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WineMaker Magazine Conference 2016

The WineMaker Magazine Conference and International Wine Competition was held in beautiful Sonoma Valley this year! Pamela and Michele spent two days going to seminars, networking, and of course, trying all sorts of wine from winemakers around the world (such hard work). Of course, throughout everything, their biggest take away was how much fun it was to be surrounded by winemakers all on a similar journey. However, they also learned a ton of new information and made connections with amazing new friends! They took really interesting and fun classes, including a wonderful class on palate diversity that taught a lot about how and why everyone tastes wine so differently (spoiler: the “areas of the tongue taste different components” theory has been proven a myth). Michele was excited to go, as this was her first Conference, and she had goals of learning more about the chemistry of wine making. She took classes on tannins, oak, and was able to learn more about making wine from grapes and from kits. The new knowledge has definitely sparked a fire in her, and she is really excited to offer that to new and returning customers!

Overall, there were 2,981 entries into the competition with all 50 states, and 13 countries around the world represented! Pamela had submitted two Port style wines into the competition, a Black Forest Port, and a Coffee Port. She was surprised when BOTH wines placed in the competition (however, if you’ve been lucky enough to try them, you’d know they were worthy of awards): a Bronze for the Black Forest and a Gold Medal for the Coffee! They also watched many friends win awards for categories such as Wine-Based Cocktail (yum).

Are you wondering what exactly a Port style wine is? While Port wines are known for being sweet, their history is quite the opposite. To make a long story short, England banned all French wine imports in the 17th century. This, coupled with extremely high taxation on wine in general, forced merchants to look elsewhere to sell their wines. The wines that were being made in the area they ended up in, the Douro river valley, were way heavy and tart so they’d add in a little bit of brandy to make sure that the alcohol content was high enough to make the wine good. Then, over a lot of time and many different approaches, Ports developed into what we now know and love! If you’d like to know more, head over to this article on port style kits.

Keep an eye out, because in the near future, there will be many big things happening here!


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