This page is regularly updated as Wine & Spirits’ News In Brief section, where we publish news from around the wine world. A new thread of this section is published annually.
Theopolis Vineyards founder Theodora Lee has created a diversity fund that will provide one scholarship worth $10,000 each year to students at the University of California–Davis interested in viticulture and oenology and related research or managing a vineyard, “with a preference for students who are underrepresented or understand barriers to entering the industry.” Lee donated $70,000 to create the fund, which awarded its first gift to senior Iona Joseph, a lab assistant studying drought and heat tolerance in American grapevines who has applied to UC Davis’s master’s program in viticulture and oenology.
March 4, 2022
The Roots Fund, a non-profit organization that has raised over half a million dollars and created more than 100 scholarships for the BIPOC wine community, has announced a wine auction in partnership with Zachys to benefit the Fund. Estates donating wines for the auction include Domaine Dujac, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Duroché, Heitz Cellar, Robert Mondavi Winery, and others. Wine experiences, including a tour of Burgundy, will also be auctioned off. A VIP tasting of Heitz Cellar wines will be hosted at the auction by estate director Erik Elliott and president and CEO Carlton McCoy, MS. Jermaine Stone, owner of Cru Luv Media and host of the Wine & Hip Hop Show, will preside over the evening’s proceedings.
The auction will be held on April 27, 2022, with pre-sale tickets available on March 9th and general admission tickets available on March 14th. While capacity for the event is limited, bids will also be welcomed on the telephone, live online, or by submitting an absentee bid with Zachys in advance of their sale, via email or their website. To contribute a rare wine lot or experience to be auctioned to benefit The Roots Fund, please contact [email protected] by March 15.
March 2, 2022
Scheid Family Wines has acquired 50% interest in the wine spritzer brand HOXIE. Scheid will become the producer and operator for the HOXIE spritzer, which combines herbs, botanicals, fruit, and seltzer to create an artisanal dry spritzer that is 5% ABV.
HOXIE was founded by Josh Rosenstein, who joins Scheid as their Director of Alternative Beverages.
February 25, 2022
Napa Valley’s Sequoia Grove Winery has named Jesse Fox as winemaker. Fox has 18 years of experience in the wine industry, with five years in the cellars at Napa Valley Reserve and Harlan, four as assistant winemaker at Ram’s Gate and, most recently, as winemaker at Amici Cellars in Calistoga.
February 24, 2022
Rodney Strong Wine Estates has announced Justin Seidenfeld as their new Senior Vice President of Winemaking and Winegrowing. Seidenfeld was previously the company’s Director of Winemaking, a position he took over from Rick Sayre in 2018. In his new role, Seidenfeld oversees viticulture, winemaking, vineyard operations and production.
February 17, 2022
Shafer Vineyards President Doug Shafer announced the sale of his family’s company to the property division of the Korean luxury brand Shinsegae. The Korean Herald reported the sale to be worth $250.3 million.
“It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to have joined my dad here as winemaker in 1983 and to have taken over as president in 1994,” wrote Shafer, in a letter to friends of the winery. Shafer stated that he plans to remain at the company along with long-time winemaker, Elias Fernandez.
February 11, 2022
IWCA Adds Five New Members
International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) has added five new member wineries. The collaborative, founded in 2019 by Miguel A. Torres of Familia Torres and Katie Jackson of Jackson Family Wineries, aims for all its members to address climate change by reducing their carbon footprint and committing to becoming Net Zero by 2050 across Scopes 1-3 as defined by the GHG Protocol.
The five new member wineries include one Silver Member, Miguel Torres Chile, and four Applicant Members—Famille Perrin in France’s Rhône Valley, Champagne Lanson, Viña Undurraga in Chile and Voyager Estate in Margaret River, Western Australia. Silver Members have already committed to “becoming Net Zero by 2050 across Scopes 1-3 and have completed a minimum baseline third-party-verified greenhouse gas emissions inventory.” Applicant Members are “interested in becoming an IWCA member but have not yet fulfilled the greenhouse gas emissions inventory requirement.”
February 4, 2022
Oregon Winery Internships for BIPOC
Oregon non-profit Our Legacy Harvested has launched a winery internship program for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color). Interns will be placed with one to two Willamette Valley wineries in either Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) with a focus on hospitality and front-of-house operations or wine production. Along with being hired and paid by a partner winery, interns will also be provided a scholarship projected at $10,000 that covers housing, transportation, training and networking opportunities. Eligible candidates must work and reside in the United States, identify as BIPOC and be at least 21 years of age. Applications opened on January 31st, 2022 and are due by March 15th, 2022. The six internship recipients will be announced on May 7, 2022. The wine production internship will run from August through November 2022, and the DTC internship will run from May through August 2023.
Our Legacy Harvested was started in 2020 by Tiquette Bramlett, President of Vidon Vineyard and the first Black woman appointed to lead a winery in the United States. The non-profit’s mission is to “educate, advance, and empower the BIPOC community” within the wine industry.
February 1, 2022
Fulton St. Fellowship Announces Inaugural Class of Black Wine Professionals
Fulton St. Fellowship, the nonprofit organization founded by Chris Leon, owner of Leon & Son Wine and Spirits in Brooklyn, has selected its first class of five fellows. The organization, which aims to provide pathways to employment for Black professionals in the wine industry, awards its fellows a full-tuition scholarship (valued at $10,000) to the Institute of Culinary Education’s (ICE) Intensive Sommelier Training alongside a wine-focused European trip and access to career mentorship opportunities from industry leaders. The fellows chosen for the inaugural class are:
Peter was most recently part of Netflix’s Workplace team and built out food and beverage programs for Dropbox and Kickstarter. You can follow him on Instagram at @thewinewasgood.
Loris has worked front-of-house at restaurants like Pearl & Ash, Gjusta, Faro and Emmy Squared. You can follow her at @boozybushwick.
Tani has already begun classes at ICE and currently works as Gramercy Tavern’s Wine & Operations Coordinator.
Damani works at Franks Wine Bar in Carroll Gardens, with previous experience at Prime Meats and The Farm on Adderley.
Along with being a freelance writer, Jasmine also has over ten years of experience across restaurants in NYC, including Rhodora Wine Bar, Miss Ada and Extra Fancy. She currently is the creator and host of the culinary pop-up Lions & Pearls. You can follow her at @Corked.Wines.Black.Lines.
January 26, 2022
Duckhorn Extends Vineyard Holdings in Napa Valley
Duckhorn Portfolio has acquired two parcels totaling 40 acres of the Stanly Ranch vineyard in Los Carneros, and the 10-acre Red Wing Vineyard in St Helena. The Los Carneros site, made up of two 20-acre parcels of clay loam soils, was planted to five clones of pinot noir and three clones of chardonnay in 2001. The Red Wing vineyard, to be renamed the Wolfe vineyard, is currently planted with sauvignon blanc, sémillon and merlot, but the merlot blocks will be replanted with sauvignon blanc and sémillon. The company has also signed a long-term lease with the Alton Family Vineyard located adjacent to the Red Wing vineyard.
January 21, 2022
Anthony Barton Dies at 91
Anthony Barton, the longtime owner of Bordeaux’s second-growth Château Léoville Barton and third-growth Château Langoa Barton, has died at 91. Barton is survived by his wife Eva, along with their daughter Lilian, Lilian’s husband Michel, and Lilian and Michel’s children Damien and Melanie.
January 21, 2022
Ridge Announces New Monte Bello Winemaker
Ridge Vineyards has appointed Trester Goetting as the new Monte Bello Winemaker. Working in collaboration with Head Winemaker and COO John Olney, Goetting began taking over all winemaking duties at the Monte Bello winery on January 18, 2022. He is taking over the role after long-time Monte Bello Winemaker Eric Baugher left in March 2021 to join Merus in Napa Valley. Goetting has a quarter-century of experience making wine in California, most recently as Winemaker at Robert Biale Vineyards. Prior to that, Goetting worked at Napa’s Krupp Brothers Stagecoach Vineyard, Ladera and St. Clement.
The Monte Bello winery was built by Osea Perrone in 1892; the vineyards were replanted to cabernet sauvignon by William Short in the 1940s. In 1959, the winery was bought by four Stanford engineers who bonded Ridge Vineyards and made their first vintage of Monte Bello in 1962. Ridge Monte Bello gained international recognition after the 1971 vintage, made by Paul Draper, achieved fifth place at the Judgment of Paris tasting. Ridge Vineyards is among five wineries in the world that have earned more than 20 Top 100 awards from Wine & Spirits, most recently in 2021, when critic Joshua Greene called out the 2017 Monte Bello as “one of the greatest vintages of the wine we’ve tasted on release.”
January 12, 2022
WSET Announces New CEO
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has announced Michelle Brampton as its new CEO. Brampton previously served as Managing Director Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Treasury Wine Estates and has served on the boards of both The Drinks Trust and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA)—D.P
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