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Carl Doumani hits his third strike

Carl Doumani hits his third strike

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Paul Franson

Paul Franson

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.

Doumani created Stags’ Leap Winery in 1970 after he discovered old-growth petite syrah vines while replanting the historic vineyards and restoring the 19th-century winery and manor house. He sold the business to what is now Treasury Winery Estates in 1997. He kept some of the land, however.

In 2000, he built quirky Quixote Winery north of the historic Stags’ Leap Ranch and again focused on petite sirah.

Doumani sold that winery to Chinese investors but in 2009, he planted a two-acre virgin vineyard at the foot of the Stags’ Leap palisades. That’s the source of the new grapes.

The winemaker is Aaron Pott and vineyard manager is Michael Wolf. They just released a very limited quantity of the first 2011 and 2012 vintages by the case only for $760 at

He says, “They are both are drinking beautifully right now.”

Apparently Robert M. Parker, Jr. agrees. He wrote “these wines... are about as terrific as petite syrah can be,” faint praise perhaps except that he rated them 94+.

Information on distributors

Finding an effective distributor is famously challenging for new and small wine brands, but they don’t have to limit themselves to direct sales to consumers.

Wine Communications Group has introduced the Distributor Market Service, which makes it easy for small and mid-sized wineries to identify opportunities in a distributor portfolio.

Wine Communications Group owns Wine Business Monthly, Wines & Vines, wine trade conferences and a robust database operation and is joint owner of Gomberg-Fredrikson & Associates with market research firm BW166.

Subscribers access the distributor database via the Wines & Vines website, and there are a number of search options, filters, and ways to export reports that allow wineries to find distributors that are good fits.

Wineries can identify distributors based on portfolio size, ones where they would add value and track distributors that other wineries are using.

The database also provides access to distributor profiles and corporate linkage between distributors and their parent organizations. The profiles also contain the distributor’s winery portfolio, with the wineries represented, including brands, annual case production, average bottle price and location of each winery.

Users pay a fee tier based on winery size.

Get more information at the Gomberg-Frekrikson website,

Contact Caitlin Dezzani Taylor with any questions or to schedule a demonstration. Phone 940-3922 or email

Full disclosure: I write for both magazines, but learned abut this service only when I quoted data from a competing source.

Entrepreneur program

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University will offer a program for its Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship, March 15 to May 10.

The Certificate in Wine Business Entrepreneurship is designed to provide small wine business owners and those seeking to start a wine business the time and guided focus to develop a successful business plan.

Other WBI programs starting in March include the certificate in direct-to-consumer wine sales and certificate in wine business finance and accounting, with core and elective seminars beginning March 16 and 17.

Get more information at, email or call 664-3235.

Rosé Today

The 2017 Rosé Today competition will be on March 22 at Soda Rock Winery in Healdsburg.

The competition is led by wine director Bob Ecker and competition director Colleen Ecker. For information, call Colleen Ecker at 771-0060 or email

Wine Flavor 101

UC Davis continues its Wine Flavor 101 series with “Optimizing Mouthfeel and Flavor: Tannins, Phenolics and Wine Quality” at UC Davis Conference Center Wednesday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. followed by a wine social in honor of Doug Adams.

This program will explain how you can use phenolic data to drive key quality interventions, both in the vineyard and in the winery.

The cost is $200 at

UC Davis in Napa

UC Davis Viticulture and Enology On the Road comes to Napa Valley on March 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

It’s co-hosted by UC Cooperative Extension-Napa County, Napa Valley Vintners, and Napa Valley Grape Growers.

The cost is $50. Register to

It will be at Yountville Community Center.

Wine & Weed Symposium

The Wine and Weed Symposium will be held on Aug. 3 in Santa Rosa. Writer and editor Tina Caputo will moderate the symposium.

It will cover topics such as legal issues, collaboration opportunities, threats, environmental issues and labor issues will all be introduced in the day-long symposium.

It’s organized by Wine Industry Network.

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