Archive for the ‘Wine Education’ Category

Jun 9, 2014

Marking 10 years Since the Pinot Noir Groundswell

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of two important Pinot Noir milestones: The first San Francisco Pinot Days Tasting and the release of the film Sideways. These anniversaries ought to give us good reason to stop and consider the state of Pinot Noir in 2014. First, however, let me encourage you to attend Pinot Days. It is a great and very accessible tasting of Pinot Noir. This year upwards of 100 different producers of Pinot Noir, mainly from California, will…

May 14, 2014

Honoring and Remembering Hanzell Vineyard’s Bob Sessions

In tribute to the recently passed Hanzell Vineyard’s Emeritus Winemaker Bob Sessions and his family, FERMENTATION: The Daily Wine Blog will be static until Monday, May 19. No new posts will be placed here. Our thoughts are with Mr. Hanzell’s wife Jean Sessions and son Ben Sessions. Tom Wark will only be blogging during this time at

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 5, 2014

It’s Dark, It’s Delicious—It’s the Next Big Thing in Wine?

Petite Sirah does need help. Among all the grape varieties that have long been grown in California vineyards, Petite Sirah is probably the most underrated and least written about. And yet, in the right hands, Petite Sirah can be among the most compelling drinks coming out of California vineyards. The proof of this will be on display at the annual DARK AND DELICIOUS tasting, taking place this year on February 21 at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda, California from…

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…