• Chile: Miguel A. Torres wins Lifetime Achievement Award

    Miguel A. Torres wins Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute of Masters of Wine and Drinks Business The Institute of Masters of Wine and international trade publication the Drinks Business announce Miguel A. Torres as the winner of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognises an outstanding and inspirational individual with a life-long commitment to
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  • The Complete Guide to Ice Wine

    We have previously written about wines made from botrytis rot-affected grapes, where the mold desiccates the fruit; another way to remove water from a grape is to allow it to be frozen. Because the water freezes more readily than the various sugars, acids, and dissolved solids, when still-frozen grapes are pressed, just a drop or
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  • Almaviva: France’s Foothold in Chile

    It might be situated at the foot of the Andes, but Almaviva’s heart is in Bordeaux. Almaviva is the Frenchest place in Chile. Almaviva is a collaboration between Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Chile’s Concha y Toro. It makes a single-estate wine, a Bordeaux blend that I’m going to tell you about, although just telling
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  • California’s Cabernet Cult Keeps Growing

    California is drowning in Cabernet, as growers swap diversity for big returns. When I met Seattle-based economist Mike Veseth at a wine conference in Idaho last February, he shared his take that the “Queen of Red Grapes” might be overprized – and overplanted – in California. With a statewide rise in Cabernet plants – both
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  • Ten ways to define a “cool climate” wine region

    How do you define a “cool climate” wine region? According to the folk behind this year’s International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, the distinguishing characteristic is how much sleep the winemaker gets. Warm climate = easy winemaking (lots of sleep) = bad. Cool climate = difficult winemaking (less sleep) = good. All I can say is
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  • Finding Chile’s artisanal wines amid huge production

    Big companies dominate the Chilean wine industry so much that I didn’t think small artisanal wineries existed there. Yet there are terrific, unique wines being made in Chile: not points-chasing Napa wannabes either. You have to look really hard through oceans of solid, unpretentious wine. But imagine wines of such purity of flavor that they
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  • Journey through Fire: Stories from California

    I was visiting Sonoma for a press trip. It was already unusual; of the four journalists attending, three had to withdraw at the last minute, leaving only the host — Christina Starr of Ste Michelle Wine Estates — and myself. Our itinerary included one property in Sonoma on Sunday, then three more in Napa Monday
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  • Taking it slow in Central Otago Part 2

    This is PART TWO of L.M. Archer’s exploration of Central Otago. Before continuing, read part one. Feature Image: Prophets Rock Vineyard – New Zealand Individuation: Fruit vs. Site Forsyth sees a decided march towards individuation throughout Central Otago’s vineyards. “So now, thirty years later, we’re at the stage where we can see better producers concentrating on
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  • Taking it Slow in Central Otago (Part 1)

    Challenged by climate change, lack of available land and rising production costs, some of Burgundy’s top producers have established wineries in Oregon. But the more adventuresome are now flying much further afield — to New Zealand’s Central Otago. Located on the 45 parallel in the Southern Hemisphere, Central Otago is one of the world’s southernmost
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  • Rethinking the wines of Argentina

    Trigger warning: This story will praise Merlot. Is Malbec actually the grape Argentina does best? And what are the best wines to drink from Argentina? The answer to the first question, for those buying $10 or $15 wines, is probably “yes.” Malbec seems to be more forgiving of industrial-scale production than other varieties. But Palate
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