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November 2016 Stay

The Wonders of Wood

Where everyone else only saw discarded material—strips of oak scarcely wider than a grape stake and stained red or white from submersion in fermenting grapes—Sonoma Millworks in Healdsburg recognized the chance to create something extraordinary. VinoPlank represents a manufacturing and construction material of truly rare vintage for furniture, cabinetry, flooring, countertops, bars, wall panels, room dividers and more.
The process begins with toasted oak tasting sticks used to imbue a “woody” flavor into wine during the fermentation process. Through a proprietary process, Sonoma Millworks fuses individual planks into a solid slab. The result is a strong, durable and beautiful piece of wood: The grain is rendered vivid and bold, with striking variations in color and texture from differing winemaking specifications. It’s a single material with the capability to accommodate a multitude of distinctive patterns and layouts. VinoPlank can be used for furniture and fixtures, or for larger projects like room remodels or flooring.

Simplify Shipping

When exporting different varietals of wine, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation traditionally required separate export certificates for each. But a new agreement between APEC member economies allows blanket coverage of different varietal exports under a single license, lowering export costs and simplifying legislation.

APEC member economies will be able to apply for the new certificate and bundle export rights for different varietals, provided each varietal is produced, packed and shipped under the same rules. This is a voluntary change: all active licenses are still valid, but new member economies or those looking for an alternative to the current license process will be able to apply for the new certificates.

The value of wine trade between APEC economies has more than tripled to more than $23 billion since 2000, but businesses in the sector incur an estimated $1 billion in costs annually due to the emergence of non-tariff barriers with multiple, overlapping export certificates for wine imports contributing to this total. APEC’s new system will lower costs and simplify the bureaucracy behind internationally importing and exporting wine.

There’s Always Room for Cake

Petaluma-based Wine by the Slice makes a variety of cakes with premium wines and liqueurs. Run by Angela Eddy, with help from her daughter Kaila Eddy, the bakery blends delicate and rich flavors with all-natural ingredients to create decadent desserts. The signature wine cake is rich but not heavy, with a gentle hint of spices that recalls Christmas desserts. It’s dusted with a snowy layer of powdered sugar. The key lime cake is sweet and refreshing, giving a bright pop of flavor topped with graham cracker crumbs. Lastly the pineapple coconut rum cake is delicate and light, showered with coconut shavings and walnuts. Each of the cakes we tried were perfectly fluffy and moist, an absolute pleasure to experience.


In this Issue

The Ancient Practice of Biodynamic Farming

Seeking stronger relationships with the Earth and ways to express truly unique terroirs, winemakers and vineyard owners across Napa and Sonoma are embracing biodynamics —“organics on stero...

Budding Business

The legalization of the cannabis market is predicted to generate more than $20 billion in U.S. sales, but rules and regulations are still in a state of flux....

Rocking the Wine World

Sonoma Cast Stone in Petaluma has been making concrete fermentation tanks for eight years. Owner Steve Rosenblatt started his company 20 years ago to create concrete for custom walls, countertops an...

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