Monday, October 17, 2011

Is Sea Smoke getting a bit cocky?

New for the 2009 vintage: Sea Smoke of Santa Barbara is putting “California Grand Cru” on the label. 

The term is pure marketing. Needless to say, there is no codified “cru” system of California. However, the term does not fall afoul of the protected terms negotiated in the EU-US accord on place names. The labels previously read “Santa Barbara County California.” 

After eyeing it for some time, Bob Davids acquired an apparently gorgeous, 350-acre parcel in the Santa Rita Hills in 1999 for his label Sea Smoke. According to North American Pinot Noir, it was previously a bean field. He immediately developed about 100 acres into vineyards; the first vintage was 2001. The winery produces four pinot noirs and two chardonnays; all bear the term “California Grand Cru” for the 2009 vintage. 

Queried about their decision to use their term, Director of Winemaking Victor Gallegos talked about a Wine Spectator article in which James Laube called Sea Smoke “an important part of Santa Barbara’s wine scene and one of its ‘grand cru’ properties.”

Frankly... I wonder what they are Sea Smokin...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2012 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) today announced that its 2012 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees will be Peter Mondavi, Sr., of Charles Krug Winery; Professor Albert Winkler of UC Davis; Joe Heitz of Heitz Cellars in the Napa Valley; former Beringer winemaker Myron Nightingale; Mendocino County pioneer John Parducci; and legendary South Coast vintner Richard Sanford. Dr. Eugene Hilgard, one of the fathers of modern soil science, was previously elected unanimously by the Nominating Committee.
The official induction of the 2012 Vintners Hall of Fame honorees will take place on February 20, 2012 at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, CA, as part of the college’s 6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration.

“These inductees are the leaders who helped California become the center of the American wine industry while producing some of the best wines in the world,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “The Culinary Institute of America is proud to host the Vintners Hall of Fame and honor the class of 2012 for their accomplishments at making California wines so extraordinary and successful.”