This Issue of The Grapevine Magazine

Are You Protecting What You’ve Worked so Hard to Build?

  Picture it – clearing the fields, row mapping, proper drainage, all those plantings – and – your first yield. You have come so far to get to where you are today! Countless hours, lots of hard work and now you really have something – your pride and joy. But now that you’ve come so far and you’re more established, your risks are more significant and there is just so much more to lose. Are you proactively working to protect what you’ve worked so hard to build? Winter is generally a quieter time and is a good time to identify potential risks that could pose a threat to your business. This can mean many different things to winemakers. For some […]

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Trunk Diseases Confirmed in the Midwest, and Everywhere Grapes are Grown!!!

    I am writing again about Grapevine Trunk Diseases (GTD) in the Midwest, following the article with Mike White (ISU extension viticulturist) published in this magazine in September-October 2018. In that article we raised the question as to whether the commonly seen “winter kill” symptoms of dead cordons and spurs, and poor budbreak, may be mis-diagnosed in the region, as they also correspond to common GTD fungi symptoms. I raised this with some “old hands” in the industry, and they laughed at the suggestion. I hope this article might cause them to reconsider (but probably not). We have two developments to report. Firstly, there has been quite some activity in testing of samples, much of it by Mike. Initially […]

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What is a Winemaker? (Part 2)

  (Part 1 Ran in the January-February 2019 Issue)    Cellar Logistics Coordinator As winemakers work through the year they are always looking three, four, even eight months ahead.  The cellar picture continues to change as each new harvest “deposit” will lend toward how and what one may want to do with each lot of wine.  Will a reserve be made this year?  With these decisions become handling logistics in the cellar.  Each white wine will either stay in stainless or go to barrel for further aging.  How long will this take place and what rate of extraction will take place this year?  Will the fruit intensity, from this harvest, be able to handle the aging?  Cellars may have up […]

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Grapevine Leafroll & Red Blotch Viruses Management Discussion at the Unified Symposium

  Last January I attended the virus management session organized by the Unified Symposium in Sacramento, CA. Maher Al Rwahnih, James Stamp, Rick Hamman, and Eric Pooler were invited speakers.  While it is common sense that it is important to plant healthy vines to avoid the perpetration of viral diseases, we are learning that it is not that simple.  A couple of years ago we heard that even the most tested and best maintained foundation block in California is susceptible to becoming infected by viruses.  I will present my take on the different presentations and add my ideas on solving such important issues. The Russell Ranch Foundation Block Virus Status Maher Al Rwahnih from The University of California Foundation Plant Services […]

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Navigating the Minefield of Wine Advertising and Promotion

  One of the take-home messages from the State of the Industry address at this year’s Unified Wine and Grape Symposium was that per capita alcohol consumption is flat.  This means that the various sectors of the alcohol industry can only increase sales by re-dividing the pie in their favor.  Although wine and spirits are making headway at the expense of beer, new players in the space, such as hard seltzers and pre-mixed cocktails are carving out their own slices. One of the areas where wine is losing market share is with millennials, who are adopting wine as their drink of choice at a slower pace than prior generations.  Winning in this sector, and others, will require strong marketing efforts.  […]

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Specialty Tractors for the Vineyard

  As mechanization of vineyards becomes the norm throughout the world, equipment manufacturers have seen an opportunity to specialize. Tractors, in particular, are being designed to fit down the narrow rows of vineyards and orchards, as well as with higher horsepower, better versatility and ease-of-use. Now is the time for vineyards to re-invest in a new machine, since industry leaders, including John Deere, Kubota, and New Holland, all sell models specialized for vineyards and orchards. With a little research and guidance, vineyard owners and managers can easily find the best tractor for their specific needs. Many wine growers may question why they need specialized equipment when they can just purchase a utility tractor for their farming needs. However, the needs […]

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Spray, Mow And Mulch Your Way To Better Grape Yields

  Quality wines start with quality grapes. Quality grapes start with quality care, meaning everything from the soil to the prevention of disease and insect damage. Proper mowers, mulchers and spray systems can help with this process. Slimline Manufacturing: Go With The Flow Wayne Riddle sells Turbo-Mist Agricultural Sprayers for Slimline Manufacturing, based in British Columbia, Canada. Slimline sprayers take advantage of the wind’s trajectory, transforming a potential setback into the sprayer’s key feature. “Any successful chemical application is based on good circulation,” says Riddle. “So, we control the movement of the wind to direct chemically loaded droplets to their target. The terminology that we use is the gear-up, throttle-down method, which is to say that we can speed up […]

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Embracing Marketing Automation in the World of Amazon

  Amazon has changed the way we look at eCommerce. They arguably pioneered consumer ratings, suggested products, retargeting ads, and many of the online marketing tools we now take for granted.   All of these can be bucketed under the category of marketing automation. While that sounds scary, it really boils down to “getting the right message to the right person at the right time” because it removes some of the guesswork and human error out of our marketing communications.  Marketing automation is the hot trend of the business market. According to a December 2018 study by VentureBeat – 75% of companies are more likely to be purchasers of marketing automation software over this year. What is Marketing Automation? Technology: It […]

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WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS: Fermentation And Storage Tanks

  The style and type of fermentation and storage tanks used in wineries are dependent on many factors, but always includes the winemaker’s beliefs, experiences and history regarding the quality and traits of the wine they want to produce. Tank suppliers have become true partners with wine producers, shouldering the trust and responsibility for providing quality vessels to ferment, hold and enhance the winemaker’s product while sometimes even providing insight on the proper use of their chosen vessel. Terracotta Amphorae Such is the case with Manu Fiorentini, Founder and CEO of Itek Wines, a tank supplier, distributor and filtration service provider servicing California’s Central Coast. Itek Wines’ offerings include oak barrels from the French region of Burgundy, Italian concrete tanks […]

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The Spirit of Alliance: Oregon’s Philosophy of Collaboration

  Although Oregon has been home to vineyards as far back as 1847, after the end of Prohibition in 1933, it needed a bit of rebuilding. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that winemakers made the trek from the Mediterranean and mild climates of California to do just that, throwing their hats in the ring to grow grapes in a new and very different terrain. It was during this time that well-known names like Dick and Kina Erath, Dick and Nancy Ponzi, Susan and Bill Sokol Blosser, David and Diane Lett and David and Ginny Adelsheim put down roots around the state of Oregon and started vineyards. Some had education and training in viticulture; some did not. Most had […]

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Welcome to Fizz Club

  Over the past 15 years, international sales of Champagne and sparkling wine have strengthened. The increased sales are due, in part, to the increase in exceptional sparkling wines being made in wine regions throughout the world, including Canada. Even though Champagne remains the gold standard, with the rise in quality sparkling wines at reasonable prices, consumers no longer have to wait for a special occasion to pop open a bottle, and sales have skyrocketed. Belinda Kemp, senior scientist in Oenology at Brock University, wanted to provide a technical foundation for the growth of Canada’s sparkling wine industry, so in 2013 she worked with Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) to create Fizz Club. According to the […]

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What Wineries Should Know About Labels, Printing, and Bottle Engraving

In the wine industry, a label is much more than a sticker on the bottle identifying the brand. Rather, a label is an opportunity to tell consumers about your winery, the intricacies of a particular type of wine, and to highlight its character and quality. That is why it’s so important to put as much time and thought into what’s on the outside of the bottle as what’s inside. The Importance & Basics of Wine Labels The importance of effective label printing is to differentiate your product from other wines and help it stand out in the competitive market. Labels provide valuable information to consumers about the winery’s location, tasting notes and alcohol content. In the U.S., labels must also […]

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