Tuesday marked what would have been Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday. Robert Mondavi Winery is hosting a number of events and activities throughout the month to commemorate Mr. Mondavi’s role as innovator, producer and marketer of California wine.
One of the events was a formal dinner celebration at Robert Mondavi Winery on Tuesday evening for 180 people: Constellation executives, distributors, trade associations, and more. Distributors and sales staff came from all over the country, some from Mexico, Brazil, and even China. Friends and some of the family attended, Robert's brother Peter Mondavi Sr., 98, among them.
“When we became affiliated with Mondavi back in 2003 it really was a defining moment for Constellation. It was the pinnacle of our history in the wine business, and really, it was the thing that gave us the greatest amount of credibility in the business,” Constellation Brands Chief Operating Officer Jay Wright (pictured, below) said as he welcomed guests.
“We’re very proud to be here celebrating Robert’s 100th Birthday. It’s an opportunity for us to recognize the legacy and to keep the legacy going because it’s incredibly important to the winery, the people here, and to the brands, which continue to be incredibly successful around the world.”
Margrit Mondavi (right) recalled traveling all over the world with Robert and said that while some people – not many but some - don’t know where Napa Valley is, they always remember Robert Mondavi.
“We opened a bottle of wine every evening when we had dinner together,” Margrit Mondavi recalled. “The cork never went back in – because as we know, there are more old winemakers than old doctors. Wine is good for you, in moderation, with glorious exception,” she added. “And tonight is a glorious exception.”
Moss Adams LLP, with its sponsors The Farm Credit Alliance and Turrentine Brokerage, has launched the 2013 Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking Survey. When completed, the survey results will be a useful tool for wineries and vineyards in California, Oregon and Washington to measure their 2012 operating and financial results against industry leaders. This survey will build on the results published by Moss Adams in 2009 that analyzed a range of topics including general industry trends, sales and production data, viticulture data along with operating and financial metrics by region.
Please take the survey here: www.mossadams.com/winesurvey
What’s New This Year?
The 2013 survey includes distinct differences from the 2009 edition in both length and style. Most noticeably, participants will take the survey on one of four tracks based on their business model in an effort to streamline the survey completion process. Participants will also be given a complete list of all information to be gathered ahead of time to shorten the time required for completion. We recognize your time is valuable and strive to balance the amount of information required to produce a meaningful report with the time required to complete the survey. The estimated time to complete the survey is 1-2 hours. This time will vary based on the complexity of your business.
Why Should I Participate?
Get a complimentary copy of the final report: Receive it before non-participants can purchase it – a $495 value.
Benchmark your business: Measure your business against validated, reliable industry statistics presented in an easy to understand format.
Be a part of the most comprehensive industry survey: This is the most comprehensive industry-wide survey that includes both financial and operational benchmarks.
Support the industry you love: Participation by the wine industry is vital to compiling meaningful data that all participants can benefit from.
· Close Online Survey July 22, 2013
· Publish and Distribute Report October 2013
For more information, contact Rick Boland, Moss Adams LLP, (707) 535-4114 or Rick.firstname.lastname@example.org
I stopped by Safeway on my lunch yesterday to check out some wine-based pouches—a category that is growing. Look for some data about wine-based pouches in the August issue of Wine Business Monthly. If you have any insights about the growth of this category, send us an email.
Envolve is a relatively new venture and opened its first tasting room on the Sonoma Plaza last July. It's a partnership with childhood friends Mike Benziger, Danny Fay and Ben Flajnik.
Many people are familiar with Ben Flajnik because he starred on the television show ‘The Bachelor.’ He was billed as ‘the bachelor winemaker from Sonoma.’
The E! network recently announced that its new programs under development include a show called, “Young Sonoma.” There hasn’t been any word as to when it will air, but the series, assuming it comes to fruition, will follow winery folks from Sonoma Valley, including Mike and Kate Benziger, Danny and Collette Fay, B.R. Cohn Winery’s Vallerie and Tasha Cohn, and Flajnik.
According to one report, “The series goes inside the day-to-day drama that comes from living in a small town, working with friends and family, as well as being local and national celebrities.”
I sampled some Envolve wines the other day: they weren’t too shabby – there’s excellent wine backing up the hype. The whites are a strong point. The 2012 Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc made with grapes from George MacLeod’s vineyard is fat. The Sonoma Mountain Syrah and Grenache Rosé is tasty and refreshing. The lineup includes an elegant Russian River Pinot Noir. The 2010 Envolve Puma Springs Bordeaux Blend – though just two barrels were produced – has powerful, silky tannins. The old-vine Primativo has nice texture with a chocolate malt thing going on. Rounding out the lineup, is a nice crisp, if pricey, sparkler from Carneros.
The venture is still relatively small but has ramped up quickly – it produced somewhere on the order of 13,000 cases last year – less than half of under the Envolve Label, which is produced in limited quantities from some special sites. The more popularly priced Epilogue line could be expanded, however. Epilogue includes a Sauvingon Blanc and a red blend. Chardonnay is the biggest SKU, with roughly 5,000 cases produced.
Celebrities have long been associated with the wine business. Some are more directly involved in the actual winemaking and blending process than others, but reality show celebrities are pretty new.
One of the more successful recent celebrity wine launches was Skinny Girl. Skinny Girl introduced 3 varietals of wine last March and according to a report by Wines & Vines, it was the highest selling new wine of 2012 by far - in just nine months.
While most consumers are intimidated by wine, they look up to celebrities and relate to people on reality shows. Granted, Bethany Frankel already had a margarita mix and the wine in the bottle is nothing special - but with her name attached to the brand, Skinnygirl is recognizable. Long before Skinny Girl wine, Bethany Frankel was on a reality show. Her fame drove sales after she was out of the limelight.
The new Young Sonoma "reality" show will focus on Flajnik, his friends, and the wine business. It could also help market the winery brand to millions. Imagine the possibilities. Epilogue could be poised for considerable growth.
We know that women account for most wine purchases, but marketing wine to women can be tricky. Not very many wine companies are good at it. Many remember the failure of Beringer's White Lie. There's a fine line between creating a brand identity women will embrace and showing women that they're being marketed to. As John Gillespie with Wine Opinions puts it, "The trick is to make a product with it’s own quality and own appeal and market it in such a way that it perhaps offers some charm, but doesn’t say, 'Hey you little girl, this is for you.' Women have a tremendous radar about this."
Envolve and Epilogue will likely appeal to women. I don't have any data to back it up, but Ben Flajnik was probably one of the most talked about celebrities in 2012 among the 21-35 female demographic.
Lindsay Newbill comments:
Congrats to the Envolve team! It's exciting to watch a winery grow into the millennial market with such rapid sucess.
Danny Fay comments:
Thanks for taking the time to taste through our wines and hear our story Cyril. Although most people come in because of Ben's national exposure, they leave understanding the passion of our family and friend circus called Envolve Winery. Cheers!
We received news from the Washington Wine Industry Foundation announcing that they recently received a $174,000 grant to develop safety education for small to mid-sized wineries to reduce workplace injuries with on-demand and self-directed training.
This grant will be used to identify safety and training gaps in small to mid-sized wineries, and develop performance-based training that would be accessible to employees in both English and Spanish in multiple formats including mobile apps, videos, CDs, winery safety committees, hands-on and classroom training. The project targets wineries that lack resources to develop safety training programs and help them meet the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act regulations.
The grant will also establish a focus group from the Washington wine industry to provide input on safety training needs and workable solutions.
Funding is provided by the State of Washington, Department of Labor and Industries, Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) Program.
Completion of the project is scheduled for July 2014.
Some news from Jordan Winery about their new bottling line:
Jordan Winery’s new “Ferrari of bottling lines” is currently running full-throttle. Dubbed “The Super Block” by its Italian manufacturer MBF, the workings of this bottling equipment was observed first-hand by Jordan Winemaker, Rob Davis, and Assistant Winemaker, Maggie Kruse, during a visit to MBF’s Verona facility. This new winery addition not only picks up where the previous line fell short, but also transcends the capabilities of other modern-day bottling line equipment. The biggest issue with the previous bottling line, other than the frequent jamming issues, was the dissolved oxygen pickup. With the Super Block, this pickup is minimal at only 0.02 part per million (ppm), allowing for all bottles to be filled with a total of under 1 ppm.
Some growers are already talking harvest on Twitter. What is everyone doing to get ready for harvest?
@ThomsonVyrds (Thomson Vineyards): #2013Harvest is T+\- 90 days away. $1000 just went into #Ford 350 steering linkage for all The Farmers favorite clients grape hauling needs.
@Sonomagrapes (Nick Frey): Warm and sunny weather continues in Sonoma County. Grape development well ahead of last year. Good prospects for vintage 2013.
We just received a press release from the British Columbia Wine Institute announcing that ChefmeetsBCGrape raised $40,000 for the Arts Clun Theatre, the biggest not-for-profit organization of its kind in Western Canada.
The largest annual celebration of the Wines of British Columbia and local food in Vancouver, ChefmeetsBCGrape showcased 95 BC wineries pouring more than 375 BC VQA wines, and 15 top restaurants to a crowd of more than 500 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers announced the date for the next Wine + Grape Expo:
Mark your calendar for the most highly-anticipated wine and grape industry events in the North Coast region - 2013 Wine + Grape EXPO. The Wine + Grape EXPO is a highly focused educational symposium for the winegrape grower and wine producer. The EXPO will include seminars that focus on specific vineyard practices as they relate to wine quality as well as an exclusive tradeshow with the industry’s leading viticulture and enology companies. See the event schedule here.
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers invite Napa County farmworkers and their families to join in a celebration with food, music, seminars, family activities, community organizations and more on July 21 at St. John the Baptist Parish Hall, 924 Napa Street, Napa. The event is free.
Learn about the extraordinary programs that local organizations provide for the families of our farmworker community! Click here for a full list of participating community partners. Limited space still available, please contact Robyn Bishop at email@example.com for booth information.
Día de la Familia will feature a keynote presentation by Salvador & Oscar Renteria, Renteria Wines. Click here for the full event schedule.
Help us promote the event by distributing Día de la Familia flyers or postcards to your vineyard workers!
Día de la Familia Flyer – in Spanish
Día de la Familia Flyer – in English
If you are interested in participating in this important community event, volunteer opportunities are available. Please contact Robyn Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
For more information about the event visit www.napagrowers.org or contact the NVG office at (707) 944-8311