This Issue of Grapevine Magazine

On the Vine or Not on the Vine? When is Ice Wine Not Ice Wine?

While ice wine accounts for only 1.2 percent of Canada’s wine export volume, it produced an impressive 45 percent of its revenue! In 2012 ice wine exports totaled 15.5 million Canadian dollars including 8.5 million just to China. The trend in recent years has been rapid growth. That growth has brought with it an increasing amount of “fake” ice wine, wine made from grapes that did not freeze on the vine. How big a problem is fake ice wine? Randy Dufour of Canada’s Inniskillin Wines estimated that up to half the ice wine on Chinese retail shelves is fake. Canadian vintners are concerned about the integrity of their product. Ice wine is a gift from Winter. It is made from […]

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Wines of the New World: Venezuela

Venezuela is one of thirty five sovereign states that makes up the Americas, or countries of the new world. The name Venezuela means ‘Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’. This is a country with an extremely high level of biodiversity and a wide variety of individual and free ranging natural habitats which includes the Andes Mountains to the west and the Amazon Basin rainforest to the south, via the extensive llanos plains. The Caribbean coast lies in the centre, while the Orinoco River Deltain is located to the east. Wine production in Venezuela is quite a bit scarcer than it is in some other parts of the world. To the layperson the closeness in proximity to the equator with an arid and […]

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On Target Spray Systems Spot On

With more than a decade of experience with electrostatic sprayers under his belt, Sonoma County wine grape grower Mark Lingenfelder is one of the early adopters of the technology. He’s also one of its biggest advocates. The executive vice president of vineyards for Chalk Hill Estate uses electrostatic sprayers on virtually all of the 400 acres he manages. Electrostatic sprayers designed and manufactured by On Target Spray Systems provide better coverage than traditional air-blast sprayers, he said, use far less water, and enable him to treat two and three times as many acres in any one day than he can with traditional spray technology. “A lot of time in spraying is wasted driving back to the shop and filling the […]

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Biology and Detection

Eurofins STA Laboratories has been testing for Grapevine red blotch associated virus (GRBaV) since its discovery in 2012. Many of you may be familiar with special internet page (http://www.eurofinsus.com/sta-laboratories/grapevineplant-disease/grapevine-red-blotch-disease/) we created to compile useful information about Red Blotch Disease including a link to a comprehensive photo gallery showing Red Blotch symptoms in grapevines of many different wine grape varieties. I am also very active doing presentations (links to our webinar recordings can be found by visiting our website). Grapevine red blotch associated virus is different from most other known grapevine infecting viruses in that its genetic material is DNA, rather than RNA. The virus is associated with the presence of red, blotchy leaves and reduced sugar content in red fruited […]

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Discovering Canopy Management Trends

Canopy management is where the quality of wine truly begins, said Rodrigo Soto, chief winemaker, Huneeus Vinters, Casablanca, Chile. Yet the way a winemaker goes about canopy management can vary tremendously depending on your location and philosophy on growing grapes. Here are a few canopy management trends from different parts of the winegrowing world. Oregon Most of the vineyards in Oregon are now trained to vertical shoot position (VSP) Guyot, said Patricia A. Skinkis, PhD, viticulture extension specialist and associate professor, Oregon State University, Department of Horticulture, Oregon Wine Research Institute in Corvallis, Ore. This approach is particularly helpful in the cooler parts of the state, such as western Oregon’s Williamette Valley, she said. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve […]

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California Drought Update

The California drought has had significant news coverage over the past few years, to the point where you’d almost have to be living under a rock to have not heard of it by now. Residents, farmers, and companies statewide have all felt the blow of the water shortage. Some experts believe this is the worst drought the area has seen in more than one thousand years. While different areas of the state have dealt with the drought’s effects in varying degrees, the drought has taken a toll on the area as a whole. The extent of the damage that the drought has caused over the past few years is hard to put into firm numbers, but the government projects that […]

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Field Recordings: Making Waves in Paso Robles

Andrew Jones, a 34-year-old up-and-coming winemaker from Paso Robles, Calif., is bringing innovation to California winemaking and he’s doing it from a nontraditional perspective: a perspective he has learned, literally, from the ground. As field representative for Sunridge, the largest commercial grapevine nursery in the U.S., he plants over a million vines in the San Joaquin Valley and the Central California Coast annually. For years, he’s traveled the state, choosing rootstock and overseeing planting operations. Most importantly, he’s developed a “sixth sense” for spotting vineyards that have exceptional potential. It is from these observations that Jones’ wines, Field Recordings, were born. As a graduate from Cal Poly with a major in agri culture-business and a minor in viticulture, it’s not […]

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Where to Find Qualified Employees

Wineries and vineyards are a niche business, while friends and family members may be a first choice to hire as a new employee, finding Vineyard Managers and Marketing Producers may prove to be more difficult.  How do growing wineries find qualified applicants for Marketing, Management, Business Operations, Wine Production, Vineyard Management, while ensuring the stability and budget of their winery? The wrong employee in the wrong role can be detrimental to any business, but the wrong Vineyard manager could result in decreased yield of grapes resulting in low production of the finished wine, just as the wrong Marketing director could inadvertently cause a loss in sales or winery image. Many companies such as E. & J. Gallo Winery, the largest […]

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Blending Your Wine

Blending is an excellent resource to make improvements in wines. To do it properly takes time, work and organization. The days of standing in the cellar and walking from wine vessel to wine vessel roughly pouring the quantities from the wine thief, or sample valve, to glass in estimation of what a blend will be like is not acceptable. This Is perhaps, when presented with well made sound wines, the most important consult session I can afford my clients. Beyond the practical applications it is a great time to review overall winemaking quality and to plan the upcoming winemaking schedule for the year. Following these steps will result in better quality wines, more cellar organization and fluid production parameters for […]

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Know And Protect Your Assets: Trade Secrets Have Value

Some people are surprised to learn that there is a winery in every state, even Alaska. Possibly more surprising is that a bagel bakery in Ellsworth, Iowa became a twenty million dollar a year business. The company created a process for extending the shelf life of bagels from about three days up to well over three months if refrigerated. The process involved putting the bagels in an air tight plastic bag, removing oxygen from the bag and putting carbon dioxide and nitrogen in its place. The company filed for a patent for this special preservation method. The company founder, William Rose, Jr., had spent some of his childhood in Chicago, where he grew to love bagels. When he went to […]

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Why Email Marketing?

Everyone has one. Some have many. Email addresses are a type of currency. They cost nothing to give out, but their value to the recipient is “priceless”… well not quite, but very valuable. In fact, after your existing customers, getting emails from prospective future customers is your most valuable asset. Why discuss email marketing at all? There are so many other marketing subjects of interest i.e. Loyalty clubs, social media, mobile marketing, winery PR. Mid-year planning is a good time to get back to the basics, and email is one of the primary branches of the content tree, leading to many other points of connection with consumers. I still meet people who are just getting started with social media, mobile […]

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