Blog & Podcasts

Articles & Resources for September 12th, 2022

Hey, I hope you’re having a good week! 

I know it’s been a challenging year. Will we ripen in time? We’ve had lots of mildew and leaf hoppers. I know for many wineries customer volume have been all over the place (but it sounds like overall good). 

But we’re going to end strong!

And on that note, we have a strong newsletter. We’re heavy in on the farming side (we’re getting close to harvest of course), but also some very interesting articles on the decline of wine media. There’s also some really good interviews I got a lot out of, and a couple of book recommendations at the end. 

In the Farm & In the Cellar
The Wine Business
Fun!

In the Farm & In the Cellar

Irrigation

Investigating Low-Volume Approaches to Vineyard Cooling
Definitely give this a read. They compared low-volume misters, overheads, and a control (no cooling). Some very interesting results. 

Harvest: How Should I be Irrigating? 
We shared this in the blog. An excellent, to-the-point piece on irrigation at this time (well backed by current science). 

Interviews & Winery Profiles

In Conversation with Michael Moosbrugger
 An interview with a major player in Austrian wine. Love this quote: Qui bon vin boit, Dieu voit (“Whoever drinks good wine recognizes God”).

When Wines Play the Lang Game in Austria
An interesting profile of a biodynamic+ producer and their unique approach. 

Elizabeth Schneider: The Ramble
A very interesting, and iconoclastic, interview on wine and wine media. “Today, I see very little real wine news and virtually no critical thinking about the industry.” Gloves off!

Pooling and Spooling Ideas in Switzerland
I love seeing how other wine regions are changing, adapting and growing. Take a look at Switzerland.

New Tech, New Solutions

Biopesticides to Manage Pierce’s Disease Trialed at UC Davis
Early positive results. Will we ever be able to get it in Canada?

Researchers Hope to Combat Grapevine Trunk Diseases with Bio-control Treatments
We shared this last newsletter from a different source. Some very positive (and early) results on fighting GTD.

Data Driven Farming and Vineyard Automation
A look at a number of new vineyard technologies.

Climate Adaptations

Why U.S. Winemakers Are Taking a Chance on Obscure Grape Varieties
What’s better, becoming internationally well-known for a well-recognized varietal, or embracing the ability to grow diverse varietals and slash your own path?

Tablas Creek Harvest Escalated Quickly
Down in Paso Robles they’ve also had a crazy season, with some varietals jumping 6 brix in a week.

The Future of Napa Valley Wine — and How It’s Evolving Following Years of Devastating Wildfires
I think this is a good overview of the adaptations taking place in our industry. 

Vine Trunks Rise to Meet Climatic Changes
Getting higher, slightly delays ripening (makes total sense). With increasing eat, delayed ripening is (generally) good. 

Research and Vineyard Management

Research: Vineyard Management Influences Grape-borne Fungal Community and the Aroma Profile of Wines
Interesting: “The different aroma profile is probably related to the agronomic management applied, which – in turn – is able to shape microbial communities and could enrich grapes with specific aroma precursors.”

Research: The Effects of Grape Polysaccharides Extracted from Grape By-Products on the Chemical Composition and Sensory Characteristics of White Wines
Research suggests pomace and musts are viable sources of winemaking additives. 

Pigs Used to Clear Between Vine Rows and Soil Ridges
And now pigs! Pigs are great. 

How Winter Pruning Can Make or Break a Harvest
A nice breakdown on the impacts of pruning. 

Miscellania

No One Left to Call
A difficult (but important) conversation on mental health for growers and vineyard owners. 

In Praise of Rosé Wine on the Darker Side
I am putting this here purely out of a selfish and self-concerned reason – I prefer heavier Rose. (It’s also a fun article).

The Wine Business

 

BC Wine Brands

Varketing: Brand Demographics 2016-2021
Great work by Paul. A major breakdown of BC wine branding. Lots of useful data: “173 brands above the median accounted for 96% of industry sales.”

The Downfall of Wine Media

Wine Media Is Broken: A Case Study
A detailed look at pay-to-play for reviews (and more).

The Demise of Pix
Some say good riddance. What do you say? 

Myths of the Spectator
Wine Spectator is declining in influence. 

Market Opportunities

Podcast: Big Picture Economic Themes in Wine Production
Navigating an evolving landscape. 

The Drinks Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Ownership
A good, basic piece. I can’t add more than the subhead: “How to take the leap into alcohol business ownership, from experts in the legal, production, and retail spaces.”

Growing Opportunity for Lower Alcohol Wines in the US Market
The article shares a lot of useful market data. Big takeaway is that consumers are showing a clear preference for lower alcohol wines.

The New Financials of Running a Restaurant Wine Program
New economic challenges yes, but this article focuses on opportunities and solutions. 

The (North) American Market

‘Napa Was a Ghost Town’: Why California Wine Country Had a Surprisingly Slow Summer
Keep this in mind: increasing travel costs plus reservation models are likely the reason. But guests stayed longer and spent more. 

For Most Americans, Wine is Not a Big Deal
Old wine “plonk” drinking is declining and New World wine drinking is not keeping up. 

Fun!

New Canadian Guidelines: No More Than 2 Drinks a Week
I’m no doctor, but I can’t take these guidelines seriously. As many of you know, we just had a baby and in that short time, a number of major guidelines changed. These are the results often as much politics and mediocre science as anything helpful. 

What’s a “Natty Bro”? A Compilation of Natural Wine’s Worst Stereotypes
Funny.

Is the Future of American Wine… Vermont?
A look at Vermont wine, its history, and current producers. 

Traditional Japanese Sake Tries to Become More Like Wine
I’ll give it a try!

Bordeaux’s Contentious Classification Strikes Again
A never-ending battle. 

Wine Book Reviews: “Dragon Vine” and “Vine and Prejudice”
I just ordered Vine and Prejudice

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