The wine industry is a very large and uniqe business. While many of us drink wine on a regular basis there are general questions of what we do to produce and sell it. We hope that this blog offers some insight on what we do on a weekly basis written by members of the family.
I returned home last weekend from Denver after participating in Elite Brand's annual event, The Great International Beverage Festival. Elite Brands is our Colorado distributor, and did a magnificent job hosting the five hour show. Literally hundreds of people from all around the greater Denver area attended. Wine and beer from all parts of the United States and Europe were showcased - even some spirits as well. The booths were situated on three floors of the McNichols Civic center Building, and we were all treated to some great passed appetizers so no one left hungry.
As usual, it was great to speak to fans of our wines and also to have the opportunity to pour for those who hadn't tried them before. Shows like this are an integral part in introducing our brand to new consumers, and pouring at them is one of my favorite parts of the job.
Mary Ann, Dante and I attended Henry Wine Group's Taste of the World Monday at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. The event name is a nod to the array of varietals offered, and it gives wine buyers from restaurants and retail stores the unique opportunity to taste wines from around the globe. Dante hosted the Michael Pozzan booth for five hours and poured wine for old & new fans alike. Events like these are a favorite, and gives us an opportunity to really get to know our customers and share our story & family history.
Like all good evenings, the night was wrapped up at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco, Perbacco. Pictured is the roast duck breast in a rhubard (surprisingly pronounced "rhu-bar") sauce with braised greens and roasted green strawberries. We'll take two please!
It’s been a busy month for all the Pozzan men.
After pouring at events in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston, Dante met me in Atlanta, Georgia to introduce our Matthew Joseph wines to our new distributor, Quality. We met with their managers and tasted through the wines over a wonderful lunch at the Blue Ridge Grill. If you ever make it there, try the lobster Cobb salad. It was delicious!
The group was very impressed with the quality of the wines and felt that they over delivered. We look forward to building the brand with such a prestigious distributor.
Later that day, we flew to Charleston, South Carolina, where we met up with my lovely wife, Mary Ann. We were in town to participate in The Country Vintner's annual trade show. This year it was held at the Cigar Factory in the Cedar Room. Great venue! Buyers came from all over the state to taste wines from all of the producers they represent. We had a great response to our wines, but the two that really stood out that day were the Michael Pozzan Russian River Pinot Noir and the Sailors Grave. I think it's safe to say that we made some new fans.
Bright and early on Monday it was back to Napa and trying to get caught up. Wednesday morning will find us tasting through Cabernet barrels to put the 2015 Marianna blend together.
After traveling from Texas, where Dante finished doing wine events in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, he met me in Atlanta, Georgia to introduce our Matthew Joseph wines to our new distributor, Quality. We met with all of their managers and tasted through the wines over a wonderful lunch at the Blue Ridge Grill. If you ever make it there, try the lobster Cobb salad. It was delicious! The group was very impressed with the quality of the wines and felt that they over delivered. We look forward to building the brand with such a prestigous distributor.
Later that day, we flew to Charleston, South Carolina, where we met up with my lovely wife, Mary Ann. We were in town to participate in The Country Vintner's annual trade show. This year it was held at the Cigar Factory in the Cedar Room. Great venue! Buyers came from all over the state to taste wines from all of the producers they represent. For us, we had a great response to our wines, but the two that really stood out that day were the Michael Pozzan Russian River Pinot Noir and the Sailor's Grave. I think it's safe to say that we made some new fans.
Bright and early on Monday it was back to Napa and trying to get caught up. Wednesday morning will find us tasting through Cabernet barrels to put the 2015 Marianna blend togther. I will let you know the outcome later in the week.
Just returned from Cleveland, Ohio this week and had a great trip. Participated in the Grapes Under Glass event sponsored by Heinen's Market's. On Thursday evening we poured our 2014 Napa Valley Sailors Grave Cabernet Sauvignon that was paired with a wonderful pork entree, flavored with Moroccan spices and served on a flat-bread accompanied by a yogurt and cilantro sauce. The subtle nuances of the wine paired perfectly with the pork.
Two days later we poured our Giapoza Cabernet and Pinot Noir at their Gala event along with 35 other wineries. Truly a memorable night! The event brought out some serious wine drinkers and connoisseurs.
My youngest son, Matt, accompanied me on the trip, and offered a great deal of insight to the Giapoza wines since it was named after his daughter, Gianna Pozzan. We just introduced this wine only a few months ago and it has been met with rave reviews. Only home for a couple of days and then off to Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina for another wine event.
Just finished doing the Ranhco Mirage Food and Wine Festival in Rancho Mirage last Saturday. Mary Ann and I flew ddown the day before. We had visited the Bevmo store in Palm Springs and had a nice visit with Mary, the store manager. The store was very busy. Later that evening we had a wonder dinner at one our favorite Italian restaurants in the Dessert, Mama Gina. We started with Capeillini in a Pomodoro sauce and it was delicious. Mary Ann had scampi and I had seared scallops in a sffaron sauce over a bed of fresh asparagus.
The event itself went very well. Met a lot of people, not only from the Dessert communities, but from LA, San Diego, and from as far away as Canada. The wines were all recieved, especially the Sailors Grave.
On Saturday, October 14th, my wife Mary Ann and I returned home after being displaced by the Napa and Sonoma fires. My son Matthew and his family evacuated Monday at 1:30 am and came to our house. By 3 pm that afternoon, we all decided to get out of the valley. Our grandaughter is only four months old and we were especially concerned with the amount of smoke that was accumulating in Napa.
This was the worst act of nature that I have ever experienced. Luckily, all of us are well and our homes escaped destruction. Our hearts go out to friends, family, neighbors, and fellow vintners that were not as fortunate. Napa came together as a community like never beore, and I am proud be a resident.
We are thankful that all of our grapes had been picked and crushed before the fires began. It is now time for us all to move forward and help our neighbors get their lives back to some type of normality.
Thank you to family, friends, and customers that reached out to us during that week. We are grateful for your thoughts and prayers.
A special thanks to fire fighters, police, rescue crews, and all first responders. You are awesome!
Last night my wife, Mary Ann, and I poured our award winning wines for the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. The event was held at the Sonoma fairgrounds in the Pavilion. I am proud to inform you that we won Double Gold on our 2016 Michael Pozzan Russian River Chardonnay. We also won Silver Medals for both Michael Pozzan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the Michael Pozzan Sonoma County Pinot Noir.
Last night's event brought out hundreds of wine enthusiasts from all over Northern California. We also had the opportunity to speak to people that were visiting from Chicago and Houston. It's always been very enjoyable for me to be able to chat with consumer's and gives me a better understanding of what they look for when selecting wines for themselves.
The Russian River Chardonnay was the big hit of the night. So many people commented on the fact that the wine wasn't dominated by too much oak and how it showed wonderful balance and finesse.
Mary Ann did a great job decorating our table. She shopped for flowers earlier that day and brought bunches of grapes that she picked from our backyard.
Harvest 2017 is far from done and has already proven itself memorable. Temperatures in the valley soared into the triple digits in late August, and parked in the high 90’s for almost a full week. Many locations up valley registered 109F on the two hottest days of the relentless heat spike. Temperatures briefly cooled into the 80’s before topping 100F again the 2nd week of September. The intense, prolonged heat initially seemed to super charge harvest - thin skinned, early-ripening varietals were ripening quickly and threatening to be damaged by the extreme temperatures. Once the early picks were in, however, it became clear that the heat had impacted later-ripening varietals in far more than visible ways. The word from all parts of the valley was that winemakers and vineyard managers were seeing a complete stall in sugar accumulation in the grapes. The heat seemed to have interrupted the vine’s ability to push the sugar load into the grapes. During a month which usually contributes to slow, even ripening in the vineyard, there were little to no changes in the ripeness of the grapes for roughly 20 days between Labor Day and the last week of September. It had a lot of industry folk scratching their heads.
October has broken with a long-ranging forecast that looks dry and mild - and what ought to be perfect ripening weather. Cabernet vineyards are beginning to adopt a more regular pattern of sugar accumulation, and the peculiar “pause” seen in harvest in September seems to be behind us. There are still plenty of tons left to harvest in Napa Valley, and it’s shaping up to be a spectacular vintage.
I was a presenter last weekend at the legendary Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. We were thrilled that the festival was still able to take place after Hurricane Irma. Orlando came out pretty good compared to the Florida Keys – Disney World only closed for 2 days to be on the safe side. By the time we arrived the resort was bustling and looked to be totally in order.
We had over a 100 people at our tasting event. I shared some history of our family and Michael Pozzan Winery. Mary Ann and I started the business on a shoestring budget and only produced 200 cases our first year. We’ve since grown production to over 125,000 cases. I tasted the group through the Michael Pozzan 2016 Russian River Chardonnay, 2012 Sailors Grave, and Annabella 2015 Cabernet – which was showing exceptionally well.
One highlight of the trip was a question and answer session after the tasting. I was also able to chat with guests one-on-one during a bottle signing, where we sold out of the Sailors Grave! Luckily, we have the new vintage ready to go.
The food was another highlight of our trip. We went to two fantastic restaurants and had meals we will not soon forget. First, our family had dinner at Il Molino at the Disney Swan Hotel. We started with a wonderful caesar salad and linguini marinara, and finished the meal with Veal and Eggplant Parmesan. We enjoyed a gorgeous Italian red blend to compliment the food.
Next we dined at the California Grill, where manager Andrey took exceptional care of us. Our table was overlooking the Disney Castle, and the evening ended with a firework show. They currently have the Michael Pozzan 2014 Russian River Pinot Noir as part of their wine list, so we enjoyed a bottle with our meals of grouper, filet & risotto, and a lobster tempura roll. A sincere thanks to Florida for hosting us on such an outstanding trip!