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  
October 2014 $570 million
6%
$7,775 million
6%
October 2013 $539 million $7,342 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $284 million
18%
$1,751 million
13%
October 2013 $240 million $1,556 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 139
6%
226
18%
October 2013 131 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 11.13.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • December 2-4
     
    Vinitech Sifel in Bordeaux
     
  • December 3
     
    Sustainable/Organic Wine Production Seminar
     
  • December 4
     
    North Coast Wine Industry Expo
     
  • December 6-7
     
    Wine Chemistry Workshop in Oregon
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Kluge Saga Continues in Virginia »
 
Not everybody likes Pat Kluge, but she and Moses built a first class winery /...
Reader: Josh Moser
 
Article: Canada Adapts to Kegged Wines »
 
I am a wine agent in Manitoba & there certainly are kegs of cider here....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: What's Your Winery's IP Worth? »
 
If you would like more information on this seminar please visit The Seminar Group's website....
Reader: Danielle Bingham
 
Article: DtC Is Lifeblood of Wineries, Banker Says »
 
Seems like another locical option would be to have more small niche distrbutors. Consolidation of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
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 »
2015 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
 Cellar Club Coordinato...
 Dundee, OR
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Customer Service & Rel...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Brand Manager
 Woodland Hills, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Senior Vineyard Manage...
 Rutherford, CA
Vineyards
 Brand Director, Austra...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative O...
 Sacramento, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Production Forklift Op...
 Yountville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Project Manager
 Santa Maria, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Salesperon
 Bay Head, NJ
Sales and Marketing
 Communications Special...
 St. Helena, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
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.