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Dry Creek Vineyard Awarded U.S. Patent for Wine Cork Closures with Sustainable Sourcing Information

Dry Creek Vineyard announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. D779,938, related to the design of printed sustainable sourcing information on its wine cork closures. This is the first patent issued to Dry Creek Vineyard, which is celebrating 45 years of family winemaking in Sonoma County, California.

The innovative closure is laser printed with ornamental and detailed information about the source of cork material, including the age of the cork forest, the harvest date of the trees and the sustainable habitat these remarkable forests provide to the Iberian Lynx and Spanish Imperial Hawk.

This revolutionary concept was introduced with the release of Dry Creek Vineyard 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel. President Kim Stare Wallace developed the idea in an effort to provide transparency and authenticity of the winery’s extensive portfolio.

“I wanted to provide valuable knowledge to consumers about our sustainability efforts and the benefits of cork closures,” said Stare Wallace. “Dry Creek Vineyard is one of the last truly private, family-owned, iconic wineries, and it is important to communicate our ‘no compromises’ philosophy on every aspect of our packaging.”

“We make wines with integrity and soul,” continued Stare Wallace. “No detail is overlooked, including when and from where our corks are harvested.”

Founded in 1972, Dry Creek Vineyard is 100 percent certified sustainable and a leader in the sustainability movement in the Dry Creek Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) and the wine industry as a whole.

Nielsen-Massey Awarded (SQL) Level 3 Certification

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been awarded the SQF 7.2 – Level 3 Certification by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI). SQFI is a globally trusted and recognized food safety and quality program. Level 3 certification recognizes suppliers that have implemented a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food quality plan in addition to a food safety plan and food safety fundamentals. It is the most stringent and highest-level certification awarded by SQFI.

The SQF program is administered by a division of Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and is one of several certification systems recognized by the Global Food Safe Initiative (GFSI), as well as retailers and foodservice providers around the world that require HACCP food safety and quality management systems by their suppliers. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) brings together food safety experts from throughout the industry to identify the best food safety management practices across the agri-food supply chain. Today, GFSI and its global partners audit and certify more than 100,000 food operations and facilities across 160 countries. Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification allows a company’s food safety and quality systems to be verified and validated, increasing brand protection, consumer confidence and loyalty.

Nielsen-Massey’s previous SQF Level 2 included food safety fundamentals and a hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) approach to managing risks and hazards; this level is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The company’s new SQF Level 3 certification adds onto the Level 2 food safety requirements with additional quality requirements. To receive a Level 3 certification, Nielsen-Massey developed and implemented a quality management system that includes documented procedures, monitoring and measuring, corrective actions, internal audits and related processes.

“The awarding of the SQF Level III certification to Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is a demonstration of management commitment and our employees resolve to provide safe, healthy and high quality products for our customers,” said Terry Schindeldecker, SQF Practitioner.

Top Producers Promise to Restore World-Class Status of California Brandy

A group of leaders in the American spirits industry gathered this week for the first-ever California Brandy Summit and pledged to restore the perception of California brandy as ranking alongside the world’s most acclaimed spirits.

Top tier brandy producers, mixologists, and national influencers met for two days of discussions, seminars and tastings aimed at assessing the current perception of California brandy and at steering the future of the spirit.

The result was the pledge, formalized in a “Declaration to Raise the Status of California Brandy,” that said, in part, “We are committed to heralding the exceptional brandy crafted by California producers. We are committed to restoring the perception of California brandy as ranking alongside the world’s most acclaimed spirits.”

“We do need to raise awareness of the world-class quality of California brandy,” said Dan Farber, Founder and Distiller of Osocalis Distillery. “And that takes all of us. We producers have to keep putting the quality product in the glass, and we need the community to get the word out about what our DNA really is, and about how outstanding California brandy can be.”

The Brandy Summit featured discussions facilitated by F. Paul Pacult, Editor and Publisher of Spirits Journal and one of America’s foremost spirits authorities, with premium California brandy producers on the art and science of brandy making.

The group examined the best practices in brandy making, including distillation techniques, maturation and blending, and discussed whether there is a need for more production guidelines in California brandy.

Elite mixologists and summit participants demonstrated California brandy’s versatility by creating brandy cocktails ranging from new takes on modern classics to bright, refreshing spring and summer-style drinks. The group also got a preview tasting of the new premium Argonaut Brandy, which has four expressions ranging from a cocktail-oriented blend to sipping brandies to a collector’s brandy blended from rare, aged brandy lots.

“Because it’s made from wine, California brandy has completely unique flavor notes and qualities,” said Rita Hansen, Head Distiller for Argonaut Brandy. “A few decades ago, the world learned about the outstanding wines in California. We all think it’s time people also learned about the high quality and craftsmanship in California brandy.”

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