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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.

Monday, June 29, 2015
by Guest Post, by Lucia Albino Gilbert, Ph.D., and John Carl Gilbert, Ph.D. Santa Clara University | June 29, 2015 | 6:40 AM

Our research focuses on illuminating the presence of California women winemakers and their contributions to the wine industry (see

Our first study assessed the perception that women winemakers have shattered the glass ceiling. Results showed that only 9.8% of California wineries have a woman as the lead winemaker, illustrating a discrepancy between perception and fact. Our second study investigated whether winery acclaim was associated with this discrepancy. Coding of winery data in Opus Vino (2010) provided support for the hypothesis of proportionally greater acclaim for wineries having women as their lead winemakers.

Imagine our surprise to see a
blog post highlighted by Wine Industry Insight on June 25th (see reference below) stating that our studies “purported to show that women are more successful winemakers than are male winemakers” and using the results of our studies in making a causal claim that “female winemakers in California are generally better than their male counterparts.” The research methods, data, and conclusions made in the blog post were so flawed that we as educators are obligated to make a response that we hope others will find instructive.

The post reported on three “methods.” The first “metric and measure” involved using our data on the percentage of wineries, by CA wine region, with lead women winemakers, somehow adjusting these percentages without access to the original data. The blogger then looked at how these percentages fit with some numbers, themselves never revealed, that were distributed “against four tiers of regions.” Based on this magical method, the writer then declares that the score is “Gals 1, Guys 0.”

Sorry folks, but one needs to (1) use accurate and clearly defined data in calculating correlations; (2) employ the appropriate statistical analyses to calculate a correlation coefficient; and (3) then use a probability table to decide if the relationship between the two variables is statistically significant.

The author’s “second metric and method” employed the 2014 Wine Spectator Top 100 wines. The blogger identified 20 CA wines in the set of 100 wines and then coded those wines by the sex of the winemaker. From this coding, the author claimed that 3 of the 20 wines (15%) were made by women winemakers.

The codings of winemaker sex are not correct, however. One of the wines coded “F” (for female), Turley Zinfandel, was not crafted at Marcassin by Helen Turley but rather at Turley Wine Cellars where Larry Turley is the Proprietor. Another of the wines coded “F” is Ponzi Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, which obviously is not a California wine.

Correcting that error drops the number to 1 for wines crafted by a female winemaker out of the now-reduced total of 19 wines, or 5.3%, rather than the 15% computed by the blogger. This makes the conclusion reached by the blogger that there “is a huge (50%) over-representation [of women]” erroneous. (In addition, here again, the appropriate statistical test should have been calculated before reaching any conclusion.)

We could continue our critique with other examples but will instead end our lesson on research methods by reminding readers that research is a serious enterprise. It is not a game in which one makes up the rules and then counts to see who wins. We were particularly troubled that the blogger misrepresented our research and its purposes. Our research is about illuminating the presence of women winemakers in their roles as lead winemakers and recognizing their significant contributions in a field that remains male dominated.

One last educational point. A correlation describes the relationship between two variables, such as the amount of chocolate consumed by a country and the number of its Noble Prize laureates. There is no causal relationship here. One can feast on chocolate for every meal but that will do nothing to increase the chances of being awarded a Nobel Prize.

The same principle applies to the correlates of winemaking: A correlation between, say, the cost of wine and the percentage of women who are the winery owners or winemakers only tells you that there is an association between the two variables; one does not cause the other. All to say, one cannot conclude that women or men are better at winemaking from looking at the association between their percentage as lead winemakers in a wine area and the cost of the wine or its ratings.


Monday, June 22, 2015
June 22, 2015 | 11:34 AM
Thursday, June 18, 2015
June 18, 2015 | 2:30 PM

 "Politics and Wine — Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!"



Mr. E.B. “Pete” Downs, Consulting Enologist and Retired Senior VP for External Affairs, Kendall-Jackson, delivers the ASEV 2015 Merit Award Keynote.


June 18, 2015 | 1:47 PM

In April 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a new Industrial General Stormwater Permit that regulates stormwater runoff from certain industrial facilities and imposes significant additional regulatory compliance requirements. Wineries are now obligated to obtain coverage under the IGP and be fully in compliance by July 1, 2015.

Wine Institute held a Webinar regarding the New Storm Water Permit back on March 25, 2015. A replay of the webinar is available here.

For more information, see "New Water Quality Compliance Requirements For Wineries" in the May 2015 Wine Business Monthly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
June 17, 2015 | 6:50 PM


Lawrence Lohr, Director of Wine Education for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, awards André Knoesen for the AJEV Best Enology Paper for 2015. Knoesen's paper, "In-Line Measurement of Color and Total Phenolics during Red Wine Fermentations Using a Light-Emitting Diode Sensor" was published in the December 2014 issue of the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV) and can be found here.


June 17, 2015 | 3:13 PM



Rob Sands, President and CEO of Constellation Brands, during his speech at the event with the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.


President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, welcomed Rob Sands, President and CEO of Constellation Brands. Behind, Anthony Wayne, Ambassador of U.S. in Mexico and Rubén Moreira, Governor of the State of Coahuila.



Rob Sands, President and CEO of Constellation Brands, President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and Rubén Moreira, Governor of the State of Coahuila.

Monday, June 15, 2015
June 15, 2015 | 4:08 PM

Selected Recent Sales of Grapes & Wines in Bulk for June 15, 2015 courtesy of Turrentine Brokerage:

Bulk Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Alexander Valley, 5,900 gallons at $25.00 per gallon

Zinfandel 2014 wine, Lodi, 6,400 gallons at $6.00 per gallon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Napa Valley, 6,000 gallons at $40.00 per gallon

Syrah 2013 wine, Paso Robles, 3,200 gallons at $9.75 per gallon

Zinfandel 2014 wine, Paso Robles, 1,500 gallons at $8.00 per gallon

Pinot Noir 2014 wine, California, 6,400 gallons at $7.00 per gallon

Zinfandel 2014 wine, Lodi, 19,500 gallons at $7.00 per gallon

Pinot Noir 2014 wine, Russian River, 6,400 gallons at $15.50 per gallon


Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 grapes, Oak Knoll District, 60 tons at $5,000.00 per ton

Chardonnay 2015 grapes, Russian River, 50 tons at $1,800.00 per ton

Sauvignon Blanc 2015 grapes, Lake County, 100 tons at $1,100.00 per ton

June 15, 2015 | 7:59 AM
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