The Wine Librarians Association

Dedicated to making wine information accessible and to preserving the history of wine

WLA – Annual Meeting – 3/2003

Minutes of the Annual Meeting 30 MAY 2003
Napa Valley College,  Napa, California

Host: Dr. Stephen Krebs

Convening: The meeting was called to order at 9:30 AM in the Napa Valley College Viticulture and Winery Technology Center by Association President, Bo Simons.

In attendance: Clayla Davis, Nancy Cunningham, Gail Unzelman, Julie Dickson, Millie Howie, Steve Krebs, Larry Hlavsa, Stephanie Grohs, and special guest, Darrell Corti.

Bo thanked Steve Krebs, Program Co-ordinator of the Viticulture and Winery Technology Program at Napa Valley College, for hosting the meeting. He next introduced special guest, Darrell Corti, of Sacramento.  Bo expressed our sincere thanks to Darrell for coming to the meeting and especially for his generous funding of and editorial contributions to “The Brady Book.”

Minutes / Financial Report / Membership: Secretary-Treasurer Clayla Davis presented the minutes of the November 1, 2002 meeting. Corrections were noted, and the minutes accepted.  The Financial Report showed a balance of $397.25.  Twelve (of some thirty) members have paid their dues ($20) for 2003.  It was suggested that Clayla send a polite “reminder” note to those in arrears with the notice of our next meeting date.  A brief discussion of possible new members followed: Keith Patterson, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; and Suzi Teghtmeyer, librarian at Southern Missouri State University, who contacted us about membership (thanks to Norma Kobzina).  Discussion: Should we promote our Association through magazine articles or other means?.   The Association needs exposure especially with the Brady book coming out.   Larry Hlavsa said he would be able to host the Wine Librarians Association webpage on the St.Helena Public Library website; but this should be only a temporary step, and we should pursue our own.

Bo Simons announced that the “volumes” of paper work have been finally finalized, and the Association is now incorporated as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization.  The IRS will review our status in 5 years.  Our thanks to Clayla Davis, Julie Dickson, and Bo Simons for a job well done.

“The Brady Book”:  Gail Unzelman, project director, reported.  Book producer Ed Farris, of Farris Graphics, indicates the book should be finished by July / August.  250 copies, 7 x 10, with 23 illustrations (15 “tip-ins” — full-color wine label and title page reproductions — and 8  duo-tones printed on the page); the text will be printed in two-colors, using a rust color for drop initials and decorations.  Sample printed pages were shown, and warmly approved.  Discussion followed: promotional event upon release?  One in Southern California and one in Northern California?  Julie Dickson enthusiastically offered the Napa Valley Wine Library Assn to host the Northern California event.  Danette Cook-Adamson, Cal State Poly Univ – Pomona, will be contacted about possibly hosting a Southern California event.  Darrell Corti said that Colman Andrews, Saveur magazine, is willing and anxious to promote the book in his publication.  A first-class brochure, in the style of a Book Club of California prospectus, will be produced to send out to a mailing list.  Retail cost of the book?  “As much as the market will bear!”  $125 – $150 price range was suggested.  (The production cost of the book is $50/copy.)  A “trade edition” was briefly discussed. Clayla pointed out that libraries need cheaper “circulating copies” where special books are involved.  This issue will be pursued after we have in hand the deluxe limited edition.

New Projects:
Pacific Wine & Spirit Review.  Preservation, by microfilming or digitizing, of the Pre-Prohibition issues of this all-important wine periodical (which began as the San Francisco Merchant, and had several name changes) has been proposed in past meetings as a priority project for the Association.  Today Bo Simons asked for a committee to look into this.  Nancy Cunningham, Sonoma State University, accepted to head the committee, with the suggestion that a digital record would be the best way to go.  All agreed.  She will investigate costs, and whereabouts of the volumes.  Gail Unzelman noted that the San Francisco Public Library has a large (but incomplete) run, from 1883 to 1916.  A possible source: the Mechanics Institute Library in San Francisco.  Julie Dixon suggested that publicizing this project in wine periodicals might bring information (as well as promote the Association and its work).  Bo Simons said that Charles Sullivan has compiled a partial index to the P.W.&S.R., which is a plus for the project.  This index is available on the Sonoma County Wine Library website.

Redwood Rancher: Bo Simons is undertaking to track down a complete run of this periodical, which began in 1943 as “The Dirt Farmer.”  It, like the P.W.&S.R., underwent several name changes, including Wine West (Millie Howie, publisher) for several years in the mid- 1980s, until it ceased publication.  Perhaps this periodical also would be worth digitizing.

Other possible Association projects:
Exhibits? Exhibits of historical, wine-related materials, similar to the upcoming exhibit at Copia on Pre-Prohibition wine advertising, could be worthwhile projects.  Gail Unzelman filled us in on the details of Copia’s fine exhibit, “Grapes in the Golden West: The Early Wine Trade in California,” organized by Dean Walters, long-time proprietor of Vintage Antiques and avid fan/collector of Pre-Prohibition California wine advertising.  The exhibit runs from July 4 – Sept. 22, and is a “must-see.”  This brought on a discussion on how to better co-ordinate our resources with Copia: we have the materials for endless exhibits, but there seems to be no communication.  Steve Krebs said he would talk to Copia Director Daphne Dervin and bring our Association and available archives to her attention.   Seminars?  Educational seminars on wine literature, wine libraries, etc.  could be considered for a future project.  Books?  Steve Krebs suggested the publication of “Collected Works” of a number of early wine authorities whose writings are now scattered in a library’s collection, and difficult to find: professors Frederic Bioletti, Eugene Hilgard, and Maynard Amerine immediately came to mind.  Gail Unzelman suggested a translation and publication of Guido Rossati’s Relazione de un Viaggio d’Istruzione negli Stati Uniti d’America (1900) that is filled with information on the American wine scene at the turn of the century.

Archival repositories: It was sadly agreed that too much material of historic value is being dumped by wineries and other wine-related businesses, or people, without even asking a library if they would want the materials.  Our Association should make a concerted effort to prevent this: 1.) explore archival repositories to house unwanted materials and 2.) publicize:  notices in Wines & Vines, Practical Vineyard…, and other publications would call attention to this.   3.) educate and remind the public that we, the Wine Librarians Association, is “dedicated to preserving the history of wine.”   In wondering if the Wine Institute might take a more active role in preserving wine history—as they did in the past—Darrell Corti said he would mention this to John DeLuca.

Individual Reports:

Napa Valley Wine Library: Julie Dickson, President Napa Valley Wine Library Assn., reviewed the Association’s activities, including their fund-raiser tours “Ghost Wineries” and “Wine Caves.”  The Association hopes to transcribe the interviews taken by Charles Sullivan while he was researching a proposed book on Andre Tchelistcheff.  She called our attention to an upcoming exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum (the library’s second collaborative exhibit with the Museum), opening June 28th, “Art of the Wine Label” with a presentation by James Cross, noted Napa Valley graphic designer.  The featured labels are from the NVWL Burt Wuttken Collection, acquired in 1998.   Library Director, Larry Hlavsa, was pleased to report that the library now has an archival reading room on the second floor (previously used for storage).  A 6′ x 9′ screen has been installed for presentations and “movie nights.”  Work continues on processing the William Heintz Collection acquired by the library in January 2002: 54 boxes of materials, including 100 winery histories and 260 oral history tapes.  About half is catalogued on OCLC.  The Library has drawn up its “Collection Policy” listing priorities and collection guidelines, and hopes to now begin a systematic weeding of the collection.  Larry showed Dick Lyons’ recently completed video, “Vine to Wine,” a practical “here’s how” for the small vineyard/winery owner.  It is available for $20.

Napa Valley College: Stephanie Grohs, interim dean for learning resources, reported the college library is in the beginning stages of promoting and developing their wine library, and they are working to get their catalogue online.  Steve Krebs distributed to the group a 26-page study and bibliography on “Phylloxera,” compiled by him while working on his Master’s dissertation.  He also has available (for the asking) a bibliography of some 500 titles on the subject of phylloxera.  Steve, with unabashed enthusiasm, offered to make copies of a recently acquired treasure: the classic movie, “This Earth is Mine,” filmed in Napa Valley in the 1950s.  This announcement brought big smiles to the faces of Julie D. and Larry H., who have been hunting in vain for this movie for their library’s “movie night”!  If you want a copy, send your order to Steve; he will bill you at cost for this gem.  Napa Valley College will host the Women for Wine Sense on June 11th –  Steve extended a special invitation to all female librarians at our meeting.  A 3-CDROM set of the American Journal of Enology & Viticulture is available from ASEV for $125.  Technical, recommended.  Also available on CDROM is the new, community college level Statewide Standard Model Curriculum for viticulture and enology.  Larry Michel, Yuba Community College, chaired the committee of ten, of which Steve was a member.

Sonoma State University: Nancy Cunningham was happy to report that the school’s wine business program is strengthening. The program, part of the School of Business and Economics, focuses on wine business: marketing, government regulations, finance and accounting. The new director of the program, Mack Schwing, is a veteran business consultant and ardent fund-raiser.

Sonoma County Wine Library: Bo Simons passed out flyers on this year’s fund raiser, “Swing Time in the Vineyards,” June 21st, put on by the Wine Library Associates.   August 1st is the date for the celebration of the library’s 15th birthday.  Two new oral history tapes are being finished up: Bob Sisson and George Greott.  The Library has hosted a series of Spanish Language Viticulture Education sessions put on by the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association (SCGGA) and taught by Daniel Robledo.  SCGGA and the Santa Rosa Junior College have received a grant from the California Food and Fibers Futures Program, a state program of the Kellogg Foundation, to coordinate Spanish Language agriculture education in Sonoma County.

The Meeting was adjourned for lunch.

Steve served a delicious lunch, from his own tasty kitchen: pasta with pesto sauce, a salad of fresh mixed greens, and a berry medley—accompanied by a refreshing and very enjoyable Chardonnay produced by the Napa Valley College Viticulture and Winery Technology Center in their new winery.  A tour of the winery followed lunch.  Cheers, Steve.  Thank you for a very successful meeting!

Respectfully submitted,
Gail Unzelman
Recording Secretary (by default)


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