, The Baron of the Barossa, Dies at 82
The winemaker who put Barossa on the map, Peter Lehmann, passed away on June 28, 2013 in Adelaide, Australia. He was 82. “Like everything he ever did in his life, he fought incredibly hard until the end,” said Son Doug Lehmann, who worked with his father for more than 20 years establishing Peter Lehmann Wines.
Entering the wine industry at the age of 17, Peter Lehmann eventually forged a reputation as one of Australia’s leading winemakers. In 1979, he started a new independent winery in an effort to protect growers facing bankruptcy, as corporate wineries stopped buying fruit. His vision ensured the futures of more than 100 winegrowing families. Although retiring officially in 2002, his eponymous brand became a global success, and put Barossa on the world stage. Lehmann is survived by wife Margaret, sons Doug, David, and Philip, and daughter Libby.
Monterey County Remembers Steve Pessagno
Vintner Steve Pessagono, proprietor of Pessagno Vineyard, died at his home of natural causes on June 8. He was 55. In addition to his role as owner and winemaker of his well-respected winery, Pessagno was a founding member and sat on the Board of Directors of the Wine Artisans of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Pessagno is credited for playing an instrumental role in establishing the young organization, which launched in 2005. He also was an executive board member and past Association president of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association. A former county planning commissioner, Pessagono is also remembered for helping to shape the River Road Wine Trail.
Wine Buyers Influenced by Sustainability
Two research studies by San Francisco-based Wine Institute indicate that the eco-friendly attributes of wine can be an important consideration for consumers and trade. Some 34% of wine consumers surveyed said they consider sustainability when making wine purchases. Also, 66% said they identify sustainability at the point of purchase via labels and in-store information. For study details, see www.wineinstitute.org.
Mendocino Vintners Celebrate ‘CORO’ Anniversary
Coro Mendocino recently released its 10th Anniversary Coro Wine. Each wine must contain between 40% and 70% zinfandel. The 2010 vintage was made by: Brutocao, Claudia Springs, Fetzer, Golden, Mendocino Vineyards, McFadden, McNab Ridge, Parducci, Philo Ridge and Ray's Station.
Michigan Vineyards Recognized
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Grand Traverse Conservation District recently recognized seven wineries and four vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula for their verification in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The vineyards implemented voluntary and proactive pollution prevention practices. To date, more than 1,500 MAEAP verifications have been issued in the state.
Lodi Region Launches Video Series
The Lodi Winegrape Commission has launched LoCA Thoughts, a new video series that demystifies wine. Featuring Lodi grapegrower Ben Kolber, the videos challenge conventional myths about storing, pouring, tasting and cooking with wine, while providing consumers with fun answers to common wine-related questions. The videos can be viewed at www.lodiwine.com/locathoughts.
ASEV Selects Best Papers
The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) in Davis, Calif., has announced the 2013 best enology and viticulture papers. They are: "Foliar Application of Abscisic Acid Increases Freezing Tolerance of Field-Grown Vitis Vinifera Cabernet franc Grapevines" and "Profiling the Yeast Communities of Wine Fermentations Using Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis." Both awards are sponsored by J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines.
California Wines Part of China Trade Mission
The Wine Institute reports that California wines were presented at a series of events during Governor Jerry Brown’s Trade Mission to China Apr. 9-12, paving the way for vintner delegations that followed to the country later in the spring. Sales to China helped grow California wine exports to a record $1.4 billion in sales last year.
Antietam Highlands Wine Trail Opens
The Maryland Wineries Association celebrated the opening of the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail on Apr. 16. The Trail stretches across Western Maryland, touching on renowned wineries, historic sites and scenic views. Expected to draw thousands of visitors annually, the Trail also includes 10 state parks, more than 30 museums and five national parks.
BNA Wine Group Hires COO
Mark A. Castaldi has been appointed chief operating officer of BNA Wine Group in Nashville, Tenn. Castaldi has more than 20 years experience in the wine, beverage and food industries, including serving as COO or general manager for Sonoma Wine Company, Schug Winery, Constellation Wine Company, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates and Beringer Wine Estates.
New Director for Washington State Wine
Michaela Baltasar, formerly the senior communications manager for Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, Calif., has relocated to Seattle to assume the role of communications director for the Washington State Wine Commission.
Franciscan Estate Names Winemaker
Marla Carroll has been named winemaker for Franciscan Estate Winery in St. Helena, Calif. She joins Director of Winemaking Janet Myers and Winemaker Jay Turnipseed. Carroll has worked at Franciscan for seven years in a number of roles, including enologist and assistant winemaker.
Penner-Ash Appoints Marketing Manager
Newberg, Ore.-based Penner-Ash Wine Cellars has named Jane Box its direct sales and marketing manager. Box brings years of hospitality, wine and culinary experience to the role. A former restaurant manager, Box has also served as a portfolio manager for Southern Wines & Spirits and worked for Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy USA. In 2011, Box founded Janie’s Kitchen LLC, an online personal chef consultancy.
Don & Sons Expands Team
Don Sebastiani & Sons of Sonoma, Calif., has hired Rob McNeill as director of winemaking, a newly created position for the company. Before joining Don Sebastiani & Sons, McNeill worked at Mumm Napa for nearly two decades. McNeill will be based at the winery’s Steelbird Cellars facility in the Napa Valley.
Malbec & Malbec Joins Sodaro Estate
The Napa Valley’s Sodaro Estate Winery has hired winemaking team Malbec & Malbec to take control of its winemaking operations. Malbec & Malbec is the husband and wife team of Denis Malbec and May-Britt Malbec. Both have worked for Chateau Latour in France, Denis as cellar master and enologist and May-Britt in public relations. In 2000, the couple launched their wine consulting business.
Fetzer Names Grower Relations Manager
Ben Byczynski has been named grower relations manager, North Coast, of Fetzer Vineyards in Hopland, Calif. He will manage Fetzer's relationships with winegrowers in Mendocino and Lake counties who grow grapes for the Bonterra and Fetzer-Mendo wines. Byczynski was most recently viticulturist and chief administrative officer at Vimark Vineyards/Trione Vineyards in Geyserville.
Ledson Adds to Winemaking Team
Ledson Winery & Vineyards in Kenwood, Calif., has hired British winemaker Matt Standing to round out its international winemaking team. Standing joins Owner and Head Winemaker Steve Ledson; Consulting Winemaker David Ramey; Australian Winemaker Andrew Bilenkij; and Consulting Viticulturist Dr. Daniel Roberts. Ledson has also announced its recent purchase of the Mountain Terraces vineyard.
Mueller Winery Returns to Healdsburg
Mueller Winery has sold its Starr Road winery facility in Windsor, Calif. The sale does not include the Mueller brand, wine inventory or grape contracts. Production is moving to a new state-of-the-art facility in Santa Rosa in time for the 2013 harvest. The Mueller Tasting Room will now be located in downtown Healdsburg.
Westport Winery Partners with Songbird Vineyard
Westport Winery of Aberdeen, Wash., has announced its collaboration with another Eastern Washington grape grower, Songbird Vineyard. Westport Winery will begin making Surfers Last Syrah from Songbird’s grapes grown in the Red Mountain AVA.
Pend d’Oreille Winery to Relocate
Pend d’Oreille Winery of Sandpoint, Idaho, has announced plans to move its tasting facility to the historic Belwood building across the street from its current location. Belwood will host the tasting room, gift shop and Bistro Rouge Café restaurant. Wine production will move to the winery’s off-site warehouse. The new location is slated to open Sept. 13.
Pinot Noir Summit Sets Record
This year’s 11th Annual Pinot Noir Summit featured some 460 pinot noirs from around the world. Held March 16th at The Presidio in San Francisco, the Summit is the culmination of the Affairs of the Vine Pinot Noir Shootout, which has grown to be the largest head-to-head competition of pinot noirs. For a list of winners, see http://affairsofthevine.com.