Download &
print (pdf)

Pinot Briefs —Newsletter 6.52

A to Z Wineworks A to Z Wineworks in Dundee was founded in 2002 by Sam Tannahill and Bill Hatcher and has become Oregon’s fastest growing winery and now one of the largest producers of Pinot Noir. All of their wines are under $20. Francis Tannahill, who formerly made wine at Archery Summit and has his own premium label with his wife Francis called Francis Tannahill, now says he gets considerable satisfaction out of crafting good, inexpensive wines.

Windsor Sonoma Pat Roney, owner of Girard Winery, and Leslie Rudd of Rudd Winery & Vineyards have started a new label, Windsor Sonoma. They are building a new 6,700 sq ft boutique winery and tasting room complex sitting on 40 acres of vineyards in Healdsburg. The label’s first releases include a 2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and will be priced under $30. Roney and Rudd also own Windsor Vineyards where they are raising the quality of wine produced there.

Health Warnings on Wine Articles A French court has recently ruled that newspaper articles featuring wines should have to conform to the same health and safety guidelines as alcohol advertising. The court said that articles in favor of alcoholic drinks are advertising and must carry health warnings including the disclaimer: “Alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health.” Naturally French journalists are stunned by this decision and have already started to protest in large numbers.

Alcohol Free Wine Alcohol-free wines are made by removing the alcohol through a filter or vacuum process. The resulting wine must have less than one-half of one percent alcohol. Ariel Vineyards sold 1.2 million bottles of alcohol-free wine last year so there is definitely a market for it among pregnant women, designated drivers and abstainers. The alcohol-free wines will not please lovers of good alcoholic wine, but when made with some sweetness as in a white Zinfandel style or a sparkling wine, they can be acceptable. The health benefits do not duplicate that of regular wine as alcohol in moderation has been shown to contribute to the reduction in cardiovascular disease associated with wine. I know of no studies that have compared regular wine drinkers with alcohol-free wine drinkers.

Grape Radio on American Airlines Grape Radio internet podcast programs are now included on American Airlines in-flight programming. This is the first wine-related programming on any airline. The first programs will feature Frederick Paniotis of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Margrit Mondavi, and Gaia Gaja of Piedmont. Grape Radio ( now has 20,000 listeners and is one of numerous podcasts that are part of a hot trend.

MooBuzz label Don Sebastiani & Sons International Wine Negociants is launching a new brand called MooBuzz, which will feature high-end premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from grapes grown in the Sonoma Coast appellation. The name is taken from the bucolic agricultural lands of the Sonoma Coast appellation - the land of ‘milk and honey’ - thus the the cows and the bees. Moniker. The MooBuzz Pinot Noir will be priced at $25. Don Sebastiani and sons, Donny and August, are third and fourth generation California vintners and merchants.

River Road Wine Trail Ten tasting rooms along Monterey’s River Road Wine Trail will be hosting a passport event on Saturday, February 16, from 11 AM to 4 PM. The wineries collectively open for the Valentine’s Passport are Paraiso, Hahn, Pessagno, Marilyn Remark, Scheid, Ventana, Chalone, Manzoni, San Saba and Blackstone. Rare vintages will be offered along with music and food. The Passport ticket price of $25 includes a souvenir glass, a gift of sweets, special discounts on wine and complimentary tastings at participating wineries valid through March 31. The wineries are located along the River Road/Foothill road corridor, on the Santa Lucia bench above the Salinas Valley, just east of Monterey and Carmel. The group’s online home is

Previous article:
Small Sips of the Rest
Next article:
Wine Touring in Oregon

Print entire newsletter