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Friday, October 6, 2017

Zinfandel Confuses a Lot of People

Many folks aren't really sure what Zinfandel is supposed to be. It's certainly had its share of mystery, changes, and ups and downs in the marketplace.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Wine, From Grape to Glass, by the Numbers

When folks see a vineyard or even a single vine they often wonder, "How many grapes does it take ...?"

Using some averages here are ways to understand the process of the grapes in the field to your glass of wine. Hopefully, you are currently holding a glass of Sonoma County wine to help with that visualization.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sonoma County by the Numbers

Sonoma County is a major premium wine-producing area in California. The growth started in the 1970s and hasn't slowed down.

There are 425 wineries in the county or about 17% of the state's total. There are about 60,000 acres of vineyards with 10% growth in the last ten years. Almost 10% of the state's wine grapes are grown in Sonoma County ranking second in the state behind San Joaquin County in the Central Valley.

Monday, September 25, 2017

California Wine by the Numbers

The Golden State is #1 in wine produced and in the number of wineries in the U.S. It's been that way and isn't really news. What is news is the growth.

Just over ten years ago, in 2006, there were 2,447 wineries in California. In 2016 there were 4,653. Even during the Great Recession of 2008-09 the number increased, just at a slower rate. About 475 of those wineries are in Napa and about 425 in Sonoma. Next on the list, Washington, has experienced a high growth rate, but is still a distant second at 1,019 wineries.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Crazy Weather and Wine

Worldwide this was a wacky season for wine grapes with crops affected in many places.

A world view from Bloomberg

A local view from Jordan Winery's blog

Monday, September 18, 2017

Yes, Expensive Wine Does Taste Better

Actually it appears to taste better or so our brain tells us. A study showed that the price label on the bottle changed the perception of the quality of the wine. Though this scientific study dove into why this happens it's something wine marketing folks have known for awhile. Not just wine, but car manufacturers, clothing retailers, etc.

The study

Friday, September 15, 2017

You Can Tell It's Harvest Season in Sonoma County

image from
The wine grape harvest changes many things with the Sonoma County landscape. Peg Melnik from
the local paper tells you all about it in great detail:

Press Democrat article

But if you only want the short summary:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

It's a Hell of a Grape Harvest

Remembering back to that record rainfall last winter and the delayed spring it seemed we were looking at a fairly normal harvest. Then there was the record hot summer. The kicker was the near all-time record heat for several days around Labor Day.

What you get are raisined grapes as the moisture is pulled out to protect the plant. Just add water? A couple issues there: 1) Some vineyards are dry farmed so that's not a choice, 2) Watering close to harvest can dilute the concentrated flavors you're looking for in premium wines.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A New Wine Tasting Room

And it's run by students! Bet you didn't expect that. And it's situated a few minutes from Lake Michigan. Bet you didn't expect that either.

A local college has a wine and viticulture program. Students make and sell their wines. It's a chance to mingle directly with the consumer, something that not enough winemakers do. 

Article from Wines & Vines

Friday, September 8, 2017

California's Hottest Summer on Record

June, July, and August 2017 are going down as the warmest summer on record for California. With records going back to the 1890s the state has mostly been running warmer than average since 2000. This summer is more than three degrees above the statewide average--and the hottest ever.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Reviewing the Popular Inexpensive Wines

Dave McIntyre, a writer for the Washington Post, takes a sometimes humorous look at the cheap wine world and reviews the biggest sellers. Some appear to be good deals, others like pure hangover juice.

America's Favorite Cheap Wines

Monday, September 4, 2017

Autumn 2017 Events in Sonoma County

It's grape picking season and there's lots to see. You can even smell the harvest! There's usually great weather, but you can always count on great wine and great food.

There are many events going on between September and November. Enjoy the bounty of Sonoma County.