WineCountry Staff: March 2012 Archives

New Season, New Wines

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chMontelenaLabel.jpgSubmitted by Chateau Montelena

Now that we've officially kicked off the beginning of a new season here at Chateau Montelena, it's time for spring renewal and getting a fresh start in the New Year. For some, that may mean starting a new garden, taking up a new hobby or working on some spring cleaning. For us, spring means enjoying longer days, ample amounts of sunshine and the start of a new growing season in our vineyard.  

We're also looking forward to sharing our three new releases wines: our 2008 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Montelena Estate Zinfandel are now available for your sipping pleasure. Aside from being great pairings with spring and summer dining experiences - either along with a park picnic or out on the patio under the stars on a warm evening - they're also three fantastic reasons to make more room in your wine cellar. At the end of a long day, there's nothing better than grabbing a great bottle of wine to hang out on your home patio with your favorite people and savor a glass of wine as you unwind on a warm and clear night. The season of "patio wine" is upon us.

chateauMontelena_CabRelease.jpgWith three new Montelena wines to choose from, we're certain that there's an option for every palate and every occasion - from a special, celebratory dinner with our 2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon to a family barbeque with our 2009 Estate Zinfandel and even a mid-week repose to savor a special meal alongside our 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet just-because-its-Wednesday-and-you-need-a-break.  

So whatever your wine preference may be, we hope that you take some time to enjoy the new season, relax on the patio outside and delight in a glass (or two!) of your favorite Montelena wine. And next time you're in Calistoga, stop by the Chateau to taste them all, pick your favorite and stock up - we have a long and glorious spring and summer ahead of us.

CLICK HERE to see more posts in the Chateau Montelena Blog.

Sustainable Growing & Wineries: Sonoma

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by Courtney Cochran

Sustainable businesses famously have an eye to the future as well as current projects. As awareness about the need to conserve for tomorrow's generations grows, so does the number of wineries in our backyard converting to eco-oriented wine-growing - and a sustainable future for us all.  Below are some of the Sonoma wineries featuring green practices ranging from responsible vineyard management to economically friendly processes in the winery.

benziger_Vineyard_FromClientWebsite.jpgBenziger Family Winery

Sustainability is built into the mission at this green winemaking leader, which famously focuses on "family, great wine and healthy vineyards." Now three generations in, the Benziger clan - more than a dozen are actively involved in the winery - ensures their entire roster of vineyards is certified sustainable, organic or Biodynamic© via green metrics and a rigorous annual audit. Visitors will see the 'whole farm' ethos at work by way of the farm animals at the welcoming Glen Ellen property (hello, sheep cam!), and can look forward to quality that shows through in the glass:  a diverse lineup spanning Sauvignon Blanc to Syrah is well-received by critics.      

*Visit: 1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442; Call (707) 935-3000; Tasting Offer
**Event: Celebrate Earth Day

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

Nestled into the hills of cool, bucolic Carneros, Gloria Ferrer is in a prime spot for making world-class sparkling wines.  What's perhaps less apparent is this picturesque winery's commitment to sustainable agriculture, something its owners pursue through innovative approaches to everything from soil biodiversity programs to integrated pest management, water management and energy conservation.  Because sustainability also has an eye to the health of people - not just plants - Gloria Ferrer's sustainability efforts support an arts program for local bereaved children, facilitating a focus on renewal of life through creativity.  Ferrer's high marks for hospitality and stellar pours are just icing on the sustainable cake, as it were.

*Visit: 23555 Arnold Drive Sonoma, CA 95476; Call: (707) 996-7256; Tasting Offer

Relax . . . with a Glass of Wine

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There's no need to rush through tastings or cram all your wine tasting into a 10am - 5pm time frame. More and more wineries are starting to offer evening tasting room hours and it's just what the doctor ordered!

Tamber Bey
Arrived early for dinner reservations? Checked in to your hotel from an evening flight and would like to unwind before heading to bed? Tamber Bey's tasting room in downtown St. Helena is the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine. Not only do they offer their full flight of tastings until 8pm daily, they are one of the few tasting rooms that have a license to serve wine by the glass. With dimmed lighting, and soft jazz notes floating in the air, and of course, amazing wines, you'll wonder why you didn't discover this gem earlier!

tamberBey_space.jpgThe Space
Tamber Bey's tasting room reflects the equestrian influence of their namesake (Tamber Bey combines the names of the first Arabian horses that Tamber Bey owner Barry Waitte owned and raced -- Tamborina and Bayamo affectionately known as Tamber and Bey.).

There are several different areas to taste within the Tamber Bey tasting room - a different space to fit your mood. Slide up to the tasting bar finished in copper or lounge on one of the leather couches. On a warm summer day, sit bistro style at the small tables outside or taste in the private tasting room with at a striking 100 year-old barn-wood table. Whatever you fancy and wherever you are comfortable, the tasting room staff is there to accommodate.

Korbel Practices Sustainable Wine Growing

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There are a lot of wine terms to keep up with if you visit wine country. Many times we have no idea what they mean, we just nod our heads in silent agreement. One such term that many wineries declare that they have implemented is sustainable wine growing. But, what does this mean?

According to the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, "Sustainable winegrowing practices help reduce water and energy use, minimize pesticide use, build healthy soil, protect air and water quality, recycle natural resources, maintain surrounding wildlife habitat, provide employee education, and communicate with neighbors about vineyard and winery operations."

There are many wineries in Sonoma County that have made significant changes with how they grow grapes and make wine. Watch how Korbel Champagne Cellars increased energy efficiency, saved money, reduced CO2 emissions and improved water quality through installing a new aerator system.

Korbel Champagne Cellars Process Water Ponds Efficiency Measures

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