At a preliminary hearing discussion centered on whether wine was stolen or taken legitimately by three former employees of the West Berkeley winery.
The Berkeley winery's owners were devastated to discover that former employees may have embezzled as much as $70,490 worth of wine.
The 2015 harvest has come early and East Bay winemakers are hustling — and doing a lot of driving — to keep up.
Jared Brandt, the co-owner and winemaker of Donkey & Goat on Fifth Street in Berkeley, isn’t getting much sleep these days. It is harvest time all around California, and Brandt and his co-workers have spent hours driving to El Dorado and Mendocino Counties to help harvest Syrah and Pinot Noir grapes. Once the grapes are trucked back to the winery, they are sorted, some stems are removed, and then the whole clusters are put into barrels to ferment, just a few steps on the long path to becoming some of the winery’s award-winning wine.
CASHIERS NO MORE Laz Parking, which operates Berkeley’s three parking facilities, is installing prepay ticket machines in all of its garages, which should help eliminate that long backup of cars waiting to get out of the Center Street garage after a play or concert. Patrons can also just use a credit card to get in and out, said Farid Javandel, manager of the City of Berkeley’s Transportation Division. Laz Parking will install the first machines March 12 on Center Street (and permanently open the second exit as well), and in the Oxford and Telegraph/Channing garages soon after. New lights, signs, and paint are on the way, too. There will no longer be any cashiers in the garages, but there will be security patrols and customer assistants, said Javandel. (more…)
The exterior of Berkeley’s Donkey & Goat winery is urban in the extreme. Its entrance sits behind steel doors in a concrete tilt-up building on Fourth Street, and the front door looks out on a parking lot. Interstate 80 is less than 1,000 feet away.
Close to 400 people came to Jared and Tracey Brandt’s Donkey and Goat on Saturday to try the urban winery’s new spring releases and taste food prepared by chefs from Gather restaurant. Visitors got the chance to try Prospector, a wine made from Mourvèdre grapes, a 2008 syrah made from the Fenaughty vineyard in El Dorado County, and many other wines. There was grilled calamari, pig’s head cuts, and other delectables to eat.
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