Daily Wine News: Rioja’s Reign

Vineyards in Rioja. (Flickr: thirstforwine)

Lawrence Grabowski explores how Rioja became a global superstar in Wine Enthusiast. “A series of technological advances and ecological disasters from the 18th century to the late 20th century helped to not only improve the longevity of Rioja’s wine, but also make it one of Spain’s most famous wine regions.”

In Modern Farmer, I look into why alcoholic beverage producers are embracing regenerative agriculture. “Converting to regenerative farming processes can be a costly endeavor, but many believe the future of the land is worth it. That cost can be offset by higher profit margins that added-value products such as wine or cider make possible.”

The rosé category remains strong, but an influx of generic brands and the lingering impact of 2020 means it’s more crowded than ever. Will quality prevail? Jessica Dupuy takes a look at the category in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine Spectator, Mitch Frank profiles Carmelo Anthony and looks at how he’s sharing his passion for wine with fellow NBA players and through his wine-themed YouTube Series, What’s In Your Glass? (subscription req.)

The Russian River Winegrowers has begun the process to terminate Christopher Creek Winery following allegations of sexual assault against its co-owner Dominic Foppoli, reports Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle. The winery’s termination with take affect April 24.

In Club Oenologique, sommelier Julie Dupouy helps a wine-loving reader who has partially lost their sense of smell ease back into drinking low-tannin reds.

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 4/11/21

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren’t Flipboard inclined, here’s everything I’ve strained out of the wine-related muck for the week.

Four Women say Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli, ‘Prince’ of Wine Country, Sexually Assaulted Them
These allegations, deeply researched and reported, are shocking and disgusting.

Sonoma County wine industry group to expel Dominic Foppoli’s winery following sexual assault allegations
Not a moment too soon.

Sheriff’s Office opens investigation into Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli following sexual assault allegations
Let’s hope so.

Frost strikes European vineyards
This is the other big, very sad news this week.

French vineyards hit by ‘worst frost in decades’
More chilling news.

Tired of Tasting Notes? Not so Fast, Tough Guy
Terry Theise says take your complete sentences and shove them….

Terroir on a 100-Point Scale
I give Urziger Wurtzgarten 94 points.

Napa Launches $42m Fire Prevention Plan
Not a ton of details here other than “fire breaks and fuel reduction”, but that’s a good amount of money to start!

It’s Time to Forget the Old Rules of Wine Pairing
Ahem. Some of us have been saying this for years and years.

Rob Symington – environmental activist
No longer just any port in the storm.

In Acknowledging Its Uncomfortable History, The Australian Wine Industry Will Only Benefit.
This is a very interesting and important article to read if you’re interested in equity and racial justice.

The Differences Between Coastal and Inland Wine Regions
A primer of sorts.

Bordeaux 2020 vintage report – what to expect
Adam Lechmere runs it down.

In the right Society
This will be a foreign concept to Americans. Doesn’t it smell like socialism?

Turning the Tables on Tim Fish
Carl Gavanti interviews the long-time Wine Spectator writer.

Bordeaux converting to organic on a massive scale
Few details here to justify that adjective, but hard to argue this is anything but good.

Mess on the High Seas: That Imported Wine You Want Might Be Stuck on a Boat
But not likely in the Suez Canal.

A Starter Kit for Aspiring Wine Lovers
Eric Asimov gets down to the very basics.

French winemakers set candles and straw ablaze to save vines from frost
Scary times. Especially after an early bud break and unseasonably warm temps.

Organic viticulture ‘almost impossible’ in Champagne
I call BS on this, as does Champagne Louis Roederer.

Wine Influencers Inspire Strong Reactions. But What’s the Harm in Being ‘Liked’?
The clash of generations continues.

Valuing our old vines
Tim Atkin makes the case for preservation.

The Many Faces of Kalterersee
Everything you wanted to know about this little wine region.

What Is the Role of “Heimat” in Terroir?
Who doesn’t love the taste of home?

In the Sign of Subtlety
Everything you thought you knew about Pinot Blanc is wrong.

Drink More Scheu!
Don’t worry. It’s been de-Nazified. Twice!

Shimmering Schiller
Schiller? Never heard of it. But now I have to drink it!

José Vouillamoz on Swiss Wine Grapes
The man who knows.

Completer: The Answer to a Prayer
Your exploration of wine is not complete until, well, you know…

Reviewed: Louis Roederer’s new still Champagne wines
The story behind Champagne without bubbles.

Lockdown Saw Rise in Wine Domains and Wine Scammers

Is Trousseau’s Future in American Vineyards?
Maybe, but its present shines here.

Bollinger Champagne Owners Buy Oregon’s Ponzi Vineyards
The latest French buy-in.

Wine production up in Barbera d’Asti as Piedmont remains ‘resilient’
Nice to hear someone is doing OK amidst all this.

A Wine-Soaked True Crime Doc with ‘Fraud, Deception and Intrigue’
Sarah Daniels reviews the Kurniawan documentary.

The post Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 4/11/21 appeared first on Vinography.

Daily Wine News: Showcasing Scheurebe

A glass of Scheurebe.

In TRINK Magazine, Christoph Raffelt explores the history and future of Scheurebe. “Despite a rocky start, Scheurebe has become one of the most successful new German varieties. And since donning its new dry dress, it has earned itself a seat among the established aromatic grape varieties.”

According to Liza B. Zimmerman in Wine-Searcher, the Napa County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has committed to spend $42 million over a projected five-year period to prevent fires.

Jancis Robinson emphasizes the need to re-evaluate—and save—old vines.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at how pandemic supply chain issues have affected wine.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto visits Giovanni Bigot. “This 48-year-old agronomist and researcher from northeastern Italy’s Friuli region has developed an intriguing 100-point scale for measuring the potential of vineyards to produce great and unique wines. In other words, he’s scoring terroir—overlaid with vineyard practices and the overall health of the grapes.”

Jeff Jenssen highlights three Croatian white wine grapes in Wine Enthusiast.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov puts together a starter kit for aspiring wine lovers.

In Vinous, Neal Martin offers notes on recent vintages from South Africa.

Daily Wine News: Sexual Assault Allegations in Sonoma County

Dominic Foppoli.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on allegations of sexual assault against Dominic Foppoli, mayor of the Sonoma County town of Windsor and owner of Christopher Creek Winery. Wine critic Esther Mobley explains why it matters: “For anyone who follows California wine or local Wine Country politics, this is essential reading. It’s not just about one alleged bad actor. It’s about a system that allows bad behavior to occur and go unpunished—where an alleged rapist can not only wield influence through his businesses, but can also gain political power.”

In Eater, sommelier Bianca Sanon on why it’s time to rethink wine pairings. “Here’s an important thing to know: Most wines will taste pretty okay with most foods. So often people ask for a pairing suggestion to avoid the “wrong” wine that makes their food somehow inedible — that is actually pretty rare. Most wines will not turn your meal into an inedible mess.”

This week, winemakers from Bordeaux to Burgundy lit candles and even launched helicopters to help protect the young 2021 vintage from plunging temperatures, but there have been already been reports of severe damage to some vineyards, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

Bruce Sanderson also shares reports of frost damage in vineyards across France in Wine Spectator.

In Wine Enthusiast, Mekita Rivas talks to Texas winemakers about how they’re feeling after the statewide freeze. “Resiliency is nonnegotiable as a Texas winemaker. Varying microclimates, soils and topography can make grape growing especially challenging. Spring freezes and hail storms are added stresses that can plague the region and keep winemakers up at night. Still, many grape varieties do well in the heat of the Texas Hill Country…”

Also in Wine Enthusiast, Sarah E. Daniels writes about Sour Grapes, the documentary about Rudy K.

In Forbes, Amanda Schuster highlights five bottles that showcase the exciting winemaking happening in New Zealand.

Daily Wine News: What’s Wrong With Wine Influencers?

In Wine Enthusiast, Emily Saladino explores wine media’s opposition to influencers. “For my #twocents, I think influencers are an underutilized asset in wine. They can help struggling brands reposition themselves, engage new consumers and diversify the wine business. While the industry wrings its hands over how to capture millennials’ and Generation Z’s dollars amid competition from craft beer, spirits and cannabis, it could only help to meet potential customers where they are: social media… To a relentlessly optimistic person like myself, influencer marketing seems like a win-win for wine. Why, then, does it rouse such passion from established professionals who write think pieces? It might just be late adoption. Those with deep roots sometimes hesitate to embrace fresh shoots.”

Jamie Goode also offers his two cents on wine influencers. “Wine companies have been looking for ways to reach younger drinkers who aren’t in the typical catchment area of established media, and these new Influencers offer a potential route. Some of them are excellent, and offer a fresh, fun take on the world of wine. PR companies are tracking these new voices and looking for ways to work with them…But along with the positive attribute of acting as a platform for new forms of wine communication, Instagram has had a darker, murkier side…”

Sustainability is a much-used term worldwide. Cultivating countries set different priorities— and the social responsibility of producers is increasingly coming into focus. In Meininger’s, Alexandra Wrann explores the world of sustainability in wine.

Ponzi Vineyards, a pioneer of Oregon wine, has been acquired by the Bollinger family, owners of Champagne Bollinger. It’s Bollinger’s first winery purchase outside France.

On the Just Be Local podcast, Heather Griffin and Brian Brakesman, who own and run Napa Valley’s Summit Lake Vineyards with their father, talk about how small family wineries can adapt to changing times.

The LA Times’ Jenn Harris shares how a group of sommeliers saved a Los Angeles restaurant during the pandemic.

In VinePair, Nicole MacKay reports on how Okanagan Valley is working to become a global leader in certified wine production.

In Wine-Searcher, Margarent Rand on how Syrah’s ability to shape-shift can make it difficult to understand.

Daily Wine News: Trousseau’s Future


In SevenFifty Daily, Sophia McDonald considers Trousseau’s past in Europe, and the grape’s future in American vineyards. “The grape’s plantings have been increasing of late—yet far from its native territory. American winemakers throughout Oregon and California are cultivating both Trousseau Noir and Trousseau Gris to craft a range of intriguing still, sparkling, fortified, and skin-contact wines.”

Although no precise figures are as yet available, the wave of conversions to organic in the vineyards of Bordeaux is undoubtedly growing, says Vitisphere.

While Perrier-Jouët’s brand ambassador, Jonny Simms, says going organic would be “nirvana,” he believes practicing organic viticulture in Champagne is “almost impossible.”

On JancisRobinson.com, James Mayor looks at how Rob Symington, a fifth-generation digital native, is shaking up one of the best-known port shippers in its 140th year.

In Wine Enthusiast, Zoe Baillargeon explores how convicts and immigrants paved the way for Australia’s wine industry.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, J’Nai Gaither reports on phylloxera’s impact in Napa Valley.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks back 10 years after the publication of his first book about the business of wine, Wine Wars: the Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists.

Daily Wine News: Wine Glass Tariffs?

Are wine tariffs going to be replaced by wine glass tariffs? Alder Yarrow takes a look. “This time, thankfully, wine isn’t on the list of items to be taxed, but wine glasses are. Specifically, every expensive ($5 wholesale cost or more) wine glass made in Austria. That means Riedel, Zalto, MarkThomas, Gabriel-Glas, Sophienwald, and more would all get 25% more expensive if the proposed trade action goes into effect.”

“When the massive container ship Ever Given managed to wedge itself sideways in the Suez Canal on March 23, blocking traffic for nearly a week, it provided a fitting symbol for the state of global shipping in the past year.” In Wine Spectator, Collin Drezien reports on how shipping delays are affecting imported wines.

In VinePair, Tamara Gane explores the sustainability goals of Napa Green. “Between the two certifications, Napa Green works with individual wineries and vineyards to develop customized plans for sustainability all the way from soil to bottle. The program is not one size fits all. Instead, it takes into account participants’ current practices in order to set ambitious yet tangible goals for improvement.”

“Jackson Family Wines, the ninth largest wine company in the US, filed a lawsuit last month accusing Gallo, the world’s largest wine company, of infringing on Jackson Family’s copyright for La Crema with a new Gallo wine called Cask & Cream,” reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

“There are many things amiss in the nation’s wine scene.” In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan proposes six fixes to American wine.

In Eater, Noelle Allen on why it’s an exciting time to be a wine drinker in Philly.

In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider looks at the Bordeaux 2020 vintage.

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 4/4/21

Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren’t Flipboard inclined, here’s everything I’ve strained out of the wine-related muck for the week.

Survivor Vines
Stacy Briscoe visits the burn scars.

Why the 2020 Bordeaux Is Shaping Up to Be a Worthy Addition to Any Wine Cellar
If you have big bucks to spend.

After a Historic Freeze, Texas Winemakers Remain Hopeful
A different kind of ice wine.

Phylloxera In Napa Valley: Then and Now
Still an issue.

Wine Media Darling’s Reputation Takes a Hit
Some pretty disturbing allegations for Krista Scruggs.

Salma Hayek Says Her Pet Owl Kering “Likes Good Wine”
Might be nice for Salma, but can’t be good for the bird.

Grenache Three Ways, and Over Many Decades
Eric Asimov is back on the Grenache train.

How To Out-Fool Wine Fraudsters
Worth reading if only for the Norwegian wine joke.

‘I have put everything into my winery’
Surviving in South Africa.

Drinking Wine May Help Protect Against Cataracts
This one caught my eye.

Chianti Classico’s French Influence
The case against Cabernet.

The Bourgogne Wine Board Reminds Us to Stop Calling It ‘Burgundy’
Good luck with that.

What is the Future for Burgundy Wines in the U.S.?
Better now, without tariffs.

Meet Julien Fayard, the French Winemaker Bringing Skill and Emotion to Napa Valley
Sara Schneider offers a portrait.

Time to change: Adam Lechmere on diversity in the wine industry
Adam talks with Tahiira Habibi and others.

San Francisco may have a wine thief. And it looks like they’re into fancy Italian bottles
Hunt him down like a dog in the street!

Austria ‘one of the most exciting countries in Europe’ for orange wines
Bummed that I missed out on this webinar.

Fifty Shades of Syrah
But no masochism here.

Jackson versus Gallo: Label Wars 2
Blake Gray lays out the legal battle to come.

Wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma will never be the same. Here’s why that’s a good thing
Welcome to the age of experiences.

Winery Can’t Ban ‘Cellar Lives Matter’ Vest, Nlrb Judge Says
Interesting case that we haven’t heard much about.

U.S. Wine Is a Mess, Here’s How to Fix It
Sean Sullivan wants to be wine emperor. But he forgets about shipping.

The post Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 4/4/21 appeared first on Vinography.

Wine Tariffs to Be Replaced by Wine Glass Tariffs?!

First they came for our imported wines and sparkling wines. With a herculean effort and a bit of luck we finally seem to have averted an ongoing disaster.

But now they’re coming for our Zaltos, dammit!

Unless you were living under a rock, or don’t give a fig about wine, you will have heard that the horrific 25% tariffs on imported wines have been suspended for 4 months while the Biden Administration works out a permanent solution for the trade war over large aircraft subsidies.

But there is another trade dispute in progress that also threatened to impact the wine world this past year, through proposed taxes on sparkling wines. This other kerfuffle resulted from a Digital Services Tax imposed by France on the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Ultimately, the Trump administration opted to not include wine in the list of retaliatory tariffs.

But France wasn’t the only country that adopted a Digital Services Tax. And now Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the U.K. are under fire from the U.S. Trade Representative for their imposition of such taxes.

This time, thankfully, wine isn’t on the list of items to be taxed, but wine glasses are. Specifically, every expensive ($5 wholesale cost or more) wine glass made in Austria. That means Riedel, Zalto, MarkThomas, Gabriel-Glas, Sophienwald, and more would all get 25% more expensive if the proposed trade action goes into effect.

I’ll bet Jancis Robinson is pretty happy right now that her high-end glass is made in Slovenia.

These tariffs would go into effect on June 2nd if the parties don’t come to an agreement, so there’s still time to buy some very expensive glassware before it gets incredibly expensive.

The post Wine Tariffs to Be Replaced by Wine Glass Tariffs?! appeared first on Vinography.

Daily Wine News: Revisiting the Classics

“[Millennials are] poised to overtake fine-wine buying by 2027, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2019 State of the Wine Industry Report. Instead of preparing for that moment, though, lots of wine brands are wringing their hands about the demise of great wine, or pandering to young drinkers with lifestyle marketing. However, affordable, classic wines could be the antidote.” In Wine Enthusiast, Caroline Hatchett looks at how value-driven millennials could someday embrace the classic wines they’ve largely abandoned.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on an issue brewing between Staglin Family Vineyard, which wants to be able to host more visitors for wine tastings, and neighboring residents. “It’s another version of a story that’s appeared over and over again in Napa Valley, where the wine industry has increasingly found itself in conflict with the valley’s residents over land-use and tourism issues.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on recent allegations of sexual harassment by Zafa Wines’ Krista Scruggs, and other legal issues the Vermont winery has recently faced.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Grenache Three Ways, and announces what’s up next: wines under $10.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre explores the missions of two new wine clubs that aim to highlight underrepresented voices in the wine world.

With sour flavors trending in beer in cocktails, Emily Cappiello looks at what’s next for wine in VinePair.

In Decanter, Jane Anson checks in on the Bordeaux 2008 first growths. (subscription req.)