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George Zeni Award
The Mendocino Winegrowers Alliance awarded the George Zeni Memorial Award to Allan Green, our owner and winemaker, in a ceremony on February 24, 2003. The award is inscribed "A perpetual trophy given to the winegrower of the year representing outstanding stewardship of the land, community service and producing the highest quality wine grape in Mendocino County."
The trophy itself, a metal sculpture depicting an ancient twisted grapevine, is displayed prominently in our tasting room, where it will remain until transferred to the next recipient. Allan is the fourth long-time Mendocino County winegrower to receive the award, following Charlie Barra, Ulysses Lolonis, and of course, George Zeni.
Manny Cicchetti Prevails in Sudden
Challenger Manny Cicchetti of Petaluma matched perennial champion Dan Perkins wine for wine through three overtime rounds of sudden death taste-offs before eking out a dramatic victory to win the Individual Grand Championship at the 21st annual California Wine Tasting Championships on July 26, 2003.
The rousing climax of the singles competition demonstrated how this event, the only one of its kind in the country, has turned competitive wine tasting into an exciting spectator sport.
The doubles competition went down to the wire as well. The team of Anita Sjoberg of Santa Clara and Tom Bohr of Redlands outlasted the team of Jerry Thompson of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Barry Peterson of Sausalito in a second thrilling sudden death taste-off to capture the professional doubles title.
The California Wine Tasting Championships has been hosted by Greenwood Ridge Vineyards the last weekend of July every year since 1983. Participants compete at all skill levels, from novice to professional. The event includes entertainment as well as chocolate tasting and cheese tasting contests.
Home Run Red
For the first time in our 23-year history, the grapes told us to make a true blended red wine. While we often blend a little Merlot into our Cabernet Sauvignon and vice versa, the new wine is a harmonious 50/50 blend of 2002 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that shows off the best of both varietals.
For the introduction of this wine we created a new label, Home Run Red, in honor of the 2002 Greenwood Ridge Dragons league championship season. The bottle is finished with a cork containing Sammy Sosa's warning that it is only to be used for corking batting practice bats. Home Run Red is available only from our tasting room.
New Gift Package
Our holiday gift department has created the perfect gift package for personal or business gifts. It consists of one bottle each of the 2000 Estate Bottled Pinot Noir, 1999 Merlot, 2002 Sauvignon Blanc and Eye of the Dragon olive oil for only $56 (plus shipping), a 30% discount! It also includes one of our chocolate bars and a personalized card. Gift packages will be available through the 2003 holiday season.
The Switch to Bio-diesel
By Ron Karish
For most of us immersed in the production of high quality grapes and fine wines our efforts are labors of love. From removing weeds around vines to making decisions on final blends, pride in the end result is a constant motivation. While we are fortunate to be able to apply ourselves towards such a pleasant goal, it remains clear that we are engaged in an industrial process utilizing many types of tools and machines, some of the most important of which are powered by internal combustion engines.
Our vineyards and winery are small, but we feel obligated to keep our footprint on the environment as light as possible. To this end, we have switched from diesel fuel exclusively to bio-diesel. Unlike fossil fuel-based diesel, bio-diesel is non-toxic and produced from completely renewable sources. The most common is soybean oil, with many other plant-derived oils as possible alternatives. The fuel can also be produced by recycling oils used in food production. This latter type, recycled frying oil, is what we are now using at Greenwood Ridge Vineyards.
Our work often requires us to operate for long periods of time in close proximity to the tractor amongst the vines or next to the pressure washer in the cellar. The bio-diesel exhaust is not harmful and smells more like a fast food restaurant than the rear end of a bus. In addition we have traded our gasoline winery truck for a truck powered by bio-diesel, so we can take our light footprint with us on the road as well.
Fish Friendly Farming®
By Steve Tylicki
This spring Greenwood Ridge Vineyards won certification as a "Fish Friendly Farming®" operation. Originally created to recognize environmental stewardship along the Russian River by the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District in Sonoma County, the program has expanded to include other North Coast streams and rivers. The certification panel includes representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game, Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Sotoyome RCD. As the name implies, the primary focus is to promote farming practices which reduce or eliminate erosion, pesticide runoff, and habitat deterioration.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the whole process was that no substantial change in practices at Greenwood Ridge Vineyards was required The steady move toward environmental stewardship begun when the Green family purchased the vineyard 30 years ago has received acknowledgment at last. Mendocino County has developed a reputation for eco-friendly farming. Through the Fish Friendly Farming® certification, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards continues to demonstrate leadership in the Mendocino County winegrowing community.