This Issue of Grapevine Magazine

The Truth Behind American Viticultural Areas

What are American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)? Are they appellations? AVAs are types of appellations—but not all appellations are AVAs. For example, California and Texas and Napa County and Sonoma County are considered to be an appellation of origin with respect to wine labeling. But they are not AVAs. Both appellations and AVAs provide a significant amount of information about a wine. When used on a label, the wine tells a consumer that (at minimum) the majority of the grapes used in that wine were grown in the labeled appellation or AVA. However, appellations and AVAs have some differences. Appellations are generally defined by political boundaries, such as by the name of a county, state, or country, whereas AVAs are defined […]

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MOVING WINE & JUICE IN THE CELLAR

Transfers are a large part of the day to day operations in the cellar and on the crush pad; yet, few documents exist for what should be considered when doing transfers. Below are some ideas and tips to think of when transferring wine or juice at the winery. It is assumed the pump, hoses and receiving vessel(s) are all appropriately clean for the endeavor at hand. Venting Always vent both tanks and double check this operation is done. Often I will not only remove the airlock but I will unlatch the lid and flip the threaded latch inward so the tank top rests on top of the handle. This is just double assurance the tank I am transferring from, and […]

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Battle of the Bottle Closures: Is the Natural Cork Closure in Danger of Becoming Extinct?

The pop of a cork is the indicting music of anticipation, celebration and togetherness. Those little nubby stoppers stuck in the neck of the bottle have come a long way since the dark ages and so much that some wineries have done away with it all together. The mighty and well known cork or, as it is officially known, “QuecusSuber,” tree is associated with the western Mediterranean region, which includes portions of Southern Europe and North Africa. Cork has unique properties that make it ideal for bottling. It’s flexible, reliable, light, mold resistant and can adapt to the various temperatures easily. This cannot be said to other previous means of sealing wine such as oil soaked rags, lime, olive oil […]

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ENGAGING WITH WRITERS BEFORE “THE ASK” (Part 1) What Do Writers Really Need and Want?

In this two-part series, I ask Jim Gullo what it’s like to be a professional writer, and to discuss the wine business from his perspective. Jim is a self described Author, Journalist, Wine Writer, Food Eater & Pastryologist. He tweets, he writes, he eats and he’s coming back for more. His work appears regularly in the Alaska Airlines Magazine, Horizon Airlines Magazine, Oregon Wine Press and other publications. Turning to books in recent years, Jim has most recently authored “Grouch Bag,” a children’s novel about finding the Marx Brothers; “Trading Manny,” how he and his son learned to love baseball; and “Fountain of Youth,” a bittersweet novel about coming to terms with loss. He has also written 100s of magazine […]

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Where to Find Grant Funding for Vineyards & Wineries

When most people think about applying for grants, charities and nonprofit organizations come to mind. However, there are grants available in many other industries as well, including ones for wineries and vineyards. It’s no secret that the grape and wine industry contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. For this reason, the federal and state governments have created grants and incentives to encourage economic growth across the country. Grants help small and mid-sized wine businesses develop export markets, promote tourism, protect the environment, and ease financial pressure due to rising expenses. Types of Grants Available Depending on where your vineyard and winery operate, there are different types of grants offered in specific regions. Here are some of […]

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NEED MONEY? Crowdfunding Might Be An Option For Your Vineyard

As you look at your vineyard budget and realize the heaping cost of everything—equipment, land, staff, grapes, and so many other factors—you may be tempted to turn to crowdfunding websites to raise money. After all, perhaps the winery down the street used Kickstarter or Indiegogo to successfully raise money for project. Why not you? Before you hop on the crowdfunding bandwagon, take a step back to consider if your vineyard or winery is really the best fit for such a venue, caution various users of crowdfunding sites. Although some vineyard-related businesses have been able to successfully raise funds through crowdfunding, it always came with some effort. Here are 9 ways to use crowdfunding sites effectively for your vineyard or winery […]

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BRANDING & PACKAGING YOUR WINE

Every wine has a unique story to tell. To get your message across, your packaging needs to be designed with your target audience in mind. A wine enthusiast who entertains at home and considers himself quite knowledgeable about wine will be attracted to different factors than an image seeker with minimal knowledge who is heavily influenced by presentation on the shelf. Once you identify your typical consumer, you can begin the process of selecting packaging that communicates who you are and why your wine is the best choice. Selecting a Wine Label Choosing the right label for your wine is no easy task. Janet Wikler, president of the consulting firm Wikler and Company, Inc., says the first step in creating […]

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Ghost Wineries of Napa

In the mid to late 1800s, Napa Valley was an up-and-coming wine community, but then Phylloxera ravaged the vineyards and destroyed more than 80 percent the vines. Years later, just as the industry was getting back on its feet, in 1919 the Volstead Act (Prohibition) was passed, banning the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages. This effectively killed the wine industry in America. It took nearly a half of a century for Napa to recover, and ultimately become one of the most prestigious winemaking regions in the world. But as Napa looks to its future as a global presence, is it preserving vestiges of its rich past: ghost wineries. A ghost winery is not one that is haunted — […]

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ICE WINE

Developed by chance in Germany in the 19th century, ice wine, or Eiswein, is a dessert wine produced from grapes frozen while still on the vine. I n the winter of 1830, a severe freeze in Germany forced a group of monks to harvest their grapes late. Despite being frozen through, the monks pressed the grapes anyway, and while it took longer, they found that the freeze had caused oxidation of the grape skins and created a completely new, sweeter flavor. From there, Eiswein became quite established throughout Germany, and because of this, Germany was, for many years, the highest producer of ice wine. Recently, Canada has been giving the Germans a run for their money, starting in the early […]

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Update on Detection & Transmission of Grapevine Red Blotch Associated Virus

Grapevine red blotch associated virus (GRBaV) was first reported in the fall of 2012. Since its discovery, an impressive amount of research has been carried out on GRBaV. The virus is associated with the presence of red blotchy leaves (in red fruited grape varieties), reduced fruit color (red varieties only), delayed fruit maturity, and reduced sugar content resulting in lower Brix values. Work at Cornell University and University of California at Davis has helped understand the genetic makeup of GRBaV. The virus is different from most other known grapevine infecting viruses in that its genetic material is DNA, rather than RNA. Although the viral molecular and structural characterization suggests that GRBaV is related to other members of the Geminiviridae family […]

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Falconry Based Bird Abatement as a Method of Controlling Pest Birds

        Submitted & Written By:  Christopher North      Pest birds, come in all sorts of types. European starlings, robins, larks and sparrows are the main culprits when it comes to vineyards. The sight of thousands of birds eating grapes destined for wine is extremely distressing to the vineyard manager, and something that can be avoided. Pest birds can destroy thousands of dollars of grapes. Bird abatement can take many forms. These range from the occasional use of noisemakers and pyrotechnics to full scale netting, mylar strips and sound systems. Noisemakers will work initially but as a long term tactic they are expensive, bothersome to neighbours and ineffective. Birds quickly determine the frequency of the noise maker […]

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Wines of the New World: MEXICO

Mexico appears on the horizon as one of the most important and relevant wine producing regions of the Americas, or countries of the New World. A fascinating example, Mexico has a rich and wonderful history. The ‘Rio Grande’ separates the USA and Mexico all the way to the Gulf. Immediately west of El Paso the boarder runs more or less in a straight line from east to west where it reaches the Pacific coast of San Diego. Some two thousand miles from Mexico’s northern border with Guatemala. In past times Missionaries went to extraordinary lengths to carry their first discovered grapevines accompanied by ‘conquistadores’, or conquerors in a determined effort to reach Mexico. This was done over four hundred years […]

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Tidal Bay of NS is a Matter of Quality Over Quantity

More than 55,000 wine professionals from all over the world attended the ProWein International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits in Dusseldorf, Germany last March. This year for the first time, these enthusiasts were able to taste the wines from one of the newer wine making regions of the world, Nova Scotia. Wine making in Nova Scotia can be traced back to the 1600s, but the modern industry is only 38 years old. It began in 1978 when Roger Dial created Grand Pre Winery which today is Hanspeter Stutz’s Domaine de Grand Pre. In the same year, Hans Jost planted vines on the Malagash Peninsula which eventually became the Devonian Coast winery. The Winery Association of Nova Scotia was created […]

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