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Wednesday, December 12th

11/28/18

With the global 2018 harvests bringing the world's wine supply back into greater balance, the market is evolving to allow greater fluidity in supply, to the benefit of premium bulk players and smaller volume buyers, with differing formats cited as key to future consumer engagement and sales. These were some of the key takeaways from the 10th edition of the World Bulk Wine Exhibition in Amsterdam this week, where keen pricing was back on the table after the shortfalls in supply of 2017 at a show that had a record 6,500 visitors and 250 exhibitors.

11/28/18

Roger Vehrs, owner of Vehrs Vineyard LLC, alleged in court documents Joe Wagner's Copper Cane failed to buy $112,500 worth of Pinot Noir fruit under contract during the 2016 harvest, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Eugene, Ore. this October. Vehrs alleged Copper Cane breached his contractual agreement in October 2016 when the company did not send enough semi-trucks to receive all the fruit from his vineyard, according to the complaint. Vehrs then tried to sell the 50 tons of fruit that had yet to be harvested - about two truckloads of Pinot Noir - but Copper Cane stopped him, saying the grapes would be picked up a few days later. "However, they failed and refused to send trucks and, as a result, the fruit was lost and not paid for, resulting in financial loss and damages to Plaintiff," according to the complaint.

11/28/18

The Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC) is collaborating with the California Association of Winegrape Growers in CAWG's effort to seek support from Congress by expanding the scope of an existing disaster assistance bill; additional collaborators include Lake County Farm Bureau, Mendocino Winegrowers Inc., and Mendocino County Farm Bureau. The request by CAWG and industry collaborators identifies the need for $5.25 million in funding to support intensive research to prevent and limit the effect of smoke on winegrapes during a wildfire. The research funding would support development of protective materials that can be applied in the vineyards and more accurate testing protocols for smoke compounds.

11/28/18

Ticket sales for the 2019 editions of WiVi Central Coast and Central Coast Insights produced by Wine Business Monthly begin Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. Don't miss your chance to join thousands of winery, vineyard, direct-to-consumer and finance peers at these two events, held March 12-13, 2019 in Paso Robles, Calif.

11/28/18

Yountville native Kenneth Uhl will put away his suitcase as he announces his retirement from Groth Vineyards & Winery. Founder Dennis Groth hired Uhl in 1993 as the winery's first director of sales and marketing. For twenty-five years, Ken represented the winery with distributors, restaurants, and retailers selling the Groth family's wines domestically and internationally.

11/28/18

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Nov. 27 revised its consumer advisory regarding romaine lettuce and said it will allow shipping and sales of romaine from growing areas outside of the Central Coast region of California, but the lettuce must be labeled with location and harvest date. "Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the FDA continued to investigate the outbreak. Our investigation at this point suggests that romaine lettuce associated with the outbreak comes from areas of California that grow romaine lettuce over the summer months, and that the outbreak appears to be related to 'end of season' romaine lettuce harvested from these areas. The involved areas include the Central Coast growing regions of central and northern California," the agency said in a Nov. 26 statement.

11/28/18

Midwestern attorney Robert Epstein is on a mission to open up as many states as possible to interstate shipping. Jim Arnold, the owner of Kahn's Fine Wine & Spirits in Indianapolis, is the plaintiff for the case and there is no defendant or lawsuit in this case. In response to Epstein's declaration in Florida a foursome of wholesale and retail organizations in the state have filed an appeal against Epstein in order to have the ABT further examine the case.

11/28/18

SIP Certified® (Sustainability in Practice) is one of the wine industry's oldest and most important organizations to certify that vineyards, wines and wineries use sustainable practices. The organization has announced it will open its annual 2019 certification process on December 1, 2018. The process will remain open until February 2019.

11/28/18

Champagne house Louis Roederer could release still wines that it has made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as global warming may prompt more Champagne houses to produce still wines alongside fizz. This was revealed yesterday at a media lunch when the Champagne house president Frédéric Rouzaud and cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon presided over the release of highly-reviewed 2008 Cristal with its local importer Links Concept.

11/28/18

The U.S. government has distributed more than $20 million in assistance for people displaced by the catastrophic wildfire in Northern California, a Federal Emergency Management Agency official said Monday as hundreds of searchers kept looking for more human remains.

11/28/18

Oregon is known for its Pinot Noir, but here's a look at the producers that are pushing the state's signature grape to whole new levels.

11/28/18

The acquisition, which follows Maison & Domaines Les Alexandrins having developed the Crozes Hermitage and Saint Joseph appellations over the last few years, would enable the estate to "pursue growth and increase production", said the new owner.

11/28/18

A congressman nominated the chef and humanitarian for his work feeding victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the Washington Post confirms.

11/28/18

Bonfort's releases its maiden list of the Top 100 Wineries that have distinguished themselves from the competition for 2019. The list names Caldwell Vineyard U.S., Winery of the Year, and Bodega Garzón, International Winery of the Year.

11/28/18

He may have lost track of the number of photos taken by visitors to the Vinitech show, but Nicolas Mälher-Besse, managing director of Seguin Moreau (Oeneo Group), knows precisely how many pre-orders were placed for GalileOak, a spherical and rotating oak barrel: "There were already three on the stand, despite its price tag of 50,000 euros!" Unveiled on November 20, at the opening of the Vinitech show, the 15-hectolitre* tank appeals as much for its aesthetics as for its technical aspects.

11/28/18

Family-owned and managed Delicato Family Vineyards ("Delicato") announced today that it has been named the exclusive U.S. importer for Schmitt Söhne, and will begin selling in the U.S. on January 1, 2019. Schmitt Söhne Family Wines is a leading exporter of German wines with sales in the U.S. of approximately 700,000 cases.

11/28/18

David Milligan Selections mourns the sudden loss of Jérôme Quiot, 67, patriarch of Vignobles Famille Quiot, who passed away on November 24 at his home in France. Just days earlier, he participated in the 40th anniversary of Suze-la-Rousse's University of Wine, an academic institution dedicated to the art of winemaking, which he presided over as president since 2002.

11/28/18

With a draft proposal for streamflows in the Sacramento River expected by the end of the year, farmers in the basin had a chance to discuss the plan with state regulators during a Sacramento Valley Water Summit organized by the Colusa County Farm Bureau.

11/28/18

Butte County Agricultural Commissioner Louie Mendoza said the 150,000 acre-plus blaze did not burn in an agriculturally intensive area, but that some damage has been reported. Mendoza estimated rangeland losses at 30,000 to 40,000 acres, with buildings and fences damaged. He said he was also aware of about 50 acres of fruit orchards and several retail and wholesale nurseries being affected, but that his staff would await access to the full burn area before issuing an official estimate of agricultural losses.

11/28/18

Since the 1970s, Virgin has been a major force in the music world - from their groundbreaking record label, countless sellout festivals and megastores worldwide. True to these innovative roots, Virgin Wines is now bringing together two of the best things in life - finding outrageously good wines from around the world and adding cool, carefully curated playlists for each bottle. To further explore the perfect bond between wine and music, Virgin Wines is releasing an exclusive selection featuring bottles inspired by some of the gods of rock.

11/28/18

Northeast producers are invited to participate in a webinar that will provide information regarding grants, incentives and cost-shares available to Northeast agriculture. This webinar, hosted by Farm Credit East, will take place on Dec. 4 at noon.

11/28/18

Farmers now have a low-cost option for insuring small parcels of land in one county by combining them into a single enterprise unit with land in a neighboring county under their crop insurance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency (RMA) is offering the new endorsement known as the Multi-County Enterprise Unit for farmers interested in covering two counties in the same state under their crop insurance policy.

11/28/18

On April 27 and 28, 2019, the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley (WDCV) hosts the 30th annual Passport to Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Wine Country's premier food and wine festival.

11/28/18

The number of farms filing for bankruptcy is increasing across the Upper Midwest, following low prices for corn, soybeans, milk and beef, according to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The analysis found that 84 farms filed for bankruptcy in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana in the 12 months that ended in June. That's more than double the number over the same period in 2013 and 2014.

11/28/18

11/28/18

Many wineries have expressed interest in taking advantage of new rules that will allow Monferrato DOC producers in Piedmont to specify Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo Superiore on wine labels, according to local officials.

11/28/18

With Tokyo a "priority destination" as one of the fastest growing markets for UK Food and Drink exports, the trip (27 - 29 November) marked the second visit by the WSTA to the Japanese capital in as many years.

11/28/18

The wine, which has been named Beora by the British public, hits shelves this week after a "rigorous 24 months of voting and debating." Also chosen by the Angel investors, with more than 1,200 investors having their say on the blend, label and name, the wine is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir produced by Charles and Ruth Simpson at Simpsons Wine Estate in Barham, Kent.

11/28/18

Lafortune made the comment during a discussion with the drinks business on the eve of the Somm360 summit, which ran from Sunday to Tuesday this week in Montreal, and attracted as many as 300 people in the hospitality trade, with around 25% of these attendees from beyond Canada's borders.

11/28/18

Symington has revamped its range of Dow's 10, 20, 30 and 40-Year-Old Ports, releasing a range of wines aged in both small oak vats and traditional 550-litre casks that date back to the 19th century. Charles Symington, fourth generation winemaker, has maintained a dry finish for these wines, the hallmark of Dow's Vintage, but he and his team have evolved the Tawny Ports to give them "additional concentration and structure, with darker hues of polished mahogany, by using wines that have been aged in small seasoned oak vats, as well as in cask."

11/28/18

UK wine distributor Boutinot has invested a six-figure sum in its 10-acre Henners Vineyard in Hastings in order to create a hospitality centre, provide extra jobs and increase turnover by 200% in the next four years.

11/28/18

At a recent masterclass in Hong Kong, Patrick Schmitt MW, editor-in-chief of the drinks business, said that European winemakers who are worried about climate change should look at what producers are doing in Japan.

11/28/18

Steve Schepman got into the wine industry after a company called 800-Flowers.com sold him the assets of winetasting.com, Ambrosia and Geerlings & Wade. "It turned out to be a perfect fit for me," said Schepman. Today, Schepman is the CEO/Founder of WTN Cellars.

11/28/18

Hosted by Christie's, the auction is conducted annually on the third Sunday of November, with bidders competing with their wallets for barrels of treasured wine. This year, a Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru set the new record for a single barrel, sold at $152,440.

11/28/18

Dahlonega was also recently designated as Georgia's first entirely in-state American Viticultural Area, a title bestowed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau that marks the area as a unique region to produce quality wines. Other more well-known AVAs include Sonoma and Napa Valley. They're difficult and expensive to get, but the area's new title, the Dahlonega Plateau, lends prestige to the wines created there.

11/28/18

Mondavi sees similar ethics in the newest Folio Italian partner, the Ricasoli family, a noble clan credited with creating the first Chianti Classico, whose regional roots reach back 32 generations. After spending several days with Baron Ricasoli immersed in the vineyards flanking their captivating 11th Century Brolio Castle, the Baron shared thoughts on his legacy: His skills as a winemaker, he felt, were less important than being remembered with respect by future generations.

11/28/18

Asian countries and students drive international interest for expert knowledge about the business