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Calwineries Blog

2006 California Wine Sales & Other News

Spanish missionaries planted the first grapes in California in the 19th century. But until the 1976 Paris tasting, California’s wine industry was little more than a sparkle in the eyes of vintners and winemakers. After the “vinous shot heard round the world,” California wine has been steadily growing and has now earned an international reputation for excellence.

With this in mind, it is not surprising that 2006 was a record year for United States wine sales. According to Jon Fredrikson, of the Gomberg-Fredrikson report, 189 million cases of California Wine were sold in 2006, up two percent from ‘05. The retail value of this wine increased as well, up 8 percent, totaling $17.8 billion.

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NVV’s E Auction is not Just About Wine

Auction Napa Valley is starting today at various wineries throughout the Valley. Today is just a warm up for the rest of the week’s festivities. Tomorrow is the barrel tasting and E Auction, and Saturday is the main event, the Live Auction. The Live Auction has raised over $68 million for charity since 1981, and will continue to do so this year. The E Auction is a relatively new event that we have covered here and here.

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As Apple Moth Threatens Napa Grapes, Local Officials Plan to Take Action

Napa County officials have announced that they will begin using organic pesticides to combat the light brown apple moth. The initial spraying will be concentrated on a small stretch of land near Highway 29 and Lincoln Avenue.

Although there are many homes in the area, a spokeswoman for Napa County stressed that Bacillus thuringiensis is, “approved for use in organic growing facilities so it is on the benign end of the scale, which is encouraging.” Even still, concerned residents can attend a meeting about the issue at West Park Elementary School on June 12th at 7 pm.

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Small Boutique Wineries featured at Alexander Valley Event

Sonoma County is home to some of California’s best wineries. While some Sonoma operations are scaled for Disneyland size tourism, others are not. Great wines are produced from large and small wineries, but certain down home qualities are reserved for small productions.

Seven small wineries were featured in last weekends Alexander Valley Winegrowers Association’s Taste of the Valley. You would think that smaller producers could be lost in the fold among wineries like Alexander Valley Vineyards, Clos du Bois, Silver Oak, Simi and Souverain.

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What Sets Pinot Noir Apart

Pinot Noir has been vinified for centuries and is one of the world’s noble grape varieties. But what is it about Pinot that allows it to make wines that have such haunting finesse and concentration? While its greatness has often been attributed to the muses, there are some definitive things that set Pinot Noir apart from other red grapes.

Pinot Noir is a thin skinned grape with lighter pigments than most other red varieties. This is because Pinot Noir lacks acylated anthocyanins which most other red grapes have. (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc.) These tannic compounds are responsible for much of the pigments in red wine. Pinot does contain the other major tannic compound called polyphenols, which gives it sufficient structure.

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E-Auction Napa Valley Bidding is Open: Featured St Helena Lots

California Wine Country’s biggest event, Auction Napa Valley, will be held on June 7th to June 10th. This year, a couple of lots at the E-Auction celebrate the diverse and excellent producers in the St. Helena wine region. Many of these wines are extremely difficult to find and are only available through mailing lists.

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