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Jeff’s Corner

Hey, Hey, Hey

It’s difficult for me to remember a Grape Creek wine with a more anticipated release than our 2017 Invention. The staff, and our loyal Wine Club members, were at a fevered pitch between its debut in the Black Label December allocation and when it finally appeared on our tasting bar in early January.

Invention is 100% Texas Petit Verdot, a grape being recognized as a rising star in both the Hill Country and the High Plains. We’ll talk more about this awesome wine in a moment, but first let’s check out this very ancient grape.

Hello, Hello, Hello,

Later today, I’m going to post a story about our fabulous staff event last Monday, but first I want to make a quick mention about how our wines fared at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition last week. Actually, we flat tore it up! All 25 wines we entered brought back a medal, and all but one was a silver or higher.

We sent 17 wines from our traditional GCV portfolio, with Rendezvous and Merlot leading the way with a Double Gold each. Cuvee Blanc, Petite Sirah, and Grand Rouge garnered Gold, and the other 12 brought us Silver.

From Heath Sparkling, the new 2017 Blanc de Blanc earned Gold, while the ’17 Euphoria, Adoration, and Ebullience brought back silvers. From Heath Vineyards, Liberation earned Gold, while the Syrah reeled in a very impressive Double Gold.

So, hats off and a huge congrats to Jason and his entire winemaking crew. All of us at Grape Creek could not be more proud!!! 

Jeff’s Corner

Greetings from beautiful northern Sonoma County. This morning I finished judging the very prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for the fifth consecutive year. The SFCWC is the first (and largest) American wine competition of the year. This year we had over 6700 entries from more than 1500 wineries representing at least 13 states. I was fortunate to be one of 65 judges from around the country.

The past four days I have judged close to 400 wines, and in the next couple weeks I’ll share lots of cool insights into the event, including how our beloved GCV wines fared. Right now, however, I’m pretty damn tired, but before I drag my purple teeth to bed I want to share my coolest experience to date.

In my last flight of three days of medal rounds (the fourth day is the Sweepstakes round), my panel judged a flight of 69 Cabernet Sauvignons priced $90.00 and up. I’ve mentioned before that judging the SFCWC is like playing in the World Series. Being assigned this flight, however, is like being given the ball to pitch game 7. Great googley moogley, this is the most coveted flight in the event, and beyond a doubt the most difficult challenge in my 40 year wine career.

More about this later as well, but right now I really need to get horizontal.


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