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Friday, November 16, 2018

When Marketing of Wine and Cannabis Collide

Sorry, I'm a little too buzzed to be speaking
to you all right now
  Francis Ford Coppola, owner of the Coppola Winery here in Sonoma County, recently got into the marijuana business. Now that it's lawful to grow and sell in California there are lots of entrepreneurs trying to figure out how to make money legally.

  As any self-respecting vintner-type would he has teamed up with a grower to do a "limited edition" of special strains calling it the Grower Series. And he'll charge a lot for it since his name is on the packaging. Sorry, no nickel bags. One report called it the luxury marijuana business.

  For better or worse it got me to thinking now that California is in the cannabis biz maybe they should copy some of the verbiage from the wine biz just like ol' Francis did.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sonoma County for Distilled Beverages

You know there's wine. You may know there's craft beer. There's cider. And, yup, there are distilled spirits, too. You can taste at several small distilleries.

Article from Sonoma Magazine

Monday, November 12, 2018

2018, a Great Vintage for Sonoma County?

It doesn't take perfect weather to make great wine, but it sure helps. Jordan Winery thinks this recent year's will be one of the best and their winemaker tells you why. BTW Jordan has a great wine blog and is worth bookmarking and reading.

An incredible vintage


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Who Are Wine Tourists

Wine tourism is big business. Here in Sonoma and Napa counties we count on it to keep our economies healthy. There are, of course, studies and surveys of the visitors and why they come. I think you can break them down like this.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Why People Don't Drink Wine

Americans preference of alcohol breaks down to something like a bit over 40% prefer beer, 20% spirits and about a third prefer wine (no, it doesn't add up to 100% -- numbers are approximate). For those 60+% that prefer something other than wine why do they pick a different beverage? The main reasons aren't taste or cost as I might have guessed. It's something that producers and marketing folks should pay attention to.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Best of Sonoma County 2018

The Santa Rosa newspaper does annual "best of" awards as voted on by locals. It spans many categories. Here are a few that may be of interest to the visitor. All are in Santa Rosa unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How Constellation Brands Sees the Future

Constellation Brands is one of the largest owners of alcohol brands in the world. Of the over two dozen wine labels there is Robert Mondavi, Simi, The Prisoner, and Woodbridge. The several beer brands include Ballast Point, Modelo, and Corona. In spirits there's Black Velvet whisky and Casa Noble tequila among others. They recently made a large investment in a Canadian cannabis company. They were only about wine at one time. That sure has changed.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Napa Grape Prices

Napa Valley's grape prices hit a record high in 2017. Yeah, this seems to happen most years. The total value was $750 million, up about 3% even though the tonnage was down about 7%.  Of Napa's total agricultural value wine grapes are 99.2%. Note this is for 2017; the 2018 numbers won't be in for a few months.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot account for 70% of the plantings and 80% of the value. Surprisingly, the grape earning the highest average price per ton was Cabernet Franc showing its rising popularity.

BTW, there was only a tiny percentage of vineyards lost to the October 2017 fires and 90% of the crop was already picked.

What's this mean to you? Higher prices for Napa wines.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Wine and Food--Not Such a Big Deal in the U.S.

Americans don't pay much attention to putting main dishes with side dishes and then with the beverage. That's why we have Coke and Jello salads and the like. In some countries wine and food just naturally go together. In certain places the food was designed to go with the local wines available or maybe it was the other way around.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

When it Comes to Eating and Drinking ...

It's the good life. We are fortunate to be consumers during this age when micro, rather than global, is the in thing.  Sure, the global stuff is still readily available and still commands much of the market (think McDonald's and Budweiser), but small producer and local food and drink are what's happening.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Wine Country Lifestyle

People visit the wine country maybe more for the lifestyle than just the wine tasting.  So if you've never visited know that it's not just a way to get drunk (you can go to Vegas for that).

Friday, October 19, 2018

Petaluma Gap

Sonoma County's newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) is called Petaluma Gap. Actually, it's Sonoma's and Marin's newest AVA as it is one of the few that cross county lines. It expends from the Bodega Bay area along the coast and through a low-lying area inland area including the town of Petaluma and almost to the town of Sonoma.