If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 3/8/2019

Remembering John Shafer: John Shafer, founder of Shafer Vineyards in Napa Valley, has died at age 94. He was a pioneer of Stags Leap District, and his Hillside Select was one of Napa’s early cult Cabernet wines. He joined the industry when he was 48, leaving a job in publishing in Chicago to pursue wine. [Wine Spectator]

Big move for June Rodil: Exciting news for Houston:  is moving from Austin to Houston to become a partner at Goodnight Hospitality, the restaurant group owned by local businessman Peter McCarthy, chef Felipe Riccio, and MS . She leaves her post at McGuire Moorman Hospitality but will retain partnership at June’s All Day. [Houston Culture Map]

Vintage Wine Estates buys Alloy: Vintage Wine Estates, one of the largest producers in the US, has purchased Alloy, the California Central Coast canned-wine brand by Field Recording. Winemaking will continue under Andrew Jones, Field Recording founder and winemaker. [North Bay Business Journal]

Sonoma’s flood damage: Business owners are surveying the damage from last week’s storms in Sonoma County. At the Barlow, a shopping district in Sebastopol, Pax Wines and Kosta Browne carry out production and there are a number of tasting rooms. While Kosta Browne has reported limited losses, Pax Mahle experienced serious damage. Winemakers including Jolie-Laide, Jaimee Motley, Martha Stoumen, Rootdown, and Raen also use his facility for production. Damage in Sonoma County is estimated at $155 million. [Wine Spectator]

Batali divests: Over a year after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against Mario Batali, he has formally exited his restaurant empire. The as-yet unnamed company that will replace the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group will be led by Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, and Nancy Silverton and will run the company’s remaining 16 restaurants. [NTY]

Climate action group: Familia Torres and Jackson Family Wines have launched a new working group of wineries called International Wineries for Climate Action. Their aim is to provide opportunities for collaboration and sharing solutions, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions in the industry by 80% by 2045. [Decanter]

Get to know Jancis Robinson: Jancis Robinson was interviewed in the most recent issue of Noble Rot. Learn more about her background and views on the wine world today—it’s a fun read. [Noble Rot]

Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week

Wine tech: Representatives from SevenFifty, Liberation Distribution, and Vine Connections and winemaker André Mack shared how they are using technology during a Vinexpo panel. Regardless of the facet of the industry, tools for managing internal efficiency, connecting with customers, and building brand awareness offer opportunities. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

Have you heard any other reports from Sonoma producers affected by the storms?

How are canned wines doing in your market these days? Is popularity rising, falling, or steady?

What other environmental projects have come onto your radar recently?

What emerging technologies do you use at your business or for wine-related endeavors personally? What do you think is next in this space?

What else have you been reading this week?

  • LOVED the Jancis interview! She's so dreamy...

  • Seeing yet another icon of our industry pass away this week, it's becoming hard to wrap my head around how time flies and how often we lose people. He was 94 but still very sad news.  Makes it feel even more important to try and attend as many events and tastings as possible and meet as many of these legendary figures as you can before it's too late.

    Reminds me of one of the more sobering introductions to an I'll Drink To That podcast I just listened to.  I can't recall who had just passed away, but it was literally weeks before Levi had the chance to interview them.  He even had the industry scheduled already, which I imagine has to be pretty shocking news for him.  He delivers a similar message about how many of the elder statesmen and women of the beverage world are getting old and leaving behind incredible legacies, but often before he or someone else are able to record some of their thoughts and ideas in an interview.