A Google news search for El Nino’s effect on vineyards generates tens of pages of opinion articles speculating on if and how the big winter will contribute to the quality of the 2016 harvest. As always, the media is stirring up concern regarding the impact of heavy rainfall on grapevines in articles such as Eater’s, […]
Many wineries have already or are just about to make the biodynamic Preparation 500, where cow manure is packed into cow horns and buried in the soil through the winter. This Spring, the horn will be uncovered, its contents stirred into water to make a “tea” and then sprayed on the vineyards’ soil in the […]
Over 8,000 out of the 615,000 acres of wine grape vineyards are now farmed certified organic in California. All that fruit from those vineyards then produce organic wine, right? Wrong. This is one of the biggest disconnects in wine understanding, especially when it comes to marketing. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has very strict stipulations regarding […]
One of the more recent Guild of Sommeliers podcasts out takes a look into the practice of sustainability in wineries, what it requires from the growers and winemakers, and the outcomes of practicing it. One of the featured guests on the show said something to the effect of (and don’t quote me) if you’re shopping […]
The new wine vocabulary Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic are increasingly found in descriptions of wines we drink and wineries we visit. But to explain the whole philosophy of each of these categories would take all day. Often times, their principles are confused with one another. Let’s take a brief look at each of them and […]
Or lack thereof… In this post, we’ll explore what’s happening in California vineyards right now, bloom! Checking out the weather forecast last week ago, we noticed rain was scheduled for yesterday, Thursday. It wasn’t much but if it were, it could have left a powerful impact on the vines. Only several weeks ago, the vines started […]
Believe it or not, all of Napa Valley was dry farmed until the 1960s, when overhead irrigation systems were introduced. Just a few years later came the early stages of drip irrigation. Still, the benchmark classics of Napa Valley – BV, Inglenook, Martini and others, were farmed without irrigation for many years before then. How […]
This is for all the traveling winemakers, backpackers and adventurers planning to, thinking of or about to be persuaded by to work harvest in New Zealand! It’s the middle of Kiwi vintage #NZV15 and I bet in about a month or two when harvest ends, some of you (if you haven’t already) are going to embark […]
Johannes and I found ourselves in the middle of Napa on my birthday last weekend bickering over whether the mustard had always been there (me, the idealist) or rather planted (Johannes, the realist, but also the one with much more experience working in vineyards). Well, after some research, we determined we were both right.
If you’ve cruised up to wine country in the last couple weeks, you’ll notice vineyards are looking fairly bare. The shoots on the vine are either unpruned and naked of all their leaves or have been cut down to a 2-bud stub on the cordon, but what about those vines that look like they’ve been half pruned, with canes only about a foot long?
Believe it or not, the 339 miles that make up the Mosel Valley can be subdivided into three distinct personalities based on soil, climate and flavor profile characteristics. The Lower Mosel, ironically at the northern end of the Mosel, but named for its lower elevation, also goes by the title ‘Terrassenmosel.’ Steep vineyards can be […]
After six days straight in the vineyards, I started to dream about rocks, slate to be precise, so much so that I wrote my my maid of honor speech for my best friend’s wedding around the theme of rocks for her big day the next weekend. Don’t ask… Slate. It covered the ground, in many […]