Napa Valley wine train faces social media wrath

Napa Valley wine train faces social media wrathA choice to eject several women from the Napa Valley wine train for allegedly building too much noise has caused a social media storm in the US. Napa Valley wine train staff have been accused of being too heavy handedStaff ordered 11 women off the Napa Valley wine train and handed them to control, because they were ‘laughing too loud’, according to passenger accounts reported to local media in California over the weekend.
The action has sparked outrage on social media, where users across the US criticised the go for being racially motivated –  a claimed denied by the wine train machinist.
Most of the women in the group were African American and the hashtag #laughingwhileblack was circulating widely on Chirrup amongst those critical of the way wine train staff were reported to have handled the incident.
The wine train could not be immediately reached by Decanter.com. But, a spokesperson told Napa Valley Catalog that passengers would only be ordered off the train if they were being ‘severely disruptive’ and additional travellers had complained. An internal audit was underway, the paper reported.
Napa’s wine train runs through 25 miles of Napa Valley, taking in both the California wine province’s glamour and its rich description. Travellers can delight in wine and meals in vintage carriages courtesy of three onboard kitchens.
It traces its origins to 1864, when Samuel Brannan – reputedly San Francisco’s first millionaire – chose to make a railway line that would take tourists up to Calistoga, in the north of the valley.
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Sotheby’s offers taste of Krug 1915 Champagne for $15,000

Sotheby’s offers taste of Krug 1915 Champagne for $15,000Wealthy wine lovers will be given the chance to taste 100-year-ancient Krug 1915 vintage Champagne at a Sotheby's New York auction this September. The Krug 1915 will feature as part of a two day tour and tasting.Bidding for a two-day tasting at Krug cellars in Champagne will start at $15,000, Sotheby’s said.
The LVMH owned Champagne house has promised to uncork one of only four remaining bottles of Krug 1915 vintage in its cellars, as part of a tasting that will encompass Krug vintages spanning the past 100 years.
Sotheby’s’ auction, to be held on 25 September, comes amid higher interest in vintage Champagne amongst the world’s wealthiest wine lovers.
Olivier Krug will lead the tasting and there will also be a vineyard tour that is to include some of the description of the 1915 vintage in Champagne – which took place during World War One. Read more

Jefford on Monday: Up The Steep Hill

Jefford on Monday: Up The Steep HillChateau Latour and Napa Valley Araujo owner Francois Pinault has just been named the eighth richest man in France, but this archived column from Andrew Jefford considers the wide difference in value that exists in wine and reports on a tale seldom reported yet arguably much more predictable. BrandstattThis Jefford on Monday article was originally published on 25 August 2013.
I’ve never, alas, tasted an Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Eisele Vineyard, Napa Valley.  My newly bought enthusiasm for fantastic Napa Cabernet, though, suggests that I’d like it a lot.
What was ‘the undisclosed sum’ paid by the Pinault family in late July to bring Araujo into the Latour stable?  No one knows quite which two digits preceded the million dollar abbreviation.  (Or were there, even, three?)   The colossal difference in land values, though, between Napa Cabernet vineyard and those of Coonawarra, Margaret River, or indeed any additional location in the ‘New World’, is remarkable, and merits reflection by landowners in those additional key Cabernet regions. Read more

Rose wine trend taking off in US

Rose wine trend taking off in USUS retailers have been reporting confirmation sales of rosé wine, stretching outside summer months and including more diverse styles. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are fans of Provence rose wineOver the last five years, Washington DC based MacArthur Beverages has seen a tenfold increase in rosé wine sales, to 1,000 suitcases in 2014. This year is liable to be at the same level as last year, store representative Joe Kluchinsky told Decanter.com.
His observations come in the week that Australian wine producer Treasury Wine Estates also talked up a trend for rosé wine in the US. Several market observers have also said rosé wine is becoming increasingly well loved with men, earning it the ‘brosé’ nickname in some circles.
‘It reflects an increasing maturity of wine culture in the US,’ Kluchinsky said. ‘We are seeing customers enjoying rosé throughout the year, not just in the summer, although summer months dominate.’ Read more

Tesco to close wine community website

Tesco to close wine community websiteTesco plans to close its wine community website within a week in order to re-focus on wine sales via its shope and on Tesco.com. Tesco wine community website to closeA spokesperson for UK supermarket confirmed to the closure of the Tesco Wine Community website. It will stop to operate on 28 August, after being launched in December 2011.
The news comes amid a hard period for Tesco, although it did not link the wine community website closure to its current financial state.
‘We know the [Wine Community] site has proved really informative for some customers, but we will now focus on providing in rank on our award winning wine range in store and on our Tesco.com website,’ said the spokesperson.
Tesco is also set to lose its long standing category director for wine, Dan Jago, who is moving to become chief executive of the Berry Bros & Rudd merchant in the next few weeks.
Tesco’s head of wine development, Laura Jewell MW, has also left in the past 12 months to become the UK chief of trade body Wine Australia.
The retailer said in June that the UK grocery market in general was ‘challenging’ – despite its small increase in like-for-like sales by number in the first quarter of its financial year.
All of the so-called huge four UK supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – have faced greater competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl, as well as from Waitrose at the higher end of the market.
 
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Australia launches tasting notes for Chinese wine drinkers

Australia launches tasting notes for Chinese wine drinkersChinese wine lovers are set to get more tasting notes with local references to taste and flavour when choosing Australian wines, due to new research. chinese, china wine, wine, drinkersThe research identified 34 Chinese wine descriptors, the majority with Western equivalents (examples below), although some were hard to classify as either Chinese or Western descriptors (such as clove, star anise and mango), said researchers from the Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Knowledge, University of South Australia. Read more

Bordeaux 2015: White wine harvest to start next week

Bordeaux 2015: White wine harvest to start next weekThe first colorless grapes of the Bordeaux 2015 wine harvest are set to be picked next week for the earliest ripening areas of Pessac Leognan. Grapes ahead of the Bordeaux 2015 harvest at Chateau LarroqueChateau Haut-Brion said it was liable to start its Bordeaux 2015 harvest for Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris at the end of next week, but a final choice was yet to be taken.
A summer heatwave is expected to cause a relatively early wine harvest across many northern hemisphere regions in 2015, from Piedmont and Rioja to Napa Valley in California and British Columbia in Canada.
Bordeaux’s wine bureau (CIVB) said the first red grapes should be harvested in mid-September. Around 6,500 seasonal pickers will start arriving in the area over the next few weeks.
Grapes in many Bordeaux vineyards have finished their veraison – the colour change administer – and maturity was well advanced for Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, according to the regional Chamber of Agriculture.
Before long ripening Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon were mid-way through colour change. Read more