Business News: Week of March 17, 2014


Sonoma Cider expanded distribution into Georgia, Michigan and Washington state, along with some additional agreements in California. Contracts were recently signed with Foothill Distributing, serving Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Butte, and Trinity counties, V. Santoni & Company in Yolo County, Matagrano for San Francisco and San Mateo, North California Distributing for Sierra, Yuba, Placer, El Dorado and Alpine counties and Bay Area Distributing for Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Savannah Distributing in Georgia, Imperial Beverage in Michigan and Maletis Beverage in southwest Washington will also carry the brand. With these agreements, Healdsburg-based Sonoma Cider has secured 15 distribution partners in 10 domestic markets since it launched in November. Noted spirits expert, Henry Preiss, founder of Preiss Imports and HPS Epicurean, joined the Sonoma Cider board.Education

Terra Fossil Wines approached the Wine Business Institute of Sonoma State University to request student involvement in their new "Stomp Out Student Loans" campaign. The winery has teamed with professor Liz Thach, PhD, to develop a real-life cause marketing project with Oliver's Markets in Santa Rosa and Cotati. For every $10 bottle of Terra Fossil sold, the winery and Oliver's will donate $1 each to Sonoma State and Santa Rosa Junior College scholarships. The 41 students in the class will work in teams to analyze the brand, create an online video, develop at least 10 creative social media posts, design a community communication campaign and create point-of-sale material. They will present their ideas April 2 to a panel of reviewers from Terra Fossil and Oliver's. The team with the most creative campaign will receive a cash prize of $100 per student from Terra Fossil. Official launch in Oliver's stores is late April.Manufacturing

Petaluma-based CamelBak introduced Relay, a water-filtration pitcher designed for high-speed operation. The BPA-free and dishwasher-safe pitcher is said to have a unique pleated system that filters water twice -- once as the pitcher is filled and again as water is poured. The goal is great-tasting water more than 10 times faster than the leading competitor. The filter lasts four months with regular usage, said to be twice as long as the competition. When tested to NSF/ANSI Standard 42, independent test results have shown Relay removes 97 percent of chlorine-related taste and odor. It retails nationwide for $37.

Zap, a Santa Rosa-based maker of electric and high-fuel-mileage gasoline vehicles, said its Chinese subsidiary Jonway Auto is launching a small electric sedan. Called Sparkee, it's designed for city commuters in China. Due to the high levels of air pollution in the large Chinese cities, the Chinese government has changed its subsidy policy to scale based on the range an EV can achieve. The former policy was based on the amount of lithium batteries used. EVs with a range of less than 100 kilometers between charges receive a subsidy of US$5,000, and up to $10,000 for EVs with range of more than 200 kilometers. Sparkee has a lead acid battery version with a range of 120 kilometers and a lithium version with a range of more than 180 kilometers.Technology

Novato-based Radiant Logic, which makes software that helps websites maintain a single identity to visitors while drawing from myriad data and media sources, said Info Security Products Guide, a top information security research and advisory guide, named RadiantOne VDS 7.0 winner of the 10th annual Global Excellence Award in the Identity Management category. RadiantOne 7.0 introduced HDAP, the world's first LDAP directory based on search technology and large-cluster computing, and features an advanced identity-integration layer based on virtualization. HDAP allows enterprises to harness the power of large cluster and elastic computing in their identity infrastructures, while the RadiantOne virtualization layer creates a single view of identity from across disparate data stores. Such a view is essential for companies with diverse identity infrastructures, enabling them to effectively leverage web application management, cloud apps and other platforms for collaboration.Wine

Napa-based Heritage Barrels, LLC, is representing Paso Robles-based Vino Vessel, Inc.'s complete line of concrete tanks in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, except for San Luis Obispo County. Heritage Barrels sells high-end oak barrels and vats and said it has seen demand for concrete vessels grow throughout North America. Since 2007 Vino Vessel has been making concrete fermentation and storage tanks for red and white wines, ranging in size from 70 to 1,300 gallons. They have been used in production of many top-rated wines, including Booker, Chronic Cellars, Linne Calodo, Peachy Canyon and Stolpman Vineyards.

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