Sound Decision Making
Janis Robinson, a world renown wine critic, recently posted an interesting article on her site about the 2006 Rioja Vintage. According to Janis, The Rioja Regulatory Council has predicted the 2006 vintage as a success despite inconsistent ripening conditions during the harvest. By adopting strict vineyard management practices and limiting crop yields, vineyards have maintained both quality and consistency to the 2006 harvest. Some specific tools utilized to maintain such standards were:
- Cluster thinning and selective picking during harvest
- Restricting yields to 6,500 kg per hectare for red grapes and 9,000 hectares for whites
- The Rioja Regulatory Council introduced a new magnetic card that permits faster and more accurate record keeping
- Weekly checks at representative wineries
- A team of 200 supervisors appointed during the harvest to record the weight and alcohol potential of grape batches at wineries
As a result of meticulous harvesting standards by the Rioja Regulatory Council, although the harvest yielded less than the previous as year, 416 million kilos of grapes from 60,415 hectares within the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) Rioja were harvested.
For more information on the Rioja wine Harvest, click here.
An Amended version of The Stop Act (also known as the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act) was passed Congress last week, which now only awaits the final signature of the President himself. In general, the bill allows States have the right to regulate alcohol. However, the bill also proposes for an adult-oriented national media campaign to combat underage drinking, funds for community and campus initiatives, monitoring of alcohol advertising and research, as well as calling for improved governmental coordination and reporting.
It is not to say that I don’t support the notion of protecting young people against alcohol related death, pregnancy or addiction, but if we continually focus on the negative of alcohol and never provide the positive, I feel as if we are setting ourselves up for failure. By giving children a solid positive base of information filled with moderation and good decision making, my sense is that children take away a responsible attitude towards alcohol rather than a rebellious one.
For more information on the bill, click here.
Curt McAdams at Wine Sediments recently posted an article about a market research firm called the Luxury Institute. On December 6th, the Luxury Institute published their Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI), which lists the “top deluxe table wines”. The report included 13 wines from $10-$13.99 range; and of those wines included, Ferrari-Carano was the winner, followed by Sterling Vineyards in second and Sonoma-Cutrer in third.
I, personally, am a little confused why anyone would care about this survey. First of all, the wealthy take up such a small percentile of the population that their opinion by the end of the day is relatively insignificant. Secondarily, even if we accept the argument proposed by Curt at Wine Sediments that it may be a means to predict which wines will succeed in high-end markets, I would agree wholeheartedly with his theory with one caveat. The caveat being that although Ferrari-Carano, Sterling Vineyards and Sonoma Cutrer were the supposed winners, is this truly a measurement of predicted marketability or merely a means to market all 13 wines from the get go?
I’ll allow you to read the article and be a judge for yourself. Thanks Curt for the information and if your interested in reading the article, click here.