Weekly Interview: Corey Beck

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-29-2011

Each week, as regular readers know, Terroirist poses 16 questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Corey Beck, the director of winemaking at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Corey began his winemaking career as a teenager. At the time, his grandfather was the vineyard manager for Chateau Montelena, so Corey spent his summers working in the vineyards. Corey stayed relatively close to home for college – majoring in fermentation science from UC Davis. After school, he returned to Montelena, where he worked as the winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon Cellar Master.

In 1998, Corey landed a position with Coppola’s Rubicon Estate as the assistant winemaker. And in 2006, after the Coppola family purchased property in Sonoma, Corey was named Director of Winemaking and General Manager of the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Check out our interview with Corey below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Old Vines!

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-29-2011

Uploaded to flickr by craig.camp.

The battle between beer and wine got a little closer in 2011. “For only the second time in two decades, wine ties beer as the top choice when U.S. drinkers are asked whether they most often drink liquor, wine, or beer.” The Atlantic dives in a bit further.

Doug Wilder highlights the recently launched “Historic Vineyard Society,” which aims to educate “the wine-drinking public on the very special nature” of documented old-vine vineyards. An all-star team is behind the effort — David Gates of Ridge, Mike Officer of Carlisle, Tegan Passalacqua of Turley Wine Cellars, Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock, Jancis Robinson, and Mike Dildine. Tom Wark has more.
Now that “scores are under attack, yet again,” Steve Heimoff flies “to the rescue of the poor, beleaguered wine score.”

Mike Steinberger wonders whether Cabernet Sauvignon’s hegemony is over.

More (welcomed!) coverage on the importance of “temperature management” for wine retailers. Over at CNBC, a look at Wine.com’s summer shipping policy – and why it’s so critical.  As the CEO explains, “We’re looking at where they are shipping to, where the wine is coming from, the path it has to take to arrive… We’ll include ice in the packaging and generally want the temperature to be below 85 degrees in the area we are shipping.”

The Oregonian covers the news that the Wine Bloggers’ Conference has picked Portland for next year’s convention.

At the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague profiles John Abbott of Abeja Winery in Walla Walla, Washington – who has “long been considered one of the best (and most modest) Merlot winemakers.”

Millennials Aren’t Special

Posted by | Posted in Out of the Glass | Posted on 07-28-2011

Marketers are obsessed with targeting “Millennials.”

Roughly speaking, the Millennial Generation began in 1980 and ended in 2000. Targeting these consumers makes sense — there are around 75 million Millennials, and they have money.

I’m a Millennial. I was born 1982, and I’m quite fond of Google, Facebook, and Twitter – and excited about mobile apps and every new tech toy.

But I’m really not that special. The underlying basics of sales and marketing have not changed. And there’s no reason to think that today’s teens and twenty-somethings are so unique that wineries – or any businesses, for that matter – need to fundamentally change their approach.

So if someone tells you they’re an “expert” on what Millennials want, run the other way. This applies equally to Generation X and Baby Boomers. Americans are too diverse for any generation to be generalized. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: An American in Burgundy

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-28-2011

We’re a little late to this party, but if you haven’t already done so check out this piece from Eric Asimov detailing the adventure of Ray Walker, the first American ever to make Le Chambertin grand cru Burgundy. It’s a fascinating story of a man who followed his heart when the deck was wholly stacked against his success. Despite the long odds, things seem to be working out well. Check out Ray’s label, Maison Ilan, here.

At Fermentation, Tom Wark continues to fight the good fight against the three-tier system and H.R. 1161. This time, he debunks the idea that the current arrangement provides consumers with “incredible choice”, which is a popular mantra put forth by those lining their pockets via the three-tier system. Join Tom in the fight against H.R. 1161.

Over at the Chicago Tribune, Bill St. John discusses the versatility of Riesling and the tendency of Americans to write off the varietal due to the over-abundance of overly-syrupy, mass-produced offerings found on the market. I found the article especially interesting (and quite accurate) as I recently enjoyed three bottles of Riesling as part of a dinner at the Las Vegas wine-geek favorite Lotus of Siam. All were very different from one another, equally delicious, and paired exceptionally well with the rich, spicy Thai cuisine.

Daily Wine News: Sweet, Sweet Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-27-2011

A French Military Man Lives on -- as a Grape.

Frenchman Christian Vanneque , who tasted wines at the legendary Judgment of Paris in 1976 and now runs a wine bar in Indonesia, made history Tuesday by shelling out $117,000 for a 200-year-old bottle of Chateau d’Yquem. That’s the highest price ever paid for a bottle of white wine. He plans to open the sweet Sauternes in 2017 to mark his 50th anniversary in the wine business. I’ll be on the lookout for my invitation to the tasting.

In other sweet wine news, 1WineDude highlights an odd study on those who enjoy a glass of vin moelleux. According to Professor Virginia Utermohlen of Cornell University and Tim Hanni, people who love sweet wines also tend to be more sensitive to light, sound, taste, and touch. Naturally, Utermohlen and Hanni conclude that this causes sweet-wine drinkers to go commando (?!).

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle offers a long feature article on New York state’s wine scene. I was surprised to learn that New York is actually the number-two wine-producing state in the country by volume.

To the north and east, Palate Press profiles wines in New Hampshire. The Granite State’s top grapes include the white seyval blanc and the red marechal foch. For all you history buffs out there, the latter takes its name from the Frenchman Marechal Ferdinand Foch, who played a key role in negotiating the armistice that ended World War I.

Wine Spectator reports on a new study that may muddy the waters a bit regarding wine’s link to breast cancer. Researchers at the Universities of Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto found that moderate wine consumption decreased the risk of breast cancer in women with the BRCA1 genetic mutation — but increased the risk of breast cancer in those with the BRCA2 mutation.

Wine Bloggers’ Conference Recap

Posted by | Posted in Grape Adventures | Posted on 07-26-2011

If you’re a wine blogger, this post is for you. If you’re a wine blog reader, you might want to close this page – or you’ll be inclined to launch a blog, and that will quickly consume all your free time.

This past weekend, wine bloggers from across the world gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia for the 4th Annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference.

It wasn’t cheap. Registration cost $95, rooms at the host hotel were $169 per night, and most attendees had to fly in. I thought it was worth every penny — and I’d be shocked if any attendee went home regretting the expense. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Hot Wine!

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-26-2011

Dr. Vino highlights a concerning report from eProvenance that nearly 10% of wine shipments are exposed to temperatures of 86 degrees or warmer for significant amounts of time. Interestingly, much of this exposure occurs during the first and last mile of the wine’s journey. Having dealt with summer shipping issues recently I am quite happy this issue is being researched and discussed.

In his latest column, Eric Asimov profiles Ray Walker, an American winemaker in Burgundy.

Jon Bonné offers up 20 world-class wines that can be had for under $20. The list even includes some Burgundy recommendations!

Over at 1WineDude, Joe Roberts provides some insight into the judging of the Wine Blog Awards.

Not surprisingly, China’s long-running problem of counterfeiting consumer goods has reached the wine industry.  Any interest in some “Benfolds”?

Greetings from St. John!

Posted by | Posted in Terroirist | Posted on 07-25-2011

This week, for the first time since the launch of Terroirist, I’ll be taking a break from the Daily Wine News. (In case you’re wondering, we’ve never missed a day.) But don’t fret – I’ve left the news roundup with the capable and highly qualified Robby Schrum and Greg Golec.

As you might imagine, the roundup takes quite a bit of time. So thanks, enormously, to Greg and Robby for volunteering to help me take an actual vacation this week. And I’m sure they could use your help – so if you see a story worth including, share it! Just tweet at them. Robby’s handle is @robbyschrum and Greg’s is @ggolec.

Weekly Wine Roundup: Celebrations!

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 07-25-2011

This was quite a week for the Terroirists! On Sunday, Robby Schrum, Ainsley Adams, and myself opened some killer wines — including a Peay Pinot and a Merryvale Profile. On Wednesday, Rebecca Canan celebrated her birthday — at WSET class. (Happy Birthday, Rebecca!) Our newest Terroirist, Jeff Vogel, tried a Grenache that blew his mind. And Ainsley Adams tried – for the first time in her life – Two-Buck Chuck. And on Saturday, Terroirist won the Best New Wine Blog Award.

Check out what we consumed below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Winners Announced!

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-25-2011

On Saturday night at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, the 2011 Wine Blog Awards winners were announced. And Terroirist took home Best New Wine Blog! Other winners included Fermentation, Vinography, Tablas Creek, New York Cork Report, Enobytes, Fermentation, Vino Freakism.

Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released an extensive report on the CARE Act – aka, the Wholesaler Protection Act. Authored by CEI analyst (and WinePolicy.com blogger) Angela Logomasini, the report provides a detailed look at the special interests behind this legislation – and explains why it will harm consumers, retailers, and producers.

Mike Steinberger declares Chambers Street Wines the “Greatest Wine Retailer in America.”

Wholesalers are trying to put New Jersey’s wineries out of business. This story isn’t getting nearly enough coverage – so please help spread the word!

Late last week, a forklift dropped 462 cases of 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove

Shiraz, sending more $1 million worth of wine down the drain. My apologies to fans of Aussie Shiraz!

According to Lettie Teague, “some of the most interesting Italian wines are actually made on the island of Sicily.”

Looking for investment advice? According to Bloomberg, Treasury Wine Estates Ltd., which owns Beringer Vineyards and Stags’ Leap Winery, is a “screaming buy.”