Even after more than forty years as a winegrower, Stuart (Stu) Smith still finds his happiness in the vineyards. “There is just something to playing with a product in the dirt, and then having it at dinner,” he gushes
Wineries buy fruit all the time. However, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey is the only one I know of that buys grapes from a prison.
In my experience, vins clairs tastings are a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the wine before the bubbles, and to imagine their development over time; they are a unique foray into the magical kingdom of champagne.
What are latest trends in wine lovers’ attitudes? This is what I wanted to find out, last fall, when I attended SIMEI, a large, professional winemaking equipment exhibition taking place every two years in Milan, in Northern Italy.
Editors' note: To close 2011, Palate Press: The online wine magazine will be featuring some of our top stories from the past year. Our fifth piece comes from columnist W. Blake Gray, exploring the idiosyncrasies of how the wine world defines sustainability.
The relationship between tradition and innovation is not a linear one. Sometimes, it can even go full circle. Take appassimento, for instance, an Italian tradition of partially drying grapes before turning them into wine that is taking hold considerably in Canada’s Niagara region.
If you've never put your nose inside a few well-wrought barrels, it may be hard to understand just how excited winemakers can become about oak - and also, just how varied the contribution of oak to the profile of a wine can be. The range of smells, the different characters that jump at you, as you compare individual barrels, is simply astonishing.