понеделник, 28 декември 2009 г.

David Park revisited

David Park's "Head" gouache on paper, 1960 14.5 x 11.5 inches. From the book "David Park, Painter: Nothing Held Back" by Helen Park Bigelow.

събота, 26 декември 2009 г.

Dragomir Winery

The newly build winery is located in Dragomir village, situated 32 km Northwest from Plovdiv and 100 km from Sofia.

Dragomir is situated in South Central region, in the foot of Sredna gora, next to the dam Pyasuchnik, Starosel, Koprivshtitsa, Panagyurishte, Krasnovski bani, Hisar.

The altitude of the village is 300-499 m, the hill region together with the suitable soil and climate conditions are the perfect prerequisite for growing high quality vines.

All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue - Year 2

понеделник, 14 декември 2009 г.

Telish and Castra Rubra Wineries

This winery is our jewel, our enormous passion turned into modern working winery of highest level. Its wines are not only the pride of their makers but we dare say that they are the new face of the Bulgarian winemaking.

The person who creates these wines and guides the team of young oenologists of Castra Rubra Winery is Michel Rolland, the most significant representative of the contemporary wine world.

Michel Rolland is not only the exclusive consultant of the winery but he is also the guru of all modern-thinking winemakers. It is our honor to have him as a member of our team and we believe that this is a privilege for the Bulgarian wine as a whole.

Three young and talented oenologists work constantly at Castra Rubra Winery. These are Plamena Kostova, Todor Katzarov and Anton Dimitrov. Enthusiastic and ambitious, they are the new hope of the Bulgarian wine.

We should also mention with gratitude the name of the manager Tzvetan Georgiev who takes care of everything in Castra Rubra and its vineyards.

събота, 12 декември 2009 г.


четвъртък, 3 декември 2009 г.

VINI in Alaska

My wine brand VINI (veni, vidi, vici) will now be available in Alaska after being started in Hawaii. Salut!

неделя, 22 ноември 2009 г.

San Francisco Slavonic Society - founded in 1857

Vance T. Petrunoff  Cell: (707) 322-0037  Sent from my iPhone

San Francisco Slavonic Society - founded in 1857. Today they hosted the concert for Dessy Dobreva. Keep up the good work and our cultural traditions.

петък, 20 ноември 2009 г.

Beaujolais Nouveau

enjoying Beaujolais Nouveau with persimmon, missed it at the Sonoma Wine Shack on Wednesday, thank you Whole Foods for having it today. A Votre Sante!

четвъртък, 19 ноември 2009 г.

$100 Million in Premium Wines Destroyed in Attempt to Elude Debtors

Anderson Pleads Guilty to Arson in Wines Central Blaze
$100 Million in Premium Wines Destroyed in Attempt to Elude Debtors
By Bradley Gray – Special Report to Grapelive

Four years and one month later, Mark Anderson of Sausalito pleads guilty to setting the fire at Wines Central, a 240,000 square foot wine storage facility that housed the cellar inventory for about 100 Napa Valley premium wineries. Anderson’s fire destroyed an estimated $100 million dollars worth of wine.

Why did he do it? Apparently to cover up for embezzling his clients out of wine he was storing for them and erase $290,000 he owed in taxes.


сряда, 18 ноември 2009 г.

Magura Winery

Magura Winery was founded 40 years ago in the village of Rabisha. It is located in one of the most mystical and beautiful places in Bulgaria — between the Danube River and the red sand rocks of the town of Belogradchik and the natural phenomenon of Magura cave. The winery has the most modern equipment for wine producing in accordance with all European standards. A part of Magura Cave — The Bat Gallery has been a place for ageing of selected wines for tens of years.

With its soil and climate conditions the region around The Rabisha mound is similar to the French region of Champaign so the best Bulgarian natural sparkling wine is produced here according to the classic technology. The wine is preserved and slowly aged in the deep undergrounds of the cave. The constant temperature of 12°С and the appropriate humidity in the cave provide excellent conditions for the natural production of sparkling wines. The traditional method with bottles and the controlled three–year aging turn the grape juice into a delicate sparkling wine with unique taste.


неделя, 15 ноември 2009 г.

I loved that day

I loved that day - 20 years from the fall of the Berlin wall

US embassy wine-tasting

US embassy wine-tasting

On November 5 a wine-tasting evening was held at the US embassy in Kozyak Street during which visitors were able to sample and buy some of the Balkan’s most prestigious wines presented by vintners.

събота, 14 ноември 2009 г.

Russia threat to nationalise wine is 'political'

Russia threat to nationalise wine is 'political'

November 13, 2009
Jane Anson in Rioja

The Russian government is threatening to renationalise the wine industry, putting a million jobs at risk, a leading wine distributor said today.

Dimitri Pinski, of DP Trade in Russia, told delegates at the Winefuture conference in Rioja that he considered the situation had more to do with political expediency than a desire to control alcohol abuse.

'I don't need to polish the truth, it is all very alarming,' he said, adding he believed the timing of the crackdown was 'artificial and suspicious.'

Since August 2009, levels of alcoholism in Russia have been under the spotlight, with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's deputy, Igor Sechin, championing tighter controls over the drinks industry, and ultimately the reintroduction of a state monopoly.

A government committee was created on 29 October to look into regulation of the alcohol markets. Its results will be announced in March 2010.

Sechin has brought in increasingly draconian measures in recent years, including the banning of internet sales since 2007, laws banning secondary wine trading, and wines over 15% alcohol being treated as fortified.

'Russia's problems with alcohol are well documented,' Pinski said. 'But since 2005 levels have been brought back down to those of 1990.

'There are people who think the timing of this crackdown is more to do with the volume of the alcohol market, and that is has become too attractive and therefore worth nationalising.

'There is an opinion that it will then be re-privatised to a few key companies.'

Pinski said 'over a million jobs of those who work in the trade' would be threatened by nationalisation, and that his company was lobbying to have wine excluded from the monopoly.

'We will find out in March next year if we are successful.'

понеделник, 9 ноември 2009 г.

Selling VINI in Hawaii

понеделник, 2 ноември 2009 г.

Katarzyna Estate

Our goal was to reveal to the greatest extent the terroir, or how the combination between superior land, climate and fully dedicated team can be a guarantee for a great wine. We create the Katarzyna Estate wines for those to whom a real experience means to discover new and unique flavors.

сряда, 28 октомври 2009 г.

Karolinka In & Around Bulgaria

Today I was out and about running some errands. At some point, I was struck by the thought that today would be the perfect day to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine. The sun is out with only a few clouds in the sky, it’s not too hot and the city seems to be turning green. If that doesn’t warrant a glass of wine, I don’t know what does.

The thing is when I got home after my errands instead of having a glass of wine I started reading up on Bulgarian grape varietals, growing regions and wineries. In fact I’ve just spent the last two-plus hours reading about wine. Obsessive? Maybe. Interesting? Oh, yes.


неделя, 25 октомври 2009 г.

China’s changing palette

понеделник, 19 октомври 2009 г.

събота, 17 октомври 2009 г.

The global wine market in 2010

Prognoses about the economic health of wine companies must focus on the potential and opportunties for export.

This is because in nearly all wine producing countries, with the notable exceptions of the USA and Australia, per capita wine consumption is decreasing.

Most producers will start to commercialise their 2009 harvest in 2010, even if not sending out the actual bottles of wine, apart from Prosecco which is always precociously sold the year of its harvest. The quality in Europe looks promising. Harvests for 2009 push France once again into the top spot as the world’s top producer with 48,1miohl (an improvement of 12% over 2008 which was particularly low yielding).

According to recent estimates Italian wine production is estimated at 46,5miohl for 2009 harvest. Spain will likely be in 3rd place, with a volume around 39,9miohl.

Climate change may bring some positive ffects for producers in the short term and certainly the Champenois, for example, are sangine on the issue of global warming despite recent figures showing a catastrophic collapse of Champagne sales worldwide — a 30% decline year on year[1]. One would expect these to improve in 2010 along with the economic fortunes of its importers.

The CIA World Fact Book lists countries in order of their GDP real growth rate. Three of the largest countries performing best in 2008, China (16), India (18) and Russia (69) offer increasing opportunities for wine exporters. However, the recent recession has demonstrated the fragility of these as importer partners (viz. Champagne). Nonetheless, particularly where blue chip wines are concerned, China has become a major force with many of the larger international auction houses and brokers turning their attention on Hong Kong. This will likely continue through 2010.

Italy is and will probably remain the highest exporter of wine worldwide in 2010. This is linked to a number of factors not least of which are the diversity, quality and innovative approach of the country’s winemakers. France may well continue to lose ground (in volume terms) but it is still the number one exporter worldwide for premium wines, a position it is unlikely to lose in the forseeable future. However, both South America (Argentina and Chile) and the USA are likely to increase market share in the future.

Sources: OIV, ISMEA, finewinejournal.com, MPRA, CIVC, CIA World FactBook.


Estimated vineyard coverage for 2008 (mha):

Spain 1165
France 852
Italy 840
USA 411
Portugal 250
Argentina 225
Romania 201
Chile 198
Australia 173
South Africa 132
Greece 116
Germany 102
Brazil 100
Bulgaria 95
Russia 75
Austria 51
New-Zealand 35
Switzerland 15

Source: http://wineindustryreport.finewinepress.com/2009/10/16/the-global-wine-market-in-2010/

понеделник, 5 октомври 2009 г.

2009 harvest is shaping up to be memorable

After a brutal year for the wine industry, California's 2009 harvest is shaping up to be a glorious success. Much of the Pinot Noir and white grapes are already off the vine, and even those winemakers who have been waiting for grapes like Cabernet are finding pleasure in the fruit.

"It's delicious," says Cathy Corison of Corison Winery in St. Helena.

The story she tells is similar to other winemakers'. A relatively cool, dry spring and summer provided the cold nights needed to maintain grapes' essential acidity - the only exception being heat waves in late August and early September, which actually allowed some growers to play catch-up.

"We were thinking we were about 10 days behind most of the year, and that pretty much moved us up," says Nicholas Miller, whose family runs Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. Otherwise? "An ideal growing season."

понеделник, 14 септември 2009 г.

Benito vs. Eastern Europe: България

Benito's Wine Review

Bulgaria might not be the first country you think of when it comes to wine. In fact, ask most Americans to locate Bulgaria on a blank map and they'll gesture generally at an area that starts at Germany and ends at the Pacific Ocean. This little nation sits at the crossroads of history, bordered by the Black Sea, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Romania, and Macedonia. It has witnessed every army, religion, and culture that has passed in any direction between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. And it's one of the oldest wine regions in the world.

Benito's Wine Review

вторник, 8 септември 2009 г.

Pernod predicts wine market 'stagnation'

September 8, 2009
Rebecca Gibb

Wine and spirit giant Pernod Ricard has posted a 12.5% rise in profits but warned the drinks industry has a tough year ahead.

The French-owned company has predicted 'an overall stagnation of the wines and spirits industry' in the next 12 months, echoing the forecast made by rival Diageo just 10 days ago.

While the company posted a profit thanks to its vodka brand Absolut, its major wine brands all suffered as retailers and distributors reduced stock levels in response to the economic downturn.

Its premium Champagne brand Perrier Jouët was worst affected, posting a 13% fall in volumes while its more affordable Champagne brand G H Mumm registered slight volume growth in all markets except the Americas.

New Zealand brand Montana was also hit by a 13% fall in shipments with severe 'destocking' blamed for a massive 25% decline to the US. Its major Australian brand Jacob's Creek remained more stable with volumes down just 2% worldwide.

The figures follow Diageo's annual results which showed its premium wine sales were experiencing hard times. CEO Paul Walsh issued a similar warning to Pernod Ricard for the year ahead. 'While the global economy appears to be stabilising, there is still uncertainty


понеделник, 31 август 2009 г.

Radio interviews with Vance Petrunoff

You can listen to recent Radio interviews with Vance Petrunoff bellow:

Mouthful, the Wine Country's Most Delicious Hour with Michele Anna Jordan
KRCB Radio Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA

Bulgarian wines discussed with Gene Burns' weekly Dining Around program
KGO Radio ABC San Francisco

четвъртък, 27 август 2009 г.


Bulgarian Wines Offer Quality, Value and History to Changing Wine Market

(Sonoma, Calif.) VINI, the leading Bulgarian wine brand sold in America has released an outstanding Sauvignon Blanc to its portfolio of premium wines. The astounding popularity of the VINI brand represents the continuing trend toward superb value-priced wines from Bulgaria. VINI is produced by Sonoma-based Bulgarian Master Vintners, America’s leading importer of Bulgarian wines.

VINI’s Sauvignon Blanc is produced and bottled in Bulgaria from the best vineyards in the historic Thracian Valley. The Thracian Valley has a rich history as a premium wine producing region dating back to 1,000 B.C. In fact, some of the oldest grape seeds and wine goblets known to man were recovered from Thracian tombs in this region. The warm climate of the Thracian Valley is ideally suited to Sauvignon Blanc, a varietal that is emerging as one of Bulgaria’s most respected wines.

VINI produces Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This trio are by far the most popular Bulgarian wines sold in America. VINI is distributed in 10 states and through www.bulgarianwine.com.

During a challenging economic time for the wine industry, VINI and several other Bulgarian brands continue to gain notoriety and market share in America. Many internationally acclaimed wine producers are looking to Bulgaria as the “next big thing,” as Bulgarian wines represent extraordinary quality and extremely reasonable pricing.

The VINI brand is owned and distributed by Bulgarian Master Vintners, a Sonoma CA based wine importer led by Vance T. Petrunoff. This Sauvignon Blanc is stylistically crisp with attractive mineral and fresh melon characteristics. All VINI wines feature a lightweight bottle with modest carbon footprint and screw caps. It is lower in alcohol (12.5%) and priced at a very reasonable $7.99 per bottle.

вторник, 25 август 2009 г.

VINI Merlot 2006 - one of Top 100 Best Buy Wines for 2009!


Dear Vance,

Congratulations! The following wine has been selected as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine Top 100 Best Buy Wines for 2009! Wine Enthusiast Magazine will publish the rank, rating and review in the November issue, (on-sale October 7) and we will also publish the results on November 1st on-line at www.winemag.com

Rank:82 Score:87

VINI 2006, Merlot Thracian Valley, Bulgaria $8, Bulgarian Master Vintners

Thank you for your consideration and Congratulations on making this year’s Top 100 Best Buy List!

Denise Valenza

събота, 22 август 2009 г.

Late summer in Sonoma

петък, 21 август 2009 г.

Unoaked Chardonnay

Chardonnay is vinified many ways, including without oak, which seems to be a growing trend. Without the influence of new oak, the fruit takes center stage. A good unoaked Chardonnay has expressive fruit and zippy acidity - traits of a good food wine.

The most classic example is Chardonnay from Chablis in northern Burgundy in France, which is traditionally fermented in all stainless steel or in combination with used or neutral oak.

Not fermenting or aging in oak means none of the butter, vanilla and toast character that many people associate with California Chardonnay. Even so, winemakers still use other techniques such as time on the lees, which adds a creamy texture, and malolactic fermentation, which softens the wine's acidity.

Judicious use of oak can add much to a wine, but if you want one without, look for terms on the label like "unwooded," "inox" or "acero," which is Spanish for steel.


сряда, 19 август 2009 г.

Sofia Dance Week 2009

неделя, 16 август 2009 г.

петък, 14 август 2009 г.

Bulgarian Wine Society - Wine tour of Bulgaria 2009


Day 1: Flight London, Manchester or Dublin – Sofia
Arrival at Sofia airport, where a representative of Profi Tours will wait for you and will accommodate you in a hotel. Sofia sightseeing tour.
Dinner and overnight in a hotel in Sofia.

Day 2 - Bessa Valley: Sofia – Pazardhzik (at about 100 кm.)
Wine tasting in “Besa Vali” wine-cellar. Afternoon travel to Starosel (at about 60 кm.). Wine tasting and lunch in Starosel. Sightseeing of the ancient Thracian temple.
Dinner and overnight in Starosel.

Day 3 - Villa Vinifera: Travelling to the village of Brestovitsa (at about 60 кm). Wine tasting and lunch in “Vila Vinefera” . Travelling to Plovdiv. ( at about 25 km)
Dinner and overnight in Plovdiv.

Day 4: Travelling from Plovdiv to Asenovgrad (at about 25 km)
Sightseeing of the wine factory and wine tasting. Sightseeing of the Bachkovo monastery and the Asenova fortress.
Dinner and overnight in Plovdiv.

Day 5: Sightseeing of Plovdiv, the old city and visit to the Ethnographic museum. Lunch in “Alafrangite” restaurant.
Dinner and overnight in Plovdiv.

Day 6 - Katarzyna Estate: Plovdiv - Parvomai (at about 110 km)
Sightseeing and wine tasting of wine cellar “Zagrei” in Parvomai. Afternoon traveling to the village of Mezek (at about 50 km). Sightseeing and wine tasting of wine cellar “Katarjina” in Svilengrad.
Overnight in Svilengrad.

Day 7: Svilengrad - Sofia (at about 290 km)
Sightseeing and lunch in Koprivshtitsa on the way. Free afternoon in Sofia / shopping, cultural visits/ .
Dinner and overnight in Sofia.

Day 8: Transfer to Sofia airport.
Flight Sofia - London, Manchester or Dublin
Additional info

Price per person in a twin / double room – 1590 EUR
Single supplement – 160 EUR
The price includes:
- 7 BB overnights in 4 star hotels
- 5 wine tasting according to the itinerary
- 6 dinners in the hotels
- English speaking guide
- transportation in a luxury bus
- entrances
- flight return ticket with Bulgaria Air from London, Manchester or Dublin to Sofia .
- the price is valid for minimum of 15 fully paying tourists

Service provider for the tour is Profi Tours Ltd, a leading bulgarian touroperator, member of ETOA, IATA and ASTA.

Available dates:
- 16-23.05.09
- 12-19.09.09
- 10-17.10.09


четвъртък, 6 август 2009 г.

VINI 2008 Sauvignon Blanc

VINI 2008 Sauvignon Blanc from Thracian Valley is now available in the US, cheers!

понеделник, 3 август 2009 г.

New EU wine regulations in force

August 3, 2009
Rebecca Gibb

The European Union's new wine regulations have come into force, ushering in a new era for the European wine industry.

The hotly-debated plans - agreed by agriculture ministers in December 2007 - aim to modernize the European wine trade and improve its competitiveness in the face of a growing challenge from the New World.

The reform will also bring in new simpler labeling laws. From August 1, all wine labels are now allowed to mention grape variety and vintage on the label. The French AOC becomes AOP (Appellation d'Origin Protegée) and the equivalent of vin de pays wines will now be known as IGPs (Indication Geographique Protegée).

Mariann Fischer Boel, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: 'Member States and producers have a great opportunity to make the best use of the new wine regime to build on Europe's international reputation for excellence. I truly believe this marks a turning point in our wine sector's history.'

The money used to fund distillation subsidies will be redirected to wine promotion and the modernization of vineyards and cellars.

The New World has seen its share of global wine sales rise from 3% in 1990 to 30% in 2008, according to the OIV.

неделя, 2 август 2009 г.

The Jazz School Berkeley - Kathleen Grace

We have to share the good moments in life, so today's gift was that my daughter Anika, my son Troy and I had the luck to stumble on a very fine young jazz vocalist and composer Kathleen Grace and her band.


сряда, 22 юли 2009 г.

Bulgarian Wines Tasting in Sonoma, CA

It was so much fun last night at Valley Wine Shack and the Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat and Traminer from Targovishte were so well accepted by a very knowledgeable audience. I served the reds first (I love doing things the opposite way) VINI Merlot 2006 and Domaine Boyar Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Reserve, and it worked great since the medium bodied reds were judged before the floral and aromatic Muscat and Traminer. Will do it again and the Valley Wine Shack deserves all the kudos.

Wine mockumentary released

July 21, 2009
Oliver Styles

A new film that ridicules the world of wine is set to be shown in San Francisco next month after receiving positive reviews from previous screenings.

The film, called 'Corked!', is a low-budget spoof documentary, or 'mockumentary', which follows the travails of four different wineries and the people associated with them.

Characters in the film include Jerry, the independent winemaker ('eventually, I'll be the hospitality host – if I ever get a tasting room'), the marketing boss ('I certainly don't have to drink wine to sell wine'), Donald, the PR director of a large winery ('this is our provincial Italian courtyard - many people feel it evokes Tuscany...I like to think of it as a French chateau') and Dane, a vineyard manager with a 120dB bird scarer.

Locations for the film include Simi winery, Bella vineyard, and the Michel-Schlumberger estate.

The film was premiered at the Cannes film festival in France in May and, despite its low budget, reviews have been positive.

'It's likely to tantalize the funny-bones of all of us who have endured wine-connoisseur talk...hilarious and smart, it never falls flat, only occasionally bursting its bubble of documentary plausibility... many viewers are not going to realize it's a fictional entertainment,' said The Hollywood Reporter after seeing the film at Cannes.

The LA Times compared it to last year's Bottle Shock, saying it was, 'awkward in places, but tasty and easy enough to swallow, coming as they [Corked! and Bottle Shock] do from places of heightened truth.'

The makers of the film, Ross Clendenen and Paul Hawley, both have wine country experience. Hawley's family runs its own winery which was featured in the film, and Clendenen, although not related to top Santa Barbara producer Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat, has had cellar experience.

Corked! was screened at the Sonoma Film Festival last month and will be shown in San Jose from 27-30 July and in Healdsburg in August. Although further screenings are planned for San Francisco, no dates have been announced.

неделя, 19 юли 2009 г.

Wine Exports


събота, 18 юли 2009 г.

Bulgarian Wines Tasting in Sonoma

Sonoma Valley Wine Shack
535 Napa Rd.
Sonoma, CA 95476 US

When: Wednesday, July 22, 6:00PM
Phone: 707-322-003
Vance will pour Dry Muscat, Traminer and Riesling from Black Sea Coastal Region and some Summer Reds from Thracian Valley.

This will be the first time a wine country retailer is presenting Bulgarian wines. Please join us for some exotic wine and fun.

четвъртък, 16 юли 2009 г.

Liquid cocaine found in bottles of Bolivian wine

July 16, 2009
Sophie Kevany in Lima, Peru

The discovery of liquid cocaine in bottles of Bodegas Kohlberg wine has shocked the owners of the 40-year-old winery in northern Bolivia.

The narcotic was found during a drugs inspection by customs officers in Bulgaria, at the port of Varna-West.

Wines from Vinos Kohlberg are normally exported from Bolivia via the Chilean port of Arica. No Kohlberg wine is currently exported to Chile.

'We export about 10% of our production to the Czech Republic and China, via Chile, but those shipments have not even left yet,' said Herbert Kohlberg, marketing manager at the winery.

The Kohlbergs condemned the adulteration of their wines. 'This illegal action is absolutely not what we stand for,' said Lisette Kohlberg.

Of the 1020 bottles of Kohlberg wine – 765 litres - discovered by Bulgarian authorities, news agencies reported 714 litres was liquid cocaine. The rest – 68 bottles – was reported to be real wine.

The Kohlberg winery is a leading Bolivan brand, producing about 2.7m litres a year. Wholesale prices range from US$1.85- $14.85 per bottle.

Principal varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec.

Bolivia has a cult reputation for its 'high altitude' wines. The country is also the world's third-largest producer of cocaine, and the third biggest supplier to the US after Colombia and Venezuela.

Last week a former Bolivian cabinet minister, Colonel Luis Arce Gomez was deported from prison in Miami after serving almost 20 years for cocaine smuggling.

Smuggling cocaine in liquid form is not uncommon. Earlier this year a London cab driver died after drinking the drug from a rum bottle which had been innocently given him.

сряда, 15 юли 2009 г.


понеделник, 13 юли 2009 г.

Latest Schultz Shock: a 'bank holiday'

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The top-performing letter that predicted the Crash of 2008 now predicts a confiscatory Franklin D। Roosevelt-style "bank holiday." But it's surprisingly sanguine about stocks -- in the (very) short term.

In its current issue, HSL reports rumors that "Some U.S. embassies worldwide are being advised to purchase massive amounts of local currencies; enough to last them a year. Some embassies are being sent enormous amounts of U.S. cash to purchase currencies from those governments, quietly. But not pound sterling. Inside the State Dept., there is a sense of sadness and foreboding that 'something' is about to happen ... within 180 days, but could be 120-150 days."

Yes, yes, it's paranoid. But paranoids have enemies -- and the Crash of 2008 really did happen.

HSL's suspicion: "Another FDR-style 'bank holiday' of indefinite length, perhaps soon, to let the insiders sort out the bank mess, which (despite their rosy propaganda campaign) is getting more out of their control every day। Insiders want to impose new bank rules. Widespread nationalization could result, already underway. It could also lead to a formal U.S. dollar devaluation, as FDR did by revaluing gold (and then confiscating it)."


вторник, 7 юли 2009 г.

Jordan Jelev's Wine Designs

понеделник, 6 юли 2009 г.


вторник, 30 юни 2009 г.

Interview in Fine Wine Magazine


June 2009
My long-lasting vision is to establish the ultimate Bulgarian wines in one of the finest wine regions in the world, capable of producing Grand Cru quality wines.

I strongly believe in organic and biodynamic farming, and we are the first producer in Bulgaria to apply those methods from the very first day we planted our vines. Our project is a challenge and a dream at the same time. The challenge is to be able to produce wines of the highest quality in a specific area of Bulgaria: South Sakar, which, we believe, has great potential and a unique terroir. Our dream is to see a Bulgarian wine on a par with wines from the best sites in the world.

Our first harvest in 2008 produced a small portfolio of wines. We produced 150 cases of Rosé and 150 cases of Syrah.

The recent trend of hot summers continued in 2008. In July and August we had sixty-three days of extremely hot weather with no rain. We reduced the yield per vine and picked earlier in order to ensure freshness and concentration of the fruit at the same time. The wines display classic elegance combined with the strength and exuberance typical of southern climates.
Many artisan wines can touch our soul in a profoundly similar way to the art of great composers, musical masterpieces, and musical heroes. All our wines will bear a musical subtitle, changing every vintage. Nature doesn't repeat itself, and we feel this is our way to celebrate the beauty of music and nature. The name of each wine is inspired by the spiritual and emotional power of a musical work.

ROSÉ En Blanc et Noir 2008 is a blend of Marselan (72%) and Merlot (28%). We picked on the 20th of September. Destemming, soft pressing of the whole berries, minimal contact with the skins and vinification of the free-run juice were the simple techniques we applied. We did not separate the two varietals but blended them from the very first moment. We used red wine cultivated yeasts. The wine was aged for 6 months in new French and Bulgarian oak 225 l. barrels and had minimal fining and filtration. No acidification, no added enzymes and minimal presence of sulphate are part of our philosophy. We like to think that this wine defies the category of rosé wines not only for our unorthodox approach, but also for the hedonistic and intellectual pleasure that also a rosé has the right to give.
The name En Blanc et Noir (In White and Black) is the title of a composition by Claude Debussy for two pianos composed in 1915. Being with my wife Fiamma classical concert pianists, we were rehearsing recently this beautiful piece and we found it particularly suitable to the wine we were making. I like also the unusual idea of a white (blanc) and red (noir) wine disguised as a rosé. 1893 bottles produced. Release Date: 1 June 2009

Ivo Varbanov, 65 Bollo Lane, London W4 5LU, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 7956 377 705, Email: ivarbanov@dsl.pipex.com
Web: www.ivovarbanov.com

петък, 26 юни 2009 г.

Environmentalists call for Boycott of South African wine

June 25, 2009
Sophie Kevany

A US-based conservation organisation has called for a Boycott of South African wine, following the shooting of over 40 beached whales near Cape Town.

Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Captain of its eponymous 'eco-warrior' ship, has posted a demand on the Society's website exhorting the global public not to buy wine from South Africa.

He further demands that winemakers step in and force the departure of Mike Meyer, director of South Africa's Marine Coastal Management (MCM), who reportedly authorised the shooting.

South African wine producers have expressed outrage at the ban and questioned what it has to do with the shooting.

'I suppose it shows we are one of the most visible South African exports,' said winemaker Ross Sleet of Kleine Zalze winery in Stellenbosch.

'Touch wood it hasn't hurt sales; conservation is a priority for us.'

He added it was a warning to the industry that it could be at risk from unrelated events.

South African wine writer Michael Fridjhon called Watson's remarks outrageous.

MCM said its rationale for shooting the whales was that efforts to return the whales to the sea were unsuccessful.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, based in Friday Harbor, Washington, has made it a mission to stop illegal whaling off the southern coast of Antarctica, and is best known for targeting Japanese whalers.

Watson, whom critics have likened to a terrorist, features prominently on the Animal Planet television series Whale Wars.

вторник, 23 юни 2009 г.


and next to it, in Mill Valley again


cool cafe in Mill Valley

понеделник, 22 юни 2009 г.

Miro Cellars (Miro Tcholakov) 2006 Petite Sirah won Gold

Miro Cellars (Miro Tcholakov) 2006 Petite Sirah won Gold and Best of Class at the California State Fair 2009 Commercial Wine Competition (and no, Miro was not a judge in this category :)

За тези които не знаят, Миро Чолаков от Троян е в листата на 20 най-добри винари в Калифорния

събота, 20 юни 2009 г.

World refugee day

World refugee day