Daily Wine News: Changing Perceptions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-17-2021

“I think we can draw a parallel between the Olympics and the wine world. Like those so-called proper sports, certain wine regions are deemed to be worthy of greater reverence. For all the changes that have taken place in the last 30 years – the rise and rise of the New World and the ease with which winemakers and their ideas have crossed the globe – the pinnacle of wine quality is still French to most people. Collectors feel the same way,” writes Tim Atkin on his site. “That perception needs challenging. Like the idea that terroir is historic and only occurs in certain hallowed places, such as, say, Barolo, the Médoc, the Mosel or the Côte d’Or, the notion that traditional European wine regions, most notably those in France, have no peers elsewhere is ludicrous.”

“Denigration marketing is bad for the wine industry,” says Tom Wark, who finds descriptions like “toxic” and “poisonous” as unhelpful. “It gives the impression that the wine industry can’t be trusted; that the makers of wine have no integrity; that they don’t care about the environment; that they don’t care about their customers. None of this is true. But say it over and over again like Dry Farm Wines does and people start to believe it.”

On WineBusiness.com, Kerana Todorv considers the impact of California’s drought on this year’s bulk wine market.

In Wine Spectator, Bruce Sanderson reports on the changes afoot at the Piedmont’s Massolino, including a new Barbaresco and a rebranding of its iconic Barolo Vigna Rionda.

Alder Yarrow explores the wines of Domaine Curtet from the Savoie region of France. “I’ll put it bluntly. I don’t think I’ve met 30-year-old vigneron with more promise or conviction in my life, and I can’t wait to see what Curtet and his wife will have managed to produce in 10 years, when their vineyards look more like wild orchards, and his new plantings have some more complexity that comes with maturity.”

In Meininger’s, James Lawrence details who’s who in Catalunya.

Daily Wine News: Mexico’s Wine Revival

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-16-2021

Adobe Guadalupe Winery in Mexico. (Photo: Wikimedia)

In the Guardian, David Agren looks at Mexico’s wine revival. “Vineyards are blooming in the desert of Coahuila state, where the wine business is burgeoning in a revival of a tradition dating back more than 400 years… regions such as the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California have become known internationally. Now attention is turning to other parts of Mexico – such as Rancho El Fortín, a patch of Coahuila vineyards nestled in the mountains near the Texas border.”

“Nate Bentley of Old Salt Cellars in Salem [Oregon] is taking the phrase “putting out fires at work” to heart. Bentley is quitting winemaking to fight actual fires,” reports Michael Alberty in the Oregonian. “Oregon’s devastating 2020 wildfires convinced Bentley it was time to trade barrels and bottles for a hook-and-ladder.”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Esther Mobley considers the ways in which natural wine’s influence has exploded during the last few years in California.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher delve into the impact of climate change on New York wine regions.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Joshua Greene pays tribute to Mark Tarlov, Hollywood producer turned Oregon vintner, who recently died. He was 69.

Deirdre Heekin of La Garagista joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss winemaking and the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.

In Wine-Searcher, Dusan Bradanovich highlights a range of non-alcoholic drinks.

Céline Bossart highlights Manhattan’s new guard of wine pros in Saveur.

Daily Wine News: Zero-Zero Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-13-2021


Photo by Thomas Schaefer on Unsplash

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley delves into the emerging category of zero-zero wine. “These new winemakers abide by a more extreme version: “zero zero” wine, in which they add nothing to the grapes as they ferment. That means no yeast, no nutrients, no acid, no water, no preservatives. Unlike most natural winemakers, who accept some interventions in small degrees, the zero-zero crowd draws a hard line, often explaining their approach with the catchphrase “nothing added and nothing taken away…If natural wine felt experimental and cool, its zero-zero subcategory feels even more so.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov does a study of contrasts in Paso Robles, where two vineyards have very different levels of rainfall. “This is a story of two wine producers in the Paso Robles region. They are different in size, background and intent, yet they have important elements in common, starting with a commitment to the land and to creating diverse, sustainable ecosystems. One is thriving, the other struggling to survive.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Samantha Facciolo explores Delaware’s burgeoning wine industry and the challenges it faces ahead. “The legislation and pro-business mentality that helped Delaware’s wine industry grow also permits commercial and residential development. Some winemakers feel their burgeoning businesses are threatened by new housing for retirees, former city dwellers and remote workers moving to the beachfront area.”

In Sunset Magazine, Kristin Scharkey reports on how California wineries are going beyond traditional wine clubs offering with perks like complimentary pool access, preferred hotel rates, or a trip to an animal sanctuary and regenerative farm.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explains how climate change affects a wine region.

On his blog, Jamie Goode offers an overview of the wines from Spain’s Ribera del Duero region.

Is it time to reconsider White Zinfandel? In the Drop, Stacey Lastoe highlights the wineries rediscovering the style.

In Decanter, Eamonn Forde explains how NFTs could have interesting implications for buying wine.

Daily Wine News: Greek Revival

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-12-2021

(Source: Wikimedia)

“The fatal fires have wreaked havoc across Greece, Turkey and Italy as temperatures have soared to as high as 48C (118F), nudging the highest recorded temperatures in European history,” reports Kathleen Willcox in Wine-Searcher. “Most people accept that this is as a result of climate change, but could Greece – despite its current, ironic position as the focal point for the Mediterranean wildfires – actually point the way to saving the rest of the wine world from the effects of climate change and extreme heat?”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at the winners of Murphy-Goode’s viral Really Good Job campaign. “The job contest sounded like it was crafted to become a viral headline — $10,000 a month and rent-free living in Sonoma County?! — and its winners seem chosen, at least in part, for their social media savvy…Paying those salaries may on some level simply be an alternative way of paying for influencer marketing and targeting one of wine’s most elusive and sought-after audiences: younger drinkers who spend their time on social media.”

In Food & Wine, Hannah Kirshner traces the surprisingly deep roots of winemaking in the heart of Japan’s modern-day wine country.

Wineries should require proof of vaccination to taste indoors, says Alder Yarrow. “Wine Country has the opportunity to be a leader in public health and safety.”

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph questions some popular memes that celebrate regular wine consumption.

Janice Williams explores the enduring appeal of buttery Chardonnay in the Drop.

Oregon Business looks at how the state’s wine industry is making a comeback after the devastating of the 2020 pandemic.

Daily Wine News: Organic v. Conventional

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-11-2021

An organic vineyard in Austria. (Wikimedia)

In SevenFifty Daily, Pam Strayer explores why organic winegrowing can be more profitable than conventional methods in the long run. “As organic farming has grown, so have the products that support it, making organic farming more feasible and profitable than it once was… But profitability isn’t just about costs—it’s about revenue as well. Recent studies have suggested that the market for organic wines is stronger than for conventional ones.”

In Wine Spectator, Julie Harans profiles Vincent Morrow, the Napa Press wine director working to usher the Court of Master Sommeliers into an inclusive next chapter.

On WineBusiness.com, Kerana Todorv reports on how drone technology to spray vineyards is gaining popularity.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jahdé Marley looks at the taxes, tiers and other ways Prohibition still restricts U.S. wine.

Pinot Grigio rosé? An international study aims to compare different clones of the grape for producing pink-hued wines with.

In the Drop, Stacy Briscoe highlights the California winemakers signing up to fight wildfires for volunteer fire academies.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, ponders what wine can learn from the cruise ship industry.

Daily Wine News: Consider the Wine Blog

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-10-2021

Tom Wark reconsiders the wine blog category. “Segregating out wine blogs from other types of publishing vehicles made sense for a time. There was a time, such as when the Wine Bloggers Conference first was held in 2008, when blogs and the independent voices they supported were not just novel but something worth gawking at…Thirteen years later we know the answer to that question. Not only is the utility of the blog well-established, but they have also become an integral part of the wine mediaverse. And if I’m right about this, then it begs the question, what is the value of identifying an article running in a blog as anything other than simply an article?”

In the Drop, Jeff Siegel delves into the history of Merlot’s unpopularity. “Merlot was in trouble even before the movie Sideways finished it off in 2004. In 2000, the New York Times reported that a sweet pink wine called white Merlot was becoming popular, mostly to “give California winemakers something to do with a glut of merlot grapes.” There were so many grapes, in fact, that the price of Merlot had dropped in half between 1995 and 2000.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Amy Zavatto reports on the new era of Cognac that’s emerging. “Many smaller Cognac producers now farm organically, reject additives and embrace variation in vintages, be it through single-vintage bottlings or blending. Some use grapes beyond Cognac’s workhorse, Ugni Blanc, and experiment with various types of wood in aging. And, perhaps most vital, many explore new ways to commit to sustainability.”

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe highlights the rising winemaking stars of Etna.

In Decanter, Hugh Johnson makes the case for drinking more half bottles.

Alder Yarrow offers his thoughts on what makes a good BBQ wine on Coravin’s site.

Daily Wine News: French Wine Production Drops

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-09-2021

“France’s wine production is expected to tumble to historic lows this year,” reports Bloomberg. “Production for 2021 is estimated to be between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectoliters, according to preliminary figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food as of Aug. 1. That’s about 24% to 30% lower than last year, it said in a statement.”

Villa Maria, one of New Zealand’s biggest producers is to change ownership. In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph considers the importance of knowing a little more about the important players in the shadows of the wine industry.

In Wine Enthusiast, Mekita Rivas explores how the landscape of wedding wines continues to evolve.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, dark rosés, and announces what’s up next: white wine blends.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence continues his discussion of wine influencers.

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes talks to Maddalena Pasqua di Bisceglie about her natural approach to winemaking in Valpolicella, and some unusual methods such as placing speakers in the vineyards to play music to the vines.

In the Drop, Elaine Chukan Brown shares three bottles from women of color.

Daily Wine News: Bears No Fruit

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-06-2021

“Because of drought, one of Sonoma County’s best Syrah vineyards will bear no fruit this year. The grapevines at Griffin’s Lair Vineyard in Petaluma are parched, said owner John Flynn,” reports Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s a stark reminder that climate change is already making a fundamental impact on Wine Country.”

“Simon Tolley Wines in Adelaide Hills has joined a research project created to look at how smoke tainted grapes may still be used to make spirits. It’s part of a larger investigation into the effects of climate change on brandy production in Australia.” Chris Mercer has the details in Decanter.

Can both cutting-edge technology and character coexist in winemaking? Tim McKirdy asks the big questions in VinePair. “Is a winery’s pursuit of perfection — its quest to stamp out every flaw that may arise on a grape’s journey from vineyard to bottle — ultimately worth it if it risks losing the intangible romanticism of traditional winemaking? Or is that very argument just a cleverly calculated concept, conceived to excuse the industry’s inertia?”

In the World of Fine Wine, Chloe Ashton looks back on the Bordeaux en primeur 2020 campaign and picks out the wines that represented the best value and are still available to buy.

In Vinous, Joaquín Hidalgo offers an update on the 2021 season in Chile. “To sum up, for some regions, the 2021 season in Chile had its rough patches, while for others it was smooth as silk.”

Eater highlights a handful of canned wines for hot days.

In the Drop, Jeff Siegel explores the past, present, and future of Texas wine.

Daily Wine News: Grapes Return

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-05-2021

“Picpoul means “lip stinger” in French, which is a nod to this white grape’s ability to produce very high-acid wines. And traditionally, that’s what people have expected from it—a refreshing vin de soif (“thirst quencher”) to be served alongside plates of oysters on a hot day. But Picpoul can sing more than one simple note.” In SevenFifty Daily, Sophia McDonald looks at how French and American winemakers are making textured, age-worthy wines from Picpoul.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores Aligoté’s return to Burgundy. “After a period of long neglect, in which it was relegated to a low-budget ingredient of Kir cocktails, the grape variety is experiencing something of a renaissance.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone reports on how climate change is forcing California winemakers to reconsider what grapes grow where. “For decades, California winemakers have long thought of the Winkler Index as gospel. Developed in the 1940s by two professors at the University of California at Davis (U.C. Davis), the Index uses regional climate conditions to determine the best places to grow a wide range of wine grapes… On July 22, U.C. Davis announced it would update the Index for the first time in more than 75 years. This new reality has profound implications for what we grow, make and drink in the future.”

On JancisRobinson.com, Samantha Cole-Johnson charts the history of vineyard management companies in Napa Valley. (subscription req.)

In the Drop, Henry Jeffreys looks back on 100 years of Blue Nun.

In VinePair, Millie Milliken explores the category of English still wine. “Finally, English still wines are on the map — albeit mainly domestically. So who’s paving the way for the English still wine market? And which winemakers should you be looking out for?”

Tom Wark ponders “the real threat of counterfeit wine from wholesalers.”

Daily Wine News: Ahr Valley Update

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 08-04-2021

Recent flooding in the Ahr Valley.

Meininger’s offers an update on the situation in the Ahr Valley. “The cellar masters are still salvaging and checking whether barrels have remained intact. The three vinotheques of the winegrowers’ cooperative have all become unusable… Despite all the efforts in the vineyard, with winemakers from other growing areas helping out with the foliage work and helicopters with a special permit taking over the spraying, there are question marks behind the harvest.”

Researchers have found the ruins of a ship believed to have been transporting wine and olive oil in the Mediterranean more than 2,000 years ago. Chris Mercer has the details in Decanter.

“If you are a Gen Xer who is tired of hearing about the wine industry’s neverending pursuit of Millennials, here’s good news: Gen-Xers are wine’s most important customers. And, surprisingly, refusing-to-go-quietly Baby Boomers aren’t far behind.” W. Blake Gray looks at recent wine consumer data in Wine-Searcher.

A mainstay of the Napa wine industry for four decades, Rosemary Cakebread is no stranger to premium Napa wines. She talks to the Drinks Business about a special Californian collaboration, creating wine over Zoom and how the pandemic has made her feel even more connected to the land.

In Wine Enthusiast, Alexander Peartree profiles the winemakers reviving the ancient Italian region of Basilicata.

In the Drop, Janice Williams explores the wonder of wines from Santa Barbara.

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle highlights low- and no-alcohol wines.