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blossomed here, California wines have followed progress on a cyclical for- ward march, with great moments and fallow periods. Two devastating bouts with phylloxera, one in the 1880s and one in the 1980s, frame a century of winemaking interrupted almost to extinction by the 1906 earthquake, Pro- hibition, the Depression, and two world wars. But between the Civil War and the end of the nineteenth century, a few California vintners produced wines that would have been comfortable on the grand tour. In the 1970s, sev- eral California vintners claimed elite prizes in

. This is because it doesn’t smell of anything until the wine is in your mouth. According to the AWRI, it used to be detected quite rarely, but over the past few years they’ve started encountering it more often. This is put down to the move by some towards more natu- ral winemaking techniques, in which winemakers are using less and less SO2 or adding it only very late in the winemaking proc- ess. It is also thought that working with higher pH in red wines is a contributing factor. I have certainly encountered this fault quite a bit in natural-wine fairs. The AWRI

crystals of potassium bitartrate that have precipitated onto the inner surface of his large-format wood tanks in the course of repeated use help with clarification. BEFORE FERMENTATION White winemaking creates juice straightaway, and thus the finished wines are minimally inf luenced by compounds resident in grape skins, especially phenolics. Abundant phenolics can impart strong and sometimes bitter f lavors inconsistent with the sensory profile consumers now associate with quality in white wines. Some phenolic inf luence can be felicitous, however, giving

” they were taught in winemaking school. The prevailing opinion used to be that ferments were almost always carried out by winery-resident strains of yeast, and that S. cerevisiae was rare to nonexistent in the vineyard. Once people have learned something, they tend to hold on to this knowledge and relinquish it only slowly. 120 . a m y s t ic a l t r a ns f or m at ion culturing them, and then commercializing them in packets of active dried yeast. Winemakers must there- fore decide whether or not to inoculate. Cultured yeast can be considered to be part of

135 • What is it? When grapes are exposed to smoke during the ripening process, they can end up making wines that taste ashy, bitter, and unpleasant. • What is its fl avor impact? It’s not always tasted on the grapes, but it emerges during the winemaking process. Aff ected wines taste ashy, smoky, and phenolic. • What causes it? Wildfi res near vineyards towards the end of the growing season. • Is it always bad? Yes, if it’s detectable. • How can it be prevented? There’s no way to prevent it, although there are some remedial steps that can take place

use . . . typically reveal a great deal about how religious groups go about incorporating new members and, in turn, separating these members from ‘outsiders.’”15 Unlike the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman traditions, Jewish law does not preclude women’s participation in the winemaking process or den- 8 / Women Need Not Apply igrate female wine drinking. Rather, the central stipulation governing the production of kosher wine is that “the grapes and wine can be han- dled only by Sabbath observant Jews from grape crushing to consump- tion, unless the wine is Mevushal

mentation. Jullien, either less tactful or less kindly than Jefferson, simply castigates the wine as defective. Contemporary opinions of Pied mont winemaking were nowhere very high, I have to say. My 1810 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes Piedmont wines as brusco — a word Italians usually reserve for bad weather and disagreeable manners — and dismisses them, without further explanation, as “very wholesome for fat people.” Matters changed only in the 1840s, when Victorine Colbert, the French wife of a nobleman in Barolo, hired a compatriot, Louis

111 Even the most fundamentalist supporters of the philosophy of terroir—and the role of natural winemaking in seeing that this terroir is expressed in the fi nal wine—would agree that the winemaker has a responsibility to watch over the wine as it develops and to intervene where necessary to ensure that the wine refl ects the true potential of its site. To put this another way, doing nothing and watching a wine spoil because of some avoidable fault results in that wine failing to express its terroir. The human aspect is therefore important in any defi

, 233; New World crops in, 262–63; Phoenician exploration and colonization, 194–95, 196; rock paintings, 235–37, 236, 258–59; sorghum agriculture, 253–54, 255, 258–59; western conceptions of, 231–32. See also Egypt; other specific regions and sites Note: Page numbers in italics refer to figures, maps, and captions. African beverages, 13–16; additives, 232, 234, 257; available ingredients, 13–16, 232, 259–60, 263–64; beer in Egypt, 182, 186, 241–50; beer in sub- Saharan Africa, 250–59; Egyptian viticulture and winemaking, 166, 179, 180–81, 241, 262; fruit


When I wrote North American Pinot Noir between  and , wine publications and consumers had just begun to rediscover American editions of pinot noir after a long, cold winter of discontent. Th at book’s seven main chapters covered pinot noir’s European origins, what is known about its genetics, the history of its transplantation to North America, the regions where it is grown, its clones, the winegrowing and winemaking processes, and the delicate matter of how Burgundies and American pinots compare. Seventy-two American producers were then profi led