Technical themes:

Olivier Humbrecht on minerality – part one

Published on November 22, 2011

In London earlier this month, Olivier Humbrecht, of Alsatian Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, discussed minerality in wine. His presentation was part of a tasting of biodynamic wines from members of Biodyvin Syndicat International des Vignerons en Culture Biodynamique), the organisation of which Humbrecht is president, though his discussion was not uniquely about minerality in biodynamic wines.


The Douro – cool to be hot

Published on October 29, 2011

The Douro is one of the oldest vineyards in the world, and it also ranks amongst the hottest, making it a challenging viticultural landscape. Yet the region makes some of the finest still and fortified wines known to man. When all the buzz is about cool climate, why is it cool to be hot in the Douro?


Concrete eggs in winemaking

Published on September 3, 2011

The first egg vat was commissioned in 2001 by Michel Chapoutier, following discussions and design between Chapoutier and French vat manufacturer Marc Nomblot, whose company has been making concrete wine vats since 1922. The shapely historic connection to Roman amphorae was not coincidental in the design.


Nicolas Joly on biodynamics

Published on May 26, 2011

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.


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

Published on May 18, 2011

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.


Douro unterraced

Published on May 6, 2011

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.


A watershed moment in sustainable global viticulture

Published on April 20, 2011

As it becomes more recognised that water is the new gold, stewardship programmes for water management are being created to develop systems of sustainable river basin management, considering issues such as water risk, availability, quantity, quality, and fair-share usage.


The coolness of Australian wine

Published on April 4, 2011

No-one seriously disputes that Tasmania is properly cool climate, but a slightly more confusing picture is emerging on the mainland. And with ‘cool climate’ wines being cool, trendy and of different flavour profile than ‘warm climate’, it’s too easy to let the moniker roll off the tongue without paying due regard to proper climatic data.


Minerality – quote, unquote 2

Published on January 21, 2011

Minerality is an emotive, and poorly understood term. I quizzed a few folk during a two week (wider) research visit to Australia in October 2010.


Vin de France – the new kid on the block?

Published on November 26, 2010

There’s excitement in France at the new Vin de France category, in effect from the 2009 vintage, which means wines started coming on the market about six months ago.

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