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Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Tasting Room Coming to Healdsburg

Okay, that's not really news as there are dozens of winery tasting rooms in Healdsburg already. Except this one isn't wine, it's hard cider. Sonoma Cider is opening a tap room per the SFGate.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

California's Minimum Wage Affect on the Wine Industry

Over the next six years California's minimum wage will gradually increase from the current $10 to $15/hour. There are a few folks in the grape-growing business who believe this will pretty much be the end of the world as we know it. Others believe a living wage is a good thing.

Politics aside, how will this affect the state's wine industry? There are two key areas where wages are often at or near minimum wage: In the vineyard and in the tasting room.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fetzer Vineyards -- Ahead of the Curve

You probably haven't thought a lot about Fetzer wines. You've seen them on the store shelf. You've probably drank some. They aren't necessarily the darlings of those who rate or review wines. But there's a lot going on behind the scenes.

Fetzer has a goal to be "net positive" by 2030. This means the winery will create more energy, water, and other resources than they consume. Think about that, a company, or even a household, that would create more than it consumes.

Fetzer has been ahead of everyone else for a long time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Recent Winery Acquisitions

It's only Tuesday and there have been a couple local wineries in the news this week. It's about big ones swallowing up smaller ones. But that's not all these two sales have in common.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spending Millions on Trendy Wine Labels

Wineries are bought and sold like other businesses. When you hear of a winery changing hands you picture a building where they make the wine, maybe a tasting room, and possibly some vineyard land. But what if millions of dollars are only buying the privilege of using a label on a bottle? What if there's no land, building, contracts for grapes, or anything physical? Can you imagine buying a smaller car company, say Jaguar, and not getting the factories or sales network, but only the right to use the name?

Friday, April 15, 2016

How to pick a wine

You're cruising a wine shop looking for a bottle for tonight. How the hell do you choose from the hundreds available?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Women in Wine

I was just watching a recent episode of Samantha Bee's new cable show, Full Frontal, where she was sarcastically celebrating the fact that five percent of small business loans now go to women-owned businesses when only fifty percent of the population is female.

Then I saw this online article titled "The Women Who Rule Napa." For someone who knows Napa wine they've probably heard of Heidi Barrett and Helen Turley. The article also talks about a couple other women heading up wineries.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Are You Drinking Your White Wines at the Wrong Temperature?

Your refrigerator temperature is in the mid- to upper-30s degrees Fahrenheit. Typically people put their white wines in the fridge for awhile before drinking. Most don't like their white wine at room temp, usually thought of as 68 degrees or more. As it turns out, serving it too cold is just as bad as serving it too warm.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Taste Washington

Billed as the nation's largest wine tasting for a single region of the country, Taste Washington brings in a couple hundred wineries from across the state to Seattle. The city is a long way from most of the state's vineyards, but this is where the consumers are found.

So what does a California boy think of these furrin' wines?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Things You Might Not Know About Sonoma County (and SF)

You are from out of the area, you plan on visiting, and you're smart enough to check the internet for things to pack and what to expect from your visit. That doesn't cover it all. There are a few secrets.

And as a bonus, since you'll no doubt be spending time in San Francisco too, the Sonoma County items are followed up by Things You Didn't Know About San Francisco.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Who Controls the U.S. Wine Market?

There are three companies that are responsible for almost half of the wine sold in the U.S. Gallo you might have guessed. The others are Constellation Brands and the generic sounding Wine Group.