This Issue of Grapevine Magazine

New Vintage Nurseries Survey Winners

P.R. For Release 52-981 1/27/16 Contact: Cindy Tannewitz, 661/250-3400 Prize Winners Announced for Vintage Nurseries Growers Survey Supporting its ongoing “Growers First” initiative, Vintage Nurseries recently invited growers within the industry to respond to a special survey to identify their future planting needs. The survey, which attracted a wide range of growers, also featured a random drawing to give away two iPad Mini 4’s. Contest winners included Bruce Fry, of Mohr-Fry Ranches, and Mario Bazan, from Bazan Vineyard Management, LLC. Vintage Nurseries Director of Sales, Dustin Hooper, congratulated both winners and noted that the survey would become an annual event. “This survey is really all about our valued grower network,” said Dustin. “We want to give this important group a […]

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What’s in a Name? The Importance of Grape Varieties in American Wines

Using a grape variety on an American wine label is not mandatory, but many winemakers choose to do so for several reasons, such as perception of quality to the consumer. Using or naming the variety on the wine label may also convey a better story about what is in the bottle. There are a number of federal regulations that govern grape varieties, ranging from the percentage of grapes that must be used in a wine to what specific varieties can be used on an American wine label. This article discusses some of the regulatory concerns on using grape varieties in American wines. TTB regulations require a wine label have a class/type designation, including (but not limited to) “Red Wine,” “Red […]

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CONTENT Drives Winery Recognition; Now More Than Ever

Let’s face it; brand building was easier 20 years ago. Small production wineries today are in an extremely competitive environment. There are close to 9,000 wineries and growing in the U.S. alone. International brands are flooding our markets with good quality and aggressively priced imports. Add to that the consolidation of U.S. distributors, and you have lots of boutique wineries seeking attention from far fewer distributors. Twenty years ago it was not uncommon to be 100% allocated to wholesalers. Today, this is not a realistic model. Here are some wine market facts to consider: • 1995 – 2,600 Wineries and 3,000 Distributors* • 2008 – The Great Recession starts. Distributors consolidate their books and themselves, and focus on larger, well-known […]

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Raising the pH of Wines by Easy De-Acidification Trials

In the last issue of The Grapevine Magazine the topic of lowering the pH of juices and wines was reviewed. This issue will cover the reverse situation winemakers may have in the cellar with wines that are too acidic or with pH’s too low. These are critical choices for the winemaker to make with the proper balance and style of wine anticipated to be made. Following the trials below will help the winemaker review, in the lab, lowering the acidity to achieve the proper acid palate structure. Finesse must be used at this decision making process time using both the lab and the wineglass. Keep in mind this trial and mechanism may best be suited for wines from grape base […]

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Choosing the Best Inert Gas for Your Winery

When it comes to winemaking, inert gases are required to make quality wine. Nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide (CO2), the inert gases used in winemaking, each have their benefits and downfalls, but each are worthy of the job. The key is for vintners to figure out which is best for their winery. The use of inert gas is to protect wine from excessive oxygen exposure, or oxidization. Failing to protect wine from oxidization will result in spoilage of that batch or bottle of wine. Oxidization in wine reduces fruity aromas, increases nutty aromas and produces an unattractive color. Using inert gas to displace oxygen helps to lessen this risk. Inert gas is gas that has no chemical reaction when in […]

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Large Equipment in the Vineyard – Update

When it comes to equipment, there are many factors to consider when selecting the size, make, and model that best suits your vineyard’s needs. With a wide range of tractors, harvesters, destemmers, and sprayers (as well as a plethora of other mechanized tools) at your disposal, the decision can seem quite daunting. Quality is of the utmost importance along with the efficiency you can expect when using it, and the relative cost. All of these factors are variable and dependent upon the manufacturer, how advanced the technology is, and the availability of the machinery in your area (for example, importing from overseas may be the only way to get your hands on the most technologically advanced harvester, but it’s going […]

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Importance of Pruning

Pruning may not be the most exciting part about winemaking, but it’s an essential and rewarding skill for all grape growers to master. Once a vineyard is planted, pruning is often the most time-consuming operation for growers. Fortunately, the basic concepts of pruning are easy to grasp once you learn the techniques and tips for your particular vines and climate. Pruning is defined as the removal of plant parts to achieve specific horticultural objectives, such as controlling the form and size, optimizing production potential, and maintaining balance of the vine. During the winter months, grapevines naturally lose their leaves and go dormant. As a general rule, growers plan to prune about a month before spring arrives. Importance of Pruning Grapevines […]

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Maximizing Terroir to Make Better Wines: Interview with Xavier Choné

Xavier Choné is a top international terroir and wine consultant based in Bordeaux, France. Since receiving his Ph.D. in Viticulture and Enology from Bordeaux University in 2001, he has mapped soils for more than 30 chateaux in both the Left and Right Banks of Bordeaux, and has consulted for French wine luminaries such as Domaine de la Romanée Conti , Chateau Yquem, Leoville Las Cases. His consultation business has taken him to vineyards all over the world, including California, where he has advised vineyard managers at Opus One, Dominus, Joseph Phelps, Dalla Valle and J Lohr, among others. In 2005, he began consulting with Vina Maquis, a producer in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, where he has helped create premium and super […]

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Guidelines for Testing Grapevine Prior to Grafting

It is important that the nursery personnel and growers interested in grafting grapevines inspect the vineyard blocks or vineyards where cuttings will be collected to determine if there are suspicious disease symptoms. While symptoms in the vineyard may not be informative of what is the cause, it would prompt the grower to send samples to the lab for identification and ultimately avoid the propagation of diseases. The assessment of the health status of vineyard field and certified scion selections or rootstock propagation material is a crucial step in ensuring the productivity of healthy vineyards. As a plant pathologist and an expert in grapevine diseases I receive many calls to visit vineyards to observe plant health problems. Many of these situations […]

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Soil Salinity a Growing Concern for Vineyards

It started about 3 years ago. Michael Drucker, co-owner and vineyard manager at Four Sisters Ranch Vineyards & Winery, San Miguel, Calif., and colleagues began to notice a problem in their vineyards. They were seeing the effects of soil salinity, which is basically when salts build up in the soils—not just sodium but also potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The older vines, which were planted between 1990 and 1999, were particularly affected, while their younger vines were still unscathed. Of course, being in California, the winery and many other businesses around it are experiencing a historical drought. “It’s not surprising the soil salinity is an issue in Paso Robles, since any dry climate with thirsty soil is going to show an […]

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An Option for Vintners in a Warming Climate

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is now a fact. But what does it mean for those who make wine? It’s not so clear. The agreement calls for the nations of the world to limit the increase in global temperature to less than 2°C. At the moment, this is far from accomplished. The action plans submitted by the 185 nations that signed the agreement explain what each nation will do to begin lowering their carbon footprint. These actions are the first steps in a longer, as yet undefined process. They will not prevent a 2° rise in Earth’s temperature by the end of the century. The plan calls for a reconvening of the members every five years to set new, more […]

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Wines of the New World – Chile

The calculation of a vast and expansive changing global network of wines representing countries of the new world takes in the South American country of Chile. There is much to discover on our journey of wines of the new world. A very great number of new and significant improvements in technology have taken place in recent years and these advanced changes are continuing to gather apace. This has changed the face and outlook for the business of viniculture in new and unprecedented ways. The odds may be stacked somewhat against us in many parts of the world today in terms of weather systems going wrong and confusing us by their continual changeability. We are at odds with the weather when […]

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