Archive for the ‘Terroir’ Category

Sep 8, 2017

Napa Valley’s Appellations Are Near Meaningless

Richard Mendelson’s newish book, “Appellations Napa Valley” is a fantastic tome. Written in a personal, first person voice that reflects Mendelson’s vast experience with the development of the Valley’s various sub appellations as well as his obvious and genuine affinity for this part of the world, the coffee table-style book is a unique and necessary addition to the Napa Valley Wine bibliography. However, the subject of the book brings up an important question that has been asked before: Do Napa…

Apr 17, 2017

Are Burgundy Wine Growers Cheating Terroir?

It’s being reported by the London Telegraph that the entire Burgundy wine region is set to be protected by a ” ‘hailstone shield’ to kill destructive storms that have blighted the famed wine growing region in recent years.” Here’s what I’m wondering: Is this “Hailstone Shield” altering the terroir of Burgundy, and if it is, what does this say about the longstanding commitment in Burgundy to its unique terroir and the unique wines it is said to produce? The first…

Nov 14, 2016

Will the Replanting of Napa Vineyards Bring Diversity?

As Napa grape growers replace their vines, will the composition of varieties planted in the region change to accommodate the recent broadening of tastes? This is the really interesting question that one can take away from a recent article in Wines and Vines that reports a majority of Napa growers will be replacing their vines by 2017. The cause of the replanting rush is Pierce’s Disease: “Pressure from grapevine red blotch-associated virus and Pierce’s disease is one of the main…

Jul 18, 2016

Is Wine Made in NY With Napa Grapes a “Napa Wine”?

Someone is about to get screwed. If a winery in New York purchases grapes from a Napa Valley vineyard, has the Napa Valley grapes refrigerated and shipped to its winery in New York, then crushes, presses and ferments those Napa Valley grapes into a wine, then bottles that wine, can we reliably say that the wine is a “Napa Valley Wine”? The practical answer is definite. The philosophical answer is even more certain. Currently, the practical answer is that currently…

Jun 6, 2016

Coming Soon To Wine—Replicating Terroir in the Bottle

It appears that one day, probably in my lifetime, people in labs will have the capability of replicating perfectly any bottle of wine made anywhere on the planet. That is to say, science is moving us closer to the day when a bottle of DRC, Petrus, Screaming Eagle or any other wine can be perfectly duplicated in a lab—all the way down to the texture, aroma and taste. When this happens it will not be the first time that ingenuity…