California Approves New Malibu Coast AVA

Plus other news and notes in the world of wine, beer and spirits.


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After a three-year application process, Malibu Coast is California’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA). It runs 46 miles long and eight miles wide, near the Santa Monica Mountains and is home to more than 50 growers and winemakers. The AVA has 198 acres of vines planted, with main varieties comprising of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Chardonnay.

On July 18, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation that supports the state’s growing craft beer industry. The new law will provide tax credits to small breweries and exempt them from paying annual state liquor authority fees, as well as create a new license for “farm breweries”—a new designation for craft brewers using predominantly locally grown products, similar to the state’s farm winery category.

This fall, Vintner Jayson Pahlmeyer and daughter Cleo will release the first estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their Sonoma Coast Wayfarer Vineyard, sold under the Wayfarer label. Consulting winemaker and winegrower (Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40) Bibiana González Rave heads winemaking and vineyard operations for Wayfarer.

In other Sonoma news, vintner Don Sebastiani & Sons announced its new Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, Queens Peak, sourced from grapes from Two Dog Ranch and Lost Acre Vineyard.

A truck transporting Château Saint Dominique 2011 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru overturned in rural France over the weekend when the driver lost control, destroying nearly 18,000 bottles. The driver was taken to a hospital but is reportedly uninjured.

On July 19, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co.—the 10th largest craft brewer in the United States—announced plans to open a production brewery and destination restaurant in Berlin. The company will make an initial investment of $25 million to renovate a historic gasworks complex, with an anticipated opening in late 2015 or early 2016. Stone Brewing will be the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe.

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