The World’s Most PROfessional Trade Fair Is Coming; Willamette Valley AVA Gets Bigger, Plus More News and Notes

There are wine events, and then there’s ProWein, one of the wine industry’s biggest and best trade events. A three-day gathering that starts on Saturday in Düsseldorf, Germany, visitors can sample a smorgasbord of wines and spirits from around the world and learn about industry trends.

The event will feature various tastings and seminars, including Mundus Vini, a spring wine tasting that will feature 500 awarded wines from around the world. At the FIZZZ Lounge, guests will taste aromatic, balanced cocktails that are changing bar culture, while at the Champagne Lounge, more than 60 Champagnes from over two dozen estates will be presented.

An addition this year is “Route USA,” which aims to put American visitors in touch with producers looking to work with them.

Planned seminars will tackle the latest in wine labeling, packaging, closures and design trends. In the evening, the action moves into the city, where popular restaurants, shops and bars offer tastings and imaginative wine menus.

For more information, or to buy tickets to the event, check out their Web site.

Meanwhile, Stateside…

King Estate is Now in the Willamette Valley AVA

On Thursday, Oregon’s largest family-owned winery, King Estate, officially joined the Willamette Valley AVA. The expansion is located in Lane County, adjacent to the southern tip of the existing boundary. The expansion will allow vintners to use ‘‘Willamette Valley’’ as an appellation of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown here.

Further South in California…

The long-awaited El Niño rains are finally due to hit drought-stricken California this week. Inches of rain are expected from San Diego and extending north through San Francisco and Sacramento. As much as one foot of rain could fall across portions of northern California. In the Sierra Nevada mountains, multiple feet of snow are forecast, which could help to hydrate the parched state.

Something Else to Lift Your Spirits…

At the 2016 Whiskies & Spirits Conference in New York City, presentations from Heaven Hill and Diageo, among others, claimed significant growth in the American whiskey category, particularly in the above-premium segment.

The high-end premium segment ($20–30) showed better than 8% sales growth in 2015 and 50% sales growth since 2010); the super premium segment ($30+) did even better, with 27% sales growth in 2015 and 155% sales growth since 2010. Predictions are that American whiskey will overtake the single malt Scotch whisky, in volume terms, by 2020. (Source: CITI)

In Headlines this Week…

Kimmy Schmidt’s Tituss Burgess Debuts His New Pinot Noir

Tituss BurgessPinot Noir’s star shines ever brighter as Tituss Burgess, whose singing rendition of “Peeno Noir” was a highlight during Season 1 of the Netflix hit The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, used Instagram to announce his entry into the wine biz. PINO by Tituss is “to be enjoyed by all the fabulous Kings and Kweens,” the post says. “Pinot makes things fun. XO Tituss.”

Available online, the wine is sourced from Santa Barbara County grapes. Priced at $25, it’s scheduled to begin shipping on Sunday. If you buy it, be sure to let us know what you think.

Not speaking of Pinot…

There won’t be much Pinot Noir at Taste Washington (March 31–April 3), but just about anything else you could want from the nation’s second-largest wine producing state will be on hand. It’s the biggest consumer wine event of the year in the Northwest, featuring more than 225 Washington wineries, an exclusive Red & White Party, and more.

Wine Enthusiast’s Contributing Editors Sean Sullivan and Paul Gregutt will participate in a number of seminars. For information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Moving West…

Former NBA star-turned-winemaker Yao Ming has opened a hospitality center for his wines in St. Helena, California. Yao Family Wines was launched in 2011 with a 2009 vintage. Three options are being offered: the Access Tasting for $35, Reserve Tasting for $50, and Library Tasting for $80.

The center is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm at 929 Main Street in St. Helena. Private appointments and walk-in tastings are available, as are guided tastings in Mandarin.

On The Scene

Here are some upcoming wine events that are likely to sell out in advance, so move fast!

The first-ever Taste Oregon is coming to Seattle on March 21. Approximately 40 wineries (including Eyrie, Le Cadeau, Purple Hands and Résonance) are scheduled to pour for the event to be held at the Metropolist, a new venue in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. An industry-only event in the afternoon precedes public festivities in the evening. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door, and will benefit City Fruit, a nonprofit corporation that promotes the cultivation of urban fruit for nourishment, protecting the environment and bringing people together.

The first-ever Northwest Wine Encounter at Semiahmoo, slated for April 15–17, welcomes winemakers from Betz Family Winery, Col Solare, DeLille Cellars and Dobbes Family Estate. Attendees will enjoy three days of tasting and enjoying fine wines at a gorgeous location on the Washington coast.

Feast Walla Walla, scheduled for April 8–10, pulls together street grub, local wines and a Guitar Festival with dozens of regional and national acts.

Published on March 7, 2016
About the Author
Paul Gregutt
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from Oregon and Canada.

Paul Gregutt is a Contributing Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a founding member of the magazine’s Tasting Panel, and reviews the wines of Oregon and Canada. The author of the critically-acclaimed Washington Wines & Wineries—The Essential Guide, he consulted on the Pacific Northwest entries in current versions of The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine.

Email: paulgwine@me.com.




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