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Explore California Wine Country’s Back Roads: Central Coast (South) Spotlight

九月 10, 2019

Wine Institute Series Highlights the Wine Roads Less Traveled

SAN FRANCISCO — This month, Wine Institute’s Wine Country Back Roads series focuses on California’s southern Central Coast, extending from Paso Robles in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. Hidden among California’s world-famous wine regions are wine roads less traveled that feature stunning scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors.

The entire Central Coast wine region stretches roughly 325 miles along the California coastline from San Francisco to Santa Barbara County. It is home to about 700 wineries.

SLO

Fall colors add to the scenic tour at Chamisal Vineyard in San Luis Obispo County, California. Photo by Robert Holmes, courtesy California Wine Institute.

TASTE: Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo County includes 13 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): 11 in Paso Robles and two in San Luis Obispo. Grapes were first planted in the region more than two centuries ago by Spanish missionaries, and today SLO County is home to over 230 wineries.

The cool San Luis Obispo coast, known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, has six wine trails including Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande.

Llama

Sheep and their guardian llama improve the soil at the organically farmed Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles. Photo Robert Holmes, courtesy California Wine Institute.

Paso Robles is celebrated for Rhône varieties such as Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Italian and Spanish varieties thrive there as well. Explore Paso’s west side via the 46 West Wine Trail. Discover wineries just east of town on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, or take in ocean views along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail.

Santa Barbara

Visitors tour the barrel aging cellars at Sanford Winery in Lompoc, Santa Barbara County while bicyclists tour Santa Maria wine country. Photo credits: Left—California Wine Institute; Cyclists—Visit Santa Maria Valley.

Santa Barbara County, located halfway between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles, is defined by the east-west traverse valley, open to the inland flow of fog and marine breezes. The region’s wind-swept valleys provide hospitable growing conditions for more than 50 grape varieties—from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling in the west to Bordeaux and Rhône grapes in the east.

Santa Barbara County has more than 200 wineries and nine wine tasting routes, including the estate wineries along the Santa Ynez Wine Trail, adjacent to Los Olivos, Solvang and Buellton wine trails. Taste Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the Sta. Rita Hills Wine Trail or Lompoc Wine Trail. The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail offers a taste of the Santa Maria Valley, including the area’s famous tri-tip barbecue.

TOUR: With its Old West, cowboy vibe, Paso Robles—named the 2016 Best Wine Country Town by Sunset magazine—features wine and olive oil tasting rooms, sophisticated eateries and fun boutiques. On Sept. 27, SLO County wineries and local chefs offer Sip ‘n Saunter with wine and food tastings. Fifteen miles down the coast, find Hearst Castle, the grand estate built by newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst in 1919. Further south are Avila Beach and Pismo Beach, known for surfing and seafood. Just 10 minutes inland from Pismo lies the college town of San Luis Obispo, home to downtown shopping and hip cafes. Old Mission Santa Barbara, where Franciscan monks made wine 200 years ago, is considered one of California’s grandest missions. Stearns Wharf, a few minutes away, offers seaside restaurants, beach activities and wine tasting.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Paso Robles Wine Country, SLO Coast Wine, Santa Barbara Vintners and Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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.

To see Wine Institute’s Back Roads guides to other California wine regions, visit https://discovercaliforniawines.com/media-trade/news.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wine Month Kicks Off in September with Celebrations Across the State

八月 20, 2019

Dozens of Harvest Season Events, from Concerts to Food and Wine Festivals, Planned Statewide

WineSong
Winesong features wine tasting while strolling the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Photo: John Birchard.

SAN FRANCISCO — September is California Wine Month, Wine Institute’s annual celebration of the harvest season. Throughout California, wineries, regional wine associations and other organizations will host special tastings, concerts, food and wine festivals, immersive harvest experiences, grape stomps and more.

The 15th annual California Wine Month highlights the state’s storied winemaking history, dating back more than 250 years, and recognizes the innovative spirit of California vintners and growers. As the world’s fourth-largest wine producer and the source of 81 percent of wine made in the U.S., California is home to 3,900 wineries and 5,900 grapegrowers. It is also the nation’s most-visited state for wine and food experiences, attracting 24 million visits annually to its wine regions.

Wine lovers can enjoy activities and special offers from California Wine Month partner retailers and restaurants. See partner listing below.

Visit https://discovercaliforniawines.com/california-wine-month to view maps and descriptions of nearly 100 California Wine Month events, searchable by wine region, or download the complete list of winery events here.

Some highlights of regional events with multiple wineries include:

NORTH COAST

Aug. 31: Taste of Sonoma, 100 wineries. Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
Sept. 6-7: Winesong, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Fort Bragg
Sept. 7: Calistoga Wine Experience, wine and food tasting, Pioneer Park, Calistoga
Sept: 19-21: Sonoma County Wine Auction, La Crema Estate, Windsor
Sept. 21: Lake County Wine Auction, Chacewater Winery, Kelseyville

Trefethen Harvest Boot Camp
Guests enjoy picking grapes at the Harvest Boot Camp at Trefethen Family Vineyards in Napa Valley, to be held this year on Sept. 28, 2019. Photo: Trefethen Family Vineyards.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY & SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS

Sept. 1: Barrels of Corralitos, tastings at wineries in Corralitos and Aptos
Sept. 1: Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration, wineries throughout the region
Sept. 1-30: California Wine Month Educational Experiences, San Francisco Wine School, South San Francisco
Sept. 6-30: Santa Clara Valley Fall Passport Month, special tastings at wineries throughout the region
Sept. 7-29: Organic Wine Trail of Santa Cruz Mountains, eight wineries on Saturdays and Sundays in September.
Sept. 8: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Harvest Dinner, Aptos, SCMWA
Sept: 14-15: Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Capitola Village
Sept. 21: Livermore Valley Wine Auction, Wente Vineyards, Livermore

MONTEREY TO SANTA BARBARA

Sept. 7: Magical Mystery Monterey Wine Tours, visit surprise winery locations in Carmel Valley
Sept. 8: 38th Annual Taste of the Town, local wines and food at Riviera Park, Santa Barbara
Sept. 14: Second Saturdays in Haley Corridor, multiple Santa Barbara wineries
Sept. 27: Downtown SLO Sip ‘n Saunter, food and wine tasting, San Luis Obispo

INLAND VALLEYS

Sept: 12-15: Lodi Grape Festival, Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, Lodi
Sept. 20: Madera Wine Trail’s California Wine Month Celebration, local wines and food, Toca Madera Winery, Madera

SIERRA FOOTHILLS

Sept. 7: WINEderlust Renegade Wine, Art & Music Festival, Placerville, El Dorado County
Sept. 14: Barbera Festival in Amador County, Terra D’Oro Winery, Plymouth
Sept. 14: Sample the Sierra, local wines and food, South Lake Tahoe
Sept. 20-22: Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival, Northstar Resort, Truckee

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Aug. 31-Sept. 1: The Taste, wine, food and seminars, Paramount Pictures Studio, Hollywood
Sept. 28: Temecula Valley CRUSH, taste with multiple winemakers at Monte De Oro Winery, Temecula

Visitors get down at the Ramona Grape Stomp
Visitors get down at the Ramona Grape Stomp in San Diego County, to be held Sept. 14. Photo: Ramona Grape Stomp

Wine lovers can learn more about California wine and celebrate California Wine Month wherever they are, using 100 recipes and wine pairings at: DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com. They can also tour the state with a new cookbook, “Wine Country Table, With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest.”

California Wine Month Partners

California Wine Month is celebrated by restaurant, retail, media and association partners in California and throughout the U.S. including:

U.S. National/Regional: GuildSomm, Not Your Average Joe’s, Safeway, Tavistock Group

California: Albertsons, Charlie Palmer Steak, Compline, The Culinary Institute of America, Dry Creek Kitchen, Epic Steak, Napa Valley Wine Train, Oakville Grocery, Pavilions, Raley’s, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, San Francisco Wine School, Taj Campton Place, Vons, Women for Winesense

About Wine Institute

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and wine-related businesses. Its mission is to initiate and advocate state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. See: wineinstitute.org.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Vintners Gear Up for 2019 Harvest

八月 8, 2019

Behind the Scenes with Winemakers and Vineyard Managers

SAN FRANCISCO — Long hours. Seven-day work weeks. Grape-stained clothing, boots and skin. These are just a few of the challenges that await California vintners in the coming weeks and months. But before the bustle of crush begins, winemaking and vineyard teams are making careful preparations to ensure that the harvest process runs as smoothly as possible.

Wine Institute asked four California winemakers and vineyard managers to share how they’re getting ready for harvest and to deal with whatever Mother Nature decides to send their way.

Linda McWilliams
Owner / Winemaker, San Pasqual Winery, San Diego County

McWilliams normally starts her harvest preparations around mid-July, after veraison (when grapes turn from green to their ripe color), by estimating the crop size.

Then, she decides how that fruit will be handled in the cellar. “Is it going to be in stainless steel tanks or in barrels?” she says, “And how much space do we need to allocate and have ready?”

Around the same time, McWilliams and her team empty barrels and try to bottle as much wine as possible to free up barrel space for the incoming juice.

“In the vineyard, the team is gearing up for harvest, making sure that fruit thinning is done, that we’re into veraison and keeping powdery mildew in check,” she says.

Once veraison is underway, new concerns emerge. “We’re worried about attack by birds,” says McWilliams, “so netting or sound systems are applied.”

Lining up harvest help is also essential in San Diego County, where the wine industry is smaller, and labor can be hard to come by. “We recruit family and tasting room staff to help. Everybody gets out there to help pick.”

Picking usually begins for white grapes just after Labor Day, but in recent years, heat spikes have accelerated it to as early as the third week of August. This year, McWilliams is predicting a return to normalcy—as long as the weather holds out. “We can’t control Mother Nature. The key in this business is to be flexible and ready for anything.”

Mark Houser
Vineyard Manager, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sonoma County

At Alexander Valley Vineyards, the most intense harvest prep begins around late July.

“It’s kind of like grooming,” says vineyard manager Mark Houser. “We’re going through and taking a few leaves off, removing ugly fruit, looking for mildew.”

The vineyard team also estimates the size of the crop to help determine the amount of tank and barrel space needed for the harvested fruit. Along with historical data, the calculation is based on the average number of clusters per vine, average weight per cluster, number of vines per acre and the total number of acres.

Other pre-harvest prep includes getting the equipment ready, from reserving rental trucks and trailers to cleaning grape bins. “There’s always something that needs attention,” says Houser, “so you start early to make sure it’s going to work.”

A typical harvest for Alexander Valley Vineyards begins just after Labor Day with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, and this year’s timing appears to be right on target—barring any last-minute weather changes.

Cameron Parry
Director of Winegrowing, Groth Vineyards & Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley

Parry starts planning for next year’s harvest immediately after the current one ends.

“Shortly after we finish, the winemaking team gets together and has a debrief,” he says. “We talk about what worked, what didn’t and what we need to fix. Then we get it down on paper while it’s fresh.”

In June and July, harvest preparations begin ramping up. Parry and his team check and repair winery and vineyard equipment as necessary and start ordering supplies such as yeast and nutrients. The vineyard team starts pulling unwanted shoots that can potentially produce a second crop of inferior fruit—and removing extra vine leaves to ensure the appropriate amount of light is hitting the grape clusters. When the reds begin the onset of ripeness and the grapes change color during veraison, there’s more work to do.

“We’ll make a crop-thinning pass to eliminate undesirable fruit once we’re at about 50 percent veraison. We’ll drop any clusters behind in maturity, just to ensure good uniformity and homogeneity,” Parry says.

A month from the start of harvest, the Groth team spends lots of time walking the vineyard rows and tasting in order to determine the optimal picking dates. “Closer to harvest, we’ll start taking bigger fruit samples for analysis of sugar, pH and acidity levels,” Parry says.

Days before harvest, he’ll make a last sampling and decide the picking schedule. Because harvest is done at night, when it can be difficult for the crew to see the clusters, the vineyard team goes through a few days in advance and strips the extra leaves from the fruiting zone, removing any clusters that are damaged, sunburned, raisined or moldy.

Groth’s harvest typically begins with Sauvignon Blanc in late August, but Parry predicts a later start this year—around Sept. 6.

Chris Eberle
Winemaker, Eberle Winery, Paso Robles

At Eberle Winery, harvest preparations begin as early as February, when winemaker Chris Eberle places his annual barrel order for the coming year. Planning ahead helps him avoid last-minute surprises—such as strikes at the docks—and helps save money with certain discounts by ordering far in advance or accepting barrels early. “When you’re talking about a $100,000 order, a 3% discount adds up,” Eberle says.

A month or a few weeks out—Eberle schedules yearly maintenance on presses, destemmers and other essential equipment.

Around the same time, new harvest interns arrive for training, which usually involves reviewing important safety procedures and washing tanks. “There’s lots of cleaning—clean, clean, clean—and it just doesn’t stop,” Eberle says.

Walking the vineyards is essential in the weeks leading up to harvest, so Eberle will spend time among the rows each day, checking on fruit development. “We’ve got about 30 percent of our production in estate fruit, and the rest is contracted,” he says, “so I deal with 15 different growers and 50 different vineyards.”

Along with monitoring crop sizes, he checks that the vines are in balance and decides whether or not to adjust the canopy or drop fruit. Two weeks from the estimated harvest date, he’ll start sampling white grapes and early-ripening reds such as Zinfandel and Grenache to check progress.

While harvest normally begins between the end of August and mid-September, Eberle predicts this year’s crush will kick off closer to mid-September.

Harvest Experiences for Wine Lovers

Consumers can get a taste of the California harvest experience at several wineries. Alexander Valley VineyardsBenessere Vineyards and Grgich Hills Estate offer grape-stomping events, while Schramsberg/Davies Vineyards and Trefethen Family Vineyards host immersive harvest boot camps that allow wine lovers to get hands-on in the vineyard and winery.

About Wine Institute

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for California wineries, which produce 80 percent of U.S. wine and account for more than 95 percent of U.S. wine exports. As the nation’s number one state for wine and food tourism and home to 139 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), more than 24 million visitors experience California wine regions each year.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Fifteen Wine Importers from the United Kingdom and Ireland to Visit California on First-Ever Buying Trip

八月 7, 2019

California Wine Institute Invites California’s Entire Wine Industry to Participate

SAN FRANCISCO — The week of Oct. 6, 2019 kicks off the first ever visit to California wine country solely dedicated to wine buyers from the United Kingdom and Ireland searching for new-to-market wines. The California Wine Institute Export Program is hosting this ground-breaking series of events and inviting any and all “new to market” wineries in the Golden State to submit their wines for consideration for this sales opportunity. More than 100 wineries will be selected to meet and make deals with this elite group of wine buyers. The United Kingdom and Ireland are part of the second largest export market for California Wines after Canada and this group of buyers includes importers from throughout these key markets looking for California Wines at all price points, but with a focus on the $5-$15 (U.S.) per bottle ex-cellars price points.

Last year exports of California Wines reached just under $1.5 billion and despite the headwinds of Brexit and other global economic uncertainties, the demand for California wine continues to grow. Wine Institute’s VP of International Marketing, Honore Comfort, says, “We have never before led such a focused sales initiative – one that’s solely dedicated to importers looking to bring new wines into the market, and we are pleased to offer this opportunity to vintners wishing to sell their wines in the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

California Wine Institute Trade Directors Damien Jackman and Justine McGovern are leading the prestigious delegation and have hand selected the participating buyers. They commented that “the UK and Irish markets are excited about California wines and these buyers are looking for wines from the Golden State that are interesting, fresh and offer something new for their customers.”

California vintners who are not currently selling in the UK and/or Ireland are invited to apply for one of the 120 tasting opportunities with this group the week of Oct. 6, 2019. They must make at least 2,500 cases of wine, be willing to travel to the UK to “work the market” and have a long-term approach to developing their export business. For more information or to apply for one of the 120 tasting time slots, call 707/217-6327. Click here to complete the qualification survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CPTPWYL.

About the California Wine Export Program

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the administrator of the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) for California vintners who represent 80% of U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. More than 170 California wineries exporting to 142 countries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program. The program has 15 California Wine Institute representatives in key export markets around the world who provide on-site support to wineries and help develop markets for California wines in 25 countries.

The California Wine Export Program is a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the MAP Program, featuring California as an aspirational place with beauti­ful landscapes, iconic lifestyle, great wine and food, and as an environmental leader. In addition to marketing and promoting California wine overseas, Wine Institute conducts a comprehensive International Public Policy program focused on regulatory coopera­tion, removing trade barriers and growing California wine exports. See:calwinexport.com or its consumer website at: DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Wine Institute Becomes a Major Supporter of The Institute of Masters of Wine

八月 2, 2019

LONDON — The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) has announced California Wine Institute as a Major Supporter, creating a partnership that will provide an in-depth educational program focused on the diverse wine regions throughout California.

“Wine Institute’s team views our partnership with the Institute of Masters of Wine as an important element of our global wine education strategy, and a clear opportunity to work with leading wine educators to better inform industry influencers about the quality, character and diversity of California wines,” said Honore Comfort, Wine Institute Vice President, International Marketing. “We are confident that our winery members will benefit from Wine Institute’s engagement as a supporter of the Institute of Masters of Wine.”

The alliance between the IMW and Wine Institute underlines the growing interest in the area. Adrian Garforth MW, IMW Chairman said, “We have more students in the U.S. than anywhere in the world and interest from the trade is growing apace. California Wine Institute did an outstanding job in hosting the recent trip to the area for 50 MWs and we are delighted to extend the relationship formally as they become a Major Supporter. We recognise there are lots of areas in which we can collaborate both in the U.S. and globally and I look forward to working closely with their team.”

Wine Institute plans to work with the IMW’s network of MW wine educators in local markets around the world to participate in education programs and bring MWs both to and from California to be included in education efforts for media and trade. The alliance provides opportunities to educate the trade and consumers worldwide about the importance of sustainable winegrowing in California, what it means, how it will shape the future of the wine business, and how it impacts the quality of wine in their glass. The programs will also cultivate an understanding of and an appreciation for wines from lesser known California regions in key markets around the world.

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group representing 1,000 wineries and affiliated businesses from wine regions throughout California that produce 80% of U.S. wine from the state’s 139 diverse American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and 120 grape varieties. The IMW is the global membership organisation which promote excellence, interaction and learning across all sectors of the global wine community – from running tastings and seminars to the public, to administering the Master of Wine examination. There are 382 people in the world today who can call themselves Masters of Wine, the highest qualification in the world of wine. They can do so as they have passed the MW examination which authenticates the highest standard in all aspects of tasting, production, trade, and marketing of wine, as well as related health, social and environmental issues.

The new partnership follows an October 2018 IMW educational summit in California attended by 50 MWs from 16 countries who toured the wine regions around the state, met with more than 300 vintners and tasted 600 wines from 60 AVAs.

Of the 382 Masters of Wine around the world, 59 are in North America. Wine Institute joins an exclusive international network of IMW supporters, which includes the Madame Bollinger Foundation, Istituto Grandi Marchi and AXA Millésimes.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Travel California Wine Country’s Back Roads This Summer: Central Coast (North) Spotlight

七月 18, 2019

Wine Institute Series Highlights the Wine Roads Less Traveled

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s northern Central Coast, extending from the San Francisco Bay to Monterey County, is the focus this month as part of Wine Institute’s Wine Country Back Roads series. 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. These welcoming regions feature stunning rural scenery, delicious wines and, often, fewer visitors. There’s still plenty of time this summer to discover off-the-beaten path wine roads and regions, and the Central Coast is a great place to do it.

The entire Central Coast wine region and Santa Cruz Mountains stretches roughly 250 miles along the California coastline, extending from San Francisco County to Santa Barbara County. Grapes there are among the oldest in the state, planted by Franciscan monks in the late 18th century as they made their way north on El Camino Real (known today as Highway 101). Now hosting thousands of acres of vineyards and hundreds of wineries, California’s Central Coast and Santa Cruz Mountains are home to 14 percent of the state’s winegrapes.

Livermore Wine Country

Livermore Valley wineries will hold Taste Our Terroir events July 25-28, their premier food and wine affair. Photo: Livermore Valley Wine Country.

TASTE: Not far from San Francisco, with its famously steep hills and Victorian architecture, you’ll find several hospitable wineries near the East Bay cities of Moraga, Oakland, Berkeley as well as Treasure Island to help you kick off your Central Coast adventure.

Nearby Livermore Valley, 35 miles east of San Francisco, is the one of the state’s oldest wine regions and the genetic source of 80 percent of California’s Chardonnay vines. Along with its iconic Chardonnay, Livermore is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Italian, Rhone and Spanish varieties. Discover the region's scenic wine trails with these suggested itineraries.

Santa Cruz Passport Event

The Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport offers special tastings at 40 participating wineries and can be redeemed a full year after the July 20 event. Photo: Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

The Santa Clara Valley, also known today as Silicon Valley, includes more than 30 wineries, many clustered near Gilroy and San Martin. The Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Santa Clara Valley, was among the first American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) to be defined by its steep mountain topography. The area played a pivotal role in California’s winemaking history with viticultural roots going back more than a century. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot predominate on the warmer eastern inland side of the AVA, while Pinot Noir thrives on the coastal side and ridge tops. The region boasts more than 60 wineries. For a scenic overview, try the Silicon Valley Wine Trail in the hillsides above Silicon Valley, or the coastal Corralitos Wine Trail, at the sunny, southern portion of the AVA.

San Benito County, set in an idyllic valley about 75 miles southeast of Santa Cruz, has been growing winegrapes since the mid-1800s, planted by French and German immigrants. The region grows a wide variety of grapes but is best known for Pinot Noir and Syrah. Find wineries near the towns of Hollister and San Juan Bautista.

River Road Wine Trail

Monterey County’s River Road Wine Trail winds along the Santa Lucia Highlands where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay winegrapes flourish. Photo: California Wine Institute..

Heading back to the coast, Monterey County is known or having one of California’s longest growing seasons, thanks to cool marine air that blows in from Monterey Bay. Franciscan friars introduced winegrapes to the area more than 200 years ago, and over 40 varieties are planted there today—including more Chardonnay than in any other county in America. Monterey is also well known for its cool-climate Pinot Noir. With eight distinctive AVAs within its borders and 82 wineries, Monterey offers an array of tasting opportunities. The River Road Wine Trail, set among the canyons and slopes of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, highlights Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with northern Rhône varieties such as Syrah. Beautiful Carmel Valley is renowned for producing rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

TOUR: The Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport event on July 20 includes special tastings at more than 40 participating wineries. (As a bonus, passport experiences can be redeemed for a full year after the event.) The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park is nearby with its multiple attractions. Livermore Valley hosts Taste Our Terroir July 25-28, a four-day food and wine affair offering wine tasting adventures, garden tours, food pairing events, seminars, falcon demonstrations and more. Music in the vineyards is a Santa Clara specialty, with performances scheduled at individual wineries throughout the summer. While visiting San Benito County, take a hike among towering rock spires and observe falcons and golden eagles in flight at Pinnacles National Monument, formed by ancient volcanos. On Monterey’s Cannery Row, sample local wines at A Taste of Monterey and visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium or John Steinbeck Museum.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see San Francisco Travel, Livermore Valley Wine Country, Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, Discover San Benito County and Monterey Wine Country.

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.

To see Wine Institute’s Back Roads guides to other California wine regions, visit https://discovercaliforniawines.com/media-trade/news.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Travel California Wine Country’s Back Roads This Summer: Inland Valleys Spotlight

七月 1, 2019

Wine Institute Series Highlights the Wine Roads Less Traveled

SAN FRANCISCO — Wine Institute’s California Wine Country Back Roads series takes a look this month at the Inland Valleys, formed by the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, and also explores the Far North of the state. 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. Discover new, off-the-beaten path wine roads and wineries this summer in these expansive, welcoming regions.

INLAND VALLEYS WINE REGION

Map of California Wine Regions

Running 450 miles from the San Joaquin Valley in the south to the Sacramento Valley in the north, the Inland Valleys are located in California’s geographic center, one of the world’s most fertile agricultural regions. More than 230 crops are grown in this area—including a majority of the state’s winegrapes—plus almonds, apricots, tomatoes, cotton, asparagus, rice and more. Numerous wineries call the Inland Valleys home, the majority of which are small, family-owned producers. This means that winery visitors can usually find the winemaker or owner—often one and the same person—pouring in the tasting room.

TASTE: California’s capital city of Sacramento is surrounded by a diverse collection of wine regions and is also known as the state’s “farm-to-fork capital,” making it a popular home base for wine tasting in the Sacramento Valley. The Lodi wine region, just south of Sacramento, was named Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2015. Winegrapes came to Lodi with the Gold Rush, and the local wine industry continued to flourish through Prohibition, thanks to farmers who maintained their vineyards for legal “home winemaking.”

Lodi visitor center
The Lodi Wine & Visitor Center features hundreds of wines from 80 local wineries. Photo: Lodi Winegrape Commission.

Today, nearly 80 Lodi vintners craft some of the country’s finest Zinfandel from those same historic vines and also produce other red varietals, blends, rosés and whites from the more than 100 grapes grown in the region including Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and Southern Rhone varieties. Numerous wineries are easily reached from Highway 99, and a detour along Highway 12 to the east presents even more tasting options.

Nearby Clarksburg is famous for its Chenin Blanc, and the Old Sugar Mill—built in 1934 as a beet sugar refinery—now hosts 15 wineries that offer samples in a single space. Wineries in the Chico-Oroville area are in the northern reaches of Sacramento Valley. Find them on the North Sierra Wine Trail.

The San Joaquin Valley, south from Lodi, has been called “the food basket of the world,” producing asparagus, almonds, pistachios, oranges, peaches, garlic and—of course—winegrapes. More than 30 wineries call this region home, many accessible from State Route 180, producing a wide variety of wines that include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Moscato.

Yosemite National Park is adjacent to the valley and just south of the park is Madera County, one of California’s oldest appellations. The region is known for its dessert and port-style wines, and there are plenty to sample along the Madera Wine Trail. Further south, explore the Fresno County Wine Journey with 13 wineries offering signature wines at each location.

Westbrook Wine Farm
The Madera Wine Trail is just south of Yosemite National Park and one of the oldest wine regions in California. Photo: Westbrook Wine Farm.

Approaching California’s northern border is the majestic beauty of the Far North wine region with its giant redwoods and teeming wildlife. Residents of this area enjoy a quieter lifestyle, as evidenced by its rural homesteads and eclectic wineries. The scenic Shasta-Cascade region, which includes Mount Shasta and the Lassen Volcanic National Park, is home to more than 25 wineries. Humboldt County began growing grapes in the 1980s—many of them organic—and now there are more than 150 acres planted there.

TOUR: While visiting Sacramento, take a food-focused walking tour to meet some of the city’s most fascinating chefs, shop owners and local farmers with Local Roots Food Tours. The Madera Wine Trail hosts Red, White and Cool on July 6, a self-guided tour that features special wines at each stop and a California Wine Month celebration Sept. 20. While in the area, don’t miss stunning Yosemite National Park. Lodi’s Wine & Visitor Center, located on the picturesque grounds of the Wine & Roses Hotel, provides a great introduction to the region’s wines, with a rotating selection available for tasting each day. The Shasta-Cascades area is a haven for hikers, cyclists, bird-watchers, and anyone else who appreciates gorgeous scenery. Tour the slopes of Mount Shasta—a dormant volcano that peaks at nearly 15,000 feet, or visit Lassen Volcanic National Park, with its steaming fumaroles, clear mountain lakes and volcanoes. In Humboldt County, marvel at the magnificent redwoods or book an outdoor Adventure Tour.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Visit Lodi, Visit Sacramento, Fresno County Office of Tourism, Visit Mount Shasta and the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau.

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.

To see Wine Institute’s Back Roads guides to other California wine regions, visit https://discovercaliforniawines.com/media-trade/news.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wine Sales in U.S. Market Hit $40 Billion in 2018

六月 24, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — California wine shipments in the U.S. reached an estimated retail value of $40.2 billion in 2018, up 3% from the previous year. The state shipped 248 million nine-liter cases to the U.S. in 2018, up 3%.

California wine sales to all markets, including shipments to the U.S. and export markets, were 285 million cases in 2018.

“Consumer interest in premium wines continues to be the dominant trend,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO. “As consumers trade up, our California wines are emphasizing high quality, value and sustainable winegrowing.”

“California wine shipments experienced a 15% volume growth in the U.S. over the last decade, and increased 6 million cases in 2018 over the previous year,” said Jon Moramarco, founder and managing partner of BW 166 LLC, and editor of the Gomberg Fredrikson Report. “Baby Boomers are still the driving force in wine consumption, but while sales are still growing, it’s slowing as the Boomer generation ages and presumably drinks less. Wine marketers are working to maintain the interest of Boomers and attract Gen X’ers and Millennials with new and different wines.”

Moramarco also noted that direct-to-consumer wine sales continue to grow as important channel with over 6 million cases sold with a retail value of $3 billion in 2018, an increase of 9% in volume and 12% in value over the previous year.

2018 California Wine Stats Graphic

“Consumers are drinking better but not a lot more, as overall alcohol per capita consumption has changed very little,” said Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area. “They are being more mindful of drinking in moderation, thus underlining a trend to smaller serve packaging, and seeking ‘experiences’ in a wide variety of eating and drinking venues such as theaters, museums, concerts, festivals, sports/activity venues, ‘groceraunts’ and other premises offering combined experiential and food/drink occasions. This diverse landscape has resulted in wine selling locations in the U.S. being up 8.5% from five years ago to 567,000 off- and on-premise locations.”

Brager explained that consumers are also shopping more online and want a convenient and effective online browsing and shopping experience. Adopting e-commerce platforms to make wine more accessible to consumers is having an impact on wine sales. Alternative packaging such as 3-liter boxes and cans is another trend expanding occasions to enjoy wine.

According to Nielsen-measured U.S. off-premise sales, top-selling varietals by volume share are: Chardonnay, 18.6%; Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.6%; Red Blends, 10.6%; Pinot Grigio/Gris, 9.7%; Merlot, 6.4%; Moscato/Muscat, 6.2%; Pinot Noir,5.2%; Sauvignon Blanc, 5.1%; White Zinfandel/Blush, 3.6%; and Rosé, 2.7%. Rosé continues to show phenomenal growth, with sales volume jumping 46% compared to 2017.

Total shipments of sparkling wine and champagne to the U.S. reached 27.4 million cases in 2018. Up 4% from the previous year, sparkling wines/champagnes accounted for a 7% share of the U.S. wine market.

The U.S. Wine Market

Wine shipments to the U.S. from all production sources—California, other states and foreign producers—grew 1% to 406.5 million cases in 2018, with an estimated retail value of $68.1 billion. The U.S. has remained the world’s largest wine market by volume since 2010 and the U.S. is now the third leading global wine producer. California’s 245 million cases shipped within the U.S. in 2018 represent a 61% share of the total U.S. wine market.

U.S. Wine Exports

U.S. wine exports, 95% from California, reached $1.46 billion in winery revenues in 2018. Volume shipments were 375 million liters or 41.7 million cases. The European Union’s 28-member countries were the top market for U.S. wine exports, accounting for $469 million; followed by Canada, $449 million; Hong Kong, $130 million; Japan, $93 million; China, $59 million; Mexico, $27 million; South Korea, $25 million; Nigeria, $15 million; Dominican Republic, $14.4 million, and Singapore, $14 million.

CALIFORNIA WINE SHIPMENTS1

(In millions of 9-liter cases)

Year California Wine Shipments to All Markets in the U.S. and Abroad2 California Wine Shipments to the U.S. Market2 Estimated Retail Value of CA Wine to U.S.3
2018 284.8 248.1 $40.2 billion
2017 280.5 241.8 $38.7 billion
2016 280.8 240.3 $37.1 billion
2015 279.4 234.8 $35.4 billion
2014 277.6 233.0 $33.8 billion
2013 266.1 221.4 $30.6 billion
2012 257.8 214.3 $31.2 billion
2011 270.2 224.1 $30.5 billion
2010 254.7 210.1 $30.4 billion
2009 255.6 213.3 $30.7 billion
2008 254.5 208.4 $27.3 billion
2007 245.8 200.39 $26.0 billion
2006 239.3 196.6 $26.6 billion
2005 233.5 193.8 $24.1 billion
2004 221.4 182.2 $22.2 billion
2003 209.1 177.0 $20.8 billion
2002 194.9 168.4 $21.5 billion

Sources: Wine Institute and BW166/Gomberg-Fredrikson Report. Preliminary. History revised.
1 Includes table, sparkling, dessert, vermouth, other special natural, sake and others. Excludes cider.
2 Excludes bulk imports bottled in California.
3 Estimated retail value includes markups by wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs.

WINE SALES IN THE US

(Wine shipments in millions of 9-liter cases from California, other states and foreign producers entering U.S. distribution)

Year Table Wine1 Dessert Wine2 Sparkling Wine/
Champagne
Total Wine Total Retail Value3
2018 338.7 40.4 27.4 406.5 $68.1 billion
2017 336.1 40.8 26.4 403.3 $65.3 billion
2016 332.0 41.2 24.4 397.6 $63.3 billion
2015 324.7 40.2 21.7 386.6 $60.5 billion
2014 323.4 34.6 19.8 377.8 $56.8 billion
2013 326.2 31.6 18.4 376.2 $53.4 billion
2012 319.1 30.3 17.5 366.9 $51.7 billion
2011 307.6 31.4 17.2 356.2 $50.3 billion
2010 291.4 28.9 15.3 335.6 $47.7 billion
2009 287.7 27.2 13.9 328.8 $45.6 billion
2008 273.1 27.7 13.5 314.3 $44.7 billion
2007 273.3 26.7 13.8 313.8 $43.7 billion
2006 259.4 24.3 13.6 297.3 $42.2 billion
2005 253.5 22.5 13.1 289.1 $39.5 billion
2004 245.3 20.3 13.2 278.8 $36.2 billion
2003 237.0 17.6 12.0 266.6 $34.0 billion
2002 222.6 15.9 11.5 250.0 $33.0 billion

Sources: Wine Institute, Department of Commerce, Estimates by BW166/Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates. Preliminary. History revised. Excludes exports. Excludes Cider. Totals may not add up exactly due to rounding.
1 Includes all still wines not over 14 percent alcohol, including bulk imports bottled in the U.S.
2 Includes all still wines over 14 percent alcohol and sake, including bulk imports bottled in the U.S.
3 Estimated retail value includes markups by wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs. Includes on- and off-premise expenditures.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

New Consumer Research Presented at First U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit Shows Strong Interest in Sustainable Wine

六月 20, 2019

Summit Banner

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), with wine and grape association partners from New York, Oregon and Washington, and others around the country hosted the inaugural U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit | West on June 6-7 in Sonoma County. A highlight of the Summit was a presentation by Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence, on consumer perceptions of sustainable winegrowing. The research indicated high interest in purchasing sustainably produced wine in the future, a favorable perception of sustainable certification programs and certification logos, and a willingness to pay more for sustainably produced wine, particularly by Millennials and Gen Z.

St Francis Winery Tour
The Summit kicked off with tours at Benziger Family Winery and St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.

The Wine Intelligence consumer research was based on an April 2019 survey of 2,000 regular wine consumers (U.S.), three domestic focus groups and surveys in Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Among the key findings:

  • While organic wine is more universally understood, sustainably produced wine has the highest future purchase consideration, with 74% of U.S. respondents indicating that they would consider buying sustainably produced wine in the future.
  • In Canada, Sweden and the UK, sustainably produced wine had the highest percentages for future purchase consideration – 70%, 60% and 63% respectively, except in Sweden where organic still ranked higher (68%).
  • The survey also questioned affinity (“right for me”) and sustainably produced again performed well across countries – U.S. (68%), Canada (65%), Sweden (60%) and UK (56%).
  • For U.S. consumers, sustainable wine is most strongly associated with U.S. States and, in particular, California.
  • Millennials lead the way in purchasing from the range of sustainably and environmentally produced wine, and nine in 10 are “willing to pay” more for sustainably produced wine. Among all U.S. wine consumers, $3 was the average extra value that consumers indicated they were “willing to pay” for a sustainably produced wine.
  • Younger consumers (Millennials and Gen Z of legal drinking age) are significantly more engaged with sustainability, viewed as increasingly important to protect the future, and sustainable wine certifications have a strong appeal for younger drinkers, particularly Millennials.
  • Consumers seek easy ways to find and identify sustainable wine such as clear and simple visual cues or clearly identified sections in a store. Sustainability certifications for wine provide transparency and reassurance. While “Award Winning” endorsements deliver the most reassurance and positive impact on likelihood to buy, both CSWA’s Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (California CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE) logo and a generic Certified Sustainable logo were viewed as credible and visually appealing. When explicitly tested, wine endorsed with a CSWA logo yields the highest likelihood to buy among U.S. wine consumers.
  • While winery websites and wine tasting events are more effective at communicating wine sustainability, wine labels and peer recommendation are more frequently used sources.

Alternative Wine Styles: Consideration by Country
% who would consider buying the following alternative wine styles in the future.
Base = All aware of the following alternative wine styles

Research Graph
Light blue = Top 3 in each segment (exc. small sample size). Dark gray = Small sample size (n<50). Sources: Wine Intelligence, consumer focus groups in LA, April 2019, n=3 groups; Wine Intelligence, Vinitrac© U.S. (n=2,000), Canada (n=2,479), Sweden (n=1,000) and U.K. (n=1,000), April 2019 U.S., Canadian, Swedish and U.K. regular wine drinkers.

About the U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

Six states were represented among the 65 summit attendees at the inaugural U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit | West, which included regional winery and vineyard associations, grower and vintner leaders, and other organizations committed to the sustainability of local vineyards, wineries and regions. Several panels explored “the value of sustainability” from the perspective of vineyards and wineries, other industries and trade, as well as lessons learned from various U.S. state sustainability programs. A second Summit, the U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit | East will be held in New York in 2020.

In California, which produces more than 80% of U.S. wine, vineyards and wineries that represent the vast majority of the state’s acreage and wine production are participating in the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program and other educational and certification programs and adopting sustainable practices. In fact, 85% of California wine is now made in a Certified California Sustainable Winery and more than 40% of California’s statewide acreage is certified to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and/or SIP Certified. Other programs that were included on the program panel at the Summit include Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, Washington Wine’s Vinewise/Winerywise, and LIVE Certified.

The Summit’s keynote speaker, Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary, highlighted the impressive progression of sustainable winegrowing in the U.S. wine industry, and the unique ways in which winegrowing regions around the country are interconnected – with a common bond of dedication to future generations.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

 

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Travel California Wine Country’s Back Roads This Summer: Sierra Foothills Spotlight

六月 3, 2019

Wine Institute Series Highlights the Wine Roads Less Traveled

SAN FRANCISCO — 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 consumers discover new wines and wineries this summer, Wine Institute’s California Wine Country Back Roads series highlights off-the-beaten path wine roads and regions.

 

SIERRA FOOTHILLS WINE REGION

The California Gold Rush from 1848-1855 occurred in the heart of the Sierra Foothills wine region which covers 2.6 million acres of rolling hills, old mining towns and several of the coolest and highest elevation vineyards in the state. The region is a haven for small, family-run wineries known for their rich history, 100-plus-year old grapevines and full-bodied red wines, located throughout eight counties—Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. Here, visitors can enjoy pairing the latest vintages with some of California’s spectacular scenery, as this wine region has three national parks and 20 wilderness areas that include Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe.

El Dorado County Spring Vineyard
El Dorado County has more than 70 wineries and mountain vineyards that produce more than 70 winegrape varieties. Photo credit Lava Cap Vineyard.

TASTE: The Sierra Foothills region is home to more than 200 wineries and a diverse range of grape varieties. Amador County, tucked into the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, includes more than 40 wineries—many specializing in Zinfandel, Barbera and Rhône-style wines. In Calaveras County, where Mark Twain gave the county its claim to fame with his bestselling story “The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” there are more than 25 tasting rooms on the charming Main Street of Murphys. El Dorado County, with its mountain vineyards perched high above the valley, features 70 wineries producing everything from Cabernet-based varietals to wines made from Rhône, German, Italian and Spanish grape varieties. Back-road gems can also be found in Nevada County, Placer County and Yuba County. For a taste of several sub-regions, take a scenic excursion up historic Highway 49. The road begins in Oakhurst, then winds its way north through several winery-rich counties, including Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada and more.

Gnarly Vines Murphy's Hotel
Visitors can attend Amador County’s Barbera Festival and might also go past 140-year-old vines. Photo courtesy Deaver Vineyards. In Murphys, Calaveras County, there are over 25 wine tasting rooms and the historic Murphys Hotel along Main Street. Photo courtesy Calaveras CVB.

TOUR: Celebrate local wine, food and agriculture June 20-21 during the Placer Wine Trail’s Grape Days of Summer, a self-guided tour that features food, music and educational experiences at every stop in Placer County. Amador County’s annual Barbera Festival in September during California Wine Month offers tastes from more than 50 local wineries, plus fabulous food, live music and artisan vendors. Also, in September is the WineDerLust Renegade Wine Festival in Placerville, a wine bazaar and concert showcasing the best of El Dorado wines.

Placer County Grape Days
Visitors enjoy wine in a cavern tasting room during Placer County Wine Trail’s Grape Days of Summer. Photo courtesy of Placer County Wine Trail.

For more information on lodging, dining and upcoming events, see Amador County Vintners, Calaveras Winegrape Alliance, El Dorado Wines, Go Nevada County and Placer Wine Trail.

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.

To see Wine Institute’s Back Roads guides to other California wine regions, visit https://discovercaliforniawines.com/media-trade/news.

###
MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Summer Travel on California Wine Country Back Roads: Part 1, North Coast

五月 20, 2019

Wine Institute Series Highlights the Wine Roads Less Traveled

SAN FRANCISCO — 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.

J. Rickards Winery Tour
Guests enjoy the vineyard tour at J. Rickards Winery during Experience Alexander Valley June 22-23. Photo copyright 2018 J. Rickards Winery

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 restrained, 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 or the next county just south of Sonoma in Marin County.

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 County 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 Bordeaux varieties—and a thriving culinary scene that includes Michelin star restaurants, delicious food truck fare and every level of cuisine in between.

Calistoga Harvest Table
Guests enjoy the Calistoga Harvest Table event featuring local restaurants and 40-plus wineries.

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 Mountain reward 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 SEAL, performers 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.

Tasting from the barrel
Sample yet-to-be-released wines at the Barrel Tasting Weekend July 20-21 in Anderson Valley.

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.

Lake County landscape
The picturesque vineyards of Lake County wine country. Photo George Rose.

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 hillsides of Red Hills.

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.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California’s ‘Family-Friendly’ Wineries Welcome Kids to Wine Country

五月 13, 2019

Tasting rooms offer juice tastings, farm animal visits and more

Kids in Vineyard
Exploring the vineyards is one of the ways kids can enjoy California wine country.

SAN FRANCISCO — While some people visit California wineries for much-needed “grown-up” time in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, many parents prefer to travel and taste with their little ones in tow. This has increasingly become the trend, according to Wine Institute, inspiring many of the state’s wineries to offer special accommodations for kids, including grape juice tastings, play areas, visits with farm animals and outdoor games. These activities keep children happy and engaged while their parents sample the latest vintages.

The key to a successful and fun family outing in California’s wine country is to call ahead or check the producer’s website to see if kids are welcome. For reasons of liability or preference, some wineries do not allow guests under age 21. If the winery does allow minors, kids are permitted to join their parents in the winery and can often take part in winery tours.

Baby animals and Coppola Pool
Kids can view baby animals at Raymond Vineyards and swim at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Following is a list of family-friendly wineries throughout California:

ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County 
Legos, crayons and cornhole keep kids entertained while parents taste. Children may also explore the vineyards adjacent to the tasting room, join parents on a guided vineyard walk and taste grapes during harvest.
 
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County
Kids can join in winery and cave tours with their parents, visit the vineyards and enjoy the winery’s picnic area.
 
Alpha Omega, St. Helena, Napa Valley
The winery offers the coloring book, "Exploring the Napa Valley with Traveler Teddies," a kid-friendly guide to the Napa Valley, presented with a box of crayons. 
 
Austin Hope & Treana Tasting Cellar, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County
While parents enjoy a glass or a bottle outside overlooking the vineyards, children are invited to play cornhole or giant Jenga.     
 
Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County
A 45-minute educational tram tour showcases the winery’s Biodynamic vineyards, caves and insect-friendly gardens.
 
Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma, Sonoma County
Tours led by period actors include wine caves and the Historic Wine Museum, which features an entertaining multi-media show. There’s also a picnic area and hedge maze.
 
Buttonwood Winery, Solvang, Santa Barbara County
Explore the large fruit tree orchard and picnic areas or visit the estate farm animals.

Pruning at Captain Vineyards.
Pruning at Captain Vineyards.
Captain Vineyards, Moraga, Contra Costa County
Tour the first green, sustainable, dry farmed vineyard and winery in the Lamorinda AVA, which offers a 4-H program for middle and high schools through the University of California at Davis.
 
Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa Valley
Tour a massive replica of an Italian castle, complete with a dungeon, then meet the estate peacocks and farm animals. Kids can sample grape juice and enjoy their own play area.
 
Castoro Cellars, Templeton, San Luis Obispo County
Games for kids include cornhole, giant Jenga and disc golf.
 
Cline Cellars, Sonoma, Sonoma County
The park-like grounds feature expansive lawns, ponds stocked with fish and turtles, caged exotic birds, vintage train cars and the California Missions Museum.
 
DeLoach Vineyards, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County
The winery offers educational, family-friendly tours detailing DeLoach’s history, winemaking techniques and farming practices. Families can end their tour with a picnic in the winery grove. 
 
Domaine Artefact, Escondido, San Diego County
Pack a picnic and play cornhole and giant Jenga, or visit the ranch’s resident horses, chickens, dogs and pigs.
 
Eberle Winery, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County
Cave tours and bocce courts keep the kids entertained.
 
Fawnridge Winery, Auburn, Placer County
Children are welcome in the Fawnridge tasting room, where they offer “juice boxes” and fawn deer statues to sit on outside.
 
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, Sonoma County
Coppola welcomes families with a large swimming pool, bocce ball court, children’s library, board games and more.
 
Heritage Oak Winery, Acampo, Lodi/San Joaquin County
Outdoor family fun includes picnicking, hiking down to the river, kayaking and camping.
 
Honig Vineyard & Winery, Rutherford, Napa Valley
The winery offers eco-tours of the vineyard, plus kids’ toys and books.
 
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate, Fulton, Sonoma County
Kids can taste grape juice and tour the extensive vegetable garden, which includes a chicken coop, bat boxes and a demonstration bee hive.
 
Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood, Sonoma County
The free Horse Drawn Carriage Tour delves into farming practices and Sonoma wine history. There’s also a picnic area and expansive lawn.
 
Mauritson Wines, Healdsburg, Sonoma County
Grape juice tastings are offered during the harvest season.
 
Meyer Family Cellars, Yorkville, Mendocino County
The winery includes an outdoor children’s play area.
 
Navarro Vineyards, Philo, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County
Kids can enjoy a grape juice tasting of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer.
 
Pennyroyal Farm, Boonville, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County
The winery’s Farm Tour lets kids meet resident farm animals and sample grape juice.
 
Raymond Vineyards, St. Helena, Napa Valley
The outdoor Theater of Nature showcases how all of nature’s “actors”—including chickens and goats—play a crucial part in crafting quality wine, from the soil to the vineyards. 
 
Retzlaff Vineyards, Livermore, Livermore Valley
The winery has a picnic area and a lawn with big toy tractors for kids to play on.
 
Six Sigma Ranch and Winery, Lower Lake, Lake County
Meet "Topper", the winery’s pot belly pig who loves to have his ears rubbed. Select Saturdays, jump on the flat bed and help feed the livestock. Picnic or play a game of cornhole. 
 
Truett-Hurst Winery, Healdsburg, Sonoma County
Families are free to roam the working farm, which features goats, chickens and sheep.
 
Zaca Mesa Winery, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara County
Families are invited to picnic or play a game on the giant chess board.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
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Fifth Annual California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards Recipients Announced

四月 2, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Green Medal recipients have been announced for the fifth annual Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. The California Green Medal recognizes the leadership of wineries and vineyards committed to sustainability and is presented by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and the Vineyard Team. Four Green Medals are presented in the following categories: Leader, Environment, Community and Business. The recipients of the Green Medal Awards will be honored at a ceremony at the California Department of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento on May 1, 2019. The event will be held in conjunction with a Legislative Reception, celebrating California Wines Down to Earth Month in April recognizing the California wine community’s commitment to sustainable winegrowing.

Recipients of the 2019 Green Medals are:

Green Medal Recipients 2019
From left to right: Jason Smith, President/CEO, Smith Family Wines (Community Award); Kurt Gollnick, Chief Operating Officer, Scheid Family Wines (Environment Award); Kellie Hoppe, Lab Technician, Domaine Carneros (Business Award); Nate Weis, Director of Winemaking, Silver Oak Cellars (Leader Award).

LEADER AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that excels in the three “E’s” of sustainability—Environmentally Sound, Socially Equitable and Economically Viable practices.

Recipient: Silver Oak Cellars, located in Healdsburg and Oakville, California, understands that sustainability is a long-term strategy to achieve a healthy and thriving business, without compromising future generations’ ability to use and enjoy natural resources. Some innovative ways they achieve their sustainability goals include the design of the wineries for maximum efficiency through LEED certification. Their Oakville Winery was the first production winery to achieve LEED Platinum certification in 2016 and their Alexander Valley winery earned LEED Platinum certification in 2018. Most of their energy needs are met through onsite solar and 100% of their process water at the Alexander Valley winery is treated onsite and reused. Silver Oak Cellars provides rich benefits and fosters a family-focused work atmosphere. Silver Oak’s sustainability leadership is further evidenced by their integration of Living Building Challenge (LBC) standards in the design of their new Alexander Valley winery, with the goal to become the first LBC certified winery in 2019, on top of comprehensive vineyard and winery certification to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE) and the Napa Green Land and Winery programs.

Water tower at Silver Oak Cellars in Alexander Valley.
Water tower at Silver Oak Cellars in Alexander Valley.

ENVIRONMENT AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Environmental Stewardship through maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.

Recipient: Scheid Family Wines, based in Salinas, California, holds sustainability as a core value. Scheid Family Wines strives for sustainability in the broadest sense of the word every day in all that they do. They installed a wind turbine that provides power to run the entire winery operation plus an additional 125 homes. Skylights were placed in the winery to provide a more pleasant work environment and reduce electricity usage. All the vineyards and the winery are Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE). They recycle and reuse 100% of the grape pomace and wastewater generated in their winery. In the vineyard, they invest in human assisted technology to ease the physical demands of pruning, increase safety, enhance the well-being of their employees and extend their careers. Scheid Family Wines believes that being a leader in the wine industry requires a deep commitment to environmental stewardship and the well-being of their employees and local community.

Scheid Family Wines wine turbine.
Scheid Family Wines wine turbine.

COMMUNITY AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that is a Good Neighbor & Employer using the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.

Recipient: Smith Family Wines, based in Monterey County, California, is a strong supporter of their local community and fosters a quality environment for their employees. A full spectrum of benefits is offered to all employees and they run a companywide wellness program with weekly outreach to employees and their families, including exercise, nutrition, biometric analysis, and lifestyle education. The wellness program alone reflects a $200,000 commitment to their employees. Employees are also paid to participate in education and professional associations, and there is comprehensive safety training. The company participates in both SIP Certified and Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE), with a full-time employee dedicated to sustainability. Smith Family Wines is a leader in providing their employees a safe, socially equitable, and economically just place to work.

The Smith Family Wines team.
The Smith Family Wines team.

BUSINESS AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Smart Business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.

Recipient: Domaine Carneros, located in Napa, California, understands how sustainability leads to efficiency and cost effectiveness. The company was built on a pillar of sustainability and as part of their open book management plan, they set measurable goals every three years in the category of sustainability and visit these goals annually to ensure goals are being met. This type of management plan allows for all employees to be involved. One of the ways they realized significant cost savings is through their packaging reuse program. Since starting the program, the company has saved about $75,000 per year in packaging costs. This program also has helped divert solid was from landfills, while recognizing that reuse uses less energy and resources than recycling. Domaine Carneros’ smart business sense and commitment to sustainably is apparent in every facet of their operation, with both vineyards and the winery comprehensively certified to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE) and the Napa Green Land and Winery programs.

Domaine Carneros cover-cropped vineyard in winter.
Domaine Carneros cover-cropped vineyard in winter.

“The Green Medal recognizes the commitment and dedication to sustainability by California growers and vintners,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “The hardest part is selecting only four recipients from the many amazing applications received from vineyards and wineries of all sizes from throughout California. The judging panel was impressed by the breadth and depth of sustainable practices being used to conserve water and energy, maintain healthy soil, protect air and water quality, preserve wildlife habitat, and enhance relations with employees and communities, all while improving the economic vitality of vineyards and wineries.”

A panel of wine and sustainability experts judged the applications for the fifth annual California Green Medal. They include: Karen Block, Ph.D., Directory of Industry Relations, UC Davis Viticulture & Enology; Stephanie Bolton, Ph.D., Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission; Renata Brillinger, Executive Director, California Climate Action Network; Anna Brittain, Sustainability Consultant, Napa Valley Vintners; David Glancy, Master Sommelier, San Francisco Wine School; Allison Jordan, Executive Director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance; Cyril Penn, Editor in Chief, Wine Business Monthly; Kate Piontek, Vice President of Operations, Sonoma County; Mike Taylor, Director of Adult Beverages, Nugget Market Inc.; Ann Thrupp, Executive Director, Berkeley Food Institute at UC Berkeley; and Beth Vukmanic Lopez, SIP Certification Manager, The Vineyard Team.

Award sponsors are — Exclusive Media Sponsor: Wine Business Monthly; Gold Sponsor: Rivercap; Silver Sponsors: Farm Credit Alliance, G3, Marin Clean Energy and Protected Harvest; and, Bronze Sponsors: AG Unlimited and ETS Laboratories.

Visit www.greenmedal.org for more information.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

New Book: Wine Country Table

三月 28, 2019

With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest

Wine Country Table Book Cover

 
“Janet Fletcher, Robert Holmes, and Sara Remington have brilliantly captured the spirit of California wine country—its harvests, its flavors, its delights, and its humility. Page after page, farmers and winemakers share their stories and in doing so, they wrap us up in their profound love of the land and the delicious things the land gives us.”
— Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible

SAN FRANCISCO — Wine Institute has released its new book, WINE COUNTRY TABLE: WITH RECIPES THAT CELEBRATE CALIFORNIA’S SUSTAINABLE HARVEST, published by Rizzoli New York. The book offers compelling stories and 50 recipes that showcase the diversity of the California’s wines and regions, its agricultural bounty and the seasonal spirit that continues to define the produce-driven and ethnically influenced essence of California wine country cooking. See: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/wine-country-table.

“Wine Country Table showcases the true rock stars of California’s world-renown culinary scene – all of the vintners and farmers throughout the state who grow more than 100 winegrape varieties and 400 specialty crops,” said Nancy Light, Wine Institute VP of Communications who with VP of Environmental Affairs Allison Jordan, conceived and edited the new book.

Beautifully photographed, the book offers a visual tour of 23 stunning farms and wineries where sustainable practices highlight the future of responsible farming and winegrowing embraced throughout California. Profiled wineries are: Cakebread Cellars, Cambria Estate Vineyard & Winery, Chamisal Vineyards, Concannon Vineyard, Domaine Carneros, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Handley Cellars, Heringer Estates, Palumbo Family Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Scheid Vineyards, Six Sigma Winery, Tablas Creek Vineyard, The Lucas Winery and Turley Wine Cellars. Featured farms are: Couture Farms (asparagus), Enzo Olive Oil Company, Hilltop & Canyon Farms (avocados and citrus), Henderson Family Farms (pears), J. Marchini Farms (figs), Lodi Farming (cherries), Resendiz Brothers (cut flowers) and Taylor Brothers Farms (dried plums).

Written by award-winning author Janet Fletcher, the book also spotlights California’s key wine regions and winegrape varieties and its most important fruit and vegetable crops, with tips on how to select and use them. The recipes cover all bases, from breakfast (Golden State Granola), lunch (Frittata with Broccoli Rabe and Sheep Cheese), and dinner (Lamb Meatballs with Artichokes and Olives) to dessert (Almond, Orange, and Olive Oil Cake), with helpful California wine suggestions. Master the art of making Vietnamese Chicken Pho, learn the proper way to eat it, and complement it with a glass of California Riesling. For Spring Vegetable Tabbouli with Fava Beans, Radishes, and Spring Herbs, pour a Chardonnay, Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. Stir-fried Skirt Steak with Chinese Broccoli and Shiitake pairs well with both Cabernet Sauvignon and dry rosé. Taste Mexico’s influence on the California kitchen in dishes like Roasted Tomato Soup with Tortilla Crisps, ideal with Zinfandel or Sauvignon Blanc.

About the Author: Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of nearly 30 books on food and beverage, including Cheese & Wine; Cheese & Beer; Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner; and Eating Local: Recipes Inspired by America’s Farmers. Fletcher’s journalism has received three James Beard Awards.

Wine Country Table: With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest by Janet Fletcher, photographs by Robert Holmes and Sara Remington, in collaboration with Wine Institute. Hardcover / 8.4” x 10.5” / 352 pages / 300 color photographs / $45.00 U.S., $60.00 Canadian / ISBN: 978-0-8478-6543-7 / Release Date: April 2019 / www.rizzoliusa.com / www.discovercaliforniawines.com/wine-country-table.

Book Credits: © Wine Country Table: With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest by Wine Institute, Rizzoli, 2019. All Wine Country Table images credit © Wine Institute by Robert Holmes and/or © Sara Remington. Certified sustainable producer Jordan Winery has consented to Wine Institute’s use of the title “Wine Country Table” for this book. Find food, wine, entertaining and travel tips at Jordan Winery’s site www.winecountrytable.com. No images or text may be reproduced in any way, published or transmitted digitally without written permission from the publisher.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wines “Down To Earth Month” Kicks Off in April with Eco-Friendly Events Across the State

三月 19, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — The eighth annual California Wines Down to Earth Month kicks off in April with sustainability-focused wine events and offers across the state, including Earth Day festivals, vineyard hikes, food and wine events, eco-tours and more. Created by Wine Institute, the association of nearly 1,000 California wineries, the month-long celebration highlights the winemaking community’s commitment to protecting the environment, being a good neighbor and producing high quality wines with sustainable farming and business practices. See: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e.

Down to Earth Winery Events
The Taste of Mendocino is at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco April 27, and Handley Cellars (left) will be one of 30-plus wineries pouring wines, including many that are sustainable, organic or biodynamic. April 20 is Santa Cruz Mountains Passport Day with 40-plus participating wineries, many with “green” certifications. Ridge Vineyards (right) is celebrating that day with a special flight of organic wines.

Coinciding with this year’s Down to Earth Month is the release of “Wine Country Table, With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest,” a book showcasing California’s rich sustainable bounty and the winegrowers and other farmers across the state who are helping to set the standard for innovation and responsible farming, along with 50 recipes and tips on food and wine. Acclaimed food writer, Janet Fletcher, is the author.

California is a global leader in sustainable winegrowing based on vineyard acreage and winery case production following these practices. As of 2018, 70% (209 million cases) of California’s total wine production and 25% of statewide wine acreage (150,000 acres) are CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE.

To celebrate California sustainable winegrowing, 40 Down to Earth Month events are happening in April at wineries statewide including the region-wide events listed below. New events are being added daily to the downloadable list here:

11th Annual Wine 4 Paws Weekend, April 5-7, Paso Robles: Visit San Luis Obispo County wineries and stock up on fine wines during this benefit weekend to help homeless cats and dogs. Nearly 100 wineries and other participating businesses will share their proceeds with the pets of the Woods Humane Society.

Drink Green: A Toast to Sustainable Winegrowing, April 6, Madera County: Participating wineries of the Madera Wine Trail will celebrate the region’s sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices by offering special tastings and education about eco-conscious winery practices.

El Dorado Passport Wine Adventure, April 6-7, Placerville: Pick up your passport for access to more than 20 participating wineries in El Dorado County in the Sierra Foothills, including many committed to sustainable growing and winemaking practices.

Santa Cruz Mountains Passport Celebration Day, April 20: Join more than 40 participating Santa Cruz Mountains wineries—many of them pouring sustainable and organic wines—for a day of tasting throughout the region.

Stags Leap District Wineries: Vineyard to Vintner, April 26-28, Napa Valley: Celebrating 30 years as an American Viticultural Area, the Stags Leap District Vineyard to Vintner anniversary celebration includes dinners, seminars on terroir and winegrowing, and tastings that include coveted library wines and new releases. A portion of the proceeds benefit a scholarship fund.

Taste of Mendocino, April 27, San Francisco: Head to Fort Mason Center in San Francisco to sample wines from more than 30 Mendocino County producers—known for their high rate of participation in certifications for sustainable, organic, biodynamic and fish-friendly farming practices—along with artisanal food bites.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley- 30th Anniversary, April 27-28, Healdsburg: Join more than 40 Dry Creek Valley wineries for tastings, food and wine pairings, fine cuisine from acclaimed Sonoma County chefs, and educational tours that highlight sustainable operations in the vineyards.

Earth Day Napa, April 28, Napa Valley: Come to Oxbow Commons and celebrate Earth Day with the Environmental Education Coalition of Napa County. The event features music, activities for all ages, delicious local food, wine and beer. More than 75 organizations and vendors will provide information about green products, services, the local environment, and how to make a difference for the good of the planet.

View all 2019 Down to Earth events, tours and offers in California Wine Country at: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e.

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Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. California wineries generate $114 billion annually in economic activity to the U.S. economy and create 786,000 jobs across the country of which 325,000 are in California. The organization also works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization established by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, received the governor’s top environmental award for increasing adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices in California and for initiating new educational tools and program improvements. Learn more at: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/sustainable-winegrowing.

CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE wine bottle logo

Wineries and vineyards around the state have also earned Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status through the third-party certification program launched by CSWA. Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other programs such as the Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play a vital role in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Editors: download all the Down to Earth Month winery events by region here and photos of winery events and California sustainable winegrowing here.

New Wine Institute Video Series Spotlights “California Wines: UNRESERVED”

三月 5, 2019

View the video at: www.facebook.com/CaliforniaWines

In One Glass Video
Grapes Vine Hand Toasting on the Coast

SAN FRANCISCO — Sipping sparkling wine beneath towering redwood trees; shucking oysters just pulled from the Tomales Bay; contemplating ocean waves while sampling wines uniquely shaped by sunshine, wind and fog. This could only be California.

Wine Institute’s new video series, “California Wines: UNRESERVED,” highlights some of the state’s most iconic landscapes as young sommeliers, wine directors and educators explore the role of the senses in enjoying wine, the meaning of terroir, the magic of California’s old vines, and the ways in which food and wine enhance each other. The videos emphasize the approachability of California wine and the many ways that it fits into relaxed, informal settings.

“In One Glass,” the first in the 50-part video series, delves into the diversity of flavors found in California wines, as described by wine writer Elaine Chukan Brown. It debuts Tuesday, March 5 on Wine Institute’s U.S. Facebook page before rolling out across global social media channels including Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, and going live on www.DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com. Two new videos will be posted every week through September.

WATCH THE VIDEOS AT:
Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube Website

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for California wineries which produce 80 percent of U.S. wine and account for more than 90 percent of U.S. wine exports. California is home to dozens of distinct wine regions, 139 American Viticultural Areas and 4,800 wineries. As the nation’s number one state for wine and food tourism, California attracts 24 million visitors to its wine regions each year.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Millennial Vintners to Watch in 2019

二月 28, 2019

Young California Vintners Inspire Millennial Generation

 
SAN FRANCISCO — In 2019, millennials, ages 23-38, will number 73 million people, surpassing Baby Boomers to become America’s largest generation. These consumers, distinguished by their openness to trying new and unusual wines, are naturally of great interest to California wineries. Because millennials are known to value the advice of their peers, what better place to look for opinions and wine recommendations than their own generation of vintners?

With millennials playing a role in U.S. wine sales, Wine Institute has identified several inventive young vintners who are taking the reins of their families’ multi-generational wineries. The following “Millennial Vintners to Watch for 2019” are just a handful of the many leaders bringing new ideas and innovations to their family businesses to help them thrive long into the future.
 

Jacqueline Balletto – Balletto Vineyards, Sonoma County
 
As Balletto’s tasting room and direct-to-consumer sales manager, this third-generation vintner has made the family business more digitally savvy by upgrading the winery’s tasting room technology, creating a mobile-friendly website and connecting with consumers via social media. In the tasting room, Jacqueline also carries out the family’s vision of building lifelong relationships with customers by introducing people to their estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Prior to her current role, she was a viticulture assistant for the winery and helped maintain relationships with wineries that purchase fruit from Balletto’s Russian River Valley vineyards.

Jamie Benziger – Imagery Estate Winery, Sonoma County
 
Jamie is the daughter of Imagery founder Joe Benziger. As winemaker, she is the artist behind the winery in Glen Ellen. In addition to annually crafting more than 35 wines, she launched a new tier in 2017 designed to broaden consumers’ palates with unique varietal blends. (For example, the Sauvignon Blanc is blended with 20% Muscat and the Pinot Noir contains 10% Petit Verdot.) Jamie’s collection is introducing Imagery to a new generation and includes the first wines Imagery has ever distributed outside the tasting room.

Nicholas Bleecher – Jericho Canyon Vineyards, Napa Valley
 
The son of founders Dale and Marla Bleecher, Nicholas is the winemaker and general manager at Jericho Canyon Vineyard. He grew up spending years working in the vineyards after school and during summers and later on in the winery when the building was completed in 2006. Earning UC Davis degrees in viticulture and enology and managerial economics, he worked abroad as many young winemakers do. He returned to Jericho in 2011, working alongside winemakers Heidi Barrett, Bo Barrett, Thomas Brown, Aaron Pott and Michel Rolland. Today, he makes Jericho Canyon Vineyard’s wines as well as wines for personal clients.

Sarah Cahn Bennett – Navarro Vineyards, Mendocino County
 
Sarah is the daughter of founders Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn, leading the family’s vision for the next generation. When she first took over running the family winery with her brother, Aaron, Sarah reintroduced sheep to the estate (it was formerly a sheep ranch) and put the animals to work suckering vines. She also brought more scientific rigor to the business using her UC Davis training. With the development of Pennyroyal Farm, Navarro’s sister wine estate in Boonville, Sarah created a unique program with excellent wines, acclaimed artisan cheeses and a dairy farm.

Bryan Cass – Cass Vineyard and Winery, Paso Robles
 
Bryan’s start in the wine business began in high school, shortly after his family purchased the property on which Cass Winery and Vineyards now stands. The summer before his junior year of high school, he and his friends worked away the days repairing fences, clearing out debris, and avoiding rattlesnakes on the property. After graduating from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a degree in wine and viticulture, Bryan went on to earn a master’s degree in wine business from the University of Adelaide in Australia. After graduation in 2007, he returned to Cass to apply his skills and knowledge to the family business. Today, as the winery’s general manager, he handles everything from payroll and administrative management, to sales, to working in the tasting room.

Megan Cline – Cline Cellars & Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, Sonoma County
 
Megan is the daughter of Fred and Nancy Cline and has worked with her family for the past four years learning every part of the business from winemaking and marketing to sales and hospitality. She’s been working with Cline’s associate winemaker experimenting with a range of varietals made in amphorae. Megan believes there is a purity in flavor and texture in these wines because the amphorae do not overshadow the grapes. Megan is also a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Diana Eakle Hawkins & David Eakle – Pope Valley Vineyards, Napa Valley
 
Diana and David have been managing the operations of their family winery since 2012. David is the “boots on the ground” vineyard and winemaking director while Diana manages the sales, marketing and everything in between. They both graduated from CSU Chico with a B.S. in Agricultural Business. David’s concentration was on crop science while Diana focused on marketing & business. They recently became equal partners with their father Sam Eakle to carry on their family legacy. They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese and Zinfandel from their estate vineyards that they played and worked in since they were young. As proprietors of a pre-prohibition winery, David and Diana have maintained the rich history and original historic winery and cave that have been on the property since it was established in 1897.

Chris Hall – Long Meadow Ranch Wine Estates, Napa Valley/Mendocino
 
Chris is the winery’s COO and executive vice president and he and his parents, Ted and Laddie Hall, run Long Meadow Ranch which includes cultivating over 2,000 acres of land that produce estate-grown grapes and wine, olives and olive oil, fruits and vegetables, eggs and grass-fed lamb and beef. They pioneered the Full Circle Farming concept, an organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that contributes to the health of the full operation. Besides managing the winery’s diversified farming activities, Chris drove the development of Farmstead, a food and wine destination that includes a restaurant, general store, tasting room and outdoor café.

Lindsay Hoopes – Hoopes Vineyards, Napa Valley
 
The daughter of winery founder Spencer Hoopes, Lindsay is the winery owner and general manager. She joined the winery in 2013 after a law career in the San Francisco district attorney’s office. Under the leadership of her father, she expanded the winery’s portfolio of wines, focusing on limited-production Cabernet Sauvignon of the Napa Valley. She bought and developed a new winery at the former Hopper Creek Winery in Yountville and sources grapes from there and the flagship property in Oakville. She is continuing the goal of capturing the truest expression of the terroir and grape and is dedicated to organic and sustainable farming.

Katie Jackson – Jackson Family Wines, Sonoma County
 
The daughter of Barbara Banke and Jess Jackson, Katie is the winery’s Senior VP of Corporate Responsibility. She has championed innovative water and energy management, sustainable farming practices, greenhouse gas reduction and enhanced social equity initiatives in the company since 2011. Under her leadership, Jackson Family Wines has continued efforts to cut water usage by 34% since 2008, and JFW is now the Sonoma County wine industry’s largest solar generator. In 2016, Katie launched the company’s first Family Responsibility Report with comprehensive five-year goals outlining its commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and drive social equity. With Famlia Torres, she formed a working group called the International Wineries for Climate Action to reduce the carbon footprint across the global wine industry.

Kevin Jones – Lava Cap Winery, El Dorado County/Sierra Foothills
 
Kevin is the marketing director and assistant operations manager at Lava Cap winery in Placerville, Sierra Foothills. In response to consumer interest in more immersive winery experiences, Kevin is striving to create an atmosphere that inspires guests to relax and stay a while. He also expanded the wine club to make it customizable to members’ preferences and introduced a “modern country club” concept in which visitors can bring their friends along and feel like they’re part of the brand. While others focus on digital marketing, he emphasizes real-life connections by ensuring that family members are present at all public tasting events.

Elizabeth Neuman & Will Phelps – Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Napa Valley
 
The grandchildren of winery founder Joe Phelps, Elizabeth and Will both knew they wanted to pursue a career in the wine business, joining the winery in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Elizabeth is director of business development and marketing in charge of evaluating the winery’s business from a large-scale perspective and identifying areas of opportunity in marketing, production and operations. She also oversees Joseph Phelps’ brand management and communication of the winery’s strategic vision. Will has worked at the winery as a California sales representative and its marketing director and was promoted in 2017 to director of hospitality and consumer sales, overseeing Phelps’ direct-to-consumer business.

Reid & Sophie Patterson – Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains
 
They are the son and daughter of Jeffrey and Ellie Patterson. As their parents ease out of full-time work, Reid is taking over the winery production side of the business and Sophie is handling the marketing, tasting room and sales aspects. They are both owners of the winery and are passionate about continuing the family legacy producing small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from their mountaintop estate vineyards as well as non-estate Chardonnays from the Central Coast, primarily Edna Valley.

Jamie & Emily Peterson – Peterson Winery, Sonoma County
 
As son and daughter of founder Fred Peterson, this brother-sister team manages much of the day-to-day operations of their father’s Dry Creek Valley winery. Winemaker/General Manager Jamie stays true to his father’s traditional winemaking values while weaving in innovative ideas and techniques. Introducing bag-in-box wines to attract more millennial buyers is just one of Jamie’s successes. As the direct-to-consumer and trade Marketing Manager, Emily brings a fresh perspective to the sales efforts by embracing social media and other technologies to connect with wine buyers. Whether on the road, in their intimate tasting room, or during events, Emily’s goal is to engage with like-minded wine drinkers as they sip and fall in love with Peterson wines.

Scott Saunders – Hearst Ranch Winery, Paso Robles
 
The son of winery owners Jim and Debbie Saunders, Scott entered the wine industry in the summer of 2011 after a job in construction. With an appreciation for crisp white wines and balanced reds, he then joined his dad at the winery. Fast forward several vintages, and Scott has gone “all in” at Hearst Ranch, diving into the marketing and sales side of the business. Bringing creative energy and a passion for sales, Scott’s mission is to share with trade customers the thought and effort his family puts into each wine. He also has a hand in the winemaking side of the business and is currently contemplating a carbonic fermented Petite Sirah for the next harvest.

Peter Stolpman – Stolpman Vineyards, Santa Barbara County
 
In 2009, Peter took over day-to-day management of the winery founded by his father, and he is now the company’s managing partner. One of his proudest innovations is the Fresh Wine program, which focuses on wines that buck the “jammy and high-octane” trend with such offerings as carbonic Sangiovese. The wines have been so successful that Stolpman is considering making Fresh Wine a separate brand. Under Pete’s leadership the winery has also planted more than 150,000 own-rooted vines, because he believes they produce more nuanced fruit. He’s also having fun with obscure grape varieties such as Trousseau, Savagnin, Mondeuse and Poulsard.

Anthony Terlato II – Terlato International
 
Fourth generation Anthony Terlato II joined Terlato Wines two years ago and has made significant contributions as region manager of the Midwest market. His experience includes successful sales and management roles at Empire Merchants and Southern Wine & Spirits. As a young adult, Tony completed multiple internships at Sanford, Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill wineries in California. He has studied both the production and retail aspects of winemaking. Tony brings the same entrepreneurial passion to his family’s business that his father, grandfather and great-grandfathers did before him.

Hailey Trefethen – Trefethen Family Vineyards, Napa Valley
 
The daughter of John and Janet Trefethen, Hailey and her brother, Loren, are taking the reins of the family winery. Along with managing the winery’s participation in the Napa Green and California CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE Winegrowing programs, she is actively involved in the winery’s vineyard and winemaking decisions. Hailey recently spearheaded the 2.5-year restoration of Trefethen’s 1886 winery building, which was severely damaged in Napa’s 2014 earthquake.

Luke Udsen – Castoro Cellars, Paso Robles
 
As the son of owners Niels and Bimmer Udsen, Luke has worked, in some capacity, for the winery since the age of 13. He started out in the vineyards with jobs such as pruning and picking and spent summers in the winery cellar throughout high school and college. He found his calling working in sales, marketing and social media, and today he spends most of his time traveling around the state to promote his family’s wines, pouring at events and building relationships. Luke also manages Castoro’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and pours his love of writing into the winery’s weekly blog, providing insights into the happenings at the winery, on the road and in the tasting room.

Alan Viader – Viader Vineyards, Napa Valley
 
Alan is the son of Delia Viader, who founded the winery in 1986. Since 2002, he has acted as both vineyard manager and winemaker of the Howell Mountain estate. Alan has spent the past seven years working to install and perfect a sophisticated combination of sap-flow sensors, weather station, and other cutting-edge technologies that provide invaluable information about the vineyards’ soil, vines, canopy, fruit and more. This lets him farm at a granular level, unavailable to previous generations of vintners. As a result, the winery has reduced water use by 50 percent.

Niki & Jordan Wente – Wente Vineyards, Livermore Valley
 
Both are the daughters of fifth generation winegrower, Phil Wente. Niki joined the family business in 2017 and is now the winery’s viticulture supervisor, in charge of buying and selling grapes and managing winegrower relations. Vineyard sustainability is important to Niki, and under her guidance, the winery has added more owl boxes in the vineyards and implemented the compost of lees solids and re-application to the soil. Jordan is Wente’s procurement project manager. She joined the business in 2015 and was instrumental in the recent winery and branding renovation of Murrieta’s Well. In her current role, she supports custom and private label projects.

 

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that works to enhance the environment to responsibly produce, promote and enjoy wine. Wine Institute also supports the economic and environmental health of its communities through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination. Wine Institute’s membership represents 80 percent of U.S. wine production and over 90 percent of U.S. wine exports.

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Note to editors: Images of vintners here.

Wine Institute member millennial vintners working at their multi-generational family winery can be added to this listing by contacting: communications@nullwineinstitute.org. Submissions should include a photo, bio and information describing the vintner’s focus of work. Vintners must be in age range of 23-38 as of 2019.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Sommeliers Offer California Wine and Food Pairing Tips During Restaurant Month

一月 14, 2019

Discover New Varietals and Regions on Wine Lists Around the State

California Wine Summit 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — January is California Restaurant Month, when participating eateries across the state offer special menus and fabulous great-value meals that showcase the Golden State’s incredible cuisine and culinary talent. California is the nation’s top agricultural state producing more than 100 winegrape varieties and 400 crops, so it’s also a great time to celebrate California’s vinous bounty on restaurant wine lists and fresh farm-to-fork meals. Along with the classics, California vintners are producing wines in an increasingly diverse range of varietals and styles—offering diners much to explore while they discover new restaurants.

To guide diners in discovering new wines during California Restaurant Month, Wine Institute asked three renowned California sommeliers—Tonya Pitts of One Market Restaurant in San Francisco; Wendy Shoemaker, most recently with Californios in San Francisco; and Jim Rollston of Manresa in Los Gatos—to share their insights about trends, wines they’re most excited about, and how to pair California wines with local cuisine.

From left to right: Wendy Shoemaker, Jim Rollston and Tonya Pitts
From left to right: Wendy Shoemaker, Jim Rollston and Tonya Pitts. (Alana Hale photo of Jim Rollston)

What trends are you seeing now with California wines? 

Wendy Shoemaker, Californios: California wines are becoming even more food friendly and we’re seeing more single-vineyard designations on the labels. We are also seeing a trend toward varietals commonly found in other places, like Tempranillo, Albariño, Sangiovese and Trousseau.

Jim Rollston, Manresa: The main trend continuing right now that has been percolating for several years is a new look at unconventional varietals and blends. The number of non-mainstream varietal wines from California has been steadily increasing, and the quality is higher than ever.

Which California wine regions are you into right now?   

Wendy Shoemaker, Californios: The “limestone belt” running through San Benito/Monterey counties in American Viticultural Areas such as the Cienega Valley, Lime Kiln Valley, Mt. Harlan and Chalone.

Tonya Pitts, One Market: I’m excited about aromatic white wine varietals grown in Santa Barbara County. There are some great examples of old vine Chenin Blanc and Grüner Veltliner being grown in the region, and they are truly versatile with an array of dishes.

Jim Rollston, Manresa: Amongst established American Viticultural Areas, I am most excited about the Santa Cruz Mountains. The quality of classic varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, for me, stand alongside California’s greatest examples of those wines.

What kinds of dishes would you pair with some of California’s more traditional varietals?  

Wendy Shoemaker, Californios: This sounds a bit crazy, but one of my favorites is Merlot and Indian food. The velvetiness of the wine is great with the curry spices! Another is Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir with duck and molé sauce.

Tonya Pitts, One Market: There are two dishes at One Market that pair really well with Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The first is seared snapper with butter beans, escarole and lobster sauce. The wine complements all the elements of the dish without upstaging it—it becomes part of the dish. The other pairing is mushroom and sunchoke risotto with green apples, parmesan and cider reduction. The wine has a fair amount of mineral character on the palate, and the sunchoke, parmesan and cider reduction bring out more fruit in the Chardonnay.

Jim Rollston, Manresa: One of the best wine pairings I tasted this year was with a California Sauvignon Blanc. It was matched with a citrus-heavy dish that also included daikon, Imperial miso and komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), and the intensity of flavor from the wine was perfect. When it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon, I’m old school; I like to pair it with beef!

In general, what influence do sauces, spices and preparation have on wine affinity? 

Wendy Shoemaker, Californios: They have a huge effect—especially how a dish is cooked. Working with Mexican-inspired cuisine at Californios really helped me think outside the box with pairings, and I’ve found that California Zinfandel with juicy, dark fruit can be the perfect match for food with a bit of spiciness.

Tonya Pitts, One Market: My pairings are based on the protein, but the sauce and spices play a big role in the outcome of the pairing. I look for similar profiles in the wine and the dish, and highlight those similarities.

California Restaurant Month celebrations will take place at various times throughout the month of January, lasting from one week to 10 days. To find dates for participating cities and regions across California, visit www.visitcalifornia.com/california-restaurant-month

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that works to enhance the environment to responsibly produce, promote and enjoy wine. Wine Institute also supports the economic and environmental health of its communities through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.  Wine Institute’s membership represents 80 percent of U.S. wine production and over 90 percent of U.S. wine exports. For information visit www.wineinstitute.org or its consumer website at: www.discovercaliforniawines.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Wine Institute Donates Archive to UC Davis

一月 7, 2019
The poster "California: Wine Land of America," by Mexican-American artist Amado Gonzalez, depicts California wine regions and was part of a series used to promote California wines, circa 1965.
The poster “California: Wine Land of America,” by Mexican-American artist Amado Gonzalez, depicts California wine regions and was part of a series used to promote California wines, circa 1965.

Airline menus boasting California wines, vineyard growing histories and even a movie screenplay set during Prohibition are among the latest additions to the wine collections of the library at the University of California, Davis.

Wine Institute, the leading association for the California wine industry, has donated its organizational archive and book collection to UC Davis. They complement the extensive wine collections already at the university and will help researchers understand how California wineries recovered from Prohibition and rose to the level of international prominence it enjoys today.

“We’re delighted to see our materials become part of the university’s rich collection on California wine and to make them broadly available to scholars, researchers, writers and wineries,” said Robert P. ‘Bobby’ Koch, president and CEO of the institute.

The three most significant organizational archives covering the rise of California wine since Prohibition are those from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, and Wine Institute,” said Axel Borg, the library’s wine subject specialist. “We had the government papers and the scientific research. Now we have the leading industry voice represented as well.”

Read the full press release: https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/wine-institute-donates-archive-uc-davis

Wine Institute Launches Mobile Version of DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com

十二月 7, 2018

Consumer/Trade/Media Website for U.S. and International Audiences Gets Major Upgrade

Discover California Wines Website on Mobile, Tablet and Desktop

SAN FRANCISCO — Wine Institute has relaunched its DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com consumer website as a comprehensive resource on California wines, wineries and planning a tour to California wine country. The website is available for the U.S. and customized for top export markets in nine localized and foreign language versions.

The website has been updated for mobile and tablet viewers, and users can view new state-of-the-art wine region maps that display wineries, events and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in an interactive manner similar to Google maps. Map content is dynamic so that visitors can see winery locations within AVA boundaries and view details about events, winery profiles and amenities. Popular existing content such as the winery directory, recipes and region and varietal information remains with updated formats.

DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com is the ultimate source for information on California AVAs, wineries and events, presented in an easy-to-navigate, visually appealing way for our global audience,” said Linsey Gallagher, Vice President of International Marketing for Wine Institute.

“Website visitors have easy access to the information they want most,” said Nancy Light, Vice President of Wine Institute Communications. “In addition to touring maps, there is a collection of delicious recipes with wine pairings and guides to California regions, varietals and sustainable winegrowing practices.”

As before, DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com has been translated and localized for international users in nine countries in addition to the U.S. These international websites support Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program, which has 175 winery participants that export to 135 countries.

Discover California Wines by key regions Discover California Wines in Russian River Valley
From California’s major wine regions, users can select a specific AVA, such as the Russian River Valley, and zoom in more to see wineries and events.
Shrimp Tacos Grilled Steak Noodles
Dozens of recipes, paired with California wine suggestions, highlight the diverse and delicious wine and food offerings of the Golden State.

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and wine-related businesses that initiate and advocate public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization contributes to the economic and environmental vitality of California and the U.S. through leadership in sustainable winegrowing, an international marketing program that promotes awareness of and appreciation for California wines throughout the world, and a partnership with Visit California to showcase the state’s diverse and abundant wine and food offerings. Wine Institute membership represents 81 percent of U.S. wine production and more than 90 percent of U.S. wine exports.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Fifty Masters of Wine Tour California Regions & Wines: A Photo Review

十一月 12, 2018

Fifty Masters of Wine in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

SAN FRANCISCO — Fifty Masters of Wine (MWs) from 16 countries participated in a once-in-a-lifetime tour of California wines in late October which showcased 600 wines from 60 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) throughout the state and 300 vintners. Touring California wine regions for 10 days through the Central Coast and North Coast areas, and tasting wines from across the state, the highly regarded group included sommeliers, wine retailers, restaurateurs, wine writers and other leaders in the global hospitality industry. The event, the Masters of Wine “California Dreamin’ Tour,” was a collaboration between Wine Institute and the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine.

See the full program at www.californiadreamintour.com and list of MW guests at www.californiadreamintour.com/participants.

“We were so thrilled to have these MWs join our landmark event and meet many of the best ambassadors from the Golden State wine world,” said Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute Vice President of International Marketing. “These wine industry influencers are key to enhancing consumer and trade perceptions of our wines and expanding export sales. U.S. wine exports, more than 90% from California, reached $1.53 billion in winery revenues in 2017, and have grown nearly 70% by value in the past decade.”

Photos of the Masters of Wine tour can be downloaded here. Below are some highlights.

CDFA Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross helped officially open the program, and spoke about California’s work on climate change, water and land conservation The MWs attended a tasting of Rhône-style wines from Santa Barbara County at Stolpman Vineyards in the Ballard Canyon AVA
CDFA Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross helped officially open the program, and spoke about California’s work on climate change, water and land conservation. (Elaine Chukan Brown photo)
The MWs attended a tasting of Rhône-style wines from Santa Barbara County at Stolpman Vineyards in the Ballard Canyon AVA. (Alycia Moreno photo)
Bien Nacido vintner Nicholas Miller (right) and winemaker Trey Fletcher presented wines from Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara Vintner Jason Haas led a tour of Tablas Creek Vineyard, followed by a Rhône component tasting with Paso Robles winemakers
Bien Nacido vintner Nicholas Miller (right) and winemaker Trey Fletcher presented wines from Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara. (Alycia Moreno photo)
Vintner Jason Haas led a tour of Tablas Creek Vineyard, followed by a Rhône component tasting with Paso Robles winemakers. (Elaine Chukan Brown photo)
A panel of Paso Robles vintners explored the role of phenolics in the winemaking process at a tasting of the region’s wines at Daou Vineyards Vintner Paul Draper discussed the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA and wines during a Monte Bello Winery tour, followed by a 53-year retrospective of Ridge wines and dinner
A panel of Paso Robles vintners explored the role of phenolics in the winemaking process at a tasting of the region’s wines at Daou Vineyards.
Vintner Paul Draper discussed the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA and wines during a Monte Bello Winery tour, followed by a 53-year retrospective of Ridge wines and dinner. (Alycia Moreno photo)
A tasting with 20 Sonoma County wineries was held at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville The history of California Chardonnays was presented by writer Elaine Chukan Brown at La Crema Winery, Healdsburg, followed by a lunch with wines from the North Coast and Central Coast
A tasting with 20 Sonoma County wineries was held at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville. (Alycia Moreno photo)
The history of California Chardonnays was presented by writer Elaine Chukan Brown at La Crema Winery, Healdsburg, followed by a lunch with wines from the North Coast and Central Coast. (Alycia Moreno photo)
At Timber Cove Lodge on the Sonoma Coast, the MW group experienced a truly blind tasting of wines from across the state, led by Hoby Wedler, PhD Timber Cove was also the venue for tastings of California’s cool-climate wines, including Pinot Noir and sparking wine
At Timber Cove Lodge on the Sonoma Coast, the MW group experienced a truly blind tasting of wines from across the state, led by Hoby Wedler, PhD.
Timber Cove was also the venue for tastings of California’s cool-climate wines, including Pinot Noir and sparking wine. (Alycia Moreno photo)
At Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, a panel of consulting winemakers shared their experiences in Napa Valley and beyond MW guests enjoyed a food truck dinner and tasting of 100-plus Napa Valley wines with 50 vintners at Robert Mondavi Winery
At Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, a panel of consulting winemakers shared their experiences in Napa Valley and beyond.
MW guests enjoyed a food truck dinner and tasting of 100-plus Napa Valley wines with 50 vintners at Robert Mondavi Winery. (Alycia Moreno photo)
MOW group photo
An enthusiastic MW group raise a glass to California Wines. (Alycia Montero photo)

COMMENTS FROM MW PARTICIPANTS

“I hope you are confident that you will have boosted the international reputation of California wine to a serious degree.” – John Hoskins MW, M.D. Huntsbridge Ltd., UK

“I will certainly be listing more Californian wines once the new business is up and running as there were many that were delicious and that I felt would suit my clients.” – Victoria Stephens-Clarkson, MW, VSC Wine and Drink Ltd., UK

“I believe this has opened up many eyes as to the unique and delicious aspects of California wine. Hopefully there will be much writing about and purchasing of CA wines as a result of this trip.” – Dr. Liz Thach, MW, professor, Sonoma State University, & wine journalist

ABOUT WINE INSTITUTE

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program has more than 175-member wineries exporting to 138 countries. The program’s 15 representative offices conduct activities in 25 countries.

ABOUT INSTITUTE OF MASTERS OF WINE

The Institute of Masters of Wine is a professional education and examination organization based in the United Kingdom that awards the Master of Wine (MW) title to those who pass the MW examination. The MW qualification is regarded as one of the highest standards of professional knowledge in the world of wine. The 380 MWs are working in 30 countries across five continents. IMW was formed in 1955 by the group who passed the inaugural exam in 1953.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wine 2018 Harvest Report: Slow and Steady Growing Season Brings Excellent Quality Across the State

十月 30, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Following a long growing season characterized by moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer, California’s 2018 harvest played out like a dream for winegrowers in regions across the state. Harvest began anywhere from 10 days to three weeks later than in 2017, and vintners are reporting exceptional quality, thanks to consistent growing conditions and cooler temperatures, which allowed the grapes to mature slowly.

A few regions, including Temecula, Paso Robles and San Diego County, experienced issues with heat spikes, but most reported even temperatures throughout the season with little-to-no frost damage. As the season drew to a close, vintners braced for a compacted harvest of later-ripening varieties in early October. Vintners reported abundant yields in line with the United States Department of Agriculture’s August forecast of 4.1 million tons in 2018, up 2% from 2017, and above the historical average of 3.9 million tons. Overall, vintners are enthusiastic about both the quality and quantity of the 2018 vintage.

Experienced vineyard crews are key to a successful winegrape harvest (George Rose photo).

THE GROWING SEASON
“The mild summer weather allowed fruit to mature slowly without heat stress, and canopies are looking healthy,” said John Killebrew, winemaker for Z. Alexander Brown winery in Napa. “Crop levels looked good and quality appears very high, with balanced sugar, acid and tannin levels.”

Like many wineries in the North Coast region, Napa’s Black Stallion Estate Winery began picking two weeks later than in 2017. “Fortunately, compared to previous years, we did not see any major heat waves in the early part of harvest, so the fruit ripened evenly and stress-free,” said winemaker Ralf Holdenried.

Dennis Cakebread, chairman and senior vice president of sales and marketing for Cakebread Cellars in Rutherford, Napa Valley, reported normal to above-average yields and high-quality fruit. “We’re really happy with the grapes,” he said. “They have good flavor and balance.”

Mark Burningham, director of grower relations for Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, is equally optimistic about the 2018 vintage. “This is one of those years where everyone is happy,” he said. “Yields are up and quality is excellent, thanks to the moderate temperatures and dry conditions.”

“It was a compacted harvest for the Cabernet Sauvignon, coming in right on top of the large crop of Chardonnay, so tank space was at a premium,” he continued. “Labor was tight, but we managed it by scheduling far in advance.”

In Lodi, vintners began picking old-vine Zinfandel mid-September. “This year we’ve seen a later bud break, set and veraison, followed by a hot July and a cool August,” said Stuart Spencer of St. Amant Winery. “The cool temperatures in mid- to late-September led to gradual sugar accumulation and good flavor development. In general, we saw better flavors at lower sugars and the quality looks great.”

Despite ongoing challenges with drought in Santa Barbara County, vintners reported a healthy crop for 2018. “The vines produced a big, bountiful crop that we began harvesting in mid-September,” said Karen Steinwachs of Buttonwood Winery & Vineyard in Solvang. “The hottest July on record led to cool temperatures in August, continuing into September. Cold, crisp evenings kept our legendary Santa Barbara County acidity in the grapes, and the flavors are simply divine.”

California Wine 2018 Harvest Report Cover

Click here to view the full report including regional reports from Amador County, Calaveras County, Lake County, Livermore Valley, Lodi, Madera, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, San Diego County, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County and Temecula Valley.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wine Month Events Make September the Time to Visit Wine Country

八月 23, 2018

Harvest Season Events Planned Around the State, from Gourmet Weekends and Festivals to Concerts

CalWineMonth2018 Poster thumbnail

SAN FRANCISCO — September is California Wine Month, and there’s no better time to experience the excitement of the state’s annual harvest season. Across California, wineries, regional associations and other organizations are hosting exclusive tastings, festivals, live music, food pairings, grape stomps, vineyard hikes and much more.

Now in its 14th year, California Wine Month celebrates the Golden State’s 250-year winegrowing history and recognizes the achievements of California vintners and growers in preserving tradition and driving innovation. With 4,800 vintners and 5,900 growers within its borders, California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer and the source of 81 percent of the wine made in the United States. It is also the most visited state in the U.S. for food- and wine-related activities, attracting 24 million people each year, and the producer of more than 400 specialty crops. Wine lovers can also celebrate with activities and special offers from California Wine Month partner retailers and restaurants during the month of September.

Visit our California Wine Month page to view the full list of regularly updated events and partners and to order a copy of the 2018 California Wine Month poster.

Regionwide events showcasing multiple wineries include:

NORTH COAST

Sept. 1: Taste of Sonoma, Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center.

Sept. 7-8: Winesong Weekend, various locations throughout Mendocino County.

Sept. 8: Calistoga Wine Experience, Pioneer Park, Calistoga, Napa Valley.

Sept. 15: Lake County Wine Auction, Boatique Winery, Kelseyville.

Sept. 22: Zinfandel: Stories from Napa Valley, Culinary Institute of America at Copia, Napa.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY & SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS

Sept. 2: Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration, Wineries throughout the region.

Sept. 8-9: Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival, Capitola Village in Santa Cruz County.

Sept. 8-30: Fall Passport Month, Wineries of Santa Clara Valley.

Sept. 22: Eat Drink Los Gatos, Downtown district, North Santa Cruz Ave.

Sept. 29: Livermore Valley Wine Auction, Wente Vineyards.

CENTRAL COAST: MONTEREY TO SANTA BARBARA

Sept. 1: Highway 46 West Wineries Harvest Block Party, Dark Star Cellars in Paso Robles.

Sept. 9: Taste of the Town Santa Barbara, Riviera Park Gardens.

Sept. 28: Sip & Saunter, San Luis Obispo.

INLAND VALLEYS

Sept. 13-16: Lodi Grape Festival, Lodi Event Center.

Sept. 21: Madera Wine Trail’s California Wine Month Celebration, Papagni Winery, Madera.

SIERRA FOOTHILLS

Sept. 1-30: Find the Gold in Calaveras Wine Country: A Treasure Hunt, Participating wineries.

Sept. 7-9: Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival, Northstar Resort, Truckee.

Sept. 8: WINEderlust River Wine Festival, Henningsen Lotus Park on the American River, El Dorado County.

Sept. 15: Sample the Sierra Farm-to-Fork Festival, Bijou Community Park, South Lake Tahoe.

Sept. 15: Barbera Festival, Terra d’Oro Wines, Amador County.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Aug. 31-Sept. 2: The Taste, Paramount Pictures Studios, Hollywood.

Sept. 8: VINO-Palooza Wine & Music Festival, Marina Del Rey Hotel, Los Angeles.

Sept. 29: Temecula Valley CRUSH, Monte De Oro Winery, Temecula.

SEE THE COMPLETE LIST OF ALL WINERY EVENTS HERE.

For more information about exploring California’s diverse wine regions, see the Navigate the State map and directory. Wine lovers can also celebrate California Wine Month at home using these delicious recipes and wine-pairing tips.

CALIFORNIA WINE MONTH PARTNERS

California Wine Month is supported by restaurant, retail, hotel, media and association partners in California and throughout the U.S. including:

U.S. National/Regional: California Pizza Kitchen, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, The Culinary Institute of America, Dickie Brennan & Co. A Family of Restaurants, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, PF Chang’s, Safeway and Tavistock Restaurants.

California: Albertsons, Blackhawk Grille, Café del Rey, California Restaurant Association, Charlie Palmer Steak Napa, Compline, Dean & Deluca, Della Fattoria, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Giordano Brothers, LA County Fair, Wine Bar (Macys), Napa Valley Grille, Pavilions, Rio Grill, San Francisco Wine School, Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar, Taj Campton Place, Tarpys Roadhouse, Visit California, VONS and Women for Winesense.

ABOUT WINE INSTITUTE

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiate and advocate state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. California wineries generate $114 billion annually in economic activity to the U.S. economy and create 786,000 jobs across the country of which 325,000 are in California, bolstering economies through hospitality, taxes and tourism and enhancing communities through environmental sustainability.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wine Sales in U.S. Market Hit $35.2 Billion in 2017

五月 23, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — California wine shipments in the U.S. reached an estimated retail value of $35.2 billion in 2017, up 3% from the previous year. The state shipped 241 million nine-liter cases in the U.S. in 2017, up 1%.

California wine sales to all markets, including shipments to the U.S. and exports worldwide, were 278 million cases in 2017.

“Consumers in the U.S. and worldwide continue to trade up to higher-priced premium wines,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO. “The quality, selection and commitment to sustainability make California wines well-positioned for growth.”

“California wine sales in the U.S. market have grown 15% in the past decade from 209 million cases shipped in 2008 to 241 million cases in 2017,” said Jon Moramarco, founder and managing partner of BW166, and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson Report. “Last year the growth mainly came from premium wines priced over $10.”

According to Moramarco, demographic trends play a significant role in wine sales. While per capita consumption has been flat over the last decade, wine sales have grown in line with the legal drinking age population, which increased roughly 10 percent over the same time period. Additional trends impacting sales included wineries focusing on tasting room and direct-to-consumer sales, which accounted for nearly $2.7 billion in retail value and 5.8 million cases in 2017. Wineries also found opportunities in independent, local restaurants with wine menus listing limited production wines to appeal to consumers shifting their spending to these smaller eating establishments.

California Wine Stats 2017

“Wine is growing but in a more challenging environment, with rapid and broad retail and consumer changes,” said Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area. “Wine selling locations in the U.S. are up 20% from a decade ago to 565,000 off- and on-premise locations, with a wide range of formats such as natural/gourmet grocery stores, no frills/value-based formats, theaters, premium bars and fast/casual on-premise outlets. There is also a diverse range of consumers, from Millennials who have less disposable income than a generation ago to Baby Boomers who are retiring and likely slowing their wine consumption as an increasing number of Americans are entering their golden years. Marketers need to find the right balance in attracting these diverse sets of consumers. E-commerce is increasingly having an impact on expanding consumer access to wine, and wineries are working on several digital platforms where wine is being sold,” he explained.

According to Nielsen-measured U.S. off-premise sales, top-selling varietals by volume are: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blends, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Moscato/Muscat, Rosé and White Zinfandel/Blush. Rosé continues to be a phenomenal growth story, with sales volume jumping 60% compared to the previous year.

Total shipments of sparkling wine and champagne to the U.S. reached 26.3 million cases in 2017. Up 8% from the previous year, sparkling wines/champagnes accounted for a 7% share of the U.S. wine market.

THE U.S. WINE MARKET

Wine shipments to the U.S. from all production sources — California, other states and foreign producers — grew 1% to 403.4 million cases in 2017, with an estimated retail value of $62.2 billion, up 2% from the previous year. The U.S. has remained the world’s largest wine market by volume since 2010. California’s 241 million cases shipped within the U.S. in 2017 represent a 60% share of the U.S. wine market.

U.S. WINE EXPORTS

U.S. wine exports, more than 90% from California, reached $1.53 billion in winery revenues in 2017. Volume shipments were 380 million liters or 42.2 million cases. The European Union’s 28-member countries were the top market for U.S. wine exports, accounting for $553 million; followed by Canada, $444 million; Hong Kong, $119 million; Japan, $94 million; China, $79 million; South Korea, $25 million; Mexico, $23 million; Singapore, $17 million; and Philippines, $14 million.

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CALIFORNIA WINE SHIPMENTS1
(In millions of 9-liter cases)
Year
California Wine Shipments to All Markets in the U.S. and Abroad2
California Wine Shipments to the U.S. Market2
Estimated Retail Value of CA Wine to U.S.3
2017 277.9 240.7 $35.2 billion
2016 279.7 239.1 $34.3 billion
2015 278.2 233.7 $32.6 billion
2014 273.0 229.7 $31.3 billion
2013 263.8 221.2 $29.7 billion
2012 250.4 210.8 $29.0 billion
2011 265.5 224.3 $28.5 billion
2010 246.1 206.3 $28.5 billion
2009 253.2 213.8 $27.6 billion
2008 255.3 208.8 $26.1 billion
2007 241.2 198.3 $24.8 billion
2006 235.8 196.9 $24.4 billion
2005 231.6 194.1 $23.0 billion
2004 226.3 182.4 $22.2 billion
2003 211.9 177.0 $20.8 billion
2002 195.4 168.3 $21.5 billion
Sources: Wine Institute, BW166/Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates and U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Preliminary. History revised.

1 Includes table, champagne/sparkling, dessert, vermouth, other special natural, sake and others. Excludes cider.
2 Excludes bulk imports bottled in U.S.
3 Estimated retail value includes markups by wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs.

 

WINE SALES IN THE U.S
(Wine shipments in millions of 9-liter cases from California, other states and foreign producers entering U.S. distribution)
Year
Table Wine1
Dessert Wine2
Sparkling Wine/Champagne
Total Wine
Total Retail Value3
2017 336.3 40.8 26.3 403.4 $62.2 billion
2016 333.2 41.2 24.4 398.8 $61.1 billion
2015 325.6 40.2 21.7 387.5 $57.4 billion
2014 323.7 34.6 20.6 378.8 $55.5 billion
2013 327.0 31.6 18.9 377.5 $52.3 billion
2012 319.5 30.3 17.9 367.7 $50.8 billion
2011 308.1 31.4 17.5 357.0 $48.6 billion
2010 290.8 28.9 15.4 335.0 $46.5 billion
2009 282.4 27.2 14.0 323.5 $45.2 billion
2008 272.2 27.7 13.6 313.5 $45.0 billion
2007 272.5 26.7 13.9 313.0 $43.5 billion
2006 258.8 24.3 13.6 296.7 $41.5 billion
2005 255.4 22.5 13.1 290.9 $38.5 billion
2004 245.3 20.3 13.2 278.8 $36.2 billion
2003 237.0 17.6 12.0 266.6 $34.0 billion
2002 222.5 15.9 11.5 250.0 $33.0 billion
Sources: Wine Institute, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, and Estimates by BW166/Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates. Preliminary. History revised. Excludes exports. Excludes cider as of 2011 going forward. Totals may not add up exactly due to rounding.

1 Includes all still wines not over 14 percent alcohol, including bulk imports bottled in the U.S.
2 Includes all still wines over 14 percent alcohol and sake, including bulk imports bottled in the U.S.
3 Estimated retail value includes markups by wholesalers, retailers and restaurateurs. Includes on- and off-premise expenditures.

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Winners Announced for Fourth Annual California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards

三月 29, 2018

Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards logo

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Green Medal winners have been announced for the fourth annual Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. The California Green Medal recognizes the leadership of wineries and vineyards committed to sustainability and is presented by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Vineyard Team. Four Green Medals are presented in the following categories: Leader, Environment, Community and Business. The recipients of the Green Medal Awards will be honored at a ceremony at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on April 11, 2018.

Winners of the 2018 Green Medals are:

Green Medal Leader

LEADER AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that excels in the three “E’s” of sustainability — Environmentally sound, socially Equitable and Economically viable practices.
Winner: Bogle Vineyards, located in Clarksburg, CA, embodies leadership in sustainability. For the past three generations, sustainability has been at its core, and they demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by certifying 1,200 acres of estate vineyards to LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing and certifying their winery to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. Since 2010, Bogle has encouraged its partner-growers to practice sustainability by paying a total of $2.8 million in bonuses for certifying vineyards to LODI RULES, with over 92% of their grapes coming from certified vineyards. Employees are treated like family, with a dozen employees having spent 20-plus years at the company, and the average employee has been there for more than a decade. Good work relations are fostered through quarterly staff luncheons that feature presentations on the latest sustainability practices and other teambuilding exercises.

Green Medal Leader

ENVIRONMENT AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Environmental Stewardship through maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.
Winner: St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, based in Rutherford in Napa Valley, is a 100% estate grown, sustainably farmed vineyard and winery. Driven by their commitment to environmental stewardship, they have preserved two-thirds of their acreage to promote biodiversity and protect the land for future generations. In the past three years, the winery has reduced their water use by 50% by capturing rainwater and reusing winery water for irrigation, and solar panels cover 80% of their electricity needs. St. Supéry’s Green Team educates employees on green practices and upholds a strict purchasing policy of using materials that are at least 50% post-consumer waste. The company offers incentives for carpooling to work, with 65% of employees participating.

Green Medal Leader

COMMUNITY AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that is a Good Neighbor & Employer using the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.
Winner: KG Vineyard Management, based in Lodi, CA, is a custom farm management business committed to sustainable farming. Having vineyards certified to LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing for the last 12 years, the company believes in maintaining and contributing to the legacy of healthy soil, air, water and the local community. KG is active in the area’s leadership roles and strives to fulfill a vision of success for Lodi and the surrounding community. They invest in the future–the future of the land, human resources, local youth and family. KG is a leader in fostering strong relationships with clients, employees and neighbors. KG’s employees are their biggest asset and safety training is implemented monthly and they provide training in Urdu, native to Pakistan and India, the primary language between the foremen and crews.

Green Medal Leader

BUSINESS AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Smart Business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.
Winner: Cakebread Cellars, located in Napa, CA, has been committed to sustainability since its inception in 1973. Cakebread believes that sustainability means investing in its employees to help them achieve their career objectives and enjoy healthy work/life balance. That’s why they offer a generous vacation policy and host an ongoing “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise” education series featuring outside speakers to share expertise on all elements of a healthy lifestyle. Cakebread invests in the longevity of its employees by tightly controlling operation costs and eliminating waste wherever possible. In fact, they diverted 92% of their total annual waste in the past two years. It’s not just the big initiatives or investments that define Cakebread — it’s the day-to-day details and decisions that have helped save costs and create a culture of conservation.

“The Green Medal recognizes the commitment and dedication to sustainability by California growers and vintners,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “It’s always a challenge selecting four winners from the many amazing applications received from vineyards and wineries of all sizes from throughout California. The judging panel was impressed by the breadth and depth of sustainable practices being used to conserve water and energy, maintain healthy soil, protect air and water quality, preserve wildlife habitat, and enhance relations with employees and communities, all while improving the economic vitality of vineyards and wineries.”

A panel of wine and sustainability experts judged the applications for the fourth annual California Green Medal. They include Dr. Stephanie Bolton, Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission; David Glancy, Master Sommelier, San Francisco Wine School; Allison Jordan, Executive Director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance; Kelli McCune, Senior Manager, Sustainable Conservation; Michelle Novi, Industry Relations Manager, Napa Valley Vintners; Cyril Penn, Editor in Chief, Wine Business Monthly; Kate Piontek, Vice President of Operations, Sonoma County Winegrowers; and Beth Vukmanic Lopez, SIP Certified® Manager, Vineyard Team.

Award sponsors are — Exclusive Media Sponsor: Wine Business Monthly; Gold Sponsor: Rivercap; Silver Sponsors: Protected Harvest, Farm Credit Alliance and Marin Clean Energy; and, Bronze Sponsors: CC Wine Caves and WM EarthCare.

Partnering organizations include: Fish Friendly Farming, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association, Napa County Resource Conservation District, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association, Santa Barbara Vintners, Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance.

Visit the Green Medal Awards website for more information.

Celebrate “Down To Earth Month” in April with California Wine Events

三月 27, 2018
California Sustainable Winegrowing Video
New video on California Sustainable Winegrowing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yx_LWnBp4Q
 
https://discovercaliforniawines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/D2E.Logo_.2018_225x225-1.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — April is the time to celebrate all things green during the seventh annual California Wines Down to Earth Month. Created by Wine Institute, the association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses, the month celebrates the wine community’s commitment to the environment with sustainability-focused winery events and offers throughout the state.

Down to Earth Month engages consumers, policy leaders, media and the wine trade with eco-friendly events, such as Earth Day festivals, vineyard hikes, food & wine festivals, eco-tours and more.

“Down to Earth Month events are one of the many ways our wineries provide experiences for visitors to learn why California leads in sustainable winegrowing,” says Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “This year’s celebration also marks the first time that some of our wine will bear the new California Certified Sustainable logo when made in a certified winery with at least 85% of the grapes from certified vineyards.”

California is a global leader in sustainable winegrowing practices in terms of wine acreage and case production. As of November 2017, 127 wineries producing over 74% (211 million cases) of California’s total wine production and 1099 vineyards farming 134,000 acres (22% of statewide wine acreage) are CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE.

Nearly two dozen events are happening throughout California in April with new ones being added daily here. Region-wide events include:

Signature Sonoma Valley, April 6-8, Sonoma: Experience an intimate and exclusive deep dive into the wines, terroir and people of Sonoma Valley’s historic wine region. Enjoy vineyard explorations, iconic wine tastings, designer meals and vintner talks in Sonoma Valley, part of Sonoma County, a region committed to 100% sustainability by the year 2019.

Taste of Mendocino, April 7, San Francisco: More than 30 Mendocino wineries will be bringing their best wines, and local artisanal food producers will be serving up delicious bites to complement the wines at Fort Mason in San Francisco. A gourmet marketplace, Taste of Mendocino attendees will be able to purchase products from participating wineries and food producers. Mendocino County has a high enrollment of green certifications for sustainable, organic, biodynamic and Fish Friendly farming.

April Passport Celebration Day, April 21, Santa Cruz: The winegrowing community of the Santa Cruz Mountains will come together on Passport Celebration Day to celebrate the generations of farmers, vintners and families that are the roots of this wine region. Fifty-plus tasting rooms throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains are each offering a unique winery experience, including organic and sustainable wines.

36th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Festival, April 21, Lompoc: Taste wines from over 100 wineries and gourmet food from 30 regional restaurants. Enjoy live music and live cooking demonstrations. Many growers use sustainable practices, allowing the natural quality of the grapes to flourish. Enjoy the rare opportunity to taste an exceptional number of wines in Santa Barbara County.

50th Anniversary of the Agricultural Preserve, April 21, Rutherford: In 1968, Napa Valley Vintners and others in the community preserved open space by enacting the nation’s first Agriculture Preserve. The 2018 year marks the 50th anniversary of this ordinance establishing agriculture and open space as the best use of land for Napa County. To honor this milestone, Alpha Omega’s winemaker Jean Hoefliger will lead a tour and tasting on April 21 at historic Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford, where 181 acres were placed under a land conservation easement that forever prohibits non-agriculture development. The Alpha Omega Foundation will donate 100 percent of tickets sold to local nonprofits.

27th Annual El Dorado Wine Region Passport Wine Adventure, April 21-29, Placerville: Take a beautiful drive to El Dorado Wine Region in the Sierra Foothills for exclusive hospitality at 22 wineries participating in the Annual Passport Weekends, April 21-22 & 28-29. Sustainable, organic and biodynamic practices are reflected in the wines such as those from Lava Cap Winery and Shadow Ranch Vineyard.

Earth Day Napa, April 22, Napa: Featuring exhibits, food, live entertainment, kids’ activities and wine at Oxbow Commons. Presented by Environmental Education Coalition of Napa County.

Stags Leap District Wineries: Vineyard to Vintner, April 27-29, Yountville: Visit winery open houses with special access to owners and winemakers. Enjoy caves, cellars, barrel tastings, dinners by celebrated chefs. Committed to its community, the association is donating 5 percent of open house tickets to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley, April 27-29, Healdsburg: One of Sonoma Wine Country’s premier wine & food festivals featuring 40-plus wineries. Tastings, food and wine pairings, and a vineyard tour highlighting how sustainability operates in the vineyards.

California Sustainable Winegrowing
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization established by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers more than a decade ago, received the governor’s top environmental award for increasing adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices in California and for initiating new educational tools and program improvements. CSWA now has 2,100 vineyards and wineries as program participants. To learn more, visit: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/sustainable-winegrowing.

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Wineries and vineyards around the state have taken an extra step by earning Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status through the third-party certification program launched by CSWA. Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other statewide and regional programs such as Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play vital roles in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible.


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U.S. Wine Exports Total $1.53 Billion in 2017

三月 26, 2018

Premiumization Continues Amid Challenging Exchange Rates

Toronto 2017 Wine Fair
The popular California Wine Fair in Toronto was attended by more than 1,000 trade and media.

SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. wine exports, 97% from California, reached $1.53 billion in winery revenues and 380 million liters (42.2 million cases) in 2017. Golden State exports were down 5.5% in value and 7.9% in volume due in part to the strong dollar, heavily-subsidized foreign wine producers and competitors forging free trade agreements in key markets.

“Global premiumization continues and California wines are well-positioned with our range of offerings, aspirational lifestyle, well-earned reputation for high quality and leadership in sustainable winegrowing,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.

“California wine exports have grown nearly 70% by value in the past decade. Our global marketing efforts focusing on the quality and diversity of California wine continue to gain traction with our trading partners throughout the world,” said Wine Institute Vice President of International Marketing Linsey Gallagher. Gallagher oversees Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program, involving more than 175 wineries that export to 138 countries, and 15 representative offices conducting programs in 25 countries across the globe.

The top 10 export markets for California wines are: the European Union’s 28-member countries, accounting for $553 million, Canada, $444 million; Hong Kong, $119 million; Japan, $94 million; China, $79 million; South Korea, $25 million; Mexico, $23 million; Singapore, $17 million; Philippines, $14 million; and Dominican Republic, $13 million.

“Free trade agreements that place the U.S. on equal footing with other wine producing countries are absolutely essential to growing U.S. wine exports,” said Charles Jefferson, Wine Institute Vice President of Federal Relations and International Public Policy.

Wine Institute’s Regional Trade Directors in key export markets reported on 2017 exports:

CANADA
“Despite a flat wine market in Canada and ongoing exchange rate challenges, Canada remains the top dollar value market for California wines. Canadian consumers have confidence in the quality and value offered by California wineries whose wines are successful in all price segments,” according to Rick Slomka, Wine Institute Trade Director for Canada. “Although recent price increases may lead to slower growth, new product introductions and line extensions for popular brands have kept the momentum strong for the California wine category. U.S. wines were the number one table wine category by value in Canada in 2017 for the fourth consecutive year with almost Canadian $1.1 billion in retail sales. “We anticipate continued growth in the liquor board stores and are also looking forward to working with the provincial governments to improve and equalize access to new grocery distribution channels.”

CONTINENTAL EUROPE
“As the Euro became stronger in the past 12 months, California wine exports to continental Europe improved. In Germany for instance, our key market on the continent, German customs reported an increase in California wine imports of 7% by volume. The data also shows increases in export value to key markets such as Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark,” said Paul Molleman, Wine Institute Trade Director for Continental Europe.

UNITED KINGDOM
“Sales of premium, super-premium and luxury Californian wines continue to be robust despite very challenging currency-led price increases. In 2016, the pound was valued at $1.46. A year later it dropped 17% to $1.21. Price increases were largely passed through to consumers as increased shelf prices. The pound has strengthened in the past six months, and we expect this will be positive for California wines in the first half of 2018 as importers look to replenish stocks at more favorable prices,” said Wine Institute United Kingdom Trade Director Justin Knock, MW.

JAPAN
“Due to the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, all of the U.S.’s wine region competitors will enter Japan duty free by 2019 while the full 15% import duty will continue to be charged on California wines. Japanese importers have been importing U.S. bulk wine to reduce the import duties, but Chilean and Australian bulk wine is already duty free and European bulk will soon have duty free status. Bottled U.S. wine exports to Japan decreased 20% by volume in 2017, but value increased 12.1%. Ultra-premium wines are less susceptible to the import duty disadvantage, and Wine Institute’s Japan office has been consistently promoting the premium category with its wine-by-the-glass restaurant promotions,” said Ken-ichi Hori, Wine Institute’s Japan Trade Director. “U.S. wine importers in Japan hope the U.S. will establish a Free Trade Agreement with Japan as soon as possible to abolish the heavy import duty disadvantage of U.S. wines, which will help the entire American wine category grow in Japan.”

CHINA & PACIFIC RIM
“U.S. wine exports to Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) were strong with 10% growth to over $210 million in 2017. Also experiencing growth were South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines with value increasing more than volume, signaling the premiumization trend. For Asia, the main story is the economic growth in China, the largest country in the world in terms of population. China has a rapidly growing middle class that is traveling outside the country and adopting many Western tastes and lifestyle preferences. Consumption of imported wine has increased 2.5 times in the last five years on the Chinese Mainland. We expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Christopher Beros, Wine Institute Trade Director for China and Pacific Rim.

Since 1985, Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, a cost-share export promotion program managed by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Wine Institute’s Export Program supports California Wines worldwide with a consumer website discovercaliforniawines.com in eight languages, social media campaigns in 18 countries, educational tools and videos, and a strong partnership with Visit California to increase tourism to California wine regions. Wine Institute organizes California’s participation in international trade shows and trade missions, offers master classes and seminars as well as tastings for trade, media and consumers worldwide. Last year, the program also hosted 155 international media and wine buyers from 20 countries for visits to California wine country. For information, see: Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program

 

U.S. WINE EXPORTS*
Year to Date: January-December, 2017 and 2016
 
Value (U.S. Dollars)
Revenues to Wineries
Variance
’17 v ’16
Volume (Liters)
Variance
’17 v ’16
PARTNER COUNTRY
Ranked by 2017 Value</strong
2017
2016
Percent
2017
2016
Percent
European Union Total** $553,098,853 $685,230,481 -19.28 197,782,763 221,141,004 – 10.56
Canada $443,865,878 $431,402,689 2.89 83,983,119 88,793,202 – 5.42
Hong Kong $118,803,938 $98,532,044 20.57 9,364,978 12,428,906 – 24.65
Japan $94,103,357 $87,488,237 7.56 23,341,643 23,613,126 – 1.15
China $78,667,031 $81,480,265 – 3.45 14,190,217 14,861,019 – 4.51
South Korea $25,454,842 $23,337,670 9.07 4,898,207 4,261,903 14.93
Mexico $22,543,709 $24,059,600 – 6.30 7,138,570 7,825,030 – 8.77
Singapore $16,579,152 $13,635,128 21.59 2,274,968 2,237,766 1.66
Philippines $13,544,471 $13,202,614 2.59 4,784,109 4,317,825 10.80
Dominican Republic $13,230,785 $13,031,174 1.53 3,199,157 3,156,701 1.34
Taiwan $13,054,883 $12,167,856 7.29 1,456,869 1,645,785 – 11.48
OTHER COUNTRIES $137,320,004 $135,946,628 1.17 $27,631,318 $28,306,756 – 2.39
WORLD TOTAL $1,530,266,903 $1,619,514,386 – 5.51 380,045,918 412,589,023 – 7.89
Sources: Wine Institute & Global Trade Information Services, using data from U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Preliminary numbers. Includes hard cider. History revised.

* Statistics exclude re-exported wine due to U.S. DOC changing its reporting to exclude this wine.
** Stats for the 28 EU countries are combined because transshipments to final destinations in neighboring countries make a country-by-country breakdown not reflective of actual consumption in each country.
To convert liters to gallons, multiply liters by .26418 To convert liters to cases, divide liters by 9.

 

U.S. WINE EXPORTS 1997-2017
Year
Volume

(In millions)

Value

(In millions of dollars)

Gallons
Liters
Cases
Revenues to Wineries
2017 100.4 380.0 42.2 $1,530
2016 109.0 412.6 45.8 <$1,620
2015 121.9 461.3 51.3 $1,603
2014 117.0 442.7 49.2 $1,494
2013 115.1 435.8 48.4 $1,553
2012 106.9 404.8 45.0 $1,336
2011 111.4 421.6 46.8 $1,297
2010 107.6 407.3 45.3 $1,064
2009 106.4 402.8 44.8 $859
2008 125.5 474.9 52.8 $963
2007 115.9 438.8 48.8 $911
2006 105.1 397.9 44.2 $843
2005 101.5 384.1 42.7 $659
2004 119.1 451.0 50.1 $796
2003 92.3 349.2 38.8 $621
2002 73.4 277.8 30.9 $542
2001 78.8 298.3 33.1 $531
2000 77.8 294.4 32.7 $551
1999 74.2 281.0 31.2 $541
1998 71.1 269.1 29.9 $532
1997 58.7 222.1 24.7 $415
Sources: Wine Institute & Global Trade Information Services, using data from U.S. Dept. of Commerce. History revised.

 

U.S. Wine Exports in Millions of Dollars

Sources: Wine Institute & Global Trade Information Services, using U.S. Dept. of Commerce data.

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California Wine 2017 Harvest Report: Strong Quality Across the State as Ample Rain Ends Drought

十一月 8, 2017
Left: White grape harvest (Napa Valley Vintners photo); J Vineyards & Winery harvest in Sonoma County (George Rose photo).

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s 2017 wine harvest wrapped up early this fall following summer heat spurts and a growing season that saw significant rain throughout the state ending a five-year drought. While October wildfires in North Coast wine communities made international headlines, the state’s vineyards and wineries were not significantly affected. Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, the regions most impacted, grow 12 percent of California’s winegrapes, and 90% percent of the harvest in Napa and Sonoma and 85% in Mendocino were already picked and in production at wineries before the fires.

“The vast majority of California’s 2017 winegrape harvest was unaffected by the wildfires and the vintage promises to be of excellent quality,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, president and CEO of Wine. “The outpouring of support locally and from around the world for people in the impacted communities has been phenomenal. We are saddened by the loss of lives and homes and this will truly be remembered as a harvest of the heart. Wineries are at work making their 2017 wines and welcoming visitors during this beautiful late fall/early winter season.”

The Growing Season
With all but late harvest grapes in, vintners are looking back at the 2017 growing season throughout the state. The drought is over with the season beginning with rainfall that refilled reservoirs and replenished soils. Harvest began early at a normal pace in many regions, and then progressed rapidly during a heat wave in late August and early September. Temperatures cooled mid-September, slowing the harvest pace and allowing red grapes to ripen gradually. Many regions are reporting reduced yields due to the heat spell, but vintners are reporting strong quality for the 2017 vintage.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture estimated in early August that the state’s overall crop size would reach 4 million tons, down slightly from 4.03 million in 2016 and above the historical average of 3.9 million tons. The heat wave will likely lower this prediction.

“We had above average rainfall this winter on the Central Coast, but not as much as areas that saw flooding,” said Steve Lohr, CEO, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. “It was wonderful because it helped fill up the reservoirs and bring new life to cover crops that had been parched after several years of drought. It has been a good year for us, all in all, on the Central Coast,” Lohr said. “From the 30,000-foot perspective, I would say that these wines are going to show particularly nicely in their youth but will have the capacity to age.”

According to Neil Bernardi, vice president of winemaking at Duckhorn Wine Co., the increased rainfall also brought vine-vigor challenges. “It required special focus on cover crops and tillage and closely managing canopies. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa Valley and Alexander Valley look especially healthy,” he said. “Our Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Merlot have excellent color, extraction and flavor, and Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are showing excellent aromatics and great acidity.”

The rainfall helped vines in the Santa Cruz Mountains rebound from the drought, but also caused some problems during flowering. “Zinfandel got caught by spring rain during bloom and most of our Zinfandel sites are down in tonnage anywhere from 15% to 40%,” said Eric Baugher, chief operating officer and winemaker, Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Winery. “It does appear that the Zinfandel vintage will be an extraordinary one, similar to 1999. I expect similar excellent quality out of Chardonnay since the fruit had such great intensity of flavor from the petite-size clusters and berries.”

A heat spell impacted many California regions in late summer, speeding up harvest schedules and requiring extra vigilance. “Some vineyards that had exposed fruit showed desiccation,” said David Hayman, vice president of winegrowing for Delicato Family Vineyards, which farms grapes across the state. “Ripeness was accelerated and a lot of fruit became ready all at once. Flavors across the board look good.”

Harvest Report Cover

Click here to view full report, including regional reports from Amador/Sierra Foothills, Lake County, Livermore Valley, Lodi, Madera, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, San Diego County, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County and Temecula Valley.

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