Archive for the ‘Terroir’ Category

Nov 30, 2018

Freedom and Egalitarianism in American Wine

The San Francisco Chronicle’s excellent young wine editor, Esther Mobley, engages in some really interesting speculation this week. In response to Katherine Cole’s excellent survey of how some wine labelling regulations have and are changing in the U.S. published in SevenFifty Daily, Mobley asks the following question: “Will this emulation of Europe at some point endanger our distinctively American spirit of experimentation when it comes to planting vineyards?” What Esther is asking is will wine labelling regulations in the U.S….

Oct 25, 2018

Napa vs Oregon Wine Country: Coppola Edition

News that the Coppola family of Napa and Sonoma winery fame purchased the Vista Hills Vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley shouldn’t be a real surprise. While there isn’t an exodus to Oregon among California winemakers, there certainly is a turning north in winemakers’ investment view. The Vista Hills Vineyard is a pretty prime spot. Located in the Dundee Hills AVA and situated next door to Domaine Drouhin and Domaine Serene, the 42 acres of vineyard and tasting room and winery…

Jun 26, 2018

This Wine is Smokin’ Good

As I’ve argued before, there simply is no way to argue that smoke taint in a wine brought on by fires during harvest is not a genuine reflection of terroir. That case will be made by more people once more North Coast wines from the 2017 vintage are released to the public. They will, after all, need to be sold. We have a good example of how this view plays out with the newly released Oregon wines, some of which…

Nov 7, 2017

Wine and The Glory of Smoke Taint

“I really, strongly feel that I want there to be some character about the fire in the wines. This is part of the vintage, and it’s going to be a part of my life, remembering this event. In 10 years, if I sit down and have a bottle of that smoky Cabernet, I want to remember the vintage…At the same time, I don’t want the wines to be disgusting.” If there we ever more authentic words from a true grape…

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…