Adam Sullivan

FurmintUSA Creates a Buzz

FurmintUSA Creates a Buzz with U.S. Marketing Blitz
and Bi-Coastal Promotional Tour

For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael Wangbickler
Balzac Communications & Marketing
Phone: 707-255-7667
Email: mwangbickler@balzac.om

 (Budapest, Hungary – June 1, 2016) – FurmintUSA conducted a marketing blitz through March and April in New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, showcasing Hungary’s signature white grape, Furmint. The first shipment of 1,000 cases of dry Furmint wines from nine Hungarian wineries arrived in February. The wineries included Barta Winery, Basilicus Winery, Gróf Degenfeld Winery, Erzsébet Cellar, Kvaszinger Winery, Majoros Estate, Béres Estate, Holdvölgy Winery, and Szent Donát Estate. During March and April, winemakers met with members of the wine trade in a whirlwind promotional tour, pouring 17 wines at over 20 wine tastings and seminars on both the East and West Coasts.

The FurmintUSA marketing campaign FurmintArthas generated a considerable buzz about the unique quality of dry wines made from the indigenous Furmint grape. “We are thrilled to introduce these wines to the U.S. so that wine lovers can embark on an amazing journey tasting the nuanced aromas and clean, concentrated flavors of these top quality wines,” said László Bálint, AIWS, Director of Operations and educator for FurmintUSA.

“Building the dry Furmint brand into something that is unique, vibrant and authentic is exciting,” said Bálint. Having returned from a recent visit to Hungary’s Tokaji region, Alder Yarrow of Vinography.com commented, “The post-Cold-War rebirth of the Hungarian wine industry as a whole, and the Tokaj region specifically, has been the result of success with making dry table wines from the grape long responsible for the region’s unique sweet wines… more and more producers are making what were once rare versions of dry Furmint.”

Accompanied by Mr. Bálint, a group of winemakers, Attila Homonna (winemaker, Barta Winery), Miklós Prácser (winemaker, Erzsébet Cellar) and Natália Demkó (owner, Holdvölgy Winery) showcased their multi-faceted Furmint wines on the East Coast at restaurants and VIP tastings at the historic Hungarian House in New York and the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The promotional campaign continued on the West Coast with another team of winemakers: Tamás Kovács (Szent Donát Winery), Dávid Regéczy-Béres (Béres Winery) and Sándor Zsurki (Degenfeld Winery), along with Balázs Humayer, Project Director for FurmintUSA. Tastings at the Hungarian consulates in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and wine presentations at Cal Poly Pomona and Napa Valley Wine Academy, introduced their wines to VIP’s, sommeliers and wine students.

Excitement for dry Furmint wines will continue to build through the rest of this year. Attendees at the 2016 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on July 17-19, and TEXSOM on August 13-15, will have the opportunity to taste the wines for the first time. In October, FurmintUSA is planning a trade visit to the Tokaji region of Hungary. Then at the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival on November 13-19, festival-goers will experience the different styles and taste the varied flavors of the dry Furmint wines. At 2016 SommCon San Diego on November 16-19, Master Sommelier Peter Granoff will introduce dry Furmint during a presentation of “Hungarian Furmint: Ancient Grape, Modern Wines.”

Dry Furmint wines are now available in New York City at Manhattan Flatiron Wines, Brooklyn Corkscrew, and Brix in New York’s East Village, and restaurants Amuse Wine Bar in Manhattan and River Styx Restaurant in Brooklyn. In the San Francisco area the wines may be found at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and at Napa’s Oxbow Wine and Cheese Market.

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. More information about FurmintUSA is available at furmintusa.com

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 and their 2016 USA East Coast Tour  is available on YouTube at www.youtube.com and on Facebook at  www.facebook.com and on their website at furmintusa.com.

Adam Sullivan

THREE PASS MASTER EXAM FOR COURT OF MASTER SOMMELIERS

COURT OF MASTER SOMMELIERS, AMERICAS
WELCOMES THREE NEW MASTERS TO ITS PRESTIGIOUS RANKS

Michael Wangbickler, CEO
Balzac Communications & Marketing
mwangbickler@balzac.com

Kathleen Lewis, Executive Director
Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas
klewis@mastersommeliers.org

COURT OF MASTER SOMMELIERS, AMERICAS
WELCOMES THREE NEW MASTERS TO ITS PRESTIGIOUS RANKS

David Keck, Kyungmoon Kim, and Jim Rollston Named Master Sommeliers

ASPEN, CO (May 18, 2016) –Today, the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas welcomes three new members: David Keck of Camerata of Paulie’s in Houston, Texas; KyDavidKeckMSungmoon Kim of The Modern in New York, New York; and Jim Rollston of Manresa in Los Gatos, California.

Held at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado from May 16th – 18th, the invitation-only Master Sommelier Diploma Examination was attempted by 63 individuals from 18 states and Canada. The results were announced at the Krug Reception attended by all who sat the examination, guests and Master Sommelier Examiners.

“On behalf of the entire Court, I am pleased to welcome our newest members and offer them my earnest congratulations,” said Andrew McNamara, MS, Chairman of the Court KyungmoonKimMSof Master Sommeliers, Americas. “The path to the Master Sommelier Diploma is a long and challenging one. After years of preparation, these three candidates have demonstrated their mastery of the highest standards in beverage theory, service and tasting ability. All of the candidates who sat the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination showed commendable efforts and professionalism. We continue to admire their dedication to this extraordinarily challenging process.”

JimRollstonMSThe Master Sommelier Diploma is the highest distinction a professional can attain in the beverage service industry. The Master Sommelier Diploma Examination consists of three sections: a verbal theory examination, a blind tasting of six wines in 25 minutes, and a practical service component which focuses on restaurant beverage service and salesmanship. Candidates must receive passing scores in each category in order to earn the highly coveted title of Master Sommelier.

ABOUT THE COURT OF MASTER SOMMELIERS, AMERICAS
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter.

There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Examination; 2) Certified Sommelier Examination; 3) Advanced Sommelier Examination; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma. There are 149 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 125 are men and 24 are women. There are 233 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, please visit www.mastersommeliers.org.

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Adam Sullivan

Carpene Malvolti

Carpenè Malvolti Raises Bar for Quality with Release of PVXINVM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Emma Thomas
Balzac Communications & Marketing
ethomas@balzac.com
(707) 255-7667

Carpenè Malvolti Raises Bar for Quality with Release of PVXINVM

Ancient vine Prosecco pays homage to its history in the region
Conegliano, Italy (April 28, 2016) – Carpenè Malvolti, the first company in Italy to produce Prosecco as a sparkling wine, announces the release of PVXINVM, their highest quality expression of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G.
Inspired by the ancient “Vino Pùcinum” from the region where modern day Prosecco is made, PVXINVM (“pook-see-num”) is produced from 100% Glera grapes which are hand harvested from 40-50 year old vines. Located in select hillside vineyard sites, these ancient low-yielding glera vines produce a limited quantity of exceptional quality fruit.
“We believe sharing the history of Prosecco will help to determine its future, and that is our primary goal in creating this wine,” says Domenico Scimone, Director for Carpenè Malvolti. “PVXINVM represents both history and innovation, paying homage to Prosecco’s past and bringing it into the future. As the best expression of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G., we believe the elegance and aromatic richness of this wine will inspire others to rethink how Prosecco is made and enjoyed.”
Bolstering its legacy of leadership and its commitment to the region, Carpenè Malvolti works in close collaboration with more than 100 historical vine-growers and now operates in more than 60 international markets, producing a range of products that include Prosecco D.O.C.G., Prosecco D.O.C., Brandy, Grappa, Rosé Brut and Classic Method wines.
The ancient “Vino Pùcinum,” to which the PVXINVM name pays homage, was first praised by Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historia in the 1st century AD, who exalted the wine for its medicinal virtues. Later, in the 16th Century, it was the Bishop of Trieste, Pietro Bonoma, who associated the “Castellum Nobile Vino Pùcinum” with the Castle of Prosecco, situated between the mouths of the Timavo and the city of Trieste. The Castle, which became the emblem of this wine and its territory, gradually became appreciated and described by authors as the sweet and delicate “Prosecco.”
Carpenè Malvolti produces only 5,000 bottles of this exclusive sparkling wine each year and the wine is currently available in select markets on the East Coast. Each bottle of PVXINVM is meticulously cared for at every stage of production, including in its packaging, where each bottle receives an elegant silver label engraved in lapidary Roman font before being numbered and packed by hand.
About Carpenè Malvolti
Founded in 1868 by Antonio Carpenè, the “father of Prosecco,” Carpenè Malvolti was the first winery in Italy to produce Prosecco as sparkling wine, and the first to label their wine “Prosecco,” anticipating by more than 45 years the D.O.C. recognition of quality in the region. Today, Carpenè Malvolti draws energy from fifth generation Rosanna Carpenè, who continues the winery’s legacy of leadership and its commitment to the land, culture, and history of winemaking in the region.
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Adam Sullivan

Mendelson publishes “Appellation Napa Valley”

Mendelson’s Book “Appellation Napa Valley Offers
an Inside Look at America’s Most Famous Wine Region

For Immediate Release

April 25, 2016

Contact: Paul Wagner/Ema Ripley
Balzac Communications & Marketing
Phone: 707-255-7667
Email: pwagner@balzac.com/eripley@balzac.com

front_cover_full

Napa, California – Richard Mendelson, the leading expert on appellation and wine law in the USA, has released “Appellation Napa Valley – Building and Protecting an American Treasure” from Val de Grace Books.  In this landmark book, Mendelson, who managed the legal work for many of these very appellations, tells a detailed story of the birth, definition, personalities and protection of America’s most famous wine region.

Fifty years ago, the Napa Valley was a sleepy, inward-looking farm and ranching community, with two dozen wineries, very little art or music, and nowhere exciting to eat. Only a handful of intrepid pioneers believed that the Napa Valley could one day rise up and earn a place alongside Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Tuscany as one of the great wine-producing regions of the world.

And yet, with innovation, intelligence, and a unique spirit of cooperation, those intrepid pioneers built the Napa Valley into a world-renowned center of top-quality grape-growing and wine-making, and a cherished destination for wine and food lovers from all over the globe. How did they do it? What vision and principles guided their way? And what lessons does the Napa experience carry for other wine-producing communities across America and far beyond?

Mendelson answers all those questions, as he takes readers deep inside the key issues—legal, commercial, social, and environmental—that the Napa Valley pioneers wrestled with as ambitious entrepreneurs, yes, but as equally ambitious custodians of the land, soil, and natural resources on which our collective future depends. With his unique insider’s perspective, Mendelson tells not just a riveting regional story, but a story of America itself, working at its very best and in harmony with its most noble practices and ideals.

“Appellation Napa Valley” is available now for order at www.appellationnapavalley.com

 

mendohlson

About Richard Mendelson:  Richard Mendelson earned his law degree from Stanford and then headed for the exciting new frontier for American wine and food: the Napa Valley.  Mendelson joined Napa’s leading law firm, Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty, and over the next three decades he helped vintners, grape-growers and policy makers evolve a New World system of appellations, one that promotes Napa’s emerging wine industry and at the same time builds and protects the valley’s agricultural and cultural wealth. In the process, he earned a reputation as one of the preeminent wine lawyers in America.

About Val de Grace Books:  Napa-based Val de Grace Books publishes works of exceptional beauty and significance, including “99 Bottles of Wine,” on the art of label design; “Reaching for The Stars,” the history of Constellation Brands; and “Faces of Courage,” about women in danger around the world.

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Adam Sullivan

Pure TIn sponsors Somm session

Pure Tin Label Sponsors Sommelier Training at the
2016 CIA Sommelier Summit and the Napa Valley Wine Academy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 13, 2016

Contact: Michael Wangbickler
Balzac Communications & Marketing
Phone:            707-255-7667
Email: mwangbickler@balzac.com

Pure Tin Label Sponsors Sommelier Training at the
2016 CIA Sommelier Summit and the Napa Valley Wine Academy

(Napa, CA) – The Pure Tin Label supports the best talent among sommeliers, aspiring wine professionals, and the best minds in the food and wine industry as a sponsor of The Culinary Institute of America’s 2016 Sommelier Summit on April 24-26, and the Napa Valley Wine Academy’s SommDay School™ Service Workshop on April 20.

Since lead capsules were banneSommSessd 20 years ago, tin has become the gold standard for wine bottles. As a premier tin product, the Pure Tin Label on capsules is a guarantee of authenticity, high quality and luxury, used for ultra-premium wines in Europe and now available to wineries in North America.

“For someone who has been a sommelier and teaches sommeliers, this is really what we’re looking for. This is the best of all worlds. In terms of packaging, identifying the brand, function and ease of removal, it’s the best capsule by far,” says Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier, who will be a moderator at the CIA Sommelier Summit and instructor for the Napa Valley Wine Academy workshop.

According to the Wine Business Monthly 2014 Packaging Survey Report, tin is the most popular single material for capsules, with 38 percent of wineries using it to finish their wines. They report that “when making capsule or bottle finishing choices, the most important aspect to wineries is the image and perceived quality of the material: both ranked 4.6 on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest importance.” Pure Tin Label capsules achieve an ultra-high quality finish using a highly specialized artisanal process, resulting in capsules with luxurious detail, and personalized with artistic embossing, coloring, ornamentation and decoration.

“The essence of marketing is to present your product in the best possible light,” says Paul Wagner, Founder of Balzac Communications and presenter at the CIA Sommelier Summit, “and first impressions make all the difference. The capsule is the first thing that sommeliers and consumers see when they open the bottle, and it communicates a clear message of luxury and style. There is a reason that the finest wines use pure tin capsules: they are one of the classic quality cues in fine wine packaging.”

About the Pure Tin Label

The Pure Tin Label has been created to promote the Pure Tin Capsule to a wide range of audiences, from winemakers to sommeliers to wine connoisseurs, increasing the appreciation and recognition of its special qualities and differences. The Pure Tin Capsule is a premium quality product, produced in a highly specialized, artisan manner for top wines and spirits around the world. More information about Pure Tin is available on their website at http://puretincapsules.com/.

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Adam Sullivan

Balzac Communications & Marketing Hires Wine Industry Veteran Mark Feinberg

Balzac Communications & Marketing Hires Wine Industry Veteran Mark Feinberg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michael Wangbickler

Balzac Communications

Phone: 707-255-7667

Email: mwangbickler@balzac.com

 

 

Balzac Communications & Marketing Hires Wine Industry Veteran Mark Feinberg

 

Napa, CA (April 4, 2016) – Balzac Communications & Marketing is proud to announce that Mark Feinberg is joining its team of dedicated and creative professionals. Feinberg brings a wealth of wine marketing industry experience to Balzac – experience that will complement the current services provided by the company to its wide range of wine clients.

 

“As we enter our 25th year in business, I am excited to bring Mark on board to offer additional expertise and value to our current and future winery partners. It will be exciting for us to support our valued clients with such an asset,” says Michael Wangbickler, Chief Executive Officer and Partner. “Mark and I have worked together over the years and it will be great for us to work together once again.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Balzac Team over the years and have always admired their creativity, professionalism and dedication to great customer service,” says Feinberg. “This is a great opportunity to be a part of such a talented team, and I’m looking forward to sharing my wine marketing background to the benefit of their diverse customer base.”
Feinberg’s background in beverage alcohol began in craft beer in the 1990s (General Manager, Devil Mountain Brewery) to wine, where he contributed significantly to well-regarded wine companies including Sebastiani Vineyards, Seagram Chateau & Estates Wines Company, Constellation Brands, White Rocket Wine Company (Kendall-Jackson), Vintage Wine Estates, Don Sebastiani & Sons, and most recently, King Estate Winery. Feinberg’s extensive wine marketing experience encompasses New Product Development & Launch Strategy, Brand Strategy & Planning, Industry & Category Trend Analysis, Package Design, Consumer Research and Off & On Premise Promotions.