Hello everybody! This week has been so crazy I didn’t think there was any way I’d be able to keep up with the news. I did, though! Like last week’s post I’ll be highlighting a few projects at the top. Most importantly—this weekend is your last chance to submit nominees for Wine Industry Advisor’s Most Inspiring People awards. So if there’s someone in the wine industry that’s been particularly inspiring to you, please submit his/her/thier name here.
Below that, there’s loads of interesting wine-related news. And of course don’t forget to check out independent media (aka the Blogs), and even a few interesting Press Releases.
NOTE: I will not be posting again until following the Thanksgiving holiday. That being said, you can reach me at any time—and don’t hesitate to do so. I love hearing from you all, even if it’s just a quick hello.
Cheers and have a fab weekend and excellent Thanksgiving. Be kind to one another.
‘You Never Give Expecting to Get Something in Return,’ Says Eugenia Keegan, Wine Executive of the Year | Wine Enthusiast’s 2021 Wine Star Awards
“I joke that I’ve worked my whole career for this job,” says Eugenia Keegan, vice president of Oregon winery operations and business development for Jackson Family Wines (JFW).
The nuts and bolts of her job, Keegan says, is overseeing all the wine production for the company’s six Oregon-based brands. But anyone who knows Keegan knows nothing she does is just nuts and bolts.
The two facets Keegan loves about her work are team building and community service—both skills she discovered, honed and perfected early in her career. READ MORE…
Wine Industry Advisor: Participate in Recognizing Industry’s Most Inspiring People
Wine Industry Advisor (WIA) has opened submissions for its annual Most Inspiring People award and is asking the industry at large to participate by nominating individuals who have made a lasting impact on the North American Wine industry. Nominees can be viewed as inspirational either by their approach to life or their approach to business and have influenced the future of the wine industry in a positive way.
See our 2021 MIP award winners.
In 2018, The Wine Industry Advisor began recognizing ten inspiring people from our industry each year. For the first time, WIA is opening the nominations to its readers, and in so doing, hopes to find those individuals who may be flying under the radar and show the true diversity of talent within our industry. The wine industry is extremely fortunate to have many exceptional people among its ranks, and this recognition is a way to highlight them and encourage and inspire future generations. READ MORE…
Wine Industry Network: Register for the 2021 WIN Expo
Wine Industry Network opened registration for the 9th annual North Coast Wine Industry Trade Show & Conference (WIN Expo), scheduled for Thursday, December 2nd, 2021, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Santa Rosa, CA. WIN Expo is both a buying show and educational conference. READ MORE…
Wine Enthusiast: What’s In a Name? Italy’s Prosecco Producers Distraught Over Croatian Prošek
Anger is brewing in Prosecco country. In Veneto, Italy, winemakers are outraged over Croatia’s recent application for European Union (E.U.) recognition of Prošek, a centuries-old dessert wine.
Prosecco producers fear the similarly named wine might jeopardize their global marketability, but wineries in Croatia aren’t sure what the fuss is all about.
SA Wine: SA Wine Industry Calls on Government to Support Recovery and Growth
The South African wine industry calls on Government to join hands in rebuilding the sector towards a sustainable future by creating an enabling environment through sound policy decisions, infrastructure investment, stricter enforcement with regard to illicit trade, as well as financial support and relief.
Business Strategy Behind The Wine Group’s Partnership With MPL Brands NV
If you’re The Wine Group, you invest in a company that makes canned cocktails, a key part of the continually growing ready-to-drink category.
“The Wine Group is a leading player in the US wine industry, and adding an agave-based wine brand is a natural fit for our company,” Cate Hardy, CEO of The Wine Group, said in an email. “It allows The Wine Group to immediately leverage its wine expertise while simultaneously diversifying and gaining a leadership position in the rapidly growing ‘fourth category,’ which includes ready-to-drink brands.”
The Drinks Business: WSET launches initiative to make drinks careers more accessible to indigenous Australian students
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has launched an initiative aimed at making a career in the drinks industry in Australia more accessible to indigenous students.
‘The Best Red Grape I’ve Ever Grown’—East Coast Winemakers’ Success with New Cross San Marco
The US’s first commercial wines of the Italian grape, San Marco, are officially bottled and ready for release.
A cross between Teroldego and Lagrein, San Marco was created in 1993 by Marco Stefanini at Trentino’s Foundation Edmund Mach. It gained the immediate interest of Larry Coia, co-author of Wine Grape Varieties for New Jersey and proprietor of Coia Vineyards in New Jersey, during a visit to the region nearly a decade ago. Tasting the wine, he recognized not only the cross’s potential for high quality wine production, but that the same level of quality could be achieved back home in New Jersey’s Outer Coastal Plain AVA.
Courthouse News Service: Wine expert says his removal from elite wine group for alleged sexual harassment violated due process
One member of an elite group of wine experts says his position on the board and membership in the lucrative organization was taken from him despite flimsy evidence of sexual harassment and an inability to fairly respond to the accusations.
The Independent: UC Davis Specialist Anita Oberholster Says Marijuana Odor Effect on Wine Grapes Should Be Studied
A proposal to create a 1.5-acre outdoor marijuana farm on Tesla Road near Livermore raised immediate questions about crime, water use and general odor.
But a new question arose. Can the pungent smell of marijuana grown on fields adjacent to vineyards be absorbed into grapes and taint the wine made from them?
As Restaurants Reopen, Sommeliers Re-Envision Wine Lists
Restaurants closed throughout much of 2020 when the novel coronavirus caused a series of lockdowns. To cover the costs of lost sales and in order to continue to pay employees, the monthly rent, and attempt to stay in business, some restaurants resorted to selling much—in some cases all—of their wine inventories.
Decanter: Major wine heist in Spain: Restaurant owner issues plea to thieves
A Spanish restaurant owner has issued a plea to the thieves who stole French fine wine reported to be worth more than a million euros.
VinePair: How a New Generation of Wine Pros Are Positioning Sicily to be the Next Great Italian Wine Region
One is immediately struck by the sense of history when visiting Sicily, the southern Italian island that feels less like an “island” and more like its own continent.
Given Sicily’s strategic location, the island was one of the most sought-after prizes in the Mediterranean, with a long history marked by Greek, Roman, Phoenician, Carthaginian, Arab, Byzantine, Norman, French, and Spanish interests. Evidence of these varying historic influences can be seen in everything from churches and architecture to culture, cuisine, and the many ruins found on the island.
It’s no wonder Sicilian wine long struggled with an identity crisis.
Winemaking Barrel Trial: Free SO2 & Potential Wine Quality Impacts
Free sulfur dioxide (SO2) is unique amongst common wine chemical metrics, as it is at once a symptom and a treatment. Free SO2 protects wine by scavenging oxygen and interrupting microbiological activity is, itself, consumed in the process (ignoring a lot of complex chemistry). This makes accurate measurement and proper management of free SO2 levels during barrel aging particularly important.
Wine-Searcher: Aussie Winemaker Pivots from China to Crypto
Australian wine has been tougher to sell since the country’s largest market, China, slapped tariffs of more than 100 percent on it this year. So vintners are trying to get creative.
Dave Powell racked up four 100-point scores from the Wine Advocate during his time as winemaker at Torbreck Vintners, which he founded in 1994 but lost financial control of a decade later. Powell also got three 98s and a 99 from the Advocate in four vintages at Powell & Son.
Wine Spectator: Will the World Run Out of Champagne? Don’t Panic
Hail, frost and mildew meant the 2021 growing season was the toughest in years, but quality is high and reserve wines will ensure there is no Champagne shortage
Press Democrat: Sheriff’s detectives carry out search of ex-Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli’s home in sexual assault case
A raid by local authorities Wednesday at the home of Dominic Foppoli escalated a now seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations made by a rising number of women against the disgraced former Windsor mayor.
The two-hour search, which began about 8 a.m. at Foppoli’s Windsor home on Merlot Way, was led by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and included members of a North Bay law enforcement task force specializing in computer evidence, officials said.
Sonoma Index Tribune: Historical Society to launch ‘Heritage Food Institute’
The Sonoma Valley Historical Society is launching the Sonoma Heritage Food Institute, “a resource for community members, scholars, educators and civic leaders,” the group announced last week in a press release.
“The goal of the Institute is to create an accessible research collection on everything from the hunter/gatherer cultures of local indigenous First Peoples, to Luther Burbank, to 21st century farmers who use drones to make decisions about vineyard management,” the press release said. “Climate change, immigration, and the diversity of food traditions, earthquakes and wildfires are also part of the story.”
Blogs Worth a Read
Taken from the list of Blogs and other media outlets I follow regularly, here are just a few posts from this past week I think are worth a read. Shoot me a note if you have suggestions of independent media to follow or want your outlet included on that list.
Nielsen: Widespread m-payment adoption in Africa inspires growing interest in crypto currencies
For consumers around the globe, mobile phones have become ubiquitous—providing instant, real-time access to information, social networks, entertainment and connectivity. In Africa, the world’s second-largest mobile market behind Asia, that connectivity has super-charged the mobile money industry, with Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) now accounting for 43% of the world’s active mobile money accounts.
Dame Wine: The Iconic Wines From Spain Produced By Embracing The Failures That Lead To The Path To Perfection
A young Spanish man from a family with an extremely successful business tried to define his life during his college years. His keen mind, filled with a strong curiosity for a wide range of subjects, at first put him on the path to becoming a doctor yet it is the law and law school that would ultimately take over his studies. During this time his family purchased a historically famous winery called Bodegas Vega Sicilia in the region of Ribera del Duero, in Spain, and so after law school this young man’s father asked him to run the winery.
Sovos ShipCompliant: Wine Ecommerce and Compliance—The Perfect Blend
Direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping compliance has many nuanced regulations that shippers must be aware of as they look to expand their business reach. But what happens when you’re trying to integrate your ecommerce approach? Is there a way to streamline your DtC wine shipping compliance when using ecommerce solutions like Shopify?
Jancis Robinson: Who should tend Napa’s vines?
The choice between outsourcing viticulture or hiring in-house vineyard staff examined.
Science and Wine: Analyzing the risks of illiquidity of fine wine
Since the early 2000s, fine wines have become increasingly popular. This attractiveness is due to the strong performance of fine wines, combined with low risk and correlations compared to other assets. The academic literature has essentially focused on two issues. The first is a static analysis of the determinants of wine prices (e.g. influence of natural endowments, climatic conditions during the growing season, grape variety used in the blend, winemaking techniques, producer reputation and expert evaluation). The second addresses the dynamics of wine prices. It is less extensive and generally more recent. This literature mainly evaluates the performance of an investment in wine as if wine were a traditional financial asset traded on a financial market. However, fine wine is an emotional asset that is very sensitive to human behavior. Furthermore, it is a globally transportable asset and therefore subject to currency fluctuations. In addition, it does not offer cash flow. The structure of the fine wine market is also complex and suffers from multiple sources of inefficiency that make it relatively illiquid.
The Wine Economist: Prosecco Market Competition Bubbles Up
Once upon a time what Prosecco that you might find on store shelves was pretty basic stuff — or it seemed that way at the time. I remember recommending Prosecco to my university students for their commencement celebrations — they’re all good, I’d tell them, you don’t have to spend more than you can afford.
The Wine Gourd: Unrecorded versus officially Recorded alcohol consumption
Reports of national alcohol consumption (either total or per capita) have always seemed a bit odd, to me. How do the people reporting this know how much people are drinking? Well, obviously, they can do surveys, and ask people how much they are prepared to say that they drink (eg. Completeness and validity of alcohol recording in general practice within the UK). The reporters could also estimate the total amount of alcohol officially available (local production plus the imported stuff), and then divide by the number of people involved.
Please the Palate: Complete DTC—A Management System for Small Wineries
As a small business owner myself, I know the challenges in managing all aspects of a business. The wearing of many hats also means working with different programs to manage everything. There is one program for database management, another for managing finances, and more. Juggling all the roles with systems that work independently of each other is time consuming. This is a challenge for all small businesses, including small wineries. That is why I was impressed with CompleteDTC, a holistic management system for small wineries and wrote about it in the Napa Valley Register and share it here.
These are some press releases I received this week that I actually thought were interesting…enjoy!
California Wine Institute: Vintners Report Outstanding Quality for 2021 California Harvest
Winemakers across California predict that the 2021 vintage will be one of the best in recent memory, while the Golden State’s winegrowers enjoyed a smooth harvest following a moderate and consistent growing season.
Cho Wines: Korean-American Owned Cho Wines Breaks Ground on Vineyard in Oregon
Cho Wines has purchased 77.24 acres of farmland in Oregon to break ground on Cho Vineyards. The property is located on the west flank of Chehalem Mountains below Bald Peak, just 25 miles from Portland and 12 miles from Dundee. Dave and Lois Cho, husband and wife owners and founders, find it poignant to now own a piece of the land their families risked to explore. They plan to plant their first vines and open a tasting room by 2023.
BriscoeBites officially accepts samples as well as conducts on-site and online interviews. Want to have your wine, winery or tasting room featured? Please visit the Sample Policy page where you can contact me directly. Cheers!