Strictly Business: Sonoma Valley business news, Sept. 7

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New tasting room: Jim Foley has opened Séamus tasting lounge in Kenwood. Foley, who is not related to Foley Family Wines, graduated from culinary school at Johnson & Wales University and relocated to the Bay Area in 1991. He started making beer in 1991 and wine in 2008. Foley, 51, now makes 1,200 to 1,500 cases a year under the Séamus label (Gaelic for James). The lounge also features unique wood and sculpted metal furniture crafted from decommissioned wine barrels by James Harding of Sonoma Barrel. The tasting room is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 8910 Sonoma Highway.

New tag line: Sonoma County Tourism has unveiled a new “brand platform” under the tagline “Sonoma County: Life Opens Up.” The office described the new initiative as its “most comprehensive branding effort for the destination in its history.” To come up with the tag line, Sonoma County Tourism interviewed 1,000 consumers through its branding agency, MMGY Global. The “brand promise” is “connecting people to unpretentious, down-to-earth experiences.” The new campaign will be rolled out globally next month and will encompass the tourism office’s advertising, PR, mobile, social and web assets.

Lunch and learn: Sonoma Chamber of Commerce has partnered with G3 Sonoma for a new Lunch & Learn series. The first session, a Strategic Communication Workshop, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at HopMonk Tavern - 691 Broadway. The G3 team will provide easy-to-use tools and information to help understand the four primary communication styles, identify one’s own style, and walk away with practical ways to optimize interaction with people of each style. The cost is $20 for members /$25 for non-members and includes lunch. Advance registration is required.

Winery for sale: A “boutique winery with a cult following, 500-plus customer list” at 1189 Lawndale Road in Kenwood is for sale for $3,295,000. The property, known as Casa Ladera Vineyards, includes more than two acres of red varietals with potential for one more acre. The land backs onto the 5,000 acres of Annadel Park.

Alexa recommends: Amazon Echo’s “Wine Finder” claims to offer 500 food and wine pairing ideas. When asked, Alexa responds with basic pairing advice such as, “Malbec and cabernet sauvignon go well with steak.” None of the pairings mention brands. Google Assistant has a similar “My Wine Guide.”

Crop report: Tony Linegar, Sonoma County ag commissioner, has released the 2018 Crop Report. He says that local grapevines grew vigorously, and the August heat accelerated the wine grape harvest. The weighted-average price per ton for wine grapes in 2017 increased by 8.3 percent to $2,806 per ton, but overall tonnage at 206,097 was down 8.9 percent from 2016. Total wine grape value at more than $578 million was down 1.4 percent, compared with the 2016 total.

For sale: The commercial space at 18400 Sonoma Highway is for sale for $1.5 million. The lot includes two detached buildings with current long term tenants on a month-to-month. The price includes two parcels commercial and residential; combined to total .59 acre. The listing agent is Maria Lounibos of Sothebys.

For lease: The Filigree Jewelry space in El Paseo at 414-420 First St. E. is currently for lease. Filigree has moved to Sonoma Marketplace, near Sonoma Toy Shop, and has both shops open until the Plaza location finds a tenant. Around 1,000 square feet is available. Ryan Snow of W is the listing agent.

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