Articles & Resources for May 1st, 2023

Well here we are!

The weather is getting hot, vines are budding, and life is exploding!

Let’s get to it!

In the Farm & In the Cellar
The Wine Business

In the Farm & In the Cellar


The real Origins of Grape-growing and Wine-making?
A bit of history (and weakness of research papers).

Native Yeasts & Fermentation
Biodynamic wiz Craig Camp has a new podcast. This ones’ on native yeasts (I haven’t listened yet).

Why Do Wines Fail? Insight from a Major Competition
An interesting piece, especially if you’re wines are in comps.

First Insight into the Nasal Microbiomes of Tasters
This is very cool. A “quantity” vs. “quality” difference. Which won?

Making Sense of Sustainable Wine
The good, the bad the ugly.

Plant Nutrition, Soil & Fertiliser

John Kempf:Why Plant Nutrition is the Driver of Soil Regeneration
In which John argues that it is plant health that drives soil health.

John Kempf: The Ineffectiveness of Potassium Chloride as a Fertilizer
I always perk up when these studies find “no yield effect”.

“A Soil with Cover Crops is a Thriving Soil”, Claims Konrad Schreiber, Staunch Advocate of Grass Cover
Interesting he talks about yield loss and compaction needing to be managed after a few years.

Too Much Water & Not Enough Air: Waterlogged Vineyard Soils Pt. 1
Compaction is absolutely something to watch for here (esp. north of Oliver).

Conversations With Terry Theise – Part 1: Terroir
“Terroir describes a cause-and-effect relationship between soil components and wine flavors for which no other explanation seems possible. It is a basis for the concept of spirit-of-place, but only that — a basis.”

NYT: Napa’s First Zero-emission Vineyard Faces Heavy Opposition. Here’s Why
An interesting story.

The Wine Business

General Business

The Eulogy for the SVB Wine Division
Part eulogy, part gossip.

How Viticulture & Enology Programs Drive Success for Emerging Wine Regions
An argument for OKC.

Nutrition Labeling for Wine on the Horizon

Unsustainable? Anatomy of California Vineyard Economics
The wine economist on some of the challenges in California.


Weather, Economy Blamed for Low US Q1 DTC Sales
Just an FYI on what the US is seeing.

Are Direct to Consumer Wine Sales Falling off a Cliff?
What are you seeing?

Young Wine Drinkers Are Drinking Less, Says Study, But They’re Spending More
No one is surprised. A data point for premiumization.

Is the  Wine Industry Ready to Utilise Alternative Packaging?
Argues yes.


“Plant Based and Climate Friendly”: SF Chronicle’s Esther Mobley Tells Wineries to Woo Younger Consumers with Green Messaging
Yes, lean into the advantages wine has. But we also need the “edginess” that spirit marketing has.

The Elusive Search for the Perfect Eco-Friendly Wine Closure
This is actually a good piece on current options. But, as a complete aside, can I say how much I hate paper straws?

Wine Competitions Have Jumped the Shark
“The 100-point system is already barreling toward oblivion due to score inflation, where scores from an increasing number of outlets are creeping up so high as to become meaningless… Wine competitions now using the system in this manner seems certain to only hasten its collapse.”

Strong Roots — Honouring the Land with Indigenous Winemaker Justin Hall of Nk’Mip Cellars, Canada
A very cool profile of Nk’Mip’s Justin Hall.

Recommended Canadian Drinking Guidelines: Advocacy Solution in Search of a Policy Problem
Wine Drops response to Health Canada’s policy announcement in March.

Constellation Brands Forms Multi-Million Dollar, Multi-Year Partnership With Tastemade To Create First-Of Its-Kind Content Studio
I share this because Tastemade will be a good place to watch for wine content ideas.

5 Examples of Great Spring Winery Email Marketing
Simple examples.


What ChatGPT Gets Right – and Wrong – About Washington Wine
A fun piece, but this mirrors my experience. I was asking it about soil sensors, and it made up a type of soil sensor that does not exist.

Looking for Low-Carbon Wine Shipping? Try Sail Freight
I used to own a sail boat.

Archaeologists Uncover Elaborate Ancient Winery Among Roman Ruins
“Open dining areas set around a three sided courtyard suggest that the emperor would have dined alongside the flow of young wine gushing from the three lavish fountains.”

What Happens After 40 years in the Life of a Cabernet Sauvignon?
Some good, some bad.

Are Vintners Better Off After the Collapse of Silicon Valley Bank?