Archive for May, 2011:

Douro grapes – lessons for climate change?


Published on May 30th, 2011
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Portugal’s Douro valley is a complex, extreme, mountainous vineyard region; and it’s hot. Given the region’s long viticultural history, the vines tend to be well adapted to the extreme conditions. Vines are planted at river level, from around 100m above sea level, to above 500m up the slopes. Vineyard aspects cover the full 360°. In wine terms, these guys are at the vanguard of how to deal with a warming world.

Nicolas Joly on biodynamics


Published on May 26th, 2011
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At the first ‘natural wine fair’ held in London in May 2011, Nicolas Joly of La Coulée de Serrant in the Loire, gave a seminar about biodynamics. This is much of what he said.

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, 2011


Published on May 22nd, 2011
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The annual wine competition called Concours Mondial, which adopts a new city each year in which to do its judging, rolled into Luxembourg city in a gloriously warm May this year. Here are the top results

DO + HO = TPO (the new equation for successful bottling)


Published on May 18th, 2011
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Forget closure OTR (oxygen transmission rate) for the moment. In closing up a wine bottle, TPO (total package oxygen) is where the TLAs (three letter acronyms) are at, and the bottling operation is the bigger oxygen issue by far.

Managing Wine Quality, volume 2, edited by Andrew G. Reynolds


Published on May 14th, 2011
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Volume 2 of this erudite tale moves on to issues of winemaking and their effects on wine quality and style. Further chapters are commissioned from specialists around the world, and a few major yeast, (and other winemaking products) manufacturers also share their expertise.

Languedoc Grands Crus – in the making


Published on May 10th, 2011
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A hierarchy of appellations is evolving in the Languedoc. Some of the top ones are reviewed here.

Douro unterraced


Published on May 6th, 2011
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While researching a feature on hot climate viticulture in the Douro, I got fascinatingly sidetracked by the complexities of terracing systems in the valley of which there are five different models.

Chapoutier’s Schieferkopf in Alsace


Published on May 2nd, 2011
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A five-hectare vineyard plot in Bernardvillé forms the core of a new Michel Chapoutier Alsatian joint venture for a series of wines sold under the Shieferkopf label. The first, 2009 vintage, wines were presented in London.

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