Paul Franson writes the Business End wine column every other week. He’s been writing about wine and the wine industry for the two decades he has lived in Napa Valley. He also writes for wine trade magazines Wines & Vines and Wine Business Monthly and other publications.

Acumen Wines’ owner, Chinese-born businessman Eric Yuan, probably was a happy man in the weeks before his company opened an elegant tasting room and art gallery in downtown Napa on April 29.

Cool Anderson Valley, a long, isolated, scenic and even quirky region near the Mendocino Coast in Northern California, produces some of the best, most-Burgundian pinot noir wines in America, but it’s also proud of its wine made from traditional varieties popular in Alsace in France.

The deed has been recorded, and E. & J. Gallo Winery paid $180 million for the prestigious 1,300-acre Stagecoach Vineyards in the Atlas Peak American Viticultural Area and on the Pritchard Hill region based on transfer tax revenues reported.

Trinchero Family Estates is updating its large Main Street production winery in St. Helena, which was home to Sutter Home and Menage a Trois wines until the family completed its highly automated, high-volume production facility in Lodi last year.

April 4 is Women’s Equal Pay Day. To celebrate, Wine Women will hold a mini-expo, wine tasting and host keynote speakers at Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center from 4-8 p.m. 

At 80, Carl Domani asks, ¿Como No? (why not?) He’s introduced his third wine brand, ¿Como No? featuring his beloved petite sirah wine, or petite syrah, as he calls it though the grapes are really mostly a variety called durif in its home in the Rhone Valley.

Raymond Vineyards has applied for a permit to merge the Ticen Ranch property, which fronts on Highway 29, with its existing land off Zinfandel Lane to create an entrance on Highway 29 and reduce traffic on Zinfandel Lane.

The fifth annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo) was held last Thursday at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.

Napa Valley continues its charmed life as this year has been another great year for the quality of Napa Valley wine, the fifth such year in a row.

NEW YORK — For most Americans, major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are an opportunity to gather with family and friends. But some folks choose to spend those holidays alone — not because they have nobody to celebrate with, but as a way of unplugging from busy lives and creating a …

Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ Rootstock conference and trade show will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Napa Valley Expo.

The Napa Valley Rootstock 2016 takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the Napa Expo from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Last week, founder David Freed marked the 25th anniversary of the Wine Industry Financial Symposium (WIFS), including explaining how the influential conference started.

At a recent CANVAS (Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma) seminar on Chinese visitors to Napa Valley, consultant John Stallcup provided many useful hints.

Napa Valley is seeing more and more visitors from China, and the Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma (CANVAS) held a seminar last week to help its members understand them.

Since the county discourages informative signs and many growers and vintners try to keep their holdings private, most of us don’t even know where many famous Napa Valley vineyards are.

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Tuesday, Bin to Bottle received what might be the first grapes crushed this year in Napa Valley.

Napa Valley may produce only a small percent of America’s wine, but it has a huge reputation.

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A recent Wine Market Council report stated that women make 56 percent of all wine purchases. That significance was reinforced at the Women of the Vine Global Symposium earlier this week at the Meritage.

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A newly identified disease, the Pinot Gris Grapevine Virus, has been detected in a number of vineyards in Napa Valley, but it’s not know what impact it will have on grape yield or quality.

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As financial, environmental, neighbor and regulatory issues make it more and more difficult to start new wineries, more people are buying existing properties instead. Here are some recent examples:

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The 22nd Unified Wine & Grape Symposium held last week in Sacramento attracted a record 13,800 attendees, who visited the 650 exhibitors packed into every corner of the Sacramento Convention Center and heard seminars on grape-growing, winemaking, marketing and business.

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A merger involving the largest and fourth largest wine and spirits distributors in America could make things easier for big wine companies but even tougher for small wineries and those trying to break into the market.

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It’s always challenging to pick the top news of a year, but here are my candidates for the biggest stories in the local wine business in 2015:

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Leros is a small island in the Greek Dodecanese island chain off the coast of Turkey. When you drive around the island, you see terraces that suggest the island was once filled with vines, but only one winery operates there today.

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The winery at 1001 Silverado Trail formerly occupied by Jeffry Hill’s Hill Wine Company has been sold to a holding company that will lease it to Livermore Valley’s AuburnJames Winery. That winery is now producing wine at a custom winery. Jeff Hill had numerous legal problems and filed for ba…

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The Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ 2015 Rootstock will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Napa Valley Expo.

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The School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University will offer an executive wine MBA at the Upper Valley campus of Napa Valley College in St. Helena starting next April.

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Perhaps the most interesting talk at the 24th Wine Industry Financial Symposium on Monday and Tuesday was on the impact of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado on sales of alcohol.

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The American wine business is bragging that premium wines are growing in popularity so fast that they’ve overtaken popular and lower-priced wines in total dollar market share, but their definition of premium is different from ours here in Napa Valley.

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Concha y Toro, which owns 2,656 acres of vineyards including 1,144 acres at Fetzer and Bonterra in Mendocino, claims to be the world’s largest owner of vineyards since Treasury Estates sold the 275 acres around its venerable Asti Winery to Gallo, dropping it to 10,670.

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At a recent meeting of Allied Grape Growers, the 600-member marketing cooperative for California growers, Tony Correia, the leading vineyard appraiser in California, noted how fully cabernet sauvignon is taking over in Napa County.

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On top of Sacramento canceling its popular Grape Escape festival because most wineries declined to participate, after some were cited last year by the state for mentioning it on social media, it appears many local wineries here got stung by BottleRock in 2013.

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One of the most influential people in the wine business was recently in Napa to visit with clients and friends as he retires after 35 years in the business.

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Most people would be shocked to hear a county assessor say, “My job is to keep you from paying more in property taxes than you should,” but that’s just what Napa County assessor and clerk John Tuteur did at the 20th annual Vineyard Economics Seminar at the Marriott.

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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.

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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.

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Napa County has garnered two of the four first annual California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards.

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The wine industry has been buzzing about a report that some inexpensive wines from big companies contained excessive alcohol.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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The 2015 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium will be held next week, Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 27-29, at the Sacramento Convention Center.

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It’s interesting to see how many local restaurants exploit the quirky law that allows brewpubs to serve spirits:

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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.

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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.