This Issue of The Grapevine Magazine

Crooked Stave Artisans: A Unique Distributor for Unique Brand

Fort Collins, CO: June, 2017, Encompass Technologies, a software leader in direct store delivery beverage distribution, met with Owen Shepherd of Crooked Stave Artisans Distributing to discuss their experience using Encompass’s Route Accounting Software (RAS) and Mobile Sales Solution for statewide distribution.   Crooked Stave Artisans Distributing was founded in 2013 on the principle that unique suppliers need an equally unique distributor. The distributing company believes that “Great artists need great representation”. The decision to self-distribute and distribute other artisan brands came from the idea that no distributor could represent their brands as well as themselves. With a focus on sustainable growth and profitable sales, the company implemented a RAS and Mobile Sales Solution from Encompass Technologies in early 2015. […]

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The Importance of pH in Winemaking

In a recent symposium, a speaker stood at the podium. He began to speak, telling the audience that if stranded on a deserted island and grapes were planted there, and he was allowed only three items, he could make some excellent wine. The three items were a wine glass, a high-quality pH meter, and an accurate and precise tool to measure sulfur dioxide. In this statement, the speaker gave each attendee an idea of the importance of pH in making wine. Understanding the relationship of pH to wine is necessary for every winemaker to understand not only how to handle wine well but to predict where an individual wine’s development may be heading. Using the experiences drawn from past winemaking […]

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KEEPING THE “RELATIONSHIP” IN THE CENTER OF YOUR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MARKETING STRATEGY

If you work in IT or operations you might think of the software that holds your company’s sales data. If you’re in the marketing department you might think of the reports you can (or can’t) pull from an interface. If you work in hospitality, you probably think of the annoying cash register or computer screen that forces you to input data before you can end a transaction. The truth is CRM is many things throughout the customer live-cycle, and is always evolving. Customer Relationship Management is an approach to understanding your customer by habitually and methodically capturing preferences and details about them at various touch points with the goal of improving service and sales. But, too often, we focus on […]

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Wine Labels 101: Navigating TTB’s COLA Process

The label approval process is unique to the alcohol beverage industry; most traditional foods (such as cookies, pasta, and sugar) are not subject to government pre-approval before being sold at market. Indeed, well before a wine reaches a store’s shelves or the hands of a consumer, the federal—and possibly even the state—government played a significant role in what must, what can, and what cannot appear on a wine label. The other unique aspect about wine labels—in comparison to distilled spirit or malt beverage labels—is that while most wine labels are subject to the labeling jurisdiction of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), wines under 7% alcohol by volume fall in the labeling jurisdiction of the Food and […]

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H2-A Visa Program Offers Vintners Legal Options

Broadly speaking, agriculture, in general, has suffered from a shortage of labor as far back as World War II. Mid-Atlantic Solutions, Inc. has been providing assistance to a handful of East Coast vintners since the late 1990s using the Federal government’s H2-A visa program. The H-2A program is rooted in the Braceros program of WWII when approximately two million agricultural workers were brought in from Mexico to replace Americans who left the farms and fields to take up arms. At the end of the war, many men did not come back, and many of those who did return sought work outside of agriculture. As a result, foreign workers have been part of the agricultural workforce to a greater or lesser […]

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The Heat is On: Grape Growers Look for New Answers to an Old Problem

Mark Seifert says he has found a way to save a lot of cold cash by applying heat to his vineyards. Agrothermal Systems, based in Napa, California, has pioneered the use of Thermaculture treatment services, a new methodology for managing crops through the application of heat with substantial, proven results, the company said. Applied to plants by their trademarked Agrotherm XT, a tractor pulled machine, the heat treatment can by applied at various stages throughout the growing cycle. Seifert, vineyard manager of Foley Family Wines and Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma, California, has found success in Thermaculture trials at two of his vineyards. The results: fewer pests and more grapes at a lower cost. “We measured increased numbers of berries per […]

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Ensuring Customer Trust Through The Sweetness Scale

When consumers pick up a bottle of wine, it is deliberate. People have certain preferences in style and taste, and with that comes expectations. When trying something new that is similar to what they’ve had before, it can be quite shocking when a wine tastes too dry or too sweet from what they’ve had in the past. Of course, as a winery, you want to stand out among a bevy of similar styles, but not in a way that will put off your customers. So how can a winery maintain their signature taste while letting their customers know what to expect? For some wineries, the inclusion of a sweetness scale on the label has relieved this concern, and made fans […]

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Let’s Focus On Gift Cards

A very successful coach once said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” This is true in business as well as it is in sports. If you are not selling gift cards, you are not taking that shot – and it is a pretty easy one to take. But, of course, you want to proceed with all due research and fiscal care. That means you should begin by answering the question, “Why should you sell gift cards?” The answer, very simply, is “How can you not sell gift cards when they are such a highly profitable revenue stream?” Gift card sales increase revenue substantially with minimal investment. Percentage wise, they may be the most profitable add-on […]

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The Shadows Winemakers:

A Summary of Wine Microbiology At its heart, the subtle alchemy of winemaking depends on microbial processes. Yeast transform sugar into alcohol, while malolactic bacteria convert harsh malic acid into soft lactic acid, leading to the formation of a microbiologically safe, stable and enjoyable beverage. These two microbes do as much work as the winemakers who accommodate them. Quality wine production depends on maintaining proper microbiological control during the transformation of grape juice into finished wine and into the bottle. A lack of attention to environmental factors in the winery, that affect microbiological activity during vinification, can lead to intolerable sensory defects in the finished product. The Shadows: Six Thousand Years of Yeast Six thousand years is the age of […]

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Combating Nuisance Birds in the Vineyard

Fresh grapes make an irresistible food source for many types of birds, posing a danger to the success of your vineyard. Fortunately, a number of companies have come up with ways to safeguard your crop. Choosing a Pest Control Method Robins, finches, grackles, orioles, mockingbirds, and starlings can easily cost vineyard owners thousands of dollars each month when they decide to use wine grapes as a food source. If you’re not careful, an entire year’s worth of crop can be ruined by one flock. Peck marks on the grapes and selective feeding on prime clusters are the most readily visible evidence of bird-related damage. Pecking can also initiate rot damage. Choosing the best bird control method for your vineyard will […]

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S.C. Barrel Maker Complements Craft Beverage Boom

Growth of Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries in Southeast U.S. Creates Demand for New Oak Barrels The power of observation has led to countless new business ventures, but those that become a success often are linked more to the quality customer service and adhering to a customer’s needs, perhaps even more so than the idea or product itself. Greg Pierce, who once cut his teeth on what went into barrels , is now more concerned with locating high quality quater-sewn American White Oak to craft the barrels themselves. Pierce and two investors opened Black Water Barrels in the summer of 2016, and began production of 30-, 53- and 60- gallon barrels for the wine and spirits industries in early 2017. Located […]

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Preparing for Harvest: How Vineyards Can Start Getting Ready

It’s almost that time again…harvest season! Vineyards on the West Coast will be starting to harvest in August, and the rest of the country will be heading to the vines in September and October. For many vineyards across the country, some challenging weeks are right around the corner. Fortunately, there are several things that vineyards can start doing in June to ensure that everything goes smoothly during harvest. Many things will need to be addressed well in advance of the grapes coming off the vine. Getting Supplies for Harvest One of the first steps in getting ready for harvest is to assess last year’s needs and order adequate supplies for this year based on relevant estimates. If you haven’t done […]

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Wonderful Nurseries Lives Up to Its “Growers First” Reputation

Wonderful Nurseries Lives Up to Its “Growers First” Reputation Innovation and expansion have set the recent tone for Wonderful Nurseries, the largest grapevine nursery in North America for both wine and table grapes. Ideally situated in Wasco, California, on the edge of the southern San Joaquin Valley, Wonderful Nurseries prides itself on its reputation for personal attention, outstanding selection and the cleanest grapevines in the industry. Breakthrough Products and Processes Known for its “Growers First” philosophy, the nursery is part of The Wonderful Company, a privately held $4.8 billion global entity committed to offering high-quality, healthy brands, ranging from fruits, nuts and flowers, to water, wines and fresh juices. Among the company’s iconic brands are Fiji Water, JUSTIN Vineyards, Paramount Citrus, […]

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Kedge Business School Press Release

  PRESS RELEASE – 06.21.2017 6th edition of the e-Performance Barometer: Analysis of the online wine sales market and international ranking of the best wine websites   At Vinexpo 2017, KEDGE Business School reveals the results of the 6th edition of the e-Performance Barometer study and the ranking of the best French and international wine websites, as rated by over 2,300 internet users from 9 different countries. International ranking: Wine.com topples Amazon.com to take top spot as best wine website Surprisingly, it is Wine.com – a long-standing American player in the online wine market – which takes 1st place in the 6th edition of the e-Performance Barometer international ranking, overtaking fellow American site and general retailer Amazon.com, which finishes in 2nd place this year. Another specialist wine site […]

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Agrothermal Systems® Announces Agroblow™ for Fighting Rain Damage.

Agroblow in combination with Agrotherm XT™ provides a one pass process to deliver full Thermaculture® effects in wet conditions.  June 15. Napa, CA – Today Agrothermal Systems announced a new machine solution in the battle to fight rain damage on vertically grown crops such as grapes, trellised orchards, cane berries and others. Agroblowis a double-sided fan system that mounts to the front-end of a tractor. Intended as the first part of a sequential treatment, Agroblow precedes the Agrotherm XT machine in order to blow off standing water before the Agrotherm XT heats, and dries off the flower or fruit, and canopy. Agroblow was created to better deal with rain events than is possible with Agrotherm XT alone. The combination helps increase […]

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