Many reports from the U.K. say that Diageo has put up its wine brands for sale. They include Beaulieu, Sterling, Acacia and Provenance here.
Everyone in the wine business seems to be talking about the 17-member Agricultural Protection Advisory Committee appointed by the county commissioners to take a look at possible tweaks to the Winery Definition Ordinance and other parts of the agricultural laws.
Napa County has garnered two of the four first annual California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards.
The wine industry has been buzzing about a report that some inexpensive wines from big companies contained excessive alcohol.
Yao Family Wines plans to raise $3 million via Crowdfunder, a website for entrepreneurs to get funding from fans.
Wine writer Jon Bonné is ending his full-time employment at the San Francisco Chronicle, and will be writing only a monthly column. He’s joined the online website Punch as wine columnist.
Saturday is Premiere Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Vintners’ trade wine auction, but it really follows days of events leading up to the big day by local wineries and groups of wineries — with more parties following on Sunday as well.
U.S. wine exports hit a record high of $1.56 billion in 2013, up 16 percent from 2012 (and up from $621 million a decade ago).
The 2015 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium will be held next week, Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 27-29, at the Sacramento Convention Center.
It’s interesting to see how many local restaurants exploit the quirky law that allows brewpubs to serve spirits:
Last week, L. Pierce Carson commented on how few Napa Valley wines were in the Wine Spectator’s list of top 100 wines, and this week, the report from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Bonné was hardly any better to the valley.
The Carneros Wine Alliance held a tasting of chardonnay wines last week at Domaine Carneros highlighting the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Carneros American Viticultural Area.
Water remains utmost in the minds of California farmers as we end three years of drought and prospects of an El Niño weather system providing a wet year fading.
With growing public opposition to many new winery and vineyard projects, sentiment seems to be growing to restrict new wineries, perhaps by increasing the minimum parcel size for a new winery from the present 10 acres to 20 or even 40 acres, or to require them to use estate grapes from that property.
Rex Stulz of the Napa Valley Vintners passed along a list from comedian Will Durst, who appeared at City Winery on Tuesday. According to Durst, the top 10 reasons “why it doesn’t suck to work in the wine industry” are:
A month after the 6.0 earthquake hit Napa, a freak hailstorm and heavy rains last Friday could have wreaked more havoc on our wine business.
Next year’s Barrel Tasting for Auction Napa Valley in early June will be in the valley’s newest favorite meeting place, the impressive Hall Winery in St. Helena.
A little over a week later, we can start to put the south Napa quake into perspective.
California’s wine grape production this year will be 3.9 million tons, down 8 percent from the large 2013 crop, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast. It’s in line from projections by Nat DiBuduo, president of Allied Grape Growers, a large marketing cooperative.
In this drought, it’s not surprising that the seventh Organic Winegrowing Conference scheduled a session on dry farming, and it was very well attended by attendees. But John Williams of dry-farmed Frog’s Leap Winery reminded them, “Dry farming isn’t about saving water. It’s about producing better wine — and long-living vines.”
Carl Doumani has sold his 6,000-to-8,000-case Quixote winery, vineyard and home in the Stags Leap District to a subsidiary of Le Melange, an American company owned by a Chinese firm. The story was first reported in the Wine Spectator blog by Napan James Laube.
The Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation has pledged $3 million to Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park to build a new home for SSU’s Wine Business institute.
Last week, I attended a wine event in Walla Walla, Washington, designed to highlight the quality of the area’s wines and naturally help increase their renown (and price!) as the Napa Valley Vintners have done so spectacularly well over the years.
In my reporting on wine, I attend a lot of seminars and conferences. Here are some interesting and offbeat observations from some meetings I’ve attended recently.
Wine students at Walla Walla Community College or Yakima Valley Community College in Washington can transfer to several ag degree programs at Washington State University.
City Winery threw a party Monday to celebrate its becoming the 500th member of the Napa Valley Vintners.
Organizers are raising money for the planned California Wine Museum in Santa Rosa. They are seeking $3 million to $4 million, a long way from the $50 million-plus spent on Copia here. The museum would occupy the donated “cellar” of a former AT&T telephone switching building on Third Street across from Courthouse Square and on the city’s Transit Mall. The venue would have exhibits starting with 4,500 items from California’s viticultural and oenological history collected by antiques dealer John McCormick.
Like many specialty magazines, the Sommelier Journal ended publication due to financial pressures, but now it’s been reborn as Somm Journal under publisher and editorial director Meridith May of the Tasting Panel magazine.
Eric Sklar of St. Helena, a former owner of Alpha Omega Winery, and Prescott Ashe, who owns Prescott Ashe Vineyards, have applied with the county for new winery with an annual production capacity of 100,000 gallons atop the northwest Yountville hill where dormant Castle in the Clouds B&B now stands.
Wine Business Monthly recently posted its list of the top 10 wineries in the U.S. market by sales volume for 2013:
Someone interested in the wine business traditionally studies enology and viticulture, and while everyone in the wine business in Napa Valley knows about the viticulture and enology programs at UC Davis, Fresno State University and Napa Valley College, but they may not know much about another important source of wine education.
The Sacramento Convention Center welcomed 13,000 members of the wine industry this week for the 20th annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the Western Hemisphere’s largest wine trade show.
Grapegrowers, home gardeners, ranchers and even schoolchildren in 4-H will celebrate the 100th anniversary this year of the legislation that created Cooperative Extension, the community-based education that’s part of California’s land grant university system.
One of the fastest-growing beverage categories in America is hard cider, light, usually bubbly wine made from apples.
The first Napa Valley Cabernet Festival, CabFestNV, is scheduled for March 1 and 2 at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. It will be a weekend filled with wine, food, parties and entertainment. Passes will be available at LincolnTheater.com.