Since 1996, Christian Moueix and his team have been crafting Napanook, an estate-bottled wine from the iconic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville. First planted in 1838 by George Yount, this estate has been well-respected over generations for its deep, complex and elegant fruit.
"We have been steadily replanting the vineyard," says owner Christian Moueix, "continuously improving the trellising system and cultivation. Dry-farming practices have enabled us to produce intense, flavorful and balanced grapes at maturity."
Napanook 2012 is a clear expression of an exceptional vintage. The wine is spirited and rich, with firm, yet integrated tannins, and full of character. While created to be consumed young, this is a serious wine with tremendous aging potential.
The brand's new label, a bold black and white design, reflects the wine's maturity, definition and class. With this 17th vintage of Napanook, the new label conveys a sense of rigor, and much like the wine, aims to be playfully earnest in its design.
For more information about Napanook, visit www.dominusestate.com.
Dominus Estate has been producing world-class Bordeaux-style wines since 1983.
E. & J. Gallo Winery has agreed to purchase sparkling wine producer J Vineyards & Winery. Founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan, J Vineyards & Winery is located in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley and produces a wide range of prized sparkling wines, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
According to Roger Nabedian, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Gallo's Premium Wine Division, "We are very excited to add the J Vineyards & Winery brands to our premium portfolio of wines. The brand's contemporary elegance has a unique position in the marketplace." He added, "J Vineyards & Winery is well known for their award-winning sparkling wines, and we look forward to carrying on the winery's reputation of making elegant, luxurious wines."
The acquisition, which includes the Healdsburg winery and more than 300 acres spread over nine vineyards within the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley AVAs, expands Gallo's presence and properties in California's prestigious North Coast wine country. Gallo already owns nine wineries strategically located in wine regions throughout California and Washington.
"Over the last 30 years, I have created and built J Vineyards & Winery from a small sparkling wine house to an iconic luxury brand producing not only sparkling wines but also award-winning Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris," said founder Judy Jordan. "I am proud to announce today that I have found the perfect fit to take this beautiful company to even greater heights. E. & J. Gallo is also privately owned and shares similar core values as both companies are dedicated to a balance of quality, community, and financial sustainability. I look forward to my new chapter of building a mentorship platform as I honor and salute the outstanding new stewards of J Vineyards & Winery."
Demeter Group, a San Francisco-based investment bank for beverage alcohol companies, acted as J Vineyards & Winery's exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hornitos® Tequila introduces Hornitos Spiced Honey, which features 100 percent blue agave Hornitos Plata Tequila infused with natural honey flavor and a special spice blend.
Hornitos Spiced Honey serves up a clean tequila flavor with a touch of floral honey, rich vanilla and a lingering spice finish. The warm, spicy and caramel notes of honey paired with a unique spice blend provide the perfect balance to the citrusy, peppery and earthy notes found in tequila.
"The unique sweet and heat flavor combination sets Hornitos Spiced Honey apart and makes Hornitos Tequila the first major player to debut a honey tequila product," said Gary Ross, Senior Brand Director of Tequila at Beam Suntory. "The special spice and honey blend is sure to appeal to tequila fans and those seeking an introduction to the spirit."
Hornitos Spiced Honey is 70 proof and is currently available in 750ml and 1L, with a suggested retail price of $19.99 per 750ml bottle.
The newest addition to the Hornitos Tequila family has an exceptionally smooth and rich flavor, allowing fans to enjoy it neat, on the rocks, as a shot or in a cocktail.
The Balvenie, the world's most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, and chef, author and raconteur Anthony Bourdain are proud to announce a multifaceted collaboration that will bring attention to some of America's finest craftspeople. The partnership will be three-fold and will see Bourdain take a leading role in:
"For me, there is deep satisfaction in seeing people, with a particular skill set and a real passion, produce a beautiful thing which is why I'm excited to be a part of these programs in partnership with The Balvenie," said Bourdain. "There is no doubt for me, that if you can have it, you want the stuff where people have taken their time, paid attention to and personally care about how it was created. It is very important to me that these kinds of crafts continue into the future and we value artisans who make the decision to choose quality over quantity."
The Balvenie's alliance with craft is a result of the brand's dedication to continuing the tradition of using the five rare crafts of whisky making to create The Balvenie's distinctive taste and exceptional quality. It is the only distillery that still grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional malting floor, employs coopers to tend every cask, a coppersmith to maintain the stills and a malt master to ensure the resulting spirit is consistently excellent.
"Our commitment to celebrating these incredible craftspeople is a journey we've been on for many years and it all stems from the fact that our approach to crafting our whisky has changed very little in over a century," said Andrew Weir, Senior Brand Manager, The Balvenie. "Collaborating with Anthony Bourdain—who we were delighted to learn has long been an admirer of our product—is a very exciting next step on this journey. Anthony's personal passion for craft and craftspeople will certainly raise a new level of awareness for the craft movement."
Beginning February 2015 through May 2016, Bourdain and The Balvenie will work together on the following projects:
Bourdain will serve as the host for "Raw Craft," which will give viewers an inspiring behind the scenes look inside the workshops of some of the most talented, creative and hardworking craftspeople in America. In The Balvenie spirit, Bourdain will uncover the true meaning of craftsmanship. Each film will showcase artisans guiding him through the process while providing unique insight into the dedication and sacrifice required to produce everyday items by hand. The trailer for the online series of short films can be found here –www.RawCraft.us – along with the first film in the series, which highlights Borough Furnace, a metal casting workshop in Syracuse, New York, producing made-to-order cast iron skillets in a unique and sustainable manner.
American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship Awards in association with The Balvenie
Bourdain will serve as the lead juror for this highly coveted award in both 2015 and 2016. Presented annually for contributions to the maintenance and revival of traditional or rare crafts in America, the Fellows will receive an exclusive trip to Scotland and a $10,000 endowment to go towards materials to continue their crafts. The four additional finalists will receive a $5,000 endowment. This year the announcement will take place in New York City on March 10th, 2015.
The Balvenie 2015 Rare Craft Collection
In its third year, The Balvenie 2015 Rare Craft Collection will continue as a traveling exhibition featuring original works from some of America's finest craftspeople. As curator for the collection, Bourdain will be an integral part of selecting a first-class group of artisans dedicated to making handcrafted goods. Live demonstrations, tutorials and Scotch whisky tastings with The Balvenie will all be featured during this multi-city tour beginning fall 2015.
Diageo will once again feature top luxury brands including Sterling Vineyards® wines, Johnnie Walker®, Haig Club™ Mortlach™ and Talisker™ Scotch whiskies, and Ketel One® vodka at this year's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Ball. The Governors Ball is the official party following the 87thOscars® that will take place on Sunday, February 22, 2015. This marks Sterling Vineyards' 9th appearance at the iconic event and, for the second consecutive year, Sterling will be joined at the bar by a selection of Diageo's world class spirits showcased in specialty cocktails. The evening's pre-show reception will also feature wines from Sterling Vineyards and a selection of Diageo spirits for guests to enjoy responsibly.
"We are thrilled that our Sterling wines and a portfolio of luxury spirits will again be served at the world's most spectacular party," said Peter McDonough, Chief Marketing Officer for Diageo. "This is a tremendous honor and affords us the opportunity to pour our finest offerings as we celebrate the best and brightest in film."
One of the most iconic and celebrated wineries in Napa Valley, Sterling Vineyards' winemakers have created two custom made wines to be exclusively poured for the evening, 2013 Sterling Vineyards Limited Edition Gold Standard Reserve White and 2012 Sterling Vineyards Limited Edition Red Carpet Reserve Red. Less than two hundred cases of each vintage are produced each year specifically for this prestigious event and each bottle bears the winemakers' signatures along with custom designed labels. The wines were specifically blended to pair with the extraordinary menu created by Master Chef Wolfgang Puck, who will once again create the 50+ selections of hors d'oeuvres, small plate entrees and desserts for the Academy's 1,500 guests.
As arriving guests step off the red carpet into the Dolby Theatre®, they will be greeted with their choice of Sterling Vineyards custom wines or the "Scot's Pear" signature cocktail featuring Johnnie Walker Platinum Label - a new blend crafted for exclusive occasions. Following the Awards telecast, partygoers at the Governors Ball will enjoy a collection of Sterling Vineyards wine, toast with the "Winter Oasis" seasonal cocktail featuring Ketel One and discover a range of deluxe whiskies at the Ultimate Luxury Whisky Bar including newly released single malts Mortlach Rare Old and Talisker Storm, as well as Haig Club – a single grain whisky launched in partnership with global icon David Beckham and British entrepreneur Simon Fuller. The rise of single grain whisky has been both predicted and eagerly anticipated by whisky experts in recent years and with Haig Club™ Diageo is giving this 'hidden gem' the attention and appreciation it deserves.
Not to be outshined, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve presents the "Gold and Soda" bar. A take on the classic scotch and soda, the flavors of Gold Label Reserve pop over ice and brighten when served as a tall drink. Guests will have their choice of handcrafted sodas infused with fruits, spices and herbs.
The HALL Cabernet Cookoff will return for a sixth year on April 25 featuring an all-star line-up of both Napa Valley and San Francisco-based chef teams. Bringing together foodies and wine for a culinary pairing challenge, chef teams will compete before a panel of all-star judges including Ken Frank, Virginie Boone, Ian White and Lars Kronmark, for a local charity of their choice by creating small bites paired with HALL 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. All proceeds from ticket sales and 100 percent of donations made online and from sponsors will go directly to charities.
During the event, guests will be invited to taste farm-to-table dishes from each chef team paired with HALL wine and then vote on their favorite for the People’s Choice Award. “The Cabernet Cookoff is a fun way to experience great Napa Valley cuisine and wonderful wines while helping our community,” says vintner, Kathryn Walt Hall. “Everyone involved with this event including our generous sponsors, talented chef teams, enthusiastic non-profit organizations and the entire HALL and WALT staff all donate their time to create a spectacular day. Every year, everyone at the Cabernet Cookoff comes out a winner.”
The 2014 HALL Cabernet Cookoff drew more than 600 food and wine lovers for a sold out crowd and raised $66,000 for local charities. Last year’s winning chef teams included One Market Restaurant and Paula Le Duc Catering who took top honors for their selected charities, Napa Hospice & Adult Day Service and St. Helena Hospital Foundation.
Tickets: Early Bird $70.00 (until April 1)
General Admission Ticket $80.00 (after April 1 and at the door)
VIP Sky Loft $125 (private access to the Bergfeld Loft, VIP service of limited production HALL Bergfeld wine, specially catered food pairings, and knowing you are helping the community even more!)
To purchase tickets, visit http://www.hallwines.com/cabernetcookoff-tickets. Guests can also follow the chatter via social channels using @hallwines #cabcookoff.
Southern Living magazine is shining a proud spotlight on “50 People Who Are Changing the South in 2015.” Brothers Andy and Charlie Nelson of the new Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee have been selected for putting their barrels in the mix, making fine whiskey in the tradition of their great-great-great grandfather, Charles Nelson, one of the nation's most prominent pre-Prohibition whiskey producers. Their history, says Southern Living, is what makes the Nelson boys stand out among the wave of artisan distillers now plying their craft across the country.
Southern Living notes that the first batches of Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey are "fresh off the copper pot still," and while it's coming of age in their charred oak barrels, the magazine urges those to visit the operation in downtown Nashville. There, they can sample un-aged product in the Tasting Room, and see the works first-hand, on a colorful tour led by an heir of old Charles Nelson.
Meanwhile, the current day Charles Nelson, who goes by "Charlie," was just featured in the February 2015 issue of Maxim magazine in a story called "Be Your Own Bootlegger." He is billed as "The Distiller" (along side "The Winemaker" Carlo Mondav, grandson of Robert Mondavi, and "The Brewer" Jim Koch the creator of Samuel Adams) and relates the story of how he and his brother Andy came to pursue their family legacy, with a passion.
Bacon & Barrels is back for a third year in the Santa Ynez Valley, California with a new location for the annual event. Named “Top Bacon Festival in the US” by A Luxury Blog, and “Top 5 California Festival” by The Huffington Post, the three-day event has been moved to Buttonwood Farm in Solvang, California. 2015 Attendees will enjoy more event space, while getting to know the working farm that supplies produce for many of the famed Santa Ynez Valley restaurants.
Tickets go on sale February 1 at 9 a.m., and the event is predicted to sell-out quickly as it has since its inaugural year.
Bacon & Barrels at Buttonwood Farm is the definitive outdoor festival for the bacon obsessed foodies and those who prefer their drinks from a barrel. Bacon & Barrels was started in 2013 in Los Olivos, Santa Barbara’s wine country, and attracts a sellout crowd as soon as tickets go on sale. Produced by Create Promotions, the three-day event takes place in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country at the gorgeous Buttonwood Farm and throughout the Santa Ynez Valley highlighting the destination’s top chefs, mixologists, and small production wines, beers, and distilled spirits.
Buttonwood Farm is the new Bacon & Barrels location for 2015 and 2016, and is a working organic farm located between the beloved towns of Solvang and Los Olivos, California. With organizers Create Promotions seeking to relocate the event every two years to capture the multi-faceted activities and locations of the Santa Ynez Valley, Buttonwood Farm was chosen for its “Farm to Festival” feel. Attendees will savor creative bacon dishes, and libations surrounded by the farm’s bounty of olives, pomegranates, peaches, herbs, and summer vegetables.
Always a sell-out, Bacon & Barrels kicks off with a Midsummer Night’s Bacon Dream Dinner at Buttonwood Farm on July 17. Attendees are treated to a four-course all-pork dinner paired with Buttonwood Farm Wines. This year, attendees will dine inside the Farm’s Barrel Room where the award -winning wines are created.
The Grand Tasting at Buttonwood Farm will take place July 18 and will feature chef and mixologist demonstrations as well as access to tastings featuring leading winemakers, small production distilleries, craft breweries, artisan food purveyors and the sounds of Moonshiner Collective. The much-anticipated Jefe de Porko Award, is back this year with first ever live judging by celebrity judges. 2014 Jefe de Porko Winners include Sides Hardware & Shoes for Top Chef, and Root 246 for Top Mixologist.
Tickets to the main event, which include all tastings, stage demonstrations, and entertainment cost $60 for general admission. Additional tickets include; $80 for early admission, and $325 for VIP passes that include the entire weekend’s activities. Purchase tickets or get more information at http://www.baconandbarrels.com/tickets.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) released the 2013-14 Retail Year in Review, a detailed analysis of wine and spirits sales at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in Pennsylvania.
According to the report, Allegheny County had more than $271 million in wine and spirits sales – about 13.7 percent of statewide dollar sales and an increase of more than $11 million from the 2012-13 retail year.
The rest of the top five counties in Pennsylvania in RY13-14 were Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks and Chester counties. Combined, they accounted for almost half of all dollar sales at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in Pennsylvania.
All 67 Pennsylvania counties are ranked based on aggregate dollar sales at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in that county. Juniata, Snyder and Potter counties had the largest year-over-year percentage change based on dollar sales.
"The Retail Year in Review is one of the most interesting publications we produce because it shows what consumers are buying and where they're buying it," said PLCB Chairman Joseph E. Brion. "By tracking consumer tastes across Pennsylvania and beverage alcohol industry trends, the PLCB can continue to provide the best products at competitive prices in all 600-plus Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores."
The Retail Year in Review shows that Pennsylvania consumers bought slightly more spirits products than wine products, 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent.
The top-selling product categories in RY13-14 were vodka, bourbon, flavored vodka, spiced rum and U.S. Chardonnay. While the number-one selling product in terms of dollar sales was Jack Daniel's Black Label Whiskey, the product with the most growth was Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. Sales of its 750mL bottles grew by 231 percent, and sales of its 1.75L bottles increased by 1,711 percent, however the 1.75L was not available for all of RY2012-13.