News and notes from the world of wine.
The wine auction house Sotheby’s has launched its own Champagne label. Made by R&L Legras, which supplies house Champagne to many of France’s three-Michelin-star restaurants, the wine is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes sourced from grand cru vineyards of Chouilly. Retailing for $30 per 750-ml bottle, the Champagne is sold exclusively in the United States.
South African wine bottles will bear a new seal to highlight ethical labor practices followed by producers and their suppliers. Producers who meet the criteria defined by the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association will be eligible to use the seal.
On Sunday, May 6, the 2012 Top|Somm and TopNewSomm competition—an event hosted by the Guild of Sommeliers and judged by a panel of Master Sommeliers—took place at the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco. Mariya Kovacheva of Café Boulud in Palm Beach, Florida, took first place for Top|Somm and Roland Micu, formerly of La Toque in Napa, California, took first place for TopNewSomm.
Ukia, California’s Mendocino Wine Co. has appointed Gary Glass president, effective May 28. Glass previously served as vice president of brand development and strategic initiatives at Francis Ford Coppola Presents, which included working with the brands Diamond Collection, Director’s Family and Rosso & Bianco.
William Douillet has been appointed restaurant director of Sixteen in the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. Douillet previously served as sommelier at Grant Achatz’s three-Michelin-star restaurant, Alinea, and most recently as general manager of Achatz’s Next in Chicago.
John Falcone, formerly of Rusack Vineyards in Solvang, California, has been appointed general manager and director of winemaking at Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez, CA. Falcone will manage the winery’s operations and direct the winemaking programs.