Zinfandel News and Sonoma DTC


                                                
     Dry Creek Valley has more than 9000 acres of vineyards owned by 150 different winegrowers. It is most known for Zinfandel. There are 32 different Dry Creek Valley vineyards at least 69 years old listed in the Old Vine Registry, including 18 that are more than 100 years old and five that were planted in the 1800s. The oldest are two Teldeschi Ranch vineyards planted in 1885.

                    Sonoma County Leads DTC Shipment Volume

 Wineries in Sonoma County account for the largest volume of DTC shipments, sending 1,998,630 cases worth $814 million through the channel in the 12 months ended May. Value was down 2% from a year ago, while volume was down 11%. The average shipment value was $33.95 a bottle, below the national average of $49.45 a bottle. 

     By price, shipments from Sonoma skew more affordable, and the lower the value, the greater the volume shipped. Wines priced less than $20 account for the largest volume, accounting for $42% of shipments. In terms of value, shipments cluster in the $40-$49.99 and $60-$79.99 tiers, with these two price bands accounting for 32% of shipments.  DTC shipments were dominated by Pinot Noir, which held 19% of the channel by volume and 28% by value; Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay followed as the second and third most valuable

 
 
 
 
 Wine For Your Health

    A study conducted by Iowa State University found that moderate red wine consumption could reduce visceral fat, a type of fat linked to increased risk of heart disease. The anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol contribute to this reduction, thereby lowering the overall risk of cardiovascular diseases.
    Additionally, red wine has been shown to help regulate cholesterol levels. Research presented at the European Society of Cardiology indicated that both red and white wines could lead to significant improvements in cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation alongside regular physical activity​.
    Flavonoids, which are abundant in red wine, play a crucial role in reducing blood pressure. According to a study at Queen’s University Belfast, consuming three glasses of red wine per week can significantly lower blood pressure.
A study focusing on older adults found that those who consumed white wine in moderation had higher bone mineral density compared to those who drank other types of alcohol, including red wine and beer​.   

 

 

 

Boz Turns 80

   Boz and his wife Dominique grow Rhone varietal grapes on their Napa vineyard that they planted in 1988.  They planted Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Cournoise varieties.  They outsource their grapes and have made various Rose's and red blends.  Pictured above is Boz working the harvest.  

Drones Aid in Fire Prevention


    Today, there is a heightened emphasis on risk mitigation and loss prevention as winery owners adapt to the new realities of their environment.
    This shift toward a safety-oriented culture is not limited to wineries; it resonates within the insurance industry as well. The profound financial repercussions of wildfires have compelled both the winery and insurance sectors to actively engage in advancing wildfire prevention.
    The Sonoma County Winegrowers association has organized workshops and educational sessions on fire prevention and response. Initiatives such as the Sonoma County Wildfire Resilience Program enhance preparedness through winery and fire department collaborations. Wineries work together to ensure properties are fire safe — participating in efforts to clear vegetation and create firebreaks — thus fostering a resilient, fire-aware community. safety and developing impactful preventive measures. 
    The aerial imagery captured by drones provides a unique perspective on the spatial distribution of vegetation, buildings and other structures, helping to pinpoint where fire breaks or additional protections might be necessary. Overflying large properties drones are also able to identify infrastructure, outbuildings and other often overlooked values.

 

Time to Buy Bordeaux
    A year ago, the value of Bordeaux sought by buyers was roughly equal to the value of Bordeaux looking for a home. Today, there is more than three times as much Bordeaux for sale than the fine wine market is looking to absorb. All indicators, therefore, suggest that we are in a particularly slow period for Bordeaux.
    Notable estates like Château Léoville Las Cases and Château Lafite Rothschild have released their wines at prices 32-40% lower than the previous year, responding to market demands for affordability. Despite the reductions, sales have been tepid, with fewer buyers and smaller orders than in previous years. Asian demand has notably declined, contributing to a cautious atmosphere among traders.

 

 

 

2024 Sonoma County Barrel Auction Raises Community Funds 

     Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is pleased to announce that over $400,000 was raised at the 10th Anniversary Sonoma County Barrel Auction (SoCoBA), presented by American AgCredit and hosted by MacMurray Estate Vineyards on Friday, May 3, 2024. The proceeds assist in creating marketing programs and initiatives that support the Sonoma County wine trade and community.
 

         
                                        First Aluminum Wine Bottle 
                                        Are Glass Bottles on the Way Out ?
                                       
    Element[AL] Wines was announced today from Bogle Family Wine Collection as the first-of-its-kind wine brand with 750ml aluminum wine bottles that are shockingly lightweight, infinitely recyclable, and are made in the shape of a traditional wine bottle. The new environmentally friendly format will shatter expectations about how and when wine can be enjoyed and answer the call-to-action from the wine industry to rethink glass bottles, the largest contributor to wine’s carbon footprint. Starting January 2024, the Element[AL] portfolio will be available in 100% recyclable aluminum bottles with four varietals, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Rosé and Pinot Noir. Each wine varietal is grown in sustainable vineyards throughout California’s premier growing regions.
            

     Bordeaux's Stroke of Genius
     The World's Most Wanted Bordeaux on Wine-Searcher:
                                                             
  Score Ave Price
Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac 96 $729
Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac 96 $942
Petrus, Pomerol 96 $4254
Château Margaux, Margaux 96 $768
Château Latour, Pauillac 96 $794
Château Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan 96 $646
Château d'Yquem, Sauternes 96 $474
Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac 95 $139
Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac 94 $171
Château Cheval Blanc, Saint-Émilion 96 $763
     

    
    Bordeaux's stroke of genius was the 1855 classification, by which wines were categorized according to their perceived quality, a standard that has remained untouched ever since, apart from a brief ripple when Château Mouton Rothschild was elevated to First Growth status 50 years ago. When you are constantly referring to your wines as first, or second or fifth growths, the world presumes you know what you're talking about and tends to go along with you.
 
    

 

 

 

 

                                 An Ancient Wine Shop in Rome? Why Not?
                                                      Fourth Century
                                  
                                     Ancient Wine - Copy 5
    Two researchers recently announced the discovery of an ancient wine store in Greece.
Why do archaeologists Gallimore and Wells think the structure was a wine store? For one, archaeologists recovered 13 complete or near-complete amphorae here, including one with a spigot and two with sawn-off tops. “All features which point to pouring out, not filling up,” said Wells. “Additionally, we found three funnels for decanting.”
    Digs also uncovered 60 coins. “A common find when excavating ancient shops,” said Wells. Most bear the face of fourth-century Roman emperor Constantius II.

 

 

 

 

 

Napa Valley is Still Number One

                          
                          

         Napa Valley continues to be the king when it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon. The following list of the worlds most wanted Cabernet's points that out. Most of the those listed are from Napa.  The contibruting factors are the intense heat during the day and then the cooling breezes from San Pablo Bay blowing up to Calistoga at night.  All of this in a small macro-climate valley.  Along with some very intellegent viticulturits, enologists, and ampelographers.  
                             
                           The World's Most Wanted Cabernets on Wine-Searcher:

 

Cabernet Name

Score

Ave Price

 

Screaming Eagle

97

$4105

 

Caymus Vineyards

91

$94

 

Scarecrow

95

$1034

 

Caymus Vineyards Special Selection

93

$237

 

Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select

95

$368

 

Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve

93

$155

 

Promontory

96

$965

 

Penfolds Bin 407

91

$78

 

Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain

94

$207

 

Spottswoode Family Estate Grown

96

$262

   

 

 Italian Proseccos by the Numbers
Whether its Italian or Spanish, we are drinking more of these inexpensive bubbly’s than ever before.  And, in the Italian category these are the top selling on the planet today.
The world's most wanted Prosecco on Wine-Searcher are :

  Prosecco Name Score Ave Price
  Bottega 'Gold' Prosecco Brut 87 $27
  La Marca Prosecco 86 $18
  Le Vigne di Alice 'Doro Nature' Brut 88 $24
  Bisol Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG 90 $41
  Mionetto Prosecco di Treviso Brut 87 $15
  Freixenet Prosecco 87 $17
  Ruggeri Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Cartizze Brut DOCG 90 $22
  Zonin Cuvee 1821 Prosecco Spumante Brut 87 $14
  La Gioiosa et Amorosa Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG 89 $17
  Le Colture Prosecco di Treviso Millesimato Rose Brut 88 $15

 
                                                                  

 

 

 

 Little Known Wineries Where You Can Stay the Night

Azari Vineyards, Petaluma Gap, Sonoma County
Enjoy the grounds and beautiful hills then settle in to a four-bedroom guesthouse or a comfortable one-bedroom cottage. 

Blue Rock Winery, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
The architecture of the buildings is simple as it clings to the hill.

Salvestrin Winery, St. Helena, Napa County
Right on the edge of St. Helena and known for pouring crisp sauvignon blancs and bright reds, this boutique Napa Valley winery invites guests to stay in its 1879 farmhouse-turned-inn, which has lovely Victorian details inside and out. 

Benovia Winery, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County
The classic barn design makes the estate feel authentic and deliberate.

Chateau de Vie, Calistoga, Napa County
Part winery, part bed-and-breakfast and full-time French countryside-style getaway, five separate private rooms and suites are available.

Ektimo Vineyards, Sebastopol
Very cool 4 bedroom lodge next to the the feeding farm of goats.

Michel-Schlumberger, Healdsburg, Sonoma County
With two separate vineyards planted on distinctly distinct kinds of soils, Sonoma County’s Michel-Schlumberger developed luxury guest suites at this mission-style estate.

Terra Sávia, Hopland, Mendocino County
Rosé all day (and all night) in this Sanel Valley retreat on the North Coast. The vineyard’s two-bed, two-bath home includes a private pool, spa, and reading enclave.

Skipstone Winery, Geyserville, Mendocino County
Surrounded by the Mayacamas, this stone covered castle-like structure is just a few miles from the Healdsburg Plaza. An imposing, five-bedroom home is newly open to the general public. 

Dutton Estate Winery, Sebastopol, Sonoma County
The four-bedroom Winery House at Dutton Estate feels like someone’s real home but the vineyard wraps around entirely, creating a classic Wine Country retreat

Testa Ranch, Calpella, Mendocino County
This Mendocino County ranch and winery has been in the Testa family for more than 100 years and is now owned and operated by the fourth and fifth generations. weekend in the three-bedroom, craftsman-style farmhouse built by the ranch’s first settlers.                            


 

George and Amal Clooney New Wine

                                                                  Will George Clooney's Midas Touch with Drinks Work for Wine?   

    Husband-and-wife Provence estate and vineyard owners George and Amal Clooney are expected to release their first wines this spring, a white and a rosé produced at their Domaine du Canadel in Brignoles in the south of France. The wines will carry the Coteaux Varois en Provence AOC.
    The Clooneys bought the 420-acre estate in 2021. In addition to a large manor, it came with olive orchards and 10 acres of vines planted two decades ago by winemaker and agronomist Laurence Berlemont.
    Berlemont, who has considerable experience working with Hollywood stars turned winegrowers, remains the Clooneys' farmer-winemaker. Berlemont also worked with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at Miraval until 2015, as well as with George Lucas at Château Margüi.                       

            

 

 

 

Grapes anna moeller

                              Historical Wine Tidd-Bits
    The oldest planted Sonoma Pinot Noir vineyard in California was started by James D. Zellerbach and his wife Hana. Named Hanzell, this original Pinot parcel of six acres was planted in 1953. This author visited with the wine maker Bob Sessions in 1978 and purchased their 1976 Pinot Noir which sold for $13 per bottle in our wine shop named Hennessy’s in San Francisco. Bob Sessions told this author that the grape cuttings came from Clos du Vougeot in Burgundy. Clos du Vougeot was originally a wine farm, built in the 12th century by monks from the nearby Abbey of Cîteaux. 
    Also interesting was the fact that Hanzell was the first winery to use stainless steel jacketed fermentation tanks. With glycol cooling through the insulated walls of the fermentation tank, the temperature could be controlled at a constant degree. This ensured a more uniform body and -as the French say ‘persistence’ in the wine.    Leslie Hennessy

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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                           Zinfandel May Just Be the Answer


If ever a grape suffered from "always the bridesmaid" syndrome it's surely Zinfandel – but perhaps that is set to change.

 

Zin has never been particularly fashionable; certainly not in the way that Cabernet, Pinot Noir or even Merlot have been, but a younger generation of consumers – even a famously abstinent one – might just be Zinfandel's saving grace. Indeed, Zinfandel could also end up being wine's saving grace.

As the wine industry faces up to dealing with the enormous reality that we are past "peak wine", producers are scrabbling around to find something – anything – that will wean the next generation of drinkers off alcoholic sodas and non-alcoholic kombucha and into wine. Zinfandel might just be an option, despite its relative unpopularity with wine's gatekeepers.

Younger wine drinkers don't really have much patience for the circular logic of received wine wisdom – wine educators telling their students that Bordeaux and Burgundy are inherently superior wines (because that is what they were taught), and the next generation churning out the same old dreary catechism to yet another generation – they'd much rather find out what they like themselves, without the sermonizing.

And Zinfandel is ideal for that. It's relatively cheap, accessible, available and utterly without pretension, making it a perfect place for a new generation to cut their wine-drinking teeth. Edited from Wine Searcher

 

 Large 2023 Crush

     California's large grape crop of 2023 is great news for wine lovers.  The total of 3.67 million tons crushed is 8 percent more than in 2022, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture's annual grape crush report. Moreover, California is poised to make more of the wines people love, and less of the supermarket wines that fewer people are buying.

     There will be more white wine. More Napa Cabernet. More Sonoma Chardonnay. More Central Coast and Mendocino County wine. And while inflation isn't going to be suddenly reversed, the law of supply and demand should keep prices from rising.

     The Ciatti Company said many tons of fruit, even from good regions, never made it to the crushpad.

    "We continue to believe that the potential crop out there was bigger than 4 million tons," Proctor said.  "There was still unpicked crop in Sonoma County. Not just there."

 



 






                       Larry Brooks
                                                            Larry Brooks



                           Great New Wine Book

      My good friend and past wine maker at Acacia and numerous other wineries including his own Campion has written a fabulous book - Liquid Geography, by Larry Brooks.  Here are just a few of his book excerpts: 
    "What does give women their real advantage as tasters over men is their greater native ability to focus on emotional and intuitive thinking…"
     "Over 400 aroma compounds have been identified in wine."
    “Wine is the intellectual part of a meal” Alexandre Dumas.
    “The flavor of wine is like delicate poetry” Louis Pasteur.
     The book is currently free at Liquid Geography by Larry Brooks.  And it's a great read!


                                    https://larrybrooks.substack.com

 

 

 

 

 

Pruning Respect Large Photo

 

            Rose Taint In Your Wine

    Have you ever had a red wine that smelled unpleasantly like "grandma's perfume?" If so, you may have experienced "rose taint" – and climate change may make this more common in years to come.
    What happens is that grapevines awaken early – this is becoming more common because of global warming – and immediately begin producing new leaves. But then, because it's still February or March, a frost comes in and kills the leaves. The leaves dry up and crinkle, becoming tiny and almost impossible to remove. It is these frost-dried leaves that put the rose taint in your wine.
    Here's something European purists won't like. Vineyards in heatwaves really need to be irrigated, said Elizabeth Forrestel, assistant professor in UC Davis' Viticulture and Enology.  Forrestel said that if vines are not irrigated during a heatwave, the resulting wine will simply not taste as good.
    Forrestel said that the best way for vineyard owners to prepare for climate change is to plan to have a shorter growing season, with an earlier harvest, because extreme climate events tend to happen in autumn.  And, irrigate in heatwaves

 

 

 

     Grape art Oct

                 Cabernet Franc - The New Hot Varietal                    

    Since the grape Cabernet Franc was imported from Bordeaux with it's fellow blending grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,  and Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot (and very occasionally, Carménère) - its singular quality as a food wine has exploded. 

    Interestingly, the grape is practical in the vineyard, requiring less growing season than its family member and Napa Valley darling, Cabernet Sauvignon. This makes Cabernet Franc more reliable in cooler vintages and ensures its availability for early harvests when weather conditions and fire smoke pose threats.

    It offers a spectrum of flavors, from lush, dark fruits with significant aging potential to crunchy red, brambly fruits with green pepper notes.

 

 

The Most Wanted Wines in 2023

 Prices worldwide on Wine-Searcher (US$, ex-tax, per 750-ml bottle):

    So was it always thus? Was the wine world only ever interested in Bordeaux First Growths, with the odd seasoning of Champagne and Burgundy thrown in? Well, the answer is: pretty much, yes.

    Looking at the list of the all-time most searched-for wines on Wine-Searcher, we find that eight of the same wines are in the top 10. The only changes are the presence of the Saint-Émilion star Château Cheval Blanc, and Napa standard-bearer Opus One, in ninth and 10th positions, respectively.

                         

Check out the mustard season in the vineyards.

 

 

Wine Books To Check Out



                                Grapes anna moeller     

                                  Biodynamic Wine Demystified

    “Wine is made in the vineyard” is the mantra of many a winemaker. But what does it mean, really? Esteemed winemaker and biodynamic pioneer Nicholas Joly believes a wine that is well-made in the vineyard. It must express its unique terroir—the character imbued by a vine’s particular plot of well-tended earth. We agree.
                                         $ 29.95 ISBN 9781934259023

 


                                   How And Why to Build a Wine Cellar

    This popular classic, which is based on the author's personal experiences of building a wine cellar in his home and collecting wines for fun and investment, is now completely updated for the modern wine collector.  Richard Gold 
                                         $ 29.95 ISBN 9781891267000

 

 

 

 

Why Winter Is a Great Time to Visit Sonoma Wine Country

                                                                      Mustard in March


    Some like it hot, but Wine Country can be truly magical in the milder months. The region’s temperate climate means that it never gets too cold, even in the dead of winter, making outdoor excursions and activities pleasant during much of the season.
    There are more opportunities to join in friendly chats with winemakers who, on slower days, might also be more inclined to pour you vintages not always available to the public.
Winter is also a time to experience pruning season in Sonoma Wine Country, when winemakers and vineyard workers shape the dormant vines for the coming harvest season and wineries invite guests for special tours anmight also be more inclined to pour you vintages not always available to the public.
    Wine Country is replete with more affordable dining options during Restaurant Week, which runs from Feb. 19 to Feb. 25 in 2024.d tastings.
 
    Last year, nearly 100 restaurants offered prix fixe menus that included two and three courses for a fixed price, ranging from $10 to $15 to $25 for lunch, $25 to $35 to $55 for dinner and a “sweet perk” for $5.

                             Wine Train New 3 
                         

 

 

 

                               Napa Valley Wine Train Near Zero Emission                        
                                                                             

The Napa Valley Wine Train has placed the first of two Tier 4 compliant switcher units into service as the tourist railroad’s new regular motive power. According to Nathan Davis of the Wine Train the new Rolls Royce engines are near "zero emission". 

    Napa Valley Railroad NZE15B No. 1864 arrived on Oct. 30, 2023. The 1,560-hp unit was rebuilt by Knoxville Locomotive Works from a National Railway Equipment Co. 3GS21B genset unit built in 2008. The gold, maroon, and green locomotive was immediately readied for a test run and operated the length of the railroad with an empty 10-car passenger train. After performing flawlessly on the test, the locomotive pulled its first revenue train on Friday, Nov. 3.

    No. 1864 and another Tier 4 locomotive are slated to replace two of the Wine Train’s signature ex-Canadian National, ex-VIA Rail Canada FPA4 locomotives; an ex-Southern Pacific RS11; a GP9R; an ex-U.S. Navy GE 65-ton switcher, and an ex-U.S. Air Force GE 80-ton switcher, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) website

     A number of small modifications can be spotted on No. 1864 that it received during its career as CSX 3GS21B No. 1304. Changes so that the unit could operate in electrified territory include moving the front air horn from the cab roof to between the number boards above the cab windshield; installing shorter air conditioning units on the cab roof; moving the battery box doors further into the unit’s body, and other minor adjustments.

 

                          Blog #84
                    The Core Value of Recycling Glass


    Recycling glass bottles is core to a circular packaging economy since recycled bottles are crushed and cleaned to produce cullet, which goes back into the glass furnace to make new bottles. Using this recycled cullet reduces the natural resources and energy needed to produce glass. In fact, increasing cullet to 55% reduces the use of sand, limestone and soda ash in half. Since cullet melts at a lower temperature, every additional 10% of cullet used reduces a furnace’s energy use by 2.5% and CO2 emissions by 5%.
                        

 

 

       Blog #83
                                                                             
                                     Vineyard Cheval Blanc

                       A White Bordeaux Hits The World's Most Expensive Bordeaux List


     Who says red wine has to be the most expensive wines in the world? At last a white Bordeaux - Chateau Haut Brion Blanc hits the top 10! 
    Assemblage 51,4% sémillon, 48,6% sauvignon Degré d’alcool 14,2° (provisoire) Barriques neuves 40,4%.
    Translation: 51.4 % Semillon, 48.6 % Sauvignon Blanc, 14.2% Alcohol, 40.4 % New barrels.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog # 82

Harvest Report October, Four Weeks Late
    The 2023 California winegrape harvest has gotten off to a late start, with vintners just beginning to pick in most regions. Due to cooler temperatures this spring and summer, which have allowed grapes to mature slowly and gradually, timing is anywhere from a week or two behind normal to nearly a month late. While it is still early in the harvest, California vintners are looking forward to a high-quality 2023 vintage.
    As of the end of September, picking of early-ripening grape varieties sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir in Lake and Mendocino counties was about 85% done. And, the harvest of red varieties there is over one-third completed,
    Meanwhile, less than 10% of sauvignon blanc and chardonnay in Sonoma and Napa counties have been picked, only about 5% of pinot noir and around 2% of cabernet sauvignon and other red grapes.

 

 

Blog # 81

A Cesna 172 plane in a Chardonnay vineyard in Sonoma

 

Here's something you don't see every day: a Cessna 172 airplane hoisted out of a Sonoma vineyard. On Aug. 19, after his engine failed, pilot William Tomkovic of Healdsburg made an emergency landing in Russian River Valley's El Diablo Vineyard, one of California's best Chardonnay vineyards and a source for top wines from Kosta BrowneArista and Ram’s Gate. El Diablo is located just 2 miles away from Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.

While you might not think of vineyards as runways, this isn't the first time planes have landed among grapes. In 2005, a Cessna crash landed in a vineyard row belonging to Jaeger Vineyards, taking out 12 vines.

 

 

 

Blog #79

 

Sonoma Vintners Auction 2023

 

 2023 Sonoma County Wine Auction
                                    Raises Over $1.3 Million for Sonoma County Nonprofits
                                    More Than 430 Charitable Organizations Funded to Date
    SANTA ROSA, CA (September 20, 2023) – Sonoma County Vintners Foundation (SCVF) is pleased to announce that its annual Sonoma County Wine Auction (SCWA) has raised over $1.3 million. These proceeds will fund next year’s SCVF Community Grants for nonprofit organizations in the areas of education & literacy, health & human services, the environment, and arts & culture as well as the Emergency Relief Fund. The 2023 SCWA was held at the breathtaking La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard on September 16, 2023. Since the auction’s inception more than $41 million has been raised, directly benefiting Sonoma County community members in need.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog # 78

          Summer art burger 

The Top Most Popular Restaurant Brands Today 
     
    If you were wondering what wines are most popular
                  in restaurants today, here is the list
     1 Cakebread.  
        2 Jordan
        3 Duckhorn
        4 Silver Oak
        5 Frank Family
        6 La Crema
        7 Stags Leap Wine Cellars
        8 Decoy
        9 Franciscian

 

 

 

Blog #77

 

 

Switching to Electric
    Switching to electric trucks can offer a multitude of benefits for our businesses, our customers, and the planet. The vehicles that drive the beverage industry are about to get a major revamp.  A new breed of transportation entrepreneurs are testing fully electric and even self-driving trucks to tackle some of the beverage industry’s most pressing problems, including driver shortages, high maintenance costs, volatile fuel pricing, and safety concerns.
    The sheer size of the beverage alcohol industry, along with the unique challenges of beverage distribution, makes it especially attractive to this new wave of trucking entrepreneurs. And it helps that the current limitations of electric-truck battery technology fits the nature of beverage distribution quite well.
    Examples such as Thor Trucks joins the likes of TeslaNikolaWorkhorse, the Chinese company BYD, and others in developing this next generation of electric and self-driving trucks. Even trucking industry veterans like PeterbiltDaimler, and Cummins are announcing their own electric models. 
    But if self-driving trucks eventually become a reality, A-B will be remembered for an historic milestone. In 2016 the company made the first beer shipment with such a vehicle. It used an Otto self-driving truck to deliver thousands of cans of Budweiser from an Anheuser-Busch facility in Loveland, Colorado, to the company’s wholly owned distributorship in Colorado Springs—a distance of 100 miles.  If the beer business can do it, the wine business surely will. 


Blog # 76
                                            Kissing 2

    Fun Shipping Facts, Kissing In Iowa

A lawsuit against the state of Iowa by a tiny Oregon winery – Pheasant Court Winery, which produces only 300 cases per year – exposed a weird facet of Iowa wine law that surely some court will strike down.

Wineries currently can only ship wine to Iowa restaurants and retail stores if the applicant (presumably the owner) is "of good moral character". And, the law further states, only residents of Iowa can possibly be of good moral character.

Kissing is legal in Iowa! As long as:

1) The man doesn't have a mustache. In that case he must only kiss in private, where no morally upright Iowans can see that mess. No kidding, that's Iowa law.

2) The kiss doesn't last longer than five minutes (illegal statewide). Otherwise, you can just forget about shipping Chardonnay to Des Moines.

    Blog # 75       

  

   Just in case you were wondering what the numbers are for our fine wine business in Northern California, here you go:

Napa County
Vineyards: 46,000 acres
Crop value: $891 million
Physical wineries: 475
Wine-related employees: 44,000
Annual economic impact: $34 billion
Sonoma County
Vineyards: 59,000 acres
Crop value: $546 million
Physical wineries: 425
Wine-related employees: 54,000
Annual economic impact: $13 billion
Sources: County crop reports, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Vintners Asc

 

 

Blog # 74

                             Launch Vintners Diary                     
                 This is a must see video at Vintnersdiary.com!!!!

              This Vintners Video Diary Will Revolutionize Wine News

                                       

Blog # 73

 

Stags Leap, Stags' Leap or Stag's Leap?

 

                        Stags Leap WC Fay 1999 Cab
               
    The Stags Leap name comes from the legend that a great stag, being pursued by
hunters, made a seemingly impossible leap between the two rocky peaks that sit high above the valley. This name has been a source of some controversy – specifically the absent possessive apostrophe.
    Two producers founded in the 1970s – Stags' Leap Winery (now as well known for
 its Petite Sirah as for its Cabernet Sauvignon) and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 
(founded by Warren Winiarski) – came to legal blows in the mid-1980s over the name.  The former was accused of benefitting from the publicity gained by the latter
in the infamous Judgement of Paris tasting.
    The subsequent ruling was that each would keep the Stags Leap name, but with
a distinct apostrophe placement. In the late 1980s, the two producers banded together  to fight for the creation of the official Stags Leap District i