December 02, 2008

Copia - please pull through

Copia filed for bankruptcy yesterday - December 1, 2008.

 While they have always struggles to breakeven, I believe it is an institution worth striving to keep alive in some form or another.  It is a credit to Robert Mondavi that the facility was even built.  The Oxbow area of Napa is just starting to come alive, I am not sure if that helps or hurts Copia - but it is worth finding out.

To read more:  here is a link to Google News aggreagation of stories on the subject.


To all those in the wine education department of Copia - we know you did your best.

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November 29, 2008

December 5 1933 - December 5 2008

Celebrating 75 years of the end of 12 years ten months and 19 days and the confusion it has wrought.

The end of Prohibition.
Three tier.
Direct Shipping.
Blue Laws.
Happy Hour.
One person one license.
License quotas.

Oh the joy that prohibition and the its end have brought.

A few articles highlighting the end of Prohibition. Celebrating Cinco de Drinko.

Capital Spice

Google news
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November 28, 2008 - Cyber Monday Specials

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Maker of red wine goes green with plastic bottles

By Shelley Emling
Cox International Correspondent
Saturday, November 29, 2008
London —- First there were plastic corks. Now there’s another reason for wine snobs to turn up their noses —- plastic bottles.

With an eye toward shipping costs and the environment, Boisset Family Estates in France has announced it will export all its Beaujolais Nouveau to the United States this year in plastic. Other wine and champagne producers, such as Fetzer Vineyards in California, also are converting to lighter-weight packaging.

Continue reading "Maker of red wine goes green with plastic bottles" »

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November 22, 2008

Wine buyers are sobered by Wall Street meltdown

High-end bottles languish on shelves as shoppers opt for cheaper vintages. 'The state of the economy' is nothing to celebrate, a retailer says.

By Jerry Hirsch
November 22, 2008 - LA Time

This year she can get dozens -- a sign of how the Wall Street meltdown is rippling across the alluvial fields of Napa Valley to the chalky limestone vineyards of Champagne in France.

Continue reading "Wine buyers are sobered by Wall Street meltdown" »

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November 20, 2008


From the website

This article is from a former classmate  at BEM

Firenze - 19 Novembre 2008


With a specialization degree in Wine Economics from the University of Bordeaux, professional journalist and commercialist, Edoardo Narduzzi has also earned a Master’s in Applied Environmental Economics at the Imperial College of London, a Master’s of Science (MSC) in Public Management and the Economics of Regulation from the J.F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (Fulbright Fellow), a Master’s of Science in Finance from the London Business School, and an MBA from the Warwick Business School.
He has published various books and articles in specialized magazines. He is visiting professor of Systems and Technologies of Communication at the University of Rome, President of Feudi San Gregorio, President of Techedge Spa, Italian leader for Sap NewWeaver technology, and General Manager of EvaBeta Spa.
He is also one of the managers of the Telecom group, head of the professional web services area, and has coordinated the industrial reorganization of the entire IT department. His resume is also full of administrative council member roles for various companies (Datamat, Mediocredito Centrale, Banksiel, Webegg, Netesi, Netikos Finland, and member of the ICE consulting committee).
Below, is the transcription of a discussion made recently by Narduzzi, who is currently the president of Synchronya and team leader on the advisory panel for the food and agriculture and wine sectors as well as for the environmental investments for Synchronya.


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November 13, 2008

India - fast on the heals of established wine drinking nations?

There has been a lot going on in India lately - even in wine.

I follow Sommelier India

 Here are a few examples of the exciting things going on.

Nov 13 India Wine Challenge Results. Indage, D'Ori & Sula Lead

Nov 9 Wine and Fashion Evening at Fort Jadhavgadh, Pune

Nov 6 Australia in free trade agreement talks with India? - India has some of the highest tariffs on alcohol around 150%

Oct 31 It’s a bumpy ride for the Indian Wine market

Oct 31 WTO issues ruling. U.S gets moral victory, India flexibility

Oct 27 United Vintners introduces 10 Chapters of South Africa

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Why use barrels?

If you ever wanted a quick piece on why winemakers want to use barrels - here it is

Barrels Are Expensive—Why Do We Use Them?
Posted: 09:56 AM ET, November 13, 2008
Posted by Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer

The alcoholic fermentations are done, both at Brancaia in Chianti Classico and in the Maremma, so our principal task and decision-making process during the next 12 to 20 months involves when, for how long and in what kind of oak we barrel all the different young wines. At Brancaia, all wines are matured in small oak barrels for at least 12 months. Apart from some tests we do every year, we exclusively use French oak barriques and use them for two to three years before we sell them off to other producers.

you will need an online subscription to Wine Spectator to read the rest here.

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The cost of a bottle of wine

I found this through a website I visit regularly even though she does not update regularly.

 Amy Gardner is the owner of Wine Talent, a recruitment company for he wine industry.  Her blog is Career Advice in the Wine Industry.

Recently she posted a link to a February 2008 article in the Sacremento Bee about why a bottle of wine costs what it does.

 Here is the link to Amy's original post

and Here is the link to the article on the cost of a bottle of wine.


I always find it interesting to see what some of the basics costs of products are - and thought you might too.

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November 11, 2008

Moet vs Veuve in London

Moet Chandon and Veuve Clicquot will find out what branded outlets will do for them in these tough economic times.

Moet decided to go with a temporary outlet open from December 3rd through December 28th, Wednesdays through Saturdays.  Now why not all the way thrrough the 31st?  The Moet facility will be on high retail Bond Street.

Veuve has decided to create a permanent space inside of Harrods. The Bar/Boutique will be on the first floor next to the designer fashion labels.

Moet details: Atelier Moet

 The Drinks Business article

Veuve details: Tallking Drinks article

 Sommelier India article

Continue reading "Moet vs Veuve in London" »

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November 10, 2008

America's Largest Companies - Beverages

Forbes list for 2007



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November 08, 2008

Wine Prices in economic uncertainty

From Vinfolio's the Wine Collector

The truth on current fine wine prices

Have fine wine prices fallen?

Yes.  Prices of almost everything have fallen in recent weeks; fine wine is no exception.  See the latest story titled "Fine wine prices hit new low."


Continue reading "Wine Prices in economic uncertainty" »

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November 04, 2008

Global credit crisis puts damper on wine prices

From Reuters

By Leslie Gevirtz

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Floodwaters from the global credit crisis have seeped onto the top deck of the wine business.

Domaine Romanee Conti (DRC) 1990, which commanded more than $20,000 a bottle just a little more than year ago, sold on Saturday for $6,500 - a 67.5 percent drop in price.

Auction house Hart Davis Hart admitted that the price was at the low end of its estimates.


Continue reading "Global credit crisis puts damper on wine prices" »

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October 29, 2008

China, Yao Ming, Houston Rockets, & Wine

Rockets owner announces wine partnership


Associated Press

Continue reading "China, Yao Ming, Houston Rockets, & Wine" »

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October 28, 2008

Chinese Wine

From the China Rises blog

Doubts about the wine label
Wine could be the next category of consumer product to face charges of major fakery.

A little more than a year ago, I wrote an article saying that Chinese vineyards commonly fib about the vintage of their labels, and even about whether what’s in the bottles is actually wine or sugar water with some food coloring, alcohol and grape juice thrown in.

I noted that Chinese vintners commonly mix foreign bulk wine with local wine, and consumers are misled about what they drink.

Here’s an excerpt from that article:

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October 05, 2008

UK & minimum pricing for alcohol

From Talking Drinks

Labour MP bids to scrap deep discounting of alcohol
Thursday, 02 October 2008
Labour MP Sally Keeble has launched a new private members bill proposing a minimum price on alcohol.

Under the new plans, a Drinks Industry Council (DIC) would be created, comprised of representatives from the industry, producers, police, health care, youth sector and consumers. The DIC would advise Government on a minimum price for a unit of alcohol, promotions and set codes of conduct.

Continue reading "UK & minimum pricing for alcohol" »

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September 26, 2008

U.S. Drinkers Are Cutting Back, Pernod Reports

David Kesmodel - WSJ - Sept 26 - 2008

Top executives at Pernod Ricard SA said Thursday that Americans are cutting back on purchases of its liquor products in bars and some are seeking cheaper brands when buying alcohol at stores, in a sign of a worsening economy.

"There's no question there are some negative numbers" in the bar and restaurant segment, Paul Duffy, chief executive of the French drinks titan's U.S. arm, said at a New York news briefing.

Continue reading "U.S. Drinkers Are Cutting Back, Pernod Reports" »

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September 05, 2008

Wine Fraud

And So It Begins - The Fight Against Fraud

Written By: Kasey Carpenter on Thursday, September 4, 2008

More and more wines are being proven fraudulent, robbing collectors of hundreds to thousands of dollars. Chemists have decided to step in and create a potential early warning system.

With all the talk of wine fraud these days, it is no wonder that many scientists have been applying themselves to the task of inventing a device that will detect fraudulent wines. Well here is today's latest iteration. As reported on by no less that the Royal Chemistry Society, Cecilia Jiménez-Jorquera from the Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics and others not credited in the report, have made a portable device that can detect and identify a given wine. Based on the language in the report this is done by referencing a database of tastes that the device has already "learned" over time, much like a human taster does, building upon years of tasting to develop a "library" of experiences and references that can be accessed for comparative purposes. ...(more)

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July 10, 2008

A fun new concept - from France!?

One of my favorite weekly emails is from Springwise - they also do an email called trendwatching

Well, I finally got around to reading a recent email and I loved the wine idea they included.

Wine by the trial size tube - from a company called WineSide.  There is so much that can be done with this it is ridiculous. 

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June 30, 2008

Industry News

Many quite a few colleagues have asked what sites I use to keep up on the industry.  So, I thought it would be helpful if I posted the links here.


*Wine Spectator -

*Wine Spectator Trade News -,3698,,00.html
*Wine Spectator Blogs -,4505,,00.html

Wines & Vines News -
Beverage Daily -
Just Drinks -
Wine Marketer -
Drinks Media Wire -
Adams Beverage -
The Drinks Business -
Ship Compliant Blog - -


Google specialty tools
Google Alerts -
Google Reader -

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March 04, 2008

Hong Kong wine duty eliminated

I know this quite a few days late but I really wanted to comment on this.  Hong Kong has eliminated their duties on wine after having them last year (they went from 80% to 40%).  The implications of this in my opinion could be huge and we are already seeing some repercussions.  Two US wine auction house have already announced that they will be holding auctions in Hong Kong.  Vinfolio, is trying to make further inroads into the market, announced prior to duty elimination.

Will this create a new powwer center in the world of fine wine? 

(HT The Wine Collector - a Vinfolio blog) 

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February 03, 2008

Keeping track of the legal cases

Because I think it is important to stay reasonably up to date on what is happening legally out there. Some outside analysis of the recent Costco / Washington State decision.


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Google Maps and Wineries

I have slowly been building this google map of World Wineries, currently it is just California wineries, but it will grow. Let me know if you would like to contribute to the list.

View Larger Map

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January 26, 2008

Wine & Money - the industry take

Some of you know some of you don't, I am currently a candidate with the Wine MBA program at BEM Management School.  After reading the January 26th WSJ lead editorial on the Global Fed I could not help but think about the effects on the wine industry.

In our session last March Australian producers that were hedging currency were looking at $0.85 US to the AUS$ it is now at $0.8801.  When we started the program in January of 2007 the Euro was at around $1.30 and now it is $1.48. 

What does this mean, it means that the quality wine at reasonable prices that the American consumer has relied upon will be harder to come by in 2008.  Europe and Australia have relied on the US and the UK for increased consumption and the US for relative pricing stability for over a decade, and that could be coming to an end.  Wild currency flucuations will not be helpful for the wine industry.  It has become increasingly global industry and this unpredictable financial future could truly hurt an industry that is just getting over severe wine gluts in France and Australia.

My one hope is that the american wine industry will learn how to properly export their wine instead of the situation we currently where tip number one for Decanter magazine's August 2007 issue is "Don't bother trying to find good value Californian wines outside the US."  We are doing nothing to improve the image american wine abroad.

It will be interesting to see what the shake out will be from all of this. 

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