Uncorkings: Ammonia exposure kills a winery worker in Central California

Plus other news and notes from the world of wine and spirits.


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A worker has died at a Gaines Wine Co.-operated winery in Sanger, California, after having been exposed to ammonia on Tuesday, September 11,officals say. The man, identified as Robert Munoz, was pronounced dead on the scene. Five other employees were also exposed, but were treated and released. It has not yet been determined how the ammonia was released.

Peter Barry, of Jim Barry Wines in Clare Valley, Australia, has planted the country’s first Assyrtiko vines at the winery’s Lodge Hill property. The cuttings, from vines ranging from 50–300 years old, were sourced from Argyros Winery in Santorini, Greece—the variety’s native land. Wines made using grapes from the newly planted vines are expected to be bottled in five years.

Sir George Fistonich, founder and owner of New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate, has acquired the vineyard and winery assets of Te Awa Winery in Hawkes Bay. Fistonich’s recent purchase makes him the largest vineyard owner in Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels wine-growing region.

Australian wine producer Yellow Tail has announced the continuance of its partnership with Universal Pictures to promote the release of the extended edition of Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), which is available on Movies On Demand, Blu-ray, DVD and as a digital download. Yellow Tail and Universal teamed up last year to begin the “uncork a movie night-in” partnership with the release of Bridesmaids (2011).

Danielle Cyrot has been appointed winemaker of Cade Estate Winery in Napa, California. Prior to joining the Cade team, Cyrot served as winemaker at St. Clement Vineyards in St. Helena, California, as well as enologist and assistant winemaker at Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa. She holds a Bachelor of Science in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis.

French wine producer M. Chapoutier is considering legal action over the unauthorized use of its brand on a line of women’s apparel sold in China, according to a press release issued by the company. It was reported that winemaker Michel Chapoutier’s daughter, who is currently studying in China, made the discovery while shopping for clothes online.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has approved the Middleburg American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Virginia’s Fauquier and Loudoun counties. The roughly 190-square-mile AVA is located approximately 50 miles west of Washington, D.C., and contains 229 acres of commercial vineyards and 14 wineries. This is Virginia’s seventh AVA and the U.S.’s 198th.

Trump Winery, formerly known as Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyards, in Charlottesville, Virginia, has plans to release new label art in October, designed by Michael Coleman. The release coincides with Virginia Wine Month and the winery’s one-year anniversary of being open to the public.

In an e-mail from Kerry Woolard, general manager of the winery, Woolard wrote that the labels are “classic and elegant, with a focus on the details: fine paper, beautiful prints, quality foils and strong design concept.”

“The new labels further showcase our commitment to creating the finest wines in the country and beyond,” says Eric Trump, president of Trump Winery. “The Trump brand, now reflected on all of the bottles, will immediately resonate with the consumer as a quality product given our international recognition.”

 

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