Paul Franson

Paul Franson

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.

It’s a must-attend event for growers and winery staff. Rootstock features seminars with experts, vineyard and wine trials, networking and an exhibition featuring over 120 of the industry’s leading viticulture and enology companies.

A reception will be held the night before.

Registration is $30 to $350. Get details and register at www.napagrowers.org.

Free Flow Wines gets

$9 million credit

Wine on tap has really taken off and, surprisingly, it’s not cheap plonk but good wines, often unique blends that aren’t bottled.

Free Flow Wines in Napa has certainly played a major role in this boom, and now it has arranged $9 million in credit from Veritas Financial Partners of Boca Raton, Florida.

Free Flow will use the funds to open a new East Coast facility; build more reusable stainless steel kegs and expand its keg leasing, filling and logistics services.

St. Clement Winery reportedly sold

Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates is reportedly selling St. Clement Winery north of St. Helena on Highway 29, but no buyer has been announced.

The move was expected. Treasury stopped making wine at the site years ago, and it only served as a tasting room. Treasury has also been shedding superfluous properties, brands and wineries after acquiring Diageo’s wine business.

The property is a prime catch, however—an attractive historic Victorian building built in 1878 and now in a good location on Highway 29, and apparently with grandfathered privileges such as no appointments required and picnics allowed.

Franco-Swiss Winery offered at $4.5 million

The historic and large 1870 Franco-Swiss Winery in Conn Valley is for sale for $4.5 million. Legal on two acres because of its age, this winery holds a permit for 20,000 gallons. The old stone winery and barn need substantial work.

It’s represented by Cyndi Gates and Mike Bertolucci of Gates Estates Sotheby’s International Realty in Yountville.

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Two custom crush wineries open in Sonoma

As demand for new wineries increased, two custom crush wineries have opened in Sonoma County.

Sugarloaf Crush in Kenwood was built specifically to serve custom-crush clients. Ronald Du Preez is the general manager and winemaker and the property is owned by Joe Reynoso. They plan to service clients producing wines selling for more than $30 per bottle. The winery is permitted for up to 125,000 cases (1,500 to 2,000 tons of grapes).

Additionally, James MacPhail has converted the former MacPhail Family Winery into a custom crush facility for ultra-premium producers such as Bacigalupi Vineyards, Blagden Wines, Bruliam Wines, Weese Family Wines, Bailaran Cellars, Calafia, Front Porch Farms, KaiTel Wines, Magnolia Blossom, Saini and Surina.

MacPhail’s partner and wife Kerry MacPhail overseas production with Colin MacLauchlan, most recently at Littorai Wines.

Current Issues in Vineyard Health

U.C. Davis presents Current Issues in Vineyard Health on Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Subjects include:

— Updates on Grapevine Pinot Gris Virus

— What are the next steps for the PD-resistant wine grape program?

— Viruses in vineyards

— Updates on pest and disease research from Napa: European grapevine moth, erineum mite, Argentine ant, and grapevine leafroll disease

— Red Blotch disease: the virus, its spread, and a vector

The cost is $190 including lunch and course materials. Enroll at extension.ucdavis.edu/section/current-issues-vineyard-health.

It’s at UC Davis Conference Center at 550 Alumni Lane, Davis.

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