Category: Wine

wine reviews, wine events, and all things wine related

This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 2—August 7

Happy Saturday all. Hope you don’t mind, I took a few days off following my birthday/WSET Diploma Level 1 exam…extravaganza weekend. But I have, of course, been keeping up with the latest wine (and food) news. So let’s take a look at what’s going on lately.

Locally, Sonoma (finally) has implemented fines for breaching (what I call) COVID-courtesies. So mask up if you’re coming up to Wine Country or pay the price—literally. In spite of that, a common phrase around here is, “The grapes don’t know there’s a pandemic.” True enough, and harvest has officially kicked off. If you’re in the industry getting ready for harvest, be sure to check out the Wine Institute’s harvest protocols webinar materials. Also of interest my industry readers may be Nielsen’s latest data on COVID impacts on on-premise sales and UC Davis’s white paper on developments in remedying smoke-tainted grapes.

Looking around the world, Japan has a fun new canopy management situation; Portugal is making waves as a leader in the fight against climate change; and the quality of the Chinese wine-scene may be on the rise.

And don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs for some independent insight and fun, including a top 16 list of the best wine-related documentaries to watch.

Lastly, on a personal note, if you haven’t seen the latest in my video series with Wine Industry Network, check out my interviews with Dry Creek Vineyard President, Kim Stare Wallace, and Tablas Creek General Manager/Proprietor, Jason Haas. More to come, so keep your stations tuned to WIN.

And I have received a few inquiries about my posts chronicling my WSET journey. I’ve pulled them down for now—the goal is to edit and consolidate for clarity and organization. So if you are/were looking for those or wondering what the story is, that’s it. I’ll try to get them back up if/when I can. Thank you for your patience with that.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone’s doing well. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, write me a note, connect with me on social. Would be nice to hear from you.

Cheers.

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Canopy Management

[Information based on DipWSET D1 material]

As much as we like to hear the term “hands-off” vineyard management and winemaking, let’s face it, that will never be 100% true. Vines have a natural tendancy to sprawl and crawl—they don’t know they’re supposed to make balanced wine. And, so, we study canopy management.

GDC Trellis Design 6ft spacing | Virtual Viticulture Academy
GDC Trellis Design 6ft spacing | Virtual Viticulture Academy

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Rootstock Review

[Information based on DipWSET D1 material]

Rootstocks. Not all vines are planted on rootstocks, but the vast majority of them are. While the original reason for using rootstocks was to prevent agains phylloxera, today there’s a wide range of rootstocks that can influence vine—and grape—characteristics. As mentioned in Dealing with Pests, most rootstocks are hybrids, today bred to take advantage of some useful qualities of both parent species.

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This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: July 26—July 31

Happy weekend my friends. I’m going to keep my intro here pretty short because, as you may or may not know, tomorrow is my birthday. My birthday present: sitting my first WSET Diploma Exam. Wish me luck.

For those of you following along on my WSET Exam-Type Questions series, never fear. These will continue for a few more weeks, as I’ve written out several that still need to be posted.

Regarding current events, the food and wine industry (like so many others) continues to be in a state of flux. COVID cases continue to rise here in wine country, as with the rest of the country. Tariff drama remains. US alcohol shipping laws seem to be going sideways. And the fight to create and celebrate a more diverse professional food and wine industry continues.

Scroll through. There’s some fun stuff too. Veraison in Lodi’s looking good. There’s some new wine literature for your fellow wine geeks. Take a photo tour of Sicily. And anybody want some tennis shoes made from wine? Here yah go.

Enjoy your weekend reads. Stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind.

Cheers.

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Achieving and defining wine grape ripeness

[Information based on DipWSET D1 material]

I covered details in a few of these stages in previous posts (Please see Flowering and Fruit set, and Ripening.), but as I approach my exam in just a few days, I realize it may be helpful to have a consolidated list that covers each stage of a vine’s growth cycle to put those other posts into a broader perspective. Hence, the impetus for this post.

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