Daily Wine News: Our Recycling Problem

Uploaded to flickr by Bayhaus.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov reports on the problem with glass bottles, which contribute enormously to climate change, and looks at the companies who have tried—and failed—to shift consumers’ recycling behaviors. “The Environmental Protection Agency estimates only 31 percent of glass in the United States is recycled, compared with 74 percent in Europe and more than 95 percent in Sweden, Belgium and Slovenia…Another company, Good Goods, likewise abandoned a test program of returnable wine bottles after finding consumers were simply not bringing them back. Both Good Goods and Gotham tried various incentives for consumers returning bottles, like small deposits, store credit, even donations to charity,  but nothing worked in the long run.”

In the Financial Times, Tim Hayward says it’s time for the natural wines war to end. “For a small but significant subsector of the hospitality industry, “low intervention” or “natural” wines have become a hill worth dying on. They are made by fabulous young winemakers, they ­conform to hardly any of the tedious conventions that have defined the industry for years and they force us to ask overdue and awkward questions about the industrialised methods and commercial practices of traditional winemaking. We should, of course, all be able to get along with exciting new wines and lovely old ones, but, like everything else, one is forced against one’s will to take sides.”

Six new sub-appellations have been granted in the Okanagan Valley, reports Decanter.

In Wine-Searcher, Tom Hyland explores the beauty of Barolo’s Cannubi.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy looks at the rise of subscription-modeled wine clubs, which show no signs of slowing down.

In TRINK, Gerhild Burkard explores Austrian sekt.

Wine Spectator remembers Count Lucio Tasca d’Almerita, a leader of Sicily’s wine renaissance who helped to bring the island’s wines to the world stage at his family winery Tasca d’Almerita. He was 82.

Daily Wine News: Drying Up

An irrigated vineyard. (Wikimedia)

Irrigation is largely banned in European vineyards. On JancisRobinson.com, Yishai Netzer and Eran Pick argue that it’s high time to change the rules. “Winegrowers around the world know the changes in the vineyards all too well. Climate change affects everyone, as witness the Po River drying up; major heatwaves in France, Spain and Portugal; huge wildfires in California and Australia; and winters with almost no chill in eastern Mediterranean coastal areas. How will these changes in climate affect the terroir of the classic wines we love so much?”

Reuters looks at how drought is taking a toll on Tuscany’s olive oil and wine production.

In TRINK, Rainer Schäfer explores how certain wines channel our moods and perceptions in different ways, and the German vintner who looked at how different wines serve as a catalyst for different moods.

In VinePair, Julia Coney explores the future of great wines being made in Oregon beyond Pinot Noir. “Although other white and red grape varieties are planted in Oregon, Pinot Noir is the grape that is most planted and well known. Could it be time Oregon plants more grape varieties able to withstand the changing climate?…As the fifth largest wine-producing region in the U.S., Oregon could be a leader in increasing production of lesser-known grapes, setting a trend for other regions experiencing similar issues and skirting expectations that a region can only be known for one type of wine.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Jacy Topps writes about one trip that changed her partner’s view of wine.

Betsy Andrews explores Mendocino County’s new Sparkling Wine Trek in Food & Wine.

In Decanter, Richard Mayson offers an overview of Quinta do Noval, the famed port producer known for its Nacional bottlings.

Daily Wine News: A Curious Market

In SevenFifty Daily, Roger Morris looks at how importers are embracing niche regions and lesser-known grape varieties. “Curiosity drives much of the discovery process for new wines and new wine regions, both for ardent consumers and trade professionals. It seems we are all hard-wired to constantly be asking, “what’s new?” and “what’s next?””

On Jeb Dunnuck’s site, R.H. Drexel highlights Xavier Arnaudin, owner and co-founder of Union Sacré in Paso Robles, who “co-owns and operates California’s only entirely Alsatian house. He pursues the types of wines he’d like to drink and share with others, irrespective of where they come from or how recognizable they are to the average American consumer.”

The Champenois have reacted quickly to the changing market and some of the side effects that climate warming is having on grape growing in the appellation, announcing sweeping reforms to the way in which the reserve system operates, reports the Drinks Business.

Elizabeth Gabay explores what makes a premium rosé in Decanter.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto makes the case for chilled red wines.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray explores the story—and recent resurgence—of Champagne Charlie.

Ray Isle is thinking about Beaujolais in Food & Wine.

Daily Wine News: Plastic Problems

Miquel Hudin on the problem with alternative wine bottle formats. “This is what terrifies me about a push to using plastics in any form for wine bottles. In all these interviews I was told that these soft plastics, such as the liners or bottles, can indeed be recycled. The catch is that the mechanisms just aren’t there and I have considerable worry that they never will be…There seems to be more interest in finding new ways to bring plastic into consumer purchases with absolutely no thought given as to what to do about the resulting waste.” 

With so many of the world’s finest wines grown on limestone and its relatives, it’s no wonder that many winemakers see it as the dream soil for viticulture. But is its exalted reputation justified? Alex Maltman explores limestone’s important in the World of Fine Wine.

Jancis Robinson talks to winemakers about how the pandemic has changed their outlook on winemaking and/or vineyard work.

In TRINK, Nils Kevin Puls explores the rosé experimentation happening in Germany and Austria.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a funding bill this past week that would provide an additional $5 million for the USDA to continue research into how wine grapes are affected by wildfire smoke exposure.

A hot and dry summer means grapes in Sonoma County are coming off vines far sooner than expected. Lucy Simon reports on California’s 2022 harvest kickoff in Food & Wine.

In the Drop, Janice Williams offers tips for finding age-worthy birth year wines.

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 7/31/22

Hello and 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.

How a Salad Bar Disaster Changed the Course of U.S. Wine History
The most authoritative article ever written on Certified Organic Wine in the USA and what that means.

Napa Valley is America’s top wine region. But it has reached a turning point that could change everything
This is actually about 5 different (excellent) in-depth stories on Napa. It’s the Chronicle’s Napa mega-feature.

A Guide to Finding Age-Worthy Birth Year Wines
Hint: You generally can’t buy them until your kid is 2 or 3.

The Road Less Traveled Revealed the World of Ischia
Mmmmm. Ischian wine.

The Last Leopard
Robert Camuto remembers Lucio Tasca d’Almerita

Kyle MacLachlan, the Movie Star Who Makes a Genuinely Good Wine
Kyle is the real deal.

A Napa Filmmaker Looked and Found Roundup, the Weedkiller Tied to Cancer, ‘Everywhere’
An of-the-moment film.

US House allocates funding for wine smoke-exposure research, permit processing
Can’t celebrate until it clears the Senate.

You’re Getting Divorced and You Both Want the Wine. What Next?
Wine advice from…. lawyers?

How sweeping reforms will help Champagne handle peaks and troughs in supply and demand
This gets very technical, very quickly.

In Conversation with Michael Moosbrugger
Getting deep into Austria.

Varietal Psychology
Mood magic with wine.

From Dry January to Fake Cocktails, Inside the New Temperance Movement
Jason, as usual, has his finger on the pulse.

Dôme run: one-time maverick Jonathan Maltus sets his sights on the ultimate prize
From outsider to insider?

AUS$2bn wiped off Australian wine exports
That’s gotta hurt.

Should Red Wines Be Served Cool?
But not cold.

California North Coast wine grape harvest gets earlier start
Sparkling picks begin.

Can’t Kill Them: Old Greek Grape Varieties Making Wine Comeback
When fashion fades, tradition re-emerges.

‘My Welsh wine business is moving to France due to Brexit and soaring costs’
‘We are not the envy of the world anymore, we are the crackpot aunty in the corner that everyone laughs at.’

The post Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 7/31/22 appeared first on Vinography.

Daily Wine News: Appreciating Old Vines

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

On JancisRobinson.com, Tamlyn Currin on the importance of old vines. “We don’t always appreciate the importance of old vines and old vineyards when it comes to the climate crisis. It’s not all about romantic stories and the history that they represent. Old vines play a vital role when it comes to the long-term future of the wine industry in the face of rapid climate change and the reality of increasingly extreme climate events. A number of winegrowers have told me that their old vines cope much better with heatwaves, drought, frost, flooding and disease pressure than their young vines or vines from modern clones do.”

In wine regions across Europe, spring was dry and summer has brought record temperatures, shrinking the potential harvest and sparking wildfires. Wine Spectator looks at how heat is affecting European vineyards.

In the World of Fine Wine, Jim Clarke reports from Snake River Valley in Idaho, an under-explored, but increasingly exciting corner of the Pacific Northwest’s winemaking scene.

Can new strategies breathe life into some of Napa’s most storied wine brands? Zach Geballe explores the answer in VinePair. “…Beaulieu Vineyards, Louis M. Martini, and Robert Mondavi Winery…have now moved into a new and different phase, each initiated after a recent acquisition by a major beverage conglomerate. While each has a slightly different history and strategy, all are looking to find ways to connect their legendary pasts to the future of luxury wine and hospitality in Napa Valley.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre finds that American rosé just keeps getting better and better.

In the Drop, Pam Strayer explains why Europeans and Americans have a different definition of organic wine.

Longtime Wine & Spirits Magazine editor Tara Q. Thomas is moving on.

Daily Wine News: Expensive Rebrands

Napa’s most historic wineries are staging a comeback. Will multimillion-dollar rebrands work? Jess Lander takes a look in the San Francisco Chronicle. “In the decades since pioneering wineries like Heitz, Robert Mondavi Winery, Charles Krug Winery and Clos Du Val got their starts, Napa has evolved from a sleepy agricultural town to a glamorous, world-renowned travel destination with more than 500 wineries. Somewhere along the way, these brands got lost in the shuffle, slipping from the pedestals they had occupied throughout the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s…Over the past several years, many of these wineries have…[been] embarking on head-to-toe rebrands with costly remodels, label redesigns, price increases and a renewed focus on wine quality. But such transformation comes with its own challenge: preserving some semblance of their humble roots while also standing out among an increasingly homogenous Napa.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, chilled red wines, and announces what’s up next: dry German Riesling.

Magnums of rosé have become the ultimate summer-ready wine format, but they’re also the ideal bottle size for serious cellar fodder, says David Kermode in Club Oenologique.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jim Gordon explores the Italian-American heritage at the root of Mendocino County’s wineries.

On JancisRobinson.com, Ferran Centelles visits three important producers of Rueda, and makes a case for aged versions of the wines.

On his blog, Jamie Goode tries 69 different qvevri wines from Georgia.

In VinePair, Julia Coney highlights California Chenin Blanc.

Daily Wine News: Homogenization

(Flickr: Marco Verch Professional Photographer)

“The job of a winemaking consultant was not always so common. It used to be that every winery, pretty much, employed a regular winemaker: a full-time employee who worked for just one company…That started to change around 1995…” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley on the homogenization of Napa Valley wines. “This economic reality has driven a situation where more of Napa’s wines are becoming concentrated in the hands of fewer winemakers. It’s led many observers to wonder: Is that making all of Napa’s wines taste the same?”

In the latest volume of TRINK, Valeria Kathawala offers an insider’s guide to Württemberg Riesling. “Hidden here are some of the greatest terroirs for Riesling anywhere, still far too little known…It has taken a long time for the region’s growers to be taken seriously. But in a way, Württemberg’s relative international anonymity and built-in customer base has been a useful cloak under which to work, quietly but purposefully. Now these growers are ready for the global spotlight.”

Wine Enthusiast publicly announces new tasters for Italy, reassigns iconic California beats, and will begin reviewing hard sellers and ready-to-drink beverages.

Of all the areas where Rhône varieties have been imported, South Africa is increasingly reputed. In Club Oenologique, Malu Lambert digs deep into its terroirs.

On MarthaStewart.com, Sarah Tracey explores frizzante wines.

In Epicurious, Danny Chau explains how to make vinegar with leftover wine.

In the Drop, Vicki Denig offers a guide to dessert wines.

Daily Wine News: Napa’s Past & Future

Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley highlights eight power players reshaping the future of Napa Valley wine.

The San Francisco Chronicle also explores Napa’s “Disneyland” wineries—Castello di Amorosa, Del Dotto, Hall and Raymond—and takes a closer look at what makes them so popular with some people and so cringeworthy for others.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray participates in a class of ’72 tasting of California greats. “The year 1972 was huge for California wine. At least eight wineries opened in Napa Valley alone – almost as many as in the previous decade. It was an era for dreamers; also, prime agricultural land was affordable…Six wineries from the class took part [in the tasting]: Chateau Montelena, Burgess Cellars, Diamond Creek Vineyards and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars from Napa Valley with Jordan Vineyard and Dry Creek Vineyard from Sonoma County.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe explores Piedmont reds that aren’t Nebbiolo. “Made with indigenous grapes Ruchè, Pelaverga, Freisa, Grignolino and Vespolina, a few of these lithe reds have genetic relationships with noble Nebbiolo. While they share spicy sensations, they also boast their own distinct aromas, flavors and histories.”

In SevenFifty Daily, Jacopo Mazzeo delves into the science behind non-alcoholic beer and wine production.

In the New York Times, Florence Fabricant highlights Lautus, a line of dealcoholized wines from South Africa.

Treasury Wine Estates has expanded its footprint in the Yarra Valley in Australia by purchasing the 55-hectare Beenak Vineyard from Accolade in a deal worth AU$7 million, reports Decanter.

Daily Wine News: Aussie Culture

Hunter Valley in Australia. (Wikimedia)

In VinePair, Siobhan Reid explores Australia’s “hottest” wine region, Orange. “Enter Orange, a cold-climate wine region located under four hours’ drive west of Sydney, just beyond the peaks of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. The only wine region in Australia (and possibly even the world) that’s defined by elevation, Orange is home to over 60 vineyards, all situated at a minimum altitude of 1,968 feet above sea level.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Christina Pickard looks at how orange wine is changing Australian wine culture.

Of all the areas where Rhône varieties have been imported, South Africa is increasingly reputed. Malu Lambert digs deep into its terroirs in Club Oenologique.

In Grape Collective, Lisa Denning talks with Charlie Holland, Gusbourne’s winemaker for the past decade, to find out more about the winery and the exciting future of English Sparkling wine.

“Split case fees – an additional charge historically levied by US wholesalers to supply less than a case of wine or spirits – have long been legal and costly for small retailers. The Albany, New York-based State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) is now debating decreasing that cost, ideally, in order to help retailers save money,” reports Liza B. Zimmerman in Wine-Searcher.

A recently renovated vineyard estate, which produces Sangiovese wines, is on the market for $5.395 million in Santa Ynez, California, reports the Drinks Business.

A new winemaking regimen, revamped cellar, fine-tuned viticulture and a replanting project are pushing this Napa Cabernet house into new territory. Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth visits Ehlers Estate and tastes recent vintages.