exploring the world of travel, food, wine, technology and more
October News 

The month of October is a bit of an anomaly for we San Franciscans. It is our warmest month all year, the skies generally are the bluest they'll get for 12 months. The days are warm, and one only has direct hints of fall with the earlier falling darkness---and of course, there's harvest season in wine country throughout the state. This issue of All the Swirl focuses more on European inspiration be it wines or beer as well as on a tradition long celebrated in California of Dia de Los Muertos due to the high concentration of Mexican culture in our state. 

Account Executive
Alex Fondren spent her "vacation" working harvest in the early morning hours in Savigny les Beaune in France's Burgundy region at Chandon de Brialles, indulging her passion for the paragon of Pinot Noir.  Jordan Carmack ventured to Munchen with her family and fiancee to celebrate Oktoberfest and her recent engagement, while Patrick Bowler, lover of all things beer, tried out San Francisco's version of this time-honored German celebration of suds. Contributing writer Jonathan Cristaldi educates us about Tempranillo as we prepare for Charles Communications' Brandlive with Lodi wines this November 5th in honor of #TempranilloDay.  

We also re-introduce our popular Q & A profiles with those we admire in the wine business, starting with Lodi's St. Amant winemaker,
Stuart Spencer. So, as we get ready to rock October and celebrate our World Series boys this week, we invite you to #OctoberTogether with us!
Kimberly Noelle Charles, DWS 
Founder, Charles Communications Associates

P.S. Click here for my spicy batch margaritas - a Dia de los Muertos favorite.
"Dia de los Muertos"
by Kimberly Charles

Growing up as a military brat and having the opportunity to not only live in and appreciate different parts of the U.S., I was also able to live abroad in Spain and Italy with my family. As such, I became quite immersed in the culture and language of the places I lived. In addition, military families like to say that you’re never alone in the world because we are like one big extended family and with those friendships also came a diverse set of backgrounds, ethnicities and traditions.

It’s no surprise then that I found myself pulled to the Mission district...(
keep reading)!

by Jonathan Cristaldi

The Spanish workhorse of premium red wines is none other than the illustrious Tempranillo grape, which by any other name—and it has many—is still Tempranillo.
In La Mancha and Valdepeñas it is commonly called, “Cencibel,” while in Catalonia it goes by, “Ull de Llebre,” but in Ribera del Duero it is known as “Tinta de País” or “Tinto Fino,” however Toro calls it, “Tinta de Toro” and in Madrid it goes by, “Tinto de Madrid.”
Traditionally planted and maintained...(
keep reading)! 

We have a few extra spots for our next edition of Charles Communications Associates' popular Brandlive® tasting events, featuring LoCA, the Wines of Lodi, CA, and a few special selections in honor of Tempranillo Day on November 5th.

The region has already proven itself as a mecca for white Iberian varieties, but many wine lovers don't realize that Lodi's diurnal temperature shifts and sandy loam soils make it ideal for Tempranillo - resulting in wines of beautiful extraction, sophisticated textures and juicy fruit, which are also balanced by incredibly good acidity and structure.

Join us as
Stuart Spencer, President of TAPAS along with several of Lodi's top vintners celebrate Tempranillo Day with some of their favorite interpretations of the grape. 

Please contact:
Alex Fondren at if you'd like to join us. The virtual tasting will take place on Wednesday, November 5th at 5pm PST (8pm EST). If you haven't participated in our Brandlives before, please take a look at our website for past links HERE.

All The Swirl
All The Swirl
Ten "Medium Intensity" Questions 
with winemaker 
Stuart Spencer
Stuart took over the winemaking duties at St. Amant, his family’s winery, in 2006, but having grown up with a family farm and winery, he has a long history with grapes and wine. Back in 1999, Stuart went to work for the Lodi Winegrape Commission where he continues to serve as the Program Manager, helping to develop many of the innovative programs that have raised worldwide awareness of Lodi’s innovation in winemaking and winegrowing. 

Today, there are over 25,000 acres that adhere to the Lodi Rules Sustainable Winegrowing Program (roughly 20-20% of the entire winegrowing area in Lodi). And, Lodi is home to major wineries, like Robert Mondavi Woodbridge, Turner Road Vintners, Sutter Home Winery and more, while many leading California wineries outside the area buy Lodi grapes, including E.& J. Gallo, Constellation, Fetzer Vineyards and Beringer among others.

Additionally, Stuart is currently President of TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society) a trade association dedicated to the promotion of American grown Iberian varieties. Interesting fact: Stuart graduated from UCSB where he was member of their swim team.

CCA: 1. As a child, you collected _________?
STUART SPENCER: I'm not a collector - even today. Plus, my next-door neighbor was an only child, and he had all the cool toys. So we just played with his stuff.

2. Name a book that has had the most impact on your life.
No single book that I can recall has had a significant impact on me. Lately, one of the more interesting books I've read is “John Adams.” It was amazing how a few committed and principled individuals changed the course of history.

3. Recall the biggest and best mistake you ever made and what you learned from it.
I generally try to forget my mistakes. No sense in dwelling on them. But just last month while unloading a truckload of grapes I managed to run the forklift into a customer's car. What did I learn? Look around before jumping in the forklift, and next time, rather than assuming “I’ve got this,” I will ask the customer to move their car.

4. Cabin in the woods or penthouse in the city and why?
Neither, I'm a beach and ocean guy.

5. What do you think about a future with driverless cars?
Having seen one of my colleagues driving, I think driverless cars are probably a good thing.

Keep reading to find out Stuart's 10-year prediction on technology, and what career path might have dissuaded him from being a winemaker.
Subscribe to 'All The Swirl' Newsletter
2014 Burgundy Harvest  
Eleventh Hour Sunshine in Savigny
by Alex Fondren

When I booked my trip to Burgundy in late August, things were looking pretty bleak for the region. There was an awful hailstorm in June that undid much of the hopeful tone that had been set by the warm, arid (too-good-to-be-true) conditions that preceded it. After three incredibly small harvests, vintners had been feeling tentatively optimistic about the size of 2014’s crop, but the June hail ravaged...

(and later in this post)...

I became fairly intimate with two modest tanks of Grand Cru Corton Bressandes, especially after a few rounds of pigeages...
(keep reading)!
From Munich to the Bay Area

BAY AREA by Patrick Bowler. Dressed in my craft beer sweatshirt (it was a little chilly) and craft beer hat, I naively assumed that Oktoberfest By The Bay would feature a variety of local and imported brews and would offer an excuse for an unofficial convergence of...(keep reading)!

MUNICH by Jordan Carmack. I was one of the approximately 6 million people to attend this year’s festival. At 4:30am my parents, my fiancé, my grandparents, and I (we had three generations to celebrate the occasion!) woke up, got ourselves ready, and headed to the gates...(keep reading)!

Copyright © 2014 Charles Communications Associates, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp