Petite Sirah,Wine,Wine of the Week

Wine of the Week ~ 2014 Laughinghouse Petite Sirah

The Wine ~ Laughinghouse Petite

Why I’m writing about this one is that it’s an “American Dream” wine. The dream was there to create a brand and now it’s being actualized.

I love wine negotiates. They get to dabble with what others have brought forth as they go on a buying trip to make that important bridge connection. This makes their wines a collaborative partnership; from someone who loved making it, to some who would love marketing it. It’s a huge process… to make AND sell the wine. It also takes a major investment to take it all the way, from vine to wine bottle and to the streets.

For some, who already enjoy a successful career, having a brand to market to the right sources can also be immeasurably rewarding and satisfying. If I told you that I know someone whose “house wine” is “the” House wine… Yeah, it’s like that.

Laughinghouse Petite came to me as a brand so pleased with their Petite that I was asked to just taste it. And I have, and it delivers exactly what’s promised. Let’s review their label, and I can point – counter point with it.

LABEL: This wine combines two clones of Petite Sirah grown by the Tanner family on the rocky volcanic soils near Vallecito. 2014 was an excellent growing season that gives a wine redolent with powerful dark fruit, blueberry, blackberry pie. Hints of spice aromas, very fine texture and mineral flavors.

COUNTER POINT: CLONES ~ We talked about clones. For me, it’s good to know that there are now more than four. When I started my Petite journey, there were only four clones: Clone #1, Clone #2, Clone #3, and Clone #4. And, Clone #3 turned out to be a Pinot Noir. Kind of a joke on the Petite Buyer… not. Then Foppiano’s Clone came on board, as did a Stags’ Leap, and now Laughinghouse has the Bogle Clone. That makes my heart sing. Patty Bogle of Bogle Vineyards and Winery was very special to me. It remains that way, since her passing.

COUNTER POINT: Tanner Vineyards, as they also make some of their own wines and are a great resource for Laughinghouse.

COUNTER POINT: Vallecito ~ Where? From the, can’t know everything chapter – and – not having their own town website, here’s new from an unlikely source ~ Ohio!

There is no counter point to this. It’s exactly as it should be written:

2014 was an excellent growing season that gives a wine redolent with powerful dark fruit, blueberry, blackberry pie. Hints of spice aromas, very fine texture and mineral flavors.

Since it’s July, you’ve plenty of the summer season left to fire up your grill and will need a good size red for meat that has some marbleized fat in it. Those drips will be blended with an acidity begging for a rich piece of meat, or an egg plant wish with eggs and/or cheese. It’s not a sipping wine, It’s a wine meant to be enjoyed with food. It’s 13.7 percent alcohol. The lower the alcohol, the more food friendly it is.

You can purchase from their Website: www.laughinghousewine.com


Bubbly Wine,Chile,Sparkling wine,Wine

Es Rosé, José… un Estelado de Chilé!

That’s what I’ve been saying all spring into summer, “It’s Rosé, José,” and this time it was an Estelado from Miguel Torres de Chilé!


A list of what’s been pouring in, in an unprecedented amount…


Santa Digna Estelado Rose Sparkling Wine

Santa Digna Estelado, from Miguel Torres, has recovered the oldest grape variety from the Chile’s past. It’s called the País. So rare, in fact, it’s number 161 on my Wine Century Club list. I’m now working toward a Doppel Membership (having tasted 200 different varieties).

This wine is 100 percent País… pure joy, refreshing, satisfying, and tiny bubbles sparkling in my glass… Amor, amor, amor… Mucho muy bien, tambien. Being very partial to pink, the pale rose color took my breath away… Blood orange flavors were the definition for this one.

About País: Mission: it’s also known as Criolla Chica in Argentina, and País in Chile. In the US, we know it as the red grape variety Mission. It’s a grape of major historical importance for the world. I’m so thrilled to see this grape variety making its way back into wine being made today.

How the grape got from Spain to Chile and beyond

Jesuit Missionaries transported original vines from Spain to the new world in the middle of the 1500s. Cultivated in Mexico and then into South America, for nearly a century, it then began to migrate north into California. The mission grape is believed to be of Mexican and/or South American (Argentina) origin, related to the Spanish Criolla, and the Pais variety of Chile. In the early 2000s when I wrote a report for a Viticulture 101 class, there were 36,872 acres planted to the Mission variety. Prior to being planted in California, the Mission was first grown in Mexico for 200 years. Criolla means “a New World scion of an Old World parent, adapted to the new condition.” The grape flourished in California, producing a sturdy vine that didn’t require staking, and ripened well in almost any climate. The exception was Mission Dolores in San Francisco, whose climate was, and still is, consistently cool and damp.

Crafting this Wine

The Estelado was made following the traditional ethos with a  second fermentation in the bottle. The winemakers recovered Chile’s earliest grape variety, which arrived in the 16th Century. The grapes were grown by a large number of small farmers, the variety was all but forgotten, until it was recently rediscovered by making wines and realizing they were of high quality. According to Miguel Torres, “Each bottle of sparkling País consumed helps to create demand and, as a result, better conditions for the winegrowers of Chile.”  — I drink to that!

As I wrote part of this blog story, I listed to the following for inspiration, while sipping this Rosé Uva País.. It’s a truly delightful sparkling wines. I highly recommend it for the rosé, bubbling crowd that’s trending, right into Indian Summer.


Bordeaux,Education,Imports,Wine,Wine Education

Bordeaux ~ Banking on Iconic Wineries ~ partie quatorze

[Image: © CIVB, 2012. Design: Siksik – Cartography. Édition Benoít France]

As I look at this map to the right, I realize how much farther I have to go to understand Bordeaux. I’ve written about the Left and Right banks; as we look at this map, we have much more to learn.

  • Left Bank
    • North-West
    • South-West
  • Right Bank
    • North-East
    • East
    • South-East

What separates each one within the Left and the Right regions, besides latitude?

~~~ Water, Water, Water ~~~

  1. Gironde Estuary
  2. Garonne River is on its western side, and is an extension of the Spanish Río Garona. This river is 357 miles long and is considered to be the most important river of southwestern France. Emanating from the Spanish central Pyrenees, it flows into the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Gironde Estuary.
  3. Dordogne River is on its eastern side, and is the third longest river in western France.

~~~ Water Influences ~~~

  1. For the Left Bank, it’s the city of Bordeaux itself.
    • North-West Bordeaux
      • The Atlantic’s Bay of Biscay is to its west
      • The Gironde Estuary is to its east in the north and central portions
      • The last fifth of the North-West has the Garonne to its east
    • South-West Bordeaux
      • Decidedly inland
      • Only the Garonne to its east
  2. For the Right Bank regions, it’s all about waterways being on its west side
    • North-East Bordeaux
      • Gironde Estuary is a large bay area on its west side
      • With the base being fed by the Dordogne
      • Closer to the Atlantic than the East and South-East regions
    • East Bordeaux
      • The Dordogne River is to its west
    • South-East Bordeaux
      • This region is inland
      • Garonne River is to its west

A Player From Each Region

My Research Experience: The Right Bank Wines Are Much Harder to Find

Winery descriptions have come from each winery’s Website:

Left Bank


  • Pauillac
  • Chateau Lynch-Bages
  • In the heart of the Médoc on the banks of the estuary, Pauillac (Gironde, France) has been the true birthplace of Grand Cru Classé wines since 1855. The Lynch-Bages vineyards are planted across 100 hectares in the region. Its enjoys a mild climate, homogeneous geology and a topography of well-defined outcrops in the South and South-West of the town. These factors all contribute to bringing Lynch-Bages’ soils their warmth and excellent natural drainage towards the river which ensures optimum water supply to the vines.



  • Pessac-Leognan
  • Domaine de Chevalier ~ C’est si bon
  • The Domaine de Chevalier is a clearing in the forest that protects it, a kind of secret garden away from the media circuits. It’s a little paradox of this excellence believed that rivals the greatest vintages of Bordeaux.
    “Only a great terroir can produce a great wine … When I present the Domaine de Chevalier, I like to start with these words. They express our deep philosophy, which is enshrined in the approach of the vineyard but also in the minds of men and women who work here, year after year refining their skills to what is essential to my eyes, ie equilibrium … “


Right Bank


  • Blaye
  • Chateau Montfollet Le Valentin
  • At the heart of the best soils of the appellation, this family owned 67 hectares of vineyards located on hillsides and red clay and limestone clays overlooking the Gironde estuary opposite the most prestigious wines of Margaux. It belongs to the Ramon family for three generations. Today, anxious to reveal the potential of these beautiful lands, while respecting the environment, Dominique Raimond, passionate winemaker, uses all the technical means to achieve the production of a great wine.
    • SOIL: Clay and gravel and clay-limestone on slopes facing south, southeast and southwest.



  • Pomerol
  • Vieux Chateau Certan
  • Covering 35 acres in one single block,  The Vieux Chateau Certan Vineyard is the fruit of a century of painstaking work and careful decision making.



  • Loupiac
  • Chateau Pontac
  • An exceptional vineyard : The Terroir is composed of graves in surface and clay and limestone in depth, which enables a typical blending from the Médoc, ideal for qualitative wines.  The vineyards are planted by 45% of Merlot, 40% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% of Cabernet Franc and 5% of Petit Verdot. The vineyard is running on a sustainable agriculture. The Château Pontac Lynch is one of the Medoc winegrowing estates using the least phytosanitaries, since 2010. The manually done harvest and a very selective sorting of the grapes are the key elements for a great elegant wine.



Wine Blog Bordeaux Series to Date

Credit to Millesima for originally inspiring me to learn about Bordeaux.



PR 101,PR Advice,Wine,Winery

Sage Advice on Writing From an Unlikely Source ~ PR 101

The sage advice is the very last “Dear Jo:” at the end of this blog post. If you follow from the top, you’ll see how I make decisions on what I have time for, when it comes to helping people with their brands on this blog. It’s not so much the brands I enjoy, it’s their PR people.

Dear Ms. Diaz:

After reading the use/content section of your website, I’m writing to ask if you’d be interested in tasting the wines from Ernest Vineyards.


Owners Erin Brooks and her husband Todd Gottula produce elegant and nuanced wines that offer transparent expressions of clone and place. They founded Ernest Vineyards out of their love for family, art and Burgundy.  Each wine is named after the character, career and accomplishments of a beloved family member and the portrait on the front label is of Todd’s Grandfather.

The wines are charming, and Erin and Todd equally so. They’re wonderful, hard-working, humble people who are committed to elevating the profile of artisanal winemaking in the United States.

Would you mind if I sent you samples?

Sincerely, Jennifer Chin

My response:

Thanks for contacting me. Right now, between my day job and all of the wines backed up for my wine of the week program I’m really swamped.

I don’t see any lightening of my load for a while… Also packing the house for a move in the fall.

I would like to help you, but I can’t at this time. — jo

Dear Ms. Diaz:

No, thank you for getting back to me so quickly!  I appreciate your frankness and agree that moving sucks.  It’s right up there with going to the dentist and waiting at the DMV.

Would you mind if I followed up with you in the Fall?

Sincerely, Jennifer

My Response:

I don’t mind at all, if you do.

This move isn’t like that, though. We’re headed into the mountains in Geyserville, and a lap pool (salt water) awaits us.

The work load is so heavy, that’s my exhaustion. All I seem to do is write my brains out. Moving will give me at least a month off from that 😉

I’ve been writing furiously since 1993… — jo

Dear Jo:

I’ve always thought that writing is one of the most difficult of occupations.  Colette, the French novelist, had several pithy thoughts on this; one which I particularly like goes something like this…. “Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”

In other words, no wonder you’re tired!!!

Jennifer Chin
Founder, Strategic Wine Solutions

My response, 10 days later…

Hi, Jennifer,

A bit of blue sky has opened up for a new opportunity.

Please send a sample of what you’d like for me to taste.

Thanks.  — jo



Verona ~ Who Are You, Anyway? ~ seconda parte #IAMarone

[The map of Italy, with the Vento region highlighted, is borrowed from the Italylogue.com Website.]

My husband said to me, “You don’t know what Amarone wine is?” like I really should know. “No,” I answered, “I don’t have a clue.”

With the last 25 years of my life devoted to learning about and working with wine, he had high hopes. Sorry to say, I had to burst the bubble. If there’s anything I’ve learned about wine, it’s that the depth of the subject is endless. If I asked you, “Do you know who Yegor Leontievich Chernykh is?” I’m betting that only a very few of you – if anyone reading this now – could tell me that he put the “Russian” into Russian River Valley.

Wine Blog:

In 1836, the Russians sent Moscow-trained agronomist Yegor Leontievich Chernykh, to the Sonoma Coast, in order to improve the crops being grown for their consumption. Chernykh settled in Green Valley, and established a farm along Purrington Creek. This land is just west of what’s now called Graton in Green Valley, just between today’s towns of Occidental and Graton.

My education has been elsewhere; Russian River Valley, New Zealand, Portugal, Oregon, all of California now (really), Washington State. I am, however clueless, eager to learn anything new, because it delights me to peel away more layers of this mysterious elixir. So, here we go.

#IAMarone 101 ~Let’s Explore

What is an Amarone wine?

Amarone della Valpolicella is usually known as Amarone. It’s a rich, Italian dry red wine, and crafted from the partially dried grapes from the Corvina cultivar.

  • A bit complicated, even for me, knowing that Italy has more cultivars, rivaling Portugal’s 500+ varieties, these are now new names to know and remember.
  • Amarone is comprised of 45 to 95 percent of Corvina grapes
    • Up to 50 percent could be substituted with Corvinone and Rondinella grapes (from five to 30 percent)
    • And, other approved red grape varieties, up to 25 percent

As Complicated as a Menage a Trois, right?

Let’s get down with it:

  • The Corvina cultivar
    • Sometimes also referred to as Corvina Veronese or Cruina
    • Grown in the Veneto region of northeast Italy (map above)
    • It’s an original red grape of Valpolicella (sub region of Vento)
    • See map above, borrowed from the avvinare Website
    • It is high in acidity
    • It is best grown in the Veneto wine region
  • The Corvinone cultivar
    • Corvinone is not to be confused with Corvina; they’re two different grape varieties
    • Corvinone and Corvina are both from the Veneto region
    • Corvinone is also blended into other wines, like Bardolino and Valpolicella
    • It’s less alcoholic and higher in acid than Corvina
    • It grows best on hills
    • It’s sensitive to the “noble rot,” Botrytis
  • The Rondinella cultivar
    • Translated, Rondinella means a “small swallow,” with its small berries
    • Rondinella can comprise up to 20 to 30 percent of the blend for Amarone wines
    • This wine has a high sugar content
    • It’s easy to grow for vineyardists
  • “Other”
    • Molinara ~ May contribute to an Amarone by only five to 10 percent
    • Negrara ~ Widely used in the extended Valpolicella area
    • Forsellina ~ Resistant to diseases, but it produces a small bunch = quality
    • Pelara ~ Excellent to dry, because of its very loosely packed bunch
    • Oseleta ~ High in tannins = small berries full of seeds and a thick dark skin

As I wrote, it’s a pretty complicated wine, as regards what is proper to use when it comes time to making it. If you’ve worked with it all of your life, I’m sure that it’s as simple as crafting a Bordeaux blend. For those of us just getting into the groove, we’ve now been given the recipe.

The Amarone Tours website has been extremely helpful in nailing down what grapes go into making an Amarone Wine. How to construct it? Next time, kiddies. This time, we’ve assembled the players.

#IAMarone ~ Thanks to Cesari Vineyard of Verona, one of the finest Vineyards of the Valpolicella region. Cesari Vineyard of Verona is celebrating 80 years of producing some of Italy’s greatest wines this year. To mark this occasion, Cesari invited me to be part of an elite group of 80 influencers selected to represent Cesari Amarone! Cesari will be taking over Manhattan with events and giveaways all summer that you will have exclusive access to.


Carménère,Chile,Wine,Wine of the Week

Wine of the Week ~ 2014 Reserva Casillero del Diablo Carménère

I love Carménère, especially when it comes from Chile.  Chile has over 460 years of wine heritage. When the Spanish arrived in sixteenth century, there was no phylloxera Chilean vine rootstock (at the time) grew own-rooted, which turned out to be a valuable genetic material. This allowed Carménère to thrive hidden among Merlot vines for over a century, even after its near extinction in France from phylloxera.

The Winery Story ~ Concha y Toro

In the closing years of the 19th century Don Melchor de Concha y Toro discovered that his most treasured wines had been pilfered from the “casillero” (cellar) beneath his family home. To discourage further theft, the enterprising Don spread a rumor that his deepest, darkest cellars were haunted by the devil. Today, the original Concha y Toro family estate, complete with its Devil’s Cellar, is Chile’s leading tourist destination!

The wines may have been stored in hell, but they are made in heaven. With its steady sunshine, cooling winds and pestilence-free vineyards, Chile is a winemaker’s dream. Add to this a winemaking tradition based on French grape varieties and winemaking techniques, and you have a winning combination. High quality wines can be made inexpensively, which Concha y Toro successfully demonstrated with the release of its Casillero el Diablo wines in 1963.

2014 Reserva Casillero del Diablo Carménère

This wine has a silky soft and spicy character, with a beautiful, velvety body. Think cherries and dark plums and a hint of chocolate.

When we write and talk about minerality, this wine exudes it. My food and wine choice was simple… It was a Saturday afternoon and I reached for some Harry & David chocolate covered cherries… Pure decadence and passion. For a brief moment in time, I didn’t need another blessed thing. So smooth… Grilling ribs? You won’t be disappointed. The tannin structure will be smoothed out by and all will remain silky smooth.

About Carménère

In the Cachapoal Valley, it is comprised of tranquil lands and modest, colonial homesteads. Winemakers arrived late in the 19th Century. By 1980, it became recognized for its Carménère, but at that time it was thought to be Merlot. By 1990, the DNA identity of Carménère came from the Maipo Valley. Carménère is named for its “carmine” color. Think of vibrant, autumnal leaves. Synonyms: burgundy wine, maroon, crimson, vermilion, oxblood, ruby, puce, and claret. [IMAGE: From Flower, honey and milk.com]

The soil of the Cachapoal Valley has fertile alluvial terraces, comprised of clay, sand, and silt. When Carménère was nearly wiped out of France by Phylloxera, there is no such pest in South America, so it survived. South America continues to be very careful to not import the devastating pest.

Phylloxera is indigenous to North America, and was brought to France during the late 1800s. This just about wiped out the fickle-to-France grape. As a result, when it came time to replant, Carménère wasn’t a priority.

Carménère is very particular about what soil it grows best in, and the Cachapoal Valley sets the gold standard for South America. The best location is in the town of Peumo, because of the breezes from the ocean, to river beds, and then across reservoirs.



History,Petite Sirah,PS I Love You,Wine,Wine HIstory

Congratulations, Paul Draper, on your retirement

Dear Paul,

I’ll always remember the day I called you. When I realized that Ridge also made a Petite Sirah, besides your fabulous Zins, I just had to call and ask for help. With Petite Sirah being such a minor player in the world of wine, but such a major contributor to the history of California’s wine industry, you’ve been one of our important Petite Sirah stakeholders.

It didn’t take much to have you see the light… that Petite Sirah’s mission is to promote, educate, and legitimize Petite Sirah as a heritage variety, with a special emphasis on its terroir uniqueness.

Ridge is part of another small group, which I greatly admire: the Historic Vineyard Society. As a tribute to you, I’m going to re-run an earlier story on wine-blog, when I discovered your other connection to historic wine grape varieties.

My hat’s off to you, sir, as I join the legion of others who celebrate all of your contributions. You not only enriched the PS I Love You agenda, but you have enriched my life, too. I asked, you helped. What more could anyone ask of another and be so rewarded for years to follow?

Best wishes for a lovely retirement…

This is a group, even though I’m not involved, that’s near and dear to my heart. With my involvement on behalf of Petite Sirah, and PS being a heritage grape variety, I get what this group is doing… Preservation and historical relevance, I can dig that.

I’ve been fighting hard for the last nine [now 14] years for Petite Sirah, and it’s paying off. I hear people (and I’m referring to important people in high places, like UC Davis) talk about Petite Sirah as a heritage grape for the California wine industry. This wasn’t the buzz on Petite Sirah when we began our marketing campaign in 2002. Most people didn’t even know what Petite Sirah was back then.

Did you know the following?

  • Petite Sirah was one of the varieties that was produced during Prohibition and sold to family winemakers?
  • In the 1960s, Napa Valley was planted to Petite Sirah by 60 percent?
  • When Petite Sirah was replaced in the 1960s by Cabernet Sauvignon, those vineyards were ripped out and replanted to Cab, leaving much of the history behind…

Along comes the Historic Vineyard Society, and I’m thrilled. Their mission is listed as the following, from their Website:

HVS (Historic Vineyard Society) is a non-profit, 501 C-3 organization dedicated to the preservation of California’s historic vineyards. HVS’s Mission is accomplished through educating the wine-drinking public on the very special nature of this precious and depleting state, national and global resource.

[Photo: Left to right: Mike Dildine, Mike Officer, Tegan Passalacqua, Morgan Twain-Peterson, and David Gates; borrowed from their Website]

Key players are the following:

David Gates (Ridge Vineyards), Mike Officer (Carlisle Vineyards), Jancis Robinson (author and wine critic), Tegan Passalacqua (Turley Wine Cellars), Morgan Twain-Peterson (Bedrock Vineyards), and Mike Dildine.

From the HVS Website: “The idea was born when Zinfandel enthusiast Mike Dildine [pictured above] asked a simple question to an internet wine forum, “California’s great old vine Zinfandel vineyards … What are your favorites?” The response was remarkable and passionate. Hundreds of Zin lovers began building to a list of vineyards that represent California’s heritage vineyards.”

And, their objective is to compile a comprehensive, fact-based and consistent directory of California’s Heritage Vineyards.

My mind immediately goes to Field Stone Winery (all vineyard shots in this story), for instance, that has a Petite vineyard which was planted in the 1890s. The vines in this field blend just make you want to marvel when you’re standing in it. I love that Dr. John Staten, owner and my dear friend, is not all about pulling the vines out in order to have a vineyard that produces more fruit. A vine, like a human being, has a life cycle. It has a time of being young and tender, a time of being fruitful, and a time of delivering great wisdom. It’s the vines with wisdom that the Heritage Vineyard Society has as its concern, and there’s much to be learned in these old vineyards.

Did you know, for instance, that in old field blends in the US, vineyardists planted a variety of Vitis vinifera (different grape types of exceptional quality for winemaking), and whatever the season delivered for an overall flavor, that was it for that harvest?

Did you know, another fun fact, that a red wine field blend also contained white varieties, to deliver even more exceptional and varied flavors?

It’s these old vineyards that speak our history to us, and can teach us as we search for answers of days gone by, when stories were orally handed down from one generation to the next.

In order for a vineyard to qualify, it must be a currently producing California wine vineyard that was original planted no later than 1960, and at least a third of its existing producing vines can be traced back to the original planting date.

For more details on how to have your vineyard become part of this group, if this interests you, click here for the form on their site.

The current registry is extensive… Much more extensive than I would have imagined, which tells me that their passion is every bit as intense as mine and they’re “on it.” That’s great news…



Chardonnay,innovation,Wine,Wine Business,Wine Business Innovation

Wine in Cans? Yeah… Git along little dogies, git along

There are issues with wine in cans. I don’t have them, I need to state, because I had to do enough research that I’m sold. Education always wins me over, if the hard facts are there to support a decision being made.

Early adopters are always the first on board, so “hello, millennials.” Data’s there to back this up; Millennials are still young enough to hang off cliffs without worry and the proven records. (No disrespect, Millennials, I was once your age and I know I was hanging off cliffs.) Millennials love innovation and they just “got this one,” right away!

If you need a graph from research, I’m got them. Email me: jo@diaz-communications.com

Hey, we’ve had beer in cans – hello – since 1935. The same concerns were happening then that are happening now. The early adopter (the OMG people) accepted it, while older generations (need everyone else to be doing it people) have questions, concerns, and sometimes they’re done “changing” (the “laggards”).

Imagine the frustration of the intuitive person, who needs the product to be used, to be known, to be seen, to be sold!

Adoption process of a new idea:


Here are some Facts

Quality wine cans had to be developed to protect the wine’s quality, guarantee long shelf life, and have an environmental, sustainability factors that meet the highest standards.

Example: quality benefits

  • Wine cans have a special “Protected Quality” internal coating.
  • This insures both integrity of the wine and guarantees a shelf-life of at least twelve months.
  • With quality cans, there’s an increased metal gauge, which gives extra protection to the can’s lining.
  • They’re air-tight, preventing oxidation of any sort.
  • They’re light-proof, also preventing oxidation.
  • Wine cans have the least impact of all wine containers on the environment, as regards recycling and its carbon footprint:
    • Endlessly recyclable with no loss to its quality.
    • Space efficiency.
    • Wine in 175ml cans produces fewer transport related CO2 emissions than other packaging formats, including all larger sized cans.
    • From a study on the impact of small wine cans: Compared to glass bottles, to save one ton of CO2, only 5,330 cases of small wine cans need to be sold… even more is saved with this 175ml can size.

The only missing link now is how much fun can you have with these cans.

Need Inspiration?

Who’s got time or space for glasses and bottles? On-the-go people now have a super alternative. These 187ml cans have a $3.99 suggested retail, and they’re a true winner!

Super premium canned wines are quickly becoming the chic outdoor beverage container of choice, for all summer activities — especially because they’re so easy to recycle.

Picture yourself on a sand beach with your colorful towel… Or in a favorite park, hiking along a winding trail… You want a sip of something special. You crack open your Pam’s Cutie, take a sip, and life is exactly as it should be… Git along little dogies, Git along…

Super Premium wines-in-a-can are now the practical-way-to-go for people-on-the-go, as the perfect alternative to wine-in-the-glass for every summer, fun function.

  • Tail gate parties
  • Sailing the open seas
  • Perfect for Barbecues
  • Hiking along the coastline
  • Fits well into beach coolers
  • Poolside safety and convenience
  • Festivals for carry in and carry out
  • Camping with no muss and no fuss
  • Picnic baskets will never be the same, really


Light and refreshing, with a touch of residual sugar to bring out the fruitiness, these wine cans are a perfect complement to summertime fun. People are buying them by the case and gitin’ along…


Cabernet Sauvignon,Organic,Spain,Tempranillo,Wine

Wine of the Week ~ Spartico Organic Wine

Einstein’s brain, upon examination, revealed that he had an extra-ordinary network of connections. For each memory, his patterns were like looking at the grid of a busy railroad yard. To really begin to gain info about wines, reading their unique stories, where they’re from, who made them and why, tasting them… These are the interconnections of being able to later identify a past wine enjoyed. The following is a journey for this wine of the week. And… This is great for visual learners, like I am.

So, how to differentiate this wine so that I remember it?

Who (wine company), What (the blend and the wine),

When (what tie-in), Where (if it matters)

WHO: Non Vintage Spartico ~ Organic Wine, which contains no detectable sulfites: I loved it. ♥♥♥♥♥

WHAT ~ Blend: 50 percent Tempranillo, 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon

This was a really easy wine to enjoy. With only 12.5 percent alcohol, heat didn’t get in the way of enjoyment. It has a light body, as compared to most that we taste today, given the rise of alcohol levels. I really enjoyed its silkiness, versus one that’s as opaque as a new moon night. Its also much easier for me to digest a lower alcohol, and I can also have more before it hits my head.

I find the winemaking practices of this wine very interesting, and I think you will, too. These are facts that I hadn’t ever thought about. From their site ~ Vinification: The wine making process without the use of sulfur means that the hygienic conditions have to been extreme during harvest season. The grapes are harvested solely by hand in small crates. Every effort is made to avoid breakage and bacteria attacks. The wine deposits are filled very briefly so as not to delay the delicate fermentation process. All elements that come in contact with this no sulfite added wine are subject to the most extreme hygienically conditions.

WHEN: While watching the movie The Way (Camino de Santiago ~ Way of St James), we enjoyed this wine. The wine and the film were a journey well worth our time. In the beginning of the movie, Daniel tells his father, “You don’t choose a life, Dad, you live one.” And so, we went on a journey with wine and a movie.

From Viator.com: The famous pilgrimage routes of Camino di Santiago stretch across Europe into northern Spain on their way to Santiago di Compostela, and have been bringing the Christian faithful to worship at the tomb of St James (James translates as “Santiago” in Spanish) since medieval times. His remains lie in the crypt of the ornate Roman Catholic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, which was begun in the 11th century on the site of a smaller shrine. 

Tom, the father played my Martin Sheen, goes overseas to recover the body of his estranged son Daniel, played by Emilio Estevez. (Emilio is also directing this movie). Daniel died while traveling the the Camino de Santiago; his pilgrimage ended in the Pyrenees Mountains, where France and Spain are separated.  While recovering his son’s body, Tom decided to take the pilgrimage himself. He ended up collecting an interesting cast of characters along the way. Each one’s life was enriched in the painful process of each finding him or herself.

WHERE: Spain is the wine’s origin and the setting for this movie. Such beautiful scenery, it made me want to book a flight and take the journey with a few bottles of Spartico to share along The Way.

POSITIVE of a non-vintage wine… It leaves me less to have to completely identify. The deliciousness is unforgettable, along with the movie.


Bordeaux,France,Wine,Wine Country,Wine Travel

Bordeaux ~ Beyond the vines, while enjoying the culture ~ partie treize

This particular story was just inspired by my friend Ken Payton. On Facebook Ken wrote:

So… I’ve uploaded and tagged a new gallery, this one simply called ‘Bordeaux, France’. I’ve kept the tags clean and simple; and, as you will note, some will be unavailable for commercial applications owing to the absence of the proper release. But don’t let this stop you from having a look! Ordinary folks, like you and me, can still enjoy OR purchase for private use.

Hope you like it…

LINK to view Ken’s images:

What really caught my eye of Ken’s pictures was this Porte Cailhau Installation. The image below this one is from the outside looking in. Ken’s image is from the inside looking out. A nice balance. I want to take both images. #BucketList

Ken also had this to say about this image… Leaving a great hole for fun research:

Ah, Port Cailhau… I treasure that photo… It is said that the art in the foreground is meant to represent drops of mercury used for mining local hillsides… But I’ve been unable to find the proper historical reference…

Meanwhile, about this image from the touropia site

It guides us to the best things to do in Bordeaux, with Porte Cailhau being one of them… Let’s explore.

10 Top Things to Do in Bordeaux ~ This image is Number 6 Porte Cailhau, and takes you to see one of the gated entrances to the city of Bordeaux.

It’s the view of Porte Cailhau, from the Place de Palais, Bordeaux. Located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Gironde, Aquitaine, France, I’m beginning to connect some dots from earlier blog stories. The Porte Cailhau has become number one on my list of where to visit in the city of Bordeaux… Beyond the vines, while enjoying the wines.

I was really drawn to Ken’s Porte Cailhau Installation image. It made me want to know more… Sometimes, it’s about Beyond the vines, while enjoying the wines. This is one of those times. I find the city of Bordeaux captivating. The culture of this location is driven by its agribusiness, as all wine country locations are. So, what about Bordeaux’s Porte Cailhau?

A quick search turned up another talented photographer: Mark Fink, of New Paltz, Hudson Valley, USA, North America… Mark’s specialty is 360 degree, panorama views. This image was posted on blog.360cities.net, the world’s largest Panorama Photography site and community. I then traced it to Mark Fink’s site. Go check it out…

Mark described his image: France: Porte Cailhau Vr Bordeaux France

At one time, Bordeaux was a walled city, and here and there you’ll find reminders of this. One in particular, the Port Cailhau, was built to celebrate King Charles VIII‘s victory at Fornovo, Italy. Dating back to 1494, it is in beautiful condition and looks almost the same as it did when first built. As you walk out from the city through the gate, you are presented with an expansive view to the east of the Garonne river and the park built along its bank. This is a wonderful place to have lunch or dinner under the trees and watch the street performers.

This defensive gate from the Middle Ages offers a beautiful perspective of the docks of the Garonne River, its stone bridge, and the city skyline. Built in 1494, it dates back in my genealogy… King Charles VIII was a great grandfather. Imagine visiting this location, and trying to channel back to those days. Not nearly as regal or blood thirsty for success, it might be a bit hard to do, but it would most certainly be fun to try, never-the-less.

From Visual Tourist:

Bordeaux’s old town still has four city gates, the most beautiful and impressive of them being Porte Cailhau. Squeezed between the buildings surrounding it, it is impressive but also gives the impression that it would be more suitable elsewhere. It was built between 1493 and 1496 to honour King Charles VIII after his defeat of the Italians. Its name, however, derives from something much more down-to-earth: the “cailloux”* were the stones unloaded from the ships at the nearby quais.

*HOW THAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED: Years ago, when visiting Puerto Rico (image provided from PR), and marveling at their blue, cobblestone streets, I leaned that these stones came across the Atlantic as the weight in a ship’s ballast. Once they arrived, they unloaded the stones and replaced the weight with treasurers that they took from the new world, to bring back to their kings and queens. The stones were then used, by the city that had been visited or invaded, to pave streets. Walking on them is walking on history. Seeing the city of Bordeaux’s structures holds the same captivating result… touching history.

Credit to Millesima for originally inspiring me to learn about Bordeaux.