WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

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TomC
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WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#1 Post by TomC » February 14th, 2020, 1:40 pm

https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... such-place

Good article on this ongoing fight. Some details are the same as other articles, other details I hadn’t seen.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#2 Post by T.L. Reasoner » February 14th, 2020, 2:17 pm

thanks for posting... Glad to see the word is getting out.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#3 Post by M. Taylor » February 14th, 2020, 2:19 pm

It is a good read.
Maybe the MacDonalds will stop selling to Constellation. I can’t imagine they couldn’t find other buyers
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#4 Post by GregT » February 14th, 2020, 2:28 pm

Nice summary of the issue. Mondavi and Beckstoffer came to some agreement regarding the use of the name years ago, and it's been referred to as a place for as long as I've known anything about Mondavi.

I don't see how Constellation can own Mondavi and that history and yet argue that it is not and has not been a place at all.

As to whether it has to include only the original Crabb area or not, that's not really the issue. I think Tim Mondavi had it right in his quoted reasoning.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#5 Post by T.Phillips » February 14th, 2020, 2:53 pm

Favorite part of the article:

Late last year, MacDonald sat down with Constellation's legal team at Robert Mondavi Winery prior to a quarterly California Advisory Committee Meeting on Geographic Names (CACGN), where he hoped to make the case to preserve his research. MacDonald told Wine Spectator that during the meeting Constellation's team offered him the rights to apply To Kalon to his label in exchange for supporting the removal of the To Kalon Creek name at the upcoming CACGN meeting.

MacDonald says that, in a moment of clarity, his answer seemed very simple. "Our integrity is not for sale," he told the lawyers.

MacDonald brothers are amazing dudes. Glad theyre persisting in the fight against the monstrosity that is constellation.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#6 Post by Glen Gold » February 14th, 2020, 3:10 pm

Today, eight owners claim a portion of the vineyard, according to its historic boundaries: Mondavi, Opus One, MacDonald/Horton, Detert, Andy Beckstoffer, U.C. Davis, Wilsey/Traina and the Napa Valley Grape Growers.

Huh. Neighbors of mine when I lived by Alta Plaza park. San Francisco society folks. Anyone know what they're doing in To Kalon? EDIT: Okay, they have weekend houses there. https://dujour.com/design/trevor-traina ... -pictures/

Also: really interesting article. I like how Graeme Macdonald thinks.
Last edited by Glen Gold on February 14th, 2020, 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#7 Post by Lee Braem » February 14th, 2020, 3:39 pm

Location and history for AVAs should always win over corporate branding. Go Graeme and Alex.

I believe they have two years left on their current supply contract with Constellation.

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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#8 Post by Roy Piper » February 15th, 2020, 11:14 am

I can't stop worrying about the legal claim by Constellation that they can make any wine from anywhere in the world of any varietal, and call it ToKalon. I believe this is their intent, eventually. "2022 To-Kalon Wine Company Central Coast Chardonnay. $19"... anyone?
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#9 Post by NED VALOIS » February 15th, 2020, 2:26 pm

Tom,
Thanks for the article.
I have forwarded it a quite a few of my non-BR wine buddies and encouraged them to support the MacDonald brothers however possible. [thumbs-up.gif]

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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#10 Post by Kris Patten » February 15th, 2020, 10:11 pm

Roy Piper wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 11:14 am
I can't stop worrying about the legal claim by Constellation that they can make any wine from anywhere in the world of any varietal, and call it ToKalon. I believe this is their intent, eventually. "2022 To-Kalon Wine Company Central Coast Chardonnay. $19"... anyone?
$19 is probably too high....$9.99.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#11 Post by Bdklein » February 16th, 2020, 3:05 pm

Lee Braem wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 3:39 pm


I believe they have two years left on their current supply contract with Constellation.
Any idea how much they sell and how much they keep ?
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#12 Post by Lee Braem » February 16th, 2020, 5:28 pm

No, not those specifics. I was just recalling a recent article about the Macdonalds and the history of selling grapes to Mondavi.

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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#13 Post by David Baum » February 16th, 2020, 7:11 pm

Bdklein wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 3:05 pm
Lee Braem wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 3:39 pm


I believe they have two years left on their current supply contract with Constellation.
Any idea how much they sell and how much they keep ?
When I asked Alex last time I saw him he said total case production out of the Vineyard is about 1000 So it's close to 60/40 of late

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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#14 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » February 18th, 2020, 4:57 pm

I guess Wine Spectator decided whose side they’re on....just received this email. I’ve never gotten a partner marketing email like this from WS by the way.
86AA2006-88B1-4DAA-ADB9-BECC8A3A710C.png
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#15 Post by Alan Rath » February 18th, 2020, 5:41 pm

Got that also. Not really a surprise, money buys whatever it wants, if it can. Someone who participates in WS forums should raise this (though I suspect it would be removed).
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#16 Post by GregT » February 18th, 2020, 7:29 pm

I would post it but I didn't receive it and can't find a web-version. If David wants to send it, I'll try to figure out how to post it. You may want to take off the recipient's name first.

Don't think they'll remove it - they're OK with criticism if it's logical. Or at least they've been in the past.

I don't know that there's a lot of conflict here though. The article is a relatively balanced article you could call journalism. The e-mail is clearly advertising.

It's kind of nice really. Today the advertising and politics are woven into the "news" directly. This is almost old-school where they were separated somewhat.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#17 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » February 19th, 2020, 10:27 am

GregT wrote:
February 18th, 2020, 7:29 pm
I would post it but I didn't receive it and can't find a web-version. If David wants to send it, I'll try to figure out how to post it. You may want to take off the recipient's name first.

Don't think they'll remove it - they're OK with criticism if it's logical. Or at least they've been in the past.

I don't know that there's a lot of conflict here though. The article is a relatively balanced article you could call journalism. The e-mail is clearly advertising.

It's kind of nice really. Today the advertising and politics are woven into the "news" directly. This is almost old-school where they were separated somewhat.
PM me your email and I’ll forward it. Thanks.
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Re: WS: To-Kalon as vineyard vs brand

#18 Post by Dan Kravitz » February 21st, 2020, 5:56 pm

Does anybody remember when Donn Sebastiani trademarked a brand named 'Domaine Chardonnay', for a wine made from Chenin Blanc and Colombard?

That did not work out too well for him. Not sure if it was the ostracism by his neighbors, the threats to burn down his winery or the death threats that caused him to to make an Executive Decision not to market the brand.

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