How Craft Brands Can Succeed in the Covid-19 Era

June 30, 2020

“For me, DTC business is everything,” says Katy Wilson, the founder and winemaker for Sonoma Coast producer LaRue Wines. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales have become increasingly important for American wineries, increasing 7.4 percent in value to reach $3.2 billion in sales in 2019, according to Sovos ShipCompliant. “For those of us that had those pieces of the puzzle already in place,” adds Wilson, “we have been able to be a bit more nimble in our marketing strategies and how we respond to the changing landscape of the situation.” Since March, the winery has been exclusively focused on DTC sales."

VIADER 2017 Vintages Reviewed by Owen Bargreen

June 25, 2020

"I love Napa with restraint and outstanding terror. A famed Napa winery, VIADER is the brainchild of Delia Viader, who took the leap of faith years ago to plant grapes in uncharted waters in Napa Valley. For years Delia only made one wine, a Bordeaux style blend, since 1986. Holding a PhD from Sorbonne University in Paris, founding winemaker Delia Viader now collaborates with her son, Alan, to make their wines which are entirely sourced from their estate vineyard on Howell Mountain. A remarkable story, Delia stated Viader while raising four children on her own. Since starting the winery she was met with some incredible critical acclaim for her pretty style of wine that typically incorporates a large amount of Cabernet Franc."

Touching Base With Katy Wilson of LaRue Wines

June 21, 2020

“She grew up with walnuts, but makes her living these days with grapes. Katy Wilson is a farm girl. Her early days in the family walnut orchard planted the seed for a life in agriculture. Years later a college lecture struck a chord and led her towards making wine as a vocation. Wine lovers are all the better for it. Today Katy crafts wine for a handful of projects in Northern California. Her skill set has her in high demand. On top of juggling that consulting work, she is hands-on in her own winery, LaRue Wines. Katy wrote its business plan as a college senior. Her dream arrived quickly and with some serendipity. As dreams do. We were privileged recently to grab some time with the busy Ms. Wilson to learn more about her career to date and the first decade of LaRue Wines. It's been a remarkable journey. She is quite a role model for other women aspiring to carve a path in the wine industry.”

Our Favorite Gins Perfect for Summer

June 18, 2020

“Gin is the perfect summer spirit—it’s light, fragrant, refreshing, and infused with botanicals that bring to mind blooming flowers and floral herbs which thrive during the warmer months. So whether you are in the mood for a classic cocktail like a martini, gin and tonic, or gimlet, or looking to sip something neat or with a few cubes of ice, there is a gin to fit your mood. Here are 12 of our favorites to sip this summer.

No. 3 Gin has been around for about a decade, but is relatively new here in the US. It’s distilled in Holland for London-based Berry Bros. & Rudd, along with the help of Dr. David Clutton, who happens to have a PhD in gin (if that doesn’t make him an expert, not sure what does). Only six botanicals are used, including grapefruit peel and coriander, which are steeped in the neutral grain spirit for at least 16 hours to give this London dry gin a simple but bright and classic flavor. $40”

Wine, etc.: These 17 wines make great Father’s Day gifts

June 16, 2020

"VIADER "Black Label" 2016 ($150). Delia and Alan Viader – mother and son – make this luxurious blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, malbec and cabernet franc. It sports huge floral and cherry aromas followed by concentrated blackberry, red currant and plum flavors and a hint of pepper and mocha. Soft tannins on the palate and drinking well now.”

West Coast Wine Country Reopens This Weekend—With Conditions

June 12, 2020

A glass of Cabernet Franc—“liquid cashmere,” as it’s been called—at Viader, on the rocky slopes of Howell Mountain overlooking a great swath of Napa Valley. . . Another of Ditch Digger in Paso Robles, on the light-filled terrace at Denner Vineyards. . . Magical on-site sipping might seem like a distant memory to avid wine travelers curtailed by the pandemic. But as of Friday, June 12, it’s all possible again. California wineries have permission to open to visitors once again.

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