Faces & Forumsby Wines & Vines staff
Tourism groups, food purveyors and representatives from a wild animal preserve joined Mendocino County wineries June 2 at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio of San Francisco. The annual Taste of Mendocino seeks to connect North Coast wineries with trade buyers and members of the media.READ MORE
December 2010San Francisco, Calif.—Representatives from 15 California counties surprised guests this fall by pouring varietals typically unsung in their AVAs.READ MORE
March 2010Sacramento, Calif. -- Nat DiBuduo of the Allied Grape Growers spoke at the State of the Industry session at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in late January.READ MORE
February 2010Alameda, Calif. -- Artist Shauna Rosenblum grew up learning about winemaking from her father, Kent Rosenblum, whose home winemaking hobby eventually grew to include world-class Zinfandel created in a cellar on Alameda Island, between San Francisco and Oakland.READ MORE
San Luis Obispo, Calif. -- Does green farming net greenbacks for farmers? In preparing its annual Sustainable Ag Expo held Nov. 16-17, the Central Coast Vineyard Team saved that key question for the last session, Sustainability Initiatives in the Marketplace.READ MORE
Yountville, Calif. -- The Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Nov. 5 held a daylong Napa Valley Wine Grape Expo, which drew grapegrowers and winemakers for five seminars, vendor exhibits and a trade show.READ MORE
Palisade, Colo. -- The 2009 Colorado Mountain Winefest kicked off Sept. 17, marking the first annual event since Sarah Catlin took over as executive director.READ MORE
October 2009San Francisco, Calif. -- Harvest had started for some, while others said that picking wouldn't yet happen for weeks -- if not months. But Family Winemakers of California nonetheless summoned its member wineries to pour their wares for a thirsty public Aug. 23-24, as Tasting 2009 got under way.READ MORE
September 2009Napa, Calif. -- Enologists and viticulturists from across North America seemed to revel in the new format and venue -- sans the traditional trade show -- for their most serious scientific gathering of the year as they met June 23-26 to discuss everything from rootstock to lab equipment. The 60th annual meeting of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture was the first ever to convene in Napa, and it attracted an estimated 800 registrants.READ MORE
August 2009Napa, Calif. -- Members and guests of California's pre-eminent wine lobbying organization reviewed the progress of their industry since the repeal of Prohibition during a 75th anniversary party June 8 at Silverado Resort. Industry consultants Jon Fredrikson and Evan Goldstein recounted "Milestones of California Wine" in an entertaining multimedia presentation that highlighted marketing trends and American culinary developments over the decades.READ MORE
July 2009Jim Mack (left) and Michael Brown poured wines from Jemrose Vineyards of Santa Rosa. Mitch Bakich (right image), manager of Donati Family Vineyard, often blogs on the winery's website.Paso Robles, Calif.--The 17th annual Hospice du Rhône, held at the Paso Robles Event Center, took inspiration from the movie "Grease," with the 2009 theme: You're the Rhône that I Want.READ MORE
June 2009Sixty-five Mendocino vintners came to San Francisco armed with wine and stories to share April 7, when the Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission (MWWC) held its first Taste of Mendocino event at the Presidio's Golden Gate Club. According to the MWWC, the afternoon tasting was the largest sampling of Mendocino-grown wines ever held in San Francisco.READ MORE
San Francisco, Calif. -- More than 125 wineries gathered at Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion to pour Rhône favorites Syrah, Grenache and Viognier, as an eager public also sampled blends and lesser-known varietals such as Mourvèdre, Roussanne and Marsanne.Cheryl Quist (left), executive director of Rhone Rangers, surveys the scene at the grand tasting. Larry Schaffer (right), who spoke about Rhône blends on a panel, holds a bottle from Epiphany Cellars.READ MOREApril 2009Walla Walla Community College students Quentin Mylet (left) and Michael Penn received scholarships. Philippe Michel (left) shares a laugh with Allen Shoup during the trade show reception.
PHOTO: Peter MithamMore than 1,300 growers and vintners set an attendance record at the annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers during the first week of February in Kennewick, Wash.READ MOREMarch 2009Jon Fredrikson (left) discusses California's proposed 'nickel-a-drink' tax. (right) Greg Gessner (left) and Chris Phelps chat outside a session at Unified.
LEFT PHOTO: Ken FreezeSacramento, Calif. -- About 11,900 wine industry professionals attended the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in late January, topping last year's attendance figure by 400. Highlights of the annual event, hosted by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, included three general sessions--one focusing on sustainability, another about the state of the industry, and the last covering change in changing times.READ MOREFebruary 2009Joann and Matt Reidy's wine label (left), Connor Brennan Cellars, is named after their sons.John Tarabini (right) is president of the San Francisco Wine Association and Damian Rae Winery.
PHOTO: Bridget WilliamsSan Francisco, Calif. -- Making wine for their Damian Rae label at Crushpad the last four years, John and Sharol Tarabini befriended dozens of fellow boutique winery owners. The family-owned wineries there produced between 50 and 500 cases annually, and the principals possessed a love for sharing the wine they'd made. But they were lacking a key ingredient to success: visibility. And that gave the Tarabinis an idea.READ MOREJanuary 2009Julian Malone of Scheid Vineyards takes an electric ATV from Barefoot Motors, one of dozens of exhibitors, out for a spin around the lawn of the Monterey Fairgrounds.Monterey, Calif. -- About 350 viticulturists and other specialty farmers soaked up information on eco-friendly business practices during the Sustainable Ag Expo held at the Monterey Fairgrounds. The Central Coast Vineyard Team organized the Nov. 13-14 event.READ MOREDecember 2008Davis, Calif. -- A group of lawmakers, faculty and donors gathered Oct. 10 at the newly constructed Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Science (RMI), to celebrate the grand opening of the site.Clare Hasler, Robert Grey, Margrit Mondavi, Neal Van Alfen and Larry Vanderhoef (from left) wield giant scissors for the grand opening of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.READ MORENovember 2008San Francisco, Calif. -- Of the 408 wineries pouring at the recent Family Winemakers of California event, the trade organization identified more than 70 as being new to the annual tasting at Fort Mason Center's Festival Pavilion. The event, now in its 18th year, opened to consumers Aug. 24, and the following day members of the trade enjoyed an open house atmosphere.READ MOREOctober 2008Toby James Shumrick collects donations for U.S. troops as he serves beef and shrimp.
PHOTOS: Dan HardestyPaso Robles, Calif. -- Celebrating record attendance during the 10th anniversary of the Paso Robles Rotary Winemakers' Cook-off, the Rotarians beat the record set last year by raising $30,000 for college and vocational scholarships benefiting Paso Robles High School seniors. More than 1,000 guests showed up at the River Oaks Hot Springs Spa to taste gourmet dishes prepared by popular Paso Robles winemakers, sip the competitors' wines and vote for their favorite dishes.READ MORESeptember 2008Corporate marketing director Jennifer Lemming, vice president of channel development Andrea Johnston, and director of channel development Pascal Davis represent Inertia Beverage at WITS.
PHOTOS: Smoke Wallin/Wine Industry Technology SymposiumNapa, Calif. -- More than 300 attendees from wineries, technology suppliers and other organizations attended the fifth Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) in Napa, where participants heard about trends in logistics that could affect their companies.READ MOREAugust 2008Robert Steinhauer, pictured with his wife, Verna, was named the 2008 Merit Award winner by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture. Steinhauer's peers gave him a standing ovation.
PHOTOS: Ken Freeze/Brown Miller CommunicationsPortland, Ore. -- The Oregon Convention Center was abuzz the third week of June with researchers, vineyard managers, winemakers and suppliers as they gathered for the 59th annual meeting of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV).READ MOREJuly 2008Nantucket, Mass. -- The 12th annual Nantucket Wine Festival, held May 14-18, was as successful with participating vintners as with its estimated 3,000 attendees. The event drew some 160 wineries from the United States and Europe.READ MOREJune 2008San Francisco, Calif. -- Electronic devices powered up and wine flowed April 24 in San Francisco, where winemaking facility Crushpad hosted Wine 2.0, an event designed to foster partnerships among members of the technology and wine industries.Vie Winery's Barry Dorf, Rachel Blatt and Todd Seaver, from left, say the winery's name reflects the values of celebration, life and friendship--the winery was founded by a group of friends.
PHOTOS: Kate LavinREAD MOREMay 2008From left, Ken Wilson (seated), Dennis Atkinson, Jim Collin, Rodney Schatz, Jeff Frey, Dennis Wittchow and Gordon Lent (seated), discuss the merits of a bottle of port March 4 in Sacramento.
PHOTOS: Ken FreezeSacramento, Calif. -- California winegrape growers helped raise thousands of dollars to fund scholarships for vineyard employees' children March 4, when a fundraising dinner offered growers the opportunity to mingle with state lawmakers in Sacramento.READ MOREApril 2008
Kennewick, Wash. -- Sustainable practices can play a role in distinguishing the Washington wine industry, speakers at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers' (WAWGG) annual meeting in Kennewick, Wash., Feb. 6-8 told growers. Speakers emphasized the business and marketing advantages of sustainable practices in the vineyard and winery.
Andrea Anderson, Washington Wine Grape Industry Foundation with WAWGG's Vicky Scharlau.
Gary Grove, WSU Prosser and Wayne Wilcox, of Cornell's Geneva, N.Y. research station.READ MOREMarch 2008
John Fredrickson of the Gomberg Fredrickson Report noted that California wine shipments were up by 2% last year, but grew more slowly than imports.
PHOTOS: Ken Freeze/Brown Miller CommunicationsSacramento, Calif. -- The turnout was so big for the Wednesday morning session of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium that one speaker suggested that next year's event be moved to a stadium. He was exaggerating, but organizers of the expanded four-day event said this year's attendance was up by 1,100 over last year's, and set a new record of 11,500.READ MOREFebruary 2008
Attendees sipped wine and mingled during poster sessions.San Diego, Calif. -- The California Department of Food and Agriculture brought together top researchers, concerned grapegrowers and other industry stakeholders to share insights and progress reports on the continuing battle against Pierce's disease (PD). Held in San Diego on Dec. 12-14, this seventh annual symposium drew attendance of more than 150 from around the world, to hear speakers on diverse approaches to the problem; chat with researchers who had posted their findings, and, perhaps most helpfully, engage in roundtable conversations with their peers.
PD's notorious vector, the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS)--and potential methods of eradicating or neutralizing it--was the target for most of the symposium's first full day. Xylella fastidiosa, the bacteria that causes PD in grapevines and variegated chlorosis in citrus, was the focus of the second morning, with presentations on genetic controls and disease identification in the afternoon. The symposium is held each year to foster communication, so that all can benefit from each other's progress.
California Secretary of Agriculture A.G. Kawamura welcomed attendees.
Raul Villanueva researched leafhoppers in North Carolina.
Dr. Roger Innes, University of Indiana, chaired the research review.
Jesse de León (left) discussed GWSS predators.
PHOTOS: Ken FreezeREAD MOREJanuary 2008
Attendees, from left, Fritz Helzer, Mesa Vineyard Management (MVM); Jim Seay; Bryan Wallingford, MVM; Greg Hibbits, MVM; Stasi Seay, Diageo Chateau & Estates; Darryl Salm, Valley Farm Management.
PHOTOS: Dave CoronelPaso Robles, Calif. -- As more growers and wineries adopt sustainable practices, how can they get that message out to consumers? Do consumers even care if a wine is sustainably produced? Sustainability in the marketplace was a key topic at the Central Coast Vineyard Team's third annual Sustainable Ag Expo, held Nov. 1 and 2 at the Paso Robles Event Center.
The expo was heavy on topics of interest to the wine industry, such as cold hardiness, and weed control in the vineyard. But the program extended beyond wine and viticulture.
Kate Peringer, marketing communication manager for the Hartman Group, a Bellevue, Wash.-based market research firm, discussed the company's study on consumer perceptions of sustainability.
Kate Peringer, the Hartman Group, spoke about consumer perceptions of sustainabilty.
Robert Wample, CSU, Fresno, led a session on grapevine responses to low temperatures.READ MOREDecember 2007
Napa, Calif. -- Why were the Napa Valley Grapegrowers presenting an all-day symposium and trade show on Oct. 30 at Copia that included the topics of "How to Succeed in the Luxury Wine Market" and "Managing Red Wine Fermentation for Premium Production"? Those are winemaking and marketing matters, not farming topics.
Vic Motto of Global Wine Partners advised how to succeed in the luxury wine market.
PHOTOS: Kent Hanson
Attendees Warren Winiarski of Stag's Leap, with microphone, and Larry Hyde of Hyde Vineyard.READ MORENovember 2007
New ideas in bottling and packaging were a big part of the Bordeaux show.Vinitech, the biennial wine technology bash in Bordeaux, saw attendance drop from its last show, but the number of exhibitors went up. The organizers reported 38,362 visitors roaming among 850 exhibits Nov. 28-30, 2006.READ MORENovember 2007
Carol Collison, Bank of the West, and Jim Verhey, Silverado WineGrowers.
Ravenswood founder Joel Peterson and Avi Gallant of Huneeus Vintners.Napa, Calif. -- Bill Turrentine, president of Turrentine Brokerage in Novato, Calif., told attendees at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium on Sept. 18, "We can expect some pretty exciting times in the wine business, and for once it's going to be in an overall positive direction."
Broker Bill Turrentine saw increasing demand and a "positive direction."
David Biggar of Vintage Point, a new luxury wine services company.
Chris Indelicato related how his family stayed competitive for 80 years.Very little planted but non-bearing acreage of Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Syrah, combined with increasing demand, mean that "Merlot could go into shortage very quickly, and Chardonnay, too," Turrentine said. Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah may also move into shortage soon.READ MOREOctober 2007
The crew from Twisted Oak Winery, Murphys, Calif., demonstrated that the winery's Rhône-style wines pair well with chicken.San Francisco, Calif.--The 17th annual Family Winemakers tasting was held Aug. 19 and 20 at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center. Nearly 400 wineries participated in the two-day event, which featured a Sunday afternoon tasting for consumers and a trade-only tasting on Monday.READ MORESeptember 2007
WITS co-chairs J. Smoke Wallin, left, and Lesley Berglund welcomed Richard Maranville of FedEx Kinko's as keynote speaker.
Cutting Edge Retailers panel, from left, Bryan Dougherty, Gary Vaynerchuk, Cornelius Geary, Alyssa Rapp and moderator Greg Christoff.
Napa, Calif.--Dynamic speakers seemed to breathe new vitality into the Wine Industry Technology Symposium on July 17, which drew more than 300 attendees.READ MOREAugust 2007
The American Society for Enology and Viticulture's (ASEV) 58th Annual Meeting, held in Reno, Nev., June 19-22, kicked off with a Merit Award presentation to G. Stanley Howell of Michigan State University, who spoke about his work in developing a research program near the climatic limits of commercial vine culture.
Speaker Ahmad Athamneh of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, left, gets feedback on his electronic nose research from Leon Santoro of Orfila Vineyards, Escondido, Calif.
Andrew Walker, left, of UC Davis, with Jean-Michel Boursiquot of France's ENTAV-ITV, both of whom spoke during the Clonal Aspects of Winegrowing symposium.
Patricia Howe, outgoing president of ASEV, congratulates honorary research lecturer Riccardo Velasco of Istituto Agrario San Michele all'Adige, Italy.
James Wolpert, left, of the UC Cooperative Extension, with G. Stanley Howell, Michigan State University, the ASEV's Merit Award honoree.
Speakers on Grape and Wine Composition included: top, Kirsten Skogerson and Ron Runnebaum; bottom from left: Tederson Luiz Galvan; Nicole Umiker; and Amalia Berna.
Roger Boulton of UC Davis, left, who led a seminar on distilled spirits, poses with incoming ASEV president Craig Rous.READ MOREJuly 2007
Attorney Brandon Blevans, Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, addressed immigration reform and stepped up requirements for worker status. "Currently, we play a little game," he said. New regulations may be implemented at any time, he said, wishing his audience, "Good Luck."
Robert Fanucci, grapegrower and partner at Gagen, McCoy, moderated "A Conversation with California Grape Growers & Buyers," that included grape buyers Bill Wilden, Constellation Wines U.S. and Mike Insley, Beam Wine Estates; Nat DiBuduo, Allied Grape Growers, Jeff Frey, Frey Farming; and Tom Murphy, Murphy Companies.
Attorney Wyman Smith, Gaw Van Male, spoke on "Grape Contract Strategies," outlining considerations for both sides of the bargaining table. In deciding among pricing mechanisms, he stressed that growers "must have a mechanism to allow pricing to move with the market."
Mike Insley, VP vineyard operations and grower relations for Beam Wine Estates, commented that he was "staggered to see how much imported wine was out there" when he arrived in the United States from New Zealand.
Steve Fredricks of Turrentine Brokerage said, "The trend of excess is hard for people to get away from," suggesting that the industry has been "making battle plans for the future based on looking in the rearview mirror."
Accountant Mike Ricioli, Moss Adams, LLP, explained the differences between "Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures and Tax Reporting," and when each is appropriate, with his colleague Sandy O'Shea.
Jeff Frey, owner of Frey Farming, sounded the call for socially resposible, sustainable practices.
If we don't do something…we will be back here next year to talk about a shortage," David Freed warned growers and financial folk at the 2007 Vineyard Economics Seminar in Napa on May 15. Freed, chairman of UCC Vineyards Group, reviewed results of the 2007 Vineyard Economics Survey conducted by winebusiness.com. Grapegrowers, wineries and allied parties around the United States responded to the survey, addressing wine sales trends, factors that drive and constrain them, consumer attitudes toward wine, changing wine preferences, grape price trends and supplies.READ MOREJune 2007
The third annual Executive Wine Summit, organized by MKF Research, gave industry executives a look into the future of the U.S. wine industry during a two-day conference, held May 3 and 4 at the Villagio Inn & Spa, in Yountville, Calif. The program tackled hot topics such as consumer trends, direct sales, media outreach and innovative sales and marketing techniques.
Augustin Huneus, Sr. proprietor of Quintessa, was an interested attendee.
Photos: John Bonick
Barbara Insel, managing director of summit host MKF Reasearch, moderated a panel on building direct sales.
Use a good database system and keep your data clean, Jackson Family Estates VP Brian Baker recommended.READ MOREMay 2007
Jonathan Pey, of Pey-Marin Vineyards, Marin County, introduced his Spicerack brand Syrah at Rhone Rangers.
Scott Ratcliff of Volcano Vineyards was the tasting's only Oregon vintner. His production is a mere 500 cases.
Steve Beckmen is winemaker for Beckmen Vineyards, Los Olivos, on California's Central Coast.READ MOREApril 2007
READ MOREMarch 2007
Karen Ross (at lectern) of CAWG welcomed the audience before a program on human resources with (from left) Yesenia Plascencia, Ron Barsamian, Donna Bowman, Fred Philpott, and Andrew Waterhouse.Indications of how positive an economic outlook the wine industry currently faces were not hard to find at the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, Calif., Jan. 23-25. And sometimes the good news came from unexpected angles.READ MOREJanuary 2007
Three substantive seminars for grapegrowers and their crews highlighted the Napa Valley Viticultural Fair Nov. 14, providing education on leafroll virus, the cost to growers of extended hang time and, en Español, an overview of grapevine pests and diseases. The fair also boasted colorful demonstrations of assistance dogs sniffing out vine mealybugs and new technologies for weed control.
Pete Richmond, a director of the NVG, with Jennifer Kopp, the organization's executive director.
Photos: John Putnam & Jim Gordon
Vineyard manager and boutique winery owner Ron Wicker (left) gets a glassful from NVG director Dale Brown during the post-fair wine hour.READ MOREDecember 2006
Congressman Sam Farr and A.G. Kawamura, Secretary, CDFA, spoke with CCVT executive director Kris O' Connor and Jason Resnick, Western Growers' Association.
Kevin Spafford (standing) of Legacy by Design spoke on financial planning for business succession.
Photos: Dave CoronelWith the barrage of news reports about climate change, chemical hazards and agricultural labor shortages, sustainable agriculture is more important than ever for vintners and growers. The second annual Sustainable Ag Expo, presented Nov. 2 and 3 by the Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT) at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, put the topic front and center. Wines & Vines was a sponsor. Visit winesandvines.com for an expanded report.READ MORENovember 2006
The Wine Industry Financial Symposium focused on growth and profit strategies in its general session.
Photos: Kent Hanson"Restrained optimism" characterized the mood of wine and finance professionals at the 15th Annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium Sept. 27 and 28 at the Meritage Resort in Napa, Calif. "It seems like we're in a fairly good place now," said David Freed, chairman of the UCC Group and a symposium founder. The industry's financial health tends to fluctuate in eight-year boom-and-bust cycles, he told the registrants, who totaled 332 over two days. He reflected that one of the biggest changes is the increasing professionalism of the relationship between the industry and the financial institutions that serve it.READ MOREOctober 2006More than 150 trade and media members attended a California Wine Month kick-off tasting hosted by Wine Institute (WI) on Aug. 23, featuring wineries from 16 California wine regions. Held at the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, the tasting was a departure from WI's traditional activities, which focus on political lobbying for the California wine industry. Though the trade group regularly hosts promotional wine tasting events overseas, it does not typically do so in the United States.READ MOREAugust 2006
(Top) Mike Adams, Glazer's Family of Companies; John Collins, Foster's America; Enzo Micali, 1-800-flowers.com
(Middle Left) Meghan Gaven, Missing Link Communications - eSkye Software; Robert Signore, 1SYNC
(Middle Right) Joanne Mitchell, Southern Wines & Spirits, & Anita Carr
(Bottom Left) Smoke Wallin, eSkye Software; Ann Dozier, Coca Cola
(Bottom Center) Suzanne Rich, POS Resources; Bob Little & Jeff Carroll, Six88
(Bottom Right) Lesley Berglund, WITS co-chair; John Collins, Foster's Wine Estates
More than 250 people attended the second-annual Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS), held July 18 in Napa, Calif. The symposium explored the use of information technology and services for the wine industry, from the vineyard to the winery to retail shelves.READ MORECURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES