Browsing articles in "wine festivals"
Jul 19, 2014
Terri Judson

Sense of Place: Surrender to summer

Parkpoint Health Club.

Parkpoint Health Club

Sketches and text by Richard Sheppard / Special to Towns

There’s a tipping point of summer when daytime heat dulls the senses, slowing our usual activities to a crawl. The bucket list of wine festivals, food fairs, and concerts that sounded exciting in June begin to feel like too much effort. This is the beginning of summer’s softer side, when the high sun slows busy schedules down and allows us to reflect on the basics, like watching garden sunflowers chase the afternoon sun across the sky.

Water conservation is on everyone’s mind these days, and there are ways to revel in or around it without wasting a drop. Water sports at the pool provide opportunities to melt the heat and enjoy the neighborhood kids at play. Or lounge poolside with a cold drink and watch the motivated adults skim the surface of the lap lanes.

As the day grows long, alternating between a light summer read and dozing under the shade of a beach umbrella can be the perfect way to wrap up the afternoon.

On cooler days, few things sum up the season like a lazy fishing trip on Lake Sonoma, watching the wind skate across the water while waiting for a catch. The Dry Creek General Store houses fishing supplies in a wooden shed next door to the store: hooks, bobbers, sinkers, and night crawlers for the fishing enthusiast heading to the lake.

Arriving midday at the store temporarily breaks the summer spell, with bustling customers queueing up for daily lunch specials and signature sandwiches. Outside, rows of picnic tables and comfy chairs are often occupied by hungry cyclists, tourists, and winery workers.

It’ll be weeks before nature surrenders to the inevitable decay of autumn and a time when more intellectual pursuits replace the pleasures and lackadaisical mood of summer.

Healdsburg-based artist Richard Sheppard can be reached at

Dry Creek General Store

Dry Creek General Store

Lake Sonoma

Lake Sonoma

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Jul 18, 2014
Terri Judson

Where to go on holiday in September 2014

A spectacular sunrise at Palermo Harbour, Sicily

A spectacular sunrise at Palermo Harbour, Sicily

BargotiPhotography / Thinkstock

From beach breaks in Sicily to hiking holidays in the Rocky Mountains, we round up the best trips to take this September.

For beach bums

Short haul: Sicily, Italy

September is the perfect time to visit Sicily; the weather is scorching, the crowds have abated and there are food festivals aplenty. 

Holidaymakers can work up an appetite basking on the island’s fine sandy beaches before imbibing Sicily’s gastronomic offerings at the annual Cous Cous Festival (23-18 September), which features live music, cooking competitions and, of course, an abundance of couscous. 

Those with a sweet tooth should check out the annual Sherbeth Festival (4-8 September), a celebration of the island’s famous gelato ice cream. Look out too for local wine festivals, which are held regularly in September to celebrate the annual grape harvest.

For a bit of culture, why not watch the opera at Teatro Massimo or take a Godfather-themed tour of the island?

Long haul: Hawaii, USA

September in Hawaii is prime time for beach bums and board ridersSeptember in Hawaii is prime time for beach bums and board riders
EpicStockMedia / Thinkstock

With beautiful beaches and great weather, Hawaii is a popular holiday destination all year round. But if you’re a board rider, September is the best time to visit; the surf is good but the professional surfers have yet to arrive and hog the waves.

As well as great swell, September plays host to the annual Aloha Festivals. Taking place throughout the month, this series of shindigs showcase the island’s cultural traditions through music, food and entertainment.

The party kicks off with the annual Queen Liliuokalani Canoe Race (1 September), a fiercely contested 29km (18-mile) race from Kailua Bay to Honolulu.

For thrillseekers

Short haul: Madeira, Portugal

Music and dancing fill the streets of Madeira for a week in September during the annual Columbus Festival (18-20 September), which honours Christopher Columbus and his ties to the island.

Over the course of a week, there are street performances, exhibits and music. The highlight, though, is the theatrical re-enactment of Columbus’ arrival to Porto Santo.

Those inspired by the legendary explorer can blaze their own trail across the island, choosing from a series of adventure activities such as scuba diving, canyoning and off-roading.

Long haul: Rocky Mountains, USA

A black bear wanders around the Rocky Mountains
Lynn_Bystrom / Thinkstock

The Rocky Mountains are, arguably, at their best during September; the weather is fine, the wildlife abundant and the browning leaves make for excellent photographs.

Visitors can drive along scenic mountain passes, picnic amongst the highest peaks in North America and trek along various hiking trails. The more adventurous can set up camp in the lofty wilderness.

September in the Rockies is a great month to observe the local fauna; visitors can expect to see elk, deer, moose, birds and black bears.

For city slickers

Short haul: Edinburgh, Scotland

This September, Scotland will vote to decide whether it stays in the UK or becomes an independent country – an exciting time, then, to visit the Scottish capital, where visitors may witness history in the making.

If not, they could always see history that’s already been written in one of the city’s many museums and historical buildings, which offer free access on weekends throughout September.

The promotion is part of the brilliant Doors Open Days, an initiative offering visitors the opportunity to see sights they won’t normally get to see – many participating buildings are not normally open to the public.

Long haul: Shanghai, China

A bird's eye view of Shanghai at sunset A bird’s eye view of Shanghai at sunset
Creative Commons / ビッグアップジャパン

The city of Shanghai comes alive every September with the annual Tourism Festival (13 September – 6 October). This extravagant gala kicks off with the Grand Opening Ceremony, an elaborate street parade featuring giant floats, live music and performing arts.

The revelry continues in much the same vein for three more weeks. If the party gets too much, you could slope off to Shanghai’s world-class museums, take a relaxing river cruise, eat your way around the city or treat yourself to an ancient Chinese massage.

Related articles:
The 20 islands you never knew existed
The 10 best pilgrimages for modern travellers


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Jul 18, 2014
Terri Judson

Grace Jerk Festival Showcases Jamaican Culture, Heritage in New York

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Out of three dozen major food and wine festivals in New York during the month of July, the Grace Jamaican Jerk Fest stands out as the most ethnic and culturally diverse.  (2013 Celebrity Cook-Off winner New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio)

“We are excited to present the fourth staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, “New York’s Biggest Caribbean Food Festival,” said Anthony Turner, media marketer and event publicist in a statement.

Because of the festival’s huge and vibrant musical component, many people tend to confuse the food festival for a musical concert.  But event publicist Turner was quick to rectify the misconception saying “It is important to stress this is not a music festival but a food festival that feature various facets of our Caribbean heritage including our music and fashion.”

“One highlight of the festival each year is the jerk cook off competition where Top chefs and celebrities battle for the championship. On the musical side, reggae star Maxi Priest, Etana and Mr. Vegas will deliver exceptional performances on the main stage while the Braata Folk singers and other acts will deliver performances on the cultural stage that will appeal to every member of the family,” Turner added.

At last year’s intense Celebrity Jerk Cook-Off, former New York City Public Advocate and current Mayor Bill de Blasio out jerked “Cool Runnings” star Leon Robinson to win the coveted championship.

Festival organizers announced Wednesday that two Americans, Food Network’s finalist Chef Max Hardy and Chef Nelson Gason would compete to create the most fiery Jamaican jerk recipe to win this year’s prize.

There are three consolation cash prizes for the Jerk Cook-Off contestants, winner of the Dutch Pot could receive $500 while $200 for the Silver Dutch Pot and $100 to win the Bronze Pot.

Braata Theatre's Folk Singers and Dancers

Braata Theatre’s Folk Singers and Dancers

Earlier last week, event coordinator Richard Lue during an in-studio radio interview on No Questions Asked radio show on WBAI, 99.5 FM said that an estimated 16,000 patrons would attend the festival this year.

Lue reiterated the atmosphere to expect at the festival, “The festival is definitely a family-friendly event, so it has something for every member of the family to enjoy, from the cook-off competitions to the traditional and folk presentations on the cultural stage and the music.”

The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival NY could be a great way to experience Jamaican culture and heritage outside the island of Jamaica.

By Dennis Kabatto

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

© 2014, Sierra Express Media. All rights reserved.


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Jul 18, 2014
Terri Judson

Wife’s reluctance to leave surprised me – Portales News

Kitsana Dounglomchan

By Kitsana Dounglomchan

Local columnist

Something unexpected happened last week. I got an assignment to New Delhi, India.

It wasn’t entirely a surprise; I did apply for the position by clicking a button on the assignment management website, but I’ve clicked plenty of buttons on there before without anything happening.

This wasn’t the biggest surprise of the week. That came when I told my wife, Cassandra, about our new duty location.
Her first question was, “Can the dogs go?”

“I don’t know,” I replied, frustrated that she wasn’t displaying the level of enthusiasm I expected. And then she did something I never thought a military spouse at Cannon Air Force Base would do. She got upset at the thought of uprooting our lives yet again.

I was shocked, and we started arguing.

“This is a great opportunity to live overseas and travel the world,” I said. But none of this mattered to her — Cassandra has come to enjoy living in Clovis.

I don’t remember when it happened, but when I look back at the past year and a half I see how it all came together.

At 31, she decided to live by the adage “it’s never too late to go back to school,” so I transferred my G.I. bill to her, and she’s been attending Clovis Community College ever since.

She befriended a talented hairstylist, Shannon, after they started taking day trips to Lubbock. Now they’re always working on nifty crafts they’ve found on Pinterest and hosting crafting parties with other friends.
Truth told, I think these actually double as wine festivals.

Cassandra spends her Saturday mornings running 5k races around town with her friend, Maggie. And when there’s not a race, she drags me out of bed so we can loop around Colonial Golf course with our three dogs (we just got a puppy).

On nights when I get off work, she has dinner waiting for me in the oven. And when I was grinding 12-hour graveyard shifts last year, she would plan and pack my lunch and dinner for the everlasting night.

But I didn’t think about the life she had created for us in Clovis when I found out about India. I only thought about my career, and expected her to pick up and move without the slightest bit of trepidation.

But what powers this American military life is the foundation our families provide. “Happy wife, happy life,” my old boss once said. And if you have a spouse like Cassandra, you know how crucial they are to your success, as well as your sanity.

We made up the following day, and apologized to one another. She told me she was excited to be going to India. She’s just going to miss the routine we’ve grown accustomed to in Clovis.

It’s going to be strange going from a city of 37,775 residents to a metropolis of over 22 million. But no matter where the tides of the military take us, we’ll be happy together.

Kitsana Dounglomchan, an 11-year Air Force veteran, writes about his life and times for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

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Jul 18, 2014
Terri Judson

Resort pairs local tastes

Silver Star Mountain Resort is preparing for the annual Summer Wine and Food Festival.

Overseeing the Aug. 8 to 10 event is chef Brenden Blair, who is now heading up Silver Star’s food and beverage department.

“The addition of chef Blair signals our commitment to expanding and improving our food and beverage offerings at Silver Star,” said Jesse Crockett, hospitality director.

“A chef with Brenden’s experience in events and catering, from high-end to casual dining, is precisely who we want to help execute our new vision. His energy and enthusiasm will lead and inspire the talented professionals on our culinary team.”

The highlight of the festival will be the B.C. Mile High Wine Tasting Aug. 9.

Hosted by Okanagan Wine Festivals and Silver Star Mountain Resort, 30 wineries from across the valley will showcase their new varietals. The weekend features wine master’s dinners, food and wine seminars and art gallery viewings.

Packages start from $133 including accommodation and Mile High Wine Tasting tickets.

For more information, go to


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Jul 17, 2014
Terri Judson

Bills partner with Yancey’s Fancy

The Buffalo Bills today announced a partnership with Yancey’s Fancy, New York’s artisan cheese.  As part of the agreement, Yancey’s Fancy will become the Official Cheese of the Buffalo Bills.

The partnership brings together two iconic brands and will engage fans with unique and exciting programming throughout the year, including endorsement opportunities from John Murphy, the Voice of the Bills. Yancey’s Fancy will also become the presenting sponsor of Bills Friday on, giving fans the opportunity to win Bills and Yancey’s Fancy prize packs during the 2014 season.

Yancey’s Fancy will incorporate their artisan cheese into various dishes served at Ralph Wilson Stadium’s concession stands, suites and clubs including the artisan cheese and charcuterie board, poutine, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches and wraps.

“We are proud to align with Yancey’s Fancy, a high quality, hometown brand that has built a loyal customer base not only in Western New York, but throughout the country,” said Bruce Popko, Bills Chief Revenue Officer. “Bills fans will be thrilled to see their products featured on the new, enhanced menu at Ralph Wilson Stadium as well as through unique promotions such as Bills Friday where fans can submit photos showcasing team spirit to win Bills and Yancey’s Fancy prize packages throughout the season.”

The partnership also includes LED ribbon board signage during all Bills home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium.  In addition, Yancey’s Fancy will become an official sponsor of Bills Training Camp held at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY.  This will include on-field signage, the ability to sample their products at each night practice and various other hospitality opportunities.

“The Buffalo Bills have a very dedicated and loyal fan base,” said Wayne Henry, President and CEO of Yancey’s Fancy. “Joining forces with the Bills is a very fitting example of our dedication to Western New York and to the people here.”

About Yancey’s Fancy

Following World War I, Leo Kutter emigrated from Bavaria to New York State and using his cheese making knowledge opened a small factory in Cowlesville, NY. In 1947 he founded a new factory where Yancey’s Fancy is located today near Corfu, NY. In 1998 Kutter’s Cheese Factory became Yancey’s Fancy as it is today. You can look for Yancey’s Fancy to be attending many of the local Food and Wine Festivals of WNY, along with our products being carried in all major retailers. Yancey’s Fancy offers a variety of over 45 products which can be found at many retail stores nationwide as well as through Kutter’s Cheese House which is located on-site in Corfu, New York just off Exit 48A on Interstate 90. Yancey’s Fancy is manufacturing these cheeses in wheels and wedges. For more information on Yancey’s Fancy products visit, call (585) 599-4448, like us on Facebook at, or follow Yancey’s on Twitter at

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Jul 15, 2014
Terri Judson

Northern Michigan Wine Festivals and Events

Each year handfuls of Northern Michigan wine festivals and events take place throughout Michigan’s “wine country.” Ranging from weekend-long festivals that feature headlining nationally touring and Northern Michigan musicians to day-long events that celebrate with wine tours and food pairings. These events happen annually throughout Northern Michigan; keep your eye on for ticketing.

Leelanau Taste the Passion Tour — Early February

Taste the passion streaming through Leelanau County wineries at this annual celebration of wine, chocolate, and love. Take a tour through numerous wineries and tasting rooms as you enjoy wine and food pairings along with wintery and Valentine-themed activities. Tickets include a signature wine class with a special wine pour and sweet or savory dish at each winery.

Gill’s Pier Swine and Dine — Late May

Join this annual pig roast out at Gill’s Pier Winery located in the beautiful fields of Leelanau Peninsula. Watch the pig slow-roast while you sip on wine, jam to music, and maybe win a few prizes.

Leland Artscape — Second Saturday in June

The pre-event to Leland Wine and Food Festival (see below), Artscape showcases local artists, with judges choosing the winning piece to be used for the following year’s Wine and Food Festival. Sip on wine while you vote for your favorite “People’s Choice” piece of art.  This event takes place at the Old Art Building in Leland.

Leland Wine and Food Festival — Second Saturday in June

Enjoy a day at Leland Harbor near historic Fishtown. Taste award-winning wine, enjoy views of the water and the distant Sleeping Bear Dunes, and munch on delicious specialties from local restaurants and vendors.  This event takes place in Leland.

Traverse City Wine Art Festival  — Late June

This one-day event features numerous musical acts and plenty of wine to sample, all in conjunction with an art show displaying the works of local and regional artists. Held at the Grand Traverse Commons west of downtown Traverse City, the Traverse City Wine Art Festival is one of the biggest of the season. Tickets include a complimentary wine glass and 4 wine-tasting tickets.

Harbor Springs Waterfront Wine Festival — Late June

Held in the park next to the city marina off Front Street, the Waterfront Wine Festival in Harbor Springs brings wine tasting to the water. This waterfront event will also include music, art and more.

Leelanau Peninsula Wine on the Water Festival  — July 19th, 2014

The Leelanau Peninsula Wine on the Water Festival will feature tastes of Northern Michigan’s wine country as well as distilleries and breweries. This festival also includes food from local restaurants and live music all while taking in the captivating views of the water. This event takes place in Suttons Bay.  Tickets available at

City of Riesling —July 26 – 28

From July 26th through the 28th, Traverse City will host a unique Northern Michigan event, City of Riesling, which celebrates Northern Michigan wine, foodbooks, film, and music. The event kicks off with a riesling showcase held at various Traverse City restaurants and wineries on Saturday, July 26th. The following Sunday afternoon from 3–5 pm will be the Riesling Oyster Riot: chef Michael Peterson of Siren Hall takes over The Little Fleet with flights of Riesling and paired to a variety of oysters. After that—from 5:30–10:30 pm—is The Night of 100 Rieslings, a gala in Clinch Park highlighted by a pop-up bar presenting, yes, one hundred kinds of Rieslings. The bar will be tended by expert winemakers and sommeliers to help you understand the quality and significance of the rieslings available to sip. Swing around to the Bijou on the Bay and see the short film: Watch Your Back: A Riesling Movie, by world renown Riesling fan, Stuart Pigott. Read more about this weekend homage. Tickets are available at

Paella in the Park — August 15th, 2014

Held in Traverse City’s Open Space, this food and wine event brings the traditional Spanish dish, paella, to Northern Michigan. Paella and wines from the Old Mission Peninsula will be paired together to create the ultimate food and drink experience. Paella in the Park will also feature live music. Tickets include 3 food tokens and 4 wine pours. Tickets available at

Leelanau Peninsula Harvest Stompede  — September 6th and 7th, 2014

Start the day with a 5k run/walk or 7 mile run through the rolling hills of Leelanau County. Then, top it off with a self-guided wine tour of Leelanau Peninsula wineries. Or, don’t run and enjoy the wine anyways. Tickets include a souvenir wine glass and special wine pour and food pairing at each participating winery.  Tickets are available at

 More Northern Michigan Wine

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Jul 14, 2014
Terri Judson

Fine-tuning the pitch to women

Spots slowly shift from soccer moms to empowered professionals





When the pop song “Stacy’s Mom” was used in a 2005 commercial, the ironic star of the ad — the one who’s “got it goin’ on” — was a frumpy suburban type, in a baggy cardigan and mom jeans, who enthralls preteen boys with her minivan stocked with chilled Dr Pepper.

The song reappeared last fall, this time with the female protagonist, played by French model Magali Amadei, dressed for the office in slacks and a blazer, dropping “Stacy” off at school on the way to work. The dorky dads at the scene are captivated, not by the mom so much as her Cadillac SRX, and its power rear liftgate.

The song is the same, and the setup similar. But the newer ad represented a first for Cadillac’s mainstream advertising: a woman clearly depicted as a professional, in the driver’s seat of a luxury vehicle.

Even in the 2010s, says Sherrie Weitzman, the SRX’s advertising manager, that’s not a common image. Cadillac’s ads going back to the 1960s, Weitzman says, are rich with portrayals of women as “an accessory to the vehicle,” seated in the passenger seat alongside a successful male, or presented as eye candy. At other brands, car ads aimed at women typically cast them solely as family chauffeurs rather than working moms or professionals.

Weitzman says her marketing mission is to more accurately portray today’s empowered woman, to appeal to a demographic “that is clearly rising in purchasing power.”

There’s an opportunity there. According to IHS, as of the end of 2013, 39 percent of U.S. car registrations were in a woman’s name. And women are estimated to influence up to 85 percent of all car purchases, according to a survey by the University of California, Davis.

A December 2012 study conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on behalf of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers showed that women spend $300 billion a year on new and used vehicles and accessories. For the first time, they also outnumber men in holding driver’s licenses: According to a 2012 University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study by Michael Sivak, females hold 50.4 percent of driver’s licenses, compared with 49.6 percent by men.

“Women are the fastest growing consumer group,” said Marc Bland, vice president of diversity and inclusion for IHS Automotive. Automakers “can’t help but make them a focus of marketing efforts,” he said.

Many are doing that. Buick, for instance, partnered with the Food Network and displays cars at food and wine festivals that skew female. Last year, Ford forged a partnership with Rent the Runway, a dress-rental business, with a sweepstakes contest to promote the Ford Fusion. Others are active on TV programs and channels that have largely female audiences, through product integrations and placements.

Yet a study by Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team shows that three quarters of women feel misunderstood by carmakers. Jody DeVere, CEO of, a Web site that provides automotive advice for women, said that while some automakers are “making wonderful progress” in reaching women, “others are still in the dark ages,” overlooking segments such as baby boomer women, a group she says has the strongest purchasing power but is nonetheless underrepresented in advertising.

Linda Landers, CEO of Girlpower Marketing in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., points to examples such as Chevy’s “I Love the Rain” ad for its Traverse crossover, where the woman is shown preparing to drive a gaggle of kids to an activity on a rainy day. There’s no reference to her having any other role, or to specific attributes in the car that might appeal to her, such as interesting technology, she said.

‘Mad Men’ era

It doesn’t help, DeVere says, that men are the ones making most of the creative decisions. According to a study by Lifetime TV and the Insight Group, 90 percent of creative directors at the top 100 advertising agencies are men. Many of them work on automotive accounts, DeVere said, ensuring that marketing is carried out the way it was in the “Mad Men” era: through a male lens.

“The automotive industry is an old boys’ club in many respects,” said Melody Lee, director of brand and reputation strategy for Cadillac.

Weitzman says she and Lee are in a minority among auto industry creative teams. She says, for example, that she was the only female on set for the “Stacy’s Mom” commercial, other than the talent, and she made sure to weigh in on the model’s selection and every aspect of her wardrobe, insisting, for example, that she wear pants instead of a skirt.

Kat Gordon, founder of the 3% Conference, an effort to get more women involved in the creative side of marketing, and owner and creative director of Maternal Instinct, said that, while automakers’ outreach to female consumers has often meant typecasting women as soccer moms, that’s starting to change, with more nuanced messaging that appeals to women in different ways.

She points to two recent Super Bowl spots — Chevy’s World Cancer Day spot, “Life,” and Hyundai’s “Dad’s Sixth Sense” — which showed “a human, relational side of each car brand that women ranked highly in postgame polls.”

Chevy spokeswoman Cristianna Vazquez noted that the “I Love the Rain” ad is now three years old. “I think our current ads are going in a much different direction,” she said, pointing to a newer Chevy ad called “Her Horse” that showcases a woman driving a Silverado pickup and defying stereotypes as a rodeo contestant.

George Peterson, president of AutoPacific Inc., says that beyond the portrayals of women in ads, carmakers are starting to take note of what women value in a car.

A 2013 survey of 50,000 new-car buyers put fuel economy at the top of women’s lists of most desired attributes. It’s also an “emotional thing about how negative they are about minivans” compared with SUVs, he said.

The soccer mom imagery “isn’t effective anymore” and doesn’t reflect “what we are as a brand,” said Dave Mazur, vice president of market intelligence and brand and regional revenue optimization for Nissan North America Inc.

Nissan’s fantasy-style “Commute” spot for the 2014 Rogue crossover portrays a woman driving deftly through city traffic — with her male carpool mates in tow — to get to the office on time.

Danielle Austen, managing partner and CEO of Team Ignition, Nissan’s ad agency focused on multicultural work, said having a female driver conveyed empowerment and confidence and noted that the ad stressed the Rogue’s style and driving dynamics, rather than space for children. The driver, she noted, is Hispanic; the goal is to cast people in the ads who “really represent America.”

Mazur says that Austen’s presence, as a manager on the creative side, helps to ensure the female perspective is always considered. “She is in there making decisions and running things,” he said.

Where marketers sometimes get caught in a rut is when they make stereotypical choices in regard to how the characters act, says Steve Chavez, chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Detroit.

The idea for “Groceries,” an ad Leo Burnett created for the Buick Regal GS, was to do the opposite. The ad portrays a woman enjoying a spirited spin in her husband’s high-performance Regal on the way home from the market. Her secret’s out when he’s unpacking the groceries and a shaken soda can sprays him in the face.

She admits using his car but makes no apologies. “It was not sheepish, guilty or ashamed, all the things that would have been more expected,” Chavez said.

Ads such as Nissan’s and Buick’s bank on the idea that women will respond to marketing that highlights the performance characteristics of the vehicle, says AutoPacific’s Peterson. “It’s showing that the female buyer is very practical but can be a very active driver who wants a fun-to-drive vehicle.”

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Jul 14, 2014
Terri Judson

Garagiste Wine Festival Returns to Heart of Paso Robles With Four Days of …

Fourth annual Garagiste Wine Festival flagship event expands to Ponderosa Pavilion at Paso Robles Fairgrounds and other local venues for four days of tastings and educational events, featuring over 50 artisan ‘garagiste’ winemakers; over 500 Angelenos tasted wines from over 48 micro-production winemakers at sell-out Urban Exposure at Union Station.

Paso Robles, CA (PRWEB) July 14, 2014

On the heels of this weekend’s hugely successful first-time ever Los Angeles Garagiste Wine Festival: Urban Exposure, Garagiste Events, producers of The Garagiste Festivals, today announced further details for its fourth annual and flagship festival in Paso Robles. Held November 6th – 9th, this year’s Grand Tasting event has expanded to the Ponderosa Pavilion at the Paso Robles Fairgrounds, where over 50 high-quality, micro-production, Central Coast artisan winemakers will pour. Tickets go on sale on August 18th at

In addition, the festival is bringing back some of its most popular events from previous years: Shiners, Samples and Secrets, where winemakers share barrel samples and other rarities; the Opening Round, featuring California garagiste winemakers from outside the Central Coast; two wine tasting seminars, headlined by some of the area’s top winemaking experts; the festival’s signature Rockin’ After Party and a symposium for aspiring or ‘just starting out’ winemakers. All events will be held in venues in the Paso Robles area, including the Paso Robles fairgrounds and the historic Carlton Hotel in Atascadero.

“This has been a banner year for the Garagiste Festival: a greatly expanded and sold out Solvang event; our premiere festival in Los Angeles (also sold out), and now a new and more central venue for our Paso festival, with four days of our most popular events returning,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “We are especially excited that this year we will be in the heart of Paso Robles, which truly is the nexus of the American garagiste movement. And while we are offering wine lovers even more opportunities to taste these fantastic wines, we continue to keep our attendee to winemaker ratio low because we believe that one-on-one interaction is the best way to make new wine discoveries…and it is what our attendees expect. We will have more exciting news to announce about the Paso festival in the months to come, stay tuned… or better yet, sign up to get our free newsletter, The Dirt!”

The non-profit Garagiste Wine Festivals are the only events that exclusively showcase high-quality, cutting-edge, small-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 cases a year, and have emerged as among the most unique and influential wine events in the US. Named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News and a ‘not to miss’ event by the LA Times, the festivals have introduced hundreds of outstanding artisan winemakers to thousands of passionate wine consumers, members of the trade and media, elevating the profiles of many of the winemakers nationally for the first time, and raising thousands of dollars for the education of future winemakers.

Tickets are always very limited for the Garagiste Festivals. To be alerted when tickets go on sale for the Paso Robles festival, for special discounts and for breaking news about all Garagiste events and mini-tastings, sign up for The Dirt at, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program.

For sponsorship info, email info(at)garagistefestival(dot)com.

Garagistes (garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011. Since then, the festival has helped consumers discover the remarkable wines of hundreds of true garagistes, who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make.

About The Garagiste Wine Festivals

The Garagiste Wine Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production winemakers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers. In addition to its flagship annual festival in Paso Robles, CA, the Garagiste Festival line-up includes Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, featuring Santa Ynez Valley garagistes; the Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, held this year at Los Angeles’s Union Station; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. Named one of the “Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations” by ABC News, Garagiste Festivals are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals are donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

Media Contacts:

mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festivals

Melanie Webber, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 424-603-4340,

Elizabeth Johnson, Elizabeth(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, (213) 713-4865

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Jul 13, 2014
Terri Judson

Hear ye, hear ye: Volunteers needed for pet benefit wine festival July 18, 19 – Hudson Hub

Volunteers are needed for the seventh annual Hudson Wine Festival, slated for July 18 and 19 on Village Way.

Volunteers are needed before, during and after the festival for various activities and typically will work a shift of three to four hours. For their service, volunteers can get a break on admission costs and a T-shirt and water. To sign up visit

The wine festival is a benefit for animal welfare groups in Northeast Ohio including People Care Pet Pantry, PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron, Spay Neuter Ohio and Rescue Ohio English Bulldogs.

“We look forward to another successful event and supporting animal welfare in our area. Our continued partnerships with Discount Drug Mart, Adams Reserve New York Extra Sharp Cheddar, Rubber City Radio Group, First Main Hudson and Merrill Lynch will enable us to cast a wider net in the community and generate additional awareness for the many animals that are in constant need,” said Debra Sherman, president of Connecting For A Cause, which is staging the event.

According to Sherman, more than $90,000 for area animal welfare organizations has been donated from the annual wine festivals.

Dana Ray is the executive director People Care Pet Pantry, one of the animal welfare agencies benefitting from the festival.

“Through donations, we help people who have fallen on hard times feed their animals — from fish to horses,” Ray said.

People Care Pet Pantry assists with animal needs in Summit, Portage and Stark counties, according to Ray.

“The wine festival helps to make people aware of who we are and what we do,” she said. “And it helps with donations we really need.”

Helping our furry friends while enjoying more than 150 wines and more than 45 craft beers. What could be better?

Toss food into the mix from Manny’s Mac Cue and the Fired Up Mobile Cafe, sprinkle in musical entertainment, educational seminars and artists and exhibitors and you’ve got a recipe for two exceptional days.

The festival is July 18 from 4 to 10 p.m. and July 19 from 2 to 10 p.m.

“We’re looking to host more than 7,500 guests this year,” Sherman said.

Leashed pets are welcome at the Hudson Wine Festival and amenities such as water bowls, doggie pools and the occasional biscuit will be available to pamper the pooches.

Pets also be available for adoption.

“We’re adding more food vendors and bringing in Cupcake Vineyard’s mobile tasting truck,” Sherman added.

Another new feature this year is provided by Merrill Lynch.

“They are having a Pet Portrait Studio booth where people can photograph their pets,” Sherman said.

Guests are able to purchase a selection of wines and beers by the full glass on site at the full pour bar with their taste tickets.

Friday’s festivities also will include the movie “Gravity” on the First Main Green after dusk.

Wine Canvas will return allowing guests in the tasting area to partake in a free art class of and paint a mini masterpiece while enjoying beverages.

Tickets to the festival are $22 in advance and $27 at the event. The ticket entitles the ticket holder to 10 tastings and a souvenir wine glass. More tastings may be purchased for $1 each. Weekend passes are also available for $32 in advance and $37 at the door allowing for daily admission.

Designated driver tickets are available on site for $10 and include two soft drinks.

Advance sale tickets are available at local Discount Drug Mart stores, The Hudson Visitor Center (weekends only), Epiphany in First Main Hudson, Janet Rhodes Brings You Fair Trade on Main Street and online at


Phone: 330-541-9436

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