Posts Tagged ‘Grenache Symposium’
Can you name the second most widely planted varietal in the world? Yes, it’s Grenache. A grape beloved in France and Spain, under appreciated in the US, but growing in popularity.
Indeed, San Francisco wine writer Jon Bonné has been emphasizing for sometime now that Grenache represents everything American consumers are looking for in wine.
Grenache is also my persona favorite varietal family. Family? Yes, when we celebrate Grenache Day its not just the red grape Grenache (Noir) but also Grenache Blanc (yes thats actually a white grape, not a pressed version of Grenache) and Grenache Gris, which is almost non existent in the US, sadly.
Grenache Blanc should be celebrated indeed- with less than 300 acres planted in California, we are fortunate to have it here, thanks to the efforts of Tablas Creek, ten years ago.
What is Grenache Day aka #GrenacheDay
The International Grenache Symposium, led by Marlene Angelloz, an energetic passionate lady I had the pleasure of meeting in Avignon earlier this year, is group dedicated to celebrating Grenache. The Symposium holds a number of events in Europe during the year. The culmination and global celebration is the third Friday in September, which co-incidentally is mid harvest for most Rhone vintners, self included.
Varietal Days have
become quite popular on Twitter the last few years, and with a little practice is a great way to interact and share with other Grenache lovers.
This is a non commercial, non sponsored event. No monies are collected to participate, advertise, or be a part of. All that is required is a bit of passion, which you will find abound amongst Grenache lovers.
The Rhone Rangers Lead The US Charge
The Rhone Rangers are the leading US non profit organization dedicated to the education of American Rhone wines – that is Rhone style wines made from domestic grapes. With Hospice du Rhone seemingly muted and in transition, our organization is more committed than ever to this cause, and have rallied in a big way to support Grenache Day.
I say ‘our’ because I am a steadfast, contributing member. Originally as a ‘Sidekick‘, then on the Marketing committee running Social Media. Ultimately that led to a Board of Directors position, and involvement in multiple committees. In 2011 I proudly also joined as a Vintner.
Not stopping there, most recently, I lead the re-forming of the North Coast chapter, consisting of 32 wineries, mostly in Sonoma county, but spanning Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. If you tapped a vein right now, Grenache might indeed flow.
US Grenache Tastings & Events
Many Rhone Ranger wineries and Grenache producers are doing a number of special tastings, verticals, sales to celebrate.
Highlighted Rhone Rangers events include:
- Four walk around tastings held in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Paso Robles, on Friday Sept 21st. These events are being held at no charge, and are an excellent way for you to experience Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Rosé, as well as blends based on Grenache, and intereact with the winemakers. A listing of times and locations can be found here. (You can also RVSP for the Santa Rosa event here, come visit, I will be pouring.)
- As a special warm up for our palates, the Rhone Rangers will lead a two hour Twitter Grenache seminar and tasting, the day before, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Each 30 minutes a special guest winery will lead the tasting and questions:
Ridge Vineyards(5:30 PM)
Bonny Doon, Randall Grahm (6 PM)
Two Shepherds (6:30 PM)
Tablas Creek & Tercero (7 PM).
Any winery can join in with the consumers and bloggers. The more the merrier. Bring a glass of Grenache (we’d prefer domestic for the tasting, but there are no rules) your questions, and be a part of the celebration.
I recommend the use of a tool like Hootsuite for Hashtag sorting, but you can also use the Twitter page via web browser, simply put #grenacheday in the search window.
For more information, and to RSVP, please go to: http://grenacheday12.eventbrite.com/
A Special Day, Amidst Our Most Special (and busy) Time of Year
Harvest comes only once a year, and is a joy filled, sleepless, rewarding time of the year for any passionate winemaker. We get one shot a year to express ourselves in our artisanal craft, factoring in a wealth of moving parts and things we have no real control over. (The largest being Mother Nature.)
Thus it is an extra special gift that wineries are taking precious time away to celebrate this beloved varietal with you. I hope you will by a bottle (or two)
and toast with friends and loved ones, in the spirit of appreciation, and celebration that is intended.
Cheers and Happy #GrenacheDay!
A Memo to All Domestic Rhone Producers – Friday September 23rd is #GrenacheDay – Rally To The World’s 2nd Most Planted Varietal
To: All those domestic producers of Grenache, Grenache Rosé, and Grenache Based Blends
From: William Allen; Editor, Simple Hedonisms, Board Member, Rhone Rangers
September 19th, 2011
RE: Call to Action for #GrenacheDay
Overview: The Grenache Symposium has declared Sept 23rd as Grenache Day. Details and how to list even can be found here. You can also follow the Grenache Symposium on Facebook. The International Grenache Day Google Map is here and you may find a help document on how to post your event here.
Based on postings on the official map, domestic support is light, especially in comparison with recent social media #CabernetDay and #Chardonnay day. Yes I know more wineries produce those varietals, but nonetheless some senior players are absent.
It’s possible many wineries do have plans, but haven’t posted them. Lets change that, I am happy to help. You can also post it on the Grenache Symposium Facebook page, and ask them for help. I know it’s a busy time – I myself am amid harvest and launching a tiny Rhone label, Two Shepherds. Nonetheless, anything you can do helps and shows the love. As vintners, writers, consumers and aficionados its time we gave the world’s second most widely planted varietal its due.
Grenache has become my most beloved of red varietals. Wrest it from the hands of New World and Cabernet vintners who want to oak and over ripen it, and it makes a beautiful, feminine wine – elegant like Pinot Noir (minus the Syrah additions) but with a different complexity, nuance, and spice. This was my epiphany Rhone grape, not Syrah. (Which I love and have many cases of.)
Personally I am holding a walk around tasting for 8 wineries and 80 people. Vintners Quivira, Ridge, Mounts, Sheldon, Wind Gap Wines, El Dorado vintner Baiocchi Wine, and R2 Wine Co. It couldn’t be a worse week for me, but if there is ONE social media wine day I WILL support, its this one, and I challenge every single Rhone Ranger member winery, grower, and Sidekick, and of course anyone else who produces Grenache and Grenache based blends, to celebrate in some way. Yes that includes those who fancy themselves Spanish producers of Garnacha as well!
What is Grenache Day (or #GrenacheDay)
It has become increasingly popular for a Varietal to be picked in advance on a predetermined, and then celebrated over Social Media, as well as live events.
While much of the activity and measurement will be based on Twitter, one need not be on Twitter to celebrate. As a winery, simply spreading the word, holding a tasting, special sales incentives, special bottles, all are valid participation.
On Twitter we use ‘hashtags’ or words that start with a # symbol – this signifies a sorting mechanism, and allows a user in a Twitter platform like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to see all posts grouped together that use this hashtag. You can also see basics by clicking: http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23grenacheday
Why have these become popular? The May 26th #Chardonnay day reached over 4 million people, 29 MILLION impressions, and 12,000 related tweets. That’s just ONE medium, add in Facebook, live interactions, and the impact is impressive. Grenache deserves some love, lets show it.
What Can I Do?
Anything is better than nothing.
If you are a Winery:
- If nothing else, post a simple 8.5 x11 sign in an acrylic stand up on your counter of tasting room and let everyone know its #grenacheday and make sure you pour one.
- Encourage them to check in on FourSquare, Facebook & Twitter, and enter #GrenacheDay when they do – your brand then joins the mix.
- Offer a special price on single bottles, 3 packs, cases.
- Hold a special Grenache vertical or library wine tasting.
- Contact your local restaurant and encourage a pairing, special wine by the glass, or go youself and do a pouring.
- Make sure you post whatever you decide on the Grenache Day Map here
Encourage participants to mention #grenacheday and your winery bran on Facebook and Twitter.
My blog has 4500 Twitter followers, and 2500 Facebook Fans. The Rhone Rangers, 1500 & 2000. All of these will be used to share your event if I know about it. Also feel free to post it on either or both walls on Facebook and cc both on Twitter.
Twitter: @RhoneRangers and @SonomaWilliam
You may email me at SimpleHedonisms @ gmail.com for help. Please note mid week I am out of pocket during the day judging a wine competition, so response maybe after hours.
Break open a bottle and share your tasting notes with your followers. If you know Grenache producers whom you have a relationship with have sent you samples before, email them tomorrow to get one by Friday.
(Notice I said trusted relationship. This is not an excuse for the sample ho’s to come out of the woodwork, and I will help wineries validate requests if needed. I do PR for several wineries, and some of the correspondence is shameful. Thats terrrific you have a Snooth login -that doesn’t merit you samples because you are too lazy to create a blog, or your last post was 9 months ago about a Cabernet that wasn’t ‘too sweet’. )
Grab a bottle (or three) and some friends and have a great time. Perhaps compare several producers, foreign and domestic. Wine is about exploration, and fun – make it so.
Thanks for your support and Happy #GrenacheDay!
- Simple Hedonisms - Wine Country Lifestyle & Educational Wine Reviews
- Board Member – The Rhone Rangers
The Grenache Symposium has declared Sept 23rd as Grenache Day. The main website still shows the 2010 Sept 24th event, but the press release, and how to map your event, is here. You can also follow them on Facebook here, and their blog here, which also confirms the Sept 23 2011 date.
Organizations all over the world have already registered their events as you can see on the Google Map. Simple Hedonisms is taking the Sonoma count lead with another greenhouse event, and hope as many of you Rhone Rangers will follow. Personally, its a bad week, as I am locked up for 3 day judging the Sonoma County Harvest Fair competition, and its my birthday week – but hey, what better way to celebrate than recognizing my favorite red varietal.
Calling For Vintners to Participate and Pour, Sept 23 in Santa Rosa Tasting (And Everywhere)
As a board member of the Rhone Rangers, and the cat herder leading the new North Coast Rhone Rangers chapter, launching in late September with a new North Coast tasting room map (details soon), I am committed to the cause of domestic Rhone producers, and helping further the cause in the North Coast counties (Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino.)
Feedback both from wineries and attendees has been extremely enthusiastic – its an evolution of the (yawn) walk around tasting getting long in the tooth.
Why? First, a small, focused number of producers. (In the case of #Pinotsmackdown, gone through an elimination round tasting.)
Second, unique attributes for vintner
selection, broadening the attendees exposure, no matter how experienced. (Chardonnay with skin contact. A great 50 case Pinot from Humboldt county, as two of many examples.)
Third, the attendees have been serious wine enthusiasts who ask questions, take notes, and taste, learn – not a drunk fest of baby birds with their glasses out.
Event Details For Vintners
The official Eventbrite registration is up and has already issued 25 of the 80 attendee spots, not too shabby considering it just went up at 8pm last night!
Details here: http://grenacheday.eventbrite.com/
This event is ABC licensed, and sponsored by the YWCA, to whom a portion of donations go to. Your ‘table fee’ is a bottle of wine of each poured, donated to me as the host, and a $20 donation, or a bottle to the YWCA, which they use for future events and fundraisers.
Your table is provided – you should bring a table cloth, dump bucket, 6-8 bottles (to be safe, average pour is 4-6 bottles), and your a certificate of insurance. (Standard new protocol now I am told.) Use of marketing colleteral, email sign ups, wine club and order forms is suggested. Up to 2 persons from the winery may attend to pour. (And is encourage so can also walk around.)
Wine poured can be grenache, grenache rose’, or a blend where grenache is the leading varietal. You may call my cell at 415 613 5731 or email me at simplehedonisms at gmail.com with questions. We will cap at 8-10 producers.
Whether you pour or not, if you are a grenache producer or a grenache lover – to take the time to celebrate this wonderful variety.