Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10/27 DEBORAH CAHN, NAVARRO WINES, KATRIN NAELAPAA, WINES FROM SPAIN, SPAIN'S GREAT MATCH EVENT IN L.A.

DEBORAH CAHN - NAVARRO WINES

Navarro bottled its first wine in 1974. A surprise gift for our fortieth birthday was being named the 2014 Winery of the Year at the California State Fair. Accolades are nice but what is even better is the long-standing support of our mailing list customers which allows us to continue to produce exciting wines at reasonable prices. Navarro has eleven new wines this release: four dry whites, four vigorous reds, two luscious late harvest nectars and a sparkling Brut as a special holiday treat. Three yummy varietal grape juices are also available, so the whole family can celebrate. The case special on the 2013 Chardonnay Table Wine works out to only $12.42 per bottle, which explains why it will grace the holiday tables of so many of Navarro's friends. Pennyroyal's six cheeses, from our sister farm, can enhance your celebrations even further. One-Cent ground freightand reduced air freight for all case orders, as well as bargain prices on case specials and samplers, will be available until December 31, but some wines may sell out sooner.

Navarro Vineyards has been growing grapes sustainably and bottling wine in Mendocino's Anderson Valley since 1974. For almost 40 years our family has produced value-driven wines that have received numerous accolades in wine books & magazines, and wine competitions. You won't find Navarro wines in stores as we prefer to sell our hand-crafted wines directly to the people who enjoy them and welcome our "farm-direct" prices.

WWW.NAVARROWINE.COM


KATRIN NAELAPAA – DIRECTOR, WINES FROM SPAIN - SPAIN'S GREAT MATCH EVENT IN L.A. ON 11/10/14 AT THE BAZAAR BY JOSÉ ANDRÉS

THE TRADE COMMISSION OF SPAIN ANNOUNCES SPAIN’S GREAT MATCH 2014 IN LOS ANGELES

Prominent Spanish Wine and Food event to be held at Renowned Restaurant, The Bazaar by José Andrés

The Trade Commission of Spain announces the Spain’s Great Match event will take place on November 10th in Los Angeles at the renowned restaurant, The Bazaar by José Andrés. This collaborative extravaganza of Spanish culture celebrates the distinctive wines, food and design of Spain. Over 200 wines representing the varietals and wine regions of Spain will be featured in a walk-around tasting format. American importers and distributors of Spanish wines will present their best products, including new wines and the latest vintages, to wine industry professionals and consumers.  Earlier in the day, members of the wine trade and press will also be invited to a tutored tasting seminar, showcasing Spain’s new power couple, D.O. Rueda and D.O. Ribera del Duero. In the evening, the event will open to the public as a ticketed lifestyle event and will feature, along with the wine stations, a selection of tapas by The Bazaar by José Andrés. A portion of event proceeds will benefit a Los Angeles charitable organization.

About Wines from Spain
The Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior, ICEX) is the authorized governmental platform for the promotion of Spanish exports and Spanish companies' international growth. Vinos de España - or Wines from Spain - is ICEX's brand for a wide range of promotional activities designed to inform trade and consumers abroad about quality Spanish wines. Wines from Spain has been promoting Spanish wines in walk-around tastings to press, trade and consumers in New York and the United States for nearly 30 years.  Each year, Wines from Spain hosts “Spain's Great Match”- an opportunity to sample and learn about a variety of the world’s most sought-after Spanish wines paired with tapas from the top rated area Spanish restaurants.

BIO:
Katrin Naelapaa was raised in Mexico City and studied at Georgetown University, which included a study-abroad stint in Madrid. After a successful finance career, Naelapaa decided to study wine and food, and enrolled at ICE. In her close to nearly 15 years at the trade group Wines from Spain, Naelapaa has developed a multitude of educational and promotional programs to increase American awareness of Spanish wines. She has expanded Wines from Spain’s presence in national food and wine events, and has launched stand-alone programs like Great Match: Wine & Tapas. Naelapaa also spearheaded the publication of Wines from Spain: Far from Ordinary Wine Guide. When she is not busy throwing one of her celebrated dinners, she practices her other passion and sings with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall.

WWW.WINESFROMSPAINUSA.COM

Monday, October 20, 2014

10/20 JASON PUGACH, NATASHA SWORDS, CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS EVENTS, VINFORT 2014, KATRINA FREY. FREY VINEYARDS

JASON PUGACH  & NATASHA SWORDS - CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS EVENT - VINFORT 11/7/14

THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS launches vinfort 2014 for cognac, port and late harvest wine fans  a Charity Event Raising Money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

California Winemasters is launching the inaugural VinFort event for those who appreciate Cognacs, ports and late harvest wines, this November 7th.

“The California Winemasters is excited to offer something a little new and different to wine-tasters who enjoy fortified wines as much as they do a bottle of wine. The timing is perfect too! Just before holiday season.” – says Barbara Balik, Director of Special Giving at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

VinFort will pour Cognacs, ports and late harvest wine brands within the Jeanie Madsen and Hamilton Galleries on Ocean Boulevard in Santa Monica, on November 7th, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

“ From Norton Late Harvest Wines to Ye Olde King’s Head Shoppe Christmas pies – there will be an array of Cognacs and other fortified wine brands, as well holiday inspired foods to get us all in the mood,” says Natasha Swords of Swords PR, who is responsible for the event’s logistics. “Art for the eyes, fortified wines for the palate, and live jazz for the ears too! Local restaurants will be there too to keep our tummies satisfied with their signature holiday fare. It’s set to be an exceptionally unique evening!”

Tickets are available at www.vinfortsantamonica.com. Only three hundred will go on sale today and will likely sell out during September.

The California Winemasters is a perennial Wine Spectator Top 10 Charity Wine Auction set for May 16, 2015 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.  This extraordinary event showcases 50 international chefs and 75 of California’s Finest Wineries.  “Winemasters” has raised over $27 million in support of the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
2014 marks the first year for its VinFort event.

The CF Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle.  Its focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF and ultimately, to find a cure.

CALIFORNIAWINEMASTERS.ORG


KATRINA FREY - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FREY VINEYARDS            

Frey Vineyards – A History of America's First Organic Winery

Paul Sr. and Beba Frey grew up a few blocks apart in the gritty New York City of the 1930's and 40's. Paul relished his summer escapes to the Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania. And Beba found bliss each summer on a Catskill Mountains dairy farm (see photo above). Each vowed to escape the city permanently. They later met and married in medical school. While their family grew, they longed for a life closer to nature and finally settled down in Northern California in the early 1960's on their ranch in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County. The 12 children grew up instilled with love and respect for the natural environment, and picked up gardening, farming, and agricultural skills, as their parents had dreamed.  Paul Sr. and Beba rounded out their children’s education by schooling them in the sciences, history, literature, classical arts and music, as well as appreciation for world cuisines paired with wine.

In the late 1960's, Paul and Beba and the older kids planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Gray Riesling on the ranch's old pastureland and sold the fruit to nearby wineries. A decade later, brothers Jonathan and Matthew realized the vineyards' potential when a Cabernet Sauvignon grown by Frey's grapes won a gold medal for a Santa Cruz winery. Frey Vineyards was bonded the next year, in 1980, and soon after became the first organic winery in U.S.

The eldest brother Jonathan and his wife Katrina studied organic agriculture under the tutorship of Alan Chadwick, a green-thumb guru of the California 70's. At the winery's inception, Jonathan introduced high integrity organic practices that are still in place today.  Brother Matthew, learned the mechanical and technical skills of the wine business when working at nearby wineries. A final touch to the new winery's credo was that the wine would be made not only from organically grown grapes, but without any added sulfites. In the late 1980's, Paul Frey Jr. returned from the University of California at Santa Cruz to help perfect the techniques for making wine without the synthetic sulfite preservative, and is today our main winemaker. In 1996, Luke Frey spearheaded the conversion of our estate vineyards to biodynamic cultivation, making Frey Vineyards the first producer of certified Demeter Biodynamic wines in North America.

We are pleased that many local wineries and grape growers have become certified organic and biodynamic as well, for the health of our common environment as well as our customers. Today, a third of all organic grapes in California are grown in Mendocino County, and 15 wineries making wines from organically grown grapes are located here – more than any county in the U.S. The trend of organic grape growing is rapidly spreading in Napa and Sonoma Counties, and across the U.S. Frey Vineyards is the largest of the very few wineries to have taken on the challenge of producing a true organic wine, made with no added sulfites – a practice that is now tradition for our family.

Today, more than 30 years since the founding of Frey Vineyards, many of the 12 children and spouses work for the family business. As organic food production is reaching new heights in the U.S., we hope the trend never stops, benefiting taste buds, planet, and the future generations.

About Katrina Frey:
There aren't many jobs Katrina hasn't worked at Frey Vineyards. She has worn the hat of grape-picker, bottler, saleswoman – you name it! Katrina developed our sales and marketing branch and acts as our office manager. In addition to her work at the winery Katrina is the President of the Board of Demeter USA (our national Biodynamic certification agency). She gives her time generously to organic issues such as non-GMO activism and food safety, as well as Mendocino County's local Phoenix Hospice.

Under Katrina's community minded guidance Frey Vineyards has generously donated product and funds to local and national environmental and social justice charities and non-profits. As a leader in the organic industry since day one, Katrina has been a featured speaker at Natural Products Expo East, the All Things Organic trade show and the Sustainable Brands conference.

WWW.FREYWINE.COM

Monday, October 13, 2014

10/13 STU SMITH, SMITH-MADRONE, GARY PISONI, PISONI VINEYARDS

STU SMITH - GENERAL PARTNER & ENOLOGIST, SMITH-MADRONE

Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery.  Also in the family attic is the Fetherolf family, German farmers from the Palatinate region, who came to America on the Good Ship Thistle in 1730.  The name for the winery came as a tribute to the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and to the Madrone trees which distinguish the property.

In May 1971, with a partnership of family and friends, Stuart Smith bought the ‘terroir’ which today is Smith-Madrone Vineyards & winery. He was 22 years old and had just received his B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and was taking classes towards his Master’s in Viticulture at UC Davis. In trying to find land to plant vineyard in the Napa Valley, through a family friend he explored a forest on the remotest and highest part of Spring Mountain and discovered that the land had been a vineyard in the 1880s and in fact had been part of the wagon trail route between Napa and Santa Rosa. Today he is respected for his expertise and leadership as a mountain vineyardist.

Stuart was born and raised in Santa Monica.  While pursuing his master’s at UC Davis, Stuart was the first teaching assistant for wine industry pioneers Maynard Amerine and Vernon Singleton in 1970-1971. He taught enology at Santa Rosa Junior College and Napa Valley College; he has chaired the 1986 and 2006 Napa Valley Wine Auctions.  He is an active member of the G.O.N.A.D.S. (the Gastronomical Order for Nonsensical and Dissipatory Society), a group of Napa Valley vintners who started getting together for monthly lunches in the 1980s. He served on Napa County’s Watershed Task Force for several years, appointed by the Board of Supervisors; in 2006 he was appointed again by the Board of Supervisors to sit on Napa County General Plan Steering Committee, responsible for updating Napa’s General Plan, a three year project. Stu also serves as auctioneer for an Omaha (NB) charity auction every year.

Stuart served as Scout Master for St. Helena’s (Boy Scout) Troop One for many years. He is an avid canoeist, having canoed through the Quetico Wilderness in Canada many times and often canoes the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in California. He has five children and one grand-child; the family includes a photographer, beekeeper/artist, management information specialist, up-and-coming winemaker, distributor salesman and high school sophomore.

WWW.SMITHMADRONE.COM


GARY PISONI – PISONI VINEYARDS                                                    

A special place, Pisoni Vineyards expresses the land and climate of the Santa Lucia Highlands and the spirit of the Pisoni Family. The site is a source of exceptional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.

First planted by Gary Pisoni in 1982, Pisoni Vineyards consists of small vineyard blocks arranged on and around the ridges of the mountainous landscape. Ranging in size from one-half to seventeen acres, the vineyard blocks perch at an altitude of 1,300 feet in the granite-laced mountains of the coastal Santa Lucia Range.

Inspired by the Burgundy tradition of having several wineries source fruit from the same vineyard, Gary Pisoni has formed relationships with some of the most prestigious Pinot Noir producers in California. With agreements based on handshake alone, these wineries are guaranteed specific rows and blocks each year. They purchase grapes at a per-acre price rather than a per-ton price, which maintains the focus on quality and not yields.

In addition to supplying fruit to artisan producers of vineyard-designated wines, the Pisoni Family retains a portion of the vineyard for the production of Pisoni Estate wine.

THE PRACTICE
Vineyard management is meticulous. Under Mark Pisoni's leadership, a long-time permanent crew of 18 skilled individuals perform all the work by hand. Every decision implements sustainable farming practices and long-term considerations. This commitment, combined with the rocky soils and cold Monterey Bay weather, produce serious and compelling wines.

THE FAMILY
In 1952 Jane and Eddie Pisoni began farming vegetables in the fertile Salinas Valley. A celery-crop profit in 1979 provided the down payment for the Santa Lucia Highlands property that became Pisoni Vineyards. Their love for the land provided the place where their son Gary could realize his dreams. Gary developed a love of wine while attending college. He started collecting fine French and German wines, and he made his first wine in his garage in 1978 at the age of twenty-five. In 1982, Gary broke ground and planted the first vines at Pisoni Vineyards. He was up against many obstacles, including not having a water source at the time.

Mark Pisoni, the vineyard manager, completed a B.S. in Agricultural Economics at the University of California, Davis, and an M.S. in Farm Business Management at Cornell University. He oversees the meticulous care of both Pisoni Vineyards and Pisoni Farms.  Jeff Pisoni is the winemaker. He earned a B.S. in Enology at California State University, Fresno, and got hands-on experience at premium wineries before becoming the Pisoni Estate and Lucia winemaker in 2002.

THE WINE
The Pisoni Family produces one wine each year under the label bearing its name: Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir. Although actual quantities vary with fruit yields, typical production is a mere 500 cases annually. Often noted for their deep color and intensity, wines from Pisoni Vineyards offer complex flavors and layers of undulating texture. The rocky mountain soil and the long, cool growing season provide the fundamental character of the wine, and the tannin and acid structure contribute to the age-worthiness.

LUCIA
Lucia vineyard designated Santa Lucia Highlands AVA wines. Lucia is the sister label of the Pisoni Estate wines. Whereas Pisoni Estate is committed to a single expression of the Pisoni Vineyards, Lucia represents the collection of vineyards that the Pisoni Family farms: Pisoni Vineyards, Soberanes Vineyard and Garys' Vineyard (the latter two farmed in partnership with Gary Franscioni).

The wines of Lucia are vineyard designated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from these vineyards and eponymous Santa Lucia Highlands AVA cuvées with varying percentages of each vineyard blended together. Lucia wines are made alongside the Pisoni Estate wines using the same exacting standards for quality. They are sold via mailing list and high-end restaurants and retailers. If you are on the mailing list for Pisoni Estate wines, you will automatically have the opportunity to purchase the Lucia offerings.

WWW.PISONIVINEYARDS.COM