Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Friday, August 3, 2012


While we were in Napa Valley our tour group was taken to 'Franciscan Winery', where we had a tasting and a challenge.
After the tasting we were taken into ......

.......the wine 'Library'. The winemaker explained the challenge. We would be divided into 3 groups of 8 and we had 55 mins to 'Blend the Perfect Wine', 'Provide a Marketing Concept' and 'Design a Label and bottle the wine". At the end the wine would be judged.

We were given 5 bottles of base wine: Cab Sav, Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot. We had to blend the wines to create a new one with balance, power and elegance. We had to choose the wines and the  percentage to use. We were given some guidelines like one of the wines should be the base and largest percentage.  Luckily Terry in our group was a chemist and knew how to use the pipette.

Others kept tasting and suggesting the percentages to make a soft, elegant wine. Hee hee it was loads of fun. While they were doing that we were all trying to think of a name for the wine. Linda was making up a Marketing Concept and I was designing the label. After fifty mins we had decided on the right percentages, bottled the wine and stuck on the label and we were ready to present it to the whole group and the judges.

Linda volunteered to present the marketing of our wine. We had called it 'Tauckabout Red" It was a play on words with the name of our tour company 'Tauck Tours".

I used the Tauck logo and a few vine leaves for the label and mentioned the blended wines. We used Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot.  After the three groups presented their wine the judges awarded one group with the best wine (not ours) another group won the best Marketing Concept (not ours) and we won the Best Label. Yoo hoo that was me!


  1. Diane and Bill
    Hope you had a great Swiss/Wattle/Horse birthday party.
    Sorry I was down looking at the 5,000 photos of Sicily/Rome/Venice etc! "Peace reigned" and I looked at only what I wanted to.(Miracles do happen on occasions in my family!!!) Even sorted out the train trip from Salzburg via Zurich then Basel to Paris!
    I got presents also! Audrey Hepburn fridge stickers of Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffanys. ( Not real sure yet, how New York came into this holiday!)
    Also a tall beer glass from beautiful Salzburg!.
    You would be surprised how the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain caused much discussion.
    Gail and I had views, Graham had another. We will discuss locations when I see you. OK?
    Now in photo #2, please explain why Bill is photographing the ceiling? Are you intending to have similar ceilings installed???
    Great blog as usual.
    Colin (HB)
    (He who survived getting to, staying at, and returning from the Gold Coast! - the last sector was horrendeous, believe you me)

  2. Sounds and looks like a ton of fun and good job on the label Diane!

  3. You found the most interesting things to see and do while in SF. When I went there, my addled little brain wanted to see Alcatraz and that little old lady's mystery house. I gotta go back.

  4. Bravo! Best Label ... I'm sure you were chuffed!
    Love that Wine Library.

  5. What a lot of fun you had. And congratulations on the Best Label award, Diane.

  6. What fun Diane. I have a friend visiting Napa right now. She used to live there for 30 years but moved back East several years ago when her son moved here with his family. She misses Napa a lot. I'm going to have to show her your posts when she gets back as I know she would enjoy them.

  7. This looks like the kind of tour I'd like to take. We once drove from Fort St John, BC to Eureka California and after paying a hefty bill to get a brake job done, turned around and headed north. The California coast is still a place I'd love to see.

  8. It looks like you are having great wine adventures. What is your favourite grape? Mine would be the Cabernet Savignon or the Malbec depending on the wine.


  9. before i read the comment, i thought terri was sucking up wine through a straw.

  10. You have a second career waiting for you should you decide to accept it ;>... what a fun event!

  11. That sounds like so much fun!! Congrats on designing the winning label!!! Labels are really really important you know. I don't drink wine, but I will occasionally pick up a bottle for DH. And the way I decide on which bottle to get is........... the design on the label. :-) I would pick your bottle.

  12. Of COURSE you were successful! How could you not be when using 'RED' in the title??!!

  13. You've honed your designing skills the past few years with B.Bear's costumes and accoutrements and now it's paying off in new ways! Congratulations! I hope you won a free bottle of wine or something tasty for your efforts...

  14. Sounds like a fun time, Diane! Congrats on winning the label competition.

  15. Yet more excellent recommendations for when we do the trip to San Francisco next year. You didn't happen to visit a brewery did you by any chance?

  16. I love the idea of making a wine blend and a label - were there a few groups that became slightly 'over-refreshed' during the game?

  17. Wow your label won! Maybe a future in that:) I am sure it was fun

  18. Great fun Diane - congrats on designing the winning label too :D)