RIP R Wines; Sonoita Harvestfest this weekendby Bonnie Lewis on Jul. 30, 2010, under Wine Events, Wine General, Wines
RIP … R Wines
No more Bitch. Say good-bye to Evil. We’ll miss you, Darby & Joan, Strong Arms. Bon voyage Boarding Pass, First Class, and Bon-Bon Rosé. No longer will we savor Marquis Phillips with palate-related friends.
As the press release heralds, “trouble is brewing in Australia.” The crowd-pleasing wines produced by Grateful Palate’s Australian affiliates, most notably R Wines and Marquis Philips, are disappearing from local wine shop shelves and no longer will be produced. The affiliates are now in receivership, facing bankruptcy. Growers and other creditors for the South Australia-based affiliates of the company received notice on June 18. Dan Philips, the company’s founder and owner has confirmed that he is in negotiations with top creditors.
An attempt to reach the websites of Grateful Palate and R Wines both resulted in this message: “Oops, this link appears to be broken.” However, Grateful Palate Imports, a separate company, based in Fairfield, California, is not directly involved in these proceedings.
These wines with catchy names, screw caps, inky-red intensity, and over 15 percent alcohol content, caught on with the expanding market of wine quaffers* across the United States. They were custom-created to appeal to the American palate for heavy-bodied, fruit-forward wines. Priced at less than $20 (and in most cases, less than $15) per bottle, they quickly found a niche market among wine lovers across the country.
Which of these quaffers will you miss the most? Have you found a suitable replacement in the wine collection? Please let me know, and I’ll share the suggestions in an upcoming blog (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
*Quaff: Webster defines simply “to drink deeply” … Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant further defines quaffing as “a thirst-quenching experience that potentially entails drinking a wine without a thought about food” … something my friends and I have done many times over with R Wines.
Real grape stomping going on this weekend
Last week marked the first Grape Stomp 5K in Arizona vineyards, which seems to have kicked off an entire series of fun events throughout the state’s wineries. This Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and August 1, the Sonoita Vineyards Harvestfest takes place from 10:00am until 4:00pm. For the nominal cost of $15 per adult, there will be wine tasting of the current vineyard releases all day, wine/food pairings, and wagon tours of the vineyards by horse or tractor. Of course, the price includes the complimentary wine glass and a few other goodies thrown in for showing up. The highlight of the day will be the 1:30pm grape stomp. That’s right, get in the vat and help get those grapes ready for the bottle (go Lucy!).
The Sonoita Vineyards winery is located at 290 Elgin-Canelo Road, just 3 miles south of Elgin. For more information on the festival check out the Sonoita Vineyards website.