Blog & Podcasts

soil

What’s up With the Okanagan?

We can never stop asking “Where are we going?”  If you stop and think about how many of your conversations, especially around our work in the wine industry, focus on this very question.  And there’s conflict in the asking. Should we go here or there? Is the answer in the past, a sign we passed along the way, or is it

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wine business

3 Things I Learned About Wine Marketing from Kevin Zraly

There have been a couple of excellent pieces on the famous wine educator Kevin Zraly. Zraly played a critical role in the world-famous World Trade Center restaurant “Windows on the World”, and he has had as big an impact on wine education around the world as anyone alive.  Last week I shared Eric Asimov’s excellent article on Zraly, and Mike

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sustainability

Have We Lost the Plot with Sustainability?

I recently re-read a favourite essay of mine by the author Paul Kingsnorth. (I’d also highly recommend his and enthralling novel The Wake, written in an ‘updated’ Old English. It’s a wonderful novel to read aloud). The title is of course controversial. But Paul isn’t anti-environment, he has instead become anti-environment movement. This is, after all, a man who taught

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drones

The Challenge of Precision Viticulture

The American Society for Eonology and Viticulture put out a great piece on the challenges for implementing precision viticulture. “Precision viticulture” (PV) is the use of technology or techniques that increase grape yield or quality while reducing environmental impact. It’s new cm-accurate GPSs, UAVs, moisture sensors, etc. This new technology means we no longer must treat vineyards as a homogenous block.  

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New Research on Plant Tissue Sampling

There are problems with plant tissue sampling.  The big issue: nutrient concentration is not consistent across the petiole, is not consistent between nodes, and is not consistent between cultivars.  For example, the middle segment of petioles consistently had the lowest segment of nutrients – other than manganese which had the highest. Perhaps because of the role manganese plays in photosynthesis? 

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conventional

Marcus Ansems on Rethinking Wine Quality

Are we fooling ourselves with wine quality? Marcus Ansems, over at Daydreamer Wines, had a great Instagram post on wine quality. I have high respect for Marcus, for his work and knowledge, as well as the quality wine he’s producing from a difficult site.  Marcus summarizes the traditional view of wine quality:  How typical is it? ie. does a Bordeaux

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biodynamic

Do Organic/Biodynamic Wines Score Better?

In our weekly newsletter I shared a study that has been making the rounds everywhere. It apparently shows robust data that organic and biodynamic wines score higher than conventional wines – but sustainable wines score no higher than conventional. I mentioned that I hadn’t had time to look at the data in depth and wasn’t vouching for it.  Well, I’m

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cold hardiness

Vine Cold Hardiness in the Okanagan (Feb. 2020 update)

Note: This article is based on a document that I created for our clients as an easy reference after the very bad winter of 2019. It combines practices in the Okangan and other regions as well as up-to-date research on vine cold hardiness.  With increased seasonal variability with climate change, the very challenging winter of 2019 (extremely warm January followed by

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electrical conductivity

Why Electrical Conductivity (EC) Survey: Soil Texture & Irrigation Mapping

If you have thoughts, comments, questions: comment below or email me at chris(at)vintality.com Table of Contents 1. What is an Electrical Conductivity (EC) map? 2. How does the EC survey work? 3. When do you do an EC survey? 4. How do you do an EC survey? 5. How do you interpret an EC map? 6. What is ground truthing?

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