Ascentia Saga Results in Sell Off: A collection of wine brands that was quickly put together to become one of Sonoma County of California’s largest volume wine producers is just as quickly being sold off, according to this report in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Among the brands that will be sold off by Ascentia Wine Estates, according to the report, are flagship Geyser Peak Winery. The wine group has been shedding assets in recent years after taking on significant debt and becoming embroiled in legal battle with one of its investors. How this dismantling impacts these brands will be interesting to watch.
Private Liquor Sales Start in WA: A new era is dawning in Washington State, with the state’s monopoly on liquor sales ending. This Seattle Times editorial reviews the intent of this new law and provides a reminder that consumers “wanted a competitive market, with more choice, more convenience and better prices.” This will be an interesting market to watch going forward.
Vineyard Workers Impacted by Pesticide Exposure: A new French study has linked exposure by farmers and vineyard workers to pesticides to decreases in brain activity, according to this report. Workers in Bordeaux were tested three times over a 12-year period. A link between the degenerative disease Parkinson’s and use of pesticides was officially recognized by the French government in May, according to the report.
Tell Us Something We Don’t Know, Dr. Ruth: On a lighter note, I’m not sure anyone needs a sex therapist to tell them that wine helps folks relax and, uh, you know…get in the mood. But longtime celebrity sex therapist Ruth Westheimer has launched a new line of low alcohol wines intended to help couples “relax” and get “aroused.” Sales will start in July in New York, according to this report.