Saturday, September 23, 2017

Wine, Travel & Food News From Vino-Sphere: Sept. 23, 2017

Rioja Wine Harvest Festival

What could be more exciting than a Spanish festival where people parade around in costumes with monstrous heads as the town celebrates with music, fireworks, dancing and tapas? Adding gallons and gallons of extraordinary Rioja wine to this already fun-filled event! Logroño is the site of this famous festival, which took place this week. Visitors are treated to plenty of Rioja wine as it takes center stage during the entire week. On Saturday night during the event, musicians, children and people wearing big-headed costumes, also known as the Cabezudos, all gather at the Town Hall. From there, they parade to the Gran Via, the famous wine fountain that spews “wine” high into the sky in honor of Saint Matthew. But don’t be fooled, the fountain isn’t actually spitting wine into the sky – that would be a waste! It’s actually water dyed red, pink and white to symbolize the different wines of Rioja.

Sofitel Los Angeles At Beverly Hills Wine Days

Now through October 31st, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills will celebrate elegant French culture through traditional wine harvesting in partnership with Trinchero Family Estates and Kobrand Corporation, with their sixth edition of annual wine and gastronomy festivities held at all properties of the French hospitality chain.

Riviera 31, Sofitel Los Angeles’ iconic bar lounge, has an exclusive Sofitel Wine Days fine wine selection featuring a Charles & Charles Art Den Hoed Riesling (WA, USA), a Louis Jadot Chardonnay (Burgundy, France), a 815 Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon (CA, USA) and a Villa Nozzole Classico Docg 2014 Chianti (Tuscany, Italy). A delicious wine pairing menuis available at Esterel Restaurant, Sofitel Los Angeles’ signature California-French bistro, featuring exclusive dishes highlighted in the new fall/winter menu. It incorporates strong autumn flavors with garlic and truffle, and seasonal ingredients like root vegetables and squash.

Tiamo Receives Coveted IMPACT Hot Prospect Award for Second Consecutive Year

For the second consecutive year, Tiamo, an Italian wine brand made from organically farmed grapes imported by Illinois-based Winesellers, Ltd., has been awarded the prestigious IMPACT “Hot Prospect” from M. Shanken Communications, Inc. for 2016.  The achievement is based on multi-year sales growth and performance in the U.S. market and follows the brand’s recognition in 2015. “Tiamo is an innovating and modern brand that is constantly creating exciting varieties that showcase the rich diversity of Italian wines,” said Jordan Sager, VP of Winesellers, Ltd.

Maiden + Liberty Releases New Cabernet Sauvignon

Family-owned and operated Long Island winemakers, Maiden + Liberty, has added a new bottle to its catalogue presenting a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in stainless steel with oak chips and made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and 15% Syrah grapes. With intense dark fruit flavours of blackberry and blackcurrant with a note of violet, the wine produces a unique combination of flavour intensity and freshness – typical of the altitude at which it was grown on the hills north of Montpellier, France. The bottles retail between $15 and $25.

In addition to increasing its catalogue, Maiden + Liberty has continued to grow its presence in the Long Island and New York City wine community. Along with participating in several tasting events throughout the fall, M+L has been continuing its philanthropic, donating more than $4 million to support innovative research and education.

Meet the Knapp Winery Production Team

Knapp Winery in the Finger Lakes has announced their new production team. Joining the Knapp winemaking team is “professor of winemaking,” Steve DiFrancesco, and new winemaker- Rachel Hadley, and Vineyard Manager, Chris King (not in picture-out tending the grapes). In addition, they have a new cellar worker in Scott Van Patten. 

Harvest Report from Alsace: Domaine Paul Blank & Fils

“The crush kicked off on Monday the 4th of September with the Pinot Noir grapes, racked 10 days later. The grapes were healthy and well-ripened with good acidity. They were followed by the very nice Auxerrois vineyards, the extracted juice of which was less than usual. Some parcels of Gewurztraminer were picked mid-September, in light of their superb maturity and limited number of berries due to frost, followed by the early ripening varieties - Chasselas and Muscat. The cool nights and sunny mornings allowed the fruit to gradually mature.

The must is fruity and boasts nice freshness. The traditional Pinot Gris grapes (Patergarten) were healthy and did not mind the quick outbursts of rain (short showers, sometimes hail). Their impressive density associated with superb acidity will ensure balance, thereby producing fine wines, well suited to food. The Crus were followed by the Riesling Grands Crus - terroir wines which are auguring well for the future. Stay tuned… The springtime was tormented. Wind and fluctuating temperatures at the end of March damaged the vines, which were affected by frost, moths and uprooted shoots. Light rain following the high peaks of temperature during the summer were beneficial for the vineyards of Alsace, thereby avoiding the drought. The vintage is early and beautifully made, despite the small harvest” explained Philippe Blanck.

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