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The stories of the men who left their homes in Mexico, came to the United States and found work in the vineyards in the Napa Valley are similar.

Cabernet Shiraz

Some were part of the “Bracero” program, most came alone, leaving their families in Mexico; all had dreams of a better life. Those dreams included starting their own vineyard management businesses, owning land and planting vines. All of them worked hard, many staying with the same employer for decades.

Rosé

The catalysts for the first Mexican-American Vintners tasting event are TBA (Total Brand Awareness) Napa, owned by Napan Thomas Bracamontes and St. Helena’s 750 Wines. It will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 9, at 750 Wines at 1224 Adams St., which is owned by David and Monica Stevens.

Sauvignon Blanc



Much like we consider cabernet sauvignon to be the king of California wines, many consider malbec to be the national varietal of Argentina. Malbec has a very interesting history, beginning as a blending grape for French Bordeaux wine. But in the past decade, it has become a major player in the wine world as a popular stand-alone varietal.

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Malbec's original purpose as a Bordeaux blending varietal was to lend rich color and fruit flavor to the wines produced in this very famous region of France. In 1854, cuttings of malbec from France were planted in Argentina, and there are currently more than 76,000 acres of malbec in Argentina. This is an astonishing 85 percent of all malbec planted worldwide. In fact, the malbec of Argentina is considered the only original malbec vines of true French heritage — most of the malbec vines in France were killed off in 1956 during a massive frost.

Cabernet Shiraz

One of my favorite malbecs is the Catena Zapata Malbec from Argentina. Vintner Nicolas Catena is considered the pioneer of high-altitude growing and was the first, in 1994, to plant a malbec vineyard at 5,000 feet above sea level in the Mendoza region. His family is also credited with making world-class wines and giving status to the wines of Argentina. Wine Spectator has rated his 2011 Catena Zapata Malbec an astonishing 92 points. This is amazing for a malbec under $25! The Catena Malbec is wonderfully aromatic with notes of baked plums and a hint of coffee. It is dark and jammy but with enough acidity to cut through the richness of the fruit. There is a subtle flavor of smoke and spice, making it a perfect pairing for rich, red meats. The finish seems to go on forever and just begs for another sip.

Rosé



Jackson Family Wines (JFW) today announced it has hired David K. Bowman as Senior Vice President, Estate Strategy, focused on the company's estate wineries including Freemark Abbey, Stonestreet, Byron and Arrowood among others.

Grover Vineyards India

Bowman joins Jackson Family Wines with more than 15 years of experience in the beverage industry, most recently as Vice President of Marketing and General Manager of EMEA, DTC and eCommerce for FIJI Water LLC, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery and Landmark Vineyards. In that role, Bowman's primary responsibilities included P&L and sales management for Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as global brand management for FIJI Water (the number one premium imported water in the US), and for JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery (Paso Robles) and Landmark Vineyards (Sonoma). In his core brand management responsibilities, Bowman's teams oversaw all aspects of the marketing mix for the FIJI Water, JUSTIN and Landmark brands, including brand strategy, public relations, social media, events, channel and trade marketing, and the FIJI Water US home delivery program and e-commerce businesses. He recently led the brand team in developing the "Discover Earth's Finest Water" campaign, repositioning FIJI Water for double-digit growth in the US and over 55 countries worldwide. In the wine businesses, David's teams lead the repositioning, new packaging development and national consumer and trade launch for the JUSTIN and Landmark wineries. Bowman also had P&L responsibility for all on-property consumer aspects of the wineries, including direct-to-consumer activities such as tasting rooms, wine clubs, consumer/trade education, special events and on-site hospitality.

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Prior to joining FIJI Water, Bowman was the Vice President of Marketing for the Premium and Fine Wine portfolio at E & J Gallo Winery, where he was responsible for managing brand strategy, packaging, go-to-market planning, consumer communications and expanding their fast-growing import and domestic portfolio of wines. Under his leadership, Bowman's team at Gallo created, launched and/or managed domestic and imported wines including William Hill Winery (Napa), Louis M. Martini Winery (Napa/Sonoma), MacMurray Ranch (Sonoma/Central Coast), Don Miguel Gascón (Argentina), Alamos (Argentina) Ghost Pines (Napa/Sonoma), La Marca Prosecco (Italy), Da Vinci Wines (Italy), Ecco Domani (Italy), Mirassou (California), Apothic Red (California) and Las Rocas (Spain). Bowman's team was central to the repositioning of Gallo's premium plus wine portfolio and by 2010, had grown the portfolio to include 27 brands featuring 10 countries of origin ranging in consumer price from $8 to $200+ per bottle.

Cabernet Shiraz



The owner, Amy Senew, listed the 9-acre property at $1.5 million. The winery produces whites, reds and apple-based wine.

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Senew and her former husband, Courtney Brown, bought the property in 2007 from Sherman Haight, a wealthy Litchfield resident who carved the vineyard out of a much larger, 165-acre tract he owned. When it opened in 1975, the vineyard was known as the Haight Vineyard.

Grover Vineyards India

Senew, who took sole ownership in 2010, said Monday that she always had another full-time job and that operating the vineyard came on top of that. She said she decided to sell because she wanted more leisure time, and now that she is remarried, the couple is considering moving south at some point.

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“It was the Garden State long before anyone knew it would be a vineyard state,” Cassidy said.

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With family in France — she’s a second generation French American — many of her relatives had small vineyards on their properties.

Wines To India

“It was the Garden State long before anyone knew it would be a vineyard state,” Cassidy said.

Grover Vineyards India



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