Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wine Sales Soar at Premiere Napa Valley

Premiere Napa Valley barrel tasting and auction, the American wine industry's most prestigious gathering for the wine trade, concluded the day Saturday, February 20, raising nearly $2 million. Bidders from across the country and around the globe purchased the 200 unique, crafted-only-for-this-auction offerings. The 2010 tally was nearly 30% stronger than 2009 and bested only twice in its 14-year history.

"The story, however, is not about the funds raised as being the benchmark of the Napa Valley wine industry's price stabilization in the current economy. It's about the confidence buyers for resale have in Napa Valley wines today, and the optimism and viability they feel about Napa Valley wines in the months and years ahead when these wines will be released for sale to consumers," said noted wine industry analyst Barbara Insel, of Stonebridge Research, who was at Saturday's event.

Read more about this year's Premiere Napa Valley.

See the new packaging coming to market

See photos from the wine trade gathering

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Preparing for Premiere - Switchback Ridge and Robert Foley Vineyards

Kelly Peterson of Switchback Ridge and Bob Foley of Robert Foley Vineyards offer some insight on how they came up with this year's joint blend for Premiere Napa Valley.

See full description of the Premiere Napa Valley video series below ("Preparing for Premiere - Judd's Hill, Salvestrin & Schweiger).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Preparing for Premiere - Peju & Sullivan Vineyards

Sara Fowler of Peju and Phillipe Langner and Sean Sullivan of Sullivan Vineyards discovered their wines' compatibility on '' Watch and learn how Peju wines' feminine qualities and Sullivan Vineyards wines' masculinity make for the perfect Premiere Napa Valley 'marriage in a bottle.' Stay tuned to the end, where the groups' creative juices take center stage - literally!

See full description of the Premiere Napa Valley video series below ("Preparing for Premiere - Judd's Hill, Salvestrin & Schweiger).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Precise & Professional Pruning Prior to Premiere

Precise pruning is a job for professionals. On my recent travels, I learned a lot about the various pruning methods. In Rioja, 100 year-old Tempranillo vines are shaped into "Gobelet" training systems, in Burgundy they favor "Single Guyot" for their Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux is a mix of Guyot, and "Bilateral-Cordon" which you traditionally see in Napa Valley and on our estate.

Yesterday at VIADER, we finally took to the vineyards and started pruning with an army of about 15 men. Pruning is an essential part in the management of vines, and has very specific timing needs. I'm not a viticulturalist, but I'll do my best to explain it the way I understand it. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!)

Typically, once the cold weather settles in after harvest, the vines lose their leaves, cease photosynthesis and go dormant for about 2-3 months. Unused energy in the form of carbohydrates from within the canes is slowly pulled down for storage in the trunk. These carbohydrates are later needed for bud-break and early canopy development. Pruning the dried canes as the weather warms up gives the young buds the extra push to break through and pull that energy into life.

Each bud, like our estate Syrah vine pictured here, will produce a shoot that may have 1-2 grape clusters, so pruning is important for gauging and controlling future yields for that harvest year.

My brother Alan commented, "This is when you create and set the balance for the rest of the year." We'll have a better idea of yield as we get closer to bloom, usually in late March. There's still more fun to come beforehand, so stay tuned!

All the best,
Janet Viader
sales & marketing @ VIADER

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Preparing for Premiere - Ghost Block & Markham Vineyards

Andy Hoxsey of Ghost Block and Bryan Del Bondio of Markham Vineyards discuss their wine blend for this year's Premiere Napa Valley and their shared family history.

See full description of this week's Premiere Napa Valley video series below ("Preparing for Premiere - Judd's Hill, Salvestrin & Schweiger).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Preparing for Premiere - Judd's Hill, Salvestrin & Schweiger

With Premiere Napa Valley right around the corner, vintners have been hard at work perfecting their blends for the wine industry's hottest ticket for wine retailers, wholesalers, restaurateurs and media.

Over the last month, we have followed the stories of the nine wineries that are developing this year's collaborative blends - these partnerships are crafting one-of-a-kind wines that will be available nowhere other than through those savvy wine retailers & restaurateurs who purchase Premiere Napa Valley wines for their discriminating customers.

This year's collaborations are:

Judd's Hill, Salvestrin Winery & Schweiger Vineyards
Ghost Block & Markham Vineyards
Peju Winery & Sullivan Vineyards
Robert Foley Vineyards & Switchback Ridge

(Click here to see all of the videos).

Follow their stories over the next week as we post videos that offer an 'insiders view' into the people, techniques and winemaking philosophies that help make Premiere Napa Valley wines some of the most sought-after in the world. Today's video features Lot 15 - the blend created by Andy Schweiger, Judd Finkelstein, Kenn Vigoda (winemaker at Judd's Hill) & Rich Salvestrin.