Your Guide to Tomorrows Auction – Feeling Saucy?

Then do some online bidding tomorrow and grab yourself a rare bottle of Burgundy. The auction, held by San Francisco based Bonhams & Butterfields, is expected to rake in 1.3 Million thanks to a remarkable collection that includes the best names and vintages of Burgundy. Actually, snooping around on the site I found the entire list of items to be auctioned, and there is an extensive choice of Napa Cult Cabernet and Bordeaux First Growths. To take part in the bidding, you must register for the auction. The auction begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday July 30,2005 and is simulcast in SF and Los Angeles. The PDF has all the auction details. The SF Examiner did a small write up on this auction and the recent rise in auction spending.

Wine Weekend Getaway

Planning a trip to wine country soon and want to get a good view of where to stay? Since google released it’s API for it’s popular map service, company’s are incorporating it into their products. Yahoo released their map application as well and there was a Sideways wine tour made by use of it. This site, Hotelsx , uses google maps to allow you to see exactly where your wine country villa will be, as well as what the area looks like from above via satellite. Pretty cool.

Try it.


CellagraphPhonograph, meet Wine Cellar. This interesting design comes to us from the good folks over at Cucumber Lab. The side of the cellar employs what the company calls an “automated transitional glass sensor linked for direct visual surveillance”. Throw a little Frank on the top, peer in to locate your 1982 Mouton Rothschild, and enjoy the music.Company’s website (flash)

California’s Best Value

Just when you think the SF Chronicle has run out of lead stories for it’s weekly Wine section, another stellar article emerges. If you have never tried old vine Zinfindel, you have missed out. This varietal is expressive of the land where it is grown, is extremely affordable, and receives higher ratings than many other grapes. In fact, the article points out Zinfindel is the best value amoung all U.S. wine, comparing prices with ratings from Wine Spectator. (Pinot Noir is the most overpriced.) The history of the grape is discussed, a very nice read.


Protect Your Name!

A declaration was signed Tuesday by several wine organization representatives from Napa, Washington, Oregon, France, Portugal, and Spain. This declaration serves as a promise to protect the name of the products coming from the respective area. Champagne, Port, Sherry, and Napa are regionally specific names, and the group wants to keep it that way.


Dr. Quinn Wine Woman

Jane Seymour, bond girl, TV Actress, Star, is planning to produce her own wine. This venture is fitting, being that her mother was a Sommelier, and the property she owns in Bath, England used to have a small vineyard. Seymour is close to Jess Jackson, founder of Kendall Jackson. Her art has been made specifically for him, and he is helping her choose the varietals to plant on the property. Pricing? Unkown. Availablility? 150 to 175 cases. (Might want look to get on a list if you ever hope to try this.)

Jane Seymour’s Website

Read (Free from Wine Spectator)

Washington gets new AVA

Horse Heaven Hills will become Washington states Seventh recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA) on August 1, 2005. The area is bordered by the Yakima Valley and Columbia Valley AVA’s and consists of 570,000 acres of land, of which only 6,000 acres are currently under production. This area has 4 wineries in the region, Champoux Vineyard, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Andrew Vineyard , (Alder Ridge ?), and numerous others that use grapes from the area, including Andrew Will Winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, Columbia Winery, Hogue Cellars, and Woodward Canyon, among others. The land that makes up this AVA is unique:

The hills are geologic folds in the earth’s crust which account for the consistent winds that blow across the land, lowering the risk of vineyard disease and pests. These continual winds stress the vines of vineyards across the region, drying them out and setting the stage for drip irrigation to be used as a canopy management tool to limit the plants’ vigor. All these factors lead to intense-flavored grapes with a structural balance of sugars and acids. (More about the area here)


Wine Industry Profile: Richard Peterson

A fabulous article in the Chronicle’s Wine section today about Richard Peterson, father of Heidi Peterson Barrett. This man was influential, not just because of his progeny, but also because of the things he did for the wine industry, things like inventing the equipment for stacking barrels securely on top of one another, and making different wines that hadn’t been tried before. His credentials are humbling, and include Gallo, BV, Atlas Peak, and Monterey Vineyards, holding high ranking positions at all. It’s nice to dig into the lives of some of the people that have contributed so much into the wine industry, and give them credit where due.


First New York, Now Ohio

Who’s next? Tuesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge George Smith allows residents of Ohio to receive out of state shipments by any winery, not just wineries whose product was sold in local stores. No limit was put on the amount of wine that can be purchased, just as long as all state taxes are paid.


More information at on direct Shipping at Free The Grapes