This just in: The Sommelier Journal has been sold to TPM Custom Publishing, which produces The Tasting Panel magazine. Back in late October, The Sommelier Journal announced it would be suspending operations.
The rebranded SOMM Journal "will be comprised of internationally-renowned wine writers, sommeliers and authorities," with Anthony Dias Blue as Editor-in-Chief, and David Gadd as Managing Editor. Sommelier Journal Founder David Vogels, will act as Consulting Editor.
According to the announcement, the publication "will broaden to include more coverage of artisan spirits, coffee, tea and food trends." Sounds like they know where the money (advertising dollars) is.
The first issue of the refreshed publication will be distributed in Spring of 2014.
Here's a link to the press release.
The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance posted the final Paso Wine Man video of the 2013 Varietal of the Month Series, which showcases Petite Sirah for December.
Last week we put the January issue of Wine Business Monthly to bed. Editor Cyril Penn previews the issue in his Month in Review:
Getting Ready for Bottling, Unified, and the New Year
January: Time for making New Year’s resolutions and planning for the year ahead. Personally, I like this time of year because I tend to catch my breath—if only for a moment—to take a pause to get organized and prepared before tackling the work that lies ahead.
With that in mind, check out Bill Pregler’s preparing for bottling day checklist, which just might save you a lot of aggravation; and Curtis Phillips’ article on planning for your next crush. Curtis offers many sensible recommendations; one of them being to do a post mortem now that crush is over—while you are still remembering the details of how things went.
January also means its time to prepare for the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium: This issue includes a preview of what to expect at the show from our exclusive online survey, highlighting the newest products and services. The online version will be continually updated prior to the show and you can use it to create a list of booths to visit—again saving time and hassle. Our columnists additionally offer a sneak peak at what they’ll be looking for during the show.
By this time, you may have noticed bunches of Riesling grapes are pictured on this month’s cover. You may have detected the little specs on those grapes, a hint that the grapes are Riesling, or you maybe you read the huge callout across the cover that says “Riesling.” At any rate, we’ve got a Varietal Focus report on Riesling this month, with winemakers from Oregon, Washington and New York. These varietal reports are all about discovering terroir and how winemakers achieve, or try to achieve, their stylistic goals. Riesling is one of the grapes that is most expressive of terroir.
Happy New Year, Cyril Penn, editor
To subscribe to WBM, click here.
This video is from the Women for WineSense - Women in Wine 2013 event, held in September at Buena Vista in Sonoma. The evening kicked off with a short discussion between Jean-Charles Boisset and his wife, Gina Gallo, before the main panel discussion with Gina, Michaela Rodeno and Claudia Schubert – moderated by Tom Wark.
We just received note that former owner of Peet’s Coffee and Starbucks co-founder, Jerry Baldwin, will present the keynote luncheon address on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the first day of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.
“Jerry Baldwin’s long career as a business leader and visionary in the coffee industry illustrates a valuable lesson, even in mature industries and product categories the opportunities for innovation and value creation are almost limitless,” John Aguirre, CAWG president said in the press release.
If you're going to Unified this year, make sure you check out our Unified Guide in the January issue of Wine Business Monthly. The products listed in the 2014 Unified Guide below have been compiled through WBM’s annual online product survey, submitted only to Unified Wine & Grape Symposium exhibitors. Exhibitors were encouraged to submit information on the products and services they would be presenting at the 2014 show.
Studies show that the average trade show attendee visits 25 booths per day. Therefore, over a two-day period, visitors will probably visit about 50 booths out of the more than 600 exhibitors’ booths at the symposium trade show.
How do you narrow down which 50 booths to visit? WBM has created the Unified Guide—a preview of the products and services that will be showcased at Unified—to help our readers determine which booths they'd like to visit at the show.
The Unified Guide will also be up online very soon....stay tuned!
Click here to subscribe to WBM.
An email from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation came across the newsdesk today, and it mentioned some bits about Riesling, which caught my eye.
Riesling is the most popular vinifera winegrape in New York State, accounting for 1,034 acres (23%) of the total vinifera plantings (4,430), with 849 acres (82%) of all Riesling in the Finger Lakes, and 341 of those (33%) in Yates County alone. The average yield is about 3.9 tons, with prices ranging from $1,300 to $1,750 per ton, and averaging $1,479.
Washington State is the largest U.S. Riesling producer, with about 5,370 acres producing 36,700 tons and about 1,500,000 cases. California ranks #2 with 4,452 acres producing 36,925 tons; and Oregon is #4, after New York, with about 700 acres, yields of 2.88 tons per acre, and price per ton at $1,090.
This caught my eye because it ties right in with our January issue, which we just sent to the printer last week. In our upcoming January issue, we published our next Varietal Focus by Lance Cutler, which features Riesling.
For this Varietal Focus we looked at three distinctive regions across the United States. New York state, which had some of the earliest plantings of Riesling in America, features Fred Merwarth from the iconic Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Peter Weis from the equally iconic Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars and Nancy Irelan from Red Tail Ridge Winery. Washington state is the largest producer of Riesling in the United States and gave us Bob Bertheau and Wendy Stuckey of Chateau Ste. Michelle, Gilles Nicault from Long Shadows and Nicolas Quillé from Pacific Rim. After a long drought in popularity, Riesling has seen a resurgence in Oregon and brings Scott Neal from Coeur de Terre Vineyard, Chris Williams from Brooks winery and Nate Klosterman from Argyle Winery.
We also have two other articles on Riesling in the January issue: one covering Riesling plantings (by assistant editor Erin Guenther) and another looking at Riesling wine sales in restaurants (by Liza Zimmerman).
And speaking of Riesling, in our February issue, we are publishing an Industry Roundtable on White Wine Balance (by Lance Cutler). In the roundtable, three winemakers discuss residual sugar and acidity as stylistic components and how consumer preference influence their winemaking decisions. But the discussion ultimately ended up being about Riesling. From the article:
"The first thing we learned after spending an afternoon with these winemakers is that they are passionate Riesling aficionados. Whether it was simply the three particular people we had invited, or something unique to the variety itself, conversation kept veering away from other varieties and settling on Riesling. While there were rare references to other aromatic whites, like Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, when it came to the challenge of balancing residual sugar and acidity the discussion always returned to Riesling."
To read more about Riesling (and much more!), look for the January and Feburary issues of Wine Business Monthly. January will be hitting mailboxes soon, with February following next month.
Click here to subscribe to Wine Business Monthly.
E&J Gallo, which purchased Columbia winery in June 2012, is rolling out new packaging in stages: on premise in the Pacific Northwest during the first quarter of 2014 with a national launch during the second half of 2014.
Gallo has made a number of other changes at Columbia, its first winery in Washington. The company hired winemaker Sean Hails who had been working at their Modesto facility. Canadian by birth, Hails also has worked in British Columbia.
A previous owner moved the production facility to Sunnyside, in the Yakima Valley. The barrel room remains in Woodinville, as they truck the barrels back to the main public facility. Hails and his family are living nearby Sunnyside in West Richland.
Kristina Kelly, a Gallo spokeswoman, confirmed: “We will launch our value-priced wines in the Northwest in January; and we will take them national in September 2014.” These wines are a 2012 Chardonnay, Merlot, and a Cabernet, in addition to a non-vintage blend. These wines should retail around $14.
The 2012 wines were a smaller vintage, down to about 80,000 cases.
While the winery lost the Red Willow contract (as a result of a previous owner), home to the first syrah in the state, Hails is trying to get that fruit back into production. Other wines in production are: a Syrah, 2 Cabernet Sauvignons (including a Red Mountain version), Viognier, Grenache rosé, Riesling, an off-dry Muscat and Wahluke Slope blends.
Registration is now open for the Wine Market Council's Ninth Annual Presentation of US Wine Consumer Trends in New York (Jan. 29) and Santa Rosa (Jan. 31). Cost: $125 per person for non-members. Admission is free for Wine Market Council member companies (up to 3 company representatives).
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
9:30am – 1:00pm
Museum of Modern Art
Titus 2 Theater
11 W 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
Includes a networking reception at the Modern directly following the presentation.
John Gillespie, President of Wine Market Council, will present data from Wine Market Council’s most recent study of high frequency wine drinkers. Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area, will describe the current market for craft beer and spirits and the interaction with the wine industry. He will also provide a wine industry trends update.
New York presentation attendees should also note that the Wine Enthusiast Magazine Wine Star Awards gala dinner will be held on Monday, January 28th at the New York Public Library. For more information on this year’s winners and the event, click here. If interested in attending, please contact Jacqueline Strum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, January 31, 2014
9:00am – 12:30pm
The Event Center at Vintners Inn
4350 Barnes Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Includes a networking reception directly following the presentation.
Wine Market Council President John Gillespie will present the results of a Wine Market Council survey of U.S. winery wine club members, as well as highlights from Wine Market Council’s most recent study of high frequency wine drinkers. Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area, will describe the current market for craft beer and spirits and the interaction with the wine industry. He will also provide a wine industry trends update.
“Many wineries took the excess fruit last year after two light years. That may not happen this year. I think many growers will be making their own wine.”
-Charles Day, Rabobank
From the article "Lenders Report a Great Year for Growers," page 52 in the November issue of WBM. The November issue can now be viewed online here.
Happy Thanksgiving from WBM! We are thankful for all of our readers, and of course, wine, the fruits of our labor! What will you be enjoying with your turkey tonight?