Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chateau Julien Spies look north!

The Home Division Executive Team of the Estate took a trip north to the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. We were spies (evidenced by no winery logo wear). This was a fun experience with lots of traffic and a great reason to stay right here in Monterey. More on this later!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chateau Julien Wine Estate - "Estate Salon"

Chateau Julien Wine Estate celebrates the second week of its' "Estate Salon" opening. Certified Wine Educator, Shawn Bruce, introduces our wines to a select audience. The Salon is available on Friday and Saturday only, by pre reservation. This is an experience not to be missed! Shawn has an incredible knowledge of our wines and the wine industry!

Just Last Week in Monza, ITALY

Just think how lucky the 38 palyers in the F1 Clienti are. You can see how excited David is in the picture below. He is actually sleeping while the F1 crew has the car started in front of him. It must have been a long night before!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Industry News as reported by Wine & Spirits Daily

HOT NEW TRENDS IN WINE AND SPIRITS. Hispanics, baby-boomers and catchy new products are the way to drive new growth in today's market, according to NABCA's "Hot Trends" panel. Kaumil Gajrawala of UBS, Bump Williams of IRI and Anthony von Mandl of Mike's Hard Lemonade shared their insight on how to make (more) money in this industry. Let's take a look. SUPPLIERS IGNORE BABY BOOMERS. "We expect this trend (wine and spirits share growth) to continue but at a declining rate." If this is true, what can wine and spirits do to continue driving trends? The baby-boomer demographic has been ignored by suppliers, says Kaumil, which could really end up hurting them in the future. In the next ten years, the over-50 age group will increase 22 million. This is huge considering boomers have more retirement wealth than any generation in history. So, what do they like? Wine companies benefit the most from the boomer segment, said Kaumil, because they are attracted to its healthy image. They also like simple, low-alcohol content beverages, which Kaumil reasoned would be perfect for Smirnoff Source. "The income of affluent US household is growing faster than other segments due to high salaries of well educated workers, more two-big-paycheck families, and favorable tax policies." Another group to watch out for is the baby- boomer's children, otherwise known as millennials (roughly 21- 29 demographic.) According to Kaumil, beer is extremely focused on this group who value variety, the image of sophistication, a connection to the product and premiumization. The kicker, though, lies in the Hispanic demographic which is set to double in next 20 years. Kaumil says that they're wealthier and migrating all across the nation, not just South Texas or California. Hispanics are the youngest of all ethnic groups (average age is 28) and most brand loyal. Hispanics want companies to market with them, not to them, and are attracted to flavored products, said Kaumil. High-end will also continue to grow.

The Vine Chronicles - Week 11 (May 24, 2007)

This week was a little longer than the past 10, due to my Italy visit. However, notice the dramatic vine growth in this period of time. While the weather has been dry, we have had nights in the high 30's and daily highs in the upper 60's to low 70's. The vineyard looks perfect.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Italy - Never a Bad Meal and the sorrow of leaving Maranello

Now that I am back in Carmel, you think back to all the great times and meals in Italy. One place you must go to is Al Caminetto da Dino. This is the restaurant where Enzo had his Sunday meal and is the favorite of Giuseppe Rissi (Ferrari of Houston). The pasta is fresh every day and you cannot find a better meal. The restaurant is located outside Modena at Via Martiniana, 240.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Maranello in May 2007

Entering Maranello brings chills to any real fan of Ferrari. Whether you are a Ferrari owner or just a fan, this is the place! The pictures below are everything from Enzo's home (at the track) to the F1 cars in storage, to my buddy Tony (at the Planet Hotel - which is next to the track), to Michaels's FXX, to the Cavallino Restaurant. Wow - what a great time!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Monza Italy for F-1 Cliente

Corse Cliente begins the 2007 in Monza on Saturday May 19th. My buddy, Tony Nobles, will be at it again for the 2007 series.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

How does our Lockwood Valley Vineyard Look in 2007

Well it is May and the vineyard is in great shape. The Chardonnay is blooming (see pictures below) and most of the clusters appear smaller than last year. We believe that the extreme lack of rain will impact this years crop with smaller clusters.