5 Questions with Stephen Cronk of Mirabeau Wine

December 18, 2014

It’s been quite some time since the last post in our “5 Questions With…” series, but after tasting a phenomenal #wine and then learning its even more interesting backstory, I decided a revival was needed! I think it’s no non-surprise for my regular readers that we are huge fans of rosé here at #Vinopanion. YC Media sent me a bottle earlier this year by a brand new producer from one of the finest regions in the world Provence, France.  I was thoroughly blown away by this first time effort; the 2013 release from Mirabeau Wine (WLFBTwYTIG) had all the characteristics that make up a complex, yet extremely tasty rosé: crisp acidity, juicy red fruits, fresh herbs, and even some fine floral notes.  I was hooked.  Then I found out that this wine was made by a former financier that completely upped and moved his family to Provence to make wine, job-quitting included.  I had to know more.

And so here we are, 5 Questions with Stephen Cronk of Mirabeau Wine, after the leap!

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Domaine Chandon & étoile: #Napa’s Classic, Stars

August 13, 2014

The Chevalière of the French bubbly scene in Napa is the elegant and indomitable, Domaine Chandon (WLFBTw).  It is the first French foray into domestic bubbly by the esteemed Moët & Chandon in 1973; the producer of arguably the most famous Champagne in the world: Dom Pérignon. Indeed, when many consumers think of sparkling wine in the US, they think of the name “Chandon.”  And it is at this beautiful estate, biking distance from our home, that we happily enjoyed media passes for their étoile Prestige Tour, followed by lunch at their in-house resto, also named étoile.  We attended courtesy of the winery, and oh!, what a visit it was…

Find all the tasty deets, after the jump!

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Air Cork Pumps Up the Holidays

December 4, 2012

Wine gadgets are the perennial gift for the wine lover that we all know in our lives.  Let’s be pretty honest with ourselves, however: most wine gadgets are crap.  They are the easy gift to give to someone, but the vast majority of wine wingdings out there just do not work, or are just too darn tricky to work to really matter.  The preceding reasons are why I usually have an internal sigh when I open a package and see a new wine thingamajig inside.  A perfect wine gadget needs to easily and quickly, accomplish what it promises to perform.  Lo and behold, a recent sample that came my way from Steinreich Communications actually checks off all three of these boxes.  And thus, I’m happy to recommend it’s services as true contendor for a holiday wine gadget gift.  I present to you, loyal reader, the Air Cork wine preserver (TwitterFacebookYoutube).

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#MFITV: 2011 Harvest Thoughts & the Quiet Winery

December 31, 2011

The 2011 Harvest is done. It has actually been done for the Northern California wine industry for a few weeks, but I needed those weeks to digest all that I have experienced (and re-acclimate to my previous life), before I was ready to write this final post for Man Falls in the Vines#MFITV. Harvest is such a compressed, intense experience. It has proven to be hard for me to sum up in a somewhat, year-end post. Despite such difficulties, I was able to complete my harvest insider feature article for the January edition of Mutineer Magazine, as well as their brand new Mutineer Magazine Beverage Trade Edition, also debuting in January. All of this experience, hard work, and camaraderie demand applause and to be forever thanked for, however. And after the jump, you will see all of the new (and one old) vinopanions that I made during those six weeks in Stags Leap, Napa at Chimney Rock Winery (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog).

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Speedy Holiday Wine Recommendations

December 13, 2011

The holidays get busy. You barely have time to shop, decorate, make food, attend parties, try not to get drunk and, OH YEAH, still work! All of this stress adds up, manifesting itself in strange ways and differently within each person, as evidenced by the varying types of “holiday spirit” seen in the photo on the right.

You don’t have time for this! Your time is too precious to waste upon wondering which kind of wine to bring to coworker Aaron’s holiday party and wait, is it Aaron or Erin…CRAP, you’re so stressed you can’t even remember! It is with these conundrums in mind that I have constructed my Vinopanion holiday wine recommendations and pairings, listed below. Short, sweet (or dry!) and to the point. Let’s drink.

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#MFITV: Draining, Digging, & Barreling Down

December 5, 2011

The heart of the Harvest season can be a surreal and crazy time. Yes, of course I guess, it’s crazy when you have a ton of things going on at once, including actual tons of ripe fruit to process and 15+ hour days dragging down your health. Indeed, I was sick twice during weeks 4 through 6 at the Rock for Man Falls in the Vines#MFITV, with the entire Chimney Rock Winery (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog) crew coming down with something, at some point. Crush isn’t easy, that is known the industry over, but I was happy to see that I persevered along with everyone else (who are all harvest veterans) and learned quite a bit about what it was to work some of the most taxing parts of the harvest: digging out the fermentation tanks after barreling off our new free-run wine.

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#MFITV – The Fruit Gets Done

November 9, 2011

Weeks 2 and 3 of Man Falls in the Vines began super busy at the winery, but finished with the quietness of fermenting tanks. I have already talked of the craziness of Week 1 for #MFITV, when we brought in a good 150 tons of super premium Stags Leap District Bordeaux varieties. The last two weeks saw all of the rest of that fruit come in, all of it Cabernet Sauvignon, the heart blood of the Chimney Rock Winery (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog) wines. Our days were definitely long, particularly the last two, where we had two more days of bringing in at least 70 tons of fruit. The last of the lots of Cabernet were completed on 10/27/11 with a healthy roar of relief by the vineyard and cellar crews, and capped off by a raucous bin dive by Jeff in the last ton of fruit. I was in the north barrel room doing my morning ferm monitoring, so I’m still bitter that I missed his swan dive. My bitterness was sweetened however, when Jeff discovered that grapes can really go everywhere and anywhere, when hit at high speed!

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Man Falls in the Vines – #MFITV

October 25, 2011

I’m delirious to announce a new project that I’ve stumbled into, courtesy of my fantastic sabbatical, rather sabbradical, from my work at Genentech: I am working the 2011 wine harvest (#Harvest2001) at Chimney Rock Winery (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog) in the Stags Leap District (WineLog) of Napa Valley, CA. I will be the harvest intern and cellar worker of which I’ve always dreamed…and basically working my ass off helping to produce fine Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, rosé, (Fiano), and Meritage wines.

My participation in the controlled chaos of crush at the Rock comes courtesy of Terlato Wine Group (WineLog), my best friend Jeff van de Pol, Assistant Winemaker; and Elizabeth Vianna (Twitter), Winemaker and General Manager.

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Le Wine Buffs Survive Manhattan (and so does the city)

April 1, 2011

TechEnology - Snooth, Ziff Davis & Enjoy BordeauxSo as it turns out, New York is a pretty damn cool place! My first time in NYC was filled with as much sightseeing, vino networking, shopping, eating and drinking as one could possibly fit into 3.5 days. I was in the city for the first time on another adventure as Le Wine Buff for the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB)’s Enjoy Bordeaux campaign, on a fully paid business trip. While the point of the trip was to attend the Snooth & Ziff Davis TechEnology event and talk about the full awesomeness of affordable Bordeaux wine alongside my LWB colleagues, I was determined to experience as much NYC as I could handle…and I succeeded.

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Espiritu de Argentina Winemaker Dinner @ Destino SF

November 27, 2009

Espiritu de ArgentinaOne recent bright evening in San Francisco, The Lady and I had the opportunity to head below the border, as in below the Equator…to Argentina! A new wine label is set to drop on our half of the Earth called Espiritu de Argentina. Combining the efforts of the US-based Cecchetti Racke, Espiritu de Chile and Argentine winery Bodega Monte Real, it will feature a full line of affordable and Argentine wines. Lady and I met in front of the resto Destino, where we would have the lucky opportunity of getting a sneak peak at these quaffable wines paired with a one-time 7 course small plates meal, all courtesy of Balzac Communications.

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