Posts Tagged ‘vineyard’

Chinese wine industry could endanger Panda's habitat.

Chinese wine industry could endanger Panda’s habitat.

The habitats of endangered giant pandas are being threatened by planned vineyard plantings in the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi and Sichuan.
According to the South China Morning Post, authorities in Shaanxi plan to plant 18,000 hectares of vineyards, and similar schemes are in the pipeline for Sichuan, putting the 1,600 wild giant pandas that inhabit the provinces at risk.

While the Chinese government has set up reserves for giant pandas, the animals don’t always remain inside them.

“Vineyards around a panda reserve can definitely affect the animals.

“Pandas move outside of reserves, so the forest outside is an important habitat. If forest is cleared to plant grapes, there may be direct loss of panda habitat,” climate change specialist Dr. Lee Hannah said in a study of the impacts of climate change on wine production and conservation.
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The popular, Guy Fieri.

The popular, Guy Fieri.

 

Guy Fieri, a celebrity chef known for his rowdy personality, spiky hair and love of roadside diners, is adding an unexpected venture to his mix: winemaking.

The star of the Food Network series “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has bought a five-acre vineyard of pinot noir grapes in the Russian River Valley appellation and submitted an application to open a wine tasting room on Willowside Road.

“Ever since I moved to Sonoma County and saw all this incredible environment of wine, from the agricultural side of it to the business side of it, to the community involvement side of it … I’ve just been in awe,” Fieri said Friday. “So my wife and I were talking about it, and saying, ‘Can we do that some day?’”

Fieri bought the property last year. In his first vintage, 2012, he sold his grapes to Jackson Family Wines for its La Crema brand and to Williams Selyem winery in Healdsburg, which both have had long-term contracts to purchase grapes from the vineyard.

He has initiated organic farming methods on the vineyard and is… read on

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Considering the impact of pesticides on soil and to lighten wine’s impact on the soil, David Xavier Beaulieu co-owner of Chateau Coutet – an estate in the Bordeaux, has developed a new solar-powered vineyard robot.

Dubbed the Vitirover, the robot is created especially to mow wild plants between vine rows that for now required heavy polluting tractors and herbicides. The Vitirover is remote controlled using a smartphone, and is built-in with GPS so that robot never goes astray.
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Vintage, Varietal, Vineyard.

Vintage, Varietal, Vineyard.

 

 

In real estate it’s “location, location, location” and in the diamond trade it’s the “4 Cs” – color, clarity, cut and carat (weight) — that are benchmarks of quality. But do any yardsticks like these exist when talking about wine?

Recently, I was leading a tasting and the question arose: “What defines the vital elements that express the quality of a specific wine?”

We discussed terroir (the grape vine’s total environment), winemaking and, of course, marketing among other topics. But nothing concisely answered the question.

While exploring the subject with the tasting group it suddenly dawned on me that a wine’s quality is a measure of its “3 Vs” – varietal, vineyard and vintage. Is the wine expressive of its varietal character? Is the wine true to its place of origin? Is the wine demonstrative of the vintage?

During a spirited discussion, everyone had an opinion but we all agreed on the significance of the 3 Vs and the importance of their order as well. Above all, the varietal character of a wine should stand out and is then supported by its vineyard and vintage characteristics.

Each varietal has its own personality. This truth has been appreciated and handed down for centuries in the growing and making of fine wine in the traditional manner. A varietal’s personality places it as the foundation of the 3 Vs whether it stands on its own (cabernet sauvignon) or is an important part of a well crafted blend (Bordeaux).
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A Brown Stink Bug Nymph.

A Brown Stink Bug Nymph.

 

 

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is now in at least 39 states and is a major economic threat to orchard fruits, garden vegetables and row crops.

 

First detected in the United States a decade ago, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is now in at least 39 states, is wreaking havoc in homes and gardens, and is a major economic threat to orchard fruits, garden vegetables and row crops. It’s no wonder the USDA ranks this pest as its top “invasive insect of interest.”

But help may be on the way: USDA scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., are searching for ways to control the stink bug by deciphering its genetic toolkit, studying the pheromones it releases, and evaluating potential attractants for use in commercial traps. ARS is the USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
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Cherie Spriggs

Cherie Spriggs

 

English sparkling wine estate Nyetimber in West Sussex is to release a single vineyard wine this year, modelled on the “clos” concept in Champagne.

Nyetimber’s winemaker Cherie Sprigs
Due for release in September, the inaugural 2009 vintage is a blend of 79% Pinot Noir and 21% Chardonnay from the estate’s 37.3-hectare Netherland vineyard.

Having toyed with the name The Netherland, as a tribute to Dutch owner Eric Heerema, winemaker Cherie Spirggs decided to call the wine Tillington, after the village where the vineyard is located, as the name had more of an English feel.

The decision to make the single vineyard sparkler came after… 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.

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Further advance in English winemaking.

The popular image of Yorkshire, the historic region in the north of England, was long set in stone. The Wars of the Roses, county cricket, Yorkshire pudding, Black Sheep beer and coal mining. But its reputation is due for an update. Yorkshire is slowly building a reputation for producing wine – a development made possible by both climate change and the development of increasingly hardy grape varieties.

The region’s longest-established vineyard, Leventhorpe, which is situated near Leeds, has just released its first-ever rosé sparkling wine. The launch has been timed to hit the Christmas and New Year market, but Leventhorpe owner and winemaker George Bowden says it’s also a celebration of the winery’s success.

Leventhorpe has just five acres (2ha) of vines, all located within the city boundaries of Leeds. Bowden and his wife, Janet, began planting vines here in 1985, when English wine was still regarded as an eccentricity, not to mention a joke. Twenty-seven years later, Leventhorpe’s wines have been singled out for praise by… read on

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Planting Rights “Not My Priority” Says Commissioner

Europe’s agriculture chief steps back from the thorny issue of vineyard planting.

The European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, has announced he no longer wants to deal with the controversial question of planting rights in Europe. Instead, he is handing over responsibility for the issue to member states and the European Parliament.

In a report submitted to the commission last Friday, a high-level group of experts concluded that maintaining a system of planting rights was an “absolute necessity” for the European Union. The conclusion was a slap in the face for the commission, which had recommended the complete liberalization of vine growing in the 2008 European Wine Reform.

The experts received further support on the issue of maintaining planting rights on Wednesday. At a meeting of European ministers of agriculture, “the majority of states” backed their stand, an insider revealed.
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The Château Bellefont-Belcier estate.

The Château Bellefont-Belcier estate.

 

Grand cru classe vineyard fetches up to $2.6 million per hectare of vines.

 

A Chinese industrialist has completed the landmark purchase of Château Bellefont-Belcier, a leading estate in France’s prestigious Saint-Émilion wine-making area, sources involved in the sale say.

The property is the first of its rank – grand cru classé (classified great growth) – to be acquired in what has been a wave of Chinese investment in the Bordeaux region.

Bellefont-Belcier, which had been on the market for a number of years, has 13 hectares of vines on a total estate of 20 hectares. A source said the sale price was between 1.5 million and two million euros ($1.94–$2.59 million) per hectare of vines.

The new Chinese owner is a 45-year-old industrialist with assets in the iron sector who has already diversified into the wine-importing business. He met the château’s employees on Friday and has since returned to China.

Chinese investors have acquired around 30 lower-ranked properties in Bordeaux (the larger region that includes Saint-Émilion) in the past two years. During 2012 China has also become the region’s biggest export market in terms of volume.

So far, Chinese investment has not been controversial in a region with a long tradition of foreign ownership of wine estates.

In contrast, the acquisition by a Chinese buyer of Château de Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy this year triggered a major row, with local winemakers and far-right politicians claiming the country’s heritage was being sold.
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