On the road with Charles Comm!

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Wow, it’s March already? What a start to the year. We’ve kicked off 2012 with some road tripping on the wine trails, with stops in Napa, Sonoma, Livermore, and even a quick flight to Monterey.

As CCA’s new Social Media Director, I’ve been sharing snippets from our travels on our Twitter and Facebook accounts in real time.

Check out some of the highlights below!

Sipping sustainably in Monterey: We started February with a trip to Salinas Valley to check out how our friends at Carmel Road are making certified sustainable wines. Turns out that they’re using all kinds of unique practices to stay green, including bringing falconers in to help chase away the starlings that eat grapes, planting cover crops like barley to promote biodiversity in the vineyards, and also saving water in the winery with innovative tools (like a Zamboni-style cleaner for the winery’s floors!).

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Here’s a shot of Carmel Road’s Vineyard Manager Grant Cremers, explaining some of his team’s innovative, sustainability-driven practices —like using a double-headed pruning machine, for instance, which reduces time and fuel needed to get the vines in tip-top shape for harvest. 

Napa Valley Premiere: CCA proudly took part in Napa Valley Premiere, a weekend of wine tastings, fun and festivity culminating in an auction of wine futures from several renowned Napa producers. This year, the auction raised a record $3.1 million, which will go to fund the nonprofit Napa Valley Vintners Association. The organization supports a number of activities, including educational programs for masters of wines and master sommeliers and efforts to protect Napa Valley’s natural resources.  We enjoyed seeing our clients Pine Ridge Winery, Parallel Napa Valley and Hourglass strut their stuff.

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Discovering new tasting venues in Livermore: Who says wine tasting need be a formal, stuffy affair? We sure don’t! CCA recently joined Wente Vineyards’ winemaker and fifth-generation owner Karl Wente and 1WineDude.com’s Joe Robert’s for a front-porch wine tasting at Karl’s Livermore home. We tasted through the newest Wente releases while Karl explained the inspiration and production behind each wine, including Wente’s famed Riva Ranch Chardonnay.

CCA toasted on Karl’s porch to Wente’s fabulous wines and to the 100th anniversary of Chardonnay in the U.S.—a birthday made possible because of clonal cuttings brought to America’s shores by the Wente family! Check out Joe and Karl kicking back in Livermore in the photo below.

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Stay tuned to AllTheSwirl for exciting events and news ahead!