GATLINBURG, Tenn. (PRWEB) – Ole Smoky®, the world’s most awarded moonshine company, has been named a 2017 Impact Hot Brand by M. Shanken Communications, a leading publisher in the U.S. Wine & Spirits industry known for such magazines as Wine Spectator, Impact, Market Watch, and Cigar Aficionado.
“It is a huge honor to receive this award,” says Robert Hall, CEO of Ole Smoky. “We are all aiming to build a world class spirits brand, and this award is recognition of all of our efforts. We are proud of what we have accomplished to date, pleasing so many consumers with our great products, and will continue working for greater success in the future.”
The Hot Brand Award is given to both established and upcoming brands that have reached a minimum depletion number of 200,000 cases, and whose volume has grown at least 10% in each of the past three calendar years or at least 15% in 2017.
This award comes at a very exciting time for Ole Smoky. The company is not just growing its moonshine sales, but taking the brand to the next level with the late 2017 national launch of its whiskey product line. Mango Habanero is listed on menus at multiple on-premise locations, the demand for Salty Caramel Whiskey has far exceeded expectations, and Ole Smoky’s 5 year aged Straight Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey is among the highest quality product of its type in the market today.
Ole Smoky’s three distilleries in East Tennessee have been a source of competitive advantage to build awareness and trial of the company’s products, while educating consumers about the deep heritage and authenticity of the brand. Sales have been strongest in the states within a few hundred miles of these distilleries, but are now growing rapidly in many states further afield. This success has inspired the company to start building a 4th location in Nashville, which is targeted to open later in 2018, further fueling the growth of the brand.
“We are very excited to have our efforts in building such a strong brand recognized by receiving the 2017 Impact Award,” says Michael Bender, President of Wholesale at Ole Smoky. “Our numbers have been incredible these past few years. We are motivated to continue setting and reaching higher goals.”
Ole Smoky will receive their award at the Impact & Market Watch Hot Brand Awards Reception, held during the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 75th Annual Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas on May 1, 2018.
For more information about Ole Smoky and a list of other awards the company has achieved visit http://www.olesmoky.com
About Ole Smoky® Distillery LLC:
Ole Smoky is the leading distiller of premium moonshine in the U.S. and the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee. The company’s roots can be traced to the early settlers of the Smoky Mountains. In 2009, (when the law in Tennessee changed and suddenly, it was legal to make, distill and sell the infamous bootlegger’s hooch), a group of families decided to bring their artistry of superior moonshine making to the world at large.
Over 3.9 million people annually visit Ole Smoky’s 3 famed East Tennessee distilleries: Holler™, Barrelhouse™ and Barn™. The Holler™ see’s over 2 million visitors per year making it the most visited distillery in the world. In 2018, Ole Smoky will open a 4th location in Nashville.
Ole Smoky now retails globally and offers more than twenty creative flavors crafted from authentic family recipes. Ole Smoky can be found in grocery and liquor stores, as well as in on-premise establishments including some of the biggest music and sporting venues in the country.
For more information, please visit http://www.olesmoky.com and find them on social media @olesmoky.
©2018 Ole Smoky Distillery, LLC. All Rights Reserved. OLE SMOKY, OLE SMOKY TENNESSEE MOONSHINE, OLE SMOKY WHISKEY, and SHINE RESPONSIBLY are registered trademarks of Ole Smoky Distillery, LLC.
ST. HELENA, CALIFORNIA – HALL Napa Valley, one of the world’s most notable Cabernet Sauvignon producers, has announced plans for its ninth annual Cabernet Cookoff to return on Saturday, April 28 at HALL St. Helena. Hosted by Vintner Kathryn Hall, the annual event will feature an impressive lineup of renowned Bay Area Chef teams vying for a chance to win proceeds for a charity of their choice by participating in a food and wine pairing competition. 100% of ticket proceeds benefit Napa Valley non-profit organizations. The event includes a VIP Preview at 11 a.m. prior to the Main Event which begins at 12 p.m.
“This event makes a difference to so many lives,” says Vintner Kathryn Hall. “Guests come together to celebrate passion for food and wine, and in the end, local non-profits garner awareness and contributions. Everyone participating comes out a winner – it is a fun and rewarding day for all involved.”
Fifteen Chef teams are tasked to craft a seasonal small bite that they feel pairs best with HALL Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests in attendance will sample all pairings to vote on the People’s Choice Awards, and a star-studded panel of Celebrity Judges will taste to vote for the Judge’s Choice Awards. Participating teams include The Grill at Meadowood, One Market Restaurant, Charlie Palmer Steak, Goose & Gander, Paula LeDuc Catering, C Casa, Galpau Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse, Amiee D’Maris Events, El Dorado Kitchen, Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ, Brix, Napa Valley Bistro, Sift and Intercontinental Mark Hopkins.
Natalie Morales, TODAY West Coast Anchor and Host of Access, has been announced as the official Emcee for the event. Morales will help wrangle in the crowd with event happenings day-of as well as help announce the winners alongside Kathryn Hall. Natalie’s new lifestyle book, At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family’s Kitchen to Yours will be released this April and will be given away to all VIP Ticket holders.
The 2018 Judging panel includes Actress Beth Behrs from the hit CBS show, 2 Broke Girls; Celebrity Chef Duff Goldman from Food Network; Bay Area Sports Hall of Famer and Former San Francisco 49ers Executive, Carmen Policy; Michelin-rated Chef, Ken Frank, La Toque, and Wine Critic Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Event sponsors include Microsoft, Nixon-Peabody, My Office Products, Bright Rentals, Certified Parking Attendants, ROBB Report, Cypress Grove Cheese Company, ZICO Coconut Water, Signum Architecture, Snap Fiesta, Harvest Sanitation, Private Spring Water, Mark T. Palmer Window Services, Lux Productions, Riedel Glassware, Barbier Security and ALKAR.
Both VIP and General Admission tickets are available. VIP ticket holders will experience a Preview offering from 11a.m. to 12p.m. prior to the main event featuring the Celebrity Judges and Host Kathryn Hall sharing their philosophies on what makes a good food and wine pairing. Additionally, there will be a Silent Auction during the event where guests can bid on locally sourced items with all proceeds benefitting Napa Valley non-profits.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
VIP Preview: 11a.m. – 12p.m. $200pp
Main Event: 12p.m. – 3p.m. $125pp
HALL St. Helena
401 St. Helena Hwy. S
St. Helena, CA 94574 (707) 967-2626
The 2017 HALL Cabernet Cookoff drew more than 850 attendees for a sold-out crowd and raised $80,000 for local charities. Since inception in 2011, the HALL Cabernet Cookoff has raised $500,000 for Napa Valley charities. For more information, please visit www.hallwines.com/cabernetcookoff or via social channels using #cabernetcookoff.
HALL: The Art of Cabernet
HALL produces award-winning Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, available to taste and buy at two properties in Napa Valley as well as at hallwines.com. Owned by Craig and Kathryn Hall, its vineyard collection features seven Estate vineyards, of which five are California Certified Organic (CCOF). Led by Winemaker Steve Leveque, HALL’s wine portfolio includes 19 distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings highlighting the finest vineyards and sub-appellations of the Napa Valley. The HALL St. Helena winery was the first LEED® Gold Certified Winery in the State of California in 2009 and earned another LEED® Gold certification for its high tech production facility and Tasting Room in 2014, making HALL a leader in green efficiencies. HALL’s 2008 ‘Kathryn Hall’ Cab earned the #2 spot in Wine Spectator’s “Top 100”. Two other bottlings, the ‘Exzellenz’ and ‘Rainin Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignons have garnered multiple 100 point ratings in recent years. For more information about HALL, please visit www.hallwines.com or by calling 707.967.2626. @hallwines #artofcabernet
SEATTLE (PRWEB) – The Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) today announced two investments in Washington state’s wine industry. AWW, the single largest private donor to WSU’s Viticulture and Enology research program, is awarding $344,500 to WSU’s wine research program and education, as well as $10,000 to SOS Health Services of Walla Walla as part of AWW’s new Industry Grant Program.
AWW has been supporting Washington State University’s wine research program for 11 years, accounting for more than one quarter of the program’s annual funding. This year, AWW’s gift also includes 100 percent of the proceeds from the 3rd annual Private Barrel Auction. “The Auction of Washington Wines provides much-needed support for WSU research, which is foundational for the future of Washington state’s wine industry,” said James Moyer, Associate Dean for Research, CAHNRS, WSU.
In 2017, AWW launched the Industry Grant Program as a new tool to invest in local communities that provide services directly impacting Washington state wine grape growers and wine producers. AWW’s $10,000 Industry Grant to SOS Health Services of Walla Walla, an urgent care facility that provides quality walk-in services to under-insured individuals, will remove barriers and increase local access to health care, especially for those working in the wine industry. “We are beyond honored to receive the Auction of Washington Wines’ first-ever Industry Grant. Without healthy staff in the valley, the vines, wines and morale suffer. These funds are critical in order to start solving so many issues both overnight as well as in the long-term,” said Ashley Trout, SOS Board Member.
AWW, now in its 31st year, aims to support the growth and global awareness of the Washington state wine industry. “Investing in WSU’s wine research program and SOS Health Services of Walla Walla is our mission in action,” said Shelley Tomberg, executive director, AWW. “These gifts support Washington wineries and the people behind them, which is what we’re all about.”
The 2018 Auction of Washington Wine events have been announced for August 16-18. For more information, visit http://www.AuctionofWaWines.org.
About the Auction of Washington Wines
Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $41 million, benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University Wine Science Research. Events hosted by AWW give wine lovers the chance to support the Washington wine industry and families in our communities around the region. The 2018 Auction of Washington Wines will take place August 16-18, 2018. Major sponsors have included Chateau Ste. Michelle, Ferrari of Seattle, The John L. Scott Foundation, The Seattle Times, King 5 TV and Wine Spectator Magazine.
About Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program
The WSU Viticulture & Enology Program is a comprehensive education and research program that prepares students for successful careers in the wine industry and supports the needs of the region’s winemakers and grape growers. Enhanced by world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the V&E Program takes a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach, offering students technical, scientific, and practical experience. V&E’s cutting-edge research and education helps growers and winemakers cultivate healthy plants and craft wines that express the unique characteristics of Washington’s wine growing regions. In close partnership with an engaged industry, the WSU V&E Program propels Washington wine forward.
About SOS Health Services of Walla Walla
SOS Health Services of Walla Walla was founded in 2000 by a physician who recognized a need for health care for the uninsured in Walla Walla. Since the beginning, SOS Health Services has been a faith-based, non-denominational clinic providing compassionate urgent-care services to people in Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon.
I’ll be heading out to Healdsburg for the first time since 2008 soon, and in planning the trip I looked for wineries that friends had recommended and/or I liked their wines already – but have never visited before. I don’t post when I’m actually away, so this article is a precursor to the fun I will be having…later…and then I will do a post-trip story.
Day One would start with a sit-down tasting at Ramey Wine Cellars in Healdsburg. In perusing their Facebook page I learned that they harvested nearly 60 tons of Napa Cabernet in what might have been “possibly the most condensed harvest in many years…”
They also shared that their 2011 Pedregal Vineyard was given 92 points from Wine Spectator’s James Laube.
Not sure what we will be trying in the tasting room, but I see current wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Claret, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. Sounds good to me.
Eight minutes down the road we will then be at Mazzocco Sonoma Vineyards and Winery where we will meet and lunch with winemaker Antoine Favero, and then enjoy a private barrel tasting. Their website shows four Wine Spectator award winners for their 2010 Zinfandels: 91 points for Maple, 91 points for Pony Reserve, 91 points for Sullivan and 90 points for Warm Springs.
According to their Facebook page the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc was chosen for the United States Diplomacy Center’s groundbreaking event. Looking forward to trying whatever is offered here.
Next we will venture to visit Seghesio Family Vineyards where we will be checking in at the bar and then meeting with Tony Sciullo, the VIP liaison. Their last Facebook update showed that harvest for them started in late August, “Pinot Grigio was the first to come in, with some Zinfandel from Cloverdale not far behind.”
I became a fan of Seghesio when one of their Zins made Wine Spectator’s wine of the year. Their 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel received 92 points…looking forward to sampling.
The last winery to see on our first day will be Mauritson Family Winery, five minutes away from Seghesio. The winemaker Clay Mauritson, or his wife Carrie, will be hosting our tour and tasting. They show three small children, “future winemakers”, with Clay in several photos of the winery on their Facebook page, I’m hoping we will get a sighting of these cuties!
The website of Mauritson label wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rose, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Rockpile labels include lots of Zinfandels, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Can’t wait to review!
That will pretty much end our first day. If you have a reasonably priced suggestion for dinner let me know: Eve@EveWine101.com
Leaving Healdsburg, Day Two will begin at Rocca Family Vineyards in Napa Valley. You read about Rocca recently on Eve’s Wine 101 as they had obtained the title of “Napa Valley Organic Winery of The Year.” We will be meeting with Sales Director John Taylor for our tasting. There seems to be plenty of Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and red blends for us to try! And according to their Facebook page they are currently crushing Merlot.
From Rocca we will probably venture over to Dean and Deluca for lunch supplies and then make a dash for Darioush Winery on Silverado Trail. We have been scheduled for a “Tableside Portfolio Tasting” via concierge Jenna Kennedy.
The Darioush Facebook page reported that they were “safe and sound” after the recent earthquake. Their damage was minimal but they were without power and were closed for one day. Their website promised current releases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier. Shiraz blend and a late harvest Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
ZD Wines may be our last trip of this day unless we hit someone up near 4pm…if we have the energy. There are beautiful photos of grape clusters on their Facebook page, as well as a bottle of their 45th anniversary Chardonnay. Besides maybe trying that one, we look forward to sipping their Reserve Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon…and more.
Bright and early on Day Three we have a special treat, a tour of the Seguin Moreau Napa Cooperage. There will be no swirling and tasting, but there will be aromas! Hoping to see some toasting, bending and whatever else they have in store for us. Earlier this month they showed a cool photo of a barrel being toasted on their Facebook page.
Chef John Cox and the Culinary Team Welcome Chef/Owner Neal Fraser of Redbird for the Restaurant’s Continuing Guest Chef Series
Los Olivos’ The Bear and Star, serving “Refined Ranch Cuisine” inspired by the Parker family at the eponymous Fess Parker Inn continues their collaborative Chef’s Table Dinners with Chef Neal Fraser on Sunday, February 25, 2018. The five-course tasting dinner championing Southern California restaurant talent, staged in the state-of-the-art Chef’s Room, blends products raised on the Parker ranch with inspiration from Los Angeles County.
Dinner begins with a First Course of Sautéed Abalone with Wild Watercress, Preserved Lemon and Sea Beans; followed by a Second Course of Beets from Our Farm with Smoked Garlic and Chanterelle Mushrooms. For the Third Course, guests enjoy Sweet Shrimp and Sea Urchin Risotto with Kuri Squash. Served for the Main Course will be Grilled “Parker Ranch” Wagyu Beef with Kale, Crouton, Snails, Cheese and Red Wine Sauce. The evening is complete with the final Dessert Course – Blackberry, Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese. Wine pairings are available for the dinner by The Bear and Star’s General Manager Robert Williams.
The Chef’s Table seatings are available at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Pricing is $79 per guest for the dinner. Optional wine pairings are recommended at a supplementary charge of $50. For reservations, the public may call 805-686-1359 to prepay by credit card or visit Eventbrite for tickets.
ABOUT CHEF NEAL FRASER AND REDBIRD:
Chef Neal Fraser and Amy Knoll Fraser’s flagship restaurant Redbird features Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multi-cultural influences of Fraser’s native city – Los Angeles. As a follow up to Grace and BLD, Fraser’s menu features seasonal small and large format plates ranging from snacks or “kickshaws” to entrees meant to be enjoyed by the whole table, complemented with desserts by Pastry Chef Kasra Ajdari. An extensive cocktail menu by Tobin Shea features well-balanced, bespoke renditions of the classics and has garnered him awards, including Time Out’s Best Restaurant Bar Program in 2017. Sommelier Ben Teig’s wine list is well-rounded with great finds from both established and emerging wine regions throughout the world. Under Ben’s direction, Redbird has received many awards including “Top 100 wine restaurants in the United States” by Wine Enthusiast and the “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator.
Located in downtown Los Angeles, Redbird is carved into one of the city’s most historic architectural gems, inside the former rectory building of Vibiana – the cathedral-turned-event-venue also owned and operated by the Frasers and their partners. Designer Robert Weimer and Amy Knoll Fraser created a dynamic space that pays homage to the cathedral next door and the existing timeless architecture by inserting simple modern forms to complement rather than overtake the feel of the rooms. The result is a warm and comfortable considered space.
THE BEAR AND STAR CHEF’S TABLE DINNER
Special Guest Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird
Sunday, February 25, 2018
two seatings: 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
expressed through Parker Ranch ingredients and the flavors of Santa Barbara County
wild watercress, preserved lemon, sea beans
Beets from Our Farm
smoked garlic, chanterelle mushrooms
Sweet Shrimp and Sea Urchin Risotto
Grilled Wagyu Beef
kale, crouton, snails, cheese, red wine sauce
Blackberry, Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese
$79 per guest for dinner menu
$50 for wine pairings curated by The Bear and Star’s Robert Williams
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2018
REDBIRD CHEF’S TABLE DINNER AT THE BEAR AND STAR WITH NEAL FRASER
Two seatings: 6:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
For reservations, the public may call 805-686-1359 to prepay by credit card or visit Eventbrite for tickets.
THE BEAR AND STAR
2860 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 9344
ABOUT THE BEAR AND STAR:
The Bear and Star takes its name from the two states our founder called home – Texas and California – celebrating refined ranch cuisine paired with California’s bounty. The restaurant is intrinsically intertwined with the 714 acre Fess Parker Home Ranch seven miles away where the Wagyu cattle herd are raised and finished with the spent grains and pomace from the family brewery and winery. Also raised on the ranch are chickens, quail, rabbits, pigs and bees along with a number of heirloom fruits and organic vegetables for use at the restaurant.
ABOUT THE FESS PARKER FAMILY:
Since the late 80s, the Parker family has focused their time, energy and resources on building a hospitality portfolio around the beauty and bounty of Santa Barbara County. The acquisition of 714 acres on the venerable Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in 1987 set the stage for the establishment of the Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard. With an emphasis on estate-grown Rhône varietals, the wines consistently earn 90+ point ratings from top wine critics around the world. The launch of The Bear and Star Restaurant, nestled within the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn, is the latest endeavor of this wine, food and hospitality-loving family enterprise.
The Bear and Star
2860 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441
follow The Bear and Star:
For more information on Fess Parker Wine Country Inn visit:
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (PRWEB) – Sale e Pepe, the elegant Italian restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico within the award-winning Marco Beach Ocean Resort, has named Antonio Minichiello as executive chef.
Raised in the small, southern Italian town of Avellino, Minichiello’s love for cooking began at an early age alongside his mother and grandmother, eventually leading him to enter culinary school at age 15. After graduation, he spent many years honing his skills at acclaimed restaurants throughout Europe and the United States, including the Four Seasons in London and the two-Michelin starred Four Seasons in Prague. Most recently, he served as executive chef at Veranda Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.
Throughout his career, Minichiello has earned a reputation for creating authentic and luxurious cuisine that reflects the rich culinary tradition of his Italian homeland, and he will now bring his extensive experience, talent and inspiration to lead the culinary team at Sale e Pepe. Since his arrival in the fall, Chef Minichiello has worked to create a menu that is influenced by old-world tradition, yet reflects a personal style that he describes as authentic Italian with a modern twist.
At Sale e Pepe, Minichiello looks forward to continuing to incorporate his creativity and passion for Italian cuisine to create unique and memorable experiences for guests by leading them on a nostalgia-filled journey of his homeland. “It’s like a trip that goes to Sicily, all the way through the south and stops in Rome, and up to Tuscany and finishes up in Milan,” Minichiello said.
Chef Minichiello has recently introduced two six-course tasting menus, providing diners with the opportunity to sample a broad range of his culinary repertoire. Both the Avellino and the Campania menus pay homage to Minichiello’s Italian roots and showcase his extensive culinary talent and experience. Additionally, each tasting menu offers guests an optional wine pairing from Sale e Pepe’s award-winning 400+ label collection, recognized by Wine Spectator with its Best of Award of Excellence for 12 consecutive years.
Located within the award-winning Marco Beach Ocean Resort, Sale e Pepe offers authentic, elegant Italian cuisine overlooking the Gulf of Mexico with alfresco dining on The Terrace, or elegant dining indoors, surrounded by magnificent Renaissance-inspired art and architecture. Complemented by South Florida’s fresh produce and seafood, the menu presents a dining experience that embraces the culinary traditions of southern Italy in a unique and progressive style, from preparation to presentation.
Sale e Pepe has been a AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurant each year since 2005. The restaurant was ranked No. 2 among Marco Island’s top restaurants on USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards, named one of the 100 Best Alfresco Dining Restaurants in America for 2017 by OpenTable, and also is the only Marco Island restaurant to receive the prestigious Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine – an honor it has earned for 12 consecutive years.
Reservations are preferred at Sale e Pepe and can be made by calling 239-393-1600 or visiting sale-e-pepe.com.
Known for its intimate environment and personalized service, Marco Beach Ocean Resort is a 103 room, all-suite beachfront boutique resort. The suites feature a kitchenette, spacious living room and private balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico or lush garden terraces. The resort features a variety of dining options, including beachfront casual; a spa and fitness center; swimming pool; rooftop garden; and direct access to four miles of the island’s famed sugar-sand beaches. The resort’s location and amenities make it the perfect choice for vacations, destination weddings and executive business meetings.
Overlooking the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Beach Ocean Resort is a designated AAA Four Diamond resort for 15 consecutive years and was ranked No. 16 on the Travel + Leisure 2013 World’s Best Awards List of Top Resorts in the continental U.S. In 2015, the resort was recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top 25 resorts in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico and Central regions; was named among the top 400 hotels worldwide by Expedia+ members; and was inducted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.
Developed by the Gulf Bay® Group of Companies, Marco Beach Ocean Resort is located at 480 South Collier Blvd. on Marco Island. Shopping, entertainment and dining are all within walking distance; golf, boating, fishing, kayaking and nature tours are nearby. For additional information or to make reservations, call 239-393-1400 or toll-free at 800-715-8517, or visit marcoresort.com. Aubrey J. Ferrao is President of Gulf Bay Group of Companies.
Santa Clarita Valley, CA – Throughout 2017 Simon and Shannon Mee, owners of Newhall Refinery and the Egg Plantation, have been gathering feedback on their food, beer, cocktail and wine programs. There was only one area that they thought needed tweaking: creating a Wine List for Newhall Refinery that reflected the quality of what they stand for.
A few months ago, Guy Lelarge, formerly of Valencia Wine Company and with a long tenure as both a wine distributor and buyer, curated a new wine list for Newhall Refinery, replacing nearly every wine and adding a full third more. Wines from the best vineyards from Burgundy to the Rhone Valley in France, and from Sonoma to Napa Valley are standouts on the list, as well as fine representations from Germany, Argentina, Monterey and more.
The staff spent over two months learning about the new wines, the wine list will be in a dedicated folder, house wines will be rotated for a better selection and the dinner and dessert menus all now have suggested wine pairings. These are just some of the mouth-watering temptations now available:
Craft Burger: Havarti, bacon onion jam, arugula, confit garlic aioli, brioche, with fries or salad. Suggested wine pairing: Belleruche 2016–Cotes-Du-Rhone, France
Fish and Chips: beer battered cod, red cabbage slaw, garlic parsley fries, tartar sauce, malt vinegar, lemon. Suggested wine pairing: Vidal Fleury Viognier, France
Airline Chicken Breast: Mary’s organic chicken, crispy gratin potatoes, mushrooms, prunes, truffle purée, jus gras. Suggested wine pairing: Diora 2015 Pinot Noir, Monterey, CA
Apple Bourbon Cobbler: Granny Smith, Gala, bourbon raisins, oat crumble, bourbon sauce, brown butter ice cream. Suggested wine pairing: Orogeny Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County.
Blueberry Bread Pudding: sourdough, blueberries, orange zest, Grand Marnier crème anglaise. Suggested wine pairing: Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve, Champagne, France.
Churros & Horchata: cinnamon sugar churros, dulce de leche caramel sauce, Horchata ice cream. Suggested wine pairing: Chateau Grand-Jauga Sauternes, Bordeaux, France.
The restaurant hopes that their loyal customers will seek out these new wines to try, and the servers are happy to share their own favorites for a taste to help! Some of Simon’s picks include 2014 Southing Sea Smoke Pinot Noir, 2015 Ten Sea Smoke Pinot Noir, 2014 Opus One and the 2013 Lewis Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
For vinophiles interested in what the wine critic ratings are for some of the new wines: 2014 Redon Chateauneuf du Pape garnered 91pts from Wine Spectator, 2015 DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon received 91pts from Robert Parker, 2013 Flowers Chardonnay 91pts Wine Enthusiast, Louis Roederer Brut Premium Non Vintage 92pts Wine Spectator, 2014 Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah 91pts Robert Parker, 2016 Matua Sauvignon Blanc 90pts Wine Spectator. (This Sauvignon Blanc is on the Spectator top 100 wines of the year list!)
Newhall Refinery will continue their popular bi-monthly Wine Around the World dinners; the next one is French themed and scheduled for March 8. Also upcoming and always-sold-out is their annual Valentine’s Day Dinner with several options on reservations times.
24258 Main St. Newhall CA 91321
Woodland Hills, CA —Wine Spectator, the world’s leading authority on wine, has announced the Santa Ema Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (91 points) has been named the #29 wine and Kaiken Ultra Malbec (90 points) has been named #45 in this year’s list of the Top 100 Wines. The full list of the Top 100 Wines can be found online at http://top100.winespectator.com.
“The Top 100 is our selection of the most exciting wines reviewed by our editors this year,” said Thomas Matthews, executive editor, Wine Spectator. “These wines are the comeback stories, the rising stars, the amazing values and the new benchmarks. They mark the wine world’s most impressive achievements in 2017, and we are thrilled to share them with our readers. Each and every winery should be proud.”
Alex Guarachi, Founder and CEO of Guarachi Wine Partners said, “We are thrilled that 2 of our premiere brands have been given this prestigious honor by one of the top wine publications in the world. It shows the level of quality and winemaking that go into both the Santa Ema and Kaiken brands and make them stand out as some of the best wines from Chile and Argentina.”
The winning bottles were selected from a pool of nearly 17,000 wines reviewed by Wine Spectator editors in the magazine’s blind tastings. Selections are based on four criteria: quality (represented by score), value (reflected by price), availability (based on the number of cases either made or imported into the U.S.) and what Wine Spectator calls the “X-factor”—or, in other words, the excitement generated by the wine.
An annual highlight since 1988, the Top 100 list presents a diverse group, ranging from emerging labels and regions to traditional estates exploring new directions. The list is a guide to wineries to watch in the future—a reflection of the producers and wines that Wine Spectator’s editors are most passionate about.
The full Top 100 list will be featured at http://top100.winespectator.com and in print, with profiles for each wine, in the magazine’s December 31 issue, on newsstands November 28.
About Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 16,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.
About Guarachi Wine Partners
Founded by Chilean wine visionary Alex Guarachi in 1985, Guarachi Wine Partners is committed to representing the best wines of the world. GWP is a leading producer, importer and marketer of fine wines, and relies on enduring connections with national supplier, distributor and retail partners to enrich the consumer experience. They were one of the first importers of Chilean and Argentine wines and today represent brands from around the world. Including Black Ink (California), Surf Swim (California), tenshƏn (California), Tensley (California), Santa Ema (Chile), Kaiken (Argentina), Bodega Norton (Argentina), Nobilissima (Italy), Deor (Italy), and Castillo de Monseran (Spain).
For more information, visit: www.GuarachiWinePartners.com
This is the last article in my series on the Napa Valley for 2017. Today we will have a virtual taste from Phifer Pavitt, Tank Garage Winery, Larkmead and Joseph Phelps.
We met with Luke Speer, the Director of Hospitality, for our tasting. Phifer Pavitt is known (written up in Wine Spectator 13 times so far) for their “Date Night” Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. New for them: the XRoads Cabernet Sauvignon. A sparkling has recently been added but, woe is me, none was available for tasting during our visit.
We began with the 2016 Phifer Pavitt Sauvignon Blanc – fresh, crisp, lemon-lime, fleshy peach with low acid and a long finish. I’m partial to this wine as I’ve known the winemaker before he made commercial wine and have been a longtime fan: Gary Warburton. Next we tried the 2013 Date Night – It was big, dry and tannic with exceptional plump blue to black fruit, fig, smoke, aromatic and perfumy. Their red winemaker Ted Osborne always does a great job. Now onto the 2014 Date Night – I got a bit brighter fruit than I did from the 2013, but with the same plumpness. Very well done. The 2014 XRoads Cab had great fruit from the valley floor: red fruit, dried blueberry, black cherry, and very balanced with the tannins. Destined to be a hit.
Tank Garage Winery: Completely Out of the Tasting Room Box
Can’t recall exactly where I heard about the Tank Garage Winery, but it was either via a wine trade or marketing magazine. I had read it was a unique space with a unique brand. What I discovered is that this is a must stop for those looking for a different experience, or those new to wine looking for some fun.
Several out-of-the-box ideas flew at me:
The wines we quickly tasted through (I didn’t make an appointment and had another coming up) included a 2016 “California Stroke” White Wine, California, 92% Vermentino with 8% Verdelho, skin fermented; 2015 “Nothing Gold Can Stay” 100% Chardonnay, Napa Valley, 40% new oak and 60% neutral; 2015 “Like You Stole It” Red Wine, Contra Costa County, blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Carignane; 2015 “Take It Easy” Red Wine, Sonoma County, a blend of 96% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah and 1% Carignane; 2014 “The Heavy” Red Wine, Napa Valley – the only label that stays with each vintage – and a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc.
Jeff Smith from Hourglass suggested we make a reservation to taste at Larkmead. Beautiful tasting areas both inside and out, we snagged a couch and settled in for a few tastes. We did learn that the vineyards were established back in the 1800s and the first vintage came in 1930s! Look up Lillie Hitchcock Coit (yes, of Coit Tower fame) to sleuth around more. Lillie had a wild life before she died in 1929. She was the first female volunteer firefighter and sold grapes to churches during prohibition – among other things.
The wines are “heavily allocated” to loyal members. Though all from the valley floor the vineyards have a diversity of soils and gravel. One vineyard, the Dr. Olmo, is named after the famed UC Davis Dr. Olmo that is credited for fighting Phylloxera. We tasted three wines: 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon was all mature developed fruit, velvety soft, pepper and nicely balanced black currant, black plum and black currant with crushed black pepper and spice. The 2014 Dr. Olmos started with that barnyard nose with the addition of dark chocolate and blackberry while the taste was dry with layered black fruit and tasted oak. The final wine, the 2014 Solari Cab had that barnyard funk, prune, ripe berries, dusty, mint and tannin. The lingering length on this one made it our favorite.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
The benefits of membership: calling to make an appointment as you park the car in their lot! We had just received our allocation but my hubby wanted to taste the new Insignia before we put it away for a few years. We got to try more than that, and as I wasn’t “covering” the winery I just wanted to at least give their wines a shout out, sans tasting notes, as I’ve never ever been disappointed with Joseph Phelps: 2014 Pinot Noir, Pastorale Vineyard, Sonoma Coast; 2014 Pinot Noir, Quarter Moon Vineyard, Sonoma Coast; 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley; 2012 INSIGNIA, Napa Valley (I did note this one as “perfect”); 2014 INSIGNIA, Napa Valley; and a 2015 INSIGNIA, Napa Valley, barrel sample.
Last but not least we had the opportunity to try another winery new to us: Switchback Ridge. Their 2014 Switchback Ridge Merlot gave off that interesting funky barnyard nose, saddle leather at first. Some of that blew off and I got good dark fruit while the 2014 Switchback Ridge Cabernet had pungent thick fruit that softened in the glass, a bit of mint and licorice on the nose as well. In the mouth I tasted layers of blackberry, black cherry, cigar, oak and tannin. Bob Foley makes these two wines.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com