Recently in Wine Regions & Events Category

Napa Harvest Season 2013

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Harvest has descended upon Napa Valley once again. Join the excitement through tweets, pictures, upcoming harvest events (grape stomps, grape picking, wine dinners, etc) and general reports from wineries all over Napa Valley and their thoughts on this year's vintage and 2013 season.







Family Winemakers of California Tasting Event

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familyWinemakersCalifornia_billboard_073013.jpgIt's one of the largest and most comprehensive wine tasting events featuring California wines! This year's Family Winemakers of California event, held in San Francisco on August 17th, 3-6pm, promises to be even more exciting with over 250 wineries from 20+ California appellations pouring over 35 varietals and 800 different wines.

What makes this event even more special is that you will have unlimited access to sample wines from small-production wineries (under 500 cases) represented by the family members themselves. In addition, several wineries will be pouring at the event for the very first time, so if you're a repeat attendee, you'll have the opportunity to taste wines from the "new kids on the block".

Your admission includes unlimited access to all wines, commemorative wine glass, a variety of cheese and crackers, and on site food vendor. Plus, you will be able to buy and ship wine directly home from the event; several wineries are planning to offer special pricing on shipping and/or select wines. Tickets are $70 and well worth the price. Buy tickets online here!

First time to a wine event of this size with this many wines to taste? Not to worry, Family Winemakers of California has developed a handy wine tasting guide specifically for this event (though many of the tips can be used whenever you might find yourself at a wine tasting event of this size). Click Here to download.


Matanzas Creek Winery: Days of Wine and Lavender

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The Days of Wine and Lavender at Matanzas Creek Winery on Saturday, June 29th from 12 to 4pm is back! This popular, annual wine event offers an immersion of the senses as guests stroll through vibrant lavender gardens while sipping Matanzas Creek's bright and refreshing wines. The Bennett Valley winery's two-acre lavender garden will be in peak bloom, with its more than 4,500 individual lavender plantings creating a sea of purple and perfuming the air with their heady scent.

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Arts in April: Beaulieu Vineyard

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Appreciate the Arts in the Napa Valley throughout the month of April.

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Beaulieu Vineyards, located in the heart of Napa Valley in Rutherford, will play host to the original wine paintings of local artist Penelope Moore whose work will be on display starting April 1st in BV's Maestro Tasting Room and Club Room.

On Sunday, April 14th from 1:00-4:00pm, join other guests and enjoy a wonderful fusion of art and wine, live music, and afternoon hor d'oeuvres. Each of Penelope's paintings will be paired with a sinfully selected bottle of BV juice. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on each pairing. The lucky winner will have a sensory experience to take home. Tickets are only $15 per person or complimentary to club members.

But you don't have to wait until April 14th to start bidding!

  • Bid In Person: Visit Beaulieu Vineyards anytime starting April 1st - April 14th. Just mention "Arts in April" to receive two Maestro Tastings for the price of one to enjoy while you view and bid on the art.
  • Bid Online: A selection of five paintings will be available to preview and bid online at www.facebook.com/penelope. Bid on the painting by leaving a comment under the corresponding painting with the amount, your name and phone number. Online Auction closes on Sunday, April 14th at 4:00 pm PST. "Buy it Now" bids win. Visa, MC, AMEX, PayPal accepted.



Pawsport Napa Valley

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Napa Valley Wine Tasting Event that is Dog Friendly!

pawsportNV_BCellars.jpgNo need to leave your dog at home when going wine tasting! Pawsport Napa Valley is a fabulous annual dog-friendly, passport-style wine tasting event in Napa Valley. This year the event is March 22-25th and features exclusive tastings at 20 Napa Valley dog-friendly wineries, food pairings, discounts on wine purchases, souvenirs for guests and their pups, drawings, dog treats, meet-and-greets with the winery dogs and winemakers, and so much more!

Pawsports are only $75 per person for four days of exceptional wine tasting in the beautiful Napa Valley. Your ticket includes one complimentary wine tasting and a discount on wine purchases at each winery. Additional specials and activities vary from winery to winery. Already sold on coming!? Click Here to buy event tickets.

NEW THIS YEAR! From discounts to special dishes, a selection of Napa Valley restaurants and lodging partners are offering "Pawsport Perks" to attendees during the four-day event, including  special lodging packages at these dog-friendly hotels: Harvest Inn and Westin Verasa Napa.

This year's participating Napa Valley wineries include: B Cellars, Bennett Lane Winery, Ca' Momi, Chateau Boswell, Clos du Val, Cornerstone Cellars, Franciscan Estate Winery, Grgich Hills Estate, HALL St. Helena, Jessup Cellars, Lava Vine Winery, Madonna Estate, Mumm Napa, Peju Family Winery, Pine Ridge Vineyards, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, Trefethen Family Vineyards, V. Sattui Winery.

Visit www.napahumane.org/PawsportNV for more details!


House Party! at Chateau Montelena Winery

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chateauMontelena_HousePartyFlier.jpgHave full run of the Chateau with your friends this coming January 26th at Chateau Montelena Winery when they host their annual House Party.  This year's theme is Fire and Ice and will feature one fantastic night of dancing, find food, and of course, wine!

The menu includes an array of culinary delights served at tempting temperatures paired with Montelena classics, special wines from the library collection, and even a few limited-production winery-only wines. AND! back by popular demand is hit band "Wonderbread 5" for an encore performance in the cellar.

Snap up these tickets as soon as you can!

What: Chateau Montelena House Party!
Where: Chateau Montelena Winery ~ 1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
When: January 26, 2012 ~ 6pm -10pm
Tickets: $65-$95
More Details: CLICK HERE!

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About Chateau Montelena Winery

Founded in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs, Chateau Montelena Winery is currently owned and operated by the Barrett family, who purchased the property in 1972. Perhaps best known for the 1976 Paris Tasting when the little-known American winery triumphed over the French in a blind tasting, the winery is currently recognized for producing world-class wines with the Barrett family still at the helm.

Whitehall Lane Winery: Harvest Update

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Napa Valley, CA



Harvest 2012 is off to a great (and tasty) start, with much, much more to go!  We officially began harvesting our first grapes, Sauvignon Blanc, on Saturday September 8th.  As you can see, our entire crew, led by winemaker Dean Sylvester and Cellar master Fernando Cortez, were Œin the zone¹ ensuring the first grapes of the season were sorted, de-stemmed, crushed and pressed to perfection.

To date we have crushed numerous lots of SB and one of Pinot Noir picked at the peak of ripeness. Meanwhile, Mother Nature has been very helpful in providing textbook Napa Valley autumn days.  In fact, it¹s hard to believe ­ even if you live here ­ that it is 45 degrees in the morning and 85 in the mid-afternoon, every day.  Reds like Merlot and Cabernet flourish in this weather, which allows the grapes to develop flavor complexity and balance.

We'll begin picking them soon. There are lots of crushing to be done, so please come up, taste a few wines, and let us tour you through the winery. SEE SPECIAL OFFER!
 
What¹s the best way to celebrate harvest?  A Whitehall Lane HARVEST DINNER!
Join us at the winery Saturday October 13th, for an al fresco BBQ dinner commemorating the 2012 harvest.  CLICK HERE more information, or contact Dustin at 707 963 9454 x 32 or dustin@whitehalllane.com.

Get the Scoop on Napa Valley Harvest Season

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EVENTS:
Check out upcoming harvest season and crush events happening in Napa Valley in the months of August, September and October. CLICK HERE!


VIDEOS:
St. Supery - Learning about Harvest Season & Crush
Harvest Season in Napa Valley Kicks Off!

Auction Napa Valley - Bid on E-Auction Lots

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Auction Napa Valley starts today! (May 31 - June 2nd) and features four glorious days of incredible wine and food at locations throughout Napa Valley. Didn't make it this year?! Not to worry, you can still experience a part of Auction Napa Valley through the E-Auction Lots. Explore and bid on unique lots that include exclusive collections of Napa Valley wines, vintner-hosted events, and luxury items.

See some of the amazing lots from our Club Breathe Partners.


Lot #302 - Peju Province Winery
Peju Heavenly Adventure
Enjoy a private tour and tasting followed by a delicious gourmet picnic for 6 people hosted in the exquisite winery estate gardens of Peju Winery. Your successful bid also includes: a case of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, a case of 2010 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, a signed 3L bottle of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley and 2 tickets to the Peju Winery Harvest Tasting & Vineyard Dinner.

auctionNV12_DiageoWineries.jpgLot #312 - Acacia Vineyard, Beaulieu Vineyard, Hewitt Vineyard, Provenance Vineyard, and Sterling Vineyards
The All Star Team - A Dominating line up of Red... and Gold
The most powerful reds in Napa Valley paired with the mighty Red & Gold--the San Francisco 49ers--for a special team blow out!  Lot includes 6 bottles of Napa Valley wine, 4 tickets to gala, 4 VIP tickets to 49ers home game, 4 pregame field passes, and 2 signed footballs.

Lot #314 - Hess Collection Winery
Mount Veeder Magic
Experience the magic of Mount Veeder as you join Hess Collection Winemaker Dave Guffy for a tour of mountain vineyards, stopping to enjoy incredible views with wine selections crafted from the very vineyard blocks you're visiting. Lot includes 13 bottles of Napa Valley wine, Dinner & Tour for 8, Wine club membership, and Book.

Lot #315 - St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery

Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Round-Up
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery invites you and eleven guests to join CEO Emma Swain and winemaker Michael Scholz for an exciting half day at our gorgeous Dollarhide estate vineyard. Lot includes 25 bottles of Napa Valley, Tour and Lunch for 12, and  . . .

Domaine Chandon Winery Hosts National Breast Cancer Foundation Benefit

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Television Personality and National Breast Cancer Spokesperson Whitney Port to Present Whitney Eve Collection at October Event

Napa, CA (October 3, 2011) -- On October 13, 2011, Domaine Chandon, American Sparkling pioneer, hosts the sixth-annual Breast Cancer Awareness benefit in partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). This year's highly-anticipated event features a fashion presentation by television personality and National Breast Cancer Spokesperson Whitney Port, as well as and hors d'oeuvres by Michelin-starred Chef Perry Hoffman of Chandon's étoile Restaurant. Details and ticket information are available at: www.chandon.com/pinkparty.

Whitney-Port-Headshot.jpgWhitney Port serves as a spokesperson for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, as part of a national initiative for early detection among young women.The October 13 benefit marks Port's first major public appearance on behalf of the organization. The event, which includes a reception, silent auction and Whitney Eve fashion presentation, will be held at Domaine Chandon winery from 5:30-8:30pm. 

Since 2006, Chandon has supported local and national initiatives in the fight against breast cancer. As a proud sponsor of NBCF, Domaine Chandon invites consumers to join them in the fight by entering the code "Chandon4theCause" on Chandon's Facebook page to activate a $1 donation to NBCF. Chandon is also providing Facebook fans the ability to easily share the promotion with their networks to continue to raise awareness for the cause and NBCF.

Charles Krug Winery Day

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KRUG_Event_TastingsOnLawn_2.jpgTasting on the Lawn Celebrates 150th Anniversary of Napa's First Winery

Where will you be this Saturday? Hopefully you already have tickets (and if not - CLICK HERE) to the annual Tasting on the Lawn celebration at Charles Krug Winery where they will toast the winery's 150th anniversary!

Enjoy tastings of Charles Krug's current releases, barrel tastings, rare tasting of older, vintage wines, food and wine pairings, live music, and there will be several opportunities to meet members of the Peter Mondavi Family.

KRUG_Bottle_NV_CS_06_Beauty.jpgCelebration Highlights:

  • Tastings of all Charles Krug's current releases, from sauvignon blanc to cabernet sauvignon, including the winery's Limited Release and Family Reserve wines. Food pairings by Knikcbockers' Catering

  • Chefs from several Napa Valley restaurants serving samples of their specialties also paired with Charles Krug wines. Featured restaurants include Michael Chiarello's acclaimed Bottega, Cindy Pawlcyn's eclectic Backstreet Kitchen, and her brand new Mediterranean eatery, Brassica.

  • "Easy Everyday Pairings" -- Charles Krug wines served with fun, casual foods like pizza from the wood-fired oven, grilled burgers, tacos and even popcorn.

  • Actors portraying Charles Krug and his wife Carolina Bale Krug will stroll the Great Lawn in period costume, presenting vignettes from their lives 150 years ago.

  • Special pourings from magnums of Charles Krug's 150th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon and a rare tasting of older wines from the estate's cellar in the ballroom of Charles Krug's 1881 Carriage House.

  • Meet members of the Peter Mondavi Family, who will be on hand for photos and to sign bottles for visitors.

  • Live music on the main stage will provide a backdrop for all of the festivities. Featured is the popular Steely Dan tribute band, Steely Scam.

Freemark Abbey Celebrates 125th Anniversary

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freemarkAbbey_125thCelebrationJuly.jpgWine lovers are invited to raise a glass to history at a special event in July.

ST. HELENA, Calif. -- Freemark Abbey invites wine lovers on July 16 to join in a "Toast to 125 Years" as the winery celebrates 125 years in the Napa Valley. From 1 to 4 p.m., guests will enjoy past, present and future vintages of Freemark Abbey wines paired with small bites presented by Chef Cindy Pawlcyn. The winery will also unveil "History," its highly anticipated 125th anniversary blend, a limited-edition red wine that was crafted from the finest lots in the cellar spanning vintage, variety and vineyard.

"The history that this winery has seen and been part of is incredible," said Ted Edwards, director of winemaking who has been with Freemark Abbey for 26 years. "Freemark Abbey started when the Napa Valley's biggest crop was prunes, not grapes. We survived Prohibition, participated in the Paris Tasting and have watched wine become an important part of American culture. "

Tickets to the event are $50. For reservations or more information, call (800) 963-9698. Or e-mail kimberly.reed@freemarkabbey.com. Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Not able to make it to the celebration on July 16th? Plan a a wine tasting visit anytime through the end of July and take advantage of a special two for one tasting offer. CLICK HERE!

Big Gay Wine Train Comes Out In the Vineyard

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Gaytrain.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

On Saturday March 12, the Napa Valley Wine Train will make history with its first LGBT wine dinner, co-sponsored with Sonoma-based Out in the Vineyard.  The event brings together Sonoma's most prominent LGBT travel company, and one of Napa's most iconic and campy activities for the first ever big gay train ride.  

The evening kicks off at 5:30 pm with a sparkling wine reception at the train station lounge, featuring J Vineyards' fantastic brut.  I don't know if the piano player in the lounge will be taking requests from the audience, but I think it's worth asking.   The train departs at 6:30, with five gay vintners from Sonoma and Napa on board to schmooze and carouse with guests.  Specifically, Greg Bjørnstad of Bjørnstad Cellars, Mark Lyon of Sebastiani Vineyards, Philippe Langner of Hesperian Wines, and Jeff Durham and Joey Wolosz of Poem Cellars will all be roving the train with wine in hand, answering questions and making new friends.

Wine Festivals in Mendocino

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Esterlina Tasting Room, Anderson Valley, CA

Image by Ethan Prater via Flickr

MENDOCINO, CA - Let us help you pick which weekend to escape to Mendocino Wine Country. With so many wineries to taste at throughout Mendocino, why not attend a wine festival where you can taste all your favorites and discover new ones too. See at a glance all the wine festivals happening in Mendocino Wine Country May - December this year!

MAY
May 14-16, 2010 (THIS WEEKEND!) - Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
Anderson Valley is known for producing great Pinot Noir. If you love Pinot, then this is the event for you. Scratch whatever plans you have this coming weekend and attend this not to be missed Pinot Noir festival where over 40 wineries will be pouring their wines. Enjoy gourmet treats & music in the vineyard at Goldeneye Winery. Learn about Pinot Noir at the tech. conference & dine with the winemakers at Sat. evening dinners in Anderson Valley and on the Mendocino coast. On Sunday, visit the wineries for special wine tastings, seminars, food pairings, and more.
Fee: $50 to $125/person; Time:  Fri. 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.,Sat 11a.m. - 3 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Phone Number: (707) 895.9463Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Here's to Mom: Our Must-Do Mother's Day List

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by Courtney Cochran

NAPA VALLEY / SONOMA, CA

Once a year (seems it ought to be more often, no?) we pay tribute to that special woman who had the good sense to bring us into the world - and, once we'd arrived, to guide us through life's many travails and triumphs with aplomb. This year, we encourage you to consider our list of Must-Do Mother's Day activities in planning your Sunday celebrations.  Because wine, like mothers, improves with time, we think it's only fitting that you pair these two delights come fête-time.

yogaVineyardsWebsite.jpgYoga In the Vineyard
San Francisco sommelier-turned-yogi Christie Dufault offers delightful Mom-and-me experiences in her buzz-worthy new "Yoga In the Vineyard" retreats. Held amidst the vines in vinous hotspots including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Cruz, Dufault's classes emphasize being in the moment and celebrating the senses - activities made all the easier thanks to inclusive Biodynamic® wines and organic meals. Call for custom retreats; gift certificates available.

St. Supéry Behind the Scenes
Sundays from 11am-12pm Rutherford's St. Supéry offers cellar tours designed to give you the inside scoop on the winemaking process from crushing to bottling. Wrapping with a barrel tasting of estate grown reds, it's a rewarding way to pair a little education with your wine country exploration - something Mom will no doubt appreciate (while noting your grown-up savvy, ahem).  St. Supéry's sweet staff and beautifully appointed tasting room should be icing on the cake.

Winemaker Wednesdays in Santa Cruz

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Press Release

shadowbrookRestaurant.jpgSANTA CRUZ, CA - In an effort to promote wines produced in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Capitola's landmark Shadowbrook Restaurant is offering Winemaker Wednesdays, featuring half-price wines from the appellation now through May.

Each week Shadowbrook will be featuring two to four wines from a Santa Cruz Mountains winery, offered by the bottle or glass.  Wednesdays, beginning at 5p.m. a representative of that week's winery will offer tastings and information from a table set up in the restaurant's Rockroom Lounge.

That night all wines from the week's winery, whether ordered in the bar or dining room, by the glass or bottle, will be 50 percent off the regular price.  Featured wines will also be available in flights (about 2.5 oz, also half-price), accompanied by complimentary appetizer.

Wine Tasting with Robert M. Parker Jr.

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ciaParker.jpgST. HELENA, CA - Great news for wine enthusiasts anticipating the tasting of the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape vintage at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone with Robert M. Parker, Jr. Three more wines have been added to the flight, making a total of 21 wines from this excellent vintage to be tasted. This annual event has generated an endowment in excess of $1 million for Wine Advocate scholarships for the CIA's Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies. This year's tasting is scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. at the CIA's Napa Valley campus.

When Parker first reviewed the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape wines, he awarded them ratings in the mid to high 90s. According to Parker, "the entire vintage will be very long-lived given the extraordinary balance in the wines. (And) given this quality, the high demand and limited supply from these producers makes 2007 one of the most collectible vintages in recent memory."

San Francisco International Wine Competition Results

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After scores of wine tasting and much deliberation the results of the San Francisco International Wine Competition were announced over the weekend. According to the press release "Forty-five wine industry professionals from throughout the United States convened June 19th, 20th and 21st to taste, score and rank 4,274 wines from 1,195 wineries" and "judged from 26 states and 21 countries".

Several domestic wineries took home honors.

Passport to Sonoma Valley - May 16th & 17th

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sonomaPassport1.jpgExplore Sonoma Valley with a passport to over 50 wineries showcasing the very best of their current wine releases, library wines, and special bottlings!  The event is next weekend May 16th & 17th from 11am to 4 p.m. and promises to be two fun-filled days of wine tasting festivities including food pairings and entertainment.

Your passport includes a commemorative wine glass, unlimited wine tastings at participating wineries, discounts on wine purchases, and entry to some of Sonoma Valley's wineries normally not open to the public. Additionally, for the first time, participating wineries are partnering with their growers and pouring their best wines in the vineyards where the grapes are sourced giving Passport holders the ultimate grape to glass tasting experience.

On the day of the event or if you wait to buy tickets, check in at one of the four designated "start" locations - Viansa Winery & Marketplace, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, Valley of the Moon Winery and Ledson Winery & Vineyards.

Don't miss out on this wine tasting event, buy your tickets online today!

sonomaPassport2.jpgWhat: Passport to Sonoma Valley

When: Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day

*Price: $55 Weekend Passport/$65 at the Door
            $50 One Day Passport/$60 at the Door
            $10 Designated Driver
            *Save $5 off ticket prices if you have a Visa Signature Card.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE

Go Green: Earth Day Celebrations In Wine Country

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By Courtney Cochran

Come April 22nd, enviro-friendly oenophiles will have ample opportunity to celebrate Earth Day among the vines. Read on for our top picks for where to go green in wine country on this feel-good holiday.

Green Valley
What better place to fête this fabulous day than in Green Valley!? To wit, Iron Horse Vineyards and several of its Sonoma County neighbors will host "Celebrate Earth Day In Green Valley" a few days early on Sunday, April 19th. Highlights of what to see and do at various stops include a sparkling wine and salt tasting at Iron Horse; biodynamic vineyard tours and sustainable fashions created from recycled wine packaging at DeLoach Vineyards; and docent led tours of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, Sonoma's richest wildlife preserve, starting from Dutton-Goldfield and Balletto Vineyards' joint tasting Green Valley room. Get the scoop here .

Wine Country Wackness (In a Good Way)

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juddhill.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

I've always admired second-generation Napa vintner Judd Finkelstein's penchant for marching to his own beat.  Whether playing the ukulele in his wine country band, The Maikai Gents Featuring The Mysterious Miss Mauna Loa , or producing award-winning Cabs at his family's Judd's Hill winery, Finkelstein doesn't do things the typical wine country way.  And so when I bumped into his wife, Holly, several weeks ago at Premiere Napa Valley at the CIA Greystone in St. Helena, I was thrilled to hear that Judd has undertaken a refreshingly "out there" new adventure: an online wine show featuring his family's winery and his very own brand of quirky humor.

Opening Silver Oak

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silveroak.jpgBy Robert Farmer

Sitting as it was without bothering anybody in my wine cellar, the bottle of 1999 Silver Oak had been resisted long enough. So on Christmas last year, I decided the time was right to open 'er up. Frankly, I have not been the rabid advocate for Silver Oak as are many folks among the legion of fans the winery can proudly claim. I've been impressed, but also under whelmed by some vintages. And while I know the oak notes are the wines' signature, my experience has occasionally been akin to running headlong into an oak barrel.

New Year's Eve Party at Chandon!

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chandonNewYears.jpgRing in the New Year at Chandon! 

Join Chandon for a Roaring 20s party on New Year's Eve. Enjoy a decadent six-course tasting menu paired with Chandon wines. Then, dance the night away to live music with  Soul Project. It will be a party to remember for ages. Don't delay, tickets are selling fast. Buy Online toay!

More Details:

  • December 31, 2008
  • Dinner & Party Tickets: $225 (plus tax & gratuity)
  • Party Tickets Only: $75
  • Formal Portraits Included
  • 1920s Cocktail Attire (Black Tie Optional)

Call 888.242.6366 for more information and to make your reservation or visit Chandon.com for party tickets only!

CLICK HERE for more Details.

Happy New Year!

Cameron Hughes Wine

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lotserieswine.jpgSelling Lots for a Little
by Robert Farmer

Sometimes it's about the craft and sometimes it's about craftiness. For Cameron Hughes, making and selling wines has been about ample doses of both. Most people who peruse the wine aisles at Costco know the company. And it is his relationship with the big-box bulk retailer that really put Cameron Hughes and his eponymous wine company on the map.

Wine, Meet Nightlife: SF Wine Week (Nov. 10th-15th)

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sfwineweek.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

In a city that's practically synonymous with fine food and wine, it seems only fitting that San Francisco should play host to a highly anticipated series of November wine events known collectively as SF Wine Week. And with a bevy of chic nightlife venues lined up and a who's-who of winery and industry sponsors clamoring to get behind it, the unprecedented week-long celebration of wine in the city seems primed to catapult San Francisco to still greater heights of vinous renown.
kunde_dog-hike.jpg

Press Release: Kenwood, CA, --Following a sold out event in May, Kunde Estate has scheduled a second dog-friendly hike on Saturday, October 18th, 2008. The hike offers a chance for animal lovers to enjoy wine country with their dogs while raising funds for Canine Companions and the Humane Society & SPCA of Sonoma County (HSSC). Both non-profit organizations provide vital services to people and animals in the region.

October's Dog-Friendly Hike consists of a three mile trek through the Kunde family's 1,850 acre estate, led by fourth generation winegrower Jeff Kunde. The hike is $45 per person and dog and concludes with a wine country gourmet picnic and wine tasting, with treats and a "water tasting" for dogs.

Beer Steps Aside for Colorado Wine

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boulderfwfest.jpgBy Robert Farmer

Boulder, Colorado: If you're like me, the beverage you equate most with the Rockies is beer - one particular type of beer, more likely. For as long as anyone can remember, the taste of the Rocky Mountains was a hops-and-barley taste. Beer in Colorado is king. That is, until now.


Like each of its 49 neighbor states, Colorado, too, has an emerging wine industry. And now that industry is starting to inch into the territory of its dominant sister beverage. While it will certainly be some time before beer is replaced on the throne, wine in Colorado is proving to be a worthy prince.

Go Go Camp Mendo

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glasshand.jpgBy Robert Farmer

Those familiar with this space know that I am a fan of "immersion learning." Especially when it comes to wine appreciation, there's no better way to "go deep" into it than to live it for a few solid days. Wine camps are a great way to do it. And increasingly, regions are offering innovative, educational, and above all fun, opportunities to experience wine like you never have.

Mendocino gets into the act with Wine Camp 2008, a three-day, three-night immersion into Northern California wine and all of its various nuances and tendencies. I like this Wine Camp because it takes place in one of California's lesser-known regions and provides "insider info" to the intrepid camp-goer about one of Northern California's under-discovered gems. And, with each camp limited to just eight campers, it promises to be an intimate excursion, with ample opportunity to get one-on-one contact with winemakers and other participants.
ccwithchanel.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

It's tough for a gal not to get all gushy about Chanel, and for this gal, an auction item including some Chanel, a private jet to Paris and accommodations at the über luxe Hotel Plaza Athénée is about as good as it gets.  Add to all this fabulousness a vertical of double magnums from one of Napa's most sought-after new wines and special perks in Par-ee (think fashion show tix and a tour of Coco Chanel's private apartments), and you've got the stuff of wine-loving fashionista fantasy. 

Auction Napa Valley Report: Lights, Camera, Oprah!

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EV_NapaAuction060908_200.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Known variously as The American Wine Classic and "the granddaddy of all wine auctions," Auction Napa Valley 2008 went down on June 9th at the lavish Meadowood resort, though the vibe was decidedly more subdued than in previous years.  Whether you blame the scaled back fanfare on the tough economic climate, the heat (though it's typically scorching in Napa every year around Auction time) or the recent passing of Napa scion Robert Mondavi, the auction was without a doubt more mellow than usual.  

Solar Wineries Celebrate Solstice with First Annual Solarbration

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solarbration.jpgNapa Valley, CA - This summer solstice, wineries at the heart of the solar power trend in Wine Country will celebrate the day of the year when the sun shines the longest with the first annual Solarbration.

On June 21, from 5:30 p.m. until sunset, ZD Wines, Honig Vineyard & Winery, and Peju Province Winery will host a solstice celebration, with special wine tastings, sustainably grown gourmet cuisine, and live entertainment at each of their facilities. Guests are invited on a behind-the-scenes tour of the solar energy systems that power the wineries. Ticket price includes entry to all three wineries. All proceeds will be donated to The Land Trust of Napa County. Land Trust personnel will be at the wineries to answer questions about their land-saving work.

Get Ready to Rock at Roshambo Winery

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By Courtney Cochran

Rock, paper, scissors, that is.  Playfully dubbed by its hosts "Wine Country's Sporting Event of the Year," Roshambo Winery's (roshambowinery.com) raucous annual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament will take place this year on June 7 at the winery's hip new tasting room at Sonoma's Cornerstone Place (www.cornerstoneplace.com).

East Bay Wineries Create Urban Tasting Experience

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By Robert P. Farmereastbayvintners.jpg

Most people rightly associate Wine Country - no matter which region you're talking about -- with the country. It's hard not to think about with Wine Country experience and not think about the bucolic countryside. It's the most common setting when one thinks about wineries and vineyards. But there is a growing trend in cities around the nation that is shaking that perception by its rootstock. The Urban Winery Phenomenon has recently been making more noise in the wine industry than a traffic jam in the heart of Market Street. And not only is it changing the way people taste wine, it's changing the entire concept of what constitutes a winery.

There's just something about Pinot Noir that inspires near fanaticism in both winemakers and wine drinkers. Some say it's the inherent difficulty of growing the grapes that makes the reward all the sweeter. Others insist that, unlike other grapes, Pinot Noir holds the imprint of the grower and winemaker like no other varietal. Whatever the case, hordes of Pinot lovers will converge in Oregon's Willamette Valley this July to celebrate their passion for this amazing grape.

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