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Editor's Letter

by Jim Gordon
 

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

 
 

The cover story for December takes a new approach to reviewing the past year in the wine industry. It’s our first Best of the Year report. In it, our editorial staff and the Wines Vines Analytics team crunch numbers to measure the Best of 2014 in terms of the best-selling wines, fastest-growing regions, most-read stories and more.

 
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Vineyard View

by Cliff Ohmart
 

Sustainability Performance Metrics Revisited

 
 

A performance metric is a measure of the outcome of a practice or set of practices. I have dedicated this space to performance metrics three times in the past (the May 2009, September 2011 and December 2012 issues of Wines & Vines), more than any other topic. There are several reasons for this. First, it is becoming much more common for buyers down the agri-food supply chain to ask growers to provide metrics data. Second, some regulatory agencies are also beginning to request this kind of data. Third, I believe performance metrics have a role to play in finding efficiencies and cost savings in farming. And finally, despite the increase in visibility of performance metrics, a large portion of the grower community is still reluctant to embrace their use.

 
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Viewpoint

by Stephen Ferry
 

Regulations in the Works for Napa River, Sonoma Creek  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

Publication of draft General Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for vineyards in the Napa River and Sonoma Creek watersheds is tentatively scheduled for January-May 2015, according to Mike Napolitano, engineering geologist with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).

 
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Postmodern Winemaking

by Clark Smith
 

Four Ways to Make White Wine  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

Most but not all contemporary white wines focus on freshness and purity rather than embracing aromatic integration through refined structure, soulfulness and graceful longevity.

I love modern Mosel wines so much that I cannot keep them in my cellar. I buy them, I drink them. But I believe there is an aesthetic difference between the beauty of these wines and the profundity of great Cabernet. Would you rather have lunch with actress Angelina Jolie or philosopher Bertrand Russell?

 
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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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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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Faces & Forums

by Kate Lavin
 

Expecting the Unexpected  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 
San Francisco, Calif.—Representatives from 15 California counties surprised guests this fall by pouring varietals typically unsung in their AVAs.
 
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Morgan & Moore

by Jeff Morgan
 

After the Meltdown: If We Could Start Over  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
 

Let’s imagine the worst. It’s economic Armageddon, and no amount of government stimulus has managed to jumpstart the world (and wine) economy. Business as we know it has all but ground to a halt. All currencies are equally worthless, and barter has become the norm—not the exception. But let’s also assume that humanity has managed to avoid a cultural meltdown. Society still functions; it’s just that business as usual has little to do with what we know today.

 
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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  
November 2014 $708 million
5%
$7,844 million
6%
November 2013 $673 million $7,428 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 $274 million
21%
$1,799 million
16%
November 2013 $225 million $1,558 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 127
-5%
226
15%
November 2013 134 196
     
 
MORE » Released on 12.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

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READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Grape Industry Lukewarm on Immigration Act »
 
A band-aid it may be but instead of the negative tone of this article which...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Oregon Wine Institute Plans for the Future »
 
When Mark is involved, things are going to work out just great! We miss the...
Reader: Peter Bell
 
Article: Spanish Cooper Sells Chinese Oak »
 
I would love to find Us wineries using the Chinese oak barrels. Do you know...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Trader Joe's (Union Square) and Whole Foods (Upper West Side) both have wine shops attached...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Maybe the economy could use another boost by repealing the post-prohibitionary laws too. Make it...
Reader: csm noble
 
 


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