May Articles & Resources

For winemakers, the wine business, farmers, and those who love wine - resources to help and inspire.

“Making a wine that reflects terroir is the ultimate compliment the winemaker can pay to the land. Throughout my winemaking career I have tried to craft wines that are capable of allowing terroir to express itself.”

-Larry Brooks-

Welcome to this Monthy’s Articles & Resources. Whether you’re a winemaker, vineyard manager, or work on the business side… you’ll find something to interest you and support your work!

Look out soon for a piece from us expanding on the articles (below) on the changing California market.

In the Farm & In the Cellar

Winemaking

Research: Do Early Acid Additions Truly Lead to More “Integrated” Wines?
Timing was very important.

The Weight Of Wine
Changing attitudes on high alchohol wine.

Podcast: HiRes Vineyard Nutrition – Does Vineyard Nitrogen Impact Wine Sensory?
One of my “must listen” podcasts.

What’s Cool at the 2024 Conferences
New winemaking technologies.

Farming

Spring Frost in France Causes Up to 90% Reduction in Vineyard Yields
Spring Frosts Strike German Vineyards
Spring frost has caused crop loss around the world.

Without the Younger Generation We’ll Lose Farming as it Exists Here
It’s a problem all along the West Coast.

Germany Wants a Vine-Pull Scheme, a Halt to Further Planting and More Piwis
We’re in the midst of a global shift the wine world.

Irrigating White Wine Grapes in Arid Climates Using Riesling as a Model
Another example for those who can irrigate – the strongest tool we have.

Talk: Patty Skinkis on Crop Thinning
I very much enjoyed this talk. You can find my (very word count limited) thoughts here or here.

Wine, Geography and Terroir
You can easily find terroir in the Old World. It’s harder in the New, when one winery is making 9 different varietals.

I Got Frost… Now What?
We’ve had clients with (additional) crop damage due to the recent colds.

 

The Wine Business

The Global Wine Market

Was California’s Wine Revolution Just a Mirage?
“What’s missing from this discussion is the fact that the vigneron model is an economic model—one that prioritizes self-sufficient estates and concentrates their productivity into fine wine.”

California Wine is in Serious Trouble
We have some thoughts on this we’ll be sharing shortly.

How to Own a Vineyard Without Getting Your Boots Dirty
“I’m rather fascinated by the stereotypical Napa Valley novice wine producer, imagining them spending far more time deciding on label design than on pruning decisions.”

An Honest Conversation About Making Money in Wine
As always, it’s due to externalities. So many owners made their money outside of wine, so businesses are structured to… not make money in wine.

What’s Next for the Hard Seltzer Market?
The market is never stable.

The Secretive Strategy Behind Napa Valley’s Priciest Wines — and Why Some Think it Needs to Change
“During the pandemic, the winery raised prices on some of its wines, and immediately saw a 36% drop-off in sales, he said. Recently, he decided to do the formerly unspeakable: return prices to pre-pandemic levels.”

Small Wineries to Benefit from Ste. Michelle U-turn
“We have a real opportunity to right-size our production, and push towards a more premium position,” said Kelley, who believes that the US$15-25 price bracket is “the sweet spot” for Washington wines. “We’re putting in place now the things we need to secure the ongoing health of our industry.”

Global Wine Demand Drops to 27-year Low as High Prices Hit
Again, we’re in a global wine shift.

Wine & Health

One TV Episode Convinced America to Drink Wine. What Happened to the French Paradox?
How a heart disease report helped wine takeoff in North America, and how that worm has turned.

New Research Could Improve the Aroma of Canned Wine
SO2 is the culprit.

The challenges Amid Canadian Wine’s Renaissance
A subtle problem for BC is the VQA subsidy discourages export.

Neo-Prohibitionists and What the Wine Trade Can Do
Be proactive.

The Very Good News About Wine
”While the “No safe level of alcohol intake” mantra might be technically true, it is also absurd, in that no human activity has zero risk.”

Sustainability

Sonoma County’s Sustainability Commitment
Just an example, for those interested, on how another wine region is handling it’s sustainability initiatives.

Footprints in the Sand
If, however, you do believe the planet is in danger and this is a priority issue, then at the very least you need to consider politics, not shopping carts.

Marketing & Criticism

Organic, Natural and Other Alternative Wines Offer Growth in a Challenging Landscape
A business case for alternative wine to address wine’s market weakness.

In Wine’s Culture War, We’ve All Been Winners
Sometimes we shy too much from conflict – when conflict can bring something better to all.

YouTube Is the Way to Attract Younger Audiences to Wine
Five years ago I got great advice from a mentor – video is the way of the future. Check out our Youtube channel here.

Some Wines are Beyond Criticism
A problem with wine criticism, the herd and incentives.

Why Wine Businesses Are Investing in Influencer Partnerships
Just the continued evolution of marketing.

Uncouth Youth: How to Get Young Drinkers Interested in Wine
Look to spirits – wine marketing is terrible comparatively. We haven’t yet had enough generational change in the wine brands (like happened with spirits).

 

Fun!

“No Safe Amount”
John Gillespie on what “no safe amount” means.

The (Curious) Saga of Health and Drinking Wine Continues
An economist looks at the studies on alcohol consumption.

Argentinian Wine on an Economic Tightrope
A difficult place all around.

Devil’s Advocate: Should We Be Talking About Red Wine Headaches?
Another answer, quercetin.

Beaujolais, Known for Casual Wine, Wants to be Taken Seriously
Taken? It’s a personal favorite.

Villian of the Pièce
The age old question, when an artist (/winemaker) is an asshole, where is the line where you stop buying their product?