• England’s Prince Harry may have fallen from his horse, but that didn't stop him from finishing the polo match at the third-annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, held on New York's Governor's Island this past Sunday. Proceeds from the match, which pitted the prince’s Black Rock team against renowned Argentine polo player and model Nacho Figueras and his Black Watch team, benefited American Friends of Sentebale, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that supports children in Lesotho, Africa, who have been orphaned by poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Besides sipping Veuve Clicquot Champange, guests Susan Sarandon, singer Mary J. Blige, fashion designer Rachel Roy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and chef Todd English lunched on dishes from New York barbecue restaurant Blue Smoke, stomped divots at halftime and watched a nail-biting finish as Figueras' team scored in overtime to beat Prince Harry’s team 6-5. It’s been a rough summer for the Brits, but at least this loss benefits a great cause.
• New York wine has lost a pioneer. Stanley A. Wagner, known to everyone as Bill, passed away Saturday at his home in Lodi, N.Y. He was 83. Wagner was a lifelong grapegrower in the Finger Lakes. After the state passed the Farm Winery Act in 1976, easing licensing rules for small wineries, Wagner was one of the first to apply for a license, opening the doors of Wagner Vineyards on Seneca Lake in 1979. It’s been a popular spot for visitors ever since. Wagner designed the octagonal winery building himself, and he and his family built it. He had a gift for marketing and attracting tourism, opening an adjacent cafe and later a brewery. His family continues to run the business, farming 250 acres and producing 50,000 cases of wine a year. As for his nickname, Wagner's mother wanted to name him Stanley, while his father preferred William. His mom won the argument, but his father still called him Bill, and everyone else followed suit.
• Hollywood is coming to Arizona, in the form of wine and education. Phoenix’s Biltmore Hotel is holding a “Hollywood and Wine” festival. Guests at the Phoenix resort this summer can participate in numerous big-screen-themed seminars hosted by industry professionals on costume and set design, choreography, animation and more. The events will be paired with wines from celebrity vintners, including rocker-turned-vintner-turned movie star Maynard James Keenan’s Arizona Stronghold label as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s. This weekend will include an Independence Day “Disney in Concert” performance by the Phoenix Symphony. Unfiltered is happy to see wine taking center stage in the Grand Canyon State.
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