SF Chronicle Sacks Wine Section, Reorganizes Coverage

January 15, 2009

The San Francisco Chronicle is reorganizing its wine coverage, eliminating the wine-only section and rolling coverage into other areas of the newspaper. “It’s a combination of advertising, print and giving people a different product,” said Executive Food and Wine Editor Michael Bauer. He noted that the Chron had conducted focus groups and found that the […]

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Carneros Vintners Part 1: Unconventional Financing, Creativity & Challenges Offer Significant Lessons

January 14, 2009

A close look at Carneros Vintners’ new 3-million-gallon, custom-crush facility in southern Sonoma County reveals a fascinating account of creativity, unconventional financing from a publicly traded company, and unique site challenges, all of which hold significant lessons for the industry. LAND, PERMIT, FINANCING DOMINOS FALL INTO PLACE Wine Industry Insight’s in-depth examination shows that when […]

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UPDATE: Stevenot Owes $5.75 Million To Deed Holder

January 12, 2009

Stevenot Winery’s hurried Chapter 11 filing (see previous story) was precipitated by a foreclosure sale scheduled by Santa Rosa’s Bay Sierra Financial, Inc., which holds first trust deeds on the winery and adjacent vineyard. According to Bay Sierra’s John Graziano, Stevenot owes $2,470,000 on the deed for the winery and $3,282,500 on the adjacent vineyard. […]

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Copia To Liquidate, Then Transform Itself Into For-Profit Enterprise

January 9, 2009

Copia, Robert Mondavi’s visionary wine and food center, received permission Friday morning for a procedure that calls for it to liquidate all of its assets, pay employees’ priority wage claims then create a plan to transform the real estate and remaining assets into a for-profit enterprise. Copia has liabilities of at least $78 million, including […]

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Windsor Winery Woes: Harbinger of Hard Times?

January 8, 2009

This week’s layoff of 16 workers (9% of total) by Sonoma County vintner Windsor Vineyards highlights the dramatic downshift in consumer wine purchases that wineries and retailers have known for months. Consumer reluctance to buy high-end wines was cited as the reason for the layoff. CONSUMER DOWNSHIFT INTENSIFYING Analysis by Wine Industry Insight of data […]

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Carneros Getting Million-Gallon Custom Crush Facility

The Central Valley Business Times reported today that The Vintners Group, founded by Dennis Rippey, has broken ground on a million-gallon custom-crush facility in the Carneros Region. Carneros Vintners, Inc., a division of The Vintners Group of Lodi, says it should be ready for the 2009 harvest. The Carneros facility includes future plans to expand […]

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Data Indicates Lowering Prices Is NOT The Path To Profits

January 7, 2009

It’s been well-known for months that wine consumers are shopping down in price points, but solid data shows that cutting prices could only make things worse. Wine Industry Insight‘s analysis of data provided by Information Resources Inc. (IRI), reveals a substantial group of wine companies who have raised prices, shipped fewer bottles and by doing […]

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