Royalty In Rot: For wine grapes, a death deferred by a Noble fungus

Winemakers spend lots of energy during the growing season battling pests and fending off vine diseases that seek to destroy grapes. But there’s one they actually welcome—the so-called “Noble Rot,” or as it is formally known, Botrytis cinerea. Botrytis is a fungal disease that typically lays dormant in almost all vineyards at all times. It … [ Read more]

Wine Time: Blood, Sweat, and Tears – aka, The Grape Harvest

It’s easy to get cerebral and abstract about wine. But let’s remember one thing: it comes from grapes farmed in a vineyard—it is an agricultural product. And there is perhaps no better reminder of this than the actual grape harvest, which is taking place all over the Northern Hemisphere in these early-to-mid-autumn months. In the … [ Read more]

Earth, Wind and Fire: West Coast vineyards are now faced with the challenge of smoke-tainted grapes

It has been a horrifying couple of seasons of wildfires in both California and Oregon wine country. Vineyards have had to ensure their harvests deliver a product free of “smoke taint,” which occurs when wood burns and releases a compound called guaiacol that can drift on the fiery winds, onto grapes, and through their skins. … [ Read more]

Back From The Brink: Three near-extinct wine grapes that have received a mighty second wind

T he sheer number of wine grapes in the world is staggering. But while the varieties of Vitis vinifera number well into the thousands, the forces and trends driving the wine market have pushed many grapes to the edge of extinction.  It takes a great deal of commitment and dedication to produce a wine that … [ Read more]

Wine Time: Volcanic Wines Aren’t Just Trendy, They’re Timeless

Acutting edge. A little spice. Some heat. A walk on the wild side, perhaps?  It’s easy to get caught up in wine trends. They often present themselves with a splash, a tagline, maybe as a little taboo, and they’re gone before we have time to consider: “Do I really want to commit to this?” Still, … [ Read more]