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Thursday, July 24th

04/08/14

In his opening remarks to analysts and investors this morning, Treasury Wines boss Michael Clarke admitted ''there is a lot that needs to be fixed'' at the winemaker, which owns brands such as Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Rosemount. He confirmed the company needed a leaner cost base and that all options were on the table to improve shareholder value

04/08/14

Sonoma Valley Custom Wine, LLC (SVC) has opened their doors to the burgeoning North Coast wine industry. Operations commenced in January at 21481 8th Street East, Suite 30 in the heart of Sonoma's Carneros appellation

04/08/14

California-based Kendall Jackson Wine Estates is looking to buy more properties in Europe and will be the only New World sponsor at this May's Master of Wine symposium in Italy

04/08/14

Wine industry people on the move from April 1 to April 7: New appointments at Double Canyon, Saxco International, Meadowood Napa Valley, Dutton-Goldfield, Delicato Family Vineyards and more.

04/08/14

Remaining as Director and Brand Consultant, Arnold Sessions will continue private consulting work with the Jean Arnold Group and Jean Arnold Group Foundation, announcing a new initiative this fall

04/08/14

Wholesale wine merchants in Bordeaux were underwhelmed by a rapid burst of 2013 en primeur price releases Monday morning, describing current demand as "dead."

04/08/14

... in a controversial case in which the wine grower was backed by environmental groups like Greenpeace.

04/08/14

Vino, Vida y Alegría (English: Wine, Life and Joy) is the first wine book in the market geared primarily to Hispanic consumers in the U.S., while also reaching Spanish-speaking audiences in Latin America and elsewhere in the world. Published in Spanish (CreateSpace), Vino, Vida y Alegría is a practical guide to wine appreciation based on the wine courses taught by Athena Yannitsas at Florida International University and Miami-Dade College.

04/08/14

"The New York wine industry is firmly rooted in New York soil. Not only the vines, but the families as well," Jim Trezise, president of the New York State Wine & Grape Foundation (NYSWGF), said today. His comments accompanied the release of a NYSWGF-sponsored "Generational Survey" to see how many New York wineries have had two or more generations which have been or are involved in the industry.

04/08/14

The Essex Pelee Island Coast, known as EPIC, Winegrower's Association announced the election of Steve Mitchell, President, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, as the association's new President during the recent Annual General Meeting.

04/08/14

Dewey Weddington launched Ferment Marketing and exited his role as the director of marketing and education with the Oregon Wine Board (OWB) after nearly two years of helping to restructure the organization. Under the Ferment Marketing banner, Weddington will work with Oregon wineries, breweries, cideries and other craft producers to create, enhance and build their brand.

04/08/14

Here's how it works: On Friday night, attendees will take the open mic to pitch their ideas to the group in 60 seconds or less. After groups form, the rest of the weekend will be spent formulating the most popular ideas with the help of mentors and seasoned startup entrepreneurs. By Sunday, teams will be ready to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges who will offer feedback and prizes, including memberships in mentorship programs at Napa Valley College, all of which are targeted to help teams build their startups after the weekend.

04/08/14

Also:Sonoma Wine Country Weekend distributes record $1 million-plus to nonprofits

04/08/14

Plans are moving ahead at a cautious pace in the review process for a proposed boutique five-story, 200-room Copia Hotel and other improvements to be built adjacent to the former Copia wine, food and arts center at 500 First St. This 80,000 square foot cultural facility built on 17 acres adjacent to the Napa River, was shuttered in 2008 following lengthy bankruptcy proceedings.

04/08/14

Mark Chien, a veteran viticulturist with previous ties to Oregon's wine industry, has been hired as coordinator of Oregon State University's Wine Research Institute. Chien's hiring allows Bill Boggess, the interim director, to resume his primary duties as executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. Boggess will retain overall responsibility for the institute.

04/08/14

Activist groups are threatening to sue EPA over the agency's decision to register a new pesticide without first consulting with federal wildlife officials on the product's risks to endangered species as required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

04/08/14

The GeoBlu Explorer is an unmanned aerial vehicle which can help farmers track down problems in crop fields and on livestock operations.

04/08/14

A Canadian company that recently scooped up a fifth of the remaining prime land in Washington's smallest wine grape growing area is the new owner of two vineyards in the state's largest. Aquilini Brands bought almost 700 acres of vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills for almost $7 million earlier this week.

04/08/14

The owners of Douglas Valley Farm and Winery will auction several parcels of agricultural land and home sites totaling 797 acres. The auction proceeds will give owner and founder Cliff Boomer the capital to focus and build the Douglas Valley wine and hard cider business. The property to be auctioned off includes approximately 675 acres suitable for growing a wide variety of crops including wine grapes and hops, according to a news release. About half of this cropland is currently planted to tart cherries, apples and Christmas trees.

04/08/14

Following Russia's recent annexation of southern Ukraine, Crimean wineries are optimistic that the change in political leadership will help their businesses. But what it means for the long-term future of Crimean wine remains to be seen.

04/08/14

The economic impact of Iowa's wine industry has exploded in recent years, according to a new study. Frank, Rimerman + Co., a California-based consulting firm, reported that the economic impact of Iowa's wine and wine grapes industry was $420 million in 2012, an increase of around 80 percent from $234 million in 2008.

04/08/14

Iowa's wine industry has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, prompting an Iowa State University professor to contend that the state has the potential to be a regional leader. Murli Dharmadhikari, director of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University, notes that Iowa was home to around 30 wineries and 500 acres of wine grapes a decade ago. Those numbers have soared to 100 wineries covering 1,200 acres today.

04/08/14

It has put the allocation of .vin and .wine top level domain names on hold over cyber-squatting fears

04/08/14

The executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission says the state is getting national attention for its wines. Moya Dolsby credits a $400,000 annual budget funded through the state liquor tax and wine industry assessment as well as enthusiastic supporters.

04/08/14

Putting premium wines in cartons will help consumers accept the packaging, says Tetra Pak, as it predicts continued growth in the sector.

04/08/14

Rodney Strong Wine Estates just announced a realignment of their sales force to include narrowing to four regions within the US. The change positions Rodney Strong for continued expansion of their luxury portfolio and for new products and investments to come. As part of the realignment, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Carmen Castaldi promoted Andy Block from Vice President Sales North East, to a newly created position of Vice President National Sales. Castaldi also announced the creation of a second new position, Director of National Retail Accounts that will be filled by Scott Friedeck.

04/08/14

The harsh conditions of winter and early spring 2013-14 have taken their toll on grapevines. "We're going through nearly a perfect storm in the Virginia wine grape industry," said Jim Bogaty, owner of Veramar Vineyard, located east of Berryville in Clarke County.

04/08/14

Currently, the price for a pack of 24 of popular beer brands are $10 less at Ontario Beer Stores than average prices at private retailers in Alberta or B.C. Statistics Canada data also shows that alcohol prices increased by 16.9 per cent in B.C. and 28.2 per cent in Alberta more than Ontario between 2002 and 2013.

04/08/14

The Beer Store is trying to turn Ontarians against the idea of alcohol sales at the province's convenience stores and gas stations, warning it could increase the risk of sale to minors. "I think we all have a responsibility to look out for Ontario's kids and to protect our communities," The Beer Store manager and world curling champion Glenn Howard says in a new ad launched Monday. "At The Beer Store, it's a commitment we take to heart." The 30-second spot is the latest step in in an ongoing battle between The Beer Store and the Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA), which has been lobbying MPPs to bring beer and wine into corner stores.

04/08/14

A weaker currency and painful inflation is increasing production costs

04/08/14

Joseph Phelps Vineyards is pleased to announce it has embarked on a major renovation project at the winery's Spring Valley Home Ranch, located just outside of St. Helena, Napa Valley. Designed in 1973 by renowned architect John Marsh Davis, the historic redwood Joseph Phelps winery perched on a hillside above estate vineyards will be under renovation through Spring 2015.

04/08/14

Plus other news and notes in the world of wine, beer and spirits.

04/08/14

Supermarket wine price wars are threatening to'dumb down British consumers' attitudes to wine, exclusive research from Harpers Data & Insight team reveals.

04/08/14

Slices Sangria, a line of authentic, premium Sangrias from Spain, has vaulted to the #10 position in dollar volume for ready-to-drink Sangrias in the U.S. based on Nielsen Scantrack data ending 3/1/14. Slices' two SKUs included in the report, its Red Wine Sangria and White Wine Sangria, also rank #14 on a case volume basis.

04/08/14

School enrollment dips, despite adding classes

04/08/14

The Sonoma International Film Festival's 17th edition "came to a rousing close" Sunday night following five days that featured capacity audiences for a wide variety of films from around the world. "This has been an extraordinary year," said SIFF Executive Director Kevin McNeely. "We are energized by the talent we've seen by both emerging and established filmmakers and we've enjoyed introducing them to our vibrant community."

04/08/14

The world's first ever Bacon Bourbon has built substantial anticipation among fans from across the country. As they prepare for their upcoming debut at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Convention in Las Vegas, Olde Major is asking its fans to write into their state's top spirits distribution companies to get the brand sold across the country.

04/08/14

"Crimea was the jewel in the Russian wine crown when it first belonged to Russia," Jancis Robinson, co-author of the World Atlas of Wine, told TIME