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Thursday throwaround


Appellation, shmappellation

I reviewed 2 wines yesterday from a winery, Terremoto, a 2008 Pinot Gris and a 2005 Syrah. Both bore the designation “Windsor Oaks Vineyard,” but the former’s AVA was Russian River Valley, while the latter’s was Chalk Hill. I emailed the winery to ask about this and received the following reply:

“The vineyard is located in both AVA’s (and actually Sonoma Coast) but the bold aspect of the Syrah seemed more befitting to a Chalk Hill AVA.”

Whenever I write that appellations aren’t all that important, I get jumped on. Well, this should provide further proof that they’re not. Maybe AOCs count for something in France, but in California, they’re fungible. If a wine can bear either Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley or Chalk Hill — and the decision is made by marketing concerns — then you tell me why we should care. (Both wines, by the way, were pretty good.)

Job alert!

Jackson Family-owned Murphy-Goode Estate Winery is looking for a social media geek to explore the possibilities of the Internet. Here’s from the press release, which was issued yesterday:

The Murphy-Goode Winery has a “Really Goode Job” for the right person.  The Sonoma County winery is looking for an outgoing, web-savvy, articulate communicator to tell the story of the great mountain vines and artisan winemakers of California, tasting the ‘goode’ stuff and experiencing the unique Sonoma wine country.

“A Really Goode Job” will pay $10,000 a month for a six-month contract that includes private housing in the heart of wine country: Healdsburg, California.

Throughout the course of the job the successful applicant will learn about viticulture, winemaking, Sonoma County and Murphy-Goode wines.  He or she will prepare and post dispatches on their experiences though social media tools such as Facebook, blogs, internet videos and Twitter as well as traditional media.

[This is Steve again] If you’re interested, you can apply in person in San Francisco at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28, at 120 Market Street near the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  The press release says that, if you come between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., you’ll “meet the boss” — Jess Jackson himself? — “receive job tips and get a 24-hour head start in the application process by being provided with a code that will give [you] immediate access to the web site. On April 29, the website for job applicants will open to the public at large.”

My take: This Murphy-Goode gig may be the tip of the spear for all of Jess Jackson’s winery empire. The organization is known to want to be leading-edge in the online area; whoever gets the M-G job could be sitting pretty.

How ’bout that!

Hats off to the West Lafayette (Indiana) parks board, which just voted to allow winetasting at their local Farmer’s Market. “It’s going to be a great addition,” Chandler Poole, the West Lafayette development director, told the local Journal & Courier newspaper“As people are looking for new ways to make the farmers market experience a good one … this (will just be) a natural fit.”


  1. That’s goode that Murphy-Goode is giving Wine 2.0 action a shot.

    Will KJ employees be encouraged to go on facebook to join the fun during work hours?

  2. I’m currently working on an AVA petition. My argument for an AVA is that it helps the consumer to know better where the grapes come from. It looks like it will also be helpful in organizing the growers/wineries in the area for joint marketing. We’ll see.

    BTW Steve you are mentioned in the petition as one of the nationally known wine critics that has used the name. Yes, you are helping to get a new AVA created! The horror, the horror……….

  3. Brad, I’m in favor of AVAs to let the consumer know where the wine was grown. All I’m saying is that an AVA has very little to do with quality.

  4. John (not real) says:

    I think the Murphy Goode gig is a pretty cool idea. Actually, I.T. just opened up access to facebook and twitter and are allowing access to it at the winery offices.

  5. “I’m in favor of AVAs to let the consumer know where the wine was grown. All I’m saying is that an AVA has very little to do with quality.”

    Amen, brother. Hmmmm… seems like “Sonoma Coast” doesn’t even tell the consumer where the wine comes from.

    I’d petition TTB for a “Candy Mountain” appellation (“it’s a land of sweets and joy and joyness”) but someone would object that it is marketing to kids.

  6. That sounds like a tremendous half year experience. As someone who had a similar experience during the summer at Tin Cross Vineyards, I recommend everyone apply to be a part of this project. Living in the area, constantly immersed in the activities and sentiments of experienced wine lovers and makers; it’s enough to help you learn a new language, and I don’t mean Spanish (but that doesn’t hurt).


  1. STEVE HEIMOFF| WINE BLOG » Blog Archive » Corporate sponsorship for a wine blog? - [...] week ago, when Jackson Family Wines announced that social media job opening for Murphy-Goode? (I blogged about it.) Well,…

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