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Editor's Letter

by Jim Gordon
 

Conference and Harvest Nearing

 
 

Just two days before writing this column I saw my first glimpse of véraison for 2014. Berries on Pinot Noir vines along Henry Road in the Carneros district of Northern California were in that ephemeral moment when most berries remained green, a few had just turned gris, and one or two per bunch had progressed all the way to noir. For me, the first appearance of véraison always seems to come as a surprise.

This year it’s not my imagination, however. As Kate Lavin reports in Top Stories, the growing season in California vineyards got an early start, and the pace has continued ahead of average. Several observers, however, told her that they don’t think harvest will be as relatively early as bud break was.

 
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Vineyard View

by Cliff Ohmart
 

A Book Worth Waiting For  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

Many members of the California wine grape community have been waiting several years for the third edition of Grape Pest Management to be published by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division. The wait is over, and it was worth it. Once again UC’s Communication Services has produced an outstanding pest-management manual, this time to replace the second edition published in 1992. Larry Bettiga, the technical editor, deserves to be congratulated for working with 76 editors and authors to produce the excellent 609-page book.

 
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Inquiring Winemaker

by Tim Patterson
 

In Search of Grapevines and Terroir  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

WARNING: This column, normally about winemaking topics, is entirely devoted to grapegrowing. Worse, it makes fun of several long-cherished beliefs about grapes and their contribution to wine. But at least I do quote Glenn McGourty, another writer for this magazine and someone who actually does know a lot about grapes, to help with the demolition.

 
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Grounded Grapegrowing

by Glenn McGourty
 

Vineyard Irrigation With a Limited Supply of Water  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

California and the other Pacific Coast states are facing an unprecedented drought. In California, calendar year 2013 was the driest year on record. Many large reservoirs and ponds are very low, and numerous water providers are curtailing water deliveries to their customers. The period from Nov. 13, 2013, to Jan. 31, 2014, were the driest winter months on record since weather records have been kept in California. Even though some storms have occurred since then, continued dryness and limited frost protection and irrigation water are likely to be issues for the 2014 growing season.

 
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Postmodern Winemaking

by Clark Smith
 

UC Davis Shows Off New Developments  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 
This year’s Recent Advances in Viticulture and Enology meeting addressed a wide spectrum of issues fundamental to the postmodern view.
 
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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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Raising the Bar

by Lesley Berglund
 

Leveraging Your Brand From the Inside Out  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 
The term "brand" is defined by the American Marketing Association (AMA) as "a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers." It sounds straightforward enough, so what's all the fuss about?
 
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Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 $557 million
5%
$7,577 million
6%
July 2013 $533 million $7,128 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 $61 million
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$1,674 million
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Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 312
10%
222
19%
July 2013 283 187
     
 
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