Bordeaux, the world's most famous wine region and France's largest by AOC volume sold [i] , produces many of the best-known wines on Earth. With 60 appellations and over 8,600 growers, Bordeaux exports wines to over 150 countries [ii] . Winemakers around the world strive to emulate the Bordeaux style, carefully blending red wine grapes to produce a wine that reflects the best influences of its terroir.
Super Tuscans are the stuff of legend. Rogue winemaker bucks tradition, breaks rules, creates something new and wonderful and vaults his wine region back onto the world wine stage – it's a fantastic tale. And that's pretty much how things happened.
Loren Sonkin has been a long-time contributor to IntoWine.com. In addition to his frequent appearances as a panelist on IntoWineTV , Loren writes columns on both French and Italian wines, contributes wine recommendations, vintage guides , and provides the wine/food pairing knowledge behind the IntoWine Wine & Food pairing tool . In other words, he does it all. So when Loren told us he was venturing into winemaking himself with his own label, SonkinCellars , we jumped at the chance to be the first to taste his barrel samples on IntoWineTV. Though the wine, Persona, is not due for release until 2011, we are excited to catch up with Loren about this new venture. What inspired the name SonkinCellars? Obviously, the winery is named after me. The name was decided on when a group of investors approached me to create a wine. They were familiar with my tastes from Intowine as well as Internet Bulletin Boards. They asked me what kind of wine I would like to create and said that the wineries name should reflect that vision. I was a bit uneasy about it at first, but I do agree that it allows those people who know me, to have some level of confidence in the wine.
California's Sonoma County has a near-perfect climate for growing cool-weather grapes. Fog banks that creep over the hillsides from the Pacific Ocean and relatively cloudy weather during key months (Californians call it "June Gloom") make many parts of Sonoma an ideal place to plant pinot noir and chardonnay.
In the original 1855 classification, there were four chateaus granted first growth status. Over the ensuing years there has been one major change. In 1973, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was granted an upgrade from second to first growth status. It was a promotion that was deserved for many reasons. Foremost, of course, the quality of the wine, but Chateau Mouton Rothschild has long been an innovator and leader of Bordeaux.
For some people wine is just another beverage. For others it is an expression of life, something some might describe as art in a bottle. Malcolm Nicholls has taken it one step further by putting art ON – as well as in- the bottle. His eponymous Santa Barbara wine label, Nicholls Wine, creates fine wine as a platform for showcasing emerging contemporary artists. Each varietal and vintage release features new work by an exciting young artist. IntoWine recently caught up with Malcolm Nicholls to discuss the vision and goals for Nicholls Wine.
IntoWine recently caught up with Brad Loos of Loos Family Winery: How did your foray into winemaking come about? We come from a family of German and Dutch farmers that settled in Iowa. We were first introduced to the sweet dandelion and rhubarb wines produced there. Later, we relocated to California where a true appreciation of world-class wine occurred during numerous family trips to nearby Napa and Sonoma beginning in 1970. In 1983, Brad Loos met his wife, Dr. Kim Loos, who also enjoyed fine wine. Soon it wasn't enough just to enjoy wine. We longed to be intimately involved in the creative process. Thus, Loos Family Winery was born!
California's Napa Valley is undoubtedly the most famous wine region in the United States. As you might expect from a California wine region, Napa exudes star quality. Even 25 years ago, the valley bustled with activity and attracted tourists from all over the country. Today Napa Valley is one of the world's flagship wine regions, with approximately 400 wineries and a reputation for top-quality wines. For many wine lovers, Napa Valley is synonymous with cabernet sauvignon. This late-ripening grape flourishes in Napa Valley's warm days and cool nights. While cabernet sauvignon grapes thrive all over the Napa Valley AVA, they do particularly well in the Rutherford and Oakville sub-regions, which are AVAs in themselves. (Napa Valley has 15 subregions, all of which are also AVAs.)
Chateau Haut Brion – A Bordeaux First Growth Loved by Poets, Philosophers and Presidents for 350 years
My favorite of all of the first growths is Chateau Haut Brion. Back in 1855, when the first growth classification was created, it was the only chateau that was not located in the Medoc. Haut Brion at the time was in the commune of Graves. Since that time, the Pessac-Loegnan appellation was carved out of Graves and is now the AOC home of Haut Brion. Graves is a bit further south than the Medoc but still on the left bank of the Gironde. It is likely grapes have been cultivated on the property since Roman times. The first records, however, date back “only” as far as 1423. There was a mansion house located on the property called Aubrion. After a succession of owners, the property was owned by Jean de Ségur in 1509 whose family would someday own many of the preeminent chateaus including Lafite and Latour. In 1525 the owner, and the mayor of Libourne, Pierre de Bellon, gave it to Jeanne de Bellon to include as part of her dowry to Jean de Pontac. The mansion house was built in 1533 and the Chateau in 1549. The Estate was known briefly as Chateau Pontac. In 1649, Lord Arnaud III de Pontac became the owner of what was now undoubtedly called Haut Brion. This began a new era in which vineyards were acquired and developed. Around that time, Arnaud Bellon III, a great great grandson of Jean Bellon, took control of the winery.
Once you've purchased wine glasses that meet your needs, you will need to find a place to store them properly. Your goal should be to keep your stemware dust-free while minimizing breakage. There are many ways to store your wine glasses, depending on the amount of space you have available.