In 2018 I embarked on a trip from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend the Premium Cigar Association Trade show, known then as IPCPR. It’s the largest gathering of cigar producers, distributors and retailers in North America. It’s always exciting to see all the elaborate booths and the new cigar releases and get to know the big names in the cigar industry.
It was an absolute honour to meet Nirka Reyes of De Los Reyes Cigars which, in addition to their own cigar blends – Don Julio & Saga – makes Debonaire, Indian Motorcycles, Patoro & Puros de Hostos cigars for other companies.
The De Los Reyes story is a long one which dates back to the 1850’s when Nirka’s family immigrated to the Dominican Republic from Spain. They have been growing tobacco for generations since.
Nirka decided to start making the unique Saga series cigar in 2014 starting with the Saga Golden Age using all Dominican tobacco: Corojo 2006 Dominican Wrapper, Dominican San Vicente binder & original Piloto Cubano seed tobacco in the filler.
The 1st volume of Saga Short Tales volume came out in 2016 and was aptly named: “Tales of the High Primings”. Each box looks like a book and the public responded favourably, wanting to buy full boxes of the cigar … and then wanted an entire collection!
Currently, there are six editions, with plans for 4 more.
The De Los Reyes team is dedicated to making cigars that bring joy to people who love cigars.
I enjoyed a Saga Short Tales cigar when I stopped for a stroll in Gallup, New Mexico, which was just one of many stops along the way during my Cigar Road-Trip 2018. Definitely a box-worthy … or in this case “volume-worthy” … smoke!
WINDSOR, Calif., August 19, 2020 – TodaySonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Winemaker, Zidanelia Arcidiacono, earned a spot on the 2020 Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 list, which recognizes the young winemakers, brewers, beverage directors, grape growers, and other movers and shakers who are changing today’s beverage industry.
“We are so proud of Z for receiving this great recognition,” said Sonoma-Cutrer Director of Winemaking, Mick Schroeter. “Z’s leadership and passion makes her an integral member of our team and well deserving of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40 Tastemakers.”
Born in Texas, Zidanelia “Z” and her family moved to Mendoza, Argentina when she was just three years old. Since winemaking is the main economic industry in that region, she grew up surrounded by winemakers and listening to their wonderful stories. The passion they expressed for their life’s work made a deep impression on her at a young age, and she decided winemaking was her true calling.
Zidanelia began her career working in the lab at Bodega Cruz de Piedra while attending university in Mendoza. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in winemaking, she traveled to the south of France to the Cave cooperative Les Vignerons du Pays d’Enserune, working in the cellar for a harvest. Upon returning to Mendoza, however, she realized she wanted to keep traveling and her next destination should be California.
After arriving in the US in 2007, Zidanelia soon learned of Sonoma-Cutrer, where she applied for and was hired as an Enologist for that season’s harvest. She loved the experience and region so much that she decided to stay, moving on to the same position at Fetzer winery. There her skills, experience, passion and hard work helped her move quickly through the ranks, and she became the Winemaker for Fetzer Reserve Wines and Little Black Dress within a few years.
Returning to Sonoma-Cutrer in 2015, Zidanelia is happy to be back where her California adventure first began. Her experience working on reserve wines made her the perfect fit for the role of crafting Sonoma-Cutrer’s outstanding Pinot Noirs. Zidanelia says that she loves nurturing the wines throughout the process and, even more, seeing others enjoy the results of her work.
Not only is Zidanelia dedicated to shaping the future of Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir, which she considers a “best kept secret,” she also champions the winery’s employee resource groups on female leadership and sustainability. In this role, she works to provide tools, career development assets and education for women within the organization and helps to promote and implement a range of green initiatives.
“I love challenges because I know those achievements are most rewarding, which is why Pinot Noir is my favorite variety,” says Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Winemaker, Zidanelia Arcidiacono. “I truly believe that my accomplishments are a clear reflection of my tenacity, perseverance and passion; but I also owe it in large part to the people who influenced and continue to mark my path.”
Sonoma-Cutrer has been crafting wines since 1981 in the esteemed Russian River Valley growing region of Sonoma County, California. Our flagship wine Russian River Ranches was built in the on-premise and for almost 40 years has dominated the Most Popular Chardonnay wine lists. Our winemaking process is designed specifically to preserve the highest quality grapes, and the wines are aged in barrels made of specific French oak trees that are individually-selected to fit the winemakers’ needs. All Sonoma-Cutrer wines can be purchased at the Sonoma-Cutrer winery as well as through the wine club, Club Cutrer.
August 19, 2020. In the case of Cigar Association of America, the Premium Cigar Association, and Cigar Rights of America v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al., Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor for the premium cigar industry and against the FDA.
The Court held that the FDA—in the Final Deeming Rule—completely mishandled the important question of how premium cigars should proceed through the premarket review process.
The Court concluded that the FDA failed to engage in “reasoned decision-making” regarding premium cigars, in violation of federal law.
According to the Court, the FDA’s “incorrect and conclusory assertion that its hands were tied” in response to the premium cigar industry’s requests for a more tailored regulatory review process “was arbitrary.”
Accordingly, the FDA enjoined application of the premarket review requirements until the agency goes back and addressed the important questions regarding premium cigars ignored in the Final Deeming Rule.
Premium cigar manufacturers will not have to file for premarket approval by September 9th, 2020.
The Court relayed upon a definition of premium cigar utilized by the FDA in an August 5, 2020 filing:
a cigar that: (1) is wrapped in whole tobacco leaf (2) contains a 100 percent leaf tobacco binder (3) contains at least 50 percent (of the filler by weight) long filler tobacco (i.e., whole tobacco leaves that run the length of the cigar) (4) is handmade or hand rolled (i.e., no machinery was used apart from simple tools, such as scissors to cut the tobacco prior to rolling) (5) has no filter, non-tobacco tip, or non-tobacco mouthpiece (6) does not have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco (7) contains only tobacco, water, and vegetable gum with no other ingredients or additives; and (8) weighs more than 6 pounds per 1,000 units.”
The definition is endorsed by the Premium Cigar Association and will provide relief to most products sold at PCA member retail stores and lounges. Notably the definition does not include a price minimum, flavors, or cigars that are machine manufactured.
“This is another monumental victory for the premium cigar industry. We congratulate our legal team, led by Mike Edney of Steptoe & Johnson, on an important victory that protects the livelihood of PCA members across the country. This comes on the heels of legal victories striking down warning labels for premium cigars. Both our retail members and associate members provided important strategy and guidance in our legal, legislative, and regulatory appeals to define premium cigars and showcase their distinctiveness from the courts to Capitol Hill,” says Scott Pearce PCA Executive Director.
“Judge Mehta’s opinion is a testament to the virtue of the public comments filed over the years with the FDA by our industry alliance, and the failure of the FDA to not only respond, but to recognize the suggestions made to address the fairness of the proposed regulations. The efforts of the advocacy strategies initiated by CRA and PCA served as the foundation for this decision, proving that you always have to carry your message to both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the courthouse that sits in the middle,” says Glynn Loope, CRA Executive Director.
Premium Cigar Association 513 Capitol Court NE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20002
CIGAR RIGHTS OF AMERICA, 300 New Jersey Avenue, Northwest,Suite 900, Washington, DC 20001
It’s been 50 years since Jockey Diane Crump became the first female to ride in The Kentucky Derby® — and this year’s Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program celebrates that milestone.
Crump rode Fathom in the 1970 Derby and, although the thoroughbred finished 15th, Crump rode into history. Crump lives in Virginia and remains involved in the horse industry.
“The $1,000 Mint Julep program has become a cherished Derby tradition — and this year we are honoured to mark an important moment in Derby history while also raising money for charity,” – Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris said.
A total of 146 julep cups — celebrating Derby 146 — go on sale on Monday, August 3 at woodfordreservemintjulep.com.
Cups numbered 1-25 are gold-plated; selling for $2,500 each. Cups numbered 26-146 are silver-plated; selling for $1,000 each.
In years past, anyone who purchased a julep cup could only pick it up on Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Due to the global pandemic, the cups will be sent directly to consumers and Morris will conduct a virtual julep experience on Derby Day, which has been postponed this year to Saturday, September 5, 2020.
The cups feature etchings of the jockey silks worn in 1970 by Crump, along with the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs.
They are nestled in a walnut case with a replica of turquoise and white silks that Crump wore that historic day.
The cups have special meaning to Woodford Reserve and its parent company, Brown-Forman, which this year is celebrating its 150th anniversary.
Fathom was owned by a Brown family member — W.L. Lyons Brown.
The cups were designed and handcrafted by From the Vault Jewelers in Louisville, Ky. and the silks for the walnut containers were made by Bourbon Cousins of Cincinnati.
Diane Crump Blackberry Mint Julep
(blackberry is the official fruit of Kentucky)
2 oz. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1 barspoon Blackberry Preserves
1 barspoon Simple Syrup
Fresh Blackberries and Mint Sprigs, for garnish
At the bottom of the julep cup mix 1 bar spoon of blackberry preserves and 1 bar spoon of simple syrup. Add 2 – 4 dashes of mint bitters. Fill two-thirds of cup with crushed ice. Add sipping straw and Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Top off cup with more crushed ice (packed in). Top with fresh blackberries and a sprig of mint to garnish. Put the mint near the straw, so the smell enhances each sip. Enjoy!
About Woodford Reserve:
Woodford Reserve® is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky. A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery represents craftsmanship with a balance of historic heritage and modern practices. Woodford Reserve is a product of the Brown-Forman Corporation, a premier producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Korbel, Tequila Herradura, Old Forester, Sonoma-Cutrer and Chambord. Please enjoy your bourbon responsibly. To learn more about Woodford Reserve, visit us www.woodfordreserve.com or check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodfordreserve.
About Churchill Downs Racetrack:
Churchill Downs®, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2019. For more information visit www.ChurchillDowns.com