A Taster’s Notes: My Path to Minerality

On a warm summer morning in 1986 I found myself marking time in a stale smelling bar-tabac drinking bad French coffee while fingering the last crumbs from a buttery apricot tart. Back then this part of the northern Rhône valley was nearly as famous for apricots as it was for grapes. The local vineyards had not fully […]

Wine Tariffs — The End Game

Mid-January 2020 looms large in the world of wine. That’s when the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative closes the window on two public comment periods for the proposed 100% tariff on agricultural products emanating from the European Union, including wine. Most everyone in our business knows the story: Trump’s tariffs are in retaliation for […]

Profile: Clos de Tsampéhro (Flanthey, Valais)

It’s not exactly a secret garden — situated as it is mid-slope, in the middle of Valais — but Tsampéhro isn’t obvious either. From a distance it looks like any other vineyard along the Coteaux de Sierre, but upon closer inspection you might notice the low stone wall that surrounds it or the vibrant green, […]

Swiss Wine: The Grand Cru Confusion Explained

One of the most frustrating (and intriguing) things about researching Swiss wine is the diligence required to gather information across three languages and twenty-six, more-or-less autonomous cantons. The bottom-up system of Swiss government means that each canton retains broad powers to regulate its own affairs. From there, it only takes a little digging to discover […]