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Pinot Briefs —Newsletter 10.11

Pinot Noir Continues to Increase in Popularity Ship Compliant published their annual Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Report for 2014. Pinot Noir was the rising star among all varietals, selling 600,000 cases. Pinot Noir experienced a significant increase in both volume of shipments and average price per bottle shipped resulting in a 33% increase in the value of Pinot Noir shipments for 2014. Pinot Noir sales have been trending upward for several years, outperforming the market average in percentage of annual growth since 2012, and now represents 15.2% of the total market. The only other wine that parallels Pinot Noir in success is Cabernet Sauvignon, which has maintained its first place ranking of highest average price per bottle in the market.

Carneros Wine Alliance Celebrates 30 Years The Carneros Wine Alliance is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015. The Carneros AVA was approved in 1983. Formally known as Los Carneros, the region stretches over both Napa and Carneros counties, yet has lagged behind both counties in recognition. A littleknown fact is that the Carneros AVA resulted from a proposed movie at Carneros Creek, and the people who gathered to work on the movie decided to create an AVA. The film never happened. Anne Moller-Racke of The Donum Estate helped establish the Carneros Wine Alliance and has spearheaded the drive to bring recognition to the Carneros AVA. Two organizations are now working to bring attention to the region: the Carneros Wine Alliance focuses more on the trade and media, while the Hospitality de los Carneros directs its efforts toward consumers.

Alcohol Content Affects Brain Flavor Perception Centers A recent study in the online journal PLOS ONE, looked at MRI scans of the brains of study participants while they tasted low alcohol (13.0 to 13.5 ABV) and high alcohol (14.5 to 15.0 ABV) wines. Low alcohol wines tended to activate the cerebellum region of the brain that has to do with perception of flavor intensity. The researchers concluded that their study seemed to support the opinions of some wine experts that lower-alcohol wines may provide the drinker with more sensitivity to the flavors in the wine.

Saffron Fields Hospitality Center Combines Serenity, Art & Pinot Noir Located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, Saffron Fields Winery is named for the world’s most valuable spice. The Saffron Fields Hospitality Center goes beyond the stereotypical wine tasting, offering a multi-sensory experience bringing together Saffron Fields’ Pinot Noirs, the serene beauty of the Saffron Fields Japanese Gardens designed by acclaimed land architect Hoichi Kurisu, and a permanent collection of artworks by leading contemporary artists, showcasing these works in the main tasting room and other spaces throughout the Hospitality Center. Most recently, owners Sanjeev Lahoti and Angela Summers have commissioned acclaimed modern American artist James Surls to create a sculpture for the Saffron Fields Hospitality Center. The winemaker at Saffron Fields is veteran Tony Rynders. For more information, visit

Valley Wine Merchants Has the Goods Newly opened Valley Wine Merchants in Newberg, Oregon, is a retail bottle shop stocked with over 200 Oregon Pinot Noirs, 100+ half bottles, as well as wines from Champagne, Burgundy, Napa and Sonoma. Owner Andrew Turner is your personal wine buyer. Visit

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