This Issue of The Grapevine Magazine

Marketing Pairings: Your Brand & the Right Event

In an age where consumers have almost unlimited access to pre-purchase information as well as more opportunities than ever to make those purchases, keeping your brand “top of mind” demands a higher level of customer engagement. Events are, by nature, engaging, and have increasingly played a more significant role in winery marketing plans. To be most effective, event formats should reflect the character, the “personality” of your brand – very much like pairing the right food with a selected wine. The Grapevine Magazine asked several seasoned winery owners and managers to share their insights on choosing event formats that make their brands “come alive” to their customers, and tips for their peers who are considering doing the same. Loving Lavender […]

Read Full Article

Trouble Shooting Your Chiller System

This should be one of your first resource before contacting your refrigeration guy/gal service technician or chiller supplier. It is hoped this document will take you, or your winemaking team, through some step by step processes to help diagnose your chiller problem and to help you know the answers to their questions if you do need to call. Use common sense in all features of what you do when trouble shooting your chilling unit. Make sure to employ all proper “Lock out Tag out” procedures and to use all safety procedures known …. plus common sense. Make sure to have your manual for the unit handy and try to be somewhat familiar with the chilling unit. If you are not […]

Read Full Article

Wineries Reinvent Tastings as Experiences!

Standing in a simple tasting room debating whether to splurge on a $5 reserve tasting and souvenir wine glass is so 1990s. Wineries now offer farm-to-fork seasonal wine and food pairing, visually unique rooms with pool tables and vintage pinball machines, even zip-lining over the vineyard. The T-word has been replaced by the E-word as wineries supplement conventional wine “tastings” with wine “experiences”. The Grapevine Magazine interviewed three wineries from both coasts about their innovations in tastings, and we start in the heart of Napa Valley. Hands-On Education at Sequoia Grove Sequoia Grove, best known for Rutherford appellation cabernet sauvignon, is a self-described “gem hidden among the giants.” You can see that description come to life as you enter the […]

Read Full Article

To Grow Where No V. vinifera Has Grown Before

It’s cold in Huron County from December into March – cold enough to worry a grapevine. The average winter temperature is 35°F, and the average on January 24th is 15°F. At the same time in the Loire Valley in France, the average ranges from 39°F to 43°F. The average low in January is 32°F. If you want to grow French grapes in Huron County, the big problem is immediately apparent. It’s cold in Huron County. The folks at the Dark Horse Estates Winery in Huron saw “the cold” issue in typical Canadian fashion. Their websitestates that “Because we believe we can accomplish anything through hard work and tenacity, we saw this challenge as an opportunity to be innovative.” Dark Horse […]

Read Full Article

Tablas Creek The “Rhonification” of Paso Robles – and Beyond

By many accounts, American-style Rhone grapes — think Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre — have seen more dramatic growth in the U.S. in recent years than any other varietal. Credit goes to a small group of mavericks and visionaries who, in the 1980s, recognized the possibilities for growing the classic French grapes domestically. One of these visionaries was Robert Haas, the founder of Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, California, where he is still a managing partner, and has now been joined in the business by his son, Jason Haas. Jason, general manager/partner at Tablas Creek, spent time sharing the history and achievements of his father and the company, with The Grapevine Magazine. “My Dad was an importer and became friends […]

Read Full Article

Napa Valley Wine is Not Produced in New York – Here’s Why

Imagine the following scenario: You’re spending time in New York City and enter a grocery store where you pick up a bottle of wine that boasts the eponymous “Napa Valley” American Viticultural Area (AVA). Upon arriving home, you open the bottle, enjoy a glass or two, and then something on the label pops out: “Produced and Bottled by [Winery Name], New York, NY.” But how can that be? you wonder. Napa Valley is in California, not New York. If you examine the label more closely, you may notice some additional language that is not present on most wines: “For Sale in New York Only.” What is the story behind what appears to be contradictory labeling? The legal loophole that currently […]

Read Full Article

Viticulture in Argentina

I always talk and write about grapevine diseases, after all this is my area of expertise. Few of you may know that I am originally from Argentina. Today I will share with you the winegrowing areas in Argentina and how it relates to my favorite topic: diseases in plants. Grapevine pathogens (disease causing agents) originated at the same place where Vitis (the grapevine genus) species originated and were moved from this point around the whole world. Specifically, the varieties and clones that are grown in vineyards belong to the Vitis vinifera species (of Eastern European and Asian origin) while the rootstocks grown commercially belong to American Vitis species. Since early days of grapevine cultivation European and American pathogens have been […]

Read Full Article

Vineyard Yield Estimation

Yield estimation is the prediction of how many grapes will be harvested at the end of the season. The data collected each year helps predict the harvest for subsequent years, making forecasts more accurate which, in turn, can help maximize sales and profits. The same data is helpful in managing vineyard cultivation for better and higher-quality yields. This article is designed to give you an idea of what is involved in gathering the data, the most common methodologies used to calculate the estimates, and input on how to put this information to work on your vineyard. Yield Estimation Factors There’s no getting around it – yield estimation requires hard work and mathematical skills. Growers have to measure and keep track […]

Read Full Article

Does Media Coverage Help Me Sell Wine

I was on the phone with a longtime client the other day and received a question I didn’t expect -Does media coverage help us sell wine? I didn’t answer it well, as it’s a difficult and broad topic to discuss, with so many ways to respond. But, now that I’ve had some time to consider it, I’d like to take a shot at providing a comprehensive answer. Generally speaking, I would say, “Yes”, although it’s difficult to quantify. The question could be more appropriately worded – Does media coverage encourage consumers to buy wine from us eventually? There is rarely an instant and direct correlation between media hits and selling wine, with the possible exception of 94+ point scores in […]

Read Full Article

Domestic Wine Consumption – What the Hard Numbers Are Telling Us

For many of us our first encounter with an adult beverage was probably in the form of beer. So it may seem strange to some that in the United States we consume more wine than do the inhabitants of any other nation on earth. And it’s been that way since 2010. In fact, U.S. wine consumption has been growing on an annual basis for more than two decades. And despite the excitement in other beverage alcohol areas—the growth of craft beer and craft spirits, the resurgence of bourbon, and the flavored whiskey phenomenon—our domestic romance with wine continued last year and is expected to remain on trend this year, too. Gains are, indeed, slowing. From a statistical perspective you could […]

Read Full Article

The Vineyard Labor Crisis Part II – Solutions: Adapt, Innovate & Get Involved

In Part I, we explored the reasons behind the worker shortage in American vineyards and asked for your ideas and success stories. Thank you to everyone who contributed, and welcome to this presentation of our findings. Idea: Crop Diversification Employers who can’t provide their workers with steady, long-term employment run the risk of higher staff turnover and higher recruitment costs. Cultivating multiple crops can extend the need for labor year-round, providing the stability employees are looking for. For some vineyards, growing grapes was, in itself, a diversification on an already existing farm. Take Lost Draw Cellars in Fredericksburg, Texas, for example, where cotton and peanuts were grown before any vines were planted. Owner Andy Timmons told The Grapevine Magazine that […]

Read Full Article