Editor's Letterby Jim Gordon
Inside the immaculate To Kalon Cellar of Robert Mondavi Winery, an accomplished winemaker draws samples of a reserve 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from a barrel with a wine thief. He releases the almost black liquid into glasses held by consumers and trade members attending the barrel auction portion of Auction Napa Valley in June.
The winemaker readily answers questions from others and myself about clones, vineyard sites and vintage variations, and he starts to enthuse about what a difference the now popular destemming and sorting technologies have made for wine quality. Then he stops himself abruptly, and says to me with an exasperated expression that he wasn’t supposed to talk about technology with the public.
Vineyard Viewby Cliff Ohmart
In the August 2013 issue of Wines & Vines I penned the column “The Future of Farm Extension” and reported that the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) had lost 22% of its farm advisors and specialists (86 people) between 2009 and 2012.
Viewpointby Wendy Van Diver
We’ve all heard this over and over again: Great wine is born in the vineyard. Now, after attending the 2016 Vintage Perspective Tasting hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners, I believe that it’s also coming from the corners of the room.
Grounded Grapegrowingby Glenn McGourty
California’s climate has certainly changed perceptibly in the past decade, as drought and increased temperatures year-round have affected winegrowing in the state. Besides potential stress to grapevines, another serious consequence is the increased risk of forest and brush fires. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of forest and brush fires for the West Coast. This may eventually cause massive changes to our landscape in terms of types of trees and shrubs that grow. The potential for devastating fires is a grave concern to all living things in or near wilderness areas.
Inquiring Winemakerby Tim Patterson
WARNING: This column, normally about winemaking topics, is entirely devoted to grapegrowing. Worse, it makes fun of several long-cherished beliefs about grapes and their contribution to wine. But at least I do quote Glenn McGourty, another writer for this magazine and someone who actually does know a lot about grapes, to help with the demolition.READ MORESEE EARLIER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN
Marketing Mattersby Dixie Lee Huey
There have been some particularly hot challenge topics in the industry during the past few years—distributor consolidation, price pressure, brand proliferation and, of course, the economy. These trends and the down part of the economic cycle are real, and in an acute way they necessitate a focus on marketing-driven sales strategies.READ MORESEE EARLIER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN