MUST Fermenting Ideas — Wine Summit Cascais 2019

Sometime around midnight, not far from Salamanca on an overnight train from Bordeaux to Lisbon, I took a moment to reflect on the fact that I’ve never been to a wine conference. I bookmarked this thought (for later self-recrimination), because my final destination on that sleepless, half-moon punctuated evening was MUST Fermenting Ideas in Cascais, which by […]

Grosse Arvine — One Man’s Mission

If you’ve ever entertained thoughts of resuscitating a barely breathing grape variety you may want to give Olivier Pittet a call. He’s a fine young man and a terrific winemaker who, in his spare time, lays it all on the line for a little known cultivar that may never be commercially viable. He will no […]

The Urban Vineyards of Zürich

When you explore the urban sprawl of Zürich it’s hard to imagine that in 1881 the hills were draped with vines and the local wine industry was in the midst of unprecedented prosperity. From 1851 to 1881 the canton’s vineyards expanded by one-third and revenue per hectare peaked at 29,000 CHF in today’s currency. That’s a […]

Les Trésors du Vin Suisse — Basel 2019

The Trésors tasting and its sister — the more inclusive Mémoire & Friends tasting — are my favorite events on the Swiss wine calendar. Both events reside under the Mémoire des Vins Suisses (MDVS) umbrella — a marketing-related non-profit founded and nurtured by a group of wine-loving journalists, producers and enthusiasts. Both tasting events, and the parties […]

Water Into Wine: A Case Study

Water into wine — Jesus got it right, from one comes the other. But the real miracle at that wine-deficient wedding in Galilee was his judicious use of a scarce natural resource: one measure of water for one measure of wine. An enviable ratio in anyone’s book and one that today’s water-conscious winemakers would do well to […]

Jungewinzer Im Rampenlicht — Young Swiss Winemakers in the Spotlight

Junge Schweiz Neue Winzer is a professional association of young (and new) Swiss winemakers dedicated to the free exchange of ideas and shared experiences. It also serves as support group (because change is never easy), promotional arm and globally-attuned tasting panel. While real change is often slow to take hold in Switzerland, it can be hastened […]

Ticino Wine Festival — 2019

It may surprise some that at 266,000 hectares, Merlot is the second most planted grape variety in the world. A substantial portion of that number (74,550 hectares) is found in Bordeaux alone. When you add in the rest of France—especially the south where it enjoys a sizable footprint—it doesn’t leave much for the rest of […]