Daily Wine News: Lack of Growth

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-17-2017

(Source: Long Island Wines)

(Source: Long Island Wines)

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague returns to the North Fork of Long Island expecting to find a proliferation of wineries and new talent. Instead, she found a community in conflict, and wonders why there hasn’t been the kind of growth she expected to find. (subscription req.)

From the Mercury News: A closer look at the 22 wineries damaged by Wine Country fires.

The cause of the California wine country fires is still under investigation, reports Zoë Schlanger in Quartz, but a power company might have been responsible. “On the same evening that reports of the wildfires began to crop up in Sonoma County, local fire crews were called to at least 10 different locations along Pacific Gas & Electric’s power lines after 911 calls reported sparking wires and other problems while the area was pummeled by heavy winds.”

Jancis Robinson shares her experience of being a woman in the male-dominated wine world, and writes about the Women in Wine Leadership Symposium held earlier this month in New York.

In Wine-Searcher, Tom Hyland looks at how more winemakers in Piedmont are crafting riper, more powerful versions of Barbera.

Courtney Schiessl shares her love for Austrian wine glasses in VinePair.

In Meininger’s, Simon Woolf tracks the rise of orange wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Fiona Adams considers the unique climate and terrain of Texas’s two main AVAs.

Daily Wine News: Community & Hope

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-16-2017

Flickr: Ren Kuo

Flickr: Ren Kuo

“No one would compare the loss of wine with the loss of life. But wine is these communities’ lifeblood — economic, cultural and otherwise.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley assesses the long-term economic impact of the wildfires, and reports on the overwhelming sentiment of hope felt in the community of vintners. “That sense of community helped vintners remain optimistic this week, even as they watched with horror as the fires grew, and as many lost their own homes.”

The Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis gathered information regarding the impact of the wildfires in Northern California, as well as information on the effect of smoke on grapes and wine. “Estimates are that close to 90% of the grapes were picked although this number may vary depending on the location. That means that only a small percentage of the 2017 grape harvest may be potentially impacted by the wildfires and smoke.”

In the Mercury News, Mary Orlin provides an updated list of the wineries damaged or destroyed by the wildfires.

“U.S. immigration officials suspended operations in the Northern California fire areas, authorities said Friday,” reports Leslie Gevirtz in Wine Enthusiast.

In Wine Business, Liz Thach looks at how wineries are reassuring customers during a time of crisis.

Vinous offers a list of the charities actively involved in providing support to those most in need after the Northern California wildfires.

E. & J. Gallo Winery will contribute $1 million to fire recovery effort and will match employee donations two-for-one.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford discovers a biodynamic spirit in Tuscany when he visits Fattoria La Vialla.

Daily Wine News: Vineyards Stop Fires

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-13-2017

Photo credit: George Rose via Facebook: "It appears the raging fire just north of Coffey Park near Barnes Road was stopped by a vineyard. Some of the weeds in the vineyard, and the weeds around the pond burned, but basically, the fire ran out of fuel."

Photo credit: George Rose via Facebook: “It appears the raging fire just north of Coffey Park near Barnes Road was stopped by a vineyard. Some of the weeds in the vineyard, and the weeds around the pond burned, but basically, the fire ran out of fuel.”

“Fire crews “use the vineyards to their advantage to ensure that they can stop the spread of the fire or stop the front of the fire from coming through,” said Cal Fire spokesman Jonathan Cox, battalion chief for Northern California.” In the Los Angeles Times, Geoffrey Mohan reports on how vineyards may have kept the wine country wildfire from spreading even more.

Esther Mobley reports on how the wildfires impacted Mayacamas winery in the San Francisco Chronicle. “While one of the property’s historic buildings burned to the ground, the winery itself — a stone building constructed in 1889 — remains intact.”

In the New York Times: “Satellite Images Show 1,800 Buildings Destroyed by Fire in Santa Rosa.”

Is wine an art or a science? Richard Hemming explores his answer in Purple Pages. “Great wine has the rare capacity to move the drinker in a way that science cannot. There may be beauty in science, but it surely doesn’t evoke that gut reaction, that instinctual emotional response which characterizes how we react to great art – wine included.”

In Decanter, Jane Anson meets Dominique Léandre Chevalier, a “rebel winemaker” of Bordeaux and finds out why local wine officials have filed court action against him.

It’s time to give German reds their due, says Anna Lee C. Iijima, who reviews unique styles of German Pinot Noir and lesser known-grapes in Wine Enthusiast.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov debunks five common wine myths.

Bon Appétit’s Marissa A. Ross is thrilled that sweet berry wine, inspired by the character played by John C. Riley, now exists.

Tim Atkin looks at Semillon’s fall from prominence.

Daily Wine News: Relief, Recovery

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-12-2017

Photo tweeted by Esther Mobley: "Heartbreaking scene at White Rock."

Photo tweeted by Esther Mobley: “Heartbreaking scene at White Rock.”

The San Francisco Chronicle has a list of wineries damaged by the wildfires. The list continues to be updated as damage is confirmed throughout the region.

Elsewhere in the Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on how the fire struck at Gundlach Bundschu, one of California’s oldest wineries. “False news had begun circulating that the winery had burned down; Scribe, too…And by around 5 p.m., Cal Fire helicopters appeared overhead, showering water down on the fires before they could reach Gundlach Bundschu and Scribe.”

Facebook and Google will reportedly donate a combined $1.5 million to Wine Country fire relief.

“Patsy McGaughy of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) said the group had heard from 100 of its more than 525 members, and none reported fatalities or injuries among their families or employees. However, five wineries owned by members were destroyed by fire, and nine others were damaged.” Wines & Vines reports on the next steps wineries are considering amid flames.

In the New York Times, Tiffany Hsu reports on the several historic wineries and remaining grape harvest in Napa and Sonoma that have been impacted by the fatal wildfires.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jim Gordon recounts his personal experience on the second full day of the Northern California wildfires.

Brian Freedman looks at how the wildfires could impact the California wine industry for years to come in Forbes.

In Punch, Zachary Sussman explores Santorini’s potential beyond beach wines. “Is it destined to remain a one-hit wonder, forever stamped as another sunny Mediterranean wine? Or, as it continues to carve out its own vision of maturity, will it find a way to surpass the novelty phase and successfully embrace a more complex paradigm…”

In SevenFifty Daily, Amanda Barnes reports on the growing movement of Champagne producers going organic and biodynamic.



Daily Wine News: Devastation in Wine Country

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-11-2017

Posted by Esther Mobley on Twitter: "1880s vines at Old Hill Ranch in Sonoma Valley. Gone."

Posted by Esther Mobley on Twitter: “1880s vines at Old Hill Ranch in Sonoma Valley. Gone.”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s coverage of the wildfires in California continues: an interactive map of wine country fires, what is known and what isn’t known about the fires, and possible causes of the fires.

Esther Mobley has been doing an excellent job of tweeting updates and photos from affected wineries.

“Deadly fires ravage California’s wine country, leaving at least 15 dead, more than 150 missing,” reports the Washington Post as of 5pm EST on Tuesday.

NPR reports on “the apocalyptic scenes in wine country” left behind by the wildfires.

Wine Spectator reports that at least three wineries have been lost in the wildfires: Frey Vineyards, Signorello Estate Winery, and Paradise Ridge Winery.

Wine Enthusiast is covering how to help victims of the fires, and the ways in which the wildfires continue to devastate, reporting that Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma also succumbed to the flames.

In the Mercury News, Mary Orlin offers a conflicting report: “the historic Gundlach Bundschu is still standing, according to Katie Bundschu, despite earlier reports of fire damage.” According to Orlin, Scribe Winery is still standing.

Based on social media postings, Wine Business also reports on which wineries have been damaged or destroyed.

Terlato wineries Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill have gone unscathed in the devastating wildfires, reports Greg Trotter in the Chicago Tribune.

Napa Valley Vintners released a statement on the wildfires in Napa County.

Daily Wine News: Wildfires in Wine Country

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-10-2017

Fire“Massive wildfires ripped through Napa and Sonoma counties early Monday, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people and shutting down major roadways,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle. You can find all of the Chronicle’s coverage of the North Bay fires here, including how you can help.

Elsewhere in the Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on the Sonoma and Napa wineries hit hardest by the fires.

According to Wine Spectator, “Signorello Estate Winery and reportedly Chateau St. Jean were destroyed, and several more wineries are reportedly threatened.”

Elaine Chukan Brown, who lives in Sonoma, reported on the unfolding disaster near her home for Slow Wine. “Numerous iconic wineries and vineyards along the Silverado Trail are still threatened by the fire and thousands of people are unable to return home.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown declares a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

The Weather Channel is offering updated reports on the wildfires and mass evacuations in California’s Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto talks to Roberto Felluga of Marco Felluga about Collio’s identity issue. “The trouble is, with such a wealth of grapes and varied winemaker styles, it’s been near-impossible to define the region to the world.”

Nicholas Gill reports on Copenhagen’s natural wine scene in the New York Times.

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford delves into the history of Languedoc’s Pic St Loup.

In Bloomberg, Rudy Ruitenberg looks at how French winemakers are lamenting the smallest vintage in 60 years.

In the Seattle Times, Andy Perdue profiles winemaker Seth Kitzke.



Daily Wine News: Slim Chances

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-09-2017

Making-It-Easy-Understanding-Cru-Bourgeois_i1140Jancis Robinson comments on Bordeaux Crus Bourgeois wines. “Crus bourgeois come with a sticker that can be read with a smartphone to reveal the background to all wines…I fear the chances of these wines attracting the attention of a counterfeiter are rather limited at the moment.”

Over on SevenFifty Daily, Jancis Robinson shares tips for women in wine during the sixth annual Women in Wine Leadership Symposium.

Liza B. Zimmerman looks at the ways delivery services are changing the way we think about wine in Wine-Searcher.

Save your money and don’t waste it on the new Coravin device designed specifically for screw-cap wines, says Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post.

In Beverage Media, Kristen Bieler looks at how the Navarra region is looking beyond rosado and making quality-driven changes in vineyards and cellars.

Grape Collective talks with Spanish natural wine pioneer Alfredo Maestro about his journey into natural wine.

Josh Raynolds covers the vastness of Australian wines in Vinous.

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph ponders how wineries might utilize Augmented Reality in the future.

Daily Wine News: Poorest Harvest in 36 Years

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-06-2017

Vineyards in Valpolicella. (Source: Wikimedia)

Vineyards in Valpolicella. (Source: Wikimedia)

The 2017 EU harvest is “expected to result in the poorest wine grape harvest in 36 years,” reports Reuters.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov, Florence Fabricant, and Justin Timsit conduct a tasting of 20 Valpolicella wines. “Some of the wines seemed modern and highly polished, which made them less distinctive. But the best were quintessential Italian reds, balancing the flavors of sweet cherry fruit with a tart, earthy quality and a welcome bitterness that refreshed.”

A stash of hand grenades from WWII was recently discovered near St-Emilion vineyards. In Decanter, Jane Anson explores how Bordeaux’s Right Bank fared as a dividing line between the German Occupation and the Resistance in Vichy France.

Wine can see us through difficult times and also uncork happy memories. Lettie Teague considers the many ways a wine can resonate in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

Wines & Vines reports on how UC Davis researchers are studying oral surface interactions to understand mouthfeel perception.

In VinePair, Courtney Schiessl ponders the question: Does sommelier certification matter?

Grape Collective talks with Michael Smith, whose OR winery on Long Island is the region’s smallest.

In Punch, Megan Krigbaum goes inside the wine cellar at Birmingham’s Highlands Bar and Grill.

Daily Wine News: Score Inflation

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-05-2017

100_pointsJamie Goode considers score inflation and how it’s killing wine criticism. “This score inflation is caused by competition among critics, big egos, and the fact that these critics like being liked… I’m not sure whether the 100 point scale can be saved. These critics show no signs of slowing down, and the score creep continues.”

“Is Soave a cheap, downmarket white of neutral character, inoffensive but unexciting, or Italy’s most stylish white wine, capable of complexity and nuance?” In Meininger’s, Giles Fallowfield looks at the difficulty facing the Soave region.

In the World of Fine Wine, Katherine Houston ventures along the Route des Vins du Beaujolais, and sees how Beaujolais is repositioning itself in the 21st century.

“While modern society’s wine tastes run dry, with dry white and red wines attracting the most attention and recording the biggest sales, it was sweet wines that were important throughout much of history,” says Ian D’Agata, who covers Italy’s late harvest and air-dried sweet red wines in Vinous.

Ferrari-Carano remembers Donald Louis Carano, founder of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, who died Mon. Oct. 3. He was 85.

“The first known commercial crop of California-grown Mencia, a red wine grape variety native to Spain, was harvested September 14 from Silvaspoons Vineyards near Galt, located in the Alta Mesa sub-appellation of the Lodi,” reports Ted Rieger in WineBusiness.com.

“If any grape can conquer mortality, it is surely Cabernet Sauvignon,” argues Nina Caplan in the New Statesman.

The Drinks Business highlights Australia’s top women winemakers.




Daily Wine News: Almost-Reds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 10-04-2017

(Source: Pixabay)

(Source: Pixabay)

“If only the term “red” weren’t being used already for wines of a very different shade, and “claret” had not become an artifact associated with long bygone times, it might be easier for what one is forced to describe as almost-reds to catch on.” David Schildknecht explores the history of fashions for “almost-red” wines in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

In SevenFifty Daily, Julie H. Case looks at how winemaker Andrew Davis—who left Argyle Winery in 2013 and launched his own business, The Radiant Sparkling Wine Company—is putting Willamette Valley sparkling wine on the world wine map.

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettman profiles Mexican-American winemakers in California. “Nowhere is the American dream more alive than in the hearts of immigrants, who overcome countless obstacles to strive for better lives in this country… Their stories are poignant reminders of how bravery, hard work and talent are still the primary keys to achieve success.”

W. Blake Gray reports on trouble brewing in the interstate wine business and what that means for shipping wines in Wine-Searcher.

Wines & Vines looks at how the cool-climate Rieslings from the Finger Lakes compare to those Rieslings from other regions in Washington, Alsace, and Germany.

Jon Bonné explores Southern Italy’s fiano wines in Punch. “My hope is that both fiano’s global spread, and some well-due love at home in Campania, continue to grow…”

In Roads & Kingdoms, Jackie Bryant visits a Hawaiian winery.

In VinePair, Courtney Schiessl talks traditional vs. modern wines.