Wine Lover’s Time Sucker
I like toys and I like games. It's a vice, I admit. I love the Xbox. I love computer games. I don't get to use them as often as I like, but I do love them. I love maps too. Hence my fascination with GoogleEarth, perhaps the greatest time-sucker I've come across on the web.
So, it's no surprise that I love The Wine Map.
I'm not sure how long it has been in existence, but I'm pretty bummed I haven't come across it yet.
The wine map is primarily focused on Sonoma County, with some utility for Oregon wine lovers. What you have essentially is a topo/satellite/road map that is overlaid with a filter that shows vineyards and wineries. Now, winery maps are pretty common. So, it's the vineyard map components of this little amazing tool that I most love.
It essentially allows you to fly over Sonoma County, grazing through the vineyards that are carefully outlined and named. When you see an interesting one, click on it and often times you get variety and soil info as well as contact info.
One of the truly cool aspects of The Wine Map is the ability to use it while search for particular types of grapes if you are a home or professional winemaker. One does this via the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission's "Marketplace" feature. For example, suppose I'm looking for Russian River Valley Zinfandel grapes. I can do a search for just that at the Marketplace, discover that that there are 40 tons available form the Bacigalupi Vineyard, then click on the vineyard name and it takes me to The Wine Map's presentation fo the Bacigalupi Vineyard where I can discover any number of interesting things, such as the rootstock and the clones of the vines in question that will be yielding 40 tons of Zinfandel.
The Wine Map is a wine geek's toy. But so what? Grand Theft Auto is a Road Rage Geek's toy. There needs to be toys for all sorts of geeks. If you are a wine and map geek, you need to be prepared to seek lots of time sucked out of your life.