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New Black Cloud Partners

Date: Tue, Dec 8, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Time to update everyone with our most recent places where you can find Black Cloud Pinot Noir.

O'Hares The wine selection at this store is very good. One of the better ones I've seen outside of the urban scene. Staff take an active role in rating the wines - all the wine notes are written in-house.

Gudrun This place has been getting great reviews since it opened. Meticulous care is given to every aspect of the menu and beverage list. It's all about rare cheeses, artisanal meats, eclectic beers and, of course, great wines!

Hamilton Street Grill The 'HSG' is one of the stalwarts of Yaletown. A traditional big-city steakhouse that you can depend on to deliver the goods. My favourite with my robust Pinot? The "16 unapologetic ounces of marbled certified angus" ribeye.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Okanagan Vineyards for Sale - Is now the time for you?

Date: Sat, Nov 14, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Over the past few weeks, the weather has turned cool and the leaves are all but gone from the deciduous trees and grape vines. While nature is in repose, signs advertising the services of realtors have multiplied in the Okanagan Valley. Choice vineyard properties are festooned with FOR SALE signs like rarely seen before.




If I stand on my deck here in Penticton facing northwest at the southern end of the Naramata Bench, I can see three or four parcels growing grapes and looking for new owners. As a winery and vineyard consultant I need to know why. After all, somebody reading this may be my next client.




Why now? The quick answer may be a knee jerk reaction. It would be easy to say it's because of the recession. While that reason is probably a big contributor on a macro scale, closer to home there are a number of other contributing factors.




Taking a look at fiscal cycles and lending institution practices, it doesn't take too long to determine that some of the owners are in a little tight. They need to divest themselves of properties that may not be as attractive as they were one, two or three years ago. Now that it's time to re-write the mortgage, it may be a better time to sell. But at what price?




Prices are down. Just around the corner is a property with fruit trees, a shade under 10 acres, three homes (not palaces by any stretch) and much work needed but potentially a great vineyard location. They're asking about $75,000 an acre. I doubt they'll get that much given the work needed to get the property in shape. Two years ago that property would have been closer to $90,000 an acre and would have been scooped up quickly. Now, it's been hanging out there for a few months.




This next point needs a little background.




The wine business is good but changing. Most of the 130 or so wineries grow varying percentages of the grapes they need. Some buy 90% of what they require. Others are self-sufficient, needing no other growers to supply them with grapes. Before you've been in the wine making business long, you realize the advantages of controlling the production of the grapes you'll need. More and more wineries over the years have started growing more of their crop


requirement. As an example, when I started with Township 7, the two locations managed to grow about 10% or less of the crop for a 3800 case winery. Next year we anticipate growing close to 30% ourselves and our production is in the 8500 case territory. On a large scale, Vincor's massive plantings in the Oliver - Osoyoos area are reaching maturity. If you used to grow grapes for the makers of Jackson Triggs and such, you may be looking at being cut loose soon.




More background.




Over the past four years we've seen unprecedented expansion in the planting of speculative vineyards. These are properties not tied to any particular winery by ownership or contract. The idea was to plant great grapes and then sell the fruit for the best price each harvest. This has worked for a couple years: prices have been high, tonnages have been lowish due to two hard winters in a row and the consumers have participated by buying up everything.




Here's the point: While land prices are down and wine quality is up, winery inventories are also up. I've heard rumour of some wineries thinking of making only the MINIMUM amount of wine necessary over the next harvest period. The consumer is looking for deals and is no longer co-operating like they did in the boom years. If you own a speculative vineyard, there's no guarantee you'll sell your crop or get the price per ton your banker expects you to earn. The 2010 harvest should be the largest ever recorded in the 'modern'* era.




Owners of vineyards know this and are doing what they can to ensure viability. For some it means sell. It means sell the land and get out. For others, it means locking in commitments from wineries. One of Township 7's best growers was around this week just to pose this question: Are we still on for next year? For my personal brand, Black Cloud, I've already locked in my supply of top end Pinot Noir. I can't afford not to. Which leads me to the next point.




If you're planning on owning a vineyard, be diligent about these items.






  • Quality: your grapes must be the best that can be grown. Make sure the site/variety selection is as close to perfect as possible. High quality grapes are the only way to increase or sustain your value in the market place. You need to set the benchmark for your peers.






  • Commitment: Lock in your customer's loyalty. Grape sales contracts are not worth much but a friendly, productive relationship with the winery buying your grapes is gold.






  • Passion: Cripes, what an overworked term. But you do need to surround yourself with people who have the drive and enthusiasm for the job at hand. People who sit on their hands and are happy with the way things are have no place on your team. That goes for the winery you sell to or your banker or the kid who comes in to cut the grass once a week.






  • Timing: I can't tell you when it's right for you. Yes, change is here in the marketplace. But I see more turmoil ahead as independent grape growers scramble to find a place for their 2010 crop. This may lead to lower vineyard properties but probably not. Land prices are sustained by other factors here in the Okanagan. What we may see is well-run wineries being in a position to acquire more real estate.






I have several clients and acquaintances actively looking for vineyard property. I'd be happy to assist you if you have questions about this post or the Okanagan wine/vine business in general. Drop me a line. Let's kick it around.






*The modern era dates from 1988-90 when most inferior grape varietals were uprooted in favour of traditional wine grapes in a government-sponsored re-plant program.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Harvest Report: A Preliminary Look at the Rollercoaster

Date: Mon, Oct 12, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The harvest in Canada's famed Okanagan Valley and across BC is coming to a close for the wine business. Virtually all that remains are the vines designated for ice wine or late harvest wines.

It has been a truly exceptional year with a number of weather anomalies that kept wine growers guessing right to the end. Punishing winter temperatures last year resulted in smaller crops for many varietals. A late spring left growers wondering when they'd get a break. The summer growing season was long and warm. September, the month we must have perform, was beyond optimistic desires. And then, just a few days ago, the temperature plunged to record lows and abruptly slammed the door on the season. Milder weather is in-bound, but the vines are finished for the year and the crop is being pulled in.

Black Cloud Pinot Noir fared extremely well. A slightly smaller crop resulted in remarkable flavours. At this time, the Pinot is residing in French oak. It's finished alcoholic fermentation and is just beginning malo-lactic fermentation.

A more detailed report will follow in a few weeks.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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The Black Cloud Journey

Date: Sun, Sep 20, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

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The BlackCloud Harvest Offer

Date: Wed, Sep 16, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The Black Cloud Pinot Noir grapes are coming in now and it looks like it's going to be a stellar year for quality. Two rugged winters in a row mean that volume is down a little on a per vine basis. But with all the recent vineyard start-ups lately things should even out.



Lower yields generally mean excellent fruit. That's what we're looking for as we prepare to harvest our 2009 Pinot Noir from Remuda Vineyard in Okanagan Falls. As we work through this vintage, we'll be documenting the whole process so fans of the Cloud will be able to see the process step-by-step.



To celebrate the vintage, we're offering this great deal to you and your friends:



Buy a case of 2006 Black Cloud Pinot Noir at regular price and get for 33% off the next case. This is a great way to stock up the cellar for the cool months ahead when a hearty Pinot like Black Cloud is truly appreciated. Get together with your friends and take advantage of this great deal.



In addition, we're tossing in FREE SHIPPING to the Lower Mainland, southern Vancouver Island, Whistler and major urban centres in the Interior of British Columbia. That's about a $30 value per case.



This is how it works:



1. Your discount code is available on Twitter or by request email wine@blackcloud.ca



2. This offer expires at 23:59, October 31, 2009



3. Tell us how much you want. Contact us by phone or email. We'll need method of payment details and an address for daytime business hours delivery.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Summer's Second Safety Meeting features Salmon and BlackCloud Pinot Noir

Date: Mon, Aug 17, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


Yeah!



This Friday is the second Safety Meeting of the Summer.



We've got a big fish from Nootka Sound and plenty of Black Cloud Pinot to go with it.


If you're anywhere in the neighbourhood around 4:30 and after, drop by for a drop with local wine folk and wine fans at this strictly casual event.
















Bring:

  • a side dish if you plan to eat



  • an interesting bottle if you'd like to share



  • a chair

It's at 1450 McMillan in Penticton.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Woodstock for Wine Bloggers

Date: Tue, Aug 4, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business




Wine Bloggers Conference II



Santa Rosa, California



July 24-25-26, 2009

Years from now, everybody is going to say they were there even if they weren't. Just like Woodstock in 1969, the actual attendance is somewhat smaller than the legend suggests.

I knew the Wine Bloggers Conference was going to be a wine-filled, wine-centric and wine saturated affair. I just didn't know how much it would be.

I always need a little time for things to sink in. The more information, the more time I need to establish what exactly it was that I experienced. I wasn't ready to blog about this because there was a tremendous amount of data.


Most of those who attended the Sonoma County-based affair were citizen bloggers. Around 275 dedicated believers who more-or-less regularly blog about their passion. What they got for their admission was a full-on, slightly over-the-top assault on their wine-loving senses.






Due to the size of the group, not everyone got the same experience, the itineraries were split up to better present the Napa and Sonoma wineries. At a couple of venues the group reassembled en masse. At the Culinary Institute of America, (photo)for instance, and later at Quintessa for the Grand Tasting. It was a marvel of mini-bus logistics with only a few hiccups.


Our headquarter for the conference was the restored Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa. I recommend the hotel for a wine country base of operations. It would be a good place to park the kids (with supervision, of course) while you and your partner or posse head out to wine country.
The conference itself was packed with activity and detail. From registration on, every moment seemed to be choreographed to jam as much tasting and talking in as possible. Like a small herd animal, I went along with the flow. I could have opted out at any time and taken some 'me' time but I was there to see what was on offer. So I was all in.
I had brought some Black Cloud Pinot Noir and a selection of Township 7 wines I'd made in the hope that I could stage a little impromptu tasting event. Can you say crash the agenda? I could have given it a shot at a poolside table around 10 pm Friday or Saturday but by then most of the conferencers were at one of the sponsored 'after-hours' activities or asleep, exhausted by the day's rigorous pace. I ended up handing out full bottles to interested parties and that seemed to be appreciated.
There are many details I've left out. But over the coming weeks I'll use this space to explore some of the wine country concepts and images we were presented with and how this ultimately effects the consumer.
By the way, the third annual Wine Bloggers Conference is scheduled for June of 2010 in Walla Walla, Washington, Registration is open now.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Alberta Orders BC Wineries To Stop Shipping Wine

Date: Mon, Aug 3, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


Nothing shows how bizarre and antiquated our interprovincial trade relations are in this country than the letter I have reproduced here.
Every winery in BC got one of these. Basically the Alberta government is saying, don't try and evade paying us our share of the taxes. Stop shipping wine into Alberta because the dollars we're owed for every drop of alcohol is being evaded.
Never mind that BC is already getting 100% of their tax on the sale. Alberta wants their share too! Consider for a moment the tiny amount of lost revenue this is.
A ridiculous display of governmental malfeasance.
Legally, no, but morally and de facto - yes.
I believe clicking on the letter makes it bigger to read.


































































































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Marriage, WIne and Social Media

Date: Sun, Aug 2, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business


The wine will flow and the vows will be said on the 18th of August. Karen and her man are getting married in Napa County, California. Trouble is: they want to get married in the vines but they don't have a location yet.


In a test of social media, Karen is hoping one of the winery/vineyard operations (or still some other) we visited during the Wine Bloggers Conference last week will step up and fill the bill. This isn't some elaborate set-up with hundreds of guests and music and food. It's just Karen, the groom, a photog and the vow-sayer. As I write this, the word is going out among the Twitterverse, the blogosphere and the interwebs. The experiment has begun.


She's got a few essentials to cover but really, it is simplicity in itself.


The bonus is: the winning wine operation will get international coverage. Lots of eyes read Karen's Winebard blog and you know she will relate (dare I say 'gush') all the details.


It's a win-win for all.


So if you run a Napa vino scene or know somebody who does, let them know about the Winebard's quest. When they get hitched, the winery gets pitched. It's that simple.


Here's a link with more details.

Karen's K.I.S.S list:



  1. Rose bushes at the end of the rows of vines

  2. Picturesque location for Wedding photos

  3. Can accommodate four people for about one hour on Aug 18th

  4. Preferably in the Napa Valley

A big bonus for the couple would be if you could hold a vid camera for 10 minutes.



Spread the word!

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Shipping Wine is Troublesome

Date: Sun, Jul 26, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

No easy way.
On my way to the Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa.
I thought I’d just outline what’s been happening over the past week as I’ve tried to ship 24 bottles of wine to the conference.
In case you don’t know, I live in Canada and I’m a Canadian citizen. The shipping of alcohol by private citizens into the U.S. is pretty well prohibitive. It’s the same going the other way as ‘authorities’ want to inspect everything and get a piece of the action. As an example, outside of the allowed 2 bottles (roughly) Canadian customs permits, the border folks collect the 117% (approx) the BC government monopoly demands. But I digress.
The conference is in the United States. I’m allowed to bring a couple bottles of alcohol across the border each time I make a crossing. So since May of 2009 I’ve been visiting my mother’s summer home in Washington State. Slowly, I’ve been stockpiling wine for the enjoyment of my fellow bloggers.
Like most Canadians, I live within a short distance of the international boundary so this has not been an onerous task.
On Monday, I visited the shipper in Oroville, WA to send the wine. I was aware that shipping of alcohol from this particular depot was illegal. I also know that people do it all the time and there existed a “don’t know, don’t tell” attitude. Put it in an approved shipping container with no outside markings and say its vinegar if asked. Everything went very smoothly.
Or so I thought.
I was in line to return to Canada a half hour after shipping when I got a call from the shipper to return to the depot a claim my wine. Evidently they took it upon themselves to open my boxes and decided to reject the shipment. Indeed, when I returned, the boxes were opened.
Now I was a bit desperate. I had to ship that wine. How?
I put out a call on Twitter and @ksyrah responded saying she would help if I could get the wine to Burlington, WA. After some consideration, that looked like a good plan. Scheduling and commitments prevented me from getting to Burlington until yesterday. I was flying out of nearby Bellingham which made the 4.5 hour drive manageable. So I overnighted it and, with any luck, it will be at the Flamingo in Santa Rosa before I will be.
I hope it arrives and we all get to enjoy it. Maybe some day this will all seem quaint but I don’t hold out much hope.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Safety Meeting Next Week

Date: Fri, Jul 3, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Relax, if you can't make it, we're having a couple more this year.

What's a safety meeting? It's our euphemism for a casual get together in a rather plain setting.

Friday, July 10 at about 4:30 to whenever.

Place: Township 7 crushpad at 1450 McMillan, Penticton

We'll be supplying some beer, some BBQ and some BlackCloud Pinot Noir. You bring a side dish or appetizer and something to drink. Well-behaved kids and dogs are welcome. It's a good idea to bring a folding chair. And bring a friend.

Who's going to be there? Lots of people from the wine industry especially from along the Bench and other places. People who like wine and want to hang with the producers. People on vacation who would like to get some 'authentic' into their Okanagan experience. We always encourage people from all walks to represent!

If you're reading this, you're invited!

Questions? bradley@blackcloud.ca

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Vintage in the Okanagan - Some thoughts about 2008 and other years gone by and what the future may hold.

Date: Wed, Jul 1, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Lately I've enjoyed fielding a few comments and questions regarding the Okanagan and the conditions under which we grow grapes and make wine. These days, most of the discussion takes place on Twitter. One hundred and forty characters is a difficult constraint for this subject so I thought I'd expand a couple ideas here on the old blog.

As people become more acquainted with something like wine, it's normal to expect a desire for more knowledge to surface. Depending on the individual, this can be a passive absorption of what comes their way or a single-minded compulsion. Most of the time it's somewhere in between. Personally, I find these discussions invigorating.

I think I made a comment about a vintage being typical. This led to some retorts about what defines typical in our neck of the woods. I now realize I was making one of the first mistakes of good journalism: assuming your reader already has a lot of the information. It occurred to me that I need to define Okanagan typical. So first, what are the factors that make this area unique among wine growing regions?

I want to try to establish what "cool climate" wine growing is and how it fits in to what we are doing in the Okanagan Valley. And finally, what kind of wine can you expect from the Okanagan in typical and atypical years?

There's a popular saw these days that sounds like this: there are no more 'good' or 'bad' years in the world's wine regions anymore because technology and spread of good cultural practices in the age of information have given producers the tools to eliminate or obscure some of the serious deficiencies of past vintages.

To a great degree this is true. The modern winemaker has a vast array of tools in the kit. There really is no excuse for the release of flawed wine. (Was there ever?) The grape grower also has many newish developments over the past decades to tap into. Together, a lot of factors can be manipulated.
At the end of the day, grapes and wine that have had a heavy hand applied will tend to be more homogeneous in style and quality.

Notice I didn't say good or bad. All I'm saying is that robust handling results in a displacement of the wine's sense of place.

(Well, I can hardly believe I wrote that last bit because, out here in the wild North west, terroir and all that is probably a few decades off. Or is it?)

Ahem.

The Okanagan is a wine producing region that knocks loudly on the doors of unconventionality. We grow a huge variety of different grapes, tended in a number of fascinating ways, harvested under a myriad of conditions and regimes. It's impossible to get a consensus-building answer on the right way to do anything wine and grape-wise in this valley. Wine makers and growers from all over the world bring their influences and teachings and put them to work. The result is: a Syrah made by me has almost no resemblance to one made by Jackson Triggs just down the road.

(old world wine growing regions: restricted by law or custom to a few varieties in each region, in-grained growing practices that differ little from one vineyard to the next, winemakers that are produced generationally at the same institutions)

Having said that, why not throw a couple more cats in the bag?

The climate here is unlike anywhere else. It doesn't allow that same Syrah to ripen like anywhere else in the world. We're farther north than anywhere on the globe that seriously grows grapes. We lucked out by having a chain of lakes that moderate the winters (and summers) so that all this is possible. Otherwise, it'd just be a dusty, sand and gravel extension of the North American desert system: arid and violent. Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.

Another factor that defines the Okanagan and causes the wines to be the way they are is the short growing season. When our pals in California are enjoying bud break and the beauty of wild mustard blooming we're still shoveling snow and breaking snot-sicles off our noses while we prune. The vines, though, are sort of pre-programmed. Cabernet Sauvignon needs in excess of 180 days of growing season. That's six months. IF April is nice you may see the buds emerge late in the month. Do the math. Has it been a long, warm summer? You MIGHT have ripe grapes by the third week of October. But probably not.

One thing in our favour: in the warmest part of the year, because we're so far north, the sun shines harder and longer than in points south. This is only good for a couple months but, hey, we'll take what we can get.

If you combine some of these factors you get degree days. It's a way of measuring the value of the sunshine. We rock. We often exceed a lot the 'classic' wine growing area like Germany and Bordeaux when it comes to degree days. Problem is: we have little shoulder season. It takes a long time to warm up and the season goes off a cliff around October 10th, give or take a few days.

So those are some of the factors that makes the Okanagan wine region 'unique'. We are cool climate wine growing. We are extreme cool climate wine growing. Next time you hear somebody from a 200 day growing season or anywhere south of 45 degrees latitude (northern hemisphere) wax on about cool climate conditions, give them a light cuff to the occipital and remind them that winter temperatures that hover near freezing do not make a region cool climate. If at harvest all you're worried about is a little rain, that's not cool climate. Try looking at your vineyard heavy with Merlot and 1 brix short of target and the weather man is saying the first Arctic Express is poised to break-out and head your way. That, my friend, is cool climate.

And that is unique.

Typical Okanagan vintage. Hmm. difficult to define. Because of our wild conditions, vintages here are less consistent or typical than other regions. But here's what: budbreak in early May, generally May is nice. Pray we don't get a killing frost during the first 15 days of May to whatever deity you wish. A couple of days or even weeks may see temps in the low 30'sC but the nights are still cool. June is encouraging at first but usually there are a couple weeks that seem a little too rainy. Usually during flowering which is a bummer. July it suddenly goes heat crazy with long periods of mid-30'sC. Nights are still refreshingly cool. But then the temps spike, temperatures in the south end are in the mid-40's and the nights don't dip below 20C. You get massive growth from vines that don't shut down in the mid-30sC (some do). August is when the grapes begin to colour and start tasting like grapes. If we get a heat spike in August there is rapid ripening (at the expense of flavour complexity) and we start picking grapes in September.

In a normal year, September is our golden child. We need 20/20. We need 20 days at 20C (daytime median) and then we should have it in the bag. Anything after that is bonus time, hang time, whatever. If the weather is dry you get to call the shots and wait for more on-vine flavours to develop. But don't wait too long, my friend. In a matter of days, you can go from crisp sunny days to 10 cm of snow in the vineyard and not a leaf on the vines.

In 1998, we had a very warm year, did the whole harvest in short pants and were sitting in the pub, showered, grinning ear to ear and having a beer while our friends in California were still waiting for grapes to come in. Atypical.

What can you expect from a season like this and a region like this? We will always struggle getting our reds ripe in typical vintages. Accept it. Celebrate it. Indeed, these conditions create wonderfully nuanced wines that have flavours and bouquets like no other. When it all comes together, they rank with the best in the world. We just have to understand it won't come together as often as we wish. With climate change there have been more good years for reds lately. But '08 put the kibosh on that. More on that in a moment.

Our white wines thrive here. With solid vineyard practices and good winemaking, our white will maintain their place as premium products. We should be careful to exploit the varieties that work and to use caution around planting warm region cultivars. It could be argued that we should just grow Gewurztraminer.

Hmmm. About 145 day growing season, tasty, fairly winter hardy.

Nahh. That would be taking the easy way out.

And now a word from 2008. Typical.
A late spring caused a delayed budbreak. Most vines survived a colder-than-average winter but there would be no fruit on about 20% of them. The vines that put out flowers put on lots so anticipated shortfalls appeared to be almost made-up. Good weather ensued. We had a nine week session of great summer weather and it appeared the vines were catching up. They were. But the actual grapes were not. We had no heat spikes. August saw a lot of hazy days with high cloud that reduced the degree days. Veraison was late. More than a week for some varieties. September saved us. We got the 20/20. But then things deteriorated rather rapidly. Pick dates were delayed. Not too much rain but not warm either.

I took a look at what was coming and decided to cut our losses and bring it all in by the last week of October. Best thing I decided all vintage.

Some decided to go after more 'hang flavours' and let it all hang out. November came in like an ice-filled fist and blew that idea.

2008 Tale of the Tape:
Whites should be uniformly good to excellent. Exceptional acids will have been reduced in cellar by blending or chemical means. Flavours may develop a little later in bottle.
Reds grown on good sites and with attention to detail will be exceptional if harvested before the killing frosts. Acids will be a little higher than the last few years but they are manageable. Know your producer, buy from those you trust.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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2009 Wine Bloggers' Conference July 24 -26

Date: Fri, Jun 5, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Just a few weeks now until hundreds of enthusiastic wine types will converge on Santa Rosa, California for the second wine blogger conference.

This is a rare and excellent opportunity for any winery operation to see how it works and how blogging and social media can work for their operation.

As new media and social media begin to carve out their own turf in the world of information transfer (our world of ideas), wineries are beginning to make some interesting discoveries.

Like many businesses, the give and take between customer and producer in the wine world has always been present. Now with blogging and other forms of social networking, wineries and their fans can feel like they're one step closer to each other.

For some, it means they can skip the role a large media conglomerate plays. They don't have to worry about censure, interpretation or house policies. Bloggers are citizen winedrinkers who simply post their opinions about something they enjoy and, in some cases, feel very passionate about.

Wine bloggers come in many styles. Some work for wineries; helping to link the consumer directly with the producer. Some are pure reviewers; they drink the wines and post their scores and thoughts for anyone to read. Others deal with the business side whether that be growing grapes or devising clever sales campaigns.

So where do I fit in?

I've been blogging about my wine making life since about 2005. At times it's lacked focus. And it's always been haphazardly scheduled. I'd be surprised if I blog more than 3 times a month on average. Others are much more productive like this one. I think she's posted at least daily for the last half year! WTG, WannabeWino!

There are not a lot of wine maker bloggers. Some are ghosted by other writers and some wineries have other staff doing the company blogging. Until recently, I was independent. Now, of course, I blog to promote my own label Black Cloud . Despite this change, I'm still one of the laziest bloggers I know.

At the conference I hope to: find out if another platform will be better for my blogging, discuss ways to monetize the efforts, discuss collaboration projects with other bloggers, and try to determine if the knowledge I've acquired is worth anything. Or should I just leave it to the experts?

One thing I do know, it's time to engage! I urge wineries, wine marketers, wine writers and food people to attend or sent their representative. It's a great deal for the dollar, too!
Here's the link:
Wine Blogger's Conference

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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Reach Gallery Museum Event Needs Your Tastebuds

Date: Wed, May 13, 2009 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Winemaker’s Dinner in the Gallery

Part proceeds support children’s programming at The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford.

Saturday, May 23 marks the first fundraiser at Abbotsford’s new gallery-museum, The Reach.
On behalf of The Reach, Chef Michael and his culinary team at The Ramada Plaza & Conference Centre, winemaker Bradley Cooper of Township 7 Vineyards & Winery, and Whatcom Wine & Spirits bring you an evening of gourmet food paired with highly acclaimed B.C. wine, right in the centre of art and artefacts.

The evening starts with a stand-up reception that includes warm and cool appetizers and Township 7’s Seven Stars sparkling wine, made in the traditional method. The evening then moves through four more courses paired with viognier, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, and finishes with the much sought-after (very few cases were produced) Black Cloud pinot noir paired with dessert.
Between each course, Chef Michael and winemaker Bradley Cooper will talk to guests about their respective picks for food and wine. Seats are limited to 48, so you know the evening will be intimate, with Chef and winemaker able to pay personal attention to guests.
Six courses and six wines in support of children’s programming at The Reach: $125 per person. Tickets go on sale May 9 at Whatcom Wine & Spirits. Call 604-870-1050 ext. 6170 to reserve yours.

I'm your source for winery development consultation.

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"Dimat" is a major Poker Book publisher, with a popular Poker Forum, which originated from the book Internet Texas Holdem, by Matthew Hilger. Internet Poker Rankings tracks the top online poker players. Poker Bonos Gratis was designed to bring Free Poker Gifts to the Spanish Speaking Market.