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Become the World of Wine Festival Intern!

Date: Mon, Jul 5, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

The World of Wine Festival just announced they are hosting a YouTube video contest for the incredible opportunity to be their wine judging intern for this year's competition. Contest starts tomorrow and lasts until July 25th, so get to brainstorming about why you deserve to be the World of Wine Festival Intern.

From their website:

World of Wine Festival Video Contest
Are you a passionate wine drinker? Craving to learn more? Then don’t miss your chance to win an all expenses paid trip to taste alongside four professional wine judges as they swirl, smell, sip through hundreds of World of Wine Festival wine competition entries.
Submita short YouTube video telling us why you deserve to be the World of Wine Intern. The winner will be selected by the World of Wine Festival Committee based on originality, creativity and eagerness to participate in this unique experience. Send the link to your video tochristine@worldofwinefestival.com.Contest ends July 25, 2010 with winner announced on July 27, 2010. Good luck!
Official Rules:
No purchase necessary to enter to win. Void where prohibited or restricted by law or regulation. This contest is open only to legal residents of the United States who are 21 years of age or older. Contest begins on Tuesday, July 6, 2010 and ends on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). Participants for this contest may enter one time per person. Contest is open to the public and wine trade. Videos can be used by the World of Wine Festival for promotional activities.All entries must be submitted tochristine@worldofwinefestival.com.
A winner will be selected from valid entries on Tuesday, July 27, 2010. The winner will receive an all expense paid trip to Southern Oregon on August 12-13, 2010 to participate as an intern to work alongside four professional wine judges as they taste hundreds of commercial entries of wines made from Southern Oregon grapes.
Become a fan of the World of Wine Festival on Facebook and Twitter!

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Serious Jive Talkin' - by Janet Eastman

Date: Mon, Jul 5, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Janet Eastman amazes me again with her wonderful and witty writing. Her latest article published on July 1, 2010 in the Oregon Wine Press discusses the highly-publicized Footstone Jive Winery Founder, Steve de Jaray.

Serious Jive Talkin'

By Janet Eastman
The story Steve de Jaray likes to tell is that he will open a new tasting room unlike anything else in Oregon. It will be part distillery, part wine bar and all theater.
If all goes his way, he'll vault to the top tier of the state's wine producers by selling 100,000 cases of wine a year made from Southern Oregon grapes. In addition, he'll overcome criticism by worried residents of his plans and his past, and his serious legal troubles in Canada will disappear.
Whew. That's some story.
Undaunted by several unplanned plot twists created by what he calls a "very, very small minority that doesn't like me, the winery world and people drinking," de Jaray insisted he will launch Footstone Jive Winery soon.
Just not in Jacksonville, where he leased a historic building on the main street, taped an "Opening Soon!!!" banner in front and invited hundreds of passersby for a pre-remodel preview on June 11. On June 15, the city council voted not to endorse his Oregon liquor license application.
Council members didn't like the stories they were reading in the Medford Mail Tribune and the Vancouver Sun newspapers about de Jaray being charged in May for shipping electronic chips from the Vancouver International Airport to Hong Kong in defiance of export rules. Stories also surfaced that in 2004, de Jaray, who still lives in West Vancouver, B.C., admitted to insider trading reporting violations as a CEO of AimGlobal Technologies Co., a high-tech firm. He was fined $100,000 by the British Columbia Securities Commission and cannot be involved in a publicly traded company in B.C. until 2013.
De Jaray has explanations for all of this, but the council's mind was set: endorsement denied. So de Jaray's well-crafted story of Footstone Jive will have to be rewritten.
Footstone Jive. The name is as unexpected as everything else about the company. The aspiring wine producer explains it this way: The idea of "footstone" came to him while walking around the Jacksonville cemetery and reading some of the grave markers. And "jive," well, he says, "a 'jive' is a story. The names of the wines celebrate the stories of people who lived here in the past."
His Syrah Rosé is called "the Farm Girl" and the '40s-style pinup label depicts a busty brunette in short overalls and roller skates. His Pinot Gris is "the Librarian," who's shown with plumeria in her blonde hair, plunging cleavage and a garter high on her thigh while splashing around in a wine barrel. An aromatic blend of Pinot Gris, Viognier, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is "the Débutante," seen on the label as a Marilyn Monroe-ish seductress with a white gown and hose, and red lips, gloves and heels.
De Jaray still plans to release the white wines first, followed by a Meritage, named after a fabled aviator who ran a dance hall in Jacksonville's Redmen's Hall, the brick landmark on the corner of California and Third Street that de Jaray hoped to occupy.
Now he's moving his idea, his custom order for two towering Bavarian copper stills and the rest of his promised $1 million in equipment to another location. "We have a Plan B," said a member of his entourage outside City Hall minutes after the "no" vote. "Stay tuned," chimed in de Jaray. Will there be an appeal to the Jacksonville City Council? "The question you should be asking is 'Would I want to appeal?'" he said.
As of now, the 2009 white wines are in a holding tank at a custom-crush facility in Medford, waiting to fill thousands of custom-made bottles even though there is no "dance hall" winery in which to showcase or sell it.
The wine has a story, too. It has been specifically crafted, he says, to appeal to millennials - young adults, wandering the Applegate Valley wine region, dining in Chicago and New York, and drinking for fun in places as far away as Asia.
The wine is fruit forward, approachable, "yummy," he said. "Not your dad's wine." He predicts it will appeal to people interested in "nostalgic frugality." He has priced the wine around $25 a bottle.
Following the philosophy that the client is always right, noted winemaker Linda Donovan of Pallet Wine Co. in Medford created "less earthy" wines for de Jaray. They're not oaky, buttery, bitter or high in alcohol.
Getting customer attention first, he hopes, will be his "specially sculptured art collector bottles featuring commissioned-Ludvigsen original glamour pinup artwork," as stated in a premature press release announcing the opening of Footstone Jive in Jacksonville.
If not the glitz and glamour, then maybe the spirits will lure them in.
In his dream of a demonstration distillery, people will be drawn in by the intoxicating scent of fresh fruit - pears, peaches, cherries, blackberries, plums - as if they've entered their grandma's kitchen while she was canning jam. De Jaray envisions a setting in which a sound system pumps out songs by the Barenaked Ladies and black-clad staffers ask if customers want a tour of the distillery or to jump right into tasting Footstone Jive's spirits or wine. If they like, they can buy a glass or bottle of wine to drink there, or take away a bottle of the spirits.
De Jaray likes the idea of taking the barrel tasting and distilling process out of caves and cellars and into the open.
Still in the shadows - according to local critics, a Vancouver Sun journalist, a Southern Oregon wine blogger and a writer posting on www.stockhouse.com, who refers to de Jaray as "a smooth ... raconteur ... suing his own brother" - is de Jaray's intended business modus operandi.
On June 15, the same day the Jacksonville City Council decided not to endorse his liquor license, de Jaray was scheduled to appear in another Canadian court to explain why he shipped 5,100 electronic chips that might have military applications to Hong Kong without a permit. The declared value was $1,375, while Canadian officials assessed the contents worth at $200,000.
That morning, however, he called from Southern Oregon's 541 area code and calmly reassured this reporter that he was on track for all his approvals. He felt welcomed in Jacksonville because of the comments he heard from people wandering into Redmen's Hall during the opening night of the Britt Festival a few days earlier. He says he hosted 300 people, serving them only snacks, "because I couldn't serve them wine yet."
The setbacks he's experienced are "inconsequential," he says. "We have the wind at our back. One step at a time and the debutante will be born."
But that's another story.
Janet Eastman writes about Southern Oregon wine for national publications and websites. Her work can be seen atwww.janeteastman.com.

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A Thin Field of American Gewürztraminers- Brandborg Ranks #1

Date: Wed, Jun 30, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Brandborg recently received a nice honor by Eric Asimov of The New York Times ranking first in his list of top gewurztraminers. While the field of 20 wines were overall lower than expectations, Brandborg rose to the top, an unlikely contender in the California-dominated field.

Brandborg, Umpqua Valley, 2007 Gewurztraminer $15: Full, rick, fresh, and balanced with spicy floral aromas and a touch of sweetness.

Check out the full article here: A Thin Field of American Gewurztraminers

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Live Wine Blogging - White Wines

Date: Fri, Jun 25, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Live from Walla Walla at the Wine Bloggers' Conference, Chris and I are here "speed dating" white wines. We will have 5 minutes with each wine and will be reporting our findings.

2009 Big House White: A brand new concept in wine- artisan wine in a new package "a box" called Octavin. Box keeps wine fresh for 6 weeks. Up to 20 glasses in one box. The tasting notes say, "nose candy," I don't think that is a good descriptor to be using (sniff, sniff...haha).Tropical nose, boring on the palate. Blend of malvasia bianco, muscat, viognier, gruner veltliner, pinot gris and riesling. $21.99

2008 Maryhill Viognier: Maryhill grows 23 varietals on the property and produces 80,000 cases annually. Floral and toasty on nose, slightly sweet on the palate. Serve warmer than your typical white wine to bring out more aromas. 4,000 cases produced. $11.95

2008 Houge Cellars Genesis Riesling: Houge produces 200,000 cases of riesling a year, this riesling is the reserve tier of their riesling production. 1.8% residual sugar. Petrol on nose, sweet peach and tangerine when it hits on the palate and finishes crisp. Balanced acidity. Good value at $16.

2008 Buty Bourdeau White: Semillion/Sauvignon Blanc/Muscadelle blend. Subtle honey on nose. Asparagus and astringent on palate. Brightness of a NZ Sauv Blanc. $25

2009 Dusted Valley Rosé: Label was recently banned in Alabama because they thought they could see nipples on the label :) 52% Mouvedre, Counouise and Viognier.273 cases made.Gorgeous strawberry, tropical nose. Smells like Muscat. High alcohol for a rosé at 14.2%, but overal good summer wine.

2008 DeLille Chaleur Estate Blanc: 62% Sauvignon Blanc/38% Semilion. Located in Woodinville. Served too cold. 60% new French Oak fermented. Meaty for a white wine. Best food pairings would be anything with butter or sauce! $34

2008 Duck Pond Pinot Gris: I am smelling sweet corn on the nose?! 10,000 cases made. $15
FYI Duck Pond planted all Pinot Noir in the Umpqua Valley.

2009 Centine Bianco from Toscana: 40% Sauv Blanc, 30% Pinot Grigio, 30% Chardonnay. Vibrant pear and tropical notes on nose. This smells like our friend Chris Cushman (in a good way). :) 7,000+ acre estate in Southern Tuscany... holy cow!

2009 Kung Fu Riesling: 1.5% residual sugar. 12% alcohol- 800 cases.

2009 Kung Fu K Vineyards Viognier: Served too chilled to grab nose notes. $22

2008 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay: 100% French oak. 4.5 months is oak. 30,000 cases. Winery representative claims "best Chardonnay they've ever made." Food friendly. $29

2008 Amaurice Cellars Viognier: Finally a white served at the correct temperature! Romantic nose of pineapple. Delicious. $25

2008 Cadaretta: 79% Sauv Blanc, 21% Semillion. Diesel on nose. High acid. I like acid. $23

AND one hour is over!

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All the way from New York- Corks and Caftans Reviews Southern Oregon Wines

Date: Thu, Jun 24, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Rob and Carey of Corks and Caftansvisited the Willamette Valley earlier this year. They had a great visit taking in many wonderful producers and Chris and I were fortunate enough to spend time with them at a book reading and over dinner at Farm to Fork in Dundee. But, not only did they experience the wonderful Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon sneaked in their visit as well:

In Rob's words:

Ironically the first and last wines Carey and I tasted on our trip were from Southern Oregon—a Del Rio Vineyard Syrah from Tyrus Evan, and an outstandingReserve Tempranillo from AbacelaVineyard and Winery. This was a theme that persisted—there was incredible interest in how Southern Oregon was progressing. From Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah to Tempranillo, Barbera, and Sangiovese—S.O. is bringing serious diversity to the Oregon wine scene.

I am so excited to have perked their interest in our emerging wine region! Corks and Caftans recently received and reviewed two wines from Griffin Creek, a Southern Oregon label produced by Willamette Valley Vineyards.Check out their entire article here:

Wine Review: 2006/2007 · Griffin Creek · Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon · Rogue Valley, SouthernOregon

I hope that Rob and Carey get the chance to visit the wineries of Southern Oregon very soon. In the meantime, lets keep impressing them with our wines!

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Drink Local at World of Wine

Date: Tue, Jun 22, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

I love this picture that was posted on the World of Wine Festivalblog.Pat Spangler of Spangler Vineyards advocates to drink local and support your local winemaker.

A perfect place to do this is at the 8th annual World of Wine Festival celebrating Southern Oregon's winegrape growers and creative winemakers on August 28th from 5-9 p.m. atDel Rio Vineyardsin Gold Hill. To join the celebrate you can buy tickets online.

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Wine Taste with Us this Wednesday

Date: Sun, Jun 20, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Join us this Wednesday, June 23rd from 6-8 p.m. at the Portland South Waterfront John Ross Building (3623 River Parkway) for an evening of wine tasting with Folin Cellars of Southern Oregon and Brigadoon Winery of the Willamette Valley. We will be featuring:

The tasting is complimentary and we will have appetizers available.We hope to see you then!

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The Perfect Martini at Quady North

Date: Sat, Jun 19, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Quady North is hosting a Cocktail Hour once a month in their Tasting Room starting this Thursday, June 24th at 5 p.m. This week's focus is 'The Perfect Martini,' with Four Daughters of Medford lending one of their best bartenders, Organic Nation bringing the spirits and Quady's own Vya* vermouth making an appearance.

Chris and I recently visited the Tasting Room in downtown Jacksonville and tried the two styles of Vya vermouth- extra dry and sweet.Neither of us claimed to be a fan of vermouth or had any idea how to serve it, but all that changed once Zoe poured the magical elixir.

Vermouth is a fortified wine made with botanicals that makes a perfect apertif or addition to a martini.The extra dry Vya is made from a blend of Colombard and Orange Muscat wines with a selection of fresh whole dried herbs like lavendar, elecampane, angelica and linden. It is smooth and refreshing with a cool tingly eucalyptus flavor sensation.Sweet Vya has the same tingly special effect, but with warmth and spice. Sweet Vya can be served on the rocks or combined with extra dry Vya for a French Kiss (2/3 extra dry and 1/3 sweet Vya on the rocks garnished with an orange peel).For more cocktail ideas visit the Vya website. Both vermouths are $13 for 375 ml or $20 for 750 ml.

Tickets for the Cocktail Hour are $20 each and include two drink tickets, appetizers, and a $10 off Q-pon (how clever). For more information call 541.702.2123 or visit www.quadynorth.com.

*Vya is not made in Southern Oregon, but at the Quady Winery in Madera, California.

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Footstone Jive "Crimery" Exits

Date: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Word on the street- California Street- is that founder, Steve de Jaray had his hearing yesterday and things didn't go well. He is not appealing, therefore Footstone Jive Winery has left Jacksonville and their 'opening soon' signs have been removed.

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Southern Oregon Marketers Unite!

Date: Tue, Jun 15, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Yesterday Chris and I attended the first (and hopefully annual) Southern Oregon Wine Marketing and Sales Conference at the OSU Extension office in Central Point. Over 100 people attended from winery and vineyard owners to wine writers.The event organizers brought in amazing speakers that led seminars like:

As you can tell it was a PACKED day, but I walked away with so many ideas that I am eager to put to use right away. We did get to come together with wine after the conference was over at South Stage Cellars.

And when we got home, we saw that the event made the nightly news.

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World of Wine 2010

Date: Tue, Jun 15, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

The World of Wine Festival is Southern Oregon's premier wine event to show off the outstanding wnes made exclusively with Southern Oregon grapes. This year's event will take place on Saturday, August 28th from 5-9 p.m. at Del Rio Vineyards in Gold Hill.

In its eighth year, World of Wine highlights the expertise of local winegrape growers and the creativity of regional winemakers. Over forty wineries will be in attendance pouring wines to pair with a delicious array of gourmet foods prepared by local artisan producers and renowned restauarants.

A professional judged wine competition will also take place before the festival with medalists announced just in time to taste at the event.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased on www.worldofwinefestival.com or at Del Rio Vineyards, RoxyAnn Winery, Schmidt Family Vineyards, Elegance Fine Wines and Pacific Wine Club.

World of Wine Festival is really the best wine event Southern Oregon hosts. I love that this event celebrates the new wineries on the block as well as featuring the well-established favorites.

Come sip your way through our wonderful region!

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Oh, You Know Us Too Well!

Date: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Today was both Chris and I's last day of college! He will graduate with an enology degree from the Northwest Viticulture Center and my degree is in Business Entrepreneurship from Oregon State University.

How perfect are our graduation gifts from Chris' dad:

He knows us so well!

2005 Troon Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 Soloro Vineyard Beechy Grenache

Mmm... I love celebrating commencement :)

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There's Something Spreading in the Rogue Valley- the Sustainable Food Movement courtesy of Farm to Fork

Date: Tue, Jun 8, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Farm to Fork is more than a series of dinners, it is a sustainable movement spreading across the Rogue Valley connecting guests to their food sources, honor the talented farmers, food artisans, winemakers, and chef's that contribute to the growing culinary reputation and local food community of Southern Oregon. Chris and I were fortunate to have attend the inaugural event Saturday, June 5th at Salant Family Ranch in Jacksonville, Oregon.

We arrived at the emaculate Salant Family Ranch at 4:30 p.m. and could instantly feel the high energy and excitement that radiated off the event's organizers and servers. We sipped on the aromatic 2008 Valley View Winery Anna Maria Viognier and snacked on Spring Radishes filled with fresh herbs, mama terra chevre and pea shoots and Braised Beef Shoulder with spiced carrot puree, SunStone toast, and créme fraiche. The Constant Tourists entertained the growing crowd with live music and even some tap dancing.

Matthew Domingo, organizer and chef, welcomed guests and introduced the brilliant minds behind the events-fellow chef, Kristen Lyons, producer and teacher, Lori Campbell, and Sascha Meier, a sustainable business consultant and promoters of small farm agriculture.

We were then toured around the ranch by owner, Peter Salant. Peter shared his story about how he got into cattle ranching and what it is like to be a rancher in the Rogue Valley. His ranch is relatively small for the region, raising between 25 and 40 ewes at any given time, but that is what he and his herd are comfortable on their land. Peter also discussed the process of predator control, meat processing and certifications. Peter prides himself on raising healthy, antibiotic and hormone-free, grass-fed beef that is sold to area restaurants, retailers and directly to the consumer.

After the tour we were ushered in the beautifully set tables where we enjoyed a delicious meal.Chef Kristen Lyon introduced each course explaining where the ingredients were sourced from and her kitchen techniques:

Asparagus Soup
Cowhorn Garden Asparagus, Wild Mushrooms and Oregon Truffle Oil

Flank Steak Salad
Village Farm Lettuces, Grilled Blue Fox Sweet Onions, Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese and Shallot Vinaigrette

New York Roast
Crispy Potatoes, Village Farm Green Garlic and Grilled Blue Fox Scapes

Vanilla Semifreddo
Blue Fox Farm Rhubarb Compote and Macerated Strawberries

The dinner was wonderfully paired with the 2006 Valley View Winery Anna Maria Tempranillo and 2006 Valley View Winery Anna Maria Syrah, both great compliments to the vegetable and grass-fed dishes. Noble Coffee Roasting of Ashland poured two French Press coffees- Ethiopian Hafursa and Ugandan Bugisu- obviously not local, but both are certified organic and have stunning fruit notes.

In between courses representatives from local non-profits, government, farms, and wineries shared their efforts that left me deeply moved and empowered. I had no idea so many advocates where working towards this mission of sustainable food in the Rogue Valley and I am excited to join with them.

If you happened to miss the first event, don't fret, six more events remain in this year's Farm to Fork series:
Each dinner has a recommended donation of $60/person ($35 for the season finale) plus gratuity to the volunteer servers. For tickets click here. Proceeds are contributed directly to local farmers, wineries, and organizations that support small farms, food security, and a greater accessibility to healthy, local food. But, I can testify the education, food, wine, and friends is worth well over the recommended amount.

Chris and I plan to attend more Farm to Fork events this summer and we hope you join us!

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Footstone Jive's OLCC Application

Date: Wed, Jun 2, 2010 Wine Tasting Wine Business

Coincidentally enough, today is the last day for commentary on Footstone Jive's OLCC application. If you would like to put in your two cents, please email the local representative atjanet.ouellette@state.or.us regarding the issue at hand.

If you would like to educate yourself about Footstone Jive please read these two news articles:

'Poster boy' for securities misconduct charged with export offensesby The Vancouver Sun

The winery owner faces charges over technology exports by The Medford Mail Tribune

and my editorial:

Footstone Jive Sparks Controversy

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