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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Another Fermented Beverage for Sonoma County

And this one is non-alcoholic! It appears Sonoma County won't be known just for wine, beer, cider (and probably cannabis).

Monday, May 29, 2017

Price of California Cabernet Grapes

The part of wine production that varies most is the cost of the grapes. This is also the single biggest expense in a bottle of wine. Some grape varieties are more expensive to purchase (like Cabernet) and some are relatively cheap. Looking at Cabernet Sauvignon the price of the fruit varies widely across the state.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Eating Cheaply in Sonoma County

When you visit you've got your travel expenses, accommodations, and all that wonderful wine you're taking home. You also have to eat. Sonoma County has many excellent restaurants and part of the trip is experiencing some of the fabulous food offered. Visitors from most parts of the country will find Sonoma County restaurant prices higher than they're used to. What can you do to cut this cost and still eat better than Denny's? (My gawd, don't come all the way here and eat Denny's).

Friday, May 19, 2017

What to Drink This Summer

As the warm weather approaches your taste in wine may change. It's natural to find yourself wanting something lighter and refreshing. Does this mean you're putting away the Cabernet until October? No, but probably drinking fewer big reds.

As the weather warms wine consumers generally look for wines that are more refreshing, crisp, and fruity. In white wines look for higher acidity, in reds look for higher acidity and lower tannins.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Future of Wine in America

The American wine market is humming along right now. There have been a few bumps in the road in the past. There have certainly been changes. What about the next 25 years? It's safe to say there a lot more unknowns then things you can make educated guesses on. Climate change, technology, politics, and finicky consumers are are going to alter what we now consider the norm.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sonoma County's Future

Extrapolating from the past is fairly easy. Figuring out the unknown changes is more difficult. I've been around Sonoma County for a few decades and have seen the changes. So looking at where we were is one way to predict the next couple decades. The other is to look at our neighbor, Napa Valley, as they may already be where Sonoma is going. Or, as Yogi once said, "The future ain't what it used to be." Can't argue with that.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sonoma County Summer 2017 Events

Following are major wine and non-wine events in Sonoma County for the months of June through Labor Day weekend. Lots of stuff happening and it's going to be a fun summer. Come say hi!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Restaurant Ploys

Like any business restaurant studies are done to figure out how to better separate you from your money. Some restaurant tricks from food&wine.

More on the second cheapest bottle of wine strategy.

Monday, May 8, 2017

U.S. Wine Consumption

It's been reported the U.S. now consumes more wine in total than any other country. We drink more wine than France! Big time, right?

We are lightweights, actually. If you look at per capita we are way down the list. From the International Organization of Vine and Wine in Paris the sad news is Portugal and France drink over four times as much as Americans. Heck, Holland, UK,and Australia drink more than twice as much as we do. Even with their high excise taxes Canada drinks more!

Time to pick up the pace kids!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tourism Dollars in Napa

Napa Valley isn't just about selling you wine you see at your local retailer. People visiting for the whole wine experience is big business. Per Visit Napa Valley, their tourism agency, last year 3.5 million visitors spent an estimated $1.92 billion dollars on wine, hotels, meals, etc.

Napa County has 136,000 residents so the tourist spending comes out to over $14,000 per person. That ain't hay. Thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue are generated by folks coming to the valley.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sustainable Tourism vs. Napafication

Sonoma County has a wealth of wineries, tourism, natural beauty, agriculture, and small towns. The tourism part is the double-edged sword. Napafication is a word used locally that means residents pushed out of their neighborhoods, usually by real estate prices. It can also mean for the residents left there they'll find no local services as the commercial establishments appeal to visitors instead. In Napa Valley, the towns of Yountville and St. Helena are prime examples. In Sonoma County, the towns of Healdsburg and Sonoma are going that way.

So that question is, how do you balance the benefit of money brought in by visitors with keeping it "local?" Ask any Hawaiian about that struggle. An article from the Press Democrat exploring the issue.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Relaxing in Sonoma County

A day of wine tasting or even brewpub crawling can get you relaxed, but there are other ways to let go of that job and/or family stress while in Sonoma County.