Wine

Taste the Roads Less Traveled in California’s Wine Country this Summer

California is home to dozens of distinct wine regions, including some of the world’s most famous destinations. But hidden among even the high-profile appellations are the wine roads less traveled, featuring stunning rural scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors. To help wine lovers discover new wine roads and wineries this summer, Wine Institute’s California Wine Country Back Roads series highlights off-the-beaten-path wine roads and regions. The five-part series begins with the back roads of California’s North Coast.

SONOMA COUNTY

Home to nearly 500 wineries, plus green valleys, rolling hills, regal redwoods and 55 miles of spectacular coastline, Sonoma County is one of the most well-known wine regions in California. Even so, there’s always something new to explore along Sonoma’s rural roads.

TASTE: The region is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon, but Sonoma’s diversity of climate and soils allows vintners to grow dozens of other varieties as well. You’ll find a more relaxed pace in the Alexander Valley where winding country roads lead to some of the county’s most delicious Cabernet Sauvignon wines, known for their elegant style. As one of Sonoma’s larger appellations in terms of vineyard acres, Alexander Valley’s back roads include more than two dozen wineries. Hidden treasures can also be found in the nearby Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.

TOUR: On June 22-23, Experience Alexander Valley invites small groups of 20 or less to experience everything from blending seminars with winemakers to ravioli-making workshops to bocce in the vineyards. Also on June 8 – July 14 is the Art of Wine with a Vintage Palette at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts, featuring 60 artists celebrating the wine country culture of the North Bay. The free opening reception is June 8.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Sonoma Tourism.

NAPA VALLEY

A small region with a deservedly large reputation, the Napa Valley is known the world over for its acclaimed wines—primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and other Bordeaux varieties—and a thriving culinary scene that includes Michelin star restaurants, delicious food truck fare and every level of cuisine in between.

TASTE: Bordered by two mountain ranges—the Vaca on the east and the Mayacamas on the west—the Napa Valley is rich with less-traveled mountain roads that invite visitors to meander and discover. Spring Mountain Road, just a few minutes off busy highway 29, is a rural respite of family owned and operated wineries, along with 1,000 acres of gorgeous hillside vineyards. Likewise, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, Howell Mountain and Diamond Mountainreward travelers with mountain vistas and limited-production wines. (Due to their remote locations, some wineries require advance appointments.)

TOUR: Festival Napa Valley is in July, featuring performers SEAL, Patti Lupone, jazz artists the Yellow Jackets, and a full slate of the finest concerts, operas, and fabulous winery parties. Free outdoor concerts will be at the St. Helena Concert Series, held on alternating Thursdays, June-August, in Lyman Park. Wind down the summer season at the Calistoga Harvest Table on Sept. 8, where local restaurants and 40-plus wineries team up to produce an epic feast laid out on 1,000 feet of tables in the center of Calistoga’s picturesque downtown.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Visit Napa Valley.

MENDOCINO COUNTY

Fifty miles north of Healdsburg lies ruggedly beautiful Mendocino County, home to towering redwoods and a foggy coast. More than 90 percent of the land is wild and undeveloped, and the region is known for its small-town vibe and relaxed hospitality.

TASTE: Drive along Highway 128 in the Anderson Valley and find more than two dozen small wineries producing everything from crisp sparkling wines to gorgeous cool-climate Pinot Noir to aromatic whites. The region’s producers are proudly “green,” with a high percentage of wineries using sustainable, organic or Biodynamic methods.

TOUR: Celebrate Father’s Day weekend June 15-16 with A Taste of Redwood Valley, a chance to sample library wines, small-production lots and even spirits. Anderson Valley wineries host their Barrel Tasting Weekend July 20-21, featuring previews of new wines and tastes of current releases.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Visit Mendocino.

LAKE COUNTY

Bordering Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, Lake County was named for the region’s many picturesque lakes. Vineyards are planted throughout the county, from the agriculturally rich valley at 1,370 feet elevation to the rocky red soil around Mt. Konocti—a dormant volcano—at elevations above 2,000 feet.

TASTE: Home to more than 30 wineries, Lake County is known for its high-elevation Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc wines. Mini-tours around Clear Lake include Upper Lake and Lakeport, Nice and Clearlake Oaks, Lower Lake, Middletown, and the volcanic slopes of the Red Hills American Viticultural Area.

TOUR: On June 16, the Lake County Beer, Wine & Swine Baconfest brings together dad-friendly favorites for Father’s Day. Red, White, & Blues celebrates the best of Lake County wines on July 6 at Langtry Estate Vineyards in Middletown.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Lake County Wineries.
For all of the wine regions included in this series, use the discovercaliforniawines.com interactive map to search wineries by amenities such as tours, gardens and picnic areas, and view winery events around the state.

Mullin Automotive Museum Founder Introduces Mullin Estate Wines

The new venture has launched with three red varieties each produced in the Italian region of Umbria and inspired by a bespoke French vehicle from the Mullin Automotive Museum collection

Mullin Automotive Museum Founder and CEO Peter Mullin has today introduced his latest business venture, Mullin Estate Wines. The new company has launched with three red wines each inspired by a bespoke French automobile in the museum collection including the 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet, the 1937 Talbot-Lago Type 150-C-S “Teardrop” and the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic.

The year 2016 marked the very first high-quality production for Mullin Estate Wines. His Doglio vineyard is close to the medieval hilltop town of Todi in Umbria, known as the green heart of Italy. The ancient viticulture tradition here traces back to the Etruscans who began growing grapes thousands of years ago. Made by third-generation winemaker Paolo Trappolini, the wines are bottled, labeled and packaged in the local cantina for shipment predominantly to the USA and the United Kingdom.

“Mullin Estate Wines combines my two passions: the art of the automobile and the art of winegrowing,” said Mullin Automotive Museum Founder and CEO Peter Mullin. “I’m thrilled to introduce these fine wines to the world so that car enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs alike can appreciate the inspiration behind each bottle.”

2016 Rosso Umbria IGT

The youngest and most versatile of the family, the “little” Rosso Umbria is inspired by the 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet—Mrs. Mullin’s personal choice. Best paired with simply-prepared red meat, pasta with ragout and roasted poultry, this red blend is full bodied with an intense flavor and smooth tannins.

2016 Syrah Umbria IGT

Like the 1937 Talbot-Lago Type 150-C-S “Teardrop,” the Syrah Umbria is elegant, serious and powerful. Delicious with braised red meat, steaks and seasonal cheeses, this wine has a round and silky flavor composition with equally round and rich tannins.

2016 Sangiovese Umbria IGT

Made with the best selection of grapes in limited quantities, Sangiovese is the leading indigenous grape of both Tuscany and Umbria. It is the crown jewel of the collection, much like its 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic counterpart. With deep, warm flavors of plum, spices, dark chocolate and tobacco, this wine has good minerality and a very long-lasting taste.

A white wine will be launched in the summer of 2019. For exclusive updates, please join the Mullin Estate Wines mailing list. For more information about Mullin Estate Wines, please visit www.MullinEstateWines.it.

Maritime Wine Trading Collective Celebrates 10 Years

Fine Wine Importer Maritime Wine Trading Collective Celebrates 10 Years

Embarks on a National Tour (May 13th – 31st)

Chris Nickolopoulos founded Maritime Wine Trading Collective in 2009 along with great friends from Graham Beck of South Africa and Jules Taylor Wines from New Zealand. With their help, as well as many others, Maritime’s business has grown from a small handful of family-owned wine producers to a national portfolio marketed in the US, as well as internationally.

Pictured: Maritime founder, Chris Nickolopoulos, r, and co-founder Elijah Pfister

With an eye toward greater market relevance beyond imports, Chris and his co-founder, Elijah Pfister released their first négociant wine from the Russian River Valley in 2010.  What followed was a string of successful bottlings and releases, which ultimately resulted in the acquisition of Nine North Wine Company based in Napa. In 2013 Maritime established distribution operations in California.  And then opened the doors to the tasting room, Maritime Wine Tasting Studio, in 2015.

Asked for his thoughts on the 10-year milestone, Chris du Toit, President of Graham Beck states, “Our relationship with founder and managing partner at Maritime, Chris Nickolopoulos, which goes back more than 12 years has been enormously rewarding. We are thankful for his personal dedication and wish him and the Maritime team a happy anniversary, and much success going forward.”

Jules Taylor and husband, George Elworthy, of Jules Taylor Wines echo the sentiment, “We look back with pride that we have grown together to arrive at this point via combined effort, acumen and Maritime’s thoughtfully-curated portfolio. All of us at Jules Taylor Wines are excited to see what the next decade of this collaboration and friendship will bring.”

In reflecting on the past ten years with Maritime and 25 years in the industry, Chris observes, “It can be fairly stated that almost everyone in this crazy trade has great wine to sell, but at the end of the day it’s the people who make all the difference, and I am grateful for the longstanding relationships and true friendships that we’ve made over the years. I thank all of our producers and the team at Maritime for a great first decade and hope people come to see us during our celebratory tour: great wines will be tasted, and new friends will be made.”

This month, Chris and Elijah kick off a four-city tour, to showcase their Nine North portfolio.  Along with them will be Pieter Ferreira, Pierre de Klerk, and Edwin Olivieri of Graham Beck Wines; Jules Taylor of Jules Taylor Wines and George Elworthy of The Better Half.

May 13th – 17th New York and New Jersey.

May 20th – 24th Chicago.

May 28th – 29th Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston.

May 30th – 31st Austin and San Antonio.

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About Maritime Wine Trading Collective

Founded in 2009, Maritime Wine Trading Collective (maritimewine.com) is a national importer, California distributor, and producer of wines bottled under the Nine North Wine Company moniker which includes popular brands such as Hullabaloo, Chasing Lions, Dirty Pure, Lan-Yap, Ministry of the Vinterior, Parcel 41, Rock & Vine, Seven Sinners, Ten Mile and Twenty Bench. All of these wines are showcased at their consumer tasting room; Maritime Wine Tasting Studio, 222 Columbus Ave, San Francisco. (Maritimetasting.com).

Maritime is a Bacchus Capital Management portfolio company.

About Bacchus Capital Management

Bacchus Capital Management is an investment firm providing strategic capital, making equity investments in United States wineries and wine businesses. Current Bacchus portfolio companies are DeLille Cellars, Madrigal Family Winery, Maritime Wine Trading Collective, Panther Creek Cellars, Sbragia Family Vineyards, Dobbes Family Estate / Wine by Joe. Prior Bacchus portfolio companies are Andretti Winery, Cameron Hughes Wine, and Qupé. For more information, visit www.bacchuswinefund.com

About Graham Beck

Graham Beck was founded in 1983 and the family-owned winery has become one of South Africa’s leading and best-loved cellars as well as an internationally recognized sparkling wine producer. The Graham Beck Cap Classique collection of wines include Non-Vintage Brut, Brut Rosé and Bliss Demi Sec; Vintage: Blanc de Blancs, Brut Zero and Brut Rosé, and the iconic Cuvée Clive.

About Jules Taylor Wines

Jules Taylor Wines emerged in 2001 as a little moonlighting project making a mere 400 cases. Five harvests, two children and many awards later, the project had grown some serious legs. Still family-owned and operated by Jules and her husband George, Jules Taylor Wines is firmly rooted in Marlborough.

About The Better Half

When George Elworthy decided to dust off his winemaking hat to create a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from Marlborough, a friendly rivalry arose. His wife, Jules Taylor, is also a winemaker with her own well-established brand and so The Better Half seemed like the perfect tongue in cheek moniker to attach to his new project.

About Nine North Wine Company

As circumspect négociants, Nine North Wine Company proprietors, Chris Nickolopoulos and Elijah Pfister, have exclusive access to wines from top-notch California wineries and vineyard plots. They blend and finish various lots that they feel overdeliver for the price point and are geared toward every day enjoyment.  Nine North includes such brands as Twenty Bench, Rock & Vine, Chasing Lions and Lan-Yap Rosé.

8th Edition of THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE

Mitchell Beazley announces the 8th Edition of THE WORLD ATLAS OF WINE from world-renowned wine writers and bestselling authors Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson

Mitchell Beazley (an imprint of the Octopus Publishing Group) is delighted to announce the publication of the eagerly awaited eighth edition of the World Atlas of Wine, a major new edition of the landmark wine book that has now sold over 4.7 million copies worldwide.

Since the publication of the first edition in 1971, The World Atlas of Wine has been widely recognized as the essential and most authoritative wine reference work available. This eighth edition will bring readers, both old and new, up to date with the world of wine.

For  a short video by Hugh and Jancis explaining updates to the new edition click here.

To reflect all the changes in the global wine scene over the past six years, the Atlas has grown in size to 416 pages and 22 new maps have been added to the wealth of superb cartography in the book, along with beautiful photography throughout. The text has been given a complete overhaul to address the topics of most vital interest to today’s wine-growers and drinkers.

Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson have once again joined forces to create a classic that no wine lover can afford to be without. They will be Stateside (Washington DC, NYC, SF) in October/November to celebrate the publication.

Hugh Johnson is the world’s pre-eminent writer on wine. First published in 1977, his Pocket Wine Book sells hundreds of thousands of copies a year. His winning formula of insight, critical appraisal of the world of wine, plus valuable vintage news and wine recommendations has been often-imitated but never bettered. With the publication of his first book, Wine, Johnson established himself at the age of twenty-seven as the most refreshing and authoritative voice on the subject. During the past five decades he has written books that have become landmarks on the subject, including his classic The World Atlas of Wine, co-authored with Jancis Robinson, his Wine Companion, first published in 2003, The Story of Wine and Hugh Johnson on Wine.

Jancis Robinson is described by Decanter magazine as “the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world”. Jancis writes daily for her website, jancisrobinson.com (awarded the first ever Wine Website of the Year accolade in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards 2010), weekly for the Financial Times, and bimonthly for a column that is syndicated around the world. But many know her best for her hugely admired reference books; in addition to co-authoring The World Atlas of Wine, she is editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine and co-author of Wine Grapes. Jancis was the first person outside the wine trade to qualify as a Master of Wine, in 1984. She was awarded an OBE in 2003 by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises.

Jancis and Hugh commented, “This update must be the most substantial ever since a) the wine world is changing (and expanding) so much and b) it has dominated our lives since January 2018 and it’s not over yet.”

The World Atlas of Wine 8th Edition will be published by Mitchell Beazley in October 2019 at $65, Hardcover

Law Banning Shipment of French Wines

Delaware Contemplates Law Banning Shipment of French Wines

National Association of Wine Retailers Ask For A Fair and Consumer Friendly Wine Shipping Law

The following statement was issued by National Association of Wine Retailers’ Executive Director Tom Wark on the attempt in Delaware to pass a wine shipping law that would ban shipment of all French, Italian, Spanish and other imported wines sold by retailers, while allowing only shipments from American wineries.

“Once again the Delaware legislature is attempting to pass a law that allows Delawareans to receive wine shipments from out of state wineries, while making it illegal for residents to receive shipments of all French, Italian, Spanish or any other wine sold by an out-of-state wine retailer. It’s a nonsensical ban on the shipment of any imported wine, any wines from “wine of the month” clubs, of most Kosher wines and the rare and collectible wines by out-of-state wine auction houses.

Senate Bill 49, sponsored by Senator Dave Sokola (R), is a good idea, but poorly executed. As with past attempts to give Delawareans access to wines now hard to find in the state, SB 49 allows consumer wine shipments from out-of-state—but only from out-of-state wineries.

“But what of the hundreds of thousands of imported wines only sold in the U.S. by wine stores and wine retailers. Why should these be off limits? Why should Delaware residents be labeled criminals if they ship in a French wine from an out-of-state wine store, but not if they have an Oregon Pinot Noir shipped to them from a winery? The distinction is without merit.

“Delaware wine consumers and commonsense demand better from their lawmakers and those pushing the ban on shipment of imported wines. Delaware consumers should have access to the thousands of French, Italian, German, Spanish and other imported wines that are only sold in the U.S. by wine retailers.

“This looming attempt to criminalize Delaware wine lovers who prefer French, German, New Zealand, Argentine, Italian or the coveted Bordeaux and Burgundy wines that are in short supply can easily be fixed by members of the Senate Banking, Business and Insurance committee who will conduct a hearing on SB 49 on April 10. The bill merely needs to be amended to allow wine shipments from out-of-state retailers in addition to out-of-state wineries.

“Delaware residents may receive out-of-state shipments of food, but there is no ban on Spanish ham shipments. They may receive shipments of shoes, but there is no ban on Italian loafers. They may receive shipments of books, but there is no ban on French novels. Why is Delaware contemplating a ban on the shipment of imported wines from retailers?

“If Delaware is finally going to drag its wine laws out of the 20th century by allowing consumers to receive shipments from out-of-state, they shouldn’t do so by also implementing a ban on certain wines just because they are sold by retailers and not wineries The Delaware legislature, starting with the Senate Banking, Business and Insurance Committee, ought to pass a clean, inclusive, fair and consumer-friendly wine shipping bill.”

 

About The National Association of Wine Retailers

The National Association of Wine Retailers represents the interests of wine stores and retailers, wine-of-the-month clubs, and wine auction houses located across the country. Together, with support from wine consumers, the Association seeks a fair and modern wine marketplace. For more information: www.nawr.org.

 

Wine & Spirits Business MBA

The Wine & Spirits Business MBA Program Visits New York

From April 29 to May 3, the first cohort of this exceptional program will take a long-distance field trip to New York City to meet top industry professionals so they may better understand the important and ever-evolving US wine and spirits market.

During the week of April 29 to May 3, 2019, the first cohort of the Burgundy School of Business MBA in Wine & Spirits Business Program will take a field trip to New York City, where they will meet key trade professionals in this significant market in the wine and spirits world. Our objective: to give the students of this cohort the most comprehensive view possible of this market, how it best works, the challenges and opportunities of this market, and how to generalize that to the rest of the world wine and spirits business.

At the heart of international wine and spirits markets

Last month, program students went on their “London Wine Exporting, Distribution & Production” field trip. The “New York Distribution, Marketing & Communication” field trip promises to eclipse it as a program highlight of the MBA year!

“New York is the heart of the number one wine consumer market in the world,” said Jacques Thébault, Program Director. Spending a week there, meeting with the most influential professionals in the sector – importers, wholesalers, retailers, buyers, brand owners, PR and marketing agencies, and more – provides incredibly important experience to our students, giving them a historical, practical, broad and in-depth view into the issues, challenges and opportunities which surround the business there.”

The evolving and varied agenda of visits and meetings

Among the outstanding meetings already set up for the week:

  • The New York Wine and Grape Foundation
  • Macari Wines
  • Moët Hennessy
  • Pernod Ricard
  • R/West (Integrated Communications Agency)
  • Wilson Daniels (Wine Importer/Distributor)

Meet members of our dynamic and already accomplished first cohort…

The first cohort of the MBA in Wine & Spirits Business program is made up of 17 students, hailing from nine nations (China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Peru, Russia, US and Vietnam). Among them, you’ll meet:

Miranda McCage (US): A graduate from Indiana University with a BA in Journalism & Art History, her first career was business consulting, followed by time in the digital transformation field within an agency, and then with IBM iX.

Jacylyn Stokes (US): A graduate from University of Washington with a BA in International Studies, she worked in the banking industry, followed by being a global account coordinator for an international logistics company; her family is in the viticulture business in California.

Icy Liu (US): Studied at Columbia Business School and New York University, earning an MS degree. Initially she worked in Finance, and then moved to the wine business (retail and importing).

Bruno Ferrari (Peru): Originally in capital markets (advising high net worth clients), he moved to beverages (Red Bull), then to the spirits industry (spirits & cocktail manager, brand ambassador), before creating his own spirits and cocktails educating company.

Kevin Pengliang (China): Self-taught and self-made, he worked in the banking industry as an analyst before creating a wine education company; he has since become a major wine e-commerce player in China, first as Purchasing Manager, then Senior Buyer. Kevin displays an impressive depth of wine knowledge from around the world.

Dmitri Khlopin (Russia): With an engineering background from the top French engineering school, as well as a PhD in Optical Science, he initially considered a career in academia but then decided to go into the wine industry so he could develop a few entrepreneurial projects he had in mind.

About the School of Wine & Spirits Business (SWSB)

Created in 2013, the SWSB groups together a Burgundy School of Business degree with research activities in wine and spirits management. The institution is an international leader in its field, with its roots in the region of Burgundy with its Climats and Terroirs listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. More than 180 students of some 20 nationalities across all five continents are trained every year in one of the SWSB’s degree programs: Specialized Master in International Wine and Spirits Trade (taught in French), MBA in Wine & Spirits Business, the MSc Wine Management, and the Wine Tourism specialization in the Bachelor of Marketing & Business, all taught in English. The SWSB has its own facilities including the Wine & Spirits Business Lab, Tasting Room, Cellar, etc., and boasts an expert faculty. The School is part of BSB’s international professional network with more than 16,000 alumni, 2,000 of whom are in the sector of wines and spirits.

Kosher Wine Releases

PASSOVER 2019: PERFECT TIMING FOR EXCITING NEW WINE RELEASES

WINE EXPERT GABRIEL GELLER SHARES HIS TOP PICKS FOR PASSOVER SEDERS AND FESTIVE MEALS

  • Kosher for Passover Spirits
  • What Makes Wine Kosher
  • Royal Wine Celebrates 70th Anniversary
  • Kosher Wine Generates Upwards of $10 Million in Sales

According to Royal Wine’s Gabe Geller, some outstanding new 2018 rosé wines were released in time for Passover 2019, and the new vintage is promising. “I enjoy starting the Seder with a glass of cold, fresh rosé, so the timing is perfect.”

Wine is essential to Passover, when Jewish people around the world gather with family and friends to recount the story of the Exodus from Egypt and share a festive meal. It is customary for all (adults) to drink four cups of wine at the Seder. That’s a lot of wine for one meal!

This year Passover begins on the night of April 19, which is somewhat later than usual.  But it’s great news for wine lovers, according to Royal Wine’s PR Director, Gabriel Geller. In the runup to Passover 2019, Geller recommends new bottlings to explore for the “Feast of Freedom” – the commemoration of the redemption of the Jewish people, some 3,500 years ago, from centuries of slavery in Egypt. His suggestions pair exceptionally well at the Seder table or any other special occasion, and run the gamut of varieties and price points.

Promising Rosés

According to Geller, some outstanding new 2018 rosé wines were released in time for Passover 2019, and the new vintage is promising. “I enjoy starting the Seder with a glass of cold, fresh rosé, so the timing is perfect.”

Smooth and easy to drink, rosés are best consumed young and fresh. He cites the Herzog Lineage Rosé from Clarksburg, CA (SRP $19.99) as a delicious, fruity, and herbal complement to light starters. Other good bets include Gush Etzion and Flam (SRP $24.99 and 34.99 respectively). These wineries, both located in Israel’s Judean Hills, were among the first out of the gate with their new rosés this year.

Complex Reds

“As soon as the main course is served,” Geller said, “I will typically move on to a more multi-layered wine such as the Carmel Limited Edition 2014 (SRP $79.99), a Bordeaux-style blend from Israel.” Also of note is Domaines Rollan de By, owned by Jean Guyon. The extravagant designer just released the first-ever new kosher run from his estates: Chateau de By Medoc 2016 (SRP $27.99). “Well-balanced and medium-bodied, this Bordeaux from an exceptional vintage is silky in the mouth and pairs well with many types of dishes,” claims Geller. “It would be a good choice for the Passover Seder.”

Lineage Choreograph a field blend of more than a dozen different grapes comes from an experimental plot on the Herzog estate vineyard — the wine is soft and inviting while at the same time complex and flavorful, and very reasonably priced (SRP$20.00)

Herzog Wine Cellars also recently released Herzog Special Reserve Quartet 2015, a blend of varieties grown in prime regions of California. The wine, as its name indicates, comprises 4 grape varieties: Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Full-bodied, rich, complex, and spicy, it impresses with its remarkable balance, while showcasing the unique characteristics of each variety (SPR:  $39.99).

Geller also noted that Italian wines have been gaining in popularity among kosher consumers. Wine Spectator recently awarded the Terra di Seta Chianti Classico Riserva (SRP $34.99) an impressive 93 points. Now that the 2013 has made its way to the shelves, Geller predicted that this superior vintage will outperform its predecessor.

Sweet Endings

A long meal such as the Passover Seder also requires some fine dessert wine to end the night on a sweet note. Chateau Guiraud, which was absent from the kosher scene since 2001, recently made a comeback with two new wines available for the first time in a kosher version.

G de Guiraud 2017 (SRP $39.99) is a satisfying, dry blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, while the chateau’s second Sauternes, Petit Guiraud 2017, is a luscious, wonderful dessert wine (SRP $74.99). Herzog Late harvest Orange Muscat 2018 – don’t be fooled by this wine’s orange tinge and floral near orange aromas.  Its 100% Orange Muscat Grape has great lively acidity and sweetness, all rolled into this floral, long-lasting luscious wine (MSRP $22.99).

New Kosher for Passover Spirits:

  • Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Anejo

Sotol is from the northern state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Sotol is not made out of Blue Agave like tequila, but Dasylirion wheeleri, otherwise known as Desert Spoon, or Sotol in Spanish (My wife translated that for me).

This Anejo Sotol is rich and smoky with slight hints of Grapefruit.  

  • Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Reposado

Like a typical Reposado from Mexico this is aged only for 6 months. A special uniqueness to Sotol is the oak used for ageing the product is Virgin oak unlike tequila which does used bourbon barrels. The fresh oak gives added tannins and spice to this tasty item.   

  • Zachlawi Dry Arak

Arak, which means perspiration in Arabic, is the spirit drink of choice in the countries of the middle east. Abe Shrem, founder of Zachlawi, brought his family’s old Syrian recipe back to life here in the USA. Bold Anise aromas shine through with delicious licorice finish.

  • Elite Arak

Elite Arak is one of the leading Israeli producers of this centuries-old spirit. Every Friday afternoon, a day off for many Israelis, men and women sit outside together with friends while sipping a cold shot of Elite Arak.

  • Alouf Arak

The most popular Arak in Israel, Alouf Arak is silky smooth with notes of sweet anis and fig.

  • Godet Fine de Cognac

A wonderful blend of eau-de-vie from the Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne growing regions. These two growing regions have very chalky soil which helps to make a very aromatic eau-de-vie, which is distilled to make this special cognac.

What Makes Kosher Wine Kosher:

There’s a common ‘urban legend’ that wine is rendered kosher after being blessed by a Rabbi – that is incorrect. Actually, for a wine to be made kosher there are strictly supervised purity guidelines that need to be followed from the moment the grapes enter the winery to when the wine is bottled.

To be considered kosher, Sabbath-observant Jews must supervise and sometimes handle the entire winemaking process, from the time the grapes are crushed until the wine is bottled. Any ingredients used, including yeasts and fining agents must be kosher.

Some Kosher wines are processed as Mevushal, which means ‘cooked’ in Hebrew. Some wineries produce their Mevushal wines by heating the must (grape juice) prior to fermentation, while others apply that procedure on the final product, prior to bottling.

When kosher wine is produced, marketed and sold commercially, it will bear kosher certification granted by a specially-trained rabbi who is responsible for supervision from start to finish.

About Royal Wine/Kedem

Founded in 1848, NJ-based Royal Wine Corp. has been owned and operated in the United States by the Herzog family, whose winemaking roots go back eight generations to its origin in Czechoslovakia.

Today, Royal Wine’s portfolio of domestic and international wines range from traditional wine producing regions of France, Italy and Spain, as well as Israel, New Zealand and Argentina.

Additionally, Royal Wine Corp.’s spirit and liqueur portfolio offer some of the most sought-after scotches, bourbons, tequilas and vodkas as well as hard to find specialty items such as flavored brandies and liqueurs.

The company owns and operates the Kedem Winery in upstate New York, as well as Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, California, a state-of-the-art-facility featuring guided wine tours, a fully staffed modern tasting room, gift shop and catering facilities. Additionally, the winery houses the award-winning restaurant Tierra Sur, serving the finest, Mediterranean-inspired, contemporary Californian Cuisine.

Wine and Wildflowers

Wine and Wildflowers Make Gatlinburg The Perfect Spring Destination

By Patrick T Cooper

What is on your travel list for spring? Here is your specific guide to EAT, STAY, and PLAY in the  Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg, Tennessee may have fallen under your radar. However, I have two reasons you should answer the call to action by The Great Smoky Mountains. I will humbly admit Gatlinburg, Tennessee was a sleeper for me. Beyond the fanfare and huge presence of the legendary Dolly Parton I was unsure what to expect from my visit. Fortunately, I was enamored with brilliant southern hospitality and a warm embrace during my visit for the Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend and the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. There is gallons of the good stuff (wine) in Gatlinburg and tons of activities that will have you returning seasonally to build a lifetime of memories.

Eat

When all is said and done wine tasting and hiking, then walk a half block from the hotel to the Log Cabin House. The food and service are unparalleled. Seriously, there a tons of dining experiences in walking distance from the hotel, I decided to patronize this establishment three times over my weekend stay. From my first dining experience, it was as if I met an old friend from the moment my server greeted me. Did I mention, the joint has the absolute best hash browns known to man. Take my advice and sprinkle your belly with this delightful southern dish you will not be disappointed.

Stay

Whether you are a solo traveler or with family and friends the convenience of being downtown Gatlinburg is a definite advantage. While the Swiss themed chalets and cottages in the mountains quite tempting, it is best to opt for the convenience of the Courtyard Marriott so that you may drink responsibly. Literally, steps away from the city center you can nestle down and perhaps stumble back to your hotel after dinner and enjoying local attractions. By the way, the indoor and outdoor oversized fireplaces make this hotel cozy, chic, and comfortable for fireside chats with friends to recap the fun of the day.

Play

Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend

Who is ready to sip wine? We will not twist your arm but the local wineries make it easy to indulge. Wine is about what you love and by far my favorite wine find during this travel excursion was Tennessee Homemade Wines Proper Peach. Considering I’m a Georgia native it is only fitting that I gravitated to the acidic bliss of  this beverage. The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts serves as a cool backdrop for this friendly event paired with delicious local fare. Grab your tickets and get to Smoky Mountains. Click here for more details about Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Don’t forget to wear your most comfortable shoes or footwear suitable for hiking in the great outdoors. Porters Creek Trail is phenomenal. While the hike is not arduous the rocks and  slippery paths require support to keep your feet firmly planted. The multitude and medley of exotic colors are will have you in heaven. The tour guides are passionate about educating you on the different species of wildflowers which will have you engaged the entire experience. Be sure to fully charge your camera as the flowers make for the most brilliant natural photography. Click here for more details about the Wildflower Pilgrimage

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My Wine Society

My Wine Society is a global wine app that provides a community for wine enthusiasts to interact, share, and get rewards. The ground-breaking wine app is run by a team of inspiring, passionate, and driven leaders.

This March, My Wine Society would like to recognize their dedicated and hard-working women entrepreneurs who help keep the company alive. Kristin Whitaker, Lynne Gerde, Brianna Lamb are just a few of the amazing women who help run the robust wine app.

“The most inspiring part of being on the MWS team is that we are exploring uncharted territory in the wine and tech space and we are writing the map as we make discoveries along the way.” – Lynne

Lamb is MWS’ Director of Community Management. MWS is a global wine community and it is her team’s responsibility to nurture the current community and to continually expand upon it. Lamb works side by side with our CEO Sean Evens to ensure that every wine enthusiast is getting the ultimate experience. This is Lamb’s first time working at a start up global app, but she has taken the challenge to help create the groundbreaking community for wine lovers.

“I have never been involved in a startup company before or been daring enough to be an ‘entrepreneur’ so for me this is an exciting thing because of the inherent risk we are all taking.” -Bri

Whitaker’s role is the Channels Coordinator. Channels is a feature on the app meant to serve as entertainment for end users by way of brief, fun articles. Whitaker works hard to find unique articles and news for app users to read about wine. Whitaker is driven to make MWS like no other app before. Her goal is to set an example to all women around the world.

“Over the years and across industries, I have learned that directing is easy, but leading is a whole different ball game.” – Kristin

Gerde, the Creative Director, works with her team to gain brand awareness and credibility for MWS in the public eye. She leads the creative side of MWS, including videos, PR and socials. Gerde helps her team through whatever bump in the road that may come, and handles it with confidence. Gerde loves to explore uncharted territory in the wine and tech world. She believes that technology connects us in ways that were once unimaginable, but leading through change while staying connected to your people is the challenge.

“When I put my head on the pillow each night I think about 3 things; what did I learn, who did I impact, and how can I be better? It’s this level of awareness and humility that shapes and guides the women of tomorrow.”

My Wine Society is lead by an inspiring group of women that are passionate about the wine community. These women are full of amazing ideas and are excited to bring these along to the team to create new and exciting projects to wine lovers across the world.

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Cameron Hughes Wine

Cameron Hughes founded his company with a simple mission: offer great wines at affordable prices to everyone.

There are two challenges customers face when buying wine:

  • High-end wine is expensive. The average price of a Napa Cabernet scoring 90+ points in Wine Spectator magazine is over $150/bottle, and typically passes through distributor and retailer hands before ever reaching the customer.
  • Buying wine is confusing. Most folks stand in the wine aisle, stare at a huge wall of bottles, and eventually settle on a label that’s interesting enough at an acceptable price and hope they aren’t disappointed.

Cameron Hughes Wine aims to make these problems a thing of the past.

As a négociant (wine trader), they don’t own vineyards or a winery – their focus is purely on finding the best wines and negotiating the best price for our customers. Cameron has worked in the wine industry his entire life, and through deep connections built over decades, has access to top wineries and producers all over the world. They look in every cellar and barrel room, and peek behind every door that says “Employees Only.” Sometimes they buy wine still in the barrel, and other times they buy “shiners” (wine already in a bottle with no label). Regardless of how they get it, the mission is simple: buy the best possible wine at the best possible price.

These deals are made discreetly, and typically protected by an agreement to keep the source winery undisclosed to protect their brand. These wines are also only available online, direct to you – this means no distributor and retailer markups. The result? They’re able to offer $100+ Napa Cabernets for a third of the price, or a $60 bottle of Pinot for under $20 (yes, the exact same wine sold under the original winery label).

Each wine acquired is given a Lot number and sold under the Cameron Hughes label, beginning over a decade ago with Lot 1.

Think of them as your personal sommelier – they curate their store to constantly showcase a wide range of some of the world’s best styles and winegrowing regions, and promise that every wine offered is a benchmark expression of the style and winegrowing region reflected on the label, at the best prices on the market.

Anybody can put wine in a bottle, slap a label on it, and sell it online. But Cameron Hughes Wine strictly does high-end wine at the best price, period. The label is a guarantee of quality for every wine offered.