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New Year’s Wishes for Wineries in 2009

1. List any grape varieties added to your Pinot Noir wine on the label. Give us the full scoop.

2. Please make alcohol by volume percentage easily readable on labels. Many of your consumers are presbyopic. Also, designate case production on labels.

3. Provide copies of all of your labels on your website. These visual images help the consumer to connect and assist the wine press in spreading your image.

4. Disclose as much information as possible on your website. Pinot geeks clamor for it. Keep your site updated.

5. Stop promoting scores. There are so many wines awarded scores of 90 or above these days that lofty scores are meaningless and even laughable.

6. Winemakers please come out of your shells, enjoy the limelight and become more visible and vocal. Follow the lead of chefs.

7. Look to lower alcohol levels in finished wines so drinkers can consume moderately without becoming sideways and women can happily indulge.

8. Don’t over oak wines. It is true that no one is certain what Pinot Noir is supposed to taste like, but I seriously doubt that oak is high on the list.

9. Forget wax closures and heavy bottles. We are really interested most in what is in the bottle.

10. Discontinue reserve bottlings and make the single best wine from the vineyard(s) like Burgundians.

11. Consider crafting more blended wines which often offer more nuances and complexity. The truth is that many vineyards are not worthy of a vineyard-designate bottling.

12. Please no more gimmicky wines made from single Dijon clones. These wines usually disappoint as they invariably lack the whole package.

13. Include information about your wines (production, food matches, best window for drinking, etc.) and a personal note in wine shipments to consumers.

14. Avoid Styrofoam and embrace recyclable shipping containers and insulation.

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