By Thayne Cockrum (scroll down for Thursday night’s event info)

One of the topics discussed at our upcoming event “Navigating the Legal Minefields”  will be what’s now legal regarding wine tasting. As a former Oregonian and a marketing and sales rep for an Oregon winery, I have poured wine in many grocery stores and was surprised to learn this was not allowed in California. That is, until now.

Pouring wine samples in a grocery store setting is actually quite fun. Unlike the food samples, I find that adults rarely turn down a taste of wine while shopping–especially if you’re pouring from 4-6pm while people are grabbing items for their evening meal. It’s one sure way to get your bottles moving off the shelves and create a neighborhood following for your brand. Your tasters tend to be laid back and appreciative of your insight on what to pair with the items in their grocery cart. So, kudos to you California. I look forward to sampling wine on my next trip to the grocery store.

Surprisingly, when I googled this topic, I found very little on it.  I’m looking forward to this Thursday night’s event to learn more.  We hope to see you all on March 10th at Bonded Winery No. 9 where we’ll have three experts  to walk us through new rules and regs for 2011.

Event info:

Register Now!
March 10, 2011

Navigating the Legal Minefields so you dodged last year’s, but what lies in store for you this year? Later this year? Next year? Are you compliant?

Hosted by: Bonded Winery No.9

Location: 1707 Yountville Cross Roads (note this is not the address of Bonded Winery No. 9- the event is taking place on the Hoxsey’s property-look for a row of olive trees when parking).

Time: 6-9pm (wine and appetizers from 6:00-6:30pm)

Bonded winery no9

Parking space limited – please carpool if possible.

$30 member, $45 non-member, $20 student member
Register Now!
Speakers: Mike Falasco, Director of CA State Relations, Wine Institute; Ann Reynolds, Napa Valley College Winery Compliance Instructor and Principal and Wine Compliance Alliance; and Kendall Hoxsey, compliance manager at Napa Wine Company.

Mike has been with the organization that represents California’s wineries for more than 19 years. Prior to joining the Wine Institute, Mike spent the bulk of his professional career with the California State Legislature. Since joining the Wine Institute in 1991, he has become well-versed in alcoholic beverage control and taxation issues. In addition, he has background in the areas of beverage container recycling, water quality, Pierce’s disease/Glassy-winged sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) funding, composting, and wine barrel tax exemption. Among other issues, from an insider’s perspective, Mike will address the Budget Bill and extension of taxes based on their impact on our industry.

Ann worked in all sides of the wine business before getting into compliance and record tracking for medium-sized wineries including Sterling Vineyards, Viansa Winery, Caymus Vineyards and Conundrum Winery. She has been teaching at Napa Valley College since 2006 and now consults for a range of wineries. For a head start, check out her blog here.

Kendall, WWS Member and MBA, Winery Management Business at Sonoma State, handles the compliance side of production – from the moment the grapes are brought in during harvest until the time the wine is bottled and taxes are paid.