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Monday, March 18th

01/10/19

The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a division of the US Department of Agriculture, which compiles the data for the Crush report, is closed during the shutdown which started nearly three weeks ago. The NASS employees who produce the report for the California Department of Agriculture are on unpaid furlough. The California Association of Winegrape Growers on Wednesday issued a statement regarding the potential delay. "Lengthy delays in publishing the report threaten to complicate contract negotiations, interfere with lending activity and make it difficult for growers to budget for the year ahead." Bill Berryhill, a Ceres-area grower and chairman of the CAWG Board of directors

01/10/19

The illustrious panel will discuss and debate: Changing consumer demand for wine - who's buying and who isn't; Cannabis - it's present and future impact on wine consumers; The import invasion; Fatigue with direct-to-consumer strategies in the tasting room and club models; New bar concepts driving the consumption patterns of young consumers; Growth opportunities and threats in the next five years ...

01/10/19

The front lines in the battle are everywhere, though news tends to focus on the change we can see: the water rising in the streets of Miami Beach, the fires raging in the hills of California, the sea passage opening in the Arctic Circle. While politician quibble over the cause and degree of the changes, winegrowers are feeling the impact directly in their lives and their businesses. Some are meeting to take action on their own initiative ...

01/10/19

The Ambassador of Portugal to the U.S. shared that "as was made clear at last year's conference in Porto, climate change is the biggest threat to future generations ..."

01/10/19

Jim Cramer hears from Constellation Brands' outgoing and incoming CEOs after the alcohol distributor "disappointed Wall Street" with its 2019 forecast ... Rob Sands said the stock drop was a 'total overreaction" and that he just bought a million shares last week . He also confirmed that the company is looking at "strategic alternatives" for selling some of its brands in the segment that is priced below $11 per bottle, per an unconfirmed report the Wall Street Journal published back in October - Sands said that segment is "performing very poorly"

01/10/19

Distilled Spirits Council says spirits sales went up in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state - although wine and beer stayed on their mixed to negative course. The council analyzed per capita alcohol sales in the three states for the two years prior to marijuana being legalized and up to four years after using state-level alcohol tax receipts and shipment data. Sales of spirits increased from 3.6 percent in Oregon to 7.6 percent in Colorado. Wine sales were up in Colorado and Oregon, but down in Washington state. Beer sales, which have been losing market share to spirits and wine over the last decade to begin with, were down in all three states

01/10/19

A U.S. District Court judge has denied a request for a temporary restraining order to immediately stop huge increases in the minimum wage for H-2A-visa foreign guestworkers but will consider a preliminary injunction

01/10/19

California Grower Foundation has become Ag Health Benefits Alliance of Northern California (AHBA). "We are excited to launch this next chapter in our organization's history with a name that speaks to our mission: To provide agricultural employers with benefits resources to attract and retain a healthy, productive workforce," says Executive Director Rebecca Barlow.

01/10/19

Usual is a new brand in wine which removes the compromise associated with smaller formats. Delivering small-lot, premium wines in a new patented single-serving sized bottle, Usual offers a proprietary red blend from Sonoma County and a rosé from Santa Barbara, available in 6, 12 or 24-pack quantities. ($48, $96, $192)

01/10/19

The trade show at the 2019 Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium will feature an array of new products and services designed to help wineries succeed in the DTC marketplace. These will be revealed at the 12th annual summit, January 23-24, 2019, at the Hilton Concord Hotel in Concord, California.

01/10/19

The annual Zinfandel celebration is scheduled January 17 through 19 in San Francisco. If you are a Zinophile then join a couple of thousand like-minded tasters and indulge your passion at ZinEX in the beautiful setting of San Francisco Bay where the temperature is probably warmer than where you are now

01/10/19

The James Beard Foundation finalist will be presenting the keynote address at the 25th Unified Wine & Grape Symposium's luncheon on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

01/10/19

Recent warming has shortened and compressed vintages and has altered enologically relevant berry traits. Late pruning can decompress harvest and preserve fruit quality ...

01/10/19

High temperatures, harsh light and ultraviolet radiation can lead to a nasty case of sunburn - not just for people but for winegrapes - and Charles Sturt University (CSU) is investigating how to reduce the damage and financial losses.

01/10/19

Adelaide University wine scientists celebrated a year of breakthroughs in 2018, in improving the taste of wines from different regions at a time when climate change has been impacting the behaviour of ripening grapes. And more progress is expected in 2019 and beyond.

01/10/19

In 2014, plant biologists with the California Department of Agriculture reported an alarming discovery: native wildflowers and herbs, grown in nurseries and then planted in ecological restoration sites around California, were infected with Phytophthora tentaculata, a deadly exotic plant pathogen that causes root and stem rot.

01/10/19

Symington Family Estates, the Oporto, Portugal based wine group owned and managed for five generations by the Symington family, is pleased to announce Rupert Symington as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2019.

01/10/19

Lapis Luna, the recently acquired 20-year old wine brand, has appointed Even Nelson as General Manager for the quickly growing company.

01/10/19

Integrated Beverage Group announced the appointment of Nichole Simpson to Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Simpson most recently was the Senior Adult Beverage Buyer at Walmart. Simpson developed Walmart's Winemaker's Selection private brand program. Prior to that, she held multiple positions at E&J Gallo Winery including Category and Brand management

01/10/19

Some people regard Rudy Marchesi, president and chief viticulturist at Montinore Estate, as an artisan. A fair descriptor though this is not the core of his success. Exceptional practicality and results-oriented thinking with a healthy dose of curiosity and generosity remain his foundation, leading to a career of constant learning and, now, influence on an international level ...

01/10/19

If you believe what you read, millennials are dreary fun sponges who prefer a post-workout oat and wheatgrass smoothie to a pint down the pub. It would certainly explain why UK alcohol consumption fell from 3.07 units per day in 2003 to 2.57 units per day in 2017, while the number of Brits who do not drink at all has reached 5.4 million, up 35% on 2013.

01/10/19

Set for Jan. 27-Feb. 10, the 2019 Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks returns for a ninth consecutive year by once again enticing food lovers from near and far with special pricing and the same farm-to-table fare that has long made this Central Coast wine country destination a haven for foodies. For just $20.19, all are invited to savor specially curated three-course tasting menus from the Valley's top dining establishments.

01/10/19

Today the Florida Wine Academy announced VinoSummit, the first conference dedicated to wine professionals in the south eastern United States. This one-day conference, which will take place in Miami on March 18th, 2019, aims to investigate trends in the wine industry and explore important regions and grapes.

01/10/19

The Vancouver International Wine Festival celebrates its 41st year starting Feb. 23 as it offers the chance to taste more than 700 wines spanning 16 countries.

01/10/19

Prior to joining CDFA, Ross was chief of staff to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009. Prior to that appointment, she served as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996 to 2009, and as Vice-President of the Agricultural Council of California from 1989 to 1996.

01/10/19

Constellation Brands shares sink more than 12% in Wednesday trading after it lowered guidance. For the beer business, Constellation expects fiscal 2019 net sales on the high end of the 9% to 11% growth forecast. However, on the wine and spirits side, the company expects net sales and operating income to decrease in the low-single digits compared to previous guidance for 2% to 4% growth.

01/10/19

Airline menus boasting California wines, vineyard growing histories and even a movie screenplay set during Prohibition are among the latest additions to the wine collections of the library at the University of California, Davis.

01/10/19

"There is room to develop a value-generating model for all with good control and transparency along the value chain".

01/10/19

Saying that it will continue to protect environmentally sensitive waterways such as wetlands in California, even if federal protections on waters of the U.S. are limited, the State Water Resources Control Board has unveiled a final draft on how it plans to regulate dredge-and-fill activities in the state. The draft, released last week, provides a definition of what the state considers a wetland. It also lays out permitting procedures for discharges of dredged or fill material to waters of the state.

01/10/19

U.S. farm income contracted somewhat in 2018, according to the most recent United States Department of Agriculture update, released Nov. 30. The report indicated that net cash income in 2018 declined 10 percent from the previous year to about $93.4 billion, the lowest net cash income since 2009. Strikingly, net cash income has declined 38 percent from the recent peak in 2012, when many in the agricultural industry experienced a protracted period of exceptional profit margins. Only one other time period, the mid-1970s, has sustained a similar decline.

01/10/19

The Jan. 5-6 precipitation, combined with the prospect of additional storms during the week, added to a snowpack that stood at only two-thirds of average levels statewide last week, when the state Department of Water Resources conducted its first manual snow survey of the new year. By Monday, the snowpack had risen to 84 percent of average, according to DWR sensors-79 percent in the northern Sierra Nevada, 87 percent in the central Sierra and 86 percent in the southern part of the mountain range.

01/10/19

Trump tweeted Wednesday that California gets billions of dollars for fires that could have been prevented with better management. The state's former top firefighter Ken Pimlott disagrees, saying last month that California leads the nation in clearing away dead trees and thinning areas to remove fuel for fires.

01/10/19

U.S. farmers and ranchers ended 2019 less optimistic about the health of the agricultural economy than they were in November, based on a national survey by Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture. The index of producer sentiment measured by the Purdue/CME Ag Economy Barometer fell 7 points in December, showing deterioration in producers' perception of current economic conditions on their farms combined with reduced optimism about the future.

01/10/19

Breweries, wineries and distilleries in Indiana and Michigan are experiencing delays - and taking a financial hit - because some permits are not being issued due to the partial federal government shutdown. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issues permits that allow businesses to open, craft a new beer or wine, or create labeling for a product. That agency is currently closed.

01/10/19

Temporary closure of FSA offices delayed additional applications for the Market Facilitation Program, which provides relief to farmers affected by retaliatory trade tariffs. On Tuesday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the application deadline for the relief program would be extended beyond the original deadline of Jan. 15, with the new deadline to be determined once FSA offices reopen. Perdue said MFP payments have continued during the shutdown for farmers who had earlier applied and certified their 2018 production.

01/10/19

Jason McKeever had planned to open his tap room and winery in Peru by the end of the month, serving up craft beers and spirits. But now, the project has been put on hold indefinitely. Why? The federal agency that issues permits to new craft breweries and wineries is closed during the partial government shutdown that is now dragging into its third week.

01/10/19

Sydney-based YPB has come up with a serialised QR code that claims to help Australian wine producers keep track of their wines in China, which is not only their biggest export market, but also the one in which counterfeiting poses the biggest headache

01/10/19

Flight attendants on the Denver-based airline began accepting individual tips on Jan. 1, according to the Chicago Tribune. Frontier made tipping an option three years ago but, until this year, flight attendants were required to pool tips.

01/10/19

The city's new era of legal cannabis retailing has begun with the debut of Harvest of Napa, the first medical dispensary to do business in the county. The outlet at 2449 Second St. west of downtown opened on New Year's Eve, the first fruit of a city ordinance that followed years of debate and an earlier, aborted attempt to bring a dispensary to Napa.

01/10/19

Supervisor Ryan Gregory grabbed the gavel as 2019 Napa County Board of Supervisors chairman and described looming issues such as possible tensions between California's house-building drive and local agricultural preservation policies.

01/10/19

Lasseter Family Winery owner hired to run the recently launched animation division of Skydance Media

01/10/19

The Distilled Spirits Council is recommending key changes in state law, including: removing unconstitutional ownership restrictions for package stores; repealing antiquated "blue laws" that ban the retail sale of distilled spirits on Sundays; and updating trade practices for distilled spirits to treat all industry players fairly

01/10/19

2019 Poised as Another Banner Year Opening with Two Auctions Featuring Rare Wines Direct from Burgundy's Elite Producers

01/10/19

The FDA inspects 80% of the U.S. food supply, meaning the food most Americans eat could potentially be less safe and cause an increase in foodborne illnesses. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the Post that he's working on a plan to bring back furloughed inspectors at "high-risk facilities, which handle foods such as soft cheese or seafood," as soon as next week

01/10/19

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen," Trump tweeted. "Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!"

01/10/19

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday proposed spending $305 million to improve California's planning and response to wildfires, mudslides and earthquakes, focusing the state's efforts on evacuating elderly and disabled residents who became trapped in recent disasters.

01/10/19

China and the United States will continue their vice ministerial-level trade talks in Beijing for a third day on Wednesday, a U.S. official said, as financial market players closely watch the outlook for the trade dispute between the world's two major powers. The official was speaking to reporters late Tuesday following two days of talks in which Washington is believed to have called on Beijing to implement measures to protect intellectual property rights and increase imports of U.S. products.

01/10/19

Two producers, based in Valdobbiadene and Refrontolo, in the province of Treviso, were reportedly raided back in September after officials grew suspicious after finding two tones of sugar in sacks ... "Since only two producers seem to have been called out in the recent scandal and Italy is a country rarely known for following the rules - of any type - it is difficult to ascertain what really happened with the adulterated wines" ... "Mouthpieces for the two DOCG regions shared some comments, while the DOC had nothing to say ... "

01/10/19

"Many wineries located within the Green Line, including the largest commercial wineries in the Israeli market, use grapes originating from occupied land in their wines."

01/10/19

This cold climate-loving, easy-drinking red wine grape is spreading beyond its original German and Austrian home to the United States, Australia and Canada.

01/10/19

A handful of forward-thinking vintners are overcoming the region's perennial inferiority complex, hoping that it will be seen again, in a different way.

01/10/19

As a new year cracks open with considerable tumult-both in the markets and on the floor of CES-there's one thing you can count on: Ad Age staffers pooling their collective know-how to take a whack at predicting what lies ahead in the worlds of media, tech, retail, social platforms and more. And to find out how we did with our 2018 predictions, click here. (Spoiler alert: We done good.)