Archive: Winery Info

Line ‘em up! Selecting the Right Bottling Line for Your Winery

As you’re considering a multi-thousand dollar expenditure for bottle filler equipment, the last thing you want is a disposable flashlight. “Look at it as a long-term investment. There’s filling equipment on the market that reminds me a lot of an old disposable flashlight,” said Jay Langejans, North America Midwest and Canada sales representative for Fogg Filler. “Once the batteries were dead, you couldn’t put new batteries in it—you just threw away the flashlight and got another one. Our equipment is repairable, replaceable: the proverbial batteries are available for it, the light bulb is available for it. You can use that same flashlight for 50 or 60 years.” This analogy proves a point: running a successful wine business doesn’t give you […]

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Tipple Hill Winery: Rural Missouri Farmers Find Success With Wine

For more than a century in Easton, Missouri, generations of Schreibers have been known for raising corn, soybeans and cattle. Now, they’re in the wine business. Roxyann and Bill Schreiber planted their first vineyard in 2010 with Chambourcin, Vignoles, and Concord grapes. “Thus began the challenge of growing and making wine with Missouri grapes,” the couple said. The Schreibers took in their first harvest in 2014, and they produced a dry Chambourcin wine and an Antique Harvesters wine – a Chambourcin Concord blend – that has proven popular. For the first couple of years, they primarily sold their wines at local wine events, festivals and grocery stores. In 2015, they opened Tipple Hill Winery & Vineyard along a rural stretch […]

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Icewine in America and Eastern Canada

The world of Icewine has experienced a changing of the guard over the past decade. Germany and Austria used to be the largest producers of “Eiswein.” However, according to W. Denman Zirkle, winemaker for Richard Böcking Winery in the heart of Mosel River Valley in Germany, “with global warming we haven’t had the cold winters we used to have in Germany and haven’t made an Icewine for about 10 years.” Today Canada and the United States dominate the icewine industry, with Canada currently recognized as the world’s largest producer. What is Icewine? Icewine is a sweet wine produced from frozen grapes. Icewine grapes not only have to be harvested frozen but must be pressed before they thaw out. The goal […]

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Forklift Purchasing for the Winemaker

Deep down most hands on winemakers praise, cherish and respect their forklift. Perhaps that comes from the days of remembrance when few forklifts existed in the industry. Maximizing the use of the winery forklift is crucial to saving labor, our precious backs and dollars. Try to take the labor savings and re-invest it into focusing on the winemaking. Many thanks are in order to the forklift industry for saving our aching backs with these hugely useful tools. When searching to acquire a forklift, one must look at many factors before engaging the purchase, such as: Fuel choice, size, number of wheels, tire size and material, load capacity/size, lift height needed, fork length, options (tilt, side shift, rotating head) and floor […]

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Barrel Care (Part 2)

  Continued from Part 1 which ran in the January – February 2018 issue of The Grapevine Magazine. Monthly Management Whether full or empty, each barrel needs monthly attention. Try to store full and empty barrels at or as near 50 degrees F when possible. When full: One will need to taste and check the free Sulfur Dioxide and pHs of these wines monthly at a minimum. After this check, additions can be made to the wines in the barrel and then they can be topped. Topping is one of the keys to keeping a barrel safe from bacteria spoilage. The wines must be of sound chemistry to make this a successful statement and the topping wines need to be […]

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CHANGING OUR THINKING FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

Wineries, as their true selves, are an agricultural business. Sagacious written advice for agriculture success has been around a long time – arguably since 800 BC when the Greeks wrote poetry now regarded as the first “farmer’s almanac.” But nothing in the past 2800 years has prepared us for the digital age. And, there is very little in a farmer’s world that seems in concert with a virtual one. But, our little cottage industry is growing up, and we need to adopt practices now employed by the rest of the digital direct marketing landscape. Here are four ways our current DTC business model is evolving: 1. Shipping will continue to morph into an absorbed COG Amazon has universally changed the […]

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Cold Hardy Grapes: University of Minnesota Releases the Itasca Grape

  Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer- what do they all have in common? They’re grapes that thrive in colder climates and sometimes survive long and arduous winters. In recent years, the University of Minnesota Grape Breeding and Enology Project has added Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, La Crescent and Marquette to that list. Now, they’ve added one more – Itasca. University of Minnesota, Grape Breeding and Enology Project The University of Minnesota Grape Breeding and Enology Project specializes in research and grapevine cultivar development. According to their mission statement, they also focus on understanding the mechanisms of disease and pest resistance to incorporate these traits and improve sustainability for Minnesota and other cold climate viticulture areas. Lastly, they focus on developing […]

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Designing a Commercial Production Winery with Expansion in Mind: Essential Elements, Layout Considerations, and Visitor Flow

Are you starting a winery while only considering what it will take to open your doors on day one? That’s a great place to start but big picture that can also be a huge mistake! Most wineries I have worked with experience at least 1 major expansion (if not 2) in their first 5 year of business. WHY? Well, in short because their business demands it. In the first 3 years you are likely to hit your stride and have a much better idea of consumer demand, and in turn your business will need to match that demand with supply (basic business 101). Generating more supply will require a larger working area in which to create and store the wine. […]

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Baker-Bird Winery: Tasting the History of American Wines

Most people assume that California is the birthplace of American wine. In fact, in the 1870’s — when California was just establishing commercial winemaking — tiny Bracken County, on the banks of the Ohio River in Kentucky Bluegrass Country, was the leading wine-producing county of the U.S., supplying over 30,000 gallons of wine annually. At the center of this production was Baker-Bird Winery, the oldest commercial winery in America that is still operating on its original land. “At the time, the Ohio River Valley was the place to grow grapes in the U.S.,” according to Dinah Bird, who purchased the winery in 2003 with the intention of bringing the property back to its glory days. “The German immigrants who settled […]

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Designing Wine Racks for Your Retail Space

    The love of the land, of the vine, of the grape, and of course, of the wine is the reason many vintners get into the wine industry. The idea of building a business with the sweat of your brow and creating a fantastic result is what motivates people to keep going. However, to make the dream a reality, you have to sell that product. Your product needs to appeal to the consumer through smell and taste, but also with a well-crafted label and an interesting bottle. Then, you need to show it to your customers in the best way possible. This is where a beautiful built display becomes essential. There are many ways of thinking about how to […]

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