Month: May 2020

This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: May 23—29

Holy frijoles there’s a lot that went on this past week. So much so that I had to break this little newsletter into sections. We start with a little COVID round up of what’s going on here in wine country. Yes, businesses are attempting to reopen, but it’s not as glamorous as all that. There’s confusion about county regulations in Napa, and Sonoma’s health advisor is putting the breaks on California’s “Phase 3.” And she’s not wrong to do so: The Sonoma Index Tribune reports that 134 new cases were uncovered in Sonoma County the week between May 19 and May 26 – rising from 390 cases to 524. The outbreak was traced back to workplace outbreaks, one of which was a winery.

In Food news, Eater asks who are restaurants really opening for? As eateries attempt to service guests on decks, patios, and other outdoor areas, there aren’t a whole lot of folks interested in dining out at the moment. Understandable.

The L.A. Times reports about Vernon meatpacking plant where at least 153 have come down with COVID-19. The facility has been shutdown for now. But if you’re thinking, “Well, I’m better off with seafood anyway,” the S.F. Chronicle discusses how last weekend’s fire at Fisherman’s Wharf is effecting the seafood industry.

A few other anecdotes from around the world: It seems like Scotland’s wine drinking culture may date back even further than originally thought. British Columbia is considering Pinot Noir as its regional grape. Italy finally created a DOC for rosé Prosecco. And the U.S. may follow the E.U.’s footsteps in ingredient labeling on wine bottles.

Of course don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs where Mike Veseth discusses the trend away from premiumization in the wine industry, while Tim Atkins features a piece by Christy Canterbury, MW about how to define and buy “fine wine.” There’s a few other goodies in the blogs for you as well that I’ll let you discover on your own. And do NOT miss Eric Asimov‘s piece about a wine lover’s battle with the olfactory-inhibiting coronavirus.



Caymus Vineyards Files Federal Lawsuit Against Governor Newsom Alleging Discriminatory Treatment of Napa County Wineries in Reopening Plan

The following is a formal press release from Caymus Vineyards

Allowing wineries that serve food to open – while keeping closed wineries that offer wine tastings but no food – is arbitrary, contrary to public health, and violates U.S. and California Constitutions

Rutherford, Calif.—Caymus Vineyards announced today its filing of a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Governor Gavin Newsom and California State Public Health Officer Sonia Angell alleging discriminatory treatment in the state’s reopening plan for non-essential businesses. The reopening plan’s continued closure of wineries that don’t serve food violates the Equal Protection, Due Process, and Takings Clauses of both the U.S. and California Constitutions. The lawsuit asks the court to allow Caymus Vineyards—and by extension all Napa County wineries—to reopen wine tastings, as Napa County has determined that it meets the state’s Phase 2 guidelines of Stage 2.


This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: May 17—22

Good Saturday morning! Here are some of the latest wine-related news (including a piece by yours truly) and blog posts I’ve been reading this week. A little overview of what you can find: For those of you who are feeling a little wander-lusty, it seems that Italy plans to reopen its borders starting in June. But how welcome will the U.S. be? This report from Japan Today gives Americans a realistic perspective on what relationships between Asia and Europe mean for potential travel. And if you think that’s a bummer for those who travel for leisure, check out what it means for traveling winemaker Nick Goldschmidt.

Of course we can always travel vicariously via wine—but your wine bottles out of the E.U. may start to look a little different.

Here at home, it looks like Sonoma County may start to see a slow, cautious re-opening of local businesses, including wineries and tasting rooms. (I just ask that if you do decide to visit my hometown, please be respectful of all the rules and regulations put in place. Thank you.) Oregon, on the other hand, seems to be going at it a bit more aggressively.

And of course don’t forget to check out the Blogs below. We’ve got some great opinion pieces, some wine science, and more. Cheers!


Ron Rubin Winery New Releases

I recently received three new releases from a winery I’d not heard of. Interesting factoid: Ron Rubin Brands includes The Republic of Tea. According to the company website, Rubin—who was already a veteran in the beverage industry—”The Republic of Tea, a book about the story and philosophy behind the groundbreaking tea company. Rubin was so inspired, and made an offer to the Ziegler’s and Bill Rosenzweig to purchase The Republic of Tea. Since then, Rubin has been on a mission to seek and procure the most exquisite teas from world premier tea gardens, making them accessible to everyone.” You can read more of Rubin’s story here.

When it comes to winegrowing and winemaking, the estate vineyards are located in Green Valley—a sub-AVA of California’s Russian River Valley. So, no surprise, then, that the wines I received were two styles of Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir.

Pam's UnOaked Chardonnay