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Protecting the vine, gourmet in Berkeley, and falling profits

Chez Panisse
 --In an attempt to try to quash the spread of a moth that’s threatening California’s vineyards, the state Department of Food and Agriculture announced Tuesday that it is quarantining 162 square miles – a swath that covers wine country in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. Read more here:

--Travel guide: Exploring Berkeley's gourmet ghetto

--The Kroger Co. is sacrificing some profits to court financially strapped shoppers who are buying more groceries at lower prices, counting on them to keep coming back when better economic days finally arrive. The operator of Ralphs and other grocery chains Tuesday reported earnings fell 27% in its fourth quarter, while sales rose 7% with help from gasoline sales that were boosted by discount incentives for regular customers.

Photo credit: During the evening dinner rush, Chez Panisse's kitchen is a hive of activity. Robert Durell / For The Times

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