Domestic shipments of California wine hit record

California vintners shipped a record 238 million cases of wine to U.S. consumers in 2016, a 2 percent increase from the previous year, according to a top industry trade group.

The retail value of the wine shipments was estimated at $34.1 billion, according to the Wine Institute, the trade group that represents California wine companies.

Golden State wineries also shipped an additional 47 million cases to foreign countries last year.

“Consumers worldwide recognize the high quality of California wines from diverse regions across the state,” said Robert Koch, Wine Institute president and CEO, in a statement. “As consumers in the U.S. and around the world continue to trade up to premium wines, California is ideally positioned.”

The United States has been the world’s largest wine market since 2010.

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Dehlinger Winery buys Russian River Valley vineyard

The Dehlinger Winery in Sebastopol has bought the 35-acre Stiling Vineyard in Russian River Valley, a parcel next to the winery’s own estate vineyard. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to have connected with our neighbors, the Stiling family, and we look forward to continuing the long agricultural tradition of this ranch,” said Eva Dehlinger, the winery’s general manager. “The addition of the Stiling ranch to our acreage continues our commitment to estate-grown grapes and strengthens our dedication to the Russian River Valley.”

Don Stiling had purchased the property in 1986. It was once part of the Garbro Ranch, which was known for its berry and apple production. Stiling developed the property between 1998 and 2005, producing premium chardonnay and pinot noir.

Dehlinger Winery produces approximately 7,000 cases annually.

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Sebastopol vintner donates to UC Davis

Sebastopol vintner Ron Rubin has made a major contribution to the UC Davis Foundation. The money will go to a special program at the UC Davis Library, which will enhance access and public use of the historic wine labels and menus. The amount of the gift was not disclosed.

The funds will establish The Ron Rubin/Maynard Amerine Wine Label and Menu Collection Fund.

Rubin studied under Amerine, who taught viticulture and enology at UC Davis for nearly 40 years. Amerine collected more than 5,000 wine labels, which date from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. Those labels were digitized and made available online by the library in 2016.

“Upon meeting Maynard Amerine, the summer before my senior year of college, I immediately enrolled in UC Davis, to learn about viticulture and enology. That year left me with a lifelong dream — to own a vineyard and winery in Wine Country,” Rubin said in a statement.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.