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Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. Announces 2019 Communications Campaign for US Audience

2 May, 2019

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kimberly Noelle Charles  Charles Communications Associates 415.701.9463 | press@charlescomm.com                       Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. Announces 2019 Communications Campaign for US Audience   SAN FRANCISCO, May 6, 2019 – The Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. is pleased to announce its 2019 communications program for the United States. The Consorzio of vine-growers, winemaking companies and bottlers from Italy’s Conegliano Valdobbiadene, which was established to safeguard the standards of what eventually became the D.O.C.G criteria in crafting wines of the highest quality and distinct provenance, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the appellation. Their mission is to increase appellational recognition of D.O.C.G. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore and its nuanced, complex, world-class sparkling wines. The United States is the 4th largest importer of Prosecco Superiore, and the Consorzio hopes to further engage its loyal audience while introducing new sparkling wine lovers to the D.O.C.G. category.   The aim is to educate the trade and public about everything D.O.C.G. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore has to offer - regionality, authenticity, and high standards in winegrowing and winemaking. For example, many consumers don’t realize that only D.O.C.G. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore includes the Cartizze (aka the “Grand Cru” of Conegliano Valdobbiadene) and the Rive, category which can come from the steep hillsides and embody impressively perceptible terroir differences.   The Consorzio also hopes to attract new consumers with a greater emphasis on its unparalleled quality-to-price ratios. Though Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. wines tend to be priced slightly higher than traditional Prosecco, the wines are still immensely affordable given the quality, making them desirable for a range of consumers.  The wines are relatively low in alcohol as well, and offer a range of styles, dosage and terroir, all of which boost D.O.C.G. Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore’s appeal to an increasingly health-conscious society as well as its enhancing ability to pair with a host of cuisines.    The trade campaign will include working with three well-respected sommelier ambassadors including Amy Elizabeth Thurmond of Leuca in Brooklyn, New York, Jennifer Wagoner of Sepia and Proxi in Chicago and Iris Rowlee of Perbacco and Barbacco in San Francisco.  Their work will include spokesperson roles, an in-depth restaurant educational program and participation in targeted trade events. The press campaign includes a series of events, a sampling program, social media engagement and ongoing press outreach. The advertising campaign is focused on online partnerships with key wine and food influencers.     “We are excited to launch such a strategic and comprehensive communications campaign effectively targeting both trade and press," says Innocente Nardi, President of the Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. “The US is an extremely important market for our top quality, world class sparkling wines.”    The list of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. wineries that will participate in the US communications campaign include Adami, Andreola, Astoria, Bacio Della Luna, Bellenda, Biancavigna,  Bortolin Angelo, Bortolomiol, Bortolotti, Canevel, Cantine Vedova, Col Sandago, Col Vetoraz, Conte Collalto, Drusian, Il Colle, La Farra, La Marca, La Vigna di Sarah, Le Colture, Malibràn, Masottina, Mionetto, Montelvini, Perlage, Sanfeletto, Santa Margherita, Sommariva, Tenuta 2 Castelli, Tenuta Degli Ultimi, Toffoli, and Valdo.   About the Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.   The Consorzio is a private body created to represent vine-growers, winemaking companies and bottlers from Conegliano Valdobbiadene and to safeguard the standards of what are now the D.O.C.G. criteria in crafting wines of the highest quality and distinct provenance. Their work is focused on three major areas: protection, promotion and sustainability. They improve sparkling production methods, provide assistance and training and supervise all stages of winemaking to guarantee the quality of this outstanding, Italian viticultural region. Prosecco Superiore exports to over 140 countries of which the United States ranks 4th with 3 million bottles (out of a total 33 million bottles) with a value of over $14 million.   Created in 1969, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore was one of the first Italian appellations to earn D.O.C recognition, obtaining the D.O.C.G. status in 2009. These sparkling wines come from the historic area of Prosecco production, a unique, hillside terroir that is now in line to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Conegliano Valdobbiadene is situated in the northeast of Italy, between Venice and the Dolomites (at the foothills of the Alps), offering a mild, temperate climate ideal for grape growing, producing serious food wines with pairing versatility, showcasing a range of different styles, aroma and flavor characteristics.     Connect with the Consorzio on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or visit prosecco.it to learn more about the region and its sparkling wines.  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. Please socialize with us @CharlesComm on Twitter, and @AlltheSwirl on Instagram and Facebook.   For interviews, imagery, more information, please contact:   Kimberly Noelle Charles or Rachel Chittick at Charles Communications Associates: press@charlescomm.com or (415) 701-9463.   ###  
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Wente Vineyards Releases 2017 Grenache Syrah Mourvedre (GSM) in Partnership with Local Bay Area Artist, Lisa Elley

1 May, 2019

  Wente Vineyards Releases 2017 Grenache Syrah Mourvedre (GSM)  in Partnership with Local Bay Area Artist, Lisa Elley    LIVERMORE VALLEY, CA – May 1, 2019 – Just in time for Spring, Wente Vineyards is proud to launch the first of their 2017 Artist Series red blends featuring original art by local Bay Area Artist, Lisa Elley. 2010 marked the first vintage of the Wente Vineyards Artist Series, connecting winemaking to art, a natural collaboration. Today, the family continues the Artist Series program, partnering with one local artist each year, developing a series of four pieces to showcase across the estates’ unique red wine blends: GSM, Serenity, Sonata and Duetto. The 2017 vintage spotlights local award-winning Bay Area artist, Lisa Elley, who brings her colorful and vibrant palette knife paintings to life on each label. Lisa’s mindful nature is apparent in her paintings: "My intention with the Wente Vineyards GSM label was to evoke an emotion that would combine the notes of the wine to create a memorable and beautiful experience. I wanted the label to be super colorful and joyous, while capturing essence of our shared and profound love of the landscape here in California." Lisa’s first piece for Wente Vineyards 2017 GSM tells a story of the family’s deep appreciation of the land and more specifically, Livermore Valley. Inspiring hope and perseverance, Lisa weaves vibrant colors interpreting rolling hills, a glorious sky, spectacular vines, all while complimented by notes of dark fruit and California wildflowers. In addition to the annual Artist Series partnership, the Wente family continues to support the arts through Wente Foundation for Arts Education, a non-profit organization established in 2012, which is a natural extension of the family’s commitment to the arts and community. To learn more about the Artist Series program visit www.wentevineyards.com/artistseries.   About Wente Vineyards  Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the oldest continuously-operated, family-owned winery in the country, now owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. The winery draws from certified sustainable Estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding portfolio of fine wines. Wente Vineyards is distributed in all 50 states and in over 70 countries worldwide. In 2010, it joined the top 2% of California wineries who meet all three tiers within the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing codes & designation. In 2011, Wente Family Estates was named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and a top 30 wine company by Wine Business Monthly. 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the Wente family bringing Chardonnay cuttings to California from France. Today, the Wente clone of Chardonnay is the most widely planted in California. Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California's premier wine country destinations. In 2018, the winery took a leadership role in its longstanding mission to inspire employees and guests to make time for what really matters, as realized through Wente Vineyards’ best practices, outstanding wines and wine country experiences. The property features wine tasting, world-class concerts, award-winning fine dining and championship golf. For more information, visit www.wentevineyards.com.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Rachel Chittick at Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.
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Wente Vineyards Announces 2019 Sustainability Report Card

19 April, 2019

  Wente Vineyards Announces 2019 Sustainability Report Card Ahead of Earth Day  Fifth generation family winegrowers lead the way in innovative ethical practices and sustainability programming   LIVERMORE VALLEY, CA – April 19, 2019 – In honor of Earth Day on April 22, 2019 Wente Vineyards is proud to share an updated series of green initiatives and programming, all of which reflect the winery's longstanding (136 years and counting!) and ongoing commitment to sustainable winegrowing. As of 2019, Wente Vineyards, America’s oldest, continuously operated family winery, is among only 2% of California wineries to have achieved the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (“CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE”) designation for both its vineyard and winery. Any winegrowing operation hoping to attain the CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE designation must meet a stringent set of criteria in order to preserve and protect their land, water, and air, but also demonstrate ethical leadership with how they treat their employees and local communities.  Wente Vineyards was one of 18 pilot wineries to achieve CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE status in 2010, and beginning with the 2017 vintage, the winery will include the official CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE logo (pictured right) on all packaging, in order to better communicate its practices to consumers and help create more demand for true sustainable wines.   The Wente family’s philosophy on sustainable practices dates back to 1883, when Carl H. Wente arrived in Livermore Valley and realized the only way to guarantee the next harvest (and the next ten after that) was to treat the land and the people who tend to it as responsibly as possible. Today, fifth generation winegrowers Karl & Niki Wente have wholeheartedly taken the baton, and recently upgraded the winery, vineyard and tasting rooms to meet (and exceed) their family’s CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE-inspired goals. Recent additions to the sustainability ‘menu’ at Wente Vineyards include:   WATER USE EFFICIENCY BlueMorph UV light system replaces a typically chemical/water-heavy rinse cycle during winery sanitation with a hot water wash followed by UV sanitation, saving roughly 150,000 gallons of water per year. All water used in the production facility is re-used to drip irrigate the vineyards (and only when truly needed). More than 10 million gallons of water used in the production facility are recycled/re-used to irrigate the vineyards or used for dust control, and an on-property water treatment pond contributes to the reclamation of all production water used in the winery’s facilities.   SOIL & NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT Roughly one third of the grape tonnage that is processed is spread back into the vineyards as part of soil management process. The grape pomace is repurposed for beneficial uses such as composting, which is incorporated in the vineyards to increase the level of organic matter, improving soil health and water retention. Cover   crops   prevent   soil   erosion   during winter rains and provide a nourishing habitat for beneficial insects. Wente Vineyards’ cover crops are recycled into an organic fertilizer and soil enhancer used to create living soils, which renew themselves. Creative farming practices encourage bio-diversity in the vineyards, greatly minimizing the need for pest intervention.    ENERGY EFFICIENCY STARS Filtration Unit (Selective Tartrate Removal System), reduces energy load during the winery’s cold stabilization process which saves both energy and money (and vastly improves conditions for workers who no longer have to work in frigid temperatures!). Incandescent and halogen light fixtures have been replaced with natural skylights and supplemental LED lights to improve energy efficiency.   SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT In 2018, 77% of Wente Vineyards’ consumables waste was diverted from landfill and instead recycled by local partners.   BENEFICIAL PESTS & BIODIVERSITY Wente Family Estates cultivates native grasses and other beneficial flowering species that help maintain an ecological balance where pests are therefore naturally controlled. The Wente family also manages 1,600 acres of sustainable open range land not planted to vineyard, with 100 head of cattle providing grass management and soil fertilization. Aero falconry is employed in partnership with a Master Falconer, making the vineyards a natural no-fly zone for starlings. Electronic squawk boxes are used as backup. Owl boxes and raptor perches naturally control the vineyards' destructive starlings, gophers and ground squirrels. On-site weather stations use UC Davis-developed mildew pressure models to pinpoint exactly where to spray, if at all. Environmentally friendly stylet oil (a combination of natural oils such as clove, black pepper and cinnamon) is used to smother mildew and control pests.   COMMUNITY The award-winning Make Time™ initiative strengthens Wente Vineyards' long-standing pledge of creating a culture of balance for its employees. Updates inside the organization include: Embodying Make Time Off (MTO): An additional paid time off offering to all of its nearly 700 employees to use on activities they enjoy with the people they care about. Developing a Make Time Committee: A team of employees dedicated to ongoing nourishment of the Make Time culture, achieved through exploration and implementation of tools and skills offered to all employees and development of company events. Instituting Make Time Mixers: Company-held social events, during business hours, to encourage coworker camaraderie and to refresh and recharge The Wente Foundation for Arts Education’s mission is to provide support for arts education programs in the Livermore Valley and throughout Northern California. Under the leadership of its 5th generation President, Christine Wente, The Wente Foundation for Arts Education extends the Wente family’s legacy of leadership in the wine industry to the world of philanthropy by meeting a financial need and creating opportunities for talented students. The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundation and The Wente Foundation for Arts Education work together to present the Livermore Valley Wine Auction, which has raised over $5 million for local organizations to raise funds to improve the quality of life for underserved local children. Karl Wente created a small lot, limited edition wine, The Art of Giving, in support of the mission. With every bottle sold, 50% of the purchase price is donated directly to The Wente Foundation.   OTHER SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES To communicate the importance of responsible farming to the consumer, the CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE logo will be featured on all Wente Vineyards back labels from the 2017 vintage forward. All Wente Vineyard tasting rooms are designated drop-off spots for Cork ReHarvest, a program focused on collecting and recycling use and surplus corks from wineries. Wente Vineyards uses Century Olive Oil trees to produce Certified Sustainable oil, which come from an extensive tree-planting program, a testament to the Wente family’s tradition of commitment to sustainable agriculture.   Today, with the help of the forward-looking fifth generation, and the foundations of the generations before them. The Wente family remains a leader in ethical practices, producing high quality grapes and wine, protecting the environment and enhancing the communities in which they live and work by implementing sustainable winegrowing practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable. In short, Wente Vineyards continues to push the envelope in redefining how sustainability is measured. About Wente Vineyards Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the oldest continuously-operated, family-owned winery in the country, now owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. The winery draws from certified sustainable Estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding portfolio of fine wines. Wente Vineyards is distributed in all 50 states and in over 70 countries worldwide.  In 2010, it joined the top 2% of California wineries who meet all three tiers within the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing codes & designation. In 2011, Wente Family Estates was named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and a top 30 wine company by Wine Business Monthly. 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the Wente family bringing Chardonnay cuttings to California from France. Today, the Wente clone of Chardonnay is the most widely planted in California.   Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California's premier wine country destinations. In 2018, the winery took a leadership role in its longstanding mission to inspire employees and guests to make time for what really matters, as realized through Wente Vineyards’ best practices, outstanding wines and wine country experiences. The property features wine tasting, world-class concerts, award-winning fine dining and championship golf. For more information, visit www.wentevineyards.com.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles or Rachel Chittick at Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.   ###
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Domaine Carneros’ Enduring Commitment to Sustainability Recognized with 2019 California Green Medal Business Award

18 April, 2019

  Domaine Carneros’ Enduring Commitment to Sustainability Recognized with 2019 California Green Medal Business Award    Carneros, CA - April 18, 2019 – As we get ready to commemorate Earth Day, Domaine Carneros, a family-owned winery committed to handcrafting ultra-premium sparkling and pinot noir wines from hand-harvested, estate grown grapes, is honored to be among the California Green Medal recipients for the fifth annual Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. As the recipient of the 2019 California Green Medal Business Award, Domaine Carneros was recognized for demonstrating “Smart Business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.”   Since 1987, sustainability has been a main business practice employed by Domaine Carneros, instituted by CEO Eileen Crane, who has been with the winery since inception. Crane recognized that for philosophical as well as economic reasons, sustainability made sense as a tenet of doing business.  Her open book management plan sets measurable goals every three years and reevaluates on an annual basis, ensuring employee involvement in managing the sustainability category as part of the winery’s culture.   “Domaine Carneros’ smart business sense and commitment to sustainability has been apparent in every facet of their operation, with both vineyards and the winery comprehensively certified to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE) and the Napa Green Land and Winery programs,” noted the award announcement.   Domaine Carneros has placed a high priority on living as lightly on the land as possible. One practice credited for earning the Green Medal Business recognition was the packaging reuse program, whereby cases and inserts are re-used for in-house purposes, which amounts to about a 20-25% reuse rate each year. This alone has saved the company an average of $75,000 per year since the program began in 2011.   In addition to the packaging reuse program, the company installed the largest solar collection system of any winery in the world at the time in 2003 (the system captured enough electricity to power 230 homes for a year in 2017 when the data was last measured). Utilizing skylights to reduce the need for electricity, building into the earth and using night cooling systems to maintain cellar temperatures, have all contributed to further energy conservation.   Other green practices at Domaine Carneros include composting, and the recycling of bottles, corks, foils, cardboard, paper, plastic wrap and more throughout the winery, which has helped to divert 90% of its solid waste from landfills. Since 2013, Domaine Carneros has been CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE. An annually renewed certification, CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE vineyards and wineries produce high quality grapes and wine, protect and preserve the environment, and enhance the community economically and culturally.   The company culture of sustainability extends beyond the walls of the winery as well. Since the late 1980’s Domaine Carneros has farmed sustainably, from using owl boxes as a natural solution for rodent management to using grape pomace from the harvest to feed local cattle. An enduring focus on water conservation has led the winery to incorporate low flow toilets and employ reclamation systems through their properties. These are also some of the practices that led Domaine Carneros to be Fish Friendly Farming certified in 2015. Fish Friendly Farming is a certification program for agricultural properties managed to restore fish and wildlife habitat and improve water quality.  The certification is renewed yearly.   In addition to these viticultural practices, Domaine Carneros follows vegan practices, using no animal-derived products at any point in the process, from growing the grapes to the winemaking.   ABOUT DOMAINE CARNEROS  Founded in 1987, Domaine Carneros reflects the hallmark of its founder, Champagne Taittinger, in creating a vision of terroir-driven sparkling wine while preserving the quality tenets of the traditional method production.  Located entirely within the Carneros AVA, between Napa and Sonoma counties, the six estate vineyards total approximately 400 acres with 125 acres planted to Chardonnay, 225 acres planted to Pinot Noir, with the remaining acres currently in development. The winery focuses on making ultra-premium Carneros sparkling wines and limited production Pinot Noirs. Domaine Carneros' château has become a landmark and symbol of the region. The architecture and interior design were inspired by the 18th century Château de la Marquetterie, the Taittinger family residence in the Champagne region.  The winery also places a high value on preserving the environment and has farmed sustainably since the late 1980s. The roof of the pinot noir winery adjacent to the château hosts a solar array that was the largest on any winery in the world when it was installed. Eileen Crane, CEO & Founding Winemaker, has overseen 31 harvests at the château and in 2018 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of the winery’s luxury cuvée, Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs. ###
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Parallel Napa Valley Announces Spring "Bud Break" Party on May 4th

11 April, 2019

  Parallel Napa Valley Announces Spring "Bud Break" Party on May 4th Saturday event will begin at the Culinary Institute of America and lead into a party at the Parallel tasting room and winemaking home, Brasswood   WHO:     As part of their 20th anniversary celebration year, the partners of Parallel Napa Valley are excited to announce the schedule for their 2019 Spring "Bud Break" Party Weekend on May 4th, 2019. Parallel is renowned for its artisan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted since the inception by Philippe Melka, one of the most celebrated and respected wine consultants in world.   WHAT:   Parallel’s Saturday event is open to the public, and will take place across two different venues, beginning with a Cabernet Sauvignon class at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and culminating in the Spring “Bud Break” Party at Parallel’s winemaking home and tasting room at Brasswood, St. Helena.    Mastering the Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon 2:00 - 3:30PM  Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, CA   In this Culinary Institute of America Wine Education series class, guests will focus on eight common characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon, plus how to examine the wine for color, acidity, alcohol level, tannin, and the ever elusive “complexity.” After some sensory warm-up, guests will be able to taste through a flight of five wines from all around the globe, including Parallel Wines, pick their favorites, and describe them like an expert. Helpful tips regarding shopping, aging, storage and food, and wine pairing will be shared along the way.    Each $100 ticket includes this informative and fun course, plus a bottle of Parallel Wine to take home. Tickets are non-refundable after Friday, April 26th. Click here to purchase tickets.   2019 Spring "Bud Break" Party 4:00 - 7:00PM Brasswood, St. Helena, CA Guests are invited to celebrate the start of the 2019 growing season, and Parallel’s 20th year in Napa Valley with a “Bud Break” party at the winery’s tasting room and winemaking home at Brasswood.   The $125 ticket (waived for club members) includes food, live music, friends, activities and of course Parallel Wines! Tickets are non-transferable, and non-refundable after Friday, April 26th. Click here to purchase tickets.    WHERE:   Mastering the Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon Culinary Institute of America-Greystone 2555 Main Street St. Helena, CA 94574 Spring "Bud Break" Party Brasswood 3125 St. Helena Highway North (Highway 29) St. Helena, CA 94574     WHEN:   Saturday, May 4th, 2019 2:00 - 3:30PM:          Mastering the Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon 4:00 - 7:00PM:          Spring "Bud Break" Party     TICKETS & INFORMATION:   Tickets for these events, as well as others throughout the spring and summer, can be purchased online here. For questions about this event or to RSVP complimentary club member tickets, please contact Adrienne D. Capps, Parallel Napa Valley General Manager, at (707) 486-1100 or adrienne@parallelwines.com.       About Parallel Napa Valley Parallel Napa Valley is an artisan winery that produces top quality Napa Valley-designated Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The wines are created by Philippe Melka, well regarded by leading critics as one of the pre-eminent wine consultants in the U.S. and beyond. The winery was established originally as a partnership in 1999 by six close friends who felt the concept of their dream represented their parallel lives in Deer Valley (in Park City, Utah) where they are originally from, and Napa Valley, their second home. The Parallel Napa Valley label captures the essence of the lines carved by skis on the first run of the day, and each top tier wine is also named for a famous ski run. In addition to making great wine, the partners of Parallel Napa Valley are dedicated philanthropists and have made it a priority to extend their wine and its success to support their communities and various charities.   Charles Communications Associates, a leading marketer of fine wine brands and regions, is proud to have represented Parallel Napa Valley since the founding of the brand.  For media inquiries, images and interviews, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles at 415.701.9463 or press@charlescomm.com. ###
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Wente Vineyards Announces 2019 Tasting Experiences

11 April, 2019

  WENTE VINEYARDS ANNOUNCES 2019 TASTING & TOUR EXPERIENCES AT HISTORIC LIVERMORE VALLEY WINERY Including three new food & beverage offerings  April 11, 2019 WHO:   Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery announced an updated lineup of tasting and touring experiences at the family’s historic Livermore Valley estate for 2019.   WHAT:   A series of seven delectable tasting experiences that range from introductory to immersive, enabling Wente Vineyards guests and members to choose from an array of bespoke options:   Journey Flight Tasting ($20) This tasting, centered around the story of the Wente Family’s passion-filled journey, is customizable by guests, who can now choose which five red and white wines they include in their flight (depending on availability & releases). Available without a reservation in the Vineyard Tasting Room, as well as in the Estate Tasting room and Winemakers Studio (the latter two options will take reservations via CellarPass or phone).   Wine & Cheese Tasting/Pairing in The Caves ($45) This unique offering in the Wente Vineyards estate caves features cheeses by local cheesemakers like Nicolau Farms Cheeses. Like the Wente family, the Nicolau family is also a multi-generational family-run company, with similarly sustainable farming practices. The cow and goat cheeses will be thoughtfully paired with Wente Vineyards selections (and will also be available for take-home purchasing). Tours begin in the Vineyard Tasting Room. Offered Sundays only, by appointment only.  Guests can call or email to reserve.   Vineyard Property Tour ($35) The Property Tour spans some of the most iconic markers of the Wente Vineyards property, taking guests from the Cork Tree through the Cabernet Franc Vineyard the Tirage, the historic sandstone caves (subject to availability, the ½ acre garden and ending in the Vineyard Tasting Room. Guests will leave the tour with a comprehensive understanding of the rich history, winemaking, and sustainability measures of Wente Vineyards. Perfect for anyone who is new to the Wente Vineyards story or fans looking for a deeper dive. Offered daily. Guests may call, email or reserve on CellarPass.   Estate Winery Property Tour ($35) The Estate Winery Property Tour is for guests hoping to learn more about the technical winemaking behind their favorite Wente Vineyards wines. The tour will commence at the Estate Tasting Room with an overview at the Winemakers Studio and continue on to a behind-the-scenes tour of the crush pad, Small Lot Room, Barrel Room and end in the Nth Degree Lounge. Available Monday - Friday 11:30AM & 2:30PM; Saturday - Sunday 11:30AM.  Guests can book via CellarPass or call/email. Harvest Tour ($45) A must during harvest season! The Harvest Tour will serve as an expanded Estate Winery Property Tour, since guests will be able to actually witness ‘crush’ live and in-person as grapes are brought in. The focus will be on the season’s harvest, the estate’s signature winemaking practices and how the wines achieve their high quality. Guests can reserve on Cellar Pass starting in August (TBD, depending on harvest!).   Get to Know Pinot ($60) In this 60-minute class, guests will learn about the history Pinot Noir Grape and how it made its way from France to the United States. Guests will taste through several pinot clones and discuss the individual nuances.  Available Saturdays from 3PM – 4PM. Guests can call or reserve on Cellar Pass starting in March at The Winemakers Studio.   Club Lounge $21 for charcuterie and cheese boards Available for club members, this tasting and pairing the Club Lounge is now available on weekends at the Vineyard Tasting Room. Club Members receive their complimentary tasting (up to 4 complimentary tastings) and member benefits on bottle purchases.  Charcuterie and cheese boards will be available for purchase. Available Saturdays & Sundays from 11AM - 5PM. Last seating is at 4:30PM.  For club members only. Guests can call or email to reserve.    WHEN:   All tasting experiences are available to book now, aside from Harvest Tours which will begin in August (harvest pending!).   WHERE:   Various locations at Wente Vineyards depending on experience (see above). The Estate Winery & Tasting Room:  5565 Tesla Road Livermore, CA 94550 The Winemakers Studio:  5565 Tesla Road Livermore, CA 94550 Vineyard Tasting Room:  5050 Arroyo Road, Livermore, CA 94550     MORE:    Acknowledged for their industry-wide contributions to innovation, sustainability and hospitality, and known widely as California’s First Family of Chardonnay, Wente Vineyards is respected by both critics and consumers alike as a leader in crafting appealing, top quality, appellation-driven California wines.    Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California's premier wine country destinations. In 2018, the winery took a leadership role in its longstanding mission to inspire employees and guests to make time for what really matters, as realized through Wente Vineyards’ best practices, outstanding wines and wine country experiences. The property features wine tasting, world-class concerts, award-winning fine dining and championship golf. For more information, visit www.wentevineyards.com.   Check www.wentevineyards.com for more information and tickets.     CONTACT:  To reserve tastings please call 925.456.2305, email tastingroom@wentevineyards.com or reserve on CellarPass.   For media inquiries and interviews, please contact Charles Communications Associates at 415|701-9463 or press@charlescomm.com     ###
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Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Announces May 17 Technical Conference Agenda

10 April, 2019

    Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Announces May 17 Technical Conference Agenda Technical Conference to kick off 22nd Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival May 17-19     Anderson Valley, CA, 10 April, 2019 – The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association is pleased to announce that this year’s Technical Conference will be held on Friday, May 17th 2019, the day before the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival Grand Tasting, at the beautiful Camp Navarro in northern Anderson Valley. The popular annual event will focus exclusively on Pinot Noir this year, featuring a day of educational seminars, vineyard-focused tastings, and much more, with a light breakfast and full lunch provided. Guests will have a chance to learn from winemakers, vineyard owners, wine educators and members of the wine media as they discuss Pinot Noir grape growing and winemaking.   Kicking off the region’s 22nd annual Pinot Noir Festival (which will take place May 17, 18 and 19), the agenda for this year’s Technical Conference has expanded to include an overview of the region from Wine & Spirits Magazine Editor, Patrick Comiskey and an Anderson Valley trade panel moderated by Master Sommelier Nick Hetzel. The latter session will be informed by experts from the marketplace, from the perspective of a restaurateur, retailer and distributor of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.   Also new this year will be a self-guided walk around tasting of 2018 Pinot Noir from neutral barrels, which is part of a larger terroir study currently being undertaken in Anderson Valley. The day will wrap up with a roundtable discussion of regional mesoclimates through the lens of vineyard designates, led by several duos of winemakers and viticulturists.   Admission is $100 and includes breakfast and lunch with accompanying Anderson Valley wines. Tickets can be purchased here. The day’s full agenda is below:   2019 Pinot Noir Technical Conference Agenda 8:30 AM          Welcome 9:00 AM          State of Pinot Noir—American and Global Review 9:30 AM          Anderson Valley: History, Terroir & Geographical Overview w/Patrick Comiskey, Wine & Spirits Magazine <Break> 11:00 AM        Soil, Water and Climate Resiliency for Vineyards in the Navarro Watershed: A presentation by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC)   11:45 AM        G3 Diam cork presentation 12:00 PM        Lunch  1:00 PM          Walk around tasting of neutral barrel samples of Pinot Noir from 2018, grouped by region <Break>  2:15 PM          Barrel roundtable discussion led by winemaker/viticulturist duos 3:20 PM          Anderson Valley Trade Panel moderated by Nick Hetzel, MS 4:20 PM          Wrap   Attendees can stay in a variety of different accommodations at Camp Navarro, from teepees and tents to cabins. Hot showers, picnic tables and a rustic elegance provide a welcome respite for those who do not wish to drive. More information, as well as a full list of events and tickets for the full weekend festival, can be found at avpinotfest.com.   “We are excited about the expanded offerings of this year’s Technical Conference,” says Courtney DeGraff of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers “It’s always such an informative event, but we’re especially thrilled to have a focus on Pinot Noir through the lens of 2018 neutral barrels, as well as the expertise of both Patrick Comiskey and Nick Hetzel MS this year. We are looking forward to the education and discussions this additional content and focus will generate.”   About Anderson Valley The remote Anderson Valley, located less than 100 miles north of San Francisco, is an area blessed with a cool, temperate climate and a complex patchwork of ridges and foothills with well-drained sandstone soils. Cutting laterally through the coastal range rather than lying between ridges, the region is diminutive yet has a broad range of mesoclimates: the cool, west or “deep end” of the Anderson Valley is only a few miles from the cold Pacific Ocean, while the town of Boonville is some 20 miles to the east and sees more sunshine and heat hours. The planted acreage in the Anderson Valley consists primarily of the classic Burgundian varieties—Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—while Alsace varieties such as Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling also play a significant role. The valley is also home to three world-renowned methode champenoise sparkling houses.    About the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association (AVWA) is a not-for-profit trade group created in 1983 to promote the grapes and wines of the Anderson Valley winegrowing appellation. The AVWA is supported through the dues paid by its membership, generous sponsorships, and proceeds from the festivals and events the association produces each year.   Along with promoting the Anderson Valley as a viticultural region, we also work to build our community. To date over $400,000 has been donated to local community groups such as the Anderson Valley Health CenterAnderson Valley Housing Association, Anderson Valley Ambulance, the Anderson Valley Fire Department, as well as the Community Foundation of Mendocino County Disaster Fund for the most recent fire relief and recovery efforts. For more information on the AVWA, please visit www.avwines.com.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Courtney DeGraff of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association at courtney@avwines.com or 707.895.9463 or reach out to Kimberly Charles of Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.   ###
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Charles Communications Associates Announces its 2019 Quarterly Client Update

10 April, 2019

Charles Communications Associates Announces its 2019 Quarterly Client Update   San Francisco, CA, April 10, 2019 – Charles Communications Associates (CCA) is pleased to announce the addition of three new clients to its roster as of April 2019. The roster includes a robust trade association from Anderson Valley, a beloved annual charity auction and event in Mendocino celebrating its 35th year, and a venerated 131-year-old French crystal glassware design house.  CCA remains commited to its original and fresh marketing approach in addition to its public relations suite of services and is thrilled to announce its new 2019 roster.   The list of CCA’s current clients is as follows:    New as of 2019 Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, Anderson Valley, CA Mendocino Wine Song, Mendocino, CA Lalique North America (special projects), New York, NY   Existing clients  Broadside Wines, Paso Robles, CA since 2013 Consorzio Tutela del Vino Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Italy since 2018 Cycles Gladiator, California since 2013 Domaine Carneros, Carneros, CA from 1987-1998, 2007-2011 & since 2018 Gonzalez Byass Chilean portfolio, since 2016 (Veramonte, Ritual, Neyen & Primus)  Laurel Glen Vineyard, Sonoma, CA since 2018 Murrieta’s Well, Livermore Valley 2009-2013 & since 2018  Onward Wines & Farmstrong, CA since 2017 Parallel Wines, Napa, CA since 2007 Portlandia Vintners, Willamette Valley, OR since 2017 Wente Vineyards, Livermore Valley 2009-2013 & since 2018 Wine Hooligans, Novato, CA since 2013 For press inquiries, please feel free to reach out to Kimberly Noelle Charles via email at press@charlescomm.com or by phone at (415) 701-9463About 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.   Please socialize with us @CharlesComm on Twitter, and @AlltheSwirl on Instagram and Facebook. Discover more at www.charlescomm.com.     ###
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Mendocino Coast’s Winesong! Announces its 35th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

14 March, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kimberly Noelle Charles  Charles Communications Associates 415.701.9463 | press@charlescomm.com                       Mendocino Coast’s Winesong! Announces its 35th Anniversary Celebration Weekend Mendocino’s premiere annual charity auction and wine & food tasting to be held September 6-7, 2019    Fort Bragg, CA, 14 March, 2019 – Mendocino Coast’s annual Winesong weekend event will take place September 6th and 7th 2019. Set along the picturesque Mendocino coastline, the beloved two-day festival is both a showcase of the region’s exquisite wines as well as special wines from Napa, Sonoma, Oregon and beyond. Winesong offers a full entertainment experience, characterized by local wineries, breweries and cideries, as well as regional culinary vendors, fine art, music, and charitable giving. Celebrating its 35th year, Winesong now attracts a national audience, drawing both locals and tourists from far and wide. The event is hosted by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, and has raised more than $8 million to date for improvements in local healthcare, including equipment, facilities and services at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital.   “We could not be more thrilled to celebrate the 35th annual Winesong!” says Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation Executive Director, Michelle Roberts. “Our hope is that this will be our best year yet with respect to fundraising and attendees given it’s a special anniversary and we have many new features to offer this year.”   The weekend will kick off on Friday, September 6th with A Pinot Noir Celebration (from 1-4pm) where guests will enjoy over 35 outstanding wineries in an intimate setting at the Little River Inn (two miles south of Mendocino Village) accompanied by a taste of the Inn’s famous culinary delights. The perfect opportunity to evaluate classic Pinot Noir and learn how exemplary bottles improve with age, guests can sip and savor while meeting and mingling with the winemakers, all while overlooking the spectacular Pacific Coast. Little River Inn’s best culinary offerings will be specifically paired to the outstanding Pinot Noir being offered. Tickets are $85 and can be purchased here.   The much-anticipated Winesong Wine & Food Tasting will take place Saturday, September 7th, from 11am–2 pmWinesong’s signature tasting event, guests can stroll through Fort Bragg’s lush Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardenswhile enjoying vintages poured by world-class wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond, as well as delectable bites from some of the finest regional gourmet food purveyors (see list of past wineries and epicurean participants here). The tasting is accented and enhanced by various music groups performing a wide range of styles at different stations including jazz, classical, blues, calypso and folk rock.   Finally, the centerpiece of Winesong weekend is the Charity Auction, which will take place Saturday, September 7th, featuring both a silent and live auction (Silent Auction: 11am–3pm; Live Auction: 2pm–5pm.  Radio and television wine personality Ziggy Eschliman (aka Ziggy the Wine Gal from The Krush 95.9 FM)) will build excitement as the newly appointed Auction Director with lively bidding in the auction tents for nearly 200 lots, featuring spectacular wines from the world’s most prestigious wine producers, rare vintages, large format bottles plus special vertical and horizontal collections. Other auction highlights include original art from acclaimed California artists, vacations packages and highly coveted international wine getaway packages to Europe, the Caribbean, and other enchanting parts of the world.   Winesong will also honor its 2019 Vintner of the Year along with its 2019 Artist of the Year, whose artwork will be featured on the official Winesong poster - always a treasured commemorative keepsake for event attendees. Both 2019 honorees will be announced in a separate media release, but click here for past honored vintners and artists.   Last year’s 2018 Vintner of the Year was Dan Duckhorn of Duckhorn Wine Company, who said of the event, “Winesong is one of the most elegant wine events of the year. It’s the marriage of some of California’s best wines in one of the state’s most beautiful locations, all in support of a very worthy cause.” General Admission ticket holders receive commemorative glass and plate, full access to the tasting & Silent Auction, and festival seating around the Live Auction tent.  Advance tickets are available at $125.00 each until June 1st; $150.00 effective June 1st.  Auction Reserve ticket holders receive all of the above plus reserve seating, reserved parking and a commemorative tote bag, with wine and lunch in the Live Auction Tent.  Advance tickets are available at $225.00 each until June 1st; $250.00 effective June 1st. All but $162 of an Auction Reserve Ticket is tax deductible and all but $80 of a General Admission Ticket is tax deductible. The Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation thanks ticket holders for their support of its hospital!   A full list of events along with ticket purchase information (including pre-sale) can be found at winesong.org/events/purchase-tickets/.  Directions to all events can be found here, along with a generous Winesong shuttle schedule from a wide array of pickup/drop-off locations. For more ticket and logistical information, email ellen@mchfoundation.org.     About Winesong! Winesong is an annual charity auction and wine + food tasting produced by the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation. Proceeds are used to enhance equipment, facilities and services at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. The Diagnostic Imaging Center, Medical Evacuation Helipad, Out-Patient Surgical services and Emergency Department Equipment are just a few of the vital areas that Winesong funds have enhanced. Since 1985 Winesong has raised over $8 million for improvements in local healthcare.   Head to mchfoundation.org/about-us/what-we-support/ for a comprehensive list outlining previous years’ capital improvements funded by Winesong proceeds and donations from the Mendocino community.   About the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation Since 1984 the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation has engaged in fundraising and community activities to provide support for vital equipment and services at Mendocino Coast District Hospital. The hospital’s unique rural locale presents an environment in which the provision of comprehensive hospital services and up-to-date equipment is a tremendous challenge. The Hospital Foundation exists to help the Hospital and our community to meet these challenges.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles of Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.   ###
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Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. Announces Winners of 2018 Sommelier-Targeted Contests

14 March, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kimberly Noelle Charles  Charles Communications Associates 415.701.9463 | press@charlescomm.com                       Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. Announces Winners of  2018 Sommelier-Targeted Contests   *** Winning sommeliers from San Francisco and New York City to visit  the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area during the 50th Anniversary of its Appellation Designation     SAN FRANCISCO, March 14, 2019 – Charles Communications Associates, the agency of record for the Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G., is pleased to announce the winners of the Consorzio’s two inaugural national contests, an Instagram and essay competition, targeting active U.S. sommeliers, wine buyers and beverage directors.   Kassandra McPherson Sommelier at the Lazy Bear in San Francisco was selected as the winner of the Instagram competition and Evan White Sommelier at Babbo Ristorante in New York City was chosen as the winner of the essay contest.  Ms. McPherson and Mr. White will travel to Conegliano Valdobbiadene to tour the vineyards and meet with producers of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G in the coming months. The region is the historic heart and pinnacle of Italy’s Prosecco region, located 45 minutes west of Venice in the foothills of the Dolomiti mountains.  2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the region’s D.O.C.G. appellation designation.   The two contests, an Instagram and essay competition, were a key part of the region’s trade-focused campaign designed to educate and inform beverage professionals about the legacy of leadership, tradition and dedication to quality of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. region.  For the Instagram competition, active sommeliers, wine buyers or directors in the U.S entered the competition between July 31 and January 15 through posting a photo of Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. alone or with a dish including a pairing note or caption along with the requested hashtags and tags. McPherson’s winning post was drawn from among the entrants, also of note, she was a runner up for the essay contest as well.   Entrants to the essay contest (also required to be active sommeliers, wine buyers or directors in the U.S) submitted 1000 words addressing how Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. can be better integrated into beverage programs, wine lists and fine retail stores, targeting the buying audience. White’s winning essay will be published in the April 2019 issue of the Sommelier JournalAbout the Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.   The Consorzio is a private body created to represent vine-growers, winemaking companies and bottlers from Conegliano Valdobbiadene and to safeguard the standards of the D.O.C.G. criteria in crafting wines of the highest quality and distinct provenance. Their work is focused on three major areas: protection, promotion and sustainability. They improve sparkling production methods, provide assistance and training and supervise all stages of winemaking to guarantee the quality of this outstanding, Italian viticultural region. Prosecco Superiore exports to over 140 countries of which the United States ranks 4thwith over 3 million bottles (out of a total 36,3 million bottles) with a value of $18 million.    Created in 1969, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore was one of the first Italian appellations, obtaining the D.O.C.G. status in 2009. These sparkling wines come from the historic area of Prosecco production, a unique, hillside terroir that is now a strong candidate to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Conegliano Valdobbiadene is situated in the northeast of Italy, between Venice and the Dolomites (at the foothills of the Alps), offering a mild, temperate climate ideal for grape growing, producing serious food wines with pairing versatility, showcasing a range of different styles, aromas and flavor characteristics.  Connect with the Consorzio on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or visit prosecco.it to learn more about the region and its sparkling wines.  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, which helps local and global companies create, reposition, 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. Please socialize with us on  Facebook and Instagram @AlltheSwirl and Twitter @CharlesComm. Discover more at charlescomm.com.     For interviews, imagery, more information, please contact:   Kimberly Noelle Charles or Rachel Chittick at press@charlescomm.com or (415) 701-9463.   ###
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​Laurel Glen to Host Signature Sonoma Valley’s Annual Retrospective Tasting on May 18th

4 March, 2019

   Laurel Glen to Host Signature Sonoma Valley’s Annual Retrospective Tasting on May 18th  Glen Ellen, CA, 4 March, 2019 – Laurel Glen Vineyard, is pleased to announce it will host a very special tasting during the third annual Signature Sonoma Valley vintage retrospective, during the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance’s flagship weekend event series. The iconic Sonoma winery will host the tasting at its eponymous Sonoma Mountain estate vineyard on Saturday, May 18, 2019 (from 2-4:30pm).   The tasting will bring together wine aficionados and collectors for an extremely rare showcase of Laurel Glen vintages across four decades. Current winemaker Randall Watkins will be joined by the estate’s founding winemaker, Patrick Campbell, as well as Proprietor and Managing Partner Bettina Sichel and winegrower Phil Coturri to provide ‘behind the vine’ perspectives. This special event will be moderated by Esther Mobley, wine critic and journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle, who will provide insight and perspective on the nuances of each vintage.   “We could not be more thrilled to host this year’s retrospective tasting,” says Sichel. “We are especially honored that Esther Mobley has accepted our invitation to moderate, and look forward to an illuminating discussion. We recently tasted through the 15 vintages we’ve selected to pour and were impressed with how well they showed. I cannot wait to share these rare wines with a new audience at Signature Sonoma on May 18th!”   The retrospective will commence with Laurel Glen’s debut 1981 vintage, and include a curated selection of 15 vintages spanning four decades that demonstrate the winery’s consistent depth, elegance and focus. The winery’s signature sophisticated style has never wavered since it joined the ranks of first generation “cult” Cabernets from California in the 1980s, and – thanks to the ongoing policy of holding back a portion of cases upon release – Laurel Glen has become known for its deep library of wines from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s; many of which are featured on some of America’s most prestigious restaurant wine lists, including French Laundry in the Napa Valley, Mastro’s Steakhouse in Houston and Gotham Bar & Grill in New York City.   Though tickets for the Signature Sonoma Valley retrospective are nearly sold out, Laurel Glen will also offer a special library flight the weekend of May 17-19 in the estate’s Glen Ellen tasting room. The Cabernet Sauvignon vintages offered in the flight will evoke the spirit of the retrospective and include the 1986, 1999 Reserve, 2006, 2009, 2012 Lot 44. Cost will be $75 per person and guests should plan to reserve at least 48 hours in advance.   Laurel Glen wines will also be featured in the Legends: Collector’s Dinner at 6:30pm on May 18th, the capstone event of Signature Sonoma Valley, which celebrates the heritage vineyards of the region. Tickets can be purchased here.   Signature Sonoma Valley is an exclusive, four-day immersion into the acclaimed wines, historic vineyards and welcoming community of Sonoma Valley. Tickets for all events are now on sale and available at SonomaValleyWine.com/Signature-Sonoma-Valley. Seating is limited and all events will sell out, so early purchase is strongly recommended. For more information, please call 707.935.0803 or visit SonomaValleyWine.com.   “Signature Sonoma Valley shapes how wine collectors view Sonoma Valley as a wine region, and we could not be more thrilled to showcase over three decades of Laurel Glen vintages in the capstone retrospective tasting,” said Maureen Cottingham, Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance. “Our greatest hope is that guests will leave Signature Sonoma Valley with a deeper connection to our vineyards and an appreciation for the caliber of wines coming out of Sonoma Valley, and Laurel Glen’s impressive track record more than supports that message.”     About Laurel Glen Vineyard Laurel Glen Vineyard wines have a proven track record for longevity and grace. They are among the most sought-after examples of classic California Cabernet Sauvignon, and can thus offer a true study in how the variety can perform from a great vineyard site.   Originally planted to mixed red varietals by German immigrants at the end of the 19th century, Laurel Glen vineyard was replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1968 on the eve of a modern proliferation of vineyards in California. Today, the 14-acre estate is farmed organically and planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon, and in particular the Laurel Glen clone of Cabernet Sauvignon, certified as a unique clone by the University of California at Davis.   In 2011, Bettina Sichel, a veteran of the California wine industry, became the steward of Laurel Glen Vineyard. Among other quality oriented improvements, she has overseen the vineyard’s transition to CCOF organic certification in 2014.   About the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving more than 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry.  Sonoma Valley comprises six of the 17 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) of Sonoma County: Bennett Valley, Los Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley.  The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation (SVVGF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has raised more than $25,000,000 through Sonoma Wine Country Weekend and supports youth and children for future success, preserving our environment, and improving health and welfare of our local communities.  For more information on the SVVGA and SVVGF, please visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.
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Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Announces 22nd Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival May 17-19

4 March, 2019

                      Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Announces  22nd Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival May 17-19 Three-day wine event focuses on wines made from Pinot Noir grapes exclusively grown in Anderson Valley    Anderson Valley, CA, 4 March, 2019 – The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association is pleased to announce that the 22nd annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival will take place May 17, 18 and 19, 2019. Wine lovers are invited to sip, sample and savor Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (plus rose and sparkling wines) from more than 50 producers, enjoy mouth-watering food pairings by the region’s best chefs and local caterers, and listen to live music while bidding on exquisite auction lots for local charity.   The much-anticipated weekend’s events range from educational seminars to a live music BBQ, grand tasting, winemaker dinners and free winery open houses – all hosted amidst the spectacular beauty of Anderson Valley's vineyards and towering redwood trees. Music lovers will be happy to learn about an added bonus – this year Camp Navarro will host a concert on Saturday evening. The events have achieved a loyal following for being distinctively uncrowded and unpretentious, with an array of Pinot Noir styles that serve as the ideal introduction (or refresher course!) to the Anderson Valley.   “We could not be more thrilled to celebrate the 22nd annual Pinot Noir Festival,” says Kristy Charles, President of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association and Owner of Foursight Wines. “Our aim is that revelers will leave the festival with a deeper connection to our vineyards and an appreciation for the caliber of wines coming out of Anderson Valley.”   A full list of events can be found below, as well as at avwines.com/pinot-noir-festival.   Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival Lineup - Friday 5/17, Saturday 5/18, Sunday, 5/19: Friday Technical  Conference  (9:30am – 4:30pm) $100 Camp Navarro Attend a full day of educational seminars about winegrowing and winemaking. There are many winemakers who are spearheading the effort this year and it will be a Tech Session you don’t want to miss! Plan to taste wine from neutral barrel and have a lively discussion on vineyard microclimates + and selling AV in the marketplace. A light breakfast & full lunch is included. Friday night Casual BBQ  (5pm – 8pm) $60 Goldeneye Winery   Limited tickets left – already almost sold out! A delicious meal, stunning views and live music. Everyone is encouraged to bring a bottle of wine to share. It's an eat, drink, and boogie down kinda night! Saturday Grand Tasting (12pm – 4pm) $130   DD Tix $75 Camp Navarro   Bring friends, stay onsite or book in AV or the Coast – rooms are filling up! Taste world-class Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs from more than 50 producers beneath towering red woods. Savor perfectly paired foods designed to complement the exceptional Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley. Saturday Winemaker Dinners (6pm – 9pm) Varied Various locations Small & intimate dinners to be held throughout different restaurants within the valley, plus one on the coast!   Tickets on sale at noon, March 15th. Dinners sell out quickly! Saturday Buffet Dinner and/or Concert: Tracorum & The Real Sarah’s   Tickets open to non-PNF attendees! Concert Only $25   + Dinner = $55 Camp Navarro   Tentative schedule: Band 1: 5:00-6:15 Dinner: 6:00-7:30 Band 2: 7:30-10 Campfire: 10pm Tracorum & The Real Sarah’s performance under the redwoods. Stay onsite of the Grand Tasting & evening events! Cabins, yurts, tents & RV hookups available. Bring your own bedding and sleeping bag. Rentals for Camp Navarro overnight are typically $30 per person/bed, as required.  Sunday Winery Open Houses  (11am – 5pm) Complimentary Wineries Throughout Anderson Valley Stop at participating winery tasting rooms with the purple flags for a little extra wine tasting, more music, delicious bites, and special wine sale discounts. A great way to bookend the weekend before getting back to ... the real world...     Tickets are available for individual events as well as for weekend packages. Discounted ticket packages are available when booked together, and limited.  Winemaker dinners will be announced on Friday, March 15 at noon and often sell-out quickly. Sign up for the AVWA mailing list to be informed of event updates. Tent and cabin accommodations at Camp Navarro are available Thursday through Sunday on their website: campnavarropresents.com/anderson-valley-pinot-festival.   Event tickets are limited and will sell out, so early purchase is strongly recommended. For more information, please call 707.895.9463 or visit avwines.com/pinot-noir-festival.     About Anderson Valley Anderson Valley, located less than 100 miles north of San Francisco, is an area blessed with a temperate cool coastal climate. Classified in viticultural terms as a Region 1 growing area, this designates it as the coolest climate in which grapes may be commercially grown with any success. Cutting laterally through the coastal range rather than lying between ridges, the west or “deep end” of the Anderson Valley is only a few miles from the cold Pacific Ocean, while the town of Boonville is some 20 miles to the east. The combination of warm sunny days and cool foggy nights and mornings allow the grapes from this region to mature slowly and to develop to the height of their varietal character. The planted acreage in the Anderson Valley consists primarily of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling. There are also small acreages of other varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Merlot.    In addition to producing superb Pinot Noirs and Alsace varietal wines, the valley is home to three methode champenoisesparkling houses.    About the About the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association (AVWA) is a not-for-profit trade group created in 1983 to promote the grapes and wines of the Anderson Valley winegrowing appellation. The AVWA is supported through the dues paid by its membership, generous sponsorships, and proceeds from the festivals and events the association produces each year.   Along with promoting the Anderson Valley as a viticultural region, AVWA also works to build its community. To date over $400,000 has been donated to local community groups such as the Anderson Valley Health CenterAnderson Valley Housing AssociationAnderson Valley Ambulance, the Anderson Valley Fire Department, as well as the Community Foundation of Mendocino County Disaster Fund for the most recent fire relief and recovery efforts. For more information on the AVWA, please visit www.avwines.com.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Courtney DeGraff of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association at courtney@avwines.com or 707.895.9463 or reach out to Kimberly Charles of Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.   ###
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González Byass Announces First Organic Certified Bottling for its Chilean Portfolio

12 February, 2019

González Byass Announces First Organic Certified Bottling for its Chilean Portfolio 2018 Sauvignon Blanc marks the first in what will eventually be a 100% ECOCERT® certified portfolio of wines   Casablanca Valley, Chile, 12 February 2019 – González Byass has announced the very first ECOCERT® certified organic wine for its Casablanca Valley, Chile-based Viñedos Veramonte: the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $11.99). Veramonte is the standard bearer within the González Byass umbrella of Chilean labels (which also include Ritual, Primus and Neyen), and this release marks the first of what will eventually become a 100% organic/biodynamic stable of all its Chilean wines.   The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc was certified by ECOCERT®, the France-based inspection and certification body that is considered the benchmark in organic certification worldwide. Considered the definitive expert and pioneer in organic food certifications, ECOCERT® is an independent body recognized by international public authorities. They offer worldwide inspection and certification services according to public regulations or private standards.   In 2018, winemaker Sofía Araya took over as Head Winemaker, receiving the reins from her renowned predecessor and mentor Rodrigo Soto. Together they spent six years integrating the organic methods which would eventually lead to this important certification, and will eventually convert González Byass’ vast vineyard holdings in the Casablanca, Colchagua and Apalta Valleys to 100% organic and biodynamic - a project of ambitious scale.             So far 500 hectares of vineyards have been certified organic, and 2020 will mark the first Veramonte vintage that will also include Demeter’s Biodynamic Certification across all vineyards. In Chile, there are roughly 5,000 hectares planted with organic grapes, which means approximately 10% of organic grapes in Chile are currently from Viñedos Veramonte.   At Veramonte, quality compost application was implemented in order to increase soil biodiversity, using stems and pomace collected during harvest season. Cover cropping in between vineyard rows improved soil structure, reduced erosion and added key nutrients for vines. Animal husbandry was introduced in the form of a flock of sheep, in order to help with minimal impact grass mowing (as well as to obtain healthy manure). Vast, and rather breathtaking, habitat breaks (with their natural corridors for beneficial wildlife) have always been an essential component in Veramonte’s unique terroir, as they provide a critically self-regulated ecosystem, eliminating any need for herbicides or pesticides of any kind.   In the winery, native yeast fermentations and minimal intervention allow the vineyard expression to take center stage. By naturally making the wine from vine to bottle, the result is the clearest, most complex expression of the vineyards’ diverse terroirs.   With its decomposed granitic soils and ample biodiversity, Casablanca Valley is one of the wine regions best suited for quality organic wine. Certified organic has been one of the fastest growing Chilean wine categories in recent years, and with the ECOCERT® certification, Veramonte is single-handedly changing perceptions of how such ethical wines can be produced accessibly and for a wider audience.   About González Byass   González Byass is a family-owned, collection of wineries founded in 1835 which spans across Spain’s most important wine producing regions. From its foundation the González family have been dedicated to making fine Sherries and brandies in Jerez, Spain, creating such well-known brands as Tío Pepe Fino Sherry and Lepanto Brandy de Jerez.   Today the fifth generation of the family are the custodians of these exceptional brands having built the company into a family of wineries which produces wine in some of Spain’s most famous regions; Bodegas Beronia (Rioja and Rueda), Cavas Vilarnau (Barcelona), Finca Constancia (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla), Finca Moncloa (Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz), Viñas del Vero (Somontano) and Pazo de Lusco (Rías Baixas). In each of these regions the family strives to make the best possible quality wines respecting the local terroir and the environment.   At the same time the company has also expanded its interests further in the premium spirits business and has created pioneering brands such as The London No.1, MOM Gin, Druide Vodka and Nomad Outland Whisky.   González Byass is now one of Spain’s most well-recognized brand owners world-wide. Their passion for quality wine production and respect for long-standing traditions, whilst at the same time innovating, have been the guiding principles that have led to the company’s global success. In 2018, they were recognized by the Wine Star Awards as the Best European Winery of the Year at the annual gala held in Miami, Florida. Learn more at www.gonzalezbyass.com.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles at Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.     ###
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Parallel Napa Valley Appoints New General Manager Adrienne D. Capps

7 February, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kimberly Charles  Charles Communications Associates 415.701.9463 | press@charlescomm.com   Parallel Napa Valley Appoints Adrienne D. Capps as General Manager    Napa Valley, CA, February 7, 2019 – The partners of Parallel Napa Valley are pleased to announce the promotion of food, wine and hospitality industry veteran Adrienne D. Capps to the position of General Manager for the brand.  Capps joined Parallel last June as Director of Hospitality & Marketing. 2019 marks Parallel’s 20th anniversary, and the partners had been seeking a savvy GM to focus on this important year, as well as the next stage of growth.     With an MBA in Finance as well as an Associates Degree from the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone in Napa Valley (where she earned the second highest GPA, two graduation awards and three scholarships to boot!), Capps brings to Parallel a sound business mind and a savvy knack for wine hospitality. For the last 20+ years, she has held progressive leadership roles in nonprofit advancement, marketing and communications, while building her own brand as a successful food blogger, writer, recipe developer and educator with local, regional and national exposure. In 2015, she founded Capps Consulting in order to work with start-up food, wine and hospitality clients on recipe development, hospitality platform creation, chef consulting, as well as start-up fundraising and recruitment.   Capps has also served as Vice President of Development for Napa Valley Community Foundation, where she assisted in collecting more than $18M for the Napa Fire Complex in 2017, and Assistant Dean for Development & External Relations at the UC Davis School of Education, proving adept at strategic leadership and fundraising.   In her new capacity, as General Manager at Parallel, Capps will run the day-to-day Napa Valley operations at the stylish, appointment-only tasting room in Brasswood, just a few miles north of St. Helena. Using her CIA training, Capps has developed a sophisticated new food pairings tasting menu, which can be booked for daytime tastings, lunches, and receptions, though the beautiful new facility will also enable her to host private dinners - even weddings - in the Brasswood Restaurant or a private room. She will work closely with internationally renowned Winemaker Philippe Melka (who has been with Parallel since its inception 20 years ago) in order to best translate and promote his inimitable style to a new generation of Parallel devotees.   Capps will also be taking Parallel Wines on the road fairly often, working with top chefs to create thoughtful pairings for the wines (she just returned from beautiful series of dinner events that included venues as revered as New York City’s Lincoln Center and Baltusrol Country Club in New Jersey). She is looking forward to upping the ante on creative events through which to showcase Parallel wines, both in and out of Napa Valley.   Upcoming events and important dates include:   Feb 12 & 13: Jackson, WY for a tasting with the Teton Pines’ Members as well as market visits Feb 14 & 15: Bottling 2016 Russian River Chardonnay and 2016 Parallel Napa Valley Cabernet Feb 16: Tahoe, CA Kirkwood Community Association Tasting Feb 22: Napa Valley, CA Atelier Melka, Brasswood Feb 23, Mar 23, Apr 13: Napa Valley, CA (Lodi Lane) Wine Country Inn Tastings Feb 25: 2015 Black Diamond Reserve Cabernet “Reward” Wine Club Shipment & Release: 94+ Wine Advocate Mar 7-9: Park City, UT Red, White & Snow - info about Vintner Dinner here Mar 11-20: East Coast Tour, including NYC, NJ, PA and VT ski resorts as well as: Mar 14: Phila., PA VIP Reception for Philadelphia Youth Basketball at the hottest new social club in Phila., The Fitler Club Mar 18: Phila., PA Silicon Valley Bank, Office/Client Tasting May 4: Napa Valley, CA Parallel’s Spring “Bud Break” Party, Brasswood   Of Capps’ appointment, Park City, Utah based Managing Partner Mac MacQuoid states, “Adrienne’s holistic business sense, encompassing both traditional and new approaches to sales and marketing, as well as strong accountability for P & L, offered Parallel Napa Valley the chance to enter into our second decade with an informed strategic approach to a continuously evolving marketplace.”   Capps says, “I’m ecstatic to work with Parallel in this exciting new role. Since day one, my partnership with the team has really clicked - and I am looking forward to having fun building on their years of success with them, as well as with one of the most important winemakers I’ve ever had the honor to meet, let alone work with.”   About Parallel Napa Valley Parallel Napa Valley is an artisan winery that produces top quality Napa Valley designated Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines, created by Philippe Melka, well regarded by leading critics as one of the pre-eminent wine consultants in the U.S. and beyond. The winery was established originally as a partnership in 1999 by six close friends who felt the concept of their dream represented their parallel lives in Deer Valley (in Park City, Utah) where they are originally from, and Napa Valley, their second home. The Parallel Napa Valley label captures the essence of the lines carved by skis on the first run of the day, and Parallel names its limited production, select barrel wines - known as the Black Diamond Series - after great ski runs around the country. In addition to making a great wine, the partners of Parallel Napa Valley are dedicated philanthropists and have made it a priority to extend their wine and its success to support their communities and various charities.   Charles Communications Associates, a leading marketer of fine wine brands and regions, is proud to have represented Parallel Napa Valley since the founding of the brand.   For media inquiries, images and interviews, please contact Kimberly Charles of Charles Communications Associates at 415.701.9463 or press@charlescomm.com.   ###
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Wente Vineyards Announces Inaugural Release of Niki’s Pinot Noir Rosé

6 February, 2019

    Wente Vineyards Announces Inaugural Release of Niki’s Pinot Noir Rosé LIVERMORE VALLEY, CA – Valentine’s Day 2019 – Wente Vineyards is tickled pink(!) to announce the inaugural release of the 2018 Niki’s Pinot Noir Rosé (SRP $30), just in time for Valentine’s Day. Wente Vineyards remains the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery, and this bottling marks the newest addition to an internationally respected stable of top quality, appellation-driven California wines.    2018 Niki’s Pinot Noir Rosé is the brainchild of Viticulturist and 5th Generation Winegrower, Niki Wente. Niki partnered with her cousin, Wente Vineyards’ Chief Operating Officer and Winemaker Karl Wente, to create a crisp, pure rosé with notes of cantaloupe, rhubarb, white strawberry and mandarin zest, while maintaining a sophisticated, almost rose quartz-like acidity. The lingering finish makes this the perfect pairing to elevate weekend brunch (though it’s also great on its own, perhaps with a slice of manchego cheese). The sleek, tapered bottle and the bright, fresh look of the label prove an enticing complement to the wine inside.   Wente Vineyards is coming off its 135th anniversary, when it was resoundingly celebrated for its industry-wide contributions to innovation, especially with regards to vineyard sustainability. As the Viticulturist for Wente Vineyards, Niki is now the face of that commitment. Her first priority is always the vineyard, and she loves the Pinot Noir grape for its clonal diversity and ability to translate terroir into a uniquely elegant flavor profile. Niki wanted to make a wine that best reflects the quality farming of the Arroyo Seco (Monterey) appellation, where the cooler climate creates a longer growing season and allows the grapes to develop optimally. This single vineyard Pinot Noir starts with 8 clonal selections, establishing a unique complexity before the wine is ever made. It is completely dry and fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain its bright, crisp acidity.   Niki believes rosé of Pinot Noir is the ideal vehicle to express the elegant terroir she cultivates in a leaner style. Color was extremely important to her, so she and the team were very intentional with how they developed color and the pale pink hue of this wine reflects her visual and subsequent flavor aesthetic.  Niki’s uncle Eric Wente has a namesake Chardonnay (Eric’s Chardonnay) that was crafted to reflect his love of lean, mineral driven Chablis – this rosé is literally the next generation of that flavor profile.   Niki said, “My family has a passion for stewardship of our land. I absolutely love being able to continue this legacy and maintaining quality in our vineyards. Sustainability in the vineyard has always been our practice and we wouldn’t still be here after 136 years otherwise. Being able to farm the land I love and make a beautiful wine from the grapes is such a meaningful experience and I’m so excited to share it.” She shares more about her vineyard philosophy and sustainable practices in this video released just before Valentine’s Day. About Wente Vineyards Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the oldest continuously-operated, family-owned winery in the country, now owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. The winery draws from certified sustainable Estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding portfolio of fine wines. Wente Vineyards is distributed in all 50 states and in over 70 countries worldwide.  In 2010, it joined the top 2% of California wineries who meet all three tiers within the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing codes & designation. In 2011, Wente Family Estates was named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and a top 30 wine company by Wine Business Monthly. 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the Wente family bringing Chardonnay cuttings to California from France. Today, the Wente clones of Chardonnay are the most widely planted in California.   Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California's premier wine country destinations. In 2018, the winery took a leadership role in its longstanding mission to inspire employees and guests to make time for what really matters, as realized through Wente Vineyards’ best practices, outstanding wines and wine country experiences. The property features wine tasting, world-class concerts, award-winning fine dining and championship golf. For more information, visit www.wentevineyards.com.   For press inquiries and images, please contact Kimberly Noelle Charles at Charles Communications Associates at press@charlescomm.com or 415.701.9463.   ###
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