Balzac Communications

Richard Mendelson’s Appellation Napa Valley: Building and Protecting an American Treasure Wins International Prizes


Richard Mendelson


Richard Mendelson’s Appellation Napa Valley:

Building and Protecting an American Treasure
Wins International Prizes


Napa, CA – Richard Mendelson’s Appellation Napa Valley: Building and Protecting an American Treasure has now won three prestigious international book awards. The International Organization of Vine and Wine awarded the book its Grand Prize for Economy and Law. Gourmand International gave the book its “Best in the U.S. Award (Food and Wine Law),” and last week announced at its award ceremony in Yantai, China, that the book won second place in the “Best in the World” competition. In awarding its prize, Gourmand International’s Edouard Cointreau, President of the Gourmand Jury, said, “The story is lively, with much action and suspense. The writing is excellent, and the book beautiful. This is the perfect gift for all those who want to know the real story of Napa Valley.”

In Appellation Napa Valley, Mendelson, a renowned wine lawyer and industry authority, tells a detailed story of the birth, definition, and protection of America’s most famous wine region. Along the way he provides incisive portraits of the men and women who joined hands in common cause and common spirit, igniting a revolution in American wine and food in the process. Thomas Keller, chef/proprietor of The French Laundry, who wrote the Foreword to Appellation Napa Valley, adds, “Napa Valley, with its agricultural preserve that began in 1968, has a rich historical background, and Richard guides the reader on a journey through it, introducing those dedicated to wine and its provenance, his modern pioneers. Through stories, keen observations, and case histories, he imparts his understanding of the true importance of preserving Napa Valley.”

The book, published by Val de Grace Books in May 2016, is presently in its second printing. To purchase the book, interested parties should visit A limited number of review copies are available.


Balzac Communications

American Wine Society grows with addition of the Tasters Guild


American Wine Society grows with addition of the Tasters Guild

(Scranton, PA) – The American Wine Society, the largest wine consumer group in the United States, has added to its ranks the membership of the Tasters Guild International.

The combination gives the American Wine Society in excess of 8,000 members active in 180 local chapters around the country.

“Through this agreement, we are able to offer more tasting and educational opportunities while growing our community of wine appreciators,” said David Falchek, American Wine Society executive director.

The Tasters Guild will continue promoting wine-related travel, gastronomy and other activities. The membership merger provides a permanent home for the network of wine lovers which the Tasters Guild has built up since its founding.

“Tasters Guild is excited to combine memberships with the American Wine Society,” said Tasters Guild President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Borrello. “We’re all about wine and food education, travel, and meeting interesting people. Tasters Guild and AWS is the perfect combination to provide these benefits to the consumer – and we all have fun in the process.”

The AWS was founded in New York in 1967, as an educational non-profit with the mission of promoting wine appreciation. The Tasters Guild was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1987 and grew to more than 2,000 members and more than 20 chapters.



David Falchek, American Wine Society, 888-297-9070

Joe Borrello, Tasters Guild, 616-454-7815


Emma Thomas




The historic Winery of Conegliano will pay homage to Heads of State with a literary work on the life of Founder Antonio Carpenè and with Pvxinvm, one of their most significant “enological works”

(Taormina, Italy) – The upcoming G7 International Summit in Taormina, Italy on May 26-27 will bring Heads of State, the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, and the Institutional Delegates and Representatives of the most industrialized Countries in the world to the renowned Sicilian city. As accompaniment to convivial moments at the Summit, the wines of Carpenè Malvolti, the distinguished Winery of Conegliano, will be served, provided by the ceremony of the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers.

Carpenè Malvolti products to be poured for attendees at the G7 Summit are examples of the Winery’s finest offerings enhancing the symbiotic and indisputable bond between the Carpenè Family and its terroir. They will include: 1868 Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G., Tarvisium Classic Method, and distilled spirits including Grappa and Brandy.

“We are so honored and proud to have this opportunity,” said Etile Carpenè, President of Carpenè Malvolti. “It is a great privilege to present our greatest selections at such a significant global Summit. We express our deep gratitude to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, which made it possible. We greatly appreciate its importance.

“We are confident that this occasion will also contribute further to the promotion of our Country, Italy, for its agro-culinary and eno-touristic excellence, in particular in the Treviso area, to which my great-grandfather Antonio Carpenè, our Founder, dedicated his activities. Through his study, research and teaching he made significant contributions to the development of viticulture and enology, in addition to founding, in 1876, the first Wine School in Italy in the city of Conegliano.”

The Heads of State and the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission present at the G7 Summit will also be invited to discover Antonio Carpenè’s historic contribution through a biographical book which the current President, Etile Carpenè, created to express the firm’s gratitude, including in it a dedication which is very significant to him, “share History to determine the Future.” To accompany this literary work, Carpenè Malvolti will also present PVXINVM, an exclusive wine selection that best enhances the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. characteristics, and whose name – created two years ago by Rosanna Carpenè, of the Fifth Generation – utilizes on the label, for the first time, the Latin version of the word “Prosecco,” which was initially introduced as far back as 1924 by Etile Carpenè, of the Firm’s Second Generation.

This prestigious opportunity for Carpenè Malvolti at the G7 Summit recognizes the Firm for its commitment to maintaining and improving the wine-growing area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene for nearly 150 years – currently a short-term candidate for UNESCO Heritage status – as well as for the winery’s historical entrepreneurship in producing Sparkling Wines and Distillates. The Company was inspired by the intuition of Antonio Carpenè, who in 1868 first began producing “the sparkling and festive wine that until that time only the French had been able to make,” using grapes grown in the hills of the Treviso area.

The occasion is also a recognition of the brand’s historical presence in many international markets on all five continents – including the seven countries of the G7 Summit – as well as the constant promotion of their special terroir in the winery’s distribution and communications strategy, and their participation in many international events as long ago as the very first Universal Exhibitions, such as Vienna in 1873 and Paris in 1878.

The firm has been managed by the Carpenè Family since the company’s founding. Inspired by their mission of “science and conscience,” they have always preserved its ethical roots as well as the original production site in the heart of Conegliano, at the center of the historic Conegliano Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. area, where the prestigious grapes of 100 historic grape-growers are transformed into their varied wine and spirits offerings.

“We are confident that this unique and prestigious occasion will represent another historic milestone for our business, as well as the greater world of Italian wine,” concluded President Etile Carpenè.


Michael Wangbickler





Hungarian Furmint Wines Continue to Gain Recognition

(Budapest, Hungary) – Winemakers from Hungary, under the FurmintUSA marketing initiative, recently completed a promotional roadshow to six states, conducting 38 tastings and participating at the Wine & Spirits Wholesales of America (WSWA) 74th Annual Convention & Exposition.

Taking place in March and April of 2017, the winemakers visited New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, and California, as well as a stop in Washington D.C. Participants included Dávid Regéczy-Béres (Béres Winery), Sándor Zsurki (Gróf Degenfeld Winery), Tamás Kis (Somlói Vándor Winery) and Tamás Kovács (St. Donat Winery).

In addition, Regéczy-Béres and Zsurki joined Balazs Humayer, importer for New Wines of Hungary, at the WSWA Convention in Orlando Florida April 18-21. Together the group had an opportunity to meet with potential distributors and key accounts and to showcase a selection of wines from the FurmintUSA portfolio.

Significant recognition for the wines from FurmintUSA continues to roll in. In the May 2017 issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, contributing writer Jeff Jenssen penned an article titled “Firming up Furmint” all about the grape variety and included three examples from the FurmintUSA portfolio: Béres 2015 Lősce Vineyard Estate Bottled Dry Selection Furmint (90 points), Barta 2013 Öreg Király Dűlő Mád Furmint (91 points), and Gróf Degenfeld 2015 Zomborka Furmint (90 points).

FurmintUSA wines also saw great success at the 2017 TEXSOM International Wine Awards. In total, the wines garnered one gold medal and “Judges’ Selection Hungarian Wine” (Holdvölgy Vision 2013), two Silver medals (Barta Öreg Király Furmint 2013, Kvaszinger Estate Furmint 2013), and five Bronze medals (Gróf Degenfeld dry Furmint 2015, Gróf Degenfeld Zomborka Furmint 2015, Erzsébet Pince Estate Furmint 2012, Majoros Deák Furmint 2013, St. Donat Márga Furmint 2015).

FurmintUSA wines are now available through distribution in Oklahoma from Thirst Wine Merchants.

East Coast distribution is through Palinkerie Fine Hungarian Imports , a New York-based company specializing in fine wines from Hungary. West Coast distribution for three wineries in the FurmintUSA portfolio, Béres, Grof Degenfeld and Szent Donát, is through San Francisco-based Swirl Wine Brokers. 

Furmint lends itself to a wide range of winemaking styles from light dry wines, lively sparkling wines, and more substantial terroir wines to late harvests, szamorodnis and the famous azύ. Top notch Furmints are now very popular and are rivaling white Burgundies and German Rieslings in vying for the hearts of Americans.

About FurmintUSA

Founded in 2014, FurmintUSA is an educational campaign to promote dry Furmint wines from the Tokaj region. FurmintUSA strongly believes that dry Furmints are Hungary’s flagship dry white wines. More information about FurmintUSA is available on YouTube and on Facebook and on their website. 


Mark Feinberg

Parducci Celebrates 85 Years

Parducci Wine Cellars Celebrates 85th Anniversary

 The Original Mendocino Winery Releases a Special Cuvée, 85, and Opens its Cellars for a Vertical True Grit Petite Sirah Tasting Encompassing the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Vintages

Ukiah, CA – Parducci® Wine Cellars, Mendocino’s longest running winery, is celebrating its 85th anniversary with the release of 85, a special Cuvée honoring John Parducci, “Mr. Mendocino”.

85 showcases the heartland varietals of Mendocino County – Cabernet Sauvignon (69%), Merlot (18%), Petite Verdot (8%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). 85, to be released on May 12, 2017, is priced at $45 per bottle with the 241 cases produced available directly from the winery website.

Crafted by renowned head winemaker Bob Swain, who is celebrating his 20th anniversary as Parducci’s winemaker, 85 represents the best of the 2015 Vintage. “In anticipation of our 85th Anniversary we selected some of our most prized fruit and crafted an exceptional blend that would make John Parducci proud”, enthuses Swain.

In celebration of their 85th anniversary Parducci Wine Cellars is also featuring a True Grit Petite Sirah varietal retrospective of the 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages. These highly-regarded wines, stored perfectly in their cellars, will only be available for a short time via their tasting room and Direct-to-Consumer website.

“John Parducci was a huge lover of Petite Sirah and Bob has carried the torch and made some of the best not only in Mendocino County but in the state”, says Tim Thornhill, owner. “We’re honored to be able to open our cellars to our visitors, wine club members and Petite Sirah fans for this unique retrospective tasting opportunity of the 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages.”

About Mendocino Wine Company

Mendocino Wine Company is owned and operated by the Thornhill family and based in Ukiah, California. The Thornhill family continues the tradition of making award-winning wines using sustainable wine growing and land use practices. MWC has created an example for how to leave the world a little better than we found it. In recognition of their leadership, the State of California three times (2007, 2009 & 2014) awarded Parducci® Wine Cellars with the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), California’s highest environmental honor.

Balzac Communications

Consorzios of Valpolicella and Lugana Demonstrate Their Fine Wines In the U.S. Market

Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella DOC
Olga Bussinello

 Consorzios of Valpolicella and Lugana Demonstrate Their Fine Wines In the U.S. Market

Wines poured for the first time in California, in both 
San Francisco and Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA: Finding the right consumer for a product and being flexible in business are key concepts when it comes to participating successfully in the U.S. wine market. The Consorzios of Valpolicella and of Lugana accordingly chose the two most historically representative cities of the West Coast to present their wines at b2b Walk-Around Tastings organized on April 24 and 26, augmented by two institutional appointments, in order to meet and attract buyers, trade and media professionals.

Fourteen companies participated in the San Francisco event at the Westin St. Francis on April 24, while 17 were present at the Los Angeles event at The MacArthur, formerly known as the Park Plaza, on April 26. The aim of the Consorzios was to present their wines from the regions of Valpolicella and Lugana to as wide a group as possible. And with respect to the expanding interest in “green” winemaking that has taken root in California in recent years, the Valpolicella Consorzio also sought to educate their audiences about the ambitious “RRR” sustainability project which they have undertaken.

In order to make the most effective decisions in the U.S. wine market, one needs to be prepared to work with the “three tier system.” Understanding this system makes it possible to engage in dialogue and get tangible results with the various players in the industry, including finding the ideal consumers. Success never occurs by chance, but is the result of experience, especially when approaching a system with different habits and customs. Establishing and maintaining visibility within the market is critically important.

“In this spirit, our Consortium has been working with the U.S. market for several years,” said Olga Bussinello, Director of the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella DOC. “We are carrying out more and more focused initiatives and events to promote our region – one that never ceases to impress, and which we are trying to preserve and respect with pioneering sustainability policies such as RRR (Reduce, Respect, and Retrench) Certification, which increase the value of our products in the U.S. among Millennials. The response to our wines has been enthusiastic.”

“The popularity of Lugana is fairly recent and is growing rapidly, especially in export countries like the U.S.,” said Carlo Veronese, Director of Consorzio Tutela Vini Lugana. “The California tasting events were a great success for Lugana and its producers, who spent quality time educating the trade and media on our less-well-known wine region.”

The Italian wine market has been extremely lively and healthy, especially for the wines of the regions of Valpolicella and Lugana, with 17% of Valpolicella DOC exported every year to the U.S. The United States is the world’s leading wine consumer, and indicates increasingly solid and constant growth through 2020.



About Valpolicella and Lugana

Valpolicella is located north of Verona in Italy. It borders Lake Garda to the west and is protected by the Lessini Mountains to the east and to the north. It covers the Verona foothills, which form part of the Eastern Alps. Seventeen percent of Valpolicella DOC commercial volume is sold in the United States.

Lugana is located between two different Regions: Lombardy and the Veneto. The part of the denomination in Lombardy has 75% out of the 1,800 hectares currently being cultivated. However, the part in the Veneto is the leader in commercial volumes, with 60% of the bottled wine (around nine million units a year) coming from Veronese producers.