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Pinot Briefs —Newsletter 10.14

West of West Wine Festival (WOW) This annual event is held July 31-August 2, 2015, in Sebastopol. Events include a West County Whole Hog Celebration Friday, July 31, Seminars and Lunch on Saturday, August 1, followed by a Gand Tasting of wines from the West Sonoma Coast provided by 40 winemakers and growers, followed by the Grand Dinner. Sunday, August 2, features a vineyard tour among the towering redwoods along Sonoma Coast’s renowned Taylor Lane, followed by a repeat of the Grand Tasting. All Access Passes are $595 per person, available at As an added event, Ted Lemon of Littorai will be hosting a wine dinner at Valette in Healdsburg on July 30, with farm-fresh ingredients paired with the 2013 Thieriot Vineyard Chardonnay and five 2012 Littorai Pinot Noirs ($150 per person, all inclusive; tickets at

Bounty of Yamhill County A full weekend, Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30, 2015, to savor the flavor of Oregon wine country. This event was voted Best General Food Festival by USA Today. Welcome dinners with Owen Roe, Matzinger-Davies and Domino IV. Artisan farms tours and classes. Winery dinners at Adelsheim Vineyard, WillaKenzie Estate and Earth Winery. Grand Finale at Sokol Blosser Winery with the vintners, chefs and farmers of Yamhill County. For a complete description of all events and to buy tickets, visit

Counter Culture: A Celebration of Urban Street Food & International Wine On the evening of July 23, 2015, Anne Amie Vineyards is hosting Counter Culture, a yearly event that precedes the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Food by Bollywood theater, Country Cat, DOC, Ember & Vine, Kuza Burger, Laurelhurst Market, Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty, Noraneka, Olympia Provisions, Party Downtown, Pok Pok, Per Que No, Smallwears, and Tastebud. Wine by Brooks Winery, Anne Amie Vineyards, Anthony Road Wine Company (New York), Apollini Vineyards, Authentique, SQ Wines, FEL Wines, Graham Beck Wines (South Africa), Gran Moraine, Hamilton-Russell Vineyards (South Africa), Langdon-Shiverick (France), Lincourt Vineyards, Sokol Blosser Winery, Precedent Wine, and Te Kairanga (New Zealand). Details and tickets at

Meiomi Sold for $315 Million Joe Wagner, the son of Chuck Wagner of Caymus fame, sold Meiomi Pinot Noir and Chardonnay labels so he can buy more vineyards and develop other wine brands. The Meiomi brand has gained unprecedented popularity in a short time, becoming one of the top two restaurant Pinot Noirs by the glass in a matter of 7 years. Last year, the brand sold 550,000 cases and is on pace to sell more than 700,000 cases in 2015. Wagner will remain as consulting winemaker for Constellation for two years according to Shanken News Daily.

Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites Wine-Themed Hotel This hotel has partnered with 14 Monterey County wineries to create a unique guest experience. Each winery sponsors one room or suite, providing its own creative touches. The McIntyre Vineyards room, for example, has a 100-year-old section of a grapevine. Participating wineries that produce Pinot Noir include Cima Collina, Holman Ranch, J. Lohr, Manzoni, McIntyre, Tudor and Ventana. Special new packages are now available through July 30. Visit

Winemaker Film ‘Kusuda’ This is a 3-minute documentary about notable Japanese winemaker, Hiroyuki ‘Hiro’ Kusuda, who lives and works in Martingborough, New Zealand. Kusuda follows Hiro during a particularly challenging harvest, when Cyclone Pam threatens the loss of his entire crop. Hiro reflects on the uncontrollable forces of nature, his winemaking process, and the fragility of life itself. The filmmakers continue to film Hiro in hopes of developing a full length feature. View the film at, or by embeddable link at

‘Heroic Viticulture’ Film Nicolas Sakat has made a documentary while pursuing a bachelor of cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy. The subject is mountain viticulture from Valais, a viticole area in the south of Switzerland. His work has just been uploaded online. The film takes the viewer through the vineyards of Valais. Highly enjoyable! Webpage of the project (in French) is Full documentary on YouTube with English, French and Chinese subtitles) at v=Vlbtl-gfFng.

2000 Clos d’Ambonnay Released This expression of a single walled plot of vines, a single grape variety (Pinot Noir) and a single year has been released. Krug Clos d’Ambonnay is made from grapes farmed in a tiny walled .68-hectare plot in the heart of Ambonnay, one of the most distinguished villages in Champagne. This is a powerhouse, very expensive Champagne only released in special years (1996, 1998 and 2000). Only 5,158 bottles released.

Joseph Jewell Wines Opens Tasting Room Winemakers Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker announced the recent grand opening of the Joseph Jewell Wines Tasting Room in Forestville. Vineyard and winery tours are planned for the future. For more information, visit

Youngberg Hill Winery & Inn Celebrating 25 Years Youngberg Hill is celebrating 25 years of history with a dinner prepared by an internationally acclaimed chef from Burgundy, Katherine Frelon. The dinner will feature local, seasonal ingredients paired with a library of Youngberg Hill wines. The date is Wednesday, July 22 at Youngberg Hill (2 days before the start of IPNC). 50 seats are available at $125 per person including gratuity. For reservations, visit

Coquard Wine Presses at Laetitia Winery and Vineyard The two wooden, 30-year-old, Coquard wine presses are the only such presses in North American, dating backing to the winery’s origins as Maison Deutz, a California estate established by France’s Champagne Deutz. In the late 1990s, Laetitia experimented with modern membrane presses, but found the juice coming from the Coquard presses was cleaner and more gently pressed, minimizing residual harshness from stems, skins and seeds. Despite the labor-intensive nature of the Coquard presses, the winery decided that all sparkling wine would be pressed only in the Coquards. In fact, the winery got permission from the Coquard Company to make a signature estate sparkling wine called Laetitia Brut Coquard. The 2010 vintage is currently available.

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