Monthly Archives: August 2007

Responsible Parenting Leads to a 'Green' Approach

    Doug Shafer stopped using pesticides on his family’s vines 18 years ago after he noticed a skull and crossbones on the label of his herbicide.

     “I said, ‘Whoa.’ I have three young kids who play in these vineyards. What am I doing to them?” Shafer told Newsweek magazine.

     The veteran vintner says he now uses a natural echinacea ground cover and organic soap on his vines to knock back bug infestations, and his…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Two Famous Wine Families Exit the Biz

    Nothing is forever.

     That’s true in life and it’s true in business — including the wine business.

     In recent days, two families with long winemaking histories — the Firestones and the Bynums — have bid adieu… in different ways…

Posted in The Wine Business

New Zealand's Harvest Is Bigger… and Smaller

    Figures just released on New Zealand’s 2007 winegrape harvest indicate that tonnage this year was up… and down.

     How could it be both? Allow us to explain…

     New Zealand Winegrowers Chief Executive Officer Philip Gregan said the 2007 harvest was in line with pre-harvest expectations for a crop of…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Ontario Vintners Going 'Green' in a Big Way

    The Wine Council of Ontario in Canada has produced a thick binder of documents and interactive worksheets to help the province’s wineries and vineyard owners improve their environmental performance.

     “Sustainable Winemaking Ontario: An Environmental Charter for the Wine Industry” is the first comprehensive sustainability program of its kind for the wine industry in Canada. The WCO initiated and funded the project with significant input from the Grape Growers of Ontario.

     “Winemakers and grape growers realized it’s critical that we do what we can to preserve the land and environment that we rely on for our…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

'Dr. Toad': Farewell to a Legendary Vintner

    Writing an
obituary never is easy, but it’s a particularly tough task when the subject is
someone you know.

     I wouldn’t call
Robert Todd (a.k.a. “Dr. Toad”) Williams a friend. “Acquaintance” would be more
accurate. But Todd (as most people called him) was one of those guys you’d meet
once and feel like you’d known forever.

co-founded Toad Hollow Vineyards in


Calif., in 1993. His partner in
the venture was Rodney Strong, who already had his own winery nearby. Their
goal was to bring good…

Posted in Editor's Journal

Use Summer Berries for This Tasty Cobbler

***image4***     Desserts can be tricky to match with wine, but when berries are involved, the quest becomes easier. Try this recipe, which makes 6 to 8 servings, with a fruitful Zinfandel, or almost any slightly sweet wine…

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

A Positive Result of Global Warming?

     We’ve reported on the worries of some California winemakers that global warming could be changing the climate of vineyard areas that heretofore have been ideal for quality grape growing.

     But if one is growing grapes and making wine in an area where cooler temperatures sometimes prevent grapes from attaining full maturity, a rise in average air temperatures could be considered a positive development.

     Here are excerpts from a recent “Morning Edition” radio report on this…

Posted in Wine and the Environment

Wine Brings the Generations Together

    According to a study conducted by Vinexpo, an international wine and spirits exhibition, consumers aged 20 to 25 have a perception of wine as a healthy, high quality alcohol product that is becoming a popular trend among their age group. Yet the perceived expensive cost of wine and confusion about different wine styles can be barriers to consumption, Beverage World reports.

     The study aimed to provide an in-depth look at young people’s expectations and perceptions of wine in the United States, France, Japan, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Titled, “20-25 Year Olds and Wine,” it is based on interviews of two groups of 10 people, both male and female, in five countries to determine what motivates young people to drink wine, as well as what hinders them.

     One of the key findings of the study was that young people in all countries considered wine to be the healthiest alcohol beverage, yet many…

Posted in Wine Buzz

Livermore Valley Rolls Out the Red Carpet

    There’s no time like the fall winegrape harvest to experience California’s Livermore Valley wine country.

     Each year, the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association heralds the approaching crush by staging a Harvest Wine Celebration over the Labor Day weekend, followed by weeks of special wine country activities.

     Grape stomps, blending seminars, library tastings and new release parties will be taking place at many of the 40 wineries of the valley, which is about…

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log

Pioneer New York Vintner Sells to His Winemaker

    One of the true pioneers of winemaking in New York, Hermann J. Wiemer, is passing the torch.

     Wiemer, who has made world-class Riesling for years in the Finger Lakes region, helping convince consumers that not all great American wine comes from California, has sold his estate to his winemaker.

     The Mosel-born Wiemer, 65, turned over the property on Seneca Lake to Frederick Merwarth, 36 years his junior. In acquiring the Wiemer Vineyard, Merwarth obtained a 15,000-case boutique operation. Merwarth will…

Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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