Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Archive for November, 2007

Women in Wine Symposium this weekend

Copia

I highly recommend a trip to COPIA in Napa on Saturday. The food and wine venue is devoting a day to women in wine, and if you read the wonderful piece in the Chronicle recently about female vineyard managers, you know what a hot topic this is right now.

I’m a professional member of Women for WineSense and so are many of the exceptional women honored and featured this weekend. I feel fortunate to mingle in their midst.

We already know of the female pioneers (Ann Noble), the master sommeliers (Andrea Immers Robinson) and the laundry list of female winemakers, but spending a day looking at how women approach growing, producing and promoting wine may open your eyes to a shift in this industry.

Join viticulturalists, enologists, owners, presidents, restaurateurs and others as they offer their take on the current industry from a unique point of view. The event starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. with a walk-around tasting beginning at 1:30 p.m.

For $75, you get to enjoy the full day of breakfast and lunch, walk-around tasting and lectures. Get your tickets at Copia’s web site or call 707-259-1600.

Here’s the breakdown on price otherwise:
Women in Wine Symposium Lecture Only: $40 (includes admission)/$35 COPIA members
Walk-around Winetasting only: $35 (includes admission)/$25 members
Networking Lunch (not includedin Symposium price): $35 general/members

Here’s the fabulous schedule of events, and speakers. I’m in awe of the talent they’ve gathered. If you haven’t heard Robinson, Wines, Johnson or Corison speak, I highly recommend it. They are a wealth of knowledge.

9:15-9:30 AM: Keynote Speaker
Andrea (Immer) Robinson MS
Grapes to Bottles and Cellar to Glass – A Feminine Perspective

9:30 – 10:15 AM: Women Winemakers Panel Discussion
Breaking Into The Wine Business: Secrets and Success Stories From Top Women Wine Professionals
Moderator: Rebecca Chapa C.W.E., Tannin Management, SF & Rubicon Estate Winery, St. Helena
Panelists (as of 10/31/06):
Cathy Corison – Corison Winery
Dawnine Dyer – Dyer Vineyards
Laurie Hook – Beringer Vineyards
Sheri Staglin – Staglin Family Vineyards

10:30-11:15 AM: Women Grapegrowers Panel Discussion
From the Grape to the Glass: The Inside Scoop From Women Grapegrowers
Moderator: Remi Cohen – Vineyard Manager, Merryvale Vineyards. St. Helena
Panelists (as of 10/20/06):
Julie Johnson – Tres Sabores Winery
Tondi Bolkan – Rubicon Estate
Susan Sokol-Blosser – Sokol-Blosser Winery
Kendall Smith – Pina Vineyard Management

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM: Wine Women in Restaurants, Retail and Education Panel Discussion
A More Sensitive Palate: Shaping the Consumer Wine Experience
Moderator: Paige Poulos – President/Founder Paige Poulos Communications
Panelists (as of 10/31/06):
Traci Dutton – Sommelier: Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena
Debbie Zacharias – Owner, Sommelier, Wine Merchant: Bacar Restaurant and Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants, SF
Emily Wines – Sommelier, Fifth Floor, SF
Deborah Brenner – Author: Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine (Wiley and Sons 2006)

Here’s a list of the participating wineries for the walk-around tasting:
Carol Shelton Wines
Ceja Vineyards
Chimney Rock Winery
Corison Winery
Crocker & Starr Wine Co.
Duncan Peak Vineyards
Eden Canyon Vineyards
Far Niente
Handley Cellars
Inman Family Wines
Judd’s Hill
Landmark Vineyards
Milano Family Winery
Moss Creek
Nickel & Nickel
Oakville Ranch Vineyards
Peju
Robert Mondavi Winery
Rocca Family Vineyards
Rubicon Estate
Sokol Blosser Winery
Staglin Family Vineyard
St. Supéry Vineyards & Winery
Tres Sabores
XYZin

Posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
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JC Cellars Harvest Party biggest yet

Yesterday’s JC Cellars Harvest Party was so fun. Jenny and I worked as volunteers, pouring two of Jeff Cohn’s Syrahs: the California Cuvee ($30) and the Ventana Vineyards ($25). They’re both gorgeous wines, a true marriage of California fruit made in the French style.

Jeff makes several Syrahs. But in terms of these two wines, it was really interesting to see how people really gravitated toward one or the other. The Cuvee has a little bit of Petit Sirah and Viognier in it. It has 15 percent alcohol and is made in a bold, fruit-forward style. It’s delicious.

By contrast, the Ventana has subtle hints of dark raspberries, but is otherwise a savory wine, with a lot of cured meats, olives and pepper. The alcohol is 14 percent and it’s proof of Cohn’s northern Rhone-style winemaking. This wine intrigued me more.

Almost everyone who visited our table — from Ron Pieretti of Prospect 772 to Ventana Vineyards’ Reggie Hammond — preferred one over the other. Toward the end of the five-hour event, it almost became an experiment in human behavior!

Check out both wines at JC Cellars’ web site. I’ll post photos once they’re available.

Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2007
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