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Guest Column: Sonoma County's Changing Demographics and Workforce

Author: Albert Lemma
November, 2016 Issue

Agribeauty

Napa Organics makes natural, organic skincare products from ingredients grown in Napa Valley and throughout Northern California. Most contain just a handful of ingredients and no added water or synthetic fragrances. The result is a line of products that cleanse, soften and protect skin naturally.
 
The Chardonnay body lotion is made with Napa wine, organic aloe and plum oil. It’s the first lotion made with wine—more than 30 percent (most lotions contain 70 to 80 percent water by comparison). The product is light and soothing, with a pleasing, citrusy hint of Chardonnay.
 
The lemon hand soap is made with organic California olive oil, gives lots of lather rinses easily and leaves skin feeling soft. Other available scents include lavender, peppermint and the original, unscented Castile.
 
California Plum oil is a nourishing face oil that’s rich in vitamin E and has an earthy, cherry-almond aroma. Pressed from California plum seed, it moisturizes as well as reduces fine lines and facial redness. The oil absorbs quickly upon application and makes the skin feel soft and hydrated. It’s also good for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.
 
A favorite is the spearmint lip balm (also available unscented), which is vegan (it uses a palm wax instead of beeswax). Many people are allergic to beeswax, which can make dry lips difficult to soothe. The palm wax leaves lips feeling soft and moisturized all day, long after application.
 

Another Moth Bites the Dust

Moths are bad news for vineyards. Harbingers of pestilence, moths eat the vulnerable fruit still ripening on the vine, hollowing out the flesh and leaving excrement in its place. Moth infestations could spell disaster for vineyards without careful monitoring and abatement programs in place and, for the past several years, growers have banded together to monitor moth patterns and quarantine infected vineyards to save the rest of the grape crop.
 
This year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture scored a win, announcing the elimination of one of the worst predators: the European grapevine moth. An invasive species from southern Italy that came to California through unknown means in 2009, in one year the European grapevine moth measured nearly 100,000 strong in Napa County alone, with vineyards quarantining swaths of vines as quickly as they could to prevent a county-wide epidemic.
 
Eradication of the species seemed bleak, but an aggressive campaign that cost the industry $49 million has paid off: No European grapevine moth has been reported or spotted since June 25, 2014.
 
While this is definitely a victory over pest control in the wine industry, the department is now shifting its focus to other pests, including the glassy winged sharpshooter and its propensity to spread Pierce’s disease to vines it inhabits. But in the war between bugs and vineyards, every small victory is worth celebrating.
 

A Stellar Shift

With nearly 600 percent growth over the last five years, Constellation Brands is shifting part of its wine business to the craft beer industry. After purchasing Corona and Modelo Negra in 2013, and now acquiring Ballast Point Brewing Company, Constellation Brands is diversifying its stake in the beverage industry and taking advantage in the resurgence of interest in craft beer.
 
The craft movement of spirits, beer and cider are growing. They compete with the wine industry for market interest and shares. By dipping toes in the beer industry, Constellation will be insulated by market shifts away from wine compared to other brands that only focus on the sale and distribution of wines only.
 
 
 
 

 

 

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