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Laura Ness

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Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist and wine judge who enjoys telling tales of winemakers, winegrowers and wines. Each bottle of wine has a story to tell, and becomes part of the story of those who consume it. For over 20 years, she has written regularly for a variety of industry and consumer publications. Every purse she owns contains a corkscrew.

Something Old, Something New: 42nd Annual Mendocino Wine Competition Awards

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Mendocino County is a big place. And yet, it’s a very small community. Despite the tremendous increase in vines planted throughout the AVA in the last 20 years (now almost 17,500 acres, with 2500 of those being in the Anderson Valley), there have been around the same number of entries in the annual Mendocino Wine Competition...

Going Lo and No: Is This a Sustainable Trend?

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Much has been written about the burgeoning trend towards “better for you” beverages in the wine space. It’s definitely a thing.  But, is it a sustainable thing?...

Best White Wine Winner at Sunset 2020: Brecon Estate

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It was a good problem to have, but one that required careful management. When Brecon Estate’s 2019 Albariño won Best of Show White at the 2020 Sunset Wine Competition, it was immediately decided that Brecon Club Members should have priority access to the small batch wine...

Best of Show Winner at Sunset 2020: Gracianna Winery

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Gracianna Winery began in 2005, and debuted their first wine in 2009, but they’ve made plenty of waves since then...

It’s in the Can: Premium Wine with a DTC Model, Celebrating...

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So, you think wine in cans is a slick joke? Think again. Maker Wine Company, co-founded by Stanford Business School classmates Sarah Hoffman and Kendra Kawala, is out to change minds, one sip at a time...

Musing on Smoke Taint from Harvest 2020

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Most of us want to forget the bitter heartbreak of harvest 2020. In fact, several winemakers approached to participate in this survey, declined, citing PTSD and the wish to move on...

Jeff O’Neill: Fostering a Culture of Teamwork, Ingenuity and Opportunity

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O’Neill, founder of the fast-growing O'Neill Vintners and Distillers (it’s the seventh largest winery in the US), didn’t really plan to go into the wine business...

Jeff Bundschu: Orchestrating a Six-Generation Wine Brand with Irreverence and Authenticity 

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GunBun, as it’s affectionately known, is the oldest continuously family owned winery in California, dating back to 1858, when Bavarian immigrant Jacob Gundlach purchased 400 acres in Sonoma which he named Rhinefarm...

Mondavi’s Judd Wallenbrock Predicts a Premium Year in 2021

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It’s apparent in speaking with Judd Wallenbrock, CEO of C. Mondavi & Family (parent company to Charles Krug), that he is highly optimistic about the future of wine in 2021...

RNDC: Winery Success in 2021 Requires Sales Channel Understanding and Flexibility

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Philana Bouvier, VP Fine Wine, Supplier Business Development at Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), a world class distributor of fine wine and spirits in North America, has some advice for 2021...

Geodesy: Mentoring the Next Generation of Women in Agriculture 

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With a simple, yet elegantly stylized letter, Judy Jordan made her indelible mark on the wine world...

Charles Krug Winery Hosts Basecamp for PG&E to Assist Firefight

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When disaster strikes, you do what comes naturally. And when you’ve been around as a viable business since 1861, there’s some deep-rooted innate corporate wisdom that rises to the fore, ready to fight on to face another day...

Living Large: Supersizing Barrels for a Subtler Impact

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The two standard sizes for wine barrels, 225 liter/59 gallon barrels, also called a barrique bordeleaise, and its Burgundy counterpart, 228L/60 gallons, have been with us for centuries, and are not about to go out of style any time soon...

Reimagining the Legendary Sleepy Hollow Vineyard

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Reimagining The Legendary Sleepy Hollow Vineyard: When E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) of Modesto, purchased the iconic Talbott brand in 2015, a shockwave hit the Monterey wine community...

Why Wine Competitions Are More Relevant Than Ever

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Why Wine Competitions Are More Relevant Than Ever: In a world turned upside down by uncertainty, some things stand fast. Wine competitions are part and parcel of the yearly routine of the wine world, as much as tending vines, picking grapes, and making wine go on despite the havoc wreaked by nature or otherwise...