Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Texas Breweries Hoping for On-Site Sales

The Texas Brewers Parity Amendment, HB1062, aims to give Texas breweries the right to "sell ale...manufactured or bottled on the permitted premises to ultimate consumers... in unbroken packages for off-premise consumption in an amount that does not exceed 35,000 gallons annually."

To-date, breweries have been unable to sell product directly to consumers - Texas wineries won the same battle several years ago. The bill was filed on Feb., 10, 2009 by Representative Lon Burnam of Tarrant County, while Senator Wendy Davis filed the same bill, SB754, in the Senate.

Distributors and retailers have opposed previous legislative attempts, suggesting a loss of sales from consumers migrating directly to the breweries. With 9 microbreweries across the state, the bill's supporters suggest those losses would be negligible.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Woodrose Winery Increasing Capacity

With the recent completion of its new winery, Woodrose Winery is poised to aggressively expand production capabilities. The new building is three times the size of the original winery and has increased tank capacity three-fold.

The goal is to increase annual production from the current 3,700 cases to approximately 20,000 cases, according to Jared Longoria, Director of Operations/ Sommelier at the winery. "Quality is always our emphasis, and with our new winery we will continue making quality Texas wine with quality Texas fruit", Jared told Mercury Direct.

Woodrose Winery is located in Stonewall TX, on the south side of Hwy 290, between Stonewall and Fredericksburg.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wine Lovers Join Online Community

Bottlenotes.com "is a place where commerce meets community around a passion for wine", states Alyssa Rapp, Founder and CEO of the company. The company's new website brings Web 3.0 to the wine community.

If you are familiar with MySpace or Facebook, you understand the community concept behind Bottlenotes. Wine enthusiasts register, create a personal profile and share their wine experiences within the community. They invite their friends to join and the community grows.

To wine producers, Bottlenotes.com may not be so friendly. The site captures its members' wine preferences, recommends wines based on those preferences and sells wines online. It also has 5 different wine clubs, corporate gift offerings and a wedding & gift registry.

The company has assembled a heavyweight Board of Directors and Advisory Group to guide the development of the company, including Netflix c0-founder Jim Cook, Cakebread Cellars founder Jack Cakebread and former Encyclopedia Britannica Online CEO Don Yannias.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gingerbread Battles at Sonoma Wineries

Holiday Cheer got competitive between Sonoma Valley Wineries this December.

The Gingerbread Winery Contest is an annual event organized by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA). Established three years ago, the contest has become the signature event of the region's Holiday in the Vines seasonal celebration and allows professional and amateur chefs to create gingerbread likenesses of Sonoma's most acclaimed wineries.

Pictured above is this year's creation from Little Vineyards. The winery partnered with the Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary School to recreate an edible version of their winery.

While many entries recreate gingerbread versions of their winery, Nicholson Ranch created a life-sized fireplace with over 400 gingerbread bricks. Gingerbread stockings hung from a chocolate fireplace mantle and the nearby tree was trimmed with edible ornaments.

Throughout December, visitors pick up a map and a ballot at participating wineries and cast a vote for their favorite creation. To encourage voting, each ballot gets the visitor entered into a raffle to win a case of Sonoma Valley wines.

The contest winner will be announced shortly.