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How a Winery Operates

H. Johnson again points us to an interesting article about how a winery actually works from a cash to product standpoint. This one is courtesy of the folks at Duckhorn, who, regardless of what you think of their wines, have clearly outperformed a lot of other wineries in the last couple of decades, and become one of the top few brands in Napa wine.

Their article, which is broken into several sections on their site, is entitled, "How a Winery Operates" and they offer it with this simple explanation:

"It is our philosophy that there are no secrets to operating a winery, only different styles. We hope the following articles will give explanation to our operations, goals, and aspirations."

The article also goes into the philosophy and thnking behind some of the decisions that the winery has made in the last decade or so. One of which was particularly interesting and concerned their offering of Sauvignon Blanc under the Duckhorn label. It turns out that the decision to make this wine was an attempt to buck the Chardonnay trend at the time, and despite lagging sales (not a surprise to me)and awful margins on this wine, they continue to produce it. They continue to believe that it will "lead consumers into the Duckhorn Vineyards brand."

In any case, it's an interesting read, and some of the best information I've seen in print about how a high-end winery operates.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud