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Monday, November 23, 2015
November 23, 2015 | 1:45 PM

The 2016 ASEV National Conference will take place June 27–July 1, 2016 at the Portola Hotel & Monterey Marriott in Monterey, California. They have announced a Call for Abstracts, which can be submitted here. The deadline to submit Abstracts is February 16, 2016.

From: James Harbertson, Technical Program Director, ASEV

On behalf of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, I am pleased to offer this Call for Abstracts for the 67th ASEV National Conference in Monterey, CA. The technical abstracts that are accepted will be presented June 29–30, 2016, during the ASEV National Conference at the Portola Hotel & Monterey Marriott.

All abstracts submitted are reviewed by the Technical Abstracts Review Committee. Accepted abstracts will appear in the Technical Abstracts section of the conference  program. Abstracts will also be posted on the  ASEV website for authors who meet the  oral and poster presentation requirements.

We encourage submitted abstracts based on original research and research updates
in all areas of viticulture and enology.

Abstracts related to water management are also encouraged. We welcome suggestions for research sessions topics and for Industry Seminars. 

If you will be a student presenter, please refer to the Student Presenters section in  regard to registration reimbursement, an expense stipend, and presentation awards, including flash talk presentations. Please review the enclosed instructions. The deadline for all submissions is February  16, 2016. We must adhere strictly to this date. If you have any questions regarding your submission, contact our office. Inquiries will be directed to a program  committee member as appropriate. We ook forward to receiving your abstract and hope that you will be able
to participate.

Read his entire letter here. For more information, visit

Thursday, November 19, 2015
November 19, 2015 | 2:16 PM

Music licensing in the tasting room seems to be a timely topic these days. Not only did we publish an article about it in our upcoming December issue of Wine Business Monthly, but today we received an email from the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association about the issue.

A number of Sonoma and Napa wineries have recently received legal notices from copyright owner groups regarding songs subject to copyright protection being played, according to Chris Passarelli, senior IP counsel at Napa’s Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarti law firm. "It’s actually an ongoing saga,” he told Wine Business Monthly.

These legal notices come from a performing rights organization (PRO), such as ASCAP, SESAC and BMI, which exist in order to liaise between a collection of musical artists and the commercial establishment seeking to play that artist’s music. Passarelli said that PROs have been targeting restaurants for quite some time, but the increase of winery targets “simply correlates to the popularity of wine industry tourism."

The email from the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) regarding the impact of music licensing in the tasting room also had a lot of good information for wineries.

From the TWGGA Email:
Last week, Tara Good, Director of Operations for WineAmerica and Fran Boyd of Meyers & Associates met with Congressional staff to raise awareness regarding the impact of music licensing on wineries.

Thank you to all the WineAmerica members who contacted us with your stories regarding music licensing. As this issue progresses, we will continue to meet with the members of the Judiciary Committee and members of Congress. In the meantime, there is action each winery in the U.S. can take:

The antitrust division of the Department of Justice (DoJ) is requesting comments on music licensing "Consent Decree." The Consent Decree regulates the business practices of Performance Licensing Organizations (PRO), specifically ASCAP and BMI. SESAC is not subject to the Consent Decree. The Consent Decree prohibits PROs from engaging in anticompetitive practices, including price setting. ASCAP and BMI are lobbying the DoJ to undo or loosen the Consent Decree. This would be very bad for wineries. Link to Request page on DoJ Website

All comments would be submitted by electronic mail to no later than close of business Friday, November 20, 2015. Comments will be posted for public review on the DoJ website. Information that parties wish to keep confidential should not be included in your comments. Individuals can send comments, for next day delivery, to Chief, Litigation III Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 5th Street NW, Suite 4000, Washington DC 20001.

How WineAmerica Works on Music Licensing
Lobbying might be a new experience for many wineries. We put together an infographic (see below) showing how WineAmerica makes it's member's voices heard in Washington D.C.

Survey for Wineries
If you have not already done so, consider completing the WineAmerica survey on music licensing in wineries. It is your story that we want to tell--and we want to tell it right. Take the survey here.

Look for our full article on music licensing written by Emily Rasmussen and how it affects wineries in the December issue of WBM, which is already hitting mailboxes. We already heard from one of our readers in Vermont who received the issue and read the article. He reached out and told us that they have been purchasing licenses from BMI and ASCAP for several years now but that this year for the first time he received many, many mailings, phone calls, emails from SESAC. He requested that we continue to cover this topic, and we will plan to do a follow up as we get more information.

The December issue will be available online at winebusiness/com/wbm on Dec. 1. To subscribe to WBM, click here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
November 11, 2015 | 2:42 PM

The Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon took place on Halloween in Sonoma County's wine country. There were 1800 runners, many in costume, that participated in the end of harvest and Halloween-themed race, which ran through the Alexander and Dry Creek valleys in Healdsburg. The race included a Half Marathon route as well as a "Hallo-wine" 5K.

Many Sonoma Country wineries were represented at the event weekend: A Welcome Reception took place at Truett Hurst Winery, a Pre-Race Dinner was held the night before the race at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, and the Finisher’s Celebration was at Trentadue Winery. At the Finisher's Celebration 18 wineries, including Carol Shelton Wines, Comstock Wines, Martorana Family Winery, Sbragia Family Vineyards, SIMI Winery, Thumbprint Cellars and more, showed up to pour wine for thirsty runners. There were also three wine stops on course: Mauritson, Martorana and Mazzocco wineries.

Destination Races, which puts on the Wine Country Half Marathon series, is based in Sonoma, California. The series consists of eight races across wine regions in North America. Other races include Temecula Valley, CA (November 21, 2015), Santa Barbara (May 7, 2016), Northern Virginia (June 4, 2016), Napa-to-Sonoma (July 17, 2016), Oregon (August 8, 2016), Kelowna, B.C. (Sept TBD), Healdsburg (Oct TBD) and Woodinville, WA (Sept TBD).

November 11, 2015 | 11:42 AM

Moët & Chandon introduces its new brand film THE NOW, whose conception was entrusted to We Are From LA. The film captures the moments that define THE NOW.

To kick-off this new initiative, the brand has released a 90-sec film that draws viewers in to a vibrant celebration to experience unforgettable memories as the characters are living them. Featuring the likes of Moët & Chandon global brand ambassador, Roger Federer, amongst a vibrant cast, The NOW is a brand new take on the classic #moetmoment. We Are From LA, the masterminds behind Pharrell’s award-winning “Happy” video came up with the concept for the film, which is set to Diplo's hit single, Revolution. See more here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
November 4, 2015 | 10:35 AM

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

Inside November 2015 you will find:

The Most In-depth Study of Cultivars Ever Attempted

Vineyard Survey Report: More Vineyards Use Flow Meters

Fruition Sciences on Targeting Irrigation According to Grape Variety

Differentiation by Design: The Key to Sales Success

In-house Wine Analyses for Small Wineries

A New Spin on Wind Machines for Frost Protection

Click here to subscribe to the print edition.

November 4, 2015 | 10:30 AM

Across the newsdesk today: 

Calistoga, CA, November 3, 2015 – Now is the perfect time to start planning for your Thanksgiving dinner. Madrigal Family Winery recently hosted Gabriele Corcos of Cooking Channel’s “Extra Virgin” and his wife, actress Debi Mazar, in Calistoga and they shared some of their personal recipes, one of which is a family favorite, “Pollo Al Mattone”. Chris Madrigal, vintner and founder of Madrigal Family Winery, recommends pairing it with his 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. “The acidity in this wine helps cut the richness of the chicken, making this a very pleasant experience for the guests.” The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is an elegant and medium-bodied wine, with sun-sweetened lemon and green tea flavors, framed by tropical melon and jasmine aromas, highlighted by bright, crisp acidity.

To read more about Madrigal Family Winery or to purchase wines, visit or contact Tara at or 707.942.8619.

Pollo Al Mattone from Gabriele Corcos
Recipe courtesy of Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar

1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, backbone removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 glass white wine
1 hot red pepper, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 handful chopped parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Zest from 1 orange and the juice from half

Cut the backbone out of the chicken. Lay the chicken flat and skin side up on your work surface. Press down on the chicken to flatten it. You’ll hear a crack of the bones. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

Add the garlic, olive oil, white wine, red pepper, rosemary, parsley, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to a glass jar and mix together. In a baking dish lay out the chicken and coat the liquid mixture all over the chicken. Cover with tin foil and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Heat the wood fired oven until medium high heat, about 400 degrees F. Discard the marinade and add the chicken to sheet tray. Cook, until the chicken is fully cooked through, about 1 hour, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers at 165 degrees.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Inactive prep time: 1 hour
Ease of preparation: Easy

by Cyril Penn | November 4, 2015 | 10:23 AM

While grape prices are robust in Coastal regions, particularly along California’s North coast, it’s a different story for uncontracted grapes in the Central Valley at the moment. More than 50 percent of the wine consumed in the U.S. is purchased for $10 or less and the San Joaquin Valley has traditionally provided the grapes for that market, yet many growers are removing grapes.

Winegrape marketing cooperative Allied Grape Growers released its fall, 2015 newsletter this morning with an update on the 2015 season and the money quote is toward the end of page 4:

Challenging times, like being experienced in today’s interior grape market, mandate a correction. In the vineyard business, this correction essentially speeds up the otherwise predestined attrition process. Without immediate vineyard removals, we will continue to suffer low prices and a financially unsustainable market for growers. Growers with production and/or quality challenged vineyards should ask themselves, “What am I keeping it in for?” Even if (and when) the market turns around, those growers still have the plague of low production or quality. Everything has a useful life. It is in the grower’s industry’s best interest if growers understand and act appropriately upon the useful life of their vineyards.

Allied Grape Growers president Nat DiBuduo said 35,000 acres of grapes – including approximately 25,000 acres of wine-grapes - were removed in California’s Central Valley since last harvest. That's based on an analysis of burn permits. He expects the number to increase this year. In October 2015, an additional 3,200 acres of vines were removed, three times the rate during October 2014.

New vineyards that were planted with contracts three and four years ago are coming on line, offsetting some of those losses in total acreage, so Allied Grape Growers is still trying to figure out what the net loss in supply will be.

“Allied is a wine grape growers co-op. We need wine grape growers, but my mission is to make sure all of my growers are economically sustainable,” Dibuduo told “We’re calling on growers to be businessmen, look at the economics of their operation. If they have either production or quality that warrants a higher price and the combination of the two, and if they are economically sustainable, we want them to keep growing grapes. If they cannot be economically sustainable, they have to evaluate what their options are, including removing vineyards and selling the vineyards.”


Wednesday, October 21, 2015
October 21, 2015 | 4:04 PM

Back in March 2015, Wine Business Monthly published an article, "Using Video to Increase Brand Awareness" that discussed how short videos may have the ability to raise brand awareness more effectively than any other marketing tool at a winery’s disposal.

In the article we quoted Lisa Mattson, communications director at Sonoma County’s Jordan Vineyard and Winery, who said "We live in a world today that comes with personal filters. Our email box is filtered, our social media posts are filtered. Everyone is trying to cut the digital noise. Video helps you break through this clutter." Mattson said that Jordan’s most successful videos are either the cooking ones or the funny ones. “ I am always looking to find the content that is going to keep our audiences entertained and enlightened, makes viewers want to share them, makes them see the lighter side of wine, and we always try to get in little core messages that tell our story.”

Jordan, once again, has hit it big with their newest Harvest 2015 video, a parody of Austin Mahone's newest single "Dirty Work." Since posting it on October 14—just one week ago—they already have more than 194,000 views on Facebook with more than 3,500 shares. The video is also on their youtube channel.

"And the organic reach has surpassed 500,000- that’s a record for us, and I haven’t seen a funny wine video get this high this quickly," Mattson said.

October 21, 2015 | 12:58 PM

Selected Recent Sales of Grapes & Wines in Bulk for October 21, 2015 courtesy of Turrentine Brokerage:

Bulk Wine

Zinfandel 2014 wine, Lodi, 6,000 gallons at $7.50 per gallon

Pinot Noir 2014 wine, California, 19,500 gallons at $7.50 per gallon

Pinot Noir 2014 wine, Mendocino County, 5,000 gallons at $13.75 per gallon

Zinfandel 2014 wine, Lodi, 12,000 gallons at $5.50 per gallon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 wine, California, 6,400 gallons at $7.50 per gallon

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
October 20, 2015 | 2:21 PM

The Wine Business Monthly office has officially moved! We outgrew the old space and moved off of the Sonoma plaza, where we resided for more than 10 years. Our new home is just a few blocks away on Maple Street, so come by to check out the new digs and say hi!

Please note our new address:

35 Maple Street
Sonoma, CA 95476

Goodbye, West Napa Steet!

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