At the start of the 20th century, Antonio Fattori planted 7ha of vines in Veneto, making wine that he bottled and sold locally, until his son Antonio took over, purchasing additional vineyards and expanding sales across Veneto. It was he who established the current Fattori Wines in 1970, and in 1979, when he became ill, his son, the current Antonio Fattori took over. ”I think it was decided before I was born,” said Antonio of his work in the industry, “I didn’t really have much choice.”
We are psyched to introduce Red Car Wines, the latest addition to our Domestic Portfolio. Founded in 2000 by Carroll Kemp and Mark Estrin with 50 cases of Syrah from a single ton of grapes, Red Car Wines came fresh off the press with a highly scored Syrah, before releasing a value brand called “Box Car” that gained traction and fans all across the country. However, they soon came to realize that neither one of these projects spoke to their true calling: investing in the idea of balance and terroir in California. So in 2004 they recalibrated, and purchased land atop a coastal mountain range on the “True” Sonoma Coast (now Fort Ross/Seaview AVA) with neighbors that include Hirsch, Marcassin, Peay, and others.
And this is where their third, and most important, chapter in life begins.
PC with Uli Fluhme of the Gran Fondo NY
While our fabulous teammates were lining up for the Medio Fondo, ten of us, including four members of TEW and six dear friends, were readying for the Gran Fondo, a 110 mile ride to Bear Mountain and back, with 8,500 feet of gained elevation. And while one could potentially complete the Medio Fondo without much training, there was no way to tackle this one without time spent on the bike.
On Sunday, 26 members of Team TEW (including 12 TEW riders and 14 family members and friends) joined a total of 5,000 riders to participate in the Medio Fondo NY–a 60 mile ride from the George Washington Bridge to Upper Nyack and back again–and the Gran Fondo NY–a 110 mile ride with four timed climbs and 8,500 feet of climbing. Neither event was for the faint of heart, regardless of one’s fitness. And while the degrees of training might have varied, everyone worked hard to complete the race, and all 26 of us finished. It was an amazing day for everyone; an event that we’re very proud to have sponsored. We all look forward to riding it again in 2013.
Juan Antonio Ponce of Bodegas Ponce
We are excited to announce the most recent addition to our Iberian Portfolio: Bodegas Ponce from Manchuela! In 2005, after working as Telmo Rodriguez’s righthand man at Remelluri for a few years, Juan Antonio Ponce, who was just 23 years-old at the time, launched Bodegas Ponce, which quickly rose to the top in the tightest of wine geek circles. Known as the king of the Bobal varietal to many, a local grape that’s termed Valenciano in the rest of Spain, Ponce comes from a long blood line of grape growers, joining forces at the Bodegas with his father who shares his name. And while Bobal is a tannic grape with bright acidity that’s typically been used to produce bulk rosé wines in a region that lacks a unified identity, it is Ponce who has taken this native varietal to another, sublime dimension.
Pablo Morande (photo courtesy of Nash Wines)
In 1982, Pablo Morande, one of Chile’s most influential winemakers who was then the chief oenologist at Concha y Toro, discovered the potential of Casablanca Valley as a viticultural region. Located 30km from the coast, Casablanca Valley had been allocated to roaming cattle and no one then believed that the region had the potential to become an agricultural area. But after a trip to California’s Carneros, Pablo noticed the similarities between the two regions: the coastal proximity, the rolling hills and the cooling oceanic breezes. He conducted air and soil studies in Chile, but he was alone with his convictions. Every winery that he approached believed the area was too susceptible to cold and frost, and much too dangerous for planting.
On the road with Laura Elder
The moment that we’ve all been training for is soon upon us–the Gran Fondo NY. This coming Sunday, May 20th, Team TEW will be riding with some 5,000 other participants from around the world, opting for one of two routes: the Medio Fondo at 60 miles/ 100K or the Gran Fondo, which totals 110 miles (177K) with 8,500 feet of climbing and four timed climbs. Today, we’re supporting Laura Elder, one of our upstate reps who’s been training for the Medio Fondo, an exemplary emotional and physical workout! What follows below are excerpts from her training “diary”–notes that she’d sent to me over the past few months. Thanks Laura!
Celia Welch of Corra Wines
This week, we’ve been blessed with the good fortune of having Celia Welch in town! And even better, to celebrate women in the industry, we were able to share the wealth with a selection of female sommeliers and buyers from a handful of select accounts. With PC at the kitchen’s helm, we sat with Celia at Studio TEW to a roundtable luncheon of Sliced Duck Breast and Melted Vegetables, the perfect accompaniment to pair with her wines. And while Celia Welch is certainly a household name when it comes to California’s cult Cabernet Sauvignons, it was an enlightening experience to hear her humbly discuss her rise to present fame.
The traditional pouring of Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina
On Sunday, a bunch of us spent the afternoon at Txikifest 2012 , a fabulous Txakoli fair located in the back alleyway of Txikito, a Basque restaurant in Chelsea. With producers from D. O. Bizkaiko Txakolina, D.O. Arabako Txakolina and D.O. Getariako Txakolina (including Ameztoi!), delectable snacks for pairing from a smart selection of restaurants, and proceeds going to the Department of Neonatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, this was an event not to be missed!
And we are happy to say, that after tasting through the selections, we decided, hands down, that Ameztoi Txakolina and Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina were most certainly our favorites!