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A. Hardy USA, Ltd. announces the introduction of the next item in their brand new line of premium nut-based liqueurs, Fratello Hazelnut Liqueur. Manufactured to the highest standards in Ghemme, Italy, Fratello is created from toasted Piemonte hazelnuts that are infused with cocoa, vanilla berries and elderflowers. Pure acacia honey (from the surrounding vineyards) is blended in to help create the liqueur’s rich amber color. Fratello may be enjoyed as an after dinner drink or mixed in cocktails.
Amorim Cork America, the U.S. sales and distribution arm of the world’s largest wine stopper producer, announced the opening of its new North American sales and distribution center located in the heart of the Napa Valley on Feb. 1. 
The Lodi Winegrape Commission has announced that Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing received its accreditation by Protected Harvest last week, thus raising the bar on vineyard certification. The original standards, approved in 2005, were California’s first appellation-wide sustainable winegrowing standards, which have now become a global benchmark for vineyard certification. The revised guidelines culminate two years of work by Lodi wine growers to improve upon the original certification standards. The revision includes 22 new measures that address issues such as energy management, employee incentives and benefits, soil conservation, water quality and disease management, among many others. There are now 101 farming practice standards in six chapters: Business Management, Human Resources, Ecosystem Management, Soil Management, Water Management, and Pest Management. All standards have been peer-reviewed by scientists, members of the academic community and environmental organizations before accreditation by Protected Harvest. Vineyards must pass a third-party audit to verify vineyard practices prior to certification. “We are very proud of the rigor and quality these standards represent,” noted local grower and committee chairman, Stanton Lange. “They reflect Lodi’s generational commitment to responsible farming and give wine lovers the opportunity to support our efforts by enjoying a glass of Lodi Rules certified sustainable wine.” In 2005, Protected Harvest certified six farming families and 1,455 acres in the Lodi appellation. Over the past seven years, the program has grown to over 85 farming operations, and 20,000 acres of Lodi vineyards have been certified. There are an additional 6,000 acres certified from Sonoma to Soledad. Over 20 wineries now produce wines that bare the Lodi Rules seal on the label. “The Lodi Winegrape Commission continues to demonstrate leadership in sustainable winegrape growing by reevaluating farming standards for the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing,” stated Dr. William Horwath, president of the Protected Harvest Board. “The Board sent the standards out for scientific peer review, as well as reviewed them internally. They were very impressed with the rigor of the revisions by the Commission, the subsequent changes they made based on the reviews by the Board and scientists and their desire to keep the Lodi Rules up to date and relevant to the challenges that face this specific farming industry today. The Protected Harvest Board approved the standards revisions at their Jan. 16 meeting.” About Lodi Wine Country
Perfectly fitting, tamper-evident high quality tin capsules are now part of the growing closure product line for the wine industry offered by ACI Cork USA. Relvas Tin closures come in a large range of vibrant colors and can be embossed or flat printed for additional shelf impact. A premier product sourced from Portugal, Relvas Tin capsules are used for ultra-premium and luxury wines in Europe and are now available at competitive pricing to wineries in North America.
iTK today introduces Vintel, a state-of-the-art, web-based decision support system for optimum vineyard management and superior quality wine. Vintel is the first web-based tool for real-time and predictive management of agronomic decisions, using environmental and climatic data, says iTK owner and manager, Eric Jallas of Montpellier, France. "Vintel applies agronomic modeling and artificial intelligence to drive the vintner’s decision-making process," Jallas says. The predictive tool allows for the kind of management analysis vineyard managers need to deliver precisely what the vines need, when and where they need it.
Available immediately, Just Bottle Shots now offers wineries the ability to create digital images of their bottles using computer modeling technology.
Quality Wine Barrels Cooperage now offers barrels ready-to-use with fresh oak Innerstave brand oak inserts (the originator of oak insert products in the wine industry) already installed in a pre-inspected, sanitized barrel. Rather than having to hassle with finding the right type of used barrels suitable to have inserts installed or using your own used barrels and then having to schedule for the cooper to open the barrel, perform the inspection and innerstave installaton or transport the barrels to a facility to have this done, then, etc.
The new Yale MO25 center-rider lift truck features adjustable electronic power steering, automatic speed reduction in cornering and a suspended platform with an operator sensing floor mat, according to a statement released by Yale. The MO25 control handle reduces the arm movement needed to change directions, helping to reduce fatigue, increase productivity and allowing the operator to remain inside the truck for protection. The truck’s electro-mechanical disc brakes are top mounted to make maintenance or inspection easier. Details:
BinWise, Inc., which produces a cloud-based software for restaurant beverage programs, announced the launch of a product placement dashboard. Wineries will have real time visibility of their products on restaurant lists through a cloud-based platform. "We believe this new technology will allow wineries to more closely manage brand awareness, streamline the three-tier system and provide an open line of communication with key restaurant accounts," said BinWise President and CEO Doug Hickey in a statement. BinWise collects public data through its restaurant product RealWineLists, and filters it into a marketing tool for wineries. Details:
Montpellier, France based iTK introduced its Vintel web-based decision support system for vineyard management. Vintel is the first web-based tool for real-time and predictive management of agronomic decisions, using environmental and climatic data, says iTK owner and manager, Eric Jallas. "Vintel applies agronomic modeling and artificial intelligence to drive the vintner’s decision-making process," Jallas said in a statement. Vintel provides the user with daily monitoring reports from vineyard sensors as well as plot information, best practices, yield predictions, irrigation management, fertilization information, risk prevention solutions and quality control strategies. Details:
Cooperage Kadar Hungary released a near pear-shaped barrel especially designed for white wine fermentation. The barrel’s design is similar to that of concrete and wood “egg” tanks that help facilitate the natural movement of juice and lees during fermentation. The company claims the curved shape also leads to lower fermentation temperatures. Details:
The McPropeller flow meters by McCrometer feature an improved bearing assembly that provides better protection against sand, grit and debris. According to a statement by the company, the propeller flow meters are available in several packages including a digital option that can be connected to McCrometer’s RemoteCONNECT telemetry system. Details:
Oenobrands upgraded its application for the iPhone and Android devices to offer more features based on requests from users. The Oenotools 2.0 app now helps winemakers determine of the addition of liquid carbon dioxide or dry ice to cool harvested grapes, increases in sugar or alcohol concentration, acidification or deacidification adjustments and sulfur dioxide additions with a new concentration for 6% solutions. Details:
WiVi Central Coast 2013, is a new two-day symposium and tradeshow held March 19-20 at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, Calif. Presented by Wine Business Monthly and Precision Ag Consulting, the event features experts discussing issues and regulations facing the Central Coast and more than 100 wine industry suppliers at the tradeshow. Seminar topics will cover vineyard and winery operations. Attendees will receive a $25 discount on registration through Feb. 15. and members of Central Coast wine and winegrape industry trade associations receive a $50 discount through Feb. 25. Registration and more details are available at
Building on the international success of the free, award-winning application OENOTOOLS, Oenobrands has developed a new 2.0 version that integrates suggestions from users.
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