Category Archives: Technical Stuff

René Barbier vineyard: Innovation in Cataluña’s Penedès district

This is Part Two of my report on Spain’s Catalan Freixenet properties. Part One covered my visit to Cataluña’s Priorat district and the Morlanda winery. This post will focus on the René Barbier vineyard in Cataluña’s Penedès district. Once again … Continue reading

Posted in Macabeo, Parellada, Spain, Technical Stuff, Visits to Vineyards/Winemakers, Xarel-lo | Leave a comment

Montinore Estate, Willamette Valley, 8/16/12

The view from the driveway to Montinore Estate’s winery and tasting room. The Marchesi family’s lovely home. Looks like it’s the Old South, not Oregon! A composite photo of the winery’s entrance. The view from the tasting room. We started … Continue reading

Posted in Gewurztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Oregon, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling, Tastings, Technical Stuff, Travel | Leave a comment

Some Languedoc cattle enjoy wine in their daily rations. Good MOOD, better tasting meat.

Now here’s an interesting wine geek article! French farmers are experimenting with feeding cattle wine — puts them in a good MOOD, increases milk yield, makes meat taste better. Each lucky bovine is receiving 1-1.5 liters/day/animal, the equivalent of 2-3 … Continue reading

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A Tour of SakéOne, Forest Grove, Oregon, August 15, 2012

I was in Portland, Oregon August 14-21 for the Wine Bloggers Conference. On August 15, some of us visited the SakéOne company in nearby Forest Grove. BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW: Saké is gluten-free and sulfite-free. It is treated as a beer … Continue reading

Posted in Oregon, Saké, Tastings, Technical Stuff, Travel | 2 Comments

From Opus One: grape flower buds

Bloom has begun in the malbec and cabernet franc. The cluster pictured is just beginning to flower. Those are not tiny grape berries, they have not flowered yet. They look like miniature bell peppers, having calytrae or “caps” to protect … Continue reading

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[July update: DON’T] Make your own wine at Crushpad

The following post appeared in May 9, 2012. However, it seems that the business has ceased operations. I’ve heard that they aren’t answering the phone, returning emails or calls, or opening their doors. So until we learn more, we recommend … Continue reading

Posted in News, Technical Stuff | 2 Comments


There is nothing “petite” at all about Petite Sirah (spelled with an “i,” not a “y”), as it is indeed one of the Big Reds. The “petite” refers in part to the compact size of the grapes, and in part … Continue reading

Posted in Petite Sirah, Technical Stuff | 4 Comments


Around this time of the year, like car dealers and their new models, wine stores start to carry the newer releases of many wines. Because of this phenomenon and my own carelessness, this week we experienced two fails, and learned … Continue reading

Posted in Tastings, Technical Stuff, Tips | Leave a comment

Another alternative to corks AND screwcaps: The ZORK closure

ZORK is a revolutionary new wine closure with the convenience of screw cap and the celebration of cork. ZORK is easy to remove by hand, simple to reseal and is completely recyclable. To open ZORK, pull the tear tab, unwind … Continue reading

Posted in Technical Stuff, Tips | 1 Comment

What a sweet, wonderful post.

My friends Steve and Diane Meltzer moved to Languedoc last year. Steve has a wonderful blog about their life there. I’m proud of them (okay, a little envious too!) for following their dreams.This post is about the grape harvest and … Continue reading

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