Chile,Wine,Wine Ed,Winemaking,Winery,Wines,Wines opf Chile

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Maquis Gran Reserva

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

As mentioned in my first story in this series, Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments, I’ve entered into a process of learning… so welcome, if you’re learning, too.  This story is composed from the following:

  • Research on other sites
  • Viña Maquis Website
  • My own “Oh Wow” moments, from what I’ve already learned
  • And, you can add another element in the comments section, if you wish


Wines of Chile Sustainable 365

The Wines of Chile Sustainable 365 program brought delectable samples to my door, from South America. From their Website:

“Chile is, and always has been, an international leader in the field of sustainable winegrowing. This year, Wines of Chile has launched the first ever Sustainability 365 campaign highlighting the commitment of local wineries in all areas of sustainability – Viticulture, Vinification and Bottling, Social and Wine Tourism – each and every day of the year. Celebrations for Sustainability 365 will take the form of many different activities including virtual tastings, influencer programs, Instagram Lives, social media and retail promotions.”


[PHOTO credit: tifonimages ~ Panoramic view of a vineyard at Colchagua Valley, Chile]

Colchagua Valley, Chile Snapshots

From Chile Travel: “One of the country’s most famous valleys, the Colchagua Valley, set at the heart of the central valley, is the icon of wine production in Chile.”

And, from Wine-Searcher: “The Colchagua Valley boasts a textbook wine-growing climate: warm, but cooled by ocean breezes and dry, but refreshed by rivers and occasional rainfall. The region’s desirable terroir, combined with persistent, focused marketing has made this one of Chile’s most important wine regions, along with Maipo Valley in the north. Several of Chile’s most prestigious wines come from the Colchagua Valley…The official Colchagua Valley viticultural area stretches south-east to north-west for 70 miles at its widest point. Its western boundary is formed by the coastal hills which seem to run the entire length of Chile’s vast Pacific coastline. In the east, the vineyards are naturally limited by the foothills of the Andes, into which they creep further and further each year.”


Chilean Wine Lineup ~ My First Wine

Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite wine grapes. Many people don’t realize it was Cabernet Franc that was crossed with Sauvignon Blanc, creating Cabernet Sauvignon. I just love it when someone mentions, for instance, that Petite Sirah is not a true wine grape variety – because of its crossing. The supposition is that having been crossed makes the resulting wine less credible than other parent grapes varieties… So, I just explain the example of the crossing between Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. There is really no better example for comprehension. We’re each a crossing of our own two biological parents, and yet we’re an entirely new identity. For me, Cabernet Franc contributed the full-bodied richness and tannins – besides the obvious red color – in Cabernet Sauvignon.


Viña Maquis Gran Reserva

The Viña Maquis Gran Reserva was the first wine I wanted to taste, of those pictured above. The Cabernet Franc 2018 was a welcomed “Wow!” It’s ripe and rich with pluminess on the front end. With lots of finesse on the back end, I got a slight flavor a chalky mint lingering, with a hint of savory bell pepper.  (Remember, each of us has his or her own palate, so this is just what I got.) Truly a delightful bottle of wine. It’s a bargain for all of its elegance. Cabernet Franc thrives in a bit of a cooler climate, so being planted in the Maquis’ terroir is a perfect wine to be growing at this Chilean winery’s unique viticultural area.

Viña Maquis Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2018 has a suggested retail price is $24.

  • Owned by the Hurtado family for four generations, the winery sits between two rivers in the Colchagua Valley. The two waterways not only moderate temperatures and protect the vineyards from spring frosts, but also provide the 6.5-foot layer of concentrated clay set over gravel. These well-drained soils enable grapes to lose their green characteristics early in the season. The long cool 2018 growing season yielded a wine that is vibrantly fresh, featuring a basket of red and black fruit flavors in the mouth, along with floral touches and a dark tobacco background.
  • Sustainability Pillar: Electrical consumption has been reduced by 30 percent, and liquefied gas requirements by 90 percent, thanks to an energy recovery system using geothermal, heat pump technology, and was awarded the 2013 British Chilean Chamber of Commerce Innovation Prize.

History of the Maquis Family

The Maquis Family is one of the oldest wineries in the Colchagua Valley, by the way, and has been owned by the Hurtado family for four generations. The following is on their website about the family. It’s so insightful about the dedication and caring for quality from this family, it’s a great read. I’m giving credit to them for allowing the use:

Viña Maquis has been associated with the production of noble wine grapes since the XVIII century, when it belonged to the Jesuit priests.

During the XIX century, Maquis was owned by two Chilean presidents who felt proud of their property, organized some cabinet meetings in Colchagua, and built brick bridges for their ministers to come. Remains of these old bridges are still present on the Maquis Estate.

In 1916, Maquis was bought by the Hurtado family who wished to develop a fine wine business.

The building was one of the first to be made of concrete in Chile. It was built in 1927 by the then-owner and engineer Ignacio Hurtado when he was 23 years old, right after leaving engineering school.

In 2002, after several years of refining the management of the vineyards, the Hurtado family built a new winery designed both to facilitate wine production and to enable the expression of the characteristics and personality of the grapes in the clearest way possible.

Much of the work is done using artisanal methods because for many stages of the winemaking process, even today, no machinery can provide the degree of quality and care achieved by a passionate and professional team.

Ricardo Rivadeneira Hurtado

Family member Ricardo Hurtado is both the executive director and winemaker at Viña Marquis. His professional training was in both London and Santiago de Chile. In South America is where he studied Engineering in Agronomy; and, later, Ricardo studied Enology.

After completing his studies, he worked in winemaking at the Charles Krug Winery in the Napa Valley, and at Chateau Branaire-Ducru in France. Later, he returned to Chile and served as head of the development department, for one of the largest suppliers to the wine industry in the country. In 2000, he assumed the General Management of Viña Maquis; and, from 2005, of Viñedos Calcu. His participation has been vital in the elaboration of a portfolio of high quality Chilean wines from the Colchagua Valley. Since 2019, Ricardo has served as executive director of Viña Maquis and Viñedos Calcu.

It’s interesting to note a background that is so accomplished.

On this YouTube video, Ricardo Rivadeneira Hurtado shares the winery’s youth generation, experiences, and his passion for quality in all aspects of the winery, which includes the development of their unique wines that reflect the best of the terroir and its strains.



Cabernet Franc,Cabernet Sauvignon,Carménère,Chile,Coyam,Wine

Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments

[PHOTO: Francisco Kemeny]

I’ve entered into a process of learning, so if you’re reading for educational purposes, welcome. If you have more to add, please just comment. Some of this will be part of my own “Oh Wow” moments; some of it will be part of what I’ve already learned, and you can add a third element in the comments section. The Chilean’s have been very generous over the years helping me to learn about their region. Not having visited, I’m limited, I know. Still I’ve had a wealth of information available to me. I’m dreaming of visiting one day. We shall see.

What I’ll be researching and focusing on primarily comes from some samples that have been provided, for tasting Chile and then sharing my thoughts. I’ve only been very satisfied with their Chilean wine results so far. The Sponsorship for the educational opportunity was provided by Wines of Chile USA Launches Sustainability 365 Campaign Builds on Strong 2020 Performance.

From their press release: “To build on momentum, Wines of Chile USA is now poised to activate Sustainability 365, a trade- and consumer-facing campaign developed in tandem with Colangelo & Partners, and planned around the theme: “Drink Sustainable. Drink Chile.” Eighty percent of Chilean wine exports are certified sustainable, representing one of the most regionally diverse and eco-friendly wine selections on the planet. Chile’s wide-ranging wine sustainability code has long served as an inspiration for numerous other countries and wine regions.”

So, all of our ducks are in a row, let’s go!

So Delicious Chilean Wines

[PHOTO: Karol Kozlowski photo of the Concha y Toto vineyard]

In Pirque, the Santiago Metropolitan Region of Chile, is Concha y Toro’s vineyard. It’s a rural landscape, with green vineyards and several wineries in the Pirque y Toro region. This is a landscape of Pirque de Laconcha’s metropolitan district with the Concha y Toro Vineyard, Chile.

Environmental, Social, and Economic Sustainable Wine Growing

I’ve not been to South America’s Chile, but Chile samples have come to me for years through wine samples. I can only imagine, through the aid of available images, what it’s like to be there in this South American wine region. Each winery below will have images to shared, so we can all arm-chair this one.

From the project, a bit of commitment:

It starts with Chile’s isolated location, hemmed in by the Pacific to the west, the Andes to the east, the world’s driest desert in the north, and Patagonia in the far south, presenting wine growers with a host of natural advantages. Chile famously remains one of the few places on the planet where phylloxera has yet to make serious inroads, and Vitis vinifera vines continue to thrive on their own un-grafted rootstock.

RESEARCH from the project:

Credit for Chile’s elevated sense of agricultural “health-consciousness” can largely be attributed to one man: Claude Gay. In 1830, this French-born botanist, after carrying out some of the first investigations into Chilean flora, fauna, geology, and geography, advocated in favor of creating a government agency to improve agriculture and protect the country from the perils of imported plant diseases. The government obliged and by 1850, records confirmed checks made on upward of 40,000 vines and 70-plus varieties of Vitis vinifera. If you have ever traveled to Chile, it won’t have escaped you that its airports are far more vigilant about inspecting for fruit, veggie, and animal products, with long lines of weary travelers waiting to pay fines of close to $200 for that undeclared packet of trail mix. Blame Claude Gay!

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

Chilean Wine Lineup

The Teasers

  • Viña Marquis Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2018/SRP $24
    • Owned by the Hurtado family for four generations, the winery sits between two rivers in the Colchagua Valley. The two waterways not only moderate temperatures and protect the vineyards from spring frosts, but also provide the 6.5-foot layer of concentrated clay set over gravel. These well-drained soils enable grapes to lose their green characteristics early in the season. The long cool 2018 growing season yielded a wine that is vibrantly fresh, featuring a basket of red and black fruit flavors in the mouth, along with floral touches and a dark tobacco background.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Electrical consumption has been reduced by 30% and liquefied gas requirements by 90% thanks to an energy recovery system using geothermal heat pump technology that was awarded the 2013 British Chilean Chamber of Commerce Innovation Prize.
  • Viñedos Emiliana Coyam 2018/ $35
    • A pioneer in Chile, Emiliana is one of the world’s largest producers of organic and biodynamic wines in the world. Coyam comes from a vineyard on granite-based soils in Colchaga’s coastal mountain range. All the fruit is own-rooted and is a massal (field) selection of different varieties, except for the Syrah, which is a specific clone. Eight different varieties blend seamlessly to offer on the palate cherry and strawberry, Mediterranean herbs, black pepper, and vanilla. Drink now or age up to 10 years.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Installation and support for organic gardens in local schools in 50% of the communications Emiliana operates in (goal: 100%). Also has 91 organic vegetable gardens for is employees, with many participating in collective growing to provide healthy food for their families.
  • Viña Koyle Gran Reserva Carmenere 2019 / SRP $17
    • Viña Koyle’s (KOO-lay) biodynamic vineyards are planted on the rocky slopes of Los Lingues in Alto Colchagua and currently tended by the sixth generation of a family that has been making wine since 1885. Thanks to the deep roots of the vines, this Carmenere-based wine has hallmark mineral notes, along with the roundness of the Tempranillo and the lightly floral aromas of the Petit Verdot.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Demeter-certified, biodynamic producer Koyle also has installed solar panels which harvest 40% of the energy used.
  • Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva Made with Organic Grapes 2019 / SRP $20
    • Farmed since 1874 in Isla de Maipo, Chile’s traditional vinous heart, the estate is known for its diversity of soils that enable it to successfully grow an array of grapes. This five-grape variety wine has upfront notes of wild herbs, flowers, ripe black fruit, like sarsaparillas, along with subtle vegetal notes from the Cabernet Franc and lavender and violet notes from the Merlot.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Planting more than 11,000 native trees and shrubs restore the natural environmental balance and reconnect the biological corridors between the Altos de Cantillana mountains and the River Maipo through the estate’s 5,000 acres of vineyards.
  • Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Ribeiras Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 / SRP $17
    • In 2021, powerhouse Concha y Toro received B Corporation Certification, which recognizes companies around the world that meet the highest standards of environmental management, governance and social performance. The Serie Ribeiras line of wines are single vineyard wines offered at super competitive prices. Fruit for this wine comes from the Palo Santo Vineyard, D.O. Marchigüe, Colchagua Valley, on the banks of the Tinguiririca River. The unctuous wine, aged in French oak and foudres, is 94.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Syrah and Carmenere rounding out the blend.
    • Sustainability Pillar: B Corporation-certified with metrics including: 100% drip irrigation, 97% of waste reused/ recycled, 24% reduction of waste over 2018, 83% of energy comes from renewable sources.
    • Carbon Footprint has also been a focus for Concha y Toro, who have been working with international scientific organizations, to develop a detailed roadmap, which identifies costs and pegs them to reduction levels and targets. This methodology has been shared with Wines of Chile and in June 2021 several companies will sign a document in to commit to specific reductions – a first in the wine world.
  • Viu Mament Secreto de Viu Manent Malbec, 2019 / SRP $15
    • Family-owned since 1935, Colchagua Valley-based Viu Manent is one of the most respected wineries in Chile. The family have fun with the line of “Secreto” wines – a stated grape variety leavened with a “secret blend” (15%) of other grapes. The Malbec grapes come from vines that are around 19 years old. Fresh and fruity, the final blend offers a refined mix of red berries and violets on the palate.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Installation of four solar plants that generate 460 kilowatts at peak, implementation of a biodiversity protection program as Central Chile is home to more than 50% of the various species of floral and vertebrates in the country, and recycling (such as using old barrels in promotions or by local artists).

This is the overall picture. I’m going to feature each wine individually, because each is special and I want to discover. How about you?

More to follow.



Argentina,Art in Wine,Organic,Pinot Noir,Rosé,Wine

Gaia, the Primordial Earth or Mother Goddess, You Can Drink on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day: My mother has been gone for a long time now. I remember the day well. I had gone back to Maine, making that really difficult decision: Do I see her once more in life, or do I see her after she’s gone? It was really that fragile. When I arrived, her exit party was waiting for her on the ceiling. My family knew about it when she asked them, “Who are all of those people on the ceiling?”

We all knew about cousin Paul. During his transition he asked, who are all of those people on the top of that building, pointing. His wife saw no-one. He was being pushed in his wheelchair, out for a bit of fresh air. This was just before he departed.  So, this wasn’t new for us…

Mom was in hospice and I headed to her room. When I showed up I said, “Hi, Mum!” Surprised, she said, “Well, you never know who you’re going to meet.” I was honored to be considered one of her angels, and smiled brightly. Maybe I was one of earthly angels… probably was. I stayed for as long as I could in Maine, and then had to returned to California. A couple of days later, she was gone. That day I thought to myself, “there’s only one day in our lives when our mothers pass, and this is it.” I took a deep sigh.

My heart was aching and I went outside to get some flowers to soothe my crumpled soul. I couldn’t see or call her anymore. One the edge of our property at the time, we had some gladiolas. One beautiful one was on the neighbor’s border. Who knows who could claim it, but I felt entitled that day until my neighbor came out, as I was picking it. When I told him why, he just bowed his head. I’m teary just writing this. She was a good mom and has been gone since June 2005, so I’m better able to handle it.

Today, it’s now my children who honor me.

And, this year I’ve ALSO been honored by the Bousquet family

The lovely Bousquet family hails from the city of Carcassonne, in the South of France. They have four generations of history in the winemaking tradition. Their passion is to produce wines of superior quality. And, this is what lead them to Argentina, to begin their new chapter.

I met Anne Bousquet (CEO and Co-founder/Partner of Domaine Bousquet) a few years ago. She shared her story with me.

Prior to joining Domaine Jean Bousquet in 2008, she worked as an economist. She began by performing forecast analysis, for the European paper packaging industry. As she tells it, she then “joined the [family] company to assist in financial planning, day-to-day operations management, and business development.” She’s a brilliant young woman who has her Master’s Degree in Applied Economics, from Saint Cloud State University, in Minnesota; and, earned her Bachelor Degree in Economics, from the University of Toulouse, France.

Anne’s extremely well rounded, and has the great ability to manage her family’s company. Many successful companies I’ve worked with have this important component. Art and science are fabulous in winemaking, but then knowing how to manage the farm-stand locks in the longevity success. It isn’t in every generation of winemaking that a family has this kind of insight. European influences seem to really lock into this one, due to their extensive generations of being into winemaking and knowing how it successfully works.

A #Sample bottle of their newly released 2020 Gaia Pinot Noir Rosé was sent to me, for my review. Already familiar with their Gaia Wines, I was very excited to see where this one sits in their portfolio, on their delicioso scale, and it’s right at the top. They just make fabulous wines and it’s such a treat to taste, evaluate, and then enjoy until the last drop in the bottle has gone into my glass.

My notes:

The debut-vintage of Gaia Rose 2020, New from Domaine Bousquet. This one is made from 100 percent organically grown, Pinot Noir grapes. Since Rosé wines have become super popular, any mom – including me – will love this wine. I’m talking Mother’s Day people.

It’s like bringing flowers to Mom, and she might even share it with you! Then, you can both smell it’s delicious bouquet!
It has a beautiful peach/rosé color. The aromatics are also of a peach/rosé. But… WOW, flavors of strawberry compote. I felt it would have residual sugar at first on my palate, but I was so wrong. It’s pleasantly quite dry, which will let me enjoy it with foods that have a bit of sweetness, for a total taste explosion.
The vineyards for this wine are grown in a high altitude of the Uco Valley region, of Mendoza Argentina.

You’ve got time to find it for this Sunday. It’s one of the most beautiful bottles out there. Should be easy to find. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! I’m toasting to my dearly departed! Cheers!

And, my #mothersday weekend has officially begun.

If you’re looking for something for mom, the artwork has mom right on the label!

FROM: Gaia – Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, Gaea (or Gaia), the primordial earth or mother goddess was one of the deities who governed the universe before the Titans existed. In the creation myth, Chaos came before everything else. He was made of Void, Mass and Darkness in confusion; and then earth in the form of Gaea came into existence. From “Mother Earth” sprang the starry heavens, in the shape of the sky God Uranus, and from Gaea also came the mountains, plains, seas and rivers that make up the Earth we know today.

Gaea first appears as a character of divine being in the Homeric poems, in the Illiad, black sheep were sacrificed to her, and people were declaring oaths to invoke her.

Drink up, buttercup… It’s Mother’s Day weekend.


Bordeaux,Spain,Wine,Wine Appreciation,Wine Book,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Wine Event,Wine Writer,Wines

Kevin Zraly ~ Extraordinary Wine Educator is Focused on Red Wines

Kevin Zraly is an extraordinary, wine educator I’ve long admired. Getting to know him over the years has taught me how extremely knowledgeable he truly is.  It was delightful finally meeting him in Tuscany, at Castello di Meleto, a few years ago. He was on a book tour with his latest edition of Windows on The World; and I was on a professional, Italian wine tour with Michael Yurch of the Bluest Sky Group. At the time, we were all visiting and dining at the Castello.

If you really want to know how great someone is, trust a credible source within the person’s own industry. To that end, from wine writer Michael Apstein, of The Boston Globe: “Zraly is the most talented, effective and entertaining wine teacher I have met.”

KEVIN ZRALY’S BACKGROUND ~ from his website

In 1970, Kevin began working at ­­The DePuy Canal House in High Falls, New York, helping the restaurant earn an unprecedented four-star review from Craig Claiborne of The New York Times.  The next year, Kevin taught his first wine class – “Wine & Cheese 101.”  In 1972, Kevin hitchhiked to California to visit all of the state’s wineries…all 24 of them!  Shortly thereafter, he convinced the administration of his state college to offer their first accredited wine course, “Wine History, Types & Production,” which he taught to the college seniors, while he himself was still a junior.  Following his graduation, Kevin traveled to every major wine region in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany taking in as much wine knowledge as possible.  In April of 1976, famed restaurateur Joe Baum hired Kevin [at the age of 25] to “Create the biggest and best wine list New York has ever seen, and don’t worry about how much it costs!” for Windows of the World, located on the 106th and 107th floors of New York City’s World Trade Center.  Kevin rose to the challenge…

… by being the founder and educator at Windows of the World Wine School, until September 11, 2001. Kevin was certainly devastated with the loss of so many of his colleagues and friends. It took time and space to recover and rethink. Since it had always been about wine, Kevin got busy with another edition of Windows on the World. There are 35 editions to date and over 4-million copies have been sold. Each one is filled with more of his learning and tasting. I have many copies of his books. It’s become quite the collection for anyone who has followed his career.

He also created the three-day – now legendary – New York Wine Experience, a very popular events indeed. He also spent four years working with the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. By 2002, Kevin partnered with New York City’s Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits store. This is where he began teaching his “One Hour Wine Expert classes…” various advanced wine courses and master classes.

And so… today… it would make sense in this Covid environment classes have moved to also being on line (besides YouTube). We all now have the opportunity to study with Kevin’s gifted guidance, in the comfort of our own homes. Imagine… His next class is May 3, focusing on wines from Spain. His following class in this series is going to be on May 10: “One Hour Bordeaux Wine Expert.”  Same sign-up page. For FULL DETAILS, see below.

Kevin’s website: Whether you’re a casual wine drinker, a budding connoisseur, or a master collector, wine expert… educator and entertainer Kevin Zraly has a virtual class that fits!

If you want to learn, Kevin Zraly is ready to teach! This is a link to his calendar

And, this YouTube video gives you a great snap shop of Kevin Zraly’s personality and wine acumen. Very fun, funny, and extremely informative. And, keep it to affordable, says Kevin.

Live with Kelly and Ryan


  • James Beard Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

And, his focused books:

  • Windows on the World Complete Wine Course – in it’s 35th Edition
  • Red Wine: The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Essential Varieties & Styles ~ Red Wine, co-authored with Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen.




Cincault,Grenache,Mourvèdre,Music,Rock n'Roll,Rosé,Syrah,Wine,Wine Negociant,Winemaker,Winemaking

Jon Bon Jovi Revisited in a Duo Wine Effort


I once wrote: New Rock n’ Roller Who’s Segued to the Liquid Side ~ An update, coming soon. I’ve historically been collecting who also has segued from rock n’roll into rockin’ wine, since I left rock radio. My first of many stories: From Rock n’Roll to Rock n’Wine was published on January 25, 2010.

The Rock and the Roll of this one continues the tradition of megastars also turning into successful vintners.

(ROCK) Famed Rocker: in early 2018, Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse (Jesse James Louis Bongiovi ) launched the rosé wine brand Hampton Water. Always a fan of rosé wines, Jon had finally launched his dream.

(As the rugby ball ROLLS) Famed Roller: in an alternate universe of fame (from 1984-94), Gérard Bertand was a rugby star representing France, RC Narbonne, and the Stade Français). The son of Georges Bertrand, his first experience in harvesting and winemaking was at Domaine of Villemajou in Boutenac, in the Corbières region. Gérard is now the proprietor of Gérard Bertrand Wines, coming into wine when he retired from rugby to take over the family estate. This was after the accidental death of his father, to become a renowned winemaker of Languedoc-Roussillon.

Together, they’ve created the Diving Into Hampton Water brand. It was inspired by the Hamptons, where Jon Bon Jovi’s family has spent its down times.

Jon Bon Jovi and Gerard Bertrand ~  Delicious Collaboration

From their press info: “Hampton Water Rosé, founded by father-son duo Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi. Hampton Water was founded under the “concept of spending time with family and friends, and aims to seamlessly blend the relaxed lifestyles of the Hamptons and the South of France. Their grapes are hand-picked by the finest winemakers the South of France has to offer. Hampton Water Wine is made from a perfect blend of grapes, and they features fresh, lively flavors, making them the perfect companion for any occasion.”

When I tasted their wine, I was immediately transported back to the south of France and the famed rose’s of that region. The south of France’s climate is Mediterranean, with soils ranging from rocky sand to thick clay, which begins to create these beautiful wines. The blend is comprised of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. Flavors held hints of strawberry crème brûlée on my palate. It was as crisp, clean, and refreshing as I was hoping for. I highly recommend that you get to enjoy this wine with an actual crème brûlée. Dry enough to balance out the richness of the dessert, I’m diving in, how about you?

I can also see this wine with a seafood dish, like this on served to us in Southern France at Boccaccio, Nice France.


Jon Bon Jovi and son Jesse Bongiovi shared a vision to create a unique rosé to bring people together, using Jesse’s upbringing in the Hamptons as inspiration. The two created the full concept of the brand and brought on famed French winemaker Gerard Bertrand, to help their vision come to life. The wine is fresh and lively, intensified by aging in French Oak barrels for 30-60 days. When a winery has received critical acclaim, and this one has, it’s easy to be a one-hit-wonder. For Jon Bon Jovi, his wine is enduring, endearing, and far from a one-hit-wonder. It really is a delicious wine, people.


“Dream it, become it” seems to be how life works best. We all have a need to dream. In other circles it’s referred to as a calling. And, it’s okay to have more than one calling. Robert Mondavi, for example, began his first successful wine career in his family’s Charles Krug Winery. His second career came at the age of 52, when he created his own winery. I did get to work at the Robert Mondavi Winery. It was such a honor to work with “the legend,” while he was still with us and visiting the winery everyday.

And now, I have another dreamer legend before me… Jon Bon Jovi. And, this time Jon’s also a vintner. Jon’s first career was/is in rock and roll, as most of us know. This is where and when I met him in the 80s. He was performing at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine, and I was the publicist/photographer with rock radio station WBLM, also in Portland.

Now, it’s not like Jon and I haven’t met; we have. In the 80s, Bon Jovi was on tour seeing thousands of people, all along the way. These backstage meet n’greet moments were just another day on the job for him; and in many regards, it was also the same for me, only because I had photographed every tour coming into Portland, Maine for years, by then, and a bit jaded.

  • For me, Jon was another rock n’roller on tour, pulling into town, like so many before him.
  • For Bon Jovi, I was just another person with a camera backstage. No more, no less…

My job was with WBLM radio… home to rock and roll during those crazy days… while rock was still developing, in its intense evolution. I was submitting my taken images to national trade magazine, which became published. In this image, a lucky young woman won a guitar in the process of meeting the band, as I did my job. It’s my photos that keep these images fresh in my brain. I doubt that Jon even saw the image… but here it is.





Beaujolais,Contest,France,French Wine,Gamay,Wine

Once Again ~ Georges Duboeuf’s Beaujolais Nouveau Art Label Contest Invitation

With the introduction of the Fifth Annual Georges Duboeuf Nouveau Art Label competition, the winery is once again seeking new artwork for over one million bottles of their Beaujolais Nouveau.

This is a very personal project for me. In 2011, I had received my first sample of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Two years later in 2013, I had a phone conversation with George’s son Franck Duboeuf. I was so star struck, I could hardly speak. Me, who used to photograph people like Tina Turner, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, etc., and never blinked.. seemed like everyone but the Beatles and Rolling Stones. With Franck, I felt tongue-tied, but got through it.

Then in August 2019, I was invited to join a tour flying to France to visit Les Vins Georges Duboeuf . Incrobable, and it made me wonder why I was so nervous interviewing Franck… He is such a kind, warm, and wonderful man, and has such a lovely family. When we all lost Georges Duboeuf on January 4, 2020, my heart was broken. Having also met the man in his home, who had helped so many people in his life (now including me), and then having read his autobiography… learning of his and his family’s passions… It was/is a true highlight of my career. Georges and Franck gave an amazing opportunity to me. I was returned to the land of my Bernier/Ouellette grandparents roots. I was at home and felt so French, and then Franck turned to me at lunch in his winery’s restaurant and said, “I hope you will love France.” Words that I will never forget, and a land I yearn to visit again.  (How could I not, I thought?)

This is now the fifth annual Georges Duboeuf Artist Label Competition, and is now open for submissions at www.NouveauLabelContest.com. Artists from all over the country, you’re invited to submit your original work, for your opportunity to be featured on over one million bottles of the 2021 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Additionally, the winner and runner-up will receive grants totaling nearly $3,450. Submissions will be accepted on the website until March 31st 2021, and public voting to help choose the winning artwork will begin on or around April 15.

PHOTO: Past winner Maeve Croghan, a Virginia native who lives and works in the Mendocino, CA area. She will receive a cash grant and the honor of having her work debuted on over one million bottles of Duboeuf’s 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Beaujolais Nouveau Rosé, when the wines are released on the third Thursday of November this year (November 19, 2020).

It is a great  honor to announce… From Georges Duboeuf

“Beaujolais Nouveau Day is one of the greatest traditions in the world of wine, evoking feelings of community and revelry across the globe every November,” commented Dennis Kreps, co-owner of Quintessential Wines, the exclusive importer of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf in the US. “When we review the incredible submissions we receive each year, we are seeking a piece that visually depicts this sense of heritage and celebration synonymous with the Duboeuf name.”

Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, located in the heart of the Beaujolais region of France, is a family owned and operated winery with a rich history of collaborating with artists to create their iconic labels. The 2020 Artist Label winner Maeve Croghan is a Virginia native who currently resides in Mendocino, CA. Her work, Russet Vines, demonstrates a sense of timelessness, connection to nature, and respect for the vines that give birth to the annual harvest. Vibrant hues of gold, orange and reds are used to “relay a feeling of warmth and happiness, bringing attention to the beauty and splendor of the vines,” Croghan describes.

“Each year the competition brings in hundreds of aspiring artists and new submissions vying for the chance to become the next Georges Duboeuf label, “continued Kreps. “In 2020, we broke the record with over 1,000 submissions and we are expecting to exceed that number this year, as the contest reaches its fifth anniversary.”

The Georges Duboeuf Artist Label Competition was conceived to support the creativity of emerging artists all over the U.S. The complete list of rules and regulations are on the competition’s website: www.NouveauLabelContest.com. Legal residents of the U.S. over the age of 21 are encouraged to submit their original designs for consideration. Making a submission indicates that the artist has agreed to all the terms of the competition. Once the submission period ends on March 31st, a panel of art experts will select no more than 15 finalists, who will participate in the two-week public voting period to commence on or about April 15th. A vote is cast by “liking” an artist’s work on the Duboeuf U.S. Instagram and Facebook accounts or by commenting on a favorite piece on the website.


Petite Sirah,Wine

Important Historical Petite Sirah Update from Plant Geneticist Dr. Carole Meredith about its Crossing

Since 2002, I’ve been gathering information about Petite Sirah, with one item being a bit sketchy; namely, did François Durif know what plant he crossed with Peloursin? The original info given to me came from an old family’s oral history and it now it needs updating. I’m also simultaneously updating the PS I Love You Website, for complete accuracy.

It all began on Facebook… Like lots of things today, right? I had written:

Petite Sirah is on my mind, Facebook. I’ve been learning, traveling, educating, and enjoying being the international rep for this variety, since 2002. In the words of Rich Mauro, recently regarding Petite Sirah… It’s robust.”

Indeed it is. And so I found this image to go with it.

[PHOTO purchased, please do not copy:]

My friend and wine colleague Paul Moe asked:

Why are so many facial pictures of women taken from her nose to her chin? Serious question, thanks.

I answered:

Paul, it’s a good question. As a photographic choice, it’s very useful and can be dramatic, as it significantly alters the compositional choices of the picture. Eyes always pull focus, so not including them can help to bring focus to other elements of the picture.

The remaining facial features are also enhanced, permitting a greater appreciation for the lips or nose, for example. It can also heighten the artistic element of the shot, since the face becomes slightly more abstract.

Then, there is the possibility of maintaining a model’s relative anonymity. Now a counter-question: do you really see it often? In what kinds of photos? I like to think that I pay attention to composition in photos, but I haven’t noticed this kind of photo as being overly common. Nor that it is primarily of women.

So, we got that out of the way, then onto Petite Sirah’s lineage. One person mentioned Carole Meredith, and the door was then opened widely. I tagged her, as she’s always been my “go-to” for updates, and I wanted her to be involved, as she had already been mentioned.

[Jo Diaz PHOTO OF PETITE. It is copy written. If you would like to use, please contact me.]

Co Owner at Lagier Meredith Vineyard, Dr. Carole Meredith is the geneticist, from the University of California at Davis, who discovered the DNA fingerprinting of Petite Sirah. To this point in America’s history, there was one elusive detail for me. The following information simply closed that gap; mystery solved. History continues to be written about this orphaned grape from Montpelier, France, as Carole Meredith has now succinctly clarified Petite Sirah’s history. The following are Dr. Carole Meredith’s words with a couple of questions from others.

Question: Did Francois Durif know both parents of Petite Sirah:

Carole Meredith

If Dr. Durif had deliberately pollinated Peloursin with Syrah, he surely would have mentioned it when he released the new variety, because Syrah was a well-known variety even then, and Peloursin was more obscure. Instead he reported only that his new variety was a seedling of Peloursin. He had a number of varieties growing in close proximity at his nursery, so many natural cross-pollinations would have occurred.

Deliberate crossing of grape varieties did not begin until the 1800’s, so all the old varieties that are known to have existed long before the 1800’s would necessarily have arisen as chance seedlings.

There is no disagreement among researchers as to how these crosses happened.

Mentioned: Early plant breeding dates back 11,000 years…

Carole Meredith

Selection, yes. Hybridization, no…the earliest plant hybridization was in the 1700’s. But, the first grape hybridization was not until the 1800’s, because grape flowers are tiny and difficult to emasculate prior to pollinating. But Francois Durif did not make a deliberate cross, because if he had he would have described his new variety as such. But, he described it only as a seedling of Peloursin, and did not even mention that the pollen parent was Syrah, a fact that we discovered in my lab at U.C. Davis in the 1990’s.

So, there it is… reported only that his new variety was a seedling of Peloursin. Durif most likely didn’t know what he was using to cross Peloursin. Durif had a number of varieties growing in close proximity at his nursery, so many natural cross-pollinations would have occurred. And, he didn’t record that he crossed with Syrah. In 1996 – At the University of California at Davis, Dr. Carole Meredith and her colleagues determined by DNA comparisons that:

  • Almost all (more than 90%) of the vines in Petite Sirah vineyards are Durif and the rest are Peloursin (the mother of Durif).
  • Durif is the offspring of a cross-pollination between Peloursin and Syrah, which means it received half of its genes from each of these varieties.


Barbera,Castello di Gabiano,Italian Alps,Italy,Italy wines,Piedmont,Wine

Castello di Gabiano of Piedmont ~ Part 2

Piedmont, Italy is a place I’ve never visited; but, I’m headed there, once Covid travel restrictions are lifted. Yesterday’s story began my virtual journey. Briefly:

Covid’s restrictions stopped all travel, as I was supposed to be in Piedmont this past November… I watched each month with hope, before it arrived, throughout the entire year as month after month slipped away. I hung on until October, when I had to truly face reality, heave a huge sigh of despair, and mentally move on. Piedmont, on the northwest of Italy, bordering Switzerland, to the northeast and west of France, just slipped away like a fabulously enigmatic night in Rio. Now, I can only imagine.

[PHOTO property of Castello di Gabiano]

But wait!

A ZOOM meeting was arranged through my friend Michael Yurch, with The Bluest Sky Import Group, which would have me speaking with proprietor Marquis Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno of Castello di Gabiano [Right]. From Piedmont, over time and with grace, Giacomo shared his passions, and now I’m able to share with you.

Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno’s Life Passion

In our Zoom meeting, I began to learn about Giacomo’s amazingly curious world of wine. Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno was born in Italy, and was then raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That was until he turned 18. At that point, he began going back and forth. Today, Giacomo continues to spend his time between Italy and Brazil. And, as we began to speak, he shared that his wine-world-focus actually begins in his vineyards. That’s one of the best kind of wine stories in my world… a life communing with nature and nurturing its growth. It’s so easy to wax poetic about this.   

[PHOTO CREDIT: Castello di Gabiano, Piedmont, Italy.]

Piedmont Italy, from Castello di Gabiano


[PHOTO: Wikipedia]

The Piedmont region of Italy is located in the foothills of the Alps. It forms a border with France to the west, and Switzerland to the north. As we think of Italy’s boot shape, Piedmont’s in the top-left cuff of the boot. Here we find Castello di Gabiano in the famous Gabiano region, of the Monferrato DOC and DOCG. This hilly area is located between 400 to 1,150 feet sea level, and lies below the River Po in the southeast corner of, in northwestern Italy, according to Wine Searcher.

[PHOTO property of Castello di Gabiano]

It’s Barbera country, where the essence of this grape variety tends to be of cherries and violets, to strawberries, plums, and blackberries… along with some spice and jamminess. Barbera is a flavorful, chameleon-resembling wine; just like great Petite Sirahs, which can be – and are – so radically different. Philosophies of how to deliver the wine, based on the growing and then all of the winemaking conditions and steps, makes a Barbera so attractive as an adventure into this wine grape variety and its regions.

[PHOTO property of Castello di Gabiano]

It’s now the third most planted variety in Italy, enjoying a unique, higher altitude profile… The wines are very expressive, being either lighter in tannins and ready upon release, or full-bodied and much more mature. Castello di Gabiano is known to produce those full-flavored wines with great aging potential.

Given its popularity as a wine variety in Italy, it makes me really curious to taste one right now. Known to be very food friendly, I’m off to locally find a Piedmont Barbera for another aspect of this journey.


[PHOTO CREDIT: Silvano Ghirardo]

Casetllo di Gabiano is locate in the temperate zone of the 45th parallel. The Alps (1,150 feet) and the seaside (400 feet) makes it perfect wine grape growing weather. From

“During the growing season, the half-circle backdrop, of the highest mountains and glaciers in Europe makes for cold winds and cool nights all trough summer. The temperature excursion, of more than 10° Celsius [50° Fahrenheit] between days and nights, makes the grapes seek protection with thick skins.” Giacomo continues, “This process makes exceptional grapes, which are the sources of aromas and persistent flavors.”

I try to equate this, when teaching how these smaller, flavor dense berries, as what wild Maine blueberries along the coastline. They explode with flavors and this is what is crafting the wines of

[PHOTO: Castello di Gabiano, Piedmont, Italy.]

Usual temperature ranges:

    • Summer in July ~ 75 degrees
    • Winter in January ~ 34 degrees

Driest months:

  • July
  • January

[PHOTO: Castello di Gabiano, Piedmont, Italy.]


I found this fascinating on Prestige Wine Adventures, regarding terroir:

“Although the winemaking regions of the Piedmont and Bordeaux are very close in latitude, only the summertime temperatures are similar: the Piedmont wine region has a colder, continental winter climate (temperature variations day to night, between the seasons) and significantly lower rainfall due to the rain shadow effect of the Alps. Vineyards are typically planted on hillside altitudes between 490–1150 ft. The warmer south facing slopes are mainly used for Nebbiolo or Barbera while the cooler sites are planted with Dolcetto or Moscato.”

It puts quite a bit into perspective, if you’re a terroir lover like many people I know. It’s more defining for the potential flavors of each region. See, that’s the thing about tasting each region, it’s all about its inextricable, character uniqueness.

[PHOTO purchased]


LIMESTONE, VOLCANIC, MARLSTONE BASED: Soils are one of the definitions of wine.

  • Limestone creates softer wines, with a less tannic structure.
  • Volcanic, a fine grain, gives a wine minerality. It assists with aromas and acidity.
  • Marlstone, a variable of clays and silt, brings color and a smooth texture.


AGING: According to Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno,

In our cellar we have Barberas for the best vintages, starting from 1946.

“The main local grapes are Barbera, Freisa (warmer) Grignolino, Dolcetto (cooler) for reds, and Cortese di Gavi for white. The soil comes from it being from an ancient seabed, with a shallow layer of Clay. This gives way to deeper Limestone, which is broken up at plowing.”

All of these elements combine to produce what’s known as typical gray Monferrato terroir.


[PHOTOS purchased]

According to Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno, the following are two usual foods from Piedmont, to enjoy with their age-worthy wines:

    • ABOVE: Monferrato Agnolotti del Plin: tiny ravioli pasta-parcels, filled with a combination of beef and cabbage, then served in a cheese, sage, and butter sauce; or even in a leftover braising liquid.
    • BELOW: Vitello Tonnato is another typical dish. Wikipedia describes this one perfectly: “Vitello tonnato is a Piedmontese [citation needed] (Italian) dish of cold, sliced veal covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce that has been flavored with tuna. It is served chilled or at room temperature,[1] generally in the summertime, as the main course of an Italian meal or as “an exceedingly elegant antipasto for an elaborate dinner.”[2] It is also very popular, by inheritance, in Argentina, where it is known by its original name in Piedmontese dialect Vitel tonnè, (spelled Vitel Toné or Thoné in Argentina) and considered a traditional Christmas dish.[3][4]”

The wines are yet to come for writing. Now that we know a whole lot more but Piedmont, I’m already salivating and really looking forward to traveling again…

Thank you to Wine Business for adding this story as a wine blog feature.




Wine Travels Suspended Due to Covid, Yet the Trip to Castello di Gabiano Still Burns from Within

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us ~ Anonymous

Oh, Covid… you’re such a marplot!

[Images are the property of CASTELLO Di GABIANO, except where noted.]

I could have been right here in November, if life didn’t include you, Covid. I would have left my home base in Sonoma County, flying into Piedmont, Italy; and savoring the adventure, my curiosity continually being piqued.  I’d be taking photos and then finding the right words to match that exact second in time, frozen by my lens for infinite views. Instead, I’m doing it backward; finding the right images worthy of this story.

It’s not hard to do, however, given this location, right? And, I’m still finding a certain satisfaction in this adventure, as well. It it’s not the same as being there, of course; but, this is all so very special. I had a wonderful ZOOM meeting with proprietor Marquis Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno. His humility didn’t want for me to get deeply into his title; yet, given his history, it tells a fascinating recounting of how property, as magnificent as this one, has been handed down for generations, now into his hands.


[Purchased image]

I had a dream once, it was all in Italian. A discussion was happening, between a child to my right, an interpreter in the middle, and an old man to my left. I was south in the quadrant. The old man was talking to the child, with the banter going back and forth between the old man and the child… all with the help of the interpreter. I was observing. I’ve never studied Italian, but have studied French and Spanish. My dream was all in Italian. I’ve never spoken – in this lifetime – Italian; but, I was understanding e-v-e-r-y  w-o-r-d. This was from the point of the old man beginning the conversation in Italian. I was so startled that I just immediately woke up. Jose… “I just had a dream in Italian, and I understood every word! What does it mean?” He said, “You were Italian in a past life; now, go back to sleep.” I have also always felt that in a past life I was an aging woman in Venice, washing and then hanging clothes on a suspended line, over a canal, and the line was also attached to a house across the canal. We were neighbors, yelling back and forth, in our daily lives.

So, now you know how much I’m still very excited to know where I WOULD have just been, through exploring this destination in a parallel universe.


Entering a new region is always exciting. I really enjoy the exploration of all things: from history and their artistic cultures; to their people, foods, and to their wines.

It’s always about how did this begin, the important developments, and where are you now? I usually find common ground, due to European roots.

Here I am in Piedmont at Castello di Gabiano, and I know I’ve just had my breath completely taken away, from their extraordinary vistas. The stately Italian Alps in their backyard, somehow makes me feel so inconsequential, yet so alive. Words wouldn’t come easily, because I’d be in such awe.

On a similar trip, a colleague Dan said to me, “Com’mon, Jo.” I was always behind with my camera. I have great shots from a past Italian visit. Somehow I think Castello Di Gabiano would also make me a better photographer, looking for even more money shots.

In a systematic way, my tour would have begun in their vineyard.

FROM THE WINERY: The Vineyards

The vineyards are located entirely in Gabiano, at the ideal height of 300 meters. The privileged position facing the wind arriving directly from the Alps creates a great temperature excursion between day and t night: a characteristic that facilitates the creation of intense and typical aromas, easily recognized during the wine tasting. In those partly ancient vineyards, some going back more than 100 years; the work on the vine is manual, in order to obtain a better quality of the grape. The cultivation of the soil, such as the plant treatment, follows a strict program completely respectful to the environment.

Next, we would segue into their wine cellar.

FROM THE WINERY: The Cellars (minor edits for American reading ease)

Wine aging occurs in the cellars under the Castle, dating back to the 1200s; since that period is destined to also continue to be our wine storage. Our prestigious bottle collection is stored, to be passed down from one generation to another.

Those natural cellars have been created through digging underground, into the local rock on the two sides, to assure a constant temperature all year long. This is the best ambiance for accurate aging.

The room designed for our barriques was, right from the inception, in different sectors. This allows for our winemakers to distinguish the oak fermentation, according to the vintage and the different vineyards.

And, now would be time to taste the wines

But, this has to be separate Part 2. And my curiosity is completely piqued.

The winery proclaims: “The wines of this ‘small land’ differ completely from others produced in other areas from Piemont.”

Let me just say this… I could be there and drink a wine that’s got the date of my birth on it… DATE of my birth. Holy Mother of God… I’d be so ready to taste; alas, I will continue with the wines portion of this story to be written in the next Part 2. It’s definitely and singularly worthy as the end result of this incredible opportunity in life.


For the last 400 years, the Marquises Cattaneo Adorno Giustiniani have been committed to producing quality wines. It’s a 642-acre estate, with 52 of those acres being planted to wine vines. The commune’s archives of the thirteenth century first mentioned the quality of the grapes and the wine production of Gabiano.

Today Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno is the last Marquis of Gabiano. He and his wife Emanuela are passionate, determined, and above all else, totally committed to enriching their local terroir and environment. In this way, they’re assured that the winemaking tradition of their family, updated with the current enology knowledge, are keeping their high-quality standards alive and well.

The castle has a mysterious labyrinth. Adventure is now tugging at the core of my existence. I could seriously stay here for a long time, just exploring.

FROM THEIR SITE: The labyrinth of the castle of Gabiano is one of the very few Italian gardens of exceptional importance; not only for its rarity, but also for the historic period in which it was made. It dates back to the thirties of the twentieth century. The labyrinth of Gabiano evokes a return to the past and is part of the restoration project entrusted by Marquise Matilde Giustiniani Parmesan Architect Lamberto Cusani, to whom we owe the present appearance of the neo-medieval castle and outbuildings.

The location of the labyrinth in the heart of the park emphasizes the contrast between the rigid lines and geometric plant and the surrounding, natural park. It recalls the medieval concept of the forest as a natural maze (park); and, the labyrinth is an artificial wilderness, where nature is strictly controlled and manipulated by man.

What would wine be, but if not for food. I looked at their images of the Restaurant 3 Orologi, and shivered… white truffle soup… people.

In the “but wait, there’s still more” category: Luxury Suites. Nuff said… There, I feel a little better, now. I got to share what would have been, and the invitation is still open, so I’ll have my own images, when Covid stops it’s invasion.

This is where Part 1 ends for today, as my ZOOM conversation is worthy of a compete Part 2. Today you met Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno and his world. Next, you’ll meet his wines.

Thank you to Wine Business for adding this story as a wine blog feature.


Education,France,Italy,Wine,Wine tasting,Wine Travel,Winemaking,Wines

Wine Education Gifts for Wine Loving Family and Friends

This short-list of wine Education Gifts is comprised of some truly great wine gifts I’ve researched, beyond also giving Wine Books. They’re worth sharing. Some are old ideas and some are new ideas; each one brings something very unique to the education of wine, for novice and professional alike.

  • Evan Goldstein
  • Le Nez Du Vin
  • Winemasters Lessons
  • Time Hanni’s Welcome to Wine Business Education

Evan Goldstein: Webinar and Education – Master the World

Mastering the World of Wine Has Never Been Easier. Thanks to Evan Goldstein, an extraordinary educator, Evan Goldstein MS might have exercised his rights to the “gold” in his name; as in, a golden opportunity not only for himself; but also for us, when he created Master the World™; Learn Like a Pro.

Check for the upcoming seminars on his Website, if you become inspired for you or someone else near and dear to you.

I personally walked into the world of wine in early 1993. I’ve had 27 years of studying, lessons, teaching, and enjoying it all. The positive relationships forged along the way have given me insights that are so worth sharing; ergo, we all benefit. Really, the world of wine has to be one of the most enjoyable professions on the face of the planet, especially when you combine great people and food with the wine. Most people have a “happy hour,” after hours. It’s a “happy day,” for those of us in this industry, all due to the end goal… wine.

Advocating for Evan Goldstein is one of my greatest joys, because he’s quite fabulous in my opinion, just for starters. He’s bright, energetic, well-educated, approachable, yet easy-going in his style. His latest project is engaging, thought-provoking, and a blast in the process.

An extraordinary educator, Evan Goldstein MS might have exercised his rights to the “gold” in his name; as in, a golden opportunity not only for himself, but also for us, when he created Master the World™; Learn Like a Pro.

Le Nez Du Vin

Le Nez Du Vin by Jean Lenoir, a fabulous holiday gift for your favorite wine enthusiast

The Le Nez du Vin wine aroma kit is the original of all wine aroma kits on the market. Nobody does it better… It’s the Bentley of wine aromas, discovered by Jean Lenoir some 30 years ago… Often imitated, it can’t possibly be duplicated.

Nor can there exist anything quite like it for a luxurious experience for anyone serious about wine and discovering all that’s possible to explore.

All I know is that I’m now off into the wondrous world of wine aromas, brought to me by aroma genius Jean Lenoir.

You know, the aroma adjectives that writers use when they’re writing about wine; or, how about your friends who can easily wax poetic about the aromas and flavors of wine? They easily come up with all the descriptors for flavors, because they’ve spent a few years exploring and loving wine. And, as Anton explained and I discussed, there are those among us – my children included – who have grown up with parents who love wine and they’ve just been inclusive with their children about wine as a simple way of life. These people have an advantage over people who are still wondering and asking, like so many people at Mondavi asked me, “Does the winemaker add grapefruit to the Sauvignon Blanc to make it taste like grapefruit?” It’s an honest and innocent question, and always allowed for me to explain that wine has the same chemical compounds for flavors that are found in those other objects… that they weren’t infused with flavors. The flavors exist naturally.

The exploration of wine is a sensual journey that begins with sight and hearing…

  • Perhaps seeing and hearing a cork being pulled (or a twist-off, not so romantic by any stretch of the imagination)
  • Then, seeing and hearing wine being poured into a glass
  • The most engaging part of wine comes when we swirl and sniff, before we sip
    • To miss this step means that we’re on a singular journey of drinking and enjoying wine; which I equate with being in a room with a Renoir and enjoying it from afar; but, missing the delicately layered brush stokes that you discover when you get up really closely, like in a museum of art.

Winemasters Lessons

Just Released Second Season of Wine Masters: ITALY

For anyone studying wine for any accreditation in the world of wine, this would be money well spent. I don’t represent this company, but I do appreciate what they’ve produced, so I’m sharing. If you can’t get to any these places, you’ll feel like you were there, learning first hand, from reliable sources. It’s now a great series developing.

The first Wine Masters was about France (trailer is at the end of this posting). This second video, now making this a series, has just been completed and is about certain regions in Italy.

Italy has a very special place in my heart, after my visits to Castello di Meleto in Gaiole, the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany; and, Colonnara Viticultori in Cupramontana, of the Le Marche region. Memories are the best part of travel, and now here’s how I get to enjoy even more, stateside.

I’ve also reviewed their class on France. If you’re a student of wine, these videos are really valuable. If you can’t get to Italy or France, like Covid stopped me from returning to Europe this Covid year, they’ll still give you a better sense of being there.

Tim Hanni’s Welcome to Wine Business Education

Wine Business Education Is Now Very Convenient, Thanks to Tim Hanni ~ Welcome to WineBusinessEducation.com

Brought to you by Tim Hanni – America’s first Master of Wine, keynote speaker, wine educator, and author of the book on wine consumer preferences.

Tim has launched his Business of Wine online/on-demand course and easy-to-use financial calculators.

After 30 years of course development, 10 years of teaching, and a furious final year of development, our workbooks and Business of Wine course is available to the wine trade and public, just launched.

Use our tools to get ahead with a master’s program in the wine business, and use our financial calculators to determine your cost of goods, sales & marketing, production, vineyard and tasting room profitability metrics.

We also have a set of “tutorials” for all of the WBE Financial Calculator.

The financial workbooks enable a thorough examination of costs within a specific segment of a winery’s particular operations including:

  • Winery Cost of Goods Workbook
  • Wine Pricing Calculator
  • Vineyard P&L and Cash Flow Workbook
  • Tasting Room Profitability Calculator
  • Marketing, Sales and Portfolio Management Workbook
  • Blending Profitability Workbook

More information can be found at WineBusinessEducation.com.

Thank you to Wine Industry Insight for featuring this story.