Posts Tagged ‘Under’

 Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich

 

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, portrayed in a 2000 film about her fight over the pollution of a California town, has been arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated.
Brockovich, 52, was arrested at Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, on Friday night after breath tests showed her blood-alcohol level was just over twice the legal limit.

She was seen struggling to moor her motorboat at the Las Vegas Boat Harbour, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife said.

“She was not sure how to manoeuvre the boat into the dock,” Mr Lyngar said. “It’s a simple thing if you can think clearly. But if you add alcohol and unfamiliarity of the area, it can all cause serious problems.”
Read on …

America's new tastemakers...

America’s new tastemakers…

 

Meet the rising young stars who are changing the way the world drinks.
Ian Brand, 32
Winemaker, Coastview Vineyards, Le P’tit Paysan, Monterey, CA
After moving from Utah to California to pursue surfing, Brand found his real calling at Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz, where he was assistant winemaker from 2004– 2007. He has also been winemaker for Nicholson and Pierce Vine- yards and consults for various clients in the region. Innovative, experimental and eager to push the envelope in the Salinas Valley and beyond, Brand is known for his progressive approaches to plantings, commitment to organic farming and tireless promotion of Monterey as the next region to watch in California.
Bibiana González Rave, 35
Winemaker, Rave Vines & Wines, Santa Rosa, CA
Originally from Colombia and trained in France, where she earned dual degrees in viticulture and enology, González Rave spent years doing two harvests a year, from South Africa to France and California, and was until recently the winemaker at Lynmar Estate, where she earned stupendous reviews for her silky Pinot Noirs and complex Chardonnays. Last year she decided to go out on her own, launching Rave Vines & Wines, where she is laser focused on one place only: Pahlmeyer’s Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The first of her cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be from 2012. In addition to making a small amount of her own wines, she’s partnering with husband Jeff Pisoni on a Sauvignon Blanc brand.
Read on …

Alcohol to high in wines?

Alcohol to high in wines?

 

Alcohol levels in just about everything are rising, and a lot of people aren’t happy about it. Nonetheless, winemakers would really rather you not know that they’re doing something about it. Or, at least, one particular something about it: dealcoholization, or “dealcing.” While there are alcohol-free or very low alcohol wines on the market, what I’m talking about is bringing super-hot 14-17% alcohol wines down to the more comfortable 11-14% range.

 

Why alcohol levels are rising is no mystery. Winemakers are working with riper grapes to satisfy contemporary tastes for the big, the luscious, and the fruit-forward. Wine growing regions are warming up so that grapes have the time and sunlight to accumulate sugars like never before. Better yeasts are able to handle both more sugar and more alcohol without giving up, so winemakers don’t have to add water to ensure that high-sugar musts will ferment.

What to do about all this heat is a different matter. You might argue that we shouldn’t do anything about it at all; higher ABVs are a natural consequence of riper fruit, riper fruit is good, and so there we are. But plenty of other people, including a lot of consumers, aren’t happy about seeing numbers in the 14-16% range on their bottles, and a substantial industry has emerged in an effort to make those people happier.

Reducing alcohol isn’t just about pleasing customers who want lower-alcohol wines, though that’s part of it. It’s also about taxes. Both in the United States and the EU, wines with more than 14% alcohol reported on the bottle (labels only have to be accurate by plus or minus 0.5%) accrue higher taxes than wines under that limit. For mega-wineries with lakes of wine to process, “dealcing” to slide below that threshold can save money. And then there’s the “balance” argument; some winemakers feel as though their wine tastes better with super-ripe flavors but less alcohol than that ripeness usually produces. The EU allows winemakers to reduce the alcohol content of their wines by up to two (ABV) percentage points either via the reverse osmosis or spinning cone approach. American winemakers are free to reduce as they please.
Read on …

Champagne supplier, Pressoirs de France.

Champagne supplier, Pressoirs de France.

 

After weeks of speculation that it was in financial difficulties, the Pressoirs de France group – supplier of cheap Champagne to major UK supermarkets – has gone into receivership having failed to find a new financial backer.

 

In a statement to the French press on Wednesday, owner Nicolas Dubois said the company was ‘without sufficient capital to fund its cash needs’.

Dubois, who started his brokering business in 1999, quickly become a large operator predominantly selling cheap Champagne to hypermarkets and supermarkets inside and outside France.
Read on …

 

Or is it?

Or is it?

 

America’s wine industry is booming.

But a new study from Michigan State Professor Philip Howard shows “industry” maybe something of a misnomer.

While you may see a wide variety of American labels at your local wine shop, the vast majority are merely offshoots of mega producers, most of them concentrated in California, Professor Howard found.

Click to read on and see the incredible browsable map he produced:

Also read:

wine_writing_0

For who are you writing?

So where have all these wine bloggers and writers been living for the past 10 years? Under a rock?

Last week, a professor at Michigan State University named Philip Howard made the news by publishing an article with a semi-nifty interactive graphic, entitled Concentration in the U.S. Wine Industry.

The article has been tweeted, its graphics stolen and republished (usually with proper credit given to the professor), and dozens of articles have been written by bloggers and mainstream journalists about the “news” that about 50% of the wine sold in America has been produced by just three large companies: E&J Gallo, Constellation, and The Wine Group. These articles range in tone from scandalized to awestruck, which prompts the question, if you write about wine and you didn’t know this already, what do you imagine most of the people in America actually drink?

I’ve been frankly nonplussed at the reaction to this information, and somewhat dismayed at what seems to be its clear implication: namely that a lot of people writing about wine are quiet out of touch with the average wine drinker in America.

Of course, most people writing about wine aren’t writing for the average wine drinker. You know, the one that buys most of their wines at the grocery store, or at chain restaurants where they eat out for dinner on occasion? These aren’t the folks reading wine blogs, wine magazines, or even wine columns in newspapers.
Read on …

Also read:

spilt-glass-of-wine-10001882

 

Wine lovers suffer as another investment company goes under.

A wine investment company that has gone into administration owing 5 million pounds ($8 million) to clients, misused their money to pay overheads rather than buy wine, according to the official administrator’s report. The firm is also slammed for keeping “inadequate” records.

London-based Vinance went into administration in November. However, at this stage it is not clear how many of the company’s 1,300 clients are owed money due to the company’s poor record keeping, say Herron Fisher.

The administrators tried to rescue the company as a going concern, but no purchaser could be found due to the “nature of the company’s trading, its incomplete records and its financial circumstances.”
Read on …

Please, don't leave us!

Please, don’t leave us!

 

An English producer that saw its wines served to the Queen during last year’s Jubilee celebrations has gone into administration.
Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire, which produces about 80,000 bottles a year, ceased trading just before Christmas with the loss of around 24 jobs.

Having established its first vineyards in 1984, the estate had since expanded plantings to around 20 acres of 10 different grape varieties. Three Wickham Vineyard wines were served at a lunch in London that was attended by the Queen and Prince Philip to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Although the UK downturn had made trading difficult over the last year, with future prospects dampened by the disastrous 2012 vintage, which saw fellow producer Nyetimber abandon its entire harvest, Wickham Vineyard’s main issue is thought to have stemmed from its high street wine retail business.

 Read on …

 

Also read:

Kangaroo Crossing

The Australian wine industry is awash with change and we have identified the key alterations taking place Downunder.
From new style whites to single block reds, winemakers and brand owners are displaying a restless urge to experiment, embracing new practices in the vineyard and cellar.

As for plantings, there’s a surprisingly broad array of grapes going into the ground (particularly from the Mediterranean) as producers search for the best match between variety and climate, along with soil type.

Meanwhile, it’s clear Australia is embracing its cooler-climate regions, creating lighter wines, and working harder to express specific sites.

Improved viticultural practices in particular are key to Australia’s vinous evolution, with more suitable clones, older vines and better soil management all making their mark.

Helping capture changes in the vineyard are earlier harvest times, gentler fermentation practices and reduced new oak use, and overall, as Mark Lloyd from McLaren Vale’s Coriole told db, “Today the Australian wine industry is in a sweet spot.”
Read on …

IMG_9352

 

 

“Do you ever have problems in the field, because you’re a woman?” So goes the oft asked question. After all, even if there are young men involved, there is an old boy network at the top. And so, I instead of telling them the truth I say, no, I get a hard time because I’m short.

I’ve always felt a little guilty about not being totally honest, because I just didn’t know what to say. Then, The Drinks Business came along and helped all of us in the same boat out.

This morning they ran an article about the 50 Most Influential Women in Wine (which in itself is unfortunate, why separate the sexes? Women are essenital to writing, marketing and making wine. This is not a tennis tournament.) To frame the story they initially chose an illustration that was simply stunning.

Read on …