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12/07/18

During annual virus testing at its Russell Ranch Foundation Vineyard, UC Davis Foundation Plant Services found 21 vines tested positive for red blotch virus. ... Foundation vineyard blocks serve as the source repository for certified, virus-free and true-to-variety clean grapevine plant material distributed to nurseries under the California Department of Agriculture's Grapevine Registration and Certification Program

12/07/18

The six who passed - Andrey Ivanov, Douglas Kim, Mia Van de Water, Maximilian Kast, Steven McDonald plus Dana Gaiser - previously passed September's breached exam. Yesterday's blind tasting was the first of three possible special tasting exams offered by the Court following September's breach ... It is unclear how many of the total of 30 who had apparently passed in September did not pass the retest ...

12/07/18

Proposed Rules Were Published in the Federal Register and Stakeholders are invited to comment ... "We propose to update, simplify, and clarify the labeling and advertising regulations for wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages" ... Rulemaking is latest phase of multi-year effort to Facilitate Commerce through a Modern Labeling Program Focused on Service and Market Compliance"

12/07/18

North Coast grape prices on the spot market are trending downward after a big 2018 harvest as wine case sales remain sluggish, wine industry experts said Thursday. "Sorry if it sounds like doom and gloom but it is what it is. Case sales continue to have an impact on the supply side," Bryan Foster, Turrentine's national sales manager of strategic brands said. Foster was speaking at the 7th Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo & Conference in Santa Rosa

12/07/18

Wineries will have to grapple with flat sales and a consolidated marketplace making their business much more difficult as they head into 2019, industry leaders and analysts said ... "The game is going to be stealing share," said Dale Stratton, vice president of commercial insights at Constellation Brands ...

12/07/18

These are the gloomy conclusions from two seminars at the Wine Industry Network Expo in Santa Rosa in Sonoma County

12/07/18

Vintner Recognized with State's Highest Environmental Honor for Leadership in Zero Waste Practices

12/07/18

The Trump administration is expected to put forth a proposal on Tuesday that would significantly weaken a major Obama-era regulation on clean water, according to a talking points memo from the Environmental Protection Agency that was distributed to White House allies this week

12/07/18

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a letter to state and tribal co-regulators that encourages increased engagement and a reinvigoration of state, tribal and federal efforts to reduce excess nutrients in waterways, with a focus on market-based and other collaborative approaches.

12/07/18

The California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) has named Shelli Hendricks as its new director of education, effective Dec. 3, 2018. As director of education (DOE), Hendricks will be responsible for the program curriculum, in coordination with the four partner university deans, and for delivery of the leadership content presented in the campus and travel seminars.

12/07/18

Agricultural producer sentiment held steady in November with producers remaining optimistic about the state of the agricultural economy, according to results from the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The November barometer reading of 134 was only 1 percent lower than October, which is similar to levels seen last spring before trade disruptions began. The barometer utilizes a survey of 400 agricultural producers from across the country.

12/07/18

USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides vital nutrition support to nearly 7 million women and children in the United States. As part of our commitment to "Do right and feed everyone," USDA hosted a round table meeting today with state WIC directors, program administrators and participants from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to discuss program access and client services.

12/07/18

Their new address is 1 SE 3rd Avenue Suite #1440 Miami, FL 33131. The academy is still located in the SunTrust International building, but in a larger space on the 14th floor. All other contact information, including phone numbers, remain the same.

12/07/18

Hosted by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, the trade-only Auction will present its largest offering to date, with more than 85 lots of 2017 Pinot noir, considered a classic vintage by many producers. The Auction will also feature six collaborative Chardonnay lots, made by current and past Auction chairs. All lots are produced in quantities of 5, 10 or 20 cases, and will be exclusive to members of the wine trade attending the Auction. These wines are then made available to consumers by the winning bidders-restaurants and wine retailers.

12/07/18

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.

12/07/18

Launched at least 5 years ago, the review of production specifications for the Muscadet appellations has just reached its epilogue at Inao, in the form of a sizeable 125-page file, whose contents include all the Muscadet appellations. As a reminder, there are not one but several Muscadet appellations: the generic AC, Sèvre-et-Maine, Côtes de Grandlieu, Coteaux de la Loire and the site-specific names Gorges, Clisson and Le Pallet.

12/07/18

A project to increase water management flexibility in Northern California will benefit from a $449 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the loan last week during a visit to the site in Colusa County where the Maxwell Water Intertie would be built. The canal would connect the Tehama-Colusa Canal with the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District main canal, increasing water management flexibility and improving water supply resiliency.

12/07/18

Josh Rolph, federal policy manager for the California Farm Bureau Federation, said final negotiations on the policy package that guides programs relied upon by farmers, ranchers, rural communities and others, are expected to be delayed by a week or two. The 2018 Farm Bill will reauthorize the nation's nearly $900 billion in food and agriculture programs for another five years.

12/07/18

With the last grape picked and the last punch down, well, punched, we thought it timely to view select images of harvest and crush throughout Pacific Northwest wine country. Richard Duval, our resident photographer, logged more than 2,000 miles during a mad four weeks of shooting.

12/07/18

A former Vegas casino owner who changed direction to the wine industry has been ordered to repay almost $2.3 million to former investors by New Zealand's High Court. The court found that New Zealand-based American businessman, Glenn Schaeffer, was liable for representations he made to James Murren and Daniel Lee, that led them to invest in Mahana Estates, a wine operation in Nelson at the top of New Zealand's South Island.

12/07/18

Sonoma County has developed a comprehensive plan to coordinate local resources when PG&E cuts power during high-risk fire weather, a document officials say is the first of its kind in the state. In an attempt to prevent wildfires, PG&E announced this year it would for the first time proactively shut off electricity when high winds, low humidity and warm temperatures create conditions conducive to fires.

12/07/18

A rare fire tornado that raged during this summer's deadly Carr Fire in Northern California was created by a combination of scorching weather, erratic winds and an ice-topped cloud that towered miles into the atmosphere, according to a study announced Wednesday.

12/07/18

Disruptive change is likely coming to California agriculture in the next decade, as technological improvements will lead to electric tractors and alternative-energy storage that will virtually eliminate farms' energy costs. So suggests David Deak, an expert in "disruptive innovation" who has served as senior development engineer at Tesla Motors, Inc., and chief technology officer at Lithium Americas Corp.

12/07/18

Wine Institute and Compli have collaborated to launch a members-only portal that provides state-by-state compliance information for wineries that sell through the three-tier system. This brand-new resource, which aggregates wholesale rules, documents and forms, is located on the Wine Compliance Rules website launched earlier this year. Most wineries sell through both the direct-to-consumer and three-tier channels. The site now provides information and resources for both the DTC and three-tier compliance rules and regulations.

12/07/18

Business Insider spoke to Costco Wine Blog founder and editor Andrew Cullen and contributing reviewer Erin Reyes to get their thoughts on all there is to know about Costco wine. These are their top tips for mistakes to avoid in the wine section at Costco.

12/07/18

For ages, Galicia's residents left to start new lives abroad or elsewhere in Spain. Now a generation of entrepreneurs is staying put

12/07/18

Modern producers of Barolo like Villadoria are aiming more for finesse than for the traditional powerhouse style of a century ago, when grapes might be macerated for 90 days or more to produce highly tannic wines that took years to smooth out. These days that maceration style and aging in large barrels have declined, with wineries using instead smaller barrels made of new wood called "barriques."

12/07/18

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.

12/07/18

Hock Tong Bee is seeking damages or returns of wines from clients who purchased wines from its former employee Luciana Lim Ying Ying, who sold 15,000 bottles of wines worth S$7 million to clients and pocketed the money between 2011 and 2013, according to a report by The Strait Times.

12/07/18

The Ontario liquor board's decision to resume sales for a winemaker facing widespread allegations of sexual misconduct is drawing scathing criticism from some of Canada's most prominent food-industry voices, with many demanding to know who made the decision and why.

12/07/18

Northern Oregon excels with Pinot Noir, while the state's southern regions have turned to warm-climate varieties like Tempranillo, Grenache and Albariño.

12/07/18

What you need to know about the Golden State's new appellations

12/07/18

Europe's highest court has ruled that a trademark registration that describes a geographical location and facility where wine products are produced must be refused. The ruling, by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) yesterday, December 6, comes six years after winery J Portugal Ramos Vinhos first brought an application to cancel several national trademarks of rival company Adega Cooperative de Borba.

12/07/18

Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. is the latest big company to explore the cannabis market, joining beverage makers like Molson Coors and Heineken. Cigarette and beverage makers, in particular, want a stake in a market that could eat into demand for their traditional products. For example, a 2017 U.S. government survey showed daily marijuana use was exceeding daily cigarette use among high school students.

12/07/18

As CEO Of Missouri's Major Brands, Inc., she is the only woman to run a major wine and spirits wholesaler in the United States--but that's not all that makes her unique. In 2012, Susan McCollum took the helm at Major Brands after the passing of her husband, Todd Epsten, from brain cancer. While attending law school at Washington University in St. Louis and raising two teen-age sons, she added representing the third generation of family ownership for the 84-year-old company. McCollum was quickly immersed in the complicated world of wine and spirits distribution, and tasked with leading a 600-person organization that represents over 400 suppliers and serves over 9,000 customers.

12/07/18

Maximiliano Morales presents results of his research on the rescue of old vines in Chile ...