Daily Wine News: The End of Dirty & Rowdy

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-09-2021

“One of California’s most cutting-edge wine brands is dissolving. Napa’s Dirty & Rowdy Wine Co., which has developed a devoted following for its experimental, genre-defying Mourvedres, is shutting down after 11 years,” reports Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Winemaker Hardy Wallace said that he had ended his partnership with co-founder Matt Richardson as of Wednesday…As his next act, Wallace is partnering with his wife Kate Graham to launch their own wine label, called Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah!”

In Wine Enthusiast, Crystal Hammon explores the business of sweet wines in the Midwest.

In Bon Appétit, Joseph Hernandez explores the transportive quality of island wines.

Jeff Siegel delves into why it costs so much to ship a box of wine in the Drop.

On JancisRobinson.com, Caroline Gilby outlines how important women are in Slovenian wine.

In Grape Collective, Brittney Abell talks to Barbara Gross of Cooper Mountain Vineyards about organic winemaking in Oregon and the future of communication in the wine industry.

Americans have rediscovered their love of Bordeaux, but is the relationship sustainable in the long term? James Lawrence ponders the answer in Wine-Searcher.

Daily Wine News: Native Grapes

Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-08-2021

(Photo credit: TerraVox)

In Wine Spectator, MaryAnn Worobiec reports on how TerraVox winery in Missouri is cultivating grapes native to North America—a mix of red, white and pink varieties with names including Captivator, Ellen Scott, Muench, Lomanto, Cloeta, Delicatessen, Wine King and Stark Star. (subscription req.)

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna Lee C. Iijima reports on how climate change has impacted where grapes are grown in the Southern Rhône. “Throughout the Southern Rhône, a steady annual increase in temperature has expanded the possibilities for viticulture into a diversity of hillside terroirs rimming the valley… As climate change confronts the sustainability of grape growing in the historic flatlands of the Southern Rhône, how much more elevation is left to explore?”

In the Wine Industry Advisor, Paul Vigna highlights Philosophy Winery, Maryland’s first Black-owned winery.

Politics and wine are aligning in Spain as the industry—and the country—struggles to hold together. James Lawrence looks at the parallels in Wine-Searcher.

In the Drop, Tina Caputo explores how oak, clay, concrete and stainless steel impart different flavors and aromas in a wine, and how to tell which fermentation vessel(s) was used the next time you stick your nose in a glass.

In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider looks back on 20 years of wines from abstract artist/winemaker Bibi Graetz.

Frank Morgan shares details on Virginia’s newest American Viticultural Area, the state’s eighth: the Virginia Peninsula AVA.

Daily Wine News: Experimentation

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-07-2021

Vineyard in Willamette Valley. (Wikimedia)

In VinePair, Rachel Tepper Paley looks at how Willamette Valley wineries are experimenting with lesser-known varieties with promising success. “Pinot Noir is the region’s most famous varietal, and for good reason: The thin-skinned grape thrives in Willamette Valley’s mild year-round climate…But the Willamette Valley is still nascent as wine regions go, only officially established in 1983. A growing chorus of vintners say there’s still much to learn about what grapes might prosper there.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Stacy Briscoe explores Randall Grahm’s quest for a sense of place at Popelouchum estate, where he is dabbling with what he calls “varietal auto-tuning.”

Roederer moves on from non-vintage Champagne, opting for multivintage instead, reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher. “The most interesting part, to me, is that Roederer is abandoning the idea of achieving a consistent house style for its entry-level Champagne. Instead, each annual release from the Louis Roederer Collection will be based on mostly wine from a specific vintage, augmented by two different types of reserve wine…”

Jancis Robinson MW OBE has sold her website to Recurrent Media, a venture capital business. In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph looks back on the many years of work that led up to the sale. “Over the last 20 years, that site has become an impressive media platform. She, and a growing number of contributors, have created and are constantly building a publication which, if it were available in print form, would arguably outclass everything else on the market in its combination of breadth and depth.”

Sacramento Magazine provides updates on Wine Country and the Caldor Fire.

Amanda Barnes explores the serious side of Vinho Verde in the Drop.

Daily Wine News: Changing Landscapes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-03-2021

Rising temperatures and the risk of wildfires have led some wineries to grow different types of grapes. And some regions that were long overlooked are now producing notable wines. In the New York Times, Paul Sullivan reports on how climate change is impacting wine.

Also in the New York Times, Eric Asimov pays tribute to Becky Wasserman. “Ms. Wasserman understood Burgundy. She understood wine and she understood people. And she could explain things in a way that was enlightening, offering not just answers but insights.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley is ready to talk about chillable reds. “Since the prime candidates for “chillable red” designation tend to be lighter-bodied, you might assume that fuller-bodied reds aren’t suited to chilling. I’m here to tell you that is false. Big, bold reds — Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs, Zinfandels — need to chill too, maybe even more than leaner reds do.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Nils Bernstein looks at Baja’s long winemaking history.

Kathleen Willcox explores the future of hybrid grapes in Wine Industry Advisor.

In the Robb Report, Caroline Hatchett on why the Jura is the next hot region for young collectors.

In Food & Wine, Mike Pomranz reports on how a new French oil company is making their new racing fuel from things “such as wine lees and grape pomace.”

Daily Wine News: Topless Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-02-2021

Is it time for wine to go topless? Kathleen Willcox explores the environmental implications of metallic wine capsules in Wine-Searcher.

Paso Robles-based Justin Vineyards and Winery’s owner, the Wonderful Company, is acquiring Napa’s Lewis Cellars, reports Wine Spectator.

“Lewis Cellars, an award-winning producer of high-end wines, will be the first Napa Valley winery under the ownership of the Wonderful Company, joining Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles and Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma,” reports Esther Mobley. “The Lewis Cellars property, on Big Ranch Rd. in Napa, includes a production winery but no estate vineyards.”

Aaron Ayscough explores the art of degassing wine in Wine Enthusiast. “The decision of whether to remove CO2 before bottling, and how much to remove via a process called degassing, is critical to the development of a wine’s final profile. Too much CO2 can prevent a wine from settling properly, resulting in a cloudy appearance.”

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Shawn Zylberberg talks to DLynn Proctor about his storied career.

In Beverage Media, Aleks Zecevic explores how Blaufränkisch is making a comeback in its native Austria and beyond.

In Decanter, Argentine winemaker Laura Catena of Bodega Catena Zapata shares her early wine memories and her hopes for the future.

Daily Wine News: Jancis Sells

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-01-2021

(Source: JancisRobinson.com)

Jancis Robinson posts an update on her site: “Conscious of my age and the need to assure an even brighter future for the site, and wanting to continue to improve it, I am delighted to announce that we have found the ideal partners to help shepherd JancisRobinson.com to its next chapter. As of today we are part of Recurrent Ventures, an innovative, US-based digital media company. I have no intention whatsoever of retiring. I shall continue to work my socks off doing the things I really enjoy: tasting and writing about wine, and travelling to the extent that is possible in this pandemic-restricted era. I just won’t have to worry about the less-interesting (to me) aspects of running the company.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on the sale of JancisRobinson.com to Recurrent Ventures, which has a digital-media portfolio that also includes Saveur and Popular Science. “It’s not yet clear how JancisRobinson.com’s devoted following, many of whom have been drawn to the site for its personal feeling and commitment to independence, will view the new deal.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Stacy Briscoe offers an update from Spring Mountain almost a year after last fall’s Glass Fire. Elsewhere, Briscoe explores what “reductive” means in wine.

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph sees a connection between global political trends and the evolution of the wine industry.

Rebecca Gibb explores how climate change is affecting Sancerre in Vinous.

“A winemaker in southwest France has invented and patented a new process that involves submerging wine barrels under water,” reports John Laurenson in Marketplace.


Daily Wine News: Sour Over Hybrids

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-31-2021

Jacquez, a hybrid grape. (Wikimedia)

In the New York Times, Norimitsu Onishi reports on how hardy American hybrids—which French authorities tried to outlaw for 87 years—are now giving renegade winemakers a lift as climate change and the natural wine movement change the country’s winemaking landscape. “With the growing threat of climate change and the backlash against the use of pesticides, Mr. Garnier is hoping that the forbidden grapes will be legalized and that France’s wine industry will open up to a new generation of hybrids — as Germany, Switzerland and other European nations already have.”

It’s a mainstay of Italy’s wine industry, but can Sangiovese really thrive beyond its native vineyards? In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig reports on how Sangiovese is struggling to gain a foothold in vineyards outside Italy.

In Wine Enthusiast, Matt Kettmann reports on California’s newest AVA—the Palos Verdes Peninsula American Viticultural Area, which was approved in June—where coastal wines are bring produced in Los Angeles County.

With a new owner and winemaker, Bella Oaks, one of Napa’s first single-vineyard Cabernet bottlings is making a comeback, reports James Molesworth in Wine Spectator. (subscription req.)

On Jeb Dunnuck’s site, R.H. Drexel explores Paso Robles, “the ideal Wine Country getaway.”

Alder Yarror offers his thoughts on the recent and upcoming releases from Corison Winery.

In the World of Fine Wine, Stuart Walton casts an historical eye over wine’s use as an aphrodisiac, from the Greek symposium to the findings of modern neuroscience.

Daily Wine News: Sheep Return

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-30-2021

Sheep grazing in a vineyard. (Flickr: Stefano Lubiana)

In Wine Enthusiast, Kathleen Willcox highlights the winemakers bringing sheep back to the vineyard. “While hard numbers are tough to come by, the use of sheep, and other animals, in vineyards is on the rise after about a century of decline… sheep help eliminate the need for chemicals, herbicides and fertilizers. They also help reduce tractor passes to take care of weeds with the built-in fertilizer their urine and feces provide. As an added bonus, the stimulation of sheep’s hooves helps build microflora in the soil and makes it more resilient to extreme cold and heat.”

For devotees, it is Italy’s most profound grape. For naysayers, it’s pale yet tannic. Now, collectors’ love affair with Burgundy is putting Nebbiolo in the spotlight—and not just in its Barolo and Barbaresco heartland, says Walter Speller in Club Oenologique.

In the Napa Valley Register, Sam Jones says that for many wineries, virtual tastings will persist well beyond the pandemic.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reports on a new executive order that aims to improve competition across several industries, including alcohol.

In the New York Times, Penelope Green pens an obituary for Rebecca “Becky” Wasserman-Hone, who helped put Burgundy on the U.S. map. She died on August 20 at 84.

Jeni Port looks at what’s behind the rise of Australia’s Heathcote region in the Drop.

In Meininger’s, James Lawrence searches for the Pinot Noir regions of the future.

Daily Wine News: Harvest, Interrupted

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-27-2021

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on how the Caldor Fire is throwing harvest into chaos in up-and-coming El Dorado wine country. “By now, winemakers throughout California are used to contending with smoke taint, since the ambient ash can spread far away from a blaze’s epicenter. But for the El Dorado wine community, facing the possibility of actual destruction by fire was a far less familiar feeling. There have been wildfires here before, including the 2014 Sand Fire, but the region has not been battered as hard as Bay Area wine regions in recent years, and many winemakers here report that they’ve never had to evacuate in the past.”

Because fewer glass containers are being recycled, entrepreneurs re-examine an old idea—reusable glass bottles—to increase wine industry sustainability. Roger Morris looks for the genie in the bottle in Meininger’s.

In Wine Spectator, MaryAnn Worobiec talks to sommelier and Hue Society founder Tahiirah Habibi about making wine inclusive and building community.

In Vinous, Josh Raynolds explores the changing perspectives in Beaujolais.

Farm Progress highlights new technology, using robotics and artificial intelligence, which can gather as much info on a leaf as an optical microscope in order to help identify grape diseases.

In the Drop, Lana Bortolot goes searching for value in the white wines of Bordeaux.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, considers the anatomy of the Prosecco DOC boom.

Daily Wine News: Indigenous Labels

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-26-2021

“Commune” wine from Peramangk Country.
Photo by Rachel Signer

In Wine Enthusiast, Rachel Signer reports on how some Australian winemakers are pushing to recognize Indigenous land names on their wine labels. “While some worry about tokenism, others believe these are enormously important changes. They represent not just semantic shifts, but also an effort for Australians to reckon with collective pasts—and futures.”

In VinePair, Layla Khoury-Hanold looks at how Oregon winemakers repurposed smoke-tainted wine grapes to make rosé. “Many winemakers employed techniques outside their usual winemaking processes, such as micro-fermentations, less skin contact (no cold soaks or extended maceration), use of activated carbon, or treatments such as adding yeast or oak, and hoping for the best.”

In Wine-Searcher, Christy Canterbury MW reflects on the loss of her friend and mentor, the Burgundy phenomenon Becky Wasserman-Hone.

Oset Babür profiles “Sauvignon Blanc Savant” and winemaker Chris Christensen in Food & Wine.

Lettie Teague highlights a number of fun winery T-shirts in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

In Club Oenologique, Chris Howard examines the overlaps of wine and waves by profiling some surfing winemakers.

In Decanter, Elizabeth Gabay MW charts the history of Domaines Ott and explores the winemaking philosophy at this highly regarded Provence producer, known for top rosé wines made across its three estates. (subscription req.)