Edu

Owning your own Wine Farm

Owning a winery is the dream of many a successful businessman. In South Africa, quite a few wineries are privately owned and operated. Not only is the beauty of the Cape Winelands enticing, but what could be more seductive than the thought of serving a wine complete with your own family name and crest? Take a look at this Napa Valley, California, video to get the picture.

But winemaking is a capital-intensive project, and slow on returns. When he went into it almost 30 years ago, Tim Hamilton Russell estimated that it would take 10 years to see a return on capital. The figure has not changed much since then especially now that imported equipment and wooden barrels have to be acquired with our weak rand. So it is rewarding to see South African money being invested in the Cape Winelands when it could so easily be exported for quicker and far better returns.

Relatively new to the industry is another IT man, Dave Lello. He brings a wealth of wine knowledge, having had a keen interest in the subject for most of his life. His enthusiasm for wine is matched by his love of Italy and Africa. And this shows in the name he has chosen for his wine venture, Stellakaya.

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Posted by Jessica W in Edu

Knipprath Cellars, Spokane

Knipprath Cellars Is Doing It Right

I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of Spokane, Washington’s most unique wineries, Knipprath Cellars. The winery is located in an old schoolhouse. It’s very quaint, though a bit chilly the day I visited. I was greeted at the top of the stairs by Sinay, who was manning (or in this case, womaning) the tasting room this particular day. See also this interview with Henning Knipprath of Knipprath Cellars. Knipprath is well-known for their Spiced Wine, Port, and some other pretty unique offerings. Knipprath is located in the Spokane Valley, at the historic Parkwater Schoolhouse.

I knew very little about Knipprath Cellars except that there WAS one, so I asked many questions and Sinay answered them one by one. I found out that Knipprath Cellars is a family-owned winery that just celebrated ten years of being a full-time winery. All in all, I tasted 13 different wines including Roussanne, Syrah, Tempranillo, Merlot and a whole slew of dessert wines, which seems to be their niche.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Some More Interesting American Wines

Let’s also take a look at a few more interesting American wines. California is around the world renown for its quality wines. Check out the following wines that are really standing out in a market that has the largest number of varieties of agricultural produce in the world: WINE!

2013 Petite Sirah “Lovett Vineyard”, Red Hills

Deeply saturated and inky in the glass – ruby purple with violet glints.  The aromas set the stage for this wine – quintessential Petite Sirah notes of blackberry jam, rhubarb pie, baking spices, and blueberries are buoyed by a set of savory aromatics of cigar box, wet gravel, espresso, and fine oak.  The palate mirrors the nose – rich, ripe berry and cherry notes with underpinnings of dark chocolate, and coffee and a hint of hoppy porter.

Generous fine-grained tannins provide a backbone to the long, lingering finish of cassis and bittersweet chocolate.   With this bottling, the richness and ripeness of fruit are perfectly matched by bright, youthful acidity, giving the wine freshness and balance in this early stage and promising the potential for longer-term cellaring over the next 5-7 years.  As the wine matures, the jammy notes will transform into plush, darker fruit while the tannins soften and become velvety on the palate, slowly transforming into a highly nuanced and elegant wine.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Walla Walla Wine Wine Time Time

Yes, I know, it’s a silly heading. Walla Walla actually uses that same tagline of repeating words to market their wine region. So I borrowed it.  We were fortunate enough to be able to experience the Walla Walla wine region not too long ago and, although we expected good things I don’t think we were quite prepared for what we got.

The wine being produced in Walla Walla is sensational. Even the juice that wasn’t great was still good. Walla Walla is located due South of Spokane, Washington in the Southeast corner of the state.  It’s about a 262-mile drive from Seattle and 158 miles from Spokane. This was our first time in Walla Walla and it was beautiful. We had great weather as the sun was out.

We were able to visit eleven wineries: Woodward Canyon Winery, L’Ecole No 41, Gifford Hirlinger, Beresan Winery, Balboa Winery, Basel Cellars, Trio Vintners, Kontos Cellars, Dunham Cellars, Cavu Cellars, and Waterbrook.

Our first stop was at Woodward Canyon where we were met by Kellie Berg, the tasting room manager, who was extremely friendly and nice to us. I tasted six of their wines with my favorites being their 2016 Burgundy styled Chardonnay, NV Columbia Red Wine (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 14% Syrah), Artist Series #15 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (which actually had a bit of Syrah and Merlot in it) and 2014 Estate Red.  The best value of the bunch was the NV Columbia Red Wine, which at $26 is a true bargain.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Valentino Vineyards – Organic and Tasteful

Most wine connoisseurs will know that vineyards are found in all U.S. states. Yes, even in Alaska there are wineries! So it wouldn’t come as a surprise that you can also find vineyards in the state of Illinois, despite the state’s frigid winters.

It is, however, somewhat more challenging find a vineyard or a winery in the Chicago area, where practically all land is dedicated to suburban community sports parks or forest preserves. So it is a bit surprising to discover a great winery in Long Grove, Illinois, by the name of Valentino Vineyards.

To reach the 20-acre vineyard, you need to drive through typical suburban Chicago neighborhoods while using 2-lane streets that are full of parked cars. It couldn’t get any more suburbian, so it will definitely come as a surprise that all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself on a small country road that leads you to the relatively small vineyard.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Valentino Wine and Vineyards – Long Grove, Illinois

Valentino Vineyards and Winery was founded in 1995 and in 2001, the winery opened its doors to the public. It is one of Chicagoland’s Leading Estate Vineyards and Wineries. The winery invites you to stop by to visit their impressive vineyard and sample their interesting wines.

Valentino’s Tasting Room is open from May through December on Fridays from 5 to 7 pm, on Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Sundays from Noon to 4 pm. To enjoy a taste of their great wines, you can just walk in during opening hours. There are also Vineyard Tours and Wine Tasting and Appreciation Seminars, but these events are by reservation only.

For groups of 20 or more, Valentino Vineyards and Winery is also available on Mondays through Thursdays but making an appointment is (understandably) required. For reservations, or to purchase some of the estate’s great wines, please call (847) 634-2831.

Valentino Vineyards and Winery is located in Long Grove, Illinois, and run by Vintner and Viticulturist Rudolph (Rudy) DiTomasso and his spouse Vivienne. The address is 5175 Aptakisic Road, Long Grove, IL. 60047.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

In Which Sam Curses Herself. Again

Remember how I said I was getting bored of the summer break? Yeah, well now that the start of the semester is just under two weeks away, I’m thinking I could do with a bit longer! Always the way, isn’t it? Nevermind, I shall live. I have two weeks to cram in stuff I’m less able to do during the semester. And two weeks to prepare myself for being the World’s Greatest Time Manager and the World’s Most Organised Student (ha!).

One thing I learned from my first semester and going through exams is that it is imperative my study notes are all organized throughout the semester and that I methodically work through all the material so that there is as little cramming as possible at the end of it. The worst is feeling bogged down by loads of information that’s barely making sense.

The other thing I learned was not to set myself too many tasks to do in a short space of time. I am notorious for having giant to-do lists and a ridiculous amount of time to complete it all in; it’s often just not possible to accomplish it all. Unless I suddenly turned into Super Woman or something. Doing this only ends in irritation because I become cross with myself for not completing everything.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Tips for Writing a Great Resume

Your resume is a compilation of credentials that lets potential employers know what you have achieved. Your cover letter tells them why your achievements are important and why you are a good fit for the position you are applying for. It acts as your spokesman and markets you to prospective employers.

A good cover letter should have three sections: a brief opening, middle and a closing. Each part contains crucial information and needs to be strongly worded.

The Opening Paragraph

It is here that you clearly identify the position you are applying for. Tell the reader how you learned about the job. If you are responding to an ad you saw or if a friend referred you, say so. More importantly, explain why you are interested in the job or in this company in particular. Make them believe you want to work at this company, in this position.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

How to Start a Club at Your High School

Whenever I’m talking to students about activities for college applications, we end up talking about clubs. (Usually, because I ask about them.) First off, what school doesn’t have at least one club? Unfortunately, I often hear that club members can be more of a formality than an actual activity.

It is easy to go to Club Day and join a bunch of clubs. But to stay interested and involved throughout the year – that is the actual challenge. Why? Lots of students join clubs just for the sake of joining; this is especially true if you are a GED student and your study is mostly done online. I like the idea of learning for the GED exam from home, but you will need to add extra effort to get involved in the club says Steve from bestgedclasses.org that offers online GED classes and practice tests. You need to stay motivated and actively pursue your education.

So I want to propose an idea. Why not start your club this year? You might be thinking, how do I start a club? Easy – all you need is a teacher to offer their room for lunch and a few friends to join. (Of course, you will need to talk to your school administration to fill out the proper forms and be sure you are ready for Club Day.) But once you get past those basics, you have the opportunity to create something you love!

What is your passion? Puppies? Why not create a club where you and your friends can discuss, explore, learn about, and support for all things animals? (Ok, silly example- but seriously, who doesn’t love puppies?)
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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Looking For A Military Scholarship?

Military scholarships are the exemptions in college fees or any other assistance that can help deserving students coming from military families obtain financial benefits for education. The United States recognizes the contribution made by the military folks towards protecting the frontiers of the country. There are a number of government and non-government agencies and organizations that provide special educational scholarships for families of military men. Here are some of the most popular grants in the United States.

Fisher House Foundation Military Scholarship

The Fisher house Foundations managed Scholarships for Military Children Program and offers financial aid to children from military families through military commissaries. This is a program which has been largely funded by the suppliers and manufacturers of the products that are sold at the military commissaries. The military families are encouraged to use commissary benefits.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu