Napa’s Wineshipping inks pick-your-delivery-date tech deal; other North Bay business news

Wineshipping in Napa and Commerce7 in British Columbia have announced a new partnership in the form of an application programming interface, or API, which empowers end customers to choose their own delivery dates. Wineshipping is a direct-to-consumer company, and Commerce7 operates a direct-to-consumer platform.

The announcement touted the partnership as one that will result in reduced failed delivery attempts and returns, saving wineries considerable cost and provides customers with a better shopping experience.

“The majority of returns are the result of failed delivery attempts, costing wineries and their clients huge amounts of money. Estimated delivery date is a feature the industry has been wanting for a long time,” says Wineshipping CEO Eric Lewis. “This partnership broadens our API ecosystems even further and is just one of many new tools we’re excited to roll out.”

One of Sonoma’s largest physical therapy practices and the only local option for aquatic therapy closed at the end of October.

Caliente Springs Physical Therapy owner and co-founder Mike Kelly is disbanding his corporation and terminating his lease at 17350 Vailetti Drive.

“It is devastating… but what it comes down to, after almost 20 years in business, is lower and lower insurance reimbursements, service interruptions during fire season and, now COVID,” Kelly said. “The bottom line has just fallen away.”

Kelly’s operation includes a small gym, three treatment rooms and use of the adjacent Aquatic Center pool. He specializes in aquatic therapy, and is one of the few North Bay physical therapy centers to offer the popular option.

Luca and Linda Citti announced via Facebook that they are closing their Kenwood restaurant, Café Citti, and moving to what used to be Whole Pie next to Hank’s Creekside on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa.

A combination of forces out of the Cittis’ control led to this move: the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent requirements that they serve outside only; two fires, including the recent Glass fire that burned parts of Kenwood; frequent PG&E shut-offs and rolling blackouts; and their landlord’s interest in repairing the building Café Citti has occupied for 30 years.

Be the Change Job Fair, a joint initiative between Diversity in Wine & Spirits, Wonder Women of Wine and other industry leaders, has announced what it terms the wine industry’s first virtual job fair focused on diversity and inclusion. The virtual job fair will be held on Dec. 2-3.

The four-hour virtual recruitment event will host carefully vetted employers who are committed to DEI with space for up to 1,000 jobseekers and multiple job opportunities across the wine industry. Applicants will be able to upload their resume, chat with employers and network with other industry professionals, while exhibitors will receive candidate resumes and be able to post job openings. One hundred percent of exhibitor proceeds will support the nonprofits Diversity In Wine & Spirits and Wonder Women of Wine.

For more information about Be the Change, to schedule an interview or request images, please contact

Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) has kicked-off a study to determine the feasibility and potential benefits of allowing buses to bypass traffic on U.S. 101 by using the existing shoulder from Atherton Avenue/San Marin Drive in Novato to Mission Avenue in San Rafael.

The project will analyze converting the freeway shoulder in certain sections to a part-time transit lane that can provide faster, more reliable bus service during peak congestion times. “The concept is to allow buses to travel up to 35 miles per hour on the US 101 part-time transit lane when travel speeds on the freeway drop below that speed,” the announcement report.

Southbound morning congestion in Marin County’s US 101 corridor is forecasted to continue to grow in coming years, and the afternoon and reverse commutes may also worsen in the future. In response, TAM is actively seeking to involve the community to help determine if part-time transit lanes can help meet the needs of commuters. Interested participants can complete a brief survey at from now until 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.

Visit Napa Valley announced the re-opening of the Napa Valley Welcome Center in a new location at 1300 1st Street, Suite 313, located at First Street Napa in the heart of downtown Napa. Serving the entire Napa County region, the new 2,550 square-foot space provides a more immersive experience and amenities that better serve both visitors and locals looking to explore the breadth of Napa Valley offerings, the tourism agency stated.

The Napa Valley Welcome Center features a wall-sized digital screen installation measuring 16 feet by 9 feet and visible from 1st Street, that showcases a rotating reel of footage from throughout the Napa Valley.

Organic canned wine company, Sans Wine Co., in St. Helena announced it will now offer a 750-milliliter bottled version of their Carignan.

Sans. Wine Co.’s bottles of Carignan are currently available in California, Texas, Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee and Maine via select retailers.

Sans Wine Co., founded in 2015 by husband and wife team, Jake Stover — the company’s farmer and winemaker — and Gina Schober — who heads up sales, distribution, and marketing. The company states it is the only canned wine producer making all single vineyard wines, from Napa, Lake, and Mendocino American viticultural areas.

The board of directors of Hennessy Advisors Inc. (Nasdaq: HNNA) declared a quarterly dividend of 13.75 cents per share, which will be paid on Dec. 2 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 12. This quarterly dividend equates to an annualized dividend of 55 cents, bringing the yield to 6.7% based on a closing stock price of $8.25 on Oct. 29.

First 5 Sonoma County, Community Foundation Sonoma County and The City of Santa Rosa have collaborated to launch a new, $1.1 million Child Care Resiliency Fund. The fund will provide direct financial support to child care programs in Sonoma County that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 through one-time grants to licensed and license-exempt child care providers that meet specific eligibility criteria.

Funding for this program comes from a blend of philanthropic dollars (the Community Foundation’s Resilience Fund), public funding for early childhood (Prop. 10 funding through First 5) and federal funding intended to address the local economic impacts of COVID-19 (CARES Act funding through the City of Santa Rosa).

Kaiser Permanente is committing $1 million over the next two years toward construction of the Affordable Student Housing project on the Santa Rosa campus, a 352-bed residence at Santa Rosa Junior College to provide housing support for students who lost homes or continue to struggle with rising rents and housing shortages due to the wildfires.

The health care provider said it is part of the organization’s larger $4 million wildfire recovery investment in Sonoma County. The college plans to break ground in December on the new on-campus housing residence, which is slated to open in 2022.

In addition to the new housing at Santa Rosa Junior College, the $4 million in wildfire relief investments in Sonoma County also supports:

  • Legal Aid of Sonoma County to help low and moderate-income residents recover by assisting with housing needs and economic stability
  • Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County to provide case management and recovery funds to those impacted by the fires and who have been identified as having the least access to resources
  • Undocu Fund to assist undocumented residents and families displaced by the fires with resources and support
  • Santa Rosa City Schools to expand mental health support for students and staff at 24 school sites
  • Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation to rebuild Foothill Regional Park
  • Generation Housing to educate the public about the need for affordable housing and expand affordable housing efforts
  • Humanidad Therapy and Education Services to provide low or no cost mental health therapy services for the Latinx community
  • Renewable Enterprise District to address housing insecurity by providing capital to move projects forward
  • Sonoma County Office of Education as they engage educators to support equity, empathy and engagement in the virtual learning environment

Redwood Credit Union has raised In total, more than $36,000 for Redwood Empire Food Bank, Community Action of Napa Valley, and SF-Marin Food Bank as it joined other credit unions around the world to celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day in October. RCU honored the day was by donating 25 cents to local food banks in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Lake, San Francisco, and Mendocino counties each time members used their RCU Visa debit or credit card on Oct. 15.

Redwood Credit Union Community Fund has opened a 2020 Fire Relief Fund to assist those who lost homes due to the recent fires, and to prepare to help its communities should more fires happen this year.

One hundred percent of the tax-deductible donations will be distributed directly to fire survivors—beginning with those who lost their primary residence in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, and Lake counties⁠—and through nonprofit organizations. There will be no overhead costs from the fund.

In addition to the Fund, the credit union stated it is offering financial assistance and other resources to members directly impacted by the recent fires. This includes special loan programs, insurance information, details related to nonprofit services, and ways to avoid fraud and scams during this time. For additional details on these resources, visit

Frank Family Vineyards in Napa Valley has launched its next #FrankForACause fundraising campaign.

This time funds will be donated to the James Beard Foundation Open for Good Campaign, aimed at providing critical support and resources to help independent restaurants remain a vital part of their communities and build the capacity to be stronger, more equitable and more sustainable in the long-term. Proprietors Rich and Leslie Frank will donate the equivalent of 15% of all Frank Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($58) sales in the tasting room and online at throughout the month of November ending at midnight on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1.

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers with Charles Woodson announced the Charles Woodson & O’Neill Family Wine Scholarship, college scholarships with California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Sonoma State University.

“The scholarships aim to recruit and retain high-achieving Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) interested in pursuing a career in the wine industry. The scholarships will be available to students accepted at the respective Universities for the upcoming Fall 2021 semester,” O’Neill stated.

The application portal for Cal Poly will close Dec. 4 and the Sonoma State University application portal will close Dec. 15.

Winiarski Family Foundation, founded by Napa Valley winemaker Warren Winiarski with his wife, Barbara, has awarded a $150,000 grant to Western Colorado Community College’s Viticulture and Enology Program at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

The grant establishes the “Warren Winiarski, Gerald Ivancie Institute of Viticulture and Enology” and provides funding for scholarships, programs and research projects to assist Colorado’s current cadre of winemakers and growers in their on-going efforts to advance the quality and reputation of their wines, while also offering opportunities in the industry to a new generation. Fifty-thousand dollars of the gift will be offered in the form of a matching grant, bringing total support to $200,000, when the matching funds are raised.

Winiarski is a Napa Valley resident, grape grower, and philanthropist. He planted his first cabernet sauvignon vineyard in 1970 in what is now the Stags Leap District AVA. As founder and former proprietor of Stag’s Leap Wine.

California Farm Bureau announced that the Napa County Farm Bureau is the recipient of five awards for excellence and has also been named one of three statewide finalists for County of the Year for a second consecutive year.

The Napa County Farm Bureau received the state awards for Policy Implementation, Leadership, Ag Education, Membership and Public Relations.

California Farm Bureau recognizes select county Farm Bureaus for exceptional achievements on the local level. This process provides maximum recognition of the significant program of work undertaken by the selected county Farm Bureaus in California

President Johnnie White and CEO Ryan Klobas will receive the awards at the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting virtually scheduled in December.

Wineshipping in Napa announced it has raied $70,000 for wildfire relief.

It stated that proceeds are to be split between the Wildfire Relief Funds of the California Community Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation, for both the immediate response and helping communities recover and rebuild

Additionally, Wineshipping stated the company has committed to supporting the community through a job-placement program at their warehouses, for those who are temporarily or permanently out of work due to the fires or COVID. Visit to learn more.

In response to the recent loss of Calistoga Ranch to the Napa Valley Glass Fire, Auberge Resorts Collection has announced the launch of the Auberge Assistance Fund, a relief initiative that will help struggling team members who have experienced a loss or hardship due to a disaster.

“Due to the extent of the Glass Fire, which destroyed virtually all structures at Calistoga Ranch, it is expected that it could take some time to rebuild the property, leaving Calistoga Ranch team members without jobs for the foreseeable future. While the storied destination can be rebuilt over time, the unforgettable experiences made possible through dedicated employees are the prized foundation of Auberge Resorts Collection. The Auberge Assistance Fund will help those individuals recover from the hardships and personal loss caused by this event, the group’s announcement stated.

The Auberge Assistance Fund launched with initial pledges of $50,000 from both Auberge Resorts Collection and the owners of Calistoga Ranch, for a total of $100,000. To learn more or to donate, please visit the Auberge Assistance Fund. The property is owned by The Friedkin Group, a privately-held consortium of automotive, hospitality, entertainment, sports and adventure companies.

Fetzer Vineyards in Mendocino County announced it has signed a “climate emergency declaration letter” which includes a pledge to “becoming climate positive in its business operations by 2030.”

“Fetzer Vineyards’ commitment to achieving climate positive operations by 2030 means the winery plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout all scopes of its business, including transportation and product end-of-life, while increasing carbon drawdown through enhanced regenerative agriculture programs,” the B Corporation stated.

MarinHealth has been named among “America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care” according to new research released by Healthgrades.

Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions using Medicare data, and outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 16 states. The Greenbrae facility also received Five-Star Distinctions in Coronary Intervention Procedures, Treatment of Heart Attack, Treatment of Heart Failure, Hip Fracture Treatment, Spinal Fusion Surgery, Treatment of Pneumonia, Treatment of Sepsis and Treatment of Diabetic Emergencies.

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