It is finally time to move our focus to Northern California, so now we can write about the Big Three.
Ahhh, the Big Three. These are the three winemakers that have had the biggest influence on our wine drinking over the last 2+ decades. Not only do they make great Zinfandel [kind of a requirement for this Zinfan] along with other wonderful reds that are in our wheelhouse [think Syrah, Petite Sirah, etc.] but they also make wonderful lighter style wines.
In addition, they are all founding members of the Historic Vineyard Society [insert website], an organization dedicated to preserving California’s old vineyards.
The Big Three are:
Mike Officer of Carlisle Winery and Vineyards
Tegan Passalacqua of Turley Wine Cellars and Sandlands
Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock
Mike and Kendall Officer’s first vintage from their Carlisle Winery www.carlislewinery.com was 1998. They both kept their day jobs for the next few years, but given the immediate accolades they received out of the starting gate for their wines produced from old-vine vineyards, focusing on Zinfandels and Rhones, demand for them to increase production was high. They eventually were able to devote themselves full-time to the winery and their family – both of their children now work at the winery. While we immediately became huge fans of their red wines, they also make three whites that are definitely on our go-to list:
Sonoma Mountain “Steiner Vineyard” Grüner Veltliner: Not too many wineries use this varietal in California.
Sonoma Valley “Compagni Portis” White Wine: a field blend of primarily Gewurztraminer, Trousseau Gris and Riesling from the Compagni Portis Vineyard. Sonoma County “The Derivative” White Wine: The 2018 is a blend of Semillon, Muscadelle, Columbard and Palomino.
While many people consider Turley Wine Cellars www.turleywinecellars.com to be a Paso Robles winery since they purchased the old Pesenti winery in 2000, they also have a facility in Amador County, having acquired the Karly property in 2012. More to the Northern California point, Turley’s headquarters is in St. Helena in the Napa Valley. Under the auspices of Director of Winemaking Tegan Passalacqua, Turley produces an amazing number of delicious Zinfandels from some of California’s best vineyards, along with some Petite Syrahs, Cinsaults and even some Cabernet Sauvignon. If you are looking for lighter wines, they make some great ones as well. For whites, the Sauvignon Blanc is a favorite of ours and The White Coat blend is always outstanding. And yes, Turley also makes a White Zinfandel; but please don’t expect it to be that silly sweet stuff.
Tegan and his wife Olivia also own Sandlands www.sandlandsvineyards.com , where they focus mainly on “forgotten classic California varieties, primarily grown in decomposed granite (sand), from regions and vineyards that have been farmed for many generations but have remained the outliers of California viticulture.” Sure, they do make some outstanding Chardonnay, but don’t miss their Lodi Chenin Blanc or Cinsault, Mataro and Carigane from Contra Costa County, even a Mission from Amador County, among others. The wines have an old-fashioned flair to them, including lower alcohol by modern California standards and are lip-smackingly delicious. Prices are really reasonable too, but you need to try to get on the mailing list!
Last but not least, Morgan Twain-Peterson founded Bedrock www.bedrockwineco.com
in 2007, but winemaking would seem to have always been in his blood. As the son of Joel Peterson who created Ravenswood and now owns Once And Future Wine, Morgan made his first wine when he was 5 years old – I think he made Pinot Noir just to annoy his Zinfandel-loving father. We were first drawn to the Bedrock Syrahs, Zinfandels and Heritage field blends, but we have found the whites to be equally as compelling. Morgan and his now partner-in-wine Chris Cottrell are doing amazing things with Sauvignon Blanc. And if you or anyone you know thinks that Rieslings are not for them, please give Bedrock’s a try; you will change your mind. Finally, the Ode to Lulu is one of our favorite pink wines every year.
Be aware that all of the Big Three reserve the bulk of their production for their mailing lists, so I highly recommend you sign up – or get on their waitlists.
As the weather starts heating up and Karen and I get to being fully vaccinated, we are looking forward to traveling to our favorite wine regions and tasting new varietals and vintages and reporting back. But in the meantime, you’ll probably see another article or two in this series.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 30 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also President of MCP Financial, which provides outsourced controller services. Michael can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUTHERFORD, CALIF. (PRWEB) – Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley’s quintessential adult getaway, has announced the reopening of The Restaurant, the property’s culinary landmark, featuring a new two- or three-course prix fixe lunch menu ; a three- or four-course prix fixe or six-course tasting menu for dinner service; and a three-course brunch menu available on Saturdays and Sundays. The Restaurant, one of Napa Valley’s first fine dining establishments and recipient of 13 consecutive Michelin Stars, is synonymous with Wine Country cuisine and widely considered a “must experience” culinary destination among discerning travelers and locals alike.
Simultaneously, the hotel’s Bistro and Bar will welcome guests with its original menu concept featuring a range of casual dishes meant to be enjoyed with refreshing cocktails, craft brews and a vast selection of more than 40 wines by the glass that offer a balanced selection of California and French/Old World wines.
Enhancements to the hotel’s beverage program include a range of palate pleasing Aperitifs, French-Inspired Cocktails, and elevated “Classics” featuring the most indulgent versions of time-honored standards such as the Martini, Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Negroni, along with an array of Speciality Cocktails and a new selection of Digestifs.
“Reopening The Restaurant is something we’ve all been looking forward to these many months as it’s the cornerstone for the full sensory experience of the property. Dining on the Terrace can transport you to the south of France while seated in the heart of Napa Valley,” said Bradley Reynolds, Managing Director of Auberge du Soleil. “We’ve missed the special birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations that our guests share with us and we can’t wait to begin creating life-long memories together once again.”
Auberge du Soleil offers spectacular panoramic views of vineyards and mountain vistas from the expansive outdoor terrace, where guests may sip, savor and linger over the dining experience of their choice: The Restaurant, with an elevated fine-dining approach that showcases seasonal, locally-grown ingredients prepared with French techniques; or the Bistro and Bar, which provides the ideal mid-valley respite for an informal lunch between wine tastings or a casual dinner to relax over at the end of the day.
Robert Curry has served as Executive Chef at Auberge du Soleil since 2005, overseeing the culinary program at The Restaurant, Bistro and Bar and hotel’s Private Dining exclusively for Weddings and Events. Curry began his culinary career in his native Los Angeles and received his degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park. After graduation, he was recruited by Michael Richard and Alain Giraud for Citrus Restaurant in New York. In the late ‘90’s he travelled to France working with Alain Ducasse at his three-star Louis XV in the Hotel de Paris, Joseph Thuet at the Moët & Chandon Résidence de Trianon in Epernay, and in Paris at the two-star Michel Rostang. He later served as Executive Chef at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at the CIA in St Helena, California, eight years at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, as Executive Sous Chef under Philippe Jeanty and ultimately succeeding him as Executive Chef.
Reservations are now being accepted for The Restaurant by contacting Auberge du Soleil at 707.967.1211 or online via OpenTable. The Restaurant will be open for Lunch, Wednesday-Friday from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, followed by Dinner service from 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM. Brunch will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM. The Restaurant will open seven days a week starting May 1.
The Lunch menu will offer a two course prix fixe for $60 and three-courses for $75. Dinner service will feature three courses for $135, four courses for $155 or a six-course tasting menu for $185. All menus include vegetarian selections available with each course.
The Bistro and Bar offers continuous service seven days a week from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM. Reservations are suggested via 707.967.1211 or online at OpenTable.
Inspired by the relaxed sophistication of the South of France and infused with California soul, Auberge du Soleil features wine country’s most luxurious accommodations, spectacular valley views, a 13-time Michelin Star award-winning Restaurant, and exclusive Auberge du Soleil Spa. Known for passionate, intuitive service that sets the standard for gracious hospitality, the property is a long-standing member of Relais & Châteaux, an international association of outstanding boutique properties known for their excellence in hospitality and the culinary arts.
Auberge du Soleil consistently receives the highest accolades from the hospitality industry, discerning guests and the media, and is perennially ranked among the best and most romantic hotels in the world by influential publications. For more information please visit http://www.aubergedusoleil.com and follow at facebook.com/AubergeduSoleil and on Twitter and Instagram at @AubergeduSoleil. For reservations and availability contact the hotel directly at 800.348.5406 or email email@example.com.
About Relais & Châteaux
Created in 1954, Relais & Châteaux is an organization of more than 560 exceptional hotels and restaurants run by independent men and women, all driven by a passion for their profession and dedicated to the authenticity of the relationships they build with their customers. With operations on all five continents, from the vineyards of Napa Valley to Provence and the beaches of the Indian Ocean, Relais & Châteaux members invite all to discover the art of living enshrined in the location’s culture, and share a unique, human story. Relais & Châteaux members have a profound desire to protect and showcase the richness and diversity of the cuisine and inviting cultures of the world. They worked towards this goal, along with the goal to preserve local heritages and the environment, through a UNESCO Manifesto in November 2014. For more information please visit http://www.relaischateaux.com.
About Auberge Resorts Collection
Auberge Resorts Collection is a portfolio of extraordinary hotels, resorts, residences and private clubs. While each property is unique, all share a crafted approach to luxury and bring the soul of the locale to life through captivating design, exceptional cuisine and spas, and gracious yet unobtrusive service. With 19 hotels and resorts across three continents, Auberge invites guests to create unforgettable stories in some of the world’s most desirable destinations. For more information about Auberge Resorts Collection, please visit aubergeresorts.com. Follow Auberge Resorts Collection on Facebook at facebook.com/AubergeResorts and on Twitter and Instagram at @AubergeResorts and #AlwaysAuberge.
BLANCO, TEXAS (PRWEB) – Andalusia Whiskey Co will release their first Texas Brandy on Saturday March 27th. The distillery is not the first but one of the few to release a brandy in Texas.
“I feel most people overlook brandy,” said Co-Founder Ty Phelps. “Which is why we are excited to show what a brandy from Texas can taste like,” he continued.
The Andalusia Whiskey Co. Texas brandy uses 2018 Orange Muscat grapes grown by Lost Draw Cellars and then pressed by William Chris Vineyards. These grapes were too sweet to make wine but great for distilling into brandy. Aged 2.5 years in used American oak charred barrels. “We love how aromatic and flavorful the spirit turned out,” said Ty Phelps. The tasting notes include citrus, vanilla, honey, floral, anise, and cloves.
“People have a desire for local products, so we jumped at the chance to make a local Texas Brandy from regional wineries,” said Co-Founder Tommy Erwin.
Our Texas Brandy will be available in 375 ml bottles for $40. You can purchase them at the distillery or online. Online sales must be picked up at the distillery located at 6462 N US Hwy 281, Blanco, Texas 78606. Whiskey or brandy cannot be shipped. You are allowed to pick up two bottles (750 ml) per person per 30 days.
Follow Andalusia Whiskey Co. on Facebook for updates on tours, tasting room hours, and special releases. You can find Andalusia’s award-winning single malts Stryker, Revenant Oak, and their Triple Distilled whiskey at liquor stores throughout Texas.
About Andalusia Whiskey Co.
Andalusia Whiskey Co. produces hand-crafted, grain to glass malt whiskies deep in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The distillery offers tours, tastings, and cocktails in their beautiful tasting room. Visitors to the Texas Hill Country are encouraged to sign up for a distillery tour and come by for a visit. For more information, visit their website http://www.andalusiawhiskey.com. For interviews, contact Jake Clements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRASS VALLEY, CALIF. (PRWEB) – Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) is announcing that it will officially launch The California Zinfandel Trail starting March 29, 2021. Zinfandel lovers and the Zinfandel-curious will now have a powerful new tool to explore wineries and plan custom itineraries. This new platform is designed to boost tourism and raise interest in wineries that produce America’s time-honored heritage wine, Zinfandel.
“Consumers and wineries alike will benefit from this fast track connection directly to Zinfandel winemakers, featuring small production artisanal wines that are available to consumers only by visiting the winery in person or virtually,” according to ZAP Executive Director, Rebecca Robinson. “So many of these wines are from historic vineyards and come with wonderful, colorful family stories that are the fabric of American agricultural heritage,” she continues.
Mindful of travel restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic, virtual visits and tastings have been made available, in addition to the traditional in-person winery tastings and experiences. Visitors should contact wineries in advance about their latest visiting policies and experiences.
The Zinfandel Trail website includes an easy to use interactive map of California’s Zinfandel wineries for plotting and planning itineraries to vineyards across California. Here, visitors can explore Zinfandel winery experiences by region, such as vineyard and winery tours, specialized tastings, picnicking, food service, and pet-friendly policies. In addition to winery listings are featured winery to winery routes with beautiful Zinfandel vineyard images, regional travel blogs, points of interest, and winemaker stories.
In addition to the California Zinfandel Trail mapping website, ZAP is also creating virtual tours and tastings offered for sale to those wanting to sniff, swirl, and sip while enjoying a themed tour on Zoom hosted by travel experts. The first three-part series will begin in late April with a tour of Sonoma Valley, followed in May by sessions on Women in Wine and in June, Vineyard Tours.
Virtual Tour dates:
Sonoma Valley Zinfandel Tour | Thursday, April 29, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. PDT
HOST: Tim Zahner, Executive Director, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau
Women in Wine Zinfandel Tour | Thursday, May 27, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. PDT
HOST: Lauren Mowery, Travel Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Zinfandel Vineyard Tours | Thursday, June 24, 2021 – 4:00 p.m. PDT
HOST: Paul Rubio, award-winning travel journalist AFAR, Conde Nast Traveler and more
The virtual sessions will provide photographic essays, interactive discussion, and in-depth guided tastings from three wineries based on each theme – the next best thing to visiting the wineries and vineyards in person.
Visit zinfandeltrail.com to learn more about the virtual sessions and secure your spot.
“This program gives us the opportunity to expand Zinfandel’s appreciation and reach through a new platform,” explains Robinson.”
Over the last several years, ZAP has successfully reached millions of consumers to improve awareness and adoption of Zinfandel, America’s true heritage wine grape variety. “Zinfandel Stories” and “Legendary Zinfandel Vineyards” campaigns, were delivered with the aim to preserve, protect and continue to grow Zinfandel, both in the fields of California and as a wine category.
“Conditions are slowly improving for travel,” says Robinson. “We’re confident, based on our previous campaign successes, that we’ve got something special here, a unique tool that will last into the future, for when tourism rebounds.” Until then, we’ve developed what we believe are very entertaining, educational virtual sessions that will make people excited to hit The California Zinfandel Trail when they’re ready.”
About Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP)
Created for Zin lovers by Zin lovers, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP is dedicated to advancing public knowledge and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. ZAP actively involves hundreds of wineries and thousands of enthusiasts. Together, ZAP is gaining a national and international understanding of Zinfandel as America’s grape, serving as an innovator and industry leader in the world of wine. ZAP members enjoy benefits throughout the year including access to ZAP’s Premier Winery Experience program. ZAP can be found online at Zinfandel.org, on Facebook @ZAP.org and on Twitter @thezinfandelorg, #CAZinTrail.
Funding for California’s Zinfandel Trail was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM190100XXXXG008. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.
At over six hundred pages, Vines & Vision: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County delivers the most in-depth study of Santa Barbara wine country yet
“When I first met Matt Kettmann a few years ago, he was pretty laid back, but very engaged with Santa Barbara County wine. He turned on a new level of commitment to the wine region when he decided to write a book with photographer Macduff Everton, longtime chronicler of the area with candid, off-center, fun, and telling images. This is a great and precise exposition of a great and abundant wine region, Santa Barbara County.”— Jim Clendenen, Au Bon Climat
Santa Barbara, CA – Unlike Northern California regions like Sonoma and Napa, where countless pages in numerous books have waxed on about their people and places, Santa Barbara wine country is decidedly lacking in books about the region, with just a handful published over its entire modern history. That’s changing this year with the publication of Vines & Vision: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County, an intimate yet sprawling 632-page study of more than 100 wineries and vineyards in the region by writer Matt Kettmann and photographer Macduff Everton.
Santa Barbara County winemaking pioneer Richard Sanford (Founder, Sanford Winery, Alma Rosa Winery) who penned the book’s forward, says, “In Vines & Vision, Matt and Macduff have captured that pride with their photographs and profiles of the important people and places in our wine region. They are uniquely qualified to tell this story.”
“This felt like an opportunity to do my part in showing others what makes our region so honestly special, from the unique geography to the colorful characters,” says author Matt Kettmann (editor at The Santa Barbara Independent and Wine Enthusiast), who’s been covering the region as a journalist since 1999 and reviewing more than 150 Central Coast wines every month since 2014. He collaborated on the project with renowned photographer Macduff Everton (National Geographic, Conde Nast), who has photographed the area’s winemakers and vineyards since the early 1990s. After working together on Around the Table, a book about The Lark, a popular Santa Barbara restaurant, the two plotted out plans for a wine book over pints of Guinness in the fall of 2017.
“It’s been a longer than expected haul,” says Kettmann of the process. “We’ve spent almost three years corralling grape growers and winemakers for photo shoots, interviewing so many of them again, and, in some cases, hanging out for the first time.”
The results are riveting reading, with winemakers, farmers, and vineyard workers sharing their stories in ways that are often unexpectedly candid. While exploring the vineyards, Everton made fast friends with the many Spanish-speaking workers, as he’d spent so many years of his career covering the Maya people of Mexico, as detailed in his book The Modern Maya Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatán (Univ. of Texas Press).
“Macduff made an immediate and deep connection with the hundreds of farmworkers who do the hard work in the vineyards every day and began shooting portraits of them as well, toting a portable backdrop along to every visit,” explains Kettmann. Those efforts expanded into a separate chapter called “El Buen Equipo,” or “The Good Team,” which features those farmers as well as people in every other role required to bring a vintage to market, from PR pros and marketing executives to wealthy proprietors.
With over 100 chapters, Vines & Vision: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County focuses on the people, places, history, geography, and diverse culture in one of America’s leading wine regions. It shines a bright light on both familiar and famous faces from the region, as well as the industry’s often unsung heroes; the laborers, farmers, office workers, and numerous others who are vital to and instrumental in taking each and every vintage to market. Because of its comprehensive nature, Vines & Vision will be the primary reference text for this region for decades to come.
Lane Tanner, whose eponymously named brand was synonymous for years with the Santa Maria Valley appellation, says, “Macduff and Matt’s new book is not only a definitive informational source, it delivers seriously fun facts that I have never seen in print before! Super cool read!”
“In a culture increasingly marked by quick sound bites of information and abridged attention span, we seldom have the privilege to experience thorough investigation and discovery,” says winemaker Greg Brewer (Brewer-Clifton, diatom, Ex Post Facto). “Vines and Vision is one of those rare examples which demonstrates a metered pursuit to portray a multi-faceted representation of Santa Barbara County winegrowing. The diversity of this landscape is only rivaled perhaps by the variety of its people which requires not only patience but also a keen eye to carefully uncover. Through their tireless efforts, Matt Kettmann and Macduff Everton have done just that to produce a stunning work which harnesses the intensity of the topography and intimately captures the passion of those working within. The trust and intimacy that they have forged with everyone in Santa Barbara is shared throughout each and every page of this significant work that will forever hold a vital position in the history of this unique area.”
The book also includes essays on the history of the region (bolstered by Everton’s treasure trove of older photos), an exploration of Santa Barbara’s unique geography, descriptions of each appellation, and coverage of an entire growing season, from pruning to bottling. Featuring intimate portraits of winemakers, the book is very personal in nature, driven by the people and places that make Santa Barbara wine country so special.
“This insightful book captures the essence of Santa Barbara County’s soul,” said sommelier and winemaker Rajat Parr. “Matt Kettmann and Macduff Everton dive deep into the terroir of the region and showcase its trailblazers. A groundbreaking resource for the Santa Barbara wine country.”
To purchase Vines & Vision: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County, visit https://www.vinesandvisionsb.com/. It is also available at bookstores and wineries throughout Santa Barbara County, which are listed on the website as well.
Ridge Vineyards, The Debate Wine, Pyramid Valley Vineyards, B. Stuyvesant Champagne, Hoopes Vineyard, Dusty Nabor, Benchmark Wine Group, JJ Buckley Fine Wines, Flannery Beef, Grassl Glass and more join over 450 partners in the Grand Reserve rewards program network.
PASADENA, Calif. /PRNewswire/ — Vertical Finance has announced that they have welcomed 29 new boutique wineries, merchants, and gourmet food companies, to the Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard® partner network, further broadening the program designed to reward cardmembers as they pursue their passion for wine. Cardmembers earn significant bonus points on purchases made directly from Grand Reserve partners and receive unique benefits and exclusive invitations.
Grand Reserve is delighted to welcome (in alphabetical order): B. Stuyvesant Champagne, Benchmark Wine Group, Briceland Vineyards, Chiron Wines, Dusty Nabor Wines, DV8 Cellars, EMH Vineyards, Flannery Beef, Gourmets of Spain, Grassl Glass, Hoopes Vineyard, JJ Buckley Fine Wines, Just Enough Wines, Liquid Assets Cellars, Loring Wine Company, Meadowcroft wines, Oestermann Family Winery, Pyramid Valley Vineyards, Ridge Vineyard, Riverain Vineyard, Sabeli-Frisch Wines, Sandler Wine co, Scherrer Winery, Smith & Sheth, The Debate Wine, Vincent Wine Company, Woodhouse Wine Estates, Zeka Vineyards and Zoetic Wines.
Launched in August of last year, Grand Reserve World Mastercard was designed with a cardmember-first approach and focuses on truly rewarding the passion that members have for discovering, enjoying, and collecting fine wine. Grand Reserve connects members with the finest boutique wineries and other partners that pair with their passion, offering significant bonus points on purchases made directly from partners and exclusive benefits through its rewards and loyalty program. Grand Reserve points can be redeemed for wine, sommelier-curated reward catalog items, exclusive experiences, and more.
“We’re excited to continue growing our portfolio of Grand Reserve partners and give our members access to even more partner benefits and experiences. Additionally, we aim to provide a unique marketing channel to boutique fine wineries and other partners,” said Matthew Goldman, Vertical Finance founder and CEO. “Our goal is to connect members with the finest producers of wine, support our partners, and provide exceptional rewards for wine enthusiasts.”
Other partners in the network include (in alphabetical order): Beckmen Vineyards, Charles Krug Winery, Flanagan Wines, Freeman Winery, Joseph Jewell Wines, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Long Meadow Ranch, Moseley Family Estate, Myriad Cellars, Patz & Hall, Relic Wine Cellars, Senses Wine, Switchback Ridge, and Willamette Valley Vineyards among many others. The full list of over 450 Grand Reserve partners may be viewed at https://grandreserverewards.com/partner-network
“We’re excited to be a partner in this unique rewards program for wine lovers,” said Christopher Lloyd Strieter, Founder of Senses Wines. “Great wine is best enjoyed as part of a community and Grand Reserve promises to bring wine lovers and wineries like ours together in a new way.”
Full details about the Grand Reserve World Mastercard can be found at grandreserverewards.com.
About Vertical Finance
Vertical Finance is a fintech and challenger credit card startup. The company’s modern credit card platform matches consumers with high-quality boutique merchants and authentic rewards that enhance their lifestyle pursuits. The company’s flagship program, Grand Reserve, rewards consumers when they shop at wineries, wine clubs, and wine shops. Vertical Finance is a 1% for the Planet company, a global network of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals working together for a healthy planet, committed to giving 1% of gross sales each year to approved nonprofit partners. Visit verticalfinance.com and grandreserverewards.com to learn more. Consumers can connect with Grand Reserve on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
Completing the world’s first zero-emissions harvest of a Barolo cru, and celebrating 2025 by opening the first 100% sustainable bottle of the highly prized King of Wines: these are the aims of the partnership between FPT Industrial and Fontanafredda.
The global challenge of energy transition demands not only widely shared solutions on a large scale, but also targeted actions in specialist sectors, which must be able both to deliver concrete results and to attract the interest of a broader public, through the high intrinsic value of the projects themselves. Both can be achieved by projects involving partners with a long-standing commitment to environmental accountability.
Implementing these guidelines, a core part of its brand identity from the outset, FPT Industrial, the global powertrain brand of CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI), and the world’s largest producer of low environmental impact engines, has joined forces with Fontanafredda, the historic winery founded by Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of Italy in 1858. Fontanafredda produces Barolo and other great wines from the Langhe region, which currently has 120 hectares of certified organic vineyards and promotes a new Green Renaissance in the form of best-practice grape cultivation with no environmental impact.
The heart of the partnership is the supply of two New Holland TK Methane Power crawler vineyard tractors with biomethane-fueled FPT Industrial F28 Natural Gas engines, which will work in the Vigna La Rosa cru that produces the grapes for the legendary Barolo of the same name, a wine which has been included in the Wine Spectator Top 100 of the world’s best wines.
Recently awarded the title of “Engine of the year 2020” for its modular, multi-propulsion approach, the FPT Industrial F28 engine is designed to be compact, productive and environment-friendly. In fact, it ticks all the boxes in terms of power, performance and low environmental impact for specialized applications such as orchard and vineyard tractors where compactness and small overall dimensions are an essential requirement. The F28 is able to operate on diesel or natural gas and is hybrid-ready.
The biomethane model designed for Fontanafredda was developed on the basis of a New Holland Agriculture crawler vineyard tractor. It can provide a power output of 75 hp with peak torque of 330 Nm and therefore ensures, in complete safety, performance which is absolutely identical to that of its diesel equivalent, even when working on the steepest slopes and on the slippery terrain typical of the finest vineyards in Italy’s Langhe wine-growing region. This is all with a zero-carbon footprint, as the biomethane that powers the engine is not a fossil fuel, but is produced by the anaerobic digestion of agricultural waste.
Fontanafredda has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability, both on the land, by implementing organic growing methods, and in the cellar, through the use of autochthonous yeasts. In 2020 these decades of evolution culminated in a fresh perspective: the Green Renaissance. The new Renaissance will create a great global community, united around respect for the land, which will also be expressed through respect for people. These values have led to the “greening” of all daily procedures, from the reuse of water to the choice of healthy, natural, environment-friendly packaging, and the use of clean energy for the Village inside Fontanafredda the farmstead. Thanks to FPT Industrial, from the 2021 vintage onwards, mobility in the vineyard has also become sustainable. The arrival of biomethane-fueled tractors will enable Fontanafredda to cut vineyard emissions to zero and make growing operations ever more sustainable.
The three-year partnership between FPT Industrial and Fontanafredda, supported by the Region of Piedmont’s Tobias Project, with contributions from New Holland Agriculture, CNH Industrial and local businesses, proves once again that complex projects of this kind can provide a virtuous example of networking for a common objective. The partners involved in the supply chain project are DIMSPORT S.r.l., HYSYTECH S.r.l., S.T.C. S.r.l., STEMS-CNR and T.C.E. TORINO CREA ENGINEERING S.r.l..
“After being the ‘heart’ of the vehicles named Sustainable Tractor of the Year and Sustainable Truck of the Year”, FPT Industrial CEO Annalisa Stupenengo declares, ‘getting to grips with the needs of the prestigious, delicate, sustainable top-quality wine-growing sector is a very exciting challenge for us. In fact, the partnership with Fontanafredda will enable us to again demonstrate our full support for the European Union as it guides the green transition. Our biomethane engines are as efficient and high-performing as diesels, and this renewable, sustainable fuel is the real, immediately available alternative for eliminating emissions from agricultural vehicles.”
“We have the great good fortune to live in a unique part of the world, and we have to care for our wonderful land,” Fontanafredda grower Andrea Farinetti states. “We need a new Renaissance; otherwise, a tomorrow that is like today is unthinkable. Obviously, we have to change and renew ourselves. For us, this renewal means making our land central to everything we do; this must be our overriding aim, and must lead to the creation of a great worldwide community, based on trust in others. This community will have many tools at its disposal for safeguarding our planet: ours will be wine, “green” wine. Our partnership with FPT Industrial proves that together we can do more, and do it better.”
Technical specifications of the F28 engine for Fontanafredda
- Displacement: 2.8 liters
- 4 cylinders and 2 valves
- Maximum power output 55 kW / 75 hp
- Stoichiometric combustion technology and multipoint injection to guarantee excellent performance and very low emissions
- Designed without EGR and with a maintenance-free 3-way catalytic converter (without DPF or SCR)
- Sustainable solution that guarantees a virtually zero carbon footprint when powered by biomethane
FPT Industrial is a brand of CNH Industrial dedicated to the design, production and sale of propulsion systems for On-Road and Off-Road vehicles, marine applications and Power Generation. The company has a global workforce of over 8,000, ten production sites and seven R&D centers. The FPT Industrial sales network consists of 73 dealers and about 800 service centers in almost 100 countries. The brand boasts a wide product offering, including six engine ranges from 42 hp up to 1,006 hp, transmissions with maximum torque from 200 Nm up to 500 Nm, and front and rear axles from 2 to 32 ton GAW (Gross Axle Weight). FPT Industrial offers the market’s most complete line-up of natural gas engines for industrial applications, with power outputs from 136 to 460 hp. This vast offering and its strong focus on R&D make FPT Industrial a world leader in the industrial powerplant sector. For further information, visit www.fptindustrial.com.
Fontanafredda, producer of Barolo and great wines from the Langhe district, based at Serralunga d’Alba. Founded in 1858 as a consequence of the love affair between Victor Emmanuel II, first King of Italy, and Rosa Vercellana, our winery has always been a community united around respect for the land. We now have 120 hectares of certified ORGANIC vineyards, the setting for Italy’s first Storytelling Village. www.fontanafredda.it
HEALDSBURG, Calif., /PRNewswire/ — Wine Road, a destination marketing association of wineries and lodgings in Northern Sonoma County, invites visitors to Wine Country to experience a weekend tasting discovering library wines at participating wineries, March 6 and 7. Along with hard-to-find wines, visitors can enjoy all Sonoma County has to offer: gorgeous scenery, amazing weather and world class food and wine.
Traditionally the first weekend of March is Wine Road’s annual Barrel Tasting weekend. This year because Sonoma County COVID-19 regulations will not allow visitors to gather in the cellars for barrel samples, Wine Road wineries are offering visitors a unique opportunity to meet winemakers and winery owners and taste their favorite wines, pulled from their library. Library wines are portions of vintages held back by wineries to re-released years after their debut.
“The safety of our guests is our number one priority. Realistically, due to statewide COVID19 restrictions, we will not be able to have large groups of people indoors by the first weekend of March to hold our annual Barrel Tasting event,” says Beth Costa, Executive Director of Wine Road. “However, we still wanted to commemorate the weekend that has been a 44-year tradition in Sonoma County by having our member wineries unite to offer visitors something special – in this case – rare library wines.”
This is NOT an event, as there are no tickets, wristbands, or logo glasses, but each winery will require a reservation in advance, and they will each charge their regular tasing fee. All safety protocols required of wineries will be in place at each winery: outdoor seating, social distancing, and masks required until seated. The only difference will be that wineries will serve a library wine with a flight of current wines.
Click on the program link at the Wine Road website to see a list of participating wineries, which currently include favorites such as Moshin Vineyards, Dutton Estate, GC Lurton Vineyards, Baldassari Wines, West Wines and Balletto Vineyards. (Winery list will be complete by February 22nd). Wine Road hopes to be able to host a scaled down, modified version of their annual Barrel Tasting event in May of 2021 if conditions allow.
To plan your next trip, please visit: www.wineroad.com. For additional information, or to request a free map, call 707-433-4335 or via e-mail at email@example.com, or visit the Wine Road on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
DUNDEE HILLS, Ore. /PRNewswire/ — Sokol Blosser Winery, founded in 1971 by Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser and now under second-generation leadership, will mark 50 years of growing and making signature Willamette Valley wines in 2021 with a year-long celebration.
As part of the celebration, Sokol Blosser will revisit its first vintage with a 1970s Flash Sale on Tue., Feb. 2. For one day only, its 2018 Redland Estate Cuvée Pinot Noir will be available on its website for $6.75 per 750 ml bottle – the very same price of the winery’s first vintage of Pinot Noir in 1977. (Limit of 12 bottles per person, while supplies last).
“This is a major milestone for us,” said Alison Sokol Blosser, CEO of Sokol Blosser Winery. “We are one of the few founding wineries in the Willamette Valley that has not only remained family-owned and operated, but has continued to grow. My brother Alex and I learned the business from working alongside our parents, and we’re so grateful for the strength and wisdom that’s enabled us to not just survive but thrive for 50 years. We’re excited to celebrate all year long with our customers, trade and industry partners!”
On top of its 1970s Flash Sale, Sokol Blosser will mark the occasion with a series of special bottlings, tasting room activities (when it’s safe) and wine club offerings including:
- Exclusive anniversary bottling of 2018 Old Vineyard Block Dundee Hills Pinot Noir with a retro label that evokes the brand’s original 1970’s label design and shape (SRP $60; available direct from the winery only).
- A special Instagram and Facebook Live tasting with wine expert Leslie Sbrocco on Feb. 10 featuring Susan Sokol Blosser and Alison Sokol Blosser.
- Fireside chats and online tastings (via Zoom) with Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser for media, trade and consumers.
- When the tasting room reopens, guests will step back to the 70s with 50th
Anniversary flights featuring family favorites and library wines, a 1970s Spotify playlist (free to download!) with a groovy soundtrack, and special surprises for guests who arrive in ’70s cars or are celebrating 50th milestones of their own.
“It’s a privilege to farm these vineyards and create wines that reflect the exact hillsides where our parents started 50 years ago,” said head winemaker Alex Sokol Blosser. “Our wines have improved year after year, and it’s a testament to our parents’ original belief that the Dundee Hills and Willamette Valley would indeed be a fine place to grow grapes and make wine.”
A Half Century of Accomplishments
In December 1970, Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser purchased five acres of land in the Dundee Hills (a former prune orchard), and soon thereafter planted it to Pinot Noir and other varietals. By 1980, the Sokol Blossers had expanded their holdings to 72 acres and today the winery farms 105 acres of estate vineyards under vine. Over its 50 years, Sokol Blosser has made history with a number of accomplishments:
- Sokol Blosser opened the first purpose-built winery tasting room in Oregon in 1978.
- Sokol Blosser was first recognized for its environmental stewardship in 1983 by the U.S. Soil & Water Conservation District.
- Evolution Lucky No. 9 White Blend was introduced in 1998, paving the way for a whole new category of white blends in the marketplace.
- Sokol Blosser was the first winery in the world to have a LEED-certified winery building in 2002 for its underground barrel cellar.
- Sokol Blosser’s Estate Vineyard received full USDA organic certification in 2005.
- The second generation took the reins in 2008 as co-presidents. Today, Alison Sokol Blosser is CEO and Alex Sokol Blosser is Winemaker.
- In 2013, Sokol Blosser opened a stunning new tasting room designed by Brad Cloepfil from Allied Works Architecture which raised the bar for hospitality and wine country experiences in the Willamette Valley.
- In 2015, the winery received coveted B Corp Certification for its high standards of social and environmental performance and accountability.
- Sokol Blosser introduced Oregon’s only nationally distributed box wines in 2020, with Evolution Pinot Noir and Lucky No. 9 White now available in 1.5- liter boxes.
About Sokol Blosser Winery As one of the pioneering wineries of the region, Sokol Blosser has played a key role in developing and shaping the now-prominent Oregon wine industry. The winery remains family owned and operated, with the second generation now at the helm: siblings Alison and Alex Sokol Blosser. Achieving B Corp certification in 2015, the winery creates wines of world-class quality, produced in a sustainable manner, reflecting the distinctive flavors of the grapes, soil and climate. The winery produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, sparkling wines, Riesling and small quantities of single block Pinot Noir under its Sokol Blosser brand, and a white wine, red blend, Pinot Noir, sparkling wine, Riesling, and Chardonnay and Oregon’s first nationally distributed box wines under Evolution label. Visit http://www.sokolblosser.com/ and follow @sokolblosser and @evolutionwines on Instagram and Facebook.