West Of West Wine Festival Giveaway!

Vinted on July 15, 2011 binned in giveaways, wine industry events

The 2011 West of West Wine Festival is almost around the corner – held in Occidental, CA, the festival will showcase cool-climate (well, cool-climate for CA, that is!) Pinots, Syrahs and Chardonnays; limited production wines from wineries that are not usually open to the public. These are West Sonoma Coast producers who are making vino that is not easy to get your grubby wine-lovin’ hands on – unless you’re selected as the winner of our latest giveaway, that is.

I’ve got one ticket to the the West of West Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting on Saturday, August 6th from 3:00-6:00 pm in Occidental, CA – a $125 value, which we’re giving away to one lucky randomly-selected commenter! The giveaway also includes free access to the Barrel Tastings & Open Houses on Sunday, August 7th (details to be provided in the Grand Tasting).

The skinny: YOU leave a comment on this post, letting us know your fave Sonoma wine recommendation (in keeping with the theme, Coastal recommendations are preferable but let’s keep it open to all of Sonoma). At 8PM ET on Wednesday, July 20 I will randomly select a winner from the commenters, who will be notified via e-mail.  Easier than suckin’ down a chilled Sonoma Coast Chard on a hot Summer night. So get crackin’, peeps!

The fine-print: This ticket admits one person to the above-described Grand Tasting event on August 6th and includes free access to the event’s Barrel Tastings & Open Houses on August 7th. No travel, meals, accommodations, “escorts,” hovercraft (though that would be awesome, wouldn’t it?), monkeys (also awesome) or anything else provided.

Looking forward to reading about your faves!

Cheers – and good luck!!

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Signs Of Life: What It Takes To Make Wines Of True Character (With Matt Powell of Draconis)

Vinted on July 14, 2011 binned in interviews, overachiever wines, sexy wines, winemaking

What Is The Job Of The Winemaker Today?

Simple question, right?  “Duh! To make wine!” you might be answering to yourself.  What could be more simple than that?

But real wine lovers, and real winemakers, know better; they know that almost no other query could be more complicated, opinionated, difficult, thought-provoking, or (hopefully!)invigorating to answer.

Which is exactly what drove me to ask it.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after visiting hundreds of winemaking outfits of all sizes all over the world, it’s that no two winemakers ply their craft in exactly the same way, or with exactly the same ends in mind, or exactly the same attitudes.  But one thing in that world is consistent: the majority of those same people invariably have passionate stances on both the How and the What of their jobs as winemakers.  Theirs are the kinds of viewpoints that make for fascinating reading – and even more fascinating discussion and debate.

I wanted a techy interview, but one with passion, soul, and life . – in the hopes that it would fascinate, entertain, educate and maybe even get your wine blood boiling. To that end, I’ve staked the decks significantly in favor of passionate discussion by posing it to Matt Powell, the force behind Lodi’s Draconis Vineyards. Matt’s wines are focused and powerful – just like his viewpoints. He’s active on social media, is a big fan of comics, and takes his wine very, very seriously; case in point – visitors to the Draconis Vineyards at one point were greeted with the following message:

“I have no lists, clubs, or membership bullshit.”

Matt’s take on the job of the winemaker today? It’s just as straightforward, opinionated, and fascinating as you’d expect form the person who authored that welcome message, and who told me this about a recent vintage: “I tossed the entire 2009’s; weren’t good enough.”  A review of one my faves of Matt’s wines follows our interview. Enjoy!…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Talkin’ ‘Bout Their Wine G-G-G-Generation (Millennials And Wine At WBC11)

Vinted on July 13, 2011 binned in going pro, wine bloggers conference, wine industry events

Those of you planning on attending the upcoming 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, VA will have your choice of interesting break-out session panels during the afternoon of July 22nd. I’ll be moderating one of them, titled Millennials and Wine.

Millennials are Democratic (by a slight majority), thoroughly on-line and plugged daily into social networking tools, and (by a huge majority) sleep with their cellphones (really?) .  They are young enough that they might not get the reference mentioned in the title of today’s post.  They are fast becoming the wine consumers of the modern era, drinking a lot of the stuff (even in the shower… not sure I get that one entirely), especially if it has bubbles.

And there are nearly 25 million more of them than there are Gen Xers.

With a potential market that big,  if you’re even thinking about wine writing, wine blogging, wine sales, wine marketing, or wine making, you’d better start to understand what makes Millennials tick when it comes to wine.

And you’d better do it quickly

Read the rest of this stuff »

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