Viticulture briefs: Sonoma Wine Auction unveils lots up for bid

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Cuvaison hires winemaker to lead small programs

Cuvaison winery in Carneros has hired Rob Fischer to the newly created position of winemaker for its small lot and research programs.

Fischer will work with Cuvaison’s winemaker Steve Rogstad in the effort, which also includes its legacy wines for its 200-acre estate vineyards. He will conduct tests and research on such issues as yeast trials, irrigation and rootstock material.

He has previously worked as the winemaker at Lyric and Beaulieu Vineyard, and was most recently as the director of winemaking operations at Banshee Wines in Healdsburg.

“Rob is an incredibly talented winemaker, with a deep understanding of our region’s terroir, and what makes wines from Carneros so exceptional,” Rogstad said in a statement.

Sonoma Wine Auction unveils lots up for bid

The Sonoma Wine Auction announced the 41 different lots available to buy during its Sept. 22 event.

The auction, sponsored by the Sonoma County Vintners trade group, will be held at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard in Windsor.

The auction has raised $29 million for local charities since its inception.

The lots include tickets for the 2019 Wimbledon Men’s Final along with a dinner with a Wimbledon legend, airfare and lodging; a five-course dinner paired with wines from the Hamel Family Winery library at the Charles M. Schulz Museum with a solo concert by Grammy Award-winner George Winston; and a trip that includes six nights in a private castle near Lake Como in Italy and two nights at the Christopher Creek Winery estate home in Healdsburg.

Sonoma State surveys local residents on wine industry

An online poll conducted by Sonoma State University found positive views on the local wine industry from residents in Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Mendocino and Solano counties.

Seventy-five percent of the 503 respondents said they had either “very positive” (39 percent) or “positive” (35 percent) views of the local industry. Twenty-two percent said they had neutral views or no opinion about the industry.

Four percent had a poor opinion of the industry, with respondents reporting they had either a “negative” (2.6 percent) or “very negative” (1.4 percent) view. The industry has been on the defensive in recent years, primarily over complaints about crowded traffic because of increased wine tourism.

The survey was taken in February and March and conducted by David McCuan, chair and professor of the SSU political science department, and Richard Hertz, an adjunct faculty member.

The survey was commissioned by the university’s Wine Business Institute, which receives funding from the local wine industry. SSU spokesman Paul Gullixson did not provide a cost for the survey.

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