Vinography Images: A Rift in the Sky

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A Rift in the Sky
PAUILLAC, FRANCE: Dramatic clouds separate amidst the evening light above Château Lafite Rothschild, which has been owned by the Rothschild family since the 19th Century. Lafite, as it is affectionately known, is one of four First Growths established by the 1855 Classification in Bordeaux. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy Katz in the process of shooting his most recent work The Club of Nine, ...

Spring Mountain Harvest Tasting: November 18, San Francisco

spring_mtn_image.jpg When most people think of Napa, they likely think of broad swaths of vineyards sweeping back from the edges of Highway 29 towards beautifully manicured lawns and pretty architecture. Certainly, many of the most famous spots in Napa fit this description. Some of their names -- Rutherford, Oakville, St. Helena -- have begun to be recognized by consumers. But there is another side (or more accurately, sides) to Napa, less trodden, less visible, but arguably more interesting from the standpoint of wine. Those sides, of course, are the hillsides -- the mountain terroirs of Napa, where altitude and slope, temperature gradients and well draining soils, shady pockets and hillside breezes make for fresh, powerful wines that can really turn your head. There are a few such hillside and mountaintop areas of Napa, but perhaps the most significant is the Spring Mountain District, home to some of Napa's most distinctive (and ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 11/4/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Where You Can Taste Wine as Old as Grandma
A vist to Seppeltsfield Exploring Ancient Alchemy and Remote Terrain to Find France's Best-Kept Wine Secret
It's such a sweet little town. Winemaker Christian Moreau on Life in Chablis
He shut up and listened to the Boss. Erasing Montepulciano confusion
About time! Silicon Valley's Backyard Wine Region Goes Digital
Clever, clever. A Journey Into the Mind of a Wine Tourist: What Keeps Them Coming Back for More?
Becca digs into the research. Wine Appreciation: connoisseurship or snobbery?
An excellent consideration. Initial feedback from winegrowers on the Naïo weeding robot
The robots are coming. ...

Vinography Unboxed: Week of 10/28/18

bigstock-box-of-wine-on-the-plain-backg-26760620.jpgHello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a lot of really great stuff, including some superstars. Let's start with a very pretty Riesling from one of the top producers from Germany's Rheingau region, Leitz, and indeed one of the best known wineries in Germany. This lovely wine comes from a small slate-filled vineyard next to a Benedictine abbey near the town of Geisenheim. It's lip smacking good with just a fain't hint of sweetness. Just add Thai food. Next on the list is a white from a new-to-me producer Reva, which appears to be a winery AND resort in Monfortino, in Italy's Piedmont region. This distinctive blend of two types of Sauvignon was quite tasty, and worth seeking ...
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Russian River Single Vineyard Tasting: November 15, San Francisco

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Longtime readers will know that I make it a point to promote events that provide an opportunity to really educate your palate. As a wine lover, nothing teaches you more than getting a chance to taste a lot of similar wines side-by-side. Whether that's learning if you really do like Merlot, or understanding the what kinds of wine a particular region does well, there's no substitute for taking a couple of hours to taste forty wines poured by people who can tell you most anything you might want to know about what you're tasting. Which leads me to the question: how do you feel about the Russian River Valley? Undoubtedly one of California's most distinct wine regions, the fog-influenced Russian River Valley was ground zero for the rise of California Pinot Noir from obscurity to its near-cult status today. Thanks to producers such as Williams Selyem and Rochioli, the Russian ...

Vinography Images: Looming Large

vinography_desktop_looming_large.jpg Looming Large
GIRONDE, FRANCE: Storm clouds loom in the evening light while the estate's windmill sits still above the vineyards at Chateau Ausone in Gironde on Bordeaux's Right Bank near Saint-Émilion. Ausone is one of only 4 wines classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé in the Saint-Émilion classification.
INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy Katz in the process of shooting his most recent work The Club of Nine, a ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 10/28/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. Portugal bets big on wine tourism
Adam Lechmere reports. New York Wineries Sued over Website Accessibility for Visually Impaired
Curious to find winery sites targeted. Italy's wine industry is being tested by the effects of climate change in its vineyards
Earlier and earlier. How the subscription economy will impact wine
Robert Joseph prognosticates. A Guide to Southern Oregon Wine
Off the usual map. Taking the Concept of Vine Variability to New Levels
Diversity IS the future. Sopexa's world trends: varieties and countries most in demand
The marketing behemoth tells all. 26 new grape varieties identified in Bío Bío
A remarkable gold mine. ...

Vinography Unboxed: Week of 10/21/18

bigstock-box-of-wine-on-the-plain-backg-26760620.jpgHello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a number of high quality "usual suspects." Let's start with some current releases from Dutton Goldfield in Sonoma County. Dutton Goldfield is one of the wine labels that benefits from the massive vineyard holdings at the Dutton Ranch, Sonoma County's largest single farmer of wine grapes. A collaboration between Steve Dutton and winemaker Dan Goldfield, their wines are always restrained and reliably high quality. Their Chardonnays are generally excellent, as the two I tasted this week show -- first their standard issue Russian River bottling, and then the single vineyard Walker Hill. Both have little trace of new wood, and lots of redeeming features. Likewise, the two Pinots from Dutton ...
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Vinography Images: Arc of History

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MARGAUX, FRANCE: A rainbow arcs towards the sunset above the historic vineyards of Chateau Margaux. Margaux is one of four original Premier Grand Cru classÉ wines according to the famous 1855 Bordeaux Classification. The estate is located in the commune of Margaux on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Médoc region, in the department of Gironde.
INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy Katz in ...

How to Properly Design a Wine List

When we talk about the design of a wine list, what is it that we're talking about? Most of the time, we're talking about the careful curation of choices for what wines go on the list. But I'd like to talk about the other meaning of designing a wine list. Yes, I'm talking about literally what that list looks like -- the choices that were made in deciding how the carefully curated selection of wines should actually appear to the guest. This conversation is going to be about aesthetics and the fundamentals of graphic design; about organization and readability; about context and creativity. Wine list design, I must say, from the standpoint of someone who designs things for a living and pays lots of people who do, too, is almost universally awful. For the past four years, I have been a judge for the global World's Best Wine Lists Awards ...
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I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Ehren Jordan

Thumbnail image for levi_dalton_ill_drink_to_that.jpg Episode 456 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently, and features Ehren Jordan. Ehren is the proprietor of the Failla winery, and also the Day wine label. This interview discusses Ehren's increasing interest in working with vineyards in Oregon, in addition to the California vineyards he has been sourcing from for years. Curious as to why there have been so many vineyard purchases and new winery projects in Oregon in the last few years? Ehren Jordan explains his own decision to work more with Oregon fruit, and in the process illuminates some of the key factors driving the increased growth of the wine industry in that state. Ehren brings some perspective to the conversation that really underpins this discussion, as he can draw upon his own deep knowledge of both Napa and Sonoma counties when it comes to comparing and contrasting the current Oregon scene. Ehren's ability to explain ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 10/21/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week.
Wine Supply is Hitting a Tipping Point
Rob Forbes does the analysis. And has some interesting insights. Zim somms take on the world - again
And make quite a show of it. Languedoc harvest report 2018
Before the floods. Willamette wineries to produce "Solidarity" wines to help Rogue Valley growers whose fruit was rejected by Copper Cane
Take that, Wagners. New Directions for Washington Wine
An update from the Northwest. Navigating the Changing Landscape of Wine Publicity
It's a jungle out there. Heavy Rains Have Ruined Virginia's Wine Grapes This Year
That's about the long and short of it. As North Coast ...

Vinography Images: Grand Shadows

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SAUTERNES, FRANCE: The last rays of the day's sun angle in from above the vineyards and through the majestic trees on the grounds of Château d'Yquem in Sauternes, an appellation within the Graves region of Bordeaux. In the famous 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, d'Yquem was the only winery in the Sauternes region to be accorded the status of Premiere Cru Supérieur. Its golden, sweet dessert wines are among the most famous, and long lived, in the world. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow ...

Vinoptima: Too Much of a Good Thing

vinoptima.jpg There's no doubt that wine is romantic, and that this romance inspires and motivates consumers and producers alike, especially in the new world, where wine as a profession and wine as a beverage are adopted, rather than hereditary. The popular discourse of wine remains so littered with near-mythical stories of people following their passions to create great wines and great wineries, that we all too easily forget that basic principles of economics always apply. No amount of passion can compensate for wine that consumers just don't want to buy, or that a winery owner can't figure out how to sell (as they are different but often related problems). All of that, by way of introduction to a winery named Vinoptima, in the out-of-the-way wine growing region of Gisborne, on New Zealand's North Island. Started by wine industry veteran Nick Nobilo in 2000, Vinoptima may be one of the world's ...
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20th Annual PinotFest Tasting: November 17, San Francisco

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One of the longest running wine tasting events in San Francisco is also one of its best. While the city often plays host to really huge public tastings like ZAP, Family Winemakers, and PinotDays, some of the better tastings are more intimate and focused. Both words appropriately describe PinotFest, a low-key event held every year at Farallon Restaurant. Despite practically non-existent marketing or announcement, PinotFest quietly pulls together 60 or so top producers of West Coast Pinot Noir every year for a dedicated crowd of Pinot lovers in San Francisco. This year will be the event's 20th annual incarnation. Attendees get nibbles from Farallon's kitchen, and access for a few hours to many hard to find Pinot Noirs that often don't appear at the larger public tastings. This year's wineries will include: Alma Rosa, Au Bon Climat, Big Table Farm, Bonaccorsi, Byron, Calera, Charles Heintz, Chehalem, Cobb, Costa de ...

The Highs and Lows of Vintage 2018

brittan_vineyards_oregon_pinot_pick.jpg In preparing to summarise the state of the 2018 vintage in some of America's top wine regions this week, I found myself relieved that the highlights did not include winemakers contending with raging wildfires, earthquakes or other natural disasters. Of course, this past year has not been completely free from fires in California and Oregon (and there was an ill-timed hurricane on the east coast) but these examples of force majeure thankfully weren't raging around the ears of wine producers as they brought in their grapes at the end of the season. That said, not everyone had an easy time of it in 2018. Perhaps the toughest vintage stories this year come from America's east coast, where unusual and rather persistent summer rains made for an extremely soggy harvest in some places and, unfortunately, no harvest at all in a few unlucky cases. 'In general bud break was late, flowering ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 10/13/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. The Rise of The Italian Wine Specialist in America
Why we love Alfonso. At World's Largest Food Market, a Sip of Wine After a Night of Butchery
Fascinating. How Martha Stoumen Became a Master of Nero d'Avola
Definitely time for Nero. Sake embeds itself abroad with new U.K. brewery
Interesting choice of location. 100,000L of premium NZ wine set to drench market
Gewurtztraminer proves to be a tough sell. U.S. Wine Retailers And The Constitutional Right To Ship Out Of State
Let's hope the supreme court gets this one right.  Preserving Acidity is the Biggest Issue in Champagne
Thank ...

Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 7, 2018

bigstock-box-of-wine-on-the-plain-backg-26760620.jpgHello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I'm pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently. This week included a few gems from around California and one from Italy. Last week I featured newest Chenin Blanc from Lang & Reed winery, sourced from Mendocino. This week I've got their traditional Napa apellated wine, which has even more depth and complexity. This week I've also got a couple more wines from Katy Wilson's LaRue cellars. The first, her Sonoma Coast bottling seems like it's been slapped with a touch too much new wood, and isn't holding it very well at this point in its evolution, despite having some very pretty fruit. The other bottling on the other hand, a Pinot from the Thorn Ridge Vineyard, is a knockout wine that shows ...
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Vinography Images: Beautiful Symmetry

vinography_desktop_beautiful_symmetry.jpg Beautiful Symmetry
PAUILLAC, FRANCE: A view of the immaculately designed winery at Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, a town in the Medoc region of Bordeaux. Mouton, as it is affectionately known, was not originally part of the First Growth designation in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of its owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the estate managed something of a coup, and was elevated to First Growth in 1973, the only estate to have been so included in the modern era. Mouton is best known for its labels that have changed each vintage since 1945, and always feature the work of one of the world's most famous artists.
INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image ...

Wine News: What I’m Reading the Week of 10/7/18

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Welcome to my weekly roundup of the wine stories that I find of interest on the web. I post them to my magazine on on Flipboard, but for those of you who aren't Flipboard inclined, here's everything I've strained out of the wine-related muck for the week. New Research Study Highlights Motivational Differences of Wine Consumers by Generation
Do you drink to relax or to socialize? Yes. The Promise and Peril of Mexico's Wine Revolution
Too big, too fast? The Sommelier Finds Room to Breathe
The unsustainable career. Sicily is the Undiscovered Terroir for Syrah
So says one winemaker. Pinot Noir's Sleeping Giant
Oh yes, the Germans are coming. Does Bordeaux Even Want to Change?
Mostly? No. Thieves Strip Vineyard Bare of Grapes
Taking brazen to a new level. They used a machine. One of France's top wine chateaus embroiled in inquiry into 'rigged' St Emilion rankings
The endless ...