Posts Tagged“california”

What We Drank (December 10, 2013 Edition)

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Here’s a sampling of what our contributors have been drinking… Lenn Thompson,  Executive Editor: Rocky Point Artisan Brewers Harvest Pilsner Our daughter’s birthday December 5. Our son’s is January 31. Sandwich the holidays in between the two and all of the school and social chaos that ensues — and you get non-stop activity from Thanksgiving until the Super Bowl. It’s important to my wife and I that we give each event its due — no lumping either birthday into the holidays in any way. Part of our strategy is to make sure we create and maintain traditions along the way. This…

Vote for Red: Brooklyn Winery Places Its First Red Wines on the Ballot

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Last night marked a historic moment in the short history of Brooklyn Winery. Framed by a timely election-themed backdrop, the first red wine grapes that entered the facility — still a construction site in 2010 — made their public debut as finished wines. The new portfolio of wines were unveiled as part of an exclusive sneak peek for “friends of the winery” — investors, neighbors and the like. The wines, like politicians, weren’t shy. Winemaker Conor McCormack deemed them “big reds,” and they lived up to their billings. The “candidates” were each introduced by pre-recorded stump speeches — humorous videos that extolled the platforms and…

Beyond New York: Exploring Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

"Man, these California wines suck!" Last fall at the 2008 Wine Bloggers Conference, that quote could be attributed to me regularly. It was something I said out loud, in an exaggerated manner — mostly to make my fellow wine bloggers laugh. And it worked. Lots of laughs, eye rolls and comments about thin, underripe reds from New York. I mean, they know me as the New York wine guy, so why not play that up by putting down those overripe, overoaked high-alcohol cocktail wines from California? Oops, I did it again. All jokes aside, not all California wines suck. They…

C. Donatiello Winery: When New Yorkers Invade Healdsburg

What do you get when you take an experienced wine executive from New York City and drop him into the Russian River Valley with two winemakers who also hail from New York? Apparently you get some delicious and surprisingly elegant chardonnays and pinot noirs that are undoubtedly California, but not what you might expect. Chris Donatiello was that marketing and sales executive for the Charmer Sunbelt group before teaming up with venture capitalist Bill Hambrecht. Together they purchased Belvedere Winery in Healdsburg, CA — a winery that had been making 125,000 cases a year and converted it into C. Donatiello…

Humanitas Wines: Good Wine. Good Price. Even Better Cause.

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News Flash: I’ve found some California wines I can enjoy, afford for every day drinking, and feel good about. Humanitas Wines, founded in 2001 by Judd Wallenbrock, is a California winery unlike any you’ve heard of before. Seriously. Many wineries are involved in philanthropic endeavors. They host fundraising events or give a portion of wine sales proceeds to various causes, but Wallenbrock takes that to a whole other level. All of his profits go to charity. Every cent. Specifically, the profits are donated to address three primary issues – hunger, affordable housing, and illiteracy. A two decade veteran of the…

Mail Order Grapes in the Finger Lakes

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By Finger Lakes Correspondent Jason Feulner This past spring, the comments of some LENNDEVOURS readers concerning the origin of grapes for Dr. Frank’s second label, Salmon Run, elicited a response from Fred Frank, president of the winery. His explanation as to the origin of these grapes for the value-priced Salmon Run line reveals the market pressures that are brought to bear on Finger Lakes wineries. Bad winters can kill some species of vines, creating legitimate regional shortages. Dr. Frank’s and other quality wineries did face some supply problems over the last several vintages. Luckily, the relative mildness of recent winters…

Take THAT California?

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"Yes, California does produce some good merlot, though I could make a case that better merlot is coming from Long Island than from California, albeit in very small amounts." So says New York Times wine writer and wine blogger Eric Asimov in this week’s column "Panned on Screen, Merlot Shrugs and Moves On" Of course, the rest of the column goes on to sing the praises of Washington State as America’s best source for merlot. I’m not as familiar with Washington merlots as I am Long Island ones (obviously) so I’m not going to comment on that. But, that doesn’t…