Category Archives: Articles

General articles about wine

South America – observations and learnings

Talk about potential! Chile and Argentina have been improving every aspect of wine production since the 80s, and as they learn more about their unique terroir and which varieties and styles to focus on in their regions, the sky’s the limit. Chile in particular seems to have such an amazing range of different climates, soil types and elevations that they could theoretically produce any wine style imaginable. People in the industry here are some of the warmest and most genuine I have ever encountered. The quality of the wines speaks volume, but it is the enthusiasm and honesty with which they are produced that makes them so special. In many of the wineries I visited I felt so welcome it was hard to leave so soon.

Very old vineyards in Cafayate, Argentina

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Articles

Pacific Northwest – what I’ve learnt

Wineries don’t need to be on the vineyards they source fruit from. They don’t even need to be in the same region. Wineries in the Willamette Valley (Oregon) source fruit from Walla Walla (Washington). Wineries West of the Cascade Mountains in Washington source fruit almost exclusively from the East of the state. Red Mountain, a quarter of the size of the Walla Walla AVA, actually produces more fruit, but very little of the wine is made there. If a winemaker wants to make a particular style of wine, they will find the fruit they need. Many wineries deal with the tyranny of distance in different ways. Numerous wineries in the Western part of Washington were established close to Seattle, such as in Woodinville. The town of Walla Walla has been set-up as a wine tourism oasis. The Willamette on the other hand is naturally blessed with being less than an hour from Portland, but the Southern Oregon regions are not so lucky. The fruit for the wine may travel far, but visitors to wineries shouldn’t have to, and wine tourism hubs are as common as shopping districts in town.

Very cool labels in Walla Walla, Washington

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Articles

California – what I’ve learnt

Wines born of sunshine and heat are fruit driven and higher in alcohol. They tend to be richer and fuller in fruit, particularly the chardonnays and Bordeaux varieties. This does not mean they are simple wines, as in most cases they have a higher acidity to balance out the fruit and alcohol. Winemaking techniques are fairly universal. They don’t do anything different in the winery or out in the vineyards that distinguishes them in particular. What speaks volumes is the quality of the fruit and the expressions of terroir. The problem is when winemakers do too much to interfere with the fruit, attempting to exert their influence on the finished product.

Los Olivos market

Los Olivos market

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles