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IBWSS Recap: a first for California

The IBWSS was the first-ever bulk and private label wine and spirits event in California

Close to 1500 wineries, distilleries, importers, distributors and retailers met in San Francisco for the debut of the highly anticipated International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show on July 26 & 27. At the event, suppliers and buyers traded and attendees learned about the latest trends in bulk wine and spirits, including methods to use private labels as a way to win over customers, boost loyalty and drive new sources of revenue.

The event saw unprecedented success with most exhibitors walking away with deals or potential contacts with buyers. Exhibitors had the chance to meet buyers from Gallo wines, Trader Joe’s, Kroger’s, Bevmo amongst many others.  Buyers came from all over the United States and were not limited to the vicinity of the Californian wine industry.

In the post-event survey, 80% of the exhibitors reported a high level of satisfaction with the show quoting that they were pleased with the number and the quality of buyers that they met at the show. 60% of the exhibitors mentioned that they were likely or very likely to exhibit again with 30% signing up on the spot to exhibit at IBWSS 2018! Read full recap here – IBWSS.PR

The trilemma of primary, secondary and tertiary aromas

It’s generally accepted that we have three choices when defining wine aromas, they are categorized as primary, secondary or tertiary. Yet in practice, many common aromas can be attributed to two of these categories.

Primary wine flavors (the combination of aromas and tastes) come from the grape variety itself and are almost always fruity except when they’re not. Secondary aromas are those associated with post-fermentation winemaking and include yeast, lees, yogurt, cream, butter or cheese and a full spectrum of flavors derived from oak. Tertiary flavors are defined as deliberate oxidation, fruit development, bottle age or any combination thereof.

Petrol, for example, which is most commonly detected in Riesling and attributed to the compound 1, 1, 6, -trimethyl-1,2-dihydronapthalene (TDN), can be present in new made Riesling and in increasingly higher amounts in bottle-aged wine due to the hydrolysis and rearrangement of TDN precursors over time.

The conundrum or trilemma that students of wine encounter when using a tasting rubric like the Systematic Approach to Tasting developed by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) or the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Deductive Tasting Grid becomes apparent when defining petrol. The WSET categorizes it as a tertiary flavor attributed to bottle age in white wines and the Court as inorganic earth/mineral.  Read the full article The Trilemma of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Aromas

Campania Update: Focus on Falanghina del Sannio DOP

If you’re keeping tabs on wine quality in Southern Italy with its myriad indigenous grape varieties and oftentimes limited access to distribution, this update on the Sannio DOP should prove to be useful. Through a combination of research trips to Campania and the opportunity to judge the Radici del Sud “Roots of the South” wine competition which has been held in different venues in the town of Bari, Puglia since 2006, it provides a look at the key factors for the region and a snapshot of wine quality.

The Radici competition uses a unique format of two different juries, one composed of international experts and another of Italian experts, both of which taste all of the wines that have been submitted.  When a wine captures the attention of both juries, they’ve succeeded in pointing you to a grape, a place and a producer that are worth investigating. The preliminary results from this year’s Radici competition which narrowed 350 entries down to 70 were released this week and among them the 2016 Fontanavecchia Campania Falanghina Taburno was singled out by both juries as one of the first or second wines in its class. The winery’s 2009 Vigna Cataratte Aglianico also scored a first.

Falanghina del Sannio

In fewer than 40 years, Falanghina has emerged as a signature grape for Campania’s Sannio DOP.  Although Falanghina is grown across Southern Italy with DOC regions found in Campania, Molise, Puglia and Abruzzo, 80 percent of its hectares lie in Sannio which covers the entire province of Benevento.   Falanghina’s point of origin is attributed to the Bonea commune in Benevento which lies at the southern foot of Monte Taburno, an isolated massif that is part of the Campania Apennine Mountain chain. The indigenous grape owes its name to the Latin “falangae,” the poles that were traditionally used to support the vigorous canopy of this ancient Greek-Balkan variety.

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Day 1 of the IBWSS

By Dominic Basulto & Malvika Patel

The International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show (IBWSS) kicked off in San Francisco on July 26 with a packed exhibition hall and a keynote address from Bobby Koch, President and CEO of the Wine Institute. That led to a full day of presentations, workshops and master classes from some of the top names in the bulk wine and spirits industry.

The question on everyone’s mind at the event, of course, was: “How can my business make the most out of being involved with the bulk wine and spirits industry?” For some participants, it meant mingling on the showroom floor with the 80 international and domestic exhibitors, who were ready and willing to share their advice on how to take advantage of opportunities in the bulk wine and spirits industry offering trade prospects and private label services. These exhibitors included some from nearby California wine-growing regions as well as some foreign exhibitors from as far away as Chile and Australia.

Visitors shifted their focus between the Tasting Floor and the series of presentations and workshops at the South San Francisco Conference Center designed to give participants a deep-dive into the world of bulk wine and spirits. Deborah Parker Wong, a wine industry journalist and judge, set the tone for the day with a presentation on “How to deliver successful bulk wine programs.” As she noted, the global bulk market is becoming more fluid, and that’s changing the go-to-market strategies for many wineries.

That was followed up with presentations designed to cover specialized issues related to the bulk wine industry – everything from marketing to legal issues to pricing. The final presentation of the day came from Nat DiBuduo, President of Allied Grape Growers, who went into detail on how current grape supply and demand impacts the industry, using the example of Pinot Grigio. As he suggested, many wineries get involved in the bulk wine industry because the shifting conditions of supply and demand make it imperative to explore new market approaches.

Day 1 of the IBWSS also included three workshops designed to help wineries and winemakers already involved in the bulk wine industry to develop their expertise even further. For example, winemaker Clark Smith led a master class on postmodern winemaking, in which he described why values like openness, mutual respect and authentic dialogue are so important for today’s winemakers to reach consumers. Steve Burch of Radoux USA followed up with a workshop on how spirits brand owners and distilleries can take advantage of opportunities within the bulk spirits industry, including learning how to make their own apertif for the consumer market.

And, for winemakers trying to negotiate the intricacies of shipping their bulk wines across national borders, Gordon Burns of ETS Laboratories led a workshop on how to use certificates of analysis (COAs) in international trade. As Burns pointed out, wine is an inherently safe product, so many of the COAs now required as part of international trade deals might not really be needed. The goal should be cutting down on the number of certificates required, not demanding more of them. However, when COAs are required, it’s paramount to ensure quality results, usually by having the certificates of analysis done by an accredited laboratory.

As the final workshop came to a close, participants milled back out on the exhibition floor of the South San Francisco Conference Center, eager to put their new knowledge to work. Join us on Day 2 of the IBWSS as we hear from another full slate of speakers and workshop participants on topics related to the world of bulk wine and spirits.

Horizons left to chase: Q & A with One Mind Institute’s Brandon Staglin

Brandon Staglin, recipient of the Mental Health Association’s 2017 Clifford W. Beers Award, has been recognized as the nation’s leading consumer advocate for improving treatment and attitudes toward people who live with mental health conditions.

Having recovered from schizophrenia, an illness that affects two million people living in the United States, Staglin is both a role model and an inspiration. He is the Board Director for the One Mind Institute, a non-profit dedicated to funding brain health research founded by Shari and Garen Staglin in 1995, and Director of Marketing and Communications for the Staglin Family Vineyard. In the below interview he talks candidly about his work and life experiences.

What would you say to someone who has a family or community member who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia to help them understand that it’s possible to manage and overcome the disorder?

Managing schizophrenia can be a challenge, but one that I have been able to meet and succeed at. One of the most helpful things I’ve done toward returning to wellness has been to consciously accept that I have a brain health condition that will stay with me for the foreseeable future. When I was able to accept this, I stopped fighting that idea and began to allocate more energy to pursuing meaningful parts of life, like relationships, career, hobbies, and advocacy. Now, managing my condition has become routine and consumes much less attention and concern. And these meaningful life pursuits have strongly developed my resilience and stability.

Other super-helpful factors in my recovery have been early and consistent access to quality psychiatric care, including medication; the loving support of my family, and my participation in a 1998 clinical trial for an experimental form of treatment called cognitive training.

Today, I work at a job that I care about, own a home, and am happily married for over eight years to my wife, Nancy. She and I take care of our dog, Cooper. Nancy and Cooper have taught me so much about unconditional love, which has been my life’s greatest reward.

I define recovery as the ability to transcend the confines (some physical, some conceptual) of patient life and to pursue the things that matter to you. It may or may not entail being symptom-free or treatment-free. I consider myself recovered although I still take medication and see my psychiatrist regularly. And I would not want to have never developed schizophrenia, because dealing with it for myself and as an advocate has taught me valuable lessons in wellness, responsibility, and compassion.

In addition to the medical, social, and motivational factors I describe above, I also make it a point to exercise every day, to eat mindfully, to meditate regularly, and to get a sensible amount of sleep each night. All these help to keep me steady and strong.

You haven’t let this disorder define who you are but how important is it for family members and caregivers to separate the person from the illness? 

There were a couple of months shortly after my initial episode in 1990 when my recovery was not progressing well, and I experienced deep depression and suicidal ideation. The most impactful thing my Dad has ever said to me was during that time: “There’s a lot of love coming from here, Brandon.” Although I was too sick at the time to feel or return that love, his words reached me, and inspired me to want to get well, to share in the love of my family again. It was a major boost toward recovery. It worked because, deep within, I was still the person I had been, and my capacity to love was intact; it was just obscured temporarily.

I also retained the capacity to dream. At one moment when I was seriously considering suicide, what brought me back was the memory of the chimpanzee behavior research I had been assisting at the Oakland Zoo, once a week, and the lifelong fascination I felt for the type of scientific learning that entailed. Because I wanted to continue to learn, I decided then to keep on keeping on. I am very glad to still be here, in part because I have since learned a great deal more about the science of behavior!

I believe it is important for families and clinicians to help patients reconnect with their loves and their dreams, for these can motivate patients to work toward recovery.

Can you tell us what the One Mind Institute is doing in terms of research towards finding a cure?

One Mind operates several programs to find better treatments, preventions and cures for schizophrenia and other brain disorders. Focusing on schizophrenia, our most important work has been in the realm of early detection and intervention. As with any other disease, evidence indicates that the earlier someone at risk for (or newly experiencing) psychosis can access treatment, the better their potential for recovery. Since the early 2000s, One Mind Institute has seed-funded and supported the research of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS), a nine-university consortium investigating the means to detect and treat psychosis even before a first episode occurs.

Today, I am co-leading a program of One Mind to form a learning healthcare network among community early psychosis treatment centers throughout California, with the intent to enable this network to participate in similar collaborative research. It is my hope that we can develop a way for this network to pool their data with that of the NAPLS to make statistically significant breakthroughs faster, for validate ways to prevent schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses on a societal scale.

You’ve written about the NIMH’s RAISE project.  Have you benefited from this type of early intervention and holistic treatment?

The RAISE study’s discoveries have formed the foundation for federal funding that has enabled over 100 more early psychosis clinics to open nationwide, which is awesome for public health.

During my first episode in 1990, RAISE-model treatment (called Coordinated Specialty Care, or CSC) was not generally used for schizophrenia. However, with the help of my family, I engaged in a comprehensive care “program” of our own invention which combined medical treatment, volunteering (at the Oakland Zoo and the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito) and continuing education (auditing classes at UC Berkeley). This combination of traditional treatment with community involvement and responsibility provided me with weekly structure, and kept me learning and growing as I stabilized. In many respects, this combination was similar to RAISE treatment.

About two million people in the U.S. are diagnosed as schizophrenic while an estimated 5.5 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s seems to get the lion’s share of media attention and research dollars.  What is One Mind doing to raise awareness and dispel stigma around schizophrenia?

One of our programs, Care Connect, operates a campaign called Strong365 ( that educates youth about what psychosis is, about the availability of early care, and about the fact that seeking help is a sign of strength. This campaign provides digital ads to youth who search on the web for terms related to psychosis, which send them to the Strong365 website to learn more and to connect with peer chat or with a treatment center if desired.

In 2009, One Mind Institute co-founded Bring Change to Mind, a leading national organization raising awareness and fighting stigma around mental health conditions. I continue to speak, blog, and participate in interviews about my experience, which I hope educates many.

In a recent study of genetic factors that put people at risk of developing mental illnesses, scientists have found a new gene linked to psychosis.  You’ve described this as “following the pathways” research. Can you tell us more?

Studies like this one are important in that they can provide clues to the biological processes that can lead to schizophrenia. Once scientists know of a gene or network of genes that contributes robustly to risk for the disease, as in this family, they can investigate the biological pathways that develop from the activity of these genes and that can bring on the symptoms, and from this knowledge, find biological targets for the development of more focused treatments.

This “following the pathways” type of research has recently started to succeed. Steven McCarroll, of the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT, spoke at our 2016 Music Festival about how his lab elucidated the biological mechanism behind how a specific mutation in the C4 gene can strongly increase risk for schizophrenia. This was tremendously exciting news.

In a very personal expression of hope and inspiration, Brandon Staglin has written and publicly performed an original song titled “Horizons Left to Chase” that explores the possibilities that exist despite having a schizophrenia diagnosis.  He encourages everyone to watch the performance on One Mind Institute’s YouTube Channel.



Q & A with CEO Sid Patel, The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show

San Francisco continues to be one of the world’s most important destinations for leading players in the wine industry, so it’s no surprise that a major conference dedicated to the private label and bulk trade is making its way to the city on July 26-27.

In the short Q&A below, Sid Patel, CEO of the Beverage Trade Network (BTN), explains why his organization is bringing the event to San Francisco for the first time and why the private label and bulk trade has become such an important market segment in the United States.


Why did you decide to bring the International Bulk Wine & Spirits (IBWS) Show to San Francisco?

On a global basis, and in the United States the private label and bulk trade market are growing in importance. We’ve already seen a lot of enthusiasm by supermarkets, restaurants and hospitality businesses to create their own private label brands, as well as by smaller wineries to get into the bulk trade.

San Francisco was a natural choice for us when we were thinking about where to host the conference. The city has geographical access to some of the most important wineries and wine-growing regions in the country, including many wineries that are major players in the private label and bulk trade market.

We’ve already had a phenomenal response to other events that we’ve hosted for the wine industry, so expanding our presence to San Francisco just made a lot of sense. When we first came up with the concept for the IBWS Show, we wanted it to be a place where buyers and sellers could meet and do deals. We’ve seen that buyers want to explore as many options as possible when they select their private label and bulk supply partners.

California is one of the leading private label markets, so it made sense that we could provide the platform to connect these buyers to top class suppliers from all over the world.

What can exhibitors and visitors expect this summer in San Francisco?

Visitors will get a chance to meet wineries and distilleries who offer private label and contract manufacturing options, bulk wine suppliers from all over the world, bulk spirits suppliers and contract bottlers.

The idea of the show is that a visitor can walk in with an idea or a concept and can meet all the parties involved in developing a private label brand from scratch.

You will literally be able to set up a private label business with the contacts, information, and education that you will get at the show. So, for example, you will meet contract bottlers, you will meet wine and spirits suppliers and you will meet legal experts who can guide you with any questions you might have.

Exhibitors will get a chance to meet buyers looking to develop private label brands. Exhibitors will also meet wineries and distilleries looking to meet their demand for bulk wine and spirits.

What’s the target audience for the IBWS show?

The show is relevant to custom crush suppliers, distilleries, and wineries who could branch into providing these facilities in addition to bulk wine and spirits and buyers from every tier of business who want to explore these services. We’re really looking to show people how the private label and bulk trade business is starting to become a bigger and bigger component of the U.S. wine industry.

It is important to educate suppliers about the advantages of offering such services and how it helps distilleries and wineries grow their bottom line and build relationships. It is the time we accepted this new trend, which is really influencing the future of the wine industry.

Why did you come up with the concept of a conference around the bulk wine market?

The show is the only one of its kind where bulk wine, bulk spirits, and private label businesses can meet and do business in the same place. We wanted to create a show that encourages bulk providers to do business openly. For many reasons, the bulk trade has been flying under the radar of many wine industry participants.

We want to clarify a lot of myths, we want to share case studies of wineries that have their own brands and at the same time develop private label brands for their own customers.

The conference topics will help wineries and distilleries understand how they can optimize their wineries by offering such services, it will also show buyers what to look for in their supply partners and it will educate the trade on myths about bulk wine and spirits.

What issues will be covered at the IBWSS in San Francisco?

We have an exciting agenda lined up in San Francisco. To offer a really broad view of the industry, one of our speakers will be covering the major trends that are shaping the global bulk wine, spirits and private label market. And, for participants who really want to drill down on the specifics, we’ll have lawyers talking about the major points that need to be included in any private label or bulk wine agreement.

We’ve really tried to cover all the different angles. For example, one session hosted by Nat DiBuduo will focus on how current grape demand and supply affects market participants. And we’ll have a noted wine industry judge talk about blending bulk wines to create a quality blend. And, of course, we’ll cover how retailers and restaurants can grow their private label brands.

Why do you think the bulk wine will have such a big impact in the coming years?

Retailers, importers, distributors and buyers want to sell brands that they can control. There are obvious reasons (profit, the stability of supply, brand equity) for this. This means they have started doing backward supply management where they plan their inventories and work with contract bottlers in a much more efficient way. This also means buying in bulk and bottling it locally.

Any particular examples of how bulk wine is already being used effectively?

So far we have seen wineries using bulk wine that is in excess used in such channels where wineries can offer one-time deals to restaurant chains and similar businesses. Some good quality wineries are also creating blends by getting involved in buying bulk wine and blending.

What can you tell us about Beverage Trade Network?

Beverage Trade Network was founded as a response to the underlying challenges that face beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. With our integrated set of tools and services for wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners, our members can easily attract and engage with potential business partners from around the world.

About The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show:  The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in San Francisco, CA. IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing / private label programs and wineries / distilleries / importers who have one time excess stock to clear. IBWSS buyers are other wineries and distilleries looking to meet up their demand, Importers, Retailers and Distributors looking for private label programs, negociants who are looking to meet the growers and producers. Learn more at on how you can get involved.


A Sparkling Continuity: Jordan Cuvée Champagne by AR Lenoble

In more ways than one, Champagne has begun infiltrating wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties. With several unprecedented examples that include Napa cult wine producer Sinegal launching its brand in conjunction with a prestige Champagne house, Sonoma’s Buena Vista Winery–branded Champagne and the unique partnership between Jordan Winery and the grower Champagne house of AR Lenoble, there’s a trend in the making.

Beyond the cachet that Champagne brings to their propositions, producers in Napa and Sonoma consider the quality of their still wines on equal footing with the world’s most prestigious sparkling wines. For Jordan, where J sparkling wine once fit the bill, the beautifully-crafted Jordan Cuvée Champagne by AR Lenoble is now being poured side-by-side with their still wines. The partnership between Jordan and AR Lenoble was born in part from necessity and from the commitment to quality that both producers share. In March of 2015, Judy Jordan announced that J Vineyards & Winery had been purchased by the E&J Gallo Corporation.

J by Jordan, a collaboration between founder Tom Jordan and his daughter, Judy Jordan, was first released in 1987 and produced alongside the still wines at Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley until 1993, when Judy Jordan took full ownership of the brand and established J Vineyards & Winery in Russian River Valley. While Jordan and J operated independently, the two wineries shared sales teams and typically sold their wines through the same distributors. For almost 30 years, Jordan served J sparkling at winery receptions, formal events and winemaker dinners referring to J as a “sister property.”

Given the long tradition of sparkling wine as an essential part of the hospitality offered at Jordan, the void left by the sale of J was destined to be filled. “Sparkling wine is a family tradition, one that we had no intention of abandoning,” says Jordan CEO John Jordan. Read the article JordanARLenoble.