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In Cafayate, Salta, Argentina, Piattelli has just completed the finishing touches on its new winery. Besides being a beautiful representation of Argentine architecture and a symbol of the company, the most unique part of the building is its gravity flow winery system. Check out how it works and what sets it apart from some of the more traditional wineries being built today.


Top o’ the mornin’ to you Lassies and Laddies! It wasn’t too long ago that you would have to really dig to come up with viable wineries in Ireland. After all, the Irish folks are whiskey and beer drinkers, right? Not so anymore! The European Commission has now officially listed Ireland as a wine producing country! It seems Ireland has begun to put itself on the map as far as the wine world is concerned.


Several news organizations are reporting that California winemaking heavyweight Kendall-Jackson is purchasing two vineyard properties in the Eola-Amity Hills area of Oregon. If the deal goes through, it would be the first California-based investor to put down roots in Oregon, and The Oregonian says it could represent the largest acceleration in the state’s $2.7 billion industry in the last 25 years—an industry nearly a half-century in the making.


One of the best-kept secrets in wine these days is the award-winning wines a handful of Arizona wineries are making. About 100 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona’s Verde Valley comprises several small communities: Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cornville and Cottonwood as well as Jerome, Page Springs and Oak Creek. With cool evenings and warm, sunny days along with mineral-rich and well-drained volcanic soil, the climate is perfect for growing French and Italian-style grape varietals. Nearby Sedona is home to the beautiful red rocks where one can find tasting rooms showcasing many selections from Arizona wineries.


There’s no reason elegance needs to mean time-consuming. With a smidge of do-ahead preparation, this elegant north Italian dish will be ready to eat in an hour or less.


It had a meteoric rise to prominence, then a steep fall from glory. Syrah was the grape that could “out-Merlot Merlot”; it became "the wine harder to get rid of than syphilis." U.S. consumers continue to hold their distance on one of the varietals easiest to grow and turn into wine. It’s a problem winemakers still hope to overcome—and some U.S. growers are making it a major target for improvement.


Syrah or Shiraz is the same grape grown in different regions. There have been many legends and stories that have this grape originating in places as varied as Greece, Albania, Persia or Syria, but thanks to recent DNA testing, we now know that this is a French grape coming from the marriage of two minor French vines, Monduese Blanche and Dureza. The record is still confused on how ancient the grape is; it matches many of the characteristics of grapes such as Allobrogica from the writings in the 1st century AD by Pliny the elder, but the first documented use of the name Syrah was not until 1781. The name Syrah likely comes from the Latin term serus meaning late-ripening. The first use of the name “Shiraz” dates back to the 1830s and was likely just an anglicized version of the original name. Today it comes down to preference and regional tradition.


The beginning of March marked the 77th annual Grape Harvest Festival in Mendoza, Argentina. Known as Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, this is the biggest festival in the whole country and has been named the second-best harvest festival in the world by National Geographic. From Feb. 24 until March 5 this year, the festival took over our city while tens of thousands of people gathered to watch the crowning of the Queen of the Harvest, dance and musical performances, and of course, drink wine.


First impressions are everything, and wine on tap is still on a first impression basis for many. As an emerging market –one battling the stigma of 1970s bad wine kegging practices and poorly boxed white zinfandel, no less—wine on tap is still on the upward climb to become embraced as a wine drinking norm. Notwithstanding good intentions, good first impressions don’t always happen, usually due to one or another of a few common serving mishaps. Lauren Barnard offers some helpful tips for restaurants and others serving wine on tap.


This weekend, judging gets under way for the first Southwest Wine Challenge, a regional competition aimed to highlight the growing wine presence in the Southwest. The goal: establish an identity around wines of the states between Texas and Nevada.

 


Women & Wine: Marti Macinski
By: Robin Salls
Posted: Mar. 07, 2013

Twenty years ago people may have laughed at the thought of the Finger Lakes defining itself through its Rieslings and Gewürztraminers, but not Marti Macinski. She and her husband, Tom, had an unwavering belief and vision in the historic vineyards they purchased in 1991 and knew what they tasted in the terroir. Tying it altogether to create wines that Wine Spectator has consistently ranked highly since their first crush in 1993 only proved to others what the Macinskis already knew: that they have some of the best dirt to grow grapes. You can hear the smile in Marti’s voice as she shares candidly that their big egos and belief in assured success drove them forward. 


For the majority of college scholars, the basic food groups are often stripped away, only to be replaced by the notorious Ramen noodles, frozen pizzas, PB&J’s, mac and cheese, and anything cooked on a George Foreman Grill. Along with the deprivation of food comes the notion that drinks such as wine are far out of reach. From WineTable’s Black Box Braylon: how one college student retains a (small) grasp on a culinary luxury.


It goes without saying California is the big dog in American wine production, and as we saw a few weeks ago, its neighbors to the Southwest—New Mexico, Arizona and Texas—are developing their own wine presence (albeit on a much smaller scale). Our fellow countrymen to the East—New York and Pennsylvania, in particular—have fingers in the wine pie, too (literally, in New York’s case). And some determined vintners are producing better and better wines out of the complicated soil and moderate climates. Wineries in those states now represent some of the most renowned and well-traveled wineries in the United States.


Here’s an easy Asian meatball appetizer that works well alone or as the protein topping to a salad of mixed greens spritzed with rice vinegar. You’ll want to balance the heat out with a slightly sweet white wine.


Crémant: Only Second Choice?
By: Eva Weirich
Posted: Mar. 05, 2013

Every time my family gets together at Christmas or for any other celebration, question number one is always who would like a glass of Crémant to drink to it. Why not Champagne, you ask? One might think a big celebration would be worth a bottle of the purest Champagne. So why Crémant? Crémant is extremely popular where I live in Saarland, Germany, because of our proximity to Alsace, France, one of the Crémant-producing areas. This not only makes it easily available (since it’s produced literally next door), but also makes it the drink of choice.


Tempranillo, “the noble grape of Spain,” is the dominant grape of Rioja wines. It produces a wine with characteristic flavors of strawberry, plum and cherry, with a touch of tobacco and spice as well as earthiness in the finish. A medium to full-bodied red wine with higher tannins, less acid and more fruitiness than many other reds, Tempranillo is used as a varietal and as an often-informing blending grape balanced with more acidic and sugary reds. Its most common blending partners are Garnacha or Grenache, Monastrell (which is known elsewhere as Mouvedre), and Cariñena (known in other countries as Carignan). (As you can see, Spanish grapes tend to carry differing names for the same grapes found in other countries.)


Wood-Roasted Artichoke Salad
By: Wine Table
Posted: Mar. 01, 2013

This wood-roasted artichoke salad with toasted garlic-red wine vinaigrette and manchego cheese will be featured on the spring menu at Splendido, the restaurant at The Chateau, Beaver Creek. Chef-Owner David Walford recommends tossing the artichokes on a grill with a few oak chips thrown on the coals. Pair it with a Clos du Bois Chardonnay or Willamette Valley Riesling.


Webster’s definition of the word faithfulness is: “Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal.” Executive Chef and restaurant owner, David Walford is a seasoned craftsman who has spent the last 30 years immersed in the culture of the culinary world, the 20 of them in Beaver Creek, Colo. Now that’s faithfulness. We recently chatted over coffee in his beautiful restaurant with splendid views, thus named, Splendido, at The Chateau, Beaver Creek.


In the past 10 years Malbec has become one of the most popular wines in the United States and has been fueling the growth of Argentine wine in the international market. The explosion of our Malbec market has shot Argentina into fifth place among the world’s largest wine producers, and, with double-digit annual growth rates in imports, Argentina has become the third-largest wine import in the United States.


In the past decade, wineries have been popping up in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Dakotas and beyond. More than 1200 wineries are now open for business across an 11-state area. In Minnesota alone, the wine industry has recently been growing at an annual rate of 28 percent. But in cold weather states, making wine from only locally grown grapes has proved challenging.  Many winemakers are looking for flavor profiles with more depth and dimension. And one of the regions Midwest winemakers are sourcing grapes is Lodi, Calif.


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