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Trade show Vinexpo coming to Sonoma County

Vinexpo, a trade show for wine and spirits professionals, will host its Explorer conference in Sonoma County Sept. 23–25, 2018.

The event will bring wine buyers, distributors and trade media to the area to learn more about Sonoma County’s producers with tastings, tours and panels.

The first Vinexpo Explorer was held last week in Austria.

“Through Vinexpo Explorer, we aim to bring attention and focus to regions that have the potential to become international consumer trends,” Guillaume Deglise, chief executive officer of Vinexpo, said in a statement.

“By complementing our established trade fairs in Bordeaux, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Vinexpo Explorer provides a new opportunity for networking and connection within the wine and spirits industry.”

Winegrowers to launch Center for Ag Sustainability

The Sonoma County Winegrowers will launch its Center for Ag Sustainability, a think tank dedicated to help the trade group refine its plans for the future, on Oct. 12.

Academics and outside business leaders will convene to assist the nonprofit group in its ambitious plans, including a goal to make the county’s grape crop 100 percent sustainable by 2019.

The group represents more than 1,800 grape growers in the county, and is working on its 100-year business plan to preserve agriculture in Sonoma County.

“Clearly, the status quo is not an effective strategy moving forward. We must look to lead on addressing these pressing issues and new ones that will emerge to sustain our success and preserve agriculture in Sonoma County and beyond,” Karissa Kruse, executive director of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, said in a statement.

Participants will meet four times during a two-year period to solve challenges confronting the industry within the next decade, from climate change to industry economics.

They include Adam Brumberg, the deputy director for the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, and Mary Ann King, stewardship manager for Trout Unlimited’s California water project.

Yountville vineyard acquires its first winery

Hoopes Vineyard has acquired Hopper Creek Vineyard and Winery in Yountville. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The sale gives Hoopes Vineyard, also located in Yountville, its first winery as the company had previously been using custom-crush facilities. It also has had tasting rooms at several locations in the Napa Valley, but none that is part of a winery.

The deal includes an 8-acre estate, the winery and the inventory.

Hopper Creek’s proprietor, Dieter Tede, bought the property in 1996 and had produced wines from the estate’s cabernet sauvignon and merlot vines. The name is a reference to the creek that borders the vineyard located on the southern edge of Yountville.

Lindsay Hoopes, owner and general manager of Hoopes Vineyard, had been searching for a new home for her family’s winery for more than a year before purchasing Hopper Creek.

“Small producers, even with established brands, are being priced out of the market,” Hoopes said in a statement. “To stay relevant, and adapt to the challenges associated with three-tier distribution and increasing brand consolidation in the market, we needed a home where we could control the quality of our land, production, and most importantly, entertain our guests and tell our story.”

Housing construction plunges in Sonoma County

The 2008 recession triggered a sharp drop in construction of new homes. This chart shows the annual net increase (or decline) in the number of single-family homes in Sonoma County since 2001.

2001: 1,923

2002: 1,926

2003: 1,782

2004: 1,425

2005: 1,566

2006: 1,576

2007: 1,552

2008: 1,595

2009: 1,037

2010: 780

2011: 186

2012: 300

2013: 294

2014: 377

2015: 285

2016: 293

2017: 246

2018: (-4,667)

Source: California Department of Finance

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

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