Monday, December 12, 2016

12/12 MICHAEL C KEENAN, ROBERT KEENAN WINERY, IAN BLACKBURN, WINE LA, BEEKEEPER CELLARS

MICHAEL C KEENAN – PRESIDENT, ROBERT KEENAN WINERY

Certain that mountain side vineyards in Napa Valley could produce world class wines, in 1974 Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres in the Spring Mountain District at an elevation of 1700 feet. Located on the eastern slope of the Mayacamas mountain range, Spring Mountain District gained recognition as an American Vineyard Appellation (AVA) in 1993. The low vigor soils unique to the region were known to create a stressful environment for vine growth, setting up perfect conditions to encourage vineyards planted on the steep, rocky, mountainsides to produce wines of great concentration, structure, and pure varietal flavors.

The original acreage Robert acquired included the crumbling Peter Conradi Winery, founded in the late 19th Century and one of the first pioneering properties established on Spring Mountain. Peter Conradi had originally planted the vineyards to Zinfandel and Syrah, but they declined when the property was abandoned during Prohibition, and by the time Keenan arrived in 1974, none of the original vineyards were producing. Robert cleared the estate of tree stumps and rocks, extended the original vineyard acreage and replanted the property to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. He built a new winery using the existing stonewalls from the old Conradi building, and celebrated Keenan Winery’s first harvest there in 1977.

When Michael Keenan took over leadership of the estate in 1998, we made the decision to replant the vineyards with an eye toward increasing grape quality. In addition, we built a solar power system that went on-line in 2007 and now supplies all of the estate’s energy needs, including the winery, administrative offices, visitor hospitality area, and the homes located on the property. The Napa Valley Vintners have recognized Keenan as a “green” winery, which we now proudly announce on our back labels: Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed.

Today Keenan Winery produces four superb and distinctive wines exclusively from grapes grown our Spring Mountain Estate: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Cabernet Franc and a Merlot Reserve from the Mailbox Vineyard. Keenan also offers wines produced from estate fruit blended with grapes grown in carefully selected Napa Valley vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and the Mernet Reserve, which is a proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Our Summer Blend, an annual spring release, is composed of mostly Chardonnay and blended with small amounts of Viognier and Albarino.

WWW.KEENANWINERY.COM


LET’S TALK CHAMPAGNE WITH IAN BLACKBURN – OWNER/FOUNDER, WINE LA & FOUNDER/CO-WINEMAKER, BEEKEEPER CELLARS 

wineLA is about enhancing the wine culture of Los Angeles. To do so, wine must be in rhythm with fashion, music, food and other beverages.  It must take advantage of the geography, the architecture and the centers of interest. Los Angeles is a giant playground with an amazing array of venues, spaces, wine bars, restaurants, beaches, roof tops, gardens, and magical views. We want to be a part of the LA lifestyle, the wine lifestyle, and celebrate the people, the place and the passion.

wineLA will promote significant events, occasional classes, and tastings of merit. This is phase two of what we started 20 years ago at LearnAboutWine.com - America’s first wine education website and first in wine event creation. LearnAboutWine will now evolve onto a digital platform; the transformation will take some time; so we will slowly rebrand our event efforts onto wineLA, reduce the number of activities we focus on, and elevate our efforts to focus on the next big thing… Doing what is best for the wine industry and the communities we serve.  Edicts:  innovate, evolve and excite.

We thank you for joining our newsletter, we will be sending fewer emails and packing them with amazing content. We want to be your wine content provider and would love to hear about your favorite places, your music, your locations - we want to be under the influence of what ignites your passion for Los Angeles.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
CHAMPAGNE NEW YEARS PRIMER 
EAT.DRINK.AMERICANO
DEC 17, 2016
3:00PM-5:00PM

New Year’s Eve Champagne Prep – a comprehensive overview of the world of sparkling to help you become more well-rounded and educated about great sparkling wine.

Class is accompanied by a delicious small cheese plate.

EXPLORING CHAMPAGNE
EAT.DRINK.AMERICANO
DEC 17, 2016
7:00PM-9:30PM

Take your palate for a journey around the world in this "Exploring Wines" event. Taste a variety of wines and champagnes from all over the world paired with different artisanal cheeses... each flight is served blind so that we may assess the wines as a group and rate them. See what you like and prefer - of course you will love all the wines - but a few may show you which style you learn towards.... Pinot or Chard? Clean and fresh or Bold and Rich... blended or vintage... which vintage... we love to explore the questions of fine wine... and share our findings.

Class is accompanied by a delicious small cheese plate.

ABOUT BEEKEEPER CELLARS
Beekeeper Cellars is the vision of best friends and co-winemakers Ian Blackburn and Clay Mauritson. The two collaborated after adventurous individual careers in the wine business, and at last, decided to work together on a project of their own.

Clay, a 7th generation grape grower, and his family found themselves the owners of a significant slice of the Rockpile Appellation, through an amazing set of historical land transactions. The Mauritson family realized the potential and parented the creation of the ROCKPILE AVA. In 1998, Ian and Clay climbed the hill and watched the Madrone Spring Vineyard get planted, while discussing the future of Rockpile and the dream it represented.

In 2008, Clay saw the fruits of his family's labor taking shape and came to Ian with a unique opportunity to source some of the Rockpile fruit. He told Ian in the difficult days of 2008, “now is the time to get in and build the business and have it take shape as the market improves, and to not wait until business is strong as you will have a hard time getting access to the right quality assets.” Ian took heed of Clay’s wise comment and said "When your best friend is Clay Mauritson and he offers Rockpile fruit and to assist with winemaking…... you make Zinfandel.”

In Los Angeles, Ian operates a specialty wine marketing organization known as wineLA and has pioneered wine education for the past 20 years (since 1995) through www.learnaboutwine.com and www.wineLA.com.  Beekeeper Cellars is also involved in Ian’s Masters of Wine Thesis project and provides him the winemaking training he requires to help pass the difficult Masters of Wine exam...an ongoing pursuit.

WWW.WINELA.COM
WWW.BEEKEEPERCELLARS.COM

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