Advancing the nexus of viticulture and technology.

Busting Vineyard Myths | Franson

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Here is an awesome article by Paul Franson written in Wines & Vines summarizing a recent ASEV conference entitled, "Busting Wine Myths."

Some of the myths Franson mentions:

- Dropping fruit concentrates the rest;

- Vertical positioning improves quality;

- Deficit irrigation improves quality.

If any kind reader has a link to these presentations or white papers, please let us know!


Miami Int'l Wine Fair

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Did you know Florida's wine industry is a $1.8 billion market?

The 6th Annual Miami International Wine Fair will open its doors at the Miami Beach Convention Center to thousands of wine trade professionals and avid wine aficionados during the second weekend of September 2007. The event is presented by Infiniti and will benefit the American Red Cross.

This has become one of my favorite events to find boutique wineries from around the world. See you there!


Business 2.0 | Fred Franzia

Friday, August 24, 2007

"The Next Disruptors" is the Business 2.0 cover story for September 2007. Coincidentally (?), page 84 has an article by Joel Stein entitled, "Two Buck Chuck Takes a Bite Out of Napa." The article's intro:

"Fred Franzia, the man behind America's favorite bargain vino, has a big mouth and an even bigger winemaking empire -one that's scaring the bejeezus out of his elitist rivals."

Check out the article (interesting contrast to this May 2006 article in Inc.). As the fourth largest US wine company, Bronco Wine Company is a quite a force.


Skype Lessons

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Last week's downtime of Skype's VOIP service was a great reminder to consumers that we have options that could quickly replace faulty service... and to vendors that consumers can quickly replace faulty service!


Simple. When we figured out on Friday that we could not communicate via Skype with our developers in Mexico City, we quickly switched to GoogleTalk (available as a gadget, too) and carried on with business.

Skype alternatives such as Gizmo, GrandCentral, and Jajah all reported a nice uptick in business. According to Alexa, traffic to Gizmo tripled in three days, and GrandCentral hit a four-week high. Jajah reported a 50 percent increase in user registrations following the Skype outage.

We've returned to Skype, though I don't expect all of our customers will be as forgiving if we suffer a similar outage. Gotta stay on our toes!


Growers as Homeland Security Agents?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One more thing to worry about.

Employers, including many grapegrowers, are now the link between immigration compliance and the Social Security Administration.

Under the Department of Homeland Security's August 10th reforms, employers are liable for fraudulent documents and must fire employees unable to clear up problems with their Social Security numbers. Employers who fail to comply will face fines and sanctions.

In the past, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sent employers a "no match letter" to inform employers of discrepancies between an employee's name and Social Security Number. These letters are now considered constructive knowledge for an employer to conclude that the employee lacks legal status --and follow procedures to resolve the mismatch, or terminate the employee.

See this summary from Saqui and Raimondo for more detail.


Doddaballapur Wine

Friday, August 17, 2007

A New York Times article ("India’s Whiskey-Drinking Elite Make Room for Wine") reminded me to look up the name of a wine a techie-friend tried on a trip to Bangalore, India.

The recommendation was for Grover Vineyards La Reserve, a Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah blend made by a family that has been growing winegrapes in India for nearly twenty years.

Grover Vineyards seems to be doing quite well. They've been advised by Michel Rolland since 1995, affiliated with Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin of France since 1996, and have grown to nearly ~200 acres.

Flat world...


Harvest is Coming!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The nice folks at Cork Board have a nice entry on "Five ways you can tell the annual grape harvest is near."

We have a list from the Vitechculture (viticulture + technology) perspective... which really becomes different interpretations of the "deer in the headlights" look of our grapegrowing friends.

Why? They're trying to figure out -using our application, calculators, papers, and toes- when to harvest what... Our report, dubbed the "o5heet" (for obvious reasons), tells many of our users what their gut has told them all season; you can't process twenty tons if you have the capacity for five...

In any case, this is a great time to write about our users, as most of them don't have time to read silly blogs. They're too busy using the application at 2:42 AM on Monday morning trying to sort out where the crews and bins need to be. Read email? Answer the phone? Sleep? Fuggedaboutit!

So, if you see any of these brave and disoriented souls in the next few weeks, offer them some coffee, walk them back to their trucks, and point 'em back to the vineyards...


SLWC Sold!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Warren Winiarski announced on Monday the sale of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars to a joint venture between Marchese Antinori and UST, Inc (NYSE UST), owners of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. The $185 million sale price was disclosed yesterday.

The acquisition, although characterized as a small by Reuters, is big news in the wine industry. It is also the most surprising sale, following similar news this week from Duckhorn Wine Company and William Hill Estate.

For greater detail, please see this article from the San Francisco Chronicle.


Powered by Blogger