It’s been said that teaching is the single most important profession, and we are inclined to agree. Teacher Appreciation Week will be celebrated at St. Clair Winery & Bistro, from May 1-5. This is the third year in a row that we have celebrated by honoring teachers from New Mexico, Colorado and Texas with a 50% discount on their meal purchase during the promotional period.
“It’s our annual tradition to really take some time and let them know that we appreciate them and everything they do,” noted Director, Wayne Moore.
It’s not an easy job—with long hours, always changing standards, and stressful evaluations. But educators all over the nation overcome these challenges and make a difference in people’s lives.
“I remember arriving to New Mexico at eleven years old,” recollects Proprietor, Florent Lescombes. “I didn’t know a single bit of English—and there I was, enrolled into Mrs. Saunder’s fifth grade class at Alameda Elementary. It was such a supportive environment, within months I was well on my way.”
The special promotion comes at a good time for educators. PARCC testing will be wrapping up all around the state, and with the school year coming to a close, and we are happy to show gratitude for a job well-done! Join us for a generous discount for teacher’s appreciation week at our restaurant locations in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Farmington.
Pictured from left to right: CFO Brandon Young, Plant Manager Macaryo Argott, OSHA Safety Consultant Mike Gonzales, OSHA Consultation Manager Lisa Spahr, CEO Florent Lescombes, Safety Coordinator Robin Lee, Quality Control Manager Ziedney Valenzona.
DEMING – St. Clair Winery is a safe place to work, according to its administrative staff and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). This high standard of attendance to health and safety issues is being fully recognized. The winery, a local product of Southwest Wines Inc., was awarded and recognized on Wednesday in an induction ceremony commemorating participation in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) through OSHA. Many companies strive to reach this same level of safety, with First Aid Safety Signage and other means to help keep their employees safe implemented throughout the work zone. However, very few manage to get to the same point that St. Clair Winery manages to achieve, with their careful adherence to health and safety standards keeping them all well and able. In areas that handle food and drink, safety measures must be to high standards, which also includes the storage of the relevant chemicals in places such as this. Knowing how should chemicals be stored in food premises is extremely important and must be understood by all those who work within the company, it can prevent contamination and other related problems.
“We are very proud of the accomplishment they (St. Clair) have made toward being a SHARP certified employer,” said Lisa Spahr, OSHA consultation manager. “They are one of eight SHARP employers in New Mexico.” This standard is very hard to achieve, as many companies are unable to retain such stringent levels of safety regulation and procedure. Being one of the few named in the region is a well-deserved accolade for this company in particular. Read more here.
This month, St. Clair Winery will release a new wine to the public in a unique way. The New Mexico Winery will use their 2012 Bistro Red as an avenue to raise funds in partnership with Roadrunner Food Bank.
“Through the partnership, St. Clair has pledged to donate $1 per bottle sold of our new wine, Bistro Red, to Roadrunner Food Bank,” said St. Clair Marketing Director, Maritza Gomez. “This year, we anticipate the donation will be between $12,000 – $15,000.” The partnership between St. Clair Winery and Roadrunner Food Bank will help raise awareness around the issue of hunger in New Mexico.
Roadrunner Food Bank’s mission complements the deeply embedded family values of the St. Clair brand. “They pair perfectly!” said Gomez “Our goal was to ensure the donation would make an impact locally.” St. Clair chose to partner with the food bank because they are not just a city or county affiliate; their assistance spans the whole state and includes the entire spectrum of those in need including women, children, men and the elderly.
Roadrunner Food Bank will be the sole beneficiary of this distinctive promotion. Melody Wattenbarger, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank said, “Partnerships like this one help us extend our ability to reach more of our hungry neighbors. As one of the hungriest states in the country, every dollar we raise helps in our mission to end hunger. The funds raised over the length of this unique promotion will help us provide about 75,000 meals. Thank you, St. Clair, for this wonderful opportunity to raise funds and also remind people about the issue of hunger in New Mexico.”
To introduce the promotion, St. Clair Winery & Bistro will host a Release Party at both their Albuquerque and Farmington locations. Attendees will be asked to donate $5 to the Food Bank which will include a glass of the St. Clair 2012 Bistro Red poured from the barrel.
Media are invited to attend the kickoff event at noon on Wednesday, March 23 to learn more about the partnership.
Each of the St. Clair Winery & Bistro locations in Albuquerque, Farmington and Las Cruces will have the Bistro Red wine available for purchase. Other New Mexico retail locations such as Albertson’s, Smith’s, Walgreens; and others who are contributing partners to Roadrunner Food Bank; will also stock and sell the uniquely labeled wine.
For details about volunteering or giving to the Food Bank, visit www.rrfb.org or call 505.247.2052.
Tasting an oaky wine straight from the barrel or a hoppy beer perfectly poured from the keg will always be an experience unlike anything from a can or a bottle. And, in many cases, it’s an experience worth working into your travel plans while you’re on vacation. Whether you’re enjoying an urban escape in a big city or are trying your hand at country-living for a bit, take a detour to a sprawling vineyard or find the nearest local brewery to add some fun and flavor to your getaway.
We’ve searched for the best winery and/or brewery in every state to put together a list of places you just can’t miss. These are places where the ambiance is unbeatable, and more importantly the craft brews and aged wines are award-winning. Our list will lead you to the best wineries and breweries across the United States, so you’ll have no excuse not to go for a tasting on your next trip. Take a look:
SOUTHWEST WINES IS A FAMILY-OWNED WINERY located in New Mexico. The company was founded by Hervé Lescombes, who ran a winery in Burgundy with his father before planting in the U.S. in 1981. Southwest’s brands include St. Clair Winery, Soleil Mimosa, D. H. Lescombes, Blue Teal Vineyards and Voluptuous. I recently spoke to Florent Lescombes, Hervé’s son and a sixth-generation winemaker who manages the winery’s operations. Click here to Read more.
St. Clair Winery of Deming, NM, held their annual St. Clair Winefest in early October, with proceeds benefitting Deming & Luna County Cancer Support for the fifth year in a row. The local non-profit provides a variety of support to cancer patients in the community. They also provide outreach services for general education, early detection, screening programs and general cancer awareness.
“We provide transportation assistance to cancer patients within Deming and Luna County” explains Patient Advocate, Joanna Costilla. “We have vans that we offer to transport patients to and from out-of-town appointments at no charge. We also have a voucher program that can also help defray the cost of gas for qualifying patients who drive themselves.”
They also have a fully-stocked cancer resource library and provide caps, wigs and prosthesis to many patients, free of charge. They also work as patient advocates, helping with billing negotiation for their clients.
The Winefest is themed with pink ribbons and decorations throughout their grounds and inside the wine-tasting room. A large portion of the fundraising stemmed from the Silent Auction, which is full of donated items from regional businesses, including St. Clair, all teaming up to support the cause.
“It’s amazing to see the support from all the local businesses that donate to the silent auction,” Costilla said. “We’re extremely grateful to St. Clair for hosting this event and the generous donation they provide. We’re also grateful to the community who continually supports the organization and our local cancer warriors.”
This year’s Winefest donation was $3,339, the largest thus far, which has been credited to both attendance and silent auction donations.
“I am proud to be a part of the St. Clair Winery Team.” explains St. Clair Tasting Room Manager, Elly Read. “We are very supportive of this wonderful organization that does so much for the community. Being a cancer survivor myself, I know firsthand how supportive they are. I was overwhelmed with the attendance for this event and I hope it continues to grow year after year.”
This year’s silent auction sponsors included: Aaron’s, Adobe Deli, Border Pest, Big-O-Tires, C. Brewka, Campos, Car Quest, Cato Fashions, Circle S Western, D. LeMarbe, Deming Arts Council, Deming Coca-Cola, Dentistry Divine Smile, Deming Orthodontics, Deming Writing Group, Deming Mineral & Rock Society, Desert Oasis, Donna Rae, Diaz Farms, El Rey Market, El Camino Real, Forghedaboutit Pizza, First NM Bank, Foxworth-Galbraith, Furniture Gallery, Heaven’s, Hofacket Law Firm, Holiday Inn Express, Irma’s, J. St. Cyr, K. Solis, Kmart, Karl’s, L. Ballinas, La Cazuela, Mango Maddie’s, Marie’s Italian Restaurant, Mimbres Valley Feed, O’Reillys, Patio Café, Peppers Supermarket, Quality Inn, Rancher’s Grill, Rio Mimbres Country Club, S. Nasewytewa, Sisbarro, Starmax, Sunrise Kitchen, Sun Valley Hardware, Tharp’s Flowers, Tinley Tee Tire, & V. Parker.
Deming & Luna County Cancer Support can be reached at (575) 546-4780
What are tartrates?
“Tartrate crystals are as natural to wine as seeds are to a watermelon.” — Ronn Wiegand, Master of Wine/Master Sommelier
Tartrates, affectionately known by industry professionals as “wine diamonds,” are tiny, crystalline deposits that occur in wines when potassium and tartaric acid—both naturally occurring products of grapes—bind together to form a crystal. Tartrates are scientifically known as potassium bitartrate, which is the same thing as cream of tartar used in cooking. They are completely harmless and natural.
Why do wine diamonds form?
Tartrates are a normal by product of wine as it ages—but if the wine is exposed to temperatures below 40°F, wine
diamonds can form within one week of a wine bottle’s exposure to extreme temperatures (think a bartender’s cold
box where beers, wines and juices are all stored at the same temperature). It is these chilly conditions that make
the tartaric acid compounds in a wine naturally combine with potassium to form a crystal.
Why does tartaric acid remain in wine?
All wine contains naturally occurring organic acids (malic and tartaric acids being the primary ones). Malic acid
can almost entirely be converted to the weaker acid, lactic, through a bacterial fermentation. Tartaric is the primary
acid we taste in all wines; it is essential to a wine’s mouthfeel and balance. Tartaric acid tends to be more stable in
wine, unless the wine is exposed to very cold temperature. Ensuring the perfect balance of these acids in a wine
while minimizing the chance for wine diamonds to form is truly where art and science converge.
What methods are used to remove tartrates?
Winemakers do employ a process called cold stabilization to remove tartrates from wine before it is bottled. Many
producers do use this technique for purely aesthetic reasons with the hopes of eliminating wine diamonds. The old
standard for cold stability in winemaking was 28°F for 10 days, which is only acceptable if you are selling a product
that is mass-marketed at a very low price. Very cold stabilization can often strip a wine of its aromas and
flavors, so we cold stabilize many of our wines to a less extreme temperature (38°to 40°F), depending on the
delicacy of the vintage. Maintaining our quality and consistency is critical to our reputation, so we don’t resort to
extreme measures of cold stability that put quality of taste at risk.
Do tartrates affect the quality of the wine?
No. Actually, the presence of tartrate crystals is viewed by many winemakers, sommeliers and academics as a sign
of quality, indicating that the wine was not over-processed. Wine crystals never impart an unpleasant taste.
How do you identify wine diamonds?
Potassium bitartrate can resemble crystallized sugar granules or crystal shards as they fuse together. They may appear as a powdery white substance at the bottom of a wine bottle. The crystals can also stick to the bottom of the cork.
How can tartrate crystals be avoided?
If possible, wines should be stored at 55 to 60°F and only chilled down to 45 to 48°F just prior to serving to mitigate the formation of crystals. When possible, wines should not be stored in refrigerators overnight.
How should I serve wine that has tartrate crystals?
If wine diamonds appear on a cork, simply wipe them away with a cloth. If their appearance in a glass is disagreeable to the consumer, decant the last quarter-bottle of wine, leaving any crystals behind. Pouring through a cheesecloth is also acceptable. Keep in mind, tartrate crystals are completely natural and harmless.
St. Clair began in 1984 in New Mexico, but its roots date back even farther. The owners, the Lescombes family, are sixth-generation French winemakers. Hérve Lescombes operated a winery, the Domaine de Perignon, in Burgundy before moving to New Mexico to expand the family legacy. Here, he first planted the seeds (literally) for St. Clair in 1981. Today Emmanuel and Florent Lescombes run St. Clair, the largest winery in the state. Emmanuel is the viticulturist, the one who oversees the growth of the grapes and the vineyard’s operations, while Florent is the manager and proprietor. As Florent says, their “passion for making great wines is only surpassed by our desire for them to be shared in good times.” – Read more here
(DEMING, NM) — Just in time for summertime cook-outs and celebrations, The Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago has released its ratings from the World Wine Championships, “U.S. Summertime Whites.” It seems like a natural fit that wines grown and crafted by St. Clair Winery in the heat of the desert southwest would be perfect to enjoy during sunny, summer days. It turns out the contest judges agreed and awarded five medals, along with point ratings, to the local New Mexico winery, including a Gold Medal and 90 point rating for their Malvasia Bianca.
“Ninety points is considered an exceptional wine,” explained Florent Lescombes, Proprietor at St. Clair Winery. “We’re so proud to be able to craft such high quality wines locally here in New Mexico.”
“So many of our aromatic white wines grow with such character and expression,” said Matt Kahl, Winemaker at St. Clair Winery. “There’s something special about growing wine grapes in the desert, the way the temperature, sunshine and soil help to build their flavor. Our winemaking techniques focus on carefully preserving that natural beauty in each varietal.”
Along with the Malvasia Bianca, St. Clair also brought home silver medals for their Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio and their D.H. Lescombes Sauvignon Blanc. Winning national awards isn’t a new thing for St. Clair Winery. In 2009 and 2011, they won the Sweepstakes Award at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, awarded to the best red and white of the entire competition.
“It’s great to be recognized,” Lescombes added. “It solidifies what we already believe to be true.”
The Beverage Testing Institute uses a dedicated and controlled tasting lab at their Chicago location. They were founded in 1981 with the objective of producing fair and impartial wine reviews for consumers.
St. Clair Malvasia Bianca is available – along with many other award-winning varieties – from St. Clair Winery’s website at www.stclairwinery.com, and at St. Clair Winery locations in Deming, Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Farmington. It is also sold at various grocery stores, liquor stores and wine shops around New Mexico. Open since 1984, St. Clair Winery also recently announced they were a food-grade certified facility. Open 7 days a week, the Deming location can be reached at 575.546.1179.