Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kishmish Vatkana

This grape, from Uzbekistan, is vinifera but has developed powdery mildew resistance.  And what a fine-looking cluster!



(See this article)

It may be that the genes responsible for the fungal resistance can be classically bred, or genetically engineered, to make other vinifera grapes fungal-resistant. Until that happens, I will continue growing Modern varieties (vinifera-American grape hybrids) for disease resistance.

Life, and knowledge, keep changing. Thanks to the poster "Anonymous" who informed me about this grape on Oct 28 through a comment to my earlier post.


Found some good wines lately

Of my recent good finds, these wines stand out:

1. Tamarack '09 Syrah: 94 points and well-deserved. Great dark fruits; great complexity.

2. Kir-Yianni Akakies Rose: This dry pink wine, made from the Xinomavro grape in Macedonia (NW Greece), has full body and great flavor, and is far superior to most rose wines of the world. "Akakias" are the acacias that grow near the vineyard.

3. '08 Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel: Mind-blowingly rich. Unctuous, drippingly heavy Zin. Curtains of velvet.

4. Vietti 2010 Nebbiolo Perbacco: One of the faves at my recent tasting event. A youthful cousin of Barolo.

5. Scholium Project's NV "Gardens of Babylon": Wonderful wine (Napa fruit: Petit Syrah with Zin, Syrah, and Cinsault) made by a professor of Greek and the Classics. Tremendous effort! Violet nose, raspberry glass.


Record winegrape harvest in Washington for 2013

Can you believe it? One winery (OK, three affiliated ones: Chat. St. Michelle, 14 Hands, and Columbia Crest) produces two thirds of all Washington's grapes, and their harvest was up 10% this year from last year's record harvest.

So 2013 will see another record for grape production in the Evergreen State.

Read the article here.

Note, in the photo from the above article, how mechanical harvesting is used--much more sophisticated (IMO) than the machinery needed to harvest wheat! That vineyard is in the Columbia Valley's Wahluke Slope.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Resurrection is indeed possible in the Holy Lands:

Only this story is not about a Jewish carpenter whose death founded an obscure sect that burst into prominence with the conversion of Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century. No, this story is about Judean Date Palms.

How cool is this?  Ancient seeds were unearthed in a clay pot, and this date tree, driven to extinction millennia ago, sprouted and lives anew!

Pardon my saying so, but that is cooler, in real science and in our real lives, than similar stories that are not supported by scientific evidence.




Friday, October 4, 2013

Vineyards Marching North

This article says that French wineries are buying up land in southern England, in preparation for the continuing climate change which would make it difficult to continue growing Bordeaux varieties in SW France and Rhone varieties in SE France. Those climate changes are already noticeable but the point of Bordeaux leaving Bordeaux is surely not very imminent.  But perhaps it's not as far off as one might think.

We see the same threats mentioned as to Napa Valley in California, and I hear more and more about Syrah planted in the Willamette Valley. Another way this is manifested is the planting of grapes higher and higher up the mountains; as the mountain slopes warm and undergo fewer deep freezes in winter, they become more favorable for grapes. There are wonderful grapes being grown in New Mexico's mountains (check out Gruet sparkling wines), so perhaps we can look for quality vineyards in Colorado's mountains someday? Can you imagine Chardonnay being grown here:




And (this sounds impossible to one who has grown Pinot Noir here in NW Oregon, and so often could not get it fully ripe), could it be that someday NW Oregon will produce a great Cabernet? No, surely that cannot be--Cab is one of the sun-hungriest grapes--but who knows? If a trend continues for long enough, strange things will finally happen.