Monday, April 4, 2016

04/04 LEON GRICE, NEW ZEALAND CONSUL-GENERAL, LEE HODO, BACIGALUPI VINEYARDS

LEON GRICE - NEW ZEALAND CONSUL-GENERAL, LOS ANGELES - TALKING NEW ZEALAND WINES

ABOUT NZ WINE: 
New Zealand is a land like no other. New Zealand Wine is an experience like no other. Our special combination of soil, climate and water, our innovative pioneering spirit and our commitment to quality all come together to deliver pure, intense and diverse experiences. In every glass of New Zealand Wine is a world of pure discovery. Welcome to our world.

Regions
New Zealand extends 1,600km (1000 miles) from sub-tropical Northland (36° S) to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (46° S). Vineyards benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate (no vineyard is more than 120km, or 80 miles, from the ocean) with long sunshine hours and nights cooled by sea breezes.

New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy and intensity. The long ripening period - a result of cool temperatures - allows flavour development whilst retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned. There are a number of distinct major winegrowing regions spread throughout New Zealand, with the majority on the East coast of the Islands in the rain shadow of the mountains. Within these diverse regions, sub-regional characteristics are beginning to show through and wines are now being distinguished as being not just from a wine region, but from a sub-region and a place. We hope you enjoy discovering our regions and producers.

Wine Styles
New Zealand produces less than 1% of the world’s wine, yet offers an impressive array of varieties and styles. Central to our success is New Zealand’s temperate, maritime climate, the unswerving passion of our wine producers and the highly distinctive nature of our wine styles.

It was Sauvignon Blanc that put New Zealand on the wine map, however the diversity and sophistication of our portfolio of wine styles has ensured the love affair with New Zealand wine lives on around the world.

New Zealand's expansive coastline enables us to succeed with a range of diverse varieties and styles; from the warmer climate wines, such as Bordeaux-style blends and Syrah, grown in Hawke's Bay and further north, through to much cooler climate wines, such as Pinot Noir and Riesling grown in the southerly regions.

Whatever your preferences for wine styles, chances are we have a New Zealand Wine to suit your palate.

WWW.MFAT.GOVT.NZ 
WWW.NZEMBASSY.COM  


LEE HODO - BACIGALUPI VINEYARDS - 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS—IN SONOMA COUNTY! 

BACIGALUPI – RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY



40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS—IN SONOMA COUNTY! 

Bacigalupi Vineyards highlights Sonoma County’s role in giving California wines their cachet

This spring and summer, Bacigalupi Vineyards, located in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California, focuses on the region’s role in the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a historic blind comparative wine tasting.

A seminal event in bringing California wines to international consciousness, the Paris tasting pitted California wines against French offerings. Napa Valley wineries took the top prizes in both white wine (a 1973 Chateau Montelena chardonnay) and red wine (a 1973 Stags Leap Wine Cellars cabernet).

In 1976 wine lovers rarely discussed grape growing when considering wine; winery names were what mattered. This was no doubt why few knew that 20 tons (nearly half) of the chardonnay fruit for the Chateau Montelena chardonnay came from Sonoma County vineyards. Bacigalupi Vineyards provided 14 tons.  

Forty years later, Bacigalupi Vineyards and its Wente clone vines are farmed by the Bacigalupi second and third generations, while 90-year-old matriarch Helen Bacigalupi weighs in. The name Bacigalupi Vineyards is designated on labels from Gary Farrell, Rudd Oakville Estate, and Williams Selyem. Since 2011, the Bacigalupi family has also produced wine under its own label.

Building on awareness of Sonoma County farming and the Bacigalupi family’s part in the Paris tasting, several events are planned for this spring and summer:

  • Sonoma County Icon, Class of 2016: Kicking off three days of Barrel Auction celebrations produced by the Sonoma County Vintners, Helen Bacigalupi will be officially recognized as one of four Sonoma County Icons for her part in shaping the heritage of Sonoma County winemaking. An invitation-only reception is planned at Martinelli Winery on April 28, 2016.  
  • Bacigalupi Vineyards and four Sonoma County vintners present The Judgment of Paris, 40th Anniversary Barrel during the Sonoma County Vintner’s Annual Barrel Auction. This never before/never again barrel is comprised of lots of chardonnay from the original Wente clone on St. George rootstock contributed by Bacigalupi, Dutcher Crossing, Gary Farrell, Flannagan, and Macrostie wineries. 
  • The Return to Paris Tasting, held Saturday, April 30, at Bacigalupi Vineyards, is a tasting of current vintage French burgundies and California wines that emulate the wines tasted in 1976. A forum of guest speakers will discuss the influence Sonoma County farming had on the winning chardonnay and the Judgment of Paris’ impact on the California wine industry through the decades. This event coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Bacigalupi historic vineyard. Space is extremely limited—contact 707-473-0115.
  • During Sonoma County Vintners’ September Wine Country Weekend, the Bacigalupi family will present a retrospective of their long history as Sonoma County wine grape growers. The seminar, during the Taste of Sonoma event, will include wine, images through the generations, and conversation. 

HISTORY AND VINEYARDS
In 1956 my grandparents—Charles and Helen Bacigalupi—purchased 121 acres on Westside Road, a few miles south of the town of Healdsburg. In a simple beginning, Grandpa began to care for the 16 acres of existing vineyards. Envisioning the demand for premium wine grapes, Paul Heck (of Korbel winery) encouraged my grandpa to plant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

In 1964, Grandpa began his plantings with six acres of each varietal. Eventually he obtained Pinot Noir bud wood from Karl Wente, the first well documented plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. He remembers Wente telling him the stock had come from France via the family’s old vineyard in Livermore.

Our family name (Bacigalupi) gained recognition during the 1976 Paris tasting when the 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Château Montelena (made with 40% of our fruit) triumphed over many acclaimed French wines. This event was the turning point in America’s global wine image.

Our vineyards now consist of 125 acres of premium grapes, which have been planted and managed for the past 30 years by my father John Bacigalupi and our family. The Bacigalupi wine label is a dream come true for our family who has roots in the wine industry stretching over four generations. Looking towards the future, we hope to continue our legacy of premium grape growing and wine making for many years to come.

WWW.BACIGALUPIVINEYARDS.COM

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