A New Year, a New Wine

A New Year, a New Wine

Happy New Year! New technology has made it possible for even the smallest winery to eliminate much of the guesswork of wine making and the results show in the finished product. The downside to technology is that many wines are loosing some of their varietal characteristics but are nonetheless easy drinking and quite enjoyable. Let’s face it, not all of us can afford to pop the cork on a bottle of Chateau Petrus every night! If you are one who does please contact us immediately and we would be happy to help.

This new year, throw caution to the wind and hop on the good cork and do the wine thing. Many people have a favorite wine and that is all they drink. Monogamy is great for relationships but there are too many great wines on the market to stay true to only one. Some of the current hot wines to try are Syrah/Shiraz, Pinot Gris/Grigio and Sangiovese. These traditional European varieties are finding great success throughout the new world and are being enjoyed not only for their taste, but also their value. The wine industry is currently experiencing an over supply of both grapes and finished wine. Now may be the best time in history to look for new adventures in wine and play the field a bit.

  Wineries are scrambling to find new markets for their products. California this year harvested approximately 3.3 million tons of wine grapes up nearly 8% from last year. This combined with a flat economy and competition from foreign producers such as Australia, Chile, Argentina, and Italy is putting pressure on many wine makers to lower prices. These imports are giving California a run for their money, literally, and you should begin to see more of them on the store shelf and restaurant wine list. If you have a chance, try an Australian Shiraz, a Chilean Carmenere, an Argentinean Torrontes or an Italian Pinot Grigio. The 2002 vintage should prove to be one of the best vintages in ten years for many areas of the United States. Recent barrel samples from Napa, Sonoma and the California coast are showing nicely and should continue to develop into great wines. Oregon experienced nearly perfect growing and harvest conditions and 2002 is being compared with the classic 1985 vintage. We will report further following a research trip to the Willamette Valley. (We hope the IRS buys that one!)
One of the best New Year’s resolutions we have heard comes from John Paul, Cameron Winery, Dundee, Oregon: “In the New Year, for better health, I plan to consume the recommended five different servings of fruits or vegetables every day, only four of which will be wine.”