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Editor's Letter

by Jim Gordon
 

A Clean Slate in the Vineyard

 
 

IN THE GRAPEGROWING YEAR, March is the month with a clean slate. At least on the West Coast the vines have been pruned, and bud break is about to begin. Growers have counted up the successes and mistakes of the 2014 vintage, made notes about how to improve in 2015, and now it’s time to proceed.

 
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Grounded Grapegrowing

by Glenn McGourty
 

Creating Effective Weed Control

 
 
Vineyard row middles are often covered with living vegetation at least part of the year, usually during the winter. Growers may plant row middles with cover crops or allow weeds and other self-seeding plants to grow, generating living material (biomass). In the past I have written about cover crops and the numerous benefits this plant material brings for vineyard soil health, chemical and physical properties. Growing live vegetation in row middles can make huge differences for soil water storage, soil fertility and vine performance. In this part of the vineyard floor, it is fairly easy to control unwanted vegetation (weeds) by mowing, tilling and occasionally spraying herbicides (not needed in most cases.)

 
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Vineyard View

by Cliff Ohmart
 

Lodi Rules Program Turns 10  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

One of the most common questions I am asked by growers trying to decide whether to participate in a sustainable farming program is, “What’s in it for me?” How does a 1,000% return on investment sound? That was the 2013 ROI for participants in the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing Certification program, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

 
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Viewpoint

by Dennis Cakebread
 

Vintners Declare DtC Victory  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

Editor’s Note: The Coalition for Free Trade (CFT), established by vintners in 1995 as a nonprofit organization seeking judicial relief from laws prohibiting direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipments, announced Nov. 24 that it had ended all activities after achieving significant victories for wineries and wine lovers alike.

Think back to the 1980s and 1990s. Selling wine directly to people who wanted it seemed so simple. Commerce between producers and consumers was like any other product; they ordered, and we shipped. No one noticed, and seemingly no one cared.

 
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Marketing Matters

by Dixie Lee Huey
 

Managing Direct Consumer Sales  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

There have been some particularly hot challenge topics in the industry during the past few years—distributor consolidation, price pressure, brand proliferation and, of course, the economy. These trends and the down part of the economic cycle are real, and in an acute way they necessitate a focus on marketing-driven sales strategies. Wishful thinking, status quo and avoidance do not sell wine. Thankfully, proactive measures do, especially when implemented on a consistent basis, measured and improved for maximum efficacy.

 
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Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 $643 million
7%
$7,954 million
5%
February 2014 $601 million $7,560 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 $132 million
4%
$1,823 million
14%
February 2014 $126 million $1,598 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 275
26%
238
16%
February 2014 219 206
     
 
MORE » Released on 03.13.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
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