Category Archives: California Wines

Dalla Valle Vineyards and Ornellaia Release 2019 DVO

The 2019 Vintage Marks the Second Release from the Collaboration Between the Two Iconic Estates

Dalla Valle Vineyards in Napa Valley and  Ornellaia estate in Bolgheri present DVO 2019, the second vintage in their collection, an expression of uncompromising excellence and the result of a partnership that reveals the expertise honed by the two estates and the traditions in each wine region. DVO 2019 will be available on the market starting with November 2022.

A project desired and designed by second-generation winemaker, Maya Dalla Valle and Naoko Dalla Valle, Founder and Proprietor of the Californian estate; Axel Heinz, Estate Director of Ornellaia and Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of the Bolgheri estate, DVO is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) and Cabernet Franc (15%). Bearing the authentic and distinctive personality of the region from which the wine takes shape, the style refers to traditional winemaking with the clear aim from the outset of obtaining a Californian wine with a European sensibility.

Maya Dalla Valle, who oversees the day-to-day operations, describes how “the 2019 vintage stands out as another classic yet modern Napa Valley vintage, balancing the expressiveness of Napa through a European lens. This has been and will always be the goal with DVO, to continue our core value of farming first, while honoring our Italian ties.”

The 2019 vintage highlights the rich terroir of Napa Valley with inspiration from Italy. It exhibits a progression of black and red currents, violet and cassis. The small influence of Cabernet Franc seamlessly ties together the blend with baking spices and crushed summer herbs. Velvety and polished tannins give the wine a prolonged and elegant finish. Aged for 22 months in a French Oak Barrel, the 2019 DVO is distinctive and authentic to both wineries.

With DVO, we are crafting wines that are representative of the legacy and expertise of our estates while moving towards the potential future goals that this collaboration could bring,” emphasizes Axel Heinz. “DVO 2019 is a perfect example of this. Blending the past with the future to shape a vintage to remember.”

September is the “Wine Month” in California

©Visit California

The Golden State wine regions such as Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles are famous all over the world for their prized locally produced bottles.

But it is only a small portion of the wine production, which is carried out in the entire state, from Siskiyou County, to the north, to the Cucamonga Valley in southern California. In fact, 49 of the 58 Californian counties are, in fact, cultivated vines and the perfect event to celebrate its importance, regardless of which part of the State you are visiting, is the California Wine Month, organized during the entire month of September, from 2004.
In fact, some of the most famous vines are found, on average, a couple of hours drive from the main metropolitan areas, including San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.

©Visit California


The California Wine Month is an initiative that affects the whole of California and that coincides with the month of the harvest, providing tastings, festivals, concerts, tours and menus of the best chefs and winemakers, rigorously accompanied by tasty local wines.

Among the most suggestive experiences planned for the Wine Month in California, it is possible to taste different qualities of wine, but also give a hand in the production of grape must, visit suggestive family cellars, have the opportunity to meet the leading experts and winemakers and enjoy special tours aboard a tractor or wagon in the vineyard.

The Golden State produces an average of 85% of US wine production, and during these celebrations, visitors are invited to try out everything the different Californian wine regions have to offer.

Almaden wines get new labels

Founded in 1852, the Almadén line is considered the oldest winery in California. There are eight generations of producers who have produced – with great talent and expertise – wines and sparkling wines since 1973, in Brazil. The work of repositioning the line sought to review the brand’s entire portfolio, creating two large groups: Almadén Vinhos and Almadén Sparkling.

Within the Almadén Vinhos group, three categories were created:

• Almadén Varietals (line with ten dry varietals)
• Vintage Almadén (a red and a white half dry)
• Almadén Suave (a red, white and rosé)

Already in the Almadén Sparkling group, three products were developed, now in 750 ml bottles:

• Almadén Brut
• Almadén Demi Sec
• Almadén Brut Rosé

The work of visual renovation respected the legacy of a centennial and international brand, with 45 years of history in the Brazilian market, was guided by the search for the perception of greater added value.

“We strive to maintain the uncomplicated concept of the brand in this new Almadén Line, producing a wide range of varietals with evident quality gains in scale production”, celebrates Adriano Miolo, superintendent of the Miolo group.

The Almadén line of dry varietals consists of the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Tannat, Pinotage and Shiraz among the reds. And Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer in whites.

The vintage Almadén half dry is constituted by the Cabernet / Shiraz red and the white Chenin / Muscat. The Almadén Suave line is composed of Cabernet red (Sauvignon / Franc), white Ugni Blanc and Rosé Cabernet (Sauvignon / Franc).

About Almadén

Almadén is part of the Miolo Group, a brand that has projects in 4 regions of Brazil with its own vineyards. The Almadén wines are elaborated in Santana do Livramento, Campanha Central (RS), in the 450 hectares of the brand. The other Miolo projects are developed in Bento Gonçalves (RS), Vale dos Vinhedos – Vinícola Miolo (100 hectares); in Candiota (RS), Southern Campaign – Seival Winery (200 hectares); and in Casa Nova (BA), San Francisco Valley – Terranova Winery (200 hectares).

Fred Brander – a Vinter of the Year

Pioneering winemaker Fred Brander is being honored as Vintner of the Year at the February 17, 2018, Santa Barbara Wine Auction. The biennial auction is a benefit for Direct Relief and is coordinated in part by the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of the Buellton-based trade association Santa Barbara Vintners.

Originally from Argentina, Brander grew up in Santa Barbara, and later earned a master’s degree in food science with an enology emphasis from University of California, Davis. He and his father established The Brander Vineyard when they purchased 40 acres in Los Olivos. They planted their first vineyard in 1975 and broke ground on their winery in 1979. Brander specializes in Bordeaux varietals, including sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon.

Brander is known for his advocacy of Santa Barbara County wines. He spent nearly a decade working on the establishment of the Los Olivos District AVA. His petition to the federal government was approved in February 2016.

“Fred is one of the pioneers here. It’s wonderful to be able to honor someone who has been in the business as long as he has,” said Vintners Foundation Past President Frank Ostini. “He proved that Bordeaux varietals could grow in the Santa Ynez Valley and led the efforts to have the Los Olivos District AVA come into being. Plus, Fred is just a funny guy.”




California wines hit record high


The value of California wine shipments to the US market hit $34.1 billion in 2016, up 4.6% on the previous year and a record for the golden state’s winemakers.

The volume of shipments also increased by 2%, shipping an all-time high of 238 million cases to the US, as reported by the Wine Institute.

Overall, California wines in the US market have increased from 191 million cases shipped in 2006 to 238 million cases in 2016.

Much of this growth has been driven by an increase in population and a growing taste for wine among millennials, says Jon Moramarco, founder and managing partner of BW166, who purchased The Gomberg-Fredrikson Report last year.

California wines

“The growth trend has been driven by population, which is up more than 12% over the last decade, and by the fact that baby boomers, traditionally the large population segment of frequent wine consumers, have been joined by millennials aged 21-38 who are also driving the growth in wine consumption,” he said.

Moramarco pointed to the consolidation of both major retailers and distributors as a major trend in the US market, which is creating “fierce competition and crowded sales channels”.