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Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

Wine & Weed Symposium Announced

February 14th, 2017 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced the launch of the Wine & Weed Symposium, a one-day intensive educational conference that will focus on the legalization of cannabis in California and the expected impact and opportunities that this presents to the wine industry. The symposium will be held on August 3rd from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa, CA. The conference will feature Executive Director of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance, Tawnie Logan, who will discuss and clarify the newly implemented law, along with experts from both the wine and cannabis industries on regulations, licensing requirements, hospitality, tourism, farming, and other topics of interest. Speakers will also present on the commonalities that the cannabis and wine Industry share such as agricultural focus, emphasis on quality, place of origin and to a degree, a common consumer. Like the wine industry, cannabis will be heavily regulated and will experience overlap with wine in regards to legal, financial, compliance and distribution regulations. “We touched the surface of this subject at the WIN Expo last December and were overwhelmed with the outpouring of interest that the session received,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “The take-aways were that people want and need more information about how things are changing and one hour just wasn’t enough time. We’re hoping to address those concerns with this day-long conference.” The Wine & Weed Symposium will provide information that is relevant to everyone in the wine industry, whether an owner, winemaker, salesperson, hospitality manager, or grower, regardless of whether there are specific plans to work in or with the cannabis industry. “People have been questioning the impact that this is going to have on the wine industry for a long time,” Christie stated. “This is an opportunity to learn from the experts, the cost of entry and what is and is not allowed. We plan to provide a better understanding of the inevitable competition for consumer attention and how best to prepare for what’s coming and what new opportunities might exist.” The symposium will also feature space for a small, select number of exhibitors showcasing products and services specifically relevant to wineries and grape growers who are interested in expanding into this explosive market. For more information about attending, speaking or exhibiting, please visit wine-weed.com or email info@wine-weed.com.

Wine Symposium 2017 Panel Discussion: FSMA

January 17th, 2017 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

After months of campaign speeches, debates and rallies, many Americans are ready to stop thinking about any and all news coming out of Washington, D.C. But for Lise Asimont, director of grower relations for Francis Ford Coppola Presents, a panel discussion about the Food Safety Modernization Act signed into law by U.S. president Barack Obama in 2011 is going to be a highlight of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium taking place Jan. 24-26 in Sacramento. As program chair for the Unified Development Committee, Asimont will moderate the hour-long panel discussion Jan. 26. “We have very few mid-size wineries and smaller wineries that are going to be prepared” when the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is implemented for the wine industry, Asimont said. “FSMA is going to rock the world of compliance. We have seen food companies already changing their protocols, but we have not seen a lot of wineries do it.” Asimont told Wines & Vines that coming up with educational sessions that industry members can learn from and immediately apply to their vineyard and winery jobs is a key factor when choosing topics for the annual Unified Symposium, and FSMA is just one of the topics to fit that criterion. Clean plant strategies Another topic Asimont believes will be readily applicable for Unified attendees is the Jan. 25 session titled, “Looking Forward: How Grapevine Clean Plant Strategies Can Be Improved.” Asimont is moderating this session as well, and speakers include a who’s who of academics, viticulturists and vineyard owners. Deborah Golino, director of Foundation Plant Services at the University of California, Davis, is among the panelists, along with Marc Fuchs of Cornell University and Mike Means of Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, among others. “This is basically where the rubber meets the road on being pertinent with regard to needing clean plants,” said Asimont, adding that the discovery of red blotch-associated virus has triggered a huge replanting in California. “We want to give attendees the tools they need to confidently go into a nursery and say, ‘I want to test your stock.’” Asimont says there is a lot of coffee shop talk among viticulturists about who has clean materials and who doesn’t. The speakers booked for the Unified panel will discuss viruses they are concerned about and what testing is available. Golino will offer a preview of what FPS is working on, and the wine grape growing panelists will offer real-life examples of how they have successfully (or unsuccessfully) acquired clean vines. With the cost of replanting a vineyard starting around $35,000 per acre, not using clean materials is a huge threat to any investor. Skolnik Industries will be exhibiting at the show displaying our complete line of stainless steel wine barrels. You can find us at booth number 1205. For complimentary passes to the symposium contact Jason Snow at jason@skolnik.com.

Smoke Damages Vineyards in California

December 13th, 2016 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Wines and Vines reports that this summer, as the Soberanes Fire raged in Monterey County, winemakers and growers in the Carmel Valley watched as heavy smoke descended on their vineyards. Many of those affected hoped that their still-developing grapes would dodge any smoke contamination, but now that most wineries in the region have pressed off their 2016 reds, it appears that several may have had to deal with extensive smoke problems. The fire was ignited July 22 from an illegal campfire and wasn’t declared fully contained until Oct. 28. The blaze burnt 132,127 acres, and the majority of that was in a rugged stretch of the Los Padres National Forest. The location of the fire was almost due west from the Carmel Valley, which is home to several wineries and vineyards. While the region’s topography and climate kept the smoke well north of the vineyards in southern Monterey County, including the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, the smoke poured into the Carmel Valley. Matt Piagari, assistant winemaker for Joullian Vineyards & Winery in Carmel Valley, said the smoke appeared just as the winery’s estate vineyards reached véraison. “It was much like a thick fog you’d see in San Francisco,” Piagari recalled. Piagari said the winery sprayed the vines and clusters with a cream of tartar solution that did seem to be effective in getting the heaviest smoke deposits off the grapes. The excess moisture on the grapes can lead to other problems, but those are easy to deal with compared to smoke. “If you could find a way to rinse the leaves and grapes off earlier, before harvest, that might be something,” he said. The USDA’s crop insurance program does provide coverage for losses in production and quality from smoke and fire damage. Quality losses need to be confirmed with prices reductions or lab tests if unsellable.

2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium to Open with NY Times Columnist Eric Asimov

November 8th, 2016 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Noted New York Times wine critic, columnist and book author Eric Asimov, will deliver the keynote luncheon speech on the opening day of the 2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Tuesday, January 24, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Asimov promises to deliver a thoughtful and provocative appraisal of the current state of American winemaking and key trends shaping the future. Asimov’s extraordinarily diverse experience with wine spans the globe and includes an intimate familiarity with numerous growers and winemakers and their stories. Before he started writing full-time about wine for The Times in 2004, Asimov wrote primarily about restaurants and food. In 1992, he created the ‘$25 and Under’ restaurant reviews, which he wrote for The Times through 2004. Asimov became The Times’ chief wine critic, and since 1995, has authored a number of books on food and wine including, “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto”. The luncheon kicks off three days of symposia with two days of trade show. General sessions along with many break-out sessions offer a wide variety of subjects key to grape growing and winemaking. Created by ASEV and CAWG, and built with the joint input of growers, vintners, and allied industry members, the Unified Symposium serves as a clearinghouse of information important to wine and grape industry professionals. The Unified Symposium also hosts the industry’s largest trade show of its kind, with over 650 suppliers displaying their products and services. For additional information, please call (888) 559-9530 or visit www.unifiedsymposium.org. Skolnik Industries will be exhibiting at the show displaying out complete line of stainless steel wine barrels. You can find us at booth number 1205. For complimentary passes to the symposium contact Jason Snow at jason@skolnik.com.