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Romeo Bragato Awards - Mt. Beautiful Takes A Silver!

Silver Bragato

Our Vineyard Manager, Fin, was present at this year's Romeo Bragato Conference held in Blenheim. This event is recognized as the largest and one of the most important conferences to grape growers and wine makers on the New Zealand calendar. 

Needless to say Fin (along with the entire Mt. Beautiful team!) was proud to take home a Pure Silver medal for our 2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.  Out of 40 wines awarded medals in this class, only four were rated higher.

About the Bragato Awards:
"The Bragato Wine Awards is seen by many as the first wine show for the new vintage; this is a chance to see how they stack up against other wines in the same class. The objective is to give recognition to viticultural excellence and to recognize the influence of grape growers and their vineyards in creating the unique qualities of New Zealand wines, by judging the wines made from grapes grown on such specified vineyards. This competition is open to all growers of New Zealand wine grapes to enter wine products from grapes grown on the vineyard or vineyards owned, managed, or operated by the entrant. Entries must be wholly made, processed and matured in New Zealand. The 2016 Bragato Wine Awards are proudly sponsored by O-I New Zealand, the world's leading glass bottle manufacturer.” 

 

 

A Finalist at North Canterbury Business Awards!

Every two years, Enterprise North Canterbury hosts the North Canterbury Business Awards. These awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence amongst North Canterbury businesses. 

There are several categories, covering diverse industries, from retail to IT, agribusiness to manufacturing. In addition, all entrants are automatically put forward into the Supreme Award and the People’s Choice category which is an award decided by public votes.

This year, Mt. Beautiful entered and is excited to be selected as a finalist under the Manufacturing category! Here is a look at our certificate as well as a couple images from the awards ceremony.

Finalist North Canterbury Business Award

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From left to right: Ben Weaver, Robert Watkins and Erin Harrison of Mt. Beautiful

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At left: Robert Watkins of Mt. Beautiful

The Beautiful People - Chuck Spelman, Global US Sales Manager

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Chuck Spelman joined the Mt. Beautiful USA team in March 2013 as the Global US Sales Manager, bringing over 25 years' of experience and wine industry knowledge. From strategic planning, to distributor relations, to business development, Chuck has demonstrated proven leadership skills and strategic insight.

But this blog post isn't all about Chuck's professional experience ...

We want to offer you an inside peek of what makes him tick outside of his professional role with Mt. Beautiful. Check out the Q's and A's below to learn more about him.

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What is your favorite Mt. Beautiful wine?
"Pinot Noir."

What is your favorite food and wine pairing? 
"Our Pinot Noir and roasted duck with cherry sauce."

Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?
"The Rat Pack."

What is your favorite restaurant?
"Sushi Ran in Sausalito."

What is your favorite vacation destination?
"The Amalfi Coast in Italy."

What do you do in your free time?
"Ride my bicycle in the Marin Headlands."

What was your first paid job?
"Working at my father's restaurant."

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What is your favorite TV show?
"Anything with sports."

Just for fun - what is your favorite color?
"Blue."

What is it that you don't leave home without?
"My cell phone."

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Give us one fun fact about you that you think our readers would enjoy:
"I’m an avid cyclist and have ridden the “Death Ride” twice in 2011 and 2016 with my son.  15K feet of climbing and 120 miles at elevation in 9 ½ hours."

The Beautiful People - Caitlin Manning, Eastern US Sales Manager

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Our Eastern United States Sales Manager is Caitlin Manning.  She is originally a New England native but now enjoys living in the heart of New York City. Caitlin brings 19 years of wine industry experience to the Mt. Beautiful team and is familiar with all aspects of the industry. Before she switched to the supplier side; she was a Sales Rep for a boutique wine distributor and spent several years working in fine dining restaurants.  Here at Mt. Beautiful, she manages the sales of our wines in 15+ states and has rapidly increased the size of her territory since she came on board in March 2015.  We are so glad to have Caitlin as part of the Mt. Beautiful USA team.

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We wanted to give you a better idea of who Caitlin really is, so we asked her the following questions:

MB: Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?
Caitlin: Gwen Stefani, Leonardo DiCaprio and Elvis Presley- my dad’s idol! 

MB: What’s your favorite Mt. Beautiful wine?
Caitlin: 2013 Pinot Noir

MB: What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
Caitlin: Sauvignon Blanc and a huge seafood tower loaded with shellfish

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MB: What is your favorite restaurant?
Caitlin: Locande Verde in Manhattan, Nobu in Malibu, and Cape Neddick Lobster Pound in Cape Neddick, Maine.

MB: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
Caitlin: The South of France

MB: What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
Caitlin: Cooking, trying new restaurants in the city, winery visits, Soul Cycle and going to the beach with my daughters and husband. I also love fashion, so I'm a big shopper.

MB: What was your first paid job?
Caitlin: A bus girl at an Italian restaurant. 

MB: What is your favorite TV show?   
Caitlin: Six Feet Under is tied with Breaking Bad for my favorite show. My guilty pleasure- The Bachelor

MB: What’s your favorite color?
Caitlin: Green

MB: What do you never leave home without?
Caitlin: iPhone and business cards

MB: What is a fun fact about you?
Caitlin: Growing up in New Hampshire I was able to meet a lot of presidents since we have the first primary. My favorite was President Ronald Reagan.  I have also met the entire cast of Entourage. 

The Hunt for the Perfect Gift

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This is a true story about a father searching for the perfect graduation gift for his daughter…

Hannah was studying Product Design Engineering at Strathclyde University (United Kingdom). She spent her third year studying in South Carolina. Shortly after her 21st birthday, her family flew to the United States to spend a short visit with her. During their stay, Hannah introduced her family to her favorite burger restaurant where they tried the recommended Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc… And they loved it! They returned to the burger restaurant on their last evening in South Carolina and the Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc was the first thing ordered.

Hannah’s graduation from Strathclyde was approaching and her parents thought that a case of Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc would be a perfect surprise graduation gift.  So, her father embarked on a search for Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.  He spotted the wine on the website of a supplier of New Zealand wines in the UK. However, in the few days it took him to place his online order the wine had sold out. He then emailed Mt. Beautiful in New Zealand directly and they connected him with Genesis Wines in London. Genesis confirmed that they were able to supply him with the Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc within days—Just before Hannah's graduation!

 A few words from Hannah’s father…

“…Its an absolutely perfect present with which to reward Hannah for all her hard work and I could not be more grateful to both Mt. Beautiful and Genesis Wines for helping me make Hannah's day even more special - or beautiful even!”

The Mt. Beautiful team would like to congratulate Hannah on all of her hard work! Thank you to the Scott Family for sharing their heartwarming story.

Cheers!

The Beautiful Flowers in our Vineyards

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Here at Mt. Beautiful, we use sustainable farming methods. We grow flowers and other plants that attract beneficial insects in and around our grapevine rows. The beneficial insects prey on the insects that could potentially damage our vines and resulting grapes.  Additionally after these have flowered and served their purpose, the organic plant matter from these flowers and plants adds nutrients to our soil. This careful practice allows us to limit our use of insecticides and chemical fertilizers in our farming practices, and so trace amounts of these chemicals do not end up in our wines either.

To further break it down, We plant a mixture of Phacelia and Buckwheat in rows approximately 16m apart, as this is how far the insects will travel to the next flowers. That means we plant it every 8th row in our 2m rows (Pinot Noir) and every 6th row in our 2.4m rows (Pinot Gris, Riesling & Chardonnay). We plant oats and peas every fourth row in the Sauvignon Blanc for soil fertility and for organic matter.

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The idea behind the flowers is that they will attract beneficial insects into the vineyard that will attack the undesirable insects that cause rot or botrytis through their presence. We are letting nature do its thing, instead of spraying insecticides, which inevitably kills both good and bad insects.  The additional bonus of increasing the insect population is that it attracts birds, who also do their part by eating the insects. It’s a Beautiful circle of life!

Not only do our beneficial flowers deter pests, they also add some more beauty to our vineyards.

Drink Beautiful and be healthy!

The Beautiful People - Cori Gormley, Business Operations Manager US

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Cori is one of those people who does it all, and does it with a smile! We are so glad to have her as part of our team. She started with Mt. Beautiful USA in January of 2011.

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Cori is a San Francisco Bay Area native and her diverse 25-year background in accounting includes work in the construction, healthcare, property management, and pharmaceutical industries. She also spent a few years as the assistant to the finance director at Marine World Africa USA (now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom). In the 10 years prior to joining Mt. Beautiful USA, Cori started and operated a number of businesses, including a paint-your-own pottery studio, a foil imprinting business, and a private bookkeeping service.

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We wanted to give you a better idea of who Cori really is, so we asked her the following questions:

MB: Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?
Cori: Robin Williams, John F Kennedy, John Adams (distant relative) and my late Grandmother (because she’d keep them all on their toes)

MB: What’s your favorite Mt. Beautiful wine?  
Cori: Sauvignon Blanc

MB: What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
Cori: Smoked Salmon and Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

MB: What are a few of your favorite restaurants?
Cori: Slanted Door-SF, Bottega-Yountville, Carmines-NYC

MB: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
Cori: Anywhere with a great pool and an even greater cocktail selection

MB: What are your favorite things to do in your free time?  
Cori: Cook and watch movies in front of a fire

MB: What was your first paid job?
Cori: I grew up in my family’s restaurant business, so I worked as a banquet waitress for my dad from the time I was 12 years old.  My first non-family paid job was as a clerk for a florist in high school

MB: What are some of your favorite TV shows?  
Cori: Criminal Minds, American Horror Story, Master Chef Junior, House of Cards

MB: What’s your favorite Color?
Cori: Orange

MB: What things do you never leave home without?
Cori:  Sunglasses and cell phone

MB: What are some fun facts about you?
Cori: I have two amazing sons, 15 & 22, who I am VERY proud of, and husband of 27 years who somehow puts up with my controlling ways every day!  And I am a HUGE San Francisco Giants Fan!!

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Mt. Beautiful Doing its Bit for Women's Health

Here at Mt. Beautiful, we are pitching in to help support women with breast cancer. If you were to drive around our farm, you would see big rolls of pink-wrapped hay bales.

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The pink plastic-wrapped silage is in support of Sweet Louise, a foundation that supports women and families living with secondary breast cancer. The foundation receives a percentage of the cost of each roll of silage and hay wrap.

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Sweet Louise CEO, Fiona Hatton, said, "It looks great and it's a fun way for people to do their bit and support something really important."

Rural women suffering from breast cancer can be at a disadvantage, simply because of their location. "To get to and from their appointments can be really difficult and expensive and it's a hard-hitting reality . . . a life-changing diagnosis," said Ms. Hatton.

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Agpac, the company that started the initiative, imported 3000 kilometres of pink bale wrap into New Zealand. It all sold in less than a month and we purchased a bunch of it.

Agpac’s Financial controller Stewart Turner, is thrilled with the response from agricultural contractors. "It's been an overwhelming success. People got right behind it and it's all for a good cause. Wives, women, are an important part of the business. While the blokes tend to drive their tractors, the women are also driving, doing the books, keeping the guys fed." He described the act of writing a cheque as "too easy," so the company tossed around ideas they hoped would make a bigger impact.

The pink-wrapped bales are currently being used alongside existing bailing and silage products. The change in color makes no difference - it's the same agricultural product as everything else, only pink. And it helps people.

We are happy to be doing our small part to support women with breast cancer and those who love them. If you would like to join us in supporting the Sweet Louise Foundation, click here.

Helping is a Beautiful thing.

Your Friends At Mt. Beautiful

Have A Beautiful Holiday Season!

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In the Maori language Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Meri Kirihimete'. Following is a bit about how Christmas and Boxing Day are celebrated in New Zealand…

New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, so the holidays are in Summer in New Zealand. While much of the world is singing about a “White Christmas,” New Zealanders are celebrating Christmas in the warm summer sun. Many flowers and trees are in bloom at this time of the year, for example the Pohutukawa, which is a tree that grows mainly in coastal areas on the North Island. Because of its lovely red blossoms, New Zealanders call the Pohutukawa their Christmas tree.

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As it is usually quite warm on Christmas Day, New Zealanders may eat their Christmas dinner outside – many people have a picnic or a barbecue. Some people even have a traditional Maori hangi - they dig a hole in the ground and heat it with hot stones, then they put meat and vegetables into this hole, cover it up and let the food cook inside. The hangi is served in the afternoon or evening and after the delicious meal has been enjoyed, people often sit around and sing Christmas carols. 

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Boxing Day is a public holiday observed in New Zealand every December 26, which also marks St. Stephen’s Day. St. Stephen was the first Christian to become a “martyr” because of his faith and he died by stoning. The exact origin of Boxing Day is still not known but it may have begun in England, where the upper class members of society would give cash or gifts to the lower socio-economic status or may have been when priests open charity boxes (church alms) then give them to the less fortunate on December 26. It may also have been taken from an old tradition where masters placed gifts for their servants in boxes and distributed them the day after Christmas.

During this festive time of year, our Mt. Beautiful team enjoys our Sauvignon Blanc paired with light seafood dishes and salads, and our Pinot Noir with all things barbeque. They also love our Riesling and Pinot Gris paired with lighter picnic foods and local cheeses.

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Whether you are barbecuing on the beach in the southern hemisphere or bundled up enjoying a white Christmas in the northern hemisphere, warm wishes of Meri Kirihimete from all of us at Mt. Beautiful!

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Mt. Beautiful in San Diego

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The City of San Diego, California is a vibrant city with a rich history. We are proud that you can find Mt. Beautiful wines in some of her best restaurants and stores.

San Diego is influenced heavily by American and Mexican cultures, due to its position as a border town, its large Hispanic population, and its history as part of Spanish America and Mexico. Present-day culture includes many historical and tourist attractions, a thriving musical and theatrical scene and a vibrant, diverse food scene.

The city's long history and close proximity to Mexico have endowed the area with an extensive variety of authentic Mexican restaurants. Regional homemade specialties, border fare and haute cuisine are all readily available, as well as Italian, French, Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese, Greek, Latin, German, Indian, Central and East Asian, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander food. Wonderful seafood restaurants and steakhouses abound as well.

Following are a few of our Beautiful San Diego restaurant and retail partners:

Tower 23 Hotel/JRDN Restaurant

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JRDN Surf: Sky: Spirit: A contemporary steak and seafood restaurant, JRDN features casually sophisticated California cuisine for lunch, and dinner daily. Wine Director, Chris Delaney thoughtfully handpicks the wines for the restaurant’s wine list – there’s a perfect wine to pair every dish on the menu.

The look of JRDN is fresh, cool, clean and upbeat. The atmosphere transforms from California casual to West Coast hip as the day advances. Each evening, the dramatic setting sun, for which Pacific Beach is famous, is celebrated by an ambient reflection on a 70-foot long “wave wall” at the back of the restaurant. Color-changing lighting continues this theatrical effect throughout the evening.

The Harbor House

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The Harbor House opened in 1980, and serves fresh fish, shellfish, premium steaks and local draft beers.

The Harbor House offers informal dining upstairs and on the outside decks as well as tablecloth/quiet dining downstairs. Manager, Kelly Spar chooses only the best wines to compliment the all of menu items. The restaurant offers great city and harbor views. Walking distance from the San Diego Convention Center, it is an ideal spot for banquets and private events.

Baci Ristorante

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Baci Ristorante is more than San Diego’s best Italian restaurant - it’s a friendly, neighborhood gathering place, where people of various cultural and economic classes find the same comfort and pleasure. Think of it as “Cheers,” with fabulous food! Owner, Joseph Wambaugh takes pride in crafting his menus and wine list. He believes that nobody in San Diego does seafood better than Baci’s brilliant chef, Mimo.

Bine and Vine Bottle Shop

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Located in the heart of Normal Heights on Adams Avenue in central San Diego, Bine and Vine is a bottle store for craft beers, handpicked wines, artisan cider, mead and sake. Bine and Vine’s top priority is to properly store each product in the best way possible to maintain the highest quality and ensure their customers get the freshest, best tasting products possible. Their staff has over 35 years experience in the beer and wine retail profession and has tasted almost all of the in-stock items. Wine Buyer, Stephen Ansley is a “walking wine encyclopedia,” and he carefully chooses an amazing selection of wines, from hard-to-find gems to everyday value wines. There’s a wine for everyone and for every occasion at Bine and Vine Bottle Shop!

We hope you explore these wonderful venues. Stay tuned for more of our travel and restaurant tips.

Have a Beautiful day!

Your friends at Mt. Beautiful

The Beautiful People - Fin Grieve, Vineyard Manager

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He calls himself, “The Gardener,” but Fin Grieve is much more than that to us here at Mt. Beautiful – he’s our Vineyard Manager and he does an amazing job for us. Our vines flourish under his watchful eye. There’s a well-known saying in the wine industry, “great wine is made in the vineyard,” and Fin works closely with our Winemaker, Sam Weaver (more on Sam later) to ensure that our vineyards produce great wines, vintage after vintage.

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Fin is our first full-time vineyard manager. Prior to joining us at Mt. Beautiful, Fin, a South Island native, amassed a wonderfully eclectic scope of experience while working overseas in various roles. We believe that there’s nothing Fin can’t do.

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In 1991, Fin moved to Marlborough, where he began working with horticulture. This move satisfied his deeply rooted love of the land. While working hard and getting his hands dirty in Marlborough, Fin was bitten by the viticulture bug and decided to specialize in the field. He attended Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in Hawke’s Bay, where he completed the National Certificate in Grapegrowing and Winemaking.

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Since then, Fin gained strong hands-on viticultural experience, including being part of a team that developed the first high-density vineyard in Marlborough, as well as implementing new technological advances. After seven years in that role, he decided to take on a new challenge and joined our Beautiful team.

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We wanted to give you a better idea of who Fin really is, so we asked him the following questions:

MB: What’s your favorite Mt. Beautiful wine?

Fin: 2011 Pinot Gris

MB: What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?

Fin: Smoked Fish and Mt. Beautiful Riesling

MB: Who would your ideal dinner party guests be?

Fin: My wife and four children, their pick of one person each (because I know that would be an interesting mix) and I would pick Keith Richards

MB: What was your first paid job?

Fin: Apprentice electrician

MB: What are your favorite things to do in your free time?

Fin: Listen to music, drink wine, have a laugh

MB: Don’t leave home without…

Fin: Phone, wallet, sunglasses

MB: What’s your favorite TV show?

Fin: Breaking Bad

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So, there’s Fin, our Vineyard Manager. Stay tuned for more details about our Beautiful people!

Cheers!

Mt. Beautiful in Chicago

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"It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them." - Mark Twain, 1883

Chicago* was only 46 years old when Mark Twain wrote those words, but it had already grown more than 100-fold, from a small trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River into one of the nation’s largest cities, and it wasn’t about to stop. Over the next 20 years, it would quadruple in population, amazing the rest of the world with its ability to repeatedly reinvent itself. And it still hasn’t stopped. Today, Chicago has become a global city, a thriving center of international trade and commerce, and a place where people of every nationality come to pursue the American dream.

Chicago’s signature dishes are true American specialties, and although they can be found in various versions and adaptations around the country, classic Chicago-style food is only done right in the Windy City itself. These regional specialties include deep dish pizza, hot dogs, Chicken Vesuvio (chicken sautéed with potatoes, peas, herbs and spices) and Italian Beef and Giardiniera (a variation on the French Dip sandwich – thinly sliced roast beef, sautéed green bell peppers and sauce on a roll).

Chicago is an amazing city with a rich history. We are proud that you can find Mt. Beautiful wines in some of her best restaurants and stores. Read on to learn about some of our favorite restaurant and retail partners in Chicago.

Bandera

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Bandera has been a family owned and operated collection of restaurants since 1976.  Genuine hospitality, simple dishes exceptionally prepared, and attentive service are the guiding principles behind their efforts. Along with live Jazz in the evenings and an all-around comfortable atmosphere, Bandera, features an exhibition "kitchen in the round" which lets the preparation of every plate take center stage. Observe the sizzle of their wood-fired rotisserie where slow-roasting techniques are perfected for select entrees. Signature dishes include the Chicken and Spinach Enchilada with Beef Tenderloin, Barbecue Beef Back Ribs, and the House-Made Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches. Manager, Kristine Lopez ensures that your visit is delicious and totally enjoyable.

Emerald Loop Bar and Grill

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Emerald Loop offers lunch, dinner, late night dining and weekend breakfast. Located in the loop at the corner of East Wacker and Wabash in the old Jeweler’s Building…perfect spot to grab a pint with your co-workers after work or for dinner before a show! The menu is large and diverse, but their signature items are the Irish Specialty items including Fish & Chips, Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Fresh Burgers, fresh cut fries and oversized entrée salads. The Vaughan family is happy to share a bit ‘o the Emerald Isle with their guests. Their warm hospitality, coupled with delicious food, wine, beer and full bar keep their customers coming back again and again!

Andy’s Jazz Club and Restaurant

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One of Chicago’s best-known and most-respected Jazz establishments, Andy’s offers casually sophisticated dining, with a musical menu of Chicago’s top Jazz artists. Local performers cover a range of styles from Traditional and Swing, to Bop, Fusion, Latin and Afro-Pop. Their “Spotlight Performer Series” events showcase some of today’s most “in demand” musicians in an intimate setting. Owners and Jazz aficionados Jeff and Chris Chisholm love creating unforgettable experiences for their devoted customers featuring the best of food, wine and Jazz.

Red Lion Pub

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The Red Lion Pub features an open-air dining room in the summer, three roaring fireplaces in the winter, a private balcony room for groups of 10-20 people, enough history and ghost tales to fill an encyclopedia, 14 unique drafts, a locally sourced and delicious menu and a wide selection of single malts, bourbons & ryes. Owner, Colin Cordwell promises that The Red Lion Pub will remain “a place to talk about ideas.”

Andersonville Wine and Spirits

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Feel like staying in and picking up a bottle or three for the evening? Check out Andersonville Wine and Spirits! This family owned specialty liquor store has been serving Andersonville and the North side of Chicago since 1990. They pride themselves on exceptional service and great prices. They carry a huge selection of wine, beer, and spirits from the best regions and producers. Their staff tastes through hundreds of products every week and selects items according to taste, value, and knowing what many of their regular customers will like.

We hope you explore these wonderful venues. Stay tuned for more of our travel and restaurant tips.

Have a Beautiful day!

Your friends at Mt. Beautiful

 

*Chicago history courtesy of http://www.cityofchicago.org.

A Beautiful Thanksgiving

While people in the United States are celebrating Thanksgiving, we at Mt. Beautiful in New Zealand are reflecting on our year. We feel that we have a lot to be thankful for!

First off, we are extremely thankful for you - our Beautiful friends, fans and customers all over the world. Without your ongoing support, we wouldn’t be able to continue doing what we love – creating unique and delicious wines for the people who truly appreciate them.  

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We are truly thankful for our Beautiful team. Our year-round staff members keep the ball rolling and the wine flowing and our seasonal crew provides invaluable help as well. We all work very hard and for us, it’s a labour of love.

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We are thankful for our Beautiful vineyards and the grapes that are nurtured therein. The unique terroir of our property consistently provides us with excellent, trend-setting, stylistic wines. 

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We are thankful for the all of the Beautiful reviews and scores that our wines have been given throughout the years. Our gratitude goes out to The Wine Spectator, The Wine Enthusiast, The Dallas Morning News and many more.       

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We raise our glasses of Mt. Beautiful wine and share the Maori toast, “Kia Ora,” with you, which means “to your health”. We wish you all a happy, safe, delicious Thanksgiving, filled with love, light and laughter.

Our Beautiful Crew

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Along with our regular winemaking team (there’s nothing regular about them, really) at Mt. Beautiful, we are lucky enough to have the help of an amazing crew of seasonal workers, who join us in November and again in May to help us with all things viticulture, including harvesting, pruning, bud rubbing, shoot and crop thinning and more. They are hardworking, efficient and happy people and they do an excellent job.

This crew of ten to twelve hardworking individuals joins us from the island chain of Vanuatu. They are allowed into New Zealand under a special program designed to provide a labour force for viticulture and horticulture. The maximum allowable stay is seven months, so we hire the crew twice a year for a few months at a time. During those times, we provide housing for the crew with TV, internet access and cable, which many of them don’t have at home. They are required to pay nominal rent and reimburse us for their airfare during the course of their stay.

Prop -img -full -h 6x 52s 3x -ysmsnfsvwlj4Ideally, we get the same individuals on the crew each year, because they are familiar with our vineyard and requirements for top quality work. Getting the same crew also affords us the luxury of not needing to train new people every year.

We use a company called Hortus in Blenheim to obtain our crew and their supervisor, who manages the crew and looks after for their cultural needs. They are religious people and attend the local church on Sundays, which is a big boost for the Cheviot congregation.

Because we don’t need the crew full-time, they often work in other vineyards and wineries around Waipara, so, by default, we are assisting with the needs of other local wineries.

Most of the work is paid by piece rate, so the more the crew achieves, the more money they all earn. Most of them return home with very healthy bank accounts, sometimes the equivalent of three years wages in the islands. They also bring back items that are hard to find at home, such as cell phones, chainsaws, shovels, solar panels, building materials, etc.

This is a win-win situation for us and for the crew and we are very grateful to have them as part of our team. This is the second full season that we have used the crew and are looking forward to many more seasons with them.

Mt. Beautiful in San Francisco

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“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Mark Twain said this many years ago and it still holds true. Summers in San Francisco can be cold, damp and downright miserable, but fall and early winter in San Francisco tend to be spectacular. The days are usually warm, the light quality is amazing and the Dungeness crabs are in season and on sale all over the city (particularly in Fishermen’s Wharf).

The City of San Francisco was founded in June of 1776 and the Gold Rush of 1849 made it the largest city on the west coast. It encompasses an area of about 46.9 square miles, with an estimated population of over 837,000 people. Since it is surrounded on three sides by water, San Francisco's weather is strongly influenced by the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean, with moderate temperature swings and a consistently mild year-round climate (except in the summertime).

San Francisco sparkles like a diamond – it has many facets and faces that it shows to its visitors and residents. Each neighborhood is distinctly unique and there are several neighborhoods or districts. The most well-known include Haight-Ashbury, Fishermen’s Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach, Japantown, Union Square and Pier 39. The restaurants in these districts reflect the unique qualities of each district. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite restaurant partners in magical San Francisco where you may find Mt. Beautiful wines.

Pacific Catch

Pacific Catch

Pacific Catch was founded in 2003 by two entrepreneurs, Keith Cox and Aaron Noveshen. Aaron has over 20 years’ experience creating leading edge products and concepts for the food and beverage industry.  Keith has conceived of and founded businesses in the restaurant, resort real estate, consumer internet and venture capital industries.

Through the combination of Aaron’s culinary adventures through regions of the Pacific and Keith’s love of the casual, fresh fish restaurants found in Hawaii, Pacific Catch was conceived.  Starting with one small location on Chestnut Street in 2003, and with Tom Hanson, COO as a driving force behind it since May 2007, Pacific Catch has turned into one of the most unique fresh fish dining destinations in the Bay Area.

Bob’s Steak & Chop

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Since the opening of the first Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Dallas, Texas in 1993, the name “Bob’s” has been synonymous with a great steakhouse experience.

Building on the reputation earned in the original Dallas location, Bob’s now has restaurants nationwide.  Each Bob’s has created a fine reputation of its own by tightly adhering to the high standards created at the first Bob’s and San Francisco is no exception - GM John Frederick carries on Bob's tradition in grand style.

All locations are examples of the traditional American Prime Steakhouse, combining simple elegance, a lively atmosphere, big drinks, fine wines and large cuts of the finest prime steaks, chops and seafood.

Jardinière

Jardiniere

Housed in a beautiful landmark building in the Civic Center area, Jardinière features the award-winning French-California cuisine of Chef Traci Des Jardin. The amazing wine selection, chosen by Wine Director, Jennifer Gomez, perfectly hilights the cuisine.

Before opening Jardinière in San Francisco in 1997, Des Jardins worked in some of the highly acclaimed kitchens in Los Angeles, France, and New York City. Classically trained in French cuisine by some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world, Des Jardins style is also influenced by her Mexican and French-Acadian grandparents who taught her how to cook. Throughout her more than two decades in San Francisco, Des Jardins has continued to focus and evolve her style of cooking as well as her restaurants.

Sens Restaurant

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If you’re unfamiliar, Sens is the Mediterranean oasis in Embarcadero Center. It boasts a dome-bricked ceiling, rugged rock walls, and exposed beams inside, coupled with unbeatable views of the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge from its expansive heated outdoor patio. The ambiance isn’t the only thing that’s intoxicating, they also have an impressive list of spirits, wine, and beer, skillfully selected by Sommelier/Dining Room Manager Peter Steiner. Their bar staff is both friendly AND knowledgeable – a rare combination in San Francisco.  

Boulevard Restaurant

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In 1983, Nancy Oakes opened what was to become one of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco and in America. Created in partnership with Designer, Pat Kuleto, Boulevard began and continues with Nancy Oakes hearty, flavorful and beautiful cuisine as its centerpiece and a wonderfully crafted wine list by Sommelier, John Lancaster and Erick Cadena compliments the cuisine to perfection. Surrounded by Pat Kuleto’s timeless Belle Epoque inspired design, Chef Oakes’ wonderful expression of American regional flavors with a French influenced style has made Boulevard a culinary landmark of San Francisco’s revived Embarcadero waterfront.

 

Thank You Wine Enthusiast

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89 Points

Congratulations to our team!

The 2013 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc received 89 Points from

Wine Enthusiast Magazine!