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Wine

Cotati as part of Russian River Valley grape region?

Years ago, in a college course on wine marketing that I took, we debated the Gallo ~ Kendal-Jackson issue: i.e., Is the Gallo Turning Leaf label copy right infringement of the Kendall-Jackson’s leaf? It was a great case study.

K-J lost their battle, because no one wine company can “own” a grape leaf image. The class, however, came to the consensus that it was definitely art looking like it was imitating art.

Now, Gallo’s on a new rip… similar to the one that K-J was able to actualize in 2005. K-J petitioned and won the right to have the Russian River Valley appellation expanded significantly to the south from Highway 12 to Todd Road. This conveniently included an area in the Bloomfield Hills, where Kendall-Jackson has a 400-acre vineyard (the black squiggly line that comes out just about where the “a” is in the words “Sonoma County Regional Parks).

Could this again be art imitating art?

Check out this map above of Somona County. The Russian River travels from the very top of the map (number 34), moving in a southwestward direction to the Pacific Ocean, meeting the sea at Jenner.

Cotati is about 20 miles away from the Russian River, and a good distance removed from any of the fog’s influences. I constantly travel through Cotati on my drive to San Francisco. I can leave my home – just like this morning, when we’re under a blanket of fog – and come right out of the fog just south of Santa Rosa. I have to still drive through Petaluma, before I even hit the Cotati Grade, which never seems to be under fog.

In an article just written by Kevin McCallum of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Kevin writes, “The giant E&J Gallo Winery wants to stretch the acclaimed Russian River Valley grape-growing region all the way to Cotati to encompass its 350 acres of vineyards along Highway 101.”

I’m thinking the operative word here is “giant.” Giants take very big steps, as compare to the rest of us mortals. My 10,000 steps from Russian River Valley could be covered in – say – 20 giant steps by Gallo, and perhaps that’s why they see Cotati being part of the Russian River Valley?

2 Responses to “Cotati as part of Russian River Valley grape region?”

  1. Steve says:

    Hi Jo, I don’t know if Cotati is part of RRV but Cotati’s average high temperature in July is 82.2 while Forestville’s is 83.3.

  2. admin says:

    Hi, Steve,

    One degree of separation… Hum… — jo

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