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October 29, 2004

Crystal Cruises New Onboard Wine


Crystal Cruises Debuts C Wines As New Proprietary Label For Crystal Cruises
Award-Winning Cruise Line is First in Luxury Market to Produce Exclusive Label


LOS ANGELES - Building on its reputation for excellence and innovation in the culinary arts, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has created its own proprietary label called C Wines. Debuting aboard the line's fleet of three award-winning, luxury ships this month, C Wines features six new appellations including three reserve and three premium selections of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.

Under the direction and guidance of Crystal's executive food and beverage team and its expert sommeliers, C Wines are produced to exacting specifications in the vineyards of California's legendary Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Arroyo Seco, and Santa Lucia Highlands. Carefully made in limited production to ensure quality, Crystal's first order of C Wines will deliver 54,500 bottles to Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. C Wines will be offered by the glass or by the bottle, and will be showcased on the line's already impressive wine list.

"The creation of C Wines has been a labor of love among our sommeliers and executive hotel staff for the last year. These vintages represent the ultimate culmination of our collective passion for and knowledge of wine that will surely appeal to the senses of sophisticated aficionados, as well as complement our cuisine," says Toni Neumeister, Crystal's vice president of food and beverage operations.

After extensive research, Crystal tapped the Monterey Wine Company, widely regarded for its consistency and reliability in producing quality wines, to manage the growing and production of C Wines. With state-of-the-art winemaking facilities throughout California's prime wine regions, the celebrated company's advanced technologies allow for continual testing and experimentation ensuring only the best grapes are bottled.

The Monterey Wine Company is led by a team of experienced winery professionals representing more than 85 years of growing, making and/or managing vineyards with distinguished labels such as Caymus, Domaine Chandon, Joseph Phelps and Kendall-Jackson, among others.

Recognizing the depth of commitment among Crystal's sommeliers to C Wines, Vineyard Manager Steve McIntyre comments, "The sommeliers wanted to know exactly which vineyard blocks produced the flavors they were looking for, and how to harvest those vines for richer flavors."

In directing the winemaking, the sommeliers endeavored to preserve the rich, complex flavors of the grapes, and selected the most superior lots to create the reserves such as the C Reserve Merlot, Napa Valley 2003, which is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. The grapes for the C 2003 Chardonnay, California, were grown in premium vineyards esteemed for producing fruit with lively, rich flavors.

Eric Laumann, director of production for Monterey Wine Company, observes, "I was impressed with the care that the Crystal team exhibited, thinking about their customers, considering only the wines that would best accompany the cuisine served at the various restaurants on board."

The six propriety labels include three C-Reserve wines - 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley; 2002 Merlot, Napa Valley; and 2003 Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco/Santa Lucia Highlands; and three C-Premium vintages - 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, California; 2003 Chardonnay, California; and 2003 Merlot, California.

C Winesis the latest evolution of Crystal Cruises' sophisticated culinary program which includes its highly regarded Crystal Wine & Food Festival, now in its eighth year, and its Wine & Champagne Makers Dinners, the first such concept to be offered at sea.

The line continues on its worldwide journey to advance the culinary arts, leading the cruise industry by forming innovative alliances with some of the world's most celebrated names in food, wine and hospitality including menus designed by Nobu Matsuhisa and signature dishes from Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on Main. Now in its third year, the luxury line also hosts the Best Young Chefs of Italy, a collaborative effort with long-time partner Piero Selvaggio, proprietor of the acclaimed Valentino restaurants.

Crystal Cruises has won the travel industry's most distinguished hospitality awards and guidebook ratings, including the best large-ship cruise line award in the most recent readers' surveys conducted by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines.

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Posted by Denise at October 29, 2004 04:41 PM
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