Friday, September 25, 2009

Zelma Long Selected for Top Honors at ASEV’s Annual Meeting in Napa

DAVIS, CA, April 2, 2009
Each year, extraordinary contributions are made to the artistry and science of enology and viticulture. The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) announced that its two highest honors, the Merit Award will be presented to Ms. Zelma Long at the Society’s 60th Annual Meeting to be held in Napa, California, from June 23-26.

Zelma Long, a world renowned winemaking master will be honored with the ASEV’s Merit Award. Her copious accomplishments are impressive and revered throughout the industry. She was the first woman in the industry to run both the winemaking and business side of a major winery and led Simi Winery to prominence serving as its winemaker/vice president, president and finally CEO in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, she is the owner and winemaking partner with her husband, Philip Freese, of Vilafonte (Wine Estate) in South Africa as well as owner and winemaker of Long Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. Long has received national and international awards throughout her career for her leadership positions in wine industry organizations, which have included: founding president of the American Vineyard Foundation, chair of the American Viticultural and Enology Research Network (AVERN), founding president of the Alexander Valley Winegrowers, founding member of the North Coast Viticultural Research Group, ASEV Board director and member of the local Board of the International Women’s Forum. She will receive the Merit Award on Thursday, June 25.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Zelma Long, winemaking partner and co-founder of Vilafonté vineyards in South Africa has been awarded the ASEV American Society of Enology & Viticulture's prestigious annual MERIT award for her distinguished career and contribution to the industry. The Vilafonté tem are very proud. Pictured is Zelma with Mike Silacci, the President of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, and also Winemaker and General Manager of Opus
One (and a friend).

Congratulations Zelma!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

the tasting has started - this is how it works

30 members of the wine marketing community in South Africa have srated the 'augmented reality' sms & Twitter wine tasting at Vilafonte.
First off, everyone is given a coupon - the coupon reads something like 'Text 333 to the following number 31497. Then the sms server at Mobilitrix immediately replies with a SMS coupon which reads

"This coupon entitles you to a Vilafonte interactive wine tasting. Please go to the Vilafonte tasting room for instructions. Your voucher number is: 5-AJQ'
Then, once the people have their coupon voucher they can move into the Vilafonte tasting area. On each botle there are a couple of codes which you can dial into your phone and SMS. For example - dial *120*33009*553# and you will be able to particpate in a 'TASTING SURVEY' or text the oter number and you can enter our competition.
All of the info that is sent by your customers is automatically collated and can be accessed through the Internet. This very powerful online tool provides an avenue for the savvy wine marketer to access the mobile phone of their most important asset - their customers.
Here are some more pictures of the wine tasting.

The wines are being prepped for the online SMS & TWITTER wine tasting...

More than 30 people from the wider wine industry have assembled at the
Vilafonté winery to learn about 'Social Media' & how it can be applied in
the wine industry. The afternoon is building a solid base for the
culminating event - an online, Twitter, Facebook and SMS enabled wine
tasting which will reverberate all around the world. The tasting is being
facilitated by Fred Roed from www.worldwidecreative, Jonathan Cherry from and the incredible team from - the
indominitable pioneers of cell phone marketing in South Africa. If we
achieve nothing, we will at least have some fun doing something that - we
don't think - has ever been done in South Africa before. Follow on Twitter

The SECOND BASE 'Social media' wine marketing conference has started.

Well the conference has kicked off - we will be keeping you updated throughout the day as we work towards launching our twitter and sms-enabled wine tasting. 30 people hunched over Macbooks are planning and plotting how to adapt social media to wine marketing. Please log onto @mikeratcliffe on Twitter to follow us or continue to update the Vilafonte blog through the day. Join us for the wine tasting later too! Also, if you haven't been to, make sure that you log on to see what all the fuss is about.
The action is also being updated on the Vilafonte FACEBOOK page.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Zelma Long and Rebecca Mahmoud Present South African Classics: $22

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
Wednesday, September 9th, 4:30-7:30 pm

Join us Wednesday, September 9th, from 4:30-7:30pm, when we welcome Zelma Long, Winemaker for Vilafonte, and Rebecca Mahmoud of Warwick Estate, to our Wine Bar. These two South African wineries are considered to be in the top echelon of wines coming out of this exciting wine producing country. Come discover what all the buzz is about as these two charming women present the wines of Vilamonte and Warwick Estate.
Vilafonté is the first American and South African joint winemaking venture. They make two wines, the M, based on Merlot, and the C, based on Cabernet Sauvignon. Zelma Long is Head Winemaker for the Vilafonté project. Zelma is one of America’s best known winemakers with an enviable international reputation, and one of the first women to study enology and viticulture at U.C. Davis.
Rebecca Mahmoud represents the esteemed Broadbent Wine Portfolio, which includes the Warwick Estate Wines. Warwick Estate is owned by the Radcliffe family who first planted grapes there in the the 1960's. The name comes from a prior owner of the farm, Colonel Alexander Gordon, who purchased it after the Anglo Boer war. Gordon was an officer in the Warwickshire regiment.
We are sure you will love meeting these delightful women of the wine business while tasting through their wines from South Africa. Please join us and help welcome Zelma Long and Rebecca Mahmoud to Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.

The featured wines are served as two ounce glasses. If you find a favorite and would like a full glass just ask your bartender. These wines will be available for retail sale while supplies last...
The cost of the flight will be $22 and will include the following wines:

2008 Warwick Sauvignon Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa Retail $19.50, 5oz. glass $8.25
2004 Warwick 3 Cape Ladies, Stellenbosch, South Africa Retail $19.50, $8.25
2001 Warwick Estate Reserve, Stellenbosch, South Africa Retail $31.50, $11.25
2004 Vilafonte M Series, Paarl, South Africa Retail $49, $15.50
2004 Vilafonte C Series, Paarl, South Africa Retail $67, $20
Click here for the complete Wine Bar Event Schedule. Many of our wines are available online at