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Santa Rosa Junior College is offering a new class as part of the Wine Studies Department for Spring 2019. Wine 123: Causation and Detection of Wine Faults is a six-week introductory wine sensory course designed to teach basic analytical wine tasting techniques and expose students to the causes and effects that result in flaws and faults in wine.


Wine industry pioneer John McClelland passed away peacefully on December 5, 2018 with his family by his side. He is survived by his wife Ann, son John and daughter Kristen. His 60-year career includes stints as the President and General Manager of Almaden, Geyser Peak and Alderbrook. He served as Chairman of the California Wine Institute and has held leadership positions at the Wine Growers Association and the Wine Educators Associates.


When he was coming up in the wine business as a restaurant buyer in the 1990s, Calistoga winemaker-turned-grower Sam Spencer fell in love with Spain. Not the country, per se, but the vinos tintos - its red wines. Guided by savvy importers, the industry veteran became so enamored of Spain's most famous wine regions, Rioja and Ribera del Duero, that, just a few years later, he planted his family's Lake County property with the vine that ties these denominacións to each other and is the Spanish calling card to the rest of the wine world: Tempranillo. Two decades ago, Spencer wasn't the only North Coast vintner to focus on this noble, age-worthy variety.


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.


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.


Air quality is expected to remain in the "unhealthy" range (151-200 AQI) throughout most of the Bay Area until late Tuesday, before the expected rain arrives Wednesday or Thursday.


"With so many constituents in the grape growing community, I am acutely aware of the challenges facing many growers in Lake and Mendocino Counties following this summer's tragic fires. I am working with my colleagues to pursue every avenue of federal assistance, including reauthorization of the 2017 Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program, for these growers who deserve relief in this difficult recovery period," U.S. Rep Mike Thompson said. ... Growers are also asking for an agreement on testing protocols for smoke compounds in grapes and would like to see changes on how harvest costs are estimated


Benziger, Fetzer and smaller area wineries think the future is ripe for growth. ... Phil Coturri, owner of Enterprise Vineyards, employs a dual-sided weed eater instead of chemical weed killers, such as Roundup, to combat weeds on the vineyards that he manages.)


High winds Thursday morning were pushing smoke from a fast-spreading wildfire in Butte County into Sonoma County, prompting an air quality advisory and rattling the nerves of residents who survived and recalled last year's devastating North Bay wildfires.


"It's a very dangerous and very serious situation," Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told The Associated Press. "I'm driving through fire as we speak. We're doing everything we can to get people out of the affected areas."


Pacific Gas and Electric Company is notifying customers in nine Northern California counties it may turn off power starting Thursday to reduce the risk of a wildfire amid hot and windy weather


Formation of the district creates an official board which can act as an advocacy group so that the lodging industry has a unified voice. The district will be formed for a five-year term, at the end of which they will renew it. At that time, they can remake the parameters ...


WX Brands, a top 20 wine company, announces its purchase of the Reckless Love and Sunday Funday wine brands. Reckless Love and Sunday Funday wines join WX Brands' group of winning brands that include Bread & Butter, Chronic Cellars, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, Jelly Jar and Our Daily Wines.


Conn Creek's enduring commitment to Bordeaux-styled red wines started in 1973 when it was founded by Bill and Kathy Collins.


Rachel and Sami Ruddick are sisters, best friends, roommates-and they run a business together.


WX Brands, said to be among the 20 largest U.S. wine companies, expanded its portfolio of proprietary brands with the purchase of two noncannabis brands from Sonoma-based Rebel Coast Winery.


About 20,000 PG&E customers remained without electricity throughout Northern California early Tuesday morning, two days after the utility company shut off power to nearly 60,000 as a wildfire precaution.


Around 21,000 PG&E customers remain without power as of midnight today after it was turned off on Sunday night due to high wind and fire risks in Northern California, according to PG&E officials.


"We're kind of cranky at the moment," said Aden, who lives in Middletown. "We're thankful we're not on fire."


When thoughts of wine exploration turn to Mendocino County, they turn first to Anderson Valley, the long and narrow enclave bisected by Highway 128 between Cloverdale and the Pacific coast.

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