Archive: International

South African Wine Industry Overcoming and Adapting to Day Zero Declaration

The Western Cape of South Africa and its historic vineyards, nestled in the mountains to the east of Cape Town, are a major draw for tourists, with tens of thousands of overseas visitors enjoying tours and tastings every year. The worst drought in living memory hit vineyards in South Africa’s Western Cape hard, reducing grape harvests and adding to pressure on the region’s centuries-old wine industry. As the world’s seventh largest wine producer, a decrease in its wine production could heavily hit the country’s overall economic growth. In October 2017, the mayor of Cape Town and the South African government made a dramatic declaration that caught the attention of the world. Day Zero, the date on which the taps are […]

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A Step Inside the Wine Library

    The Wine Library and Vinotheque at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus in Vancouver, Canada are probably unlike any library you’ve ever ventured. There isn’t a stern librarian asking you to “shhh” while glaring over her glasses at you – although, there are few glasses on hand. This is a Wine Library, where row after row of bottles of wine sit, quietly aging, all in the name of advancing wine science. Unlike the other University libraries on campus, it is not open to the public, and you won’t be able to check-out or borrow anything from it, but if you have some fine wine you’d like to lend, you can certainly check it in, and they will […]

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Viticulture & Enology Education? Consider Looking Northward

Viticulture is dynamic, scientific and, with innovation advancing and our environment continually evolving, it can be a challenge to keep on top of it all. Even the most seasoned winemakers and grape growers could benefit from updating or fine-tuning their knowledge. Ensuring the entire vineyard team possesses the most up-to-date skills and education to grow the finest grapes and produce premium wine is never a bad idea. People may seek out viticulture or enology education programs to optimize their knowledge and skills, improve those of their employees, or perhaps even satisfy a career shift into the wine industry. Many programs exist, varying in depth, length and content, and provide education on specific aspects of viticulture, including combining viticulture with business […]

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Do I Detect a Hint of Ash?

Knowing if You Have Smoke Taint Sooner   In many prominent grape growing regions around the globe, a new season, fire season, seems to be arriving on an increasingly regular basis. Drought conditions, high temperature, and wicked winds are turning small grassfires or a discarded cigarette into raging, devastating firestorms. The immediate concern for growers is for the safety of people and property, and then later surveying the damage to equipment, orchards and vineyards. The losses in recent years from wildfires have been catastrophic.   Long after the fire has passed, the potential of smoke taint ruining an entire vintage is a real concern. Undesirable contamination of grapes from smoke can result in less than desirable sensory expressions in the […]

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Picking up Wine with Your Groceries

      A ‘Foreign’ Concept Hitting British Columbia Supermarkets With changes to recent laws in some provinces, Canadians can now find local wines on their grocery store shelves. This is a relatively new concept for the country, although very common in other parts of the world. In fact, a recent report found that in the United States up to 70% of all wine is sold in grocery stores. In the beginning, the change in British Columbia (BC) legislation seemed like a sweet deal for grocers to share in profits generated by alcohol sales, for consumers to enjoy the convenience of one-stop shopping, and for Canadian wine producers to reach more of these consumers. However, once the confetti settled and […]

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Wines of the New World: MEXICO

Mexico appears on the horizon as one of the most important and relevant wine producing regions of the Americas, or countries of the New World. A fascinating example, Mexico has a rich and wonderful history. The ‘Rio Grande’ separates the USA and Mexico all the way to the Gulf. Immediately west of El Paso the boarder runs more or less in a straight line from east to west where it reaches the Pacific coast of San Diego. Some two thousand miles from Mexico’s northern border with Guatemala. In past times Missionaries went to extraordinary lengths to carry their first discovered grapevines accompanied by ‘conquistadores’, or conquerors in a determined effort to reach Mexico. This was done over four hundred years […]

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Tidal Bay of NS is a Matter of Quality Over Quantity

More than 55,000 wine professionals from all over the world attended the ProWein International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits in Dusseldorf, Germany last March. This year for the first time, these enthusiasts were able to taste the wines from one of the newer wine making regions of the world, Nova Scotia. Wine making in Nova Scotia can be traced back to the 1600s, but the modern industry is only 38 years old. It began in 1978 when Roger Dial created Grand Pre Winery which today is Hanspeter Stutz’s Domaine de Grand Pre. In the same year, Hans Jost planted vines on the Malagash Peninsula which eventually became the Devonian Coast winery. The Winery Association of Nova Scotia was created […]

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Ontario’s First Wine in a Can

Of all the things we find on the label of a bottle of wine, perhaps most important is the appellation. Getting down to the heart of the matter, the appellation is simply the wine’s address. It’s where the grapes were grown. This simple fact of where grapes were grown gives an oenophile a deep understanding of what’s inside the bottle or can. Yes, the bottle or can! A can of wine on the store shelf cannot yet be called ubiquitous, but that day may be coming. More wine is found in cans every day. Barokes Wines of Australia claim to have been the first to can wine, inventing their own process in 1996. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery in California […]

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Wines of the New World: Peru

The earliest recorded historical evidence of setllements in the countries of the new world, also known as the Americas were attempts at colonisation made by the Europeans in as far back as the tenth century. During long voyages of exploration, Scandanavian ‘Norse’ saiors built the very first settlements of the Americas, in Greenland and Canada. Chrsitopher Columbus expanded on the idea having sailed west when he established a new trade route to reach the far east. He inadvertantly landed in what came to be known to the Europeans as The New World. Spanish speaking Peru is one of the countries that make up the Americas, or New World, and it is showing great potential to becoming one of the newest […]

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An Option for Vintners in a Warming Climate

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is now a fact. But what does it mean for those who make wine? It’s not so clear. The agreement calls for the nations of the world to limit the increase in global temperature to less than 2°C. At the moment, this is far from accomplished. The action plans submitted by the 185 nations that signed the agreement explain what each nation will do to begin lowering their carbon footprint. These actions are the first steps in a longer, as yet undefined process. They will not prevent a 2° rise in Earth’s temperature by the end of the century. The plan calls for a reconvening of the members every five years to set new, more […]

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