BCWW: Articles & Resources (17/04/2022)

This week we have a lot on natural wine, wine economics, and a $5 wine that now is selling for… thousands? 

As usual, the three sections: 

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

    In the Farm & In the Cellar


    Managing Nitrogen in the Vineyard and the Winery Efficiently
    A strong read. “Photosynthesis is not affected until soil nitrogen is so low that it has already reduced crop yield… People thought that it didn’t matter if nitrogen is added in the winery or comes in on grapes that have been fertilized, but it does.” and “Applying too much nitrogen to the vineyard can affect the ability of the vines to draw essential nutrients from the soil.”

    There is More to Vineyard Floors
    The Lodi Growers blog goes into an impressive level of detail on the vine floor and its interaction with the wider environment.

    Mitigating Grape and Wine Quality Impacts of Red Blotch
    There are a couple recommendations. A key point: “You probably won’t spray your way out of this problem.”

    Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon’s Wide Purview
    “It was in Tasmania that he become a fan of permaculture, a holistic approach to wine production that includes the increasingly fashionable regenerative viticulture, in which soil health is prioritised.” That’s pre-1995.

    Nature Has [Water] Solutions… What Are They and Do They Matter?
    This is a very detailed and sourced article on water depletion and potential solutions. 


    Scientists Discover the Key to Terroir
    Dinosaur poo! “…the layer of dinosaur excretions that forms the great terroir of the Médoc is the result of a mass herding of smaller marine reptiles by larger ones, such as Mosasaurs.”

    The Science of Old Vines
    The epigenetic benefits of old vines and how to keep them: “Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that if you take cuttings from these venerable old Barossa vines the epigenetic changes are re-programmed. But if you propagate by layering, they can be preserved.”

    Research: A Global Microbiome Survey of Vineyard Soils Highlights the Microbial Dimension of Viticultural Terroirs
    This is a very cool paper taking a 5,000 ft view of how microbes impact terroir. If you care about terroir, microbes, or regen I’d give this a skim. Paper doesn’t need to be reads in detail but the highlights are well worth it. Plus its cool to see this type of research in Nature.


    Using Alternative Yeasts to Replace Sulfites in Wines
    Different approaches and techniques.

    Concrete Evidence
    François Massoc is skeptical: “they forget that the inner pores [of the concrete tank] are not connected with the exterior pores so this is impossible.”

    Low Intervention Reaches New Zealand
    “Many are quick to point across the ditch and say that New Zealand winemakers were inspired by their Australian peers. This may be true for some, but Europe loomed large for those I spoke to.”

    Podcast: Tami McKay, Winemaker Windsor Vineyards, Hopland, California
    I liked some of Tami’s advice: focus on one thing at a time. Don’t focus on the million things you need to do, laser in on the next immediate, high-priority task.


    VinePair Podcast: What Is the Endgame for Natural Wine?
    This is an excellent discussion.

    Christine Pieroth: Nahe Natural Pioneer
    Germany is leading the way here. 

    Young Healdsburg Winemaker Jumps onto Pétillant Naturel Trend
    I’m sharing this because as much as natural wine gets (justifiably) pooh-poohed, it reflects real preferenes especially for younger drinkers.


    Climate Change: ‘We’re Making Wine in Norway’
    Given land prices now in BC, expanding the growing region is a small benefit here. Aka will Marcus Frind be proven right.

    The New Magnetism of Alt Mosel
    I love reading how international wine regions are growing and changing. This article on Mosel reminds me of how recessionary Greece changed wine there.

    Threats to Biodiversity When Controlling Wildfires
    By contrast BC is mass-spraying glyphosate to kill non-economic trees.

    The Wine Business


    The Future of Wine Is Numbers
    Yes. I wonder what Paul Rickett thinks of the importance of this kind of data? (ha!)

    Wine Economist Karl Storchmann Thinks There Should be a Statistical Approach to the Wine Industry
    “We want to convey that many wine-associated perceptions are just myths — based on little factual support. There is almost no question that cannot be tackled in a quantitative way. We want to insert some reason into the industry and its decision makers.”

    Here Be Dragons: Wine and the Economy Enter Uncharted Waters
    The Wine Economist on why we’re in such uncertain times. There are strong wine inflationary and deflationary pressures. 


    Burgundy: Wine Prices are Going to Much Higher for Consumers
    They’re expecting for at least the next 18 months.

    Five Considerations for Investing in the No- and Low-Alcohol Wine Sectors in 2022
    Including how to manage taste perceptions. 

    Jamie Goode: The New Canadian Wines You Need to Know
    And available in the UK.

    Constellation Brands Enters the Ready-to-Drink Boxed Wine Cocktail Category
    Giants move.


    Why TikTok — Not Instagram — is a Rising Platform for Winemakers Desperate to Lure Millennials
    Yes. And Vintality is even on it (but not enough). One of the keys – lots of quantity over quality. 

    What Are Aromatic White Wines?
    As is the case with Wine Folly – posting this here as a good share for your winery newsletter.


    Australia Struggling for Wine Diversity
    The challenge: sales. 

    New Grape Varieties Can Help Bordeaux Adapt to Climate Change – But Will the Market Allow It?
    The article doesn’t answer the question but does have interesting data on the varietal issues.

    When will Sustainability Matter to Consumers?
    Barring a major climate shock, with the advent of Millennials it certainly will. 

    The Glass Wine Bottle Is Traditional, Beloved, and Bad for the Planet
    There’s been much writing about the glass bottle, will this advocacy bring change?

    What IS “Local Wine” Anyway?: A Study on Defining “Local Wine” to Wine Consumers in Ontario
    One important result – people think about “local food” and “local wine” differently. “Local wine” just meant any wine in the province (or even just Canadian).


    How Mika Bulmash Built a Wine Import Portfolio Rooted in Social Responsibility
    A success story.

    The Drinks Industry Has an Ageism Problem
    In both directions. Wineries and major brands skew older, and the customer-facing side skew young. 

    Early Sales, Contracts Ease Inflation Pain
    An interview with a major vineyard management company owner. 

    New Buyers Needed for Wine’s Traditional Role
    The article argues that wine is losing the dinner table – and shows how it can reclaim it.


    Entering The World Of Warre’s Port
    I had a chance to sit through a tasting with Warre’s parent company. What a treat and what a wide-range of ports!

    In France’s Jura Region, Dinosaur Fossils Have Left a Footprint on the Wine Industry
    You had me at “dinosaur”.

    Eric Asimov: 10 Grapes Worth Knowing Better
    A short and fun read.  

    Wine Book Review: Grassroots Perspectives on Portuguese Wine
    I almost moved to Portugal seven years ago.

    Wine and Health is Never a Simple Topic
    As always, sage advice from David Morrison. 

    How Did a $5 South African Wine End Up Selling for Thousands?
    Wine did Bitcoin inflation before Bitcoin. 

    We Don’t Talk About Abruzzo … But We Should!
    Mike Veseth on a little-talked about Italian wine region.

    ASEV Selects 2022 Best Enology and Viticulture Papers
    Cool. Cool, cool, cool. I now have 16 new papers to read.