So what’s the difference between sparkling wine and Champagne? We’d say one of many answers is that no other wine in the world has been written about more. Without even scratching the surface, you could fill an entire 275-page book with some of the best writing about Champagne. Oh, wait: That’s been done. The book, published by Academie du Vin Library, is called “On Champagne: A Tapestry of Tales to Celebrate the Greatest Sparkling Wine of All” ($45). It’s fascinating, funny and quietly educational. Here are some of our favorite quotes from the book. As we head into 2023, here’s to a healthy new year.
Monthly Archives: December 2022
Demarie is a small, family-owned winery in Vezza d'Alba in the heart of Piedmont's Roero appellation. The winery...
The best holiday present for a friend or loved one, at any point in their wine journey, is the gift of a new or even better relationship with a good merchant. We understand that some areas, even states, do not have small, independent stores. We also understand that most wine is sold by giant retailers and supermarkets.
But all over the U.S. there are passionate, small-business people – some who barely survived the past couple of years or maybe have delayed opening until now – who will transform an interest in wine into passion and maybe passion into love.
We were recently gifted Napa: Behind the Bottle, a wonderful book of photographs in which Bill Tucker depicts the owners, winemakers, and workers of Napa's iconic family wineries and vineyards at the end of the 20th century. The first of these photographs are of Robert and Margrit Mondavi.
(Corison Winery, Napa, courtesy of Cathy Corison, the first woman winemaker/proprietor in Napa Valley. Photo credit: Bob McClenahan Photography)
The Mondavis are legends in the development of the California wine industry. Robert is viewed by many as instrumental in putting Napa Valley on its path to greatness, and both Margrit and Robert were known for the artistic sensibility that enveloped their love of wine, food, and the arts. In her preface to Napa: Behind the Bottle, Margrit noted that "This book is a collection of the passionate, good people that made the Napa Valley famous for its great wineries. Looking at these amazing faces, you understand that as Robert Mondavi said, 'Making good wine is a skill. Fine wine is an art.'" The "good people" photographed by Bill Tucker were associated with Napa's top wineries, as is further evidenced by their inclusion in James Laube's Wine Spectator's California Wine (1999) and Jim Gordon's Opus Vino (2010).
The Case Study
In light of the recent attention being given to changes in Napa Valley, we used the 87 wineries in Tucker's book as the basis for a case study of (a) wineries that have had a change in ownership since 2000, (b) who now owns these wineries, and (c) which of these wineries currently have a winemaker who is a woman.
We found that 83 (95%) of these wineries were independently family-owned in 2000, and in most cases by the founding family owners. By 2022, 64 (74%) of the wineries were still owned by the same family. Thus, 19 wineries (22%) had experienced a change in ownership since 2000 and are...
Do you ever think, “why wine?”
There are many people who don’t, but since you’re on the website of a wine magazine, you might have given the question some consideration.
MacNeil’s Wine Bible is the best-selling wine book in the U.S., with almost a million copies sold, and since its first edition, we have recommended it as a great gift for the wine lover in your life, and we do so again.