Lynn Alley reports on how the wildfires are affecting California’s Malibu wine region in Wine Spectator. “The local vintners association, the Malibu Coast Vintners & Grape Growers Alliance (MCVGGA), has more than 50 members representing—before the fire—roughly 200 acres of vines.”
In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray ponders how California’s wildfires will affect consumers’ perception of the 2018 vintage.
In Bloomberg, Michael McDonald reports on how locals are fighting back against the irrigation plan for Harvard’s vineyard project in California. “Four years ago, Harvard University bought an old cattle ranch in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. On an arid expanse north of Santa Barbara, California, the school’s endowment set out to make money from a notoriously tricky business: vineyards. For the moment, though, Harvard’s endowment has reaped mostly bitter fruit from this purchase…”
Courtney Schiessl explores why you should reconsider Sekt in SevenFifty Daily.
In Decanter, Jane Anson compares 2016, 2015, 2010, 2009 and 2005 Bordeaux vintages to see how they stack up against each other in terms of style, character and pricing. (subscription req.)
Cari Shane profiles Debbie MacDougall, an advocate of Moldovan wine, in Grok Nation.
In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers a last-minute Thanksgiving wine checklist.
Brooke Sage suggests Thanksgiving wines beyond Beaujolais in Thrillist.
Michael Austin discovers Spain’s txakoli in the Chicago Tribune.
In SevenFifty Daily, Peter Weltman highlights the quest of Abdullah Richi, a Syrian refugee and Muslim who is one of the winemakers at Couvent Rouge winery in Deir El Ahmar. “Using Syria’s forgotten grapes for a winemaking comeback is Richi’s vision for the future, and his way back home… While risk lurks at every corner, he’s determined—as Syria inches toward a post conflict future—to foster a winemaking industry so that he and his fellow Syrians can prosper.”
Pascaline Lepeltier, MS, became the first woman ever to win the title of “Best Sommelier of France.” Jane Gladstone reports on more details in Wine & Spirits Magazine.
In Wine Enthusiast’s Beverage Industry Enthusiast, Anne Krebiehl profiles James Miles, co-founder, chairman and managing director of Liv-ex, a wine trading and data platform.
Aaron Romano offers a 2018 wine harvest report for Napa Valley in Wine Spectator.
In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe wants you to discover Taurasi, “the flagship wine of Southern Italy.”
In Decanter, Julie Sheppard profiles Cortese, a long-running organic wine growing estate in southern Sicily that has been given a new lease of life under fresh ownership. (subscription req.)
In PUNCH, Jon Bonné offers an insider’s guide to Beaujolais.
In VinePair, Tim McKirdy charts the growth of Tokaj’s dry wines.
Vineyard in Burgundy (Source: Wikimedia)
“French winemakers are the latest European industry to suffer threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, who is seeking to repair what he views as an unfair trade relationship between the two regions,” reports Nikos Chrysoloras in Bloomberg.
In SevenFifty Daily, Hannah Wallace reports on the next wave of sustainability in wine, and talks to winemakers who are setting the bar with green building and agroecological farming practices to learn why they’re worth pursuing—and how they can help create a more sustainable future.
“Earlier this month the rumour mill went into over-drive that Domaine Leroy and its négociant business Maison Leroy were on the verge of being sold, with luxury group LVMH apparently in the running to snap up the estate for quite astronomical sums,” reports Rupert Millar in the Drinks Business. “It is, however, not true.”
On WineBusiness.com, Ted Rieger reports on the Lodi vineyards utilizing groundwater recharge, “the practice of delivering stored surface water supplies that are more transient in availability and applying this water to land with high recharge suitability and good soil permeability.”
In Food & Wine, Brian Freedman writes about the Prisoner Wine Company tasting lounge experience in Napa Valley.
In Forbes, Jill Barth offers a beginner’s guide to wine collecting on any budget.
Tom Hyland delves into the science of carbonic maceration in Wine-Searcher.
In Wine-Searcher, Katheleen Willcox surveys the latest barrel technology and talks to several winemakers to get a sense of how they’re using the latest innovations (or not) in their quest to use wood for better wine.
Wine Spectator reports that the Taub family’s Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon brand Heritance has purchased Saracina Vineyards in Mendocino from John Fetzer and his wife, Patty Rock.
In WIRED, Matt Simon looks at how wind patterns are contributing to California’s Camp Fire, Hill Fire, and Woolsey Fire.
On WineBusiness.com, Kerana Todorov provides an update on the wildfires from the weekend.
“What really is entailed in a master class about wine? Who is qualified to lead such a class, and how should those classes be structured?” asks Alfonso Cevola. “These are some of the questions I have been pondering of late, in my search for the paths to mastery.”
Lugana, a fresh white wine from the Lake Garda region, has become popular thanks to wine tourism. Elisabetta Tosi charts its rise in Meininger’s.
Andrew Jefford tastes mature wines from the Echézeaux Grand Cru and offers his thoughts in Decanter. (subscription req.)
Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher recommend American merlot for Thanksgiving in Grape Collective.
Glass of Beaujolais Nouveau wine. (Wikimedia)
In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at the American wineries adopting the nouveau wine tradition.
“Wine list design, I must say, from the standpoint of someone who designs things for a living and pays lots of people who do, too, is almost universally awful.” Alder Yarrow offers some tips on how to properly design a wine list.
“So, why does a small, relative whipper-snapper of a region like Napa produce more 100-point wines in a great vintage than Bordeaux does in a comparable vintage? The answer is pretty simple…” Lisa Perrotti-Brown explains on RobertParker.com.
Wine Spectator reports that Napa Valley vineyard owner Al Frediani has died at 96. “The 20-acre Frediani vineyard, tucked away in the northeast corner of the valley on a quiet road near Calistoga, is planted to prized Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Valdiguié (a French variety locally dubbed “Napa Gamay”) and Petite Sirah, which Frediani called by its old winegrowers’ nickname, “Petty Sarah.” Producers including Relic, Conn Creek and Stags’ Leap Winery have purchased his grapes.”
In Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand looks at the rise of private wine labels.
Is Chilean cabernet sauvignon too affordable? Lettie Teague look into it in the Wall Street Journal. “I would argue that one of the problems facing producers of Chilean Cabernet is that very good wines and grocery-store-caliber bottles are often just a few dollars apart. Maybe a higher price would help lift the best bottles out of obscurity?”
In VinePair, Diane McMartin considers the rise of sommelier brands.
Shayla Martin explores New Hampshire wine country in Wine Enthusiast.
Chambourcin, a French-American hybrid grape.
Lauren Mowery looks at the producers working to save America’s indigenous grapes in Wine Enthusiast. “Naysayers argue that these grapes demonstrate less character and remain limited in appeal and scope. Yet, the growers have often sold their efforts short. They’ve been apologetic, says Heekin, about their wines as compared to their Vitis vinifera brethren… As America’s climate changes, the use of plant material native to the soil or hybridized to thrive in its regions may be critical to the survival of the country’s wine industry.”
In Meininger’s, Jeni Port reports on Australia’s quest for native grapes. “Can an original vinous expression of one nation’s land, people and culture be distilled and created in a lab?”
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley catches up with Bob Lindquist about the sale of his winery, Qupé.
Stacy Briscoe reports on the Masters of Merlot seminar, where experts discussed the growing merlot market, in Wines & Vines.
In SevenFifty Daily, NYC sommelier Nicolas Capron-Manieux reflects on his time working harvest at Domaine Hubert Lamy in Burgundy.
Joe Roberts explores Spain’s Somontano wine region. “What makes Somontano such an awkwardly difficult topic in marketing meetings is the same thing that makes many of its wines so good: the place has a great climate growing famous international grape varieties. As winemaker Jesús Artajona Serrano, from Enate (one of the founders of the Somontano DO) puts it, “we are in a small California…””
Liza B. Zimmerman reports on why Mondavi Winery’s proposed Aloft project is upsetting some locals in Wine-Searcher.
Tom Wark reviews Morten Scholer’s new book, Coffee and Wine.
Vineyards in Oregon (Wikimedia)
In Wine Enthusiast, Paul Gregutt profiles a handful of French winemakers who have found a new home in Oregon. “These French winemakers praise Oregon’s welcoming winemaking community and open horizons…Perhaps it’s simply the break from the constraints of tradition, but the biggest reward to leave home, and sometimes family, is the boundless opportunity to test and learn in what many call the Burgundy of the Pacific Northwest.”
Robert Camuto profiles Gianfranco Fino in Wine Spectator. “Fino’s 14-year rise in the heel of the Italian boot has been meteoric. He founded his winery with a vision for meticulously producing limited-quantity, high-end Primitivo—the southern Italian equivalent of Zinfandel—in the Manduria region.”
In Wine-Searcher, Liza B. Zimmerman reports on how U.S. courts are changing their focus when it comes to the three-tier system.
Jason Wilson explores Calvados in Vinous. “Outside France, spirits aficionados tend to overlook Calvados when discussing the world’s great brandies, the focus and attention is too often on Cognac and Armagnac. But those among us who love the apple brandy from Normandy know what the uninitiated are missing.”
Jesus Guillen, winemaker of White Rose Estate in Oregon, has died. He was 37.
Alex Russan delves into the science of esters in wine in SevenFifty Daily.
Michael Shaps, owner of Michael Shaps Wineworks in Charlottesville, Virginia, has acquired Shenandoah Vineyards.
Jamie Goode visits Red Newt Cellars in the Finger Lakes.
“Last week, Terroir Life sold Qupé to Vintage Wine Estates, a fast-growing wine company based in Sonoma County,” reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher. “Importantly, Vintage Wine Estates CEO Pat Roney told Wine-Searcher he plans to keep Qupé founder Bob Lindquist as winemaker.”
Archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year old bronze pot containing rice wine in China. Katherine Hignett shares the details in Newsweek.
In Wines & Vines, Stacy Briscoe reports on Ashes & Diamond in Napa. “In 2013, Kashy Khaledi, founder and owner of Ashes & Diamonds, left his 20-plus-year career as a creative executive in the music industry in Los Angeles to pursue a latent desire to make his impact in the world of wine.”
In OZY, Joanna Lobo visits Seppelstfield Winery in South Australia, home to the “longest unbroken lineage of single vintage wines in the world.”
Despite adverse weather towards the end of the season, the Languedoc harvest was “excellent with a good quality crops, bringing 2018 in line with previous years and the promise of a great vintage,” the consortium told the Drinks Business.
Tyler Colman teases a preview of Reboule du Rhone, which is back for a second edition.
In Grape Collective, Lisa Denning chats with Elia Pellegrini about his transition from soccer to wine and about how his family’s winery distinguishes itself from other Super Tuscan producers.
In SevenFifty Daily, Betsy Andrews profiles sommelier Belinda Chang.
(Flickr: piker77) Natural
In Wine-Searcher, Oliver Styles responds to a recent piece by Alice Feiring about the natural wine revolution. “…as Feiring herself points out, critics of the revolution (Michel Bettane is singled out here) have been making the same point she does in the piece for a quite a while now – natural wine should not be forgiven its faults because it is natural. It is important because no less a figure than Alice Feiring is saying it.”
In Grape Collective, Camille Lapierre and Jean Foillard discuss the origins and doctrine of natural wine.
Clodagh Kinsella reports on Israel’s flourishing wine scene in the Independent.
In Wine Enthusiast, Susan Hauser talks with filmmaker Jerry Bell Jr. about wine and the inspiration behind his film, “Red, White & Black: An Oregon Wine Story.”
In Decanter, Andrew Jefford shares notes from his recent trip to Bordeaux, including the 2018 vintage and the general use of copper in organic vineyards.
Elin McCoy chats with Vega Sicilia CEO Pablo Alvarez about his new project in Bloomberg.
Jameson Fink offers a few tips about how to navigate RAW WINE New York this week.
Jamie Goode checks out Bloomer Creek in the Finger Lakes and shares notes on the wines he tasted.
Esther Mobley meditates on the vast universe of Italian wine in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Italian wine’s heterogeneity is what makes it exciting, though it may also explain why its neighbor to the west is more often represented on top U.S. wine lists…Yet it’s from these fringe regions where Italian wine’s greatest pleasure can most often be accessed: the pleasure of discovery.”
Jancis Robinson shares which Bordeaux vintages you should be drinking right now.
“So don’t write off a tough year like 2018. As we consumers taste these wines, we should try to identify those winemakers who had the courage of their convictions and refused to surrender,” says Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post.
“The month of October was the first time in a very long time Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s eponymous grand cru was no longer the most expensive wine on our database,” reports Wine-Searcher.
Also on Wine-Searcher, Claire Adamson looks into what makes a wine expensive. “Outside of the cost of production, there are a number of things that send wine prices skyrocketing. Prestige and collectability are the big two, with things like age, scarcity, and good old-fashioned trendiness feeding this.”
The Drinks Business reports that Francis Ford Coppola has entered the cannabis game with new brand, The Grower Series.
In VinePair, Mary Winston Nicklin explores Banyuls wines.