North Bay business briefs from Louis M. Martini Winery, Sonoma State, Sonoma bike coalition and more

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The Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena will unveil its winery renovation at a March 29 grand reopening.

E&J Gallo Winery, which bought Martini in 2002, has restored the 85-year-old building to make it closer to its original design as the winery came out of Prohibition.

Guests will have a range of choices for tastings, such as the Crown Bar as they enter the main tasting room. There also is the Founder’s Room for customized library tastings and its adjacent heritage lounge.

The winery also will offer an exclusive seating at its Underground Cellar, where wine and food pairings will be offered in the barrel cellar.

During construction, customers have used the winery’s Monte Rosso tasting room, located on the south side of the winery.

­— donated $20,000 to the wine industry scholars program at Sonoma State University, which offsets tuition and other educational expenses for family members of vineyard and winery workers.

Thirty-eight students at the university are now benefiting from the program, 24 of which were first-time recipients. More than $2.7 million has been donated the program.

“Business and education go hand in hand. The Wine Business Institute is delivering on a vision that is not only advancing the workforce and the wine industry, but is also moving our economy forward in a thoughtful, inclusive way,” said Michael Osborn, founder and executive vice president of, in a statement


The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is seeking nominations for its second annual Bike-Friendly Business Award. The nomination form is available online at and the deadline is April 1.

The 2018 award was presented to Jackson Family Wines. The group stated the company engages in a variety of activities and programs that promote both bicycle commuting and cycling for recreation. Its “Live Well” wellness program offers a variety of incentives for physical activity: first prize is a Peloton indoor bicycle and second prize is a mountain or road bike.

The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting bicycling for transportation and recreation. They are the driver behind Sonoma County’s Bike to Work Month, collaborating with dozens of local businesses and nonprofits to encourage folks to give two-wheeled commuting a try.

Other Bike to Work events include a team bike challenge; a pre-Bike to Work Month bike clinic; Safe Cycling classes; and Bike to Work Day Energizer Stations during the morning commute on May 9. For more information, visit or call 707-545-0153.

Sonoma County wineries sold $655 million in wine last year through direct-to-consumer channels, according to a new survey, representing a 21 percent increase from the previous year.

The average price per bottle was $29.63, according to the report from Sovos, a Boston-based tax compliance firm, and Wine Vines Analytics, a consulting firm in San Rafael.

Napa County wineries had $1.4 billion in such sales, according to the report. That was an 8 percent increase from 2017 with an average bottle price of $66.14.

Overall, wine consumers bought $3 billion through such shipments from U.S. wineries, which was a 12 percent increase from 2017.


Beverage Trade Network plans what it states is the first-ever event focusing on cannabis-infused beverage industry, Cannabis Drinks Expo. The trade event is scheduled to be held on July 25 in San Francisco.

The list of speakers include Bruce Linton, Chairman & CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, Omar Figueroa, founder of the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa, author, and cannabis law expert; Stacy Hostetter, general counsel, CannaCraft, Santa Rosa; and Jeff Maser, president and CEO, Tinley Beverages.

BTN is a producer of competitions, conferences, expos and trade shows for the alcohol beverage trade industry around the world.

Sonoma County Winegrowers has launched Sonoma County Vine Talk, a weekly webcast with sommelier and local farmer interviews and more.

Rebuild Northbay Foundation, headed by executive director Jennifer Gray Thompson, moved its offices to 595 Fifth St. W., the former site of Crush Beauty Bar, as of March 1.

The Olive Press of Sonoma took home gold and other awards at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition

On Feb. 15, the winners of the competition were unveiled. The Olive Press received a gold medal for its Limonato olive oil, a silver medal for their Arbequina extra virgin olive oil and a bronze medal for Picual extra virgin olive oil.

The Olive Press, founded in 1995, was one of the first commercial olive oil makers in the United States.

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