Posts tagged with "california wines"

Wine illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

California Wines × Down to Earth

California Wines Livestream & Video Series Celebrates Down to Earth Month in April

Facebook Live & Instagram Events Share Tips on Enjoying Sustainably Grown & Produced Wines

For “Down to Earth Month” in April, California Wines is celebrating the state’s global leadership in sustainable winegrowing with a series of fun and informative virtual events and videos on Facebook Live and Instagram. Throughout April, the free livestream events and videos will present a variety of discussions, cooking demonstrations, and virtual wine tastings focused on sustainability.

Hosts for the Facebook Live events include Napa Valley sommelier Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp, Food Network personality and founder of Salt & Wind Travel.

Videos shared on the California Wines Instagram channel will demonstrate recipes, how to pair and enjoy California wines, and what makes a wine sustainable. Programs will feature food and beverage influencers, including Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours, Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog, Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread, and Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life.

To view details on all Down to Earth Month events, visit California Wine’s website.

Facebook Live: Thursdays, 10 am PST

Livestream hosts Amanda McCrossin of SommVivant and Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind taste and discuss sustainably grown and produced California wines. Event replays will be available on the site for later viewing.
 
April 1 – What Is Sustainable Wine?
It’s time to clear up the confusion around what defines sustainability! Participants will learn what sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices are and get the inside story on California’s sustainable certification programs, including the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) program.
 
April 8 – What Are Biodynamic and Organic Wines, and How Are They Sustainable?
Explore the differences between organic and biodynamic practices and learn how they fit into the sustainability equation.
 
April 15 – Why Is There a Chicken in the Vineyard?
Chickens, sheep, and goats don’t just look adorable in California vineyards—each has an important job to do. Learn how animals are helping California vintners in their sustainable farming efforts.
 
April 22 – How to Look for Sustainable Wines
Finding sustainable wines is easy—if you know what to look for. Participants will learn about the sustainable certifications, logos, and terms to look for on wine labels.
 
April 29 – How California Is a Leader in Sustainable Wines & Sustainable Farming
California is not only a world leader in sustainable winemaking and winegrowing practices, but producers also embrace sustainability in dairy and other agricultural areas. Learn about California’s innovative farming practices and how the state leads in sustainable wine and food.

IGTV Videos: Tuesdays 10 am PST

Every Tuesday in April, videos from well-known food and beverage influencers will be shared on the California Wines Instagram channel, each demonstrating a recipe inspired by the Wine Country Table cookbook paired with sustainably made wines from California. Recipes and information about sustainability will be shared on each influencer’s website and social media platforms.
 
April 6 – Meg van der Kruik of This Mess Is Ours
 
April 13: – Jerry James Stone of the Jerry James Stone blog
 
April 20 – Britney Brown Chamberlain of Britney Breaks Bread
 
April 27 – Sarah Gim of The Delicious Life
 

Calistoga—The Other Napa

360 Magazine Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from the town of Calistoga in Napa Valley.

Mention Napa Valley and the first thing that comes to mind for many is wine, world-class wine. The Valley has been producing fine wines for more than a century, but it really wasn’t until a cadre of Napa wines kicked-ass at the now legendary Judgment of Paris in 1976 that things started to go viral.

A bind tasting—that the French just knew would reconfirm their illustrious worldwide status, was crushed when Napa Valley wines rocked their boat. Napa Valley winners included Stag’s Leap, Heitz Cellars, Clos du Val, Ridge Vineyards, Freemark Abby Winery and Mayacamas. Chateau Montelena’s legendary Chardonnay led to the cool film, Bottle Shock that humorously chronicles the classic event. And the French are still pissed.

Today, Napa is a viral destination for wine seekers from around the world. In some respects Napa Valley has become a victim of its own success. During the height of the summer travel season you’ll likely encounter bumper-to-bumper traffic on the main artery, highway 29 wending through the Valley—and wine tasting fees sometimes exceed $80 per person—without a credit applied to a subsequent purchase.

So, the caveat is try and plan a trip during the off-season to avoid the lines and traffic. But there’s also a semi off the radar Napa, and that’s the town of Calistoga in the Valley’s northern reaches. Calistoga is home to the legendary Chateau Montelena Winery, and iconic health spas with historic thermal mud baths that date from the town’s post-Gold Rush roots as one of California’s oldest spa destinations.

A drive through downtown Calistoga along Lincoln Avenue is like taking a trip back in time. There’s a palpable Mayberry R.F.D., small-town feel that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Outstanding is the historic circa-1868 Napa Valley Railroad Depot (California’s second oldest train depot), and ample historic architecture throughout downtown–with many structures dating from the late 1800s. A palpable bonus is the locals’ welcoming, and truly friendly attitude toward visitors.

 

Anchoring the heart of Lincoln Avenue is the Mount View Hotel that has graced downtown Calistoga with its Art Deco motifs since 1919. Hotel owner Michael Woods is such a passionate community booster that he donates 50 percent of the hotel’s profits to local and regional nonprofit organizations.

Woods and his family have gone to great lengths to seek-out authentic Art-Deco furnishings and lighting to maintain and enhance the hotel’s vintage period-ambiance.

Derrick, General Manager at the Mount View shows off the Art Deco motifs at the hotel.

A bonus of a stay at the Mount View is the full-service spa—with a modern twist on the iconic mud bath. Out back there’s an inviting swimming pool (heated year-round) and detached, quaint cottages.

Flanking the hotel’s lobby on one side is a sports bar, and on the opposite flank, the Veraison restaurant specializing in locally sourced cuisine, and of course, an ample wine list of locally produced specialties, including a selection of wines produced by restaurant owner, Dan Kaiser’s parents.

 

Click here to listen to the KCBX/NPR Podcast to listen to the Mayor of Calistoga talk about his passion for his town

Click here to listen to the KCBX/NPR Podcast to listen to the story of the Mount View Hotel

 

Wine tasting can be a fun and unpretentious experience in Calistoga–like at Tank Garage located in a repurposed gas station.

Wine tasting is fun at the Tank Garage Winery in Calistoga


California Wines Down to Earth Month

The eighth annual California Wines Down to Earth Month kicks off in April with sustainability-focused wine events and offers across the state, including Earth Day festivals, vineyard hikes, food and wine events, eco-tours and more. Created by Wine Institute, the association of nearly 1,000 California wineries, the month-long celebration highlights the winemaking community’s commitment to protecting the environment, being a good neighbor and producing high quality wines with sustainable farming and business practices. See here.

The Taste of Mendocino is at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco April 27, and Handley Cellars will be one of 30-plus wineries pouring wines, including many that are sustainable, organic or biodynamic.  April 20 is Santa Cruz Mountains Passport Day with 40-plus participating wineries, many with “green” certifications. Ridge Vineyards is celebrating that day with a special flight of organic wines.

Coinciding with this year’s Down to Earth Month is the release of “Wine Country Table, With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest,” a book showcasing California’s rich sustainable bounty and the winegrowers and other farmers across the state who are helping to set the standard for innovation and responsible farming, along with 50 recipes and tips on food and wine. Acclaimed food writer, Janet Fletcher, is the author.

California is a global leader in sustainable winegrowing based on vineyard acreage and winery case production following these practices.  As of 2018, 70% (209 million cases) of California’s total wine production and 25% of statewide wine acreage (150,000 acres) are CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE.

To celebrate California sustainable winegrowing, 40 Down to Earth Month events are happening in April at wineries statewide including the region-wide events listed below.  New events are being added daily to the list here:

11th Annual Wine 4 Paws Weekend, April 5-7, Paso Robles: Visit San Luis Obispo County wineries and stock up on fine wines during this benefit weekend to help homeless cats and dogs. Nearly 100 wineries and other participating businesses will share their proceeds with the pets of the Woods Humane Society.

Drink Green: A Toast to Sustainable Winegrowing, April 6, Madera County: Participating wineries of the Madera Wine Trail will celebrate the region’s sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices by offering special tastings and education about eco-conscious winery practices.

El Dorado Passport Wine Adventure, April 6-7, Placerville: Pick up your passport for access to more than 20 participating wineries in El Dorado County in the Sierra Foothills, including many committed to sustainable growing and winemaking practices.

Santa Cruz Mountains Passport Celebration Day, April 20: Join more than 40 participating Santa Cruz Mountains wineries—many of them pouring sustainable and organic wines—for a day of tasting throughout the region.

Stags Leap District Wineries: Vineyard to Vintner, April 26-28, Napa Valley: Celebrating 30 years as an American Viticultural Area, the Stags Leap District Vineyard to Vintner anniversary celebration includes dinners, seminars on terroir and winegrowing, and tastings that include coveted library wines and new releases. A portion of the proceeds benefit a scholarship fund.

Taste of Mendocino, April 27, San Francisco: Head to Fort Mason Center in San Francisco to sample wines from more than 30 Mendocino County producers—known for their high rate of participation in certifications for sustainable, organic, biodynamic and fish-friendly farming practices—along with artisanal food bites.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley- 30th Anniversary, April 27-28, Healdsburg: Join more than 40 Dry Creek Valley wineries for tastings, food and wine pairings, fine cuisine from acclaimed Sonoma County chefs, and educational tours that highlight sustainable operations in the vineyards.

Earth Day Napa, April 28, Napa Valley: Come to Oxbow Commons and celebrate Earth Day with the Environmental Education Coalition of Napa County. The event features music, activities for all ages, delicious local food, wine and beer. More than 75 organizations and vendors will provide information about green products, services, the local environment, and how to make a difference for the good of the planet.

About the Wine Institute

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine.  California wineries generate $114 billion annually in economic activity to the U.S. economy and create 786,000 jobs across the country of which 325,000 are in California. The organization also works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

About California Sustainable Winegrowing

The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization established by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, received the governor’s top environmental award for increasing adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices in California and for initiating new educational tools and program improvements.  To learn more, visit here.

Wineries and vineyards around the state have also earned Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status through the third-party certification program launched by CSWA.  Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other programs such as the Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play a vital role in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible.