Archive: Winery Info

Tariffs, Tariffs, and More Tariffs

Toward the end of this week, take a minute to add up and total the amount of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods imported into the US. You can glean this data from online aggregated digital news, television news, or from US Government pronouncements about Trump tariffs. I would be very surprised if the number does not exceed hundreds of billions of US dollars encompassing about half of all Chinese manufactured goods entering the US. The public comment period for most US-China tariffs to be imposed to date ended this past Friday so that such tariffs can be imposed by the US Government and will either be at 25% or 10% depending on the Chinese manufactured product. China and the US, up […]

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You’re Stranded on an Island? It’s Okay, You Have Your pH meter!

In a recent symposium the speaker stood at the podium.  He started his presentation saying “If stranded on a deserted island and the island happened to have grapes planted on it, and he were only allowed just three things he thought he could make some excellent wine.”  These three items were: 1)  A very nice wine glass 2)  An excellent pH meter 3)  An accurate and precise way to measure SO2 The above statement gave each attendee at that conference an idea how important the measurement of pH is to making wine.  Understanding the relationship of pH to each wine is very important for a winemaker to better understand how to handle a wine and to predict where a certain […]

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Wine Label Branding: Stay True to Yourself

Imagine you’re a customer in a wine store, searching for your next bottle of wine. What would attract you beyond the style? Does a label displaying Jesus on the cross or an elderly Frenchman with a bulbous nose and colorful beret intrigue you enough to buy? Often, the consumer is casually browsing for something that catches their eye. Maybe they just traveled to a particular region of the world, drawing them to wine from that area. Perhaps a wine label triggered a pleasant holiday memory. Possibly it’s the color of the label that attracts them. Regardless, it takes about four seconds to make that first impression. Wine branding strategy has reached a point where marketing and merchandising play as important […]

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A Modern Look at Protein Stability

Hazing or cloudiness in bottle is often thought of as a visual defect in wine and is considered a flaw to most consumers.  Once cause of this hazing is due to unstable heat proteins. The most well characterized trigger of unstable proteins becoming visible in wine is due to exposure to warm / hot bottle temperatures (~130°F); think of a bottled wine inadvertently left in a car on a hot summer day. This heat treatment causes the normally globular-shaped proteins to unfold and self-aggregate (chemically bind) with other unstable proteins, thus becoming visible and forming a haze over time (Fig. 1). Similar to tartrate stability, winemakers often remove unstable proteins in bulk production before bottling. The textbook solution to remove […]

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Cass Winery: A Destination Vineyard in Paso Robles

Imagine relaxing under a 200-year -old live oak tree, surrounded by gently rolling hills, and enjoying award-winning wines paired with a gourmet luncheon prepared from the chef’s garden nearby. Vineyards are all around, and as the soft breezes quietly brush across, you can touch, taste, see and smell the grapes ripening only footsteps away. For many, this is “Wine Nirvana,” and its setting is Cass Winery, a destination winery 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles, California. “We want to provide an all-around wine experience for our guests,” co-owner Steve Cass told The Grapevine Magazine. “We serve you at a table and offer a full-café menu with pairing suggestions. You can sit in the shade, under a veranda with your feet […]

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Brokers See Themselves as ‘Bridge’ Between Growers, Wineries

Wine and grape brokers insist that their role transcend that of simple intermediary between grower and winery. Some involved in the process go so far as to eschew the term “broker” in describing what they do to bring the parties together. “I don’t like the word broker; it sounds like a used car salesman, somebody who’s taking advantage of somebody who doesn’t know anything,” said Shannon Gunier, co-owner of Lower Lake, California-based brokering firm North Coast Winegrapes. “I like the word concierge because they help you find your way.” Gunier, who, along with husband Rick, started her business in 2010, said the couple operates as the “eyes and ears” of their customers. “Use a broker if you’re unfamiliar with the […]

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The Grapevine Magazine’s First Midwest Viniculture Expo Held June 2018

The Grapevine Magazine’s inaugural Midwest Viniculture Expo was held in Davenport, Iowa, June 20-23, 2018. The Expo consisted of a Conference, Trade Show, Midwest Wine Competition and concluded with a Midwest Wine Festival open to the public. THANK YOU to our EXPO SPONSORS:   ACS; Prestige Glassware; Kuriyama of America, Inc.; The Barrel Broker; Brown Bear Corporation; Nixalite of America, Inc. and Agriozein. And to our Association Sponsors:     Iowa Wine Growers Association; Michigan Grape and Wine Association; and Minnesota Grape Growers Association. The Expo’s goal was to provide producers with the opportunity to expand their education, discover new innovations, and network with fellow makers and vendors who can improve practices. Expanding Education The prevailing message of the two-day […]

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A Step Inside the Wine Library

    The Wine Library and Vinotheque at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus in Vancouver, Canada are probably unlike any library you’ve ever ventured. There isn’t a stern librarian asking you to “shhh” while glaring over her glasses at you – although, there are few glasses on hand. This is a Wine Library, where row after row of bottles of wine sit, quietly aging, all in the name of advancing wine science. Unlike the other University libraries on campus, it is not open to the public, and you won’t be able to check-out or borrow anything from it, but if you have some fine wine you’d like to lend, you can certainly check it in, and they will […]

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Adventures in Alternative Winemaking with Barrel Staves and Inserts

  While oak alternatives used to carry a negative stigma and be the domain of large wineries, these winemaking tools have been gaining popularity among wineries of all types and sizes lately. Barrel staves and inserts provide winemakers with opportunities to dabble in oak with less commitment and at a fraction of the cost of full barrels. Of course, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using oak alternatives rather than traditional barrels, but advancements in stave and insert products are making this option more sustainable and attractive. In this article, we will explore what staves and inserts are, discuss how to select them for your wine, and provide tips from industry experts who work with these products regularly. An […]

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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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