People are keeping an eye on “Bachelorette” runner-up Ben Flajnik and his next moves … wondering what’s the financial reality behind Reality TV? Just what’s the going rate for fame?
The 27th annual Winesong is Sept. 9th and 10th (www.winesong.org) and the highpoint is the tasting at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Here you can sip through hundreds of pours, with wine converging from distant places -- Italy, Chile, South Africa, Napa, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, Oregon and Washington State, to name a few.
Sonoma winemaker Ben Flajnik is now one of three courting Ashley Herbert on ABC’s The Bachelorette, the reality T.V. show that makes a contest out of romance. Just his luck, winery owner Flajnik has something the other contestants don’t have -- vino otherwise known as “bottled poetry.”
Heidi Peterson Barrett is something of a celebrity in Wine Country, and she’ll be at the Cellars of Sonoma Tasting room in Santa Rosa on Thursday (July 14th). Barrett is best known in collector cab circles for producing a 6-liter bottle of Screaming Eagle cab that sold for a half a million dollars in 2000 at Auction Napa Valley, setting a record for the priciest bottle of wine. It was a surreal moment when nothing seemed pricier than killer cabs.
Insider Secret On the slopes of Spring Mountain there’s a vineyard so remote it can only be reached by foot, by four-wheel drive, or by helicopter. And this vineyard has a fitting name: Hidden Ridge.
Is winemaking science or art? Today’s wine-of-the-week winner is the Pleiades XX Old Vines California Red Wine. And Sean Thackrey, the maverick behind the Pleiades, is definitely in the “art” camp. What do you think?
Insider Secret In the Coombsville region of Napa Valley, tucked inside a hillside is an underground winery called Porter Family Vineyards. Yes, the entire winery is underground -- from fermentation tanks to blending apparatus in the lab to a line-up of oak barrels -- all concealed in this cool 17,000 foot space winding through the hillside.
How does Picket Fence make such a tasty pinot for the price? The brand is owned by the Wine Partners, a division of Bronco Wine Company. And Bronco, owned by Fred Franzia, has the most vineyard land in California and quantities of scale in all its operations allows it to keep its prices low.
Roaming through Wine Country is intriguing when you’re privy to some tasty secrets. Here are a few …
Wine in a perfume bottle? Essentia Vitae, launched in Germany and Italy, is reaching out to female consumers by packaging its wine in perfume-like bottles. This packaging reveals that women are powerful consumers of wine. Who knows? Maybe they’ll work bling into the packaging next.