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Three Ways to Celebrate California Wine Month in September

agosto 31, 2022

Enjoy Immersive Harvest Experiences and Festivals, Pair Iconic California Recipes and Fresh Produce with California Wines and Support Local Wineries

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO — September is California Wine Month, a time to celebrate the annual harvest season and raise a glass to the state’s vibrant wine community. As California vintners and growers harvest more than 110 different grape varieties for the 2022 vintage, wine lovers around the country can join the month-long festivities. These range from immersive harvest experiences to special wine tastings to wine festivals, along with exciting ways to celebrate California Wine Month at home.

“California is the top U.S. wine producer, driven mostly by multi-generational family businesses,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. “California Wine Month celebrates the hard work of hundreds of thousands of employees in our wine community, the tremendous pace of innovation and the exceptional wines coming out of the state.”

California’s wine industry has played a vital role in the state’s culture and economy for more than 250 years. California makes up 81% of wine production in the United States and 95% of exports. Within the state’s 147 distinct winegrowing regions are 621,000 acres of vineyards, 4,800 bonded wineries and nearly 6,000 winegrowers.

“California’s diverse and expansive wine country is one of its top tourism draws,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “From high-end pairings and legendary wineries to sustainable vineyards and neighborly barn tastings, there’s an experience — and a wine — for everyone to enjoy.”

California is also a leader in sustainability, with the state’s winegrowers and vintners making significant investments of time and dollars in innovation and new processes to preserve the land and environment for future generations. More than 2,400 vineyards have earned certification under the California Sustainable Winegrowing program, and more than 80% of California wine is produced in a Certified California Sustainable Winery.

Ways to Celebrate California Wine Month

1. Participate in Events and Experiences at California Wineries

More than 24 million people from around the globe visit the state’s winegrowing regions every year, and California Wine Month is one of the most exciting times to do it. And for those in California, wine country is just a short trip away. Join wineries across the state for more than 40 harvest-themed events, activities and experiences — and more will continue to be added throughout September. These include behind-the-scenes vineyard and crush pad tours, grape-stomping competitions, wine and food festivals, hands-on harvest experiences, charity wine auctions and more. For the latest details on offerings, visit the Discover California Wines website.

2. Pair Iconic California Recipes with California Wine

It’s no coincidence that California wine pairs perfectly with the state’s farm-fresh produce and trend-setting cuisine. To help consumers experience this delicious culinary connection at home, Discover California Wines has partnered with California Grown and Visit California to create the free «Iconic California Dishes to Celebrate California Wine Month» e-book, which you can sign up to receive here.  The book features recipes for dishes that evoke the state’s sunny and relaxed vibe — all paired with California wine and creative, wine-based cocktails. Bring harvest home with recipes including Avocado Salad with Hidden Valley Ranch-Style Dressing, Wine Country Chicken Salad and the California 75, a classic wine-based lemon cocktail with a literal and figurative twist.

“We say what grows together goes together,” said Cher Watte Angulo, executive director of California Grown. “Since California provides over 50% of the nation’s produce and over 80% of the wine, it makes sense that people celebrate with both a sip and a bite of the Golden State.”

3. Discover and Enjoy California Wine

Whether visiting wineries in person or online, there’s no better time than California Wine Month to pick up a few bottles of wine to share with friends and family. It’s also easy to find a great selection of California wine at your local grocery store or wine shop.

California Wine Month Partners

Ask about special activities and offers from California Wine Month restaurant, retail, association and organization partners. They include: Albertsons, California Grown, California Restaurant Foundation, The Calistoga Depot, The CIA at Copia, Epic Steak, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, Ironwood Laguna Hills, Oakville Grocery, Olea Newport Beach, Pavillions, Safeway, Sapphire Laguna Beach, Vine Restaurant & Bar San Clemente, Visit California and Vons.

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Editors note: DOWNLOAD IMAGES HERE (including content slide for broadcast)

California Wine Fact Sheet HERE

Media Contact
Gino DiCaro, Wine Institute

About Wine Institute  

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. To learn more about California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

California Wineries Offer Outdoor Activities for the Body, Mind and Palate

agosto 3, 2022

During National Wellness Month Enjoy Yoga Classes, Hikes and Horseback Riding Among the Vines

photo credit: Castoro Cellars

 

SAN FRANCISCO — California wineries are famous for offering world-class wine tasting experiences in relaxed, beautiful settings. What some may not realize is that many across the state also host a variety of invigorating outdoor activities that provide a way to experience a vineyard or its surroundings. From yoga classes to vineyard hikes to horseback rides to wellness days, these experiences are designed to please body, mind and palate. It’s all part of the active, balanced lifestyle that California is known for around the world, and since August is National Wellness Month, it’s the perfect time to take advantage.

Following are just some of the activities regularly offered at wineries throughout the state. Discover California Wines, along with the host wineries’ websites, provide details on upcoming dates as well as additional information.

 

YOGA 

Restora­tive, Yin Yoga Class in the Vineyard – Castoro Cellars, Templeton

One hour restora­tive, yin yoga class lead by Lau­ren Udsen accom­pa­nied with ther­a­peu­tic adjust­ments assist­ed by body work­er, Jen­nifer Lovas as well as Sound Heal­ing bliss from Jaime Dubin of Har­mon­ic Holistics.

Yoga in the Vineyard – Concannon Vineyard, Livermore

Join Concannon Vineyard and The Well Studio for guided flow yoga sessions on the lawn.

Yoga and Wellness Days – Bricoleur Vineyards, Windsor

Yin Yoga sessions are held on Sunday mornings with Vinita Larioa. Guests can also explore practices such as sound healing, drum circle and kirtan on periodic Wellness Days.

Wine + yoga = WOGA! – Boeger Winery, Placerville

Enjoy yoga sessions throughout the year in the winery’s scenic orchard.

 

VINEYARD HIKES, WALKS AND HORESEBACK RIDES 

Sunset Hiking in the Vineyards – Murrieta’s Well, Livermore

Experience a picturesque hike during golden hour in the rolling hills of the winery’s estate.

Hiking – Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg

Daily vineyard hikes offer an insider’s view of the vineyards.

Horseback Trail Rides – Garrod Farms, Saratoga

The winery stables offer daily, one-hour guided trail rides on horseback.

Hiking and Horseback Riding – Bartholomew Estate, Sonoma

Explore miles of trails within Bartholomew Park daily, weaving through mature oaks, madrones, redwoods and vineyards. The winery also offers horseback trail rides.

Hike Down to the River – Heritage Oak Winery, Acampo

The winery’s hiking trail to the river is open to tasting room guests every day during business hours.

Vineyard Walks – Joseph Phelps Vineyards, St. Helena

On select weekends through October, the winery invites guests to join a one-mile vineyard walk.

 

CYCLING TOURS 

Many vendors offer bicycle rentals and scenic cycling tours along the back roads of California wine country.

For bicycle tours in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, check out Ace It Bike Tours, Getaway Adventures, Napa Valley Bike ToursWine Country Bikes and Adventures in CyclingDuVine offers cycling adventures in Napa, Sonoma and the Central Coast. Central Coast Outdoors covers Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, while Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling pedals its way around Santa Barbara County wine country.

 

About Wine Institute  

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. To learn more about California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

 

Media Contact

Gino DiCaro, Wine Institute

916-730-3443

gdicaro@nullwineinstitute.org

General: communications@nullwineinstitute.org

 

California Wine Country and National, State Parks Make Perfect Summer Pairing

mayo 23, 2022

Like the Iconic California Lifestyle, the Ideal Vacation Balances Active Adventures and Relaxing Wine Experiences 

 

SAN FRANCISCO — As Memorial Day kicks off summer travel season, California wine lovers don’t have to choose between visiting the Golden State’s majestic parks and touring its diverse wine regions. That’s because many of California’s national and state parks are located within or near some of the world’s most famous winegrowing areas. What could be better after a morning hike in the woods than a relaxing afternoon among the vineyards with a delicious glass of California wine?

To help with summer travel planning, Wine Institute has curated pairings of California wine regions with nearby national and state parks. With 143 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) across the state, travelers won’t have to go out of their way to find incredible wine tasting opportunities close to their park-touring adventures. Along with inviting visitors to recharge while sipping the latest vintages, many wineries offer activities like vineyard hikes and cycling. In California wine country, it’s all about a balanced lifestyle.

To find California wineries near a park destination, and get information on summer events at wineries, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWine.com.

Travelers can get information about visiting California’s parks, including current COVID-19 guidelines, at the National Park Service and California Department of Parks and Recreation websites. Some of the most popular parks require visitors to book ahead for day passes and/or camping during the busy summer season. Multi-day events such as the inaugural California State Parks Week June 14 to 18 offers a variety of events from which to choose.

 

NORTH COAST

Sonoma County & Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Ancient Coast Redwoods — the world’s tallest trees — are the main attraction at this 800-acre park and natural preserve. Located just a few miles north of the town of Guerneville, Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve lies within the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County. After hiking and picnicking among the preserve’s towering trees, take time to explore the local wineries. Home to more than 90 producers, the region is famous for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The charmingly rustic town of Guerneville, with its riverfront cabins and lodges, is the perfect place to spend the night and enjoy river activities like canoeing and swimming. On June 25, the Taste of Sonoma is a showcase for Sonoma County wine and food.

Napa Valley/Lake County & Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

This 5,000-acre park offers stunning views of Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties from the summit of Mount St. Helena, California wine country’s highest peak. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park’s location near Calistoga, at the northern end of the Napa Valley, also provides the perfect opportunity to visit the region’s wineries — world-renowned for their impressive and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The town of Calistoga, with its famous mud baths, boutique hotels and restaurants, is an ideal home base for a visit to the park and local wineries. On July 26, Napa Valley hosts Taste of Napa, a celebration of the region’s wine, food and music. On Sept. 17, travelers can taste and bid on Lake County wines at the Lake County Wine Auction.

 

SIERRA FOOTHILLS/CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Sierra Foothills & Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Gold Country presents a host of natural wonders, from groves of giant sequoias to ancient volcanic formations to the Stanislaus River. The park is just north of Arnold, in the scenic Calaveras County wine region — a haven for Spanish, Italian and French varieties. Also within the larger Sierra Foothills AVA are Zinfandel specialists Amador County and El Dorado County, which produce everything from Bordeaux varieties to wines made from Rhône, German, Italian and Spanish grape varieties. Camping is popular at Big Trees, so summer reservations book up quickly. Not to worry, though; the park is less than an hour from the old mining town of Murphys, which features hotels, inns, restaurants and more than 25 winery tasting rooms along Main Street.

Madera Wine Country & Yosemite National Park

Rock-climbing Mecca Yosemite National Park is world renowned for its soaring granite walls and cascading waterfalls. Just south of the park is Madera County, one of California’s oldest appellations. The region is known for its dessert wines and port-style wines, and there is plenty to sample along the Madera Wine Trail. Summer camping reservations at Yosemite are quickly selling out and visitors should also book ahead for day passes, but there are a variety of alternative accommodations in nearby Mariposa, from bed and breakfasts to campgrounds to cabin rentals.

 

CENTRAL COAST 

Monterey Wine Country & Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park in Soledad wows thousands of visitors each year with its unique volcanic landscape of monoliths, canyons, oak woodlands and towering rock spires frequented by golden eagles and California condors. Within an hour’s drive is the Cienega Valley Loop in San Benito County, as well as the River Road Wine Trail, which winds its way through the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA in Monterey County, celebrated for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Because summer temperatures at Pinnacles tend to run high — ideal for early morning hikes — the park is most popular during the cooler months. That means reservations for the Pinnacles campground are fairly easy to find for summer visits. There are also lots of lodging and tasting room options in Monterey wine country, in the quaint, storybook town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Ventura/Santa Barbara Wine Country & Channel Islands National Park

The Channel Islands chain is known as “North America’s Galapagos” due to its natural beauty and wealth of rare plant and animal species. Boats to Channel Islands National Park depart from Ventura and Oxnard. From there, it’s an easy drive to the Ventura County Wine Trail, which features about a dozen wineries in a relaxed, coastal setting. In Santa Barbara wine country, the nearby Sta. Rita Hills AVA is known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Trail excel at Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. If short on time, many of these wineries offer tasting rooms in Santa Barbara’s urban Funk Zone. The National Park Service operates primitive-yet-stunning campgrounds on each of the five Channel Islands, but if that’s too much camping, book a stay in Ventura or Santa Barbara.

 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

San Diego Wine Country & Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is home to the country’s rarest pine tree, the Torrey pine, along with one of the last salt marshes and waterfowl refuges in Southern California. After exploring the reserve’s 1,500 acres of maritime chaparral and miles of beautiful beaches, pay a visit to the wineries of San Diego County. The region boasts more than 100 wineries, best known for Merlot and Chardonnay, and grows 60 different grape varieties. Torrey Pines is located within the San Diego city limits, so lodging, restaurant and other travel amenities abound.

 

 

EDITORS, DOWNLOAD IMAGES HERE

 

 

 

Media Contact

Gino DiCaro, Wine Institute

916-730-3443

gdicaro@nullwineinstitute.org

General: communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Celebrate California Wine’s Sustainability Leadership During “Down to Earth” Month in April

marzo 23, 2022

80% of the state’s wine is made in certified sustainable wineries; discover experiences, events and offers from grapes to glass at wineries throughout California

SAN FRANCICSO — April is California wine’s 11th annual  Down to Earth Month, a celebration of the wine community’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the land, regions and wine industry for future generations. State senators Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry introduced a state senate concurrent resolution (SCR 88) declaring the designation each April going forward.The California wine industry is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing:

  • 80% of California wine (255 million cases) is made in 178 certified sustainable wineries.
  • 55% of California’s vineyard acreage is certified sustainable.
    • 2,402 Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing vineyards farm 204,857 acres, or 33% of California winegrape acres.
    • Another 22% of California winegrape acres are certified to other sustainability programs — including Fish Friendly Farming, LODI RULES, Napa Green, and Sustainability in Practice (SIP Certified®) — with some vineyards certifying to more than one program.

While sustainable practices may include elements of organic, Biodynamic© and regenerative farming, sustainability is broad in scope, encompassing energy and water efficiency, employee relations, community engagement and more.

top reasons doc

“As the fourth largest wine-producing region, California has the most comprehensive and widely adopted sustainability programs in the world,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. “April is the perfect time to support our member wineries across California, whether by visiting to taste and learn in-person or virtually.”

All month long, wineries and regional associations across California will highlight their sustainable farming, winemaking and business practices through a variety of fun and engaging events and activities, from wine tastings to vineyard hikes to behind-the-scenes sustainability tours. Many California wineries host outdoor activities — including active and wellness-oriented offerings — that encourage visitors to explore their beautiful, sustainably farmed winery estates.

There’s an array of Down to Earth Month winery events and offers to enjoy; see some examples below and the full list at the Discover California Wines’ website.

North Coast  

April 1-30: Celebrate Earth Month Discount

Visitors who bring their used wine corks to the tasting room at BARRA of Mendocino in Redwood Valley will receive a free sunflower seed pack and a 10% discount on regular-priced wines.

Central Coast  

April 1-30: “Get Down to Earth with Us” Tasting

All month long at Austin Hope and Treana Tasting Cellar in Paso Robles, take a deep dive into how the estate’s soils impact what’s in the glass.

Sierra Foothills  

April 22-24: El Dorado Passport to the Great Out There

Your passport provides access to more than 25 participating wineries across El Dorado County, with many producers committed to sustainable growing and winemaking practices.

Southern California 

April 2-30: Ponte Vineyard Estate Tour

Board a 10-passenger electric bus and tour the 310-acre ranch at Ponte Family Estate Winery in Temecula. See how Ponte grows and makes its certified sustainable wines.

Inland Valleys  

April 2: Lodi Wine Festival

The Lodi Wine Festival features wine tasting from up to 40 wineries, many committed to sustainability and certified through LODI RULES, pouring over 200 varieties.

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

Media Contact:

Wine Institute Communications Department
communications@nullwineinstitute.org 

Three Ways to Celebrate the Holidays California Wine Country Style

noviembre 15, 2021

New Online Guide Inspires the Holiday Spirit with Festive Wine Country Events, Gift Offers and Recipes

SAN FRANCISCO — Nothing pairs better with the holidays than celebrating them California wine country style. Whether your plans include a trip to your favorite wine region or bringing the Golden State’s wine country cheer into your home, there are many ways to connect over wine and get in the holiday spirit.

California Wines’ new online guide, Celebrate the Holidays California Wine Country Style, shares three inspiring ways to help you embrace the spirit of the season, from wine events and special gift offers to festive recipes for seasonal dishes paired with California wine and wine cocktails.

Visit California Wine Country for Holiday Events
There’s always something special about visiting the place where your favorite California wines are grown and made, and the experience kicks up a notch when wineries are decked out in holiday splendor. From the North Coast down to Southern California, the Golden State’s easily accessible wineries are hosting special events, such as tree lighting ceremonies, wine festivals and elevated tastings and pairings, along with opportunities to stock up for holiday parties. To top off your holiday visit, be sure to experience all that California wine country’s acclaimed local restaurants have to offer.

Shop Local Winery Gifts and Special Offers 
Supply chain challenges make shopping local even more appealing this holiday season. Instead of giving a gift card, visit a favorite California winery where onsite shopping can yield fun and creative gifts including a curated and personalized holiday wine bundle, crafts from local artisans at holiday events and unique pairing sets like estate wines with fudge made by Trappist monks. You can also take advantage of special holiday offers, such as free shipping or discounted gift packs, offered by many California wineries.

Bring California Wine Country Home with Festive Recipes for Different Holiday Gatherings 
If you’re looking for creative ways to gather this holiday season with Golden State wine and fresh California grown ingredients, look no further. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve or Epiphany, every holiday deserves a festive and tasty dinner. Those hosting holiday gatherings will love the delicious, easy wine country seasonal recipes with suggested pairings that are sure to be a hit, such as Roasted Turkey with Wild Rice and Kale Stuffing, paired with a California Chardonnay or Zinfandel. A vegetarian side is Focaccia Bread Pudding with Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese, paired with a California Pinot or Chardonnay.

If you’re looking to elevate your game day, but you’re not exactly a whiz in the kitchen, try something different than burgers and nachos and assemble foolproof appetizers such as deviled eggs, which are always a holiday favorite and pairs brilliantly with a California rosé or sparkling wine. Or try another easy, satisfying dish, such as Fresh Mozzarella with Honey Bacon Vinaigrette on mixed greens with hazelnuts, which goes well with a California Pinot Noir or white blend.

Craft cocktails are a big trend for holiday gatherings and beyond, and both still and sparkling wines can be a part of that experience. Not only does wine provide a lighter alternative to spirits, but it also pairs exceptionally well with a variety of cocktail components. California wines are also particularly fitting for the state’s bounty of local, sustainably grown produce and fresh herbs. Check out our free California Wine Cocktails for the Holidays e-book, featuring recipes for deliciously creative seasonal drinks such as the California Gold Rush — a blend of California Chardonnay, fresh lemon juice and lemon-thyme honey — and the Cranberry Rosé, made with California dry rosé wine, cranberry juice and orange bitters.

Looking for More Ideas? 
For more ideas on holiday events, gifts, special offers and recipes, visit the free online guide at California Wines.

For additional holiday dishes to pair with California wines and wine-based cocktails, pick up a copy of Wine Country Table book featuring recipes inspired by the state’s sustainably grown food and wines. The book is available at many bookstores and through Amazon.

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

Media Contact:

Wine Institute Communications Department
communications@nullwineinstitute.org 

Vintners Across the State Report Outstanding Quality for 2021 California Harvest

noviembre 10, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO — Winemakers across California predict that the 2021 vintage will be one of the best in recent memory, while the Golden State’s winegrowers enjoyed a smooth harvest following a moderate and consistent growing season.   

Picking began early in many regions, including the North Coast — ranging from a week to several weeks ahead of average. Central Coast appellations experienced a cool year that prompted a later-than-average start.  

Grapes for sparkling wines are typically the first to be picked in California, but this year, some varieties for still white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, were the first to ripen. In addition, varieties that do not normally reach maturity at the same time ripened simultaneously, resulting in vineyard crews in some regions picking multiple varieties at once.   

The ongoing drought presented challenges for winegrowers, resulting in reduced yields, but vintners are reporting outstanding quality and great concentration in the fruit.   

California produces about 80% of the nation’s wine, making it the world’s fourth-largest wine producing region. More than 80% of California wine is made in a Certified Sustainable California Winery and over half of the state’s 637,000 vineyard acres are certified to one of California’s sustainability programs (Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming, LODI RULES, Napa Green and SIP-Certified). Along with preserving the land for future generations, many of the sustainable practices used by the state’s vintners help make the harvest and growing season run more smoothly and increase wine quality.  

Winemaker Comments on California’s Growing Season and Harvest  

“The weather was excellent this year, with mild temperatures at the end of the growing season,” said Ted Henry, director of winegrowing at Groth Vineyards in Oakville in Napa Valley. “We got a little more time to mature flavors before pulling the fruit off the vine.” Yields were on the lighter side due to smaller clusters and berries, but otherwise, the vintage was free from significant issues. “I think 2021 will be a top vintage in the Napa Valley,” Henry said. “Reds are very dark and extracted, with nice balance and freshness. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon stood out as exceptional, and whites were bright, fresh and full flavored.”  

Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg in Sonoma County began picking about a week earlier than normal, on Aug. 8. The season progressed without heat spikes or cold snaps. “What was crazy was the condensed ripening of all of the different varieties at once,” said Justin Seidenfeld, director of winemaking. “I had one day where I picked Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Merlot, Grenache Blanc and Zinfandel. That’s not a normal kind of day for us.” Yields were down about 14% overall, while Chardonnay and Pinot Noir came in around average. “The quality and the color of the wine, and the tannin development are some of the best I’ve ever seen,” Seidenfeld said. “Our Bordeaux reds are amazing. It’s going to be an off-the-charts vintage for sure.”  

Corey Beck, executive vice president of production and chief winemaker at Delicato Family Wines, also noted a decrease in yields. “We had to deal with drought conditions across Napa and Sonoma County, leading to lower cluster weights,” he said. “The good news is that we see a fantastic concentration of flavors and color in our reds. Our Lodi and Central Coast vineyards share a similar story as a result of the moderate summer and drought conditions — resulting in lighter grape structure.” Beck is particularly excited about Chardonnay, which is showing vibrant flavors, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. “Wines in the fermenters at all sites have very nice, mature flavors and good concentration,” he said. “Acids are a bit higher than typical, so the wines are very bright. The concentration and cleanness of the fruit are two pillars that make 2021 such a stand-alone harvest.”  

In Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards began picking earlier than normal, around the second week of August. Harvest in the winery’s Monterey County vineyards began about two weeks earlier than average due to cold temperatures throughout the season, while grapes from the winery’s Arroyo Seco vineyards weren’t ready until the last week of September. Growing conditions in Livermore Valley were ideal, with few heat spikes noted viticulture manager Niki Wente. Strong winds during flowering caused some shatter in the reds, but whites were not affected. Though yields were down about 15% for red varieties, quality increased as a result.  “There’s a lot of flavor concentration and really small berries,” Wente said, particularly for Cabernet Sauvignon and red Bordeaux varieties. This will also be a solid vintage for whites. “They’re going to be really beautiful and floral.”  

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines saw a good amount of pre-season rainfall for its Paso Robles vineyards this year. However, most of the precipitation arrived during a single storm event, causing runoff that prevented much of the water from penetrating the soil. “No matter how you irrigate, the vines love rainwater more than anything,” said director of winemaking Steve Peck. “Canopies and vines were a little bit smaller this year because of that lower rainfall total.”  

Even so, he added, yields came in around average, with fruit showing more structure and higher tannin levels than typical. “For people that really like that intense mouthfeel,” he said, “I think they’re going to be very pleased with 2021.”  

Hopland-based Fetzer Vineyards, which grows grapes all over California, began picking several weeks ahead of historical averages. Minimal rainfall and a warm summer led to lower fruit volumes and smaller berries. John Kane, Fetzer’s vice president of winemaking and winery operations, notes that impacts on the 2021 vintage began with unusually cold and dry post-harvest weather in 2020, putting the vines into protective mode. “As soon as the weather warmed in March, the vines did not hesitate to set buds,” he said, “but not as many as they would after a winter with normal rainfall. Early bud break was followed by a spring and early summer of high heat, which added more stress for the vines.”  

Low water availability coupled with a warm growing season meant growers had to be precise with irrigation and canopy management. Smaller berries and lower yields brought intense concentration to the wines, with notable vibrancy. “Monterey Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and bright,” Kane said, “and Cabernet Sauvignon from all over the state has great variety typicity without green characteristics.” Marty Spate, vice president of winemaking and winegrowing at O’Neill Vintners & Distillers in Parlier, Fresno County, said the season progressed without extreme heat events or impacts from wildfire smoke. Not only that, but fruit quality is excellent across the board, and especially for Petite Sirah. “We source grapes from up and down the state, and the most consistent item of note this year is how good the fruit looked and tasted,” he said. “We are seeing intense levels of fruit characteristics, fine quality of tannins and well-balanced chemistries and acidity. I can say with confidence that our 2021 vintage is shaping up to be one of the best in the past decade.”  

In Santa Barbara, winegrowers experienced a moderate growing season, with harvest timing in line with, or a bit behind, the historical average. “Weather during the ripening period was about as ideal as you could ask for in Santa Barbara County,” said Tyler Thomas, winemaker at Dierberg Vineyard in Lompoc. “We had cool mornings and ample fog, with little-to-no heat events.” Other than some canopy variability early in the season, the vintage proceeded as normal and yields came in at or just below historical averages. Wines are showing great depth of flavor at lower potential alcohol levels and higher acidity. “We are very excited about the ability to promote energy in wines with terrific depth and generosity,” says Thomas. “The Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir wines especially seem to display this quality.”  

View the full 2021 California Harvest Report, including regional reports from Amador County, El Dorado County, Lake County, Livermore Valley, Lodi, Mendocino County, Monterey County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, San Diego County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County and Temecula Valley.  

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

Media Contact:

communications@nullwineinstitute.org 

Call for Applications for the EIGHTH Annual California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards

noviembre 9, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— California vineyards and wineries are encouraged to apply for the 2022 California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards, with applications now being accepted atgreenmedal.org.     

Vineyards and wineries that participate in a sustainability program in California are eligible to apply in four award categories, recognizing outstanding achievement in sustainability:   

  • Leader Award, given to the vineyard or winery that demonstrates success and innovation in all of the below three areas of sustainable winegrowing and also inspires others.   
  • Environment Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstratesEnvironmental Stewardshipthrough maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.   
  • Community Award, given to the vineyard or winery that is aGood Neighbor andEmployerusing the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.   
  • Business Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstratesSmart Businessthrough efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.  

“The California Green Medal awards provide an annual opportunity to showcase vintners and winegrape growers who are deeply committed to environmentally and socially responsible practices,”said Allison Jordan, Executive Director. “We are excited to review the 2022 entries, which always provide practical and real-life examples of the California wine community’s leadership in sustainable winegrowing.”    

The 2021 California Green Medal recipients included:    

  • O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Leader Award  
  • Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, Environment Award 
  • Boisset Collection, Community Award  
  • Trinchero Family Estates, Business Award   

Applications are being accepted now through Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2022.

VISIT GREENMEDAL.ORG TO APPLY TODAY  

About the 2022 California Green Medal Awards  

Winners will receive a Green Medal and be recognized in widely distributed communications, as well as an awards ceremony in spring 2022.   

The eighth annual California Green Medal Awards are being judged by a panel of wine and sustainability experts including Karen Block, UC Davis Viticulture and Enology; Stephanie Bolton, Lodi Winegrape Commission; Anna Brittain, Napa Green; Lisa Francioni-Hai, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance; Natalie Wymer, Wine Institute; Sandra Taylor, Sustainable Business International LLC;Frances Knapczyk, Napa Resource Conservation District; Cyril Penn, Wine Business Monthly; Katie Piontek, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission; Phil Market, Vons, Albertsons, Pavilions; and Beth Vukmanic, Vineyard Team.   

The California Green Medal is presented by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Green, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and The Vineyard Team. 

Sponsors include:  

  • Exclusive Media Sponsor:Wine Business Monthly 
  • Gold Sponsor: Farm Credit Alliance  

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact info@nullgreenmedal.org.  

View a video highlighting the sustainability accomplishments of 2021 award recipients.  

Wine Institute 
communications@nullwineinstitute.org   

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance 
communications@nullsustainablewinegrowing.org  

California’s Wine Community Recognizes October’s Farmer and Farmworker Month

octubre 6, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO – California is the country’s top agricultural producer and in October the state’s wine and winegrape growing community honors the farmers and farmworkers who nurture and harvest more than 400 crops – ranging from fruits, vegetables and nuts to more than 100 winegrape varieties.  

“California Farmer and Farmworker Month is an important opportunity to recognize all those who work incredibly hard to bring the Golden State’s world class wine and agricultural products into the homes and communities across the state, the nation and the world,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO, Wine Institute.  

California’s wine and winegrape industries are critical economic drivers for many communities and regions throughout our state, employing 325,000 Californians, paying $17.2 billion in wages annually and generating more than $57 billion in annual economic activity for the state of California.    

The diversity of California’s vast growing regions, skill and experience of its growers and their commitment to sustainable winegrowing will ensure that California wine will continue to be a signature agricultural industry for the state into the future.   

“California’s winegrape growers are proud to be an integral part of California’s farmer and farmworker community, dedicated to producing and harvesting quality goods through sound environmental practices and social responsibility,” said John Aguirre, president, California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).   

California’s winegrowers have a long history of embracing sustainable winegrowing practices through various programs such as the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) and other regional educational and certification programs, with more than 2,200 vineyards in California that are CCSW.   

California’s Wine and Winegrape Growing Community   

As the nation’s top wine producer, California makes up more than 80% of U.S. wine production and is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world. California is home to 620,000 acres of winegrapes, grown by more than 5,900 winegrape growers, with winegrapes grown in 49 of the state’s 58 counties.  

Celebrate California Farmer and Farmworker Month and support California’s agricultural community by enjoying California-grown and produced wine, which pairs well with other California-grown crops. To learn about recipe ideas and California wine pairings, visit www.DiscoverCaliforniaWine.com     

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. 

About the California Association of Winegrape Growers
CAWG provides industry leadership to advocate for public policies, research and education programs, and sustainable farming practices to enhance the business of growing California winegrapes. Learn more at cawg.org  

About the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA’s mission is to encourage adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices and communicate the California wine industry’s global leadership through education, outreach, certification and partnerships.  

Wine Institute 
communications@nullwineinstitute.org   

California Association of Winegrape Growers 
meredith@nullcawg.org

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance 
communications@nullsustainablewinegrowing.org  

New Capstone California Global Education Program Focuses Exclusively on California Wine

septiembre 22, 2021

Wine Institute’s Comprehensive California Wine Certification Program Developed by Industry Experts  

SAN FRANCISCO – The first-of-its kind California wine certification and education program, Capstone California, has launched onto the global wine stage during California Wine Month. Created by Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program with a team of international wine professionals, Capstone California focuses exclusively on California wine through original content presented in a multi-lingual, multimedia platform available globally to industry professionals and enthusiasts alike. 

Capstone California is part of a 10-year, multi-pronged strategy aimed at expanding California wine across international markets. Furthering the knowledge of California wines through a structured learning experience, Capstone California embraces a global audience. Focusing on four levels of study from novice to expert through a comprehensive curriculum, Capstone California offers authoritative information, interactive and aerial maps of the state’s American Viticulture Areas and other resources for wine study all readily accessible at www.capstonecalifornia.com 

Find California Wine Education Resources Including Aerial AVA and Variety Maps (click image)

California wine makes up 95% of U.S. wine exports and more than 80% of the U.S. wine market, which has generated a significant need to provide a deeper understanding of our wine regions to the world and here at home,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO, Wine Institute. “With tremendous detail and collaboration by influential global wine leaders to develop this innovative and rigorous certification program, Capstone California highlights the extensive history, diversity and intricacies that make up the compelling and sought-after characteristics of California wine.” 

Each Capstone California course builds on the prior level, covering history, geography, climate, soils, grapes, viticulture, vinification, aging and maturation, wine laws, official classifications, producers, vintages and the business of wine.  

Explore California Wine Regions (click image)

“Establishing a comprehensive resource for the international wine community, specific to California wine, Capstone California covers everything necessary to become more versed in the unique and accessible options that California offers wine lovers around the world,” said Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier. “As California wine continues to evolve and experience significant global growth, this comprehensive program provides a depth of knowledge to wine professionals that is greatly needed.” 

“Knowing a bit more makes wine so much more enjoyable. Capstone California provides an ideal way of intensifying your enjoyment of California wine,” said Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine. 

The program’s extensive archives were curated by Master Sommeliers Evan Goldstein, Tim Gaiser and Wayne Belding, alongside industry leaders Deborah Parker Wong, Randy Caparoso, Sara Schneider, Sara d’Amato, Virginie Boone, Fred Swan and Master of Wine Sandy Block. Many California wineries, along with a team of California wine experts, Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, educators and authors and international wine leaders also contributed to Capstone California. 

Capstone California has already been previewed in Canada and Europe and will be introduced in Japan, Mexico and the U.K./Ireland in the fall of 2021, followed by China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and United Arab Emirates throughout 2022.  

Capstone California will continue to evolve in coming months, expanding on the compelling features and resources available to participants globally, with an emphasis on building a lifelong approach to mentoring across the international wine community.  

About the Capstone California Program 
Developed by California Wines under the auspices of Wine Institute, Capstone California is an up-to-date information resource on California wine, developed by an outside team of top industry professionals, educators and authors. Additionally, many of the state’s wineries contributed to the first-of-its kind content. Capstone California offers four levels of study: Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert/Ambassador. Upon completion of each level, successful students receive a certificate and other benefits. For more information, visit www.capstonecalifornia.com. 

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program 
Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program is a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It supports more than 185 California wineries exporting to 142 countries and highlights California as an aspirational location and environmental leader with beautiful landscapes, an iconic lifestyle and great wine and food. Representatives help develop export markets, covering 27 countries and provide support to California wineries. California is the fourth-largest wine producing region in the world and produces more than 80% of total U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. Established in 1934, Wine Institute is a public policy advocacy group representing more than 1,000 California winery and affiliated business members.  

For additional information on the export program, visit www.calwineexport.com and to learn more about California wine, visit Wine Institute’s consumer website, www.DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com. 

 

Multi-State Partnership Advances Sustainability in the U.S. Wine Industry

septiembre 14, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO — The largest winegrowing states in the country — California, Oregon, New York and Washington, which produce 95% of U.S. wine — have established educational and certification sustainability programs over the past two decades, furthering the widespread adoption of sustainable practices by U.S. winegrowers and winemakers.

Since 2018, wine organizations from the four states have been partnering to advance sustainability initiatives industry wide. By providing a definition and principles for the U.S. wine industry, conducting trade and consumer research, sharing information through two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits and providing education on grower and vintners’ sustainability commitment to trade and consumers, the project has been effective in furthering the understanding of sustainable winegrowing.

As the initial phase of the multi-year project concludes, the partners are sharing results and resources and look forward to future collaboration.

Common Definition and Principles 

As a first step in the partnership, the organizations and sustainability programs created and agreed to a common definition for sustainable winegrowing and winemaking:

Sustainable winegrowing and winemaking is a holistic approach that conserves natural resources, protects the environment, enhances wine quality, enriches the lives of employees and communities and safeguards family farms and businesses — today and for generations to come. 

«A frequent criticism we hear about sustainability is that sustainability isn’t defined, which simply isn’t true. This definition shows that we’re all on the same page about the general meaning of sustainability, recognizing that it may differ based on local conditions and other factors,” said Allison Jordan, Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

These groups also agreed to the following sustainable winegrowing and winemaking principles:

  • Holistic Approach: Acknowledges connection between vineyards, wineries, surrounding ecosystems and communities.
  • Triple Bottom Line: Satisfies the triple bottom line of environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability.
  • Continuous Improvement: Involves a process of ongoing evaluation, improvement and re-evaluation, with best practices evolving with updated research, new technologies and adoption of improved practices.
  • Comprehensive, Science-Based Practices: Uses a broad set of measurable science-based practices that vary based on local conditions as well as vineyard and/or winery scale and objectives.The partnership created several new resources to share the definition, principles and programs with trade, media and consumers, including a new website — sustainablewinegrowing.us — and brochure. 

Trade and Consumer Research 

The partner organizations worked with Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence, and Christian Miller, proprietor of Full Glass Research, to conduct consumer and trade research in 2019 and 2020.

Wine Intelligence research on consumer perceptions of sustainable winegrowing (particularly by Millennials and Gen Z) indicated a high interest in purchasing sustainably produced wine in the future, a favorable perception of sustainable certification programs and certification logos and a willingness to pay more for wine that has been sustainably produced. Full Glass Research found that large majorities of trade respondents felt familiar with key concepts of sustainable wine production; recommend sustainably produced, organic and biodynamic wines to their customers; and support clear and reliable certifications that can be communicated to the trade and consumers.

Findings were shared at two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits (see below), as well as a June 2020 webinar.

Education and Information-Sharing through U.S. Sustainability Summits 

In 2019 and 2021, the partners hosted two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits to exchange ideas and best practices and to engage the broader wine industry in advancing sustainability across the country.

Over 565 attendees attended, including winegrowing associations, vineyard and winery leaders, as well as other key stakeholders from across the U.S. and 20 countries.

The inaugural Summit was held in Sonoma and featured panels exploring “the value of sustainability” from the perspective of vineyards and wineries, other industries and trade, as well as lessons learned from various U.S. state sustainability programs. Keynote speakers were California Department of Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross and Lulie Halstead of Wine Intelligence. (See 2019 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit Highlights.)

During the second U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit, attendees heard from sustainable winegrowers in the field and learned how they are adapting practices in the face of climate change. They also gained insight into expanding this movement to their own wine regions, vineyards and/or wineries, and how to communicate practices in ways that resonate with consumers and trade. In addition to a host of winegrowers from all four states, notable speakers included keynote speaker Ray Isle of Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure, Esther Mobley of the San Francisco Chronicle, Elaine Chukan Brown of JancisRobinson.com and Diversity in Wine Leadership Forum, and Mark Barden of eatbigfish. (See 2021 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit Highlights and recordings of sessions.)

Sustainable Winegrowing Promotion and Communication 

Another key aspect of the partnership has been promoting sustainability in ways that resonate with consumers and trade while credibly communicating the U.S. wine industry’s commitment to a global audience. Beyond the website and brochure referenced above, the organizations held a tasting for trade and media as part of the 2021 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit, moderated by Evan Goldstein, MS, of Master the World, and featuring wines and vintners from all four states.

The partnering organizations also created new promotional materials and activities for their own states. For instance, as part of the project, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance launched a new website, californiasustainablewine.com, that includes a searchable database of Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing wineries, wines and vineyards. New York and Washington began developing statewide certification programs, building on their experience with educational sustainability programs and a regional certification program (Long Island in NY). In addition, Oregon Wine Board and LIVE created new promotional materials and a trade-focused training series and podcast about sustainable winegrowing.

These efforts support the education of trade and consumers to better understand sustainable winegrowing. Trade and consumers can now find sustainably produced wines by looking for certification logos and text on wine labels, reviewing lists on certification program websites, looking for information on winery websites and asking questions when visiting wineries or meeting with winemakers. By supporting these wineries and wine industry sustainability programs, efforts are furthered to protect the environment, nurture safe and healthy workplaces and sustain family farms.

As the initial phase of the multi-year project concludes, the partners are sharing results and resources and look forward to future collaboration. Partner organizations include the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, LIVE, Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, Oregon Wine Board, New York Wines, Washington State Wine Commission and Washington Winegrowers.

About the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance 
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA’s mission is to encourage adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices and communicate the California wine industry’s global leadership through education, outreach, certification and partnerships.

Experience the Excitement of the Annual Harvest Season During California Wine Month

agosto 25, 2021

Consumers Can Enjoy Activities Throughout September That Celebrate the Golden State as the Top U.S. Wine Producer

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release

SAN FRANCICSO — With the 2021 winegrape harvest now underway, September offers a time to enjoy all that California wine has to offer. Whether you live in the state, or simply want to embrace a Golden State of Mind, there are many ways to participate in California Wine Month.

Consumers can take part in about 60 events and activities across the state, both in-person and virtually. These include special tastings, farm-to-table harvest dinners, musical performances in the vineyards, wine and food festivals, immersive harvest experiences, grape stomps, tours, discount offers and more.

Find Upcoming Live and Virtual Events (click image)

Those wanting to bring the California harvest experience into their homes can do so through virtual events and by trying wine pairings at home. For inspiration, download the free Happy Hour at Home e-book of simple recipes for snacks and small bites that complement California wines.

Download Recipes for California Wine Pairings (click image)

The Golden State’s Wine Community  

For more than 250 years, the California wine community has been a rich part of the state’s culture and economy. California is home to nearly 6,000 winegrowers, 620,000 acres of vineyards and 4,200 bonded wineries. The state grows more than 100 different grape varieties.

Making up more than 80% of wine production in the U.S. and 95% of U.S. wine exports, California offers high-quality and accessible wines around the world. 

Most of the winegrowers and vintners are multi-generational family businesses and pride themselves on being stewards of the land. Nearly 2,250 vineyards have achieved certification under the rigorous California Sustainable Winegrowing program, and more than 80% of California wine is produced in a Certified California Sustainable Winery.

Learn More About California Wine (click image)

The state’s wines also play an important role in California’s iconic lifestyle, inspired by endless miles of natural beauty and boundless optimism. Pairing perfectly with the Golden State’s bounty of fresh produce and inventive cuisine, as well as with food from around the world, California wines are made for unwinding and connecting with family and friends over conversations, shared meals and celebrations.

Winegrowing areas of the state typically draw more than 24 million visitors each year from around the world.

Join Others in Celebrating California Wine Month

To help consumers learn more about California’s wine community, California Wine’s social channels will feature special guests and information on the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. As an added bonus, social followers will have an opportunity to go behind the scenes of the premiere FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Discover California Wines is Wine Institute’s consumer website.

Consumers also can enjoy special activities and offers from California Wine Month restaurant, retail, association and organization partners. For further details, ask these establishments how they are celebrating California Wine Month. Partners include: Albertsons, Archer Hotel Napa, California Cantaloupe, California Figs, California Grown, California Restaurant Foundation, California Table Grapes, CellarPass, Charlie Palmer Steak Napa, The CIA at Copia, Compline, Epic Steak, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Four Seasons Chicago/Adorn Restaurant, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, GuildSomm, Ironwood Laguna Hills, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Mission Bay Wine & Cheese, Montage Healdsburg, Oakville Grocery, Olea Newport Beach, One Market, Pavilions, Raley’s/BelAir/Nob Hill, Real California Milk, Restaurants Care, Ruth’s Chris Steak House Wilkes-Barre, Safeway, San Francisco Wine School, Sapphire Laguna Hills, Scout & Cellar, Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar, SommSelect, Vine Restaurant & Bar San Clemente, Vino Bistro Sarasota, Visit California, Visit Napa Valley, Vons, West Coast Wine.Cheese, Women for WineSense and Women of the Vine & Spirits.

Download images that represent California Wine Month here. 

About Wine Institute  

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. To learn more about California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines

Sustainability Report Shows Growing Adoption of Sustainable Practices by California Vineyards & Wineries

julio 21, 2021

New Report Issued by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

SAN FRANCISCO — The 2020 California Wine Community Sustainability Report released today by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) shows broad participation in its educational and certification programs, and wide implementation of sustainable practices in vineyards and wineries around the state.   

“California is the world’s fourth largest wine producer, amplifying the importance and impact of the industry’s high level of adoption of sustainable practices, as demonstrated by data included in the report,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “These practices improve resource efficiency and wine quality, reduce risks and, in many cases, reduce costs, while contributing to a healthier environment, stronger communities and vibrant businesses.”   

In addition to providing programmatic updates, the 2020 report provides aggregated data on 144 vineyard and 105 winery best practices that are included in the comprehensive California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing (Code). First published in 2002 and now in its 4th edition, the Code is a tool for Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP) participants to measure their level of sustainability and to learn about ways they can improve their practices. Since 2010, the Code is also central to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, CSWA’s third-party certification program. 

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS 

  • Improvements in 76% of vineyard criteria and 85% of winery criteria in the Code from the period of 2016-2020 as compared to the 2015 Report; 
  • A 35% increase in the number of vineyards (45% increase in acres) and a 60% increase in the number of wineries (58% increase in wine cases produced) that have used the Code to assess their sustainability since 2016; 
  • 2,247 vineyards that farm 32% of California acreage and 171 wineries that produce 80% of California wine achieved certification to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing – a 419% increase in the number of vineyards and an 88% increase in the number of wineries certified since the last report; 
  • Over 660 workshops hosted for more than 16,800 participants since the Sustainable Winegrowing Program’s inception in 2002, including the first U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit.

CALIFORNIA VINEYARD DATA 

The 2020 report shows that 2,300 vineyards representing 262,000 winegrape acres used the 3rd edition Code to evaluate and improve their practices since 2016. The data show that a majority have adopted sustainable practices for water and energy efficiency, pest management and soil health, among other areas, as detailed below: 

  • Water Efficiency: 82% of growers used micro-irrigation systems to target irrigation, optimize water use and conservation. 
  • Energy Efficiency: 90% of growers reduced energy use through water pump improvements, the largest energy saving opportunity in the vineyard. 
  • Pest Management: 83% of growers used cultural practices to naturally manage pests, reducing need for pesticides. 
  • Soil Health: 99% of growers used resident vegetation, cover crops and/or compost.

CALIFORNIA WINERY DATA 

The 2020 report shows that 230 wineries that produce 262 million cases used the 3rd edition Code to evaluate and improve their practices since 2016.  A majority are adopting sustainability practices for energy, water and their overall business, among other areas.  

  • Energy Efficiency: 86% of vintners conducted an energy audit of their winery within the last five years to save energy and costs. 
  • Water Efficiency: 90% of vintners measured and monitored water use to manage it responsibly. 
  • Sustainable Business Strategy: 91% of vintners integrated sustainability into their business strategy.  

CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY DATA 

The livelihood of California vintners and growers depends upon the health of the environment and local communities. The 2020 report shows that a vast majority of the state’s vintners and growers are taking action to protect wildlife, positively contributing to their communities and encouraging employees to become engaged in enhancing sustainability.  

  • Employees: 89% of vintners encouraged employees to provide suggestions for improving operational efficiency to enhance sustainability. 
  • Neighbors: 99% of growers provided neighbors with contact information and responded to community concerns. 
  • Wildlife: 91% of growers allowed growth of resident or native vegetation to protect local water bodies and positively impact surrounding community. 
  • Contribution: 94% of vintners volunteered or provided other contributions to enhance their local community.

In addition to the examples listed above, the 2020 report includes data on levels of adoption for all 200 Code Practices. View the 2020 California Wine Community Sustainability Report here.  

 About the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA’s mission is to encourage adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices and communicate the California wine industry’s global leadership through education, outreach, certification and partnerships.  

MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Where to Find California Wineries with Fun for All   

julio 14, 2021


Margarita Adventures at Ancient Peaks Winery.

SAN FRANCICSO — Many moms and dads visit California wine country for much-needed “grown-up” time in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, but many don’t realize that dozens of the state’s wineries offer special activities and accommodations for kids. While adults sample the latest vintages, children can have their own fun tasting grape juice, romping in play areas, visiting with farm animals and playing outdoor games.

Before embarking on a fun family outing in California’s wine country, Wine Institute recommends that parents call ahead or check the winery website to make sure minors are welcome. Some don’t allow guests under age 21 due to liability concerns or preference. Once kids get the green light, they’ll be able to join you at the winery, and can often participate in vineyard and winery tours.

ACORN Winery/ Alegría Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County   
Legos, crayons and cornhole keep kids entertained while parents taste. Children may also explore the vineyards adjacent to the tasting room, join parents on a guided vineyard walk and taste grapes during harvest.

Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County 
Kids can join in winery and cave tours with their parents, visit the vineyards, enjoy the picnic area and meet the winery dogs. While the adults taste wine, children can do a winery seek-and-find puzzle.

Alpha Omega, St. Helena, Napa County 
The winery presents kids with crayons and the coloring book Exploring the Napa Valley with Traveler Teddies, a kid-friendly guide to the Napa Valley.

Ancient Peaks Winery, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo County 
Zipline above the vines at the winery’s Santa Margarita Ranch (kids weighing 30-100 pounds can fly tandem with an adult). After zooming through the adventure course, families can have lunch (with wine for the adults) at the Ancient Peaks café.

Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves, Healdsburg, Sonoma County 
Book the Vineyard Tour and ride a vintage Pinzgauer truck to the top of Lily Hill, where parents sample wine and kids can watch hawks soar overhead. Families may also picnic on the lawn and tour the wine caves.

Brassfield Estate Winery, Clearlake Oaks, Lake County 
The winery invites families to play bocce ball and cornhole, and relax in Brassfield’s picnic area.

Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma, Sonoma County 
Tours led by period actors include wine caves and the Historic Wine Museum, which features an entertaining multimedia show. There’s also a picnic area and hedge maze.


Pruning at Captain Vineyards.   

Captain Vineyards, Moraga, Contra Costa County 
Families can book a farm stay, have a picnic or tour the vineyard and winery. During harvest, kids are invited to help crush grapes.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa County 
Tour a massive replica of an Italian castle, complete with a dungeon, then meet the estate peacocks and farm animals. Kids can sample grape juice and enjoy their own play area.

Chasewater Winery & Olive MillKelseyville, Lake County 
At this pup-friendly winery, families can spend the day playing bocce ball, enjoying the picnic tables and lawn and sampling the estate’s olive oil.

Cline Cellars, Sonoma, Sonoma County 
The park-like, historic grounds feature expansive lawns, ponds stocked with carp and turtles, vintage train cars and the winery’s Sicilian donkeys, Fancy and Pudding.

DeLoach Vineyards, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County 
The winery features educational, family-friendly tours highlighting DeLoach’s history, winemaking techniques and farming practices. Families can also picnic in the winery grove.

Domaine Artefact, Escondido, San Diego County 
Pack a picnic and play cornhole and giant Jenga, or visit with the ranch dogs and farm animals.

Fenton Herriott Vineyards, Placerville, El Dorado County  
Enjoy the picnic area and play bocce ball on one of two full-sized courts.


Families can swim at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, Sonoma County 
Coppola welcomes families with two large swimming pools, a bocce ball court, a children’s library, a gallery filled with memorabilia from Coppola’s films, board games and more.
(Note: This season, pool access is only available through cabine reservations, which are currently sold out through October 2021. However, cancelations do occur, so check the website for availability.)

Frog’s Leap, Rutherford, Napa County 
Dogs and kids are welcome at Frog’s Leap, which includes a barn, farm animals, and fruit and vegetable gardens. The winery also occasionally hosts specific family-friendly tasting times.

Fults Family Vineyards, Lower Lake, Lake County 
Families at this kid- and dog-friendly winery are invited to enjoy the golf range and picnic tables.

Furthermore Wines, Sebastopol, Sonoma County 
Parents can bring their kids and dogs along for a day of bocce ball and picnicking.

Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County 
While parents enjoy a glass or bottle outside overlooking the vineyards, children can play giant Connect Four, giant Jenga and cornhole. Barton’s Kitchen Window serves lunch with many family-friendly options.

Heritage Oak Winery, Acampo, Lodi/San Joaquin County 
Outdoor family fun includes picnicking, hiking down to the river, kayaking and occasional guided bird walks.

Holly’s Hill Vineyard, Pleasant Valley, El Dorado County 
The winery offers an outdoor toy box for kids and family-friendly camping through Harvest Hosts.

Honig Vineyard & Winery, Rutherford, Napa County 
Also dog-friendly, the winery caters to kids with juice boxes, Goldfish crackers and coloring books for $10 per child.

Iron Hub Winery and Vineyards, Plymouth, Amador County 
This kid- and dog-friendly winery offers children’s activities — including cornhole, giant Jenga, coloring books and giant dominoes — while parents enjoy a seated patio tasting.

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate, Fulton, Sonoma County 
Kids are welcome to play bocce ball, picnic and tour the extensive vegetable garden, which includes a chicken coop, bat boxes and a demonstration beehive.

Landmark VineyardsKenwood, Sonoma County 
The winery has an expansive lawn and picnic area, plus a bocce ball court.

Napa CellarsSt. Helena, Napa County 
Families can play bocce ball, ladder ball and cornhole. The winery also has a picnic area and often features live music.

Navarro VineyardsPhilo, Mendocino County 
Navarro offers grape juice tastings of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer for kids, plus family-friendly vineyard tours and a picnic area.


Kids can view baby animals at Raymond Vineyards. 

Raymond Vineyards, St. Helena, Napa County 
The outdoor Theater of Nature showcases the ways in which all of nature’s “actors” — including chickens and goats — play a crucial part in crafting quality wine.

Retzlaff Vineyards, Livermore, Alameda County 
The winery has a picnic area and a lawn with big toy tractors for kids to play on.

Shannon Ridge WineryLower Lake, Lake County 
This kid- and dog-friendly winery offers vineyard hikes, bocce ball and picnic tables.

Six Sigma Ranch and Winery, Lower Lake, Lake County 
Meet Topper, the winery’s pot belly pig, who loves to have his ears rubbed. On select Saturdays, kids can help feed the livestock. The estate also includes vast picnic grounds, cornhole, and trails for hiking and mountain biking.

Sterling VineyardsCalistoga, Napa County 
Ride the gondola up the mountain to the winery, where families are welcome to take a self-guided tour. Kids are given snacks, juice and a coloring book package on arrival.

Zaca Mesa Winery, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara County 
Families are invited to bring their dogs, and enjoy a picnic or play a game on the giant chess board.

We make every effort to maintain the accuracy of this list. However, policies do change, so please contact wineries prior to visiting to confirm their policies. Dog-friendly wineries require that pups be leashed and well behaved.

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to promote the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with the Visit California tourism organization to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination. Wine Institute also has an export program for California Wines which represents 95 percent of U.S. wine exports.

For more information on California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department:
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

 

Green Medal Awards Acknowledge Growers and Vintners for Sustainability Leadership

junio 30, 2021

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Trinchero Family Estates, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, Boisset Collection Named Green Medal Winners

SAN FRANCISCO — Four California wineries and vintners were named Green Medal winners recognizing a commitment to sustainability in Leader, Business, Environment and Community categories.

The California wine community is a global leader in sustainability, with over 80% of California wine made in a Certified California Sustainable Winery. More than half of the state’s winegrape acreage is certified as Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming, LODI RULES, Napa Green or SIP Certified.

“The Green Medal is an opportunity to recognize the industry’s cutting-edge leaders in sustainability,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “Their stories illustrate what it means to grow and craft quality winegrapes and wine while protecting the environment, being a good neighbor and employer and maintaining thriving family farms and businesses.”

LEADER AWARD – O’Neill Vintners & Distillers

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, located in California’s Inland Valleys, is the recipient of the Leader Award, given to a vineyard or winery that excels in the three “Es” of sustainability — Environmentally sound, socially Equitable and Economically viable practices.

As a community leader, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has an overarching belief that sustainability is the right thing to do for everyone’s future. They are committed to making a real impact, not just in sustainable farming, but also by ensuring a well-rounded, diverse workforce with scholarship and internship opportunities to advance Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) representation. The company’s humanitarian mindset translates into its relationships with the community as well.

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers made and distributed hand sanitizer to local first responders and hospitals. Other examples of leadership in practice are the installation of a new BioFiltro worm farm and the recycling of over 43 million gallons of water for field irrigation.

With multiple third-party environmental and sustainability certifications, including Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, California Certified Organic Farmers and British Retail Consortium; innovative research projects; advancements in BIPOC representation; and a long-term commitment to sustainability through capital improvements in solar, water, and soil, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has demonstrated that sustainability is the ultimate expression of its commitment to people, to the planet and to profit.

BUSINESS AWARD – Trinchero Family Estates

Trinchero Family Estates, located in Lodi and Napa Valley, is the recipient of the Business Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates smart business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.

The family and staff at Trinchero Family Estates believe that they have a responsibility to their customers, employees, partners, and communities to take meaningful actions to reduce their environmental impact and to incorporate sustainability into their business decisions.

Trinchero Family Estates has reduced water use and maximized water reuse at production facilities and in the vineyards. It also minimized waste generated by its facilities, while striving to achieve a zero waste to landfill status.

By reducing energy, fuel consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions; through conservation programs, facility and package design; and the use of alternative energy installations, Trinchero Family Estates has positively impacted its triple bottom line. Its Guiding Environmental Policy has six commitments including continuing its long history of sustainable farming practices, minimizing water usage, waste generation, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and integrating environmental responsibility into its supply chain. By acting on these commitments, Trinchero Family Estates has shown that sustainability is good for business.

ENVIRONMENT AWARD – Shannon Ridge Family of Wines

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, based in Lake County, is the recipient of the Environment Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates environmental stewardship through maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.

Through initiatives such as “Project Ovis,” the family is implementing a combination of sustainable, organic and regenerative farming practices, utilizing livestock like sheep, chickens and cows in their vineyards and non-crop areas. The sheep have reduced the need to mow by 500% and the use of gas-powered weed eaters has been nearly eliminated.

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines strives to bring balance to its farming system through the promotion of beneficial worms and insects and the creation of natural crop protection materials from compost to soil teas. The company is committed to data collection and analysis, the shares both its successes and failures with the greater wine industry.

As one of the largest employers in Lake County, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines contributes to a local homeless shelter, an annual wine auction for local charities and scholarship fund for local students; participates in local farmers markets; and educates community members on their sustainable farming practices.

Currently certified to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming and LODI RULES, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines is soon to be one of the largest certified organic, mountain-grown vineyards in the U.S. by fall 2021.

COMMUNITY AWARD – Boisset Collection

Boisset Collection, headquartered in Napa Valley, is the recipient of the Community Award, given to the vineyard or winery that is a good neighbor and employer using the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.

Boisset Collection stands apart for its commitment to its local community. This commitment is demonstrated through the care and support provided to its employees during times of crisis, the provision of educational opportunities and resources and its investments and donations to charitable endeavors that benefit the broader community.

Boisset Collection educates its community and customers about sustainability through company-supported initiatives and curated guest experiences including tours through its renowned Biodynamic® gardens.

In March 2020, Boisset Collection premiered JCB LIVE, an online series that has featured over 175 guests including vintners, growers, community leaders, activists, philanthropists and more.

In 2020, through the production and sale of two wines, a donation of over $40,000 was given to support out-of-work sommeliers as well as scholarship funds from the Association of African American Vintners Scholarship Fund and Wine Unify. Boisset Collection’s goal is to donate over $140,000 in 2021 to similar organizations. With a commitment to progress and a passion for diversity, Boisset Collection is driving forward positive change for both its employees and community.

Applications to determine the winners were judged by a panel of wine and sustainability experts, including Karen Block, PhD, UC Davis Viticulture and Enology; Stephanie Bolton, PhD, Lodi Winegrape Commission; Anna Brittain, Napa Green; David Glancy, MS, San Francisco Wine School; Allison Jordan, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance; Frances Knapczyk, Napa Resource Conservation District; Cyril Penn, Wine Business Monthly; Mike Taylor, Nugget Market, Inc.; Sandra TaylorSustainable Business International LLC; and Beth Vukmanic Lopez, The Vineyard Team.

The seventh annual Green Medal awards are supported by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Green, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Vineyard Team.

Sponsors of this year’s Green Medal Awards include Wine Business Monthly, Amorim America, Farm Credit Alliance, ETS Laboratories and Protected Harvest.

VISIT GREENMEDAL.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION

VIEW A VIDEO FEATURING THE 2021 WINNERS

MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Step Up Your Camping Game with Elevated Dishes and California Wines

junio 14, 2021

Tips from Food Network Personality Aida Mollenkamp

camping and wine

SAN FRANCISCO – June is National Camping Month — the perfect time to gather around the campfire with friends and family, enjoy wonderful California wine and food and immerse yourself in nature while sleeping under the stars. Campgrounds at national and state parks are already in high demand as summer approaches, but there are still good spots available through websites such as Hipcamp and Harvest Hosts, which feature campsites at wineries and KOA. Even pitching a tent in your own back yard can feel like an adventure.

One advantage of camping is sharing delicious al fresco meals cooked over an open fire, says Food Network personality Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind Travel. While hot dogs and chili are classic choices, it’s easy to take camping cuisine to the next level with fresh, elevated dishes and food-friendly California wines. It just takes a little planning. “The name of the game is to prep as much as possible in advance so you can enjoy yourself at the campsite.”

Here are Mollenkamp’s tips for planning an inspired camping menu from Wine Institute that includes lighter fare, healthy fruits and vegetables and your favorite California wines this summer, which can be found at DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

Plan and Prep

Do the prep work at home. Pack meats in their marinades, chop vegetables ahead of time and make sauces and dressings in advance. This will free up time at the campsite to relax and have fun.

Pack flavorful accents. Bring along a favorite spice mixture or special sauce to add a pop of flavor to all sorts of dishes. Italian salsa verde is great for everything from topping coal-cooked potatoes to garnishing grilled steak to spreading on sandwiches. Likewise, California’s own green goddess dressing makes a delicious dip for crudités.

Upgrade your ingredients. Camping fare gets an instant upgrade with elevated ingredients such as farmstand berries and vegetables, real maple syrup and artisan chocolate bars.

Wine accordingly. To add an authentic “sense of place” to the menu and complement the diverse dishes you’ll be serving, pack a variety of California wines. If you’re hiking to a picnic spot and need to travel light, transfer the contents of glass bottles into collapsible and resealable wine containers, or opt for wines packaged in cans or cartons.

Recipes and Wine Pairings

Wine Institute offers recipes for easy-yet-elevated dishes for your next camping excursion, along with Mollenkamp’s recommendations for California wine pairings.

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Tomato-Corn Salsa, Guacamole and Lime
The floral aromatics, citrus elements and spice of California Gewürztraminer are a perfect match for this fresh and flavorful dish. A California Sauvignon Blanc is another great option.

Camping with wine recipe grilled shrimp tostadas

Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta, Mint and Toasted Pita
This Greek-style salad topped with char-grilled chicken and a bright lemon vinaigrette calls for an oaked California Chardonnay or dry sparkling wine.

Grass-Fed Burger with Avocado and Chipotle Mayonnaise
Take grilled burgers to new heights with lean grass-fed beef, chipotle-spiced mayo and creamy avocado—paired with a California Cabernet Sauvignon.

Camping with wine burger

Grilled Watermelon with Salad Greens and Balsamic Vinaigrette
A sparkling California rosé or a light rosé of Grenache are ideal complements to this savory-sweet dish.

Grilled Peaches Drizzled with an Aged Balsamic Reduction
Grilled peaches are a great dessert for cooling off on warm summer nights—especially when they’re served with a California Chardonnay, Viognier or Chenin Blanc.

Camping and wine grilled peaches

S’mores
Camping wouldn’t be the same without this favorite combination of graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and chocolate (no recipe required!). Enjoy the warm gooeyness with a California Port, Lodi Zinfandel or California sparkling rosé.

For more recipes, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Five Reasons to Love California Wine Country This Summer

mayo 20, 2021

With summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to get outside—and no better place to do it than California wine country. The summer season in the Golden State’s diverse wine regions is a special time with its beautiful weather and fun activities. Winery patios await, al fresco activities abound and scenic views of vines and grape clusters are all part of the experience. Wineries have started to reopen and are looking forward to welcoming guests. To assure you have a spot, plan your visit ahead of time with a reservation.

Wine Institute offers five reasons to love California wine country this summer:

 

1. Wine Country Is Always Nearby

Wherever you are in California, wine country is just a short trip away. With more than 4,200 wineries statewide, from San Diego to the Oregon border, there’s always something new to discover when exploring the state’s vast options of wine. To find wineries near where you live or plan to visit, use the Discover California Wines search tool.

2. Outdoor Activities in the Vineyards—from Hiking to Cycling to Yoga

Yoga followed by wine tasting is a perfect pairing at Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles. Castoro Cellars photo.

With good summer weather, it’s the time of year to go outside and get active. California wineries offer an array of outdoor activities to get your blood pumping. At Alexander Valley Vineyards in Sonoma County, join a daily vineyard hike to learn about the vines while sampling the latest vintages. Clif Family Winery offers Napa Valley cycling excursions that include bike rentals and a post-ride tasting at the winery. In Paso Robles, Castoro Cellars’ resident instructor leads yoga classes and retreats among the vines, and the winery also boasts an 18-hole disc golf course. At Wente Vineyards in Livermore Valley, golfers can hit the links on an 18-hole championship course with panoramic vineyard views. At Windy Oaks, visitors can take a self-guided hike through the vineyard to a ridgetop picnic spot overlooking the Monterey Bay. Saddle up at Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards for a horseback trail ride before settling down for a tasting on the winery’s garden patio in the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Silicon Valley.

3. Enjoy Winery Gardens 

A formal French garden at Domaine Carneros in Napa is one of the gardens to visit in California wine country. Domaine Carneros photo.

Meander through a lush, gorgeous garden in the warm sunshine to lift your spirits—especially in the summer, when winery gardens burst with fragrant flowers and estate-grown produce. In Sonoma County, explore the flower and educational culinary gardens at Kendall-Jackson Estate & Gardens, or enjoy the sustainability-focused veggie garden at Quivira Vineyards, which includes 100 raised beds. Stroll among the blooms at Deaver Vineyards’ sister operation, the Amador Flower Farm, where one can see over four acres of landscaped demonstration gardens. In Napa, a formal French garden greets visitors to Domaine Carneros, and the Vineyard Experience at B Cellars begins with a tour of the winery’s garden of raised beds planted with vegetables, fruits, greens and flowers. The Farms-to-Table tour at Wheeler Farms features a visit to the winery’s extensive gardens, home to edible plantings and a heritage fruit tree orchard. Explore the 250-tree orchard at Buttonwood Farm Vineyard in Santa Barbara County or take in the beauty of the winery’s cut-flower garden.

4. Educational Vineyard Tours and Tastings

vineyard shuttle ride
Visitors ride a shuttle for an in-depth look at winegrape growing while tasting wine in the vineyards at Benziger Family Winery in Sonoma Valley. Benziger Family Winery photo.

Summer is an exciting time in the vineyards. Early in the season, tiny flowers bloom on the vines and turn into green berries. By mid-summer, grapes for the red varieties begin their dramatic transformation from bright green to crimson. Visitors can learn about the grapes’ journey during an electric minibus tour of Ponte Winery’s 310-acre ranch in Temecula, as well as during Benziger Family Winery’s private tours via shuttle through its educational vineyards and garden habitats for beneficial insects in Sonoma County. At Six Sigma Ranch & Winery, less than an hour north of Napa Valley in Lake County, take a vineyard tour on an all-terrain Pinzgauer vehicle or hike and bike on the winery’s roads and trails and use their wildflower map.

5. Summer Produce Stars at Winery Restaurants

wine on table
Several winery restaurants showcase farm-to-table cuisine, including Long Meadow Ranch’s Farmstead Restaurant in Napa Valley. Long Meadow Ranch photo.

Summer brings a bounty of fresh, sustainably grown California produce, from ripe tomatoes and summer squash to artichokes and peaches. Many wineries have culinary gardens that guests can visit, and several operate their own onsite restaurants—often with scenic patio seating—showcasing farm-to-table California cuisine.

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in Napa Valley highlights produce from the family farm. Rustic at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma sources herbs and produce from the winery gardens. Local ingredients star at the Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery and The Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery—both in Temecula—as well as The Restaurant at Justin (Justin Vineyards & Winery), Cass Winery Café and Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles. The café at Lodi’s Michael-David Winery features produce grown locally or onsite.

For more listings of these winery activities and offerings throughout California, use the Discover California Wines search tool or visit the websites for California’s regional winery associations.

 

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

New Website Spotlights Certified California Sustainable Wines, Vineyards and Wineries

abril 1, 2021

New California Certified Sustainable Website

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) launched a new website today, the start of Down to Earth Month, dedicated to the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program at californiasustainablewine.com.

Developed for trade, media, consumers and visitors who want to find sustainable wines, wineries and vineyards that are certified with a rigorous third-party audit, the website also illustrates how sustainable vineyards and wineries are making wine in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

“The new certification website is a tool to convey key sustainability messages and to connect certified wines, wineries and vineyards with interested trade and consumers,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA’s Executive Director. “The California wine industry is a global leader in sustainability and well positioned to meet the growing interest we’ve seen in recent research.”

Feature pages of the new site are:

  • FIND – Users can search for certified wines, wineries and/or vineyards, and sort by varietal, region or appellation. With 2,247 Certified California Sustainable Vineyards that farm 204,000 acres (32% of California winegrape acres; another 22% are certified by other California sustainable winegrowing programs), 171 certified wineries producing 255 million cases (80% of California wine) and 9.4 million cases (113 million wine bottles) bearing the certification logo or claims, the search function is a valuable new tool to discover California wineries and vineyards that are committed to sustainability.
  • VISIT – Visitors can browse an interactive map to plan a wine country trip to certified wineries with tasting rooms open to the public. The website allows users to identify certified wineries within a specific wine region, or see the broad embrace of sustainability across California.
  • LEARN – An overview of certification addresses requirements, key areas of sustainable winegrowing and why supporting vineyard and winery sustainability efforts matter. Additionally, there are insights on Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing’s logos, other California sustainability programs (e.g., LODI RULES, SIP Certified and Napa Green), and definitions for sustainable/organic/biodynamic wines.  Via the Learn page, users can also “dig deeper” for even more details about the program.

About the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA’s mission is to encourage adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices and communicate the California wine industry’s global leadership through education, outreach, certification and partnerships. The result of this work will be a healthier environment, stronger communities, and vibrant businesses.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wines “Down to Earth Month” in April Celebrates Sustainable Winegrowing

marzo 25, 2021

Eco-Focused Virtual Events, Activities & Wine Tastings Highlight Practices that Protect & Enhance the Land, Communities and Livelihoods

California Wines Down to Earth Month logo

SAN FRANCISCO — April kicks off California Wines Down to Earth Month, an annual celebration of the wine community’s dedication to protecting the land, communities and wine industry for future generations. Wineries across the state will highlight their sustainable farming, winemaking and business practices through a variety of digital events and socially distanced, in-person activities, from virtual wine tastings and cooking demonstrations to behind-the-scenes sustainability tours. Created by Wine Institute, the association of 1,000 California wineries, Down to Earth Month marks its 10th year in 2021.

A world leader in sustainable winegrowing, the California wine community has long embraced earth-friendly practices. As of December 2020, 171 wineries producing 80 percent of California’s total wine production and 2,247 vineyards farming 29 percent of statewide winegrape acreage are certified under the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA)’s Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program. California’s total certified vineyard acreage is nearly 50% based on the additional 15% of vineyard acreage certified to other state sustainability programs, including Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP).

Following are the latest Down to Earth Month winery events at DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com. More events and offers are added daily.

March 18-April 18: Alexander Valley Vineyards Home Delivery Shipping Special
Purchase 2 or more 750ml bottles and shipping is $1 per bottle plus $1 order processing fee at this Certified California Sustainable winery.

March 20-April 20: Down-to-(Mother)-Earth Gift Offer
In celebration of Mother Earth and all moms (just in time for Mother’s Day) Antica Napa Valley is offering a trio of sustainably produced wines (dirt not included), available only at the winery.

March 25-April 25: Down to Earth 25% Discount
Captain Vineyards of Moraga celebrates Down to Earth Month with our family, friends, members & you. Receive 25% off any purchase.

April 1: What is Sustainable Wine? (virtual)
Join Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind on Facebook Live to learn about sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices, and get the inside story on California’s sustainable certification programs.

April 3, 10, 17 or 24: Earth Day Hikes for April
April is Earth Month! Join us for a wildflower-inspired hike at Six Sigma Ranch and Winery in Lake County every Saturday in April to celebrate. Hikes start and end at the tasting room for an optional wine flight and artisanal picnic platter.

April 3: Wine & Art – Paint Your Own Garden Hat
Create your own hand-painted garden hat while tasting Ramona Ranch Vineyard & Winery wines in a hands-on experience at the winery in San Diego County.

April 4: Wine Tasting with Live Music
Ramona Ranch Vineyard & Winery in Ramona is hosting a live musical performance and sampling of five sustainably produced wines on the tasting terrace, overlooking the Ramona Valley.

April 6: Down to Earth Month IGTV Video Series – Meg van der Kruik (virtual)
Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours demonstrates a recipe inspired by the “Wine Country Table” cookbook, paired with sustainably made wines from California.

April 8: Pinot Noir Deep Dive Virtual Wine Tasting (virtual)
Join us for a deep dive as we take a look at some of our most popular Pinot Noir wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards and walk through the process from vine to bottle.

April 8: What Are Biodynamic and Organic Wines, and How Are They Sustainable? (virtual)
Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind Travel host a Facebook Live event exploring the differences between organic and biodynamic practices and how they fit into sustainable winegrowing.

April 10: Alpha Omega’s Spring Revival (virtual)
Join St. Helena’s Alpha Omega Winery for a live virtual tasting of sustainably produced wines and cooking demonstration featuring winemaker Henrik Poulsen.

April 13: Down to Earth Month IGTV Video Series – Jerry James Stone (virtual)
Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog demonstrates a recipe inspired by the “Wine Country Table” cookbook, paired with sustainably made wines from California.

April 14: Frey’s April Virtual Tasting (virtual)
Frey Vineyards in Redwood Valley hosts a virtual tasting and cocktail hour in collaboration with Organic Spa Magazine, Katrina Frey and Kwaya Cellars.

April 14: Napa Valley Sessions-Sustainability Session 1 (virtual)
Virtual zoom sessions featuring Trefethen Vineyards, Mumm Napa Valley and Chateau Boswell.

April 15: Why Is There a Chicken in the Vineyard? (virtual)
Join Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp, of Salt & Wind Travel on Facebook Live to learn how animals are helping California vintners with their sustainable farming efforts. The event includes a virtual tasting of sustainable wines.

April 17: Start Your Own Garden – Sustainable Living with Food and Wine
This hands-on workshop at Ramona Ranch Vineyard & Winery in Ramona includes instruction, seeds and supplies for starting 20 veggie and flower plants.

April 17: Sustainably Produced Wine & Coffee
Experience a wine and/or coffee tasting at Ramona Ranch Vineyard & Winery in Ramona. The event is a collaboration between the certified-sustainable winery and Ramona Roasters.

April 20: Down to Earth Month IGTV Video Series – Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread (virtual)
Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread demonstrates a recipe inspired by the “Wine Country Table” cookbook, paired with sustainably made wines from California.

April 22: J. Lohr: Growing Sustainability – Conservation in the Winery (virtual)
Meet Paso Robles-based J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines on Instagram Live for a behind-the-scenes look at the vineyard technologies and practices that protect and conserve our natural resources.

April 22: Earth Day Webinar (virtual)
Join Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma County Winegrowers for a livestream discussion featuring local sustainability experts.

April 22: How to Look for Sustainable Wines (virtual)
Learn how to identify sustainable wines in this Facebook Live session with Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind Travel. The event includes a tasting of sustainable wines from California.

April 27: Down to Earth Month IGTV Video Series – Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life (virtual)
Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life demonstrates a recipe inspired by the “Wine Country Table” cookbook, paired with sustainably made wines from California.

April 28: Napa Valley Sessions – Sustainability: The Real Substance (virtual)
Napa Valley Vintners hosts a Zoom session with ZD Wines, The Hess Collection Winery, and Raymond Vineyards to showcase how the wineries put their bold sustainability words into action.

April 29: How California is a Leader in Sustainable Wines & Sustainable Farming (virtual)
Learn why California is a world leader in sustainable winemaking and winegrowing practices, and how the state’s farmers embrace sustainability in other agricultural sectors. Hosted on Facebook Live by Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind Travel, the event also includes a virtual tasting of sustainable wines.

April 30: Talking Dirt at Flying Goat – Sustainability and Down to Earth Month (virtual)
Join two OGs (old goats)—Winemaker Norm Yost, and his partner/wife Kate Griffith—for a Zoom talk about sustainability at Flying Goat Cellars in Lompoc.

Down to Earth Partners

Down to Earth Month is supported by restaurant, retail, association and hotel partners in California and throughout the U.S. including Paul Martin’s American Grill, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Visit Napa Valley, SommSelect, Oakville Grocery and Restaurants Care.

During Down to Earth Month, California wineries are partnering with the nonprofit California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care program to help sustain their local hospitality communities. The program, which has become especially important during the pandemic, provides relief grants for struggling restaurant workers. Partner wineries are pledging donations to help sustain the people at the heart of hospitality.

 

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wines Livestream & Video Series Celebrates Down to Earth Month in April

marzo 22, 2021

Facebook Live & Instagram Events Share Tips on Enjoying Sustainably Grown & Produced Wines

SAN FRANCISCO — For “Down to Earth Month” in April, California Wines is celebrating the state’s global leadership in sustainable winegrowing with a series of fun and informative virtual events and videos on Facebook Live and Instagram. Throughout April, the free livestream events and videos will present a variety of discussions, cooking demonstrations and virtual wine tastings focused on sustainability.

Hosts for the Facebook Live events include Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp, Food Network personality and founder of Salt & Wind Travel.

Videos shared on the California Wines Instagram channel will demonstrate recipes, how to pair and enjoy California wines, and what makes a wine sustainable. Programs will feature food and beverage influencers, including Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours, Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog, Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread, and Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life.

To view details on all Down to Earth Month events, visit: DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com/d2e

Aida and Amanda
Down to Earth Month in April will include Facebook Livestream events with wine experts Aida Mollenkamp (left) and Amanda McCrossin (right) discussing how to find and pair sustainable wines.

Facebook Live: Thursdays, 10am PST

Livestream hosts Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind taste and discuss sustainably grown and produced California wines. Event replays will be available on the site for later viewing.

April 1 – What Is Sustainable Wine?
It’s time to clear up the confusion around what defines sustainability! Participants will learn what sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices are and get the inside story on California’s sustainable certification programs, including the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) program.

April 8 – What Are Biodynamic and Organic Wines, and How Are They Sustainable?
Explore the differences between organic and biodynamic practices and learn how they fit into the sustainability equation.

April 15 – Why Is There a Chicken in the Vineyard?
Chickens, sheep and goats don’t just look adorable in California vineyards—each has an important job to do. Learn how animals are helping California vintners in their sustainable farming efforts.

April 22 – How to Look for Sustainable Wines
Finding sustainable wines is easy—if you know what to look for. Participants will learn about the sustainable certifications, logos and terms to look for on wine labels.

April 29 – How California Is a Leader in Sustainable Wines & Sustainable Farming
California is not only a world leader in sustainable winemaking and winegrowing practices, but producers also embrace sustainability in dairy and other agricultural areas. Learn about California’s innovative farming practices and how the state leads in sustainable wine and food.

IGTV Videos: Tuesdays 10am PST

Every Tuesday in April, videos from well-known food and beverage influencers will be shared on the California Wines Instagram channel, each demonstrating a recipe inspired by the Wine Country Table cookbook paired with sustainably made wines from California. Recipes and information about sustainability will be shared on each influencer’s website and social media platforms.

April 6 – Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours

April 13: – Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog

April 20 – Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread

April 27 – Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Winter Salads & California White Wines Offer a Lighter Twist on Winter Fare

febrero 9, 2021

Now’s the Time for Produce-Powered Recipes & Golden State Whites

SAN FRANCISCO – After the culinary indulgences of the holiday season, now is a great time to lighten up with fresh winter salads, paired with California white wines. While some people instinctively reach for reds during the winter months, the Golden State’s white varietals and blends do a beautiful job of enhancing lighter-style winter fare.

Thanks to California’s mild, Mediterranean climate, fresh produce is always in season in the Golden State. As the nation’s agricultural leader, it supplies Americans across the country with two-thirds of their fruits and nuts, and a third of their vegetables. California also produces more than 80 percent of the nation’s wines. The state’s wintertime bounty includes bright citrus fruits, along with earthy root vegetables. These ingredients shine in flavor-packed seasonal salads, especially alongside California white wines.

When pairing California whites with winter dishes, Tonya Pitts, wine director at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco and founder at Tonya Pitts Consulting, typically leans toward aromatic varietals and styles. Among her favorites are Chardonnay, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Blanc.

For seasonal produce such as beets, citrus fruits and root vegetables, “The trick is to match the flavors and textures of the dish with the white wine,” she says. “You want to pick up on some of the same flavors.” Pitts recommends exploring white Rhone-style blends from California’s Central Coast, along with locally grown Gruner Veltliner. “There are also some lovely Italian white wine varietals, like Ribolla Gialla, coming out of regions like Lodi, Amador and Contra Costa County,” she says.

While some find it tricky to pair wines with salads due to the vinegar in many dressings, Pitts says it’s easy to find harmonies if you go for a California white wine that isn’t extremely dry. “I would be looking for wines with a bit more body, but not super fruity,” she says. “I would pair them with a richer, fuller Sauvignon Blanc with lots of texture, or a Santa Barbara Gruner Veltliner.”

Recipes to Brighten the Season

Here are three winter salad recipes and California wine pairings to celebrate the pleasures of the season without sacrificing flavor.

Winter Beet and Citrus Salad

Winter Beet and Citrus Salad with Dates and Almonds

Sweet, tart, crunchy, tangy—this colorful salad has it all. Its contrasting textures and surprising flavors keep you coming back for another earthy, refreshing bite. Pair with a California Rhone-style white wine or California Chardonnay.

Prawn avocado salad

Prawn and Avocado Salad with Creamy Orange Chive Dressing

California citrus stars in this zesty and colorful salad with lemony prawns and a bright tangy yogurt dressing. Pair with California Pinot Grigio or California Rosé.

Sesame Crusted Tuna Salad

Black Sesame Crusted Seared Tuna with Arugula and Avocado Salad and Miso Vinaigrette

Black sesame seeds and peppery accents of arugula enliven seared, fresh Ahi tuna. Pair with a California white blend.

For more fresh, seasonal recipes and wine pairing suggestions, visit Discover California Wines.

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wines Launches “Golden State of Mind” Campaign in International Markets

febrero 3, 2021

Innovative Strategy Supports 10-Year Plan to Reach $2.5 Billion in Export Sales

 

brand refresh people

San Francisco – Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program has launched a new global brand campaign and business strategy, showcasing California wine as a leader in sustainable winegrowing, innovation, and winemaking advancements while promoting the commitment of generations of family farmers and winemakers to producing high-quality wines. The global campaign is part of a 10-year strategy to boost export sales of California wines across international markets. The first phase aims to grow awareness and appreciation for California wines through digital advertising and consumer-focused promotions to meet wine drinkers where they are most active in discovering and purchasing wine.

Timed to position California wineries for growth as global markets begin to ramp back up following the challenges of 2020, Wine Institute plans to invest more than $10 million over the next two years to support this new initiative. Starting with the introduction of a new look and logo for California wines, the “Golden State of Mind” campaign will roll out beginning in Spring 2021. Built around promoting ideas of optimism, innovation and advancements in California winemaking, key programs include a global digital advertising campaign highlighting the state’s commitment to sustainable winegrowing; an innovative California Wines Virtual Global Marketplace for importers and buyers; and a new comprehensive wine education course with a four-tier certification program.

California wineries are seeking new opportunities to connect with a broader audience of wine consumers. To support them, the new business strategy will reach both established and emerging wine drinkers in leading international markets including Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The campaign will also reach expansion markets for California wines with programs planned in Australia, France, Israel, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and other Eastern European markets.

“The crises of 2020, felt both locally and globally, have underscored the importance of our enduring relationships with supporters of California wine around the world,” says California Wine Institute’s Vice President of International Marketing Honore Comfort. “We have an opportunity to forge a new path, to share California’s unique attributes, so that we continue to grow and evolve in the minds and glasses of our global audience and build a more robust sales channel for our wineries.”

Last year, Wine Institute launched the 2030 Plan – a 10-year strategy to increase U.S. wine exports, 95% from California, to over $2.5 billion. The three-pronged strategy aims to build sales momentum in current export markets, expand export activity into new markets, and introduce more California wines and wineries to international sales overall. While changes to international trade policy have made sales more challenging in some markets, wine drinkers around the world are eager to expand their choices and discover new wines.

The “Golden State of Mind” campaign includes a robust calendar of successful online programs – such as virtual winery tours for buyers and importers, educational webinars for consumers and trade, and virtual tastings. At the start of the pandemic, California Wines rapidly launched a series of virtual programs including the highly successful “Behind the Wines” series featuring Elaine Chukan Brown. The rapid growth of virtual programming in the spring of 2020 proved to be an effective test for the new business strategy and demonstrated how California wines could reach new customers and drive sales through digital communications.

All initiatives will bring California values to the fore by showcasing family-owned wineries, next-generation winemakers and farmers, and promoting the industry’s deep commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion.

“We have faced significant obstacles in recent months, from wildfires in California to the global pandemic,” said Joe Lange of LangeTwins Family Winery in Lodi, “This campaign offers a path to revitalize the industry and kick start the road to recovery at home and abroad. It will provide engagement for California wines while we plan for the day when we can once again invite international trade and media to the Golden State’s wine country.”

The Discover California Wines website features the “Golden State of Mind” video that introduces the new campaign and presents a cultural and historical journey about the spirit, innovation and principles of California’s winemakers in their quest to deliver wines of distinctive character and quality. A digital media kit includes examples of the new campaign and brand assets.

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the administrator of the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) for California vintners who represent 80% of U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. More than 170 California wineries exporting to 142 countries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program. The program has 15 California Wine Institute representatives in key export markets around the world who provide on-site support to wineries and help develop markets for California wines in 25 countries.

The California Wine Export Program, a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the MAP Program, features California as an aspirational location and environmental leader with beauti­ful landscapes, an iconic lifestyle and great wine and food. In addition to marketing and promoting California wine overseas, Wine Institute conducts a comprehensive International Public Policy program focused on regulatory cooperation, removing trade barriers and growing California wine exports. See: calwinexport.com or the consumer website: DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wines Offers Free Holiday E-Cards: Send Cheer with Festive Wine Cocktail Recipes

diciembre 8, 2020

holiday card

 

SAN FRANCISCO — Since many of us can’t toast the holidays with family and friends in person this year, California Wines is making the holidays a little merrier with e-cards featuring festive holiday wine cocktail recipes. Available on the Discover California Wines website, digital cards can be personalized and sent with a link to download the California Wines’ e-book, “California Wine Cocktails for the Holidays.”

The e-book features seven fresh, fun recipes for seasonally inspired wine cocktails to serve along with your favorite California wines. Recipes include Red Wine Hot Chocolate—a silky medley of chocolate and red wine—and the Raspberry Sparkler, a bubbly blend of muddled raspberries, California port and sparkling wine.

After emailing the celebratory cocktail recipes, you might be inspired to send or drop off a gift of California wine and all the recipe ingredients your friends and family will need to toast the season.

To send California Wines holiday e-cards, visit Discover California Wines.

For delicious seasonal dishes to pair with California wines during the holidays and beyond, sign up to receive the Discover California Wines monthly newsletter—delivered directly to your inbox.

Looking for more holiday culinary inspiration? Pick up a copy of “Wine Country Table,” featuring recipes inspired by the state’s sustainably grown food and wines, along with expert California wine pairing suggestions. The book is available at major bookstores and through Amazon.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

Challenging 2020 Harvest Will Yield High Quality California Wines

noviembre 16, 2020

 

Photos by George Rose

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SAN FRANCISCO — With California’s 2020 harvest season—marked by the dual challenges of COVID-19 and record wildfires—behind them, vintners across the state are expressing excitement about the quality of the vintage. Following a cool, mild growing season, an August heat spell accelerated ripening, resulting in an early start to harvest—one to two weeks ahead of normal in most regions. The crop is expected to be smaller than average.

A recap of the 2020 harvest will be presented at a webinar, “The Winemaker Sessions,” on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 10:00 am Pacific Time. A panel of internationally recognized vintners and winegrowers from across California will discuss trends, challenges and opportunities in 2020. To attend this event, register here.

While the wildfire season impacted many individual vintners and growers in some regions, the blazes affected a small percentage of the industry overall. Of the 4,200 wineries in California, fewer than 20 reported significant damage to wineries. In regions that experienced wildfires, growers and winemakers are working together to assess and mitigate any smoke exposure issues.

night harvest

“A dry winter with just half of the region’s typical rainfall, was followed by a warmer-than-average summer. Berries were small, with concentrated flavors. “That’s typically a good recipe for quality,” said Jon Ruel, CEO of Trefethen Family Vineyards in Napa.

Napa Valley’s white wines fared especially well. “The Chardonnay has wonderful fruit character and great stone fruit flavors,” he added. “It’s a little lower in acid than normal, reflecting the warmer vintage. I also think this is going to be a classic vintage for our Riesling.” Ruel decided not to pick some later-ripening reds due to smoke concerns, however other Napa wineries are assessing their red wines and will likely produce Cabernet Sauvignons and other reds. “I’ve had a chance to taste our Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc,” he said, “and they taste great.”

Corey Beck, CEO and head of winemaking at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma County, is also optimistic about the vintage. Based on small-batch fermentation trials, he said, “It was like, ‘Oh my god, these wines are terrific.’ The bones and the quality of the vintage are there. What we picked and what the consumer is going to see is going to be absolutely incredible.”

harvest workers

Winemaker Comments from Across the State

For Kosta Browne Winery, which produces wines from five coastal appellations, growing conditions were nearly ideal, with the exception of some spring frost in the Russian River Valley that reduced yields, said winemaker Julien Howsepian. In the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County, the vines enjoyed a long, leisurely growing season. “I found the flavors in our Pinot Noirs to be sensational at a very early stage.”

In Lodi, vintners overcame challenges stemming from mid-season heat spikes and wildfire smoke. “While Lodi sustained many days of poor air quality,” said Markus Bokisch, owner/winemaker at Bokisch Vineyards, “sensory analysis coupled with lab results showed no smoke impact to the wines. Despite the heat spikes, he added, “The fruit retained its acidity. Phenological ripeness was excellent, leading to fully flavored wines at lower Brix. We are very pleased across the board, but I would say that the later-season reds, such as Tempranillo, Cabernet and Petite Sirah, will be exceptional in our area.”

For vintners in the Sierra Foothills region, warm weather signaled an early start to the season, followed by a mild summer with only one or two heat spells.

“I’ve rarely seen the fruit come in so balanced at relatively lower Brix levels,” said Justin Boeger, winemaker at Boeger Winery in Placerville, El Dorado County. “Our Italian varietals, Negroamaro and Aglianico, really stood out, with the Barbera making a strong showing as well. Not to stray into hyperbole, but I think 2020 will be one of our best vintages of the last decade.”

harvest grapes

In the Central Coast, a cool spring and mild summer temperatures extended the growing season. Harvest timing was average, and yields were typical.

“I think it will be more of a balanced year,” said Nicholas Miller of Miller Family Wines, owners of the Bien Nacido & Solomon Hills Estate Wineries in Paso Robles and Santa Maria Valley. “In Paso Robles, Cabernet came in short in several areas as did our Chardonnay. With no immediate fires around our vineyards, we have felt good so far about the quality of that wine and tests have supported that,” said Miller. “In Santa Maria Valley, we’re pretty excited about what we’re seeing with Pinot Noir. We see potential for some great wines from 2020.”

Chad Melville, head winegrower at Melville Winery in Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, reported a near-perfect growing season. “This year’s fruit was intense, vibrant and beautiful,” Melville said, “Generally speaking, the Pinot Noirs have been darker than usual and they’re more vibrant. We haven’t started fermenting the Syrah yet, but it looks and tastes really good. And Chardonnay has more intensity.”

In Temecula, April brought record rains that challenged vintners with increased mildew pressure. Triple-digit temperatures in late August and early September caused some desiccation and sunburn for later-ripening varieties. “Fruit quality overall was very solid, and while the vintage might be a riper year due to the heat, I believe we managed it well,” said Jon McPherson, master winemaker at South Coast and Carter Estate wineries. I would say 2020 is better than 2019 in respect to richness and depth of character.”

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

“The Winemaker Sessions”: Perspectives on Vintage 2020 from Across the State

noviembre 5, 2020

“Behind the Wines” Concludes with Star-Studded Cast of California Wine Producers 

SAN FRANCISCO – Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program will present the final episode of the “Behind the Wines” series on Tuesday, Nov. 17, featuring a lineup of some of the state’s most internationally recognized vintners and winegrowers from across the state providing a recap of the 2020 harvest.

“The Winemaker Sessions” will welcome return guests from the “Behind the Wines” series, along with new faces from renowned California wine regions, to taste and discuss one another’s wines and share stories about trends, challenges and opportunities in 2020.

The finale follows “The Harvest Sessions,” a trio of episodes focused on this year’s vintage and concludes the 2020 season of “Behind the Wines” with 30 episodes and more than 50 guests. The series has been creating dynamic conversations with California winemakers and winegrowers, as well as leading authorities in wine media, education, hospitality and science from around the world to gain a greater understanding of California and global market perceptions of the state’s wines.

«The Winemaker Sessions” finale will be led by webinar host Elaine Chukan Brown and be an extended episode consisting of five segments, each running 20-25 minutes.

  • Cathy Corison, Corison Winery
  • Rosemary Cakebread, Gallica
  • Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores
  • Tegan Passalacqua, Turley and Sandlands
  • David Gates, Ridge Vineyards
  • Jason Haas, Tablas Creek Vineyard
  • Morgan Twain-Peterson, Bedrock Wine Co.
  • Jasmine Hirsch, Hirsch Vineyard
  • Ross Cobb, Cobb Wines
  • Jean Charles Boisset, Boisset Collection

Register here: https://bit.ly/register-for-behind-the-wines. Recordings of all past episodes are available on the California Wine Institute YouTube channel.

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the administrator of the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) for California vintners who represent 80% of U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. More than 170 California wineries exporting to 142 countries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program. The program has 15 California Wine Institute representatives in key export markets around the world who provide on-site support to wineries and help develop markets for California wines in 25 countries.

The California Wine Export Program, a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the MAP Program, features California as an aspirational location and environmental leader with beauti­ful landscapes, an iconic lifestyle and great wine and food. In addition to marketing and promoting California wine overseas, Wine Institute conducts a comprehensive International Public Policy program focused on regulatory cooperation, removing trade barriers and growing California wine exports. See: calwinexport.com or the consumer website: DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

“Behind the Wines” Inaugural Season Concludes with “The Harvest Sessions”

octubre 26, 2020

Webinar Series to Cover 2020 California Harvest Update

harvest
Photo credit: George Rose

SAN FRANCISCO – On Oct. 27, Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program will conclude its “Behind the Wines” webinar series with “The Harvest Sessions,” a unique trio of episodes, moderated by host Elaine Chukan Brown, to give a behind the scenes look at the 2020 vintage across the Golden State. The series culminates with a fourth event, “The Winemaker Sessions” finale on Nov. 17.

During the past six months, Elaine has led discussions with some of California’s top grapegrowing and winemaking talent to provide insights from the vineyards and the cellars, and with thought leaders in wine from across the globe. These discussions have ranged from the reputation of Rhône varieties in California with “The Rhône Ranger” Randall Graham of Bonny Doon Vineyard to the future of California wine and the influential millennial generation with Kelli White, Director of Education at Pacific Union Co., and Esther Mobley, wine critic at San Francisco Chronicle. International guests have included industry leaders such as Jancis Robinson, Jane Anson and Oz Clarke, among others.

“The Harvest Sessions,” the final chapter of the 2020 series, turns the focus to this year’s vintage, exploring the nuances across California’s wine regions and wine styles. Sessions are scheduled on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time:

  • Oct. 27: The Central Coast
  • Nov. 3: Sparkling Wine
  • Nov. 10: The North Coast

The finale episode will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, guests to be announced.

Register for the upcoming episodes here: https://bit.ly/register-for-behind-the-wines. Recordings of all past episodes are available on the California Wine Institute YouTube channel.

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the administrator of the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) for California vintners who represent 80% of U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. More than 170 California wineries exporting to 142 countries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program. The program has 15 California Wine Institute representatives in key export markets around the world who provide on-site support to wineries and help develop markets for California wines in 25 countries.

The California Wine Export Program, a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the MAP Program, features California as an aspirational location and environmental leader with beauti­ful landscapes, an iconic lifestyle and great wine and food. In addition to marketing and promoting California wine overseas, Wine Institute conducts a comprehensive International Public Policy program focused on regulatory coopera­tion, removing trade barriers and growing California wine exports. See: calwinexport.com or the consumer website: DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.

About Wine Institute

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the association of 1,000 California wineries and wine-related businesses that initiate and advocate state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT:
Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
communications@nullwineinstitute.org

California Wines Presents Seasonal and Holiday Themed Livestream Series

octubre 22, 2020

Facebook & Instagram Events Feature Tips on Pairing California Wines, Cooking Classes and Gift Ideas

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SAN FRANCISCO — California Wines will bring the Golden State’s wine country to consumers across America this fall with a series of inspiring seasonal and holiday themed events on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Scheduled throughout October, November and December, the livestream events feature cooking classes, wine pairings and edible gift recipes.

Hosted by sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant on California Wines digital channels, Facebook Live events will include special guests from California’s food and wine worlds. Aida Mollenkamp, Food Network personality and founder of Salt & Wind Travel, will join McCrossin on Instagram Livefor “What Grows Together Goes Together,” in partnership with CA Grown. Mollenkamp will also host holiday themed virtual cooking classes with Kate Ramos, author of the Hola Jalapeño recipe blog.

For more California wine events, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.

Facebook Live: Thursdays, 1 p.m. (PST)

Livestreams with Amanda McCrossin, chatting with wine and food experts on the California Wines FB page

Oct. 22 – Donald Patz, Mendocino County 
Vintner Donald Patz, co-founder of Patz & Hall Winery and founder of the Donald Patz Wine Group, joins McCrossin for an exploration of Mendocino County wines, and what makes them unique.

Oct. 29 – Incorporating California Wines into Delicious Everyday Meals
McCrossin pairs Golden State wines with easy recipes from guest Teri Turner, food columnist and author of the nocrumbsleft blog.

Nov. 5 – Simply Delicious California Wine & Appetizer Ideas
Aida Mollenkamp presents appetizer recipes with inspired wine pairings.

Nov. 12 – Fabulous California Wine & Cheese Pairings
Learn to match California wines and cheeses with expert help from Sara Gim of The Delicious Life and TasteSpotting, and Real CA Milk.

Nov. 19 – Holiday Wine Pairings, Including Desserts!
Kate Ramos shows you everything you need to know about pairing wine with every course, including dessert.

wine glasses

Instagram Live: Fridays, 3 p.m. (PST) in Partnership with California Grown

“What Grows Together Goes Together,” with Amanda McCrossin and Aida Mollenkamp on @California Wines Instagram

Oct. 23 – Mendocino County
Pair Roasted Garlic and Squash Pepita Pesto Dip with a white Rhone blend.

Oct. 30 – Cal-Ital
California vintners put their own spin on Italian varieties. Featured recipe/wine: Olive Tomato Jamon Palmiers with Barbera.

Nov. 6 – Aida’s Apps Recap
Revisit featured recipes and wines from Aida’s Nov. 5 Facebook Live event, Simply Delicious California Wine & Appetizer Ideas.

Nov. 13 – Perfect Pairings: Fabulous Cheese & Wine 
Tips and techniques for pairing California wines and cheeses, featuring Cabernet Franc and cheeses selected by Real CA Milk.

Nov. 20 – Holiday Sweets
Everything you need to know about pairing sweet wines with desserts. Featured recipe: Pear Fritters with Lemon Ginger Sugar.

Nov. 27: Treat Yourself!
Everyone could use a little self-care, so take time to indulge in oysters, dessert and California bubbles. Featured recipe/wine: Oysters with Pomegranate Mignonette Granita and California sparkling wine.

tomales and cookies
Photo credit: Kate Ramos

Digital Cooking Classes

Zoom classes with Kate Ramos & Aida Mollenkamp, in partnership with CA Grown

Nov. 12 – Tamale Party, 3-5 p.m. (PST) Learn how to make tamales, including Poblano Chile Rajas Tamales with Oaxacan Cheese, Pork Chili Verde Tamales, and Strawberry Tamales with Horchata Sauce. Cost: $35 per person.

Dec. 10 – Edible Holiday Gifts, 3-5 p.m. (PST) Ideas and recipes for making edible holiday gifts, including Homemade Tequila Salt, Spiced Dried Blood Oranges, Candied Cayenne Pecans, Pistachio Marzipan, and Pâte De Fruit Candy Bites. Cost: $35 per person.

Register at the live links in the above class title.

About Wine Institute

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the association of 1,000 California wineries and wine-related businesses that initiate and advocate state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine.

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Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525
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