Weekend Storm Brings Rain to Drought-Stricken California

Plus Wine Enthusiast reports on Brunello di Montalcino’s 2009 vintage, and other news and notes.

California, which is experiencing its worst drought on record, welcomed heavy rains and snow over the weekend, with at least 7-9 inches in Sonoma County and as much as 3 feet of heavy snow in Yosemite National Park. The National Weather Service forecasts the possibility of more rain beginning Wednesday, but cautions that the state is not clear of the drought yet. Bob Benjamin, a National Weather Service forecaster in San Francisco, told the Los Angeles Times, “I don't think this is going to be a drought-buster, but it's certainly going to diminish the deficit.”

Wine Enthusiast’s Italian Editor Kerin O’Keefe reports on her exclusive tasting of 150-plus bottles of the soon-to-be-released Brunello di Montalcino. Read her full report >>>

Wine and spirits importer Kobrand Corporation announced the addition of Alsace producer Domaine Zind-Humbrecht to its French wine portfolio. Effective February, Kobrand will be the exclusive U.S. importer for all of the estate’s wines and will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities.

E.&J. Gallo Winery announced that it will be the exclusive distributor of Valpolicella’s Allegrini Estates and its Tuscan label, Poggio al Tesoro. The wines, which range from $10 to $80, will be distributed nationwide beginning April 1.

John Parducci, Mendocino County wine pioneer, died February 4 in his Ukiah, California, home. He was 96 years old. Read the full story >>>

Investor Charles Banks, who owns California wineries including Mayacamas and Sandhi, has been named a partner at New Zealand’s Trinity Hill winery. Banks aims to promote the brand on a global scale, after a five-year absence in the U.S. market. 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Zagat introduced its first installment of Zagat Singles, where the restaurant and travel guide plays matchmaker for 17 industry insiders. Readers can watch videos of the professionals—bartenders, managers, chefs and media members—and send private notes to their crushes, in hopes of a connection. As the site says, it “sure beats scrawling your number on a receipt and hoping for the best.”

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