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Happy International #SauvBlanc day!

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Photo courtesy of Rombauer Vineyards.

Cheers, all! TODAY is International #SauvBlanc Day (Friday, May 6 2016)! We hope everyone is popping bottles of our favorite varietal and celebrating the day!

Please explore our site and social media channels for ideas on pairings ideal for the grape, wine reviews, information, and more!

As you probably know, everyday is #SauvBlanc Day here at SauvBlanc.org ~ Summertime in a Glass! But, today is a special day where the conversation is global. You can join that conversation by checking us out, tagging, and following us on social media –

sbday_logo_2016_v2Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SummertimeInAGlass ~ @SummertimeInAGlass

Twitter – https://twitter.com/summerinaglass ~ @summerinaglass

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/summertimeinaglass ~ @summertimeinaglass

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/summerinaglass ~ @summerinaglass

Also, you can use and search the hashtag #SauvBlanc. Send us pics, ideas, tasting notes, pairing recipes, musings – anything connected to Sauvignon Blanc today!

We hope to connect with you. If you’re in the wines business, think about getting involved with SIAG. Learn more here

Cheers,

Bryan Dias, Founder & Executive Director
SauvBlanc.org ~ Summertime in a Glass

PS – Ineternational #SauvBlanc Day takes place on the first Friday of May each year! Next year’s edition will be Friday, May 5 2017!

SIAG Member Profile – Rombauer Vineyards

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When you’re an iconic winery like Napa Valley’s Rombauer Vineyards, you don’t mess with tradition. That is, until the right opportunity comes along. And, that opportunity is Sauvignon Blanc! The winery, known for its Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon, has introduced Sauvignon Blanc as the first new varietal in their portfolio since 1990. It’s also the first new white wine offered since they debuted their legendary Chardonnay in 1982. If you’re thinking “Why fix it if it isn’t broken?” don’t be concerned. Their Sauv Blanc is another winner in their lineup!

“Sauvignon Blanc was a perfect complement to our existing wines. We had a hole in our portfolio. We lacked an aromatic white wine. Being in Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc was the best fit when you consider what varietals are suited for the area.” ~ Winemaker, Richie Allen

Rombauer’s story began in 1972 when the winery’s founders, Koerner and Joan Rombauer, moved to Napa Valley. The intention for their move had little to do with opening a winery. They liked the bucolic nature of the region, reminding them of the small-town and agricultural environment in which they grew up in Escondido, California. Napa Valley seemed like an ideal place to raise their two children, KR and Sheana. The Rombauer’s purchased some land along the Silverado Trail in St. Helena and moved in.

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The Rombauer Family

Koerner’s great aunt, Irma, was the author of the famed cookbook The Joy of Cooking, and his ancestors came from the German winegrowing region of Rheingau. So, wine and food appreciation were in the blood, so to speak. In 1976, the Rombauer’s became partners in noted Napa winery Conn Creek Winery. The winemaking bug was caught and, in 1980, they sold their interest in Conn Creek with the intent of opening their own operation. It was also in this year in which they harvested their first grapes. By 1982, they had broken ground for their winery on some land next to their home. To this day, the winery is still owned and operated by first- and second-generation members of the Rombauer family.

Their first wines were released in 1984 — a 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 1982 Chardonnay. Nineteen eighty-eight saw the introduction of what is now their famed Zinfandel with the purchase of a seven-acre vineyard near their home and winery. Fast forward to 2004, when Richie Allen, a native of Australia, joined the team as a harvest intern. In turn, he worked his way up to head winemaker in 2008 and then to Director of Viticulture and Winemaking in 2013.

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Rombauer Vineyards Winemaker Richie Allen

After much convincing of Koerner by Richie, as the story goes, the winery introduced Sauvignon Blanc as its first new varietal in over 20 years and just the second white wine in their 35-plus year history! They started with a limited production of the wine in 2014 and fully introduced the varietal into their portfolio with the 2015 vintage. The grapes for their Sauvignon Blanc were carefully selected from different Napa sites that all boast good sun exposure, but also moderate temperatures — key ingredients for making a good Sauv Blanc. Sustainable farming practices are used in the vineyards throughout the season.

“Five years of thought and planning went into how we would make a Sauvignon Blanc before we even harvested our first grapes. By the time we go the OK to do it, it all came down to execution. We knew exactly what we wanted to make and how to do it. We wanted to make a Sauvignon Blanc with true varietal character. It’s not Rombauer Chardonnay. There’s no butter, no oak. It’s very vibrant and mouthwatering.” ~ Winemaker, Richie Allen

The grapes were harvested in the cool temperatures of dawn by hand and sorted in the vineyard. The grapes were processed utilizing a gentle whole-cluster pressing. Most of the juice, 90%, was fermented in stainless steel tanks. The remaining 10% was barrel-fermented in neutral French oak and aged for 3 months before being blended back into the tank with the other juice.

The result is a terrific expression of Sauvignon Blanc! It shows tremendous balance and freshness. It doesn’t miss the mid-palate, as many Sauv Blancs can do, but, rather performs evenly from first taste through the nice, lingering finish. Notes push, pleasantly, into the tropical fruit range without going too far in that regard. The acidity is crisp without being overbearing. Certainly, it is an excellent food wine as well as being a nice “porch sipper!”

See our exclusive wine pairing crafted by our Resident Chef, Julie Hoskins, for the 2015 Rombauer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley here…

See our review of the 2015 Rombauer Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley here…

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Visit the Rombauer Vineyards Website here…

Learn more about visiting Rombauer Vineyards here…

More on the Rombauer Vineyards current Sauvignon Blanc release, the 2015 Napa Valley (from the winery):

NV-Napa-Valley-Sauvignon-Blanc_png_medOur Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc marks an exciting milestone for Rombauer Vineyards — the first new varietal introduced in more than 20 years and only the second white wine in our 35-year history.

VINEYARDS

The fruit for this wine comes from four carefully selected sites in Napa Valley offering lots of sunshine yet moderate temperatures — ideal conditions for growing Sauvignon Blanc.

WINEGROWING

2015 brought the earliest harvest in our 35-year history. Yields were down overall, but prolonged warm weather resulted in exceptional fruit quality and richly flavored wines. Sustainable farming practices throughout the growing season were tailored to each block with the assistance of aerial photos produced using NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) technology. The fruit was hand-picked at dawn and sorted in the vineyard.

WINEMAKING

The grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed while the fruit was still cool. Ninety percent of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks. The remaining juice was fermented in neutral French oak barrels to impart weight and texture to the wine. The barrel-fermented portion was blended back to tank after three months in barrel.

TASTING NOTES

This wine is brilliant pale yellow with a bright green hue. It exudes aromas of ripe lime, grapefruit, pear and white nectarine with a subtle hint of fresh-cut grass. The palate is fresh and enticing, as grapefruit, white nectarine and deep tropical notes intertwine making the mouth water. Balanced yet lively acidity lingers on the palate inviting another taste. Boxwood on the finish gives the wine length and vibrant freshness.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Our favorite Joy of Cooking® pairings for this wine include Oysters on the Half-Shell with Mignonette Sauce (Pg. 568), Black Cod in Sake-Miso Marinade (thejoykitchen.com) and Rolled Sushi (Pg. 359).

RELEASE DATE February 2016

APPELLATION Napa Valley

VARIETAL COMPOSITION 100% Sauvignon Blanc

HARVESTED Aug. 13-Aug. 24, 2015

AVERAGE BRIX AT HARVEST 23.1

COOPERAGE Stainless steel tanks (90%) and neutral French oak barrels (10%)

ALCOHOL 14.2%

International #SauvBlanc Day is Friday, May 6!

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Once again, Summertime in a Glass ~ SauvBlanc.org is proud to co-sponsor International #SauvBlanc Day. Stay tuned for more information and get involved with the day that celebrates your favorite wine varietal!

The 8th Annual International #SauvBlanc Day is Coming May 6 

sbday_logo_2016_v2On Friday, May 6, “International #SauvBlanc Day” offers lovers of Sauvignon Blanc a chance to celebrate their favorite wine online or in-person. 

“International #SauvBlanc Day” is set for Friday, May 6. The event, which takes place annually on the first Friday of May, seeks to engage the wine industry and enthusiasts in exploring their affinity for this classic, yet often underrated, grape varietal. The event coordinates both on-site events, such as wine tastings, as well as serving as a focal point for online and social media interactions.

International #SauvBlanc Day was initiated over seven years ago by Napa’s St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, a top producer of California Sauvignon Blanc. Two years ago, Summertime in a Glass, a US-based organization dedicated to promoting Sauvignon Blanc through education, events, and advocacy, along with New Zealand Wine, the organization charged with supporting that country’s wine industry, came on-board to broaden the reach of International #SauvBlanc Day. Each year the event has grown in popularity with increased participation online. The scope has also expanded to include special tasting events put on by wineries, retailers, and others in the industry in various locations around the world.

“The idea of International #SauvBlanc Day is to connect fans of the grape everywhere,” said Bryan Dias, Executive Director of Summertime in a Glass. “That can mean enjoying a special flight at a winery or joining the social media conversation by sharing thoughts and ideas about Sauvignon Blanc.”

Numerous events to celebrate International #SauvBlanc Day will be taking place in many locations, both domestically in the US and internationally. By hosting events, wineries, wine shops and others are serving as “Sauv Blanc Ambassadors” and offering their audiences a chance to enjoy the grape in an up-close and personal fashion. 

Mike Kohne, Vintner, and co-founder of Mercy Wines in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County, California likes to say, “Sauv Blanc fans are, like the wines, delightful, fun and great to be paired up with. We look forward to celebrating vibrant, complex and fresh characters on Sauv Blanc Day!”

For those interested in participating online on May 6, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest posts can be tagged with “#SauvBlanc.” The hashtag can also be searched and followed on those platforms as way to see what others are saying. People are encouraged to share food pairing ideas, photos relevant to the varietal, favorite memories, and more. Purchasing and enjoying a bottle or two of Sauvignon Blanc and posting photos of the experience, thoughts, and tasting notes is another great way to get involved. Individuals and businesses interested in putting on an event at their location should visit the event website at SauvBlancDay.com for more information. Participation ideas, social media feeds, and more can also be found on the website.

More:

Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) is an advocacy and information group that seeks to promote, educate and entertain wine enthusiasts and the industry itself on the world of Sauvignon Blanc. We strive to do so by being informative, yet never too serious or dogmatic. Wine is fun and social. Sauvignon Blanc is known as a great food wine but many styles also make for great “porch wines.” This all means that it is meant to be shared and enjoyed, not pontificated!

Summertime in a Glass Homepage – http://www.SauvBlanc.org

Event Homepage – http://www.SauvBlancDay.com

Contact for media and trade inquiries – Bryan Dias, Executive Director of Summertime in a Glass – bryan@summertimeinaglass.org.

In the Sauv Blanc trade? Get involved with Summertime in a Glass

St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery – website

New Zealand Wine – website

Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc wins Double Gold at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition

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2016-medal-announcementCongratulations to Vina Robles for taking home Double Gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for their 2014 Sauvignon Blanc!

In case you may have missed it, the award-winners from the noted San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition have been announced. This is the largest judging of American wines in the world and this year’s event was record-breaking with some 7,164 wines entered from 28 states. This is a significant jump from 2015 when there were 6,417 entries. That’s a lot of wine!

With all the competition, taking top honors is very significant and is no small feat. Our friends at Vina Robles, located in the Paso Robles region of California, accomplished this with their terrific 2014 Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles. They took home Double Gold in the $15 to $18.99 price point category. This is one of the most important categories for the varietal as many top-quality bottles fall into this price point.

Vina Robles was one of only three Double Golds awarded. This indicates a unanimous judgement of gold from each individual judge. Congratulations to Vina Robles! See the award-winners in this category here. To learn more about the 2014 Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles, visit their website here

~ Bryan Dias, SIAG Executive Director

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Interview with Vina Robles Winemaker, Kevin Willenborg

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DSC_0725_2_9Summertime in a Glass Executive Director, Bryan Dias, who recently guest hosted the New Orleans Dine, Wine & Spirits Show on WGSO 990 am, interviewed Vina Robles winemaker, Kevin Willenborg. 

Kevin (pictured at left) and Bryan discuss numerous topics including the winery’s program, the region of Paso Robles where it resides, Kevin’s background, and more! Several of his wines where also tasted including their terrific Sauvignon Blanc, of course!

You can listen to the podcast here:

Kevin joins the show after the first segment (approximately 15 minutes into the broadcast) and chat with Bryan for about an hour.

SIAG Co-Sponsors California Sauvignon Blanc Single Varietal Tasting with Discover Sonoma County Wine

A broad selection of California Sauvignon Blanc was experienced at the single-varietal tasting.

A broad selection of California Sauvignon Blanc was experienced at the single-varietal tasting.

We here at Summertime in a Glass ~ SauvBlanc.org recently completed a series of Sauvignon Blanc themed events spanning several weeks with a particular focus on California. These events emphasized education, strategic planning (to promote the varietal), and outreach for the wine industry in the state.

Things kicked-off with International #Sauv Blanc Day, a largely social media event that pulls in both industry members and wine enthusiasts world-wide on April 24. SIAG is a co-sponsor of the day along with St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery and New Zealand Wine. The next event took place on May 19 in the Livermore Valley, the historic home of the grape in the US, where SIAG hosted the California Sauvignon Blanc Symposium. The symposium brought together many segments of the industry to discuss the grape and generate ideas to promote awareness and sales, as well as share best practices in viticulture and viniculture. On May 22, the organization, again, hosted an industry event, this time taking place at Kick Ranch Vineyard in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. This was a “meet and greet” and networking affair that featured lively and informative informal discussions, presentations, and wine tasting.

Michael Scholz (left) and Chris Sawyer (right) lead the group through an excellent Sauvignon Blanc program.

Michael Scholz (left) and Chris Sawyer (right) lead the group through an excellent Sauvignon Blanc program.

Most recently, a California Sauvignon Blanc single varietal tasting was conducted at the Napa Valley Wine Academy on June 22, co-sponsored by Discover Sonoma County Wine and Summertime in a Glass. The tasting was aimed at sommeliers, buyers, and wine educators in order to help them provide diversity in their wine lists, which in turn allows them to educate their customers on the many amazing California Sauvignon Blancs available for their programs.

The event was moderated and guided by “Sommelier to the Stars,” Christopher Sawyer, along with Michael Scholz, winemaker at St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, who served as co-moderator.  About 40 attendees from wineries, restaurants, and retail outlets tasted 30 different bottlings of Sauvignon Blanc, mostly from the excellent 2013 and 2014 vintages.

The tastings were offered in three flights with the first being made up of selections that were composed of 100% Sauv Blanc. Later flights included some wines that had Semillón, Viognier, or other white varietals in the blend used to bring out different flavors or aromas in the finished wines. All those in attendance commented on the diversity of styles and flavor profiles represented by these wines. Some were very aromatic, others had a citrusy flavor, some were grass and herbaceous, and some highlighted tropical fruits, stone fruit, or melon flavors.

To add to the tasting experience, Summertime in a Glass Resident Chef, Julie Hoskins of Unexpected Chef, provided light hors d’ouevres intended to pair well with the variety of Sauvignon Blanc being offered. She definitely succeeded.

The seminar took place at The Napa Valley Wine Academy. It proved an exceptional venue for this type of educational event. Summertime in a Glass will be putting on more events of this nature in the future, stay tuned!

~ John Compisi, Summertime in a Glass and Examiner.com with Bryan Dias, Executive Director, Summertime in a Glass

Photos: John Compisi and Jolene Patterson, Discover Sonoma County Wine

Attendees sample and discuss a wide array of California Sauvignon Blanc.

Attendees sample and discuss a wide array of California Sauvignon Blanc.

SIAG Spotlight – Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc

Explore Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc with Summertime in a Glass. Learn about this terrific and unique region, as well as discover some great bottles crafted by terrific producers!

2015 Sauvignon Blanc on the vine at McFadden Farm in Mendocino County.

2015 Sauvignon Blanc on the vine at McFadden Farm in Mendocino County.

Sauvignon Blanc Advocate, Summertime in a Glass, Set To launch Mendocino Campaign

Pleasanton, CA – Summertime in a Glass, the Sauvignon Blanc advocacy group, will launch another in its series of California AVA promotional campaigns. It is intended to educate and draw attention to Mendocino County and the excellent Sauvignon Blanc grown and produced in this California wine region.

California’s Mendocino County has long been a producer of high quality wine grapes at substantially lower prices per ton than their neighbors to the south. For decades now, top wine producers in Napa and Sonoma have been using Mendocino grapes to complete their bottlings and plump their margins. Recently, however, Mendocino has had a well-deserved surge in recognition with Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley and Sauvignon Blanc from a variety of American Viticultural Areas (AVA) within the county.

According to Bryan Dias, Executive Director of Summertime in a Glass (SIAG), “Mendocino boasts some excellent terroir for Sauvignon Blanc. Its impressive variety of microclimates and growing conditions allow the region to defy stereotypes and the term ‘typical style.’ It’s a region that must be explored from one bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to the next in order to truly appreciate its considerable diversity.”

Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc at Yorkville Cellars in Mendocino County.

Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc at Yorkville Cellars in Mendocino County.

Expanding on that theme, Aubrey Rawlins, Executive Director, Mendocino WineGrowers, Inc. (MWI) adds, “Sauvignon Blanc is one of Mendocino County’s strongest varietals – it’s a long-standing favorite in almost all of our unique growing regions within the county. Year after year, more acres of Sauv Blanc get planted and more winemakers are scooping up those high-quality grapes and getting remarkable accolades from respected magazines and wine competitions.”

The Summertime in a Glass campaign will highlight the wines of Mendocino County over the next few days with a regional tasting profile of local Sauvignon Blanc produced by select wineries along with dedicated food parings for these wines. The tasting profile was created by SIAG Resident Master Sommelier, Catherine Fallis aka grape goddess, and Resident Chef, Julie Hoskins of Unexpected Chef, crafted the unique pairing recipes.

Handley Cellars Proprietor and Founding Winemaker, Milla Handley, said that, “The 2014 harvest was one of the earliest recorded here in Anderson Valley AVA. We sourced the fruit for the Sauvignon Blanc from the Charles and Meyer Vineyards, both located at the warmer end of the valley, near Boonville. The Charles Vineyard, on the valley floor, is usually among the first we harvest. The wine was entirely fermented and aged in stainless steel. Aromas of gooseberries, citron, and lemon grass are followed on the palate by flavors of passion fruit, Meyer lemon, kiwi, and hints of wet stone. The touch of Semillon we added rounds out the blend, for a dry, crisp and refreshing finish.”

According to Zac Robinson, Past President, MWI, the “2014 harvest was early but uneventful. The fact that Sauv Blanc is one of the first grapes to ripen leads to consistent vintages. Late-to-ripen grapes are more prone to surprises like rain, disease, birds, winery logistical snafus, among others.”

Deborah Wallo, Founder and Wine Grower, with husband Edward, advised that their Yorkville Cellars estate grapes “grow on benchlands in the Yorkville Highlands AVA. Their vineyards include gentle south-facing slopes, plateaus and north-facing hills as well as steep terraces which produce voluptuous Sauvignon Blanc fruit. The wine expresses the terroir with zippy citrus from the cooler exposures and keen aromatics from steep thin soils.”

Loquacious McFadden Farms Tasting Room Manager, John Cesano, believes that “the 2014 harvest was a great harvest at McFadden Farm, capping off a great vintage from bud break to bottle. Many of Mendocino County’s wines are honest expressions of terroir rather than exhibitions of manipulation. The county has the greatest concentration of certified organic and biodynamic growers and wines in America. The 40-degree average nightly temperature plummet brings acid naturally integrated into each grape, yielding dry wines with amazing aromatics, clearly discernible fruit notes, balanced by food friendly natural acidity. Nowhere is this dedication to organic goodness more evident than in the Sauvignon Blanc wines of McFadden Farm, in the Potter Valley where the much heralded Russian River begins.”

“Brutocao Cellars Sauv Blanc has a warmer climate area with red volcanic soils giving us our tropical flavors”, according to Hoss Milone, Brutocao Cellars winemaker. “Then it changes to loamy clay where we get more red grapefruit and floral notes. This all occurs in the same block of vineyard. That’s Mendocino County.”

Many of these stylistically diverse expressions of Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc are available at retail shops and restaurants around the country and most are available online for shipping direct to consumers. Recommended selections include – Brutocao Cellars 2014 Feliz Vineyard, $14 per bottle; Bliss Vineyards 2014, $9; Handley Cellars, 2014 Anderson Valley, $22; McFadden Farms, 2014 Estate Grown, Potter Valley, $16; and Yorkville Cellars, 2014 Randle Hill Vineyard, $19.

These wines are perfect for sipping during the warm summer months and more than well-structured and complex enough to be paired with many different cuisines year-round!

~ John Compisi, Examiner.com with contributions by Bryan Dias, Executive Director, Summertime in a Glass ~ SauvBlanc.org 

See our Mendocino County Pairing ideas here

Learn more about Mendocino County in our Regional Tasting Profile here

ABOUT SUMMERTIME IN A GLASS: Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) is an advocacy and information group that seeks to promote, educate and entertain wine enthusiasts and the industry itself on the world of Sauvignon Blanc. We strive to do so by being informative, yet never too serious. Wine is fun and social. Sauvignon Blanc is known as a great food wine but many styles also make for great “porch wines.” This all means that it is meant to be shared and enjoyed, not pontificated!

 

Follow Summertime in a Glass

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Summertime in a Glass Brings California Sauvignon Blanc Industry Together

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Summertime in a Glass, an education and advocacy organization for the Sauvignon Blanc varietal, has just concluded a series of events designed to bring the California Sauvignon Blanc wine industry together to focus on the grape and the wine. 

Attendees of the Summertime in a Glass California Sauvignon Blanc Symposium.

Attendees of the Summertime in a Glass California Sauvignon Blanc Symposium.

Nearly 50 members of the California Sauvignon Blanc industry, including growers, winemakers and educators, gathering at the Martinelli Center in Livermore on May 19, to teach, taste, learn, discuss, and share information on the exceptional Sauvignon Blanc grown and produced in the numerous growing regions in central and northern California. Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) hosted the symposium to promote this, often under-appreciated, wine grape and wine, which is widely produced in California.

As the historic home of California Sauvignon Blanc, the Livermore Valley was the most appropriate place for this event.  The first international Gold Medal awarded to a California wine originated here.  That event was the 1889 International Paris Exposition (about 113 years before the well known “Judgment of Paris”) when Cresta Blanca Winery, owned by Charles Wetmore, submitted a ‘dry white wine’ for the competition.  The wine was a “Sauterne-style” wine composed of Sauvignon Blanc along with Semillon, grown from cuttings, that, ironically, originated at Château d’Yquem in southern Bordeaux.  Cresta Blanca Winery was designated a California historical landmark in 1957 and is owned by the Wente family.

The growers and producers in attendance were from Arroyo Seco, Livermore Valley, Napa Valley, Mendocino, Sonoma County, and Paso Robles, five exceptional Sauvignon Blanc growing regions.  The objective of the event was for the various facets and segments of the industry, including growers, producers, sommeliers, wine buyers and wine educators to discuss, interact, share ideas, and expectations and, ultimately, promote the grape and the wine from the state.

The Producers Panel, from left to right, Jeff Meier, Karl Wente, and Michael Griva

The Producers Panel, from left to right, Jeff Meier, Karl Wente, and Michael Griva

The symposium was kicked-off by Bryan Dias, Executive Director of Summertime in a Glass. He made some welcoming remarks and then introduced the first panel, which consisted of Jeff Meier, President and Chief Operating Officer, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines; Karl Wente, fifth generation Winegrower and Winemaker, Wente Family Estates, and Michael Griva, President of the Arroyo Seco AVA and vigneron of Griva Vineyards.  The panel spoke about the varying terroir in the different regions of California as well as production methods and approach.

The subsequent panel was a sommelier-lead discussion of the flavor profiles associated with Sauvignon Blanc from the various California appellations and also compared and contrasted them with the Sauvignon Blanc produced in the renowned Loire Valley of France, New Zealand, and Chile.  Catherine Fallis, aka the grape goddess, moderated this panel with Deborah Parker Wong, Senior Editor of the Tasting Panel/The SOMM Journal, and Celebrity Sommelier Christopher Sawyer.  During the sommelier panel, several different SIAG member Sauvignon Blanc wines were poured including: Steven Kent Winery, McFadden Farm, Bernardus Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, Herb Lamb Vineyards and Clouds Rest Vineyards.

The Sommelier Panel from left to right, Catherine Fallis, Chris Sawyer, and Deborah Parker Wong

The Sommelier Panel from left to right, Catherine Fallis, Chris Sawyer, and Deborah Parker Wong

The final panel was a guided technical tasting of a variety of Sauvignon Blanc bottlings from Summertime in a Glass members including: Peterson Winery, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Wines and Mercy Vineyards.  Other exceptional member wines tasted included: Yorkville Cellars, Phifer-Pavitt – Date Night Wines, Vina Robles, McGrail Vineyards, Handley Cellars, Wente Vineyards, and Cuda Ridge Wines.

Later in the week, Summertime in a Glass sponsored an industry and media ‘meet and greet’ at Sonoma’s Kick Ranch, hosted by SIAG member Dick Keenan, owner of Overland Wines.  Kick Ranch is nestled on a beautiful hillside on the western flank of Spring Mountain and is the source of beautiful fruit used in many Sonoma and Napa wines. This was a casual event where many winemakers, growers, and members of the wine media interacted and discussed California Sauvignon Blanc.

Finally, as a capstone to a month of Sauvignon Blanc focus was a single varietal tasting at the Napa Valley Wine Academy on June 21, co-sponsored by Summertime in a Glass and Discover Sonoma County Wines.  The tasting was aimed at sommeliers, buyers, and wine educators to help them provide diversity in their wine lists while educating the public on the many amazing California Sauvignon Blanc available for their programs.  The event was moderated and guided by celebrity sommelier Christopher Sawyer.

Each of these events led to the development of numerous strategies, concepts, and approaches for promoting the grape and the wine. A key idea is that California can produce a world class bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at a highly competitive price, unlike many other varietals, when viewed in light of global competition. Additionally, since California boasts such a wide-range of terroir and diversity of winemaking styles, there is no definitive “California style” and it was concluded that there shouldn’t be. There is a California Sauvignon Blanc out there for everyone. Because of this diversity and its food-friendly nature, California Sauvignon Blanc can be enjoyed year-round with seasonal foods, ethnic cuisine, and on your front porch. See more on the Summertime in a Glass website at www.SauvBlanc.org.

More than 30 members of the California Sauvignon Blanc industry attended the event at Kick Ranch.

More than 30 members of the California Sauvignon Blanc industry attended the event at Kick Ranch.

 

You can follow Summertime in a Glass –

Facebook: SummertimeInAGlass,

Twitter: @summerinaglass,

Instagram: SummertimeinaGlass,

Pinterest: SummertimeInAGlass,

LinkedIn: (Group) Summertime in a Glass – Sauvignon Blanc

 

Talking points, strategies and ideas generated: 

Consumer Messaging:

  • A world-class bottle of wine at a competitive price.
  • You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great bottle of California Sauvignon Blanc.
  • From seasonal produce or seafood to ethnic cuisine, California Sauvignon Blanc is a year-round food wine.
  • Ideal for your porch during the summer and perfect with Dungeness crab in the winter, California Sauvignon Blanc should is always a go-to wine.
  • No other region can match the breadth of style and diversity of California Sauvignon Blanc.
  • With the state’s tremendous variety of terroir and artistry of winemaking approaches, there is a California Sauvignon Blanc for everyone.
  • From ripe, fruit-driven wine to crisp acidity to luscious mouthfeel and oak, there is a California Sauvignon Blanc to suit any taste or occasion.

Industry Points:

  • Due to its price point and food-friendly considerations, California Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent wine for by-the-glass programs.
  • Also due to price point and its appeal for pairing with a wide-variety of foods, California Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice for a tremendous diversity of on-premise locations – from bar & grill settings to fine dining to ethnic restaurants.
  • California Sauvignon Blanc enjoys a small variation in price window (from low to high), for the most part. This makes these wines accessible to a larger proportion of the wine-buying market.
  • Wine buyers and others in this role need to be educated that California Sauvignon Blanc is a great year-round wine and the mentality that it should be “in” by spring and “out” by Labor Day is outdated, ineffective, and inaccurate.
  • Wine consumers must be educated on this as well and this is dependent on educating those that hand-sell California Sauvignon Blanc.
  • California Sauvignon Blanc is not just a “pre-dinner” wine, but an ideal pairing with a wide-range of cuisine.
  • With young people’s wine interest increasing and California Sauvignon Blanc’s friendly price-point and diversity, it can play a role as an “entry-level” wine for this demographic.
  • With the wide-range of styles and profiles of Sauvignon Blanc produced in the state, there is no clear-cut or black and white “California style,” nor should there be. There is too much diversity to effectively “pigeon-hole” the state’s wine.
  • The above creates individual marketing, content development, and partnership opportunities but also requires education and messaging to buyers and consumers.
  • Producers should be encouraged to form creative partnerships and develop content and messaging unique to their wines, while still fitting in with the messages developed here. This can include working with chefs to create dedicated pairings, succinct information on style and flavor profile, suggested pairings, etc. These can be effective in the restaurant, the tasting room, and for sales channel support.
  • Summertime in a Glass is ideally suited to bring this education, form needed partnerships, and develop and promote these messages to both consumers and the wine industry on California Sauvignon Blanc.

SIAG Member Profile – McFadden Farm

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McFadden Farm is located in Mendocino County. The original 23 acres of grapes were planted in 1970 and represented the first winegrapes planted in Potter Valley. Many noted wineries sourced grapes from the farm including Robert Mondavi, Chateau Montelena, Sterling, Handley Cellars, Fetzer, Piper Sonoma, and others. Their first labeled wine, a Pinot Gris, was made in 2003. Sauvignon Blanc was introduced in 2005. Founder, Guinness McFadden, has a very interesting history. He grew up in New York City and then, after attending Notre Dame, he went on to join the United States Navy. It was during one of his tours in the Mediterranean that he initially developed his love of wine.

An important focus of McFadden Farm is using eco-friendly techniques and organic farming. They also strive to let the terroir shine through in the wines. When asked about their philosophy for producing Sauvignon Blanc, marketing director, John Cesano, explained, “We let the land speak and don’t get in the way of the grapes. Also, we don’t hide good fruit behind malolactic fermentation. Let the grapes be. We focus on producing good wine and keeping it affordable by keeping vineyard expenses down.”

McFadden_SauvignonBlanc_2014_front_cropMcFadden Farm’s Sauvignon Blanc is all family-farmed, comes from their estate, and is organically grown. Their location at the north end of the Potter Valley and the headwaters of the Russian River is very conducive to growing the varietal. This is due, in part, to the high elevation of 1,100 feet. The nearby mountains lend desirable shade to the vineyard providing cooling influences of up to a 40 degree swing at night. This allows the grapes to enjoy more “hang time” on the vine. More time on the vine enhances the development of the fruit’s flavor and acidity, producing a balanced and crisp wine.

Their Sauvignon Blanc shows notes of grapefruit, honeydew, fresh hay, and pear. McFadden uses all stainless steel fermentation in the production of their Sauvignon Blanc and the grapes are crushed whole cluster. Their process lets the terroir show through in each glass.

McFadden Farm is certified organic and they utilize solar power on the shop and office.

McFadden Farm is certified organic and they utilize solar power on the shop and office.

Being organic is an important value that McFadden Farm places on their products. When asked why they decided organic was the best way to grow, John said “why not?” The wines they produce proudly display their California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) designation. Nearly three decades ago, Guinness converted an old dam on the Russian River into a hydroelectric power plant that supplies power to much of the farm and the local utility.

In 2003, solar photovoltaic systems were installed at his shop and the office area making the operation, essentially, electrically self-sustaining. In the vineyard, McFadden Farms grows nitrogen fixing plants to replenish the soil and sends in livestock to naturally mow the rows after harvest as well as leaving behind natural fertilizer. According to John, “as a farmer, growing organically is the only responsible way to grow.”

Visit McFadden Farm -

McFadden Farm’s Tasting Room is located at 13275 South Highway 101, Suite 5, Hopland, CA 95449 Phone 707-744-8463. They are open daily, Sunday through Monday, from 10am to 5pm.

Check out their website here

Learn more about the McFadden Farm Sauvignon Blanc here

Learn more about McFadden Farm on this YouTube video -

California Sauvignon Blanc Symposium – Tuesday, May 19

sym_logo_squareSummertime in a Glass ~ SauvBlanc.org is pleased to host a California Sauvignon Blanc Symposium on Tuesday, May 19 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Martinelli Center in Livermore Valley – 3585 Greenville Rd., Livermore, CA 94550.

The symposium is for industry professionals to come together to discuss issues connected to Sauvignon Blanc in the state including production, sales and marketing, and more. A goal of the event is to generate talking points and other considerations on how best to advocate California’s Sauvignon Blanc. The symposium will allow for considerable interaction and is being kept somewhat intimate in order to facilitate the flow of ideas.

The event will include panel discussions, a technical tasting – led by Summertime in a Glass’ Resident Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis of Planet Grape, breakout group sessions, and opportunities to network. Panelists include Senior Industry Editor of the Somm Journal Deborah Parker Wong, “Sommelier to the Stars” Chris Sawyer, 5th Generation Winemaker of Wente Vineyards Karl Wente, Arroyo Seco AVA President Michael Griva, and President and Winemaker of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Jeff Meier.

Space is limited and the event is only open to industry members. Lunch will also be served. Cost is $15/person for Summertime in a Glass members and $30/person for non-members. Please visit our Square store to reserve your spot – https://squareup.com/market/summertime-in-a-glass. If you would like to make other arrangements to RSVP, please email bryan@summertimeinaglass.org. Producers are asked to bring 2 bottles of their current Sauvignon Blanc to share during the final networking hour of the event.

Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) is an advocacy and information group that seeks to promote, educate and entertain wine enthusiasts and the industry itself on the world of Sauvignon Blanc. We strive to do so by being informative, yet never too serious or dogmatic. Wine is fun and social. Sauvignon Blanc is known as a great food wine but many styles also make for great “porch wines.” This all means that it is meant to be shared and enjoyed, not pontificated! www.SauvBlanc.org.

Summertime in a Glass ~ 3826 Kamp St., Pleasanton, CA 94588 ~ www.SauvBlanc.org ~ 510-396-7276

For more information on becoming a Charter Member, please visit:

http://www.sauvblanc.org/membership/