California,Event,Public Service Announcement,Wine

Still Two Weeks Left to Celebrate California Wine Month ~ Thoroughly Researched

This has been written by Jeanne Sullivan. It’s been years since I’ve had anyone write on my wine blog. It’s my wine journal, which is why someone else really can’t represent what’s inside my mind. This morning, though, I decided to make an exception. This is so thoroughly research, formatted, and presented, it’s a benefit to everyone to have this information public. Thanks, Jeanne, on behalf of us all.

[PHOTO: Sanford Winery]

Still Two Weeks Left to Celebrate California Wine Month 

Wine Lovers Can Still Choose Among 45 Harvest Season Events Planned Around the State,  from Gourmet Weekends and Festivals to Grape Stomps and Concerts

If you love wine and haven’t had a chance to take part in California Wine Month, don’t worry–there are still just over two weeks left! Forty-five events and activities remain throughout the state, from exclusive tastings, festivals, and grape stomps, to vineyard hikes, special pairing programs and more.

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

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz, Fetzer Vineyards landscape]


With 4,800 vintners and 5,900 growers within its borders, California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer and the source of 81 percent of the wine made in the United States. It is also the most visited state in the U.S. for food- and wine-related activities, attracting 24 million people each year, and the producer of more than 400 specialty crops. Wine lovers can also celebrate with activities and special offers from California Wine Month partner retailers and restaurants during the month of September.Visit discovercaliforniawines.com/californiawinemonthto view the full list of regularly updated events and partners and to order a copy of the 2018 California Wine Monthposter. Just a few of the remaining events include:

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz purchased]


Sept. 15: Alexander Valley VineyardsSonoma County.
Sept. 15: Lake County Wine Auction, Boatique Winery, Kelseyville.
Sept. 22: Zinfandel: Stories from Napa ValleyCulinary Institute of America at Copia, Napa
Sept. 22: Harvest Party and Grape Stomp, Benessere Vineyards, Napa Valley.
Sept. 29: Harvest Boot Camp, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Napa Valley


Sept. 8-30: Fall Passport Month, Wineries of Santa Clara Valley.
Sept. 22: Eat Drink Los Gatos, Downtown district, North Santa Cruz Ave.
Sept. 29: Livermore Valley Wine Auction, Wente Vineyards.


Sept. 22: Vineyard Hayride and Wine Party, Doce Robles Winery and Vineyard, Paso Robles.
Sept. 28: Sip & Saunter, San Luis Obispo.


Sept. 13-16: Lodi Grape Festival, Lodi Event Center.
Sept. 21: Madera Wine Trail’s California Wine Month Celebration. Papagni Winery, Madera.


Sept. 1-30: Find the Gold in Calaveras Wine Country: A Treasure Hunt, Participating wineries.
Sept. 15: Sample the Sierra Farm-to-Fork Festival, Bijou Community Park, So. Lake Tahoe.
Sept. 15: Barbera Festival, Terra d’Oro Wines, Amador County.


Sept. 15: Catalina Island Wine Festival, Avalon Bay
Sept. 29: Temecula Valley CRUSH, Monte De Oro Winery, Temecula.

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


Art in Wine,Chardonnay,Flavors from the World of Wine,France,French Wine,Wine,Wine of the Week

Georges Dubœuf Pouilly-Fuisse 2015 (Flower Label) ~ Quintessential Wines

Sample: Quintessential Wines ~ Georges Dubœuf Pouilly-Fuisse 2015 (Flower Label)


  1. World Regions ~ Mâconnais, France
  2. HEART ~ THE WINERY: This information came from an interview I had with Franck Duboeuf
  3. SCIENCE ~ WINEMAKING ~ From the winery and from Jo
  4. SOUL ~ Wine Blog’s SAMPLE NOTES FOR Georges Dubœuf Pouilly-Fuisse 2015 (Flower Label)

Photo Credit: Richard Semik ~ vineyards near Fuisse

World Region ~ MÂCONNAIS ~ Les Vins , Mâconnais, France

Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 Mâconnais, France, A.O.C. Pouilly-Fuissé


For more than four centuries, the Duboeuf family has been producing wine. Georges, well known for his dynamism, created Les Vins Georges Duboeuf in September of 1964. This historical date also marks the start of his wine merchant business, selecting, bottling and selling fine French wines from the Beaujolais and Mâconnais regions of Burgundy and, in the process, becoming quite world-famous.

Georges Dubœuf wines originated in Beaujolais, France. Today, father Georges and son Franck Duboeuf regard their wines as sensual, with lots of freshness. A true reality, in my humble opinion. Georges’s become, in a sense, the ambassador of the region. He’s remained loyal to his quest of offering quality wines, and combining the flavor profiles of their terroir with bold characters. He conducts his business by negotiating with heart, passion, and the constant desire to share the very best of Beaujolais. In continuing the family tradition, Georges and his wife Rolande are joined by their son Franck and his wife Anne, who manage the family business.


“After a careful selection of grapes from small parcels in the region, they’re pressed and undergo temperature-controlled fermentation. The resulting wine becomes a shiny gold hue.”

 “Impression: Sunrise” in the 1872 Paris Salon – Claude Monet


We’re deep into French culture and a Burgundian style, here. Pouilly is a little wine growing community, attached to Solutre, at the eastern region of Bourgogne, France.

Fuissé is a picturesque, blooming village. The terroir of this region creates fleshy and round Chardonnay wines, that are both compelling and robust. Claude Monet has this painting called Impression: Sunrise, which reminds me of this Chardonnay wine… vibrant, so lovely, warm shades of flavor, like a morning ritual with Meyer lemons.

This 2015 Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé Mâconnais is a classic. Its complex and hearty style defines a white crepe myrtle tree for me. Gorgeous to see, complex in flavors, and lingers as a refreshing memory…  Summer fruit, revisited into autumn. It won’t go out of style, because it’s truly a classic.

Sample wine provided Quintessential Wines




Books,Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance,Petaluma Wind Gap,Sonoma,Sonoma County,Wine

If you’ve been procrastinating, just stop that with George Rose’s “Vineyard ~ Sonoma County”


[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

Dear Friends,

I’m going to let you know this right now, because there aren’t very many copies left of the gorgeous “VINEYARD Sonoma County” book.

If you’ve seen George Rose’s latest publication, and have been procrastinating, please don’t wait any longer. It’s a fabulous gift. I know, because my copy was a gift from executive director Cheryl Quist, of the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance. If you get it now, you can put it away for any wine lover, when a memorial gift day arises. Anyone would cherish it, chiefly those who have Sonoma County in their hearts… The best of the best… Or, maybe just for your own library. It’s so visually enriching, as we get to see outlying vineyards vicariously, through George’s lens.

I’ve purchased one for a dear person, too. I believe in this book and know you’d also love it.


[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

It was a lovely surprise, after I just experienced a special and unique day of tasting Petaluma wines, with fellow wine writers Linda Murphy and Deborah Parker Wong, in a tiny school house… A blog post still in the works, but not far off in the distance from also publishing.

The introduction is from my friend Dan Berger, of Vintage Experiences.

Dan wrote: The diversity of its geographic beauty, its budding culinary prowess, and its winegrowing possibilities  make it a region second to none. To be sure, Napa Valley has its beauty and its wine. But Sonoma County is unlike any other place, with so many divergent locales that cannot be described properly without being seen.

All very true, and George Rose’s book captures it all gorgeously.

Alder Yarrow, of Vinography, has provided a captivating introduction, and brings George Rose to the forefront as one of our most auspicious photojournalists:

George Rose has been photographing the vineyards of California for more than twenty-fine years, after opting for sunrise strolls between the vines instead of the frenetic pace of a newsroom and the over-saturated subject matter of  Hollywood, rock and roll, and professional sports. The pages that follow will easily prove the wisdom of that choice, especially to anyone who loves wine and the places where it is made.


[PHOTO: Jo Diaz of Duran Duran, first visit to the US at the Portland International Airport, Portland, Mane.]

I love that during my career, when I was photographing rock and rollers on the East Coast, as they would blow into town on tours, George was simultaneously photographing rockers on the West Coast. There’s a sense of camaraderie, just in that instance. Next, we both turned to wine; and, here George is presenting the fruits of his labor.

People, this is really a wonderful book to have in your possession, in your library, in your hearts. When I received mine, I was so honored to add it to my library. George Rose’s book is simply fine art.

From George Rose

From George Rose: THE PERFECT GIFT

Hi, Facebook friends. I only have a handful of copies of “VINEYARD Sonoma County” left. This beautiful, 188-page coffee table book can be yours for only $80 (includes tax and shipping.) Think of this as purchasing one bottle of really great Russian River Valley pinot noir. The only difference…my book will last forever. Support your intrepid photographer by going to my website. You’ll be glad you did! www.georgerose.com

Image may contain: Joel Peterson, smiling, text


Champagne,France,Wine,Wine Business

2018 Champagne Harvest Update ~ The Report is Exceptional

From COMITÉ Champagne, France: Progress for the 2018 Champagne harvest: it appears to be an exceptional year for their sparkling wine.

SIDEBAR for anyone new to sparkling wine: sparkling wine can only be called “Champagne,” if it comes from the region of Champagne, France. This appellation is just outside of Paris. (It is any wonder that Paris is also so sparkling!) With seven grape varieties approved for Champagne. The three most popular grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.


I highly recommend that when you have about 10 minutes to learn a lot in a little time about Champagne, France, click onto www.champagne.www’s link. Then, under the title of NEWS, just click on that well made video. I especially love the time lapse section showing Champagne’s morphing from a pretty heavy frost to harvest time.

[Photo: Pakin Songmor ~ Scenic landscape in the region of Champagne. Vineyards are in the Montagne de Reims, France]




Precocity, quality, volume: nearing its end in Champagne, the grape harvest is definitely out of the ordinary.

Beginning in the earliest sectors on August 20, it is the fifth grape harvest started in August over the last fifteen years.

After an exceptionally wet winter, the Champagne region has since April been experiencing sunshine and temperatures well above the 10-year average. Thanks to these exceptional conditions the vines developed rapidly; flowering and then ripening benefited from ideal conditions and, when harvested, there were plenty of healthy bunches, very rich in sugar and aromas. Harvesting, necessarily by hand, took place unhurriedly under summery skies although the early morning temperatures were sometimes quite low (0°C – 32°F – in Reims on 26th August).e available yield of 10,800 kg/ha (23,810 pounds/2.47105 acres) will be achieved in all sectors. In addition, this magnificent harvest will allow wine-growers and houses to rebuild their reserve (wines put aside in good years), which will enable them to face the possible vagaries of the climate in the future.

The quality of the musts is an excellent omen for the future cuvées. We will have to wait for the first tastings in autumn and in spring to confirm these expectations of a great vintage.

Interesting fact about Champagne, from their Website.




Alameda,California,Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah®,Dark & Delicious™,Diaz Communications,Memorial,Petite Sirah,PS I Love You,Wine,Wine Business,Winemaker,Zinfandel

Dr. Petite Rosenblum, My Mentor and Friend, and Memories by PSILY Members

Jose walked into my office, saying, “Oh, boy, as his voice went down on the “boy.” Then all went silent. “What!” I demanded to know. “Why say that and then say nothing?” I wondered.


“Kent Rosenblum is gone.”

Gone? Stunned. Just stunned. I couldn’t even say anything. So much raced through my head, including “Why?” Shaking my head and thinking, “Why?” I didn’t get to see him during this past Fourth of July at his Lone Oak Vineyard, like we had planned. REGRET… I was felling crappy on the Fourth. We were still going to schedule a picnic in the vineyards for the PS I Love You members, but the world had been so busy for us both. Unfinished business… By why such a great guy? And, why now? I wasn’t ready (who ever is).


What to do, as my heart had fallen down into my toes. My lips quivered. I had a very unpleasant job to do, being so public. It was my painful duty to go to both my Facebook page ( so many wine pro friends) and the PS I Love You Facebook page (so many members), to share with the world. I knew others would want to know, but then again – not really want to know.

On Facebook: “I interrupt A Line A Day to say how shocked and saddened I am to learn that my Petite Sirah buddy (Dr.) Kent Rosenblum passed away last night. Gee, Kent Rosenblum, I’m really going to miss you…”

Since January 1, 2018, I’ve had NO other posts on my wine blog except to record a diary from 1925 of a young woman living in Livermore Falls, Maine. I had NO plans to interrupt the flow this year. I hadn’t even considered someone of Kent’s public wine stature and my relationship to him publicly would come up. We never see these things coming, do we?

I’m going to share with you my absolute best Petite story, which involves Kent Rosenblum… My mentor, my friend, the funny man who could do no wrong, and helped me so much with PS I Love You.

I had organized a Petite Sirah panel for the Society of Wine Educator. Kent was on that panel, of course. He loved panels. You also need to know, if you don’t already: Petite Sirah can be called Petah Sarah, PS, Petite… Each name had come up  in that day’s presentation, by any of the 10 winemakers presenting.

One of the questions I asked Kent, off the cuff, as we were wrapping it up, was for him to give us his best Pet story.  I should have know better…

“Well,” he said, in that drawn out style he had while talking, “I once had a neighbor who came knocking on my door late one night. I opened it and the guy was really stressed out.  My parrot just fell off his perch, right onto the floor. I don’t know what to do. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘let’s go take a look.’ When I got there, sure enough the bird was just lying lifeless on the floor. But it wasn’t dead. I said to him, ‘You know, the next time you decide to smoke marijuana, you might want to open a window.'”

The audience broke into howling laughter. It wasn’t the answer any of us thought would be forthcoming, but definitely the best and most memorable PET stories ever told to a Petite Sirah audience.

Dr. Kent Rosenblum began his working career as a veterinarian. Why did I think asking him about his favorite pet story would have netted an experience with Petite Sirah?

Kent rocked the house… Kent Rosenblum aways rocked any house he was in… He is (spiritually speaking always in the present) and was (no longer sentient) one of those rare people whom everyone loved.


Too soon my friend, just — too — soon…

by Dave Pramuk, Partner of Robert Biale Vineyards

Memories of Kent Rosenblum

It was on a family cycling trip down the California coast in 1989 that I had my first Rosenblum experience.

The six of us did a grocery run in Santa Cruz and the wine aficionado doctor in our bike group bought a few bottles of Zinfandel for dinner at a small wine shop along the way. At the Sunset State Beach campground, some 70 miles from our starting point that day, starving and thirsty we shamelessly devoured canned beef stew at sunset and washed it down with a deep purple Rosenblum Zinfandel – splashed into coffee cups. I can still savor that hedonistic, spicy, jammy blackberry fruit to this day, a revelation, an awakening, a Zin epiphany, Zinspiration!

Little did I realize at the time that a short two years later I would be actually selling, among other brands, Rosenblum wines as a wine broker and partnering to launch a Zinfandel brand – Robert Biale Vineyards, ‘Aldo’s Vineyard’. Shortly after that when we joined ZAP, there they were in person– my Mt. Rushmore of Zinfandel winemakers: Joel Peterson, Paul Draper, Jerry Seps, and – Kent Rosenblum. Personally, it was a little intimidating hanging out with these icons that I admired but I was impressed with their Zinfandel passion, business smarts, and shared – how you might say “joie de Zin”.

Kent couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming to me – curious, colorful and quick with wisecracks. After I joined P.S. I Love You, there Kent was again supporting Jo Diaz’s noble Petite Sirah cause – engaged, enthusiastic, supportive, constructive. As Kent did for ZAP programs, he generously offered his and his daughter Shauna’s new winery to host Dark and Delicious, and the Petite Sirah and Food event went on to years of success.

Then in 2012, my daughter Maggie and I co-hosted the two week ZAP New Zealand cruise along with not only two of my favorite Zinfandel people, Doug and Nancy Beckett, and who else – Kathy and Kent Rosenblum! Not in a million years would I have guessed that one day I would be hosting a Zinfandel cruise along with these Zinfandel idols. There were daily tastings, dinners, and shore tours and in every moment there was Kent giving it his best – conversing, smiling, laughing, and of course – telling Sven and Ole jokes.

So here’s to you Kent Rosenblum- we are thankful for you setting a new standard for Zinfandel, trailblazing Zinfandel for the rest of us, saving and elevating Zinfandel and Petite Sirah for so many historic vineyards, but most importantly – bringing a sense of pride, fun, and joy to the entire Zinfandel community and wine-lovers everywhere. We are deeply saddened by your leaving us so soon but left knowing that we are all the better because of your life’s work and having known you.

There would not be a Kick Ranch vineyard without Kent Rosenblum.

by Dick Keenan, Partner of Kick Ranch

Memories of Kent Rosenblum

I first met Kent in 1992 when my wife and I invested in his small family winery.   When Kent learned that I had an interest in learning about grape growing, he invited me to meet his grape growers and I started coming to all the “Grower Days” he organized.  I learned a lot about how a winery works with its growers to grow the best possible fruit, and I saw that his growers loved working with him  With Kent’s encouragement, I bought the land that I planted as Kick Ranch in 2000. Kent’s was my first winery customer, and Kent made the first 90+ point wine from Kick Ranch.

Kent always greeted me, and everyone else, with a smile and a handshake. And yes, I loved hearing his Sven and Ollie jokes.  Kent gave me a start in the wine business that had a profound impact on my life,

I opened a 2004 Rosenblum Petite Sirah last night. Big and exuberant still – just like Kent. I am very saddened by Kent’s passing and very grateful that I knew him.





Cabernet Sauvignon,California,Napa,Rutherford,Wine,Women in Wine

A Day in the Dust Like “You Had to Be There, Man” ~ Rutherford Dust Society


[ALL PHOTOS were taken by Jo Diaz; with the exception of Barbara Lyons Stewart, who gave her photo for use.]

Earlier I wrote a story titled Rutherford Dust Brought Karen MacNeil Squarely Into My Headlights, Now Into Yours. It included Karen MacNeil as part of that story. So does this one, in a completely different light.

[PHOTO below: left to right: Emma Swain, Lauren Pesch, Karen MacNeil, Sarah Fowler, Regina Weinstein]


Karen MacNeil hosted the panel A Female Perspective on Today’s Wine Industry:

The All Female Panelists Included 



Yes, you read that right… All female panelists. This was a first for Rutherford Dust, and also for me, for sure.

Before I got there, I didn’t have a title or a feeling for what I’d write after the event, based on the new and intriguing Day in The Dust 2018 program. Not only was it including a 2015 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting, but it also included a Discussion of Women in the Wine Industry. 

I first decided to see who’s on the Board of Directors for The Rutherford Dust Society today. I was astounded, because what I started in the 1980s as a female flying solo in treacherous waters, by dropping into an all male bastion as its newest member, has now witnessed the following progression. Why I’m writing this one is to demonstrate how far we’ve all come, whether or not we’ve all liked it, in the last 30 years.


Pretty Evenly Split Yin Yang Board of Directors:

  1. President: Davie Piña, Piña Vineyard Management
  2. Vice President: Steve Tonella, S.R. Tonella Cellars
  3. Secretary: Regina Weinstein, Honig Vineyard and Winery
  4. Treasurer: Joel Aiken,  Aiken Wines
  5. Board Member: Michelle Baggett, Alpha Omega
  6. Board Member: Andy Beckstoffer, Beckstoffer Vineyards
  7. Board Member: Kathy Chaix, Chaix Wines
  8. Board Member: Elizabeth DeLouise-Gant, Conn Creek
  9. Board Member: Trevor Durling, Beaulieu Vineyard
  10. Board Member: Maria Haug, Talahalusi Vineyard
  11. Board Member: Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores
  12. Board Member: Lauren Leeds Pesch, Leeds & Pesch Vineyard Consulting
  13. Board Member: Rod Santos, Wm. Harrison Vineyard & Winery

Say W-H-A-T?

In Napa? It hit me like it did when I first heard that Rotary International was going to allow women to become members, 30 plus years ago.

I don’t know why I wanted to be “in” Rotary so badly; then somehow I just got it done. Boy, do I remember how much fun that was as one of the first women to become a Rotarian in Lewiston, Maine, early the early 1980s. We had our own guru: Mr. Dominic (Dom) Tardif. He became my mentor, and guided me through the maze. He would vote for me to become the first woman on their board of directors. These are the kind of men who help women to achieve… from fathers, uncles, grandfathers, husbands, and bosses… Yes, bosses. It is they who support women of strength in business. They are our solid allies, because they don’t measure gender; they only see talent, and aren’t afraid to share responsibilities in important ways. They already do this with multiple females in life. Their main characteristic is that they’re emotionally intelligent men who are open to change.

Feng Shui Architect ~ Barbara Lyons Stewart

One of my beloved and well-balance women friends in California was Barbara Lyons Stewart. She has two published books and a lot of education to her credit. Before her untimely death with cancer, she was designing the feng shui on San Francisco International’s new main lobby.

  • Feng Shui: A practical Guide for Architects and Designers ~ Vincent M. Smith with Barbara Lyons Stewart, AIA
  • FLOORING Psychology: How to Avoid (Literally) Slipping and Tripping Through Life ~ Barbara Lyons Stewart, AIA, EDAC
  • Golden Gate Feng Shui SchoolGGSFS graduate, architect and interior designer, Barbara-Lyons Stewart transformed her work as an architect designer into a career as an instinct-based design specialist when she experienced a reconnection to the natural world through feng shui.

I met Barbara through my work with Ron Rubin Winery. I had to write a press release about Barbara’s work, about her work in creating a new building for Ron Rubin. So, Ron Rubin encouraged me to meet with her. We had many meetings, with each time including a bonding lunch. As I learned about her career and her personal life, we were so similar in spirit…. But, we knew this the moment we met; we both both intuitively knew that we come from the same tribe.

In one of our last meetings, she shared this with me, and it’s relevant to the point of this story.

In Yin, there’s female energy, based on the theoretical. It’s dark (black presentation) and mysterious. It has a negative magnetic field; notice within the Yin there’s also a dot of Yang.

And in Yang, there’s masculine energy, based on pragmatics. It’s light (white presentation) and straight forward. It has a positive magnetic field; notice within the Yang there’s also a dot of Yin.

This took me to much deeper understanding into the balance of life. To me, this proved that we’re now in an auto correct for balance? There have been tribes where women have held and still hold high regard with secure men, who respect what women bring to the table. Everyone enjoys life more, with less stress. These women have had collective resolve, as they still do today.

This is what gets the feminine side to be where they want to be. It’s isn’t about the battle of the sexes. It’s about the sexes common cause, as evidenced by the men on the board agreeing to have an all female panel, who will examine A Female Perspective on Today’s Wine Industry. Their usual tasting ~ talking about the characteristics of their AVA, a Rutherford Dust Cab tasting, then each wine examined ~ was taking on a new discussion element, versus examining their AVA.

Because so much happened on that day, this is going to be a multi-faceted story; i.e., this is Part 1. This part is who the key players were for this story, and who supports the Board of Directors of the Rutherford Dust Society.

The next story will examine the key players for this year and what each one brought to the presentation.



The Rutherford viticultural area is located in the historic heart of the Napa Valley. It’s known world-wide for its signature “Rutherford dust,” a term used to reflect its terroir, its deep connection to the soil in the vineyards, the wine, and the wineries of Rutherford. In collaboration with its grower and vintner members, the Rutherford Dust Society (RDS) focuses on helping wine consumers, trade, and media to discover Rutherford’s celebrated  terroir. They do this, while promoting the highest quality standards for grape growing and winemaking in the region. The RDS also supports other Rutherford non-profit organizations, like the Rutherford Hall, the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department, and the Rutherford 4-H.

The Rutherford Dust Society is a non-profit, member association for growers and vintners in the Rutherford Appellation.


Chile,Importer,Imports,Sauvignon Blanc,South America,Wine

Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ~ WINE OF WEEK

Sample wines provided Quintessential Wines ~ Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2017


Wine samples come to to me as a single bottle. Some arrive in a package of two or three. On other occasions, a case (or there about) arrives. This is one of those instances. I’ll be breaking this two into two days of Whites and then red wines. They’re my wines for this week, and they come from all over the globe. I’m enjoying (and learning) so much about wines from around the world. This is a lovely experience, and so worth sharing. So, enjoy the ride.

  1. World Regions ~ FIRST
  2. HEART ~ THE WINERY: info is coming from the company’s own statements
    1. I can’t make up their history
    2. Nor am I to try
  3. SCIENCE ~ WINEMAKING ~ Same as above
  4. SOUL ~ Wine Blog’s SAMPLE NOTES FOR
    1. Quintessential Wines

Photo Credit: Iakov Filimonov ~ This is a Valle Hermosa view of Andes Mountains from the valley, Argentina, South America


Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – 100% Sauvignon Blanc ** Certified Organic Grapes


From the Winery:

“We plan to achieve a long-lived vineyard, with vines that have reached a total harmony with their ecosystem, keeping in mind that the best results are still to come.” 

This Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2017 is a very pale yellow color, with light green hues. The nose is complex and delicate, with aromas of citrus and tropical fruit such as mango, papaya, cherimoya and lime peel, intertwined with herbs notes. Refreshingly crisp on the palate, with concentrated fruit flavors and a fresh, salty acidity that finishes with a crisp, lingering minerality.

I thought I’d share an image of the “cherimoya” fruit. It’s not our everyday fruit, and I had never seen or heard of it. It’s very pretty, isn’t it?


Winemaker Notes:
The grapes come from the “Valle Hermoso” (Beautiful Valley), located 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean, where the vineyards are planted on slopes and benefit from the cool maritime climate. This allows each clone to develop special characteristics. The predominant solid type is decompes granite, with a presence of mica on the upper tier.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dmytro Nikitin: background and texture concept – close up of granite stone surface

The deep subsoil is not heavy, allowing root penetration and balanced growing, thanks to the winery’s organic and biodynamic management. A careful manual harvest was carried out at the end of March. The grapes underwent a cold soak for six (6) to eight (8) hours before pressing under a layer of inert gas, preserving the grapes’ aromatic potential. Fermentation was conducted under controlled low temperatures in stainless steel tanks. The wine was aged in contact with fine lees for four months. Fifteen percent was fermented in concrete amphora vessels (“eggs”) and neutral oak barrels, to enhance the mineral notes, texture, and mouthfeel of the final wine.


PHOTO CREDIT: Jo Diaz ~ These are my neighbors, which I feed everyday. The fencing behind the birds is one for keeping deer from eating all garden plants and fruit.

With Chilean Matetic EQ Coastal Sauvignon Blanc 2017, For the first time, I was really struck by what a difference the Andes mountain range makes in flavors, between Chile and Argentina.  It got me contemplating the Andes: “The average elevation in the Andes is about 13,000 feet (3,962 meters). The highest elevation in the Andes is Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, which is 22,841 feet (6,962 m) above sea level.”  LINK TO LIVE SCIENCE

So, we’re not talking coastal influences in Argentina, BUT we ARE in Chile and “Valle Hermoso.” Matetic Vineyards is just eight miles from the Pacific Ocean. This makes it a cool climate Sauvignon Blanc. It shows that in it’s pale color of yellow… Beautifully pale. And, I did get the salty acidity – a bit unusual and yet very well integrated into its core. Just a hint of the Pacific along with a hint of mint… and the tropical sun fun flavors. The bit of oak that the wine lived in (four months) also rounded out how it tasted, especially on the finish. A lazy Saturday afternoon, birds all fed, feet up reading a good book, this is my sipping companion.

Highly Recommended.

Quintessential Wines Collection


Event,Food & Wine,Food and Wine,Mendocino County,Wine

2018 September’s Winesong Weekend is coming in Mendocino County

[All images are from Winesong.]

In its Thirty-Fourth year, Winesong Weekend, Mendocino County’s premier food and wine experience, will take place on Friday, September 7, and Saturday, September 8. The folks are Winesogn Weekend want you to know the details around this year’s event. They’re going to also have a live auction with “Hot Lots.” Some of their Hot Lots this year will include:

  • “Honored Vintner” lot (an all-inclusive food and wine tasting experience with Nancy & Dan Duckhorn
  • “Discovering New Zealand” lot (a 10-night wine exploration tour of New Zealand with noted wine journalist, Dan Berger)
  • Wine lot that includes an 18-bottle vertical of Château Cos d’Estournel Grand Cru, St. Estephe





** Friday, September 7th and Saturday, September 8th on the Mendocino Coast **

Purchase Tickets

FORT BRAGG, CA: The 34th Annual Winesong Weekend, a spectacular weekend of award-winning wine, fabulous food, fine art, music, merriment, and charitable giving held on the Mendocino Coast of California, will take place next month, and event organizers are pleased to announce this year’s line-up of spectacular auction lots.

  • Winesong kicks off of Friday, September 7 with A Pinot Noir Celebration at the Little River Inn.
  • On Saturday, September 8, guests who attend the Grand Tasting will stroll through the enchanting Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, while enjoying vintages poured by world-class wineries in Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and beyond, and bites from 40 fine food purveyors.
  • The celebration continues on into the Auction Tents for the always-entertaining main attraction, the Live and Silent Auctions, where the Hot! Hot! Auction Lots will be on offer.
  • Winesong is produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation and all proceeds from both events go towards supporting the local Mendocino Coast District Hospital that serves so many in the area.

Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on more than 100 lots, featuring

  • Spectacular wines from a selection of prestigious wine producers
  • Rare and hard-to-find vintages
  • Special vertical and horizontal collections
  • Original paintings and art from highly acclaimed artists
  • Domestic and international vacation packages, and custom-designed wine getaway experiences
  • In addition, a variety of items will be on offer in the silent and super silent auctions.

Some select ‘HOT LOT’ highlights from Winesong 2018

Domestic Trips

  • Honored Vintner Lot: Take Flight – Lunch with Nancy & Dan Duckhorn at famed Three Palms Vineyard, a “Great Blends  of the World” tasting with the Duckhorns at Paraduxx, dinner at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, brunch and single vineyard estate tasting with the Duckhorns at Goldeneye, Private Jet transportation to/from Goldeneye (from Napa).
  • Willamette Valley Wine Experience – Three couples stay in the heart of Willamette Valley at Red Hills Vista House, exclusive tastings at Dusky Goose, Soter Vineyards and Beaux Freres Winery, plus a Cellar Door Wine Tour.
  • America’s Cup Sailing on San Diego Bay – 3-night stay at Estancia Hotel & Spa and an America’s Cup Sailing Adventure for two.
  • Wine Lots
  • 18-bottle vertical of Château Cos d’Estournel Grand Cru, St. Estephe, various vintages between 1982 and 2015
  • 2008 Château Palmer Grand Cru Margaux, 6L (Imperial).  This wine has a 94 point rating per Robert Parker
  • 2001 Harbison Estate Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, 3L, etched bottle & 2005 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Henrietas Jadot, 3L

International Trips

Discovering New Zealand – Noted wine journalist, Dan Berger & wife Juliann are personal guides for one couple in fabulous New Zealand with a 10-night stay in three distinctive regions: Auckland, Marlborough, and Central Otago. Wine and dine at some of the most fabulous establishments such as Rippon, Brancott Estate, The Grove, Allan Scott Winery/Twelve Trees, Villa Maria, Amisfield, Greywacke, Mt. Difficulty, and Felton Road.

Le Vallon du Brec – experience authentic French Country life in two stunning apartments adjacent to celebrated Botanical Gardens – for four guests.

Supreme South Africa Safari & Wine Excursion – 10 nights for two – adventure and luxury – Wild Thing…we think we love you!


2018 Winesong Artist of the Year Tom Rodrigues, “The Wave” – stained glass, 24” x 30”

Lowell Herrero’s “Two Ladies Tending Roses in the Vineyards” – 40” x 48” limited edition giclee on stretched canvas

Wine Experiences

  • Grape Encounters – a stay at Villa Canyon for two, plus Chef’s Dinner with Playboy Mansion Chef William Carter, and a personal tour through Paso Robles with David Wilson, host of Grape Encounters Radio; and meet Adam Lazarre – the wine hooligan!
  • Ultimate Blending in Paso Robles – another amazing Grape Encounters lot David Wilson; includes stay, dinners and blending your own wines
  • Baldacci – complete immersion including two night stay, winemaker dinner, tastings and more for four guests.

A Pinot Noir Celebration: Meet the Winemakers

Friday, September 7, 2018 | 1 to 4 p.m.

The weekend kicks off with a prestigious Pinot Noir tasting, presented by Winesong and hosted by Little River Inn. Attendees will enjoy Pinot Noir from renowned Anderson Valley, along with wines from other award-winning pinot regions, alongside tastes of Little River Inn’s finest culinary offerings. General Admission Tickets for A Pinot Noir Celebration: Meet the Winemakers are $85 per person.

Wine & Food Grand Tasting in the Gardens

Saturday, September 8, 2018 | 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stroll through the lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens while enjoying vintages poured by world-class wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond. Sample beer, spirits, and food from fine purveyors. The tasting is accented by various musical groups performing a variety of styles including jazz, classical, blues, calypso and folk rock. General Admission Tickets with festival seating at auction and access to wine and food tasting are $150 per person.

Silent & Live Auctions

Saturday, September 8, 2018 | SILENT: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; LIVE: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The centerpiece of Winesong weekend is the Charity Auction, featuring both a silent and live auction.  More than 100 lots will be on offer, featuring spectacular wines from the world’s most prestigious wine producers, rare vintages, large format bottles and special vertical and horizontal collections, as well as original art from acclaimed California artists (including Lowell Herrero) and highly coveted international and domestic vacation packages. Auction Reserve Tickets with assigned seating under the auction tent (w/catered lunch) and access to wine and food tasting are $250 per person.

Tickets to all events are available for purchase at: http://winesong.org/events/purchase-tickets/.

For further information, please visit http://winesong.org or call (707) 961-4688.

About Winesong & the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation

Winesong is produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Its mission is to help the small rural Hospital provide the best possible medical care to residents as well as the many visitors to the Mendocino Coast. Winesong proceeds have enabled the Hospital to purchase chemotherapy equipment, portable ultrasound machines for the Emergency Room as well as a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Center, Cardiology Equipment, a Bedside Medicine Verification System, and most recently, a Patient Bedside Monitor & Telemetry System.

Winesong contact: Jamie Peters, 707.961.4924 or Jamie@winesong.org


Hungary,Imports,White Wine,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Century Club,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Wine HIstory,Wine Importer,Wine of the Week

Welcome to Hungary with Count Karolyi’s Grüner Veltliner 2016 ~ Wine of the Week

Sample wines provided by Quintessential Wines ~ Count Karolyi Grüner Veltliner 2016


My structure:

  1. World Regions ~ FIRST
  2. HEART ~ THE WINERY: info is coming from the company’s own statements
    1. I can’t make up their history
    2. Nor am I to try
    1. I can’t make up their history
    2. Nor am I to try
  4. SOUL ~ Wine Blog’s SAMPLE NOTES FOR
    1. Quintessential Wines


World Region ~ PANNON, HUNGARY

Count Karolyi Grüner Veltliner 2016 – 100 percent Grüner Veltliner


Dr. Herold Binderer founded the company Binderer St. Ursula in 1951, and worked tirelessly until his late eighties. His son, Peter, who took over the business, carries on the family tradition. After the fall of the “Iron Curtain,” Peter decided in the mid- 90’s to buy one winery in the north, and to build another winery in the south of Hungary. He knew about the long tradition and excellent potential of Hungarian wine making. Together with Lazlo Károlyi, a Hungarian aristocrat with a turbulent life, shaped by escape from war and comebacks in different continents, Peter created his first white wine in 1998. Since then, quality and innovative concepts have been the key factors in the success of these two gentlemen. As Lazlo loves the taste of the important white wine variety Grüner Veltliner, he gave his name “Count Karolyi” to create this brand. This fresh white wine has a real varietal character. Enjoy its lemony aromas with a spicy, peppery touch typical of Grüner from Pannon, south west Hungary – a region spoiled by sunshine.


The grapes are picked in the cool of the morning, at optimum ripeness, de-stemmed and lightly crushed before being transported to the press, where the free-run juice is collected and grapes gently pressed. The juice is then left to settle for 24 hours at cold temperatures. The clarified juice is fermented at approximately 18º Celsius in temperature-controlled tanks to keep all the wine’s freshness and fruitiness. After fermentation, the finished wine is left on the fine lees for between four to six weeks to increase complexity.


From the Embassy of Hungary, in a search for “history of Hungarian winemaking,” because to understand wine, one first needs to understand the history and culture of any wine region…

Learning about wine is an ever expanding and opening lotus blossom. The more you know, the more you know you don’t know. There’s no end to it, there just isn’t. And in that process you come across different flavors, each wine has its own characteristic. So, let’s explore just a bit, to broaden our own wine souls…

The tradition of viniculture, is a key asset in Hungary’s national heritage. Wine played a major role at the time of the Hungarian tribes. Travellers [sic] and 5th century Byzantine encyclopedias, mentioned the high number of vineyards planted by Hungarian tribes, which drank milk and wine as their two staple beverages. Major agreements and treaties were regularly accompanied by “wine blessing,” which confirmed the commitments of signatories.

It’s interesting to note, milk coming from a cow is not contaminated (or at least wasn’t then) by toxins. And, wine is antimicrobial… It was definitely more advantageous to drink these two beverages, than risk whatever was coming downstream. Nature provides what people haven’t destroyed… And so here we are searching out the soul of the Hungarian Grüner Veltliner.


In terms of an art paring, I’m going with a photo image from Brooke Lark.

Count Karolyi Grüner Veltliner 2016 is a mélange of citrus aromas and flavors. Imagine yourself, mountainside, and each morning you go to your citrus orchard and pick your fresh vitamin C, to start your day. Will it be the Meyer lemons, the limes, or the grapefruit?

Later in the day, you pick your fresh citrus wine to enjoy with your seamless Vitamin C flavors for your final meal of the day. If you started your day with zest, end that way with it, too. Make it a 2016 Count Karolyi Grüner Veltliner… It’s that fresh and exciting, and, it’s a lovely pairing of a food and wine experience to end that zesty day. I’m very partial to this dry white wine, light lemony yellow aromas with light green hues, and that added hints of spice on the finish. The Count Karolyi Grüner developed into attractive nuances and produced an engaging, spicy finish.

Highly Recommended.

If it’s not on your Wine Century Club list, and you love tangy whites, what are you waiting for?

Another Quintessential White Wine Import for 2018.


Green Valley,History,Russian River Valley,Sonoma County,Wine

Green Valley in Russian River Valley Has Unique Historical Terroir

Influencers of Green Valley of Russian River Valley

The Central Pomos, Yegor Chernykh, and Luther Burbank are legendary proof of Green Valley being the Green emerald in Russian River Valley’s crown, and a preeminent wine grape growing AVA, most-worthy of boundless distinction.

FIRST MIGRATION – The Bering Strait

Migration, for what would become Green Valley, began with the Bering Strait. Why go back 15,000 years? In order to explain the route allowing for the first migrations filtering into Russian River Valley.

During the Ice Age, a lot of earth’s water was comprised of glacial ice, forcing sea levels to drop. This created the Bering Land Bridge, from Asia and Eastern Europe into Alaska. Grazing animals followed the delicious new grasses, and so did the first migratory humans. About 3,400 years later, the Bering Land Bridge disappeared again beneath the Bering Sea, as global changes caused water levels to again rise.


About 6,000 years ago, an exodus of the first people from the Bering Strait crossing completed their trek from Asia into North America. They continued to move down the coastline, eventually turning inland, to avoid cool, Pacific breezes. These immigrants finally arrived in Green Valley and settled in the Laguna de Santa Rosa area.

The Laguna region still has an abundance of different foods available, due to the richness of the land, and considerable protection from the elements by a Redwood forest. The Pomos, as they called themselves, lived in harmony in small tribes around the edges of the Laguna. The Natives mostly gathered their food from plants and ground acorns into flour. This became their most important staple. Fish, deer, and rabbits were their easily hunted sources of protein.

RUSSIAN RELEVANCE ~ Fur Trapping, Trading, and Yegor Chernykh

The second significant landing of settlers in Sonoma County’s North Coast are responsible for Russian River Valley’s name.

Colonization of the Americas, by Russian fur traders, began in 1732 and lasted until 1867. This was during the time when Russian Empire invaders took possession of the Pacific Northwest territories in the Americas. In 1812, they brought grapevines to the valley from Lima, Peru. It’s believed that by 1817, those vines were first planted. Then in 1836, the government sent Moscow-trained agronomist Yegor Chernykh, to the Sonoma Coast. Yegor came to improve crops grown for government officials based at Fort Ross.

Also searching for ideal growing conditions, Chernykh settled in Green Valley. He established a farm along Purrington Creek, between the towns of Occidental and Graton. Yegor erected barracks for workers and five other structures, where he grew fruits, vegetables, wheat, and grains. Chernykh also developed a large vineyard, and introduced the first wine grapes to Sonoma County.

The Russians left California in 1841, because finding more fur and growing more food crops to deliver back to Alaska had become difficult. Everyone, including Yegor, returned to his homeland, ending Russian pioneering days in North America; but, not their viticultural history. This effort began and continues to define Russian River Valley’s terroir, most especially in Green Valley. (SIDE NOTE: The Russian’s missed the Gold Rush, by only eight years.)

TERROIR CONTINUING DEFINITION ~ Luther Burbank (1849–1926)

Born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, the thirteenth of fifteen children, Luther Burbank was raised on a farm in New England. He was a self-educated horticulturist and botanist, when he made the across country journey, from Massachusetts to California. Burbank’s efforts in Green Valley include successfully developed more than 800 new strains and varieties of plants. He went on to become one of America’s most famous and prolific horticulturists. We’re all enjoying fruits and vegetables that Burbank developed, mostly created in Green Valley of the Russian River Valley. This is due to ideal the location for growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, and last – but not least – Vitis vinifera wine grape vines.