Banfi Terminates Kenwood Deal: Statements from the two parties in a deal to sell Sonoma, Calif.-based Kenwood Vineyards to Banfi Vintners indicate the proposed sale has been terminated, according to the Shanken News Daily blog. F. Korbel and Bros., owners of Kenwood, had planned to sell to Banfi as part of that New York, NY-based company’s first foray into California wine. A subsequent interview with a Banfi executive sheds more light on the situation - Here's Part I.
Need for CA Marketing Muscle: Given the growth in wine imports to the U.S., a prominent wine finance blogger from Silicon Valley Bank posits that California needs to crank up its marketing messages. As author of a widely read state of the wine industry annual report, you may want to consider what Rob McMillan is saying. Some good comments below the column as well.
Back to Cork: A few wineries that have made the switch to screwcap closures are returning to cork, due to quality controls issues and environmental reasons. Large Austrailian winery, Rusden Wines from the Barossa Valley, has given up on screwcaps because the wines ‘sweat', producing overly dominant reductive characters, a problem they have never had under cork, as reported by Harpers UK. Another major producer switching back to cork is Napa Valley-based Rutherford Wine Company citing both environmental and technical benefits.
A Normal Harvest?: Sonoma County winegrowers may see a normal harvest season this year, which is something they haven't experienced in quite some time. Bad weather, short crop yields and low demand for grapes have been the norm for Sonoma growers in recent years. But now, grapes across the North Coast of California are ripening as temperatures rise and the weather continues to cooperate. According to this report from the PressDemocrat, clusters of red varietals are showing signs of veraison, the telltale sign that harvest is near, when grape skins soften and globes transition from tangy green to luscious ruby red. Yum.