The seminar was ground-breaking for UC Davis, which previously always called Brettanomyces in wine a "spoilage organism." This was the first time the university acknowledged that brett is an important part of some wines' terroir.
Editor's Note: "Hatred of a straw man is a powerful force," says Blake Gray in this column from June of this year. The monthly columnist comes to the defense of so-called "wine snobs," those much maligned élitists of movies and New Yorker cartoons. However, the people to whom the term is applied are usually the everyday enthusiasts like you and me. –Tom Mansell, Science Editor
This tale isn't yet 1000 years old. But it has kings, crusades, the cult of the Virgin, poverty, drunk clerics, extinct grapes, the Devil and the world's biggest wine bottle. And the irony is, the winery it's about is one of the most forward-thinking in France.