Friday round-up: Calistoga AVA debate, some love for Cliff Lede Vineyards

by TrevR on June 13, 2008

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It’s Friday afternoon, it’s hot and we (probably just like you) can’t wait for the weekend to get here. In the meantime, here are a few Napa Valley-related items that caught our eye in recent days.

Tom Wark smells something from Napa and doesn’t like it
Tom Wark, one of our favorite wine bloggers, has two excellent posts up at Fermentation regarding the proposed Calistoga American Viticultural Area (AVA). In a nutshell, designating the area surrounding the town of Calistoga as an AVA would mean anyone putting “Calistoga” on their wine label would have to ensure a certain percentage of the grapes that were used to make the wine actually DID come from within the designated “Calistoga AVA”. Great, makes sense and seems fair.

The issue is there are a couple wineries, Calistoga Cellars and Calistoga Estate Vineyards to be specific, that have existed for years (well before the AVA designation was brought-up) that stand to lose significant money should they be forced to use grapes from within the AVA just because the name of their business has the word “Calistoga” in it. Why they cannot simply be grandfathered in (without having to put an asterisks or something on their label) is beyond us…

It’s all very interesting, and Tom does a great job examining it–we really do encourage you to check out the two posts linked above.

Yountville’s Cliff Lede Vineyards get some Parker lovin’
It’s not too often we write about anything Robert Parker says or does, but the write-up appearing in BusinessWeek today on Cliff Lede Vineyards piqued our interest. The article, which is essentially a review of the winery’s 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon line-up (along with the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc), starts off with:

Readers looking for a future superstar from Napa need look no further than this relatively new winery that appears to have hit its stride with its 2005s. Canadian businessman Cliff Lede has Michelle Edwards as his winemaker, David Abreu as his viticulturalist, and none other than Michel Rolland as his winemaking consultant, so big things are expected.

Seeing as we literally pass Cliff Lede Vineyards every morning as we enjoy our run across Yountville Crossroad, we may just have to drop in and give the wines a shot ourselves.

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, Fermentation, Tom Wark, Cliff Lede, Robert Parker, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Yountville, Calistoga, Calistoga AVA]

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has written 724 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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