Uncorkings: Chateau Montelena Placed on the National Register of Historic Places

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


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Calistoga, California-based Chateau Montelena Winery has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The honor recognizes two noteworthy periods of Montelena’s history: 1888–1920, when entrepreneur Alfred Tubbs constructed and ran the 18,000-square-foot winery; and 1968–1976, after vintner Jim Barrett bought the property and helped put Napa Valley wines in the international spotlight with Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay, which trumped French wines at the 1976 Judgment of Paris. In order to be placed on the National Register, properties must be connected to significant events that occurred at least 50 years in the past.

According to the Wine Institute, United States wine exports generated a record $1.43 billion in winery revenues in 2012, a 2.6% increase compared to 2011. California wines account for approximately 90% of U.S. exports. The top market for California wines is the 27-member European Union, which accounts for $485 million in sales.

Maximilian J. Riedel has been named president of Riedel Crystal. The appointment marks the 11th generation of the Riedel family to lead the glass manufacturer. Riedel succeeds his father, Georg J. Riedel, who joined the company in 1973.

Charlottesville, Virginia-based Barboursville Vineyards has won the state’s 2013 Governor’s Cup for its 2009 Octagon 12th Edition, a red blend of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The annual Governor’s Cup competition is a partnership between the Virginia Wine Board, Virginia Wineries Association and Virginia Vineyards Association to showcase the state’s best wines. Barboursville, which is owned by the Zonin Group, previously won the award in 1992, 1999 and 2007.

The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved Elkton Oregon as the state’s 17th American Viticultural Area (AVA). The designation will go into effect March 7. Elkton Oregon is located about 35 miles from the Pacific Ocean and is a subappellation of Oregon’s Umpqua Valley AVA. The area consists of roughly 74,900 acres and is well suited for cool-climate varieties, such as Pinot Noir. The new AVA joins Umpqua Valley’s other subappellation, Red Hill Douglas County, which was established in 2005.

The Boston Beer Company, Inc. has plans to release its Samuel Adams Boston Lager in aluminum for the first time this summer. The cans will retail for $15–$18/12 pack, and they will be distributed nationwide. The cans feature a wide top and a flared lip to enhance the flavor and to imitate the experience of drinking the brew from a glass.

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