Tag Archives: California Wine

New Year’s Competition!

Happy New Year!

We are passionate about good wine. And to celebrate the start to 2016, the 40th anniversary of a very important wine event for us, as well as our award for ‘No. 1 wine of the Year 2015’ from Wine Spectator, we’ve a fantastic new competition to win tickets to our Californian wine tasting in May
Peter Michael

2016 is the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris, a blind wine tasting comparing Californian and French wines. Groundbreakingly, Californian wine came out on top. It is no coincidence that three of our wine ventures, Peter Michael Winery, Vineyard Cellars and The Vineyard were launched following this event. And today, as well as various 100-point Parker wines, Wine Spectator’s Number one wine of the year 2015 is our very own Peter Michael Winery Au Paradis 2012. ‘As a textbook example of the way passionate investment, technical skill and an outstanding vineyard can create compelling wines, the Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Au Paradis 2012 is Wine Spectator‘s 2015 Wine of the Year.’ says James Laube of Wine Spectator.  Click here for more.

Our Californian wine merchant has teamed up with our Californian winery to host a commemorative Californian wine tasting, both in central London (10th May) and at The Vineyard Hotel  (14th May). You can win a pair of tickets to either one that you prefer.

With the great and the good of Californian wine world attending, this will be a stellar event. And for those who love steak, good wine, sunshine and excellent atmosphere then this is for you.

To enter the competition, and win tickets, all you have to do is tell us in which region of California Peter Michael Winery is situated. Email competitions@the-vineyard.co.uk with your answer by 31st January 2016.

Good luck from The Vineyard team!

Terms and conditions:

a) The prize is for a pair of tickets to either our London wine tasting on 10th May 2016 or at The Vineyard wine tasting on 14th May 2016 ; these tickets are non transferable and non refundable.
b) All entrants must be over 18 and based in the UK. Employees and associates of employees are unable to enter.
c) By entering this competition you agree to be included in newsletter updates from The Vineyard.
d) The competition cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer(s).
e) The Vineyard reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control.

Another Successful Wine Festival Weekend

Masterclass_1 - compressed 1

Bottles in a row - WFW14 - compressedI know I may well say this every year, but this year’s wine festival at The Vineyard seemed to surpass all previous years in terms of just about everything…food, wine, and many masterclasses aimed at helping our customers get the very best out of a bottle of wine. Our suppliers stepped up to the mark and provided a selection of truly stunning wines really indicative of our list at The Vineyard.

First off was our annual wine festival dinner. Two matched wines per course hence groaning tables of wine glasses (all Riedel of course) ready to showcase the bottles. Hard to pinpoint specifics, however feedback that I received thought that the Grüner Veltliner Steinsetz (Schloss Gobelsburg) was the star white of the evening, whilst the Mac Forbes Pinot Noir from Australia and the venison course was the pairing of the evening. The Peter Michael L’Esprit des Pavots held its ground with the cheese course also, even up against Tawny Port! To buy these wines, please contact me, James Hocking, on 01635 589414 or email me: jameshocking@vineyardcellars.com

Following that, our Saturday tasting was well-subscribed, and with an ever expanding Wine tasting 1 - compressedgroup of suppliers, the room was full of wine. Newcomers to our tasting this year were Berkmann Wines, with a decent range of Italian and Argentinean bottles, plus Clark Foyster Wines, showing a solid range from Australia, France and Portugal. We had over 150 wines open, covering all the major viticultural regions of the world. All together, 10 of our top wine suppliers helped make this event a success.

And the wine, I most wanted to take home? Champagne Taittinger kindly gave us a couple of bottles of their flagship Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. Pure hedonistic pleasure…frankly the customers were lucky to get a look in!!

We actually have a Taittinger Champagne dinner coming up on 5th December and there are still a few places left. Please see our website for the menu and more details. It’s sure to be a great evening. Our sparkling bubbles galore wine school is also taking place on 3rd December. We hope to see you at one of our up and coming events.

We also welcomed WSET who were talking to all our guests about our popular level 1 course, but also our new intensive level 2 course, which we’re running for the first time from 6th to 8th February.

Cheers

James Hocking
Director of Wine

The Judgement of Paris — 1976’s Famous Blind Wine Tasting

In 1976, in small room in a Paris hotel, a strange thing happened. Something that changed a centuries-old status quo and rocked the ‘civilised’ world to it’s roots. In a blind tasting with some of the leading French wine aficionados of the day, Californian wines were chosen over France’s very best. Big names were knocked right out of the park in a comprehensive whooping. Visit our website and watch the video to discover more.

My trip to Sonoma, California

Has it made the hard work worth it? Is the question I am asked the most when people heard what I won Employee of the Year. To anyone within the company who has the chance to try for the trip – Yes, it is worth every single minute of it!

I was truly honored and delighted to have won the trip to California and once it had sunk in and I had stopped bursting into tears I had already decided that I was going as soon as possible and was going to make it the holiday of a lifetime.

I look my partner of 8 years Steve and booked as soon as I could for October 2011. Having some family also in California that I hadn’t seen in 11 years just a 90 minute drive from Sonoma meant I was going be able to factor them into the trip too.

One of the best parts of the 2 weeks we had was going to visit the Peter Michael Winery. Even having worked for the company for 4 years I just had no idea how amazing the place was. Vast steep mountain slopes of regimentally straight vines stretched for miles around the gated entrance. Seeing the Vineyard poppy on everything was brilliant and really was a reminder of how closely linked we were despite the geography. The Michaels kindly consented for Steve and I to stay in the Cabin, a building with bridge access over a stream to the entrance, hot tub and whatcan only be described as luxury accommodation.

During our stay we had the chance to have a tour of the winery and tasting of the wine. Cote de mere is a large platform on the top of the mountain fully equipped for 5* entertaining used for fund raising for the Peter Michael foundation every year. The view is staggering stretching across the whole of Knights Valley and each of the different wines can be seen. Tasting Sir Peters wines was a once in a lifetime chance. It was a fantastic experience and meeting the other guests brought it home to us how much of a wonderful and rare opportunity it was sitting around that table, drinking those wines and in that location.

The local sights were an excuse for a little more tourist behavior and we took the opportunity to go to the local petrified wood, eat in Calistoga and visit the Geyser. The staff at Sugarloaf Ranch could not have been any more hospitable and I would do anything to go back again for longer.

Following the trip to the Ranch we spent a couple more days with family in San Jose and even had the chance to visit a ranch where Steve fitted right in with the lads drinking bud and shooting very scary looking Guns for the afternoon. We hired a car and drove to visit San Francisco then down the coastal road route 101 with a final stop in at Universal Studios to celebrate Steve’s 30th.

All in all a truly amazing two week trip that could not have been made possible without the Employee of the Year status. I cannot thank the company or the Michaels enough and will continue trying to win to have the excuse to go back!

Beth Willis
Senior Events Co-ordinator
Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa

A New Addition

We don’t often take on new wineries. Only when everything is absolutely “right” do we expand what is already a considerable range. However, Cliff Lede Vineyards is just a perfect fit for us so we caved in and are looking forward to these Napa Valley wines arriving on these shores around April.

Established in 2002, Cliff Lede Vineyards encompasses sixty acres in the famed Stags Leap District.
Owner Cliff Lede, viticulturalist David Abreu, Associate Winemaker Kale Anderson and Consulting Winemaker Philippe Melka have come together to form an unrivalled team, making the most of this remarkable property.

Completed in 2005, the state-of-the-art gravity-flow winery boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system and conical tanks commissioned using a design inspired by the tanks of Château Latour. One tank per vineyard block ensures each lot evolves at its own pace and acres of caves with single-layer barrel storage ensure access to each barrel at all times. No corner has been cut.

The winery produces Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, is crafted from the steep hillside portion of the estate. The land, the talent, the tools and the passion: Cliff Lede Vineyards, a notable addition to the Stags Leap District.

The Vineyard Cellars will be shipping all three wines, with the Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon being the most limited. Watch this space for details of more exciting new wines and vintages. 2011 will be the year of Californian Wine.