Friday, February 29, 2008

New Package for Emerald Bay Wines

Many people have no idea how much time and effort is required to change a wine bottle package. The illustration below is the new artwork for the bottle capsule. The new labels, cork design and bottles to follow, next week.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine

October 8, 2007

Bob Brower
Château Julien

Dear Bob,
With unbridled excitement we are proud to announce the First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine March 27th through the 30th, 2008. The Pebble Beach Food & Wine will be the “premier epicurean lifestyle event” on the West Coast bringing more than 2,000 national and international attendees to Del Monte Forest, one of the most picturesque strips of coastline in the world. The scope of the event encompasses every property in Pebble Beach, and utilizes local and regional staff to create a hedonistic four day festival that matches 200 acclaimed wineries with 30 celebrity chefs that include wine and beverage tastings, cooking demonstrations and some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities available in the world.

This invitation includes highlighting Château Julien as one of our featured wineries during the event from Thursday March, 27th through Sunday, March 30th. We would be honored if you would join us as one of the premier wineries of this inaugural event that, years from now, will be recognized as a revered moment in culinary history.

During the festival, the Del Monte Forest, also known as Pebble Beach, will become a playground for nearly 2,500 food and wine enthusiasts. The weekend plays host to countless events and activities that will exceed the expectations of any discerning palette. Guests will experience multi-flight vertical and horizontal wine tastings from the world’s best cult producers, overlooking Spanish Bay. Participating chefs such as Tom Colicchio, Cat Cora, Gary Danko, Gina DePalma, Todd English, Jean Joho, Mark Miller, Alain Passard, Jacques Pèpin, Michel Richard, Eric Ripert, Susan Spicer, Charlie Trotter, Roy Yamaguchi, and others will tempt guests to decide between multiple lunches and dinners in unique venues all overlooking the Pacific. Each meal perfectly paired with exceptionally crafted wines. All wines will be cared for by 60 sommeliers and 5 master sommeliers. Furthermore, the weekend will be home to one of the most exclusive and luxurious wine auction dinners in the United States hosted at the ever-private Beach and Tennis Club.

The First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine will be recognized with world-wide publicity, not just for its quality, but for its generosity as well. The event philanthropically contributes to local charities as well as national culinary and enological scholarships promoting education and career opportunities to young and aspiring talent that will help advance the entire industry. In addition, California, which is rich with agriculture and viticulture, has been a leader in sustainable cooking and continues to invest in the environmental movement. The event will act as a tool to educate the public about important issues regarding our culinary resources and how to protect them in the years to come.

We look forward to the weekend becoming an annual tradition where the industry’s top professionals can come together and enjoy themselves in one of the most picturesque playgrounds in the country. We would be honored to welcome you and your remarkable wines to the First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine. We look forward to your acceptance of our invitation and your presence throughout the weekend. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us at (831) 622-7770. Included in this invitation package is a participation agreement. Please return the signed agreement to us at fax #(831) 622-7783 no later than October 25th, 2007. We look forward to your involvement in the First Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine.

Very Truly Yours,

Robert Weakley David Alan Bernahl, II Mark Buzan
Co-Founder, Director Co-Founder, VP Wine Director

Saturday, February 23, 2008

As reported by Wine & Spirits Daily

Wine & Spirits Daily
n e w s , n u m b e r s , c o m m e n t a r y , f o r e c a s t si n t e r v i e w s , b e s t p r a c t i c e s , s t r a t e g y , m o t i v e

Imported Wines Stronger in 2007

February 22, 2008

In the 52 weeks ended January 12, 2008, table wine dollar sales rose 6.3%, with volume up 3%, according to a report by Nielsen. The blush wine segment continued to decline in 2007, with sales down -1.4% and volume down -2.7%. Red wine showed the highest rate of growth, up 8.2% by dollar sales and 5.4% by volume. White wine showed a slightly slower albeit strong growth, with dollar sales climbing 5.7% and volume rising 2.7%.

Imported and domestics wines were practically neck and neck in dollar sales, with domestics growing 6.1% in 2007 and imports taking a slight lead at 6.8%. Imports took a stronger lead in volume, growing 4.1%, while domestic rose a respectable 2.7%. The industry is predicting that imports will see a decline in growth this year as the depreciating dollar struggles to compete with the strong euro and Australian dollar.

Countries that contributed the most to import growth were South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina, with dollar sales up 37.4%, 34.4% and 29.7%, respectively. The big three importers also showed growth in 2007, with Italy up 7%, Australia up 2.2% and France up 3% in sales.

Varietal wines continue to exemplify the most dollar sales growth, increasing 7%, as compared to generic wines that grew only 2.2%. Volume of varietals rose 5.1% and generics declined -3.2%.

The fastest growing varietals in 2007 were Pinot Noir, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. Dollar sales of Riesling rose 23%, followed by Pinot Noir at 22.8%, Pinot Grigio (13%), Zinfandel (11.9%), Cabernet Sauvignon (11.1%) and Sauvignon Blanc (10%). Oh yeah, and Chardonnay grew 2.6% and Merlot was up 1.9%. White Zinfandel continues to lose momentum, declining -2.8%.

Pinot Noir showed the highest rate of volume growth, rising 25.4%, followed by Riesling at 22.6%. Next in line: Pinot Grigio (14.2%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10.3%), Zinfandel (8.5%), Sauvignon Blanc (5.1%), Merlot (3%) and Chardonnay (1.7%).

Trading up trends also boded well in 2007. Wines priced between $12 and $15 rose 16% in sales, followed by the $15 and above range, jumping 15%. Premium wines, $9-$12, rose 9.7%, says Nielsen, while the $6-$9 category grew 2.9% and $3-$6 rose 4.1%. The low-end segment ($0-$3) declined 0.6%. Volumes showed a similar pattern in terms of which category grew the most.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Our Winemaker Marta Kraftzeck goes to Spain for a Global Warming Conference

Jerez de la Frontera is the center of the Sherry region of Spain. Sherry is a very old style of wine made from Palomino fino grapes. The region is very warm and has little rainfall. The best soils are the unique Albariza which is high in calcium carbonate and has a very high water holding capacity. The relatively neutral wine that is produced initially is transformed through either physical or biological oxidative aging processes to become a light refreshing fino style, or an elegant, more complex amontillado or oloroso wine that is often aged 20 to 30 years or more. The pictures of the barrels show the “flor” of yeast that act as a protective covering for the wine aging beneath it. All sherry is fortified after the initial fermentation to different degrees of alcohol, from 15.5% to 17.5% depending on the style it is destined to be.

The Conference on Climate Change and Wine took place in Barcelona. Causes and problems were discussed. Increases in global warming will change the regions where grapes can be grown. Different varieties will have to be planted as cool climates become warmer and some areas will cease to produce quality wines. This can happen in as little as 50 years. The question was posed “ Has the greatest Bordeaux already been produced?”. Innovative producers such as Miguel Torres from Spain have already begun to move their vineyards to cooler climates and higher altitudes so that future generations of winemakers will still be able to produce a style of wine that is typical of their regions.
Al Gore spoke of the grass roots movement within various industries, such as the wine industry, to take responsible action for the carbon footprint we are leaving behind. We need to rethink. The future of packaging within our industry will change as countries such as Australia adopt wine sold in “tetra-pak”, an alternative to glass. Different grape varieties can be bred to adapt to the increased temperature changes and decreased availability of water. We will begin to see more interesting wines produced from regions such as Belgium, England and Denmark. The USA must join with the OIV, the International Organization of Wines and Vines, and we must act globally to take responsibility for future generations of wine drinkers.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Over the Border from El Paso, Texas

No trip to El Paso would be complete without a trip over the border to Juarez. From the razor wire fense separating our countries, to the street vendors - the culture is quite different - just a short walk away. The local beverage was enjoyed by Alvin (our Distributor representative) and Bob.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

AT&T Celebrity Shoot Out - 2008

It's February 6th, 2008 and time for the AT&T Celebrity Shoot Out. Unfortunately we did not have Bill Murray to entertain us, but the day and weather were fantistic.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Did You Know?

Did you know what the wine estate in Carmel Valley looks like from the air?