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Wednesday, December 12th

11/27/18

Steve Marks, director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, recently recommended that Copper Cane's certificate that allows the company to ship and sell wine in Oregon be revoked, according to a notice sent Nov. 20 to the wine company. Copper Cane has until Dec. 20 to appeal the proposed certificate revocation, according to the state agency. An administrative judge would then hear the case and make a decision which would then have to be ratified by members of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

11/27/18

"This rulemaking is the latest phase of our multi-year effort to Facilitate Commerce through a Modern Labeling Program Focused on Service and Market Compliance, one of the five strategic goals outlined in our current Strategic Plan. In recent years, we have made significant improvements to modernize our labeling program and reduce approval times for labels and formulas by employing a range of strategies.'

11/27/18

From cellphone providers to beer to cat food, consumers have a lot fewer choices when it comes to buying - even if they don't know it. On Monday, the Open Markets Institute, an anti-monopoly think tank based in Washington, DC, released a new report on what it calls America's "concentration crisis." The report details how a variety of industries, ranging from cat food and jelly to domestic airlines and cellphone providers, have come to be dominated by just a handful of actors in recent years.

11/27/18

More than 20 states and a number of municipalities will be increasing the minimum wage just before or on New Year's Day 2019, including recent statewide increases approved by voters in Arkansas and Missouri. Voters in both states turned out Nov. 6 in record numbers to raise the minimum wage, and other states have already approved graduated increases scheduled to go into effect with the turn of the calendar year.

11/27/18

Spirits continues to be the bright spot, up 2.5% in 2017, although that's down from the 4.7% increase the segment saw in 2016. Craft and classic cocktails are driving spirits sales in bars and restaurants, and consumers are also still interested in brown spirits, namely bourbon: On-premise sales of American whiskey increased 4.2% in 2017.

11/27/18

Claudia Vecchio said she has reorganized the nonprofit tourism agency the county established in 2005 as its official destination marketing arm to be "a more responsible organization so people trust what we are doing, trust what we were saying." It has a 2018 budget of $8.5 million and 24 employees.

11/27/18

Diageo has narrowed the gender pay disparity in the company overall, according to the company's second annual gender pay gap report. The findings showed a median pay gap across the drinks giant's combined GB and Scotland business of 5.4%, a reduction on 2017 when the median male worker earned 8.6% more than the median female worker. In its GB business excluding Scotland, the pay gap favoured women standing at -12.6% for the current year, compared to -9.8% in 2017.

11/27/18

Companies face tariff-related uncertainty, cooling global demand and rising borrowing costs, while plunging oil prices are menacing the energy sector. Meanwhile, the U.S. and China are settling in for a protracted trade war, the boost from lower taxes is projected to fade next year and a politically divided Congress will probably shirk from additional stimulus.

11/27/18

The latest issue highlights women working in the wine business, including Diana Snowden Seysses, Maia Parish, Kelli White, Judy Chan, Alison Thomson, Esther Mobley and a tribute to Lalou Bize-Leroy, to name just a few. Once again, the latest issue features a cartoon, this time addressing pay disparity among genders.

11/27/18

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) in the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced the addition of a new online course in Wine Sales Management to its slate of Spring 2019 professional program offerings for the wine industry, and the appointment of three wine finance, operations, and sales experts to its distinguished WBI faculty. The online course in Wine Sales Management, launching on March 26, 2019, will explore route-to-market strategies for alcoholic beverages, and client-facing sales and territory management skills, among other topics.

11/27/18

Wine on tap is emerging from the shadows. Over the past 10 years, it's gone from fad to staple on menus, offering benefits to consumers and operators. Today, companies have sprung up to help restaurants get their wine-on-tap program up and running, but it wasn't always this way.

11/27/18

The national assessment on climate change projects rising temperatures and rising pressure on agriculture to adapt. The report catalogs the potential pitfalls of higher temperatures, such as less water and forage, more weeds and insects and overheated livestock.

11/27/18

Mika Bulmash, the founder and CEO of Wine for the World in New York, began her career far from the world of wine, as an international development specialist focused on public health and food security. But running a wine business didn't come out of nowhere. Bulmash, 34, developed an early passion for wine when she was a student at the University of California at Berkeley pursuing a double degree in molecular and cell biology and international development, just over an hour from Napa Valley.

11/27/18

Southern, which is based in Miami and has a warehouse in Elizabeth, N.J., is seeking help from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency to purchase 425 Underhill Blvd. More than 1,060 people work there now.

11/27/18

A federal judge Monday dismissed a civil suit brought against President Trump by the owners of a D.C. wine bar, saying the plaintiffs failed to show that the president had engaged in unfair competition by profiting off his luxury D.C. hotel. The owners of Cork Wine Bar had argued that Trump was improperly leveraging his presidency to attract customers - who might otherwise patronize their Logan Circle establishment - to his downtown Trump International Hotel, which he still owns but does not run.

11/27/18

UK wine retailer Majestic said that it would bring in between £5m and £8m of additional stock in its current financial year, to the end of March. This would be done 'in order to mitigate any potential supply chain Brexit disruption in March 2019', said Majestic, which reported net sales for the six months to 1 October up by 5.4% on the previous year, to £229.1m. Adjusted pre-tax profits fell by nearly 63%, to £2.5m, although the firm said that this mostly reflected up-front investment for future growth.

11/27/18

Visit Napa Valley is searching for a new leading executive, as Clay Gregory, the decadelong chief of Napa County's official destination-marketing organization, shifts solely to the CEO role.

11/27/18

EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, a retail property, casualty insurance brokerage and employee benefits consultant, announced today the purchase of a retail wine industry book of business from Managing General Agency (MGA) Paragon Insurance Holdings LLC. The accounts in question came to Paragon in the fall of 2017 when they acquired wine industry specialist John Sutak Insurance Brokers, along with two winery programs from the Argo Group.

11/27/18

The art of grapevine suckering, long done by hand with grape knives and pruning shears, is changing as winegrape growers become pressed for time and labor. Mechanical and chemical suckering are two potential alternatives.

11/27/18

Wine.com, the San Francisco-based online retailer, last week received $32.5 million in growth capital from Goldman Sachs Asset Management Private Credit Group (GSAM PCG) in order to focus on marketing and increase the number of wine brands it carries. The company's CEO Rich Bergsund said that Wine.com intends to use the funds to innovate and identify new customers' needs. Wine.com sells wine in 43 states and Washington D.C., he said, which together currently represent 96% of the total U.S. wine consumption.

11/27/18

Senators Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire, and Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Adam Gray, and will unite their respective Select Committees on Wine and Committees on Governmental Organization for a hearing in San Diego's Central Library next week to discuss with experts the issues facing the wine industry at the state and federal levels.

11/27/18

Benovia Winery, a small production, family-owned winery in the heart of the Russian River Valley, is pleased to announce the North Bay Business Journal, which covers the wine industry extensively, named Mike Sullivan Co-Owner & Winemaker of the Year as part of the publication's 6th Annual Wine Industry Awards.

11/27/18

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the renowned champagne house Billecart-Salmon, Chef/Owner Bruno Davaillon has created a special 4-course dinner, which will be held at Bullion on Thursday, December 13. There are a limited number of seats available at $245 per person (plus taxes and gratuities).

11/27/18

Business Capital has delivered financing to the Vezer Family Trust, an entity that owns several commercial and residential real estate properties, as well as operating entities that include a heavy construction and industrial equipment service business, and estate winery and vineyard.

11/27/18

Bill Powers had an insatiable desire to find new practices to grow better winegrapes. To honor the late owner of Badger Mountain Winery, family and associates created the Bill Powers Sabbatical Fund to give professional employees of the Washington wine industry the opportunity to travel to a wine-producing region of the world and explore winegrape growing or winemaking practices that furthers their career and benefits the industry.

11/27/18

The Tre Bicchieri tasting hosted by Gambero Rosso offer a snapshot of Italy and its wines.

11/27/18

A federal judge in Washington state today reinstated the Obama administration's definition of Waters of the United States, a move opposed by the American Farm Bureau Federation as an unwarranted expansion of the Clean Water Act. The Trump administration committed procedural violation when it set aside the Obama EPA's definition of Waters of the U.S., judge rules.

11/27/18

Southwest Idaho's Boise and Payette reservoir systems, which flow into the Snake, are near their average levels for this time of year, while the Upper Snake system in southeast Idaho and part of Wyoming is slightly above average.

11/27/18

A U.S. or global recession is not imminent, but a highly contentious and magnified period of global policy and market realignment is underway. Interestingly, this period could be supportive of some commodity prices with money rotating out of global equities into certain commodities. Also, are near term Chinese concessions related to U.S. soybeans possible? No one knows, but the answer likely emerges in the next one to two weeks.

11/27/18

The vintage report from Château du Moulin-à-Vent ('windmill') heralds excellent promise for this vintage of fresh and fruity wine made exclusively from the Gamay grape.

11/27/18

Canadian winery icons Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser, who revolutionized an industry and then helped create Brock University's renowned grape and wine research centre CCOVI, have been honoured with the first Lifetime Achievement Award ever presented by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The partners were feted as "the pioneers of Ontario's wine renaissance" at a gala at Toronto's Exhibition Place, where Ziraldo was joined by Andrea Kaiser, who accepted on behalf of her late father. The award was sponsored by Brock University.

11/27/18

On November 15, 2018, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced that ABC agents have conducted an investigation of 70 ABC Type 75 Brew Pub Restaurants and discovered nearly 50 were not in compliance with their licenses. The statewide investigation was the result of complaints that some locations were not actually operating as brew pubs.

11/27/18

Invented in China, baijiu (pronounced "by-joe") is now the most consumed liquor in the world and is poised to record the largest growth among all spirits categories over the next five years, according to the International Wine & Spirits Group. Selling China's national liquor to Westerners isn't as easy as selling Chinese food. Baijiu represents less than 1% of liquor sold in the U.S., according to the U.S. Distillery Council. Sometimes referred to as China's vodka, the clear spirit may even deter some vodka lovers. It usually contains 40%-65% alcohol by volume and brings a throat-burning experience.

11/27/18

President Trump, days before a summit with China's leader, said he expects to move ahead with boosting tariff levels on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%, calling it "highly unlikely" that he would accept Beijing's request to hold off on the increase.

11/27/18

Franzia must have determined the time was right to sell the home, which he purchased for $1 million in 2004. Built in 1996, the home is part of the gated community of Monte Sereno Estates, which greets visitors with waterfalls cascading down the mountainside.

11/27/18

Sonoma Magazine's annual selection of the "Top 100 Wines of Sonoma" has been announced.

11/27/18

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit issued from the owners of a wine bar in Washington D.C against US President Donald Trump, which argued that his ownership of Trump International Hotel constitutes unfair competition. The lawsuit, which was filed back in March 2017, by Khalid Pitts and Diane Gross, was dismissed by Judge Richard J. Leon yesterday (26 November). Pitts and Gross, who own Cork Wine Bar and Cork Market & Tasting Room, claimed that Trump's appearance at the hotel and his involvement with it meant that there business was adversely affected.

11/27/18

AV, which makes McGuigan and Tempus Two wine labels, signed a large-scale hybrid Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with provider Flow Power to ensure 90% of consumption at its largest site is met by renewable energy. The company has also installed one of the largest privately-owned solar systems at the winery, which produces 30% of its power requirement. Flow will deliver a further 60% of the winery's requirements through renewable PPAs, the equivalent amount needed to power 2,200 homes for a year, significantly reducing the company's environmental footprint.

11/27/18

The forecasted growth will result in still organic wine almost doubling its market share in the UK, albeit from a small platform, from 5% to 9% in the period, according to the new study - The Future Potential for Organic Wine, commissioned by SudVinBio for Millésime Bio and produced by IWSR.

11/27/18

The new name and logo will come into effect from 1 January 2019. The move comes after Henkell & Co, the Oetker Group's wine and spirits division, acquired a 50.7% stake in Grupo Freixenet earlier this year to become the world's largest sparkling wine group with an 8% share of the global sparkling wine market.

11/27/18

"Amorim is a great cork manufacturer, it rewards screw caps!" quipped journalist Ophélie Neiman, chair of the selection committee for the Amorim Foundation's innovation and development prize. Accompanied by a cheque for 5,000 euros, the 2018 cork trophy was presented on 21 November to the start-up Vinovae, which offers to 'recondition' a bottle of wine and turn it into 36 Vinottes, i.e. small PET bottles with screw cap closures that can be used as samples for wines and spirits.

11/27/18

In northwest Michigan, where sand dunes tower above massive lakes and sweet cherries dangle from boughs, vineyards also string across hilltops. For years, two wine regions have for years been quietly excelling among the United States' most underrated wine culture: cool-climate winemaking. Long under the radar, Michigan is finally beginning to take its place among the top emerging wine regions to watch. As it turns out, northwest Michigan - "Up North," as the locals call it - has a great wine scene, innovative winemakers, and a beautiful landscape, too.