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Friday, July 17, 2015
by Curtis Phillips | July 17, 2015 | 1:40 AM

Although progressive cavity pumps (AKA progressing cavity pump) are frequently fed by an Archimedes screw, the actual pump in not an Archimedes screw per se. Instead, the pump design has a helical rotor inside of a helical cavity. As the rotor turns a void, specifically in the shape of a helical annulus, moves along the cavity thus displacing the wine forward. These pumps are becoming very common as portable must pumps. These pumps are fairly gentle and minimize further maceration of the must during transfer.

Thursday, July 16, 2015
by UC Davis | July 16, 2015 | 2:44 PM

Venue change for UCD 2015 Crush Strategies to Maximize Quality:

Save the Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Where: UC Davis, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, Sensory Theater in the West Building
Registration: Details are below

 There are still spaces available for the annual Crush Strategies to Maximize Wine Quality seminar at UC Davis.

This year, the focus will be on two areas of critical importance:

1) Techniques shown to improve the extraction of phenolics and flavors, with the simultaneous removal of negative compounds.

2) The choice of yeast to match intended style.

The I've put a copy of the updated seminar announcement flier here, but those wishing to sign-up immedately may do so here.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015
July 15, 2015 | 10:32 AM

Cameron Hughes comments on "Rumors of a Prosecco Shortage Have Been Greatly Exaggerated"

This is a totally manufactured crisis. Each year Prosecco DOC controls the amount of wine producers can "classify" as Prosecco and forces them to "declassify" a certain amount as White Table wine. The "holdback" amount is revisited certain times throughout the year (my understanding is usually just twice, once in the winter after harvest and then again in May/June after fruitset) depending on projected tonnage. Why? Simply to provide pricing stability for growers and, more recently, to stop the downward pricing trend in the UK and US as Prosecco has gotten more popular.

Monday, July 13, 2015
by Curtis Phillips | July 13, 2015 | 1:24 PM

I usually refrain from commenting on consumer wine tchotchkes. Most won’t deliver what they promise, but confirmation bias means most “believers” genuinely think the latest gizmo is doing something. It’s really hard to demonstrate an negative result, particularly when you lack the resources to conduct any sort of experimentation. No one seems to like it when you point out that the whatchamacallit can possibly function as advertised without violating at least two Laws of Thermodynamics.

More specifically, we’ve seen a modest uptick in the number of “sulfite-removing” gadgets hit the market in the past few months. I think the Wineoscope offers a pretty good thumbnail analysis of the Ullo. I would have been more long-winded but would have covered the same ground.

Friday, July 10, 2015
July 10, 2015 | 11:17 AM

The following Op-Ed piece was written by Stefano Zanette, President, Prosecco DOC Consortium

Prosecco: A Victim of its Own Success

By Stefano Zanette, President, Prosecco DOC Consortium (Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco)

As has been widely reported, global sales of Prosecco reached 306 million bottles last year, compared to 241.5 million bottles the previous year. Even with this documented increase, there have been reports in the media that there is a current shortage. We felt the need to issue a statement to refute this report because despite the fact that the 2014 harvest was hit with some harsh weather, the total certified production was up 17.9% as compared to the previous harvest

Less widely reported than the alleged shortage is the disappointing though perhaps unsurprising fact that many imitators are jumping on the Prosecco bandwagon. Imposters marketing themselves as Prosecco are reportedly being produced all around the world, from Brazil to Romania, from Argentina to Australia.

We would like to set the record straight: Just like Champagne or Barolo, Prosecco is a wine of place. For hundreds of years, Prosecco has been produced in specific areas of Italy’s Veneto and Friuli regions, to the north and northeast of Venice. Those areas are now the protected DOC and DOCG production zones for Prosecco. The primary grape in Prosecco is Glera, which is indigenous to this region of northeastern Italy and can be blended, according consortia rules, with percentages of secondary white wine grapes.

Any bottle that says Prosecco on the label must be produced in approved, designated growing regions according to the strict standards of the Prosecco DOC and Prosecco DOCG Consortia. Prosecco cannot be made in Brazil or Australia (as reported erroneously recently), or anywhere other than these designated regions. The specific environmental conditions of the area are what give Prosecco its characteristic qualities.

It is critical that we protect Prosecco’s centuries-old heritage and, most importantly for American wine drinkers, protect the quality standards of this wonderful wine. If we don’t expose imitators, consumers won’t be able to trust that the Prosecco they purchase is of a guaranteed quality based on the strict regulations and processes to which our producers are held.

Before Prosecco becomes a victim of its own success, we call on those who write, market and educate people about wine to do their part to inform the public about what Prosecco represents as a specific wine of place — and to advocate for truthful labeling so that when consumers buy a bottle that says Prosecco, they are getting the real thing and not an imitation.

Exports to the United States comprise 18.5% of total Prosecco exports, making the US the third-largest market for Prosecco DOC sales behind the United Kingdom and Germany, respectively. The global demand highlights an increasing interest in and demand for Italian sparkling wine, with which the Consortium’s productions are prepared to keep up for an extended period of time.

We invite you to enjoy Prosecco this summer while celebrating with family and friends as well as throughout the year.

Thank you.

Stefano Zanette is president of the Prosecco DOC Consortium (Consorzio Tutela Prosecco DOC), established in 2009 to coordinate and manage the Prosecco Controlled Designation of Origin. The Consortium brings together growers and producers of Prosecco to ensure that the designation continues to grow and that production regulations are strictly followed.

by Curtis Phillips | July 10, 2015 | 2:16 AM

Terry Prichard at UC Davis has a a lot of good advice for winegrape regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) on the UCD Agriculture Irrigation Water Management website. The website gives a brief summary and provide a link to a more detailed reference.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
by Curtis Phillips | July 9, 2015 | 1:32 AM

I’m not a viticulturist, but I’ve built and maintained my share of irrigation systems over the years. I’ve been interested in deficit irrigation (DI) and regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) ever since our the big drought in 1976-77. Back then, I had only the crudest measurements of tree, vine, and soil moisture status. I could look at leaf turgor, dig a hole and look at the soil, or I could install Irrometer Tensiometers.

Fast forward: Reinier van der Lee made this sweet Open Source Aduino hardware-hack for his vineyard which he has dubbed the Vinduino. The project is also described on

As a side note, the other thing I remember about the ’76-77 drought was that there were a lot of empty swimming pools in Southern California. Combined with the relatively new urathane skateboard wheels, those empty pools changed the face of skateboarding forever.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
by Curtis Phillips | July 7, 2015 | 2:54 PM

Save the Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Where: UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center
Registration: Details are below

There are still spaces available for the annual Crush Strategies to Maximize Wine Quality seminar at UC Davis.

This year, the focus will be on two areas of critical importance:

1) Techniques shown to improve the extraction of phenolics and flavors, with the simultaneous removal of negative compounds.

2) The choice of yeast to match intended style.

The I've put a copy of the updated seminar announcement flier here, but those wishing to sign-up immedately may do so here.

Monday, July 6, 2015
by Rachel Nichols | July 6, 2015 | 2:25 PM

It's summertime. In the wine industry that means 2014 Rosé wines have been released and rosé seems to be everywhere: in my own glass, buzzing around the Twitter-sphere and in an upcoming issue of Wine Business Monthly.

Rosé on the Rise
Last week I went out to dinner twice after work and as I looked around, nearly every table had at least one person sipping on a glass of the pink stuff (myself included). I always love seeing all the shades of salmon pink in everyone's glass this time of year. Last week I tried Kokomo Rosé of Grenache, Thomas George Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir and Bella Vineyards' Rosé of Pinot Noir (which they sell in growlers). I also heard a few different people mention the Rosé at Merriam Vineyards, which is on my list to taste! Seeing Rosé everywhere is not surprising as it is a category that continues to grow, according to the Nielsen data we follow. According to the data, Rosé (above $8) grew 35.6 percent in the four weeks ending May 23, 2015.

Rosé is also prominent at the Wine Business Monthly headquarters. We are now working on our September issue, which happens to feature a Varietal Focus on Rosé. The Varietal Focus series has become one of the most popular features in the magazine and we publish it twice a year: in our January and September issues.

For each article, contributing writer/winemaker, Lance Cutler selects a varietal, picks three regions known for that variety and invites three winemakers from different regions to participate. The winemakers talk about what went into making the wine from grape to bottle. Then all the winemakers taste each other's wines, give feedback and compare notes. We also publish a big chart that includes style goals, vineyard and winemaking data, including when to pick, additives, tank types and much more.

Lance will be investigating Rosé in our next Varietal Focus in September. For this Varietal Focus, we decided to concentrate on dry Rosés, including Broc Cellars 2014 White Zinfandel made by Chris Brockway; Forlorn Hope 2013 Kumo To Ame Rosé made by Matthew Rorick; Sinskey Winery 2014 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir made by Jeff Virnig; Idlewild Wines 2014 “The Flower” Flora & Fauna Rosé by Sam Bilbro; Mathis Wines 2014 Rosé de Grenache from Peter Mathis; Halter Ranch Winery 2014 Rosé made by Kevin Sass; Covenant Wines 2014 Red C Rosé by Jeff Morgan; Robert Hall Winery 2014 Rosé de Robles made by Don Brady; and Tobin James Cellars 2013 Paradise Syrah Rosé by Jeff Poe.

Lance writes: "Whatever grape varieties are being used and whatever methods have been employed, making good dry Rosé is a balancing act. The challenge is to extract enough aroma, flavor and structure from a minimum of skin contact. Winemakers need enough acidity to keep the wine bright, crisp and refreshing, but they need to coax enough flavor and richness to lend weight to the palate. Rosés should remind you of the varieties from which they are derived, but they shouldn’t taste like red wines made from those varieties. Finally, there is the color, which many winemakers insist doesn’t concern them, but there is no denying that much of the allure of good Rosé comes from the delicate hues of orange and pink displayed in the glass and bottle."

Lance also hosted a session on this Rosé Varietal Focus last March at WiVi Central Coast in Paso Robles. Attendees were able to taste each Rosé and heard about the winemaking processes from the Central Coast winemakers interviewed in the article. Subscribe to the print edition of Wine Business Monthly in time to receive the September issue featuring Rosé.

Past Varietal Focuses include: Syrah (Feb 2011), Pinot Noir (Sept 2011), Chardonnay (Jan 2012), Zinfandel (Sept 2012), Cabernet Sauvignon (Jan 2013), Red Blends (Sept 2013). Riesling (Jan 2014), Grenache (Sept 2014) and Merlot (Jan 2015).

Rosé on Social Media
On Twitter this morning, I saw a link to a blog post from WineFolly on Rosé with a couple of fun infographics. Read the post here.

Rosé Events
I am also looking forward to attending the Rosé Rendezvous at SIMI Winery in Healdsburg on August 1. This will feature Gold medal winning Rosés. Tickets and more information can be found here.

That is a lot of Rosé today! Send us a comment and let us know what your favorite Rosés are this summer. And, finally, if you're looking for a perfect pairing for your Rosé, check out this list of 25 foods that go with Rosé published by Buzzfeed last week. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
July 1, 2015 | 3:45 PM

Wine Business Monthly's July 2015 digital edition is now available. You can view within your web browser, or download a PDF. Click here to view the July issue.

Inside July 2015 you will find:

2015 Tasting Room Survey Report

New Simplified Berry Sampling Procedure

Renowned Winemaker Ted Lemon's Open Letter to Next Generation Winemakers

Click here to subscribe to the print edition.

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