Uncorkings for 11.28.11

News and notes from the world of wine.

Boisset Family Estates acquired Skalli Wines last week, merging two of France’s prominent wine families and further strengthening Boisset’s presence in the South of France. The acquisition includes the Skalli winery and brands in the Languedoc and Rhône, but not the company’s Napa Valley estate, St. Supéry. To read more about this purchase, click here.

California winery Grgich Hills Estate has appointed John Corcoran general manager. Corcoran’s responsibilities will include supervising all of the GHE employees as well as developing all marketing and sales plans.

Destructive bush fires have swept across Western Australia’s Margaret River region, causing some wineries, including Leeuwin Estate and Cape Mentelle, to be evacuated. While no major vine injury has yet occurred, there is a threat of smoke-damaged grapes.

Members of California’s Antelope Valley Winegrowers Association have requested that the 665-square-mile area known as the Antelope Valley in Kern and Los Angeles counties be granted American Viticultural Area status by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Leading wine auction houses have reported increased sales for 2011, stating the growth is due in part to the strong demand from the Asian market. To date, Christie’s has reported $77.7 million in sales for the year, while Acker Merrall & Condit has announced a 15% sales growth over the last year and expects to become the first wine auction house to surpass the $100 million mark in annual revenue.

The Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation announced a new scholarship for sommelier education. Sponsored by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the $500 Walter Core Scholarship will be awarded to the top scorer at all future Court of Master Sommelier Certified Exams.

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