The biggest wine stories in 2012 (by Paul Franson)

Posted: January 3, 2013 by wynmaker in Wine, World wine news
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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1. A picture-perfect year.

In Napa Valley, 2012 was a perfect year for growing wine grapes: Mild temperatures with no heat spikes, no rain during critical times including at harvest time, few bugs, fungus or other pests. With high quality and quantity, it’s a perfect year for growers and wineries and should lead to excellent wines and good prices for consumers.

2. The shortage that didn’t occur.

Observers predicted a shortage of grapes this year due to lack of planting in recent years, but growers left a few extra buds on the vines and dropped fewer clusters than usual, leading to a bounteous harvest. There’s no indication that the slightly greater yields harmed quality, either, though only time will tell.

3. Buying wine gets easier, albeit slowly.

It’s slowly getting easier to buy wine by mail as states reduce restrictions, and more and more states are killing blue laws and other rules that date to Prohibition. Direct sales to consumers from wineries reached $1.4 billion according to Wines & Vines, a leading trade magazine. This is especially important to Napa’s boutique wineries, that have trouble getting adequate distribution through traditional wholesalers – and make far more money from selling direct.
Read on …

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