Argentine estate winery Doña Paula is proud to announce the Argentina Wine Awards presented Doña Paula with the highest award given, for their Estate Malbec 2009.  From the  650 wines entered the 2010 competition, now in its fourth year, it was the only Malbec in the $10 to $20 price point awarded a Trophy.  

Doña Paula Estate Malbec stands out for its superior concentration, aromatic intensity, complexity and New World style.  Offering an intense violet color with plums, black cherries, licorice and dried herbs basket aromas. It is sweet, round and ample in the mouth with a lingering finish. $17.00

About Doña Paula

With vineyards planted in 1999, Doña Paula, the Claro Group winery, is one of Argentina’s fastest growing wine exporters. Selectively planted in the premium regions of Mendoza, it is recognized as an estate winery because 100% of the grapes that go into its wines are sourced from its own vineyards, which are operated under sustainable practices. .  

Our sympathy to  Chile for the losses and devastation caused by the earthquake  



Jancis Robinson has just uploaded a very moving account from Derek Mossman Knapp of Garage Wine Co in Alto Maipo to  See Post-quake news from Chile:

 After six days of the 8.8 richter´s scale earthquake impacted Chile, the country is moving forward to recover from the devastation. Food and water started to be delivered along Constitución, Talca, Concepción, Dichato, Pichilemu and several small cities and villages. Seems like will never be enough, however, international and local help started to arrive providing some hope to the people. Report from
The damage to wine industry’s infrastructure varies among the different wineries and valleys and has not been fully measured. Wine valleys like Curico, Maule, Rapel (Colchagua) and Itata are the most affected in the wine industry´s points of view.
“The main concern of winemakers right now is to evaluate how much grape they can receive the next couple of weeks considering that the white grapes are close to being picked up. The majority of wineries decided to move the harvest one week because fortunately was a little bit delayed also, and also, they are taking care of the needs of their workers in the countryside first” said CEO of, Maximiliano Morales.
Most of rural areas do not have electricity, so the winemakers are fixing all minor and major problems in the cellar to be prepared to the harvest. Since Thursday, the power came back to some areas of Concepcion and other areas in different valleys and according to official sources, rural areas will take 3 to 5 days to have electricity back.
The majority of vineyards in the coast and central valley are safe and did not get affected by earthquake, however, the damages were very different from one valley to the other. In some areas like Maule and Curicó most of the “adobe” cellars are down, some barrels and wine in the floor, said
The bottling lines are working with no trouble and the barrels on the floor are being counted to define how many are lost along the wineries. Highways and ports in San Antonio and Valparaiso are fine and returning to the normal movement, and no delayed should be an issue from orders from overseas.
Most of the “grape harvest celebrations” along the country were suspended in Santa Cruz, San Fernando, Curicó and Talca, because most of the harvest workers and agricultures have serious damage in their “adobe” homes and also, most of the wineries have to clean and fix the cellars and damage constructions to start the white grape harvest along the countryside.
Thanks to reports made by, the coast area of Leyda and San Antonio are in general fine, however, Casa Marin´s Casona from Lo Abarca is falling down after 2 prior earthquakes in the past, and will start the repair as soon as they can. They did not have major wine losses, so they will have no problem to respond to importers and distributors orders internationally. In the case of Casas del Bosque in Casablanca Valley, they lost approximately 5.000 lts. from some barrels falling down, and the touristic facilities are 100% working. In Maipo valley, the reports confirm no major losses, considering the vineyards are fine and the constructions survived.
In Curicó Valley, Miguel Torres winery informed that 300 barrels were smashed, as well as a 100.000 liters´ tanks got broken. Miguel Torres Maczassek, the fifth generation in charge of the winery in Chile started to collect data to help their workers and according to local press donated 50.000 euros to the municipality of Curico to help the devastation of the area.
According to vinorama, the sommelier in charge informed that Francisco Gillmore´s sister died in a terrible moment of the earthquake and they had 20% of loss. In the case of Louise-Antoine Luyt –from Clos Ouvert, in Cauquenes, Maule–, calculates a 70% loss. “All barrels and some tanks are down, however the cellar stayed ok. His house was destroyed”
The movement of independent vinters MOVI informed that Polkura lost part of 2009 wine; Erasmo from Francesco Marone is with minor damage.
After a desperate request from viticulturalist Renan Cancino to get help in the wake of the tragedy to Sauzal, Garage Wine Co., lead by the owner Derek Mossman started a “Carignan Crusade” to help the growers and the neighbouring town of Sauzal, which is next to Cauquenes. This area is precisely the zone where the dry-farmed old-vine Carignan grows. These vines are part of Chilean wine history. They decided to donate the remaining stocks of Carignan 2008 that had kept for counter samples and posterity and send these funds to the people who need them.
Darué Bernard, owner of "Las Niñas Winery" in Apalta in the Colchagua Valley said to La Tercera newspaper that lost 160.000 lits. of wine and 11 years of work due to the major damage in tanks, barrels and infrastructure.
The total loss of wine according to wine association “Vinos de Chile” is approximately 125 million liters, including bulk, bottled, and aging wine, which means about US$ 250 million, which represents a loss of just 12.5% compared to 2009.

joseph drouhinThe Estate-grown grapes of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s 2009 vintage are now officially organic .  Twenty years after Philippe Drouhin first began introducing organic practices to the vineyards , Maison Joseph Drouhin (MJD), the highly regarded producer of Burgundy wines, has been awarded organic certification for all grapes grown within its vineyards beginning with the 2009 vintage. Announcement of the certification was made by Frédéric Drouhin, chief executive officer and president of Joseph Drouhin.

Although the Drouhin vineyards have been organic for years, official regulations require a three-year “conversion” period during which the rules of organic production are applied and verified in the vineyards. The certification process began in August 2006 with a lengthy application to Ecocert, one of several registered companies documenting organic production.

While 2009 is the official vintage year for organic certification, Philippe Drouhin, one of the four siblings running MJD and the one in charge of the company‘s 73-hectare (182.5-acre) estate, including 38 hectares (just under 93 acres) of Chablis, now known as Chablis Drouhin Vaudon, began introducing organic practices back in 1990, shortly after joining the family firm. His father, Robert, had already returned to “culture raisonnée,” more traditional viticultural practices, in the late ‘70s, but, as he says, “Philippe went further than I.”

Since he took over, Philippe has moved away from all but the most simple and natural treatments of the vine toward a non-interventionist approach and, beginning in 1997, has instituted many of the practices of biodynamie. Considered a leader in the field by fellow Burgundians, Philippe’s credo – and that of the entire family and company – is to bring natural responses to natural problems. Some vineyards are plowed by horses in the steepest areas; grass grows between vines to keep down weeds, fertilization is with natural compost; and treatments are done with herb infusions.

The National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) announces the 2010 Vince DeFinis Scholarship program for undergraduate students which will award two, $10,000 scholarships in summer 2010.  The money will be distributed in two payments.

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled as a full-time student to be eligible for the scholarship. The recipient will also receive complimentary student membership in the National Association of Catering Executives. 

Applicants must be currently enrolled as a full-time student (12 credits or more) in an accredited hospitality, culinary or related program. Students must have completed 60 credits to be eligible. Judging will be based on an essay and two letters of reference, which must be included in the application. All applications must be submitted by April 1. The winners will be selected April 30 and announced at the NACE Experience! conference, July 25-28, in Austin, TX. 

Students who are interested in applying for the scholarship may find more information at

 Starting Saturday March 6, and on the first Saturday of every month  Acqualina is offering a  new monthly wine dinner  program featuring a wine tasting from 6-8 pm followed by a cooking demo and a three course meal paired with wines  prepared by Acqualina’s Executive Chef Marc Debas.   $85 per person.
The weekly Wine Tasting Series will continue to be held every Saturday night at Acqualina’s Aaria Bar & Lounge .   $35 per person.  Complimentary valet parking is included. Advanced reservations for the dinner program is required: 305.918.6860.  17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach

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