Viticulture Briefs: Sonoma County Winegrowers event to be held virtually next month

The annual Dollars & $ense event and trade show will be held virtually next month, according to the Sonoma County Winegrowers, sponsor of the annual event.

The event, staged by Sonoma County Winegrowers, will be held Jan. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Speakers will include Ray Isle, executive wine editor for Food & Wine magazine; Glenn Proctor, a partner at Ciatti Co. wine and grape brokerage; and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena.

There also will be sessions covering such topics as smoke exposure, crop insurance and grape contract negotiations.

To register for the event visit the winegrowers website at

Wine group calls on Biden to ease trade wars

The Wine Origins Alliance, a global coalition of 32 wine and grape-growing organizations, has called on President-elect Joe Biden to remove trade sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump that it calls a “dire situation.”

The Trump administration last year imposed a 25% tariff on European products, including bottled table wine from France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom with less than 14% alcohol content. That action was in response to European government subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The Trump administration also escalated a trade war with China. In response, Beijing increased the tariff rate on U.S. wine exported to China from 14% to 54%.

“Extending or increasing tariffs on wine would only compound the catastrophic economic pain that winemakers and consumers are facing due to COVID-19, devastating wildfires and the tariffs currently in effect,” the group wrote on Dec. 15 to Biden.

“Instead, we encourage the incoming administration to promote wine exports by removing trade barriers, which is crucial to driving industry growth and creating new industry jobs in this difficult time,” the letter added.

SSU expands wine journal, changes name of publication

Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University has changed the name and expanded the research topics of its academic publication that covers the wine sector.

The institute has changed the name of the Wine Business Case Research Journal to Wine Business Journal.

The renaming follows changes to expand the scope of the publication to include empirical research in addition to industry and regional case studies.

As a part of the new direction for the publication, the Wine Business Journal will release a special issue on COVID-19 and the wine sector next month.

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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