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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, February 24, 2014, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of Feb. 24, 2014

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    Beverages

    Mezcal Vago, a Mexican importer ethical and family-crafted artisan mezcal, signed a distribution deal with The Henry Wine Group of Benicia.

    Retail

    Hennes & Mauritz, the fashion retail chain better known as H&M, opened a 24,000-square-foot store in Solano Town Center shopping mall in Fairfield. H&M has 278 locations nationwide and undertook aggressive expansion in Western states last year.

    Technology

    Cyan Inc. of Petaluma said its Blue Planet software-defined network (SDN) platform and Z-Series packet-optical hardware have been selected by the Jeollanam provincial government in South Korea. Deployed in partnership with systems integrator Telefield, the new network will deliver e-government applications in support of the two million citizens living in the province.

    Petaluma-based e-commerce software developer MarketLive launched MarketLive Connect, a partner network of technology providers that contribute a wide range of commerce solutions to extend the capabilities of MarketLive’s core platform. Examples include retargeting to improve conversion, social commerce integrations to expand marketshare and drive customer loyalty and payment solutions to lower barriers to closing sales online.

    Wine

    ParTake Restaurant in Healdsburg as part of an early February tour of Sonoma and Napa counties, selected as the club's "Wine Region of the Year." (image credit: George Rose)

    Leadership of the world’€™s largest wine club, Sweden-based Munskänkarna, visit ParTake Restaurant in Healdsburg as part of an early February tour of Sonoma and Napa counties, selected as the club’s “Wine Region of the Year.” (image credit: George Rose)

    Swedish wine club Munskänkarna, which with more than 23,500 members is the world’s largest, named Sonoma and Napa counties this year’s “Wine Regions of the Year.” Its the club’s first selection of a U.S. wine region, according to local boosters Sonoma County Winegrowers and Napa Valley Vintners. A dozen leaders of the club toured the area in early February, preparing for more than 140 seminars and tasting events in the two counties for members this year. Swedish wine sales last year are projected to have grown 4.5 percent in value and 4.7 percent in volume, according to a new report from Canadean. Three-quarters of wine is distributed by state-controlled retailer Systembolaget mostly in restaurants, bars and pubs, which accounted for most of the growth, the research firm said.

    Napa Valley Vintners and Visit Napa Valley said they will each provide $2.5 million in funding toward construction of the Napa Valley Vine Trail, a pedestrian and bicycle path sp anning 47 miles from the Vallejo Ferry Building to Calistoga. The combined $5 million contribution provides 40 percent of the local funding needed to build the hiking and biking trail.

    TexaCali Wine Co. of San Rafael and Winemonger of San Anselmo and New York announced the formation of a strategic partnership to advance sales & marketing efforts for Winemonger imports, wholesale and online retail properties. This new partnership builds upon wine sales expertise and innovative branding from both companies to enhance exposure of the highly sought after Winemonger portfolio of wines and Zalto glassware.

    Winemakers Paul Hobbs of Sebastopol and Johannes Selbach of Zeltingen, Germany, announced the purchase of a 65-acre vineyard property on the east side of Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes winegrowing region. Site preparation has already begun at the vineyard, which will be planted predominantly to Riesling starting in 2015. Mr. Hobbs’ brother, David, a longtime resident of Rochester, New York, will oversee daily operations of the new venture. Details of long-term plans, including a brand name, are not yet available.

    Guerneville-based F. Korbel & Bros. is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Korbel Brandy brand.

    Food & Wine magazine named Oakville-based Silver Oak the best-selling steakhouse wine in the U.S. Silver Oak Cellars will be among the hosts of Auction Napa Valley charity event by Napa Valley Vintners this coming Memorial Day weekend.

    Carneros Wine Alliance, a 29-year-old nonprofit association of wineries and grape growers in Los Carneros American Viticultural Area in southern Napa and Sonoma valleys, launched a new online media campaign at Carneros.com called “The Voices of Carneros,” focusing on Carneros chardonnay this year.

    Treasury Wine Estates rebooted its Sonoma County-focused Souverain brand for the first time since the 2006 sale of the landmark Geyserville chateau that was part of the name. In place of the chateau on the label images of grapes, a California bear and Scottish thistle in honor of brand founder Lee Stewart. The brand, made at Treasury Wine’s Asti winery but still by the brands winemaker for two decades, Ed Killian, now has a North Coast tier of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot and Winemaker’s Reserve tier of Alexander Valley cab and Russian River Valley chardonnay. The suggest retail price for the North Coast tier is $15 a bottle.

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