Daily Wine News: Franciacorta’s Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-06-2022

It’s been lauded by critics and somms for decades, so why aren’t Franciacorta’s sparkling wines more widely popular? Tom Hyland explores the region in Wine-Searcher. “As worldwide sales figures for Franciacorta have noticeably improved over the past 10 years, from 12 million bottles in 2012 to 20.7 million in 2021, Brescianini and his fellow producers can be proud of their consistent refinement in quality and style. Now the fine tuning of marketing is the next goal…”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at how California’s “class of 1972” wineries continue to raise the bar.

Sophia McDonald reports on how the glass bottle shortage and other supply chain issues are affecting Northwest wineries.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov explores Spanish white wines that look both to history and the future.

In Imbibe Magazine, Elaine Chukan Brown shares what excites her about the future of wine.

In Food & Wine, Nina Caplan offers a wine lover’s guide to Porto.

Alejandro Iglesias offers a 2022 Argentina harvest update in Decanter.

Daily Wine News: Supply Chain Woes

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-05-2022

In Imbibe Magazine, Miranda Rake reports on how supply chain woes are affecting the wine world. “Nearly everyone in the wine industry has been bending, curving, and pivoting at every turn to absorb cost increases in order to get wine into people’s hands.”

“As temperatures increase and draught intensifies, producers and industry experts in Oregon are wondering how the state’s trademark grape is going to fare,” writes Liza B. Zimmerman in Wine-Searcher. “With average temperatures on the rise over the last decades, there are concerns that this unabashedly Burgundian varietal may no longer be able to hit its usual, elegant high notes.”

In the New York Post, Jennifer Gould highlights a French company shipping wine to the US via sailboat.

Anna Lee C. Iijima explores the history of Rhône Valley white wines in Wine Enthusiast.

The Duckhorn Portfolio Inc. has bolstered its presence on California’s Central Coast by purchasing 107 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA, reports Martin Green in Decanter.

In SevenFifty Daily, Courtney Schiessl Magrini details what you need to know about Chianti Classico’s new UGAs.

In the Independent, Louise Boyle looks at how scientists are trying to save American wine from smoke-damaged grapes as wildfires sweep the West.

Daily Wine News: Worker Safety

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-04-2022

A worked hand harvesting grapes. (Wikimedia)

As the West learns to live with the constant threat of extreme heat and wildfire, wineries are adapting their vineyard practices with workers top of mind. Elisabeth Sherman reports on what these changes entail in Modern Farmer. “…making changes to harvest procedure, whether it’s a new type of tractor, higher pay or ceasing operations altogether until the vineyard cools down, are all worth it to make sure laborers can work in sustainable conditions.”

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on how Bay Area vintners are turning to recycled water for vineyard irrigation. Building pipelines to carry this water can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but some vineyard owners say it’s worth it, and it’s cheaper than trucking in water.

Elsewhere in the Chronicle, Jess Lander remembers Jack Cakebread.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kathleen Willcox highlights wineries that offer unique treehouse wine tastings.

Deborah Parker Wong explores sustainability certifications in Wine Industry Advisor.

The New York Times’ Florence Fabricant highlights Joe Campanale’s new book, Vino: The Essential Guide to Real Italian Wine.

Chasity Cooper profiles Oregon’s Chevonne Ball in Imbibe Magazine.

Daily Wine News: Remembering Cakebread

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-03-2022


“From car mechanic and professional photographer to vintner, Jack Cakebread found success no matter where the road took him. Moving to Napa Valley in the 1970s, he launched Cakebread Cellars, and over the next five decades built it into an internationally recognized family-owned winery. Cakebread died April 26 at age 92.” Augustus Weed and Mitch Frank remember Cakebread in Wine Spectator. “At a time when the grape was gaining a following in California, he and his winery helped pioneer a rich, fruit-centered style that is still the basis for many modern Chardonnays.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Andrew Kaplan looks at how wine and spirits companies are navigating the supply chain chaos.

Nils Bernstein explores Mexican sparkling wine in Wine Enthusiast. “The region’s lack of appellation-based rules means there’s broad experimentation in terms of grapes and styles.”

In Forbes, Irene S. Levine reports on the long-awaited May 6, 2022 opening of the newest “International City of Gastronomy and Wine” (Cité Internationale de La Gastronomie et du Vin) in Dijon.

Verona is set to become the new home to Italy’s largest wine museum and visitor center, according to VinePair.

The rise of Cuvée Speciale bottlings of the famous Rhône wine has led to accusations of a lack of typicity and, even, drinkability. In Club Oenologique, Matt Walls explores the trend and suggests paths towards a happy compromise

On JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming considers the future of NFTs and wine.

Daily Wine News: Just a Sniff

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-02-2022

(Flickr: pedrosimoes7)

“Proofing bottles by smell alone is a common industry practice, though wine professionals are divided on the issue. Its purpose is to check for flaws: “Is this wine correct?” rather than, “Do I like this wine?” But can a wine be judged by nose alone?” In the Drop, Leyden Pavlova explores why tasting is just as important—if not more than—smelling a wine when assessing it.

Margaret Rand reports on the 2021 Bordeaux vintage in Wine-Searcher. “At the top end, there will be some very good wines, in spite of the difficulties of the year. Nobody’s talking about a superb vintage; nobody’s saying that this is a year you simply have to have in your cellar. What they’re saying is that people will buy.”

Decanter talks with Lingua Franca founder Larry Stone about the sale of his winery to Constellation Brands, and the role that Covid and wildfires played in the decision.

In Club Oenologique, Adam Lechmere says there’s a Rhône white wine revolution underway.

Betsy Andrews considers whether or not multi-vintage wines can help offset the unsustainable aspects of vintage-driven production in VinePair.

Is bourbon barrel-aged wine a passing fad or here to stay? Sarah Phillips McCartan takes a look at the numbers in Meininger’s.

In Wine Enthusiast, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen on the important role of sugar in wine.

Daily Wine News: Napa Responds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-29-2022

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley and Jess Lander respond to Lettie Teague’s recent piece about how expensive Napa’s gotten. “Locals, including these two Bay Area wine writers, can’t deny that Napa Valley prices have risen significantly over the past few years…But the article also has many locals feeling defensive. The reasons why it costs a lot to visit Napa aren’t due to the wine industry’s greed, they say, but rather to a web of factors much more complicated than what the Journal story acknowledges.”

In Wine Spectator, Tim Fish and Aaron Romano report on how late-spring frost in Oregon and California could impact the 2022 crop.

Tokaj, Hungary’s famous sweet wine region, could be striding towards a crisis, producers tell the Drinks Business, as highly skilled, mostly female pickers approach retirement age, with no one to replace them.

Despite difficult growing conditions, global wine production in 2021 was not as bad as previously feared, with annual production just slightly lower than in 2020, reports Katharine Swindells in the World of Fine Wine.

In VinePair, Rebecca Ann Hughs looks at how freak frost, rising temperatures and sodden vineyards brought upon by climate change is pushing French winemakers to rethink old practices.

Dave McIntyre considers the future of the Saperavi grape in America in the Washington Post.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague polled wine pros on their favorite glasses for Champagne.

Daily Wine News: Reconsiderations

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-28-2022

(Flickr: andyket)

In SevenFifty Daily, Elizabeth Gabay looks at how southern French winemakers are adapting their rosés to climate change. “2021 highlighted the challenges that climate change poses to winemakers throughout southern France, particularly when it comes to their much-loved rosés. Some producers are adapting to maintain their house styles, while others are embracing change by experimenting with new sites and varieties—and all are taking steps to manage and combat the effects of climate change going forward.”

Kevin Harvey of Rhys Vineyards makes terrific pinot noirs. Now he sees nebbiolo and two Sicilian varieties as great options in a warming climate. In the New York Times, Eric Asimov reports on recent developments in the Centennial Mountain vineyard.

In VinePair, Oset Babür-Winter talks to Jancis Robinson about sustainability issues in wine.

The long-term impact on the Ukrainian wine industry is unclear. Miquel Hudin explores the past, present and future for the country’s wineries in Decanter.

In Wine Enthusiast, Caroline Hatchett explores the complicated relationship between wine and wrestling. “Anyone shocked by this storytelling turn hasn’t paid much attention to the seismic shifts occurring in professional wrestling—or wine.”

In the Buyer, Peter Dean checks in on Canadian wine. “The regional differences, the use of the key grape varieties and the increasing quality of the main wine categories – sparkling, Icewine, still red and white wines – means that Canadian wine is becoming clearer and more distinct.”

According to the Drop, the power lunch is back.

Daily Wine News: Smoke & Science

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-27-2022

In New York Magazine, Benjamin Wallace reports on how growers, vintners, and scientists are scrambling to protect California’s prized Napa Cabs from the aftertaste of wildfires. “The 2020 fires were a turning point for Napa’s grape growers and winemakers. The first of them hit earlier in the season than the 2017 fires had, and many grapes were vulnerable because they hadn’t yet been harvested. And when the Glass Fire arrived in late September, it devastated the later-ripening varieties still on the vine — in particular, Cabernet Sauvignon, the grape with which Napa is almost synonymous and the basis for California’s preeminent luxury export.”

From Brad Pitt to Penfolds, high-end winemakers are betting on the buzzy blockchain investment. But should you? Elin McCoy delves into the answer in Bloomberg.

Franco Allegrini, one of Northern Italy’s most influential winemakers, died April 23 at his home in the Valpolicella hills west of Verona, after a years-long battle with cancer, reports Wine Spectator. He was 65.

Pierre Lafond, the Montreal-born entrepreneur who ushered in the region’s modern era of commercial winemaking by founding Santa Barbara Winery 60 years ago, died on Sunday morning, reports Matt Kettmann. He was 92 years old.

In VICE, Romano Santos explores soursop, mangosteen and bugnay wines.

Katie Kelly Bell offers a spring buying guide to rosé wine in Forbes.

In Wine Enthusiast, Christina Pickard dives into what “funky” means when we talk about wine.

Daily Wine News: Future of Winegrowing

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-26-2022

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

In Wine Spectator, renowned atmospheric scientist Gregory Jones, also an Oregon winery owner, discusses the past, present and future of winegrowing in changing climates.

In a bid to mitigate against climate change, Napa’s famed Cabernet Sauvignon may need to shift terroirs, reports Kathleen Willcox in Wine-Searcher. “While we have larger issues to contend with vis a vis climate change than one premium region becoming less so for the growth and production of a luxury item, the Napa Valley wine industry does generate an estimated $50 billion annually in economic activity, and provides employment for more than 300,000 people. And Cabernet Sauvignon is synonymous with that success.”

The Napa Valley Register looks at how the region’s wineries are working to create fire-ready vineyards and landscapes, with some advice on how the community can prepare for wildfire.

On JancisRobinson.com, Tamlyn Currin explores the growing importance of regenerative viticulture. (subscription req.)

Alder Yarrow explores the wines of Col Solare Winery and shares the story of how Marchese Piero Antinori ended up establishing a winery in Washington State.

Eastern Europe wineries are in turmoil as the ware in Ukraine rages on, reports Rebecca Holland in the Washington Post.

In Wine Enthusiast, Alexander Peartree chats rosé with Wöllfer Estate’s Roman Roth.

Norm Roby looks at the wineries that kickstarted the California wine boom in the early ‘70s, when many owners changed careers to enter the wine business.

Daily Wine News: Affording Napa

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-25-2022

(Source: Visit Napa Valley)

Who can afford Napa now? In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague talks to key figures in Napa wine and tourism about their perspectives on the changing region. (subscription req.)

After a string of stellar vintages, the reaction to Bordeaux 2021 looks set to be lukewarm at best. In Club Oenologique, Panos Kakaviatos takes the temperature in the region ahead of the official en primeur tastings.

On JancisRobinson.com, Elaine Chukan Brown takes a look at Vermont’s hybrid scene. (subscription req.)

Is it time to give up glass wine bottles? Samantha Maxwell explores how to get past glass in VinePair.

In the Drop, James Lawrence explores the rise of multi-vintage wines—no longer confined to sparkling wine.

The New Zealand wine trade has revealed that more than 96% of the country’s vineyards are now officially certified as sustainable.

The last two years have been a great challenge for the Australian wine industry. Jeni Port gives an overview of recent developments and possible solutions in Meininger’s.