Santa Carolina Wines from Chile
2015 New World Winery of the Year. With a history spanning over 140 years, Viña Santa Carolina was established, in Chile, in 1875 by Luis Pereira, who named it after his wife, Carolina Iñiguez. Located in Santiago, the winery’s facilities and underground cellar are a National Monument and are open to the public at large.
Francis Ford Coppola Black Label Claret
This signature red wine is layered with flavors of blackberry, cassis and roasted espresso. Claret is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, blended in the classic Bordeaux style.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Ryanne Haditsch, Winemaker at ThornCreek Winery
On October 31, ThornCreek Winery in Aurora welcomed Ms. Ryanne Haditsch, formerly head winemaker and general manager at Your WINE Cellar in Strongsville. In that position, she implemented wine education programs for staff and guests while she also focused on growing the business. In 2014, she started teaching in the Viticulture and Enology program at Kent State University. Her own wine credentials are impressive: Haditsch has earned a WSET Advanced certificate and a vocational degree in winemaking throughWinExpert Canada, and she’s a member of the American Wine Society. She also holds a business degree from Baldwin Wallace University.
“The opportunity to be a part of the ThornCreek team and make wines from such high-quality fruit is beyond exciting,” Haditsch says. “I am looking forward to the challenge and actualizing the potential of continually evolving the already highly regarded ThornCreek wines.”
Camelot Cellars Welcomes New Winemaker
At Camelot Cellars Winery in Columbus, Nick Liberati moves up the ladder to become winemaker – but he’s no newcomer to the business. He grew up in an Italian family that boasts several generations of winemakers, and apprenticed under two former winemakers at Camelot Cellars. He learned to taste as a child during family dinners, and wine and winemaking became his passion.
Nick’s first wine-related job was in a taproom at a Kroger supermarket in Columbus, where he started learning about pairing food and wines in the store’s Bistro. Not surprisingly, his favorites are Italian whites and reds. Nick is eager to learn everything he can about the wine industry while he works in Camelot Cellars’s tasting room and provides a memorable experience for customers.
Build Your Own Wine Legacy, One Vine at a Time
But few wine lovers have the opportunity or the inclination to become vintners themselves. Now there is a growing movement that invites them to participate in the process: Adopt-a-Vine programs. Embraced by a number of winemakers worldwide, these projects enable connoisseurs to be a part of the winemaking culture by “adopting” vines, rather than owning a vineyard.
While the details of adopt-a-vine programs vary, what they typically offer in common is the chance for any individual to purchase a vine, no matter where they live in the world. In exchange, “adopted parents,” as they are sometimes called, receive a personalized hang-tag identifying the vine as belonging to them, plus information regarding the grape that grows on their adopted vine. Donors usually are invited to seasonal events in the vineyard. Some wineries also offer wine discounts, educational workshops about the vine-to-wine process and a variety of hands-on activities such as helping with canopy management, crop estimation and pruning techniques.
For wine enthusiasts who would gladly throw themselves into a vat of wine at the drop of a hat, the immersive nature of these programs can be a perfect fit. Says Barbara Nixon, founder of Australia-based Adopt-a-Vine, “People love being involved. They love the romance of the vineyard, the changing seasons, the warmth of the soil, the bright green leaves at spring and the ripening grapes.”
What’s not to love about all that?
Here are a few places where you can adopt your own vines:
If you love Australian or New Zealand wines, this program gives you access to vines from a few producers Down Under, as well as one in Texas. Participants receive an adoption “kit” with particulars related to their adopted vines. Adoptions last for a limited period of time (typically three years) and adopted parents can renew for another cycle. Perks include wine discounts and invitations to dinners and other special events, along with an Adopt-a-Vine membership card that entitles them to enjoy their benefits at all participating wineries throughout the world.
Old World Winery
At this winery in northern California’s Russian River Valley, you can adopt your vine in perpetuity. Donors are invited to visit their vines as often as they like and encouraged to be a part of harvesting tasks, including stomping on the harvested grapes. Owner Darek Trowbridge says there are no geographic restrictions, and donors are free to honor a friend or loved one in memoriam on their donor tag.
First Colony Winery
This Virginia-based program charges a one-time-only fee for adopting a row of grapevines based on your preferred grape variety. In addition to wine discounts and harvest events (such as free and discounted tickets to the winery’s annual Harvest Festival), donors receive free tastings and an annual photograph of the donor and their vine.
Taylor Brooke Winery
Located in Connecticut, Taylor Brooke’s program offers three-year memberships. While donors receive a complimentary bottle of wine for each year of the adoption period, members must pick up their bottles at the winery due to state permit restrictions.
White – California
Grgich Hills Estate Fumé Blanc, 2014 (Napa Valley); $31
Aromas of Granny Smith apple, lime zest, lemon and delicate grapefruit; vivid, bright and tartly crisp on the palate, with tangerine notes and a long, full-flavored finish.
White – Greece
Artemis Karamolegos Santorini PDO, 2014; $21
Spicy, mineral aroma with a hint of apple; very flavorful, with crisp acidity and notes of pineapple and honey.
White – Italy
Sperone Spumante Brut Prosecco DOC, NV; $4.99/187ml
Delicate aroma of apple, citrus and florals; fine mousse and bright, clean, fruity, pleasant flavor.
Rosé – California
Chateau St Jean Bijou Rosé, 2015 (California); $13.99
Strawberry, cherry aroma with a whiff of vanilla; delicious and very flavorful with notes of cherry skins and a touch of spice.
Sparkling Wine: Bling for the Taste Buds
According to Vivino, the online wine community and database, sparkling wine comprises just 2.38 percent of total wine consumption in the United States. The people of Romania drink almost twice as much sparkling wine per capita as we do, and we are woefully behind Finland, which drinks more than four times as much.
For many people, the holidays are a natural time to enjoy sparkling wine, so we always print a long list of recommended bubbles in our holiday issue. But don’t forget about these delicious wines come January. Or April. Or August.
Just like bling, bubbles aren’t only for fancy nights on the town – a little sparkle is a cheery addition to any day. Get started.
JipJip Rocks Sparkling Shiraz, NV (South Eastern Australia); $18.99
Deep garnet color and cherry, black pepper aroma; very dry and loaded with flavors of ripe plums and spicy cinnamon.
Mirabelle Brut Sparkling Wine, NV (California); $28
Fine mousse and lemony cookie dough aroma; toasty on the palate with hints of roasted nuts and mushroom.
Mirabelle Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine, NV (California); $30
Creamy cherry and vanilla aroma; lush and bright with palate-waking tart cherry notes.
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut, 2013 (North Coast); $39
Lively mousse and gently toasty aroma; bright and crisp with hints of tangerine and spice and a creamy finish.
Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Brut, 2012 (North Coast); $41
Toasty, bready aroma; bright, crisp, clean lemony flavor with delicate toast and mineral notes.
Schramsberg Brut Rosé, 2013 (North Coast); $44
Cherry vanilla aroma with a hint of fresh bread; bright berry flavor with notes of vanilla and spice.
Schramsberg Crémant Demi-Sec, 2012 (Napa Valley); $40
Aroma of toasted nuts and stone fruit; rich, sweet toffee notes on the palate with lush fruit and creamy texture.
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Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda Clásica, 2013 (Mendoza, Argentina); $9.99
Aromas of cherry tobacco, mocha and black licorice; bright, juicy, fresh flavor with a hint of brambly fruit and lush dark chocolate.
Franco Serra Rosato Piemonte DOC, 2015; $9.99
Delicate berry aroma; clean and refreshing with tart strawberry, cherry and cranberry flavor.
Indomita Chardonnay Gran Reserve, 2013 (Casablanca Valley, Chile); $12.99
Citrus and mango aroma with a delicate touch of oak; Yellow Delicious apple and a bit of spicy clove on the palate with pleasantly toasty notes.
Indomita Zardoz Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 (Maipo Valley, Chile); $29.99
Enticing aromas of black currant, rose petal and black licorice; rich and lush with concentrated black fruit and balanced tannins.
Indomita Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserve, 2014 (Maipo Valley, Chile); $12.99
Brambly, earthy aroma with notes of black cherry; light and juicy with fresh dark fruit flavor and a hint of anise.
Altos las Hormigas Malbec Terroir, 2013 (Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina); $19.9
Pleasant cherry/berry aroma with cocoa notes; loaded with juicy, ripe, macerated berry flavor with a hint of chocolate on the finish.
Château Beausoleil Brut Reserve Blanquette Limoux, NV; $14.99
Baked apple and light toast aroma with floral notes; fruity and crisp with lively mousse and a mineral undercurrent.
Harken Chardonnay, 2015 (California); $15
Delicate aroma of pineapple and apricot with a pleasant hint of richness; lovely mouth feel and subtle, delicious flavor of dried fig and crème brûlée.
Matchbook Estate Bottled Old Head Chardonnay, 2015 (Dunnigan Hills); $15
Aroma of sweet ripe pear with a subtle buttery undercurrent; full of lush tropical fruit with a touch of caramel richness and a lingering creamy finish.
Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2014; $22
Bright citrus aroma with a hint of honeysuckle; brimming with ripe, lush fruit and a delicate touch of oak.
Sonoma-Cutrer “The Cutrer” Chardonnay, 2014 (Russian River Valley); $32
Subtle aromas of burnt sugar and baked apple with a hint of spice; full bodied and creamy with vibrant tropical fruit flavor and nicely integrated oak.
Domaine de la Motte Rosé, 2015 (Pays d’Oc IGP); $8.99
Cherry, wild berry and vanilla aroma with a hint of rose petal; tart raspberry and cranberry flavor, lively acidity and crisp finish.
Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2014; $30
Bright Bing cherry aroma with hints of peppery spice and cinnamon; juicy, brambly wild berry flavor with crisp acidity and dark chocolate finish.
Sonoma-Cutrer Owsley Single Block Pinot Noir, 2014 (Russian River Valley); $50
Brambly red raspberry aroma with smoky overtones; mouth filling with rich, ripe black fruit and a peppery finish.
Acumen Mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 (Napa Valley); $60
Elegant, complex aroma of violets, blueberries, spice and fresh figs; beautifully balanced and full of luscious, rich, ripe black fruit. A standout.
Zanon Old Vine Zinfandel, 2013 (Dry Creek Valley); $19.99
Smoky cherry aroma with notes of eucalyptus and black pepper; beautifully balanced, nuanced Zin with powerful fruit and notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon.
Motorosso Vino Rosso, 2015 (Italy); $9.99
Fruity black fruit aroma with hints of violets, black licorice and dark chocolate; clean, fresh, soft, juicy and fruity.
Domaine de La Motte Chardonnay, 2015 (Pays d’Oc IGP); $9.99
Aromas of Red Delicious apple, spice and honey butter; clean and crisp with tart fresh fruit and a spicy bite.