Hey cool kids, I’ll keep this short. Once again I find myself preparing for another long weekend of WSET Diploma Zoom-ing. Not complaining—enjoying myself, learning a lot and tasting some really interesting wines I probably wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to taste. I hope all of you have something fun and relaxing planned as well as some fun in the glass in hand.
There’s a lot of news this week. So while you’re sipping, take your time and scroll through—even the press releases are pretty interesting this week. (Well, I wouldn’t include them if they weren’t…)
Stay well, stay healthy, and drop me a line anytime…cheers!
Hello and happy spring! Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. I’ve got your weekly round up of wine-newsy content from the past week, including a piece by yours truly on the California wine grape crush report.
Those are just a few of the top stories, but scroll through—I’ve included some fun articles surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, there’s some great independent insight in the Blogs, and actually quite a few informative press releases.
Have fun. Stay safe. Stay healthy. And drink good wine.
I’m very lucky to experience media tastings, and since the pandemic, my opportunities have expanded to international tastings as well. While not all events fit into projects I’m working on for traditional media outlets, I love sharing particularly special tastings with you all here on my personal website.
Last week I had the privilege of tasting through premier and grand crus wines with Benoit Landanger, owner and estate manager of Domaine de la Pousse D’or. The 2018 vintage marks the first vintage in which the domaine has been Demeter Biodynamic-certified (though they have been practicing biodynamics since 2014). This year is also marked as one of the most challenging vintages in Burgundy of Benoit’s recent memory. Excessively warm days and severe lack of rainfall forced him to make the difficult decision to start picking in mid-August.
“We are usually one of the last in Volnay to do the harvest,” says Benoit, “In 2018 we were the first. It was a risk. We were constantly checking acidity, and I knew the maturity was there.”
The effects of climate change are an ongoing struggle for growers of Burgundy, where mitigation techniques like shade cloth and irrigation are not permitted. Benoit attributes his vines’ success to his biodynamic practices, siting the soils’ ability to retain more moisture (from environmental humidity and morning dew) as just one of the many benefits to this environmentally aware form of viticulture.
If pick-dates are the hardest challenge in the field, sitting still is the hardest decision in the cellar. “It’s very difficult to say ‘we don’t do anything,’ because we want to. The challenge is to say that, some days, we don’t work at all,” Bennoit says. With all the hard work he and his team put toward soil, vine, and environmental health, it’s no wonder that grapes come into the cellar in perfect condition to make top-quality wine.
In the end, these wines are absolutely beautiful. To my palate these are wines that I can easily enjoy now (and will, since they’re open), but can also age for years, decades, maybe more. When asked his opinion on his wines’ age-ability, Bennoit says, “It is difficult to answer and it depends on the moment. If the wine is well done, it is forever … We are making this for the true love of our wine, to share, and to be proud of the wine we are making.”
Hello my friends and happy Valentine’s Day weekend—and/or President’s Day weekend for those of you who may be celebrating with a day off. I’ve got loads of news for you below, so much so I had to categorize it between local (California), international, pandemic-related stuff, and a section I like to call ‘just for fun.’ Of course, keep scrolling to get to the Blogs, lots of great independent inside and fun educational posts this week as well.
For those keeping an eye out for my WSET posts, I assure you they’re coming. It’s a fine line between writing about my studies and, well, actually studying. A quick sneak peek to where we’ll be headed next: Italy, Greece, and Portugal. So get your palates ready.
Stay safe and healthy out there and don’t hesitate to connect with me directly, or of course on any of my social channels. Cheers.
Happy Weekend—here’s your weekly dose of wine related news. A couple of highlights—California lifted its stay-at-home order which means that restaurants, bars, and wineries can now serve patrons outdoors. Mixed feelings on that one myself—just stay safe if you decide to partake. And did you hear about Bordeaux? Whoever says that the French are entrenched in tradition, well, they’re right, but that hasn’t stopped them from (finally) allowing a few new grape varieties into the Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Superior AOC appellations. We’ve got a good breakdown from Decanter about what those grapes are and why they’re so important to the region at this point in time.
If I have to recommend on Blog Post, it’ll be Donald Edward’s expose on Tim Atkin’s blog looking into the Aboriginal origins of some of Australia’s best-known wine regions.
And, selfishly, I have to add that if you haven’t read my piece for SevenFifty Daily on regenerative agriculture—what it means and how it can (and does) shape wine growing agriculture—make sure to check that one out. I’ll actually be leading a seminar on the topic in March so stay tuned.