Crazy week this past week, no? I usually have more to say, but I think this week, I’m going to leave it to you.
comment if you have a comment.
Eater: Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Climate and Agriculture?
The Democratic presidential candidate supports a zero-emissions goal for ag and wants to incentivize carbon markets, but his platform makes no mention of animal agriculture or organic farming
the climate crisis is front and center like never before, with unprecedented wildfires raging on the West Coast and devastating storms hitting Iowa, Louisiana, and other states. And while Biden has been out in front on linking the current catastrophes to climate, big questions remain about precisely how a potential Biden administration will approach farming for the climate, and farmer groups, agribusiness, and environmental advocates are all jockeying to exert their influence. […] In fact, when it comes to building a resilient agricultural system that can both withstand the effects of the climate crisis and cut emissions, there is significant disagreement among advocacy groups and elected officials within the party as to just how radical the path forward should be. READ MORE…
KQUED: I’ve Supported the Wine Industry for Years. Why Won’t it Support Me?
I am Black. I am biracial. I am a Black, biracial, person-of-color influencer. And while there’s certainly no shortage of influencers here in wine country, the pool is significantly smaller for Black biracial POC influencers. This sometimes plays to my advantage, but it also means I’m left feeling like the “diversity token” at many local winery and hospitality events. READ MORE…
Eater: As the 2020 Election Approaches, Houston-Area Farmers Are Getting Political
In a year when the pandemic has brought greater urgency to the challenges faced by farmers, some are taking to social media to speak out on issues beyond the farm
Ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality to the historical ties of institutional agriculture to slavery, Houston’s farmers are getting political in the midst of a truly unprecedented year.
Typically, the only time that restaurant diners hear about farmers is when they look at a menu — they’ll see that their steak was sourced from the wildly popular 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas, and that the goat cheese in their salad comes from Blue Heron Farm, a Waller County goat dairy. Now, though, they’re hearing directly from these farmers on social media about the issues that mean most to them. READ MORE…
SevenFifty Daily: When Wine Pros Lose Smell and Taste to COVID-19
After being temporarily robbed of career-essential senses, sommeliers and wine journalists reflect on how the experience changed them
The loss of smell is a disconcerting, unpleasant experience for anyone. But for wine professionals, the consequences are far more disastrous—and potentially even career ending. Glasser isn’t the only wine professional who lost her senses of smell and taste due to COVID-19. New York-based sommelier Amanda Smeltz penned an Esquire article in July about how losing her senses of smell and taste (during what she assumed was COVID-19) caused an existential crisis. READ MORE…
wine-searcher: Smoke and Mirrors—Fixing a Fiery Vintage
Maybe this is good news: current research shows that in red wines, smoke taint is least noticeable in a type of wine that California not only is particularly well-suited to make, but already makes by the boatload. READ MORE…
The Drinks Business: Gallo-Roman wine press uncovered in Touraine
What is thought to be a Gallo-Roman wine press dating to the second century AD has been discovered in Touraine, making it potentially the earliest evidence of winemaking yet found in northern France.
The lead archaeologist at the dig, Nicholas Fouillet, told local news that residue found in the press had been sent for chemical analysis to prove the site was viticultural in nature.
If it is the case then the find is an exceptionally rare one not just in Touraine but northern France as a whole and would show there was viticulture in the area 1,900 years ago, much earlier than previously thought. READ MORE…
Decanter: Opus One Winery Appoints New CEO
Christopher Lynch succeeds David Pearson at the helm of the Napa Valley estate.
Lynch will assume the role with immediate effect and arrives at the Oakville estate with more than 30 years of global wine industry experience at companies including E&J Gallo, LVMH’s Chandon Estates, Pernod Ricard, Beam Wine Estates and Terlato Wine Group.
With experience in marketing, commercial operations, strategic planning, business development and hospitality, and having lived in the United States, France, New Zealand, and Australia, he offers a global outlook on the wine trade. READ MORE…
Wine Enthusiast: The Pandemic is One of Many Forces Upending the 2020 Champagne Harvest
The novel coronavirus pandemic has come for mighty Champagne.
On August 18, the Comité Champagne, an organization of small and large winemakers, announced that the permissible yield for the 2020 harvest is 8,000 kilograms of grapes per hectare. This is a stark contrast from last year’s yield of 10,200 kilograms, or the average of 11,745 kilograms over the past 20 years. It’s also the lowest yield since 1975’s 7,500 kilograms per hectare. […]
“Champagne is certainly the most affected region in terms of lowered sales, simply because it’s linked to celebration,” says Jean-Marie Barillère, president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne. “When we’re talking about a health crisis, the last thing you want to do is celebrate.” READ MORE…
Blogs Worth a Read
Taken from the list of Blogs I follow regularly, here are just a few posts from this past week I think are worth a read. Shoot me a note if you have suggestions of blogs to follow or want your blog included on that list.
A Must Read Blog: Sentient Wine & Alcohol Brands Amp up Organic and Sustainable Messaging
The climate change crisis has arrived and now we have a moral imperative to act. The food we buy, the brands we support, it’s all connected. Between the PTSD of January’s Australian fires, polar region melting ice and watching millions of acres of the western US coast burn on their screens every night, a generation of children is witnessing a scale of climate change devastation and destruction that’s bleak and traumatizing. And it demands accountability.
It’s something to think about as we link the wine, beer and spirits in our glass to the environmental attitudes, and sustainability practices of the producers we support.
For producers who are wavering on the need for an energy audit or plastic/waste mitigation strategy or water consumption reduction plan – hoping this too shall pass – it may be useful to revisit your core(porate) values and beliefs. Do you have a mission statement? A Future Forward strategy? An environmental action plan, environmental metrics? READ MORE…
Science and Wine: Sustainability of wine packaging alternatives: What is the consumers’ perception?
Glass is the most commonly used packaging for wine worldwide. However, one of the main causes of environmental impacts of the wine life cycle is the production of glass bottles due to the high incidence of its weight and the consequent huge consumption of energy for its production. Unfortunately, people confuse the concept of recyclability with that of sustainability. Using lighter packaging alternatives (such as bag-in-box, aseptic carton or PET bottles) significantly decreases the environmental impact of the wine life cycle. In Italy, there is widespread scepticism towards wine bottled in alternative packaging. For this reason, a preliminary survey was carried out, addressed to a sample of 1000 Italian wine consumers in order to explore their perception and preference toward wine packaging alternatives more sustainable than glass bottles and their interest in buying wines packaged in these alternatives. READ MORE…
Vino Joy News: Vinitaly wraps its ‘first internationally attended’ roadshow in China
Is the coronavirus pandemic behind China? Response from Vinitaly China roadshow seems to suggest so.
Vinitaly has wrapped up its Italian wine roadshow this year in China, the first large-scale wine fair attended by international participants since the start of the pandemic, attracting over 2,500 guests, Vinitaly has revealed to Vino Joy News.
The response from the Vinitaly roadshow in three cities, namely Shanghai (September 14), Xiamen (September 16) and Chengdu (September 18), offers the strongest sign yet that China, the country where Covid-19 originated, has largely recovered from the pandemic with strict social distancing and contact tracing.
It also provides hopes and optimism on how wine events can be done when Covid-19 is brought under control. The pandemic this year virtually cancelled out all physical wine fairs in the world including ProWein Dusseldorf, Vinexpo Hong Kong and Vinitaly Verona due to safety and health concerns. READ MORE…
Jamie Goode: Tillingham—Visting the winery leading the charge for natural wine in the UK
Walgate said he always wanted to do more still than sparkling. “I knew from buying Dornfelder and the Germanic varieties that year-in, year-out, you will be able to do something on the still wine category.” With Chardonnay and Pinot Noir he could make still wines in some years, but in other years he might want to do traditional method sparkling with them. Across the Germanic varieties, he has Orgtega, Muller Thurgau, Schönberger, Regent, Faberrebe and a few others. Then there’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. And then Pinot Gris. In the second year he planted some Pinot d’Aunis and also Gamay. There’s a bit of Chenin Blanc on an experimental block called Copp’s Bank, which is quite sheltered. The experimental varieties are in quantities of 150-250 vines. “From a management point of view it is putting a huge burden on the vineyard team,” says Walgate. “Then down the bottom there is some Manzione Bianco and Trousseau. It does seem like folly, having so many cuvees, but it has worked so well for us. The fact that the vines are small production means they are fun to make and there is not too much pressure with the winemaking. It also makes the wines inherently scarce.” The small batch approach has resulted in 45 wines in three years. READ MORE…
Tim Atkin: The View from Abroad
One of the nice things about wine publications is that one gets to read about more than the liquid itself. Wine writing can function as food writing, travelogue, cultural study, and so much more. For hobbyists, wine can be the introduction to some of the less well-travelled corners of the world. As English wine comes to maturity, one hopes foreign wine writers will be doing the same for this country. How will these pieces look like? Happily, Georgian wine writer Petre Shukura visited England last year and wrote about his visit for local wine publication Qvevrous. He has now kindly sent me an English translation, which I am excited to share with you. Petre writes…
A Balanced Glass: Lockdown Drinking And COVID Kilos: A French Perspective
Here in the European wine community, we have all been adapting and coping to the COVID-era lockdown in our own ways, including managing our drinking habits. Or doing our best to.
As a social drinker I have found myself drinking less with no tastings or dinners to go to. Zoom drinks with friends and online tastings have “helped”; at least I don’t feel as if I’m drinking alone.
The flurry of online tastings were fun at first, but the novelty has worn off a bit so I’m now being more selective. 67 Pall Mall in London has an amazing range of tastings, I have laughed through The Wine Show at Home with Joe Fattorini, tasting and interviewing from his spare room, and enjoyed the zoom tastings with Delectabulles Champagne Club. All are worth checking out.
Between the endless array of wine entertainment on offer online, and working from home keeping us in close proximity to the wine-fridge loneliness, it can be all too easy to reach across the room for a bottle while feeling some mixture of boredom, general anxiety and stress. READ MORE…
Texas Wine Lover: Cheramie Wine is Launched Offering a Texas Riesling
Cheramie Law, former United States Marine, black woman vintner, and co-founder of Salt and Pepper Wine, announced the launch of Cheramie Wine along with co-founder partner Todd Aho. The first wine offered is a 100% Riesling from the Texas High Plains AVA. READ MORE…
Bloomberg: Lebanon Needs You to Buy Its Wines. And, Yes, They’re Really Good
Making wine here has never been easy. But with every bottle exported, a bit of hope and resilience follows the disaster in Beirut.
Massive explosions rocked Beirut’s huge port last month, killing more than 200 people. The owners of Château Marsyas winery were injured in their commercial office just 600 meters away and crawled through debris from fallen walls and ceilings to escape. Two weeks later, they were harvesting grapes at their vineyards in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
That’s the kind of resilience winemakers have in this tiny country on the eastern Mediterranean coast, squeezed between Israel and Syria. READ MORE…
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