Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Posts Tagged: enology

A weak economy is pinching the premium wine industry

Like many business sectors, the California premium wine industry is suffering under the weak economy, according to an article published over the weekend in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

Wine produced in Napa and Sonoma counties used to be cheap alternatives to French wines. Now connoisseurs are turning to less expensive wines from Australia, South America and California's Central Valley.

UC Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor Glenn McGourty told reporter Glenda Anderson that he believes consumers will return to North Coast wines when the economy improves.

“Lodi is kind of like the person you go out with that's really hot but you don't want your parents to see them,” he was quoted.

The story opened with the travails of McDowell Valley Vineyards of Hopland, which is facing possible foreclosure Nov. 5. McGourty said the McDowell situation is not unique.

“A lot of people are on the ropes,” he was quoted.

Wineries are cutting back on how much they buy and the prices they'll pay for grapes.

The McDowell vineyard reported that the value of its premium winegrapes has dropped from $1,400 a ton to about $700 a ton. A winery offered to buy 32 tons of McDowell sauvignon blanc at $600 a ton. In Lodi, winegrapes average about $500 a ton, the story said.

The wine market decline is putting some people out of business.
The wine market decline is putting some people out of business.

Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 at 9:42 AM
Tags: economy (21), enology (4), Glenn McGourty (8), viticulture (15), wine (28)

Associated Press profiles two Latino family wineries

Latino winemakers are rare, but some are finding success by catering to Latinos developing a taste for fine wine, according to an Associated Press article by Olivia Muñoz. The story ran in the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, on the ABC News website and other media outlets.

The article profiled two Latino family wineries whose founders started out working in the fields.

"I would work my regular shift and then pester the vineyard manager with questions until I knew everything he knew," Reynoldo Robledo of the Robledo Family Winery near Sonoma was quoted.

The winery sells 20,000 cases per year bringing in about $1 million.

Ceja Vineyards in Napa president Amelia Ceja and her husband Armando worked in vineyards as children, and also obtained formal education. Armando earned a degree in enology and viticulture from UC Davis, and worked as a vineyard manager for other wineries before the family started their own, the story said.

Both vineyards were reported to be targeting the Latino market. Half of the Ceja Vineyard's wine club is Latino and the company promotes the wine at dinners pairing traditional Mexican dishes with Ceja Vineyard reds and whites. The Robledo Family Winery also built its business by catering in part to Latino wine drinkers interested in quality and a connection to their heritage.

Esau Herrera of the Hispanic Vintners Association, a marketing group with about a dozen members in California and Florida, told Muñoz that part of Latino vintners success comes from making a connection with Latinos.

"There are people like me who are very proud of our roots and don't mind plunking down $125 for a bottle of wine," Herrera was quoted.


Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 10:20 AM
Tags: enology (4), viticulture (15), wine (28)

Shasta College teams with UCCE for winemaking class

A two-acre vineyard on the Shasta College campus will produce grapes for the school's growing wine-making program and a venue for collaboration with UC Cooperative Extension, according to an article in the Redding Record Searchlight.

Although the young vineyard is still about a year away from producing its first crop, the college is already working with UCCE to use the vineyard for research and community workshops.

“That’s been a good partnership,” Shasta College horticulture instructor Leimone Waite was quoted in the article. “We are trying to be a completely organic vineyard, which has been a real challenge.”

The vineyard is also used for instruction in some of Shasta College's 14 wine-related classes. Students plant, prune and train the grapevines. Some vines were purposely trained the wrong way so students can see what happens.

Shasta College is one of four in the 112-campus community college system to have a bonded winery. The designation allows the college to bottle wine with its own label. So far, Shasta College wine is not for sale, but it has been sampled at campus events.

The Shasta College's viticulture and enology program includes students seeking careers in the wine industry, as well as those who simply want to grow a few grapes and make wine at home.

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Tags: enology (4), viticulture (15), wine (28)

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