Monthly Archives: October 2012

The new hot wine spot: El Pomar District

Working in the wine industry definitely has its perks.  For instance, our dear friends Dana and Marsha Merrill of Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery recently purchased an additional 278 acres in the El Pomar District of the Paso Robles AVA, and…they’re going to live on the property.  Lucky ducks!  That means when they wake up in the morning and look out their window, this is a lot like what they’ll see.

Of course, it isn’t all about the view.  The expansive acreage, formerly of the Weyrich estate, has its own distinctive terroir while remaining solidly consistent with the growing conditions of the El Pomar District.  Existing facilities on the property also provide infrastructure to support the Merrill’s other “baby,” Mesa Vineyard Management, in addition to private wine-related functions.

The El Pomar District is home to vineyards that produce notable wines for brands such as Justin Vineyards & Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and Still Waters Vineyards. Recent expansion of vineyards in this area is directly aligned with the growth of its recognition for producing sought-after flavor profiles. Located on Creston Ridge Road, near the intersection of South El Pomar Road and Creston Road, the vines on Pomar Junction’s newest acreage are influenced by the same calcareous soils, steep south-facing slopes and Templeton Gap breezes that the Merrill family has long appreciated about the El Pomar District. The dedicated work of wine industry pioneers, Dana Merrill among them, has led to a growing appreciation of this sub-region for its one-of-a-kind terroir and terroir-reflecting wines.

“Finding another vineyard that fits so naturally with our current winemaking standards has brought about many exciting opportunities and ideas,” said Matt Merrill, General Manager of Pomar Junction. He continued, “We look forward to increasing the Pomar Junction repertoire significantly.”

Currently, the new purchase is planted to 93 acres of Rhône, Bordeaux and Italian varietals that thrive in these growing conditions. The maturity of existing vines will allow immediate production of wines from this property, and plans are underway to certify it as Sustainable In Practice (SIP), continuing the responsible farming methods found throughout Merrill properties. Also, as future opportunities allow for growth, an estimated 60 acres have been identified as suitable for additional planting.

The El Pomar District continues to gain recognition through the growth of vineyard presence, accolades for their wines and praise from consumers. Incorporation of this property allows Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery a spectacular new resource to encourage the continued development of their quality wine profile, memorable wine country experience and expanded exposure of the El Pomar District as a distinguished wine growing region.


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Sanpei Optics on the Go with Indiegogo

It’s a thrilling week in the Parker Sanpei office! Richard and Linda, our fearless leaders, are the kind of people that don’t stop after growing a successful lifestyle public relations company; instead, they continue to push forward into a new industry with the creation of their patented design for audio-adaptable sunglasses. The Sanpei Optics project reached a new milestone yesterday with the launch of our first crowdfunding campaign on!

First, a bit of background for those not yet up to speed on the innovative eyewear of Sanpei Optics. Integration of a flexing patented hinge that allows you to click your ear buds right into the sunglasses, brings new functionality and fun to your eyewear options. Two styles, the I.M.I.O. (Inspire Me, Inspire Others) and the G.I.Y.A. (Give It Your All), mean that from the mountain biker to the runner to the fashionista in the sun, these glasses combine functionality and style as you listen to your tunes on the go.

With the designs complete and the pieces in place to bring the glasses to market, Sanpei Optics is turning to you to take us to the next level. The rise in popularity of crowdfunding through sites like indiegogo and Kickstarter has opened new doors for businesses and organizations throughout the world; watching the many successes of this new social movement, we have decided to join the fun with hopes to send Sanpei Optics forward and, for the first time, offer these glasses to the public!

Visit our indiegogo page and watch the video of Sanpei Optics in action. Then, after you imagine the many ways you would love to use your own pair, join the movement by supporting our campaign. The goal is to hit $30,000 but we are confident that with the tremendous support of our fans we can exceed that target! Contribution to the fundraising efforts not only means you get in on the ground level of this new movement but it also gives you the opportunity to grab ahold of your own Sanpei Optics merchandise! There is a full spectrum of funding participation levels to fit any budget. Join at a level of $90 or more and you secure your spot as one of the first owners of a pair of I.M.I.O. or G.I.Y.A. glasses from Sanpei Optics! We want to be sure you are able to enjoy the full audio-adaptable eyewear experience; for this reason every package that includes the glasses also includes ear buds.

Spreading the excitement for our new product launch with people everywhere feeds new energy into our organization – we love seeing the enthusiastic responses we get from demonstrating the functionality and innovation of these glasses. And, of course, we here at PSPR are already addicted to them! Let’s indiegogo!

G.I.Y.A. – “Give It Your All.”

I.M.I.O. – “Inspire Me, Inspire Others.”

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Stone’s Ginger Tradition Brings Spunk and Zing to Your Favorite Cocktails

Pondering out beverage needs, we realize there are those times – fall heat spikes (like the one we currently find ourselves in), a poolside mini-vacation or even a mid-winter yearning for the taste of summer – when a frozen alternative sounds pretty tasty. We were recently introduced to Stone’s frozen cocktails, a new option to meet this frosty need. Released this summer, these cocktails infuse the signature ginger twist of Stone’s with convenience and refreshing flavor.

Flavors include Piña Colada, Lemonade, Margarita and, our personal favorite, Mojito. Inspired by it’s British roots dating back to the 1740’s, these cocktails embody original recipes that became popularly associated with Stone’s Ginger Wine. See below for the unique twist found in each of the flavors:

  • Piña Colada – This perfect poolside drink features tropical flavors of coconut and pineapple sweetening the deal before finishing with a clean ginger kick.
  • Lemonade – This is no plain ol’ version of mom’s lemonade; the Stone’s hint of ginger brings new spunk to this Americana favorite.
  • Margarita – Take the classic margarita recipe, infuse citrus bursts of orange, lemon and lime, and finish with the trademark ginger twist for a great complement to your next taco night.
  • Mojito – Cool mint flavors are juxtaposed to the signature ginger giving this classic drink new zing. A smooth finish of lime and watermelon leaves you craving more.

Mojito, Margarita, Pina Colada and Lemonade with a Ginger Twist!

Centuries of Stone’s ginger flavored tradition meets modern day spunk in a convenient, ready-to-serve frozen pouch. We’re already planning out next warm-weather gathering with Stone’s. Delightful flavors and clean ginger complements lend for a new favorite frozen cocktail amongst the Parker Sanpei crew.

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Laetitia Vineyard’s Nightlife

Nightlife in Laetitia Vineyard

During your next late evening glass of wine take a moment to think of the vineyard crews, as they are likely just arriving to work at the Laetitia Estate Vineyard. Fall is one of our favorite times here at Parker Sanpei, not only does Linda free her latest pair of fashionable boots from the closet, but we all look forward to the harvest updates from our winery clients and friends.

Harvest time is crunch time for wineries throughout the world. In the northern hemisphere this busy season usually begins in August and can last through until November. The vineyard and winemaking crews at Laetitia Vineyard & Winery are no exception to the demanding pace that characterizes this time of year. Lino Bozzano and Eric Hickey lead the Laetitia vineyard and winemaking teams, respectively. Years of perfecting the harvest routine have brought them both to the conclusion that vineyard nightlife is the time to bring in the grapes soon to become our favorite wines.

On the vineyard side of things, Lino points out it’s common sense to avoid the heat by harvesting late at night into the early morning hours. The improved working conditions naturally lend for more productive workdays, or rather in this case nights. A few members of the Parker Sanpei crew have been fortunate enough to experience a night harvest in person, something you should definitely take advantage of should the opportunity come your way. Out in the vineyard, the dark  night is cut by eerie lights that allow the crews the ability to see the clusters that are hand harvested and sent off to the winery to begin each wine’s individual winemaking process.

Eric and Lino Enjoy Some Vineyard Fun

Following the grapes to the winery, we learned there are even more benefits to be cultivated from night harvests. Head Winemaker Eric Hickey explained, “when picked in the cool 50 degree weather, grapes are firmer making them easier to work with, particularly facilitating de-stemming. Additionally, lower temperatures allow Pinot Noir grapes to arrive near the same temperature necessary to begin cold soaking, the first step in the production of these wines.”

Cold soaking is a unique winemaking process that allows Eric to draw richer colors, distinct aromatics and softer tannins in the flavor profiles from this finicky varietal. Personal fans of Laetitia Pinots, we support this process and are thankful to enjoy it’s delectable results.

Remember, next time you are savoring your evening glass of wine and continuing long past the hours when you drift off to dreamland, the crews of Laetitia Vineyard & Winery are hard at work. Considering the fruits of their labor bring us these delightful labels, we encourage you to join us in raising a glass in gratitude to the hardworking team bringing you fantastic Laetitia wines.

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MCVGA’s Rhonda Motil Achieves Success with CDFA Grant Program

The team here at Parker Sanpei has been thrilled to work with the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association over the past half dozen years and to watch the region evolve under the stewardship of Executive Director Rhonda Motil, who is an absolute delight to work with. We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that Rhonda has been selected to present an overview and participate in a panel discussion regarding the successful CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant, which was awarded in 2009 and completed this year, to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. The presentation took place yesterday, October 2, 2012, at the CDFA board meeting in Sacramento.

The grant was responsible for the creation of a thorough AVA map of Monterey County’s nine AVAs accompanied by new branding messaging, a new searchable database and the Signature Series Wine Collection (a collaborative winemaking effort of some of the region’s top winemakers sourcing grapes from three vineyards within four AVAs for the blending of the Signature Series wines). In addition, the MCVGA was able to use the grant to bring national media attention to the region and provide key journalists in the wine industry with a greater understanding of the County and its AVAs.

As a result, MCVGA member wineries have experienced tremendous growth. Grower-vintners had hoped to have experienced a collective 10% increase in Monterey AVA wines. A sampling of over 20% of the winery membership indicated that all members experienced or exceeded this growth. Additionally, independent studies have confirmed a 23% increase in consumer awareness, with visitors now recognizing Monterey as a winegrowing region and participating in wine tasting while visiting the region.

Thank you, Rhonda, for all of your hard work! Monterey is so lucky to have you!

Rhonda Motil, Executive Director of the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association with husband Mike

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