Posts Tagged ‘Napa’

Jameson Canyon Ranch - Reata Winery

Jameson Canyon Ranch – Reata Winery

 

A winery worker suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning at a warehouse on Kirkland Ranch Road in south Napa County after the bolt of a 7,500-gallon steel tank filled with red wine failed, according to CalFire/Napa County Fire.

An employee was injured at about 1:25 p.m. at Jameson Canyon Ranch/Reata Winery when the lower door of the steel tank burst open after the bolt ruptured, causing the wine to spill, according to CalFire/Napa County Fire.

 

Read on …

A fireman's range...

A fireman’s range…

 

What do winemaking and firefighting have in common?

“Not a darn thing,” admits Dan D’Angelo cheerfully. But that hasn’t stopped this Napa firefighter from starting a second career in the wine industry.

Seven years ago D’Angelo created his own wine brand, Vino D’Angelo Wines, with labels Rescue Red and Chief’s Blend.

“I just kind of jumped into it,” he said. “I enjoy it because I like the challenge of it.”

Today, his wines are found at a number of local restaurants and stores including Grace’s Table, Il Posto Trattoria, Sushi Mambo, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, Siam Thai House, Vallerga’s, Ranch Market, Lawler’s Liquors and Val’s Liquors.

What fire station do you work at?

I’m at Station 3 by Justin-Siena.

How do you find the time to run your wine business?

We get our days off. I squeeze it in.

 

Read on …

wine950

Somewhere in the manicured farmlands of Napa Valley, a 52-year-old winemaker named Abe Schoener stood in a puny and weed-choked tract of land surrounded by 40 gray and contorted barren vines, which he surveyed with paternal satisfaction. “My view when I started leasing this was, It’s 60-year-old-vine sauvignon blanc,” he said, smiling. “How bad could it be?”
No other winemaker had been willing to find out. Though it’s believed that these could be the oldest sauvignon blanc vines in all of California, their average annual yield — about 30 gallons of wine, or 14 cases — is so paltry that investing in this scruffy vineyard, which is owned by the McDowell family, who threaten every year to uproot the vines and replace them with cabernet sauvignon, would hardly seem worth the effort.

Schoener (pronounced shurner) views this matter, and almost everything else, differently. The most frequently used word in his extensive vocabulary is “interesting” — as in, “I find it interesting that I have absolutely no desire to own my own winery” — and his days seem to be consumed by the desire to evade predictability. “No one else would want to work in this vineyard, because it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s perfect for Scholium,” he said, referring to his one-man winery, the Scholium Project.

 

For the past eight years, Scholium has made sauvignon blanc from the McDowell property, though the wine’s label makes no mention of the actual grape, much less the oldness of its vines. Instead, the bottle simply reads, “Glos,” a reference to the name of the street that the vineyard is on, as well as the Greek word “glossa,” which translates to “word” or “language.” (In a previous life, Schoener taught classics at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md.)

 

Standing beside him on the McDowell property were three of his interns, all of whom have pruned and harvested the vines: Alex, a former chef at the French Laundry; Brenna, a comprehensively tattooed wine director; and Courtney, a wine journalist who, when I asked her what the wine from this vineyard tasted like, sternly informed me, “It tastes like Glos.” (Later I paid $45 for a bottle, which is pale and restrained and unlike any other sauvignon blanc I’ve encountered. I guess that means it tastes like Glos.)

Read on …

Truffles coming to a vineyard near you!

Truffles coming to a vineyard near you!

 

The truffle trend is coming to a vineyard near you.
Thanks to new technology—which allows young oak and chestnut tree roots to be inoculated with black truffle spores—several U.S. wine producers are planting the tasty tuber melanosporum alongside their Pinot and Cab.

Growing secondary crops on a vineyard promotes biodiversity and is key to the long-term health of the land, says Robert Sinskey, of Sinskey Vineyards, which is home to Napa Valley’s first truffle orchard. And given the fact truffles are in such high demand—selling for as much as $1,200 a pound—planting an orchard made perfect sense.

Read on …

 

If the Napa Valley can’t reduce traffic to arrest global warming, does any other wine region have a chance?

 

commute-traffic-700x350

 

If you build it, they will come – in droves. But Napa Valley’s booming wine industry has created a buildup of traffic that is giving county planners a headache. Napa Valley has long been a leader in environmental responsibility, passing a landmark Agricultural Preserve law in 1968 that severely restricts development outside of cities, and its environmental behavior as a whole is right up to the mark. However, Napa County is finding that actually passing a Climate Action Plan isn’t easy. Last year, the county’s planning staff came up with a proposal that would have restricted wineries from expanding production facilities and tasting rooms without paying large penalties. Everyone seemed on board with the scheme until December, when the powerful Napa Valley Vintners organization led a push that sent the plan back to the drawing board. The vintners didn’t like some of the costs they would have had to pay, including carbon mitigation fees 10 times higher than those on the open market. But their biggest objection was the fact that the plan sought to take most of the carbon reduction from wine production, when the biggest culprit – by a large margin – is traffic.

 

Read on …

sex_sells_women_c

 

 

A Californian brand with a risqué name is seducing U.S. wine drinkers. Jennifer Ashcroft has the story.

American consumers are flocking in their millions to have a threesome. The brazen Californian wine brand Ménage à Trois has made conservative drinkers choke on their claret with its sexual-innuendo-filled marketing, but as the latest figures show, sex really does sell.

Named as Wine Brand of the Year in 2009 by U.S. beverage industry publication Market Watch, it continues to be hot property, with sales up 13 percent to $61.5 million in the past 12 months. These impressive figures place Ménage à Trois among the biggest-selling brands in the country, behind Chateau Ste. Michelle, Cupcake Vineyards and Robert Mondavi Private Selection, according to Wines & Vines magazine.

But for its savvy owners, Trinchero Family Estates, Ménage is not the biggest seller. That position is reserved for the company’s first brand, Sutter Home. Nevertheless, Ménage à Trois has “done well because that’s a slightly risqué name and even people that don’t know French know what that term means,” says Dr Liz Thach, a Master of Wine and professor of management and wine business at Sonoma State University in California.

Catchy names that are easy to pronounce and remember are proving popular with more-casual wine drinkers in the U.S., and retailers’ shelves are steadily filling with gimmicky labels, such as Gnarly Head and Cupcake Vineyards.

Thach praises Ménage à Trois for its “phenomenal marketing.” The double entendre of the brand’s name is only the beginning. Sexual innuendos abound on the brand’s website, with wines described as being “guaranteed to satisfy,” “ready to make you its latest conquest” and “the perfect threesome.”

While the company’s public relations specialist, Carissa Abazia, believes that Ménage à Trois resonates with consumers because of its approachable style, price and slightly “edgy” name, some more-traditional consumers view it less favorably. Are the producers scraping the bottom of the barrel in a bid to sell some grape juice?

Read on …

Accolade

Accolade Wines announced the relocation of its North American offices to Napa, California. “From an international perspective, Napa is the global icon as the home of America’s wine industry. It offers a greater radius of recruitment prospects for all levels of positions and provides easy access for national and international travel,” said managing director Tim Matz.

Under Matz’s leadership, the company has assumed sales, marketing and distribution responsibilities for all corporately held brands in the United States, including top Australian brands Hardys and Banrock Station, while simultaneously launching new portfolio offerings, including Geyser Peak “Uncensored” and Stone’s ready-to-serve cocktails. Matz will be joined in Napa by Reid Stinnett, VP of marketing, Todd Devincenzi, VP of sales, and Brent Hansston, VP of finance, among several other team members.

The marketing and sales team will be located in Napa,… read on