Thursday, January 26, 2006

What I'm Up To This Week

Got a couple notes over the last little while from folks who wanted to know what a wine maker does this time of year. They figured that thumb twiddling was on top of the list because the harvest was over and none of my clients currently do ice wine so there must be a lot of navel gazing.
On the contrary, my friends.
I've got deadlines! We're working towards some bottling dates at the end of February which means we're into blending, filtering and fining our new whites and any reds from previous vintages that may be scheduled. There's lab trials and owner/winemaker conferences and outside, the vineyards are calling for a haircut. And all those little jobs and projects to make the plant run a little smoother are now beginning to take priority around the cellar. On top of all that, the phone is starting to ring from people who have looked at the calendar and realized they need to get a wine making consultant-type on stream if they want to open the doors on their new venture this year.
So, to summarize, I keep my days full.

Here's a few things that caught my eye in the press:

With Australia having too much wine you'd think prices worldwide would be falling. But oversupply seems to be a localized problem.
This report suggests world wide wine supply numbers are down...

The Toasted Oak down in Oliver is having a New Zealand night on the 31st of Janurary. Tickets are only $25 . Need to know more?

If you can't find your local winery owner or wine maker this week you may want to look here.

Now the wholesalers in Kansas are up to their old tricks

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wine news roundup.

Australian wine is about to get even cheaper. It's got a lot to do with the huge supply of grapes and an equally huge inventory of bulk wine. Looks like Australia is turning into the new Bulgaria - heaps of mediocre wine with a gem here and there amongst the wretched masses. Read more...

Looking for some nice vineyard property? Forget about the inflated North American market and head down under to New Zealand. Read about these two properties . . .

You barely have time to pour a glass of wine before up pops another legal battle over wine sales and distribution down in the Excited States of America. The current hotbed is Illinois where the uber powerful wholesalers are pushing for some new legislation to tighten their stranglehold on the wine ( and other stuff) distribution game. Read this story and if you're a Yank make sure you get hold of the Free the Grapes people.

Good news: more people drink more wine than ever before. Bad news: 42.7 percent of all Americans don't drink at all. That seems somewhat unnatural. What a strange existence.
More stats...

Friday, January 13, 2006

In a Wine World this Big, There's Always A Crisis Somewhere.

When you read the wine blogs it's easy to get the idea that the basic structure of the wine business is steadily heading toward collapse. There always seems to be grave circumstances somewhere that threatens to hamper the business of making wine and getting it to consumers at a fair price.
For instance, this story. It seems the wholesalers are at it again with their giant wallets. Trying to shape legislation to suit their bank accounts.
Could this happen here? At already does to a certain extent. The wholesaler here (the government) adopts a Big Brother attitude about prices and access. Because they know what's good for us.
To keep up on these kind of stories I can always depend on Fermentation. Tom hates it when he sees one group trying to take advantage of another. He's all over the Illinois story.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Okanagan Monday - Wine Work and Wrap-up

Skiing at our local mountain APEX was great this weekend. Lots of local winemakers up there. This time of year I see more on the mountain than I do in the valley.

Good to see one of my favourite wines from down under is getting some good press lately. Click here to check it out. Or here. (scroll down, way down).

Around my world I'm busy getting whites into shape. We plan to do a multi-variety bottling in late February. Scheduling 05 red rackings for analysis post malolactic fermentation. Also working on a late 04 ME/CS blend for bottling after those 05 whites.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Opposite Ends of the Wine World

There's an interesting story here. Has a kind of desperate tone as Aussie grape growers suddenly start getting cranky as Australian wine overproduction finally catches up with them.

I wonder if they'll start to riot like those French fellows.

Here in BC things are opposite. We can't get enough grapes and when we can they get hijacked by folks with bigger bank accounts.