Vine Wise

Look for Winery Acqusitions to Continue

Columnist: Tim Carl
Jul, 2017 Issue

Over the last year or so, the number of winery and vineyard acquisitions has been surging at a breakneck pace. Jackson Family wines has been on a tear, purchasing many wineries, including Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. GI Partners bought Far Niente Wine Estates, TSG Consumer Partners purchased Duckhorn Wine Co., E. & J. Gallo bought Orin Swift Cellars, Constellation Brands purchased the Prisoner Wine Co., Francis Ford Coppola purchased Silverwood Vineyard and the owners of Silver Oak purchased Ovid Winery. This is only the tip of the iceberg, with many more deals that have been completed or are near completion.


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The Law of Unintended Consequences

Columnist: Tim Carl
May, 2017 Issue

What could possibly go wrong?—Source Unknown

Love him or hate him, President Donald Trump is already having an impact. His proposed budget would slash funding for—or completely eliminate—many aspects of the government and shift much of the focus to military spending. Many of the changes he advocates will not make it through Congress. But the ones that do, will create an impact that will be felt throughout the economy and perhaps especially in luxury goods such as wine.


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The Ten Percent

Columnist: Tim Carl
Apr, 2017 Issue

Got competition? There are 9,091 wineries in the United States and 4,202 are in California, reports Wine Business Monthly, What’s more, nearly 39 percent of those are “virtual,” meaning they don’t have a physical place to call home and instead make wine at a custom-crush facility or through some other arrangement. What this means is there are wine producers with significantly different cost structures, all trying their best to sell wine to an increasingly saturated market


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Tight Job Market

Columnist: Tim Carl
Feb, 2017 Issue

The problem with wine distributors is out of control, but that's not likely to change anytime soon.


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Hobby Loss

Columnist: Tim Carl
Jan, 2017 Issue

I don’t really envision the wholesale removal of vineyards in favor of cannabis, but I can imagine adding a marijuana crop to existing operations will be too attractive to pass up for many.


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Synthetic Wine

Columnist: Tim Carl
Dec, 2016 Issue

As wine businesses continue to evolve, it's important to know what the value proposition of wine actually is for most consumers.


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Hedging the Future

Columnist: Tim Carl
Nov, 2016 Issue

Up until recently, hedge funds and private equity typically stayed away from wineries and vineyards. There just wasnt enough profit potential.


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Secret Sauce

Columnist: Tim Carl
Oct, 2016 Issue

I remember getting high scores and a feature story on my wine in Wine Spectator. I was thrilled and waited for the phone to ring off the hook.


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Highest and Best Use

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Sep, 2016 Issue

I only spent a brief amount of time at McKinsey, but even so, it changed the way I think. 


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Cork vs. Screw Cap

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Jul, 2016 Issue

I love corks, but I think that has more to do with their natural origins and the fact they provide a certain level of tradition, theater and ceremony more than anything else.


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Thomas Jefferson's Dream

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Jun, 2016 Issue

“Bringing wine to France is like bringing sand to a beach."


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Tourism From China Will Increase

Author: Tim Carl
May, 2016 Issue

On average, visitors from China spent $6,000 per person during trips to the United States, which was more than any of the other groups surveyed.


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Sobering News

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Apr, 2016 Issue

If we could study how consumers were acting in 1938 we might get a better idea about where things may go for us in the near term.


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Everything Changes

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Mar, 2016 Issue

When the only thing that is constant is change.


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Evolving Tastes?

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Feb, 2016 Issue

Envisioning a future where grapes aren’t the biggest industry around here.


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Wine World: California's Newest Theme Park

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Jan, 2016 Issue

Is Wine Country in danger of Disneyfication?


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Herd Mentality

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Special Wine Issue, Dec, 2015

[Robert] Parker produced a simple method that provided busy, successful people with the ability to purchase exclusive luxury items that appealed to the American palate.


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Will Winter Bring A Super El Nino?

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Special Wine Issue, Nov, 2015

 It’s time to assess and take action regarding potential winter flooding.


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Attack of the Robot Winemakers

Columnist: Tim Carl
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2015

There’s something to be said for technology’s role in winemaking—but nothing can replace the human touch.


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How Many Tasting Rooms Are Enough?

Author: Tim Carl
Columnist: Tim Carl
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2015

Normally, I lean toward the free-market side of things, but even I’m starting to wonder about the future of our downtowns.


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Water: Blood in the Veins

Columnist: Tim Carl
Sep, 2015 Issue

Our water troubles could worsen before they get better.


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Welcome to the New Vine Wise

Columnist: Tim Carl
Aug, 2015 Issue

Tim Carl introduces himself with his first Vine Wise column.


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Climate Change

Columnist: Richard L. Thomas
Dec, 2014 Issue

Will our warming temperatures become the norm?


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Sonoma County’s Agricultural Roots, Part 2

Columnist: Richard L. Thomas
Nov, 2014 Issue

Rich continues a look back on our agricultural/viticulture roots, then takes a look toward the future.


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Sonoma County's Agricultural Roots

Columnist: Richard L. Thomas
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2014

Rich takes a look back at history and at the beginnings of SRJC’s agriculture program.


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In this Issue

The Ancient Practice of Biodynamic Farming

Seeking stronger relationships with the Earth and ways to express truly unique terroirs, winemakers and vineyard owners across Napa and Sonoma are embracing biodynamics —“organics on stero...

Budding Business

The legalization of the cannabis market is predicted to generate more than $20 billion in U.S. sales, but rules and regulations are still in a state of flux....

Rocking the Wine World

Sonoma Cast Stone in Petaluma has been making concrete fermentation tanks for eight years. Owner Steve Rosenblatt started his company 20 years ago to create concrete for custom walls, countertops an...

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