Editor's Letterby Jim Gordon
After two giant, devastating wildfires last year, Lake County, Calif., was due for some good news. Now the good news is coming, and from multiple directions.
First off, the initial cleanup of 1,300 homes destroyed by the Valley Fire and the Rocky Fire in this mountainous, landlocked Northern California county appears to be well along. It will take many years to rebuild, but during my visit to Lake County in early April, a large percentage of the hundreds of burnt buildings already had been demolished. A procession of log trucks lugged massive, charred tree trunks from the 115 square miles of burnt terrain out of the county as I drove in toward Clear Lake.
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.
Vineyard Viewby Cliff Ohmart
Terroir and Other Myths of Winegrowing, the new book by Dr. Mark A. Matthews, is a must-read for any wine grape grower or winemaker who has ever wrestled with the most important myths of winegrowing or debated them with colleagues—and that would be all of us! It is also a great read for any wine consumer interested in looking at “the man behind the curtain,” so to speak: the myths promoted by wine writers, tasting room staff, sommeliers and other wine gatekeepers.
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