Monthly Archives: July 2009

Small Wineries Endangered by IRS Audits

    More than 30 wineries, mostly in Napa and Sonoma counties, have
been targeted in a wave of IRS audits of inventory accounting methods
that have been common in the industry for three decades.

     IRS auditors are claiming that some wineries are defining their
inventory pool “items” under the dollar-value last-in, first-out (LIFO)
cost-flow assumption too broadly, resulting in an inaccurate internal
inflation index for a given vintner and a “distorted” reflection of
income to be taxed, according to a nationally known wine accounting

     “If you have a regular Cab and you have a Reserve Cab with longer aging and more expensive packaging, but you treat…

Posted in The Wine Business

Wine Country Welcomes Film Festival

    Filmmakers and musicians from across America and around the globe
have come to Temecula Valley wine country in Southern California every
September since 1995 to participate in the celebration of the two most
influential art forms: film and music.

     More than 700 films from more than 20 countries have been screened since 1995.

     Lifetime and career achievement award honorees include
distinguished film and music icons of past and present such as Dionne
Warwick, Gena Rowlands, Hector Elizondo, Rick Shroeder, Natasha
Hentsridge, Carl Reiner, Karl Malden, Shirley Jones, Ray Charles, Rita
Coolidge, Marsha…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

Chocolate as an Art Form

    The “Chocolate Research Facility” may sound a bit too academic to
be enjoyable… until you realize that you are the one doing the

     The CRF is located in Singapore, which may be home to more foodies
per capita than any other country on the planet. That makes it the
perfect spot for a specialty shop that carries 100 flavors of chocolate

     Just like at ice cream king Baskin Robbins, some of the flavors —
such as Cognac (for the adventurous) and strawberry yogurt (for the
kids) — are on…

Posted in Vinesse Style

Exploring Some of America's Oldest Vineyards

    People are surprised to learn that New York ranks third among all
states in wine production. It trails California and Washington, but is
ahead of Oregon.

     And New York may finally start getting noticed now that the Hudson
Valley Wine & Grape Association has a “benchmark white” wine to
promote. The organization selected Seyval Blanc – blended with a choice
of Vignoles, Vidal or Cayuga White — for that designation because it
consistently makes a well-balanced and enjoyable wine.

     Seyval Blanc is a French-American hybrid that fares well in the
Hudson Valley’s climate, with good sugar and acid balance. Vintners can
make it in an array of styles, from completely dry to…

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Restaurant Rule No. 1: You're the Boss

***image2***     Too many people are intimidated when they dine out.

     Intimidated by the menu. Intimidated by the wine list. Intimidated by the server. But it shouldn’t be that way. Without customers, restaurants would be
out of business. So, we need to take control of the dining-out
experience, and toward that end, we offer four restaurant rules.

     (Note: If you can remember only one of these rules, make…

Posted in Editor's Journal

Grape Research Gets a Reprieve in Idaho

    Idaho isn’t a large player in the U.S. wine industry, but state
grapegrowers depend as much on local research as do growers in any
other state.

     When the word came abruptly in June that the Parma Research and
Extension Center at the University of Idaho could close as a result of
$3.2 million in cuts to state funding of the University of Idaho’s
budget, growers of grapes and other crops spoke up.

     The result was a reprieve for the center, one of a number of
research facilities across the country that is subject to increasing…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Napa Winery Earns LEED Gold Certification

     HALL Wines has announced that it has received the prestigious
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification
for its St. Helena (Napa Valley) winery.

     The HALL estate is one of most advanced wineries in California,
with state-of-the-art facilities designed for ultra-premium wine
production. LEED is an internationally recognized certification system
that measures a building or community’s performance across all
environmental metrics including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2
emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and
stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

     “The certification of HALL Wines not only marks a momentous occasion for the wine industry of California, but demonstrates…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Wine Producers Hope There is Strength in Numbers

    Five New World wine-producing countries have collaborated to create the New World Wine Alliance.

     According to Drinks Business, the group is the first ever competing-country body to be created in the wine industry.

     Member countries/regions include Argentina, California, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa. Australia has decided…

Posted in The Wine Business

When 'Wine Country' Is Not an Exaggeration

    The United States now has the world’s largest wine appellation — the Upper Mississippi River Valley AVA.

     Covering 29,914 square miles in parts of four states, the AVA
averages 120 miles from east to west, and 225 miles from north to

     It encompasses some or all of ten counties in Minnesota, nine in
Illinois, 18 in Iowa, and 23 in Wisconsin. The northern boundary begins

Posted in Wine Region Profiles

Cuvaison Tasting Rooms Get Extreme Makeovers

    Cuvaison is marking its 40th anniversary with a transformation in its tasting rooms, the Napa Valley Register reports.

     The only winery with two completely distinct tasting rooms located
at opposite ends of the Napa Valley – Calistoga and Carneros – Cuvaison
invites the public to visit its innovative and eco-sustainable
hospitality centers when they’re in California’s North Coast wine

     “We’re not your father’s Cuvaison anymore,” said Jay Schuppert,
president of Cuvaison. “For 40 years, Cuvaison has quietly hosted
visitors in our humble tasting room on the Silverado Trail while taking
progressive steps in…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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