May 2018 Issue of Wines & Vines

Introducing the New Editor And the Annual Packaging Issue

by Jim Gordon

THIS WILL BE MY LAST Editor's Letter for Wines & Vines as I am stepping back from the editor position after almost 12 years. It should be a very smooth transition for the new editor, Andrew Adams, because he's been here on the editorial staff since 2011 and is a familiar face to many of you.
     Andrew is taking over my job and I am staying on the team as editor at large. I like the title because who wouldn't want to be "at large" as much as possible? One definition of the term is "free from restraint or confinement," which sounds super positive. Another is "representing the whole of a state, district or body," which also appeals to me. I will spend more time in wineries and vineyards, researching and writing articles that I hope will help the winemaking profession as a whole move forward.
     As for Andrew, I think his life has been pointing him in this direction for a long time. He grew up in a quintessential wine town: Sonoma, Calif., where his father was a winery executive. He went to college in the wine-producing state of Oregon, studied journalism, and after graduation worked as a newspaper reporter and editor there. He migrated back to California to work in another traditional wine town, Lodi, where he became the city editor of the Lodi News Sentinel.
     To complete what turned out to be his preparation for joining the Wines & Vines staff, Andrew worked one crush at Beringer Vineyards and then three more at Starmont Winery, both in Napa Valley. He now knows wineries from the inside out, having written at least 300 articles on some aspect of winegrowing or winemaking during the past six and a half years. The editorial content will be in great hands and I am proud to be passing to him a job I have truly valued.
     Now let's get on with the business at hand. This edition of the magazine is our annual Packaging Issue. It reflects the continually growing interest by wineries in improving their brand appeal and sales by choosing great design and packaging materials. Contributing editor Jane Firstenfeld writes "Big Help for Tiny Wineries" (page 34), in which she gathers plenty of good advice on how to work with suppliers. Regular contributor Laurie Daniel interviews a long-time California wine marketing specialist, Lisa Ehrlich, on the interface between packaging and branding (page 44).
     Adams reports on winemaking equipment in two articles. One is the monthly Technical Spotlight, this time on Tolosa Winery in California's Edna Valley, which has recently undergone a major overhaul (page 56). In the Product Focus article, he zeroes in on the latest innovations in cap management tools (page 64).
     For growers and winemakers east of the Rockies, the issue has three substantive articles of particular interest: "High-Value Bordeaux Style Blends" on the East Coast (page 74), "Midwest Vintners Evaluate New Varieties" (page 82) and a timeless contribution by Michigan State University researchers on "Cold Hardiness of Grapevines" (page 84).
     That wraps up my last Editor's Letter. I look forward to seeing more of you in your wineries and vineyards in the coming months. All of us here will continue to bring you the best possible news, information and analysis relevant to the North American wine industry.

-Jim Gordon

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