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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! 

Monday, July 28, 2014
July 28, 2014 | 2:11 PM

Wine Business Monthly's 10th Varietal Focus features Merlot, and the tasting is happening right now! For each Varietal Focus article, contributing writer/winemaker Lance Cutler selects a varietal, picks three regions known for that variety and invites three winemakers from each region to participate in discussing their vineyard and winemaking practices as well as taste and critique each other's wines.

The tasting today is happening at Januik Winery in Woodinville, Washington. The Merlot Varietal Focus features wines from Napa, Washington and the North Fork of Long Island. The winemakers attending the tasting today are all from Washington:

Mike and Andrew Januik - Januik Winery, Kevin Mott - Woodward Canyon Winery and Casey McClellan - Seven Hills Winery. Merlots from each of these Washington wineries are being tasted in addition to: Duckhorn Vineyards, Provenance Vineyards and Burgess Cellars from Napa; Bedell Cellars, Blackbird from Anthony Nappa Wines and Shinn Estate Vineyards from the North Folk of Long Island.

Pictured from left to right: Kevin Mott, Lance Cutler,, Andrew Januik, Mary Jorgensen,
Casey McClellan and Mike Januik

Wine Business Monthly's popular Varietal Focus Series is published twice a year in the January and September issues. The Merlot edition will be published in the January 2015 issue of WBM. Go to the WBM archives page to check out past Varietal Focuses, including, Syrah: (Feb 2011), Pinot Noir: (Sept 2011), Chardonnay: (Jan 2012), Zinfandel: (Sept. 2012), Cabernet Sauvignon: (Jan 2013), Red Blends: (Sept 2013), Riesling: (Jan 2014) and Grenache (coming Sept. 2014). Click here to subscribe to WBM.

July 28, 2014 | 11:06 AM

Jennifer Wall ‏@BarefootJenWall:

Last night marked the official start of harvest! Sunset harvesting: #champagne #chardonnay #harvest2014

July 28, 2014 | 10:39 AM

“The dirty little trade secret is that most wineries really only know who 5 percent of their customers [are].”
-Sean Dunn, managing director, Groove

From the article "Innovations in Sales Technology," page 50 in the July 2014 issue of WBM. Click here to subscribe to WBM.

Friday, July 25, 2014
July 25, 2014 | 3:03 PM

Have you checked out the July 2014 issue of Wine Business Monthly yet? Read the Month in Review below for a preview of what is in the issue:

A Focus on Technology

How much time should your winery allocate to social media? Which platforms should you take the time for? These questions come up all the time and there’s no one-size fits all answer. However, the technology survey in this issue shows what social media platforms wineries are on in general and how often they update their various social media accounts.

Some of the results aren’t too surprising. Facebook is used nearly universally, while other platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are being used by relatively few wineries so far. Only 8 percent of wineries don’t have a Facebook while 35 percent aren’t on Twitter.
Of those using Facebook and/or Twitter, 82 percent say they respond to customer comments and concerns on those platforms within 48 hours of the original comment. Wineries have that figured out. I was a little surprised to learn that wineries aren’t blogging that much.

Many wineries—more than half—are designing their websites specifically for mobile. Wineries are on it but the survey shows most don’t track where their website traffic is coming from. There’s room for improvement.

Wineries aren’t just using digital technology to reach consumers for marketing, branding and direct sales: An article in this month’s issue covers how some are using it to create educational sales tools specifically for distributors as well as on- and off-premise accounts. That’s because of the flexibility mobile devices offer and because the cost of creating these tools is becoming more affordable.

Over the years, WBM has published product reviews covering software categories for every facet of the wine business: in the cellar, the vineyard, for direct sales, depletions, POS, accounting and more. These product reviews are a great resource and can be accessed online. The various trade channels, increasing complexity of software systems can be intimidating, though, so where do you start? We happen to have that one covered this month with a primer on the process of evaluating your needs and selecting the best options.

Cyril Penn, Editor

Click here to subscribe to WBM.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
July 24, 2014 | 1:00 PM

Across the newsdesk this week from the Napa Valley Grapegrowers is an announcement about a significant number of regulatory changes have recently been made that affect Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Farm Labor Contractors (FLC) and Vineyard Management companies. The two most notable changes concern Piece-Rate wages and new signage requirements for Vineyard Management/FLC companies.


Changes have been made to the requirements for documenting and compensating your workers during breaks/non-productive times. Growers and vineyard managers need to ensure that itemized wage statements now contain a line item for non-productive work time and break periods, and the rate at which each is being paid is in compliance with Labor Code section 226.

Click here to for more details about Piece-Rate changes (Western Growers)


Vineyard Management companies and Farm Labor Contractors are now required to post signage at the entrance to each vineyard site where they have crews working or risk losing their FLC license. These new state licensing requirements supersede Napa County sign ordinances, and need to obtain the following information:

Top Portion of Signage:
Name of Licensee
FLC License Number

Bottom Portion of Signage:
Licensee’s Field Supervisor Name
Licensee’s Field Supervisor Working Phone Number
Signage should be at least 4 feet by 4 feet
Signage not obstructed by vehicles, other signs, trees, etc.
Use contracting colors for background and lettering
Sign can be staked to ground or fixed to fold-out frame (A Frame)
Bottom of sign at least 12 inches from ground
Placement of Signage
Placed initially within 30 feet
Clearly visible from access roads near site
Located where workers enter worksite during workday

Review a summary of all regulatory changes to FLC Licensing Requirements – IN ENGLISH  or IN SPANISH. For more information or questions, please contact the NVG office at (707) 944-8311 or AgSafe at (209) 526-4400

July 24, 2014 | 8:48 AM

This week’s trip by Cuban sommeliers through Napa and Sonoma continues and Tuesday’s adventure took them to dinner at Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen. The evening’s wines included a Cabernet Sauvignon from Parellel Napa Valley, a Russian Hill Estate Pinot Noir, and a Chadonnay from Rarecat Wines. Rounding out the evening was a wonderful 12-year-old brandy , Korbel 12, brought to go with the Cohiba cigars that the sommeliers offered guests.

Paula Kornell, representing Parallel Napa Valley, Ed Gomez, owner of Russian Hill Estates, Sharon Harris, owner of Rarecat Wines, and Korbel ‘s Executive Vice President, Margie Healy, spoke to the intimate group of wine industry professionals and media about their delight in sharing the fruits of their labor, their ideas, and their knowledge with the Cuban delegation, many of whom have never been to the United States before. Fernando Fernandez (pictured with translator)– an eminent Cuban professor, master sommelier and internationally-known expert in cigars and rum, spoke for the group and conveyed his appreciation to all who are involved in helping to make their journey meaningful.

Wednesday, they were off to the Fred MacMurray Ranch (named after the star of the “My Three Sons” 1960’s tv show) for a tour and tasting by MacMurray’s daughter, Kate.

“We have them going to as many wineries in both Sonoma and Napa, as we can,” said Steve Burns, marketing and event coordinator who helped organize the tour. "We are also bringing representatives from wineries in other counties here to meet them. We are learning a lot and having so much fun!"

Apparently lots of fun. On the return bus ride the driver decided to play the top ten Cuban songs and the sommeliers began to call out Bailar! Bailar—and everyone got up and danced!

Providing an opportunity for mutually beneficial exchanges between Americans and the Cuban people, the trip has been put together by Sonoma-based nonprofit Californians Building Bridges in partnership with the Napa Vintners Association and the Sonoma Vintners and Wine Institute—fantastico!

Tasting set up at MacMurray Ranch

The Cuban group taking photos in the vineyards at MacMurray Ranch

Pinot Noir going through Veraison at MacMurray Ranch



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