Mark Aselstine
June 8, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

Exploding Corvain Systems, the Ballard Canyon AVA and the City of Sonoma Declines to Limit Tasting Rooms

How you doing? Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures once again. We had a
couple of interesting notes come across the desk this morning, first thing
in the morning. So first, the Sonoma City Council voted last evening about
a few different restrictions on tasting rooms and other kind of winery and
public venue kind of spots, Sonoma Square kind of being a particular sticky
point that they were talking about.

There were a few people who wanted to limit the number of tasting rooms in
and around the square. As you might expect, people in the industry, the
Grape Growers Association as well as the Vintner's Association in Sonoma,
both the city and the county, fought pretty hard against that. It seems
like they reached a middle ground where there's not going to be a limit on
tasting rooms, but with outside events and kind of other type of gathering
spots outside of regular business hours and that kind of stuff, they'll
need some permits.

It's a really kind of well-rounded decision, I think, by the city council
up in Sonoma. And I think it also goes to speak to the fact that Sonoma
continues to be kind of at the forefront of trying to find a way for the
wine industry to exist inside larger communities as we try to work out the
details, really, for wineries coming into urban areas for the first time,
really not only in the United States, but anywhere.

Secondly, Ballard Canyon. If you're familiar with Central Coast Wine and
Wineries, Ballard Canyon is just south-west of the town of Los Olivos. It's
one of our favorite spots for Syrah. It's kind of Northern Rome influence.
It's a cool climate region, it kind of will remind you a little bit of the
Petaluma Gap, where they get some really cool weather coming in off the
coast that doesn't hit all of the kind of land in Santa Ynez, but it does hit
Ballard Canyon.

So they're the newest AVA down in the central coast. They have a Facebook
page, now, so that kind of legitimizes things a little bit. If you're
looking for your first Ballard Canyon wine, Stolpman's a really good
producer. You'll see a number of wineries down there that do Stolpman
Vineyards Blend. Peter Stolpman does an especially good job I think.

And then Beckman Vineyards is another favorite, too. Michael Sanguine, the
wine maker down there, does a really nice job with everything that he

Covain Wine OpenerAnd lastly, Coravin, they're the wine opener system. We'll throw an image
up here so we can see it. In essence, it's a small needle that goes into a
bottle of wine and lets you... the theory was to pour a single glass
without having to kind of re-cork the bottle and finish it within a day or
two without losing the effectiveness of the cork. It looks like they're
going to be in full-scale recall, they've had a small handful of bottles
actually explode when people were using the system. I think that exploding
bottles of wine is probably a bad thing.

But the idea of the whole Coravin system is really a good one, and I hope
they can figure it out. But yeah, we'll try to skip the whole exploding
bottles of wine. Thanks again.


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