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reality that a lot of people are not pleased about the winemaking technologies I have introduced and promoted. Often I read comments on the Internet that wine lovers want to see on wine labels what is being done so they can avoid manipulated wines. Since there is not enough room on a label for such intricate information, certifi cation marks provide such assurances for organic, biodynamic, and kosher wine by proscribing specifi c practices, but no such mark has ever been proposed for Natural Wine. This peculiar situation, I believe, is related to the large number

origins, but tastes made-up. The winemaking imprint has obliterated genuine character through a combina- tion of ripeness, sweetness, and perhaps also oak. Other winemaking trickery may have been used with the intention, no doubt, to make the wine have a broader appeal, but to distinguished palates it tastes 92 . t h e s a dn e s s of s p o of u l at ion horrible—confected, sweet, and placeless. A spoofy wine may be inexpensive, or it may be expensive. You can almost (but not quite) forgive spoofulation in a cheap mass-market wine (people have to make a

we refer to today as criollas. They depended, however, on local technology: it was the irrigation engineering of the Inca emperor Pachacutec, the builder of Machu Picchu, that enabled the first vineyards to be planted south of Lima in 1548. As the conquistadores ventured farther south and east, grape growing and winemaking spread into Chile and northern Argentina. Pedro de Valdivia, one of Pizarro’s most trusted officers, settled Santiago (in 1541), La Serena (1544), and Concepción (1550). As he moved south, he was met with brave resis- tance by the native

to this. “Doug, it’s a small valley,” he rea- soned. “Who am I going to hire? Anyone I interview for a winemaking position will know that I’ve got a son waiting in the wings. Anyone with half a brain will know we’re not talking about a long- term proposition.” Over the next few weeks he persisted, asking me a couple more times. I just as per sis tent ly refused. Finally at Christmas, he wouldn’t let it go. I didn’t want to see my dad high- and- dry, which is how he felt. At the same time, I knew I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t the right guy. And I didn’t want to


because of new understandings about winemaking and improving technology also altered the landscape. In short, California and the West Coast had changed, and the Handbook was able to capture those changes for a growing wine-buying world. The Handbook held on gamely through four major revisions and many reprintings, and in one form or another, stayed in print for over twenty- five years. But, like all attempts to take a snapshot of a moving target, it became increasingly a captive of past scenes and could not adapt to the new reality of thousands of labels, greatly

direct connection between soil, climate, and wine, was the conventional wisdom among growers for mil- lennia. This instinctive, pre-scientifi c association of place and taste underwent consider- able refi nement before it emerged as the modern concept of terroir in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But in its earlier, inchoate form, the belief that dirt control- led wine’s destiny was widespread, elemental, and obvious, no more remarkable than the daily rise of the sun in the east. There are books about winegrowing and winemaking dating back

118 If Randall Grahm brought the fl ash to the Rhône movement, Steve Edmunds brought the soul, a framework for authenticity that faithfully served the movement through its early years and provided a kind of moral compass. His sensitivity translated eff ortlessly to his wines, in blends which refl ected an authentic Côtes du Rhône charm, and in meditative Syrahs. The combination got to the heart of what the movement was about. Steve Edmunds came to winemaking through home brewing in the seventies. In 1972, a shop for home brewing and winemaking supplies hired

finicky vine. However, the story of “WINE IS DEAD! LONG LIVE WINE!” 56 wine does not end with the choice of the grape variety or varieties. There is much more to the creation of this intoxicating beverage. The two pivotal steps in winemaking are growing the grapes and making wine from the grape juice. Viticulture, the science of cultivating grapes for winemaking, involves everything from selecting the vineyard site, to prepar- ing the soil, to planting, trellising, and pruning the vines. Much of the craft and science of growing grapes revolves around getting as many

, winemaking in some form had, by the end of the century, been carried on in almost every state east of the Rocky Mountains, from the Atlantic Coast westward to Kansas, and in the Southwest as well. Almost all of the many wineries in question had only a local trade, and most of them had a very uncertain tenure on life. But a pattern had gradually been established before being obliterated by Prohibition. In the northern parts of the region, exposed to the extremes of continental weather, the tempering effect of water was cru- cial. Thus the Great Lakes states dominated: New

the moment, in the present chapter I have a different agenda. Here I will labor to persuade every reader of the debt of honor we owe to wine- making’s ill-advised, unhinged losers. Much of the charm in a career making wine in America is the imper- ative for pioneering. This is in contrast to European oenologues, who enter an industry hidebound in tradition, with winemaking procedures, styles, and markets thoroughly entrenched for centuries. Their science, though certainly scholarly, possesses a self-congratulatory tone, as if to answer the question, “How can