Tag Archives: Napa Valley

Columnist offers quick tutorial on Champagnes and Sparkling Wines

  By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor When I think about Champagne or Sparkling wines, memories of happy times resurface — weddings, anniversaries, milestone birthdays, or business deals that worked out well. We think this way because Champagne and Sparkling wines have long been associated with nobility, wealth and festive occasions. Although, with the rise of the Middle Class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Champagne producers targeted this group for advertising campaigns in the hope of increasing sales. It worked as the Middle Class had aspirations t…

No looking back after the 1979 ‘ French Wine Olympiads ’ put Oregon’s vineyards on the map

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor Oregon is one of my favorite states to visit, and I especially enjoy Portland. I was fortunate enough to go there on business many times and actually had time to vacation once or twice. I am now taking you to the Willamette American Viticultural Area. Located West and South of Portland on the ‘wet or western side of the Cascade Mountains,’ this AVA is so large that it will require more than one column. The Willamette AVA has a climate that is fairly mild over most of the year with cool, wet winters and warm dry summers. The moderating influence of the ocea…

Oregon is Pinot Noir country, but it’s one tough grape to grow

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor As I have written about Napa Valley and other wine regions, I thought I would turn my attention to one of the other of the great wine growing regions in the United States — Oregon. As there are a number of AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas) located in Oregon, I thought I would address the largest – Willamette Valley, stretches for a hundred miles from Portland down to Eugene. And, there are a number of sub-AVA’s located within the primary. For those of you who didn’t read an earlier column on AVA’s, once the geogra…

‘ Negotiants ’ bring great wines to market at affordable prices

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor Having written about affordable wine in my last column, I am now returning to the subject of negotiants — an adjunct to ‘second label’ wines. Almost everyone is familiar with the name “Two Buck Chuck,” but for wines that are sourced from some of California’s greatest growers and presented to the consumer at a fraction of the cost of the premier wines, the name Cameron Hughes is well known. His success has led him to start buying wine on the international market. Although the cost of these wines is much less than the original vin…

‘ Second label ’ wines benefit both consumers, producers

  By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor Let’s explore ‘second labels’ in the wine industry, a practice that began with the French, who were first to classify the various Chateau’s in 1855. The wines were organized into First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth growths. The first growth wines have commanded the best prices for the last 150 years or so with an extreme emphasis on quality and production. The term ‘Second Wine’ or second label started in Bordeaux to identify a wine not intended to be the flagship or Grand Vin of a particular Chateau. Depending on the style of the…

Disease, Prohibition almost destroyed this grape growing region

  By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor Let’s examine yet another American Viticultural Area — the Carneros AVA, which means ‘ram’ in Spanish Historical records from the area indicate that the first vineyard was planted in the late 1830s This was the Northernmost area claimed by Mexico . A number of wineries were started and growing grapes became an important economic force as opposed to raising sheep. Unfortunately, the area did not survive the one-two punch of Phylloxera (the vine destroying disease) and Prohibition (the market destroyer). These incidents cove…

Wine expert hopes to visit world’s oldest restaurant. Will he return with a wine list?

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor As many of you might have noticed, my last article was shortened due to the need to provide coverage on Hurricane Irene. So here is the continuation of that article plus a bit more. As space is always at a premium, this article will carry over to the next one. I will catch up soon. The other winery I wish to write about in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area is Beaulieu Vineyards. In a wine shop, it is easily recognizable by the BV in red on the label. Around 1900, Georges and Fernandez de Latour visited Rutherford and Fernandez said “beau lieu…

Flood washes off labels, but columnist can still spot a great 1980 Zinfandel Port

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor In my last column, I got a little too enthusiastic regarding the Rutherford ‘American Vitacultural Area’ and didn’t cover some of the other wineries there. One of the most outstanding is Cakebread Wineries, founded in 1972 by Jack Cakebread. The first release occurred in 1975, consisting of 157 cases of Chardonnay. To this day, their Chardonnay is amazing — I have been drinking it on and off for 20-plus years. The unfortunate fact is that not only does this wine retail for around $43 per bottle but it is also difficult to find. This rel…

Columnist hankers for pricey Cabernet Sauvignon produced by movie director’s vineyard

By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor Well, I am home but still exploring Napa Valley and finding some wineries that I have not an opportunity to visit or to sample their wines. The area is so dynamic, that unless you go once every couple of years or attend wine tastings dedicated to Napa or almost any other active wine producing region, it is very easy to lose track of winery closings, startups and new offerings. North Carolina is a perfect example of this trend. Seventeen years ago in one of my wine reference books, there is mention of North Carolina on one page. When I went to that page there was…

Napa Valley winery uses caves to age its red wines at a year round 59 degrees

  By Justin Manjorin | Wine & Food Editor In my last article, I wrote about NAPA Valley’s Howell Mountain ‘American Viticultural Area,’ often cited as an AVA. In this article, I will write about the Spring Mountain AVA, which is very similar in climate to Howell Mountain. Pride Mountain winery The picture to the right is Pride Mountain winery one of the two wineries that I will cover in this article. The other picture is of the Robert Keenan Winery. The other picture is of the Robert Keenan Winery. There is no particular order to the AVA’s. Often, they might have within their…
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