BLOG

Viticulture Insights

An Introduction to the Rich Viticultural Heritage of Italy

Italy has a rich and diverse history of winemaking, old vines and traditional grape varieties that contribute to the country's ancient wine culture, which has evolved throughout the centuries.
Aligoté: Playing with Panache

Aligoté: Playing with Panache

Everyone loves an underdog. And when the underdog emerges, bruised and battered but nonetheless victorious, these triumphs become powerfully motivational. Take the 2004 UEFA Cup Final, for example. Greece, one of this soccer tournament’s less-favoured teams, faced off against much-fancied hosts...

A Measured Approach: Rational Sustainability in Sauternes

“We have a very particular history,” says Miguel Aguirre, vineyard manager at Premier Cru Sauternes estate, Château La Tour Blanche. “After his death, our last owner gave the estate to the French State asking to open a free school in return for his gift. That is why you see so many young people...

And the Water in All This...

Water: the source of life Since our return to Alsace ten years ago, my wife Céline, my daughter Zoé and I never tire of walking the countless hiking trails that crisscross the Vosges, often offering breathtaking panoramas of the mountains and the Alsace plain. On the days when the sky is at its...

To Graft or Not to Graft: The Value of Ungrafted Vitis Viniferas

Without Joker, could Batman ever be a real superhero? Or Sherlock Holmes the world’s greatest detective, if criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty wasn’t a threat to his very own life? All heroes have nemeses, and vitis vinifera – certainly a real hero to many a wine lover – has one too:...

The Rive Revolution: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

This short article is a follow up to my webinar for WSG of 7th June, 2022. It is primarily a reference piece which aims to give more detailed information than the power point format allows. It includes full listings of the Rive sub-zones, terroir areas identified in studies of the Conegliano...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - December

Finally, we have reached the end of the winemaking year. In the vineyard, soil health is a common topic of discussion now that the vines are dormant. This is a great time to dig soil pits and send samples off to discover more about the composition of the soil layers around the root system of the...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - November

At the start of November, areas with long growing seasons are still wrapping up harvest, but most wineries in the northern hemisphere have brought their grapes into the winery. An exception to this rule is any fruit being left out for ice wine production. Ice Wine ProductionGrapes destined for ice...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - October

In October, most areas of the northern hemisphere are in harvest and going full out! Many white varieties finish in early October. Although some reds (particularly early-ripening Pinot Noir) may have started harvest in September, generally, October is the month when most red varieties are picked....

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - September

Now that fall has arrived, winemakers turn their attention to the harvest. In most of the northern hemisphere, harvest usually begins by the middle of this month, if not earlier. It is an exciting time. The culmination of all the hard work in the vineyards is realized in the moments the grapes are...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - August

August is the calm before the harvest storm. Vegetative growth has slowed considerably and, in some climates, stopped completely due to water stress. The vine now turns its efforts to ripening the fruit that it has developed earlier in the season. Although the berries are close to their final...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - July

By July, the period of rapid shoot growth is over. The vine has now created all the leaves needed to ripen its fruit. In wet climates, shoot growth may continue but at a much slower pace. In dry climates, shoot growth stops completely. In very dry areas, the tendrils on the shoot can even dry out...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - June

June is a time of great change in the vineyard. At the beginning of the month, the vines have short shoots with berries that have just set. By the end of the month, the shoots are almost fully grown and have discernable clusters. This is a period of rapid cell division for the berries. With regard...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - May

After frost season, bloom (flowering) is the first real milestone of the vintage. Harvest follows approximately 100 days after this event. Now that the growing season is in full swing, weather has real repercussions for how the vintage shapes up. Grapevines have what are known as “perfect...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - April

With warmer weather, bud break comes quickly. The tiny buds swell and then quickly reveal small, fuzzy, green leaves as the shoot primordia begin to elongate. These shoot primordia will become fully developed shoots over the next few weeks! Although the exact timing of bud break varies from...

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - March

After several months of dormancy, the first signs of the new vintage begin to show in March (in temperate to warm climates). The fresh pruning wounds begin to “bleed.” This initial sap flow is triggered by rising temperatures. Shortly after the bleeding stops, the buds will begin to swell.

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - February

February is still a relatively quiet time in the vineyard. Pruning continues in warm climates while in cold climates it may not begin until March or later. This is primarily due to the risk of winter bud kill. Different varieties have different tolerances for cold. February, in the northern...

Bourgogne Goes Green

One of the most significant trends happening in Bourgogne today, is a movement towards sustainable, organic and biodynamic viticulture. Due to the warming of temperatures, increase in sunlight and shift in rainy season, there has been less vineyard mildew pressure, drier soil and earlier harvests....

Vine to Wine: A Year of Viti/Vini - January

WSG launches “Vine to Wine,” an exciting, new blog series that will chronicle what is happening in the vineyard and in the winery each and every month of the calendar year. Nova Cadamatre, MW and winemaker, will author these authoritative and detailed posts drawing upon her studies (Cornell...
Frost protection in Bordeaux, April 2017

French Lessons for a Warming World

Read Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford’s Keynote Speech to the 2020 Vancouver International Wine Festival in this specially prepared written version for the Wine Scholar Guild blog. Andrew is happy to respond to any questions or comments you may have about this post. Use the "Comments" feature at...