Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Here's a few -
1. Wine maker - duh.
2. Cellar master - any place that puts together more than a few hundred barrels each year could proabably use a dedicated employee to look after them and the wine inside. You'll have to cellar rat a few years and then specialize your training. Perhaps pursue some secondary education. Maybe a stint at a barrel maker would be handy. Which leads me to . . .
3. Cooper - somebody, preferably a craftsman, has to make all those barrels. Study carpentry and joinery and then get a gig in one of the big houses in the U.S. or Europe. Then branch out on your own.
4. Cellar rat - slightly above a hose dragger, mostly a full time gig doing all the menial and dirty jobs around the cellar. There is no better way to learn how the wine is made.
5. Harvest helper (hose dragger) - if you're heading into production you'll have to do this at some point. Depending on the operation, you could be doing everything from picking grapes to filtration to driving truck to filling in behind the shop counter. The pay is minimal; the experience is essential.
6. Sales - after the owner decides to hang up one of the hats he/she wears, sales jobs suddenly materialize. Days on the road, customers with no freaking idea, missed quotas, everybody wanting free wine. Pure joy for the right person.
7. Wine Shop staffer - different operations have different systems, but like any retail operation, look for the place that rewards proven performers. Besides the wage, is there any bonus structure, perks, possibility of advancement, benefit plans or wine allowance?
8. Wine Shop manager - one of those jobs where the crap can come at you from above (boss), below (staff) and sideways (public). If you like to juggle, you may want to try this.
9. Winery Supplies - It's mostly 9 to 5. Wineries need stuff and equipment. The lab has to be stocked, the wine shop needs knick-knacks, the cellar needs another bag of citric acid. You can fill this need with your huge inventory and free delivery for orders over $50.
10. Winery Equipment - The big stuff like presses and tanks. You don't sell one everyday but when you do - yipee! Find a line not represented in your area and get an exclusive distribution agreement. Helps to also be a . . .
11. Equipment technician - if you understand how stuff works (machines) you can carve out a niche in the winery business. A lot of wine makers and winery owners come from varied fields and seldom do those fields include the skills to fix electric motors, pumps, compressors, belt drives and all sorts of stuff.
12.Packaging - even wineries that spend too little time on their wine seems to spend an inordinate amount of time getting the bottle, label, closure and capsule just right. Help ease the pain by representing a spiffy line of packaging for the wine business.
13.Wine Club organizer - wine clubs as sales drivers are nothing new. But with the rapid rise of the internet over the last two decades comes on-line clubs that, in some cases, eclipse the sales of the bricks and mortar wine shops in their own organization. If you're a marketing expert with an emphasis on web communities this may be your calling.
14.Food Service - if you have a background in food preparation or service you may have noticed that many wineries are integrating food into their customer interpretation centres (wine shops).
It could be the fanciest restaurant in the area or a simple cold counter serving deli style take-away. Come up with a concept and sell it to the winery with the greatest need and the greatest possibility of success.
15. Tour Guide - get your chauffeur's license and drive folks around wine country. It seems to get more popular every year. There's all sorts of ways to build in commissions to this gig. They're your captives for several hours. Shouldn't you earn something for recommending the same excellent restaurant everyday to well-heeled visitors?
Thursday, November 08, 2007
All the mountain passes are experiencing some snow.
Except for some Late Harvest and Ice Wine crops, all the grapes have been in for a week now for most Okanagan producers.
We started picking grapes for Township 7 in mid-September. Mostly white varieties at that time but a few Merlot growers started to sneak in right at the beginning of October. Then the weather started to crash.
Wine makers, growers and owners tried to make the weather better using various mental powers but to no avail. As the vines shut down, it became a waiting game for breaks in the weather that would allow harvesting to occur.
Indicators numbers like Brix, pH and TA (total acid) went into suspended animation. The benefits of hangtime, like more intense flavours and such, didn't really materialize, in my opinion. I think the intermittent rains (rain, two days dry, rain. one day dry etc.) negated any hang premium.
What to look for: Okanagan whites will probably be great. The earlier varietals definetly will shine. The reds will be a toss-up. T7 growers are smart growers with good cultural practices so we believe our red vintage will be excellent. Growers who over-cropped or took other short cuts through the season found themselves with unripe fruit this year; when these reds of 07 start appearing late next year (at the earliest) taste before you buy! There will be some vintage variations in your favourite brands.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Won a gold at the recent Okanagan Wine Festival for our Township 7 2006 Semillon
and a pocketful of silvers for some of the other titles.
Also did rather well at the Wine Access awards announced back in September.
Marketing loves these things.
My reward is when people come up to me and say how much they enjoyed (insert title of one of my creations here) with a couple friends and a good meal just the other day.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
But it's a noble smell. It's the smell of cash. We didn't have to pay to have it all hauled to the landfill by contractors and now we have some interesting 'fill' to work with.
Heard the other day that there are 50 applictations for winery licenses currently under review by the provincial authorities.
Any idea I had that the grape supply would catch up with demand is now dismissed.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
We had a deer kill in the vineyard the other night. Probably coyotes but with only half (front) of a carcass left by dawn there was considerable speculation about bears, cougars and wolves. Not every wine region has this range of fauna to contend with. I recall a conversation I had in New Zealand about the differences in our two regions and one of the Kiwis wondered, with the vast expanse of land in Canada, why we didn't have more sheep? I told them that the roaming carnivores would have a field day. He responded by asking, "Do you mean these animals are just running around loose?".
But I digress . . .
Growing grapes for wine north of 49 degrees will always have it's obstacles to quality. Most of the time it's going to be the short growing season. This is turning into a year where the short season is going to play a little larger than it has in the past few years when we've been treated to warmer, longer growing seasons. This is the year when things like greed (too many tons per acre) are going to turn and bite you in the ass. This is a year when heads-up, intelligent grape growing is going to win out over lassiez-faire vineyard behaviour.
Good management from the start of the season will produce exceptional wines this year. If you're waiting for Merlot to ripen at 6 tons or better then you might have some difficulty.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Since August the 1st we've had 5 mm of precip. That pretty well eliminates dry farming. The hottest it ever got during that period (Penticton weather station) was 34.2 C and the coolest daytime temp was 20.7. The mean for a 24 hour day was usually around 20.
Today we'll hit 27 later in the afternoon.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Overnights have been as low as 5 C and this big swing is prolonging the ripening process to the advantage of the winemaker.
We're getting some great readings from our vineyard samples and we should be close to harvesting our whites very soon.
It's the kind of late summer we've been hoping for: dry, warm and consistent.
We're starting with a small block of Chard on Sunday followed by 17 tons on Monday and Tuesday of the same.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I'm going to go out on a limb, or a vine, here and make a couple of rash statements.
Down on the coast they've had a whack of rain and cooler temperatures. There have been some brief warm spells of high 20's and low 30's but not enough to create any climate anomalies that would push this vintage up the scale any higher than fair. At Township 7 in Langley we're hoping to get the fruit off by the end of October. Given the development I saw yesterday, we need an extended fair and dry September at the coast to even get that. Good thing we grow for sparkling white wine in Langley and don't need
- colour or
- high brix
The Okanagan experienced some odd weather patterns with a dry April and May, a good warm June and July and now rain and cooler temperatures in August. We could use some temps back in the 30's and some warmer nights. Night temperatures are consistently dropping down to 15 or less and that slows the ripening process. We're going to have an old-fashioned Okanagan vintage with ripeness racing against the oncoming rains of fall. Two weeks of superlative warm weather NOW will change all that. Otherwise, temperatures traditionally tank after September 20 so if we're going to make a charge we have to do it now. Look for some late varieties to be still hanging in November unless we get the good stuff now.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Check out the details and get your tickets at:
It sells out so don't delay. If you can't make the valley wide fall festival then this is a good event to sneak in a month before that event gets going.
See you there.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I rarely tire of the message: Good wine is best with good food.
Combining exquisite culinary creations with a special bottle of wine is one of the basic pleasures of life. It's an experience that can be relived time after time and each occasion is as novel and rewarding as the last.
So it is with great pleasure that I share with you one of my latest discoveries.
Amelia Oil is a tiny producer of olive oil. Oil that is pressed with nothing less than the kind of love one usually reserves for family.
That's probably because it is family. A family from West Vancouver and a family from Umbria in Italy have joined to produce, package and export an olive oil that really has no equal on this side of the pond when it comes to freshness and integrity.
There's lots to read on their website so I won't repeat a lot of what is there. Safe to say there's a fair amount of false representation among the huge oil producers and one way to protect your buying standards is to seek out a direct link from producer to your table. That's what Amelia Oil is all about.
What's it taste like?
It all comes down to taste. It certainly is fresh. I didn't know how stale my store bought oils were until I got my Amelia Oil a couple weeks ago. I was floored by the strength of the palate. I'm now using a little less oil in my preparations but with great flavour results.
The bouquet is very floral with a hint of candy and nut, the palate is full of vegetal green and grassy flavours, toasted grains and nut in the finish. I've used it in various incarnations but my favourites are:
1.BBQ grilled Tilapia drizzled with Amelia oil and sprinkled with basil from my garden.
2.In a pesto for a crust on ahi tuna
3.With some rustic, grain-festooned bread and Poplar Grove cheeses.
The price is, as to be expected, a tad more than the bargain basement oil you can get in the supermarkets. There is something to be said for an oil you can consume and lubrcate your car's engine with but that's not Amelia oil. If you care about what you put in your body then check out their website and blog.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Check the sidebar and just click on the video player to watch.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Design a spreadsheet that hinges on tonnage.
If I can do it, you can too.
Create a spreadsheet that automatically calculates all your requirements based on grape tonnage received. This will allow you to see at a glance what your requirements are using accepted industry rates of addition.
How much yeast for the Joe Blow Vineyards Cabernet? Tonnage X average litre yield per ton X grams per hecolitre. That should do it.
Almost all of your factors are available in the catalogs put out by the suppliers around this time of the year.
If this is still trouble for you, drop me an email. I work internationally.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
- Hard to believe but our neighbours to the south (California, Texas, other warm climate regions) will be picking grapes for wine sometime next month.
Here in the north we're not quite that rushed. But by mid-September some early varieties and those destinied for sparkling wine will be starting to come off and make their way to the crush pad.
If you're a BC winery owner or operator, your vintage plan should be shaped-up by now. You should know where your grapes are coming from, how many tons you can expect, what yeasts and other fermentation aids you'll be using and who will be on your pad this fall. Needless to say, coopers in various parts of the world are putting the finishing touches on your barrels before packing them in containers for the long trip to BC.
Of course, in the real world, things don't line up quite so neatly.
A quick message to consumers and other members of the public: The wine makers of the province are trying to enjoy the summer days in a leisurely fashion but it's not all a bucolic paradise of long hours by the water's edge. There's lots of planning to do.
Best to start by having a pre-vintage meeting with your crew. Hopefully some of them were around the previous year and remember what went right and what turned out wrong. From this brainstorming session you can make adjustments as required. Everything from the way fruit is accepted at the winery to how the equipment can be better delegated can be included. This is also an excellent time to address any glaring repair jobs that somehow missed out getting done during the winter and spring.
From your meeting you can begin a list and prioritize as you go. Using as fresh eyes as possible, walk around your production area and note additional items that will require attention.
Think back to the blur that was the last vintage. Where were the bottlenecks? What didn't make it onto the paperwork train? How can you make things faster, safer and better?
Your employees will tell you what is needed. If they can't do it, bring in another winemaker friend that you trust (like me) for a beer and yak about what works for them. A fresh perspective sometimes solves a problem in minutes that kept you perplexed for weeks.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
The meeting will be short. About 5 minutes but there will be plenty of post-meeting discussion.
Beverages and snacks will be on hand. Bring a lawn chair. Managed pets and kids are welcome.
Enjoy the rough and tumble give and take of the local rustics. Meet the wine folk of the area. Brag about the size of your cellar.
One of the applications that pops up once in awhile is the polling application.
You can design your own poll question and fire it "out there". You get full breakdown and analysis moments after it closes.
I decided to give it a try after a few beverages and a whim. Here are the pros, cons and results.
My question was: "There's shrimp on the barbie; you're going to enjoy which of the following wines with them?"
I provided: rose, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, another white and a red.
I also provided my credit card so they could charge me .25 per response and a $1 insertion fee.
My suspicion was that I'd get a weak response and maybe get 25 or 50 answers of the maximum 200 under the polling format rules.
But, lo! I maxed out at 200 after only a few hours.
Response by sex: pretty well equal, 109 female, 91 male.
Response by age: 142 responders were between the ages of 13 and 24 which suggests a large group are restricted from obtaining or consuming alcohol in many jurisdictions.
7 responders were over 35 years of age.
Sauvignon Blanc dominated the male selection at 37% while females were split more evenly among SB, Chardonnay and Rose 28, 24 and 21 per cent respectively.
My takeaway lesson: Facebook had provided a powerful and hassle-free polling tool but you should know their audience. Until the crowd moves from it's high school and college roots I doubt I will be using the poll application for wine questions. Great experiment. Total cost:
$51. Writing it off as market research.
Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 will feature wine, food and music at the Langley winery.
I'll be on hand Saturday only from 2 to closing.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Recent arrivals to the industry see no problem developing vineyards in locations that the previous wave of vignerons would have rejected outright.
Why the change? How do unsuitable locations suddenly become prime grape growing areas?
Part of the answer lies in economics. If a bottle of wine can sell for three times the price it was selling for only a few short years before then there is an impetus on the producer to pull out all the stops in an effort to create that wine.
I'm often asked by prospective winery owners and investors whether this portion of land or that one will be good for grapes. While I am flattered that they would ask my opinion, it's prudent to remind them that I'm not a viticulturist or a biologist or a geologist; all specializations that are valuable in choosing sites. In my short time in the business I have learned a couple things.
With that disclaimer I do offer up this: growing grapes on a commercial scale is all about minimizing and maximizing what had been dealt.
Once the decision is made to obtain land and develop a vineyard, it's important to minimize the challenges that the environment presents. It's just as important to maximize the advantages that the prospective vineyard demonstrates. Besides the obvious things like soil and sun there are other aspects like access and curb appeal that may influence production. These are economic factors that may ultimately effect the performance of the vineyard.
A while ago I heard an Okanagan grower remark, "I don't know where these new guys (wineries) are going to get their grapes; all the good land is gone." . In a conventional sense he may be close to the truth. Common practice and history are factors that define what a vineyard looks like. Under those old parameters, a lot of vineyard property is in short supply.
What new developers are beginning to see is that marginal properties are the key to new vineyards.
Marginal land can simply be described as second choice land. Something makes it less attractive and presents a challenge to the grower or the wallet when it comes to developing it as a vineyard. The trick is to see where the challenge can be met and have a vision for the outcome.
A few years ago I was told by a friend in California that a friend of his who lived in Napa was approached by a winery to plant grapes in his front yard. It was a nice property but only about 100 feet deep in the front and 70' wide. Hardly a prospective vineyard in the normal sense.
So what prompted the offer?
Were the soils exemplary?
Was he adjacent to a stellar vineyards?
Was it close to the winery's front door?
The reason was the appellation or geographical indicator. Simply being in Napa allowed the value of these grapes to be far greater than similar grapes grown in another county. The Napa brand has soared to such heights as to allow mini-vineyards and such to be feasible.
This, in a diluted form, is what is happening in the Okanagan and, to a lesser extent, the rest of B.C.
Next time somebody says you can't grow grapes in THAT location, ask about the hurdles in the path of that goal and determine what can be overcome and what can be emphasised.
Too much water? Create better drainage, enhance the soil change the aspect, modify your root stock.
Land slopes north? Change it with earth movers. Pick your varietal, modify the trellis.
Those are just a few examples. Developments in land management over the past 30 or 40 years have allowed marginal lands to become prime. Add to that the prospect of climate change and the expansion of BC vineyard operations looks to continue for some time.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
We invite all wine types. If you're reading this on this blog then it probably means you. Although dominated by Benchites, we frequently see travellers and visitors and friends of friends. It's all very casual. We generally provide some snacks and suds but people are encouraged to bring wine to share (including cellar work in progress) and whatever they'd like to hear on our sophisticated sound system.
It's inside/outside depending on the weather.
Be prepared to discuss:
Forklift Beverage Holders: The Next Generation
Beer O'Clock: From Concept to Standard Operating Procedure.
Beautiful People on the Pad (BPP): A Welcome Addition or Dangerous Distraction?
The Blue Factor: Why Is He Always in the Way?
Bring your own dissertation or Power Point presentation if you'd like.
Possibly write a poem for presentation about wine, safety and summer.
Hope to see lots of new faces!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
We're doing some Chardonnay replants. We offer a few bucks, some beer and our eternal gratitude.
Come by around nine in the morning if you're so inclined. Prepare to get dirty.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
It's all about making use of some technological analyses to help a vineyard produce better grapes.
If you're not a techie (as I am not), it's a little mind-boggling the first go around.
But don't be a Luddite. Don't be afraid of the future.
Josh got into it over at Pinotblogger - read my comment and others HERE.
Can't wait for part two coming on April 20th.
The subject of terroir and a sense of place in BC wines is going to become more dominant in the coming months and years. Marketers and owners (and some wine makers) are going to want to define their wines by some kind of link to the geography.
So far, there hasn't been a lot of distinction in this department around here. And, according to Clark, many Napa Cabs share that same affliction; they all taste the same and not particularly distinctive.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
and a few other surprises at
Taylorwood Wines in Yaletown, Vancouver
from 4:30 - 6:30 this Thursday.
Option A: Come early and help me carry this stuff in from the car. It'll be worth your while.
Option B: Come late and help me carry this stuff back to the car. It'll be worth your while and we can grab a bite!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
It is by no means complete but I will keep adding the missing links as they are found.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
The shop is well-laid out and had a great airy feel with the south-east window frontage letting plenty of light in. There's no need for a modern shop to have poor lighting so us old folks can't read the labels. Hundreds of bottles are arranged more or less by varietal. Have a staff member show you around on your first visit.
I was in on a Sunday which happened to coincide with one of their twice weekly advertised tasting events. The place had a pleasant buzz of business with customers coming and going and congregating around the hemispherical tasting bar in the back.
One of the things I appreciate in a wine shop is a sufficient, knowledgeable staff. Taylorwood scored well on this point. Selling wine is more than order taking; customers are always in pursuit of information when they are ready to select a wine they've never had before. The better the information and the delivery then the better the relationship between the two parties. In this respect they're a lot like Discover Wines in Kelowna.
Taylorwood is the kind of place I want to sell my wines. I want people with a genuine interest in good wine and a passion for great wine to handle my best products. That's why Township 7 has wine at Taylorwood and why I'll be encouraging my other clients to have their wines there.
- you can check your progress with a visit to the wine cellar to see how many bottles (points) you've amassed.
- you don't have to take it all in one shot. As a registered user, you can sign in when you want and pick up where you left off.
- The colour diagrams (as example of the tongue and the taste defined areas), are medical text accurate.
- I like the idea of a wine tasting course in my home. Takes the issue of transportation and safety right out of the picture.
There's actually two courses. One is called the Instant and the other is the Complete. It's up to you decide what suits you best.
From the perspective of someone who tastes and works with wine everyday, I think the Taste of the Vine Complete Wine Course is a winner. Many of the details are part of my daily routine but there were points where I learned something new on practically every second page.
Soon I'll be referencing parts of my tongue with the appropriate latin terms. If nothing else, my geek stock will soar.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Still working on it but here's the address...
Wine & Vine BC WANTED
Thursday, March 01, 2007
It's a fun little gadget that finds any wine you're looking for and tells you the price and where it can be purchased.
It's kind of fun and handy at the same time.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
As mentioned in a previous post, I'll be hiring a passionate, driven zealot for a short-term experience at Township 7 this spring.
If you or someone you know finds this interesting please don't hesitate to drop me a line now.
I make my decision tomorrow afternoon at beer o'clock.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
The job will run from March 19 to April 27. There will be a minimum of 25 hours a week; most likely much more. The job will entail working in the cellar and vineyard in a variety of functions.
This is an excellent chance for someone who is thinking about getting in the business but is unsure of the long term commitment.
Must be physically fit, able to lift 16 kg. repetitively and not afraid to get cold, wet and dirty on occasion.
We will train; experience not required but a demonstrated lust for all things wine and an energetic approach to the task at hand will be an asset.
It would be helpful if you like beer.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
- you don't have to be an American to vote.
- there's no write in to vote for this blog if you wanted to. You can vote for me by commenting on this post.
- the awards ceremony will probably be a huge affair - get your tux rented now!
Check out the nominees. There's some excellent writing to be found.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
For a while, the thought of an often off-dry, low-alcohol wine being the supreme expression of white wine was difficult to comprehend. But there are places where Riesling is the king and Chardonnay is just another grape. Now, Riesling is poised to retake some lost supremacy.
Read about it here . . .
Friday, February 02, 2007
Merlot, Chard and a couple rarities.
I'll be telling jokes and autographing body parts as usual.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
He has accepted a great opportunity to head down to New Zealand in a few weeks to help the Kim Crawford crew put together their 2007 crush.
Speaking from experience, I know he'll have a good time and learn a lot of wine making from one of the international stars of the New Zealand wine universe.
It's a huge opportunity and we all wish him the best. We also envy his ability to depart from our late winter/early spring and straight into late summer/ early fall.
Outside of wine country, one of the top destinations seems to be the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Specifically, Uclulet, Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park.
To get the best out a trip to the coast, I'd recommend calling or emailing my friend Susan Jones out that way. She runs At Your Service, a concierge business for anyone who wants things done right during their visit. Her resources must be unfathomably deep because she seems to pull off the toughest assignments with the greastest of ease.
Planes, trains, boats, automobiles, fishing, surfing, whales, eating, beaches, accommodation, babysitting, groceries and everyting else; she does it.
She likes wine, too!
She's also a remarkable photographer. Her photos are here.
Monday, January 29, 2007
First I have to fully disclose that I did not attend all the sessions as I was in transit for day 1 ( Sorry, Paul) and running around Wednesday and Thursday trying to cram in as much as I could.
Second, some sessions I skipped simply because they were fairly narrow in scope. They were Californiacentric. Winery folk from outside California have to realize and accept - this is the Golden State's big show. There is an effort to cast the net of appeal wider but you still have to translate some of the data into something you can use in the jurisdiction where you make your wine.
I found the State of the Industry general session to very informative. The speakers were from diverse wine industry sectors and it was stimulating to hear their varied opinions. I'll be posting about this soon.
My favourites were the two sessions dealing with global warming. One of the take home messages was: Yes, the globe is warming and No, that doesn't mean it's going to get hot everywhere all the time.
What is does mean is that there will be some fairly rapid changes. Some places will become wetter. Some places may see wider shifts in seasonal temperature means.
Models presented by the expert speakers showed varying results but, for the most part, consistent outcomes. With a focus on western North America, for example, it would appear that an enormous section of the California's central valley will undergo "desertification" making it too hot over too long a time for all but the toughest grape varieties. Time frame? Could be as short as 30 years.
Washington State seemed to benefit most from the climate change (and BC even though the study quit at the 49th parallel). But that would hinge on other factors like pests and water.
That's right: bugs and rain.
Too much of the former and not enough of the latter.
It may get warmer and there may be more growing days but it won't be worth a thing if new pests, encouraged by the climate change, are invading new vineyards/ territory. Same goes for water. Should the climate change create extended drought conditions, access to irrigation will be essential in some areas already stressed for water supplies.
So climate change is not an 'end-of-the-world' scenario. But it will require sharp adaptive skills and canny investment practices.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
As Tom over at Fermentation had documented, there's probably over 400 wine related bloggers out there. You might want to double that number if you count the ones that are wine and something (like food or tractors or beer or pelicans).
I try to scan as much as I can, use Sharpreader and have my favourites but I get behind.
That's why I missed this one:
Matt's stuff over at Wine Detective
He had some nice things to say about the wines I make for Township 7.
He hasn't posted for awhile. Maybe we can prod him for something fresh.
If anybody runs into anything about the following items, send me a link. Thanks ahead of time.
Stone Mountain (BC)
Dunham & Froese
Friday, January 19, 2007
The first class, family-run winery is located in Okanagan Falls and has just moved into a brand new production facility (winery).
Pass this on to any cellar rats you know.
- global warming doesn't mean it gets warm everywhere simultaneously; someplaces, for example, may experience wetter weather and cooler winters.
- while the climate will change, not all changes are detrimental.
I don't support manipulating the global climate willy-nilly through atmospheric abuse. But we've fugged it so we better deal with it.
I'm attending a couple yakfests at Unified next week on this subject so I should have some bits to relate in future posts.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Allright!, the button only works if you are Google calendar person. Just found out. How annoying.
The tasting is 1 -3 at the Wine Information Centre at Railway and Ekhardt.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
American Wine Blog Awards
and nominate me. Nominations close Thursday so don't delay!
I'd do it for you!
I think the single subject category is the one.
If you do this I promise not to start posting stories about the cute things my dog does around the winery.
Did I say THANKS?
Monday, January 15, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Great sessions for wine people of every stripe.
An all encompassing trade show.
I've mentioned this before but it demands repeating.
See you there.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Township 7 Chardonnay Reserve 2004, B.C. $24.90 +34579 Unbelievably complex wine for the price. Bravo.
Sounds just about right to me.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
What could a minor wine region's problems have to do with the enjoyment of BC wines?
First of all, Virginia is a lot like BC when it comes to wine. Huge growth over a short period of time, scads of tourists enjoying the vino vibe and lots of small, local wine makers with steady in-state fans.
The fracas in Virginia is about the rights to sell and distribute wine.
Unfortunately for the Virginia wine makers, it is now illegal to sell their wine directly to restaurants and retailers. They must use a wholesaler or distributor. There is a mark-up involved. Profits are being eroded and it looks like some wineries will have to close.
Here in BC, a winery can sell directly to restaurants. They still have to hand over a lot of coin to the government monopoly, but not as much as they would if they sold exclusively through the government stores.
In Virginia, a federal ruling said that forcing out of state wineries to use distributors while allowing state wineries to hand sell was unconstitutional. The solution? Either everybody uses distributors or nobody has to (unless they want to). At the urging (lobbying) of the distributors, the state legislators passed a law making winery to retailer direct sales illegal. So everybody has to use the three tier system (manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer).
I'm no expert, but the idea of paying another hand to do the job you were already doing sounds a little suspect.
It could happen here. The government already takes a big piece of the pie, but they want more. The opportunity to opt out of the BC Liquor Distribution system has been a natural for many small, family wineries. They don't need to have their wines scattered across the province being sold by less than enthusiastic employees. Sure, the BCLD branch had made some enlightening moves over the past decade (emphasis on wine knowledge, employee training, special promotion programs), but their prime mandate is the dispensing and metering of alcohol, a substance controlled by the government.
Given the chance, who would you want to sell your product? A passionate believer in your wine or a uniformed clerk who may or may not know a thing about the bottle in front of them?
It could happen here. A quick bit of legislation in Victoria and boom! All wines sold through Big Momma. Then they'd have their hands on all those wonderful medal winners that are garnering international acclaim.
At least until the wine maker says, "Frig it" and moves on to something that doesn't suck the life out his bank account.