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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.
With the unveiling of a beautiful new winery and tasting room this past summer, Round Pond Estate took another step in establishing itself as one of Napa Valley's great young wineries. Guided by the dynamic brother and sister team of Miles and Ryan MacDonnell, Round Pond is a small, family-owned and operated winery located in the heart of the Rutherford winegrowing region. And though the MacDonnell siblings only released their inaugural 2002 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon a few years back, they are far from being the new kids on the block. In fact, Miles and Ryan grew up playing amongst the very same vine rows, where they grow the grapes for their sought-after wines.
Mario Andretti's love of cars began at an early age in his native Italy, when he saw the great Alberto Ascari race at Monza. Influenced by this legendary driver, Andretti began his own racing career in 1959 - at the age of 19 - in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, four years after he and his family immigrated to the United States and discovered a dirt track, virtually in their back yard.
Note: Mario Andretti is widely acknowledged as the world's best race car driver. Modest and charming, he has a world-class palate for wine and food. Since its inception in 1996, the Andretti Winery has earned a reputation for producing excellent super premium wines. We spoke to Mario about the wine business, which has become a second career to him.
Winemaking is the secret passion of almost anyone who has ever visited any winery or wine region. Drive down the quiet back roads surrounded by acres of vines ripe with grapes and lulled by the silence of nature and all you want to do is somehow find a way to make wine. Kevin and Jill Mittan, owner/winemakers at the Midlife Crisis Winery, admit that the romance of wine and wine country first brought them to winemaking. Jill laughingly recalls, "Friends set up a wine tasting weekend to try a little match making for us. It worked -better than they ever expected - we were married shortly after that - and our passion for everything wine that led to Midlife Crisis also began that day."
Shortly after their marriage, the couple purchased land in Paso Robles with the goal of starting a vineyard, selling grapes for a few years then starting to make wine - an idea shared by many in the mid to late 1990's.
Under Michael Colhoun's guidance, Landmark Vineyards has catapulted from a little-known winery to world-class prominence. Michael's achievements were best summed up in a recent article by James Laube in the Wine Spectator, "Since 1993, Landmark's Chardonnays have been among the most exciting wines made in California, combining uniformly high quality with excellent value."
Prior to 1993, Michael was Executive Vice President of a commercial real estate brokerage and development company in the New York metropolitan area. All of that changed when his mother, Damaris Deere Ford, the great, great granddaughter of John Deere and the Founder of Landmark, needed someone with marketing, sales and operational skills to run the winery.