AWS News – February 2023

Feb 13, 2023



The outlook from AWS President Bill Stefan

Implementation of the AWS Strategic Plan this year will focus on expanding enjoyable educational programs, increasing support to chapters and members, and enhancing integrity, respect, and stewardship.

You can help make AWS better

Get involved by contributing to the newsletter or by stepping up to help out various AWS standing committees.

Treasurer’s report

At the National Conference in Bellevue, Washington, Richard Berezinsky provided details of the organization’s finances for the year ended December 31, 2021.

Education opportunities abound for AWS members

On behalf of the Education Committee, Director of Education Annemarie Morse shares updated opportunities to explore the world of wine.

Amateur Wine Competition update

Amateur winemakers should be on the lookout for a survey intended to help make the program better. Also, see the updated rankings of top amateur winemakers from AWS competitions.

A new year, a new NTP

Material will soon be available for the 2023 National Tasting Project (NTP), and this year’s theme is Southern Rhone wines.

Book your rooms for the 2023 National Conference

Act now to choose from the widest selection for the AWS 56th National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri in November 2023.

AWSEF: 2023 Scholarship application period is open

It’s time once again for interested students to apply for an American Wine Society Education Foundation Scholarship (AWSEF), with an application deadline of March 31.

Winemaker’s corner: A year in the vineyard — a grape grower’s calendar

Kevin Kourofsky catalogs some of the many challenges faced each month of the year by the non-professional vineyard owner, manager, grower and laborer — all usually the same person.

Chapter events

Your fellow AWS members have had some exceptional experiences lately; read what they’ve been up to.

The outlook from AWS President Bill Stefan

I joined AWS and enrolled in the AWS Wine Judge Certification Program to learn how to make better wine. However, I’ve gotten a lot more out of AWS — from local chapter meetings and the AWS National Conference, to the many friends I have made along the way who share the same passion I have.

President Bill Stefan

Bill Stefan, AWS President

While I belong to the Heritage Hunt (VA) Chapter, my new role as President has me looking at the broader picture. As such, my goals are to expand AWS educational programs and to increase support for chapters and members — ensuring that activities are not only educational, but also fun!

The AWS Board recently approved a Strategic Plan that was developed over 2 years to serve as a roadmap to help us achieve these goals, and implementation now lies ahead. Our focus this year will be to:

  • Expand enjoyable educational programs. Director of Education Annemarie Morse has already expanded the WineSmarts Program, with more activities being planned to provide chapters with more resources such as new videos and updating and organizing existing videos and other educational materials on the website. More updates will be announced in future editions of the newsletter. Some of this is an outgrowth of work by Marlene Reddoor, who has positioned Cru 100 to provide additional support to chapters and members.
  • Increase support to chapters and members. Secretary Ron Natalie is finalizing an AWS app that will allow members to score wines in real time on their phones during tastings. Also, Director of Membership Carrie Garczynski has established a Chapter Chair Mentoring Program. She will work with chapter chairs and regional ambassadors on future direction and projects. Quarterly Uncork & Discover events will continue, focused on helping new members to learn more about AWS.
  • Enhance integrity, respect, and stewardship. Arnie Schloemann, chair of the Marketing Committee, plans to expand and improve our social media and the “AWS Welcome Here” Program. AWS Treasurer Rich Berezinsky is preparing for the annual outside audit of our books and budgeting for this year’s various activities. Plus, Heather Poirier, chair of the AWS Governance Committee, will work on developing a Code of Conduct for all AWS members.
  • Support innovation. In addition to developing the app mentioned above, Ron Natalie is working to enhance our IT security, automate manual processes. and improve our website. Director of Competitions Rex Bambling has already started planning for the AWS Commercial and Amateur Competitions and recently automated the previously manual judging process.

From implementing the AWS Strategic Plan to expanding AWS educational programs and increasing support to the chapters and members, it is truly a team effort. Volunteers make this such a great organization. A great big thanks to the many volunteers, including committee chairs, chapter chairs and regional ambassadors, who make AWS a successful organization. If you are interested in volunteering, we’d love to have your help.

You can help make AWS better

As AWS President Bill Stefan notes above, volunteers make AWS a successful organization — and opportunities abound to get involved.

AWS News currently seeks a membership-focused volunteer to compile our chapter events feature, succeeding Adrienne Turner who faithfully handled submissions from various chapters for several years. (Many thanks, Adrienne, and best wishes for the future!)

AWS News also needs a volunteer to compile our standard feature that summarizes government actions affecting the wine industry and consumers, with the ideal candidate being interested in public policy, passionate about consumer choice and wine access, and interested in politics but not partisanship.

If you’re interested in either of these roles, please send an email outlining your background to

In addition, the AWS has nine standing committees that can always use talented individuals with relevant backgrounds to keep them vibrant. They are:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Governance
  • CRU 100
  • Political
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Membership
  • Education
  • Competition

Because we are a national organization, AWS seeks to draw on a geographically and demographically diverse pool of members to staff these panels and help create the strongest, member-centric wine-loving association possible.

If you are interested in serving on any of these committees, please reach out to AWS Vice President Eric Feldhake at

Treasurer’s report

The following is a summary of the American Wine Society’s finances for the year ended December 31, 2021, provided at the 2022 National Conference in Bellevue, Washington.


I’m happy to report that the American Wine Society is on solid financial ground.  (See the accompanying financial statement.) We continue to recover nicely from the economic impacts of COVID.  Although our dues revenue is slightly under last years, we have regained memberships and we are on an uptick in membership growth.

Rich Berezinsky

Treasurer Rich Berezinsky

Two areas that COVID negatively impacted our financials is that the AWS wine cruise was cancelled, and we had a significant number (around 80) attendees back out and receive a refund and not attend.  This caused a small loss in operations. If only 18 more people attended, we would have had a positive year-end result.

Our competition revenue has grown in both the amateur and commercial categories, but the commercial competition has grown the most.  Our Wine Certification program continues to offer the ability to advance knowledge in wine appreciation.

During 2021, the AWS was granted loan forgiveness from the Small Business Administration for a Paycheck Protection Program loan that was applied for in 2020 and this became revenue. The AWS also took advantage of another governmental program started due to COVID, which was a refund of taxes the AWS paid to the IRS, and this was also included in revenue.

We as the Board of Directors, along with the executive director, work hard to keep expense low as to maximize revenue.

The AWS continues on strong financial footing.

Education opportunities abound for AWS members

As Director of Education, it is my pleasure to share with you updated opportunities of AWS wine education to explore the world of wine. We have our very own Wine Judge Certification and WineSmarts programs, along with WSET exams, and a new program for those who are already certified wine judges.

Annemarie Morse

Annemarie Morse, Director of Education

On behalf of the Education Committee — Sharyn Kervyn, JoAnn DeGaglia, Nancy Stabins, and Kevin Ostrowski — I look forward to sharing more wine education opportunities and resources this year for our members and chapters.

AWS Certified Wine Judge Program is still the standard!

This remains the only judge program of its kind. If you want to become a competent wine judge or simply want to learn how to better evaluate wines for personal or professional reasons, the AWS Wine Judge Certification Program (WJCP) provides the advanced training to gain that knowledge and join the ranks of certified wine judges (CWJ) from across the country.

This intensive program allows AWS members to form objective, educated, and critical opinions regarding wines and will enhance any and all credentials you may already have. The 3-year program is open to all current AWS members with at least two years of chapter comparative tasting, or equivalent experience. You can read more about the program here, and you can register for it here.

New this year: Certified Wine Judge with Merit Program

Beginning in 2023, Certified Wine Judges have the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their continuing education efforts and wine judging activities for each year they enroll in this program.

For an annual fee of $50, Certified Wine Judges who attain 15 or more continuing education units (CEUs) within the current year will receive the post-nominal (CWJ with Merit), a certificate, and lapel pin.

The program begins each year in January and continues through December 31 of that year. Candidates must submit their completed required CEU form to the Director of Education by December 15 of each year for verification and approval. Early submission is available for those who wish to be recognized at the National Conference.

Watch for more information as we finalize and update the details of this program on a new web page.

WineSmarts I and II

WineSmarts I is an entertaining and interactive way to explore the basics of how wine is made, and to learn to taste and evaluate wines with the Wine Aroma Wheel using some principal wine varieties. WineSmarts II is designed as a continuation of the series, and will dive deeper into various winemaking processes, as well as exploring how climate and terroir affect growing regions and their resulting wines. Learn more about what’s in store with these courses by clicking on the button below.

WineSmarts I and II

Earn industry-recognized WSET qualifications through the AWS

We offer ambitious consumers and industry professionals an opportunity to deepen their appreciation of wine and earn respected credentials. The AWS is an approved program provider for the pre-eminent wine educational organization, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

The WSET Level 2 & 3 Award in Wines being offered this year expand and complement AWS’s long track record of educational offerings to members.

They  combine several weeks of on-line study and culminate with an in-person exam. All course materials and exam fees are included in the cost of the course. These courses are available only to AWS members, but non-members can join AWS as part of their course registration. For more details, click on the button below.

WSET award information

If you have considered pursuing WSET certification, consider making that journey with the AWS.

Toasting muffins

Amateur Wine Competition update

Like making wine, the Amateur Wine Competition never really ends; we just get ready for the next vintage.

Last year, we updated the registration process slightly, reducing the number of pages in the brochure and allowing more than one winemaker to be listed on the online registration. At the competition in Bellevue, Washington, we conducted calibrations to ensure that no one panel judged wines differently than another panel would have. Now, we’re analyzing the 2022 judges’ comments.

Planning already is under way for the 2023 competition. We’ll use the judges’ comments from the latest competition to institute some changes that should make competing easier and, more important, improve the program.

Keep an eye out here for additional updates on the competition front. If you have suggestions, please let me know.

Vince Williams, CSW
Chair, Amateur Wine Competition

Congratulations to top amateur winemakers

As reported in our last issue, the 2022 Amateur Winemaking Competition in Bellevue, WA, awarded 189 bronze medals, 127 silver, 21 gold, and 13 double gold to 108 winemakers.

These links will take you to lists of the top winners over the past 5 years and the top 50 winemakers over the many years of our annual competitions, which incorporate results from the latest competition:

Recent AWS Top Amateur Winemakers

AWS All-Time Top 50 Amateur Winemakers

Point totals are calculated by giving 100 points for each double gold or gold medal, 58 for each silver, and 34 for each bronze. Points have been accumulating since 1975, when our records began.

Thanks to Mickey Krauss for compiling these lists.

A new year, a new NTP

The 2023 National Tasting Project (NTP) has started, and this year’s theme is Southern Rhone wines.

Mike Blake

Mike Blake, NTP coordinator

If you are interested in the NTP, please visit the National Tasting Project website. AWS members who are either a chapter chair, regional ambassador (RA), or NTP organizer also can register to receive the most recent NTP updates.

Any chapter or AWS member can organize an NTP. It’s fun to taste, judge, discuss, and compare scores. Not enough members in your chapter? Make it a Zoom NTP!

After your registration is reviewed and approved, log in to view the organizer’s menu item for more information and how to order wines. The Southern Rhone educational material will be available by March 15, if not sooner.

Need more information? Contact me by email at

Book your rooms now for the 2023 National Conference

Book your room now at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch for the AWS 56th National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, scheduled for November 9–11.AWS conference logo for St. Louis, Missouri

We expect this year’s conference in the “Show Me” state will be a great success, and we’re eagerly anticipating what it has to offer. Look for details and a full agenda in the summer.

In the meantime, take advantage of a special group rate by using this link to book your room now. Rates start at $145 per night, plus taxes, depending on type of room and the view selected.

Be sure to leave time for any special excursions, as well as our offerings of Wine Judge Certification, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Wine Smarts (formerly SuperTasting Series), and more.

2023 Scholarship application period is open

It’s time once again for interested students to apply for an American Wine Society Education Foundation Scholarship (AWSEF). If you want to be sure someone, a particular club, or a university receives this year’s application announcement, please contact Patricia Green, Vice President, Scholarships, at

AWSEF logoThe AWS Educational Foundation was created in 1993 to aid students entering wine-related industries by providing supplementary financial resources in the form of scholarships. In 2022, AWSEF awarded scholarships of $3,500 each to 7 graduate students, bringing total scholarships awarded during our existence closer to $500,000.

In order to qualify for a scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a full-time graduate student in a field related to enology, viticulture, and/or health aspects of wine with at least one semester of graduate study completed.
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of a North American country (including, of course, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, or any of the other 19 considered part of North America).
  • Not have received more than one AWSEF scholarship in the past. (Yes, a student can receive up to two scholarships from us during their academic career!)
  • Complete an online application by March 31.

The most important part of each application is the student’s 750-word essay describing their current and future research and its expected impact on the North American wine industry. As an AWSEF Trustee charged with reading these essays each year as we determine to whom scholarships will be awarded, I frequently find myself intrigued and captivated by the leading-edge innovations these students are pursuing.

We look forward to announcing the 2023 scholarship recipients early this summer!

Krsten Lindelow, President of AWSEF

Kristen Lindelow, President of AWSEF

Consider serving on the AWSEF Board of Trustees

Later this year, we will send out an electronic ballot seeking 3 people to serve 4-year terms on our Board of Trustees. All AWS members are eligible to vote and to serve.

Our by-laws specify a Board of Trustees with 8 members, with 6 coming from our general membership (all AWS members), another seat being the sitting President of the American Wine Society, and the last being our General Counsel, who is a licensed attorney. Three of the 6 Board members are elected every odd-numbered year.

With the exception of Treasurer, candidates standing for election as a Trustee do not seek a specific job on the Board; rather, they seek a general Board position.

We meet quarterly, usually via Zoom, and in person the Sunday morning immediately following the AWS National Conference. Please check out our Facebook page for more detailed posts about the work the Trustees do and consider joining us.

If you wish to contact me (, I’ll be happy to answer any questions about being a Trustee. I can promise you, it’s a very rewarding volunteer position!

Cheers to a wonderful 2023!

Winemaker’s corner: A year in the vineyard — a grape grower’s calendar

Kevin Kourofsky

Kevin Kourofsky

As I look out over my tiny vineyard, I see a beautiful, if stark, vista with vines covered in snow and ice. One might think that, like the dormant vineyard, your grape growing tasks are dormant. But, if you are fortunate enough to grow your own grapes, you know that there is always something to do in, for, or about the vineyard.

Inspired by the Vintner’s Guild Winemaker’s Calendar, I’ll attempt to catalog some of the many challenges each month of the year offers up to the non-professional vineyard owner, manager, grower and laborer, all usually found in one person.

Read more here

Why drink wine

Chapter events

To have your chapter’s event included in the AWS News, e-mail your tasting results to Sending it to any other email address risks getting it overlooked.

Be sure to follow the format specified for Chapter Events, which you can download from the AWS website.

Include the cost of the wines you tasted, plus scores or rankings. This information lets other members know what you liked and which wines were good values.

AND … please send us sharp, interesting pictures from your event. We would love to share those, too.

The Bristow (VA) Chapter met on November 20 for tasting of Zinfandel and Petit Sirah wines presented by Al Guber, the chapter chair. The tasting included representative wines from Burgundy, New Zealand, Oregon, and California. Tasting was done blind, and attendees were asked to identify the descriptor for the wine and the which of the wines in the flight was Petit Sirah.

  • 2019 Cline Cellars Lucchesi Vineyards Petit Sirah, $18
  • 2019 Boneshaker Old Vines Zinfandel, $18
  • 2018 Ancient Peaks Zinfandel, $18
  • 2019 Ghost Block Pelissa Vineyards Zinfandel, $36
  • 2020 Jeff Runquist Petit Sirah, $29 (2 tie)
  • 2020 Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma County Zinfandel, $28
  • 2019 Oakville Winery Zinfandel, $26
  • 2014 Macchia Mischievous Old Vine Zinfandel, $30 (1)
  • 2015 Once & Future Palisades Vineyard Calistoga Zinfandel, $50
  • 2015 Rock Wall Le Mur de Roche Napa Petit Sirah, $45 (2 tie)
  • 2014 Rosenblum Rockpile Zinfandel, $45 (3)
  • 2016 Peachy Canyon Willow Paso Robles Zinfandel, $30

The Eastern Connecticut (CT) Chapter, co-chaired by Rhonda Spaziani and husband Gary Schaefer, held its 45th annual Xmas party, titled “Cabernet Christmas” on Saturday, December 3, at the Sweet Hill Farm in Gales Ferry, CT.

The sold-out event featured colorful, holiday sweaters, dresses and hats worn by most attendees. A white wine and sparkling wine reception was followed by a buffet dinner featuring four classic Cabernet Sauvignon varieties — all rated between 92–94 and each costing just under $20.

Door prizes were awarded, and a raffle was held after dinner. Awards were also given to those with the most colorful and original hats. The wines included:

  • 2019 Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (CA)
  • 2019 Charles Smith Substance Cabernet Sauvignon (WA)
  • 2018 Los Vascos Cromas Gran Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile)
  • 2020 Terrazas de los Altos del Plata Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina)

In November, members of the Hammonton (NJ) Chapter gathered at the home of Mark and Anne Orthner for a Grenache/Garnacha tasting. Each member in attendance brought a bottle of Grenache/Garnacha or a blend where the majority was Grenache/Garnacha. Our top three wines of the day were:

  • 2016 Zerran, $14 (1)
  • 2017 Close De L’Oratoire Des Papas $75 (2)
  • 2018Tres Picos Borsao, $21 (3)

More than two dozen chapter members and guests of the Perkiomen Valley (PA) Chapter gathered on December 11 for a tasting of sparking rosé from 5 different countries. Labeled “Sparkling rose … not your sweet pink” and hosted by Lori Law, the occasion helped bring the chapter’s activities for 2022 to a conclusion on a festive note.

The featured wines were:Perkiomen Valley Chapter

  • Ruffino Sparkling Rose ($14 for a 750-ml bottle)
  • Alki Bubbly Rose Wahluke Slope ($17)
  • Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux Brut Rose 2020 ($20)
  • Gruet Sparkling Brut Rose NV ($20)
  • Gouguenheim Sparkling Mondoza Extra Brut Rose NV ($13)

The favorite by good margin was the Ruffino Sparkling Rose, but all paired well with an assortment of dishes prepared by our hostess. The fare included cheeses, risotto balls, feta and caramelized onion flatbread, sushi, antipasto, tomato shrimp dip, sweet and spicy kielbasi, cheesecake truffles, and chocolate-covered strawberries.

The Kish Valley (PA) Chapter met on November 13, 2022, at Stonefly Cafe in Reedsville, PA. Nineteen members and six guests were present. Chapter chair Scott Bubb presented the program “Dessert Wines You Should Consider for Your Holiday Table.”

Scott noted that the majority of the members of the chapter appreciate primarily dry wines. His primary goal and challenge for the evening was to enrich and enliven our tasting experiences with sweet wines that are classically presented during dessert or after dinner. Along with five varieties of wine, each member was also treated to a lovely sampling of desserts including cheesecake, chocolates, dried apricots and Roquefort blue cheese.

By the end of the evening, all members thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were pleasantly surprised to have expanded their awareness of fine dessert wine, mostly all agreeing that the wines deserve a place at their holiday tables.

  • 2016 Taylor Ruby Port Fladgate (rich black cherry noted with smooth tannins), $22 (1)
  • Chateau Guiraud Petit Guiraud Sauternes (a “noble rot” wine with notes of stone fruit and honeysuckle), $18 (2)
  • Savory and James Deluxe Cream Sherry (notes of brown sugar, cream, and Brazil nuts), $12 (3)
  • 2021 Yakima Valley, Washington Ice Wine “Frostbitten” (made with Riesling grapes in the December/January harvest, 17% residual sugar, notes of pineapple), $15 (4)

Local resident Carole Meredith led the Napa (CA) Solano members on a discussion into the genetic background of Zinfandel and its relatives. She confirmed that the Croatian black grape called Crljenak Kasteljanski (pronouinced tsurl-ye-nak Kast-tel-yanski) is genetically identical to Zinfandel.

Zinfandel is the parent of another grape called Plavic Mali. Another name for Crljenak Kasteljanski is Tribidrag, still found in Croatia and Dalmatia. The same genetic root stock made its way across to Puglia, in Italy, where it was called Primitivo. The root stock that made it to the United States was called Zinfandel, first planted in the 1850s.

While Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically similar, they are different grapes and produce distinctive, yet similar wines. Zinfandel and Primitivo have different clusters of fruit and different berries. The Zinfandel cluster is larger and can weigh more than a pound. The berries are large and produce lots of juice. The Primitivo cluster is half the size, and the berries are smaller, producing less juice but more extracted tannins.

As for taste, some of the group thought Zin is more fruit forward, while Primitivo has a “bigger,” more elegant style. Primitivo, depending on how it is made and due to the increase in tannins, can have more aging capability that Zin. Zin tastes better when younger, but Primitivo may evolve better in the bottle.”

Today, Zinfandel makes up about 15% of U.S. wine production. The most fertile Zinfandel regions include Sonoma, Napa, Solano County, the Sierra foothills, Lodi, Amador County, some vines in Contra Costa County, and Paso Robles. Many Zinfandel plants are old vine and were planted around the turn of the last century.

For the chapter tasting, they started with two Primitivo, one from Puglia, Italy, and one from Suisun Valley CA. After the pair of Primitivo, the Zinfandels were tasted in pairs with two valley-floor fruit compared to two mountain-grown fruit, which was then compared to two field blends.

The highest scoring wine was The Lanza Family Primitivo ($16) followed by the Klinker Brick ($15) with honorable mention going to Opolo Mountain Zin ($14).

Nineteen members participated the Northampton (PA) Chapter tasting hosted by the Pillitteri Estates Winery from Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario Canada.

The winery presenters, Jared Goerz (export manager) and Jacob Gigliotti (oenologist), demonstrated not only outstanding communication proficiency, but also exceptional knowledge of wine and the winery.

The tasting demonstrated that thinking out of the bottle (pun intended) is an option. Not all wineries can produce medal-winning wines among their products; the wines at the tasting verified that Pillitteri is among the few that can.

It was not a surprise that the ice wines ranked first and second in the scores. What was surprising to many was the Cabernet Franc. The balance, smoothness, and lack of vegetative attributes astonished many. This well-made Cab Franc gained a number of supporters. Close on its heels was the Gewurztraminer-Riesling Blend. This blend was new a number of attendees. Even some who do not like Gewurztraminer found this blend alluring, and it came in a close 4th favorite.

  • Gewurztraminer Riesling Ice Wine (1)
  • Riesling Reserve Ice Wine (2)
  • Exclamation, Cabernet Franc (3)
  • Gewurztraminer-Riesling Blend
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Appassimento Fruitaio, Amarone style
  • Appassimento Trivalente, Bordeaux blend
  • Carretto, Cabernet-Merlot blend

On November 20, the North Wake (NC) Chapter and the Triangle (NC) Chapter held a 6-course wine dinner with wine pairings at Wine & Beer 101 Gastropub in Wake Forest, NC. Thirty-five North Wake chapter members and 28 Triangle chapter members attended. Total attendance was over 100, which included non-members from the mailing list of Wine & Beer 101.

North Wake co-chair Jay Davis encouraged attending non-members to join AWS. We tasted 6 wines, all from Antolini Wines in the Veneto region of Italy. North Wake co-chair Greg Hedrick and Paolo Antolini of Antolini Wines presented the wines, which were paired with excellent small plates presented by chef Joseph Boozer and his staff.

The wines tasted, along with the top-ranked, were:

  • NV Gianni Tessari Lessini Durello Brut NV
  • 2018 Antolini Corvina Veronese IGT
  • 2019 Antolini Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC Persega’
  • 2017 Antolini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG Ca’Coato (1-tie)
  • 2018 Antolini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG Moropio (1-tie)
  • 2019 Antolini Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG (2)

The Ocean Isle Beach (NC) Chapter kick-started the year with a deep dive into the latest wine fad: “Exploring the World of Orange Wine.” Once you get past the innovative labels, 55 members discovered some Orange winesvery interesting wines, including one from Romania — a first for most in attendance.

The unusual technique of producing orange wine from white grapes includes maceration on the skins, giving the wine its distinct color pigments and tannins. The Qvevri Wine Cellar in Georgia continues the age-old methods of orange wine production in terracotta qvevri.

Orange wines explored through the tasting were:

  • Solar Natural Amber Orange Wine – Banat region of Romania, $12
  • L’un des Sens Orange Wine – Lorie Valley of France (70% Chenin Blanc, 30% Melon Blanc), $20
  • Poderi DiCarlo Ribolla Gialla Orange Wine – Giulia Italy (a region known for orange wines), $25
  • Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato Orange Wine – Mary J. Blige, Italy (the Ramato style was exclusive to this region until the 1960s, when Pinot Grigio production changed to clear-colored wine), $20
  • Armani Orange From the Basement – Italy (Armani Winery was founded in 1607), $20
  • Armani Pino Grigio Colle Ara Orange Wine – Valdadige, Veneto, Italy, $23
  • Forlorn Hope Ramato Pinot Gris Orange Wine – Sierra Foothills, California (made in the traditional Italian Ramato style), $36

All agreed this trendy wine was a great way to celebrate the start of a new year of wine.

The Piedmont (SC) Wine and Vine Chapter met on January 14 in the parish hall of a local church to taste Portuguese wines with 23 members in attendance. As usual, everyone who came brought some food to share. (The evening started off with a Cava from Spain — after all, it shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal.)

Then followed by 3 whites and 3 reds from Portugal. All the grapes used in the wines were indigenous to Portugal. A light Vinho Verde with 9% alcohol began the tasting and worked through two more whites and then three reds. The reds ranged from 13.5% to 14% in alcohol.

  • NV Orlana Vinho Verde Feigueiras, $9
  • 2021 Joa Portugal Ramos, 100% Loureiro, $10
  • 2021 Nortico, 100% Alvarinho, $15
  • 2019 DouRosa, Blend of Touriga National, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, $17
  • 2019 Joa Portugal Ramos, Red Blend, $11
  • 2020 Lobo e Falcao, Castelao, $20

On Sunday, December 11, the Venice (FL) Vinos Chapter held a Xmas party tasting at the home of Vicky and Dennis Sliepen. The wines selected represented the favorites voted on from this year’s chapter tastings. Food was catered in from a local Italian restaurant and attendees brought sides to share.

  • Colligny Pere & Fels Brut champagne, $28
  • Courtney Benham Rose Napa, $16
  • San Gregorio La Muela Macabeo, Spain, $13
  • Samuel Robert Pinot Noir Oregon, $18 (best wine and best value)
  • Double Black Zinfandel Paso Robles, $15
  • Oak Ridge Petite Sirah Lodi, $16

The Rochester (NY) Chapter held a special event at My Wine & Cheese Bar Too in Fairport, NY. The theme was “Taste the Wine Spectator Top 100, OK, well, some of them.”Rochester NY Chapter

Twenty-one members and 3 guests tasted 8 wines from Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list from 2022.The wines were outstanding, and the food was wonderful. Chapter co-chairs Beth Camann and Paul VanHorn hosted the event.

  • Entry Wine: (WS#77) 2020 Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rose Cuvee Tradition, $37 (3)
  • Wine #1: (WS #88) 2020 Disznókő Furmint Tokaji Dry, $20 (3)
  • Wine #2: (WS #82) 2020 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley, $20 (2)
  • Wine #3: (WS #86) Gaston Chiquet Brut Champagne Tradition NV, $48
  • Wine #4: (WS #30) 2019 DeLille D2 Columbia Valley, $40
  • Wine #5: (WS #24) 2020 San Felice Chianti Classico, $22
  • Wine #6: (WS #6) 2019 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, $80 (1)
  • Wine #7: (WS #32) 2019 Nalle Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley, $49


AWS News Staff We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Jack Kraft, Editor
Adrienne Turner, Chapter Events Editor
Mike Blake, NTP Coordinator
Kevin Kourofsky, Winemakers’ Corner
Kristen Lindelow, AWSEF
Diane Meyer, Conference Planner Diane@AmericanWineSociety