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December 2014 Wine

Not So Fast!

Napa Valley Vintners and Sonoma Valley Vintners are among eight noted American wine regions (representing almost 2,000 wineries) that have banded together in opposition to the rights-to-the-highest-bidder release of generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) such as .wine and .vin by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Citing the potential for consumer confusion and possible negative economic impact on the American fine wine industry, members of Congress, including Mike Thompson of California’s 5th District and Anna G. Eshoo, of California’s 18th District, have appealed to both ICANN and the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to delay or permanently stop the issuing of these domain names.
The fear is, if granted to unscrupulous bidders, second-level domain names such as “” could be held in perpetuity by a company or individual that has never seen a vineyard, cultivated fine winegrapes or made a single bottle of wine.

California Wine Insights

San Francisco Wine School, in conjunction with Wine Institute and Discover California Wines, has produced a series of educational videos featuring school founder and Master Sommelier David Glancy.
In his easygoing, friendly style, Glancy offers insights into California’s signature grape varieties and wine regions, providing valuable tips for visitors from a wine insider, including the answers to these questions, and more:
Which wine region is 10 times the size of Napa Valley, with more than 600 mostly boutique wineries? Who grows wine with “altitude,” around 3,500 feet of altitude? Where’s the Blue Grand Canyon and what does it have to do with wine? Where do winemakers sometimes speak their own local dialect called “Boontling”? Which California wine region is just 10 minutes from Silicon Valley?
The eight videos, each less than two minutes in length, follow San Francisco Wine School's California Wine Appellation Specialist program, covering Lake County and the Sierra Foothills, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Livermore, Lodi and Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey and San Benito, Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara and South Coast. 
That’s the entire state of California in less than 15 minutes.

Up and Down

In the 1860s, a French chemist made a fortune selling red wine mixed with cocaine. His Vin Mariani was endorsed by Queen Victoria, President McKinley and Pope Leo XIII.

Flying High

According to onboard technology company GuestLogix, which tracked 8 million transactions across five U.S. airlines between November 2013 and March 2014, flyers spend more money on alcohol than any other in-flight purchase. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Liquor is overwhelmingly the most popular beverage of choice (34%) followed by wine (13%) and beer (10%). Non-alcoholic beverages account for a measly 1% of sales.
During the four-month period, alcohol sales brought in more than $43 million, which is $13million more than the airlines brought in food and comfort sales.


In this Issue

Growing Pains

On a windy Saturday afternoon, the once-bustling Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana is barren, the chairs against the wall sit empty. Two wipe boards show the dispensary’s limited offerings,...

Vineyards as Firebreaks

When the phone rang at 11 p.m. on October 8 last year, Lyall and Karen Fahden did not yet smell smoke. A friend from nearby Calistoga had called to warn them that a fast-moving fire was heading towa...

The Search for Seasonal Workers

The long days of midsummer are quiet in the vineyards and orchards. The winter pruning and spring suckering are long past, and now it’s nature’s turn to do its part. The next big round o...

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