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Marc Mondavi is Napa Valley’s Very Own Witch


The Divining Rod Wine

Napa Valley has their very own witch, but he’s not dressing up as one for Halloween. He’s a water witch and it’s something that he celebrates every day. A water witch is someone who uses a rudimentary tool like brass rods or a Y-shaped twig to help them detect natural energies for whatever they may be searching for, and in this water witch’s case, water. Water witching goes by many other names, though “dowsing” and “divining” are most common.

Marc Mondavi, third generation winemaker, has been dowsing for water since he was a teenager. He was turned on to the practice by the father of his girlfriend at the time and his interest grew from there. Having the energy to be able to dowse isn’t uncommon, Marc says, but very few have enough of it to be successful at it as he has been.

His talents have recently gained national attention as California faced record droughts and his skills were sought after by vineyard owners and other farmers who needed new wells for access to water for irrigation. He’ll walk the property holding an L-shaped brass rod in each hand parallel to the ground after “telling them” to find water. When the rods cross, he’s found water, or one edge of an underground stream or spring, at least. He’ll then continue to walk until he finds the other side. Next he’ll determine how deep the water is located and the volume of the flow. He accomplishes this by once again asking the rods a series of questions, like “how deep is the water,” followed by him listing off depths in 100 foot increments. When he says the right depth, the rods, once again, cross. See the full post »

Naming Contest Begins for La Crema Winery’s Crowd-Sourced Wine


Russian River Valley

On August 11th La Crema Winery launched the Virtual Vintner experience creating their very first crowd-sourced wine. Participants have had their say in all steps of the winemaking process thus far, from the varietal to the barrel type, by submitting their choices online. The winemaking journey also offers a variety of interactive features, including educational videos and tips from winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas herself.

Now that the experience is reaching its last few stages, it’s time to create a distinct and eye-catching name for the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Visit vv.lacrema.com today to enter your submission in the Naming Contest for their very first crowd-sourced wine.

Event: Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 11th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event


Wine & Spirits Magazine's 11th Annual Top 100

Photo credit by Kelly Puleio

Our friends at Wine & Spirits Magazine are hosting their 11th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event in San Francisco next week and we couldn’t be more psyched for this event. At the event you can taste highly acclaimed wines from the Top 100 Wineries of the Year and meet the winemakers behind these amazing wines. Feast on delicious bites from Wine & Spirits’ New & Notable Bay Area restaurants and enjoy fresh oysters, local cheeses and an array of artisan specialties – all paired with the top wines of the year. The evening also includes fresh oysters from Hog Island and an array of artisan specialties from Adesso, Baia Pasta, Olive This Olive That, Point Reyes Cheese, Scala’s Bistro, Song Tea, Sour Flour and XOX Truffles. Even better, the event is an annual benefit for San Francisco Baykeeper so you know your entrance fee is going to a great cause.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
6:30 p.m.: General Admission
Cost: $110
To purchase General Admission tickets: http://top1002014.eventbrite.com/
Website: wineandspiritsmagazine.com/top100/

City View at METREON, San Francisco // cityviewmetreon.com
135 Fourth Street, 4th floor, San Francisco, CA 94103

Time is Running Out: Enter La Crema’s Sensory Contest Today!


EGD Barrel Samples

La Crema Winery launched its Virtual Vintner program earlier this summer, letting consumers become a part of the winemaking experience. With interactive features like food and wine pairings, educational videos, and quizzes from winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, the Virtual Vintner Program offers everything needed to help guide participants through all stages of the process.

Until October 10, 2014 you can participate in the current phase of the Virtual Vintner experience, the Sensory Contest, where participants can select photos that best represent their idea of the Russian River Pinot Noir flavor profile. You’ll also discover how well your prediction of the wine flavor matches the winemaker Elizabeth Grant Douglas’ notes.

Be a part of this unique winemaking experience and help La Crema create their first crowd-created wine, from vine to bottle, by heading over to vv.lacrema.com today.

Stemmari Partners with Special Operations Warrior Foundation


Stemmari / Special Operations Warrior Foundation

As a veteran, I love when I see beverage brands working to support members of our military, their families, and veterans and not too long ago I read about Stemmari, a Sicilian wine brand, that was doing exactly that. “Sicily?” I thought to myself. I didn’t immediately draw the connection of why a Sicilian wine brand would be supporting an American non-profit catering to the military like the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, but then it began to make sense.

I served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, a unit which was instrumental throughout World War II. They also served an important role during Operation Husky, which involved two battalions from the 82nd’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment jumping into the darkness of the night on July 9, 1943 and landing into Sicily to go toe to toe with the Axis forces of the Italians and Nazis. They, along with other forces that composed the Allied invasion, would fight for six weeks of land combat that would see 6,000 casualties as they worked to drive enemy forces out of Sicily. Led by General Patton, these forces would set up camp in locations throughout Sicily, including areas that would go on to become vineyards for Stemmari.

So, it makes perfect sense. According to Stemmari, “In both remembrance and appreciation for the brave Allied soldiers that fought to liberate Sicily, which began on the night of July 9, 1943, and ended on August 17, Stemmari is partnering with SOWF for its second year and is donating a portion of the proceeds from its wine sales of Sicilian varieties like the indigenous Nero d’Avola, plus Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Dalila (80% Grillo, 20% Viognier), Cantodoro (80% Nero d’Avola, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon), Moscato and the new Baci Vivaci (100% Grillo) through February 28, 2015 to the organization.” See the full post »

La Crema’s Virtual Vintner Lets Fans Influence Wine


La Crema Willamette Valley - Elizabeth Douglas

La Crema Winery kicked off its “choose your own adventure”-style winemaking jounery, Virtual Vintner, on August 11. Wine aficionados spoke up, participating in the online experience and chose to make a Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to influence La Crema’s new, crowd-sourced wine through choosing the vineyard, fermentation style, barrel type and time as well as name and label design. La Crema’s Virtual Vintner also includes videos and winemaking education from La Crema winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas.

Head to vv.lacrema.com today to participate in the next phase of the Virtual Vintner experience: choosing which vineyard will be used in La Crema’s first crowd-created wine.

Crowd-Create wine by La Crema


La Crema Virtual Vintner

La Crema Winery is putting winemaking in the hands of consumers with its new digital experience, Virtual Vintner™, which launched on August 11, 2014. Participants can embark on a “choose your own adventure”-style winemaking journey, making decisions about the varietal, specific vineyard, wine name, and more. With interactive features like food and wine pairing tips, quizzes and educational videos from winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas, Virtual Vintner™ is meant for wine enthusiasts of all levels.

Help La Crema create their first crowd-created wine, from vine to bottle, by heading over to vv.lacrema.com today.

La Crema Launches Virtual Vintner to Crowdsource a New Wine


La Crema Virtual Vintner

I’m sure if most of us could, we’d quit our day jobs and start our own wineries. Luckily for us, La Crema Winery has a plan to turn this dream into a virtual reality. Starting on August 11, 2014, join winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas and help create the next varietal for La Crema with their Virtual Vintner™ Program. Once you sign up, you’ll learn about the winemaking process by participating in important steps like picking the varietal or choosing the type of barrel.

Want to help La Crema create its first crowd-sourced wine? Head over to vv.lacrema.com to learn more about winemaking and let your voice be heard.

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