Vineyard, Wine, And Brand Consulting
20 years of expertise applied to private client projects
specializing in small production premium brand development
Sonoma land owners trust Hydeout Sonoma Consulting with their vineyard construction, vineyard management, winemaking, and brand development. Since 1999 I have been consulting to wonderful private clients – from tech execs in Silicon Valley to second-home owners in Sonoma – who trusted me to build their vineyards, manage their farming, make their wine, and develop their brands. With lots of help from so many good people – employees, friends, colleagues, and key vendors – we’ve built and farmed in excess of forty unique vineyards and made dozens of special wines across more than fifteen vintages. Without exception, our clients have been kind and thoughtful people with interesting careers across many fields. They all placed their trust in me. That trust continues to be an honor and a privilege.
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Meet the winners…

Meet the winners of the Hydeout Sonoma blogpost contest. These 3 eagle-eyed readers spotted my-newt joke in the previous blog post.... For their efforts, they each received a bottle of 2016 "Dysfunctional Family" wine ( a new 'second label project we introduced this...

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Wine Industry Convention

The Grape and Wine Symposium, in Sacramento every January, is THE largest grape and wine industry convention in North America. Here is a quick 'beginner's tour' for those who are unfamiliar with our industry -  Quick questions -  Reader poll - please let me know what...

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Sonoma Firestorm, Part 3, Hiking Arrowhead Mountain

In my final post on the 2017 Sonoma Firestorm, (Part 3) come along as we hike through Arrowhead Mountain, the southernmost flank of the Mayacamas Mountains that splits Napa and Sonoma Counties. The hike started at the base of Arrowhead mountain and climbed up to...

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Sonoma Ag Boosters party at the Hydeout

The Sonoma Valley Ag Boosters, supporters of the Sonoma Valley High School "Future Farmers of America" and the "Sustainable Agriculture Academy", held their annual fundraising gala last night at the Hydeout in Sonoma...       A huge crowd of students, teachers, staff,...

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Nighttime grape harvest in Sonoma

A pictorial essay of Hydeout Consulting's first nighttime harvest for 2017 Below is a pictorial essay following a nighttime harvest of Pinot Noir from our arrival on-site at the vineyard through to delivery at the winery. Hydeout Consulting directed the management of...

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Countdown begins for harvest 2017 in Sonoma

In Sonoma, the harvest is already well underway for sparkling wines and some Pinots. But for the deeper darker reds, we are just starting to do field sampling of berries. And beginning to forecast the harvest schedule. This is vital because every winery has a...

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1st annual wine and music party Hydeout Sonoma 2017

Normally we concern ourselves here with serious topics about growing grapes, making wine, building brands, and occasionally irreverent chatter about the mathematically proven variability of scores, points, and contests. And occasionally we make light-hearted fun of...

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Managing vineyard irrigation with high technology

Vineyard irrigation systems, even in small vineyards, are either under-featured or overly complex, and most controllers are prone to problems. In the vineyard, risers get run over by tractors, drip hoses get chewed by coyotes, and drip emitters suddenly crack, plug,...

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It takes a lot of beer to make wine!

It's an old adage in the wine profession, often said with a knowing laugh, that "it takes a lot of beer to make wine." Why? Because working out in the vineyards in the heat of the day is a really sweaty proposition. And equally, standing on your feet all day and night...

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What are they growing in that vineyard over there?

Standing out in the middle of a vineyard in Bennett Valley yesterday, it struck me how many times I have been asked, "hey Ken, what are they growing in that vineyard over there?" I almost always have to give the same answer - "almost impossible to say." This is...

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Sonoma mobile bottling line in time-lapse video

I have some of my client's wine made at the Deerfield custom crush facility in Kenwood. I stopped by the other day to check on some barrels of 2016 Cab and Syrah. They had a mobile bottling line running under the tent at the crush pad. After watching this video, we...

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Sonoma hits record high temps

Roaring hot in Sonoma this week... Anecdotal information is always susceptible to mental inflation, especially when it comes to weather. Fact-based meteorology is more reliable. But still, it sure felt like this was the hottest temperature any of us could recall in...

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Sonoma vineyards in June after record winter rain 2017

After three consecutive years of record drought, record rains in NorCal in the winter of 2016/2017 have left excess moisture in the ground and created enormous canopies in the vineyard. Extra time and labor, and therefore money, is being expended to keep the vineyard...

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Hail storm in the vineyard in June in Sonoma

The weather on Sunday got a little crazy in Sonoma as a rain and hail storm raced across from Bennett Valley and Kenwood in Sonoma to St Helena in the Napa Valley. Even during the last three very bad drought years, we almost always get a brief spite of rain around...

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