POSTED ON June 1, 2009 | IN Wine News | BY Joe Becerra

Can you Negotiate Wine Prices These Days?
A friend of mine returned from a recent trip to the wine country and told me that he had bargained for a case of wine. He started out by saying He’d take six bottles of a wine when he knew he really wanted a case. Then he added quickly “will you give me a case for whatever…?” The person agreed and all were happy. Next time you hit a Napa Valley Winery or any winery for that matter, think about giving bargaining a try. It just might work. These are hard times out there for the wine industry and inventories are stacking up. Did you see the story on the

What Exactly does the Napa Valley Destination Council Do?
I have called the Destination Council on three separate occasions and have not been able to talk to a live person. I left messages each time on different extensions and I have never gotten a call back. The Destination Council reinvented itself in 2008 and was formally the Napa Valley Conference and Visitors’ Bureau. They do have a very spiffy Website called
Legendary Napa Valley. I was just wondering what they were doing actively to promote tourism in the Napa Valley. I have not seen or heard any pitches in the media about traveling to the Napa Valley wine country. I hear a lot of commercials for the Sonoma Valley and Mendocino wine country but nothing to speak of for the Napa Valley, other than a Black Stallion commercial on the Gene Burns radio show. I do know the Destination Council has some influential members on the Board, such as Jack Cakebread and Michael Chiarello. I heard that the Destination Council has really no significant funds to promote the Napa Valley other than its Website. Just wondering if anybody out there knows what the Destination Council is doing!

Andy Beckstoffer Expands Vineyard Holdings
Andy Beckstoffer owns some of the most prestigious vineyards in the Napa Valley and is now expanding his vineyard holdings into Lake County and Mendocino County. I recently read an article in the Press Democrat regarding Andy’s purchase of a pear farm near Hopland. The very next week, I happened to be in Hopland running my WCG Bocce tournament. While visiting Jeriko Estate Winery near Hopland, I asked the person running the tasting room what was up with all the smoke in the air. He said that was Andy Beckstoffer doing some control burning. He explained that Andy had cleared the pear orchid and was in the process of burning the dead trees. These vineyards apparently run along the Russian River from the Jeriko winery south to the edge of the town of Hopland. Andy Beckstoffer will plant Chardonnay and farm the vineyards organically as do many of the vineyard farmers in Mendocino. It seems Andy Beckstoffer is moving quickly to establish this vineyard.

Mumm Napa Photographic Exhibit
If you are an art lover of fine photographs, you have probably been to the art gallery at Mumm Napa. They have a permanent collection of Ansel Adams photographs. Until August 31, the gallery will be displaying photographs from the George Rose collection. These are black and white images of Hollywood celebrities.


  1. Kristy says

    I’m surprised by the vintner quoted about smoke and Anderson Valley. There were, unfortunately, fires all over the North Coast last year. Many areas were hit hard, and yes, some vineyards did see some effects from smoke exposure, but some also didn’t. It depended on your microclimate. As far as removing those effects, filtration actually works quite well for most sites, as do some various fining methods. I would imagine that vintner probably was working with a site right next to a fire if it couldn’t be remedied.