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Smith Story Wine Cellars Appoints Springboard Wine Company as Exclusive California Broker

14 February, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Kimberly Noelle Charles or  Alexandra Fondren Charles Communications Associates 415.701.9463 |       Smith Story Wine Cellars Appoints Springboard Wine Company as Exclusive California Broker America’s first successfully crowd-funded winery plans to expand California footprint   Windsor, CA, February 14, 2018 – Smith Story Wine Cellars has been winning over hearts and minds as ‘the little winery that did’ from the beginning, when it was established in 2013. Four harvests later (and a few thousand thousand cases sold) the husband/wife founders Eric Story and Alison (Ali) Smith Story, credit their growing success to the partner relationships they have formed over the years: with each other, their growers, their ardent consumer fans, and with the trade. Today, they are excited to announce a new partner in Springboard Wine Company – their exclusive California Broker. Smith Story Wine Cellars is based the Russian River Valley AVA, with a second tasting room in the Anderson Valley AVA. Bay Area born Eric and Fort Worth, Texas native Ali met while both working for K&L Wine Merchants in Northern California. Pursuing their dream to make their own wine (but on a wine-industry budget), the newlyweds launched a Kickstarter campaign and Smith Story Wine Cellars became the very first US winery to be successfully crowd-funded. 2017 was the fourth harvest for Smith Story, and they are about to celebrate their five-year anniversary (both the winery and the couple) in May. Their aim with Smith Story is to represent the kind of wine that the “curious wine drinker” enjoys – true wines with purpose, wines of vibrancy and place, and wines with heart.   Due to the momentous consumer requests, largely in part due to the Kickstarter launch and significant social media community of Smith Story fans, the wines are in strong demand in neighborhoods all over the state of California. Says Ali, “never in my life of building brands and helping wineries have I witnessed such loyalty from wine consumers. It was time to take Smith Story to the next level and allow fans to order our wines at their favorite local restaurants, find them in their neighborhood retail stores and create access for Smith Story fans who travel to California and search for our wines.”    When Ali and Eric decided to take Smith Story’s representation statewide in California, the leading domestic wine sales market, Springboard was the natural choice. Sister-owned and operated, Springboard is also a family business that works with select, family-owned wineries.  Effective immediately, Springboard will be responsible for the California sales of all Smith Story wines, which include grower-focused wines from the Anderson Valley, Sonoma County, and Rheingau Germany (via Eric Story Selections), with a variety of character profiles and price points that range from $20 to $80.   Says Eric of the partnership, “Ali & I are both really really excited to be part of the Springboard Board team. When I was at K&L, I always enjoyed and looked forward to working with Springboard. Not only because of the quality and cast of characters but the level of professionalism that came along as well. I think a simple way of saying it is, it's like putting cheese on a just feels right.”   Says Springboard Owner and Sales Manager Elizabeth Corsini, “We never really go out looking to add anything to the portfolio, because that is typically the equivalent of grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You come home with crap. However, when the right thing (ie. no brainer/hell yes) comes along, you do yourself the favor and say ‘yes please.’ Eric, Ali and Smith Story are that Hell Yes for us, and the kind of project that makes Springboard thrive as a company. A burgeoning brand with intelligence, grace and flexibility built into their program, plus two people I would love to sit down and have a beer with. Like, duh.”   About Springboard Wine Company  Springboard Wine Company is a family-owned business with a mission to launch into prominence small, select, family owned wineries. Now celebrating their 12th year in business, the brokerage remains committed to the unique wineries they represent. Springboard aims to preserve winery diversity by promoting wineries that distinguish themselves as not only producers of exceptional quality wines, but are progressives in their field. The three sisters who founded Springboard Wine Company believe that good people make better wine, and the best way to support those you admire is by drinking the fruits of their labor. In short, they sell and promote on behalf of people they like. In the face of winery consolidation, Springboard assists burgeoning small, premium wineries to attain the attention they need to survive and prosper. Ranging from classic to extravagant, each wine in their portfolio tells a story of superior craftsmanship that Springboard is proud to display. For the full portfolio, visit     About Smith Story Wine Cellars  Founded by husband and wife team Eric Story and Alison Smith Story on May 14, 2013, Sonoma County based Smith Story Wine Cellars produces wines from family-owned vineyard sites among Anderson Valley, Knights Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Sonoma Mountain AVAs of California and from the Rheingau region of Germany.    In 2014 along with their (Instagram star) Goldendoodle, Lord Sandwich, Ali founded a non-profit Socks For Sandwich, which inspires others to give and also donates new socks to the needy. The Smith Story Lord Sandwich Red Table Wine has been the number one selling red wine in the portfolio by volume over the last 12 months. Proceeds of the Lord Sandwich Red Table Wine go to Over 25,000 pairs of new socks have been donated and distributed so far to victims of domestic abuse, homeless communities, teenage-foster care programs, immigrant farm workers and to US neighborhoods that suffered damage from natural catastrophes.    Smith Story wines are allocated to Storyteller Wine Club members, sold online to mailing list supporters, sold in their tasting room and through national wholesalers. To learn more please visit and follow daily on Instagram at@smithstorywines. For future appointments to visit the Smith Story Wine Cellars tasting salon in Windsor, CA or the tasting room in Philo, CA, please email or call (707) 494.5575.    For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Alexandra Fondren at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463.   ###
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Wine Hooligans Welcomes Portlandia Vintners to its Portfolio of Artisan Wine Brands

8 February, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kimberly Noelle Charles or Alexandra Fondren Charles Communications Associates 415.701.9463 |                        Wine Hooligans Welcomes Portlandia Vintners to its Portfolio of Artisan Wine Brands Novato, CA (February 5, 2018)  — Wine Hooligans is pleased to announce the addition of Portlandia Vintners to its growing portfolio of artisan wine brands. The Dundee, Oregon-based winery is rooted in the heart of the Willamette Valley, crafting award winning pinot noir and pinot gris from a region that the New York Times calls one of the world’s best pinot producing regions outside Burgundy.   Launched in 2013 by vintner Damian Davis, Portlandia is an ode to the spirit of Oregon’s great wines while also reflecting a sense of the people that make Portland and the Willamette Valley so special. Davis, previously best known for founding Rainier Wine and its famously irreverent Mad Housewife label, aims to make Oregon wine accessible to everyday wine lovers nationwide.  Portlandia’s partnership with Wine Hooligans facilitates the opportunity to expand distribution across the county and develop everyday, affordable pinot noir and pinot gris from Oregon.   “Adding an exceptional set of Oregon pinots fits perfectly with our focus of bringing unique wines from valuable appellations to both consumers and our partners”, said Dennis Carroll, head hooligan of Wine Hooligans. “With Portlandia, we add a dynamic brand in an important category that’s amassed a wonderful set of accolades.  It’s an exciting addition to the Hooligans portfolio of wines.”    Portlandia includes Oregon-appellated wines with eye-catching labels, which range from $18-20, as well as a $40 single vineyard Pinot Noir from the organic and biodynamic Momtazi Vineyard located in Willamette Valley’s McMinnville AVA.   The climate of the valley encompassing the Willamette River in between Oregon’s Cascades and the Coast Range produces some of the world’s best pinot noir and pinot gris wines. However, Davis notes that “It took relentless optimists to bring pinot noir and pinot gris to Oregon, exactly the kind of ‘Hooligan’ mindset that inspired us to create Portlandia Vintners and ultimately enter into this seamless partnership with Wine Hooligans.”   Portlandia’s reception has been very positive so far, with double 92-point scores from Wine Enthusiast’s February 2018 issue, for both the 2016 Pinot Gris (which also received an Editor’s Choice designation) as well as the 2015 Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir, not to mention double 90-point scores for the 2015 Pinot Noir and 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir.     About Portlandia Wines   Portlandia’s aim is to introduce value into the world of boutique, hand-made Oregon wine. Founder Damian Davis is committed to bringing terroir-driven Willamette Valley pinot noir and pinot gris to the everyday table, rejecting the notion that great Oregon wines can only be enjoyed at a premium. When Portlandia’s initial success enabled the ability to scale, it allowed Davis to bring on a new collaborator in Dennis Carroll and his Wine Hooligans.   The Wine Hooligans infrastructure and financial backing has allowed Portlandia to make an even bolder statement in quality/price ratio. “Wine lovers across the country already know that Oregon wine means world-class pinot. The partnership with Hooligans will enable me to get out there consistently to reinforce that message and share just a touch of what makes life here in the Pacific Northwest so special.” Davis’s 13 years of building relationships and seeking avenues to deliver high-quality, inexpensive wines to consumers throughout the Pacific Northwest has helped him to find the many interesting and overlooked vineyards that now define the Portlandia portfolio.   Carroll added, “At Wine Hooligans, we believe artisan brands are made by talented artists.  Damian has used his deep roots in the Pacific Northwest and his talent to create a wonderful set of pinot noir, pinot gris and rosé bottlings that can be enjoyed every day.  We are happy to play a role in helping expand distribution of this unique brand.”   About Wine Hooligans Wine Hooligans, LLC was created by wine industry veteran Dennis Carroll together with an expert team of artisan winemakers.  Positioned as a passionate disruptor of conventional wine marketing and sales, Wine Hooligans is a brand acquisition and development company, which brings people, places and products together to make exceptional wines in a wide variety of categories.  The portfolio consists of Portlandia, Broadside Wines, Cycles Gladiator, Sea Monster, Goyette and Stephen Vincent.  More information can be found at    Media Contact For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles at Charles Communications Associates or 415.701.9463.    ###
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Fess Parker Winery Announces Napa Valley Project

14 November, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kimberly Noelle Charles or Alexandra Fondren Charles Communications Associates 415.701.9463 | Fess Parker Winery Announces Addendum Wines Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Barbara County's intrepid family winery looks to Napa Valley as its next frontier Santa Barbara, Calif. — November 14,  2017 — Fess Parker Winery is pleased to announce the premiere release of Addendum Wines, an exciting portfolio of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from some of the region’s most heralded vineyards. A small, hands-on winemaking endeavor from the seasoned Fess Parker family winemaking team, Addendum is a standalone label. The project represents a unique opportunity for this well-established Santa Barbara County winery to make Bordeaux varietal wines, work side-by-side with committed Napa growers, and carry on the tradition of exploration and pioneering adventure embodied by founder, Fess Parker himself.   Addendum, which literally means an “add-on,” was created to build on to the success of the early Rhone wine program started by Parker. After spending 30 years honing their expertise in Santa Barbara's Burgundian and Rhone varieties at their flagship winery in Los Olivos, the second generation Fess Parkerfamily, Eli Parker, Ashley Parker Snider, and Winery President Tim Snider, sought to build and expand upon Fess’s vision, leveraging their long-term relationships in order to tap into some of the most prestigious, established, and diverse vineyard holdings in Napa Valley – a flip on the traditional model (whereby Napa producers often outsource their Burgundian or Rhone varietal programs).  The 2014 vintage marks the very first for the Addendum project, with site-specific grape sources that range from the unmistakably high-elevation Stagecoach Vineyard to a historic prestige Rutherford AVA valley floor vineyard with its classic ‘Rutherford Dust’ profile. Single vineyard bottlings are accompanied by a Napa Valley-designate blend of the two, as well as a Stagecoach Cabernet/Syrah blend. Winemaker Blair Fox, who also oversees winemaking for the entire Fess Parker portfolio, continues the stylistic direction set by the Parker team when capturing the signature characters of the vineyards. Current Addendum releases:  • 2014 Addendum 'Skellenger Lane' Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford) - $95 • 2014 Addendum 'Stagecoach Vineyard' Cabernet Sauvignon (Atlas Peak) - $95 • 2014 Addendum Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - $90 • 2014 Addendum 'Stagecoach Vineyard' Cabernet/Syrah (Atlas Peak) - $80  Fess Parker’s name remains synonymous with pioneering adventure and love of the land.  Fess established his place at the forefront of the nascent Santa Barbara wine industry, starting one of the region’s most prominent wineries in 1989 and establishing world-class hotels that attracted new interest in the entire region.  Though Fess Parker passed away in 2010, his second and third generation family has forged ahead in Fess’s spirit, developing new programs under his original namesake label, expanding the Rhone varietal program under the Epiphany program, exploring traditional Champenoise method sparkling wine with the Fesstivity line (and dedicated Bubble Shack tasting gallery), and the May 2017 opening of the Bear & Star restaurant. Housed in the family’s recently renovated Los Olivos Fess Parker Wine Country Inn, the Bear & Star’s ‘refined ranch cuisine’ is headed by chef John Cox, who earned accolades at Big Sur's famous Sierra Mar restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn. Visitors can also take family-led horseback tours of the Fess Parker family ranch (usually led by Fess’s granddaughter Katie Parker-McDonald), where they can view sprawling vistas of Santa Barbara County and taste from the gardens where the Bear & Star produce is sourced. A by-appointment-only tasting lounge for Addendum was recently unveiled at the Fess Parker Winery in the fall of 2017. Adding Bordeaux varietal wines from Napa to the portfolio under the Addendum label is the next step in the family’s evolution, and represents the intrepid spirit of Fess Parker.  Looming large (in more ways than one) at 6 feet 6 inches, Fess always took the long view. His dream to establish a family winery that would be passed down for generations is well on its way.  With his children now at the helm, the family wishes to carry on their father’s legacy by introducing Cabernet Sauvignon to the portfolio – an adventure in its own right.  Just as Fess Parker himself immortalized the romance of exploration and discovery, the Addendum project captures his spirit, by bottling the thrill of borderless winemaking. Early critical acclaim for Addendum has been impressive, with recent high marks fromJeb DunnuckWine & Spirits, as well as double 95+ scores from the latest Wine Advocate issue. As of September 2017, Addendum Wines are available for purchase as well as at the brand new Addendum tasting room at Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos (pictured), now open to the public by appointment (800-841-1104).  Note: As of November 2017, the vineyards from which Addendum Wines are sourced have not sustained any fire-related damage, nor have the growers with whom the Addendum team works closely. In solidarity with their Napa friends who did suffer loss, Fess Parker Winery has raised over $10K towards wildfire relief using proceeds from arelief-designated three-pack of 2014 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. The Fess Parker family and team is grateful to all who contributed.  About Fess Parker Winery Since their first vineyard planting in 1989, the Fess Parker family has enjoyed a long, successful history in Santa Barbara County, helping to pioneer the region’s reputation as an international destination for wine, hospitality and discovery, as well as developing many of the county’s prestige vineyards. The Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard now owns and farms over 125 acres and works with over 700 acres in Santa Barbara County, not to mention the three acres in Napa Valley for Addendum. For future appointments to visit the Addendum Wines tasting room in Los Olivos, please email or call (800) 841-1104. Follow Addendum on Twitter at @AddendumByFess and on Instagram at @addendumwinebyfess. For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Alexandra Fondren at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463. # # #  
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Emeritus Vineyards Wins USA TODAY’s Best Winery Tour 2017

18 August, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Emeritus Vineyards | 707.823.9463 Emeritus Vineyards Wins USA TODAY’s Best Winery Tour 2017 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards Emeritus #1 for Best Winery Tour   Sebastopol, California, August 18, 2017 - Emeritus Vineyards is pleased to announce they have been voted #1 out of 20 nominees in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for best U.S. winery tour. Nominees were chosen by a panel of wine experts, writers, journalists and sommeliers and voting spanned for a period of four weeks. Emeritus’s new tasting room opened in 2015 and is located in the heart of Sonoma’s famed Russian River Valley, overlooking the Hallberg Ranch vineyard, one of California’s most distinguished dry farmed vineyards and the site from which the winery crafts the #2 most requested Pinot Noir in America’s Zagat rated restaurants. Proprietor Brice Cutrer Jones credits the widespread acclaim for the Emeritus wines to the dry farming regime, noting that these techniques produce “the only honest reflection of a vineyard’s terroir.” A tour of Emeritus will go from dirt to glass through the Hallberg Ranch Estate vineyard and winery. Guests start with a closeup look of the vineyard, learning about dry farming and other sustainable farming techniques and see firsthand the growth cycle of vines, how the famed Goldridge soil impacts the wine and see (maybe even taste) the difference in Pinot Noir clones. Inside, the winery guests experience the activity of the season, from bottling to harvest, with a front row seat to the action. After taking in the barrel cellar visitors settle into the rustic-contemporary tasting room for a flight of the estate grown and single vineyard Pinot Noirs, while taking in the sweeping vineyard views through floor to ceiling windows and peering into the cellar while sipping Pinot on the cozy couches. Hosts guide the tour and tasting to match guests’ experience levels, providing the perfect experience for both novice wine lovers and seasoned collectors. Tours are offered Thursday-Monday and are available by advance appointment only.  Tours usually last around 90 minutes at $30/person. Additionally, Emeritus offers tastings of their dry-farmed and estate grown Pinot Noirs seven days a week from 10am-4pm. Appointments for tastings are suggested, though not required, for groups of 6 or less. For larger groups, advance appointments are required. Tastings are $20/person and usually take about 40 minutes. Emeritus Vineyards’ tasting room is located on the Hallberg Ranch Estate at 2500 Gravenstein Highway North in Sebastopol. Make an appointment online or call Emeritus at 707-823-9463 for reservations. About Emeritus Vineyards and Brice Cutrer Jones Emeritus Vineyards, is located in Sebastopol, California, the heart of the Russian River Valley. Established in 1999, the winery is defined by a commitment to producing noble Pinot Noir of the most distinctive quality. Wines are crafted around founder & proprietor Brice Cutrer Jones’s philosophy that soil gives wine its character, climate gives wine its personality, and man gives the wine its spirit (or style). The result is estate grown and bottled Pinot Noirs from two vineyards Hallberg Ranch, the home ranch in the heart of the Russian River Valley and Pinot Hill, from the Sebastopol Hills area of the Sonoma Coast. About USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Award The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest allows the public to vote on a list of 20 nominees for specific categories such as best restaurants, hotels, resorts and vacation locations. Nominees for all categories are chosen by a combination of editors from USA TODAY, editors from, categorical expert contributors and other media sources. Readers are able to vote for one nominee once a day over a period of four weeks. For press inquiries and images, please contact Mari Jones or Alexis Nicolai at Emeritus Vineyards at or | 707.823.9463   ###
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Emeritus Vineyards Announces New Winemaker

5 June, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Charles Communications Associates | 415.701.9463   Emeritus Vineyards Announces New Winemaker David Lattin takes on winemaker role at  Sonoma dry-farming pioneer winery   Sebastopol, California, June 5, 2017 – Emeritus Vineyards is proud to announce the appointment of David Lattin to winemaker. Lattin joins a 20+ year strong team at Emeritus, which includes vineyard manager, Kirk Lokka, and proprietor, Brice Jones.   Lattin brings 32 vintages of winemaking experience to his role at Emeritus, which includes a 15-year tenure as winemaker for Kuleto Estate where he oversaw the winery’s transition from a small, family-owned business to a relevant brand, while also leading the winemaking program for Merus Wines since 2013.   After receiving a B.A. in Microbiology (with a minor in German Language) from Oregon State University, Lattin went on to receive a M.S. in Enology from the University of California at Davis. From Davis, Lattin went on to gain experience abroad at Chateau Troplong-Mondot in St. Emilion, France, Storybook Mountain Vineyards in Calistoga, and Acacia Winery in Carneros, where he quickly transitioned from enologist to winemaker and General Manager.  Lattin also founded and managed CL Wines from 1998 to 2011, a passion project that led him to discover and fall in love with small Pinot Noir vineyards throughout the Sonoma Coast appellation, foreshadowing his eventual arrival at Emeritus Vineyards.   Proprietor Brice Jones said, “David imparts to his wines the spirit that [original – and deceased – Emerituswinemaker] Don Blackburn began with our wine over ten years ago. That spirit is most exemplified by the Burgundian style and the predominance of terroir, a sentiment that David shares whole-heartedly, as exemplified in his wines. We couldn’t be happier to have him join our team.”   Lattin adds, “I am beyond excited about my new position at Emeritus Vineyards and look forward to many great vintages with the team. I support everything Emeritus believes in from their sustainable dry-farming practices, to the quest for the highest quality level of the wines, an alchemy of nuance and complexity.”   Lattin resides in St. Helena with his wife and children. When not producing world-class wines, Lattin enjoys cooking (which he believes makes him a better winemaker), traveling, and cycling.  Located in Sebastopol in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, Emeritus Vineyards is home to Hallberg Ranch, one of California’s most distinguished dry-farmed vineyards, and the site from which the winery crafts the second most requested Pinot Noir in America’s Zagat rated restaurants1. About Emeritus Vineyards and Brice Cutrer Jones Emeritus Vineyards, is located in Sebastopol, California, the heart of the Russian River Valley. Established in 1999, the winery is defined by a commitment to producing noble Pinot Noir of the most distinctive quality. Wines are crafted around founder & proprietor Brice Cutrer Jones’s philosophy that soil gives wine its character, climate gives wine its personality, and man gives the wine its spirit (or style). The result is estate grown and bottled Pinot Noirs from two vineyards Hallberg Ranch, the home ranch in the heart of the Russian River Valley and Pinot Hill, from the Sebastopol Hills area of the Sonoma Coast.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Alexandra Fondren at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463.    ¹ According to the 2015 Wine & Spirits Magazine restaurant poll.   ##
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Greenbar Distillery Solidifies Footing in Crowded Craft Distillery Space

10 May, 2017

Greenbar Distillery Solidifies Footing in Crowded Craft Distillery Space World’s largest portfolio of handcrafted, organic spirits unifies disparate brands under love brand Los Angeles, Calif. — May 9, 2017 — Greenbar Distillery, one of California’s original craft distilleries and home of the world’s largest portfolio of handcrafted, organic spirits, today announced that it has unified its seven core spirits lines under a new heart brand that evokes the company’s origins as a love story between the two founders, Litty Mathew and Melkon Khosrovian. In sharp contrast to how most distilleries design their packages to stand out within categories, such as vodka or whiskey, Greenbar Distillery’s new look echoes the maker-focused branding of craft brewers. "We’re at a turning point in craft distilling where we need to create emotional connections with customers from the moment they see our bottles and make it easy for them to choose anywhere in a store,” notes Melkon Khosrovian co-founder and spirits maker at Greenbar Distillery. “Compared with when we started, the shelves are increasingly crowded and we felt that we needed to simplify our message to continue to grow.”​ The distillery, based in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles, designed its new labels in house to reflect the founders love for each other, their fans, their city and its immigrant food culture, as well as the California’s rich agricultural bounty. With its high-design heart imagery, hand-drawn font and distressed look, the new branding reinforces the distillery’s emphasis on relaxed sophistication. Further connecting Greenbar Distillery to its home city’s cultural terroir, the logo harkens the Mexican Sagrado Corazón (sacred heart) iconography found throughout downtown Los Angeles, while capturing the gritty appeal of the graffiti art that defines DTLA’s cityscape. The rays symbolize Southern California’s ubiquitous sunshine, critical to the state’s inimitable flora that’s captured within each bottle. The individual labels play on the heart theme while serving as symbolic guides to what’s inside, playfully alluding to the ‘spirit’ of each spirit. IXÁ tequila’s label recalls the mountains of Jalisco, CITY Gin’s layout resembles skyscrapers, TRU Vodka reflects diamond purity and so on. Greenbar Distillery’s move to consolidate its labels under one clearly defined house aesthetic marks a departure from the traditional distillery trajectory of dissociating certain sub-brands. The company’s use of only real, organic ingredients, commitment to sustainability, and the resulting quality-to-value prices resonate with the public. Melkon and Litty are thrilled to launch the new packaging to help make Greenbar Distillery products that much easier for the home mixologist to identify and enjoy. About Greenbar Distillery Greenbar Distillery, Los Angeles' first since Prohibition, makes the world's largest portfolio of craft organic spirits, including TRU vodkas, CITY gin, CRUSOE rums, FRUITLAB liqueurs, IXÁ tequila, SLOW HAND whiskey, GRAND POPPY amaro and BAR KEEP aromatic bitters. Founded in 2004 by the husband-and-wife team Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew, the company seeks to make better spirits for a better planet. For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Charles or Alexandra Fondren at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463.
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Memorial Event for Bruce Cass

9 May, 2017

Memorial Event for Bruce Cass Thursday May 25, 2017  Bruce Cass 1948-2016 WHO: A celebration of the life of writer, educator, author and bon vivant Bruce Cass who passed away September 20, 2016.   WHAT: A Smackdown party in the tradition of Bruce Cass’ infamous annual gatherings at Ft. Miley on Ocean Beach in San Francisco after the Bay to Breakers run.  It will be an evening of conviviality, hedonism and friendship. WHEN:  The Smackdown celebration of Bruce Cass’ life will be held Thursday May 25th from 6:30-9:30 PM at the University Club of San Francisco.   Wine & appetizers will be served and guests are invited to bring a bottle of wine to share (please note Bruce’s wishes as it relates to the definition of “wine”[1] appropriate to bring to such an affair.) WHERE: The University Club of San Francisco 800 Powell Street.  We will have both the Black Cat Bar and adjoining room for the party.   Guests should RSVP to Kimberly Noelle Charles, DWS at  Additionally, we will have a PA system. Those interested in speaking about Bruce should contact Michael Denny at to coordinate.  We expect many contributions regarding this extraordinary man.     MORE: For more information about Bruce and his life and work, we invite you to read more here and visit his website.   In addition, please see this lovely tribute from Jancis Robinson, MW his co-author for the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America.    #   #   # [1] “WINE - Do not skimp on this half of the equation! In the NBA one does NOT go meekly into the paint! And neither should you come to the Smackdown with some weak, refinery product from the grocery store. Save bottles with cute animal names for Poker Night. The ironclad rule is each adult in your group must bring a bottle of wine costing at least $20. This crowd tends to be very wine savvy. Ribald, and a bit licentious, but very interested in rare and unusual wine tasting opportunities. Prominent wine personalities fly in from New York, Chicago, and Australia to talk trash at this event. Every bottle gets passed around to 15 or 20 strangers, so you don't want your name associated with any weak offerings. If you've been wondering when you are going to meet people worthy of that 15-year-old magnum bottle of South African Cabernet in your closet, this event IS the answer.”
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Greenbar Distillery Appoints Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

1 May, 2017

Greenbar Distillery Announces the Appointment of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits as California Distributor May 1, 2017 — Los Angeles, Calif. — Greenbar Distillery, one of California’s original craft distilleries and home of the world’s largest portfolio of handcrafted, organic spirits, today announced the appointment of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits as its distributor for its home state of California. The line had previously been with Epic Wines & Spirits for five years. “This shift represents a new chapter for our fast growing line of spirits, the culmination of expanded, state-of-the-art production capabilities, the addition of seasoned sales and marketing staff and new packaging under a unified Greenbar Distillery brand,” said Melkon Khosrovian, co-founder and spiritsmaker of Greenbar Distillery. “We look forward to working with the Southern Glazer’s team to reach a larger audience." “We’re proud to welcome Greenbar Distillery to the Southern Glazer Artisanal Group portfolio and to continue sharing its exceptional spirits with an increasing community who support local spirits made by passionate people,” said Joel Teitelbaum, Director, The Artisanal Group California, for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. About Greenbar Distillery Greenbar Distillery, Los Angeles' first since Prohibition, makes the world's largest portfolio of craft organic spirits, including TRU vodkas, CITY gin, CRUSOE rums, FRUITLAB liqueurs, IXÁ tequila, SLOW HAND whiskey, GRAND POPPY amaro and BAR KEEP aromatic bitters. Founded in 2004 by the husband-and-wife team Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew, the company seeks to make better spirits for a better planet. About Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is North America’s largest wine and spirits distributor, and the preeminent data insights company for alcoholic beverages. The Company has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and employs more than 20,000 team members. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information visit For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Charles or Alexandra Fondren at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463.
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Spring 2017 Client Update

3 April, 2017

San Francisco, CA, April 3, 2017 – As we at Charles Communications Associates (CCA) usher in the spring season, we would like to share our quarterly current client roster.   The list of CCA’s current clients is as follows:    Broadside Wines, Paso Robles, CA since 2013 Cangria, California* Cycles Gladiator, California since 2013 Crocker & Starr, St. Helena, CA Emeritus Vineyards, Russian River Valley since 2014 Fess Parker, Santa Barbara & Napa, CA* 2000-2007, 2017 re-engaged Gallica Wines, St. Helena, CA* Greenbar Distillery, Los Angeles, CA* Hourglass Vineyards, Napa, CA since 2011 Maison Corbeaux, San Francisco, CA since Onward Wines & Farmstrong, California* Parallel Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA Wine HooligansPaso Robles, CA  *Denotes new as of our last quarterly announcement    Please feel free to reach out to either Kimberly Charles or Alexandra Fondren via email at or by phone at (415) 701-9463.     About Charles Communications Associates  Founded in 2003, Charles Communications Associates, LLC (CCA) is an independent creative marketing communications and public relations firm based in San Francisco, California, that helps local and global companies create, build, and launch brands. Recognized as one of the most effective marketing firms in the wine industry, CCA is also known for success in the gourmet, natural, and organic food and beverage categories, as well as for top shelf spirits and luxury products marketing. In 2013, CCA formed a strategic alliance with Cornerstone Communications Ltd in New York City to better provide clients with contacts and a network in two of the most important media and wine markets in the country.    Please socialize with us @CharlesComm on Twitter, and @AlltheSwirl on Instagram and Facebook.  
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Crocker & Starr Joins Third Annual Napa in Newport To Save the Lives of Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

2 March, 2017

Crocker & Starr Joins Third Annual Napa in Newport To Save the Lives of Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy   St. Helena, CA, March 2, 2017 – Crocker & Starr will join 30 distinguished wineries for celebration of Napa Valley wines to help save the lives of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The much-anticipated Third Annual Napa in Newport Wine Auction will take place on March 4th at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Southern California’s premier wine event, Napa in Newport, unites more than 30 renowned vintners and wine enthusiasts to help find a cure for Duchenne, a fatal genetic disease that robs children and young adults of their muscle strength and claims their lives by their mid-20s. All proceeds from the evening will benefit CureDuchenne, the national organization committed to finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.   Crocker & Starr will be pouring its 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Cabernet Franc for more than 350 prominent guests, for an incredible night of support for CureDuchenne.   “Crocker & Starr is a small team that is very much like a family and we believe in giving back and helping other families. The reality is that Duchenne could affect someone in our lives at any time and we are grateful to have an opportunity to participate in such an impactful and meaningful event,” said Pam Starr, winemaker and co-proprietor of Crocker & Starr.   Napa in Newport will include a three-course dinner created by renowned Chef Amar Santana of the celebrated Broadway andVaca restaurants. Chef Amar has traveled the world collecting inspiration and accolades, including a position in the final round of Bravo’s Top Chef. His globally influenced menus include unexpected flavor profiles and artful presentations, reflecting his zeal for food and for life. Chef Amar will design an exquisite three-course menu exclusively for the occasion.    Napa in Newport kicks off with a wine tasting reception and silent auction at 4:30 p.m., and includes dinner, wine pairings and live auction. Tables, tickets and sponsorships are available now.  For more information and to purchase tickets   About CureDuchenne CureDuchenne was founded in 2003 with a focus on saving the lives of those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disease that affects more than 300,000 children and young adults worldwide.  With support from CureDuchenne, nine research projects have advanced to human clinical trials.  CureDuchenne also brings physical therapy and standard of care to local communities around the country through its CureDuchenne Cares program. For more information, please and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.   About Crocker & Starr In 1997, Charlie Crocker and Pam Starr established Crocker & Starr on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena, resurrecting a world-class vineyard with roots dating back to the 1870s. The winery handcrafts a small production of exquisite wines from select blocks within the 100-acre vineyard. The vines are cultivated following organic principles, and the clusters are hand harvested, transformed into wine through cutting edge winemaking techniques, blending the best of Old World philosophy and New World fruit. Starr presides over the estate’s wines to capture the essence of the vineyard’s extraordinary terroir. The result is complex and balanced, elegant wines that express the aromatic profile of the Crocker Vineyard.
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Kazzit Announces Highest Quarterly Usership Growth to Date

12 January, 2017

Kazzit Announces Highest Quarterly Usership Growth to Date Q4 of 2016 marks online wine community’s best quarter on record since its 2014 founding   San Francisco, CA, January 10, 2017Kazzit, the wine industry’s most all-inclusive online community, has announced a bullish end of the year in terms of company growth. The fourth quarter of 2016 showed a 30% increase in unique visitors over Q3, and a 400% increase over the previous year. These results were fueled by a recently refreshed design, enhanced content and search capabilities, the launch of the Kazzit mobile app, and international expansion into 17 new countries.   In just three months, Kazzit has surpassed its established competitors in traffic and engagement according to global website rankings.[1] With over 50K unique users and 124K page views per month, Kazzit is now ranked at 342K globally, with a domestic ranking of 68K in the United States – a major feat for a wine-tourism website.   Still 100% free to consumers, wine lovers and curious epicurean travelers use Kazzit’s dynamic search capability to seek out specific wineries, discover new ones based on region or preferences (ie. wineries that specialize in specific varieties or styles), and also to find the perfect winery setting for events like weddings, corporate retreats, and educational seminars.    This micro-level of personalization to consumer search demand has positioned Kazzit as a leader in wine consumer data – a benefit that Kazzit’s winery partners are beginning to capitalize on at a B2B level. Aside from the user reviews, Kazzit’s elastic, open-ended search capabilities have unlocked an unprecedented amount of data that partner wineries can access; for example, the trendiest wine style in the month of September, the most popular types of winery events in the Finger Lakes, the demographic most likely to seek out white wine in winter, or the most searched wine regions overall.  Founder Babak Motamedi has plans to publish some of this data in a regular quarterly industry report launching in 2017.   No single platform has ever had access to this level of micro-data in the wine industry, and Kazzit is thus poised to take wine marketing to the next level, as boutique wineries find themselves now capable of unlocking a new level of exposure and engagement never before seen. Kazzit’s recently launched mobile app has helped facilitate more spontaneous searching on-the-go, and wineries can also now capitalize, publishing timely deals directly to the platform and utilizing Kazzit as a marketing partner arm to help opportunistically attract potential customers nearby.   Since its soft-launch in 2014, Kazzit now has a database of over 10,000 wineries (over 9,000 more than its closest competitor) across North & South America, Europe, Africa and Australia, and surpassed 60,000 unique users last month (adding 600+ per day on average).  With its 92/100 Google experience ranking, wine lovers and industry insiders alike are drawn to Kazzit for its ease of use, online reservation system, detailed winery information and reviews, and educational wine blog, written by sommeliers, which is updated almost daily.   Since 2014, the average organic visitor to Kazzit spends over 4 minutes and 7 seconds on the site (58 seconds is the standard), with a return rate of 30-40%. Return users average 11.5 minutes on return visits, clicking an average of 8.6 pages deep reading about wineries (a huge number by any digital marketing standard).   About Kazzit Kazzit stands out as the world’s most comprehensive online winery resource, serving as the ultimate all-inclusive online community, connecting wineries, vineyards, restaurateurs, collectors, sales people and enthusiasts, and helping them share services, products, experiences and consumer applications. Kazzit helps wineries connect with both trade and consumers by providing comprehensive winery profiles, winery ratings, photo galleries, maps, real-time social media updates, upcoming winery events and a means to book wine tastings and plan wine trips all in one place.    The brainchild of Phoenix restaurateur Peter Kasperski and serial entrepreneur Babak Motamedi, Kazzit was founded in February 2014 after the two wine-loving friends grew frustrated at the lack of comprehensive travel planning sites specifically built for wine tourism. The name Kazzit pays tribute to the friendship between founders Motamedi & Kasperski, which had its genesis at Kazimierz Wine Bar near what would become Kazzit’s headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Alex Fondren at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463.   [1] According to
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Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2016 Est Arrivé!

16 November, 2016

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2016 Est Arrivé! First Wine of the 2016 Harvest Makes Its Debut Across US New York City (November 17th 2016, 12:01 AM GMT+1) - There’s no annual wine tradition quite  like the November release of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, and wine lovers around the world collectively rejoice as the 2016 bottling is officially released today - the third Thursday of November, at 12:01am GMT+1 (Beaujolais time).   Beaujolais Nouveau symbolizes the end of the harvest season and represents an invitation to partakeof autumn’s bounty. The French have always enjoyed Nouveau as a sentimental wine to drink this time of year among family and friends - a reason to get together at the table in November when harvest is done, the weather is gray and the days are short. Since Georges Duboeuf first brought Nouveau to the U.S. in 1982, American wine lovers have come to mark its festive release as the unofficial harbinger of the holiday season, while associating its harmonious flavors as the perfect marriage for a Thanksgiving feast.   No other wine is released annually with such pomp, made and released as a finished wine in only six to eight weeks after harvest to literally put a cork in the end of the growing season. Beaujolais Nouveau represents the classic incarnation of the “harvest wine” tradition as it has been practiced for centuries in France, and this year’s label captures that spirit with its fanciful presentation of its signature Gamay grape’s journey – first from vine to bottle, and then off to wine lovers around the world.   The label also represents the first ever consumer-chosen label for Georges Duboeuf Nouveau – a process that was conducted entirely over social media (also unprecedented for the brand). What started as a competition among French wine distributors to deliver the first Beaujolais Nouveau to Paris has grown into a worldwide celebration. Released after the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday in November per French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is a bright, fresh red wine made from the Gamay grape. The 2016 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau is 100% hand-harvested, using traditional vinification methods that include carbonic maceration. The estate released a 2016 harvest video to commemorate the vintage.    To celebrate this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day, second generation proprietor Franck Duboeuf will tonight uncork some of the first bottles at New York City’s Bouley Botanical, at a dinner prepared by Chef Daniel Eddy of Rebelle in NYC and formerly of Spring (among the most coveted reservation in Paris).  Georges Duboeuf has also partnered with hundreds of wine bars and restaurants around the country that are celebrating the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau, as well as harvest-themed parties thrown by the French-American Chamber of Commerce in cities including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Houston, San Francisco, and Seattle among others. To find a Beaujolais Nouveau party near you, visit   Retailing at $11.99 nationwide, the 2016 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau complements an abundance of holiday dishes, from savory roasts to cranberry sauce, with all its fresh aromas of red and black fruits, strawberry jam and hints of white peach on the nose. It is fresh, fruit-forward and flavorful on the palate with a deliciously satisfying finish. It is best served slightly chilled, between 62°F - 66°F, which is just slightly cooler than room temperature, to enhance the aromas and fruit flavors.   The region of Beaujolais’ deep, granitic soils are responsible for granting its Nouveau wines such immediately gratifying generosity of fruit, and the 2016 vintage saw near-perfect summer growing conditions. The ideal hot and dry crescendo to harvest enabled the resulting wines to exude what has been called a perfect combination of freshness and lively fruit character.   For more information about Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, visit or     About Les Vins Georges Duboeuf Georges Duboeuf is a premium producer of award-winning French wines from the Beaujolais and Mâconnais regions of Burgundy and the South of France. Georges Duboeuf is the #1 selling brand of Beaujolais in the world and the world’s highest scoring French wine brand under $20, according to Wine Advocate (2009-2013).   Georges Duboeuf’s love affair with Beaujolais is no secret. His legendary palate, his ability to spot great wine and his enthusiasm continue to make him an emblematic figure in the wine industry. The wines Les Vins Georges Duboeuf bring to market are renowned for their consistency, quality and value. Georges Duboeuf currently works closely with hundreds of wine growers (over 400 in the Beaujolais region alone) to ensure the highest quality fruit from each region. They are sold in 120 countries throughout the world.   Les Vins Georges Duboeuf are imported by Quintessential Wines, based in Napa, California.   About Quintessential Wines Founded in 2002 by father and son, Stephen D. and Dennis Kreps, Quintessential is a family owned-and-operated import, marketing and sales company headquartered in Napa, CA.  It is dedicated exclusively to representing multi-generational, family owned-and-operated producers who have the same passion for winemaking as Quintessential has in strategically marketing and selling their wines.  These producers, from most of the top wine regions around the world, create wines that offer the best, most authentic expression of the grapes from their respective vineyards.   For press inquiries, images and samples please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Alexandra Fondren at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463.
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2016 Beaujolais Nouveau Celebration at Mon Ami Gabi

8 November, 2016

MON AMI GABI PRESENTS: 2016 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU CELEBRATION Featuring Les Vins de Georges Duboeuf Monday, November 21, 2016   WHO:  Celebrate the much-anticipated release of the 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau vintage at Mon Ami Gabi! The Reston, Virginia location of the classic French bistro is teaming up with the leader in the Beaujolais category, Les Vins de Georges Duboeuf, to bring you a special wine pairing dinner, showcasing four Beaujolais wines paired with a seasonal menu from Executive Chef Phil Frederick. WHAT:  Beaujolais Nouveau symbolizes the end of the growing season and an invitation to partake of autumn’s bounty. No other wine is released annually with such anticipation, made and released as a finished product only four-to-six weeks after being handpicked off the vine - literally putting a cork on the end of harvest.  November is the time to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau after it’s released (famously on the third Thursday of November) and wine lovers everywhere are counting down to the revelry around the wine that's as beloved with turkey and roast chicken as it is with good friends, rosy cheeks and boisterous shouts of Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!  #FirstWineOfTheHarvest   The pinnacle Nouveau Day event in the Washington, D.C. metro area kicks off at Reston’s Mon Ami Gabi with a thoughtfully paired tasting menu that includes:   Garlic Sausage & Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Dijon mustard  Shellfish Cassoulet with mussels, scallops, shrimp and white northern beans Spiced Red Wine Poached Pear & Brown Butter Tart with almond granola and vanilla ice cream   Click here for the complete menu and wine pairings.   The event is priced at $70 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Space is limited; please call Mon Ami Gabi at 703-707-0233 or email Melissa at to secure your spot.  A limited number of media passes are available, please contact Charles Communications Associates at 415|701-9463 or   Can’t make the dinner? Celebrate the Beaujolais release with Mon Ami Gabi all week with à la carte specials. WHEN:    Monday, November 21st from 6:30pm – 9:00pm WHERE:   Mon Ami Gabi,  11950 Democracy Drive,  Reston, VA 20190 703.707.0233   MORE:    Mon Ami Gabi is a classic French bistro from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. The menu highlights traditional dishes including Onion Soup Au Gratin, Trout Almondine, Wild Escargots de Bourgogne and the trademark Steak Frites alongside seasonal specialties.  T o complement the food, an extensive selection of more than 80 boutique French wines – handpicked by renowned chef and owner Gabino Sotelino – are served from the restaurant's signature rolling wine cart.      Don’t forget to post your Nouveau experience to social media and follow the celebrations nation-wide!     Hashtag:      #FirstWineOfTheHarvest Facebook:        MonAmiGabiRTC @GeorgesDuboeuf Twitter:          @MonAmiReston @GeorgesDuboeuf Instagram:     @MonAmiGabiBistro @DuboeufWines   5 Beaujolais Nouveau Facts  Beaujolais Nouveau is the world's freshest wine - it takes about 60 days for its grapes to go from vine to glass, seeing no oak and only a short time in bottle. All Beaujolais Nouveau grapes must be picked by hand (Beaujolais & Champagne are France's only regions where hand harvesting is mandatory). Beaujolais Nouveau owes its fresh, juicy style to the winemaking process called 'carbonic maceration' which facilitates gentle, whole berry fermentation. Serve Beaujolais Nouveau slightly cool, at about 55 degrees (F). Even though it’s red, this fresh wine is most refreshing, fruit-forward & food-friendly when chilled. Beaujolais Nouveau Day was historically on November 15th until 1985. Now, under French law, Beaujolais Nouveau is always released at 12:01am on the third Thursday of November. The reason? It’s France's excuse to celebrate its 100+ Nouveau Day festivals over a four-day weekend, every year! CONTACT: For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Charles Communications Associates at 415|701-9463 or
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Fetzer Vineyards Navigates the Road to Regeneration

27 October, 2016

                      Fetzer Vineyards Navigates the Road to Regeneration Sustainability Pioneer Convenes Thought Leaders for Celebration of Regenerative Practices Hopland, CA, October 27, 2016 – Over harvest this year, Fetzer Vineyards welcomed influencers to its Hopland estate for Road to Regeneration, an immersive day highlighting the nearly 50-year-old winery’s forward-looking sustainability practices. Seeking new and innovative ways to illustrate the benefits of a regenerative approach to business, Fetzer Vineyards capped off the day with an engaging presentation of “Beautiful Trash,” a collection of works highlighting recycled materials by Bay Area-based artist and previous de Young museum artist-in-residence Adrian Arias. “Coupling practical discussions of our sustainability practices with a presentation of Adrian’s artwork helped us extend the conversation around regeneration to a much larger context,” said Josh Prigge, Director of Regenerative Development, who spoke at the Business Forum at last year’s United Nations Climate Talks in Paris. “We think it’s essential that we find creative ways to communicate this broad and holistic approach to sustainability, so more organizations are inspired to take this approach predicated on giving back to the environment and communities through positive impacts.” Bringing Importance of Recycling to Life through Art & Performance Fusing a mixture of spoken-word poetry, video, a slideshow of previous works and performance art, Peruvian-born Arias created a totally unique environment for bringing to light the issue of trash floating in our oceans – along with problems arising from excessive waste in any locale. Prior to Arias’ presentation, Road to Regeneration guests witnessed Fetzer Vineyards’ Zero Waste production facility at work, enjoyed a locally sourced low-emissions lunch and sampled the flagship Fetzer wine collection with VP Winemaking & Winery Operations and 28-year Fetzer Vineyards veteran Bob Blue. Road to Regeneration guest Allison Jordan, VP Environmental Affairs at Wine Institute and Executive Director of CA Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, noted, “I’ve had the privilege of working with vintners and growers throughout the state on the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program and Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing for more than a decade, and Fetzer Vineyards has been one of the leaders since the very beginning. It was exciting to see first-hand so many of the winery’s on-the-ground examples of innovation in sustainable winegrowing and regenerative agriculture.”   Fetzer Vineyards’ recent sustainability milestones, highlighted at Road to Regeneration, include: Water Conservation & Re-Use Powered by Nature: Launching this year, Fetzer Vineyards’ Biofiltro BIDA® system will harness the power of worms and microbes to remove 99% of contaminants from winery wastewater. The system is expected to regenerate approximately 15 million gallons of water annually, reduce energy consumption and produce nutrient-rich compost for vineyards. Read more on the BIDA® system and Fetzer Vineyards’ water initiatives at   World’s First Zero Waste-Certified Winery: “Our goal is to replenish what we take and revitalize the land to leave it healthier than we found it,” said Prigge. In 2015 alone, Fetzer Vineyards reintroduced 1,671 tons of grape skins, stems and seeds into vineyards as compost, and diverted 99.1% of all winery waste from landfill or incineration. Read more on Fetzer Vineyard’s zero waste practices at   CarbonNeutral® Certification Furthers Emissions Reduction Mission: Fetzer Vineyards was the first U.S. wine company to operate on 100% renewable energy, back in 1999. In 2016, the winery took responsibility for its greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing carbon offset credits, becoming the first U.S. winery certified CarbonNeutral by Natural Capital Partners. Fetzer Vineyards supports the global fight against climate change as a member of Climate Neutral Now, an advocacy group founded by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. Read more at   Upholding B Corp Values, from Vineyard to Glass: As the largest winery in the world certified as a B Corp – a standard considered by many to be among the most rigorous for corporate and social responsibility in business – Fetzer Vineyards takes innovative steps to enhance local ecosystems and empower employees and communities. Read more on B Corp values at About Fetzer Vineyards With nearly 50 years of experience in earth-first winemaking, Fetzer Vineyards is recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship and business ethics. Fetzer Vineyards was the first U.S. wine company to operate on 100% renewable energy, the first to report greenhouse gas emissions to The Climate Registry, and the first certified by the US Zero Waste Business Council. The world’s largest B Corp winery, Fetzer Vineyards strives to find the perfect equilibrium between earth, vine and communities to regenerate ecosystems and bring wines of quality and character to the table. In keeping with these values, the company has committed to becoming Net Positive by the year 2030. For press inquiries and images, please contact Courtney Cochran at or 707.670.0268. Otherwise, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Hillary Lyons at Charles Communications Associates at or 415.701.9463.  
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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate Brings Matter Of Taste Tour To Napa Valley

20 October, 2016

ROBERT PARKER’S WINE ADVOCATE BRINGS  MATTER OF TASTE TOUR TO NAPA VALLEY  Global Series of Exclusive Wine Experiences to Feature Top Rated Wines from Around the World on Saturday, November 5, 2016     San Francisco, CA (October 19, 2016) – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate ( world’s most recognized authority on wine, is bringing its international Matter of Taste tour to Napa Valley on Saturday, November 5th at the elegant Meritage Resort & Spa Napa as part of a global series of exclusive events for members, non-members and guests.   Coming on the heels of a sold out event in New York City earlier this year, this no-holds-barred wine tasting experience, Matter of Taste Napa is built around 150 of the most iconic wines from around the world. The globe-trotting Matter of Tastewalkabout tastings have celebrated different regional themes with every city, but the wine focus of Napa’s installment will be “Reviewers’ Choice: Icon Wines of the World.” Most of the reviewers on the publication’s expert team – led by Robert M. Parker Jr. himself – have nominated their favorite finds from throughout the wine world to feature at Napa’s Matter of Taste, all of which have been scored 90 points or above.   Events will include a VIP preview hour, the grand walk-around tasting as well as a selection of rare wine Master Classes. There will also be range of intimate, exclusive dinners on offer on the days surrounding the events, including a reviewer-hosted BYOB dinner at Meritage (see below) and a Château Cheval Blanc Retrospective & Dinner at La Toque, hosted by Robert M. Parker Jr. and Director of Château Cheval Blanc, Pierre Lurton. Several of these events sold out almost immediately upon release so anyone interested should book remaining tickets ASAP.   Held from 2pm-6pm, the walkabout will include an unrivaled line-up of some of the world’s most incredible wines, spanning a vast range of grapes, regions and styles. Rock star winemakers will be pouring their wines, including iconic names such as: Harlan, Larkmead and Shafer (Napa), Kistler, Chalk Hill and Sojourn (Sonoma), Brewer-Clifton, Ridge, Booker Vineyard and Paul Lato (Central Coast), Château de Beaucastel, Chapoutier and Guigal (Rhone), Max Ferd. Richter (Germany), Quilceda Creek Vintners, Gramercy Cellars and Force Majeure (Washington), Penfolds, Henschke and Jim Barry (Australia), and Two Paddocks, Schubert and Craggy Range (New Zealand) – just to name a few!   In addition to the Grand Tasting, five exclusive Master Classes will be offered for those who wish to delve a bit deeper. Wine Advocate Editor in Chief, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW will host ‘Top of the Class New School Pinot Noirs & Chardonnays,’ featuring 12 classic wines, including high-scoring examples from Cullen, Giant Steps, Kongsgaard, and nine other producers. Perrotti-Brown will also moderate ‘Australia’s Greatest Single Vineyards’ including 12 top wines from Torbreck, Brokenwood, Yangarra and Pewsey Vale, among others. Wine Advocate Reviewer Jeb Dunnuck will host a special ‘Titans of the Northern Rhone’ Master Class, where the region’s epic 2009 vintage will be showcased, with wines from M. Chapoutier, Delas Freres, Voge and Guigal, and neighboring blockbuster estates.  Dunnuck will also host ‘Sine Qua Non: One of California’s Greatest Wineries,’ featuring a select vertical of the famed estate’s Syrah & Grenache from 2004 – 2012. Finally, a very special Master Class will be hosted by Robert Parker himself, entitled ‘Napa Valley’s Next AVA? Robert Parker Explores the Singular Estates of Pritchard Hill,’ where he will delve into one of Napa Valley’s most sought after hilltops and its epic 2012 vintage.  A complete list of featured wines as well as tickets for both the Grand Tasting and all three Master Classes are available at   The Matter of Taste walkabout tasting will be capped of by The Ultimate Hedonist’s BYOB Dinner on November 5th. As part of the Napa Valley installment of Matter of Taste events, the Robert Parker Wine Advocate review team will host a “La Paulée” style Finale Dinner BYOB event, where guests are invited to bring up to three bottles of their favorite “90 RP points or above” wines to share with fellow subscribers and reviewers. The dinner will take place on the Oakville Terrace of the Meritage Resort & Spa with a sumptuous sit-down, four-course haute-cuisine menu. Only 100 seats will be available on a first come, first served basis - a rare chance to participate in a true Hedonist’s Gazette dinner with vintners and Wine Advocatehosts Dunnuck and Perrotti-Brown.   “Matter of Taste is our way of saying a heartfelt thank you to our members who we know are the most passionate & knowledgeable wine lovers on the planet,” said Perrotti-Brown. “It’s a tasting for members to experience world-class wines in an entirely new way while meeting the winemakers and estate owners who craft them. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to welcome new members into the world of The Wine Advocate.”   The Matter of Taste series commenced in 2014 and has since traveled to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, Chicago, Miami, Manila, Jakarta, San Francisco and New York City. Following Napa, the tour will head to Zurich on February 4, 2017.   Annual members of are entitled to discounted tickets ($150) to the Matter of Taste Grand Tasting. Non-member tickets ($180 through 10/21) include a one-year membership to and access to over 500,000 professional wine reviews and articles. A limited number of early entry VIP passes are available for $300. All Master Classes prices vary between $90 and $300 depending on the class. Further details and booking information are available at   About Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate            For more than 35 years, The Wine Advocate, and later, has been the global leader and independent consumer’s guide to fine wine. The brand was established by world-famous Robert M. Parker, Jr., the only critic in any field to receive the highest Presidential honor from three countries – France, Italy and Spain. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocateprovides a wealth of information to its subscribers, including a searchable database of more than 500,000 professional wine ratings and reviews plus articles, videos, daily news content, online retail availability and pricing, an active, professionally moderated bulletin board, a mobile app for easy access to the comprehensive online database of reviews, and much more. For more information, visit
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