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Rolling Blog: Daily Updates of How COVID-19 is Altering The Wine Industry

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29/09/2020 Get the latest news & updates of COVID-19 with this rolling blog.

Sommeliers Choice Awards will be gathering the latest news about the COVID 19’s affect on the wine industry. We’ll be updating this blog regularly with important news and stories.

29 September 

Glass Incident explodes to 36,000 acres in the North Bay, mandatory evacuations underway

Overnight, new evacuation orders and warnings were issued for an area straddling the Napa-Sonoma County border northeast of Santa Rosa as two new fires, the Shady Fire and the Boysen Fire, started near the Glass Fire. By Monday afternoon, more than 53,000 residents had been ordered to evacuate.

Read more HERE

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29 September 

Yakima Valley winemakers say smaller harvest could mean better 2020 vintage

“We’re all about the flavor,” said David O’Reilly, founder and winemaker at Owen Roe in Parker. “A big, watery berry is not going to give you the flavor. Having these smaller clusters is going to give us a better product in the barrel.”

Read more HERE

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29 September 

Bruce Cohn’s Trestle Glen Vineyards Releases 2018 Cabernet

Bruce Cohn and Tom Montgomery, his longtime winemaker have decided to make one single Cabernet that combines the best of his historic vineyards. They hit the jackpot. 

The result, by blending the Creekside’s smooth mouthfeel and soft tannins with the bouquet and long finish of the Hillside cabernet results in one greet offering. The wine will be released on October 1. The new release can be sourced at fine wine establishments and directly from www.trestleglenvineyards.com. The wine retail price $50.

Read more HERE

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29 September 

How NYC’s Food Journalists Feel About the Return of Indoor Dining

Reporters, editors, food writers, and critics share their plans for the city’s return to reduced-capacity indoor dining on September 30 

Anna Hezel, senior editor, Taste:

I haven’t eaten indoors at all during COVID and am a long ways away from doing it. I’m pretty mentally prepared to hole up for the fall and winter, supporting my favorite restaurants with lots of takeout, and tipping as if it were a big fun meal out with lots of friends and lots of drinks.

Read more HERE

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29 September 

15 Standout Takeout and Delivery Options Currently Available in Denver

In the two months that the Denver dining scene was at a standstill, local restaurateurs pivoted to the takeout and delivery model with extraordinary courage and ingenuity, keeping their livelihoods intact as best they could while offering frazzled home cooks a breather.

Many have now reopened their doors according to the state’s strict protocols. But no one expects business as usual, which means that to-go service will continue in the weeks and even months to come — including at these 15 favorites.

Read more HERE

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28 September 

This year’s wildfires are likely ‘the single worst disaster the wine-grape growing community has ever faced’ says John Aguirre, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers

Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has tainted grapes in some of the nation’s most celebrated wine regions with an ashy flavor that could spell disaster for the 2020 vintage.

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity. If tainted grapes are made into wine without steps to minimize the harm or weed out the damaged fruit, the result could be wine so bad that it cannot be marketed.

Read more HERE

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28 September 

A group of bar owners and general managers from more than 50 bars have sent a letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanding help

Reps from places like Carol’s Pub, Cubby Bear, and Haymarket Pub & Brewery want the mayor to increase the maximum number of customers allowed inside bars from 25 percent; businesses are barely breaking even if they’re lucky under current policies.

Indoor service is only allowed if bars sell food or partner with a restaurant or food truck to offer food. Currently, patio service is permitted without food service. Those who signed the letter also want to stay open until 1:30 a.m. During the pandemic, the city has mandated an 11 p.m. last call.

Read more HERE

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28 September 

Montreal’s Chinatown Seeking $1 Million in Relief to Overcome Disproportionate COVID-19 Downturn

Anti-Asian racism spurred by misinformation linking Chinese communities to the the spread of the coronavirus is also to blame, the community leaders say. 

“Our community has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic on all fronts. Our people are scared,” said Sherry Ao, president of the Montreal Chinatown Development Council.

In addition to relief fund, the leaders are seeking a one-year commercial tax reduction and help to establish Montreal’s Chinatown as a commercial development corporation (SDC). 

Read more HERE

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28 September 

Wine Enthusiasts Nationwide Can Enjoy a Curated Coastal California Experience in the Intimacy of Their Own Homes with “Tolosa Tonight”

In celebration of California Wine Month, Tolosa Winery has launched Tolosa Tonight, a curated gastronomical experience available to culinary and wine enthusiasts in the intimacy of their own homes.

Wine and food devotees across the country can order an event kit and prepare excellent three-course meals paired with select Tolosa wines, all included in the kit. The winemakers will provide the guidance needed to host a true wine country dinner. 

Read more HERE

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28 September 

Candy Mountain Becomes Washington’s 16th American Viticultural Area

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published the final rule for the Candy Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA) on September 25, 2020, making it the 16th AVA in Washington.

“Candy Mountain is small but mighty,” said Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission. “The region has been growing highly regarded grapes for years, so it will be great to finally see the AVA-designated wines out in the world.”

Read more HERE

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25 September 

Napa County Farm Bureau Celebrates National Farm Safety and Health Week 2020

National Farm Safety and Health Week is led by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), the agricultural partner of the National Safety Council. The theme for National Farm Safety and Health Week 2020 is “Every Farmer Counts”. This theme is one that reminds us that it is in everyone’s best interest to prioritize the health and safety of those who work so hard in our agricultural sector.

Read more HERE

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25 September 

Head Winemaker at Israel’s Barkan Winery Receives Prestigious Master of Wine Designation, a Title Held by Fewer Than 100 Fellow Master Wine Makers

Read more HERE

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25 September  

Hess CEO talks Smoke, Pandemic Strategy

Q: How has the pandemic affected brand development or how you manage your overall portfolio?

Timothy Persson: I think the interesting thing that the pandemic has done for us it to reinforce the sales rates of established items and, conversely, it's made it harder for us with items that we were establishing. Either because we would've traditionally established them in the on-premise arena, or simply because the awareness of that item on the shelf is not as developed with a consumer.

 It's an interesting thing in the sense that where we were either incubating items or planning to introduce new items, the effect of the pandemic is probably to slow down the progression or the development cycle of those items, or it's causing us to offset or delay the introduction of those items just because it's not a healthy enough environment in which to do so. And we're also learning, like a lot of other people, about which changes in consumer behaviors are likely to be more temporary in nature and which are likely to stick longer term.

Read more HERE

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25 September 

How to Celebrate Oktoberfest at Home With Boston-Area Takeout and Delivery

2020 doesn’t lend itself to gathering in groups for festive Oktoberfest celebrations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season at home. Here are several Boston-area breweries, restaurants, and businesses from which you can order takeout and/or delivery of beer, sausages, pretzels, and more.

Read more HERE

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25 September 

These Atlanta Restaurants Are Now Permanently Closed Due to the Pandemic

For some Atlanta restaurant and bar owners, the devastating loss of revenue over the last few months, lack of real rent relief or support from landlords, and inability to secure substantial emergency funding have left them no choice but to close their businesses permanently.

Read more HERE

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23 September 

2020 Sonoma County Wine Auction Raises $1.17 Million for Sonoma County Nonprofits

 Sonoma County Vintners Foundation and Honorary Chairs – Clay Mauritson of Mauritson Wines, Jake Bilbro of Limerick Lane Cellars and Mark McWilliams of Arista Winery announce the results for the 2020 Sonoma County Wine Auction with over $1.17 million raised for the community. Over $37 million has been raised since the auction’s inception, making a direct local impact on education, health and human services, the environment, and arts and culture. 

Read more HERE

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23 September 

American Steakhouse Chain Sizzler Declares Bankruptcy Because of Coronavirus

One of Los Angeles’s most storied restaurant franchises, Sizzler, has declared bankruptcy as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The company said in a public statement today that the legal filing is “a direct result of the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the casual dining sector.”

Read more HERE

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23 September 

Riverside County restaurants cautiously approach reopening their dining rooms

Riverside County restaurants will be able to open dining rooms to customers at 25% capacity was met with cautious optimism.

“I guess this step forward is a move in the right direction, but people still need to be diligent in bring back our economy,” said Janae Solis, owner of Dorry’s Diner in the City of Riverside. “There’s still a mile.”

Read more HERE

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22 September 

WWC20 – the shortlist

We are thrilled to publish details of our 18 shortlisted entries in this year's wine writing competition, whose theme was sustainability- Jancis Robinson.

Read more HERE 

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22 September 

'Wet ashtray' wine grapes left to birds as fires choke West Coast vineyards

Many tasting rooms remain shuttered due to fire and smoke risks, while grapes awaiting harvest in storied wine regions like Willamette Valley or California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys may be damaged or ruined entirely.

Oregon, Washington state and California together produce about 90% of all U.S. wine. The true impact on the $70 billion industry will not be known for months as the typical wildfire season is only just beginning, and crop damage can vary greatly from field to field.

Read more HERE

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21 September

Restrictions on gatherings continue to sting Napa Valley's events industry

In March, California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) in tandem with the state’s shelter-at-home order issued guidance prohibiting gatherings: concerts, conferences, sporting events and similar events were now off the table. Last week, CPDH issued updated guidance for the state’s event industry: any and all events – except those protected by the First Amendment, including religious ceremonies and protests – are still not permitted.

Read more HERE

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21 September 

Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc Lead Growth for Off-Premise Wine as per Nielsen

Read more HERE

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21 September

California winery comes to Kansas

A traveling winery made its stop in Topeka Thursday. Faced with challenges presented by COVID-19 and wildfires in California, the owners of Dakota Shy wine decided to bring their product to the communities that support them.

Read more HERE 
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21 September

Dream Big Darling to Host Virtual Leadership Retreat on October 22-23

Dream Big Darling is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering the success of women in the wine and spirits industry through mentorship, education, life enhancement and professional retreats. 

the 2020 Dream Big Darling Leadership Retreat on October 22-23 will be a multi-day virtual experience featuring notable speakers, workshops, networking and more—all with the goal of fostering professional development and career opportunities across the industry. The retreat will feature an all-star cast of speakers touching on a range of personal and professional development topics. 

Read more HERE

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21 September 

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.

Read more HERE

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 17 September 

Pine Ridge Vineyards Announces Release of Inaugural Sparkling Wine 

 Pine Ridge Vineyards, a producer of world-famous Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley’s renowned Stags Leap District, announced the release of its inaugural sparkling wine, an extension of the winery’s genre-defining still Chenin Blanc + Viognier.  The release marks Pine Ridge Vineyards’ first new label in 25 years and begins an exciting new chapter for the popular blend.  The inaugural vintage will be available for $18 (SRP) online and in retail beginning October 1, 2020.

Read more HERE

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17 September 

Wine Sales Up 17.9% off-premise for the week ending 9/05/20 - Nielsen

Read more HERE

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15 September 

Registration Now Available for Virtual Ag Expo & International Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

Since 2003, the Sustainable Ag Expo has been a leader in providing world-class educational content for farmers, researchers, and consultants. Every year the Ag Expo & International Sustainable Winegrowing Summit features the latest viticulture research and technology from the world’s top experts to help professionals be competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. 

This year’s virtual format provides access to a greater diversity of topics and speakers accessible from November 9 through December 4, 2020 featuring over 25 hours of live and recorded content.  Registrants will have convenient access to all content during those four weeks; a silver lining to the pandemic that will allow students and professionals valuable flexibility during an already busy time of year.

Read more HERE

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15 September 

Updated: West Coast Wildfires Threaten Oregon and Washington Wine Harvests

Oregon and Washington are battling a wave of wildfires this week, joining still-smoldering California as much of the West Coast has been blanketed with smoke from multiple blazes, blotting out the sun.

One Rogue Valley winery, however, has not been spared. Wine Spectator has learned that Simple Machine winery was destroyed by the Alameda fire in the southern part of the state. "Simple Machine winery has completely burned to the ground, with loss of all facilities, equipment, inventory, and tasting room. There is literally not a single bottle left," said co-owner Brian Denner, who moved to Oregon ten years ago after making wine in California's Paso Robles. 

Read more HERE

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14 September 

500,000 people in Oregon forced to flee wildfires

Authorities in Oregon now say more than 500,000 people statewide have been forced to evacuate because of wildfires. At a news conference Thursday, Gov. Kate Brown said there have been fatalities but the exact number is not yet known. There have been at least three reported fire deaths in the state.

Read more HERE

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14 September 

California Heatwave Leaves Grape Growers Sweating

Only one lab in California right now, ETS, tests grapes and nascent wines for smoke taint. With every part of the state worrying about smoke, ETS is receiving hundreds of samples a day and has fallen weeks behind. Its website said Monday that, for current clients, "Grape berry samples received early today are projected to be reportable by 17 October, and wine samples received early today are projected to be reportable by 28 September." Anyone who isn't already a client of ETS is told: "We anticipate that we will be able to start processing these samples not sooner than November." November!

With lab results unavailable, grapes either stay on the vine, slowly becoming raisins in a record heatwave, or they are picked and processed before lab results come in, and hopefully turn out to be untainted.

Read more HERE

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8 September 

Wineries Get Creative to Share Harvest with Consumers – Experience Harvest Up Close at Center of Effort

Every Friday & Saturday, September 18th – October 17th, Visit Center of Effort for a private tour of Harvest Up Close. Taste the ice cold grapes straight from the vineyard after a chilly morning pick; watch the fruit sorting process, ensuring only the highest quality fruit continues; or learn the art of punch downs to enhance flavor and color. There are so many interesting activities to take part in.

Read more HERE

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8 September

Celebrate California Wine Month in Livermore Valley

In honor of California Wine Month, Livermore Valley Wine Country is highlighting “perfect pairings” within the valley. A sampling of September winery events such as: International Bacon & Cabernet Pairing Experience, Harvest Special Zoom, BYOB etc. 

Read more HERE

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3 September

Royal Slope Is Washington’s Newest American Viticultural Area

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published the final rule for Royal Slope today, September 2, 2020, to officially define it as a designated wine grape-growing region.

“Many of our wineries and grape growers have been championing the terroir of Royal Slope for a long time, so it’s thrilling for them to be able to put an official AVA name on the bottle,” said Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission.

Read more HERE

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3 September 

WSET Annual Candidate Figures Hit by COVID but Buoyed by Growth of Online Learning

WSET, the largest global provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications, has reported that in the last academic year (2019/20) a total of 96,845 candidates took a WSET qualification. This represents an 11% decrease versus last year’s record-breaking figure of 108,557 candidates reported in the organisation’s 50th year – with this decline completely attributable to the impact of COVID-19. 

Over the same period, however, WSET saw strong growth in online candidate registrations, with numbers almost trebling compared to the previous year. Although candidate numbers fell for wine and sake qualifications at all levels, candidate numbers for WSET’s spirits courses bucked the trend with Levels 1 and 2 Award in Spirits growing +17% and +19% respectively versus the previous year.

Read more HERE

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1 September 

California Wine Month Launches with Virtual Events and Offers

September is California Wine Month, the state’s annual harvest celebration. Each year, wineries, grape growers, and regional associations across the state host special events and tastings, and 2020 will be no exception. 

However, due to COVID-19 concerns, this year’s festivities will take the form of virtual wine tastings and tours, live-streamed auctions, digital cooking demonstrations, special wine discounts and the first-ever virtual grape stomp. California Wines has also created a Harvest 2020 Playlist on Spotify to help put wine lovers in a harvest state of mind, wherever they happen to live.

Read more HERE

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1 September 

Brad Pitt Launches Champagne Fleur De Miraval, “Exclusivement Rosé”

On October 15 FLEUR DE MIRAVAL will launch a truly exceptional Rosé Champagne. Brad Pitt has been totally committed to creating this Champagne house, which is not some new “celebrity wine,” but an authentic project of wine growers combining their expertise, skills and passion. This new, family-run adventure is, now, more than ever, focused on excellence and inspired by the legend of Countess Fleur de Miraval*.

Read more HERE

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31 August

Tolosa Winery Announces New Futures Program for 2019 Single Vineyard Wines

Private seated tastings, available by appointment, are currently offered on the winery’s expansive outdoor patio, allowing guests the rare opportunity to explore these exclusive small-lot wines prior to release.

 The 2019 Single Vineyard wines will be released November 1, accompanied by the 2019 Primera, also scheduled to be released on November 1, 2020. Futures of the Primera and the Single Vineyard series wines are now available for purchase. Given the prestige of these limited-production bottlings, with under 250 cases of each produced, many of these wines are expected to sell-out prior to release.

Read more HERE

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31 August

Sojourn Cellars Announces Alliance with Harrow Cellars 

The founders [Craig Haserot and Erich Bradley] and winemaking team all live in Sonoma, and the tasting room will remain in Sonoma,” said Erich Bradley, Sojourn Cellars founder and director of winemaking, “so this feels a lot like a homecoming, both physically and spiritually. We work with an incredible set of 16 different vineyards and now we can look forward to a winemaking facility in which we can take quality control to the next level.

Read more HERE

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31 August 

Sixteen new Masters of Wine

The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced 16 new Masters of Wine, taking the total number of MWs in the world today to over 400.

There are now 409 MWs based in 30 countries.

Read more HERE

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31 August 

Barefoot Is Introducing A New Buttery Chardonnay Boxed Wine In September

The new varietal is perfect for sipping on while cozied up under a blanket this fall, and you can get your hands on it starting in September.

The Barefoot Buttery Chardonnay On Tap has pineapple aromas and is “filled with layers of toasty oak to complement the smooth vanilla finish,” according to a press email. 

It comes in a box that resembles an ombré stick of butter (if that was a thing). The box is equal to four 750-milliliter bottles of wine and features a tap for easy wine removal. Better yet, the boxed wine stays fresh 30 days after you open it.

Read more HERE

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28 August

Revelshine Launches as an all-new Sustainable Wine Brand in Unbreakable, Infinitely Recyclable Bottles

Revelshine, created to put premium wine in sustainable aluminum bottles, releases with a variety collection of three wines that are designed to be taken off the beaten path.

With an offering of a Revelshine Rose, Revelshine White and Revelshine Red, anyone can enjoy wine at their fingertips no matter where their compass takes them. Take a tasting room to the peak of a mountain, down a lazy river or off the coast in the bow of a boat.

Read more HERE

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28 August

LNU Lightning Complex: Break In Harvest Lessens Consequences For Wine Country Grape Crop

Hard as it might be to believe, Sonoma County’s wine industry caught a bit of a break.

Harvest started roughly two weeks early this year, and the Walbridge Fire erupted after the bulk of the sparkling wine grapes had been picked and before it was time to pick the great majority of still wine grapes.

Read more HERE

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27 August 

Alisos Canyon in Santa Barbara Approved as AVA
 
The Alisos Canyon area has long been revered for its high-quality fruit with its unique affinity towards Rhone-style varietals, and now the TTB has formally recognized Alisos Canyon as the region’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA). Nestled between the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley, Alisos Canyon is a tightly defined, stand-alone AVA that covers 5,774 acres distinguished by its unique geology, soil structure, and climate pattern.

Read more HERE

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27 August

11 scenic Midwest wineries worth a getaway

It's not California or Oregon, but the Midwest region is home to some surprisingly excellent pours—whether you prefer sparkling rosé, pinot noir or chardonnay. As an added bonus, all of the vineyards on this list boast remarkable outdoor spaces so that guests can sip and swirl. 

Whether you're a wino in training or you know your gamay from your grenache, these Midwest wineries are ready to fill your glass.

Read more HERE

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26 August
Terlato Wine Group Promotes Gaspar Roby Vice President, Winemaking & Viticulture 

Established in 1947, fourth-generation family-owned and operated Terlato Wine Group today announced the promotion of Gaspar Roby to the critical role of Vice President, Winemaking and Viticulture. Prior to the appointment, Roby was Terlato’s Director of Viticulture, responsible for all technical, operational and financial aspects of more than 350 acres of family-owned vineyards in Napa Valley and Red Mountain, Washington.

Read more HERE

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26 August 

Vinduino Announces 5th Generation Wireless Irrigation Controller

Vinduino today announces their 5th generation wireless irrigation controller, which controls a pump, multiple irrigation valves, and keeps track of flow rate per irrigation block. The system works with eVineyard and eOrchard software for daily optimized variable rate irrigation to optimize crop results and save resources.

Read more HERE
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25 August

Lodi wine grape growers worry about harvest as smoke impacts region

“Smoke exposure, it’s still being studied and what exactly it could do, you know,” Amy Blagg, executive director of the Lodi District Grape Growers Association.

Blagg says there is concern the prolonged smoke exposure could affect the wine flavor or quality. But for now, local growers are only seeing secondary effects from the smoke. 

Read more HERE
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25 August 

Walla Walla Valley named America’s Best Wine Region in USA Today readers poll

“I can think of no better way to honor wines from Washington state in general, and Walla Walla Valley wines specifically, than being recognized as America’s Best Wine Region by a vote of the public,” said Robert Hansen, executive director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, in a prepared statement.

Read more HERE

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25 August

Paso Robles mayor asks governor to allow indoor dining as smoke chokes city

“We are in the midst of a crushing heat wave,” Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin wrote. “There are also over 370 fires throughout the state, creating untold tons of smoke and ash. Together, these are putting the health of millions of Californians at risk. Finding ways to work through this pandemic has been challenging enough; the added challenges from the fires are making it untenable for many.”

Read more HERE

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24 August

Wineries Harvest while Wine Country Burns

The fires are still blazing, but most vineyards have avoided damage or smoke pollution. Westside Road in Sonoma County – dotted with good wineries – was evacuated, and the city of Healdsburg is under an evacuation warning

Read more HERE

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New Napa and Sonoma Winery Visitor Centers Offering Outdoor Tastings

Local tourism has been a lifeline for wineries during the pandemic. For Bay Area travelers looking for an easy day trip up to wine country, here are a few of the newer and recently updated wine estate visitor centers in Napa and Sonoma to consider visiting.

These wineries have stepped up their virtual games to bring consumers into that immersive experience from home as much as possible.

Read more HERE

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Usual Wines Launches Guava Spritz - Not your usual canned wine

From the makers of the beloved DTC single-serve wine brand, Usual is introducing a modern take on a wine spritzer - in its first-ever can. Made with clean and simple ingredients, the Usual Spritz is composed of sparkling wine mixed with [a splash] real, 100% natural guava juice, and nothing else.  

The Usual Spritz canned wine is a bright and crisp, low ABV, [low calorie] option to take to the park, the beach, or your living room.  With 8.5% ABV. 250ML per can. Only 3g of natural sugar, 83 calories per serving (132 calories per can), available while supplies last.

Read more HERE

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Outdoor Dining Is a Hit, but Restaurants Face ‘Apocalyptic’ Times

Nearly 10,000 restaurants have set up outdoor seating in New York City. They are struggling to stay alive until indoor dining returns.

Though outdoor dining has been a hit with patrons, restaurant owners said they were operating at a fraction of regular seating capacity. Many are staying open only because of the federal paycheck protection program, which supports payroll, and because they have not paid their full rent in months.

Read more HERE

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Giving Black Wine Professionals a Voice: A Live Chat with Julia Coney

"I was noticing that I was one of the few Black wine professionals on media trips," said Coney. "And what I noticed is a lot of the people I followed and looked at as a part of my community didn't have access to those trips. They never got invited. But I didn't think I would start Black Wine Professionals. It took what I call the 'New Civil Rights Movement' with the George Floyd murder and Breonna Taylor to make me think that I need to create a place where people can find these professionals. Because if I didn't create it, no one would."

Currently, the Black professionals listed on the website include buyers, educators, bloggers, journalists and sommeliers.

Read more HERE

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19 August

Humidity shields grapes from the worst of Bay Area heatwave

Dry, prolonged heat can be harmful to grapevines, according to Mike Wolf, owner of an eponymous vineyard management company working with a number of growers in the Napa Valley. But this heatwave is different, according to Wolf: it’s been less intense because it brought with it remarkable humidity.

Humidity and relative timing have shielded Napa Valley’s grape crop from the worst of the North Bay’s ongoing heatwave, growers say.

Read more HERE

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19 August

Walmart's Winemakers Selection gets a refresh

The retailer has relaunched its private label wine in about 2,600 stores, featuring a new label, a pared-down assortment and a $5 price point

Read more HERE

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19 August

Muscardini Cellars Announces Out of the Ordinary Tasting Experiences

Muscardini is open, ready to serve, and excited to see everyone. The team could not be more thrilled to host these unique wine tasting experiences in the beauty of Sonoma Valley and sharing the amazing limited-production wines in the serene backyard.

The new “Explore Your Senses” tasting experience ($30) is now available by appointment daily both at the tasting room and at home virtually. And should one be joining in virtually, gather colleagues, friends, or family wherever they may be and enjoy this interactive virtual tasting experience right from home.

Read more HERE

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18 August

Auction of Washington Wines Raises Over $1.74 Million During First-Ever Virtual Event Series

“Despite the challenges, change in format and experience, we are heartened that our supporters came to the ‘virtual’ table and donated so generously this year,” said AWW executive director Jamie Peha. “It is rewarding to see longtime auction patrons, as well as newcomers, enjoy the Auction in a new and digital way. 

Read more HERE

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18 August

Bonterra Organic Vineyards Brings Climate-Friendly Practices to Life with “Tastes Like Saving the Planet” Advertising Campaign

“Research indicates that consumers are more receptive when branded communications about sustainability- and climate-focused topics incorporate humor, and this inspired us to develop something unique,” said Rodrigo Maturana, vice president of marketing for Bonterra, of the campaign spots that gently poke fun at clichés associated with tasting wine. 

“The new campaign allows us to make meaningful connections with the many wine fans who care about the environment and also appreciate a lighthearted approach.”

Read more HERE

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17 August

Colorado wine seeks to survive 2020

A challenging year for Colorado winemakers might be marked by crop freezes, a new recession and a devastating global pandemic.

We could lose 10-12% of our income because of Wine-fest alone. We rely on the other festivals, too, and they’ve all been canceled,” said Hamilton, co-owner of Red Fox Cellars.

Read more HERE

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Monterey County Kicks off 2020 Grape Harvest

Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association is excited to announce the start of the 2020 wine grape harvest, the 101st year of harvesting grapes for commercial winegrowing in the region, with the harvest of Scheid Family Wines’ Isabelle’s Vineyard located along the River Road Wine Trail.

Spring rains and moderate, cool temperatures throughout the summer have given Monterey County winegrowers a very positive outlook.

Read more HERE

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Scott Harvey Wines Focuses on Its Future with Mobile DTC Innovation

To thrive in the new normal and beyond, Scott Harvey Wines needed to upend traditional sales channels and adopt a mobile e-commerce strategy. With PairAnything, the winery gains an essential dimension for business success.

Their customers, ranging from 21 to 83 years old, now connect with the winery directly on their phones to receive new releases, events, discounts and more. Like in a Virtual Tasting Room, they can request food and wine pairings recommendations and conveniently shop for wines – in a safe, contactless environment.

Read more HERE

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Sonoma-Cutrer Sponsors SommFoundation Scholarships for Aspiring Sommeliers

Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards has forged a relationship with SommFoundation, with a goal of helping those in the wine industry.

It is targeted to beverage professionals who are passionate about the industry but also in need of financial assistance as they expand their wine knowledge and earn industry certifications.

Ultimately the scholarships create more opportunities for professionals at all levels; sommeliers, winemakers, journalists, bartenders, wine directors, restaurateurs and many others associated with the beverage industry.

Read more HERE

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Trump Administration Keeps Tariffs on European Wines in Place

The 25 percent tariffs imposed on most French, German, Spanish and U.K. wines nearly ten months ago will remain in place for the foreseeable future, forcing wine lovers to pay more and inflicting economic distress on importers, retailers and restaurateurs just as the hospitality industry grapples with the economic downturn triggered by COVID-19.

Read more HERE

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10 August 

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Opens for Virtual Tastings

Hosted by educators from J. Lohr’s hospitality team, these private, curated virtual tastings will deliver a high-touch sensory experience for consumers to explore J. Lohr’s diverse portfolio from the comfort of home. The virtual tastings program complements the family winery’s successful ‘At Home with J. Lohr’ online initiative, which provides wine enthusiasts with fun, engaging DIY activities and games to help them discover new J. Lohr wines and also share moments with family and friends.

Read more HERE

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COVID-19 Harvest Protocols Webinar FAQ's Available for Download

Wine Institute, California Association of Winegrape Growers and California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance co-developed a COVID-19 Harvest Protocols Workbook released during a July 7 webinar featuring important updates.

Read more HERE

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Harvest Begins in Napa Valley

The 2020 Napa Valley harvest is underway throughout the region according to the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG), with sparkling wine varieties leading the way to the presses.

Read more HERE

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2020 Sonoma County Winegrape Harvest Kicks Off

The earliest grapes harvested were picked on Monday night in Dry Creek Valley, when Dutcher Crossing Winery’s team picked 4.4 tons of Chardonnay to be used in their estate sparkling wine, a tradition started in 2016. “The team was super excited to get the 2020 vintage started, and what better way to celebrate the harvest season than with Chardonnay for our sparkling wine,” said Nick Briggs, Dutcher Crossing’s Winemaker.

Read more HERE

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4 August

Washington Wine Launches Statewide Rallying Cry to Support Local Businesses this August for Washington State Wine Month

Washington Wine will run a large advertising campaign throughout the month of August and into September to generate roughly 12 million impressions. Safeway, Fred Meyer, PCC and many other retailers have signed on as partners to run campaigns for Washington State Wine Month, and more than 1,000 Washington wineries will have access to toolkits and assets to elevate their marketing efforts. 

Read more HERE

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4 August 

Stella Rosa Wines Launches First-Ever Wine App

The app will have unique features like augmented reality screen filters, an in-app game, chances to win discounts and merch, cocktail recipes, a store locator, and more.

The in-app game Stella Poppin’ will allow users to play and compete for a top spot on the leaderboard. Win points and share your high score with friends via social media. The game will be updated regularly with additional and bonus levels.

The app will also notify users every Wednesday to open up the app and shake. By doing so, users win prizes and discount codes to use on Stella Rosa merch.

Read more HERE

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31 July

Sparkling Wine Growth Accelerate as Consumers Settled into New Normal

Wine dollar sales in Nielsen measured off-premise channels grew +19.7% in the most recent week vs year ago, up from last week’s +16.8%.

Read more HERE

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31 July

Wines of South Africa USA Calls for Support of South African Wine Industry in Crisis

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA, the industry association that promotes the exports of South African wine, is calling on members of the wine trade, media and consumers to support the South African wine industry by buying and drinking South African wine. The ban on alcohol, currently back in place in South Africa, could be potentially devastating to the wine industry.

Read more HERE

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30 July

Ponzi Vineyards Releases Together Pinot Noir – 100% of Profits to Support Women of Minority

Winery owners and sisters Anna Maria and Luisa Ponzi believe strongly in the power of celebrating and supporting women of all races and backgrounds to inspire unity and affect positive change.

The winery has collaborated with Washington DC Artist Sheree Brand to create the label of this limited-edition 2017 Pinot Noir. Brand is inspired by the female spirit and creates art that elevates women of color and female friendships. 

Read more HERE

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30 July

Specialist wine retailer Majestic has revealed plans to re-engage customers lost in recent years, which include opening two new stores, overhauling its website, and refreshing its offering

Like many retailers with an online presence, Majestic faced unprecedented levels of demand in late March, causing its website to crash. The business temporarily closed its stores, and later restored its click and collect service in May, and reopened stores in June.

The disruption, however, did not dampen online sales, which grew by over 300% during April, May and June. 

Read more HERE

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30 July

Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery Donates to California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Funds

"Collective action is critical now more than ever when it comes to supporting Farmworkers in the midst of a global pandemic," said Hardy Wallace, co-owner and winemaker at Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery. "Donating funds is one immediate step to address pressing needs, and we hope the name of the wine will serve as a staunch reminder to wear a mask and help curb the spread of the virus."

Read more HERE

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29 July

Paper Beer, Wine and Spirits Bottles are Becoming a Reality

There is no shortage of waste in the beverage industry. As companies continue to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and deliver on green technologies, a number of producers have started to use paper or compostable bottles.

Read more HERE

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29 July

Siduri Winery Serves Up Holographic Augmented Reality Experience

Critically-acclaimed Pinot Noir specialist, Siduri, today announces a first-of-its-kind photorealistic holographic Web AR (Augmented Reality) experience that brings compelling visual storytelling to the consumer goods industry. In collaboration with Rock Paper Reality, an augmented reality design firm, this disruptive technology allows Siduri to easily engage and educate consumers in a new way, bringing to life the winery’s ethos – that serious wine and serious fun aren’t mutually exclusive.

Read more HERE

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28 July

Napa County Farm Bureau Hosts Key Industry-Wide Webinars Addressing COVID-19 During Harvest

The Farm Bureau’s latest educational webinar included an update on COVID-19 in Napa County, step-by-step instructions for Napa Valley’s ag employers on how to handle a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace, best safety practices during harvest, employment law issues related to COVID-19, ag night work guidelines, the Governor’s most recently issued regulations and guidelines, as well as other workplace concerns related to Napa Valley’s ag industry and COVID-19.

Read more HERE

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28 July

Bill and Cheryl Swanson Donate $1 Million to the Justin and J. Lohr Center for Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly

Construction of the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture, which includes a 15,600-square-foot winery and a 12,000-square-foot grange hall, is nearing completion, with the winery schedule to be completed in September 2020 and the grange hall in March 2021.

Read more HERE

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27 July

US Off-Premise Wine Sales Up By 27.6% During COVID-19

WineAmerica has said the rise in off-premise and direct-to-consumer sales is “more than making up for the loss of restaurant sales”

Read more HERE

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27 July

Washington Wine Launches Sommlight Conversation Series

The Washington State Wine Commission launched an innovative new digital conversation series that aims to disrupt the average perception of sommeliers and “somms.” Hosted by Washington Wine’s Marketing Director David Flaherty, Sommlight unveils the other side of sommeliers and wine professionals, showcasing their humor, humanity, and depth. When they’re working on the floor, it’s clockwork. But when they’re off the floor, what makes them tick?

Read more HERE

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27 July

Symington Family Estates Launches “School of Port”

An online educational platform developed by Symington Family Estates, producers of some of the finest Ports in the world for five generations which is in response to the coronavirus lockdown and current limits of in-person meetings. The new initiative will consist of a series of free digital workshops and online video courses, designed for wine trade professionals working with Port.

Read more HERE

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27 July

Explore the Napa Valley with the New and Improved Second Edition of 100 Things to Do in Napa Valley Before You Die

The second edition of the popular guidebook, 100 Things to Do in Napa Valley Before You Die, by Marcus Marque is a revised list will be consisting of all comprehensive, fun, and quirky ways to connect with the city and nearby surroundings.

Read more HERE

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27 July

Sonoma Wineries Reopen and Welcoming Visitors

Per guidelines outlined by the State of California on July 13, all tastings are permitted OUTDOORS only. Indoor tastings are suspended until further notice.here are the Sonoma wineries now open.

Read more HERE

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27 July

Reopening Status for All California Counties

View each county’s tasting room reopening status and industry-specific guidelines

Read more HERE

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16 July

ONX Wines Takes Lead in the Virtual World of Winetasting

ONX created virtual tasting kits and packaged ‘At Home’ presentations and had a strong response from the first introduction. Since launching, they’ve sold close to 2,000 kits, virtual Zoom experiences, and are developing additional in-home experiences for their consumers in the future. 

Read more HERE

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16 July 

Mira Winery Makes History with Chardonnay for First Harvest with Ovum

The Napa Valley’s Mira Winery will make history this fall when they put Chardonnay into the Western Hemisphere’s only wooden egg wine fermentation tank at their new winery in Yountville, CA. This unique vessel called “Ovum” 

“We are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative tools that help us in our pursuit of the purest expression of each vineyard block,” says Mira Winemaker Gustavo A. Gonzalez. “Ovum is not only an exciting winemaking opportunity, it’s also an incredible aesthetic addition to the winery. It’s gorgeous.”

Read more HERE

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16 July

Cool Down This Summer with New Wine Cocktails from CK Mondavi and Family

Bright and bursting with the flavors of summer, wine cocktails from CK Mondavi and Family are the perfect pairing for backyard family BBQs, warm evenings by the pool and al fresco dining. Lower in alcohol than traditional mixed drinks, they maximize wine’s natural crisp acidity and bright aromas, for a lively and refreshing summer beverage.

Read more HERE

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15 July

Job Board Created for Napa Valley Wineries Hiring This Harvest Season

The Napa Valley Vintners has launched a matchmaking webpage that connects job seekers with Napa Valley winemaking teams looking to hire this harvest season.  

More than 25 Napa Valley wineries are currently seeking interns, and hope to attract workers who want to deepen their wine knowledge or wish to explore a career in winemaking. 

Read more HERE

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15 July

The Hess Collection Winery Partners with National Forest Foundation for Pour One, Plant One Program

As founder Donald Hess said, “Nurture the land, return what you take.” In keeping with their time-honored philosophy, this National Forest Week (July 13-19, 2020), The Hess Collection announces the Pour One, Plant One program, in partnership with The National Forest Foundation. 

Through Pour One, Plant One, Hess has committed to supporting long-term environmental efforts, with each bottle of its Hess Select range of wines sold over the next year contributing towards the planting of 25,000 trees in National Forests around the United States.

Read more HERE

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14 July 

SmartBarrel Solves Major Headache for Winemakers

The SmartBarrel product from GOfermentor solves a perennial problem for aging wines in oak – the necessity to maintain topped vessels.

A 60-gallon oak barrel will evaporate between 2 and 10 liters of wine per year. Additional losses are from sampling, leakage, and racking off lees. When wine is removed, headspace forms, necessitating transfer to carboys. These are inconvenient – they take up space and are prone to contamination.

Read more HERE

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14 July

The Revival of Ram’s Gate Winery: New Packaging, Website and Logo Unveiled

Ram’s Gate Winery, a small-lot, fine-wine producer located in Sonoma’s Carneros AVA, today unveiled a new website, logo and packaging as part of an extensive rebranding initiative to refresh the brand’s identity. This is the first label and logo change since the winery’s founding in 2011.

Read more HERE

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13 July 

Alma Rosa Welcomes Visitors to Santa Barbara Wine Country at New Outdoor Weingarten

Alma Rosa, a leading producer of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines pleased to open it tasting room to the public for tastings at its new outdoor “Weingarten.” Beginning this week, the winery has reconfigured its tasting room patio, creating an optimized setting for guests to safely sample wines in an open setting with social distancing measures in place.

Read more HERE

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Acme Fine Wines Announces New Private Tastings for Summer and Fall

ACME Fine Wines, announced that the boutique wine retailer will be open for private tastings. Proprietor Karen Williams and her sommelier team are looking forward to welcoming visitors and locals. the new in-person tastings are a terrific way for guests to expand their palate and wine knowledge, experience debut wines from superstar winemakers and learn first-hand the types of wines that ACME’s wine clubs offer.

Read more HERE

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Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz is the latest celebrity to enter the wine game, launching a ‘clean’ wine brand in collaboration with entrepreneur Katherine Power

Read more HERE

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Napa County rolls back reopening of indoor wineries, tasting rooms, other venues due to spike in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 regulations have changed again in Napa now that the county has seen a 44% increase in cases in the past two weeks. Indoor dining at restaurant & Indoor wineries and tasting rooms will be closed till July 30.

Read more HERE

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9 July

A guide to chilling out this summer at Green Bay area wineries, where green spaces, music and cold beverages are plentiful

With the benefit of scenic settings, wide open green spaces to be social but still socially distant, outdoor concert series and no shortage of cold beverages, wineries are the perfect place to chill out during a stressful summer

Read more HERE

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9 July

Alma Rosa Welcomes Visitors to Santa Barbara Wine Country at New Outdoor Weingarten

Beginning this week, the winery has reconfigured its tasting room patio, creating an optimized setting for guests to safely sample wines in an open setting with social distancing measures in place

Read more HERE

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9 July

Willamette Valley Vineyards raises funds for a sparkling wine oasis in the Dundee Hills

Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) is currently building a $13.5 million sparkling wine facility in the Dundee Hills. Beginning July 8, WVV is offering $9.3 million worth of preferred stock to help finance the new Bernau Estate Vineyard project.

Read more HERE

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7 July

California Congressional Delegation Asks USDA to Make Winegrape Growers Eligible for Direct Relief

Read more HERE
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7 July

Reddy Vineyards Launches Socially-Distant, Virtual Tasting Series

in an effort to continue to deliver its award-winning Texas wines to wine lovers in a socially-distant way, the winery announced today they will resume its Virtual Tasting Series via Zoom. This Virtual Tasting Series will use the award-wining wines of Reddy Vineyards to highlight unique characteristics of wine and the winemaking process to give consumers some practical, behind the scenes knowledge in a delicious way.

Read more HERE

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6 July

Napa Green organization has Launched Premier Tasting Passport This Summer with Experiences at 16 Certified Sustainable Wineries

With this Passport, guests can savor the wines, take in the views, stand among the grapevines, and know they are supporting businesses that are doing well by doing good. This will give a chance to meet the winemaker or other team leaders.

Read more HERE

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6 July

Calif Governor Gavin Newsom ordered certain businesses across 19 counties to scale down their indoor operations

Each of those businesses is allowed to stay open and seat people outside, but people are not allowed to do business inside the establishments.

There were 5,289 confirmed cases reported in Fresno Co. as of July 1, 2020, compared to 344 confirmed cases in Napa Co. as of July 1, 2020

Read more HERE

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6 July

Constellation Brands a leading beverage alcohol company acquires Empathy Wines direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform co-founded by entrepreneur and media personality Gary Vaynerchuk

Read more HERE

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6 July

Boxed Wine Sales Increasing During Pandemic

Boxed wine sales jumped 36% till June 13 compared with the same period last year, outpacing the 29% increase in overall retail wine sales during the same period, according to Nielsen research.

Read more HERE

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3 July

'Don't tell my wine snob friends': Why Americans are buying more boxed wine during COVID-19

Boxed wine sales jumped 36% for the 15-week period ending June 13 compared with the same period last year, outpacing the 29% increase in overall retail wine sales during the same period, according to Nielsen research. Some stores temporarily have sold out. 

Read the complete news HERE

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3 July

COVID-19 Impact on Sweet White Wine Market 

The Sweet White Wine market has been garnering remarkable momentum in the recent years. The steadily escalating demand due to improving purchasing power is projected to bode well for the market. 

Read the complete news HERE

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3 July

Are you missing vineyard visits during quarantine? Try a virtual wine tasting

Vintners aren't letting the wine tasting experience fall by the wayside. Instead, many wineries are offering virtual tastings.

Some ship wine to your door, then schedule a video call to walk you through a tasting, much the same as you'd find at a vineyard. Others are creating video series that wine drinkers can watch on-demand. All are trying to adapt to the challenges of living and doing business amid the coronavirus crisis. 

Read the complete news HERE

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3 July

Miami’s 305 Wines Celebrates Its First Anniversary with a Sparkling Promotion

305 Wines, the digital wine shop that has become a South Florida staple for providing high-quality, curated wines delivered to their client’s doorstep celebrates its first anniversary on July 8. To celebrate the anniversary in style, the company is launching a month-long promotion of 10% off all sparkling wines using promo code “CHEERS.”

Read the complete news HERE

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11 May

Napa Valley wineries plan for tasting room reopenings

Anticipating the day when winery tasting rooms can reopen, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) this week submitted its proposed guidelines for tasting room operations in a COVID-19 world.

“Every winery is going to be different, but these measures were designed to be feasible for everyone. NVV is waiting for feedback from the county on its proposed post-lockdown guidelines” said  Michelle Novi, associate director of Industry Relations.

Read the complete news HERE

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11 May

Chicagoland Winery Raises $8K for Neighboring Businesses During Pandemic

“Within the first week of shelter in place orders we started thinking of ways to help our local businesses” says Lynfred’s marketing director, Christina Anderson-Heller. The winery regularly raises money for charity, donating every month to a local ‘Charity of the Month’. The ‘Relief for Roselle’ package is for sale on the winery’s website.

Read the complete news HERE

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11 May

Pre-COVID Business Like ‘HALCYON DAYS’ Says Leading Spanish Wine Player

“At the start of 2020 I never imagined we were embarking on a year that would make 2019 seem like halcyon days. Our UK customer base has faced the biggest and fastest changes I have ever seen. The on-trade channel switched off overnight leaving 5,000 of our customers in this channel in a very difficult position. By contrast, our key off-trade customers have seen a short term sales spike as people stocked up for lockdown and spending patterns started to change” Richard Cochrane, MD of Félix Solís

Read the complete news HERE

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5 May

Rombauer Vineyards Supports Community

At this time, with the country heavily impacted by COVID-19 related illness and economic disruptions, Rombauer Vineyards is pleased to assist local and national charities with contributions in excess of $100,000 including donations to; Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, Meals on Wheels, The United Sommeliers Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, Community Action of Napa Valley, Food Bank of El Dorado County, Redwood Empire Food Bank, and Interfaith Council of Amador County food bank.

Read the complete news HERE 

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5 May 

US Lockdown Alcohol Sales: The Latest Trends

Bringing you the latest trends in alcoholic drinks sales in the US since the coronavirus lockdowns began, including the performance of wines, beers and spirits in both offline and online retail.

Read the complete news HERE

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5 May 

Chateau Chantal Provides Community Aid During Pandemic

Chantal Winery and Inn on Old Mission Peninsula just completed a month of contributions to local organizations providing COVID-19 related relief via a donation of 15% of their online sales during April.  The company provided $6,567 worth of contributions to the following organizations:

The Good Bowl Hospitality Worker Relief Fund

Northwest Michigan Health Services

NMCAA Meals on Wheels

The Crosshatch Artist Emergency Fund

Read the complete news HERE

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4 May 2020

Oregon aims to include brewpubs, wineries in reopening

Oregon is planning to allow its famed microbreweries and wine tasting rooms to reopen when it starts loosening stay-home orders, rejecting a federal recommendation that bars remain closed

Read the complete news HERE

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4 May

US wine sales in stores up 14% in 5th week of coronavirus lockdown but tripled via e-commerce

For the seven weeks of noticeable impact from COVID-19 — since March 7 — wine off-premises sales were up 29.4% in dollar sales overall from a year before. Hot wine package-size and price categories in the pandemic have been 1.5- and 3-liter boxes, as well as standard 750-milliliter bottled wine retailing for $20-$25 and $11-$15.

Read the complete news HERE
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1 May

US wine industry could lose $6 billion as a result of the coronavirus

The revenue losses, for the 12-month period starting in March, are expected for a sector with more than 10,000 wineries and 8,000 wine grape growers as a result of COVID-19, said Jon Moramarco, managing partner of bw166, a wine consulting firm.

Roughly 97% of all U.S. wineries produce less than 50,000  cases a year and they are estimated to experience annual revenue losses between 36% and 66%, Moramarco said. Smaller wineries will be most affected as projected losses will increase as winery production decreases. Wineries producing 1,000 to 5,000 cases could experience revenue loss of 47.5% and wineries producing fewer than 1,000 cases may lose 66% of their revenue.

Read the complete news HERE

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1 May

Wines of South Africa Announces South African Wine Exports Allowed

The South African wine industry is elated to announce that the South African Government decided yesterday to lift transport restrictions on movement, from tomorrow, Friday, May 1, as part of the country’s move from level 5 to level 4 restrictions regarding the Covid-19 lockdown. 

This means that transport and export of wine, manufacturing and related services will be able to resume and the industry will be able to fulfill its obligations with regard to wine exports. The industry has expressed its gratitude to the government for this decision. 

Read the complete mews HERE

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1 May 

Online Course: How To Sell Your Wines to Restaurants Effectively

How many times has it happened that you realized you could've done something different during the sales call, that would've led to a big sale? Or something that you shouldn't have done, that could have hampered your prospect?⠀

Wineries and winemakers, Learn how to improve your sales numbers from your restaurant clients in this latest BTN online course.⠀

Register your webinar HERE

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1 May

Drinking More Wine During the Lockdown? You’re Not Alone

Data from Nielsen shows that wine sales for off-premise consumption during the period from March 1 to April 18 were 29 percent higher than in the same period one year earlier.

Total alcoholic beverage sales for off-premise consumption were up 24 percent. Of course, on-premise sales — sales at restaurants and bars — have fallen off a cliff. But the rise in off-premise sales is exceeding the 20 percent benchmark Nielsen estimates is necessary to offset the on-premise losses.

 That suggests alcohol consumption is up slightly in the crisis, a remarkably robust trend since most kinds of consumer activity are way down.

Read the complete news HERE

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1 May

Auction of Washington Wines Moving to Virtual-Only Events in 2020

AWW’s 33rd annual wine weekend of events in August will shift to a virtual auction for participants to enjoy in the comfort of their homes on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. AWW leaders made the decision with consideration for the safety and wellbeing of all patrons, donors, sponsors, winemakers and staff.

“We must find new ways to come together and are thrilled for the opportunity to re-imagine what this year’s programming will look like in a virtual environment,” said Jamie Peha, AWW’s Executive Director.

Read the complete news HERE

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1 May 

Make your delivery services visible with Get Drinks Delivered

You might be delivering, but not everyone might know about it - so how are you going to make customers see that you’re delivering? This is exactly why Beverage Trade Network is launching Get Drinks Delivered.

GetDrinksDelivered.com platform is now available for registration to all wineries, distilleries, breweries, bottle shops and restaurants that are making deliveries to customers or have curbside pick-up options. List your business for FREE

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30 April

Palate Club Helps Wine Lovers Overcome the COVID Crisis by Launching Personalized Wine Shipping Nationally

San Francisco-based wine club startup Palate Club announces nationwide shipping today to ensure safe home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This was important timing, according to French founder & CEO Nicolas Mendiharat. “More people are stuck at home from COVID-19 shutdowns and want to connect through wine. For us, wine is about humanity and savoring life,” he expresses. “Now more than ever, this message is what drives us.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 April 

Michigan alcohol industry makes donations during COVID-19 pandemic

Donations include cash, personal protection equipment (PPE), food and meals. These donations come by way of producers, distributors, retailers, distillers and wineries.

“So many people are facing great challenges right now that the alcohol beverage industry is rallying to help during this dire situation,” MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi said in a statement. “These are businesses that are also negatively impacted by the pandemic, but have stepped up so generously to help others.”  

Read the complete news HERE

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30 April 

Covid-19 Impact on Wine Tourism in the United States

“Wineries and tourism have a symbiotic relationship,” said WineAmerica President Jim Trezise. “The romance of ‘wine country’ attracts millions of tourists, who are the lifeblood of the industry, especially for the smaller wineries. Marketing innovations have mitigated the losses due to closed tasting rooms, but not entirely, and the situation will get worse as more time goes by.

 As more states start to reopen, WineAmerica is working to develop ‘best practices’ for tasting rooms that will protect the safety of winery employees and customers while allowing for a pleasant and enjoyable wine country experience.”

Read the complete news HERE

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30 April 

From Prosecco To Chianti: Italy's Wine Industry Takes A Hit From COVID-19

With Italy's restaurants and bars closed for another month and global trade snuffed out by the coronavirus, the world's top wine-producing country is experiencing an existential crisis.

Some of Italy's most prestigious wines are suffering from the worldwide lockdown.

Producers have not only sales to worry about, but logistics too. Since wine in cellars has not been sold, there will be no more room for the new wine usually taking its place that will be made after harvest this autumn.

Read the complete news HERE

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29 April 

Napa Valley Grapegrowers Providing Protective Masks, Safety Posters and Vineyard Signs

The NVG and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) have developed a full toolkit of resources in English and Spanish for vineyard crews and winery workers.  These resources include:

• Enhanced Safety Protocols – English / Spanish

• Addendum IIPP Template for COVID – English / Spanish

• Social Distancing Vineyard Sign

• Safety In the Workplace Poster – English / Spanish

Read the complete news HERE

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29 April

CA ABC and TTB Provide Guidance to Wineries on Virtual Tastings

ABC’s latest Notice of Regulatory Relief on Virtual Wine Tastings, issued on Friday April 24, provided certain guidelines for wineries conducting such virtual tastings while their licensed wine premises or tasting rooms are closed:

• Samples or tastes for wine tastings cannot be given for free to consumers.  Such samples or tastes must either be sold to the consumer or included as part of a sale of wine or other products to the consumer.

•Any wine shipped to consumers, including small tasting samples, must be sent in a manufacturer sealed container.

Read the complete news HERE

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28 April

As If COVID-19 Weren’t Bad Enough: Government Regulations Cripple The South African Wine Industry

Currently, South Africa is the only country in the world whose lockdown regulations include a ban on all liquor sales.

New indications point toward an easing of those regulations to take effect this Friday, May 1st, when Level Five status is expected to shift to Level Four where wine as a sector will be permitted to function again

For a country that exports up to half of its wine production, Level Five causes a weekly financial impact of approximately R-200 million in lost wine exports alone.

Read the complete news HERE

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28 April

Read the complete news HERE

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28 April 

Major European wine-producing nations are facing a crisis before the 2020 harvest season even looms into view

Winegrowers are left with a growing stock of unsold products. Lorenzo Cesconi, vice president of the Italian Independent Winegrowers Federation, explained that sales to bars, restaurants, hotels, and cafes account for more than 50 percent of all wine sold by Italian wine producers – a figure he says can’t be made up by retail sales alone.

“At the moment, the main issue is that the on-trade channel is basically non-existent, and so are direct sales at the winery”, says Cesconi, adding that members have to cover all the production costs associated with wine production but aren’t able to benefit from revenue streams.

Read the complete news HERE

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28 April 

Finger Lakes Wineries Create Engaging Marketing Programs During Coronavirus Pandemic

“I am in awe of our Finger Lakes wineries. They have completely redesigned their 2020 marketing activities since New York went into PAUSE mode mid-March” states Carmela Barbagallo, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance.

“Many of the Finger Lakes wineries are family-run operations. We have seen them embrace this new operating environment with agility and grace whether or not they have a dedicated marketing department. Finger Lakes wineries are finding innovative ways to connect with their customers and provide hope, entertainment and some good old-fashioned fun” states Barbagallo.

Read the complete news HERE

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28 April 

Boisset Collection Releases Victory Day Wine to Benefit Veterans, Offers Sommelier Select Cabernet to Consumers & Retailers to Help Wine Professionals

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on May 8, 1945, Boisset Collection has released a new wine and is donating a portion of the proceeds to support veterans’ causes. Victory Day, a blend of Sonoma County fruit, is named after the historic day that marked the conclusion to the world’s deadliest conflict. Boisset Collection is proudly donating $1 for every bottle sold to veterans’ charities.

Read the complete news HERE

 

 

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27 April

An online wine tasting may sound like a joke. But in the lockdown world it has become a way to do business.

Cue a plethora of online wine-tasting events from top wineries all around South Africa, as well as their global counterparts. No, neither Zoom nor Houseparty are sufficiently advanced to enable you to lick your screen and get the 100% wine-tasting experience. But at least you can engage with the winemaker. 

Angelica Valenzuela, sales manager at Wines of Chile, says: “It challenges us to sell our brands with different methods, to be more creative, to use technology. In the end, when things return to normal, we’ll have our regular channels and the new ones developed during the coronavirus crisis.”

Read the complete news HERE

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27 April

Many Hungarian wineries significantly affected and facing export uncertainty as well as a halt on sales to local restaurants

Read the complete news HERE

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27 April

Sake (Japanese Rice Wine) Market Overview

The complete lockdown situation in several countries, has directly or indirectly impacted many industries causing a shift in activities like supply chain operations, vendor operations, product commercialization, etc.

 In the latest report on Sake (Japanese Rice Wine) Market, published by Market Research Intellect, numerous aspects of the current market scenario have been taken into consideration and a concise analysis has been put together to bring you with a study that has Pre- and Post-COVID market analysis.

Read the complete news HERE

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24 April 

How ‘very socially disruptive’ Measures Will Effect The Wine Trade

There are major concerns for all parts of the supply chain that come with a re-opening of businesses with social distancing guidelines still in place.

In terms of the hospitality sector, it is hard to see how such measures could be adhered to while running a fully functioning business, both in terms of the practicalities – how can you serve a customer and keep a 2m distance? – but also the bigger issue that a part-filled bar, pub or restaurant won’t be profitable.

Read the complete news HERE

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24 April 

12 Wine Experts Suggest What To Drink During Quarantine

We can’t dispute that a glass of great wine delivers a dose of comfort, but instead of reaching for your usual red, use this time to discover something new. To help you find a quarantine quaff, here are the wine experts spanning from Aspen to Tokyo with their recommendations. They shared a complex pour from Portugal, a lush pinot noir from Oregon and much more.

Read the complete news HERE

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24 April 

“Our goal during these unprecedented times is to be a beacon of assistance, service and hope to our members and our on-premise colleagues who need our support more than ever,” said Deborah Brenner, Founder & CEO of Women of the Vine & Spirits.

Read the complete news HERE

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24 April 

Coronavirus May Cut Wine Sales in Europe by Half: OIV

"In Europe, the shutdown of this important channel of distribution might bring a reduction of 35% in volume and a reduction of almost 50% in sales," International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) Director General Pau Roca told a webcast news conference, without giving a timeframe.

Mediterranean countries would be most affected as they rely heavily on bars, restaurants and terraces and tourism will remain limited even after lockdown measures are lifted.

Read the complete news HERE

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23 April

Nakedwines.com launches $5M support fund for winemakers disrupted by COVID-19

The temporary closure of bars and restaurants, as well as winery tasting rooms and events for the foreseeable future, is being keenly felt by winemakers everywhere.

To help this community of winemakers, nakedwines.com is making $5M immediately available to buy their wine, and give them access to its 500,000 Angel customers in the US, UK and Australia, and the chance of a permanent listing.

Read the complete news HERE

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23 April

How The Wine Market Is Holding Up In The Times Of Coronavirus

There is a tremendous amount of channel shifting: from on-premise to off premise, tasting rooms to direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping, more frequent shopping to less frequent shopping with larger basket sizes and combinations of these shifts.

On the last point, for the four weeks ending March 28, 2020—compared to the same four-week period in 2019—there were 12 percent more households purchasing wine off-premise, and dollar spend of wine per buyer was +15 percent.

Read the complete news HERE

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22 April

Having “sold out” in European retailers, but lost all its restaurant wine business due to Covid-19 lockdowns, leading Slovenian producer Puklavec views the current drinks market “with a smile and a tear”.

Tatjana Puklavec from Puklavec Family Wines said that she had “sold out” in The Netherlands’ biggest supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, and was experiencing surges in demand in the UK and Poland, while commenting that overall sales for the Slovenian producer were 50% higher than had originally been budgeted for in export markets.

However, commenting on the “big channel switch” from restaurants to retail sales of wine since the lockdowns in Europe shuttered the on-premise, she said, “We have lost all of our on-trade business, therefore we need the raise in the off-trade.”

Continuing she said, “In our home country Slovenia and also in Croatia we depend 20% on the on-trade: we lost 75% in March, and in April we have sold zero bottles, so we are really happy about better sales in the off-trade.” 

Read the complete news HERE

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22 April 

Heidi Scheid on Coping with Oversupply and a Pandemic

One of the largest vertically integrated wine and grape growing operations in California has changed operations to keep its business running while also keeping its employees safe.

When asked Heidi said “we took a proactive approach for all of our people that could work at home. Even before we really had to, all of our marketing people picked up their laptops and got set up in their home offices. Salespeople, of course, are not getting out on the road anymore, but they’re used to using technology to stay in contact with people.

On the production side, that’s obviously where it gets a little more difficult.”

Read the complete news HERE

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22 April

Questions wineries need to answer before talking with lenders about coronavirus-caused financial woes

With coronavirus-linked dips in cash flow leading to loan-repayment problems, and the sudden drop in sales and operating earnings resulting in breaches of financial covenants, many wineries are facing looming loan defaults.

Lenders are confronting a situation where many of their borrowers and potential buyers of winery assets are uncertain and under financial stress, making it unproductive to reflexively declare defaults and exercise remedies. With both wineries and lenders subject to the downturn and uncertainty from the pandemic, we anticipate that many well positioned wine businesses to be in serious workout discussions with their lenders in the near future.

Read the complete news HERE

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21 April

The South African Wine Industry Responds to the Effects of the Ban on Exports

Despite an initial exemption made by the government on the 7th of April to allow the transport of finished goods to harbors and airports for the purpose of export, this exemption was revoked in a government briefing on the 16th of April, once again bringing all exports to a halt – an industry which, on average, exports wine to the value of more than $9.3 million.

The effect of this, compounded with the fact that all local sales and distribution of wine and all other alcohol products is strictly prohibited, could see an industry which has been struggling financially for years, finally brought to its knees.

Read the complete news HERE

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21 April 

One Billion Litres of wine at risk in Europe, says  MEP Eric Andrieu

Andrieu has called on the European Commission to intervene, stating that the situation could have “serious repercussions” on employment, particularly among smaller businesses.

The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) has released a statement in which it notes that wine producers in many European countries have reported logistical challenges and a fall in sales. Due to the additional health and safety measures required, production facilities are operating at slower speeds and some have “closed down altogether”.

Jean-Marie Barillère, President of CEEV, said: “With the HoReCa (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafés) channel closed almost everywhere, we estimate that a 30% in volume and 50% in value of the EU wine market is locked. 

Read the complete news HERE

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20 April

Actors and married couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have launched a ‘quarantine’ Pinot Noir from Oregon and will donate 100% of the profits to charities providing Covid-19 relief.

The acting duo took to social media to announce the launch of the wine, which they said was inspired by having virtual drinks and meals with their friends during lockdown.

Kunis came up with the original idea, and Kutcher was able to contact his friend Harding to put it into practice.

The Quarantine Pinot Noir 2018 is made from grapes sourced from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and was made by winemaker Sarah Cabot of Battle Creek Vineyards.

The wine is priced at US$50 for two bottles, or $40 for members of Nocking Point’s wine club. It is available to buy now and will be shipped in early May.

Read the complete news HERE

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20 April 

Beverage Trade Network Launches Platform To Help Businesses Make Delivery Services Visible

Read the complete news HERE

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20 April

To serve guests in a world of social distancing, sommeliers are turning to technology to host virtual tastings

Sommeliers live for interactions with guests, the chance to share both wine knowledge and hospitable service. But with their dining rooms closed due to the coronavirus crisis, somms and restaurateurs across the United States are looking for new ways to connect with customers.

Through social media platforms and video-conferencing tools like Zoom, restaurants are hosting wine tastings to engage with guests and fulfill a yearning for community connection—the very basis of the hospitality industry. 

Read the complete news HERE

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17 April

Tasting Samples for Virtual Winery Experiences Approved by TTB

TTB and California ABC both confirmed today that they will permit small containers of wine to be sent to consumers for virtual tasting under existing regulations, subject to meeting specific federal and state requirements. New York, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina will also permit shipping of tastings samples subject to their current DTC regulations and Wine Institute is working on getting approvals from other states that currently allow DTC shipping.

Read the complete news HERE

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17 April 

US Wine Losses from COVID-19 Could Reach $5.94 Billion

Read the complete news HERE

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16 April 

Wine exports positive but pandemic impacts yet to come

Wine Australia has reported that positive figures of the past year do not mean that the pandemic has not affected exports, but it is too early to tell just what this impact will be.

Wine Australia’s CEO Andreas Clark said the nature of the export industry, and the fact that the pandemic was evolving daily in major markets like the UK and USA, meant that it was too early to get an accurate picture of how COVID-19 will affect Australia’s wine exports. 

However, he did note that the first quarter of 2020 had a significantly steeper slowdown than that of previous years, thanks largely to declines in China during their peak battle with the virus. 

Read the complete news HERE

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16 April 

Italian wine group Santa Margherita, together with its parent company Zignago Holding, has donated €1 million to a hospital in Veneto to aid the Covid-19 relief effort

President of Zignago Holding, Stefano Marzotto, said: “Our group owes everything to our local area, ever since my grandfather founded the company back in 1935. We have always strived to combine our business objectives with social and ethical responsibility.

“This recovery room project is important to our local community because it represents an immediate and concrete promise of help to handling this crisis now. In the future, when this crisis finishes, it will give Portogruaro Hospital the ability to handle other emergency situations more effectively, allowing them to treat post-operative patients separately from other ICU patients.”

Read the complete news HERE

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15 April 

Sommeliers Looking For Jobs Help Page

Beverage Trade Network and Sommeliers Choice Awards have taken this initiative to help sommeliers and wine directors and other on-premise front-line professionals whose jobs are at risk due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and who have been laid off due to the restaurant industry suffering.

Read the complete news HERE

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15 April

Covid Infects Logistics, Especially Independent Wineries

It seems that coronavirus has infected many aspects of the wine business, from the supply chain that wineries depend on for everything from bottles to labels, to the successful sales system that many of the world's celebrated small-scale brands have established in recent years.

For many small-scale winemakers with robust cult followings, this pandemic has exposed their relative lack of power. Sure, they may sell out their allotment every year, but only if they can get bottles to put their juice in, the boxes to ship the bottles in and, hell, the bottling line to actually make time for them.

Read the complete news HERE

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14 April 

Quarantine isn't going to deter wine tours. Wineries offer virtual tastings amid shutdown

In stark contrast to the normal hustle and bustle of tourists and oenophiles, the grounds sit empty at California's oldest commercial winery – the historic Buena Vista.

Tasting rooms statewide shut down last month after the governor ordered businesses to close to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Buena Vista and other wineries that want to stay viable and connected to their customers during the pandemic harness technology and platforms such as Facebook Live to offer virtual wine experiences.

Read the complete news HERE

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14 April 

How California North Coast wineries are surviving during shelter orders that shutter big sources of sales

It’ the social-distance or no-contact nouveau statut of wine marketing during the global coronavirus pandemic, as vintners quickly have had to get creative to reach consumers who early evidence shows are eager to stock up on beverage alcohol.

But “high-touch” marketing methods that the Mondavi families made California Wine Country status quo over 7 decades for producers of premium wines morphed overnight in mid-March by public health necessity to video conference tastings, curbside pickup of wine orders, increased direct-to-consumer sales by phone and website, and a surge in sales at brick-and-mortar stores.

Read the complete news HERE

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10 April 

Ningxia is one of the renowned winemaking regions in China and, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the development of the local industry has not stopped.

Read the complete news HERE

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10 April 

How Wineries Are Keeping The Juices Flowing During The Pandemic

Wineries are finding ways to cope up with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic- discounting product and shipping rates and tying in charitable-giving incentives. And even in uncertain times, wine-industry leaders large and small are stepping up relief efforts—from cash and in-kind donations to employee and peer support. Here’s a roundup of who’s doing what to keep the juices flowing.

Read the complete news HERE

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10 April

Serbia's wine producers hit hard by coronavirus lockdown

In the Kovacevic winery in the town of Irig, on the sloping hills of northern Serbia’s Fruska Gora region, workers have been busy this week bottling wine that will not be sold until after the coronavirus outbreak ends.

“We are still working, preparing wines, bottling them as if all this will end tomorrow,” Miroslav Kovacevic.

With 20% annual growth in exports, Serbia’s wines had been identified by the government as a way to boost a national economy which, before the pandemic, was set to grow by 4%.

But the lockdown brought wine sales and exports to a near halt, Kovacevic said. “This is a big blow. We will book a loss of around 1 million euros.”

Read the complete news HERE

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9 April

People move online for wine as coronavirus shuts pubs: Naked Wines

Britons and Americans stuck in coronavirus lockdowns may not be drinking in bars and pubs but they are ordering more wine for delivery, online seller Naked Wines 

“In the short term, the introduction of social distancing has accelerated the shift in consumer buying behaviour towards online,” Chief Executive Officer Nick Devlin said.

“In the US, especially, I believe the current period could serve as an inflection point for the growth rate of the online category, and as the largest direct to consumer player in the US market we are well positioned as customers move online.”

Read the complete news HERE

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9 April

How to get alcoholic beverages delivered to your door

It's the weekend, and you may find yourself running low on wine, beer, and spirits. Maybe it was all of the virtual happy hours over Zoom. Or maybe you want to unwind from the stress of the coronavirus outbreak with a Netflix Party and an adult beverage, but you can't summon the energy to head to the store while wearing a homemade face mask. Alcohol delivery is looking pretty good.

You're not alone in this decision. Online alcohol sales skyrocketed by 243% over one week in the middle of March in the US, according to research from Nielsen.

Here's how to find a service you can use in your area.

Read the complete news HERE

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8 April 2020

Expert Guidelines To Virtual Wine Tastings

If you’re a wine loving consumer, chances are very good that you’ve experienced a virtual wine tasting these past few weeks, or at least you’ve been given the opportunity to try one out.

Virtual wine tastings have been thrust into the spotlight recently, as the impact of SARS-CoV-2 is inspiring wineries to shift attention to engaging more directly with consumers online. Here are five signs of virtual wine tastings done well.

Read the complete news HERE

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8 April 2020

Champagne sales have suffered a “huge decrease” since the coronavirus lockdowns began, but it’s also believed that this great marker of celebratory times could resume “normal business at the end of the year”.

Co-president of the Comité Champagne, Jean-Marie Barillère, said there had been “a huge decrease” in sales of the great and famous fizz.

Commenting specifically about the French market, which represents almost 50% of Champagne sales by volume, he recorded “no activity in restaurants, bars and hotels”, which are closed during the lockdown in his home nation, and represent around one-third of the market for Champagne. “We have a 70% decrease in sales [of Champagne] in supermarkets and hypermarkets in the last two weeks in France, so there has been a huge decrease,” he said.

Read the complete news HERE

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7 April 2020

Delivery by dog: A new way to get wine in the age of social distancing

Read the complete news HERE

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7 April 2020

How will coronavirus affect wine consumption? ‘We may have seen the end of the premiumization trend for now’

Wine Intelligence looks at how consumer trends are likely to shift: from a dramatic move towards off-premise sales, to a new awareness and emphasis on local origin products.

Read the complete news HERE

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6 April 2020

US drinks group Constellation Brands reported a 6.4% net sales decline for its wine and spirits business in fiscal 2020.

“My goal in doing this is to reiterate that our strategy remains unchanged and to provide the confidence we have in the growth prospects for our core business as I continue to feel very optimistic about our long-term opportunities,” Bill Newlands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands, said during a conference call for the results.

“When we look at the beverage alcohol category, we are generally a recession-resistant industry. In previous recessions and downturns the industry has generally been non-cyclical and only minimally effective.”

Read the complete news HERE

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6 April 2020

A Small Winery’s Cellar and Vineyard Adjusts During COVID 19

Paul and Maggie Bush, grape growers and owners of  Madroña Vineyards and Rucksack Cellars, in the Camino Fruitridge region of El Dorado wine country, are trying to ease the learning curve during the coronavirus outbreak.

When asked what they are doing differently to keep the vineyards and winemaking on schedule with COVID 19 restrictions placed on them, Paul and Maggie say they are learning to punt and using sweat equity to its fullest potential. “Well, first thing that comes to mind is that I’m playing the music in the winery louder!” says Paul. “But seriously, Maggie and I sat down very quickly to pencil out new budgets with assumptions of little or no revenue coming in.” As a result, Maggie and Paul are working even harder than before and have adjusted the hours of cellar staff.

Read the complete news HERE

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6 April 2020

Pernod Ricard, one of the leading global producers of wines and spirits, is donating large quantities of pure alcohol for hand sanitizer’s production worldwide.

Read the complete news HERE

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2 April 2020

The Wine Society reveals plans to reopen during lockdown

The Wine Society, which announced last week that it was temporarily closing for the first time in its 146-year history, is planning a phased reopening in the coming weeks. 

In a letter to the Society’s members, chairman Sarah Evans, said: “Not even during the World Wars did we have to pause operations. But so serious is the current threat to the health of our staff, their families, our members and by extension the NHS that we were clear that this was the responsible step to take.

Read the complete news HERE

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2 April 2020

There's Never Been a Better Time to Join a Wine Club

A well-chosen selection of wines delivered right to your door every week or month? Sounds pretty good these days. 

Fortunately, there are a number of excellent wine clubs out there, and many of them are embracing the American drinking public’s expanding palate. From clubs that are run by respected online retailers to selections curated by boldface names in the wine industry, this is a good time to reconsider what wine clubs have to offer.

Here are nine of the best, all worth serious consideration, listed alphabetically.

Read the complete news HERE

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1 April 2020

Creative Wine Tasting: Building Community, Virtually

In this time of social distancing, quarantining and sheltering in place, wine-lovers’ plans are getting a bit thin. We’re cooking at home, we’re dipping into our cellars for special bottles, and we’re grateful for clear ways to stay safe and healthy. And for those of us who find joy in the wine community — visiting tasting rooms, chatting with winemakers, touring vineyards and wineries — a number of wineries and wine purveyors, large and small, are pivoting quickly and gracefully to creative ways of giving us access to all those things. Here are four experiences to consider when planning your next wine tasting.

Read the complete news HERE

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1 April 2020

World's Largest 2-Day Online Wine Sale Featuring Over 700 Wines - Marathon Madness!

Napa-based Last Bottle Wines the online retailer known for its daily deals of up to 30-70% off retail on fine wines will hold its largest-ever online "Marathon Madness" wine sale Thursday, April 2nd, 9AM PDT, and will donate $1 per order to Napa Food Bank and Napa Valley Community Foundation 

They believe the world needs wildly well-priced wine now more than ever. The2-day Marathon Madness wine sale, typically held 2-3 times per year, has become an obsession for wine drinkers since its founding in 2011.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

How to Support Your Favorite Wineries During the Pandemic

The wine business is a social industry. It's always been built on relationships between wineries, wine lovers, and all the places where people can buy and enjoy wine. That solid foundation is now in jeopardy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here is an extensive list of virtual tastings, promotions, and other ways you can help the wineries you love during this difficult time.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

South African wineries will be allowed to finish the 2020 harvest and work in their cellars after winemaking processes were deemed “essential” right before a lockdown came into effect in the country.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

It’s Go Time — How to Choose A Winery E-Commerce Vendor

With the world upside down and all traffic to winery tasting rooms on pause, many wineries are quickly moving towards e-commerce. However, with so many vendors in the industry, it can make finding the right one daunting. Here are a few tips when choosing a wine industry e-com partner.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

Wine Suffers as New York Restaurants Close

In the Big Apple, the silence of the glassware is deafening.

With restaurants and wine bars forced to close their doors across New York, the future of the city’s food and beverage industry rests in uncertainty. Here’s what local business owners are doing to spread awareness, build team morale, and above all, stay positive and work towards recovery in this trying global pandemic.

Read the complete news HERE



27 March 2020

Despite lockdown in France, Gabriel Meffre launched Rosé Primed For Summer

Rhône Valley winery Gabriel Meffre has launched a range of brightly-coloured rosé bottles in time for summer sales. Called “Inspiration by Gabriel Meffre”, the series offers rosé in a bottle available in six colours,”forming a case with a very collectable style.” A range of brightly-coloured, tactile wine bottles which are “inspired by Provencal patterns creates an incomparable bottle with an ultra-chic appearance.

Read the complete news HERE

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27 March 2020

E. & J. Gallo's Barefoot Wine Donates $100,000 to Help Children of Restaurant Employees

Read the complete news HERE.

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26 March 2020

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Institute of Masters of Wine has had to cancel the 2020 exam, which normally takes place in June.

While some may have hoped that it would be possible to postpone the exam until later in the year, due to the uncertainty of the efficacy of attempts to control the spread of Covid-19, and the challenge of marking student papers by the end of the year, the IMW has opted to cancel the 2020 exam altogether.

Read the complete news HERE

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26 March 2020

Top 10 wine-related shows to stream while in self-isolation

If you’re looking for some escapist viewing to whisk you into the picturesque wine heartlands around the world we’ve compiled a list of great wine television series and films to see you through.

There’s an almost endless source of educational and entertaining programmes out there but when it comes to wine the following list, comprising acclaimed documentaries and Hollywood hits,

Get the list HERE

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26 March 2020

What Wineries and Distilleries Can Do In Next 60 Days.

Webinar by Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network.

Sid will be listing out ways how wineries and distilleries can face the current scenario and come on the winning side once hashtag#Covid19 subsides. In the webinar, you will get 15 takeaways you can start working on today to navigate this time. You will also be shown the current risks, so you can prepare your winery or distillery for that.

Webinar Date and Time: 1 pm EST, 10 April

Register here 

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24 March 2020

How has the Coronavirus affected wine stores and wine buying?

“Sales have been good, stronger than normal for this season,” Jim Nejaime, owner of Spirited Wines in Lenox, said last week. “Of course due to folks stocking in, since many more are spending much more time at home, not able to go out to dine, etc.”

But Nejaime noted that the Coronavirus has resulted in "lost social opportunities for folks getting together however, means less consumption than if they could gather. So reduced sales there.”

Read the complete news HERE

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24 March 2020

PLCB: Wine, liquor sales set record day before state stores closed

The PLCB reported about $29.9 million in sales on March 16, the day the state announced it would close its 598 commercial locations and 13 licensee service centers. Online sales stopped at 5 p.m. March 16.

More than $20.3 million in sales were recorded the following day, St. Patrick’s Day. The stores have been closed since 9 p.m. March 17.

Prior to the coronavirus-related sales surge, the highest sales day in the past year was Nov. 27, 2019, the day before Thanksgiving, when sales totaled $19.6 million

Read the complete news HERE

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24 March 2020

A New Way To Buy Wine: The ‘Digital Shelf Is Different’

Jackson Family Wines, based in Sonoma, California has entered a partnership with digital planning service eMeals.

With an eMeals subscription, users access a range recipes created and curated by a professional food team and registered dietitians. subscribers can also find a suggested wine pairing from Jackson Family Wines and other alcohol brands including AB InBev, Bacardi, Constellation Wines and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Together, the eMeals and Jackson Family Wines team worked together to select wines with flavor profiles that match the range of meals and ingredients that are presented.

Read the complete news HERE


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23 March 2020

8 wine delivery services to use during lockdown

Buying from independent merchants gives you access to wines that you simply can’t find anywhere else. They champion small, artisan producers who often make wine in such tiny quantities that they’re not viable for supermarkets or restaurant chains to bother with. You can find quirky, fascinating bottles that taste amazing and have a story to tell. And even in these dark days there is someone on the phone or email – working remotely – who can chat to you and advise you on what to buy.

They will deliver to your door or to a nominated safe place and won’t require you to sign anything if you’re in isolation. All they require is that you enjoy the wines.

Read the complete news HERE

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23 March 2020

NZ will move into lockdown during wine industry's 'most crucial' time

As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes New Zealand into Alert Level 3, the wine industry may be halted at its "most crucial" time of the year. 

Ardern has announced all non-essential businesses must close within the next 48 hours, as well as schools. After that, it will increase to Alert Level 4, due to Covid-19.

Read the complete news HERE


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20 March 2020

7 places to buy wine online

Hosting large gatherings may be out of the question right now, but sometimes having a quiet night in is enough of an occasion to break out a bottle of wine — and even better if you don't have to leave the house to get it. Online options require minimal energy but deliver on all the perks. Check out the list below of the places that will deliver wine straight to your door. 

Read the complete news HERE 

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20 March 2020

Technology Connects Wineries And Consumers Through Virtual Wine Tastings

Virtual wine tastings aren’t exactly new, but they are expanding. They’ve been a touchstone for wine geeks for quite some time.

An article published in the French newspaper LeMonde calls this concept “Skypéro,” blending the word apéro—an early evening moment in French culture set aside to share a drink with friends and family—with the tech connector Skype. It’s catchy, but the idea also has teeth for wineries and wine regions that don’t want to drain their relationships with customers and guests in this time of separation.

Read the complete news HERE 


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19 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants to shutter and lay off employees. But chefs and sommeliers are getting creative to serve customers and rally the industry

At Valette, a popular restaurant in Healdsburg, chef-owner Dustin Valette and his brother and business partner Aaron Garzini have reduced their number of tables by half. They have also reorganized the dining room to create at least six feet of space between tables.

The restaurant is taking additional measures such as requiring staff to wear latex gloves and clean surfaces and tables regularly in line with recommended protocols. They are also providing additional hand sanitizer by the door.

Read the complete news HERE 

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19 March 2020

For when you'd like a bottle of wine, but you also don't want to leave your house.Here are the the 10 best alcohol delivery services

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can now have an entire liquor store accessible at your finger tips. So, make like Olivia Pope and sit on your couch with a glass (or bottle) of wine. 

Read the complete news HERE

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19 March 2020

Northern California wineries pivot, offering deep discounts, virtual tastings, free deliveries. Tasting rooms are closed, but here’s how to keep sipping and swirling from home

As a sixth-generation winemaker, Livermore’s Steven Mirassou has had to wear many hats in his small business. Delivery man hasn’t been one of them. But in the coming days, you might spot Mirassou loading up his Toyota truck and delivering bottles of Steven Kent cabernet sauvignon to doorsteps around the Tri-Valley.

“My main goal as a person is to take care of others,” Mirassou says. “We are fundamentally a hospitality business and we want to do that in a safe and responsible way and hopefully add a little bit of joy to people’s lives through wine.”

Read the complete news HERE

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19 March 2020

Italian Wine Producers - How They Are Dealing With Coronavirus

While all this is happening, vintners must attend to the springtime labors in their vineyards; this is necessary work that has the advantage of giving the producers something to take their minds off the crisis. “We are lucky, we live in the countryside,” remarks Daniela Rocca of the Albino Rocca winery in Barbaresco in the Piedmont region. “Spring is approaching and our vines need our care and work in the vineyards. This is allowing us to stay outside and to enjoy the beauty of our region, trying not to think at the nightmare we are living.”

While these wine producers, along with their colleagues throughout the country face an incredibly difficult time at present - as well as the near future - they have managed to find a positive light at the end of the tunnel.

Read the complete news HERE


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