Annual grape crush report delayed until April

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Grape crush report delayed until April

The 2018 grape crush report for California has been delayed until April 10 as a result of the partial government shutdown, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The preliminary report was scheduled for release on Feb. 8. However, the department could not collect all of the necessary data because its workers were furloughed for 35 days as a result of the shutdown, which ended on Jan. 25.

Local grape growers and wineries rely on the data to help establish contracts for the following year.

Pruning competition to be on Feb. 22

The 18th annual Sonoma County Pruning Championship will be held on Feb. 22 at the Sunnyview Vineyard in Santa Rosa. It is sponsored by the Sonoma County Winegrowers trade group.

The event had been held in previous years at Shone Farm in Forestville. The new location at 3245 Guerneville Road is where the Sonoma County Winegrowers moved its offices last year.

Workers from local vineyard management firms and wineries are eligible to participate in the event. They are judged on their speed as well as the accuracy of the cuts. Winners receive cash prizes.

For more information, contact Dana Cappelloni of the Winegrowers at Dana@sonomawinegrape.org.

Foley Family Wines buys NZ wine estate

Foley Family Wines of Santa Rosa has acquired the Mt Difficulty wine estate in New Zealand for about $35 million, according to New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office.

The government agency approved the deal on Dec. 11 and the official notice was announced on Jan. 31. The country in 2017 enacted new restrictions on the purchase of rural land by foreign investors.

The acquisition includes 174 acres of land and another 269 acres that Foley will lease to expand its portfolio to premium pinot noir offerings, the agency said. The vineyard is located in the southern part of the country and produces wine for Mt Difficulty and Roaring Meg labels.

Foley already owns other New Zealand properties such as Martinborough Vineyard, Te Kairanga Vineyard and Grove Mill Winery.

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

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