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Wine Fables…

Wine enthusiasts have been reading about the various wine growing Appellations and how – mythically – the best wine grapes are grown only there. In fact, there are numerous great areas for growing very fine wine grapes in California alone. Some include the Napa Valley, The Central Coast, The Santa Maria Valley, The Santa Rita Hills, The Carneros, etc.

Certain wine writers have waxed so eloquently about the various regions that no one vineyard, or winemaker developing wines from any vineyard, could possibly meet their expectations every year. Additionally, some of what they write is hyperbole, and not very factual, real or possible.

For example the latest “discovery” that we have read about is that wine making in California will be entering into a new phase because a winery may practice what has been termed – by the writer –a “new way” to make wine: One that could change the way wine is made in CA.   That new way is to make wine each year which reflects the fact that grapes develop differently each year. Consequently, these writers claim,  winemakers have “discovered” they can make wines that reflect that year’s harvest.

This contrasts with wineries that establish a standard that each year’s wines must taste the same as the last year, and the year before.  To do this, they establish tasting panels to complement their computer programs that “tell” the winemaker how much of variety “A” or “B” or “C” to add to make this year’s wine blend  taste  the same as last year’s wine blend. The author of a recent article somehow decided that not doing that was a new and novel way to make wine. Hello!

Most winemakers who make relatively small amounts of fine wine have been doing that for years, and years, and years!   Some of us believe that there is really no other way to make wine. So while I admire the fact that each new generation of young winemakers may feel that they have discovered a novel approach to making wine, let’s not get carried away. These young men and women are following a long line of winemakers who make wine each year with the grapes that are harvested. Each year’s vintage is a bit different than the last. They, like us, are trying not to make cookie cutter wines!

There are many things wine writers can address about the wine industry. Writers would be providing a great service to the wine drinking public if they described some of what actually goes on in the wine industry, i.e. specifically how wines are made in both small and large scale wineries, why mass produced wines cannot be the same as boutique wines, etc.

We believe that the best way to approach wine making is to be honest with consumers, offer interesting, educational, and practical information, and as importantly, make learning about how wine as enjoyable as drinking it.

Jerry & Marsha De Angelis

 

 

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