The Tasting Panel magazine

Tasting Panel October 2010

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Page 34 of 96

WINE BRIEFS Growers Approve Continuation of Sonoma County Winegrape Commission E ighty-six percent of Sonoma and Marin County winegrape growers voted to continue funding for the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission (SCWC) through 2016 in a referendum vote announced by Robert Maxie, Chief of the Marketing Branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The growers pay a mandatory assessment on the grapes they sell to fund marketing and educational programs for both consumers and growers. SCWC represents 1,800 winegrape growers. “This is very exciting that the Commission will continue to enhance the wonderful programs and events that support and market the world-class grapes of Sonoma County,” states Steve Sangiacomo, SCWC Chairman. Grower education includes programs on sustainable grape growing, integrated pest management, regula- tory compliance, and grape marketing. Information on these programs can be viewed at www.sonomawine- Steve Sangiacomo, President of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, is excited that SCWC will continue through 2016. Change for Three Coins GOLD MEDALS TAKE THE PLACE OF GOLD NUGGETS FOR LAWER FAMILY WINES B orn and raised in Alaska, Betsy Lawer and her father mined gold in the foothills of Mt. McKinley. “He would throw three coins down the hill where my sisters and I were mining, writing down which coins were tossed on what date,” Lawer explains. Upon clean-up, if those three coins weren’t at the bottom of the sluice box, it meant the water pressure was too high and the coins were washed into the tailing pile, along with some of the gold. “The coins were a quality control indicator,” she points out. Finding those three coins in the tailing pile was a reward- ing experience for Betsy and her sisters. “The Three Coins name symbolizes the patience, hard work and special care that go into every bottle.” Years later, Lawer and her husband became involved in California’s wine business, redeveloping the Folie à Deux brand with partners. When the winery sold (to Sutter Home) and they returned to Alaska, they found them- selves still longing for wine country. “We found a wonderful vineyard in Franz Valley, just outside Calistoga,” Lawer tells THE TASTING PANEL. “It’s a beautiful valley.” The Lawers added more vineyard blocks to this former apple orchard and began producing a new label under the Lawer Family Wines umbrella. Three Coins Wines, named after her father’s qual- ity-control system, has been receiving awards from competitions all over the country and the 2006 Syrah (see sidebar) won a Gold Medal at this year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition. The Three Coins line-up includes a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), a single-vineyard 2006 Syrah (Knight’s Valley/Sonoma County), a 2007 Chardonnay (Carneros) and single-vineyard 2008 Viognier. Three Coins 2007 Syrah, “Betsy’s Vineyard,” Knights Valley, Sonoma County (SRP $28) is a Gold Medalist from this year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition. The deep violet, inky color is a clue to its super-rich profile. Sweet blueberries, blackberries and black pepper coincide with a palate-melting licorice middle. Rounding out the texture is its plush creaminess from aging for 18 months in French oak. 34 / the tasting panel / october 2010 PHOTO: LARRY LEVINE

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