3 Summer Wines from South Africa Shine for #CheninBlancDay #RoseDay #WinePW

As the days get longer and sunnier in the northern hemisphere here, it’s time to think about wines for summer. We’ve got three suggestions for you from South Africa — where it is actually winter there!

And because #RoseDay is TODAY, June 8, two of our summer suggestions are — you guessed it — ROSE!

And because #CheninBlancDay is June 15, we have a Chenin blanc!

The previous time we focused on South African wine was in August of 2016 we learned the cuisine focuses on: Continue reading

“Our land is our life and our life is our wine:” Biodynamic Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir Paired with Duck #WinePW #OregonWineMonth

 

Located just 10 miles west of downtown Portland, Cooper Mountain Vineyards is located in the far northern reaches of Oregon’s Willamette Valley on Cooper Mountain next to the vines that Dr. Robert Gross and his wife Corinne planted in 1978; Corinne was from the area, and they wanted their three children to grow up there too.

“Our land is our life and our life is our wine.” Cooper Mountain’s Motto

After 10 years of growing grapes, they decided to make their own wine by turning an old horse barn into a winery. By the early 1990s, they evolved to grow organically (certified by Oregon Tilth in 1995) and biodynamically (certified by Demeter in 1999).

Back then there were only a handful of wineries and a few vineyards; today there are over 500 wineries, with many of them making world class Pinot noir and as of 2015, more than half of them (52%)  are certified sustainably farmed with a significant number of them biodynamically farmed (about 2500 acres in 2015 with more added just this year from Troon and possibly others). See below for links to discussions of many of these biodynamic wineries)

Why biodynamic? Continue reading

Yes, it matters where it comes from: Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir #OregonWineMonth

Does it matter to you where a wine comes from?

According to a Swiss Institute study referenced by Willamette Valley Vineyard’s founder and winegrower Jim Bernau, it does: on average, our decision to purchase a particular wine is based 45% on where it comes from; price factors in at 25% and vintage is only 11%. And we want that information to be correct: 94% of consumers surveyed by the Wine Origins Alliance favor laws that protect us from misleading wine labels. Continue reading

Go Biodynamic this Earth Month with Syrah from Narrow Gate and Cab from Beaver Creek #WinePW

 

There was a lot Steiner and his compatriots did not know in 1924. What they did know was that the new chemical farming strategies that were taking over the world were destroying the land and our food. They may not have known why, but they knew something was wrong. At least they had the courage to seek a solution.

Our job as biodynamic farmers is to continue the experiments as he requested until we find why biodynamics works, which it does.

There is something clearly working here and in the face of climate change we better figure out what works.

Striving for Demeter certification is like a jazz musician practicing scales over and over again. It is only after they master their instrument that they can improvise and truly create something new.

So writes Craig Camp in his recent and evocative essay “Looking at Steiner in the Rearview Mirror”  — the Steiner in the title is the “father” of biodynamics, Rudolf Steiner.

April is Earth Month, and the Wine Pairing Weekend crew and I invite you celebrate the earth by going green with your wine selection — scroll down to see titles and find links to our suggestions!

And if you ask me, the best way to do that is by choosing biodynamic wines. Continue reading

For Earth Month, Go Biodynamic with Bubbles from Oregon’s Montinore #WinePW Preview

Sampling Montinore’s biodynamic bubbles in their Oregon estate tasting room near Portland

Monday April 22 is Earth Day, and the whole month of April is Earth Month.

So what should you be drinking to celebrate? How about biodynamic wine? We’ve got a bottle of biodynamic bubbles from one of the world leaders in biodynamics, Oregon’s Montinore Estate, that we recommend you toast with (see below).

I took this photo in the Montinore tasting room; for more info

I took this photo on a visit to the Montinore tasting room last fall; read more about the biodynamic calendar here

And The Wine Pairing Weekend crew is getting into the swing of Earth Month by searching out and writing about biodynamic wines of the world– and what to pair with them this month. Read the invite post here; in it I explain about biodynamics and share wo biodynamic reds from Mendocino’s Bonterra. Continue reading

German Riesling and Fun Fondue With Friends for #WinePW

our line-up of German Riesling

Last summer when we paired four Riesling from Alsace with fondue, we thought it would be so much fun to get together in the winter by the fire and do it again but with a potluck of German Riesling and German food along with fondue.

Ask and ye shall receive!

Just in time for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend’s deep dive into Germany with host Nancy Brazil, Continue reading

Together We Rise: The Ojai Vineyard’s 2001 Vin du Soleil GSM for #WinePW

A little less than a year ago, on Monday December 4. the Thomas Fire erupted near Thomas Aquinas College between Santa Paula and Ojai off highway 150. In  spoken word performance piece that I co-created with Rasika Mathur and performed with her at the Lobero Theater, I point out that the Thomas Fire was started by “Thomas” Edison and I ask whether it will convince Doubting Thomas of climate change. At the event, Rob Write also performed the song featured in the video below.

This was on the heels of Continue reading