Oregon Pinot Noir Off To South Korea The Portland Business Journal (February 14, 2013) reported
that a cadre of South Koreans visited Oregon wineries and bought 2,200 cases and have been shipped to
Shinsegae, South Korea’s largest retailer, which operates supermarkets similar to Fred Meyer. The wines are
from Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Lange Estate Winery & Vineyards, WillaKenzie Estate, and Union Wine
Company. Wine consumption is increasing in South Korea and wine is the preferred alcoholic drink for women
in Korea because it is perceived as healthy. This popularity of Oregon wine abroad comes as no surprise as
latest figures show that United States wine exports are poised to set a record $1.4 billion in 2012. According to
the Wine Institute, wine exports increased 2.6% for the third straight year. 90% of the exports are from
California wine regions. Europe is the top market for California wines with Canada second. Sales in China
zoomed 18% to $74 million, while South Korea had a 26% gain to $16 million. Many stateside wineries find it
is easier to ship wine abroad than try to deal with the maze of individual state restrictions on shipping wine.
For American Pinot Noir lovers the news is not necessarily good, as there will be more competition for top
bottlings in the future. It is curious that American wineries are sending plenty of wine abroad when in this
country there are still over 108 million people potential customers who are not drinking wine regularly.
According to Andrew Jefford (Decanter.com, January 28, 2013), between 16 and 20 percent of United States
citizens consume 90% to 96% of the wine. Wine Business.com (January 21, 2013) reports that the “core”
drinkers account for 93 percent of the 175 million cases of wine sold off-premise in 2012. The largest number
and most frequent buyers are Baby Boomers (ages 49 to 67) and Millenials (ages 19 to 36).
Ekton is the Second Sub-AVA for Umpqua Valley Wines & Vines (February 14, 2013)
reported that effective March 7, 2013, the new Ekton Oregon AVA has been approved. The AVA consists of
74,900 acres within the Umpqua Valley AVA and the larger Southern Oregon AVA, and is planted to only 96.5
acres of grapes currently. The new AVA is separated from the rest of the Umpqua Valley by a ridge of low-lying
hills that contain the cold maritime air from the Pacific Ocean only 30 miles away, making this new AVA cooler
than the rest of the Umpqua Valley. River’s Edge Winery and Brandborg Vineyard & Winery grow Pinot Noir in
the new Ekton AVA. Others are exploring the possibilities for Pinot Noir is this relatively undeveloped region
that has plantings dating back forty years. The other sub-AVA in the Umpqua Valley is Red Hill Douglas County
Oregon AVA which was approved in 2005 ( one winery, 5,500 acres).
Rollin Soles Leaves Argyle for ROCO The along time (since 1987) winemaker at Argyle Winery is
leaving to concentrate on the label he established ten years ago with his wife Corby Stonebreaker-Soles.
Soles’ assistant winemaker, Nate Klostermann, will take over for Soles at Argyle. ROCO produced 4,000
cases in 2012 from both purchased fruit (a Willamette Valley and a Maresh Vineyard bottling) and estate fruit
(“Private Stash” from the 7-acre Wit’s End Vineyard that the Soles own). The estate vineyard was planted in
2001. A tasting room is now open adjacent the winery on Red Hills Road in Dundee. No word on whether he
will make sparkling wines, which were Oregon’s finest at Argyle.
Presqu’ile Joins Wilson Daniels Presq’uile Winery has joined Wilson Daniels’ portfolio and will be
the winery’s distributor beginning in 2013. Two generations of Murphys oversee this family winery, joined by
winemaker Dieter Cronje and vineyard manager Jim Stollberg. Presqu’ile is creole for “almost an island,”
named in honor of the Murphy’s beloved family gathering place located on the Gulf Coast that was destroyed
by Hurricane Katrina. Presq’uile property includes 73 acres of certified sustainably farmed vineyards on 200
acres with a modern gravity-fed winery. Presq’uile currently produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and
No More “Two Buck Chuck” Trader Joe’s has sold millions of cases of “Two Buck Chuck” over the
past 11 years but recently the price has gone up. Stores in California increased the price from $1.99 to $2.49,
making it now “Two and a Half Buck Chuck.”
Heat During Shipping Shortens Potential Bottle Age A recent Purdue University study
(“Effects of heat exposure on wine quality during transport and storage,” Journal of Wine Research, 23:1, 2012)
monitored the exposure of wine to heat during shipments through the national distribution network from
wineries. During the summer and early autumn months, wines shipped to or via warm geographic regions
were often exposed to temperatures above 75ºF and frequently for extended periods of time. In some cases,
wines would have been exposed to extreme temperatures of up to 111ºF. Also, frequent large diurnal variation
(39ºF to 70ºF) were found. Using ethyl carbamate formation to determine accumulated heat exposure as a
wine quality indicator and different kinetic models for wine aging, the researchers suggested that some wines
exposed to heat during transport corresponded to an added bottle age of between 1 and 18 months compared
with conventional cellar storage.
Surf City Vintners Wine University Pinot Noir Appreciation Class On March 10, 2013,
Joe Miller of Rexford Winery will present a class titled, “Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir: On the World Stage.”
Miller will explore the influence of location on the qualities and characteristics of Pinot Noir, discover why the
Santa Cruz Mountains is among the world’s best regions for Pinot Noir, and sample local Pinot Noirs compared
with a French Burgundy. Joe Miller taught UCSC Extension classes on wines of Burgundy for many years.
Attendees will receive a “diploma” in Sip-ology from Surf City University. The class is $30. Register at the Surf
City winery tasting rooms or call 408-234-2079. A Chardonnay class, “Chardonnay Styles,” with Steve Storrs
of Storrs Winery will be held in April. The dozen boutique wineries and tasting rooms that make up the Surf
City Vintners offer an urban wine tasting experience in renovated warehouses. Visit the website at
Affairs of the Vine Pinot Noir Summit The 11th Annual Pinot Noir Summit will be held Saturday,
March 16, 2013, at the Herbst at the Presidio in San Francisco. The 40 wines offered for blind judging by the
public have been reviewed by at least two tasting panels, and the results are compared to those of a panel of
experts in this year’s Pinot Noir Shootout. The Pinot Noirs hail from California, Oregon and beyond. The event
includes workshops and a Grand Awards Tasting & Ceremony. Use discount code, “pinotfan,” for a discount on
tickets before February 28. Visit www.brownpapertickets.com to view the event schedule and to purchase
La Follette Wines at The Barlow Grand Opening The Barlow in Sebastopol, a marketplace
that brings together winemakers, brewers, artisan food producers and artists, has finished construction and
several of the winery tasting rooms will be holding Open Houses. La Follette Wines Grand Opening, the Pinot
and Popcorn Terroir Tour, will be held March 16, 2013. Greg La Follette and assistant winemaker Simone
Sequeria will be hosting three seated flights of tasting pairing La Follette wines with different flavors of popcorn
while exploring the various vineyard sites in the La Follette portfolio. Greg will also serenade guests with his
bagpipes. The seated sessions are complimentary but reservations are required. Contact Jana Churich at
707-395-3902x224 or email@example.com. The tasting room will be open from 11:00 to 6:00 that day to
Wine World iPhone App Catalan entrepreneurs launched the first iPhone app with worldwide
information about wine. The app supplies information about 983 wine regions of 17 of the main producing
countries, including information on every wine region such as its kind of grapes, types of wine, production, and
shows the user the closest wine stores. World Wine contains a database of more than 29,000 wine cellars and
stores from 61 countries. In updates to follow, World Wine will include assessment and opinions about different
kinds of wines. The information is available offline as well. Offered by WasabiLabs at www.wasabilabls.eu.
La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge This charming wine bar is located in downtown Petaluma across the
street from Boulevard Cinemas in Theatre Square. In keeping with its location, La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge
shows movies on the wall behind the bar from the owner’s collection of classic DVDs. Owner Sahar Gharai
started this business in 2007. The wine menu is organized into flights and a food menu of small plates is
offered to accompany the wines. A reader, C.J. Newton, told my about this place and submitted the following
photo of the Wine Wall at La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge. Outdoor seating is available as well. Highly
recommended by several reviewers in tripadvisor. Visit www.ldvwine.com for hours and further information.
Kegs and Growlers Gain Popularity in Oregon According to an article in Wines & Vines
January 23, 2013), House Bill 2443 is aimed at allowing consumers to receive wine, beer and cider in “securely
covered containers” no larger than 2 gallons at restaurants and grocery stores. This will allow wine drinkers to
source wines when they live some distance from a winery, allowing them to refill growlers locally much like you
would fill up your car with fuel. Currently, consumers can only fill containers at wineries. Refillable kegs have
become popular with several wineries in Oregon since 2009.
7,498 Wineries Now in the U.S. A report from Wine Business Monthly (February 2013) proprietary
database, part of the Review of The Industry issue, found that the total number of wineries in the U.S. is now
7,498, an increase of 102 wineries over last year (the smallest growth in the past four years). The number of
wineries for California was 3,532, Washington 670, Oregon 543, and New York 306.
Record Winegrape Crush in 2012 As I travel around, winemakers are stoked about the abundant
harvest in 2013. Many report yields up 45% over last year, but beyond the generous yields, the quality is very
high as well. Some are saying 2012 is the best ever vintage for the West Coast. The California Agricultural
Statistic Service, CDFA, California Preliminary Grape Crush Report said that the 2012 crush totaled a record
high 4,383,100 tons, up 13 percent from the 2011 crush and 1 percent larger than the previous record high
2005 crush. Chardonnay accounted for 16.8% of the crush, Cabernet Sauvignon 11.3%, Zinfandel 10.3%,
Merlot 7.6%, French Colombard 7.1% and Pinot Noir 5.6%. A total of 247,303.1 tons of Pinot Noir were
crushed compared to 170,450.1 tons in 2011. Weighted average degrees Brix for Pinot Noir was 24.5 for the
state compared to 24.0 in 2011. Wholesale average base price for Pinot Noir was $2,688.02.
Soledad in the Salinas Valley Looking for Wine Tourists The Los Angeles Times
(February 17, 2013) reported that the farm town of Soledad is reaching out to tourists to stop and explore the
area with a billboard that says, “Soledad: Feel the Momemtum.” The Pinnacles National Monument is located
five miles east of Soledad in the Gavilan Mountains. 12 well-regarded Monterey County wineries sit within five
miles of Soledad, providing the opportunity for wine tasting rous and The Pinnacles National Park tours.
Calera Wine Company, located in Hollister, and somewhat isolated, is near Soledad and appealingly off the
trodden parth. It has a tasting room open daily from 11:00 to 4:30. The oldest producing vineyard in Monterey
County, Chalone Vineyard Estate, is located on the Gavilan Mountain Range but is not open to the public. Visit
www.citeofsoledad.com or www.gatewaytopinnacles.com.
Pinot In The Windy City Over 60 Willamette Valley wineries will converge on Chicago on March 7 to
pour their wines. The event will take place at City Winery in the heart of downtown Chicago. The Willamette
Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) are promoting this trade show and are in the middle of a “Drink Pinot,
Think Oregon,” campaign. Visit www.willamettewines.com for information and tickets.
Pinot Noir Leaf Curl Discussed at Sonoma County Grape Day Event Wines & Vines
online (February 21, 2013) reported that Pinot Leaf Curl, which was rampant in Sonoma County in the cool
vintages of 2010 and 2011, has been found to be a nitrogen disorder leading to the vine producing a toxic
compound known as putrescine. Severe cases can stunt shoots and decrease yields. The condition was
much less evident in 2012. The most important cause appears to be the vineyard location and the minimum
daily spring temperatures.
Pill to Counteract Alcohol Daily Mail Online (February 18, 2013) detailed research at UCLA that has
developed a cocktail of alcohol metabolizing enzymes that quickly reduced blood alcohol levels in inebriated
mice and allowed them to sober up much quicker compared to mice that did not receive the enzyme treatment.
The results are very preliminary and human trials are a ways off, but this could lead to an alcohol ‘antidote’ pill
that would accelerate alcohol metabolism in the stomach and avoid drunkenness. The researchers are also
developing a pill that destroys the substance that produces male pattern baldness.