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Calwineries Blog

New Features on Calwineries are Officially Live

Since Calwineries launched in November, we have been trying to connect our users and visitors to California’s wine country. California is a huge state, and is considered by many to be its own independent wine producing country. To help bridge the gap, we have recently launched a couple of new features to foster a deeper connection to California and its wine.

Rather than trying to tell you what to like, we wanted to let you decide for yourself. For each winery and wine, you can click the “mark as favorite” button which saves that page to your profile as a bookmark. Clicking the favorite button is also a vote for that wine or winery.

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Copia Changes its Mission, Focuses on Wine

Since it was established in 2001, Copia has embraced the lofty goal of being, “The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts.” Unfortunately, a less than ideal location (Downtown Napa) and rather convoluted mission has caused Copia to struggle financially over the past few years. Most of the visitors who come to wine country immediately head upvalley and bypass the town of Napa altogether.

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“Two Buck Chuck” Celebrates its Fifth Birthday

Charles Shaw, aka, “Two Buck Chuck,” is a brand that stirs deep emotions amongst consumers and vintners alike. But despite the fact that owner Fred Franzia is a deeply divisive figure, there is no denying the brand’s success; over 300 million bottles have been sold in its first five years. The wine is carried exclusively at Trader Joe’s.

Franzia has ruffled many feathers in his career, often lambasting the alleged snobbery of the high-end wine industry. “We’re not out to gouge people. What I would like to see is every consumer be able to afford to have wine on the table every day and not feel insecure about it.”

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Have you dreamed of owning your Own Napa Valley Vineyard?

Have you ever dreamed of owning a vineyard in the Napa Valley? Does the thought of waking up and walking through rows of Cabernet Sauvignon vines make you happy? If so, now seems to be the perfect time to buy. There are quite a few Napa Valley Vineyards on the market that seem to be moving slowly and are ripe for the picking.

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“The House of Mondavi” Explores the Rise and Fall of a Wine Dynasty

Julia Flynn Siler, a contributing writer for the Wall Street Journal, has just released her long awaited book about the Mondavi Family. The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, “is a tale of visionary genius, sibling rivalry, and betrayal.” Siler exhaustively researched her book, conducting over 500 hours of interviews with over 200 individuals.

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Genetically Modified Yeast is Causing Controversy in Wine Country

The development of genetically modified winemaking yeast called ML01 has major implications for the industry and is already inciting passions on both sides of the issue. Because it is a much simpler organism, yeast can be genetically modified with more ease than the grape vines themselves. ML01 is only available in North America where there are few restrictions on genetically modified foods.

Proponents of ML01 argue that because yeast can be genetically modified to kill unwanted bacteria, this eliminates the need for as much sulphur dioxide to be added; a major source of hangovers.

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Virginia was the first U.S. State to Produce Wine

To many, the United States wine industry began with the 1976 Judgment of Paris. To some extent, this is true. Some important aspects of U.S. wine were born that day. But grape growing and winemaking began long before that.

Because California produces ninety percent of U.S. wine, it’s easy to think that wine production began in the golden state. But it didn’t, the original home is Jamestown, Virginia; where John Smith planted grapes and made wine in 1607.

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Krug Winery charged with “Unfair Labor Practices”

To many, Charles Krug Winery is synonymous with Napa Valley wine production. Their history dates back to 1861, where they were the only commercial winery in the Napa Valley. Much has changed since then, including Labor Laws, which Krug winery is finding out the hard way.

On Thursday, June 14th, the California State Labor Relations Board ruled against Krug Winery (Owned by the Peter Mondavi family) and has formally filed charges alleging violations of labor laws concerning the firing of 27 workers during the summer of 2006. Representatives from Krug have denied any wrongdoing.

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CA Winegrape Growers Declare California Wine Country an Independent State

The California Association Winegrape Growers (CAWG) has long supported California’s wine industry. They’ve backed programs dedicated to sustainable wine grape growing, vineyard wildlife habitat restoration, pest management and community relations. Now the CAWG has launched a “Declaration of Independence” for California.

Like the United States breaking away from England, the CAWG’s declaration seeks to separate California’s wine country from the rest of the United States. The CAWG wants to position California along side the major wine producing countries; France, Spain and Italy.

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Napa Winery Fined Half Million for Breaking Enviornmental Policy

Some Napa Vintners are in a battle with environmentalists and environmental policy makers about the proper use of their land. There seems to be a strong resistance to the use of pesticides, and development of certain pieces of property.

Recently, Palmaz Vineyards agreed to settle charges that they violated county and state land use regulations. According to the Napa County Counsel’s Office and Napa District Attorney’s Office, Palmaz Vineyards failed to get the proper permits to plant 750 vines too close to a stream that runs through their property.

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