Friday, August 31, 2012

Livermore Valley Wine Harvest Celebration

The 2012 Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration marks the 30th year that people have gathered to celebrate the harvest of grapes in one of the oldest wine regions in California. Known for its signature bus service and festive atmosphere, the event is a Labor Day Weekend tradition in the East Bay. On Sunday, September 2 and Monday, September 3 between noon and 5 p.m., area wineries will offer Livermore Valley’s best wine, food, art and music to ticket holders. Bus transportation between wineries will be available on Sunday only, and wineries will offer special activities to festival guests on Monday.

Produced by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association (LVWA), the Harvest Wine Celebration highlights the local winery experience. Thirty-nine participating wineries will be pouring at their tasting room locations across Livermore Valley, surrounded by lush vines, local artists, musicians and food vendors. Several wineries will be pouring and hosting festivities at either Concannon Vineyard or Wente Vineyards on Tesla Road. Food at all winery locations will be locally prepared and moderately priced. Admission includes a commemorative Livermore Valley wine glass, tastings of at least two wine varietals from each participating winery, official event program and exclusive discounts on wine purchases.

On Sunday, September 2, celebration guests are invited to ride complimentary shuttle buses between winery locations. The buses will travel on three different routes, each serving six to eleven wineries. Free parking will be available at Robertson Park in Livermore, where guests can board buses and transfer between routes during the day. Bus stops may be as far as 300 feet from winery locations, so guests riding buses must be prepared to walk up driveways. Monday, September 3 will feature a more intimate affair, as many wineries offer unique experiences to Harvest Wine Celebration guests.

Tickets are available online at www.LVwine.org and at all participating Livermore Valley wineries, The Winemaker’s PourHouse, the Wine Steward in Pleasanton, First Street Wine Company in Livermore and Bay Area Safeway stores. Ticket “will call” arrangements vary by purchase method. Please visit www.LVwine.org for details.

The ticket pricing for 2012 includes:
  • Two-day (Sunday/Monday) ticket: $55 in advance, $65 at the event
  • Designated Driver ticket: $10 (buy date of event)
The Harvest Wine Celebration is a fundraiser for the LVWA. During the event, participating wineries are open only to ticket holders with event wristbands. No outside food is allowed and the event is not intended for children. For more information, please visit www.LVwine.org or call 925-447-WINE.
Wineries hosting Harvest Wine Celebration festivities at their tasting room locations:
For more information:

Charles Krug winery breaks historic ground for the new hospitality center



When you talk about the history of Napa Valley and the wine industry in California two names will always be in that discussion, Charles Krug and Mondavi.

The Peter Mondavi Family officially embarked on the next phase of the restoration project of the Redwood Cellar at Charles Krug Winery last Tuesday when Peter Mondavi Sr., sons Marc and Peter Jr. and their families, joined Napa Valley architect Howard Backen and Tom Andrews of Andrews and Thornley General Contractors to break ground for Charles Krug’s new hospitality center. Backen and his firm Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects designed Charles Krug’s new tasting room and visitor center to be located inside the heritage building at the winery in St. Helena.


Guests and family donned hard hats and shrugged off rumors of ghost sightings as they accompanied Peter Mondavi Jr. on a tour of the cavernous multi-story stone structure. Adorned with 68 windows outlined in pink rhyolite and topped with many gables and an impressive belvedere, the 1872 Cellar remains as vintner Charles Krug’s testament to Napa Valley wine. The new hospitality center will occupy 11,000 square feet on the ground floor and the mezzanine of the Napa Valley’s oldest commercial winery, with Backen adding inspired modern touches while preserving the Redwood Cellar’s patina and rustic allure. The work is expected to take 14 months, with opening day slated for October 2013.

Howard Backen's blueprints for the project reveal an intricate lacework of exposed historic rafters and, beyond the mezzanine, views of the Peter Mondavi Family’s reserve Bordeaux barrel aging room through floor-to-ceiling glass walls. A towering 9000-gallon redwood aging tank and period bird-cage style elevator will be focal points, and recycled redwood from vintage wine tanks originally installed in the 1940’s, and other historical elements, will be preserved and incorporated into the design. In addition to several wine lounges, there will be a state of the art open professional kitchen, a casual eatery offering regionally sourced picnic fare inspired by the family’s Italian heritage, and a picnic area with views of surrounding vineyards and Mount St. Helena.

At the groundbreaking, visitors mingled and posed for pictures with three generations of the Peter Mondavi Family and star-architect Backen, whose portfolio of work includes Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle wineries, as well as projects for Robert Redford, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the late Steve Jobs of Apple.

The hospitality center project is budgeted at $6 million. The Peter Mondavi Family recently completed a $9.6 million earthquake retrofit and exterior restoration of the Redwood Cellar and Charles Krug’s other heritage structure, the 1881 Carriage House. The Redwood Cellar and Carriage House represent the birthplace of the Napa Valley wine industry; both are California Historic Landmarks and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Charles Krug Winery’s storied history traces the transformation of the Napa Valley from “Wild West” to Wine Country destination. With a legacy of nearly 70 years at Charles Krug, the Peter Mondavi Family’s continuing restoration project is part of a complete recasting of this esteemed Napa Valley winery. Having extensively replanted its vineyards with a focus on noble red Bordeaux varietals, the family is now practicing sustainable viticulture on its 850 prime Napa Valley acres. Those efforts to steward the land and preserve the winery's historical legacy are earning new respect for a family long identified with California wine.

The winery’s hospitality staff will continue to welcome visitors at the existing tasting room during construction. To learn more about Charles Krug Winery and the vision of Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, visit www.charleskrug.com.

Family Winemakers of California

California’s annual Family Winemakers tasting event is back in its 22nd year on September 9th & 10th with the debut of new wine members, gourmet food offerings, and the launch of an exclusive wine lounge. Held at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, attendees will taste and experience dozens of varietals and hundreds of wines as presented by the Family Winemakers of California (FWC) wine association. Since its inception in 1991, and as the largest of three California tasting events, the San Francisco Family Winemakers tasting has always been a unique opportunity to experience the winemaking craftsmanship of vintners from across the state. 

This year’s winery lineup includes well-known favorites and smaller boutique wineries waiting to be discovered, all representing the vast and exhilarating world of wine in California.

Back for its second year, the Family Winemakers tasting event will also include the “Taste & Take” onsite buying program, allowing members of the trade and consumers to purchase bottles from participating wineries at the event.

Winemakers and winery-owners want to meet the people who enjoy wine as a part of their lives. Wine enthusiasts can grab this chance to find new wines that they may not get to try anywhere else,” says Paul Kronenberg, President of Family Winemakers of California. “Imagine having 225 wineries in one pavilion at your tasting finger tips instead of driving over 1,000 miles to visit each one. And, if you like what you taste, you can buy it there for dinner that night.”

By the numbers, the Family Winemakers of California 2012 San Francisco tasting will include: \
  • 225+ participating wineries
  • 22 wineries new to the tasting
  • 20 white wine varietals
  • 30 red wine varietals
  • 24 Rosé wines
  • 21 dessert wines
  • 6,000 wine glasses
  • 225 volunteers
  • 16,200 bottles to be recycled
  • 4,800 pieces (600 lbs.) of cheese from Tony’s Fine Foods
  • 4,000 crackers
  • 500 baguettes from Bakers of Paris
  • Winery size:
  • 33 wineries produce 1,000 cases or less
  • 122 wineries produce 5,000 cases or less
  • Price ranges:
  • 101 wineries pouring wines priced at $20 or under
  • 17 wineries pouring wines priced at $100 or over
  • 30+ appellations represented
  • Oldest winery founded in 1856
  • Youngest winery founded in 2012
NEW THIS YEAR:
At this year’s Family Winemakers of California 2012 tasting event, FWC is proud to partner with Sommelier Courtney Cochran in an all-new “iSip” wine lounge in the loft area. Requiring a special ticket that can be purchased through the FWC website, the lounge will be open to a limited number of consumers on Sunday, September 9th, from 3pm-6pm. It will also be open, free of charge, to members of the media.

The lounge will provide a guided tour through a selection of 8 wines hand-picked by Cochran to serve as an “at a glance” representation of the diversity of wines that the FWC tasting showcases. This year’s loft theme will focus on lesser-known wine varietals such as Albarino, Petit Verdot, and Nebbiolo. The “iSip” wine lounge will also provide light bites to demonstrate food pairings.

Also new to this year’s event will be Crêperie Saint-Germain, San Francisco’s own fast-casual crêperie specializing in traditional French buckwheat and gluten-free crêpes made with locally grown organic ingredients.

EVENT DETAILS:
Where:
Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center
99 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA

When:
Sunday, Sept 9th – 3pm – 6pm

Tickets: http://fwcsf12tasting.eventbrite.com

For Sunday, September 9th, tickets are $55 through August 19, $65 during August 20 – September 8, and $75 at the door. At $85, a limited number of Early Entry tickets are available that admit the purchaser during the trade hours (1:00-3:00) on Sunday. Tickets to the “iSip” wine lounge, also in limited quantity, are $75. Monday, September 10th is open to Trade and Media only.

For more information: www.familywinemakers.org

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Taste of Terroir delivered exciting food and wine

The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association held their sold-out Taste of Terroir on Thursday, July 21. The 550+ visitors enjoyed the 26 Livermore wineries 17 Tri-Valley restaurants for a great wine and food pairing event.
The judges for Taste of Terroir this year were:
  • Lynne Char Bennett, Food & Wine Staff Writer and Test Kitchen Director for the San Francisco Chronicle
  • Jessica Yadegaran, Food & Wine Staff Writer for the Bay Area News Group
  • Jeffrey Anderson, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Innovation, Safeway Inc.
Everyone had a great time working their way through the 16 Food and Wine pairings and then sampling an additional four wineries on the patio and tasting the fine ports and dessert wines in the dessert room from an another six wineries. And US Foods provided and extensive layout of great desserts to go with those dessert wines.
The winners for this year are:

Most Innovative:
Team: Wente Vineyards Estate Winery and The Restaurant at Wente Winery
Pairing: Wente Winery 2009 Nth Degree Merlot from Livermore Valley paired with a lamb sausage with crispy garlic and mustard-curry BBQ sauce.

Best Classic Pairing:
Team: Rodrique Molyneaux Winery and Castlewood Country Club
Pairing: Rodrique Molyneaux 2009 Cabiovese from Livermore Valley paired with wild game burgers made with buffalo and lamb seasoned with fresh local herbs, St. Andre cheese honey truffle aioli and arugula micro greens on a soft roll
Judge Jessica Yadegaran says, “A marriage of protein and tannin with the minerality of the Sangiovese”

Judges’ Best Pairing:
Team: McGrail Vineyards and Winery and Double Barrel Wine Bar
Pairing: McGrail 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Livermore Valley paired with a cocoa rubbed pork belly, smoked cherry shallot marmalade with a crispy potato gaufrette.
Judge Jeffrey Anderson says, “A great combination of sweet and sour and a great wine.”

People’s Choice (selected by the visitors):
Team: The Steven Kent Winery and Neil Marquis Catering
Pairing: Steven Kent 2009 The Premier Cabernet Sauvignon from Ghielmetti Vineyard in Livermore Valley paired with an open-faced BLT – cabernet infused, cured, cherry wood smoked pork belly, on parmesan crisp with heirloom tomatoes, micro greens and a black cherry cabernet and chocolate aioli.

There were other great pairings at this event, showing the skills of the chefs and the winemakers.
Garre Winery served their 2009 Primitivo from Livermore Valley and paired it with a roasted salmon from Garre Café that was drizzled with a blackberry infused Primitivo chipotle sauce. This was a great pairing full of delicious flavors and body.

Concannon Vineyards paired their 2008 Grenache Reserve with a smoked salmon from the Underdog Wine Bar that was served with a roasted cream corn and frisse Mache salad with fried leeks. The toast of the wine and smoke of the salmon worked well together.

Las Positas Vineyards served their 2011 Pinot Blanc with a poached Atlantic salmon from Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar that was blended with crème fraiche, fresh lemon juice and a hint of tabasco. It is then piped into a wonton crisp which was flash fried, cooled, shaped and slightly baked. The pairing not only looked delicious but came together well with some nice flavors.

Taste of Terroir is produced by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and sponsored by Dublin Toyota, City of Dublin, Beets Hospitality, Image Setters, Livermore Valley Florists, Pleasanton Rentals, US Foods and Fantasy Sound.

Funds raised at this event benefit the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.

For more info: Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association

Niles Canyon Railway Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Special runs again

The Niles Canyon Railway 2012 Livermore Valley Wine tasting Special is rolling this year for four Sundays this year.  The first two trains on  July 29, August 12 were sell outs.  The remaining trains will be on August 26 and September 9 leaving the Niles station in Fremont at 1:30 p.m. each day. This exciting wine tasting event will focus specifically on Livermore Valley wines. As one of the Golden State's oldest wine regions, Livermore Valley played a pivotal role in shaping California's wine industry.

Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley in the 1760s. In the 1840s, California pioneers looking for outstanding vineyard sites began planting grapes in the region. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Pioneer winemakers C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore recognized the area's winegrowing potential and founded their wineries in the early 1880s.

On the Wine tasting Special you will learn more about the Livermore Valley wine region and the history and style of many great wineries of Livermore Valley. At the same time you will also learn about the history of the rail line traveling along the original route of the transcontinental railway where trains first rolled through Niles Canyon in 1866.

Wine Educator Steve Ferree will walk you through tasting a flight of five Livermore wines. Each wine will be paired with cheese or chocolate selected especially for that wine. Each weekend will showcase a different flight of wines and different Livermore Valley winemakers. Thus over the four Sundays, 20 Livermore Valley wines will be served. The actual wines for each train will be announced later. You will enjoy an afternoon of fine wine while gently cruising through Niles Canyon, riding on history.

Wineries being featured this year on the Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Special include:
The Wine Tasting Special departs the Niles depot of the Niles Canyon Railway promptly at 1:30 p.m. each of the four Saturdays. The price is $37.50 per person and you must be 21 to ride the train.

Non-alcoholic beverages will be served for those not wishing to join in the wine tasting. You can make reservations at www.ncry.org and information is available at 510-910-7024. Proceeds support the Niles Canyon Railway preservation activities.

For more info:

Charles Krug Winery breaks historic ground for new Hospitality Center

When you talk about the history of Napa Valley and the wine industry in California two names will always be in that discussion, Charles Krug and Mondavi.

The Peter Mondavi Family officially embarked on the next phase of the restoration project of the Redwood Cellar at Charles Krug Winery last Tuesday when Peter Mondavi Sr., sons Marc and Peter Jr. and their families, joined Napa Valley architect Howard Backen and Tom Andrews of Andrews and Thornley General Contractors to break ground for Charles Krug’s new hospitality center. Backen and his firm Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects designed Charles Krug’s new tasting room and visitor center to be located inside the heritage building at the winery in St. Helena.
Peter Mondavi Sr. jauntily pointed his golden shovel into the dirt for the ceremonial groundbreaking photo, and then encouraged the assembled construction team to get to work. “I don’t want to wait forever!” quipped the lively 97-year-old vintner.

Guests and family donned hard hats and shrugged off rumors of ghost sightings as they accompanied Peter Mondavi Jr. on a tour of the cavernous multi-story stone structure. Adorned with 68 windows outlined in pink rhyolite and topped with many gables and an impressive belvedere, the 1872 Cellar remains as vintner Charles Krug’s testament to Napa Valley wine. The new hospitality center will occupy 11,000 square feet on the ground floor and the mezzanine of the Napa Valley’s oldest commercial winery, with Backen adding inspired modern touches while preserving the Redwood Cellar’s patina and rustic allure. The work is expected to take 14 months, with opening day slated for October 2013.

Howard Backen's blueprints for the project reveal an intricate lacework of exposed historic rafters and, beyond the mezzanine, views of the Peter Mondavi Family’s reserve Bordeaux barrel aging room through floor-to-ceiling glass walls. A towering 9000-gallon redwood aging tank and period bird-cage style elevator will be focal points, and recycled redwood from vintage wine tanks originally installed in the 1940’s, and other historical elements, will be preserved and incorporated into the design. In addition to several wine lounges, there will be a state of the art open professional kitchen, a casual eatery offering regionally sourced picnic fare inspired by the family’s Italian heritage, and a picnic area with views of surrounding vineyards and Mount St. Helena.

At the groundbreaking, visitors mingled and posed for pictures with three generations of the Peter Mondavi Family and star-architect Backen, whose portfolio of work includes Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle wineries, as well as projects for Robert Redford, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the late Steve Jobs of Apple.

The hospitality center project is budgeted at $6 million. The Peter Mondavi Family recently completed a $9.6 million earthquake retrofit and exterior restoration of the Redwood Cellar and Charles Krug’s other heritage structure, the 1881 Carriage House. The Redwood Cellar and Carriage House represent the birthplace of the Napa Valley wine industry; both are California Historic Landmarks and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Charles Krug Winery’s storied history traces the transformation of the Napa Valley from “Wild West” to Wine Country destination. With a legacy of nearly 70 years at Charles Krug, the Peter Mondavi Family’s continuing restoration project is part of a complete recasting of this esteemed Napa Valley winery. Having extensively replanted its vineyards with a focus on noble red Bordeaux varietals, the family is now practicing sustainable viticulture on its 850 prime Napa Valley acres. Those efforts to steward the land and preserve the winery's historical legacy are earning new respect for a family long identified with California wine.

The winery’s hospitality staff will continue to welcome visitors at the existing tasting room during construction. To learn more about Charles Krug Winery and the vision of Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, visit www.charleskrug.com.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dry Creek Valley Passport Weekend – a sold-out success

The Dry Creek Valley Passport Weekend, held this past weekend April 28-29, was another sold out success drawing visitors from California, the U.S. and the world to share in the hospitality of the Dry Creek Valley winemakers.  This Passport is one of the best with winemakers going all out to welcome visitors with great food, entertainment, barrel tasting and fun.

Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves definitely set the standard with a “Once upon a vine…” theme.  Fairies in the courtyard entertained while visitors to this enchanted land sample the new 2011 Ten Acre Rose of Pinot Noir and the 2008 Ten Acre Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.  After you fill your glass with the 2010 Maple Vineyards Zinfandel you will enter the cool wine caves checking out the wicked stepmother before encountering a harpist playing enchanting tunes echoing through the caves as you spot the giant’s huge storybook.  Stroll down to the mad hatter’s tea party while sampling the 2009 Lily Hill Estate Zinfandel.  Bella Winery really knows how to get with the program with great wines and great entertainment.


West Wines just opened their new tasting room this year and it was their first time in Passport.  Here you were taken back to the 70’s with tie-died t-shirts, long hair and bellbottoms while listening to 70’s pop songs from The City Lights.  The friendly owners, winemaker and staff were there to welcome you with their delicious 2009 Viognier, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Chardonnay.

Dry Creek Vineyard gave an “Ahoy Matey!” as you sailed off to an adventure of fine wine and food while listening to The Seadogs singing a variety of Sea Shanties.  They paired up the 2011 Dry Chenin Blanc with a tangy shrimp cocktail, the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc with clam chowder and their 2007 Soleil with a delicious vanilla mango pudding.

Over 50 wineries were participating in this largest Dry Creek Valley Passport Weekend ever.  This is a great wine country with many small boutique wineries tucked in the surrounding hillsides and along the valley.  A few of these wineries are only open by appointment only except during Passport Weekend.  One visitor stated that she came to Passport Weekend ever year for the past five years and it is definitely one she and her friends will not miss.  The winemakers were there at every winery to welcome the visitors and share their wine and hospitality.

For more information:  Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley

Bonterra Vineyards at California Café’s 5-Bites Friday in Palo Alto

California Café’s 5-Bites Friday in April brought in wines from Bonterra Vineyards, a winery based in Mendocino County.  Bonterra has a philosophy of growing grapes that match the location utilizing an organic and sustainable style.  In fact Bonterra was the first winery in California to commit to organic and sustainable winegrowing on their 378 acres of steep hills and rolling valleys in mountainous Mendocino County.  5 Bite Friday at California Café is a great way to experience the effect of food and wine pairing.  The chefs at California Café are very experienced in delivering great results matching the food with the wine.

At 5 Bite Friday they started the evening with a delicious fruit and cheese platter.  The first bite was a house cured salmon dish. This delicious dish was served with the Bonterra 2010 Sauvignon Blanc from Lake and Mendocino Counties.  The wine delivered a lemon/lime zest flavor mixed with grapefruit, grass and tropical qualities.  The result was a delightful pairing with the acidity of the food balancing out with the wine, providing a long round finish.

Next up, the second bite for the night was a twice baked soufflé with a “cowgirl creamery” red hawk cheese.  It was paired with the Bonterra 2008 Roussanne from Mendocino County. This wine had a small amount of Viognier, Muscat and Marsanne in it. The Roussanne had a great floral quality followed up with a taste of Granny Smith apple, pear, honeysuckle and a certain waxiness coating.  Paired with the soufflé the brighter acid and fruit of the wine came through and the waxiness was cut delivering a brighter flavor and longer finish.

Third bite of the night was a smoked pork belly with an herbed cranberry wild rice and berry-chipotle sauce.  Bonterra brought their 2009 Mendocino County Merlot.  The Merlot was loaded with lots of black and red cherry flavors including raspberry and cranberry along with cinnamon, clove and vanilla.  It had a bit of earthiness to it plus a good toasted bread aroma and flavor. This was a wonderful pairing in which the food brightened up the fruit of the wine and cut down on the toastiness to deliver a well-balanced result.
Moving on to the fourth bite we found boar ribs with a vanilla scented BBQ sauce and crispy onion rings.  It was paired with Bonterra’s 2010 Pinot Noir from Mendocino County.  The wine had a very nice intense nose followed up with flavors of strawberry, cherry and raspberry.  It had a hint of cola and vanilla plus a long finish.  The ribs gave the wine a great kick in flavor and it continued to improve with each bite of the food resulting in the wine enveloping you in a warmth of flavor and spice.

We finished up the night with a fifth bite of poached Bosc pear in a honey mascarpone matched with the Bonterra 2010 Muscat from Bartolucci Vineyard in Lake County.  The Muscat has the aromas of almond, honey and orange blossom, combined with flavors of mandarin orange, lemon tart and honeysuckle.  The softness of the acid compliments the wine excellently with the mascarpone cutting through the acidity.

The night was a delight and congratulations to Sous Chef Madison Montoto for putting together a great food and wine pairing event.  Be sure to visit California Café for the next 5 Bite Friday on May 4 at 6:30 p.m. when they are putting together another great pairing with Castoro Cellars.  Cost is only $25 per person for a wonderful culinary event.

For more information:

Livermore Valley Wine Country unveils Drought Resistant Garden Trail

Just in time for Earth Day, the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association celebrated the opening of the Drought Resistant Garden Trail with a sign installation and toast at Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery on April 12. Developed in cooperation with the Alameda County Master Gardeners, the initial phase of the new trail includes the first of many local winery and event center gardens to feature native, drought resistant plantings. Trail maps will soon be available at www.LVwine.org and at each of the following garden trail locations in Livermore Valley:
  • Cedar Mountain Winery (7000 Tesla Road): A wide perennial garden flanks both sides of the barrel room. The garden is filled with roses; especially captivating is the climbing rose Altissimo. Hardy penstemon and sages also fill the beds.
  • Concannon Vineyard (4590 Tesla Road): Playful topiary is the obvious theme of these gardens, where even mature Fruitless Mulberry trees are trained into arches and orbs. Drought resistant New Zealand flaxes, purple hopseed and daylilies are scattered among the olive trees. Concannon was one of the first wineries in Livermore Valley to use roses as detectors of molds and mildew in the vineyard.
  • Las Positas Vineyards (1828 Wetmore Road): Many drought resistant grasses, including California fescue and Mexican feather grass are planted in this extensive landscape that also features Teucrium chamaedrtys (germander).
  • Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery (3053 Marina Avenue): Avid gardener and winery owner Nancy Rodrigue is challenged by lack of sun in her landscape that features many garden “rooms.”  With the advice of master gardeners, she has replaced ground covers with ceanothus and native deer grass. A border that runs along an outdoor seating area has been replanted with honey bush mahonia and various colored leafed heuchera that add color.
  • Wente Vineyards Estate Winery (5565 Tesla Road): A former parking lot is now planted with hardy trees, shrubs and perennials that welcome guests to picnic. Outside the winery, white oleander and olive trees under planted with rosemary, lavender and agastache repeat in drifts along Tesla Road. Coffeeberry and heleanthemum are highlights of a corner garden in this lush space that features native and drought resistant plants.
  • Martinelli Event Center (3575 Greenville Road): Property given to the Master Gardener Program by the county in 2000 now blooms as an example of beautiful landscaping in a dry summer garden. The University of California Alameda County Master Gardeners Livermore Demonstration Garden is divided into six areas: an oak garden, a flower garden, a dry creek bed garden, a garden that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, a wind garden and example of gardening on a berm.

Several other Livermore Valley wineries are actively working with the Master Gardener Shari Wentz to design and plant drought resistant gardens that will be included in future phases of the wine country trail.
“Although the program is still in the beginning stages, the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and Alameda County Master Gardeners are excited about this cooperative effort and its potential,” said Wentz.

All of the gardens on the Drought Resistant Garden Trail are open to the public and the Master Gardeners Livermore Demonstration Garden hosts monthly classes. The Master Gardener program is part of Cooperative Extension, the outreach arm of the University of California through its Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide residents of Alameda County with information to help them garden in schools, backyards, nursing homes and other locations. Visit http://acmg.ucdavis.edu/Demonstration_Gardens/ for more information.

Inspired by Earth Day on April 22, wineries around the state of California are celebrating ”Down to0 Earth Month” with hands-on workshops, eco-tours, green-themed events, special offers and tastings of eco-friendly wines. Explore “Down to Earth” events at www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e and plan a visit just as California vineyards are coming alive with spring.

For more information:  Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association

All aboard the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Express – May 20

The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association is hosting the Wine Express on May 20, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. This event combines two of the top attractions of Santa Cruz, the great wines from wineries spread through the mountains and Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton.

This is the only opportunity to taste all 70 Santa Cruz Mountains in one location. Guests will have the chance to ride the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Express along this historic railroad.   Start your day sampling the offerings of wineries from your own local appellation; picnic in the sun; play family games; or just relax and enjoy the live music. Board the train for a trip through the redwoods- a full service ride that includes wine tasting and another round of gourmet treats, plus the breathtaking scenery of both forest and coastline.

Tickets are $55 in advance and $65 at the door and $20 for children under 12 years old.  For reservations or for more information contact the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association at (831) 685-VINE (8463) or send us an e-mail at info@scmwa.com

More information and tickets are available at the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers website.

Santa Lucia Highlands – the wine jewel of Monterey County

Santa Lucia Highlands is truly a special place for winegrowing, particularly Burgundian varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  This premier cool-climate winegrowing district has over fifty of the most famous premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards are located here.  Almost 80% of the vineyards here are dedicated to these two Burgundian varietals, with many Rhone varietals occupying much of the rest.  On April 3 the Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans came together at Mission Ranch Resort in Carmel to share some of the great wines from this region with members of the wine trade.  I know, a tough job, but someone had to go taste these wines.

Twenty-four wineries were present at this event showing off some of their most recent releases.   A few of the wines reviewed here come from estate vineyards that primary produce high quality grapes for other wineries, but have also decided to produce some of their own excellent wines.
Boekenoogen Vineyard and Winery is a family owned and operated vineyard established in 1998 when John Boekenoogen transformed his cattle ranch into a vineyard, producing outstanding grapes that many local winemakers used to produce fine wines.  A few years later they opened a small boutique winery to produce about 5000 cases of their own wines.  At this event they brought along their 2009 Chardonnay.  

This wine is a lush wine with subtle green apple aromas leading on to flavors of apple, honeydew melon, and pineapple.  The bright acidity and fruit coupled with a mineral quality leads on to a long pleasant finish. 


The Boekenoogen 2009 Pinot Noir has a beautiful deep red color with cherry, raspberry and cranberry on the nose and the palate, followed by an abundance of spices including cinnamon and pepper with vanilla flavors.

McIntyre Vineyards is proud of their certified sustainable vineyards in Santa Lucia Highlands. Steve McIntyre was farming in a responsible, sustainable manner long before such practices became vogue.  Much of the grapes are also classified as organic or biodynamic also.   McIntyre Vineyards helped set the standards for sustainable farming in the area.  They brought the only Sparkling wine to the event, their L’Homme Qui Ris, Monterey’s first Methode Chamenoise style sparkling using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir estate grown fruit. 

The McIntyre 2010 Chardonnay, both the “Estate” wine and their special hand-selected “Block K1” wine.  The Chardonnaay Estate wine has a delightful complexity of apple, nectarine and lime flavors with nice minerality brightness on the palate.  The Block K1 Chardonnay kicks this up a notch with an intense nose and a silkiness mouthfeel that delivers a wonderful toast and vanilla quality.  This wine gets better with each taste.  

The 2010 Estate Pinot Noir from McIntyre has a strong fruit quality of red and black cherry, cranberry and a touch of plum.   Again, the 2010 Estate Block 3 Pinot Noir is in a higher class showing off what Santa Lucia Highlands wines can be with a very intense nose of red and dark fruit, toasted oak and savory spices.  As you taste this wine you will love its complexity of various fruits and a blend of spices resulting in a balanced but complex wine with a perfect blend of tannins, fruit and spices.

For more information:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Martin Ranch Winery wins big at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Martin Ranch Winery came home from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this year with a Best of Class, two Double Gold medals and two Gold medals.  Martin Ranch is one of the favored wineries in both the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Santa Clara Valley regions.  Bordering both regions along Redwood Retreat Road up against the eastern slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Therese and Dan Martin have developed a premium winery since they first planted their first vines in 1993. 
They produce award winning wines under two labels, Therese Vineyards and JD Hurley.  They have a passion for living out their dreams creating hand crafted wines from their estate vineyards.  The winery is only opened for tastings on the third weekend of the month including this weekend, January 21-22, from noon to 4 p.m. each day.

Be sure to stop by Martin Ranch and taste their award-winning wines.  Winners at the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition included:
  • Best of Class – 2008 Santa Clara Valley Therese Vineyards Syrah
  • Double Gold – 2007 Therese Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Therese Vineyards Dos Ninas Vineyard Malbec
  • Gold – 2009 Therese Vineyards Santa Clara Valley Carignane and 2008 JD Hurley Santa Clara Valley Merlot
  • Silver – 2010 JD Hurley Santa Clara Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 JD Hurley Santa Clara Valley Zinfandel and 2007 JD Hurley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Award-winning wines are not rare at Martin Ranch.  Their wines have captured medals from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and other wine competitions over the years. 

For more information:

Pinot Noir Seminar by Miura Winemaker Emmanuel Kemiji at UNWINED – March 21

UNWINED Wine Bar and Wine Shop in Almaden Valley will host a special Pinot Noir Seminar by Master Sommelier and Miura Winemaker Emmanuel Kemiji.  This is an excellent opportunity to not only learn more about the differences in appellations in California, but also to visit with one of the premier winemaker in California.  The seminar will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 at UNWINED at 6946 Almaden Expressway (the corner of Almaden Expressway and Via Valente).  Reservations are recommended and can be made at UNWINED at 408-323-9463.

Emmanuel will walk guests through a tasting of Pinot Noir from three great Pinot Noir appellations in California.  
  • Miura 2007 Williams Ranch PinotNoir from Anderson Valley
  • Miura 2008 Garys' Vineyards Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County
  • Miura 2009 Pisoni Vineyards Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County
  • Miura 2008 Talley Rincon Pinot Noir from Arroyo Grande Valley near Pismo Beach 

Before and after the seminar Emmanuel will be open for questions from the guests to talk about Miura, Pinot Noir and wine in general. 

Miura focuses on single vineyards throughout California with a wide selection of Pinot Noir but also other varietals as well.  The name Miura is derived from Don Edwardo Miura, a famous bullfighter and breeder of fighting bulls in Spain.  Miura wines and their many brands, Candela, ALMVS, ANTIQV and ACVS are loved by UNWINED customers and wine lovers all around.

About Emmanuel Kemigi

Born in the United States and raised in Spain and England, Kemiji is a graduate of the University of California at Davis. In addition to his Economics and Spanish Literature degrees, he studied Viticulture and Oenology, expanding his interest in wine and eventually leading to the formation of Miura Vineyards in 1995. Soon to follow were Candela in 1998, ALMVS in 2000, ANTIQV2S in 2001, ACVS in 2003, and two projects in Spain – Arrels in 2003 and Clos Pissarra in 2005.

Kemiji acted as Ritz-Carlton Director of Wine & Spirits from 1988 to 1999, first at Laguna Niguel and then at the renowned Dining Room in San Francisco. In 1989 Kemiji became the thirteenth American to pass the Master Sommelier exam in London, England and one of only nine to date to pass on his first attempt. In the same year, he received the “Sommelier of the Year” award by the California Restaurant Writers Association. Kemiji was also chosen “Wine Director of the Year” in the Critics’ Choice Awards, and was honored in the August 1999 issue of San Francisco Magazine. The San Francisco Chronicle named Kemiji as one of the “10 Winemakers to Watch for 2000.”

In 2006, Kemiji received the Wine Industry Achievement Award from the Anti -Defamation League for exemplary commitment to community and charity. He has also been a regular wine judge at the Los Angeles County Fair and the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

For more information:

Dry Creek Valley Passport – April 28-29

One of California’s first and longest-running regional wine events, Passport to Dry Creek Valley is an exceptional wine-tasting experience, blending epicurean thrills with fun, festive décor, and live entertainment. The fun starts the Friday night of Passport Weekend with a Healdsburg Gallery ArtWalk & Wine Tasting, co-sponsored by the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley® and Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. With more galleries than any one city north of the Golden Gate Bridge - and just minutes from Dry Creek Valley - the charming town of Healdsburg offers sophisticated lodging, restaurants, and 22 art galleries all within walking distance. On April 27, the galleries extend their hours to welcome Passport guests to explore and meet local artists, while sipping Dry Creek Valley wines.

Dry Creek Valley Passport weekend is truly the best passport weekend for a variety of reasons.  Not only do the wineries welcome visitors with an abundance of wine, food and entertainment, but also since the ticket sales are limited, you will not find yourself waiting in long lines, searching for places to park, or facing heavy traffic.  Dry Creek Valley is a unique California wine region with a plethora of small boutique wineries, located in a bucolic agricultural valley, producing high quality wines.  Passport weekend is a first class experience that is well run and many visitors return year after year to this exquisite event.

More than 50 Dry Creek Valley wineries are rolling out the red carpet for an exclusive weekend of new wine releases paired with a bounty of food from top Sonoma County chefs.  You can meet the winemakers and owners to learn more about winemaking in this picturesque appellation.  Wineries will be offering live music or entertainment.  In past years, this has included circus troupes, belly dancers and safari adventures.  Passport-holders will savor exquisite food and wine pairings, and delight in discovering each winery’s unique Passport “theme” - Viva Las Vegas, the Summer Olympics, the Italian Riviera... the possibilities are as varied as the wineries themselves. Passport updates at Facebook/drycreekvalley or on Twitter @drycreekvalley.

Tickets are going fast to get yours today at the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley website.

Time for event:
  • April 28 & 29, 2012, 11am-4:30pm (both Saturday & Sunday)
  • Healdsburg Gallery ArtWalk & Wine Tasting - Friday, April 27
For more information:

Livermore Valley Winegrowers Roll Out Their Barrels –March 31-April 1

Taste wines in development and save a bundle on your favorites at the fourth annual Barrel Tasting Weekend March 31 and April 1 in Livermore Valley wine country, your local wine region. Winemakers have announced their plans for their annual Barrel Tasting Weekend. Thirty-five wineries located less than an hour from San Francisco or Silicon Valley will offer samples direct from their barrels from noon to 4:30 each day. Guests will have the opportunity to pre-purchase many of the barrel wines at a discount, a practice known as buying “futures.” Most winemakers will be present to personally pour and discuss their young wines and offer delicious pairings with gourmet appetizers.

One of California’s most accessible, affordable and approachable wine regions, Livermore Valley is the home of McGrail Vineyards & Winery, winner of the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition’s Red Sweepstakes award. Wente Family Estates of Livermore Valley was just named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Chardonnay.


Barrel Tasting Weekend provides wine enthusiasts of all experience levels with a fun “snapshot” of how wine evolves—from grape to glass. More than a dozen varietals, including the rare Primitivo and Alicante Bouschet and ever-popular Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, will be presented for tasting across Livermore Valley. Guests with special event wristbands and official glasses will receive at least one barrel sample at each participating winery. Many will give discounts on wine purchases to ticket holders only.
Examples of special events and wines to be tasted include:
  • Cedar Mountain Winery: A unique barrel tasting event with at least one barrel sample for each ticket holder.  Sample the 2009 Syrah paired with Bissinger’s Raspberry Creams.
  • Charles R Vineyards: Compare 2010 Petite Sirah from the barrel with 2008 Petite Sirah in the bottle. 20% discount on two or more bottles of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Rustic wood oven pizzas are available for sale by Tutte Al Forno.
  • Cuda Ridge Wines: Barrel tasting of the 2010 Petit Verdot, 2010 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon and 2010 Syrah.  Posada’s Catering will have contemporary Southwestern plates for purchase.  Live music on both days.
  • Darcie Kent Vineyards: Barrel samples of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Madden Ranch). Specials include 25% off bottles for club members, 15% off bottles for non-members. Live music 1-4pm and food demonstrations at 12:30pm and 2pm both days. Food is available for sale at Underdog Wine Bar.
  • Las Positas Vineyards: Barrel tasting 2010 and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Charlie Kidd will discuss the varietals that made Livermore Valley famous while walking in the vineyards. In the winery, learn about the growing and production of Petite Sirah. Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen of Livermore will sell exotic foods made from certified organic ingredients with no preservatives.
  • McGrail Vineyards and Winery: Taste their special barrel tasting blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 1/3 French oak, 1/3 Hungarian oak, and 1/3 American oak. Challenge your senses with the Aroma game! Smell 10 common wine aromas blindly and see how many you get correct. Live music on Saturday! Soleil Pizza will be selling wood-fired gourmet pizza all weekend!  
  • Nottingham Cellars:  Tasting of their 2010 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  We will also be hosting Wine Barrel Education Seminars Both Days at 1, 2, 3, and 4 pm.
  • Occasio Winery:  Barrel samples of the Cabernet Franc
  • Rodrique Molyneaux Winery: Taste the 2010 and 2011 from the barrel
  • Rios-Lovell Estate Winery: Barrel samples of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and several ports. Specials are 20% off wine purchases. Meet the winemaker both days 12-4:30pm.
  • Wente Vineyards:  Unwind after the barrel tasting weekend at Wente Estate Winery with wine and live music, 4:30 to 6:30.
  • Wood Family Vineyards:  Barrel tasting 2010 Petite Sirah and Zinfandel with Barf’s Blazin Q BBQ to pair with the wine. 
Livermore Valley’s Barrel Tasting Weekend will take place Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1, noon to 4:30 each day. Advance tickets are $30, available onlineatwww.LVwine.org.  Tickets purchased at the event will be $35 per person. Each ticket includes a souvenir tasting glass featuring the Livermore Valley Wine Country logo, two days of barrel tasting at participating wineries, special activities, discounts and an event map.
Participating wineries include:
  • Bent Creek Winery
  • Big White House
  • Bodegas Aguirre Winery
  • Cedar Mountain Winery
  • Charles R Vineyards
  • Concannon Vineyard
  • Crooked Vine Winery
  • Cuda Ridge Wines
  • Darcie Kent Vineyards
  • Eagle Ridge Vineyard
  • Eckert Estate Winery
  • el Sol Winery
  • Fenestra Winery
  • Garre' Vineyard & Winery
  • John Evan Cellars
  • Las Positas Vineyards
  • Les Chênes Estate Vineyards
  • Longevity Wines
  • McGrail Vineyards & Winery
  • Mitchell Katz Winery
  • Murrieta’s Well
  • Nottingham Cellars
  • Occasio Winery
  • Page Mill Winery
  • Retzlaff Estate Winery
  • Rios-Lovell Estate Winery
  • Rodrigue Molyneaux
  • Ruby Hill Winery
  • Stony Ridge Winery
  • Tamás Estates
  • The Steven Kent Winery
  • Wente Vineyards
  • Westover Winery & Event Center
  • White Crane Winery
  • Wood Family Vineyards
For more information:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

ZAP – the Zinfandel Festival returns to San Francisco – Jan 26-28

The Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is hosting the 21st annual Zinfandel Festival, a California legend, in San Francisco, January 26-28. This is a grand festival in celebration of America’s Heritage Wine, Zinfandel. It is held at a new venue this year, the historic Concourse Exhibition Center, South of Market.  This former railway station harkens back to a classic age of travel and provides plenty of space that is handsomely finished and comfortable.  And there is plenty of parking and handy to public transportation!  There will be four events during those three days plus celebrity chef, winemaker dinners and plenty of fine Zins to sample.

Thursday, January 26, EpicuriaThis Food and Zin pairing occurs from 6 – 9 p.m. in The Concourse.  Your palate will love the discovery of the diversity of Zinfandel and its wide range of complementary flavor combinations.  Mingle with winemakers and epicurean experts as you take a journey for your senses sampling the regional offerings. This event features 50 top Zinfandel wines and creations from master chefs.  The Zin Kitchen will also host cooking demonstrations and talk about Zin and food pairing.  Tickets are $95 for ZAP members and $125 for non-members.

Friday, January 27, Flights – This Forums of Flavor from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square is your chance to experience discussions as diverse as the wine itself.  Here you experience exclusive seminar-style tastings where you will discover themed flights of Zins and interact with Zinfandel experts. Tickets are $60 for ZAP members and $75 for non-members.

Friday, January 27, Winemakers Dinner – Viva Las Vegas at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. where you experience a Las Vegas style benefit with VIP taste.  Dress to the nines and bring your lucky charm to this glamorous reception and dinner and enjoy private selections poured by premier winemaker hosts.  The live and silent auctions feature rare and one-of-a-kind lots with proceeds benefitting ZAP programming, education and Heritage projects.  Tickets are $225 per person.

Saturday, January 28, Grand Tasting – The main event is the Grand Tasting from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. for the public at The Concourse through a journey of the world’s largest single varietal tasting as you sample from hundreds of barrel samples, new releases and premier Zinfandels.  Meet the winemakers and learn more about America’s Heritage Wine.  Tickets are $49 for ZAP members, $59 for non-members and $69 at the door.

This is a major wine event in the Bay Area and a great opportunity to learn more about California's heritage wine, Zinfandel.  The Concourse is at 635 8th Street at Brannan in San Francisco.

For more information:

Santa Cruz Mountains Wines win at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Santa Cruz Mountain wineries brought home gold at the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, including one Best of Class, 3 Double Gold, 10 Gold, 26 Silver and 23 Bronze awards.  Congratulations to those award-winning winemakers in this exciting wine region.  The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines and this year included a record breaking 5,500 entries judged by 65 prominent wine judges.  The competition is always fierce and as the number of entries grow, it becomes tougher.

Best of Class awards went to La Rusticana d’Orsa for their 2008 La Rusticana Cinque Bordeaux blend.  Double Gold medals were captured by Bargetto Winery for their 2009 Regan Estate Pinot Noir Reserve, Martin Ranch Winery for the Therese Vineyards 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Naumann Vineyards 2009 Tre Rosso Cali Bordeaux blend.
 
Other award winners for Santa Cruz Mountain wineries are:
  • Bargetto Winery  - in addition to the Double Gold for their Pinot Noir, brought home a Bronze medal for the 2007 Regan Estate La Vita
  • Beauregard Vineyards– captured Silver for the 2008 Estate Chardonnay
  • Byington Vineyards & Winery– won Bronze for the 2008 Block 4 Pinot Noir
  • Cinnabar Winery– picked up a Gold medal for the 2009 Sorcerer’s Stone blend and Silver for the 2009 Mercury Rising Bordeaux Blend
  • Heart O’ the Mountain– got a Bronze medal for the 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
  • Hillcrest Terrace Winery –brought home a Silver for the 2009 Regan Vineyard Chardonnay and two Bronze medals for the 2008 Regan Vineyard Merlot and 2009 Fambrini Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • La Honda Winery– was happy with the Gold medal for 2008 Salinian Block Cabernet Sauvignon and Bronze for the 2009 Sequence Pinot Noir
  • Loma Prieta Winery– picked up a Bronze medal for their 2008 Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot
  • Martin Ranch Winery– in addition to the Double Gold for the Therese Vineyards 2007 Cab, also got a Silver for the 2007 JD Hurley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Martin Ray Winery – captured Silver for the 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Mica Cellars – won a Bronze medal for the 2010 Smith Road Vintners Pinot Noir
  • Michael Martella Wines– topped off with a Gold medal for the 2009 Carmel Hill Syrah and Bronze for the 2008 Hammer Syrah
  • Muccigrosso Vineyards– brought home Gold for the 2007 Pinot Noir, three Silver medals for the 2008 Lyn Zin, 2008 Pinot Noir and 2008 El Cartero Pinot Noir, plus Bronze for the 2008 Jupiter Sangiovese
  • Odonata Wines– picked up two Silver medals for the 2009 Machado Creek Vineyard Petite Sirah and 2009 Zayante Vineyard Syrah
  • Perrucci Family Vineyard– did well with two Gold medals for the 2008 Merlot and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon plus Bronze for the 2006 Special Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards– the Quinta Cruz brand won Gold for the 2009 Graciano and Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards got Silver for the 2009 Branciforte Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Sarah’s Vineyard– won Gold for their 2010 Chardonnay and two Bronze medals for the 2007 Merlot and 2010 Pinot Noir
  • Soquel Vineyards– brought home several awards including four Silver medals for the 2010 Estate Pinot Noir, 2010 Saveria Pinot Noir, 2010 Pinot Noir and 2009 Saveria Vineyard Petite Sirah, plus two Bronze medals for the 2009 Estate Pinot Noir and 2010 Lester Pinot Noir
  • Storrs Winery and Vineyards– captured two Gold medals for the 2010 Chardonnay and 2008 Petite Sirah, four Silver medals for the 2008 Zinfandel, 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Late Harvest Zinfandel and 2008 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, plus Bronze for the 2007 Christie Pinot Noir
  • Thomas Fogerty Winery– took home Silver for the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, and three Bronze medals for the 2009 Gewurtztraminer, 2008 Chardonnay and 2007 Cabernet Franc
  • Vine Hill Winery– the Cumbre brand captured two Silver medals for the 2008 Raffaelli Pinot Noir and 2008 Hicks Family Vineyard Pinot Noir and Bronze for the 2008 Godinez Pinot Noir, plus Vine Hill got two Bronze medals for the 2009 Clements Ridge Chardonnay and 2009 Pinot Noir
The public is invited to the Public Tasting to be held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on Saturday, February 18th at 2 – 5 p.m.
For more information: