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Viticulture briefs

Published: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.

Advocacy group forming

"Summertime in a Glass," a sauvignon blanc advocacy group, is forming to reach consumers and industry through outreach, education and training.

The Lake County Winegrape Commission is a primary partner, the group said. The initial effort will be funded by a grant by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture.

The group will conduct marketing, host events and share information using electronic, social and traditional media. Industry workshops will be held to bring the sauvignon blanc community -- growers, wineries, purveyors, academic institutions and government agencies -- together to network, gather information and share ideas.

Consumer-oriented events are planned to showcase the varietal as well. To learn more about the organization and how to get involved, email The group plans to launch a website,

Russian tariff reduction

Russia's tariff on U.S. wines will be reduced from 20 percent to 12.5 percent over the next four years. The change will happen because President Barack Obama recently signed a resolution which extends Permanent Normal Trade Relations to Russia and Moldova.

The first reduction to 18.125 percent will occur no later than Sept. 1, 2013, according to the Wine Institute. The tariff will then drop

1.875 percent every 12 months until 2016 when it will be reduced to 12.5 percent. Currently, Moldova does not import U.S. wines.

California wines are now present in most major cities in Russia, with close to 50 California brands currently being sold in the country, the Wine Institute said.

For more information, see the United States Trade Representative press statement at

Wine Spies gets partner

The Wine Spies, a Santa Rosa-based company that selects, reviews and sells one wine brand per day online, announced a partnership with Salon Media Group to sell wines on the website

Wines will be selected by The Wine Spies, which will also handle shipping and customer service.

"We could not be more proud of this partnership," said Jason Seeber, CEO of The Wine Spies, in a news release. "Salon is a long-recognized leader in the delivery of online news, and its American readership is a sophisticated group that fits our own 'fine wine buyer' demographic."

The new wine store launched with a limited-production sparkling wine by winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix from her namesake VML Winery in Healdsburg. has an audience of 13 million monthly unique visitors, the company said.

(Compiled by Cathy Bussewitz. You can send items to

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