Ann Reynolds
 

Business & Management

by Ann Reynolds
 
 
 

 

Business & Management

 
June 2017
 

What Coming Excise Tax Changes Mean  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 

Big changes to TTB regulations are continuing to gain congressional support, which is good news for U.S. wineries. These changes would mean substantial savings on TTB excise taxes.

The force behind this is the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, a bill reintroduced into Congress in January of this year. In a discussion this April with Michael Kaiser, vice president of Wine America in Washington, D.C., he said the chances of this bill being passed on its own are very slim. Instead, it will likely be bundled into a much larger tax bill later this year. Should that bill make its way through Congress and be passed in 2017, the TTB would likely put the regulatory changes into effect starting in 2018.

These new regulations also would mean that wineries need to make some changes to their records as well as the two primary TTB reports: the Report of Wine Premise Operations (5120.17) and the excise tax report.

U.S. wineries would see changes in three primary areas:

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
November 2014
 

Will 500 West Coast Wineries Sell?

 
Vineyard for sale
 

There is a widely held perception in the wine industry that merger and acquisitions (M&A) activity is currently quite robust, and that selling their wineries is how owners will exit the business.

In a report published by Silicon Valley Bank earlier this year (“Ownership Transitions in the Wine Industry”), more than 10% of the winery owners surveyed were “strongly considering” a sale in the next five years. Will 500 West Coast wineries actually be sold in the next five years? The short answer is no. For a variety of reasons, the 10% who are thinking about selling today will result in 2% who actually do.

It is true that there is currently a strong level of transaction activity in the wine industry. However, most sales have been of vineyards and the occasional winery facility. These are real estate sales transactions, which sometimes get erroneously conflated with M&A. The winery merger and acquisition market (meaning the sale of a wine company and/or associated brand[s] as going concerns) is quite different, with activity levels currently slow to normal.

It is difficult to see perfectly what happens in the wine industry M&A market, since there are so many small operations, and many transactions are not publicized. However, a review of the data about West Coast wineries collected by Wines Vines Analytics from 2005 through September 2014 provides a clear and remarkably consistent picture. (Included in the many interesting facts in this data, used for the Wines & Vines Directory/Buyer’s Guide and other services, is the ownership of the winery, for most entries.) On average, there are approximately 20 M&A transactions a year. There are some basic microeconomic principles that can explain why, although there are 500 winery owners who currently want to sell their wine company and/or brands, there are only 100 who will.

Fantasy Island

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
November 2014
 

What's Behind the Northwest Land Grab

 

The Pacific Northwest has become a hotbed of wine property sales as vineyard acreage in Washington has reached 45,000, and acreage in Oregon has reached 25,000. Average revenue per acre in both states is more than $5,000 per acre, yet property values have remained mostly lower than for California land with similar wine quality potential.

Several speakers at the 23rd Wine Industry Financial Symposium described the current economic levers affecting vineyard purchases, and Josh Grace, managing director of International Wine Associates, noted 13 significant vineyard deals in the Northwest since October 2010–dominated by California wineries as the buyers.

Size of the industry

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
May 2014
 

Winemaker Interview: Hugh Reimers

 
Hugh Reimers
 
Hugh Reimers joined Jackson Family Wines in 2009.

It’s probably not surprising that Hugh Reimers, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Jackson Family Wines, found a career in the wine industry. He grew up in the Barossa Valley of South Australia, and his father was a professor at Australia’s most famous winemaking school: the Roseworthy campus of the University of Adelaide. Reimers went on to get his bachelor’s degree from that university in 1991.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2012
 

Getting Ready for a Sale

 
With the recent rate of winery and brand acquisitions accelerating—and with a large number of long-term winery owners looking to retire in the coming years—it is becoming increasingly important for winery owners to focus on what they can do to prepare their businesses for the rigors of the sales process. Often, the greatest challenges to completing the sale of a small- to medium-sized winery can be avoided with some focused work in the early phases of the sale-preparation process, before the winery is actually on the market. Many of these items are analogous to a homeowner putting on a coat of paint, however, some are more substantial, like replacing the roof.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
May 2011
 

Wine Industry Data Center

 
wines & vines data center
 
The data for direct sales show that higher prices are strongly correlated with winery size. Boutique and cult wineries making less than 1,000 cases per year averaged $56 per bottle, according to our model, which weighs millions of direct-to-consumer transactions against exhaustive winery size numbers in WinesVinesDATA. The biggest wineries were not exactly the same as those with the lowest bottle price, but they were close. Also interesting is how quickly the average price drops from the smallest wineries to the next-largest size, 1,000-4,999 cases.

Winery Jobs, Shipments and Retail Sales Grew in March All three of Wines & Vines' indicators of wine industry economic health pointed up in March. Winery hiring activity showed the most positive movement as it spiked 18% higher than a year ago. Direct-to-consumer shipments beat March 2010 by a hair in what may be the year's second-most active month. Retail sales grew faster than in recent months, hitting 8% higher than a year ago for domestic table wines.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
April 2011
 

Wine Industry Data Center

 
wine varietal sales
 
Dollar sales in millions, 12 months through February. Source: Wines & Vines/ ShipCompliant Shipment Model

Domestic wine sales grew at a healthy rate in February compared to a year ago, based on two broad measures. Off-premise sales of domestic table wines as analyzed by Symphony IRI continued the good news from January and all of 2010 as they rose by 6%. Direct-to-consumer sales grew by 5%. Note the contrast in sales by varietal from the two most active DtC counties.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
April 2011
 

The Flash Report  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 

The Flash Report is a new department in Wines & Vines magazine that reports activity about flash wine sales websites based on the magazine's proprietary research arm, WinesVinesDATA.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
March 2011
 

Wine Industry Data Center

 
direct shipping wine
 
Wines with the lowest bottle prices accounted for the largest share, or 32%, of the total volume (in 9L case equivalents) of wine shipped direct to consumers in the 12 months through January. Wines slightly above the middle range in bottle price accounted for the largest share of dollars sold: 20%. But the small number of wines priced at more than $100 per bottle took the second-largest share of dollars at 18%. The average bottle price of wine shipped direct-to-consumer in January was $35, up 10% from a year earlier.

The economic health of the domestic wine industry looked good in January based on our three main measures. Retail wine sales, direct-to-consumer shipments and winery hiring activity were all higher than 12 months earlier. The Winery Job Index, calculated at 8% by Winejobs.com, grew faster than the other two indicators. Since all three are traditionally at or near their yearly lows in January, it bodes well for further growth in 2011.  

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
March 2011
 

The Flash Report  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 

The Flash Report is a new department in Wines & Vines magazine that reports activity about flash wine sales websites based on the magazine's proprietary research arm, WinesVinesDATA.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2011
 

The Flash Report  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
The Flash Report is a new department in Wines & Vines magazine that reports activity about flash wine sales websites based on the magazine's proprietary research arm, WinesVinesDATA. Initial analysis indicates the six sites featured in the January print issue and here are the leaders in this new direct-to-consumer sales channel.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2011
 

Data Center: 2010 Year-End Data Beats 2009

 
Wine Industry Data Center
 
An exaggerated bell curve resulted when the Wines & Vines/ShipCompliant Shipment Model calculated the distribution of DtC shipments by the sizes of the wineries that ship them. All values are in 9L case equivalents. The smallest and largest wineries sent a very small percentage of all U.S. winery DtC shipments during calendar year 2010.

Our three leading indicators of wine industry health all ended 2010 better than 2009. In fact, all three led 2009 every month, except for a slight dip of the direct-to-consumer shipments during late summer. Domestic wine sales at retail finished the year at a steady 6% above 2009, while DtC shipments and the Winery Job Index both slipped closer to 2009 in December.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2011
 

Choosing Crop Insurance

 

One Sonoma County vineyard owner summed up the situation in six words: “All that was missing were locusts.” He was speaking, of course, about the 2010 California growing season, labeled by The (Santa Rosa, Calif.) Press Democrat as “the worst harvest ever.” Early anecdotal reports indicated that crop yields in Mendocino, Lake County, Napa and especially Sonoma were down by 35% or more.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2011
 

Wine Industry Data Center

 
Alternative text
 
Cabernet Sauvignon led in the category of average price per bottle among U.S. wines shipped direct-to-consumer during the 12 months ending in November. Pinot Noir was in second place, not surprisingly. Would you have guessed, however, that sparkling wine and Cabernet Franc would tie for third? Or that Chardonnay's price would be higher than those for Syrah and Merlot? The DtC data comes from collaboration between Wines & Vines and compliance software firm ShipCompliant.

As the holiday season began in November, domestic wine sales at major retail stores and via direct-to-consumer shipments soared much higher than in October, also outpacing the numbers from November 2009. Further, winery job activity outpaced last year. True, the recession aftermath still dragged down many wineries’ profits, and on-premise sales have been slow to recover, but the metrics on this page paint a very positive picture.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
December 2010
 

Wine Industry Data Center

 
data center
 
It's no surprise that California, with the largest state population as well as the most wineries per state (3,324, according to WinesVinesDATA), was the highest ranked destination state for direct-to-consumer wine shipments over the 12 months ending in October. Texas has many fewer wineries (190) but lots of appreciative wine consumers. It ranked second with 10% of the market. New York was not far behind, at 8%. The DtC data comes from a collaboration between compliance software firm ShipCompliant and Wines & Vines.

For the second month in a row, our three indicators of wine industry health have posted much better numbers than during the same period of 2009. Most impressive this time is the performance of direct-to-consumer shipments. The value of shipments leaped 31% for the month of October, bettering the already impressive gain of 15% in September. Domestic table wine sales stayed up, as did the Winejobs.com Index.



 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
November 2010
 

Wine Industry Data Center

 
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
July 2010
 

Wine Bottlers Talk Quality

 
G3 bottles
 
Bottlers like G3 Enterprises inspect their clients' glass prior to putting wine bottles to the test on the bottling line.

Along with the rest of the world, in this stressed economy wineries strive to reduce costs while maintaining sales. Consumers have cut back their spending, famously opting for lower priced wines, but they still want high-quality wine in the bottles they buy. It may be tempting to reduce costs by choosing cheaper packaging materials, but this strategy may not result in a net gain to the bottom line.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
April 2010
 

Overcome Fear of Filing

 

It has happened to you: You see it as the return address on a letter, or write it down as you’re checking your voicemail—and your lips start to tremble, a small drop of sweat forms on your forehead: Those words you dare not utter out loud—Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. You envision hiding your face from the TV cameras, and what might happen to you in federal prison (yes, the kind they talk about in the movie “Office Space”). Next, you think you feel a tingling in your left arm, and things are getting blurry.…

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2010
 

Going for Gold

 

Standing in the cool darkness of the barrel cellar at Sokol Blosser Winery just south of Dundee, Ore., there’s no indication that it’s one of the most ecologically advanced buildings in the country. The light filtering down from the oculi above reveals nothing more than aging wines, which don’t let on the secrets of their surroundings.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
July 2009
 

New Way to Plan Sales

 
The United States' wine industry already has faced many challenges, particularly in marketing, since the official declaration of a recession Dec. 1, 2008. Production obstacles have been remarkably few and relatively minor, such as maintenance of output levels with a reduced labor force, more minimalist winemaking due to a decreased budget for consumables, and fewer resources for wine services. In regard to increased barrel prices, wineries theoretically made the appropriate adjustments prior to the economic downturn.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
June 2009
 

Finding Construction Financing

 
Winery Contruction
 
Custom crush facility Bin to Bottle arranged an SBA loan with Napa Community Bank to build a new 25,000 square-foot barrel storage building.
 

It's an old joke that it's easy to borrow money if you don't need it, and that adage is certainly true for winery construction and expansion. But money is available, though it's generally more difficult to qualify than in the past. In addition, better terms for loans through the Small Business Administration might provide an attractive alternative to wineries that hadn't previously considered them.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
May 2009
 

The Wilson Collection

 
With the recent acquisition of Jepson Winery in California's Mendocino County, Ken and Diane Wilson of Sonoma County have expanded their mini wine empire to include about 400 acres of vineyard, five operating wineries and the production of nearly 30,000 cases of wine.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
April 2009
 

Direct Shipping Update  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
By now, pretty much everyone in the wine industry -- including some distributors -- agrees that direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping is a vital component in any winery's marketing strategy. Consumers, especially wine-loving millennials, are comfortable buying online; 30-some states now permit winery-direct shipments in some form, and direct sales mean producers don't share their profits with the other two tiers in the traditional distribution chain.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2009
 

Northwest Schools in Session

 
Alternative text
 
Washington State University viticulture and enology students visit a vineyard near Prosser, Wash.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2009
 

Architecture and the Bottom Line

 
Wolffer Vineyard Estate
 
Winemaker Roman Roth says the 200-pound door at Wolffer Estate Vineyard reflects the formidable wines he makes inside. "You just can't make a tooty-fruity wine behind that door," he says.
 

In November 1995, after the wines of Christian Wolffer's Sagpond Vineyards began popping up in five-star restaurants throughout the New York metropolitan area, he decided that the old metal barn that housed his winery adjacent to his horse farm in Sagaponack, Long Island, was due for an upgrade.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
October 2008
 

Trends in Winery Construction

 
Winery Architecture
 
Frank Gehry's plan for Hall Winery, scheduled for completion in 2010, is illustrated in this model.
PHOTO: Gehry Partners
 
Sometimes it seems like a dozen new wine labels spring up every day, which suggests there must be a lot of new wineries being built somewhere. Upon closer inspection, a lot of those labels turn out to be niche products, second brands or the output of the exponentially growing custom-crush business, which doesn't require many new wineries at all. Throw in an economic recession bound to give some projects pause, and the picture gets murkier still.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
March 2008
 

The Foley Portfolio  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
The Foley Portfolio
 
Since the turn of the millennium, California's Central Coast has blossomed, with winemakers producing some of the most exciting Pinot Noirs in the state. Among its leaders was specialist Kris Curran, former winemaker for Sea Smoke in the Santa Rita Hills AVA, who consistently earned outstanding scores for her special bottlings of Pinot Noir designated Botella, Southing and Ten.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2008
 

Immigration Challenges in 2008

 
Immigration Challenges in 2008
Employers must submit the Form I-9 for every new hire, including U.S. citizens, to verify employment eligibility, and must have protocols in place in case Social Security numbers do not match.
 
Immigration compliance will continue to present a significant challenge for employers in 2008. As long as Congress fails to implement comprehensive reform, and the political clamor for increased enforcement against employers continues, employers must have strategies in place to address this critical area of compliance.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2008
 

Tasting Room Rewards

 
Peaks Winery
 
Ancient Peaks Winery's new tasting room in Santa Margarita on the Central Coast is already drawing crowds; many of its tasting room employees earn college internship credits as well as salaries.
 

Tasting room and wine club sales remain the most reliable and profitable marketing channels for boutique wineries throughout North America. Yet the most productive face-to-face salespeople--the people who sell wine by the bottle, case or wine club membership in winery tasting rooms--are part-time employees, often paid $8 to $10 per hour and untrained in effective sales techniques. Innovative strategies for motivating and compensating this all-important front-line sales staff are essential.

 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2008
 

Innovations in Construction

 
Innovations in Construction
In Napa's Stags Leap District, Quixote winery conserves energy and reduces water run-off with a sod roof planted with trees and shrubs to blend into its surroundings.
 
Every new winery built seems to include a few innovations, but many are actually ideas from the past. More and more, vintners and winemakers realize that some of the old-time ideas were excellent, though most are updating them with new technology and twists. It's not just in California, either, but all over the country and the world that wineries are re-thinking how they operate, not only to improve their wines, but to save energy and operate efficiently with minimal staff. Interestingly, it seems owners and winemakers with technical backgrounds are especially likely to adopt these practices.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2008
 

2007 Business & Management Editorial Index

 
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
June 2007
 

Construction 101

 
Winery Building Permit
 
There's a lot more to building a new winery than deciding whether to go with the "Tuscan villa" look or opt for a clean, modern design. Before you get to that stage there are contracts to sign, architects and contractors to interview and costs to consider. The process requires not only plenty of money, but patience, time and perhaps most importantly, a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
May 2007
 

Lessons Learned in 50 Years  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
Robert Haas
Robert Haas inspects the cellars at Burgundy's Domaine Trapet during a 1981 visit. His half-century wine career was inspired by his first trip to France, in 1950, where he went to purchase wine for his father's New York retail operation.
 
Robert Haas has spent more than 50 years in the wine business, as a retailer, importer and now as a vintner at Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, on California's Central Coast. And he's learned a few things about what it takes to be successful.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2007
 

Blue Collar Boutiques  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
Lucas Winery
Lucas Winery released its first wine in 1978, and specializes in Zinfandel and Chardonnay. The wines have always proudly been labeled "Lodi."
 
In our January 2006 issue, Wines & Vines published an article about boutique producers who have chosen to "think small" for one reason or another. In that story, we looked at three wineries in California's North Coast and Central Coast regions. This year, we turned our attention to a California region that is suddenly trendy, in terms consumer awareness: Lodi.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2007
 

The Togetherness Trend  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
Winemakers at August Cellars
The winemakers of the August Cellars facility in Newberg, Ore. include (left to right): Ron Helbig, Barking Frog Winery; Howard Mozeico, Et Fille; Jeanie and Matt Driscoll, WildAire Cellars; Jim Schaad, August Cellars; Patricia and Tom Feller, Artisanal Wine Cellars; Lane and Geoffrey Crowther, Tuluca Lane; Laura Volkman, Laura Volkman Vineyards.
 
Building a wine production facility is expensive, so many new wine companies choose alternative approaches for making their wine. The most common is having their wine made at another winery--either as a side business of the host winery or at a custom crush facility that serves many unrelated wine brands.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
January 2007
 

Adventurous Winery Architecture

 
Josh Beckett
The minimalist architecture of Napa Valley's Dominus winery utilizes imported Swiss wire cages filled with locally quarried dark basalt rocks to create an above-ground cave, where the wine is surrounded by a stone mass that breathes.
 
The popular image of the winery remains the picturesque European château, but a growing number of winemakers around the world are seeking a fresh approach. Architects are being challenged to rethink the winery as a bold contemporary expression of tradition and innovation, agriculture and technology, production and hospitality.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
December 2006
 

The Start-up Winery, Part VI  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
At times, it's been a cliffhanger, but the two start-up wineries we've tracked for the last year at last seem well on their way to success. In Woodinville, Wash., the partners at Highbridge Estate found a home, chose a name and hope to break ground early next year. Their 2006 wine is fermenting in new French barrels, and the partners look forward to a simultaneous first release and a grand opening in 2007.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
November 2006
 

Carving Out a Niche  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
Wine Caves
Vineyard 29's Napa County cave devotes this vast expanse to entertainment and tasting; caves are an attraction at many wineries.
Photos: Daniel D'Agostini
 
A vintner usually builds a cave to provide a natural, constantly cool and humid environment for wine barrel storage with little expenditure on energy. Presumably, readers who are thinking of building a cave already know this.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
September 2006
 

The Start-Up Winery, Part V:

 
After months of trauma, the two start-up wineries we've been following were sailing serenely through summer when we caught up with Dr. Marc Cohen at Napa's Howell at the Moon and Patrick Smith at Woodinville's Highbridge Estate late in July.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
September 2006
 

World Wine Trade Continues To Grow

 
World wine trade expanded more than 7% in 2004, continuing the trend of recent years. Total exports were 2.026 billion gallons. This is the main finding of a recently released statistical survey by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
July 2006
 

The Start-Up Winery IV:

 
Alternative text
Patrick Smith and partners enjoyed their Australian jaunt, where they toured the old-vine vineyards with David Powell at Torbreck.
 
Welcome back to the ever-evolving saga of two start-up wineries. When we embarked on this project starting in our January issue, I was hardly expecting all the drama our subjects have experienced and shared with us. I wondered if there would be enough news to sustain the series. I know Old Field's Patrick Smith and Howell at the Moon's Marc Cohen were not anticipating the detours and roadblocks they described in the May installment. Thankfully, many of these have now been overcome by their dogged persistence in the face of adversity, and both are now firmly on track to achieving their parallel goals: to create a boutique winery and produce the kind of wines they love.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
June 2006
 

Paraduxx Winery Combines Style And Functionality

 
Feeling The Squeeze In The Vineyards
Now complete, the fermentation facility (above) is both beautiful and highly functional, with equipment made to the specifications of winemaker Bill Nancarrow.
 
Last fall, Duckhorn Wine Company officially opened its new Paraduxx winery in the Napa Valley. The opening marked the conclusion of a three-year project to design and build a designated winery for Duckhorn's proprietary red wine.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
June 2006
 

Hall Winery Builds A Neighborly Landmark

 
Hall Winery Builds A Neighborly Landmark
Superstar architect Frank Gehry's design for the Hall Winery incorporates and complements existing historic structures.
 
Architect Frank Gehry, the man who put Bilbao, Spain back on the map with his bold and controversial design for the Guggenheim Museum there, will soon leave his mark on the Napa Valley. Craig and Kathryn Hall have hired Gehry to do an extensive redesign of their Hall Winery outside St. Helena.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
May 2006
 

The Start-Up Winery III: roadblocks and detours

 
The Start-Up Winery III: <i>roadblocks and detours</i>
Assistant winemaker Nakenge Adisa tends the 2005 vintage while winemaker Christopher Upchurch and the Old Field partners tour Austrialia in search of a brand name.
 
We last heard from our two start-up wineries in the March issue, when we learned that since our first report in January, our subjects had already veered from their original business plans. The Old Field partners, who had been sure they would close the deal on a rural property outside of Woodinville, Wash., had pulled out of that transaction. Instead, they were ecstatic about their negotiations to purchase acreage and build their own facility in the Woodinville Wine Village, a multi-purpose development in town.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
May 2006
 

Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act:  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSAWPA), was enacted in 1983 to provide migrant and seasonal farmworkers with protections concerning pay and working conditions, to require farm labor contractors to register with the U.S. Department of Labor and to assure necessary protections for farmworkers, agricultural associations and agricultural employers.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
April 2006
 

Tin Barn Vineyards Expands Into New Territory

 
Tin Barn Vineyards Expands Into New Territory
Everything's in one place at Tin Barn's new facility.
 
Making wine at a custom crush facility can be a great way for new wineries to get started without making hefty investments in real estate and winery equipment. Winemaker Mike Lancaster found this to be the case when he formed Tin Barn Vineyards with partners Gray Fowler and Carl Stewart in 2000, and for the first five years of Tin Barn's operation, Lancaster made wine at Sonoma County's Martini & Prati Winery. In 2005, however, Lancaster decided that it was time for Tin Barn to have a home of its own.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
March 2006
 

The Start-Up Winery, Part II: changes in plans

 
In January, when we started our year-long series following two start-up boutique wineries, we didn't know exactly where it would lead. Sure enough, just two months later, both of our start-ups have veered off their initial courses in ways that might have been predicted, but still come as a surprise. In this installment, we'll find out how and why their trajectories have taken a turn.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
March 2006
 

Farm Labor Contractors: avoiding costly pitfalls  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
Farm Labor Contractors
You're a vineyard owner/manager who is suddenly facing a shortage of crew. One day, a farm labor contractor (FLC) shows up at your vineyard, saying that he can provide enough workers to complete pruning and tying the vines, as well as any other tasks that may arise. He also tells you that he will transport the workers to and from their job sites every day.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2006
 

Preventing Harassment Liability

 
Preventing Harassment Liability
Professional, bilingual training is one way employers protect themselves from sexual harassment liability.
Sexual harassment recently made headlines due to the Oscar buzz film "North Country" and closer to home, allegations of misconduct and hefty lawsuit settlements by several California wineries. Though the allegations were sexual in nature, legally define forms of general harassment are equally unlawful. Awareness and training is necessary at all tiers of wine production, including wineries, grapegrowers, vineyard management companies and farm labor contractors, so that both employers and employees are protected. When working with a primarily Spanish-speaking staff, the responsibility is even greater.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2006
 

Does The Pattern of Drinking Matter?  Access to this article requires a subsciption.

 
Does The Pattern of Drinking Matter?
Research, medical and policy experts alike have emphasized that moderate, sensible behavior is the only responsible choice for those who enjoy wine, beer and spirits. Scientific studies have repeatedly revealed that a pattern of moderate drinking is essential, and that binge drinking is unacceptable. Emerging research has also discovered that the pattern of drinking with food may be of significant benefit. Most importantly, consuming food with alcohol slows absorption, resulting in lower blood alcohol concentration levels that might otherwise impair motor functions. Research has also demonstrated that consumption with food contributes to health and lifestyle benefits.
 
READ MORE »
 

 

Business & Management

 
February 2006
 

What Were Your Best/Worst Business Decisions?

 
If you're like most winery executives, you're constantly facing tough decisions. Brains, skill and instinct are usually enough to point you in the right direction, but sometimes, things just don't work out as planned. Even the most intelligent and experienced managers can take a wrong turn; the important thing is to learn from your mistakes, as well as your successes.
 
READ MORE »
 
 
SUBSCRIBE TO WINES & VINES PRINT EDITION »
CONTACT OUR EDITORIAL STAFF »
 
CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »