winemaking

It’s Impossible Not to Root for This Japanese-Californian Winery

It’s Impossible Not to Root for This Japanese-Californian Winery

If you want to taste an acclaimed California winery’s Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, you’ll need plane fare and a passport. Ch.igai Takaha was founded by husband-and-wife team Takahide and Miyoko Sugimoto in 2006. Short for Chateau Igai Takaha, the winery produces cuvées in partnership with Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton, and in collaboration with area labels […]

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Winemakers Need to Think Big Instead of Chasing Trends in the Cellar

Winemakers Need to Think Big Instead of Chasing Trends in the Cellar

Ten years ago, if you traveled to any wine region and visited its cellars, you’d likely find a barrel hall stacked high with small oak barrels. Not anymore. Now you’ll find these small oak barrels, called barriques, alongside a variety of others. Even the most traditional cellars might also have a concrete egg or two, […]

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Washington’s Frontier Winemakers Are Forging the Next Willamette Valley

Washington’s Frontier Winemakers Are Forging the Next Willamette Valley

Underwood Mountain rises into view on the Washington side of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic landscapes: the Columbia River Gorge, a playground for windsurfers, hikers, skiers, and those in search of one of the prettiest drives in America. If Thane Hawkins has his way, this mountain and gorge will soon be as big […]

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wine Is a Gimmick Born Out of Necessity

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wine Is a Gimmick Born Out of Necessity

While natural and minimalist winemaking may get a lot of buzz, another trend is taking over American wine shops, liquor stores, and grocery shelves. Bourbon barrel-aged wine has boomed since its introduction in 2014. Recently, California-based wineries such as Robert Mondavi, Fetzer Vineyards, and Apothic Wines have joined the trend. For decades, distillers have aged […]

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Why Brewers Love Brett and Winemakers Fear It

Why Brewers Love Brett and Winemakers Fear It

Say the word “Brettanomyces” in a room full of booze hounds, and you’ll be either applauded or shunned. Beer geeks of a certain stripe can’t get enough of this wild yeast, nicknamed “Brett” and featured in limited-edition bottles by breweries like Allagash and The Bruery. Brett elicits a very different reaction in wine-drinking circles, however.

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Natural Wine Is a Runaway Train, And It Might Be Time to Hit the Brakes

Natural Wine Is a Runaway Train, And It Might Be Time to Hit the Brakes

There is no official Natural Wine Movement. I think that’s why so many people struggle with it. Natural wines are not as codified as, for example, biodynamic farming, where in order to use the term you need to undergo rigorous certification. There are no rules for what constitutes “natural.” Tracing the movement’s origins is difficult […]

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Your Wine Might Have More Alcohol Than the Bottle Says It Does

Your Wine Might Have More Alcohol Than the Bottle Says It Does

Wine labels, particularly those on U.S. bottles, are remarkably informative. They reliably list the grape varieties, region, and vintage, and some also include tasting notes and food pairing suggestions. One key wine label component, however, is oddly opaque. The alcohol-by-volume statement is shrouded in legal technicalities, permitting winemakers leeway up to 1.5% ABV. Wine law […]

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