Villa Maria’s First Sip Of Summer


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This week Villa Maria Estate presented their seasonal #FirstSipNZ witter campaign and this chat featured a trio of ready for summer wines.  The winery is one of New Zealand’s most famous having operated for six decades starting as a one acre – one man shop in 1961 and growing to where founder George Fistonich is inducted to Restaurant and Hospitality Hall of Fame.  Fortunately, these wineries are widely distributed across the United States so here are some tweets why you may want to pick up a bottle or two…

Villa Maria 2018 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($14)

The grapes were sourced from the Awatere and Wairau Valleys – spreading from coastal Wairau to a higher altitude in Awatere (900 feet). This provides a  mixture of warmer and cooler vineyard sites which showcase the herbal and tropical notes.

Missouri Wine: Reviving American Heritage Grapes at Vox Vineyards


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Albania, America, Brilliant, Carman, Cloeta, Delicatessen, Favorite, Lenoir, Lomanto, Marguerite, Muench, Wetumka

These are winegrapes that were once grown in Missouri and middle America prior to Prohibition. They are just a handful among the many grapes developed in the rigorous breeding programs of viticulture pioneers Thomas Volney Munson, Hermann Jaeger, George Husmann, and Isador Bush. Each of these gentlemen received commendations from the French for rescuing that wine industry as mentioned in The Basics and between them developed hundreds of new wine grapes and rootstocks. The Show Me State is a prime grape breeding region as several diverse climates merge (eastern woodlands, western plains, Ozark Highlands, and the Mississippi Delta). Across the globe, there are about 79 different species of grapes in the genus Vitis (grapevines); but 27 of those are native to middle America. Thus Missouri has historically hosted many of these species: labrusca, aestivalis, riparia, rupestris, cordifolia, among …

Lodi Wine: The Unique, Unusual, and Unconventional


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During our SnoothLodi Wine trip there were dozens of wonderful wines that we sampled that could keep us writing for months. But in order to conclude this Lodi Wine series, this post will focus on several wines worth mentioning – emphasizing wines made from unconventional grapes or a unique Lodi heritage.   Note also that most of the information regarding the grape varieties come from wine-searcher.com.

Reds

St. Amant Winery 2017 Lodi Barbera ($18)
Barbera is a dark-skinned wine grape variety found in several Italian wine regions, including its native Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Campania and even the island regions, Sicily and Sardinia. At the turn of the 21st Century, it was Italy’s third most-commonly planted red wine grape, after Sangiovese and Montepulciano. In Lodi, Barbera thrives in its Mediterranean like climate and this wine derives from a 57-year-old vineyard. It’s also one I brought home afterward.

Bokisch Vineyards

Missouri Wine: The Basics


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Source: Missouri Wine and Grape Board

In the 1870s, 6 million acres of French vineyards were destroyed by a mysterious plague. Desperate, the French government invited Missouri’s first entomologist Charles V. Riley to diagnose the situation. He determined that the vines were suffering by an infestation of phylloxera, most likely introduced by imported American vines. Riley also suggested the idea of grafting vinifera vines to native American rootskocks were immune to the louse and introduced French authorities to growes such as George Husmann, Hermann Jaeger, and Isador Bush. Subsequently, millions of cuttings of Missouri rootstock saved the French wine industry from disaster. (1)

Source: Missouri Wine and Grape Board

At the time seeking out a Missouri specialist was a logical choice as the state was one of the largest producers in the country.  Early in American history, European immigrants brought their wine-making skills with them as they settled west of …