Saturday, April 25, 2009

Map of Italian Wine Regions

Map courtesy of Oz Clarke’s Wine Atlas via

Map of Tuscany's DOC and DOCG zones

Map sourced from Maps

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gevery Chambertin Vineyard Map

Note: The key is incorrect. The colors for village Gevery and grand cru are switched

Morey St Denis Village Vineyard Map

Total Average Village Production
RED White
Morey Villages 300,000 bottles 20,000 bottles
Morey 1er Cru 80,000 bottles 4,000 bottles
Morey Grand Crus 190,000 bottles 0 bottles

Grand Cru Vineyards
Clos St Denis
Clos de la Roche
Clos des Lambrays
Clos des Tart
Bonnes Mares

Maps and way more on Burgundy can easily be accessed at the

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Patricia Green on the 2007 Vintage in the Willamette Valley

"Of the eight vintages we have farmed, harvested and bottled here at Patricia Green Cellars this will likely be the most difficult one to WRITE about. Why? Well, it was far from a textbook vintage, no doubt many of you have seen an unusual number of “Oregon Pinot Noir Roses” on the market and maybe have experienced some less than thrilling Pinots from the vintage. It’s always easy to write that whatever you have to sell is the “best vintage ever” or the “best vintage since…” but there is a line you can cross where people simply don’t believe what you have to say if it runs to much counter to their actual experiences. There is no question that the 2007 harvest was tough. It rained and it rained more than just a little bit at times when we really don’t want it to rain at all. There were sleepless mornings when at 3:30 AM you lie there wondering why you ever put your life, beliefs and financial future in the hands of Mother Nature. The first 26 days of October (we finished picking on the 26th) were some of the most gut-wrenching and harrowing days we have spent deciding what to do and waiting to pick fruit that we have endured in a long, long time.

Okay, so that all does not sound so great, huh? The counter to all this is that we were mostly running ahead of a “normal” schedule when unsettling weather settled in so we had good sugars if not necessarily physiological ripeness fairly early on, the science and art of vineyard management is so much more advanced than it was 10 years ago it is almost not even possible to recount what things used to be like and what likely would have happened if 2007 had happened 10 years ago and we have learned through experience that you can wait weather out if you have taken care of your vineyards as well as possible and that there is some sunshine to be had at some point. And there was sunshine. Late October was actually beautiful in Oregon, far nicer than early October. We had windows of opportunity to pick when things had time to dry out and finish the last march toward perfect ripeness.

Did that mean everything was perfect? No, of course not. In 2006 we had the unprecedented experience of declassifying none of the wine in the cellar save for one barrel that had developed a problem due the barrel it was in. In 2007 we declassified about 6% of the cellar. That’s a pretty big chunk to take out of your label and sell off at a loss but we do what we have to do to ensure that wines that say Patricia Green Cellars on them come up to a level of quality that is fairly high.

What we began to see as the wines evolved in barrel after a long and cold winter (we have a passive cellar in the winter so you know what that means) was that we had extremely precise wines with more oomph to them than we imagined they would have. There is an extreme level of purity in these wines. We don’t mean that they are all crystal clean and one-dimensionally fruity by that statement. What we mean is that these wines have as great of a sense of the place that they are from as any wines we have ever produced here. For makers of Pinot Noir that are uniquely attached to place, hence all the many bottlings here, this is almost the best thing we can hope for. We want, for instance, Dundee Hill wines to taste like they are from the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge wines to taste like they are from Ribbon Ridge. We want Ana Vineyard to taste the way we feel Ana Vineyard tastes. We work hard in every vintage to do as much as possible to bring the unique attributes of each site to the forefront. This is why we use native yeast fermentations, don’t have extended macerations or fermentations, don’t use heavily toasted and aggressive barrels, etc. Sometimes though the vintage is so dominant that these subtle differences can be obscured or dumbed down. While the 2006 Pinot Noirs we made we find to be exceptional for their ripeness, sweetness, density and flavor we would not, in general, hold them up as the best examples of terroir we have ever produced. For whatever reason the 2007 vintage really exposes the nature of each site beautifully.

On top of that naked purity there is also the fact that these wines are very, very good. They remind us a lot aromatically of the beautifully scented and underrated 2001 wines but with acid and tannin structures that probably have not been seen in such conjunction since 1999. For newcomers to Oregon Pinot Noir or Pinot Noir in general these wines are likely to take you by surprise. Pretty much every vintage since 2001 has been robust and mostly full-bodied with lots of ripeness and sweetness being the resounding themes (with the exception of 2005 which was still pretty darned ripe but certainly not as flashy as the other surrounding vintages). These wines are much more demure, definitely more medium-bodied and absolutely lower in alcohol than wines from the previous five vintages here in Oregon. They are not light wines though. There is a ton of substance in all of these wines and some of them will eventually border on being quite powerful when all their disparate elements come together.

We are certainly proud of every wine we put out but these wines we are that much more proud of because it was not easy. 2006 was easy. 2007 was hard. It is hard to expend the time and effort late in the growing season to get out to each vineyard and make sure that every detail is being taken care of so that the fruit we get in is going to be of the highest quality possible. It is hard, very hard to wait and wait through one weather system after another to get to the point you want to with your fruit. It is hard to instruct pickers and winery workers to throw stuff out but you have to do that to ensure that what goes into fermenters is only the highest quality fruit. And, we guess, in a world of ever-increasing convention and invention it is hard to go the old, tried and tested way and not bring to bear every gizmo and gadget designed to concentrate, intensify and “make your wine better.” Hey, sometimes having to get through a challenge makes you better, tougher, smarter and more capable. The harvest of 2007 was a physical and mental challenge but the wines are gorgeous and we hope that you will appreciate them along with the effort that went into them."

Patty Green and Jim Anderson are well worth the making the time to see if you're anywhere in the northern Oregon area! Their web site is also worth checking out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My favorite random wine questions from Shafer Vineyards Line On Wine

1) Who was the first person to graft French vines onto American rootstock to prevent phylloxera? Answer: Texas viticulturist T.V. Munson July 01

2) The Spanish province of Catalonia has outlawed what for its wines? Answer: Screw caps and artificial closures

3) The Italian Sommelier Association bestowed the title of honorary sommelier on which major religious figure? Answer: Pope Benedict XVI

4) The most widely planted grape variety in Bordeaux is what? Answer: Merlot

5) The cause of cork taint (a chemical known as TCA), was first identified in what year? Answer: 1981, by Swiss researcher Hans Tanner

6) Priced up to $800,000 per acre, the world's most expensive vineyard lard is located in what region? Answer: Bordeaux

Find your favorite here...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mike Benziger talking biodynamic farming and how bugs make wine better

Mike Benziger is one of America's top supporters of the Biodynamic farming movement in wine production.

A guide to Biodynamics by Jamie Goode. The only advice I can give you when embracing this idea is that you shouldn't get caught up in the small details like cow horns and poop!

Italian Grape production chart

This chart was published in an Italian newspaper showing that overall production of grapes, which is a huge part of agriculture in Italy, is down 2% overall.

Although this may seem like a bad thing it isn't. Does this mean eventually, like 2020, that it will be harder to find a good $10 bottle of wine Italian wine? Yes! However I think this overall contraction of demand in Italian wine grapes and their end product will force producers to only farm the best sites. Also this will cause farmers to concentrate the efforts on quality and not quantity to avoid dumping their wine into western Europe's already overflowing wine lake.

Fiddlestix Vineyard Profile

Fiddlestix Vineyard: Sta. Rita Hills from GrapeRadio on Vimeo.

Produced by

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trust your own palate!

And don't mess with Dr. Vino!

This may be the first time Robert Parker has been confronted and responded ultimately with nothing to say other than you already don't like us!

This is good for all parties involved particularly the trusting score whores.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Carbon footprint of shipping wine from various regions...up with high quality box wine?

This came to me via Dr. Vino's blog but this was also published in the month's National Geographic magazine. Up with high quality box wine?

sshhhh! back to the red wine cures all illnesses stories!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Name the regions of New Zealand's northern island?

North Island
  • Waikato/ Bay of Plenty
  • Gisborne
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Martinborough
  • Northland
  • Auckland

South Island

  • Nelson
  • Marlborough
  • Central Otage
  • Canterbury
  • Waipara Valley

This map of New Zealand was found at which is stock full of free maps!

Monday, April 13, 2009

11. How many Premier Cru villages are there in Champagne?

Answer: 38

Avenay Val d'Or - Marne
Bergeres- Aube
Bezannes- Marne
Billy le Grand- Marne
Bisseuil- Marne
Chamery- Marne
Champillon- Marne
Chigny Les Roses- Marne
Chouilly- Marne
Coligny- Marne
Cuis- Marne
Cumieres- Marne
Dizy- Marne
Ecueil- Marne
Etrechy- Marne
Grauves- Marne
Hautvillers- Marne
Jouy les Reims- Marne
Les Mesneux- Marne
Ludes- Marne
Mareuil sur Ay- Marne
Montbre- Marne
Mutigny- Marne
Pargny les Reims- Marne
Pierry- Marne
Rilly La Montagne - Marne
Sacy- Marne
Taissy- Marne
Tauxieres- Marne
Tours sur Marne- Marne
Trepail- Marne
Trois Puits- Marne
Vaudemanges- Marne
Vertus- Marne
Villedommange- Marne
Villers Allerand- Marne
Villers aux Noeuds- Marne
Villers Marmery- Marne

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Map of the Loire Valley

click on the map to see a full size version

From Laurent Noblet at Jon David Heidrick Selections

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

10. How many Grand Cru villages are there in Champagne?

There are 17 Grand Cru vineyards in Champagne.
  1. Ambonnay
  2. Avize
  3. Ay
  4. Beaumont sur Vesle
  5. Bouzy
  6. Chouilly
  7. Cramant
  8. Le Mesnil sur Oger
  9. Louvois
  10. Mailly Champagne
  11. Oger
  12. Oiry
  13. Puisieulx
  14. Sillery
  15. Tours sur Marne
  16. Verzenay
  17. Verzy

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sonoma Coast vs. The True Sonoma Coast

Above: The True Sonoma Coast


Below: Sonoma Coast AVA (as it has been gerrymandered currently)

maps sourced from

What are the grapes allowed in Cremant d'Alsace AC?

Auxerrois Blanc
Pinot Blanc
Pinot Gris
Pinot Noir

Alsace approved grape varieties that are not allowed in Cremant d'Alsace:
Gewurztraminer, Sylvaner, Muscat

Alsace Grand Cru Vineyard List

A ton of grapes makes how much wine on average?

About 720 bottles or 60 cases of wine.

From Shafer Vineyards Line on Wine

Name the sub AVA's of Mendocino

map sourced from

Anderson Valley
Cole Ranch- the arrow points to Cole Ranch AVA, the U.S.'s smallest AVA
Dos Rios
McDowell Valley
Mendocino Ridge
Potter Valley
Redwood Valley
Yorkville Highlands

Robert Parker's Bitch

Robert Parker's Bitch from Josh Hermsmeyer on Vimeo.

Tina Caputo, editor of trade pub Vineyard & Winery Management Via Dr Vino's Blog

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What is the best grape for wine in the Franken, Germany?

Silvaner makes the best wine due to an extremely short growing season

Grape Break down in the Franken

Who developed Pinotage?

Pinotage was developed by Prof. A.I Perold in 1925, when he successfully crossed Pinot noir and Cinsaut, which was then known as Hermitage. Hence the name Pino – tage.