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Chenin Blanc’s champions revive a workhorse white

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:13:40 UT

[...] when Chardonnay was crowned king in the 1980s, surrounded by a royal court of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, Chenin got the hook. “I was always looking for an alternative white, a good variety that could maintain acidity,” said Leo Hansen, a Danish sommelier who started his Leo Steen brand in Healdsburg back in 2004. People were ripping out and planting other things, so I started trying to help preserve these small old spots of Chenin. Born into an oil-drilling family in northeast Texas, he landed his first winery gig in the Loire Valley while finishing his plant pathology/microbiology degree at Texas A&M. “I was not a mindful wine consumer when I was in France — that was the infancy of my wine journey — but I do remember these really steely, crisp white wines that they made,” said Roark. “I grew up in the oil fields, and there’s a vineyard in the middle of an oil field that’s Chenin Blanc?” he laughed. For a small vineyard, the list of wineries using Jurassic Park fruit is more than a dozen long, including Municipal Winemakers, Lieu Dit, Habit, Kunin, Santa Barbara Winery, Birichino and Field Recordings. “The neatest thing about it was that nobody was buying any Chenin Blanc, and then somehow this market sort of began,” said Ben Merz of Coastal Vineyard Care Associates, which started farming the vineyard in 2009. All of these boutique wineries started looking for Chenin Blanc so, initially, just to find a home for the grapes, we sold a ton here and there to as many people as we could find. “What I love about Chenin Blanc is that it’s so old that it’s new again,” said Dry Creek winemaker Tim Bell, who’s seen a notable uptick in the past three years and plans to make even more than the current 18,500 annual cases in the future. Chenin is all the buzz there right now, as the region’s increasing shift from quantity to quality grape-growing is showing that it can do for whites what Lodi has done for reds. “I was very pleasantly surprised,” said Haarmeyer, who started working with the farmers of his Clarksburg Chenin vineyard after 2009 to improve the potential by limiting yields and picking while sugars were low and acids high. Tom Merwin’s family has tilled the Clarksburg soil for 100 years, and the eighth-generation farmer recalls when his dad turned to wine grapes more than 20 years ago when the commodity crop prices were floundering. A Napa escapee, he headed to the Sierra Foothills in 2004 to make something other than big Cabernet and Chardonnay, and consults for a handful of wineries, including Elevation 10, where he makes Chenin Blanc from Clarksburg.

Viticulturists and scientists battle latest vineyard virus: red blotch

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 21:19:18 UT

With 283 acres of wine grapes on a more than 2,000-acre ranch — complete with organic walnuts, olives for oil and grazing cattle — it’s the largest vineyard on the west side of Paso Robles, where the mountainous terrain, limestone-like soils, and ocean influence comprise a vintner’s paradise. [...] the property was in the midst of a major transition from simply selling grapes to becoming its own estate winery, which made the stakes even higher for the new vineyard manager. What Pope didn’t realize, however, was that Halter Ranch was soon to be on the front lines in the fight against red blotch, the latest grapevine disease threatening vineyards across the continent. Pope is one of the few farmers not afraid to speak openly about his battle with red blotch, which, if left unchecked, could greatly diminish both the quality and quantity of California wines, from Napa to Santa Barbara counties. For one, leafroll is an RNA virus spread by vine mealybug, while red blotch infects the DNA and affects different varieties differently — Sauvignon Blanc leaves, for instance, don’t turn red early, and yields aren’t too hampered in Cabernet Sauvignon. The leading, and really only, suspicion is that infected vines entered the extensive commercial nursery system that growers rely on for new plantings. Since the virus was unknown, it wasn’t tested for, so spread widely as thousands of acres of vines were planted across the country over the past two decades. While Fuchs and others are examining genetic means of protecting plants against leafroll, red blotch, and other diseases — vaccines for vines, essentially — the only way to deal with red blotch right now is to either completely rip out your vineyard or methodically “rogue” it, taking out infected blocks or vines one by one. [...] it’s better than the alternative: a recent study published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture said that, when all economic factors are considered, red blotch could reach a $28,000-per-acre annual loss for high-end Napa vineyards. “That changed the dynamics,” explained Steve McIntyre, who farms 12,000 acres of grapevines in Monterey County and sat on the committee to stop the spread of the sharpshooter. Though he suspects there may be other vectors — there’s at least one other species that seems to be spreading the disease in cooler and hillside areas, whereas the treehopper prefers warmth and pools of water — finding the treehopper was a critical step. “If all the parties sit around the same table with the goal of producing and adopting clean material, I would venture to say that, in less than 10 years, the virus won’t vanish, but it will reach a very low level that will be very easy for the industry to manage,” pledged Fuchs.

Vintners rally to preserve Russian River Valley’s historic Zinfandel vineyards

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 18:48:11 UT

Vintners rally to preserve Russian River Valley’s historic Zinfandel vineyards Papera’s devoted longtime caretaker, Tom Feeney, had died; in 2006, Feeney’s son sold the vineyard to a private real estate investment fund, ready to realize the plot’s full financial potential. “They were all set to tear out the Zin and plant Pinot Noir at Papera,” Officer says. Because this is Russian River Valley, and Pinot Noir is what should be planted here, according to the pencil pushers. Cooler and breezier than vineyards abutting the river along Westside and Eastside roads, Piner-Olivet was historically a stronghold for Zinfandel. Mike Officer believes these Italians’ now-ancient vineyards are treasures, and has tried over and over again to save these historic plots of land from dual threats: Santa Rosa residential development, and the Russian River cash crop — Pinot Noir. The wines it yields — from wineries including Carlisle, Williams Selyem, Bedrock and Novy — are extraordinary, and baldly contradict any popular notions of Zinfandel as jammy and hot. A Palo Alto-based angel investor — and wine lover — named Stuart Coulson had contacted him, expressing interest in getting into the wine industry. “To me, it’s like having a beautiful work of art, or a historic building, and people just want to get rid of it,” says Officer, who is a co-founder of the Historic Vineyard Society. After a series of defeats for the historic plantings, some new vintners have recently purchased properties in the area and made clear their commitment to upholding Piner-Olivet’s viticultural legacy. In the cases of some Piner-Olivet properties — Papera, Saitone — Officer directly connected the right kinds of buyers with the sellers. Before Seghesio bought Montafi, Officer had leased it “for an obscene amount of money,” he says, to prevent the previous owners from planting Pinot there. When he bought his own Carlisle Vineyard, in 1998, Officer beat out developers with much deeper pockets because he was able to convince then-owner Barbara Pelletti, whose father, Alcide, had planted the vineyard in 1927, that he would preserve her father’s vision. [...] I think producers, and now consumers, are starting to get a sense for what these vines really mean. “The reasons why traditions stay is because of success in the past,” says Jesse Katz, as of last November the owner of the Ponzo vineyard, planted in 1912. In other words, the longevity of these Zinfandel plantings testifies to their enduring appeal, impervious to any decade’s trends and fads. Head-trained Zin - bush vines, the Europeans would say - is floppy, its sun exposure scattered and irregular, far less systematic in producing sugary grapes. Williams Selyem is among California’s most famous Pinot Noir producers; less well known is the winery’s longstanding interest in Russian River Zinfandel. Plantings of that era were never monovarietal — it wasn’t customary to plant vineyard blocks to a single grape variety until after Repeal. [...] interspersed among the Zinfandel in these old fields is a cornucopia of “mixed black” varieties: a Mourvedre vine here, a Tempranillo vine there. Officer lights up with reverence when he talks about his vineyard. Like an archaeologist piecing together the lives of an extinct population through fragments of their pottery, he finds himself excavating the farming practices, and thought processes, of the San Pellegrinetto settlers through the roots they left behind. Wines, especially Zinfandels, from the Piner-Olivet neighborhood of Santa Rosa show distinctive characteristics that you won’t find elsewhere in the Russian River Valley appellation. Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard Russian River Valley 2014 ($47, 15%): Mike Officer describes the signature flavor of his estate vineyard as “mulberry,” and it’s easy to see why. Ripe bright fruits — red raspberry preserves; juicy red plum — and the flavor of licorice are lifted by a seari[...]

Perfecting Pinot at Clos de la Tech

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 03:03:03 UT

Right now, on very small blocks of his vineyards, which ride the ridge between Half Moon Bay and Woodside, underground probes are monitoring water absorption rates and radioing that information to a central computer, which then relays it to irrigation valves powered by thumbnail-size solar panels. “In a typical vineyard, you can find plants that are dying for water and undercropping, and you can find plants that are waterlogged and producing poor-quality fruit,” said Rodgers. The resulting technology — which Rodgers is starting to sell through his startup company WaterBit Inc. — is likely to conserve water and ensure more evenly dispersed and ripened grapes. The Waterbit technology will be a boon for large commercial grape growers and other fruit and vegetable farmers, who also use their irrigation systems to distribute fertilizers, called “fertigation.” “My propensity is to do everything 100 percent without any compromise,” explained Rodgers, who began reading academic journals on wine, started tinkering with ways to control and monitor fermentation temperatures, and even built his own press. In 2000, they took the brand commercial and bought two more pieces of vineyard property closer to the ridgetop, including the steeply sloped, ocean-facing property above La Honda where they built their winery into underground caves. Clos de la Tech was developing technology along a similar path, so he reached out, toured the vineyard (“one of the most meticulous”) and winery (“almost like Disneyland”), and gave his spiel about how valuable it would be to collect these aromas and then sell them to large commercial producers whose wines needed better bouquets. “The next thing I know, they’re flying me out there to talk about the aroma collection and utilization project,” said Goldfarb, who returned to work the 2012 harvest at Clos de la Tech and was then taught how to manage the vineyards by the renowned viticulturist Rex Geitner, who died in 2013. While the aromatic capture project is currently caught in a regulatory limbo — despite wide interest, it’s unclear whether the feds would treat it as distilling, and arcane state laws need some tweaking — Goldfarb, Massey and Rodgers continue to test the scalability of their integrated fermentation control system with UC Davis. Being surrounded by a commitment to making the best wine possible, and the intelligence creativity, and mind power that’s fueling the operation is really exciting and motivating. “If you bring that kind of scientific inquisitiveness to winemaking, where you throw in a living thing, from the ground to the grapes to the microorganisms, the complexity goes up by a factor of thousands,” said Rodgers, who can explain tannin molecule differences, anthocyanin ratios and quercitin creation at the deepest of levels.

The year in California wine

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 02:44:54 UT

Measured from the top of one of the 132-foot propellers, its massive new windmill stands 396 feet tall and is visible for miles, including from Highway 101 4 miles south of Greenfield. All the grape must is composted, drip irrigation covers the expanse, and more than 250 owl boxes provide homes to raptors ready to play exterminator, no chemicals needed. More than 2,000 California wine grape growers and winemakers already participate in the CSWA program, representing nearly 70 percent of the state's wine acreage and 80 percent of case production. The nonprofit CSWA has been around since 2002, established by fellow nonprofit Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, and its certified sustainable grape-growing program, with verification from a third-party auditor, started in 2010. A study conducted by market research firm Wine Opinions published earlier this year confirms what wineries active in sustainability programs have been reporting for years: demand for sustainably produced wine has increased over the past 10 years and is likely to continue to grow over the next decade. The findings — based on responses from 457 members of its national trade panel (distributors, retailers, restaurateurs and members of the media) in 36 states — included: Integrated pest management, water conservation and natural resource management all ranked as priorities; "The trade's interest in sustainably grown and produced wines is a positive for the California wine industry, which has adopted sustainable practices on a large scale," she says. California wines selling for $10 and above are showing growth, accounting for 19 percent of the volume and 40 percent of the value in domestic food stores. “Consumers worldwide recognize the high quality of California wines from diverse regions across the state,” says Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. Koch. While rosés still make up a relatively tiny 1 percent of varietal consumption (according to U.S. food store volume measured by Nielsen), last year it gained 35 percent on volume and more than 60 percent on dollar value. New results from a Wine Institute-commissioned survey by Destination Analysts sheds some light on who comes to California for the juice. Visitors also highly value winery and restaurant experiences, with three-quarters noting tastings, tours and food pairings at wineries to be “important” or very important. “Not to pick on Brussels sprouts,” says Wine Institute spokesperson Gladys Horiuchi, “but how many people come to the state for a Brussels sprouts tasting?”

Saintsbury vintner Richard Ward dies at 67

Tue, 30 May 2017 22:54:10 UT

Richard Ward, co-founder of Saintsbury winery and pioneer of Napa Valley Pinot Noir, died Saturday from complications after a 13-year battle with cancer. With his business partner, David Graves, Mr. Ward was among the early advocates for Burgundy grape varieties in Carneros, the cool-climate area in southern Napa Valley. Before moving to California to study enology at UC Davis, he earned a structural engineering degree from Tufts University. The following year, the two were housemates while working harvest at Chappellet and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, making — what else? — Cabernet Sauvignon. [...] their love of Burgundy called to them, and they saw hope for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California in the cool-climate Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in Santa Barbara County, according to an interview Graves gave to Wine Spectator. In 1981 — two years before Carneros would be named an American Viticultural Area — the academically minded pair founded their winery, naming it for literary scholar and wine lover George Saintsbury. (His 1920 work, “Notes on a Cellar-Book,” is considered one of the great pieces of wine criticism in history.) While purchasing top-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from neighboring Carneros vineyards, the pair also produced a value-priced Pinot brand called Garnet, which they sold in 2011 to refocus efforts on their higher-end bottlings. Like Saintsbury himself, Mr. Ward was a man of many passions and pursuits: an avid reader, a dedicated gardener, a lover of music, travel and history with insatiable curiosity. The family requests that those who would like to honor Mr. Ward donate blood, join the National Bone Marrow Registry or make a donation to the fund in his name at the Carneros art center Di Rosa.

The Dogpatch winery that is making synthetic wine

Thu, 4 May 2017 21:46:58 UT

[...] according to the government, it isn’t a winery. The startup, housed in a Dogpatch warehouse, produces synthetic wine: a petri-dish cocktail of ethanol, water, sugar and various chemical compounds, made not in a vineyard but in a lab. “We could make a Cab here that smells like a Moscato d’Asti,” says Alec Lee, a co-founder of Ava, as he takes me through the lab. The lab is divided into two rooms: one for data collection, one for data execution. In the first, samples of “real” wine are put through machines that perform gas and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to isolate and identify their chemical makeup. At $2.7 million, the lead investor in Ava’s seed round was Horizons Ventures, a Hong Kong venture firm that is also a major funder of Impossible Foods, of plant-based burger fame, and Modern Meadow, which biofabricates leather. Both Impossible Foods and Modern Meadow are proposing solutions to a fairly obvious issue: the ethics of how we use animals. [...] displayed behind a glass case, was Mike Grgich’s famous 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, winner of the Judgment of Paris. [...] they’re tackling Moscato. Synthetic wine would seem at odds with the belief systems of many sommeliers, and ironically, Decolongon had worked at a natural wine bar before joining Ava. “Going into this project I was scared of revealing it to my wine friends,” says Decolongon, who holds a sommelier certification and a level 4 diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Lee talks about creating the ultimate delicious flavor profile — what he calls “digitally optimizing wines.” Is this Moscato, saccharine and untoned, what Americans want to drink? “There’s a snobbery in wine that doesn’t correspond with people’s actual taste,” he says. Ava can use an estimated 10 to 100 times less water than a traditional winery would, for starters, but the larger environmental issue is climate change. [...] Ava makes the case for replicating wines — re-creating and sharing specific, famous bottles like the 1973 Montelena. The goal will never be to make counterfeit wines — not pretending to be the ‘Mona Lisa,’ but printing ‘Mona Lisa’ posters. Eventually, Lee and Chua want to create synthetic versions of other luxury food products that, like wine, are resource-intensive, geographically limited and expensive. With just one wine expert on staff, I wonder if Ava can’t understand that the whole reason why people like me like wine in the first place is because it conveys a sense of place in a nuanced and mysterious way — we love it because we can’t fully understand it.

CIA at Copia revives Mondavis’ vision for Napa

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:00:00 UT

The name change reflects its current owners, the Culinary Institute of America, which acquired the property in late 2015 with an eye to freeing up space for its academic programs at its Greystone campus in St. Helena. The revived center offers daily cooking and wine-themed classes, a tasting showcase of local wineries that will rotate wineries every three months, a retail shop, and a redesigned, “more welcoming” restaurant, according to CIA Provost Mark Erickson. Coming later this year, he added, will be two free galleries: the Chuck Williams Culinary Museum, devoted to the collection of the late founder of Williams-Sonoma, and the Wine Hall of Fame. Perched atop a 75-foot tower, “Is That Bob & Margrit?” depicts a couple raising their wineglasses, while the massive “Fork” at the entrance to the Restaurant at CIA Copia uses 8,500 recycled forks to herald sustainability and the farm-to-table movement. When it closed, people thought it was a failed vision, but it wasn’t — it was just a distraction for the time. ...

Constellation buys brands from Washington vintner for $120 million

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 18:16:47 UT

Beverage giant Constellation Brands has agreed to purchase several wine brands from Charles Smith, the Washington state wine entrepreneur, for $120 million. Syrah, Eve Chardonnay and Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon. Smith will retain K Vintners, Wines of Substance, ViNO, Casa Smith, SIXTO, B. Leighton and Charles & Charles — a total annual production of about 350,000 cases. For a fixed term, he’ll continue to advise Constellation on the wines’ production. Constellation says retail sales of the $12 white wine grew 45 percent last year. The transaction is the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions by Constellation, which appears to be bullish on the premium-price sector of wines.

Frosé arrives in San Francisco

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:22:06 UT

[...] . The Palm House in San Francisco has announced that during the month of October, it will hold Frosé Sundays, which will involve the Palm House Frosé Cocktail, made with rosé, thyme, strawberry purée, lemon juice and rum ($9.75). If you're after a more pure-rosé vibe, you might jaunt over to Willa Jean in New Orleans, where the Frosé Y'all cocktail incorporates rosé from the reputable winery Mas de Daumas Gassac, in the Languedoc region of southern France. Blended simply with ice and simple syrup, it's a frosé for those who really want to taste the rosé. According to a statement from the restaurant, $1 of each $9.75 cocktail sold will be "donated to breast cancer awareness."

Despite fraud charges, Charles Banks still in wine business

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 23:26:05 UT

The arrest last week of prominent winery investor Charles Banks on fraud charges has called into question the fate of his California wine empire. A federal grand jury indicted Banks in Texas Friday for allegedly defrauding former pro basketball player Tim Duncan, whom he had long served as a financial adviser. Later that day, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Banks on related charges in federal court in Atlanta. Duncan’s money went into Terroir Capital, an investment vehicle that consists of two funds, one for wineries and one for hotels, and in a sports merchandising company, Gameday Entertainment, where Banks is a part owner and the chairman of the board. [...] the Terroir funds, which Banks founded and still runs as managing partner, are conspicuously absent from the indictment and the similar complaint from the SEC. Terroir Capital has stakes worth an estimated $200 million in California wineries including Mayacamas, Wind Gap and Qupé. Would Terroir go bankrupt, forced to sell its share in the wineries? “Tim Duncan settled all of his claims with Terroir (recently), and he actually remains an investor,” said Kevin McGee, Terroir’s chief operating officer. A joint motion filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado on June 27 confirms that Duncan and Banks settled the claims in arbitration. The terms of the settlement are not public, but both Wells and McGee said that Duncan’s stake in Terroir remains the same as it was before he took any legal action. “We’re separate and not affected by what happens” in court, said Bob Lindquist, founder and part owner of Qupé in Santa Maria Valley, in which Terroir took a majority share in 2013. Coupled with Duncan’s lawsuit, the news of the Sandhi divestment raised questions for some in the wine industry about whether Banks’ business was as sound as it once seemed. “There was never any dispute,” Parr said, claiming that he wanted to bring Sandhi under the same umbrella as his and Moorman’s other winery, Domaine de la Côte. If Banks is found guilty, he’d be forced to pay considerable penalties; his personal financial woes could force him to sell some or all of his stake in the fund, thereby affecting the overall health of Terroir.

Pioneering Napa Valley matriarch Margrit Mondavi dies at 91

Sat, 3 Sep 2016 03:42:00 UT

Margrit Mondavi, the matriarch of the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery and a stalwart patron of the arts in Northern California, died on Friday. If her husband, Robert Mondavi, who died in 2008, deserves credit for revolutionizing Napa’s wine industry, Ms. Mondavi deserves just as much for transforming the valley into a paradise of cultural sophistication. Under her direction, Robert Mondavi Winery became something of an artistic hub in the valley, its Summer Music Festival drawing the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Tony Bennett and its Great Chefs Cooking School hosting Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud and — most notably — the Mondavis’ lifelong friend Julia Child, who co-founded with Robert the American Institute for Wine and Food. Other philanthropic efforts included patronage of the Napa art institution the Oxbow School; launching the now-defunct art and wine museum Copia; and, thanks to a $35 million gift in 2001, endowing a performing arts center and a wine and food science center at UC Davis. During World War II, she met U.S. Army Capt. Philip Biever, who was stationed near the finishing school where she was studying art, at Lake Geneva. [...] Robert Mondavi was married to Marjorie Declusin, his childhood sweetheart and the mother of their three children, Michael, Marcia and Tim. An accomplished artist and passionate gourmet, Ms. Mondavi wrote books including Annie and Margrit: Recipes and Stories From the Robert Mondavi Kitchen, with her daughter Annie Roberts, published in 2003. In lieu of flowers, the Mondavi family asks that donations be sent to the Oxbow School, 530 Third St., Napa, CA 94559 or the American Cancer Society, 860 Napa Valley Corporate Way, Suite E, Napa, CA 94558.

By the numbers: California wine’s place in the world

Sat, 13 Aug 2016 07:01:00 UT

There’s no question that California leads this country’s wine production — certainly in quantity and, this newspaper would argue, also in quality. [...] although California wine production has grown more than 60 percent in the past 20 years, the United States as a whole has grown even more dramatically, producing 75 percent more wine in 2015 than in 1995. In 2015, Chardonnay represented 16.4 percent of all grapes vinified in California, with 633,572 tons crushed. Twenty-one percent of all wines sold in U.S. food stores last year were Chardonnays; the next-most-popular was Cabernet Sauvignon, at just 14 percent. Compare barrel-fermented versions with wines that see only stainless steel; wines that undergo buttery malolactic fermentation versus wines that maintain a crisp, tart acidity; bright, juicy versions that were pressed immediately versus intense, exotic Chardonnays made with skin contact. The accomplishments of his winery before his death in 2008 were in wine style and quality, certainly — his 1966 Fume Blanc was among the first dry table wines produced in Napa’s modern era, for example — but also in presenting California wines to a global audience. Of the 138 AVAs recognized by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as geographically distinctive regions for grape growing, three are new since the beginning of 2015: There are only three wineries within the AVA, but more than 50 producers — including Paul Hobbs, Joseph Swan and Kale Wines — source fruit grown there. “Our Cabernets are more austere than the lush Cabernets you get from Napa,” says Mary Lou Marek, of Fountaingrove’s Rincon Grade Winery. The area is warmer than many other North Coast growing regions, but its cooler nights, thanks to its proximity to the San Francisco Bay, create a nice diurnal shift. “People want to know where their food, and that includes wine, comes from,” says Susan Captain of Lamorinda’s Captain Vineyards in Moraga.

Five wine country estates where you can pair wine and exercise

Sat, 13 Aug 2016 07:01:00 UT

Comstock Wines Estate Vineyards conveniently pairs the two with Yoga in the Vines. Can you do Downward Dog while sipping Sauvignon Blanc? Extended Puppy with Pinot Noir, or Cow Face with Chardonnay?  

First Uncorked: San Francisco festival comes to Metreon

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:08:37 UT

First Uncorked: A VIP hour starts at 1 p.m. that includes a few special wine selections, followed by a general admission session that runs from 2 to 5 p.m. A second general admission session is from 6 to 9 p.m. Food will be sold separately by El Porteno, Cheese Plus, Rainy Day Chocolates, First Crush Restaurant, Tamales La Oaxaquena, Drake’s Bay Oysters and the Grilled Cheese Guy. A portion of the proceeds go to the San Francisco Yellow Bike Project, a nonprofit organization whose volunteers refurbish bicycles for reuse in the city. The festival is also hosted in other cities, and there are already plans to return for Uncorked: