Uncorkings for 10.17.11

News and notes from the world of wine.

The Culinary Institute of America announced Thursday, October 13, its 2012 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees. Peter Mondavi, Sr. of Charles Krug Winery; Professor Albert Winkler of UC Davis; Joe Heitz of Napa Valley’s Heitz Cellars; former Beringer winemaker Myron Nightingale; Mendocino County wine pioneer John Parducci; Dr. Eugene Hilgard, a prominent figure of modern viticulture; and South Coast winemaker Richard Sanford were all elected by this year’s nominating committee.

King Estate Winery, a leading producer of Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, is teaming up with SolarCity, a national leader in solar power design and energy efficiency services, as well as Lane Electric Co-op and Advanced Energy Systems to install the largest solar power system located at a winery in the Pacific Northwest. The construction is scheduled to begin later this month.

Dominique Demarville, cellarmaster at Veuve Clicquot, stated that the celebrated Champagne house will release fewer vintage Champagnes going forward. He plans to release a vintage bottling only once every three or four years, and says it is unlikely vintages will be released in consecutive years, unless they are truly remarkable. The last Veuve Clicquot vintage issued was the 2002, and the 2008 vintage will soon be released.

Robert Finigan, a wine authority from the 1970s known for his self-published bimonthly newsletter, Robert Finigan’s Private Guide to Wine, passed away on Saturday, October 1, at his home in San Francisco. He is survived by his wife Suzanne, sister Jane Rakip and ex-wife Marimar Torres, who owns Marimar Estate Vineyards and Winery in Sebastopol, CA.

The renowned Quarts de Chaume AOP in the Loire Valley is currently awaiting approval to become Loire’s first grand cru. The final signature needed for this designation to be official is from French Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fishing Bruno Le Maire.

Published on October 17, 2011