Vineyard Vlog https://vineyardvlog.com Everything Behind The Bottle... Thu, 13 Oct 2011 08:30:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4 Harvest Live – Napa Valley 2011 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=864 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=864#comments Thu, 13 Oct 2011 08:14:47 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=864 Harvest Live!

Now in it’s 4th year Harvest Live has grown to even more exciting heights!

What is Harvest Live?  It is this wacky idea, from Christophe Smith, of getting lots of tech gear and beaming WiFi into the vineyards in Napa Valley.  You then take a few guys, some mics, and a video camera [...]]]> Harvest Live!

Now in it’s 4th year Harvest Live has grown to even more exciting heights!

What is Harvest Live?  It is this wacky idea, from Christophe Smith, of getting lots of tech gear and beaming WiFi into the vineyards in Napa Valley.  You then take a few guys, some mics, and a video camera and stream live video on the internet.  In turn, oenophiles around the world can watch Napa Valley’s harvest – live!

Harvest - Mr & Mrs @DrXeno


“This is a chance for wine lovers to connect with the Napa Valley beyond what they have tasted in the bottle and have a behind the scenes look into the 2011 vintage. We look forward to a great exchange between wine enthusiasts and those of us in the winemaking business during this most exciting and important time of year.”   – Christophe Smith of Titus Vineyards

I am very excited by this idea, as I learned wine in Manhattan and I was starved for knowledge of what happens in the vineyards and to see exactly what it is that I had studied.  This year is a very special year for Harvest Live, as formerly it only streamed from Titus Vineyards in St Helena, covering 1 week of their harvest.  However, this year it is moving through 5 different AVA’s inNapa Valley, on 5 days.  They will travel from cult winery Staglin Vineyards to world famous Robert Mondavi Winery.   Harvest Live is bringing Napa Valley harvest 2011 to computers all across the world, and will allow for people to directly dial in via internet and ask questions in real time – exciting to say the least.

Once the project is live on 10/17/11 please feel free to tune-in here or directly on ustream or Mondavi’s website or even Napa Valley Vintners.  It’s gonna be a heck of a time, especially as this vintage is going to one of those greatly debated ones, and you can at least say you witnessed a piece of it.

The winery participants by day are as follows:

Monday, October 17: Robert Mondavi Winery with Keith Horn, director of vineyards and Genevieve Janssens, director of winemaking

Tuesday, October 18: Staglin Family Vineyards with Garen Staglin, owner, along with Fredrik Johansson, winemaker and Chris Platt, assistant winemaker

Wednesday, October 19: William Hill Estate Winery with Raif Holdenried, winemaker

Thursday, October20: Round Pond Estate with Chris Pedemonte, vineyard manager and Brian Brown, winemaker

Friday, October 21: Titus Vineyards with brothers Eric and Phillip Titus

Saturday, October 22: Chappellet Vineyard & Winery with Phillip Titus, winemaker

Live Stream Here!!!!

Live streaming by Ustream

Cheers!

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Know when to hold’em… Harvest 2011 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=802 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=802#comments Mon, 03 Oct 2011 19:27:02 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=802 As our first real rain approaches (we had a minor rain last weekend 9/25), the annual valley pandemonium rears it head as does the harvest of another vintage.

2011 – a third year in a row where we have had a steady cool summer.  Only 2-3 heat spikes, and otherwise moderate temperatures which is great for [...]]]> As our first real rain approaches (we had a minor rain last weekend 9/25), the annual valley pandemonium rears it head as does the harvest of another vintage.

2011 – a third year in a row where we have had a steady cool summer.  Only 2-3 heat spikes, and otherwise moderate temperatures which is great for my wine-country lifestyle, but not the ace-in-the-hole growing conditions that Napa Grape Farmers are accustomed to.  However, in the same breath, being weather dependent I don’t think there is ever a year that the grape growers have nothing to gripe about.   And I am no viticulturist or vinification expert, but I got my money down that 2011 is going to make some awesome wines!   Most of the merlot and zinfandel is in or will be down before this rain.  I have been sneaking my own samples here and there, and the Cab is close to ready as is the Petit verdot and Cab Franc, but in keeping to the known extracted and BIG style of Napa Valley the grapes could use some further maturation.  As an overview, I’d say 66% of the Cab in Napa is still hanging.

Stag's Leap AVA Map - Zoom In

However, in looking out my back door, I have a cross section of how three of the notable Cab producers are making this call.

Joseph Phelps – Barboza Vineyard

Cliff Lede’s – Andelin VIneyard

Pine Ridge’s – Corner Lot vineyard.

Of these 3 very notable and respected vineyards, Pine Ridge night harvested this weekend 10/1 and 10/2.  I tried their fruit (Cab) and the seeds were brown and crunchy and the flesh of the fruit very good.  But then again, Pine Ridge is a tight trellised 3′ VSP (Vertical shoot position) with the cortons maybe 30″ from the ground.  The Phelps/  Barboza and Cliff Lede Vineyards adjacent, are of an “old-school” trellising and cane system.  They also have a bigger bushier VSP – meaning more sun protection and more time on the vine to get ripe.  These grapes, have bigger clusters, but are a week or 2 behind in their maturation.   And at the end of t he day, neither one method is more superior than the other.  However, there will be a difference in grape flavor profile, especially after the rain.  But here is a nice metaphor I was told about growing grapes.  When growing grapes you want the maturation steady and even, like making a stew or tomato sauce.  The longer you can cook the sauce the better and more even the flavors are going to be.  If you quickly take your sauce to a boil and serve it, the flavors are not going to be integrated and it’d be pretty gross.

Stag's Leap - Looking West over Cliff Lede Vineyards

Announcing Harvest Live:

And for seasoned experts, they have projected harvest in 3rd week of October, and that is looking like a great harvest date for Napa.  And that is also the time that Harvest Live is set to broadcast the Napa Valley 2011 harvest to the world – LIVE! There will be streaming footage and updates from the mastermind of Harvest Live – Christophe Smith.

Overview of Stony Meadow & Adjacent vineyards

Vintage Notes,

cause after a while they all got confused…

2009 -

Cooler year.  Good looking fruit.  Not a bumper crop but decent.  However due to the cool steady season and the earlier than wanted Oct 11th rain, this rain became the buzzer beater of the vintage.  You either harvested before or after.  There was some mold to deal with if you held out.  But there were some potential green properties to the grapes if you brought the fruit in early.

2010 -

Again a mild season with great potential, if you played your cards right in the vineyard.   The yields and grape bunches looked solid.  Howver, they we re maturing slowly.  And then came the early September heat wave (9/3/10).  Some people cut back their leaf canopy to accelerate ripening, if you did that your fruit fried.  If you left your grapes protected with trust in that the heat would find Napa Valley,  you made the right move and came out with some great fruit.  But of course, there was an earlier than wanted rain and the time-old decision.  Let it ride, or play it safe….  Again – for the people that plated their card right, there will be amazing wines coming from this vintage.

2011 -

A third year in a row for a mild summer.  More mild than past summers.  A late rainy spring disrupted Cabernet flowering and ultimately knocked the yields on Cabernet way down.  (Hail in oak knoll and other spots in the valley decimated some crops).   But the fruit that made it this year, is looking amazing, and was naturally limited so there was not much fruit dropped (at least for Cab) and assuming we get through this first bout of rain, we are looking at smaller yields of amazing wines.

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WBC11 PreConference (getting physical) https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=754 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=754#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2011 05:41:36 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=754 There has been a lot of talk about what to expect and recommended points of action for attending the wine bloggers conference.   That said, I will give you a pre-cursor of what to expect based on today and my past 2 years at WBC.

Day #1 of the PreConference was hosted by www.VisitLoudon.org (DC’s wine country),  [...]]]> There has been a lot of talk about what to expect and recommended points of action for attending the wine bloggers conference.   That said, I will give you a pre-cursor of what to expect based on today and my past 2 years at WBC.

Day #1 of the PreConference was hosted by www.VisitLoudon.org (DC’s wine country),  which quickly reminded why I started and how awesome it is to be a wine blogger.

So why is it awesome???

Well first off, you get special attention and great treatment.  You get to see a side of the industry that the average consumer never experiences.  However,  you may find yourself back in “dodge“, as is referenced by Heimoff,  but that is okay or exactly what is to be expected – so be ready.   However, it is the unexpected that always re-affirms the luxury of wine and the sport of being a sanctioned wine enthusiast, or self-endorsed wine geek, take your pick.

We started the day off at Tarara Winery, where Jordan Harris GM/WineMaker astounded me with his knowledge, business sense, and passion for VA wine.  I always wondered, if winemakers and vineyard owners complain about growing grapes in “sunny california” why would anyone try to make wine and grow grapes on the east coast.  Well it took me, 10 minutes to remember my roots and my thoughts of growing grape in new Jersey… anyway I digress.   Tarara is doing some fun stuff, and if you get there ask them about their Petit Manseng.

Breaux Vineyards

We went to Breaux afterwards.  They had me at, “Go on a hayride through the vineyard, wine is made in the vineyard.”  This is so true and despite all the kvetching (names not mentioned) about the humidity and heat, I did not travel 3000 miles to not see some vines.  Breaux shocked everyone with their Nebbiolo and their barrel samples were great.  I am excited to see their new wine maker David step into place.

After Breaux we went to a dinner at Grandale Farms a “Farm To Fork” styled restaurant and paired our meal with several local wines, with all local foods.  A delicious dinner where our small “family” of pre-conference wine bloggers got to talk and further re-acquaint each other.  In actuality, there were not many new people in the pre-con, and that is what resounds to me about the WBC.  A tight knit group of people who share the same passion and obsession for wine.  Which leads me to my take on the WBC and what to expect, and some rules of engagement.

Dinner at Grandale Farms

WBC Rules of Engagement:

  1. Do not miss the WBC.  If you are serious wine blogger, shame on you for not being here.
    This is your online community and if you neglect to meet them IRL, that stinks.  With anything it is the people that matter.  This is your time to move past avatars and #FF & #WW and whatever else you do online:   get physical, interact, smell, touch, and get a feel for who your community is.
  2. Sit at a table where you do not know anyone.  Comfort zones are for beds.  Meet people, connect IRL.
  3. Leave your professional side at home.  When you started blogging it was not professional, and it still is not.  Do not make this what it is not. This is your passion, your character, and your time to make awesome friends and connections.
  4. You’ll probably learn more outside of the seminars than in them.  Choose wisely.
  5. Don’t be intimidated by the cliques of wine bloggers, they are old friends.  Do butt-in on conversations and let them know your blog is better than theirs, if they do not laugh, walk away.  If they do laugh and they make a snarky retort, you are in good company.
  6. Make sure you get to an afterparty – the most important connections with fellow bloggers are the ones that are blurry.
  7. This is too many guidelines.  Turn off your computer or stop staring at your phone, make sure you have biz cards and get ready for the showdown.

Look forward to meeting you,

anDrew

Breaux Dinner at Grandale Farms Breaux Welcome Sauv blanc IMG_3097 IMG_3102 IMG_3109 IMG_3111 IMG_3112 IMG_3113 IMG_3114 IMG_3122 IMG_3123 IMG_3124 IMG_3125 ]]> https://vineyardvlog.com/?feed=rss2&p=754 7
Andrew Geoffrey – Calistoga CA – Diamond Mountain AVA https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=737 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=737#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2011 06:18:16 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=737 Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards is situated atop Diamond Mountain AVA in  Calistoga CA, one of the northern most areas in Napa Valley.  I owe a special thanks to Amanda from The Traveling Grape (link)  for connecting me with Peter from Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards (AGV).   AGV is a boutique wine producer [...]]]> Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards is situated atop Diamond Mountain AVA in  Calistoga CA, one of the northern most areas in Napa Valley.  I owe a special thanks to Amanda from The Traveling Grape (link)  for connecting me with Peter from Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards (AGV).   AGV is a boutique wine producer that operates from St Helena with all of their fruit coming from their Vineyard in Calistoga CA.

Panoramic Over Calistoga

I first met with Peter from AGV in the summer of 2010 when I decided to do a full on exploration of the Diamond Mountain AVA (a whole series will follow this video).  At our first meeting I met with Peter at the base of Diamond Mtn road and Hwy 29, as this vineyard is well off the beaten path.   I followed him up an amazing drive through redwood forests, hairpin turns, and inclines that are not for the light-hearted.  In the 3o minutes we had to look over the site, it was clear this is a vineyard of distinction, and I wanted to explore it  more.   Due to time constraints, there was no time to walk the vineyard, but Peter said he’d let me come back at harvest, per my request, but only if I promised to stay out of the way. :)

AGV is one of those stories about a long sought dream of wanting to have a vineyard in Napa, and for Peter it is a dream come true.  Peter told me how he did not want any ordinary site and he took his time in locating and finally deciding on this vineyard site.  He had worked with geologists and viticulture professionals to make sure the soil was unique and that the site would be suitable for planting.  Long story short, he did his homework, and landed an amazing site, and is working the dream everyday!

When I came back for harvest in late October I used a new app to document my walk thru the vineyard and to give you a quick overview of the site itself and a quick view of harvest on a mountainside vineyard.  You should note this vineyard has a great concentration of volcanic soil, great drainage, varying slopes, and primarily Eastern and northern exposure.  It is a late ripening site, due to it’s elevation, sun exposure, climate difference from the valley floor, winds, and hillside vines just have to work harder to grow, mature, and ripen.  (One note, Diamond Mtn predominantly faces East & North.  It gets great sun exposure in the morning and falls in to shade by late afternoon.  As a result, you will find that most vineyards on Diamond Mountain are at higher elevations to capture more sun exposure.)

I had the luxury of trying some one of the wines that came from this vineyard a 375ml of the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, (this was given to me at no-cost).  To quote Christophe Smith who tried this wine with me, “It is a pretty wine.”   I felt exactly the same way.  I do not usually get into tasting and rating wines, but if your palate seeks and loves quintessential “Napa Cab”, this is an amazing bottle for the price.   It is a standout for a 2005, with signature mountain fruit tannin, and a jammy ripeness that envelops the mouth.  The 2005 had a high ABV level, but the depth of the wine had no problem concealing the alcohol.

Please take a walk with me (Andrew Lazorchak) through the AGV at harvest, as we move into a new era of VineyardVlog as captured via EveryTrail.

Please let me know any questions and stay tuned for more VineyardVlog posts on Diamond Mountain AVA.

Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards


EveryTrail

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Tractors & Machines of The Vineyard – Viticulture https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=689 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=689#comments Thu, 26 Aug 2010 08:22:34 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=689 A vlog that preaches “Everything Behind The Bottle” should probably geek out and show some of the tools of the trade, right?

Pict from unified grape growers conference 2010

Wine Bottling Machine

Well here are some odds and ends that I have come across in the past months.  All of these are interesting to [...]]]> A vlog that preaches “Everything Behind The Bottle” should probably geek out and show some of the tools of the trade, right?

grape picker

Pict from unified grape growers conference 2010

Wine Bottling Machine

Well here are some odds and ends that I have come across in the past months.  All of these are interesting to say the least, and some a bit hard to comprehend, in their size, their necessity, and cost.    Some of these machines are massive and some are just weird…  but this is wine geek technology that helps get the grape from the ground to the fermentation bin.  I have also included some picts I took last Feb at Unified 10 Conference, which is a wine industry convention in Sacramento.  The Unified conference is mostly about selling barrels, bottles, and all the other goods that are needed in getting wine into a sellable form.  They also had a social media conference which is why I went.    However, what stole the show for me was to see the size of the heavy equipment on the floor there.  Literally these machines can be walked underneath and were too big to even fit into a camera frame.

A jazzy video of robot pruning, below.

However, this technology has already been surpassed by this Video from NZ news 3.

And here is a fun video showing you how nimble tractors can be, and need to be for safety and protection of workers and the vines.

Have you seen any fun vineyard equipment?  What do you think about mechanical harvesting? versus hand harvesting?  How geeky are you with vineyard equipment?

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Lodi California – You Probably have had wine from here… https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=705 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=705#comments Tue, 10 Aug 2010 16:51:10 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=705 Yep, you probably have had wine from Lodi CA, whether you are aware of this or not.  Lodi is a region that is best known for providing “tons” of grapes for economically priced wines.    Is Lodi new to you?  If you are a Zin drinker you have most definitely heard of Lodi, their signature grape? [...]]]> Yep, you probably have had wine from Lodi CA, whether you are aware of this or not.  Lodi is a region that is best known for providing “tons” of grapes for economically priced wines.    Is Lodi new to you?  If you are a Zin drinker you have most definitely heard of Lodi, their signature grape?   But for the rest, this area is not typically well recognized or remembered.  Admittedly, I had to add a new viticulture region to VineyardVlog, as I had failed to originally add it in the list.   Lodi CA (map) sits 50miles South of Napa county, 35 miles East of San Francisco, and 80mile +/- West of the Sierra Foothills  – in somewhat of an area-non-grata.   Now this is not to belittle Lodi – actually I’d like to share my excitement for the people of Lodi and their mission to earn the attention of wine drinkers.

This tour of Lodi was strung together by Marc Hinton of enobytes.com who reached out to myself, Andrew Lazorchak of VineyardVlog and Christophe Smith (@corkdork) and invited us to join a private tour around Lodi California, with one other writer.  Our host for the day was Mark Chandler the Executive Director for the Lodi Woodbridge Wine Commission, who showed us everything from a “locals” perspective.  What was also nice, is that our whole group would be judging the California State Fair – Home Wine Makers competition the next day, so we got know each other all pretty well over the 2 days.

While I will continue on with my own notes about this trip.  We have compiled some video and decided to extract the discussions of climate, soil, and personal outlook of what Lodi is up to in this year 2010.

My Take On Lodi:

Lodi is struggling to lose it’s identity as a bulk-juice wine production area.  Even the name Lodi Woodbridge, for me, connotes a brand name that is associated with big bottled value wines.   The lay of the land is flat.  There is one soil type, sandy loam, which is very fertile  They have access to water for irrigation, and they are blessed with a high water table.  Their climate is heavily moderated by an inland delta or the “Calinas Straits”.   And on their eastern the border, they have the Sierra Mountains that bring cool air down in to the the great valley.   In exchanging tasting notes with our group, there was a common thread of monotony in the wines.  While the wines were good, no wines in particular jumped out and showed us something personal or indicative of the land.  (something I and VineyardVlog are always on the hunt for).  But please let me stress that this does not mean the wines are not good, as there were many palatable wines.

120 yr old zin vines. 10' tall trees!

In this tour of Lodi, our first stop was Jessie’s Grove Winery.  Jessie’s Grove (JGW) was a great first stop

One of many amzing historical artifacts of the early farmers.

as it made the historical importance and depth of Lodi abundantly clear.   JGW boasts 120+ year old vines.  These vines looked more like trees than vines -  They were massive!  With a history dating back to the 1850′s JGW had a great narrative of  how this wine country was birthed by early settlers and self-made farmers.  JGW has a very special historic farming museum on it’s property showing these early machines and the evolution of their estate and the success story of their family and community.

We next went to Van Ruiter Winery.  Again the wines were palatable and a few notable wines were in their tasting flight.  Van Ruiter is in the midst of a large expansion, mostly to house 100% of their production and bottling line under one roof.

Michael~David winery was remarkable, as not only was their tasting room modest, but Michael Philips and his wife were humble and approachable people.  I don’t know about you but if I was running a 300,000 case production facility, I would be a lot less calm.  But Mike had a remarkable demeanor.  They have shown how a small family winery can make it big with lots of hard work, and probably some guidance from their larger neighbors.

Abundance Vineyards was our next stop which was a fun one.  They had a very diverse line up including a sparkling wine.  Again the small winery getting bigger was the discussion, and of course their wines.

All in all, Lodi left a humbling impression on me.  I am not in awe of the wines being made there.  But I am in awe in the amount of hard work and energy that the wineries there are pushing for.  I am confident that Lodi will prosper as a region, and I think they will start to come in to their own, in the next 20 years.  We’ll have to see how their plantings, consumer demand, and climate change  evolve.  But clearly they are on fertile land and have a great climate for grapes…which is  a powerful combination when hard work is added.

Don’t be afraid of Lodi Wines, but expect a good deal, until they surge in to  their grape-ological sweet spot.

Cheers,

Andrew

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#PinotNoir Carneros Meet & Tweet https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=655 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=655#comments Mon, 12 Jul 2010 22:30:24 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=655 We’re pleased to announce that the official #PinotNoir meet up for Napa & Sonoma will be held at:

Anaba Winery on 7/15/10 at 5PM until 7PM.

Anaba Winery is a Rhone & Burgundy influenced Carneros winery.  Their estate vineyards emphasize the climatic and fertile fortune of Carneros [...]]]> We’re pleased to announce that the official #PinotNoir meet up for Napa & Sonoma will be held at:

Anaba Winery on 7/15/10 at 5PM until 7PM.

Anaba winery

Anaba Winery is a Rhone & Burgundy influenced Carneros winery.  Their estate vineyards emphasize the climatic and fertile fortune of Carneros and the Sonoma Coast – their slogan:  elegant, classic wines borne by the wind.   Anaba graciously welcomes you all into their “home” and to help celebrate and support #PinotNoir and the many powerful AVA’s associated with Pinot Noir in both Sonoma & Napa Valley.

We ask that attendees bring the following:

We will have a projector of the hashtag stream.


View larger map

Special Thanksto  the following people for their support and help.

Kate at Truchard Vineyards

Tim at 2o Rows

Julie NapaValleyVitners Alliance

AnabaWinery

Larson Winery.

EAVB_DRIRAVXFWT

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More Barnyard Fun with: Pinot Noir “An opportunity for unity” https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=635 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=635#comments Fri, 09 Jul 2010 04:49:11 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=635 Take away 3 things from this post:

There is a public tasting of Pinot Noir 7/15/2010 AT ANABA WINERY (link).  You will get to vote for your favorite Pinot Noir by Appellation via Twiiter (more here).  We are hosting a tasting for Sonoma and Napa, likely to be in Carneros.
Pinot Noir…

Take away 3 things from this post:

  1. There is a public tasting of Pinot Noir 7/15/2010 AT ANABA WINERY (link).  You will get to vote for your favorite Pinot Noir by Appellation via Twiiter (more here).  We are hosting a tasting for Sonoma and Napa, likely to be in Carneros.
  2. Los Carneros is a landmark pinot noir growing region. It has shown the ability to rival the mecca – Burgundy.  However, there are many great Pinot Noir AVA’s – learn more about them here.
  3. Napa & Sonoma are 2 different AVA’s – Yet the Los Carneros AVA belongs to both Napa & Sonoma.  A common ground to both valleys that is well-respected but under traveled.
Burgundy

Hashtag is the name of the game!

Pinot Noir was the grape/wine that kicked me in the face and made me realize just how expansive and remarkable wine can be.   I was in my 4th class at the American Sommelier Association, and we tasted Pinots for 3 hours.   They were damn good and the factor that was the kick in the face, was that my palate was stained with a flavor that I can still recall today.  The flavor permeated my cheeks and mouth even 5 hours after class ended, this was a wine drinking experience that will last forever.   And this is where I learned that Pinot Noir can be an amazing wine.

Pinot Noir can smell like: Barnyard Funk, Leather, Horse Saddle, mushrooms, chocolate covered dry cherries, tobacco, cigar box, and you get the idea – it’s a dynamic grape.   But that my friend is just the smell of Pinot.  But tasting Pinot Noir can be so contrary to the smell, especially to a new comer in wine.    How can such great wine with dusty leathery tannin and vibrant fruit, have such a different nose?   Well, Pinot Noir is dynamic and so sensitive to the environment that it is grown in that it is an awesome grape/wine to use to evaluate the growing conditions of a given AVA.   And this complex intersection of  vineyard site, climate, soil, and varietal clone , makes Pinot Noir a great litmus and product of  Terroir.

Terroir – yup I had to say it.  Terroir  is exactly what the #PinotNoir Tasting is all about, tasting and talking about the way that Pinot tastes from all over the world.  Please check out Wine Tonite by Ed Thralls, and see exactly how this tasting will work.  He has provided us a step-by-step process of how to “tweet” and even made a thorough and expanding  key reference chart that lets you know all the Hashtags so you can vote for your favorite AVA.

And as an extension of this worldwide tasting, we are working with Jennifer Thomson from Thomson Vineyards to host a tasting for our local community in Carneros.  We are hoping to draw participants from all over Napa and Sonoma (you hear me Russian River Valley and AlexanderValley?) and anyone drinking, liking, making or growing Pinot Noir.   I’d really love to see Napa & Sonoma come together in a communal effort and take pride in the commonalities and diversities that we all share – and to do this with a glass of wine in hand.   So now you know  WHY Carneros is important Because it is the “Switzerland” of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. And Carneros is an awesome region boasting: cool climate, thin well-drained soil, long growing season, and undulating terrain that  produces some great cool climate varietals.

Please stay tuned for the location that Thomson Vineyards and Vineyard Vlog will host this event in conjunction with www.WineTonite.com, www.SuburbanWino.com, and many other wineries and wine lovers.

And again…  Can we get some some people from Both Napa & Sonoma to stand together and to drink together.

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#WBC10 – Top Gun Blogging Panel https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=621 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=621#comments Sat, 26 Jun 2010 22:40:35 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=621 It’s half-time at the #WBC10.

Pre-Conference Lunch and Tour of DuBrul Vyd Yakima

We have seen it all and are leaving a mark on Walla Walla.  I know everyone has been really enjoying the time, people, conversation, and the wines.  The lead-off on Friday was great!  Steve Heimoff gave a very warm intro and summed [...]]]> It’s half-time at the #WBC10.

Pre-Conference Lunch and Tour of DuBrul Vyd Yakima

We have seen it all and are leaving a mark on Walla Walla.  I know everyone has been really enjoying the time, people, conversation, and the wines.  The lead-off on Friday was great!  Steve Heimoff gave a very warm intro and summed up much of how we are all on a journey.  Steve defined his journey and even threw cred back at the bloggers for chiseling down the walls of  traditional media and our challenging of the conventions with in print media, specifically insisting upon transparency.

I really enjoyed that we had  an “advanced blogging” session, which was a step in the right direction.  I recommend you download that presentation as it had some great AUTOMATION tools in it.  And if there was one thing I wanted to take away from that panel, it was the automation tools we can all use to make us more effective as communicators. And what’s more, is that I knowour panel Top Gun Blogging will really hit home with advanced bloggers. We are all hungry to discuss the theory and practice of blogging.

Over the course of 5 hours I realized that I lead an enchanted life (with respect to the wine blogosphere).  I am 100% embedded in wine country, and to many people’s dismay.  Napa is “The Wine Country” and it is the epicenter for American wine business.  Living and working (the same thing for me) in Napa allows me to live my identity as “leader” in what is a growing and undefined area of social media and blogging.  I don’t consider myself a blogger, although I do blog and think it has great content. I am a person who is always looking to expand the envelope and have been lucky to be surrounded by strong thought-leaders in the wine and sociel media realm and to be immersed in a warm business climate – The Wine Industry.  All of these factors and the timing of social media and my business objectives have made me an outlier in my small world, but my passion and dedication will resound, that much I can promise.

Here is my presentation for WBC Top Gun Blogging.

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Zeitgesist & T.G.B. – 4 days to #WBC10 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=602 https://vineyardvlog.com/?p=602#comments Thu, 24 Jun 2010 03:59:13 +0000 Andrew http://vineyardvlog.com/?p=602 Man!!!  I can not tell you how much of a tizzy I am in, in anticipation of WBC10.  Sadly to say, this “family re-union” of bloggers, tweeters, sippers, guzzlers, and tweakers , is probably more exciting than perhaps a real family reunion.  Maybe that’s cause I’ll be in the company [...]]]> What will you learn from #WBC10?

Man!!!  I can not tell you how much of a tizzy I am in, in anticipation of WBC10.  Sadly to say, this “family re-union” of bloggers, tweeters, sippers, guzzlers, and tweakers , is probably more exciting than perhaps a real family reunion.  Maybe that’s cause I’ll be in the company of many great wine drinkers and comrades that have been “in the trenches” with me IRL or virtually all year.

Are you this guy?

Did you say you wanted chardonnay?

I have been watching the #WBC10 Hashtag on twitter and am being kept well-aware of who’s on a plane, who’s on the double-decker, and who like me just can not wait to be there as well.   Amongst all of this chatter have come a few “interesting” comments, videos, and blogs about the WBC10 and what the state of the state for bloggers is going to be?    And as I have been  writing my presentation for our Top Gun Blogging panel on Sunday – I find myself constantly rotating ideas and shifting  importance of what to speak about.  This constant shift is a reaction to the very fluid  Zeitgesit of WBC2010.  What is going on in wine blogging and social media?  Well to know the status, you need to listen for the on-going Chorus coming from the many voices of  bloggers, wineries, and marketing firms.  This chorus will change with every tweet and post, and we’ll all hear a different tune.   And it is this tune, that I want to identify the rhythm of and illuminate it for all who are joining as listeners or singers.

So what is the tune I am hearing and what am I seeing as a topic of importance and inspiration for our panel attendees?   Well,  I have seen a few posts and this post (about who is “big” or more influential at WBC10 and what does that mean to you as an attendee) got my wheels spinning with no firm conclusion.  I have also been corresponding with my co-panelists about our topics and seeing reactions to their posts and our general thoughts.   These influences plus the #WBC10 column is giving me a full chorus, and one thing is certain the playing field is a tabula rasa.  I am not sure what to bet on, but I am willing to bet that we can anticipate a hell of a conference.  Great people.  Great Wines.  And an IRL and real-time expose of what is the wine 2.0 zeigesit.

The weekend will be fast & furious.  Game-changing dynamics will be in full force.  Meeting lots of incredible people will be the standard.  And I will be excited to quell my  anticipation and excitement that has been mounting since last year.

This video will give you a solid understating of what to expect at our Top Gun Blogging panel and don’t worry if you don’t get it – you will Sunday! (Featuring Joe Herrig http://www.suburbanwino.com/ & Ben Simons (http://www.vinotology.com ) & Me (Andrew Lazorchak)

History For The Future -  One year ago at#WBC09

This time last year,  I probably had 110+/- twitter followers, and Vineyard Vlog was 3 months old.    I was  fresh to social media and blogging, but somehow I was able to get a foothold.    I did however have one feather in my cap,  I knew a few bloggers.  I got to know a few bloggers from my correspondence with them about my day job – Soiree.  This interaction with bloggers was easy, straightforward, and was always exciting.  But  this experience in getting to know bloggers, working in the trade, marketing Soiree, and just starting a vlog gave me good insight to wine 2.0.  Insight, that I realized not many people had.

I realized my infantile experience was already leaps and bounds ahead of the common wine trade person.  On Saturday last year there was a Q&A and a winery employee asked, “How do we reach-out to bloggers?”  It became very clear that this whole interaction of wineries, bloggers,and PR firms was uncharted territory for most.  So much that there is a panel that will be discussing that this year.  I welcome you to visit my re-cap from WBC09 – Day 2.   At that time,  Hardy Wallace was not officially with Murphy Goode.  Rick Bakas just soft-started for St Supery, FourSquare did not exist, and I decided it was time to engage and not just poke in from the outside.

The playing field was and still is far from being defined, which is the other amazing opportunity in front of all of us (marketers, social media-mongers, and bloggers alike).   We should all be thankful for the crappy economy in 2009, because if the economy had been like it was  in 1999 the marketing budgets and emphasis to compete on all levels would have blown the social media bubble in record time.

Recession

Recession

The reality is that wineries have had hoover pockets and the last thing they need is SocialMedia to put food on the table.     But then again, there was something great that happened in the last 12 months, and that was:  nothing.

Historically, recessions are great for academia.   People are unemployed or don’t see pay-raises in the works, so they go back to school.   Likewise, people stay at home more, blog more, tweet more, read more, drink more, and experiment with business ideas and opportunities.

This lull in the industry is something we should all be thankful for.   We have an abundance of latent effort that is mounting and very potent.  It is this moment in time that communication, tech, and inter-connectivity are getting ready to sprout.  Journalism, branding, and marketing will forever mutate to our chorus, and we are at the core of it all.

Now, more than ever, you need to know your inner-maverick and need to understand the mutating playing field that we are all pioneering – some better than others.

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