Redefining Czechian Wine

DID YOU KNOW?  Czechia is a classic European wine region, actively engaged in some form of winemaking for over two millennia, with codified wine laws in existence for 700 years?  Unfortunately, four decades of Soviet rule were devastating to the industry. During this time, grapes were grown for quantity and large yields were more important […]

Elgin Valley, South Africa

From a wine production standpoint, South Africa is an incredibly interesting, varied and undervalued country.  Historically, the vast majority of its output was ordinary, inexpensive table wines destined for discount retail outlets around the world.  And while that category of South African wine still exists, the country’s reputation is now driven by quality-focused producers making […]

Alpine Wines

Few regions in the world evoke emotions in people like the Alps do. Images of snow-peaked mountains, lush valleys and meadows of wildflowers dance in our heads. We know the Alps were crossed by Hannibal on his way to pillage Rome and by Napoleon in his attack on Austria. And many of us grew up […]

2020 Vina La Rosa La Capitana Single Vineyard Carmenere

Carménère’s origins are the flat, Atlantic vineyards that surround the Gironde Estuary, better known as Bordeaux’s Medoc region.  It was there, in the early 18th Century, that the grape established itself as one of the finest in all of France and, therefore, in the world.  The infamous phylloxera louse that laid waste to vineyards across […]

To de-stem or not de-stem? That is the question…

Prior to World War 2, almost all wine was made using whole-bunch, or whole-cluster, fermentation which (as the name suggests!) involves adding intact bunches or clusters of grapes to the fermenter. Shortly thereafter, commercial de-stemmers became widely available and winemaking methods throughout the world changed markedly forever.  Or did they… At harvest time, whole grape […]