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The soul of Indian Soil Carefully Crafted into our Boutique wines
Jeff White was cleaning the winery restrooms when he took the phone call from the Virginia Wineries Association. His Glen Manor Vineyards Hodder Hill 2009 red blend had won the 2012 Governor’s Cup, the state industry’s highest honor for one of its own. He was summoned to Richmond to pour his wines for admiring new fans at the Virginia Wine Expo and to receive the award from Gov. Robert F. McDonnell. White thanked the caller, whose name he doesn’t remember, and completed his chores.

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Such is the vintner’s life when you’re chief cook, bottle washer and tile scrubber at a small regional winery.

Wines In India

White is exactly the type of vintner the VWA was trying to attract when it revamped the Governor’s Cup competition this year with an eye toward more rigorous standards and more stringent judging. The Front Royal vintner had participated in smaller wine-related events at a D.C. hotel and the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History and had sent his wines to a couple of minor competitions, but he hadn’t entered the Governor’s Cup or participated in a large festival.

Red Wine India



My first experience with Pontin del Roza Winery was at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival in 1986. Winemaker Scott Pontin showcased one of his inaugural wines; an all-at-once sweet, tart and fruity chenin blanc with a flashy pink-and-silver label. I was hooked after one sip.

Wine In India

More than 25 years later, Pontin's newer label carries a more mature and elegant persona, but his commitment to consistently solid and affordable Washington wines remains unchanged.

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Some of Pontin's family moved from Italy to the Yakima Valley in the 1940s. His parents have been farming the same land since 1954, and today's estate vineyards in Prosser comprise more than 100 acres of 10 different varietals.

Wines In India



We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the award-winning bottles presented here. An esteemed panel of 20 judges painstakingly sniffed, swirled and tasted more than 740 entered wines in a variety of categories from all over the world during this past January’s International Wine Judging and Competition, a part of the Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival. This year’s Best of Show winners include (left to right): Value White—Lion Nathan, Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand; Value Red—Bogle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009; Red—Benessere Vineyards, Super Tuscan Blend 2007; White—Underdog Wine Merchants, Brophy Clark 2010 Chardonnay.

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But here’s the important part to remember: It was somebody’s job to sample 740 different wines. How do you get that job? You become a wine expert. How do you become a wine expert? Well, you can start at the Wine and Food Festival.

Wine In India

First up are the Great Chefs of the South Wine Dinners, which will take place at various locations throughout the area March 5-10, giving you an opportunity to brush up on your sommelier skills.

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March 5, 2012 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wines From India

Michael Short / Special to the Chronicle Partners Chip Forsythe (left), Bo Silliman and Brandon Allen use a '67 VW bus as their wine cellar.

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Brandon Allen, now 27, was working construction and attending an occasional class at the junior college in San Luis Obispo. Bo Silliman, now 25, was studying premed at the University of Louisville in Kentucky in between throwing keggers. And 27-year-old Chip Forsythe, who didn't have a whole lot to recommend him other than he was a decent wrestler, had somehow managed to get into Cal Poly.

Wine In India



Extraordinary spring weather turned Sonoma County's Wine Country into a sun-drenched, open-air classroom of sorts Saturday, allowing thousands of people attending the area's annual Barrel Tasting weekend to learn about the region's fine wines and taste those not yet on the market.

Wine Business In India

The largest annual event put on by Wine Road of Northern Sonoma County, the two-weekend affair provides a chance to try unfinished wines still in the barrel, in most cases months before they're bottled and perhaps years before they would normally be released.

Wines From India

"I truly think it's a wonderful opportunity for education," said Kathleen Inman, winemaker at Inman Family Wines at Piner and Olivet roads, where, for the first time, she was serving chardonnay -- and not just the blended wine, but component juices fermenting separately in stainless steel and new oak barrels.

India Wine



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