Norton Safeweb

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

California Rains & the Vineyards

You've likely heard that most of California is experiencing a very wet winter so far. Lots of rain filling the reservoirs, lots of snow in the mountains to top off those lakes later in the spring. All seems well. Maybe you've also seen pictures of flooded vineyards and wonder what affect that has on the vines and your wine for next year.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Wine Industry in 2017

It's a new year so here is a new look at the state of the wine biz. Silicon Valley Bank works with many wineries. They put out a yearly report with predictions for the coming year. The following info is based on that report.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Agriculture in Sonoma County

For being only a few dozen miles from the Golden Gate Sonoma County is heavily agricultural. It's been this way since the Gold Rush times when it help feed San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Romantic Trip to Sonoma County

Wine Country is a bit of an aphrodisiac to many -- I'm guessing it's the alcohol.  :)  People get engaged while visiting, get married in Wine Country, and a few babies are probably conceived here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

How to Drink Your Wine

You would think drinking a glass of wine would be easy, but noooo. Here are a few tidbits to help you get the most out of your wine.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Wine Advertising Blows

I don't think the people who market wine have changed any more over the past several decades than automobile marketers. Hey, times and people have changed. You should want people to see wine as an everyday beverage, not something to aspire to. Get rid of the hoity-toity advertisements and take a lesson from beer.

I want to barf when I see these ads:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

About Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc isn't a well-known wine. However, over the past 12 months it's been the fastest growing wine based on direct-to-consumer shipments from wineries (info from

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the big two from the Bordeaux region of France. Cab Franc is one of the lesser known grape varieties and is often blended with Cab Sauv and Merlot. What about Cabernet Franc on its own?