Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.21.2014  
 

California Wine Museum Hopes to Open in 2015

Facility would highlight state history, serve as Sonoma County wine center

 
by Paul Franson
 
 
“california
 
Thousands of historical artifacts assembled by antique dealer Jim McCormick will be the heart of the California Wine Museum being planned in downtown Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa, Calif.—Organizers of the proposed California Wine Museum plan to open next year in the basement (“cellar”) of a former telephone switching building in downtown Santa Rosa.

The heart of the museum will be 4,500 historical artifacts assembled by Jim McCormick, a long-time collector, antique dealer and specialist in wine and viticultural antiquities. It will feature interactive exhibits, wine tasting and pairing with food as well as classes and other events.

The mission of The California Wine Museum is to preserve and exhibit California’s wine heritage, educate visitors about state-of-the-art winemaking plus learn the nuances of wine appreciation.

While designed to cover wine history from all of California, the museum also will serve as a wine center for Sonoma County. Its organizers plan to collaborate with local academic institutions and wineries to orient, educate and entertain visitors.

New location
The museum will be on Third Street across from Courthouse Square and on the city’s Transit Mall just off Highway 101. A 700-space city parking garage is nearby, as are other museums including a new Sonoma County Museum, Charles Schultz (“Peanuts”) Museum and the Luther Burbank home and gardens.

The museum site is a few blocks from historic and popular Railroad Square, which is due to get Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) light rail in 2016.

Learning from experience
The founders of the proposed museum have modest goals, perhaps based on the experience of Copia: The American Institute for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, Calif. Copia famously spent more than $50 million including building a huge edifice in downtown Napa that opened in November 2001 and closed almost exactly seven years later.

“Copia was heavily leveraged and couldn’t pay down its debt,” said Lindsay Austin, board president of the proposed venture. “Ours is more modest and more focused.”

Austin was co-founder and chairman of Pavilion Integration Corp., a leader in biophotonics that has worked with the University of California, Davis, to develop research tools. He was formerly chairman of Sonoma County Museum and has run a business incubator and angel-investing group.

Austin, an entrepreneur and wine buff who runs a winemaking club, modestly forecasts 50,000 visitors per year—or about 1,000 per week—including tourists and locals drawn to classes, events and wine. Copia’s initial plans, by comparison, called for 300,000 visitors, but it hardly hit one third of that.

Looking for $4 million
California Wine Museum’s organizers have just started a capital campaign among its key audience, the wine industry. They hope to raise just shy of $4 million, with the first goal of raising $750,000 to buy wine artifacts. The museum will occupy 15,000 square feet inside the 100,000-square-foot office building donated by Hugh Futrell Corp., an in-kind donation of $1 million, reducing capital and operational costs.

Austin sees tasting room revenue, memberships, naming rights, merchandise and events covering the annual operational costs of $1 million.

The venue would have 5,000 square feet for exhibits and a 2,000-square-foot tasting room for sampling wines from a rotating list of 40-60 wines on tap and 10-20 by the bottle representing California’s American Viticultural Areas. The museum will place special focus on vineyard and winery sustainability, a sensitive subject in Sonoma County.

Exhibits will include interactive sensory experiences such as how different types of oak and toasting levels affect wine flavor.

The museum also will include a 60-seat theater for industry and other events, meeting rooms, a wine library and bookstore, and a commercial kitchen to prepare food for pairings of food and wine. An unrelated restaurant is expected to occupy the first floor of the office building above.

The board of directors includes people with close ties to the wine business and grapegrowing, but no big names from the wine business—yet. Austin admits that he hopes to attract active supporters who can join the museum board and provide some funding.

Well-known wine publicist and photographer George Rose is assisting in promotion and in seeking support in the wine business. Learn more at californiawinemuseum.org.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $562 million
5%
$7,549 million
6%
June 2013 $535 million $7,094 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $87 million
17%
$1,669 million
11%
June 2013 $74 million $1,510 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 300
34%
220
21%
June 2013 224 182
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wines & Vines
Packaging Conference
 
Learn More »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 21-22
     
    BC Enology & Viticulture Conference
     
  • July 24
     
    Fresno Food Expo
     
  • July 24-27
     
    Taste our Terroir
     
  • July 25-27
     
    International Pinot Noir Celebration
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Roundup is not benign. It does not always break down in a day or two...
Reader: Robert Rex
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Mitigating water use in the vineyard in the first place is also an applicable tactic....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Having managed vineyards that have used both approaches, I would say that a diverse approach...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Catering Assistant
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Prepared Food Associat...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Barista/Espresso Bar A...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Intern
 Santa Rosa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Tasting Room Superviso...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Ecommerce/Wine Club Ma...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Assistant Winemaker
 Cazadero, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Customer Service/Wine ...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Winery And Facilities ...
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Club Assistant
 Lompoc, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.