Bay Area-based fake-meat startup Impossible Foods plagued by another round of layoffs

Redwood City-based Impossible Foods suffered another round of layoffs on Thursday, shedding 6% of its workforce, San Francisco Business Times reports. This is the second time this year that the fake meat start-up has laid off employees: in January, 15 employees were also laid off, and despite those layoffs, the company then said it still plans to expand its workforce of 800 people.

The cut jobs were labeled as “redundant” or positions that “were no longer aligned with our core business practices,” Impossible CEO Peter McGuinness said in an email to employees. The layoffs came as other similar companies reported declining sales, the Business hours points out. Beyond Meat, for example, saw a 75% drop in sales this year.

Wine hijacker freed from 27 years in prison

Mark C. Anderson, owner of Sausalito Cellars, will be released from prison on health grounds after being sentenced to 27 years in 2012 for selling wines to be stored for customers and then setting fire to his warehouse during of a camouflage operation, the Mercury News reports. Anderson embezzled $1 million worth of wine between 2001 and 2004, before setting the warehouse on fire in 2005 and destroying around $200 million worth of wine. Anderson entered a plea deal for arson, fraud and tax evasion, but later tried to withdraw his plea. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay $70.3 million in restitution. Anderson will be moved to a nursing home in Sacramento near the UC Davis Medical Center, according to a court order.

Saratoga winery lives on despite some community objections

The Mercury News follows the saga at House Family Vineyards, which has received complaints about wine tastings held at its Saratoga vineyard. The winery was found to be holding tastings without the proper permits and was granted a “temporary compliance permit” to allow tastings by appointment only while the town works with the family winery to acquire the correct ones. Some neighbors cited issues such as “noise levels, traffic issues, security issues” and would prefer the winery not host tastings at all, apparently, and appealed the temporary permit. The Saratoga City Council, however, rejected that appeal on Wednesday and allow House Family Vineyards to continuereports the newspaper.

Crystal wines are (maybe) your next purchase

If you’re a big believer in the power of crystals to…do everything crystals do, two wineries are incorporating rocks into their winemaking process. Ardure Wines adds a crystal to clay amphoras during the fermentation process, and Tank Garage Winery also began experimenting with the technique after talking with Ardure winemaker Jason Ruppert, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Tank’s first crystal-fermented wine — a cabernet sauvignon that retails for $75 — is slated for release Oct. 14. (It should be noted that the crystal is removed before bottling, so the wine is purchased without the crystal, but with the vibes intact.)

Elisha A. Tilghman