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Tuesday, December 4th

12/04/18

USDA purchased more than 450,000 boxes of California table grapes as part of its tariff mitigation program. California table grapes were included in the USDA Food Purchasing Program for the first time as part of the mitigation program because of the 53 percent tariff imposed on U.S. grapes by China. According to the most recent USDA data, shipments of California grapes to China are down 42.2 percent in volume and 41.2 percent in value in 2018 compared to 2017

12/04/18

Christian Navarro, the Los Angeles-based president and principal of luxury wine retailers Wally's Wine & Spirits will speak as a keynote at Central Coast Insights and WiVi Central Coast 2019, held March 12-13, 2019 in Paso Robles. Under Navarro's direction, Wally's Wine & Spirits has evolved from a traditional retail space into a true customer experience focused on luxury and prestige clients

12/04/18

"Everyone is dealing with staffing issues - it's unsustainable," said Richard Reddington, whose popular Yountville Redd restaurant closed in October. ... numbers point to a staggering increasing need for restaurant laborers while at the same time there is a stagnant or even shrinking pool of local talent ... The scarcity is pushing some to modify their business concepts

12/04/18

Women are the future of American wine writing, according to a new survey by Wark Communications. The 2018 American Wine Writer Survey, the fourth such survey conducted by Wark Communications since 1994, shows that while the number of U.S. wine writers today are nearly evenly split between men and women, younger wine writers skew female in a significant way

12/04/18

The December issue includes expanded results and analysis of the 2018 American Wine Writer Survey, analysis of the management roles women occupy in the U.S. wine industry today - the barrel and oak survey report, a glass market update, a report from the Wine Industry Technology Symposium and grape growing and winemaking articles ...

12/04/18

Once again 'availability' was the watchword as more than six thousand of the world's bulk wine professionals converged on Amsterdam for the World Bulk Wine Exhibition 2018, but this year the mood could not have been more different to a year ago ...

12/04/18

Advanced Beverage Technologies (ABT), which also owns dealcoholising specialist Cone Tech, has launched a new company that will provide non-alcoholic base wines in bulk to the industry, which also have the potential to be infused with cannabis.

12/04/18

Sen. Ron Wyden requested that any year-end funding bill include an extension of the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to provide compensation for wine-grape growers. In a letter Friday to Senate appropriations committee, Wyden also asked for $5.25 million of new funding for research on the effects of smoke exposure to wine grapes. He noted that many purchasers told growers their smoke-tainted grapes are not acceptable for winemaking. That forced growers to leave their grapes on the vine or sell them for vastly reduced prices.

12/04/18

A lawsuit between businessman Briar Tazuk and Napa Valley-based developer Robert Radovan over consulting payments related to a Bordeaux development project were dismissed this summer ...

12/04/18

Researchers at The University of Adelaide have found yeasts that naturally occur on winegrapes may improve wines produced in warmer climates. Up until now the use of these 'natural' or 'wild' yeasts during the production process has mostly been discouraged by winemakers. The study, published in Nature journal's Scientific Reports, focusses on the effects of Lachancea thermotolerans yeast which occurs naturally on grapes.

12/04/18

"According to our statistics, this will leave 20% of French organic winegrowers high and dry. Over the last five years, one in five organic winegrowers used more than 4 kg/ha/year. We are in trouble..." summed up Thomas Montagne, chairman of the European Federation of Independent Winegrowers (CEVI). "This is a very bad decision. Pressure from mildew for the 2018 vintage has shown that this system cannot work," said Bernard Farges, chairman of the European Federation of Wines of Origin (EFOW).

12/04/18

Albert Frère, the billionaire veteran Belgian businessman and who became co-owner of Château Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux after investing with Bernard Arnault, has died aged 92

12/04/18

Most recently he was vice president of sales for AmBrabev, LLC, a leading importer of premium spirits based in Kentucky. Earlier in his career he was CEO of Fuzzy's Spirits, a purveyor of ultra-premium vodka. Previously, Timmerman spent 12 years with Olinger Distributing Company in Indiana.

12/04/18

Most recently, Robert worked as a VP of Sales at Young's Marketing Company in the Pacific Northwest. He served as a Sales and Finance Director for Constellation Brands and as a Regional Sales Manager for Kobrand Corporation. Robert's accreditations include an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators

12/04/18

Pearson has over 16 years of beverage industry marketing and sales experience including additional management positions with Hess Family Wine Estates, Constellation Brands and Freixenet.

12/04/18

Prior to becoming Sokol Blosser's Production Winemaker in 2001, Vuylsteke spent 12 years at Rex Hill as Cellar Master and Assistant Winemaker.

12/04/18

Bernie Rink, who opened Boskydel Vineyard in Lake Leelanau in the spring of 1965, died on Nov. 29 while surrounded by family and friends. He was 92. Then a librarian at Northwestern Michigan College, Rink planted a one-acre test plot of wine grapes in the wilderness of Leelanau County to determine if commercial wine could be made locally. Leelanau's wine industry ignited in 1970 when Rink planted 15 acres of grapevines and opened Boskydel Vineyard, Leelanau's first tasting room. Today, the Leelanau Peninsula has become one of the premier wine regions in America.

12/04/18

A bipartisan deal on the multi-billion dollar farm bill would scrap new work requirements for some older food stamp recipients - rejecting a plan backed by House Republicans and President Donald Trump. Lawmakers expect to vote this week on the tentative deal, announced Thursday by House and Senate negotiators. Democrats and many Senate Republicans opposed the work requirements, which became the biggest stumbling block to an agreement on the farm bill. The legislation sets federal agricultural and food policy for five years and provides more than $400 billion in farm subsidies, conservation programs and food aid for the poor.

12/04/18

After signing a revamped trade pact Friday with Mexico and Canada on better terms for the United States, Trump agreed with Xi on Saturday to work to resolve issues such as forced technology transfer and intellectual property protection in exchange for suspending new U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports for 90 days.

12/04/18

"Gancia's new 'drink beauty' platform is about making an emotional connection with our Millennial consumers," said Leonid Yangarber, CEO of Roust Americas. "A storied brand with deep roots in Italy, Gancia captures the beauty of Italy-its land, its art, its wine, its people. With 'drink beauty' we want consumers to feel this beauty and, more broadly, to take pleasure in life's beautiful moments both large and small."

12/04/18

NBC Bay Area's Emmy Award-winning series Bay Area Revelations returns this Saturday December 8 at 10 p.m. with America's Wine Country. The one-hour prime time special takes a look at the Bay Area as one of the most famous wine regions in the world, and how local winemakers have turned an ancient delicacy into a California industry.

12/04/18

Sauvage's Sparkling Wine line Comsi Comsa is made with upstate New York Apples sourced from local farms. Similar to great grapes, these apples are grown on trees in ideal soil. Using fresh water, carefully selected apples, and a French technique the result is a hard cider reminiscent of a fine sparkling wine with a 12% ABV.

12/04/18

Winemaker Lot18 has teamed up with Elvis Presley Enterprises LLC, to produce a limited-edition Cabernet Sauvignon to celebrate the iconic singer and the 50th anniversary of his legendary '68 Comeback Special. After not performing for over seven years, Elvis took the nation by storm on the night of December 3, 1968, thrilling audiences and reclaiming his throne as the "King of Rock n Roll" in a single night.

12/04/18

ProWein, International Trade Fair for Wine and Spirits (held annually in Düsseldorf, Germany), has grown tremendously over its 25-year history. The first edition was held in 1994 with the name ProVins, picking up on a small presentation of French wine from a year earlier. While the Francophile name was kept, the spectrum of exhibitors expanded to include other countries.

12/04/18

On October 24, 2018 Sparkling Pointe Vintners Tom and Cynthia Rosicki, joined by Head Winemaker Gilles Martin, attended the 2018 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships Award Dinner at Merchant Taylor's Hall in London to accept the Best of Class Award for the 2015 Topaz Impérial Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine.

12/04/18

... that fundamental disconnect most people have from farming when talking to a 30-something grower named Ward McCown, a Texan. He has a 10-acre direct-market farm in Tyler and was proud to tell me his house was smack dab in the middle, where he and his wife are raising their children. You think Ward sprays all kinds of toxic pesticides? That's apparently what a lot of the 98% or so of the people in our society who have no direct connection to the farm believe. At least it sure seems so here in California, where this year the state enacted legislation to further protect children from pesticide sprays.

12/04/18

As I have now turned to the final page of my 2018 calendar, I am reflecting a bit on happenings in our world of agriculture, and society in general, this past year. It was a good one but, like always, it had its challenges. Let's work to make 2019 even better.

12/04/18

Château Lafleur's Omri Ram gives his thoughts on the estate, recent vintages and Bordeaux prices.

12/04/18

Premier Doug Ford recently announced that, starting now, alcohol retailers will be permitted to keep their doors open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The extended hours will be in effect seven days a week.In the province's 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the government it's "further modernizing alcohol sales" by letting The Beer Store, the LCBO and other authorized retailers such as grocery stores and agency stores sell alcohol for longer.

12/04/18

The new regs cap the number of stores that can be owned and operated by a company at 75 but place no limits on licensing or franchising of Big Bud brands through storefront operations

12/04/18

California table grape growers, who rely on export markets in China, have faced 53 per cent tariff of late. According to recent USDA data, shipments of grapes to China were down 42.2 per cent in volume and 41.2 per cent in value in 2018 compared with 2017.

12/04/18

After Pancho Campo dissolved his event-planning business in Dubai, which had stopped being profitable in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, back in 2002.. His Lebanese business partner, who had invested $500,000 in the company, filed a complaint with the authorities in the UAE, and the next year, Campo was tried in absentia and found guilty of commercial breach of trust. Campo was never informed that a case had been opened against him ...

12/04/18

More than a dozen current and former employees and contributors interviewed by The Times describe an organization in disarray. Five top editors, including the editor in chief, have quit in recent weeks. Some freelance writers haven't been paid for months. Sunset's holiday issue, which typically lands in mailboxes in late November, has been delayed until nearly Christmas, in part because of a lack of advertising.

12/04/18

The president of that government then dismisses its findings

12/04/18

The South American nation's wine industry has tripled in value over the past 10 years, and vintners see opportunity in the United States "The U.S.A. is our No. 1 target export country," explained Diego Bertolini, director of marketing for Wines of Brasil. "The fact that more than 120 million Americans drink wine, and the market continues to grow, makes the U.S. an ideal export destination." But Brazil faces several challenges, none more significant than Americans' unfamiliarity with Brazilian wine.

12/04/18

Argentina has Malbec, Chile has Carménère and Uruguay has Tannat. Some wonder what Brazil's flagship variety will be. Sparkling wines probably present the greatest near-term sales opportunity, but a number of grape varieties do well ...

12/04/18

Cans are predicted to keep growing in popularity over the coming years: but as they do so, manufacturers will want to create increasingly diverse portfolios to stand out in the market place. For manufacturers, this brings additional demands and a need for highly flexible machinery.

12/04/18

Some are testing new "Customer 360" software from Salesforce.com Inc. and upstart rival Freshworks Inc. that lets them build a Facebook-style profile of each shopper, the better to understand what they want and how to keep them happy and clicking "pay."

12/04/18

The quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit.