Which are the oldest wine companies? A question that crosses the minds of many wine enthusiasts. https://www.wineturtle.com/oldest-wine-companies/ to the text “wineturtle.com The official birth of viticulture goes back to four thousand millennia before the birth of Christ. Since the early years of history, the wine was considered an elixir of the gods and a beverage reserved for the privileged few. Nowadays, wine is no longer an exclusivist drink, therefore enjoy a glass of sparkling Prosecco while finding out which are the 12 oldest wine companies in the world. 1. Staffelter Hof – Germany The Staffelter Hof is one of the oldest wine companies in Germany. Its name is linked to a monastery in Belgium and its winemaking history […]
This Issue of The Grapevine Magazine
Gripple’s GP1 for Metal End Posts is Now Releasable! Buy now on JSC Ag Supply’s online store!
Gripple’s GP1 is a single-channel (one way) joiner/tensioner that is the fastest way to terminate trellising wire at metal end posts. And now it incorporates a new design feature that makes it easily adjusted and released on the wire with the use of the standard Gripple Release Key. Using the GP1 is up to 4 times faster than knotting wire, and it can easily be re-tensioned after each harvest. Suitable for 15-11 ga. trellising wire, the GP1 can support a maximum load of 880 lbs. For more information and a variety of agricultural supplies. JSC Agricultural Supply 855-707-5467 www.jscagsupply.com.
Barrel Care (Part 2)
Continued from Part 1 which ran in the January – February 2018 issue of The Grapevine Magazine. Monthly Management Whether full or empty, each barrel needs monthly attention. Try to store full and empty barrels at or as near 50 degrees F when possible. When full: One will need to taste and check the free Sulfur Dioxide and pHs of these wines monthly at a minimum. After this check, additions can be made to the wines in the barrel and then they can be topped. Topping is one of the keys to keeping a barrel safe from bacteria spoilage. The wines must be of sound chemistry to make this a successful statement and the topping wines need to be […]
CHANGING OUR THINKING FOR THE DIGITAL AGE
Wineries, as their true selves, are an agricultural business. Sagacious written advice for agriculture success has been around a long time – arguably since 800 BC when the Greeks wrote poetry now regarded as the first “farmer’s almanac.” But nothing in the past 2800 years has prepared us for the digital age. And, there is very little in a farmer’s world that seems in concert with a virtual one. But, our little cottage industry is growing up, and we need to adopt practices now employed by the rest of the digital direct marketing landscape. Here are four ways our current DTC business model is evolving: 1. Shipping will continue to morph into an absorbed COG Amazon has universally changed the […]
Cold Hardy Grapes: University of Minnesota Releases the Itasca Grape
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer- what do they all have in common? They’re grapes that thrive in colder climates and sometimes survive long and arduous winters. In recent years, the University of Minnesota Grape Breeding and Enology Project has added Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, La Crescent and Marquette to that list. Now, they’ve added one more – Itasca. University of Minnesota, Grape Breeding and Enology Project The University of Minnesota Grape Breeding and Enology Project specializes in research and grapevine cultivar development. According to their mission statement, they also focus on understanding the mechanisms of disease and pest resistance to incorporate these traits and improve sustainability for Minnesota and other cold climate viticulture areas. Lastly, they focus on developing […]
Designing a Commercial Production Winery with Expansion in Mind: Essential Elements, Layout Considerations, and Visitor Flow
Are you starting a winery while only considering what it will take to open your doors on day one? That’s a great place to start but big picture that can also be a huge mistake! Most wineries I have worked with experience at least 1 major expansion (if not 2) in their first 5 year of business. WHY? Well, in short because their business demands it. In the first 3 years you are likely to hit your stride and have a much better idea of consumer demand, and in turn your business will need to match that demand with supply (basic business 101). Generating more supply will require a larger working area in which to create and store the wine. […]
Baker-Bird Winery: Tasting the History of American Wines
Most people assume that California is the birthplace of American wine. In fact, in the 1870’s — when California was just establishing commercial winemaking — tiny Bracken County, on the banks of the Ohio River in Kentucky Bluegrass Country, was the leading wine-producing county of the U.S., supplying over 30,000 gallons of wine annually. At the center of this production was Baker-Bird Winery, the oldest commercial winery in America that is still operating on its original land. “At the time, the Ohio River Valley was the place to grow grapes in the U.S.,” according to Dinah Bird, who purchased the winery in 2003 with the intention of bringing the property back to its glory days. “The German immigrants who settled […]
The Application of Next Generation Sequencing Technology on Disease Diagnostics in the Vineyard
There are a number of laboratories that are dedicated to testing grapevines for the presence of vineyard disease causing agents (plant pathogens). Each of these laboratories use different methods for detection of bacteria, fungi, or viruses that may be present in the vineyard or planting material. It can be confusing to the grower and vineyard managers to decide which laboratory to work with. Determining what are the most appropriate methods for the detection of specific pathogens and the interpretation of the results can even be more confusing. At the time, there is no specific guidelines for grapevine pathogen testing giving the laboratories the freedom to develop their own testing and sampling methods. In this article I will provide an update […]
Designing Wine Racks for Your Retail Space
The love of the land, of the vine, of the grape, and of course, of the wine is the reason many vintners get into the wine industry. The idea of building a business with the sweat of your brow and creating a fantastic result is what motivates people to keep going. However, to make the dream a reality, you have to sell that product. Your product needs to appeal to the consumer through smell and taste, but also with a well-crafted label and an interesting bottle. Then, you need to show it to your customers in the best way possible. This is where a beautiful built display becomes essential. There are many ways of thinking about how to […]
The Real Benefits of Financing: What are My Options?
Financing Versus Equity Financing Banks, Lenders, and Investors (oh my!) all exist because we fellow businesses need them. They sometimes can be the fine line between succeeding and closing the doors for good. Each of these entities, holders of large sums of money, provide capital. In order to build new wineries, buy new equipment, develop new products, and upgrade information technology, businesses have to have money. Banks, Lenders and Investors each have different financial structures and costs associated with using their money – also known as their “cost of doing business”. The beginning of the year is a popular time […]
MANAGEMENT OF VINE BALANCE FOR BETTER WINE, AND FOR PROFIT
This article will continue with the theme of the last one, that is vine balance. Here the emphasis will be on management of vine balance. The last article included my suggestion of how to measure vine balance at winter pruning by recording pruning mass. I have always previously termed this metric pruning weight, as Prof Nelson Shaulis taught me. I now understand that pruning mass is the preferred term. Better Balance for Better Yield & Quality At the one extreme of poor vine balance are over-vigorous vines typically with canopy shading. Such vines are characterised by large leaves, long shoots and many lateral shoots. Without remedial treatment such canopies have shaded fruit which affects berry competition and wine […]
Endorsements Unique to the Wine Making Industry
When I visit a winery for the first time, my number one priority is to first hand observe any exposures. I want to know the risks present for that particular winery. This is done by a number of steps, I meet with the owner and/or winemaker. We walk the facility and I am making notes of anything that might be of particular interest or concern to the underwriters. I have them complete a quick, but thorough supplemental questionnaire that gives me very specific information about their exposures. I also review their current policy for missing coverage or coverage gaps. There are […]
Grape Purchase Agreements & Smoke Taint
As I traveled to Sacramento for this year’s Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, I began writing this article, intending to focus on key provisions of Grape Purchase Agreements (GPAs) that parties should negotiate. But, upon arrival at the symposium, I spoke with other conference attendees and it became clear that one thing was on everyone’s minds – smoke taint. Certainly, I had heard about the fires in October, but living on the East Coast, it was difficult to get any specific information about where the fires were located, what vineyards were affected, and the extent of the damage. I heard anecdotal bits of information from friends who live in the area and were reporting on the latest evacuations and there […]
Do I Detect a Hint of Ash?
Knowing if You Have Smoke Taint Sooner In many prominent grape growing regions around the globe, a new season, fire season, seems to be arriving on an increasingly regular basis. Drought conditions, high temperature, and wicked winds are turning small grassfires or a discarded cigarette into raging, devastating firestorms. The immediate concern for growers is for the safety of people and property, and then later surveying the damage to equipment, orchards and vineyards. The losses in recent years from wildfires have been catastrophic. Long after the fire has passed, the potential of smoke taint ruining an entire vintage is a real concern. Undesirable contamination of grapes from smoke can result in less than desirable sensory expressions in the […]
Best Practices for Pruning in the Vineyard
In most parts of the U.S., vineyard pruning begins in February and March, depending on how warm the weather is that given year. By this time, many vineyards have a good start on this essential and time-consuming task or have even wrapped up with the trimming to move on to other spring maintenance. This is an ideal time to look back on lessons learned and make improvements in the pruning process to either finish the job or to plan for next year. The Basics of Pruning The basic idea behind pruning is to eliminate excess plant growth from the year before so the vines can channel their energy into growing for the new year. Grapevines produce fruit on wood that’s […]