Archive for the ‘Terroir’ Category

Apr 15, 2014

Celebrating The Best Defined Wine Growing Region in California

One of the criticisms of the American Viticultural Area (AVA) system (our appellation system) in the U.S. is that it imposes so few rules on the use of a place-name that buyers can have few expectations of what they will be tasting when they buy a bottle of wine with “Russian River Valley”, “Sonoma Coast”, “Dry Creek Valley” or any other AVA on the label. Beyond requiring that a certain percent of the grapes used to make the wine must…

Mar 6, 2014

The Question of Land-Focused vs. Hand-Focused Wines

Today, in nearly any thoughtful discussion of fine wine by knowledgeable drinkers, one finds a near universal bias towards Land-Focused or “terroir-driven” wines over “Hand-Focused” or winemaker-driven wines. This land-focused bias—the belief that wines that accurately depict a terroir are “better” wines—is nothing new. Old World wine drinkers and vintners have held this attitude for generations and have codified the bias into appellation laws. What I’ve been wondering is this: Is a land-focused fine wine bias a more reasonable or…

Feb 10, 2014

The Wine Materialist Lays a Natural Turd

I chuckle every time I hear the phrase uttered or written: “As Nature Intended”. On its face, the phrase implies that nature or the natural world displays intent, which further implies that a rock, an apple tree, the wind, iron molecules and, yes, even vineyards possess intelligence. And this is a kind interpretation of the phrase. At base, the phrase implies that “Nature” is a single intelligent actor that is at least willful and at most omnipotent. It’s a pretty…

Feb 3, 2014

Playing No Limit Poker in the California Vineyards

There are a number of different types of poker games. Stud, Texas Hold’em, Omaha, etc. In the end, most poker games are the same. The person that shows down the best combination of cards after the betting is done or is the last person in the hand with cards wins. But its not really the the variations in play between Stud, Texas Hold’em, Omaha or the rest of the poker games that sets them apart from each other. What sets…

Jan 23, 2014

Stop What You Are Doing and Pray To the Wine Gods—NOW!

There’s very nifty golf course here in Napa called Chardonnay Golf Club. As you might imagine, there are LOTS of grapevines strewn about the property and it’s really a beautiful sight and beautiful set up. So, I’m out there playing the other day with a buddy. It’ about 11:30am and it’s 65 degrees outside. The sun is shinning. In fact, by 3pm the temperature will get up to about 71 degrees. It’s January. The dead of winter. Clearly, the Golf…