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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rich Guys Gone Wild

A wealthy couple with high government connections start up a winery in Napa Valley. This is really nothing new. A number of rich folks have done the same.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Record U.S. Wine Exports

In 2016 the U.S. exported $1.62 billion worth of wine, or about 46 million cases. This compares to $1.60 bn in 2015 and $1.49 bn in 2014. California is responsible for 90% of wine made in the U.S. and also 90% of the export market.

The largest importer of American wine is the European Union with the UK being the biggest segment by far within the EU. Following is Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, and China. $1.12 bn of the $1.62 bn total is to the EU and Canada.

Dear Canadian friends, what wine do you serve with Poutine?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

International Syrah Day

Feb 16th is Syrah Day begging the question, "Where can you go for great Syrah in Sonoma County?"  I knew you were gonna ask.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Visiting the Wine Country on the Cheap

It's easy enough for a couple to spend over $100/day on tasting, plus wine purchases on top of that. Then there's over $150/night for a hotel, $75 for dinner and pretty soon it's real money!  How can you do it for less? This is written for Sonoma County, but much of the following will work anywhere.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Good News/Bad News for Napa Wines

After a smaller crop in 2015 there was a much larger grape crop in 2016 for Napa Valley. The good news is there will be more wine available from the '16 vintage. The bad news is the price of grapes keeps going up. This means your favorite Napa Valley wines will cost more.

2016 Harvest Report from the Napa Valley Register

Friday, February 10, 2017

Who Imports / Exports the Most Wine

Countries that import the most wine:

The U.S. is by far the largest importer with over $3 billion in bottled wine.
Second is the UK with $1.75 bn. 
A close third is China at $1.65 bn in imports.

Largest exporters:

Italy and France kind of share the top spot as exporters.
Italy exports the most bottled wine at a value of $3.2 billion.
Though France exports only 87% as much wine as Italy its total value is $4 bn.
Spain is third with $1.4 bn in wine.

And it just so happens Italy, France and Spain and the biggest producers of wine (followed by the U.S.).

These are Jan-Sep 2016 numbers

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wine Professionals' Disconnect with Consumers

The wine professional: owners, wine makers, judges, writers, and many other wine advocates sit in the small area of premium wines. That is, most of their time seems to be spent with the $30-up bottles.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Good Times for the American Wine Industry

It's good times for the American economy overall and that includes the wine biz. Pretty much all of the indicators are looking up.

Friday, February 3, 2017

History of Beer in Sonoma County

If you go back to the olden days before Prohibition Sonoma County had breweries just like many other parts of the country. What was unique during this time was the county was home to a thriving hop industry. But what we're going to talk about here is the resurrection of the craft beer industry and it's beginnings right here in Sonoma.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Think Geting Rid of Illegals Won't Have an Impact?

Lets just talk about agriculture. Do you think we can send all illegals home and have Americans take those jobs?

Read this

The summary:
  • There are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Half of them are Mexican. About 16% of these illegals work in ag.
  • In North Carolina in 2011 during the depths of the recession the local fruit industry offered their 6,500 jobs to the locals. 268 people applied, 240 were hired, 163 actually showed up for work, and seven of them made it all the way through the harvest.
  • If these immigrants aren't here to work these fruit harvests it's estimated the crops may be cut in half, this includes wine grapes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What They're Planting

What varieties of grapes are being planted in California vineyards? This is the forecast by growers of what will be popular in a few years. Yeah, it's an expensive guessing game. It is for all of California, the premium regions and the less expensive Central Valley where the vast majority of the vineyard acreage is planted.

In 2016 it was 71% red varietals with Cabernet Sauvignon leading them all with 35% of all grape vines sold by nurseries. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are both at 16%.

By contrast, just five years ago in 2011, it was only 44% red grapes because Muscat was about 25% of vines sold. Cab Sauv was at 13%. Muscat in 2016? Doesn't even register. 

What a difference a few years makes.

This information is from Allied Grape Growers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Nearing Ten Thousand Wineries

At the end of 2016 there were 9,872 wineries in North America per Rounding off a bit, there are 700 in Canada and 90 in Mexico leaving 9,100 in the U.S. This is a 5% growth from a year ago. The growth rate has been the same for the past couple years.

California accounts for 46% of American wineries, or 4,200. Next are Washington and Oregon each with over 700. New York and British Columbia have over 300 a piece.

BTW, there are over 5,000 breweries in the U.S. That's up from 1,500 in 2008. There's a growth rate for you! California also ranks first in the number of breweries with over 500. Personally, I haven't been to one since... last night.   lol