Stag's Leap Breaks Ground on New $7 Million Visitor Center

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


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Iconic Napa Valley winery, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, broke ground June 1 on a new 6,000 square-foot visitor center overlooking its estate vineyards. The center will cost approximately $7 million to build, a financial commitment shared by the joint venture partnership of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori, which acquired the winery in 2007. Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba, who designed the winery’s Wine Cellars Arcade, Great Room and Round Room in the wine caves, created the design for the center. The project is expected to be complete by summer 2014.

June 18, 2013 will mark the 100th birthday of California wine legend Robert Mondavi, and Robert Mondavi Winery is celebrating with a number of events and activities throughout the month. Guests of the winery can partake in a public toast with a glass of Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Fume Blanc, while the winery will rename one of the To Kalon Vineyard blocks to “Robert’s Block” in a private ceremony. A special “Cent’ anni” concert honoring Mondavi’s birthday is scheduled for June 29, featuring fireworks and a performance by country music star Martina McBride.

The annual Auction Napa Valley, held over the weekend at Meadowood Resort Napa Valley, reclaimed its spot as the king of all charity wine auctions, bringing in a whopping $16.9 million for nonprofit organizations throughout Napa County.  Read the full story >>>

Krug Champagne debuted its pop-up concept, Krug House, in San Francisco on June 2. Originally launched in 2011 in Manhattan, Krug House has since been reimagined for other major markets, including Aspen and Los Angeles. The Bay Area iteration, hosted at a private home in Portola Valley, will include exclusive farm-to-table dinners hosted by 6th generation Director Olivier Krug and Chef Joel Viehland of Community Table, Connecticut (formerly of Noma in Copenhagen), and tastings with Oliver and Krug's Cellar Master, Eric Lebel. Krug House will run until June 7.

In commemoration of the Star Trek franchise’s 50th anniversary, CBS Consumer Products licensed and released a limited-edition run of Star Trek-themed wine. Artist Juan Ortiz designed the wine labels, celebrating three of the most beloved episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series (“The City on the Edge of Forever,” “The Trouble with Tribbles” and “Mirror, Mirror”). The wine itself, a blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc, was sourced from Viansa Winery in Sonoma County and retails for $25, available exclusively on Vinport.com. Only 1701 cases of wine have been produced, a nod to the series’ iconic starship, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701. There is no word on the availability of tasting notes in Klingon.

Égalité, a sparkling Crémant created and imported by Biagio Cru & Estate Wines in support of equality for LGBT Americans, is now available nationwide, and just in time for Pride Month. Since its January 2013 launch, Égalité has contributed over $15,000 to LGBT organizations, including The Trevor Project, Chicago’s The Center on Halsted, New York City’s The Ali Forney Center, Equality Maine and Equality Illinois. The wine, which is 45 percent Pinot Noir, 30 percent Chardonnay, 20 percent Gamay and 5 percent Aligoté, is available for retail at $24 for a 750-ml bottle. 

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines purchased 100 acres of the historic Ogulin Estate, located in the cool High Valley Appellation of Lake County. Harold and Grace Ogulin sold the property to Shannon Ridge for an undisclosed sum. With 18 acres currently under vine, certified sustainable Shannon Ridge plans to plant an additional 62 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Chardonnay, and rebuild and preserve the property’s 1870s-era home and winery.

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