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.