Wine news March 21, 2016

The Guardian says when it comes to wine producers small is beautiful. "Small production, of course, implies rarity – a valuable asset for any business, whether they’re targeting the status-symbol-obsessed rich on the hunt for exclusivity, or the obscurer-than-thou wine obsessive who will only drink something they’ve “discovered” before anyone else."

The Dailiy Mail reports that tigers are being boiled up in China to make wine that boosts your sex drive. "Newly-wealthy Chinese customers who cling to the traditional belief that tiger bone wine makes you stronger and peps up your sex life are paying up to £400 a bottle and driving a phenomenal growth in tiger farming."

Jancis Robinson on Screaming Eagle. "So sought-after is the wine that almost 90% of it is initially sold direct to a certain subgroup of wine collectors for whom managing to get an annual allocation of the wine is akin to snagging a private audience with Warren Buffett."

Monty Waldin interviewed about Biodynamics. "I always start by getting growers to make lots of compost from high quality manure. This is complicated, time-consuming, costly, and logistically challenging and requires a high degree of expertise and commitment to get it right."

The San Francisco Chronicle on Yolo County wines. "Yolo County is not only real, it is surprisingly attractive (once you get off Interstate 80), and most of its best features are within a two-hour drive of much of the Bay Area."

Simon Woolf in Palate Press on natural wine.

Andrew Jefford in Decanter on a debate from Champagne's sensual parliament. "Wood or steel? The fundamental choice of vessel in which to ferment and store base wine (vins clairs and reserves) prior to bottling is one of the great dichotomies of the Champagne world."