Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whole Foods Market Unveils its Wine Project

From bold, full bodied reds to crisp, enchanting whites, Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic region unveils its first joint wine project appropriately named - A Collaboration. Bridging the gap between retailer and winemaker, the project enables Whole Foods Market wine buyers to work directly with the producer to create versatile wines for customers while challenging the traditional roll of a buyer. Christine Meredith, Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic wine buyer, and Justin Wylier, winemaker and owner of Va Piano Vineyards, recently unveiled their inaugural 2009 vintage. A Collaboration wines are currently available at Whole Foods Market in Washington DC, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky and include a Cabernet, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah range $19 - $24 while the Sauvignon is priced $15 - $20.*

Sticking to Whole Foods Market tradition of quality, the first wines are sourced from single vineyards sites in Columbia Valley and Walla Walla, WA, which were chosen for their distinctive flavors and showcase of the classic Washington State style. In true Bordeaux style the Cabernet wine is bold, packed with lush ripe cassis and a classic wine incorporating five approved Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet franc and Malbec. The Syrah is big; jammy, juicy, bright with black cherry and crushed blackberry on the pallet this wine exemplifies the wonderful power of the syrah grape. On the opposite end, the Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and emanates citrus on the nose with white peach and nectarines. From beginning to end each wine represents a complex yet expressive unparalleled taste enjoyable for all palates.

“We are thrilled to launch this new project and wines as it allows us to embrace our customer’s feedback and create a flavor profile fit for them,” said Christine Meredith. “With Justin’s intimate knowledge of each vineyard’s flavor profile and intuition of how they would blend, we worked tirelessly to make something special. We hope the customer enjoy the wines with just as much enthusiasm as we put into creating these blends.”

A Collaboration was born from a similar project Whole Foods Market previously began with two prominent wineries. This launch continues the spirit of collaboration, while developing a foundation for the store’s 22 Mid- Atlantic wine buyers to engage in a winemaking adventure. “This partnership with Whole Foods Market was natural because of our passion to work with and create the highest quality products,” states Wylie. Overseeing his 20-acre Va Piano Vineyard estate in Walla Walla and personally caring for the vineyards sourced for this project, Justin is a grower first and winemaker second making the wines the finest of qualities in Washington.

This is only the beginning of a long term mission to bring Mid-Atlantic wine buyers closer to the wine making process. Each year a different buyer from a store location will be selected o go to Walla Walla, WA to tour the Va Piano vineyards and blend the next vintage of A Collaboration. Whole Foods Market customers and team members can be more invested in the process throughout the year with pairing suggestions, pictures and video posts from the vineyards and barrel aging rooms at the winery via the Facebook page: Collaboration – Washington State Wines. Twitter: CollaborationWA

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