News Release: Thursday, January 10th, 2019
News Release: Thursday, January 10th, 2019
45 customers gathered to consider the wines presented by Richard McKinney and Nick Demos of Tryon Distribution.
We talked wine, soil, biodynamic methods, Chile and Argentina, Bordeaux grapes, and herbaceous flavors!
We liked all of the 4 wines presented and thought they met the quality to price ratio challenge. But in the end, one was the most impressive to most of the group. While everyone has a different palate and preferences and every wine has a different best use, the fact that most people liked this one is a good indicator that most customers will like this wine. And in a small shop with limited space, that matters! And the winner is.......
“I don’t buy wine because of the label. “ But the research says some of us, actually many of us, do. Wineries want you to look. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And so it is for the wine label. Who can resist the lure of Kungfu Girl Riesling?
Labels were originally intended to provide legally required information. Wine Searcher, a service that posts information from online wine shops, says countries around the world have laws for both wines produced in country as well as imported wines. Labeling laws typically require name, region of origin, vintage, often the varietal or blend, volume and percentage of alcohol.
But fierce competition in the wine world has forced the label to become a marketing tool. “99 Bottles of Wine,” a new book by wine label designer David Schuemann, tells all in his book revealing the wine marketing strategy. The label, Schuemann says, is easier to remember than the taste of the wine.
Schuemann notes that at a wine tasting held at the Edinburgh Science Festival in Scotland showed that while people could not consistently differentiate wines, they were consistently drawn back to the label they knew. So, from a wine marketing perspective, wine consumers look for the label, the brand, just like with any other product. And, again, just like any other product, research shows that an eye catching label can encourage the consumer to buy a more expensive bottle.
Labels range from the traditional coat of arms style to animal portraits to high end design by artists whose works are seen in museums! Little did I know when I saw an exhibition by Mickalene Thomas at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, that her work might be sitting on my dining room table in the form of a wine label!
Label designs also carry subtle messages and invoke what might be called wine label prejudice. People associate minimalist, uncluttered design with high end vintages, says Schuemann. Wine connoisseurs are attracted to labels with cream or white backgrounds, a touch of gold or metal. Labels with “critters” are out. The wine neophyte, Schuemann says, are attracted to labels that “pop” and that means color, design and sometimes, “critters!”
Label prejudice can influence taste as well. An experiment conducted by Cornell University Professor of Marketing Brian Wansink, proved the point. Professor Wansink filled all the bottles with the same $2 wine, labeling half as wine from California and the other half as wine from North Dakota. Those drinking the wine with the California label stayed longer, drank more and rated the wine higher!
But, in the end, the label really tells the story of the winery, the philosophy, the history, how the winery wants to be seen. There is no better example than the label on the Washington State Red Blend by highly regarded winemaker Eric Dunham. One night, Dunham heard a dog fight. He ran out to find and rescue a badly wounded puppy. The puppy lost his leg that night but, as Dunham said, the puppy found a home and Dunham a best friend. With a drawing of the puppy on the label, Dunham named a wine for his new friend, “Three Legged Dog.”
When it comes to wine, make your own decisions and have the courage of yor convictions!
News Release: Thursday, December 13th, 2018
About: January Wine Focus Group
Join us on Wednesday, January 9th for the Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. Our hosts will be Richard McKinney and Nick Demos from Tryon Distributing (https://tryondist.com/).
The event is "on the house" but you need to reserve a seat. Register by calling (828) 575-9525 or online: https://
What is "A Biltmore SmackDown"
Juniper Cooper of Mutual Distribution was our host for the evening. For consideration, Juniper submitted wines that would complement a Thanksgiving Table including an Pinot Blanc from Alsace, a French Minervois, California Red Blend and a California Zinfandel.
News Release: Friday, October 12th
We had a rollicking, rollicking I say, night at the October Wine Focus Group @MetroWines. Stacy Strong of Empire Distriution hosted presenting four wines and Any Hale, Director of The Asheville Shool of Wine, added commentary on fining, filtering as well as describing what "biodynamic" is all about. We leaned. We laughed. We left with confidence.
Yangarra PF Shiraz from McLarenvale, Australia, was the wine that nearly everyone agreed upon. Made more in the old world style than other popular versions of Shiraz, Yangarra has returned to the tradition of Shiraz. Rather than a big, let's be frank here, fruitbomb, Yangarra presents complexity in flavors and aromas in a slightly lighter body. Comments of leather and chocolate were common. And this is what we like to hear when a wine is presented, that the wine is so well made that you can actually identify flavors!
The Focus Group was of the opinion that this wine stood in a class of its own. Yangarra is a new world wine made with old world traditions and minimal, if any, interference from vine to bottle. The Group thought this wine coudl be served chilled and could handle a concoction of flavors that you might find on a holiday table. Shop Yangarra @MetroWines!
PF (Preservative Free) Shiraz is made from grapes grown on our certified biodynamic single-estate vineyard, grown without herbicides, fungicides or synthetic chemicals. It is made without additions of any kind: sulphur (preservative), acid, tannin or finings. It’s medium bodied, fresh, fruit driven wine that is delicious enjoyed as a young wine. With that in mind, we do have PF shiraz back to our first vintage of 2013 that is still showing some of lovely vibrant characters.
WINE COMPOSITION: 100% Shiraz
REGION: Estate grown in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale, SA
WINEMAKING: Cold soaked, wild yeast ferment, pressed after 10-12 days on skins, no additives, no fining, only filtration.
Reserve Your Seat HERE!
News Release: Thursday, September 13th, 2018
Just a quick note to say that the Wine Enthusiast just gave this one, one of our Focus Group Wines!! a great review. We got game people!
Winery Tasting Notes: "This classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon showcases pronounced aromas of cherry and blackcurrant with undertones of toasted oak. A smooth, well-balanced palate framed with lingering tannins on the finish."
News Release: Friday, August 17th
News Release: Monday, July 16th, 2018
News Release: Thursday, July 12th, 2018
The WINNER of the July Asheville Wine Focus Group is Carlos Serres Reserva Rioja! By WINNER, we mean the bottle that sold the most and the fastest! Finding an affordable "Reserva" with this much age on it is rare.
The Group thought the wine was complex presenting identifiable flavors followed by a long finish. This wine, with just the right amount of acidity, would be a perfect match for food but could also go solo. And most thought, because of its versatility, this bottle would be great to bring to a dinner.
Wine has a history. And history is full of wine. That of Carlos Serres (Charles, in French) is one of them. One of those which happen once in a lifetime and perdure.
Not only because he saw in Haro a perfect place to make wine of great quality but, above all, because he envisaged a new horizon for Rioja wine not considered until then: international exports.
He came from Bordeaux, where the phylloxera pest had compromised winemaking. This famous French wine consultant found in Haro the perfect terroir to make Bordeaux style wines, with a climate and terrain which reminded him of the best terroirs in Bordeaux.
A perfect place to make wines that met the quality, flavour and personality expectations of the most discerning international palates. Elegant wines with a Rioja flavour, ready to conquer; even overseas.
News Release: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
The June Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines was a great night of history, fun and, of course, great wine! Mark Orsini of Orsini Imports took us on a vicarious trip back to Yakima, Washington, circa 1940s. The property that now yields extraordinary vines was once used to build planes for the war effort.
If you shop @MetroWines, you know the great Italian wines that Mark brings us and it was Mark that brought us Marcel Servin and his magnifique Chablis last month. Mark wanted to show us that his portfolio also includes some great west coast wines. And that he did! We tasted and reviewed four wines: Chardonnay, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bordeaux Blend.
The Focus Group, while all wines were hits, thought two stood out. The price to amazing quality ratio for the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon was high. And both wines were thought to be wines that, no matter your preferred style, you could enjoy. In other words, you can serve these wines to guests with confidence. And both are the kind of wines you can and should! buy by the case. Just that good. Worth it!
Mark shared personal stories of his visits with the family as well as the history of the property and the generations of owners. This text from the website is some of what we learned.
Founder of our Family Farm
H. Lloyd Miller was a successful businessman and pioneer of the Yakima Valley. Noting the potential for the valley to become one of the nation’s leading agricultural producers, he began acquiring dry farmland with the hopes that someday it would have access to water. Eventually, H. Lloyd became the chairman of the Roza Irrigation Canal Board, and he saw the project through to its completion in 1951. At that time, he was able to begin farming on his property and devoted the rest of his life to managing our family farm, which became known as Airport Ranch.
Founder of our Estate Vineyard
Don Miller, son of H. Lloyd, was born and raised in Sunnyside, Washington. During his junior year of college at Washington State University, Don enlisted in the military and was stationed overseas through the duration of World War II. Returning home, Don joined his father on the ranch in 1950 and helped develop a diversified farm consisting of asparagus, alfalfa, potatoes, onions, oats, hogs, cattle, mint, and sugar beets. In 1968, Don planted Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Cabernet Sauvignon marking the early beginnings of our estate vineyard.
Founder of Airfield Estates Winery
Mike Miller, son of Don Miller, was born and raised on the family farm. During the Vietnam War, Mike enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in Japan. Upon returning home, he graduated from Washington State University, married his wife Kristeen, and became the third generation to carry on the family’s farming legacy. Facing the demise of the sugar beet processing plants in 1978, but seeing a bright future with Washington’s Wine Grape Industry, Mike took grape growing to a whole new level. Mike gradually transitioned our farm into what it is today – 830 acres of wine grapes and 350 acres of Concord juice grapes. In 2005, Mike founded Airfield Estates Winery, and he brought his son, Marcus, and daughter, Lori, on board to help manage the daily operations. Airfield Estates Winery and Tasting Room in Prosser opened its doors in 2007, the Tasting Room in Woodinville opened in 2010, and after outgrowing the Prosser Winery, the Production Facility was relocated to our farm in 2014. The pride, passion, and enthusiasm that Mike expressed for our vineyard, grapes, and wine is something that we hope to share for generations to come.
With the onset of World War II, the Olympia Air Transport Corporation began looking to lease land in the Yakima Valley to establish a civilian flight school. H. Lloyd Miller, the founder of our family estate and a successful realtor and landowner, knew that it would be several years before the arrival of irrigation water on his farmland so he signed a lease agreement for a portion of his property.
Construction of the flight school commenced on December 21, 1941. The airbase included three dirt runways, each over a half mile long, and several buildings including a 70-foot water tower, multiple airplane hangars, a large mess hall, four barracks, and several smaller storage buildings.
Initially, the training was part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which was sponsored by the United States Government. It offered primary, secondary, and cross-country courses, and the pilots trained on various types of biplanes. In mid-1943, the school changed to the War Training Service Program, and they confined the training to the secondary phase only, which focused on aerobatics and other evasive techniques. According to government records, over 500 Army Air Corps pilots trained at the airbase on our family’s property until the flight school closed in 1944.
Shortly after the war came to an end, the pilots moved off-site and the recently constructed buildings were auctioned off to the highest bidder. The only bidder turned out to be H. Lloyd Miller. With a bid of $1, he got one heck of a deal for all of the buildings on the property. These unique buildings became the headquarters of our family’s farming operations, which today is known as Airport Ranch. Over time, many of the buildings began to deteriorate, but two of the original hangars still exist and we continue to use them as workshop and storage facilities.
And now, drumroll please...Focus Group Favorites!
|You are Always on Vacation with Rose!
Mulderbosch is Back!
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