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Paul Franson

Paul Franson

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.

Antonio Galloni, the critic and founder of Vinous, is helping a bit with the publication of detailed maps that disclose the location of vineyards such as Harlan, Screaming Eagle and Bond St. Eden. The maps are designed by the Italian cartographer Allesandro Masnaghetti, and come in various formats suitable for hanging as well as perusing.

So far, they’ve released three maps of three prestigious areas, Rutherford, Oakville and Pritchard Hill. Others are in the works.

The backs include simulated 3-D images, and lots of information.

Folded maps are $25. A premium edition rolled for framing and printed on premium quality paper is $50. A signed collector’s copy of 100 hand-numbered maps is $500.

You can buy them at or some tasting rooms.

Heimoff retires

Steve Heimoff, the long-time writer for Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, and a tireless and insightful blogger, has retired.

He has been working for two years for Jackson Family Wines.

Heimoff said that he’s retiring because he turned 70 years old in June and is feeling his age. He also felt he could do it.

Heimoff will continue to blog but not confine himself to wine. Trump fans might want to sign off from receiving his blogs, however.

French Laundry adds Baja wines

I was recently in Baja California wine country, where I found that the wines were dramatically improved over a decade ago. Many are truly world-class.

They’re still hard to find here, but they’re becoming more available: Now the French Laundry has added six Baja wines to its extensive list, a pretty impressive endorsement.

State Senate approves overtime for farmworkers

Farmworkers are exempt from the requirement to get overtime other hourly workers enjoy, but the California state Senate has passed legislation that would require that farmworkers get overtime after 40 hours a week or more than eight hours a day.

It now goes to the Assembly, which earlier turned the bill down.

A beer and a trim

The California assembly signed a bill 79-0 to let beauty shops and barbers offer customers a free glass of wine or beer legally while getting a haircut.

Many beauty salons and barbershops already do illegally.

New from Hugh Johnson

If you want comprehensive wine facts, turn to Karen MacNeil’s “Wine Bible.” If you want a compact guide for you pocket or purse, Hugh Johnson has just released his “Pocket Wine Book 2017.” It’s perfect for buying and choosing wine on site.

Despite its small size, it contains an amazing amount of information.

This year’s anniversary edition contains a color supplement exploring 40 stories from cities with great vineyards close by to “new” grapes that have come on the scene.

25th Wine Industry Financial Symposium

The 25th Wine Industry Financial Symposium on Sept. 23 and 24 at the Napa Valley Marriott will include a look back at the wine business of 25 years ago.

They’ll also talk mergers and acquisitions, rising prices and costs, prices, funding and the upgrading of the market.

Thought leaders, decision makers and industry analysts will educate, inform and interact providing information that will add to your success and help you work smarter and make more money.

UC Davis Wine Executive Program

You can now register for the 17th annual UC Davis Wine Executive Program on March 26-30, 2017, which sells out quickly.

The valuable course is teach the fundamentals of winemaking and grapegrowing along with the business and management skills necessary to be successful in today’s challenging and dynamic wine industry. I’ve attended and found it very valuable and interesting. Get details at

International Wine Tourism

Next year’s International Wine Tourism Conference will be held in Sicily’s Etna DOC region March 28-29. Past conferences have been in Porto, Portugal; Perugia, Italy; Zagreb, Croatia; Tbilisi, Georgia; Champagne and Barcelona. Sounds better than Sacramento.

Get details at

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