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Friday, August 22, 2014
August 22, 2014 | 12:05 PM

Monica and David Stevens, proprietors of 750 Wines in St. Helena are fulfilling a life-long dream of providing a forever home sanctuary and rescue and ranch for at-risk animals. In addition to saving animals’ lives, their hope is for JRR to also become a communications network and hub of the wheel for animal rescue throughout all of Northern California.

As they take-on this enormous endeavor, they are looking to raise friends, raise funds and raise awareness to help support their mission. JRR’s official kick-off event, Wineapalooza (dinner, wine tasting and live auction extravaganza) will be held on Saturday, September 20th at Gamble Family Vineyards.

Because of the longstanding relationships Monica and David have developed, attendees of Wineapalooza will have the rare opportunity to sample more than 40 of the finest wines the Napa Valley has to offer. Selections will include rarely poured brands such as Tusk, Realm and Herb Lamb.

For more see the website or Facebook page 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014
August 20, 2014 | 4:26 PM

On July 31, Drakes Bay Oyster Company was forced to close by the National Parks Services and Department of the Interior. The last oyster cannery in California, Drakes is now only able to continue harvesting oysters for sale in the wholesale market. The shuckers and packers, some that had been with the company for 30 years, lost their jobs when the shucking and packing builkding was lifted from the ground and put onto a trailer for removal.

To help raise money for the family of Drakes Bay Oyster Company, Stag Dining alongside Fine & Rare and the Carneros Wine Alliance, are hosting a benefit event at FISH in Sausalito.

'Shuck for Shelter’ A Benefit for the Workers of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company

WHEN:Sunday, August 24, 2 to 5 p.m.

WHERE: FISH Restaurant
              350 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, CA 94965

COST & DETAILS: $75* per person
                              21 and over
                              Price includes food and beverages.
                              This event is a cocktail style party.
* A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the workers of Drakes Bay Oyster Company. Additional raffle items and rare wines will be auctioned off as well.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014
August 19, 2014 | 2:30 PM

Selected Recent Sales of Grapes & Wines in Bulk for August 18, 2014 courtesy of Turrentine Brokerage:

Bulk Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Rutherford, 12,700 gallons at $35.00 per gallon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Alexander Valley, 2,000 gallons at $20.00 per gallon

Merlot 2012 wine, Chalk Hill, 3,700 gallons at $13.00 per gallon

Pinot Noir 2013 wine, California, 25,000 gallons at $6.50 per gallon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 wine, Lodi, 12,500 gallons at $5.75 per gallon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Napa Valley, 9,500 gallons at $29.00 per gallon

August 19, 2014 | 9:22 AM

Iron Horse Vineyards adds rice hulls before pressing in order to get to get more delicate, delicious juice with less pressure.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
by Cyril Penn | August 13, 2014 | 2:08 PM

California’s wine type grape production is forecast at 3.9 million tons for 2014, down 8 percent from 2013, according to a report issued yesterday by the California Agricultural Statistics Service. That’s still a fairly big crop, however: If 3.9 million tons are crushed, 2014 will be California's third-largest ever wine-grape crop to date.

According to the report, the raisin crop is expected to be 1.95 million tons, down 13 percent from 2014, and table grape production is forecast at 1.20 million tons, down 2 percent.

CASS noted that bunch counts were reported to be down from last year’s counts and that hail during bloom negatively affected some vineyards.

The forecast is in line with Allied Grapegrowers’ earlier estimate of 3.8 to 4.0 million tons of wine-grapes in 2014, though Allied president Nat Dibuduo said he thinks the state’s forecast for Thomson grapes may be high – with the Thompson crop down by as much as 20 or even 25 percent.

The market for un-contracted grapes, meanwhile, is currently soft, according to industry sources. Dibuduo said the spot market has eased because of record harvests in 2012 and 2013. While there are currently few buyers for grapes in the San Joaquin Valley, sales of grapes are brisk along California’s north coast, however.

The softening of the spot market has been attributed to the large 2012 and 2013 harvests.

Drought is a factor in 2014 and could be an even bigger issue for wine grape production in 2015.

“I’m definitely concerned about next year’s crop if we have another dry year,” Dibuduo said.


Friday, August 8, 2014
August 8, 2014 | 9:18 AM

An aerial video of Philip Carter Winery. Video Production Credit: Jimmy Olivero and the entire staff at SkycamUSA

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
August 5, 2014 | 4:03 PM

Selected Recent Sales of Grapes & Wines in Bulk for August 4, 2014 courtesy of Turrentine Brokerage:

Bulk Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Paso Robles, 19,500 gallons at $10.00 per gallon

Chardonnay 2013 wine, Russian River, 4,800 gallons at $12.00 per gallon

Zinfandel 2013 wine, Dry Creek Valley, 4,300 gallons at $9.50 per gallon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Oakville, 14,900 gallons at $28.00 per gallon

Petite Sirah 2013 wine, Lodi, 6,500 gallons at $5.50 per gallon


Sauvignon Blanc 2014 grapes, Dry Creek Valley, 22 tons at $1,600.00 per ton

Chardonnay 2014 grapes, Mendocino County, 44 tons at $1,100.00 per ton

Monday, August 4, 2014
by Cyril Penn | August 4, 2014 | 5:50 PM

There’s a lot happening in Suisan Valley right now. The AVA comprises some 15,000 acres, with roughly 3,000 acres planted. It’s possible that planted acreage could increase substantially in the next few years. The region isn’t far from Napa, which is basically planted out, and Suisun Valley is known for producing good grapes with relatively large yields. There’s also reasonably good access to water. Three new boutique wineries are just getting off the ground in Suisun now that they’ve got their wastewater discharge permits. Solano County is home to two dozen wineries

Now comes word from industry sources that Modesto-based E&J Gallo Winery is poised to buy Winterhawk Winery, although John Segale, a spokesman for E&J Gallo, said there has been no purchase.

Well so far, at least. ... A deal, if finalized, would see E&J Gallo expanding on its recent purchase of Ledgewood Creek, as the properties are contiguous.

When Gallo purchased Ledgwood Creek earlier this year, it shut down the tasting room. Some saw that as a blow to a valley that’s been struggling to become more of a destination. Others see Gallo’s move to Suisun as a big boost. “They’re going to be a good neighbor here,” one source commented. “Between that and Chuck Wagner leasing everything he can get his hands on: He has picked up a number of leased properties, and seems to be testing all the corners of the AVA.” (Caymus announced plans to build a winery in Suisun Valley last summer).


by Erin Guenther | August 4, 2014 | 11:23 AM

Last month I was fortunate enough to visit the cork oak forest in Portugal to see the harvest. There are about 2.1 million hectares of cork forest in the world, more than 730,000 of which are in Portugal. In the last 10 to 15 years, more than 130,000 hectares of cork oak have been planted in the country, and there are a number of reforestation programs in place. Below are some photos from the 2014 harvest:

Thursday, July 31, 2014
July 31, 2014 | 1:24 PM

This Vine video comes from the Napa Valley Vintners. " target="_blank">Harvest 2014 is underway! 

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