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Baron Philippe de Rothschild Parties With Robert Mondavi - In Spirit

By Art van Bodegraven | 07/16/2017 | 3:43 PM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


In a bromance worthy of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, Philippe and Robert transcended their smashingly successful viticulture collaboration and turned the efforts of their organizations to the minutia of packging and transport - the nuts and bolts of the business.  With the departure of the Titans, a next generation is dealing with the mechanics of the trade.

Conceived in Hawai'i, the collaboration sits across the highway from the splendid Mondavi winery.  Opus One is one of the priciest wines anywhere, and its second wine, Overture, is a worthy adventure for those who think its difficult to distinguish a $40 bottle from a $200 woo-and-win experience.  True confessions: I've done both and have absolutely no regrets.

But, a global wine marketplace changes functions and priorities.  Now that the wine itself has been mastered, what's next?

US wine exports are staggering, figuratively and literally.  We, of course, import wines from Australia, South America, South Africa, and elsewhere - in great quantities.  Our exports go, in descending order to the European Union, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Nigeria, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland, and Singapore.

On The Continent, Germany leads the way.  The United Kingdom takes in 25% of all US wine exports.  All this is good news for the Port of Oakland.  But, handling and environments are becoming necessarily more complex and demanding, especially in premium sectors.

And, the transport loading of 30 years ago simply won't do today, to minimize breakage and other damage.  Corrugated has to improve; separation inserts must improve. Transport loading has to consider wall spacing and sidewall rigidity, as well as conditions specific to transport type.  And, it's time to pull out all stops in the use of blankets and ambient temperature capture to maintain optimal environments.

So much for throwing cases at capacity and pulling away from the gate.  The universe has been redefined - and a new generation knows that trhe process has only just begun with making the wine.



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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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