Uncorkings: The 2012 California Wine-Grape Crop is Predicted to Tie the Record for the State’s Second Largest Harvest in History.

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


According to Allied Grape Growers (AGG), a Fresno, California-based growers association, the wine-grape crop for 2012 is predicted to reach 3.7 million tons, a figure that would tie the record for the state’s second largest crop set in 2009. The 2005 harvest still holds the record for the largest crop, which amounted to 3.76 million tons. According to AGG, 3.5 million tons is considered an average crop.

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California, has announced its 2013 Vinters Hall of Fame inductees. The following industry notables will be honored at the seventh-annual Vinters Hall of Fame Induction Celebration held in February 2013: Merry Edwards, winemaker of Merry Edwards Winery in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley;  César Chávez, co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association; and Robert Parker, founder of The Wine Advocate.

The Opici Wine Group has announced the expansion of its distribution operations into the Washington, D.C., marketplace, effective October 1. Opici currently has operations in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Scotch whisky distillery Bowmore has plans to release a 54-year-old single malt, Bowmore 1957. Only 12 bottles will be released of what the company says is the oldest Islay single malt ever released to the public. The first two bottles are slated to be auctioned by Bonhams in Edinburgh on October 10 and in New York City on October 28, respectively. Total net proceeds will be donated to five Scottish charities. Of the remaining bottles, eight will be sold at the distillery for $162,000 each, and two will be kept for the Bowmore archive. The whisky matured in a second-fill Sherry cask for 43 years before being moved to a second-fill Bourbon cask in 2000.

E.&J. Gallo has acquired Snows Lake Vineyard in the Red Hills AVA in Lake County, California. The financial terms were not officially disclosed, but the purchase included approximately 2,000 acres of land, of which 800 are planted with vines. The vineyard is home to approximately 20% of Lake County’s 3,500 acres of Cabernet and has provided fruit to brands such as Cakebread, Rosenblum and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’s Hawk Crestlabel.

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