Archive: International

Viticulture in Argentina & Chile from a Plant Pathologist Perspective

  This year I was invited to speak at different events organized by the Chilean Nursery Association (AGV) and Wines of Chile. While in Chile, I attended the 19th Congress of the International Council for the study of virus and virus-like diseases of the grapevine (ICVG). The ICVG meeting was held and hosted in Viña Santa Carolina Winery facilities near Santiago.  While I was traveling in South America, I had an opportunity to visit vineyards in Argentina and Chile.  Today I will share information I learned about winegrowing in Argentina and Chile.  As you know my interests are in grapevine diseases, how to prevent disease development and spread in the vineyard.   So, it will not be surprising that this article […]

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Canada Vows to Loosen Federal Barriers to Interprovincial Wine Trade

For almost a century, Canadian wineries have been prevented from shipping their wines direct-ly to customers living in other provinces. After the most recent federal budget announcement earlier this year, however, wine industry leaders say they are cautiously optimistic that Prohibi-tion-era rules restricting trade could soon be relaxed—a move which industry leaders say could be a game-changer for Canada’s many boutique wineries. In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government announced that the 2019 federal budget would remove a requirement that alcohol shipped across provincial borders must be sold or consigned to a provincial liquor authority. According to Canadian Vintners Association presi-dent Dan Paszkowski, if the proposed rule change passes in June, it would remove the last federal barrier to internal […]

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Welcome to Fizz Club

  Over the past 15 years, international sales of Champagne and sparkling wine have strengthened. The increased sales are due, in part, to the increase in exceptional sparkling wines being made in wine regions throughout the world, including Canada. Even though Champagne remains the gold standard, with the rise in quality sparkling wines at reasonable prices, consumers no longer have to wait for a special occasion to pop open a bottle, and sales have skyrocketed. Belinda Kemp, senior scientist in Oenology at Brock University, wanted to provide a technical foundation for the growth of Canada’s sparkling wine industry, so in 2013 she worked with Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) to create Fizz Club. According to the […]

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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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