Wine Notes by Heidi Cusick Dickerson When Jim Ball passed the bar in Illinois in 1981 he celebrated by taking his first trip to the West Coast. "I visited Napa Valley and took a drive through here," he recalls, walking around his year-old winery on Highway 128 in Anderson Valley between Boonville and Philo. Mature oaks line the road in front of the winery. A neighbor's sheep graze in the vineyards as Jim Ball talks about his venture in the wine world.
Sauvignon Blanc India For nearly 20 years, the memory of the Northern California wine country flickered while Ball practiced law with his right-hand assistant Tanya Wilber running the office and sharing the dream. "Tanya and I knew we wanted to own a vineyard," says Ball.
Chenin Blanc India He grew up on a farm in Ohio and his dad made wine from table grapes. "He had been in Normandy after the carnage and was part of the liberation march to Paris. He stopped in more than a few wine cellars along the way developing a taste for good French wine," says Ball. "Dad wanted to make wine like the French." What he made was almost Port-like, says Ball. Wilber describes it as "knock your socks off." With a degree in agriculture from Ohio State, Ball finished law school at Case Western Cleveland. He moved to Chicago, where he met Wilber and they opened the law office. They tried medical malpractice cases focused on brain damaged babies all over the United States. They still have cases in Chicago. "After 25 years my goal was to wind it down and do this," he says.
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The San Francisco investment banker Bill Hambrecht is teaming with Sonoma County wine industry veterans to buy wine brands in a venture they may eventually take public, the Press Democrat reports.
Cabernet Shiraz India Hambrecht has taken a 25 percent stake in the venture. The price is said to be in the millions of dollars.
Rosé India The group plans to buy two to three wine brands this year and five in the next three years, the report says.
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Patty Bogle, the matriarch of a wine dynasty in the Sacramento delta region, has died after a battle with leukemia.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) A public memorial for Bogle has been scheduled for 2 p.m., Friday, March 11, at the Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center at UC Davis.
Cabernet Shiraz India Bogle and late husband, Chris, founded Bogle Vineyards in 1979, starting with 18 acres of grapes and building their business into a regional wine powerhouse. The vineyard is the 14th largest winery in the country, shipping 1.2 million cases a year.
Next Generation tasting Feb. 24 Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead hosts The NextGeneration in Wine’s fourth annual tasting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb.24. Founding president Chris Hall, of Long Meadow Ranch, will host21 member wineries as they share their experiences and wines.
Chenin Blanc Participating wineries include Long Meadow Ranch Winery,Ahnfeldt Wines, Broman Cellars, Burgess Cellars, Ceja Vineyards,Fisher Vineyards, Frias Family Vineyards, Hill Family Estate,Madonna Estate, Marston Family Vineyard, Pahlmeyer, Peju ProvinceWinery, Signorello Estate, Spelletich Cellars, Stewart Cellars,Viader, Vineyard 7&8, Yates Family Vineyard and ZD Wines. LongMeadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead is at 738 Main St., St. Helena.Tickets are $25 each for public tasting and available at ngwine.com/premier2011.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) Constance Coughlan, CPA, hosts Women For WineSense, anaccounting and finance round table on choosing the right softwarefor wineries at noon Friday, Feb. 25 at 1250 Main St., Suite 290 inNapa.
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