Daily Wine News: Tariffs Update

Port wine glasses.

In Wine Spectator, Mitch Frank reports the Trump administration will keep the 25 percent tariffs imposed on most French, German, Spanish and U.K. wines for the foreseeable future, forcing wine lovers to pay more and inflicting economic distress on importers, retailers and restaurateurs just as the hospitality industry grapples with the impact of Covid-19.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe surveys Italy’s organic wine boom. “In fact, the country is the world leader in terms of the percentage of surface area dedicated to organic wine grapes.”

In Vinous, David Schildknecht offers his impressions of the 2018 Mosel vintage.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’s great taste in wine.

Napa Valley Vintners has invested an additional $250,000 in the Adventist Health St. Helena/St. Helena Hospital Foundation mobile health unit to expand its usage and provide Covid-19 testing for farmworkers, seniors and low-income community members.

Bottled wine imports of China dropped by one third in both volume and value during the first six months of 2020, reports Sylvia Wu in Decanter.

In Decanter, Charles Curtis offers a guide to Michigan wine. (subscription req.)

Michelle Bouffard looks at the impact of Covid-19 on the Canadian wine market in Meininger’s.

Daily Wine News: Old Vines

Old vines in Lodi, CA. (Source: Lodi Native)

Research from the University of Cape Town shows that using old vine fruit earns winemakers more money. This effort to quantify the gains, says Michael Fridjhon in Meininger’s, may help keep these treasured old vines alive.

In Harpers UK, Madeleine Waters looks at Lebanon’s deeply troubled wine sector. “Lebanon’s own currency, the Lira, which has been artificially pegged to the US dollar for over 20 years, has lost around 80% of its value over the last few months. Lebanon imports around 90% of what it consumes, including – crucially for the wine industry, bottles, corks and equipment – pretty much everything apart from the grapes grown in its near-perfect terroir. All these imports need to be paid for in dollars. But wine is one of Lebanon’s only exports, and therefore of huge importance, especially at this time.”

Alkali Rye, a new beverage shop in Oakland, is prioritizing producers from underrepresented backgrounds. Esther Mobley has the scoop in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In the Terroir Review, Meg Maker talks with La Garagista winemaker Deidre Heekin about her holistic approach to “wine” and her recent cider projects.

“Mike Lucia owns an entire Northern California wine appellation. The owner of Rootdown Wine Cellars recently bought the 150-acre Cole Ranch Appellation for $2.7 million,” reports David Caraccio in the Sacramento Bee. “Cole Ranch is the smallest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the country. The AVA has 55 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (26.5 acres), Pinot Noir (10.2 acres), Merlot (7 acres) and Riesling (11.5 acres) vines in Mendocino County. Chardonnay grapes also are grown there.”

In Decanter, James Button explores Northern Italian regions beyond Barolo, Barbaresco and Prosecco. (subscription req.)

Andrew Jefford charts the rise of rosé in the Financial Times. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Humanity & Wine

(Credit: Pixabay)

“Historically, it has not been the industry’s default position to speak about political things. It prioritizes the marketability of a particular winemaker’s point-of-view, or the low-key-but-significant endorsement from a media personality. It prizes provocative, eye-catching labels and bottle rarity. However, what we’re seeing now and can’t ignore is the industry’s complicity as it continues to suppress othered voices, distance marginalized populations and shame victims and survivors of abuse.” In PUNCH, sommelier Miguel de Leon launches a new series exploring where humanity interests with the story of modern wine.

The real threat to wine sales is being ignored, says Rob McMillan.

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph considers how much space and money could be if wine bottles were square instead of round. “When I’ve sought to discover why the wine industry has been so slow to explore alternative bottle shapes, I’ve been told that it would involve contravening appellation laws (almost never the case); it would cost too much (which would depend on the number of bottles and the retail price); and that consumers ‘just don’t want it’.  I’m sure this last assertion is true. Just as they famously didn’t ‘want’ a car before Henry Ford offered them one, or a way to carry their record collection around with them until Steve Jobs gave them the iPod.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Mark Stock looks at how Washington’s Walla Walla Valley is dealing with phylloxera for the first time.

With government land grabs, falling tourism, and no domestic sales, South African wineries are facing a bleak future. James Lawrence reports on how the country’s wine industry is suffering in Wine-Searcher.

Neal Martin offers his impressions of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage in Vinous.

“The Vacheron family, owners of Le Clos du Caillou, have purchased the 33-acre Domaine de Panisse in Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Olivier family,” reports Suzanne Mustacich in Wine Spectator.

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 8/9/20

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.

The Real Threat to Wine Sales is Being Ignored
Rob McMillan says we all need to tell the government something.

Walla Walla Confronts Phylloxera
The battle continues.

Portugal’s Vintners on the Forefront of Climate Change
Hotter, sooner.

The Judgment of Paris demonstrated nothing, statistically speaking
Except maybe the difference between statistics and news.

Adapting the Winery Experience to Make Guests Feel Safe During COVID-19
Examples of what people are doing.

North Coast 2020 grape harvest kicks off amid coronavirus concerns
The toughest harvest, perhaps?

From an Australian optimist
After the fires.

Carmen Stevens challenges the status quo
Q&A with another super hero.

North Coast wine grape harvest begins, and outlook for smaller crop is welcomed
Because labor will be short.

Lebanon’s deeply troubled wine sector
Drink Lebanese!

Michael Karam: Why Lebanon, its people & its wines deserve our help
Drink More Lebanese!

What Will Our Bars Become?
About cocktails but relevant to wine.

France’s changing wine industry
Running the numbers.

Battling the Shame of the Rosé
The premise of this article is off.

Beloved Wine Industry Pioneer, Warner Henry, Passes Away at Age 82
Helluva portfolio he built.

Wine Joins the 2020 Debate Over Privilege and Justice
Fascinating story.

California Rolls Out its Toughest Vintage
The COVID vintage.

The Industry Set Itself Up for a ‘Clean Wine’ Reckoning
Erica has some salient points to make.

France Will Spend Nearly $300 Million to Save Its Wine Industry
What are they spending to rescue the restaurant industry?

Sommelier Roundtable: Wine Surprises and Discoveries in Unusual Times
Survey of seven.

Glass Half Empty: Italy, France Seek Premium Wine Output Cut as Virus Hits Sales
The economics of COVID play out.

Bringing the Space Race to the Vineyard
Arguing about data.

This summer, orange (wine) is the new pink
The Japanese are turning orange.

Restaurants in Italy are reopening ancient ‘wine windows’ used during the plague
Not sure whether I want to patronize one, or open one.

Pretty in pink: the rise of rosé
Andrew Jefford on the turnaround.

Lebanon Is Producing Excellent Mountain Wines
Drink Lebanese more!

This Beachy Sliver of Sonoma Is Becoming One of America’s Most Important New Wine Regions
Go West!

These Black-Owned Wine Brands Are Producing Some Stellar Bottles For Summer
A shopping list, of sorts.

Covid Online Wine Boom Fizzles Out
Well, at least as online searches go. Let’s see the sales numbers.

How to repel fruit flies using wine corks
Now that’s a hack I have to try.

The post Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 8/9/20 appeared first on Vinography.

Daily Wine News: Wine, Post-Covid

(Source: Wikimedia)

“If the post-Covid consumer is as likely to pop a can of wine as unscrew a cap or pull a cork, in front of a computer, they are ready to challenge the very concept of whether wine is a luxury or not.” In Club Oenologique, Adam Lechmere considers how the way we relate to high-end wine and spirits and will to be very different in a post-Covid world.

Cirò is at the heart of a crucial wine transformation happening right now in Calabria, according to Grape Collective’s Marco Salerno.

The pandemic-induced online wine-buying boom is fizzling out, reports Don Kavanagh in Wine-Searcher.

Houston sommelier Justin Vann shares his view of how our changing times are changing wine in Houstonia Magazine.

Antonio Galloni offers an in-depth look at the 2018 Santa Barbara vintage in Vinous.

In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider explores the beauty of wines from the proposed West Sonoma Coast AVA.

Tom Mullen delves into Lebanese wine in Forbes.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy offers notes on Bollinger’s “baby brother” Champagne.

Daily Wine News: Local Wine Tourism

“With consumers hesitant to hop flights between states or countries, many wineries have noticed an uptick in local tourism.” In VinePair, Courtney Schiessl reports on how domestic travel is proving to be a lifeline for many wineries during the pandemic.

“Can a wine really be considered clean if consumers don’t even know what’s in the bottle? Is the expectation that wine drinkers just need to take a brand’s word for it?” Mekita Rivas considers the flaws of the widespread “clean wine” marketing term in Wine Enthusiast.

In the Buyer, Lebanese journalist and wine critic Michael Karam puts last week’s explosion in Beirut into context. With Lebanon’s wine industry already dependent on international sales for its future, now is a desperate time for all the support the international wine community can spare it.

“Treading grapes by foot is a centuries-old feature of producing some of the highest-quality Ports of Portugal’s Douro Valley – but this traditional practice is the latest casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Richard Woodard in Meininger’s.

David Morison considers France’s changing wine industry.

On JancisRobinson.com, Tim Jackson goes in search of premium Prosecco. (subscription req.)

In Vinous, Josh Raynolds explores the elegance of Oregon Pinot Noir.

Sarah Ahmed looks into the region of Vinho Verde in Decanter.

Daily Wine News: Reckonings Roll In

The industry set itself up for a “clean wine” reckoning, says VinePair EIC Erica Duecy. “The wine industry’s opaqueness about its practices has done two things: It has turned many consumers off wine to other categories, like RTDs, that provide adequate product labeling. It also created an information void that dubious marketers exploited, demonizing commercial wine to promote their “clean wine.” This type of marketing relies on customer misinformation about how wine is made to sell its products, and it is snowballing.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov reports on recent discussions resulting from accusations involving Valentina Passalacqua, a natural-wine producer whose father was arrested and accused of the systematic and illegal exploitation of migrant workers. “The Italian authorities have not suggested that Ms. Passalacqua was complicit in the crimes they say her father committed. But over the last month, many people in natural-wine circles, using the social justice language of 2020, turned on her, questioning both whether she was operating separately from her father and whether she had benefited from the economic privilege of his actions, regardless of her personal culpability… it should not be forgotten that this is ultimately a story about the vulnerability of agricultural workers and wine’s role in assuring them safe, humane and dignified working conditions.”

Dave McIntyre delves into the clean wine controversy in the Washington Post.

For some lighter news, medieval “wine windows” are reopening in Italy, reviving a plague tradition.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anne Krebiehl says the 2019 Austrian vintage is “glorious.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague on why second-label wines are a smart choice. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Natural Wine Clarity


In SevenFifty Daily, Jim Clarke looks at how a new definition aims to bring clarity and consensus to natural wine, yet it may have the opposite effect. “With a certification process established, it remains to be seen what it will mean to natural wine fans and wine drinkers more generally… Some natural wine supporters are concerned that certification also opens the door to large companies to produce certifiable natural wine that complies with the letter of the specifications but not the spirit of natural wine.”

France’s prime minister has promised to increase emergency funding to €250m to help alleviate a surplus wine crisis across the country in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

Spain’s tourism sector has been hit hard by Covid-19 and now Rioja is seeing cases continue to rise, James Lawrence reports in Meininger’s.

Can hip hop solve wine’s millennial problem? Janice Williams explores how briding the cultures between wine and hip hop could affect the industry in VinePair.

In Wine Spectator, Shawn Zylberberg talks to Carlton McCoy, CEO of Napa’s Heitz Cellar, about his incredible journey from high-school dropout to star sommelier to the upper crust of California Cabernet, and how the wine industry can become more inclusive.

Wine Enthusiast highlights their favorite canned wine spritzers.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray remembers Anderson Valley wine pioneer Milla Handley.

Daily Wine News: Rosautoctono

A new movement, dubbed Rosautoctono, aims to assert Italy’s historic rosa wines as more than just an afterthought. Katherine Cole delves into Italy’s history with rosé wines in PUNCH.

Every year, the number of French vineyards and wineries falls, as people retire or exit the business. In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph asks what can be done to reinvigorate the sector.

Hit harder than most wine regions by rising temperatures and drought, Portugal is emerging as a global leader in responding to the climate threat, reports Sophia McDonald in SevenFifty Daily.

On WineBusiness.com, Liz Thach talks to Black wine executive Stephen Sterling about what is working well, areas for improvement, and his suggestions to make a difference on race relations in the US wine industry.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, wonders what is going to happen to the value of the U.S. dollar as the coronavirus crisis considers to unfold, and considers how that will impact the wine industry.

In Wine Spectator, Emmalyse Brownstein discovers the world’s first and only train-station vineyard in Japan.

Emily Saladino talks to Post Malone about his rosé label in Wine Enthusiast.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patrick J. Comiskey reports on the rise of artisanal, site-specific sparkling wines in the US. (subscription req.)

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 8/3/20

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.

Milla Handley, The “Pioneer Queen” Of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir And Handley Cellars Founder, Dies At 68
A very sad loss, far too early. F*ck you, COVID.

As France’s wine industry contracts, an incalculable cultural loss
Robert Joseph tallies the damage.

From Champagne to Japan: Richard Geoffroy releases his first sake
Very interesting career move.

What will the world of luxury look like in the new normal?
Even more exclusive, probably.

As Champagne Sales Plummet, Producers May Throw Away Tons of Unused Grapes
Expect lots of extra aging in the bottle….100m bottles or so.

As Wine Country harvest approaches, farmworkers continue to pay high pandemic price
The wine industry has a front line, too.

South African Wine Businesses Launch DTC Platform
While others turn to bootlegging.

How Our Changing Times Are Changing Wine
Thoughts from a Houston sommelier.

Phylloxera Breakthrough Brings Hope to Vineyards
It’s a start. We’ve got the DNA sequenced now.

What Is a Great Wine? Verdicchio di Matelica Has Some Ideas
Eric Asimov on complexity.

4 Black Sommeliers Share Their Perfect Pour and How the Industry is Changing
More stories of inspiration.

Elin McCoy: Why wine matters
Elin’s last column for Decanter

The Goopification of grapes: why ‘clean wine’ is a scam
Felicity Carter, like me, uses the word scam quite deliberately.

Rediscovering Tuscany’s Forgotten Classic
Those of us who can’t afford as much Brunello as we’d like haven’t forgotten it.

What is Natural Wine?
Jim Clarke’s take on the regulations.

Foley Johnson winery in Napa Valley closes after worker tests positive for coronavirus
Not under control yet.

Wine Knowledge and Culture: Are They Related?
A very interesting article about the correlation between a “culture” of wine and knowing something about it.

France’s 8-Year-Olds Head Off to Wine School
Teaching wine to third graders. Awesome.

Why champagne houses are in a tussle with vineyard owners in northeastern France
Another take on Champagne’s current woes.

Man Sends Empty Bottle of ’Suspicious’ Mouton for Verification
But is he the victim or the future fraudster?

Microbiologists clarify relationship between microbial diversity and soil carbon storage
More evidence for the benefits of living soil health.

Natural wine’s (inevitable, problematic) entry into the ‘wellness’ industry is here
Esther has more to say on Clean Wine.

Champagne losing its fizz as global pandemic clobbers sales
Yet one more take on Champagne’s struggles.

Wine Girl Author Victoria James: 10 Questions on Where We’re Headed
James talks with Dottie and John.

COVID Bringing a Painful Evolution to the Wine Business
Evolution does hurt.

The post Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 8/3/20 appeared first on Vinography.