June 2018

Currently the California grape crop looks average, with Chardonnay, however, showing a potential for a light crop. One thing for sure, it is not a bumper crop. Where it is appropriate, we are making sure our growers are shoot thinning. We are not seeing any mildew problem that was rampant at this time last year. This season has the potential for a good quality year. 


Shoot thinning of Cabernet Sauvignon in Lodi, CA on June 5, 2018

Shoot thinning of Cabernet Sauvignon in Lodi, CA on June 5, 2018


From the Wine Industry Network "ADVISOR", domestic Rosé is gaining market share from the French. For the third year in a row, all Rosé sales are increasing by 50%. According to Nielsen retail outlet data, the Rosé category grew 64% over the last twelve months. We consider Rosé a great potential source for growth for all wineries across the country. We have a wonderful source of "Old Vine Grenache" and other varieties for a basis of your Rosé.

San Diego, CA and Davenport, Iowa

Last weekend we were in San Diego for the annual Wine Maker's Conference. We had a nice time and we always enjoy the Winemaker Tasting & Wine Sharing Party. At this year's event, there were new wineries from the Ramona Valley (east of San Diego) pouring wine. We tasted a lot of great wines from this new area, especially Grenache. Another one was a Falanghina wine made from Falanghina grapes (a white grape from the Campania area of Italy). It has great potential in this particular valley.

On June 19th, we will be in Davenport, Iowa for The GrapevineMidwest Viniculture Expo. We will be in booth 521. We are looking forward to the Captain's Riverboat Cruise on the 20thand other events during the Expo. We hope to see a lot of our customers from the Midwest at this convention. Later in the week, we will be heading to Chicago for a little sightseeing and meeting other customers in the area. The Detroit area will be our last stay where we plan to spend a little time with family and again customers.

New Variety

Last year we successfully shipped Tannat grapes for the first time. This year we may have the ability to get some Teroldego grapes. This variety originates from the Italian red grape grown primarily in the northeastern region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy. The grapes produce deeply pigmented red wines with an intensely fruity character and relatively low tannins for early drinking. 


In our last Newsletter, we expressed a concern with a potential return of drought conditions and a very early maturing crop. Following that Newsletter, we have had several good rain storms. We escaped drought conditions but we did not get sufficient snow cover in the Sierras and total rain was below average.

After the couple weeks of heat in February, we have had nothing but cool weather. This is delaying the maturity of all crops and the general opinion is we are two weeks later than "normal" with the grape crop.

Market Condition

General activity for those grapes without contractsis slow. There was some early activity for all varieties but that disappeared. The varieties where there is still good demand are Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Petit Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. As the crop develops, we will hopefully see more activity. I am hearing that Zinfandel sales are starting to improve and we may see some strength in that variety.