Vinous buys Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

Vinous announced Tuesday that it will acquire Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (IWC).

IWC, founded in 1985 by editor and publisher Stephen Tanzer, is the oldest independent, American-owned wine journal.

Tanzer will join Antonio Galloni, Vinous’ CEO and founder, as a partner of Vinous, and will be actively involved as editor-in-chief and a lead critic.

According to a news release from, Vinous will add IWC’s entire archive to its library of content, making the combined site home to more than 180,000 professional wine reviews and more than 1,000 articles.

In an email to his subscribers, Tanzer said he believes Galloni and his team at Vinous “will quickly become the single most informative website for wine lovers in the U.S. and around the world.

“Best of all, Antonio clearly shares my focus on providing high-quality, totally independent wine criticism,” he added.

“I have known Steve Tanzer and have been a subscriber to IWC for over a decade,” Galloni said. “In addition to being one of the world’s preeminent wine critics, Steve is an even better person. When it came time to choose a partner with complementary strengths and shared values, Steve was the obvious choice.”

“I am looking forward to partnering with Antonio to bring our combined subscribers the most comprehensive, informative, independent wine web site on the market,” Tanzer said.

“With five of the world’s most established wine critics, continually streamed content, a large video library and interactive maps, Vinous is clearly taking the lead in reshaping the landscape of our industry.”

The new Vinous editorial team includes:

Antonio Galloni: Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Italy, Champagne, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Mountains and Burgundy

Steve Tanzer: Burgundy, Chablis, Washington, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Port, Tokaj and Napa Valley

Josh Raynolds: Spain, Rhône, Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence, Oregon, Australia, Paso Robles, Santa Lucia Highlands and Chile

Ian D’Agata: Central and Southern Italy, Alsace, Canada

Garagiste Festival sells out Paso Robles; looks ahead to Solvang

On the heels of another sell-out event in Paso Robles, Garagiste Events, producers of The Garagiste Festivals, have announced the return of their popular Southern Exposure festival in to Veterans’ Memorial Hall in Solvang, March 27 to 29, 2015.

Joe Mozdzen photos/Participants in the Saturday morning seminars sampled several wines.

Joe Mozdzen photos/Participants in the Saturday morning seminars sampled several wines.

More than 1,000 wine enthusiasts and winemakers participated in the four-day festival in Paso Robles, Nov. 6 through 9, which lived up to its description by the Los Angeles Times as not only “one of the premier wine events of the year,” but also one of “wine’s best parties,” organizers said.

“The sold-out 2014 Paso Robles Garagiste Festival is further proof that the American garagiste movement is one of the hottest trends in the wine industry, and that Paso Robles is its heart and soul,” said Garagiste Festival co-founder Doug Minnick.

“We are proud to be the only event in the country to shine a light on so many extraordinary artisan winemakers under one roof – all while offering wine lovers a ‘no snobs allowed’ atmosphere in which to sample innovative wines crafted with passion, a healthy respect for tradition, and an even healthier respect for breaking the rules.”

Steve Lohr, CEO of J. Lohr Wines, left, and Stewart McLennan discuss the 11 new AVAs in Paso Robles

Steve Lohr, CEO of J. Lohr Wines, left, and Stewart McLennan discuss the 11 new AVAs in Paso Robles

A new highlight this year was the festival’s first (but not last) “Big Blend Shootout,” a friendly competition in which more than 20 winemakers blind-tasted each other’s wines and picked out the best of the best.

The winner was Bret Urness from Levo Wines, for his blend of grenache, syrah, petite syrah and viognier.

“It was a great night that epitomized the camaraderie among winemakers in Paso Robles, and the fact that, while winemaking is a lot of work, it is also a lot of fun, especially after the long harvest,” said co-founder Stewart McLennan.

The nonprofit Garagiste Festivals benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program.

For more information on The Garagiste Festivals, visit

Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance partners with Cambria and San Simeon to launch “Blendfest” 

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRVCA), in conjunction with the Cambria Tourism Board, San Simeon Tourism Board and Wine Coast Country, has formed a partnership to bring a Paso Robles wine event to the northern coast of San Luis Obispo County.

On Feb. 21, the first Paso BlendFest on the Coast will showcase the best characteristics of each partner, combining the scenic beauty of the coast with Paso Robles Wine Country.

BlendFest will invite visitors to San Simeon and Cambria to enjoy 25 to 30 of Paso Robles’ renowned wineries, each featuring two distinct blends. At the Cavalier Resort in San Simeon, guests will be able to enjoy spectacular wines and stunning coastal views.

“As evidenced by Paso’s recent honor as Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the region has become known for rule breaking, unconventional blends,” said Jennifer Porter, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance represents wineries, growers and businesses in Paso Robles Wine Country. It encompasses more than 32,000 vineyard acres and 200 wineries. For more information, visit Twitter: @PasoRoblesWine, #pasowine