Mike Crumly retires from Gloria Ferrer after 35 years

Mike Crumly will retire this month from Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards after a 35-year career, most recently as vice president of vineyard operations.

A graduate of UC Davis, Crumly joined Gloria Ferrer in 1986, a year before the winery opened as the first sparkling house in the Carneros wine region.

During his career, Crumly worked with winemaker Bob Iantosca to research what types of pinot noir and chardonnay clones would grow best in the estate vineyards.

He later established a research partnership with UC Davis to determine the ideal growing sites in the region. The research is publicly available for all wineries to use.

O’Neill Vintners buys Paso Robles winery

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, a Larkspur producer of premium wines and spirits, has acquired the Rabble wine brand of Paso Robles.

Rabble was founded in 2010 by vineyard manager Rob Murray and, with its colorful labels, became popular with millennials. It also became one of the first wineries to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment to buy its wines.

O’Neill Vintners was founded in 2004 by Jeff O’Neill. In 2019, O’Neill was ranked as the No. 24 wine company in the country, according to Wine Business Monthly.

Sonoma County grape grower event on Thursday

The Sonoma County Winegrowers will hold its annual Dollars and Sense event virtually on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Participants for the trade group’s conference include Glenn Proctor, a partner at Ciatti Co. wine and grape brokerage; Danny Brager of Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting; Peggy Gsell of the Nielsen market research firm; U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena.

Those interested in registering for the event can visit the group’s website:

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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