April 14, 1994 |
The eyes beneath those formidable brows were deep-set, intense--and, at the moment, angry. It was 1981 and I was judging Pinot Noirs at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair wine competition. Beside me was the man with the deep-set eyes, legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, who died April 5 at age 92. We were part of a five-person panel. Voting on wine No. 8, Andre firmly said: "Gold medal!" I concurred. The other panelists voted no award, so the wine was discarded.
November 16, 1986 |
Andre Tchelistcheff is one of the world's most revered and respected wine makers; he's received virtually every award the wine world has to offer. In September, he was honored at a dinner commemorating his 20 years as enological consultant to Washington state's Chateau Ste. Michelle--the most outstanding winery of the Pacific Northwest--and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the winery's handsome facilities in Woodinville, near Seattle. And though he'll turn 85 on Dec.
October 31, 1991 |
Andre Tchelistcheff once got a call from tire fortune heir Brooks Firestone, who said he wanted to start a winery. "Good," said Tchelistcheff. "How much money have you got to lose?" It wasn't the first time he'd tried to dissuade a would-be winemaker. In the '40s, the late Fred McCrea, a retired advertising man, asked Tchelistcheff to help him plant a property.
October 23, 1986
The 1986 wine-grape harvest and crush, completed this week, weighed in at 2.7 million tons, about 4% less than last year. But what the crop lacked in numbers it apparently made up for in quality, said the Wine Institute, a trade group. The growing season got off to a mid-winter start, thanks to an unseasonal warm spell, then cooled off to stretch out the growth and finally ended in August--the earliest finish that many old-timers could recall.
July 16, 1995 |
DREAMS OF THE VALLEY: A Portrait of the Napa Valley by Cheryll Aimee Barron (Scribner: $25; 317 pp.). If you take travel books on faith--especially literary works that profess to illuminate the soul of another culture--consider picking up this volume as a necessary corrective. "Dreams of the Valley" is probably as accurate as the typical travel book, but reading it is like getting a tour of one's back yard by someone who's just moved to town.
November 27, 2002 |
If you're a relative neophyte in the world of wine and are about to fly to visit Napa Valley for the first time -- or maybe even the second or third -- here's a suggestion: Buy the CD "Napa Uncorked," put it in your suitcase, pop it into the CD player in your rental car -- or your car, if you drive the whole way -- and by the time you get to Napa, you'll no longer be a neophyte.