This weekend, a world of winemakers and enthusiastic enophiles are converging on Jersey City, N.J., for a few friendly rounds of friendly golf competition: American wine faces off against the rest of the New World at the Presidents Cup. At Liberty National Golf Course, South African cellarmaster extraordinaire Ernie Els will serve as a coach ("captain's assistant," in Cup parlance) for Team World, while fellow Cape vintner David Frost is the official wine sponsor. Pulling for an American win are California winemaker Cristie Kerr and noted man-about-vin Barack Obama. Quite the soiree amid the sand traps!
Kerr is coming off her own victory at the U.S.-versus-Europe Solheim Cup matchup last month, and on her way to Jersey, she stopped by Unfiltered H.Q. in Manhattan to pour up some of her Napa and Sonoma cuvées: the Kerr Cellars Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Napa Valley Reserve Red, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, both made with fellow Golden State wine champ Helen Keplinger.
Though Kerr is "Team U.S.A., that's all I gotta say," she respects her opponents' wine game. "I've tried many of Ernie's wines; he does a great job. Ernie told me never settle. If you have an idea of what you want to make, make it. Even if it's hard. And I think that's why he's so successful as well. Hopefully what Ernie is doing, what David is doing, what I'm doing in the wine business will redefine how people think of golfers making wine." That's a cup everyone can hoist.
Union Wine Co. and its Underwood line of canned wines are feeling the girl power. The Oregon winery has partnered with feminist clothing brand Wildfang to put out the "Get It Girl" limited-edition canned wine benefiting Planned Parenthood, with—get this—100 percent of the proceeds going straight to the organization.
"This will be the most significant contribution Union has ever made," marketing director Kyna Williams told Unfiltered via email. "We believe in supporting all, and want to make that statement. This is a very male-dominated industry, and in our society, there are still a lot of inequities. It feels right to stand up as a company and say, 'This is important to us.'"
With a goal of raising $100,000 by the end of the year, Union is selling the blend of Oregon Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris online in packs of four 375ml cans and flats of 24 (equivalent to a standard case). The cans are also available at Wildfang’s Portland, Ore., store, as well as retailers around New York, Oregon and California.
You ever wonder what the kids who kick over other children's just-finished sand castles grow up to be like? These guys: Grape thieves have struck four times in the past 10 days in Bordeaux, robbing growers of tens of thousands of dollars and a year's worth of blood, sweat and tears, after a season that had already yielded plenty of the latter in France. Growers on the Right Bank are already facing the smallest crop since 1945.
"I've never known this to happen in Bordeaux. It's very surprising," Jean-Marie Garde, owner of Clos Rene and president of the Pomerol wine syndicate, told Unfiltered. Local gendarmes are investigating, and it's unclear whether the thefts are four isolated incidents or related crimes.
Between Sept. 17 and 19, thieves picked off more than 2.5 acres of fruit (more than 7 tons) worth $53,000 from an estate in Genissac. The same week, in Pomerol, Château Montviel lost 1,300 to 1,550 pounds of grapes worth $29,500. The perps hit a single plot owned by a single owner—not easy in Pomerol, where vineland ownership looks like a patchwork quilt.
Because of that, such harvests can happen accidentally: On occasion, growers have been known to mistake a neighbor's row for their own. "It's happened to me," said Garde. "But you offer the equivalent to your neighbor. But this—I hope it doesn't happen again. I hope we don't just start picking our neighbors' grapes in Bordeaux."
Yet just this past week, the ill-gotten harvests continued: Between last Saturday and Monday, criminals stole grapes off 500 vines belonging to a grower in Montagne, and in nearby Lalande-de-Pomerol, Château Haut-Gravette had several rows disappear.
From Sept. 1 through Oct. 31, Mionetto is holding its third annual "Pink Cork for the Cause.” The company is hiding 126 bottles of Mionetto Prestige Prosecco Brut and Mionetto Prestige Rosé with pink corks among the cases of fizz sold around the country. The unsuspecting purchasers will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $10,000, to be donated to the breast cancer charity of their choice. Since 2015, Mionetto USA has donated $70,000 to breast cancer charities; some of last year’s charity recipients were the Bridge Breast Network and Texas Wings in Selma (both in Texas), and the national Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
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