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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Excellent QPR from award-winning Good Wine Under $20 blog!


Many thanks to Dr. Deborah Harkness, who among such trivial things as being a university history professor, a Wine & Spirits contributor, and a New York Times bestselling author (A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night), managed to find time to write a wonderful review of our 2008 Syrah Tous les Jours.

Dr. Deb blessed it with an ‘excellent QPR‘ and called it, ‘…an exceptional bottle of wine for the price.’  Read the complete Good Wine Under $20 review by clicking here…you might enjoy Dr. Deb’s suggested food pairings…and we might just pair it with a good novel…

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Andrew Murray Vineyards 4F Fun Fact for Fridays Sweepstakes Official Rules

Andrew Murray Vineyards
4F Fun Fact for Friday Sweepstakes
Official Rules

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Andrew Murray Vineyards and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used to contact you in case you win the 4F Fun Fact for Friday Sweepstakes. Winners will also be added to the Andrew Murray Vineyards opt-in mailing list.

ELIGIBILITY: The weekly Andrew Murray Vineyards 4F Fun Fact for Friday Sweepstakes is open to natural persons 21 years of age or older at the time of entry and who are residing in the United States, excluding Puerto Rico and its territories, and any state where the Sweepstakes is prohibited by law. California, Tennessee and Illinois residents are not eligible. This Sweepstakes is sponsored by Andrew Murray Vineyards, (“Sponsor”). Alcohol beverage industry members, including retailers, and their families, employees, shareholders, officers, directors, agents, representatives of Sponsor, or the promotion and advertising agencies of any aforementioned entity, and their immediate family members and those living in their household, and each person or entity connected with the production or administration of the Sweepstakes, and each parent company, affiliate, subsidiary, agent and representative of any aforementioned entity are not eligible.  Person’s who have won the Sweepstakes within three (3) calendar months of the current Sweepstakes are not eligible.  Sponsor’s address is: 5095 Zaca Station Road, Post Office Box 718, Los Olivos, CA 93441.

Sweepstakes begins when posted on the Andrew Murray Vineyards Facebook Page on periodic Fridays through the calendar year, and ends when five (5) or more eligible entrants have entered an answer (the “Sweepstakes Period”).  Sweepstakes subject to these official rules, which can be found at

SUBJECT MATTER: Trivia of almost any nature: historical, viticultural, geographical, etc.

HOW TO ENTER: Enter an answer to the Trivia question.  Your answer may be serious or amusing in nature.  No purchase of Andrew Murray Vineyards wine is required to enter. Entries should be posted directly to the Andrew Murray Vineyards Facebook Page:

Limit: One (1) entry per natural person submitted through the Facebook account.

SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION: The winning Entry will be selected randomly by Sponsor from first five (5) eligible Entries received. The selection is final. The potential winner will be notified by Facebook post after the prize drawing.  He/she will be asked to provide a shipping address for their prize via email. At the sole discretion of Sponsor, disqualification, forfeiture and the selection of an alternate winner may result from any of the following: 1 potential winner’s failure to respond to notification within seven (7) business days after its transmission; 2 the return of an email notification as undeliverable after three (3) attempts; 3 the return of the prize as undeliverable; 4 potential winner’s failure to provide Sponsor with satisfactory proof of age, identity and residency; 5 potential winner’s failure to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Liability. Upon contacting a potential winner and determining that they have met all eligibility requirements of the Sweepstakes, including without limitation the execution of required waivers, publicity and liability releases and disclaimers, such individual will be declared the “winner” of the Sweepstakes.

In the event that fewer than five (5) eligible entries have been received, a winning Entry will be randomly selected from the eligible entries per the aforementioned Selection and Notification paragraph within 24 hours of first posting the Sweepstakes, or the Sponsor may elect to cancel or suspend the Sweepstakes.

PRIZE: The “Sweepstakes Winner” will win one (1) bottle of Andrew Murray Vineyards wine of random variety and vintage.  The bottle will be shipped to the address provided by the Sweepstakes Winner at no expense to him/her.  The Sweepstakes Winner’s name will be posted on the Facebook Page in the Sweepstakes post (

CONDITIONS. Sweepstakes is subject to these Official Rules. By participating, entrants agree: (i) to be bound by these complete Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor which shall be final and binding; and (ii) to waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Sweepstakes or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law. By accepting a prize, Selected Sweepstakes Winner agrees to release Sponsor, including its parent, subsidiary and affiliated entities together with the respective directors, employees, officers, licensees, licensors and agents, and respective advertising and promotion entities and any person or entity associated with the production, judging, or administration of the Sweepstakes, (collectively, the Releasees) from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with awarding, receipt and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any prize-related activities. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Sweepstakes, in its sole discretion, should it receive fewer than five (5) entries, or due to circumstances beyond its control, including natural disasters or cancellation of events. Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, cancel, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes should a virus, bug, computer problem, unauthorized intervention or other causes beyond Sponsor’s control, corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes.

By submitting an entry to this Sweepstakes, Sweepstakes entrants hereby acknowledge that any submission is an original work of authorship by the Sweepstakes entrant, was not copied out of or derived from a third party materials, was not previously published, and do not violate the copyright rights of any third party.

Sweepstakes entrant acknowledges Sponsor has unlimited perpetual rights to use entry. By submitting entry, Sweepstakes entrant warrants that submission:
• is not sexually explicit, unnecessarily violent or derogatory,
• does not promote drugs, tobacco or firearms,
• does not contain images of children or items especially appealing to children
• does not contain trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by anyone other than Sweepstakes entrant or Sponsor
• does not contain copyrighted material owned by anyone other than Sweepstakes entrant
• does not use the name or likeness of persons living or dead without permission
• does not communicate a message inconsistent with the positive goodwill of Sponsor
• does not depict any violation of law

Sweepstakes entrant agrees that sponsor may use any materials submitted on a non-confidential basis. Sponsor has no obligation to post or publicize any entry.

Sponsor may prohibit an entrant from participating in the Sweepstakes or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines such entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes by cheating, plagiarizing, engaging in any deception, or any other unfair playing practices of intending to annoy, abuse, threaten, undermine or harass any other players or Sponsor representatives. Disputes regarding these Official Rules and/or this Sweepstakes will be governed by the internal laws of the State of California.

PUBLICITY: Sponsor reserves the right to use all the Submissions to the Sweepstakes for publicity purposes prior to or after the Sweepstakes end date, in any media, and to use the name, likeness, hometown name, of any Sweepstakes Entrants, including all or part of their submission, in whole or in part, for publicity purposes throughout the world, without any compensation or prior review unless specifically prohibited by law. Selected Sweepstakes Entrants will be required, as a condition of accepting a prize, to sign a declaration of eligibility, liability, and publicity release, allowing Sponsor to use the name, likeness, hometown name, submission, and winning testimonial and/or prize information of Selected Sweepstakes Entrants as part of that publicity throughout the world, without any compensation or prior review unless specifically prohibited by law.

This Sweepstakes is void outside the US and where prohibited or restricted by law, and subject to applicable federal, state provincial and local laws. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entrant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or violating these Official Rules.

PRIVACY. All personal information collected by Sponsor will be used for administration of the Sweepstakes and in accordance with Sponsor’s privacy policy. Sponsor may also use the information to provide information about upcoming products and events related to Sponsor. Sponsor uses commercially reasonable efforts to comply with CAN-SPAM and Sweepstakes Entrants may opt-out of receiving such communications pursuant to Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. Any questions regarding privacy matters should be directed to the address set out below. Please refer to Sponsor’s privacy policy located at for important information regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by Sponsor.

OFFICIAL RULES. For a copy of these Official Rules or winners list, send your request in a self-addressed, stamped envelope (WA and VT residents need not affix return postage) to: Andrew Murray Vineyards 4F Fun Fact for Friday Sweepstakes
5095 Zaca Station Road, PO Box 718
Los Olivos, CA 93441

Rules also available online at:

We value your privacy and will not share your personal information.

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Andrew Murray Vineyards Privacy Policy


Privacy and Security Andrew Murray Vineyards collects customer information solely for the purpose of improving our customers’ shopping experience. We recognize that we must use customer information responsibly. We will never sell your name or personal information. Any information you share with us goes no further. Protecting your order information is a priority. Andrew Murray Vineyards makes every effort to protect your online order information by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. SSL encrypts your order information to avoid the possibility of decoding that information by anyone other than Andrew Murray Vineyards. Both the Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer web browsers support SSL. Some versions of browsers and some firewalls don’t permit communication through secure servers. In that case, you will be unable to connect to the server so you won’t have to worry about mistakenly placing an order through an unsecured connection. If you can’t access the secure server for any reason, please place your order by phone by calling (805) 686-9604 during our winery customer service hours, M-F 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Pacific Standard Time. You can also place your order by calling our Tasting Room at (805) 693-9664, which is open 7 days a week from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.

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Quit apologizing for rich, full-flavored beverages…the craft beer industry certainly doesn’t!

American imperial stout: F. Martin Ramin for the Wall Street Journal

I just finished an interesting article on strong beers in the Wall Street Journal…all about imperial stouts weighing in at 9-11% alcohol. The craft beer industry is falling all over itself to bottle and can stronger and stronger beer, while the wine world (championed by born-again critics and winemakers alike) is busy apologizing for the rich, intense wines (often with higher alcohol levels) it used to bottle; now favoring lighter (color and flavor), higher acid wines! I remember when I was proud to have “graduated” out of light, plonky, fizzy beer with about 3.5% alcohol, to craft beers with flavor, color, and extract. Now, I am made to feel like I am wearing a coat of some rare exotic fur for crafting and consuming rich, full-flavored wines. I am sorry, for NOT being sorry! Some call it a natural progression, I call de-evolution!



Posted in Events, Winemaker Blog | 3 Comments

Restaurant week in the Santa Ynez Valley: January 22-28

The Ballard Inn and Restaurant

Come sample some Santa Barbara wine country cuisine January 22-28. Many of our local restaurants are offering 3-course tasting menus for $20.12 (exclusive of tax, tip, and beverages) to celebrate the new year. You can find a listing of participating Santa Ynez Valley restaurants by clicking this link.

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2008 Esperance: Makes the ‘Most Memorable Wines of 2011’ List

How could you not want to read a wine blog with this title, “Wine without BS”? Here’s the blurb about the site:

Welcome to Wine Without BS. Sick of reading wine reviews that fail to sell me on the product itself, my aim is to breathe some much needed normality to an industry neck deep in bullshit speak and wine wank terminology.

Its author is an Aussie who recently spent an extended period in the U.S. sampling American wines…perhaps a kindred spirit…

During his travels, this international man of mystery was introduced to our 2008 Esperance GSM Red Blend, and evidently loved it; he just named it to his ‘Most Memorable Wines of 2011 List’!

Read his complete list of ‘Most Memorable Wines of 2011’ by clicking here.

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2006 Purple Haze Wine Review from Now and Zin Wine Blog

Thanks to Randy Fuller of Now and Zin Wine Blog (along with Now and Zin daily wine radio features) for this entertaining write-up on our 2006 Purple Haze Syrah/Viognier blend … new ‘This is E11even Wines’ coming in February 2012 !

From the post: “Incredibly dark and delicious, Purple Haze made me forget all about the Crosstown Traffic.”  Read the rest of this great wine review by clicking here.

Visit our ‘This is E11even Wines’ page for background on our new label. 

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2008 Esperance: Inaugural wine for Reverse Wine Snob’s new series, “Saturday Splurge”

We are honored that Jon Thorsen selected our 2008 Esperance as the inaugural wine for The Reverse Wine Snob’s new series, Saturday Splurge.

From the post: “Some might find this wine to be a tad over the top but if you’re a fan of big, rich and fruity wines this wine is for you. A perfect wine for our first Saturday Splurge.”  Read the rest of this great wine review by clicking here.

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Red Tape and Wine – An Unpalatable Blend

This is the time of year when I begin to worry that perhaps I need to be medicated.  I come off the heady, frenetic pace of harvest and crush, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and run headlong into the mire of alcohol-related bureaucracy.  Come January 1, my feet are trapped in the greedy goo of countless reports demanded from a juggernaut of government agencies.  A dark cloud descends over my entire countenance.  Instead of bottling volumes of wine, I’m bottling volumes of red tape.

Every state has a different permitting and licensing process.  Reports must be filed, varying taxes must be paid, permits and licenses must be renewed.  Exporters require their own special documents.  Federal paperwork must be filled out and data must be collected.  Accountants, lawyers, and licensing specialists must be engaged and paid to file and report on our behalf.

As a small winery, I’m the guy who also needs to source all of our glass, capsules, labels (with their concomitant bureaucracy), boxes, and closures.  One could consider these activities equally mind-numbing, but at least they have a direct correlation to the end goal of producing our product, a bottle of wine.

Just as I don’t need to hear actors expounding on foreign policy, you probably don’t care to hear a winemaker talk politics.  But I can’t help but start to feel pretty libertarian at this time of year.  I realize we have some need for alcohol regulation, but honestly, this is ridiculous.  Did you know that we cannot legally ship directly to customers in 12 of our 50 states?  Much of state regulation still contains vestiges of prohibition laws and/or is designed to protect excise taxes and distributor rights.  How does any of this benefit the consumer?

Customers, who have tried our wines elsewhere, frequently ask me why our wine is not available in their states.  My answer is simple, either it’s not legal to ship direct-to-consumer in the state, or the cost to set-up licensing, permitting, etc. in their state is economically prohibitive.  There’s a great website that addresses this topic:  If you’re feeling like a 60’s activist today, you can use it to quickly let your legislators know that you’d like to see changes in these regulations.

And at the end of the day, none of this does much to improve the quality of our product, and it certainly doesn’t reduce prices, nor stimulate the economy.  Thanks, but no thanks, Uncle Sam.

Rant over…cloud already lifting….


Posted in Events, Winemaker Blog | 2 Comments

2008 Esperance Made Wine Lines’ Top Ten Wines of 2011 List!

We are honored that our 2008 Esperance is among a list of outstanding wines named in Wine Lines’ Top Ten Wines of 2011.  Wine Lines has been a print column for 22 years, but went digital in May 2011.   Click here to read the Top Ten Wines of 2011 list on  Our 2008 vintage is sold out; look for the 2009 vintage in February/March 2012!


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Featured Vintage

Buy Now

Visit Us

We have two gorgeous tasting rooms where you can explore our passion for winegrowing in Los Olivos. First up, we have our newly remodeled Winery & Visitor Center, located at the entrance of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, just minutes away from historic downtown Los Olivos, where you can taste our selection of Rhone style wines. Or, you may choose to check out our newly remodeled and rebranded DTLO (DownTown Los Olivos) Tasting Room, where we showcase our new "Playlist" of E11even Wines, crafted exclusively from Estate Grown grapes. Or, choose the All Access Pass and taste at both locations for a discounted price. Whichever you choose, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Our Los Olivos Tasting Room
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