Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Wine Origins
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2017
CONTACT: Elizabeth McBain, 202-777-3511, emcbain@clsstrategies.com 

Global Coalition to Protect Wine Growing Place Names Gathers at Chianti Classico Collection
Representatives from Champagne, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry and Willamette Valley join Chianti Classico at annual tasting to raise awareness

FLORENCE, Italy — Representatives of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin gathered today at the Chianti Classico Collection to raise awareness of the importance of protecting wine growing places names. Among the global coalition’s 20 members, the wine regions of Champagne (France), Jerez-Xérès-Sherry (Spain) and Willamette Valley (United States) joined Chianti Classico at its annual tasting to speak about their collective effort to ensure wine place names are not abused or miscommunicated to consumers.

“We are proud to join with so many other world-renowned wine regions dedicated to protecting place names,” said Sergio Zingarelli, president of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico. “While we may compete in the marketplace, we all understand that when one of our wine region names is misused the credibility of the industry as a whole is diminished and leads to consumer confusion.”

The Chianti Classico Collection event takes place just after the Italian wine region’s 300th anniversary. Legal geographical boundaries and production standards were first established in 1716. The Collection event includes 185 wineries, pouring a total of 9,000 bottles of wine. More than 250 journalists from 30 different countries and over 1,500 trade professionals were in attendance.

“Like Chianti Classico, the Champagne region has centuries of traditions that have been developed and protected over time,” said Jean-Marie Barillère, co-president of the Comité Champagne. “That is why we work hard to protect the Champagne name from abuses in the market.”

Maxime Toubart, co-president of the Comité Champagne, added: “All the members of the Declaration have worked to produce world-class wine regions and preserve the integrity of our unique vines and lands. United with Chianti Classico, Jerez, Willamette Valley and the many other wine regions across the globe, we are committed to educating consumers about the importance of location.”

Since it was first signed in 2005, the Declaration efforts have focused on ensuring consumers are given fair, accurate information on a wine’s place of origin. Members have worked beyond the customary legal framework to achieve expanded protection. For example, most recently five wineries in Napa Valley announced that they were voluntarily giving up use of the name Port on their fortified dessert wine labels. Additionally, the coalition succeeded in protecting place names online. Members of the Declaration worked with American-based Internet name registry Donuts on an agreement that put safeguards in place to ensure the .wine and .vin domain extensions could not be falsely used to mislead consumers.

“Consumers deserve to know where their wine is truly from and that they can trust the label will tell them that and other information accurately,” said Harry Peterson-Nedry, former president of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. “A classic wine’s unique characteristics derive from where it is grown and, so, cannot be duplicated anywhere else except its place of origin. Misleading consumers to believe otherwise is dishonest and damaging to the worldwide marketplace for wines.”

César Saldaña, director general of the Consejo Regulador del Vino de Jerez, added: “As a founding member of the Declaration, we recognize the distinguishing characteristics that make each region unique. We stand with our global partners united in the belief that location is paramount to a wine and protecting a wine’s origins is the only method to ensure quality for consumers.”

For more information, visit origins.wine or follow the coalition on Twitter and Facebook.


About the Declaration
The Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place Names & Origin was first signed in Napa Valley on July 26, 2005. The signatories of the Declaration include: Barossa, Bordeaux, Bourgogne/Chablis, Champagne, Chianti Classico, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Long Island, Napa Valley, Oregon, Paso Robles, Porto, Rioja, Santa Barbara County, Sonoma County, Victoria, Tokaj, Walla Walla Valley, Washington state, Willamette Valley and Western Australia. To lend support and read the full text of the Declaration visit origins.wine.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


NZ PN 2017 Wellington

Global wine industry leaders to descend on Wellington this month

In just under three weeks, an astounding selection of global wine imbibers and influencers will descend on our nation’s capital for Pinot Noir NZ 2017.

We’ve got a line-up of 30 speakers from Japan, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, who are tasked with sparking thought-provoking discussions among 600 Pinot Noir lovers from 20 different countries.

As you know, spearheading the line-up are the world’s most influential wine writer Jancis Robinson OBE, MW, the world’s only Master of Wine and Sake Ken Ohashi and Tool frontman and winery owner Maynard James Keenan.

The sold-out event will champion diverse communicators and innovative thought.  Wine writer and sonic artist Jo Burzynska will consider how wine can be enjoyed in a multi-sensory environment; renowned American writer Elaine Chukan Brown will explore the overall concept of future communication, and award-winning Australian Andrea Frost will discuss new styles of engagement and communication with wine lovers.

These global wine guru’s will be accompanied by a strong kiwi contingent to tell the New Zealand Pinot Noir story to the world. National treasures include New Zealander of the Year, Dame Anne Salmond, awarded for her contribution to New Zealand cultural history, and Rachel Taulelei, CEO of Kono NZ, one of the New Zealand’s food industry champions. Together they will talk about what binds us to our land and our connection to it over time.

Joining them will be four New Zealand Masters of Wine; Jane Skilton, Emma Jenkins and Michael Brajkovich, along with New Zealand’s newest MW Stephen Wong.

We’ll have our own great Pinot Noir creators contributing too, including Larry McKenna, Blair Walter and winemaker/actor Sam Neill. They will evoke a home grown yet international perspective of New Zealand’s place in the world of wine, through the eyes of the Pinot Noir grape.

Pinot Noir NZ 2017 will take place on the Wellington waterfront from 31st January to 2nd February. We’ll be showcasing 115 wineries, with over 600 wines to 600 visionaries, industry leaders, influencers and pure lovers of Pinot Noir. We can’t wait.

Check out the full programme for further details, and read up on our full speaker line-up here.

Kind regards,
Your Pinot Noir NZ 2017 Team
Pinot Noir NZ 2017
PO Box 10 612
New Zealand


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For further enquiries contact: info@pinotnz.co.nz
Phone: +64 (04) 473 8044

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


kevin-zraly-bordeaux-master-classExplore the terroir of St. Julien and the great Leoville estate along with its newest acquisition, Chateau Mauvesin with Proprietor Damien Barton-Sartorius and America's Leading Wine Educator Kevin Zraly on Tuesday, January 24th, 7:00-9:00pm, for a reception and seated tasting at the Sherry-Lehmann Gallery, 505 Park Avenue at 59th St. NYC. $250 per person. Limited. RSVP to kevin@kevinzraly.com, or call 1-845-255-1456.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Last weekend I selected Champagne Pol Roger for the Bubbles Bar at a huge Tech party in San Francisco, where we also built and filled a Champagne Tower!
Pol Roger is an iconic house that has maintained a level of quality that very few have.  Pol Roger retained 3 stars by Le Revue Des Vins de France in 2015, France’s most important and respected wine publication, and is one of only 7 Champagne houses to be awarded 3 stars. The Houses are evaluated based on the integrity of the entire portfolio and not simply the Tête de Cuvée of the House:

Pol Roger

Look for these and other sparkling wine recommendations here:

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


D.O.C. – F.V.G. Consortium Press ReleaseA long journey that began with plans, ideas and hopes, which lasted several decades, has finally culminated in July with the creation of Friuli Venezia Giulia D.O.C. The first bottles bearing the new denomination will hit the shelves in early 2017 as the 2016 harvest was authorized to be labelled. An organic Pinot Grigio, certified by Ceviq (Certification of quality Italian wines and products) of Udine, has been selected to premier as the first wine of the new denomination.

 Thanks to the 1,700 wine growers and producers, along with the vital support of the regional administration which was determined to attain international recognition in terms of image, marketing and sales, the outcome was achieved. In the midst of various denominations which remain the pride and express the authenticity of the region’s characteristics, the Friuli Venezia Giulia D.O.C. will present a unique reality as a substantial, recognizable presence within international markets.

The new D.O.C. will be a crucial aid for the Friuli Venezia Giulia producers to approach national and foreign markets, acting together as a team creating an easily identifiable brand that possesses remarkable appeal.

The “Friuli Venezia Giulia” label will be a guaranteed endorsement allowing the industry to speak with a single voice, even if there are differences that bring out the beauty of the wine production in Italy. It will provide trade and consumers with an overall picture, which will have an impact from all points of view, of the outcome of production that is complex and all-embracing at the same time.    “Joining the denomination will be voluntary,” underlined Pietro Biscontin, Chairman of the DOC-FVG Consortium. “But the first responses are positive and we are certain that Friuli Venezia Giulia D.O.C. will be a great opportunity to re-launch the Friuli economy, starting with the wine production division. In this regard, we would like to thank the regional institutions, starting with Cristiano Shaurli, the Agricultural Resources Director, for believing in the project and for the commitment in making this dream finally come true.”

For information: D.O.C. – F.V.G. Consortium promozione@consorziodocfvg.it www.consorziodocfvg.it