Mondavi Brothers Barrel for Auction

The Mondavi brothers, Peter and Robert, have decided to make wine together once again. The Barrel of wine, named “Ancora Una Volta”, or “Once Again”, will be auctioned off at this years Napa Valley Wine Auction as lot #414. The wine is made with grapes from both brothers vineyards. After a couple lunches with the brothers and barrel tasting, the final release in 2006 will be a private dinner with both families and 60 etched, numbered magnums, bottles from this barrel. I’m sure if the winner ever decided to sell any of these bottles, they would more than make back their money.


Poor Bronco

All they want to do is use the word Napa on a bottle of wine that doesn’t have any juice from Napa in it, is that so wrong? Unfortunately, us ad impressionable Americans are sometimes duped into buying products that say one thing, but really have nothing to do with that one thing. At least the courts are putting up a fight against Bronco Wine Co. as they have continued their battle in court with appeals against earlier unfavorable rulings. Chalk a win up for the consumer with yesterday’s ruling, as Bronco’s appeal was rejected in court.

Bronco attorney Peter Brody said the company is studying the 75-page ruling before it decides what to do. Bronco has continued to sell the wine brands while the label disputes were decided by the courts.


Some like it Red

I’ve had Blanc De Noir, Blanc De Blanc, and Rose Sparkling wine before, but never have I tried or seen a RED Sparkling wine. Germans make jokes about it, Australians embrace it, and some people collect it, but this article from the Chronicle sheds some light on it. In Australia, it’s a common sight. Made typically from Shiraz, with a dry taste and a long finish, this wine is terrior expressive. A couple of wineries in Napa with Australian winemakers, Geyser Peak and Wattle Creek Winery, both make a Australian style sparkling red wine. It isn’t easy to make, which means it isn’t cheap, and the article explains why.



or “Not in my Backyard”, is the call going out in Napa and Sonoma Counties on T.V. and in print, to raise awareness on the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter. I posted a story in March about the pest being spotted on some cuttings from southern California. Grape growers are being asked by paper ballot to continue a special assessment tax of $3 from each $1000 worth of grapes sold, set to expire in 2006, until 2011. Some of that funding is being spent on research into the genetic altering of Grapes, something that some counties already prevent the plantings of, with the goal of making the vines immune to the disease.

This article from Associated Press writer Michelle Locke, has more details.


Refill Your Propane

Summers here, (almost), time to fire up the grill and get the summer glassware out. There’s just something relaxing about enjoying a summer Bar-B-Que with friends and family and some pleasant wine. A press release by wineanswers does a nice job pairing the basic grilled items of summer with appetizing wines. Sausage with a Beaujolais, hamburgers with Zinfandel, and a fruity Chardonnay with grilled pork chops all would make great pairings.


Here’s an article from the Chronicle last year that highlights a great summer dish for Sauvignon Blanc. Sounded to good to pass up, to bad I missed it last year. :o)


They call him Dr. Goodwine

That’s right, Vince Neil from Motley Crue is starting his own winery, Vince Vineyards. The wines will begin with a 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, and a 2003 Sonoma County Chardonnay, produced by John Ott, who recently purchased Alder Fels winery in Santa Rosa. Vince joins a growing list of celebrities like Raymond Burr, Mario Andretti, Francis Ford Coppola, Jerry Garcia, and various golfers, that have gone into the wine business. His slogan? Cabs, Cabs, Cabs.
Okay okay, that was bad.


High-end wine buyers like it jammy

According to this article by the Chronicle’s Cyril Penn, a study of those willing to spend more than $15 on a bottle of wine wanted it to have big fruit characteristics.

The study involved 307 people who drink wine regularly, who were compared with a subset of 79 “high-end” consumers, who frequently buy red wines priced at more than $15 per bottle.

The study found that the alcohol level was not a factor in wine choice for those polled. This study was hoping to get to the bottom of the hang time factor, and whether or not people care how long the grapes hang, longer hang time equals more fruit higher alcohol, less hang time equals less fruit and less alcohol. The result? Let it hang.
I still have some questions after this survey.
1. Who sets the price point at $15 for high-end wines?
2. What are the statistics of the group polled?
3. When did they want to drink the wine?


Open Your Mind to Australian Wine

or so it goes, as that is the new slogan from the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) will be pitched around the world as Australia tries to solidify itself on top of the Globally mounting pile of excess wine. The Fourth place ribbon goes to Australia for being the world’s biggest wine exporter, behind France, Spain, and Italy.

Some slogans I may have chosen:

‘It’s a find, Australian Wine’
‘Now’s the time for Australian wine’
‘Australian wine, You know it’s fine’
‘Australia, don’t mind our wine’
‘Australian wine, we’re not behind’


Who Cares?

I was listening to talk radio on my way into work this morning, and I heard a different slant on Monday’s supreme court ruling on the Armstrong and Getty Program. ‘Who Cares, This doesn’t effect me.’
Will, to us Californians that is partially true if we aren’t in the wine industry, but to a lot of other people in the states effected, they couldn’t be happier. An old set of rules and laws have deprived people from buying quality wine directly from their winery of choice. This has pushed those hungry to have the latest Buzzworthy wines sent to them from individual consumers illegally, purchased through online auction sites and sent from people who don’t have alcohol licenses, instead of from the winery. The Chronicle puts a face on these people in this article.