The Hailstone Shield: Anathema to Organic and Biodynamic Vineyards?

Recently the Association National d’Etude et de Lutte contre les Fléaux Atmosphériques (ANELFA) announced the purchase and installation of 125 silver iodide generators in a no-holds-barred effort to thwart the occurrence of destructive hail storms in the vineyards of Burgundy. On the surface this would appear to be a wise investment but is there an ancillary cost?  At least one commentator thinks so. Wine-influencer Tom […]

Salvagnin or Servagnin: Which Is It?

There’s almost never a thought given to the rare benefits of the Black Death pandemic of the Middle Ages but the existence of Servagnin de Morges is one of them. The story begins more than 600 years ago in France with one of the most consequential edicts in wine history: (The Duke of Burgundy) Philip the […]

Parker Does Switzerland — The Wine Advocate Speaks: Part 1 — The Whites

The Robert Parker/Wine Advocate brand couldn’t have timed it any better. First, stir up the usually dignified Swiss wine community with a rare review of 200 or so of its wines, then time publication of the results to coincide with February’s “Matter of Taste” event in Zürich. Voilà, sold out event. Never mind that Parker […]

The Return of a Bad, Bad Bug

After a one year hiatus the dreaded Drosophila Suzukii, or spotted-wing drosophila, is set to make a big return to Swiss vineyards in 2016. Early reports from Swiss cherry orchards are not encouraging with levels of drosophila infestation at the end of June matching the August highs from 2014, a particularly bad year (Agroscope Newsletter: […]

Chasselas Forever–A Film By Florian Burion

Chasselas Forever—Une Histoire de Cépage—A Film By Florian Burion (Octuor Films—2016) Filmmaker Florian Burion’s new documentary Chasselas Forever mashes-up the best elements of travelogue, National Geographic, the History Channel and a TV detective series into one beautifully and lovingly presented tribute. It turns out the mysterious grape chasselas is worthy of a starring role. What […]

In Memoriam: Jacques Granges 1946-2016

Jacques Granges the iconic Pied Piper of biodynamics in Switzerland is dead following a tragic accident in his beloved vineyards above Fully. Monsieur Granges was known as an uncompromising champion of sustainable agriculture, worked tirelessly to improve the health and vitality of his soils and was an advocate for clean, minimally processed food and wine. […]