Fires rage in Chile: Over the past week, over 700,000 acres of forests and crops in central and southern Chile have been ravaged by fires, many of them still burning. The fires were propelled by record summer temperatures and strong winds. The current damage to vineyards is concentrated in the Maule Valley, Maipo Valley, and Colchagua Valley. [Wine & Spirits]
Pre-order the Queen’s wine: Queen Elizabeth II’s first vintage of English sparkling wine, the Windsor Vineyard 2013, was released and sold out quickly before Christmas. The 2014 vintage is now available for pre-order and will be released this fall. The wine is made at Ridgeview and managed by Laithwaite’s Wine. [Decanter]
Hip wine touchstones: Megan Krigbaum surveys hip wine lists to provide a rundown of the producers that act as universal touchstones. These are the “coveted wines for those who purport to know what’s what.” Her list includes Hervé Souhaut, Yann Bertrand, Peter Lauer, and Forlorn Hope, among others. [PUNCH]
Burgundy’s négociants adapt: The past seven years have yielded small crops in Burgundy, creating new competition between larger, well-established négociants and a the more recently developed, smaller négociants. Many have adopted a mixed model of both négociant and domaine. Wine Enthusiast profiles several examples. [Wine Enthusiast]
Refilling California’s aquifers: California’s officials and farmers are considering how to leverage excess rainfall as parts of the state emerge from official drought. Central Valley farmer Don Cameron has been experimenting with flooding his land during flush times to recharge the underground aquifers. A hydrologist at UC Davis is exploring the concept as well. [Wine Spectator]
The wine world expands: Wine has been crucial to populations dating back to ancient times, but there have never before been so many wines from so many places, says Eric Asimov. Good wines are emerging from unexpected regions such as India, Japan, New Mexico, and England. Wine regions once passed over are now making impressive wines. [Smithsonian]
What do you think?
Have you heard any reports of the Queen's wine? How is it?
What do you think of Megan Krigbaum's list? Should anything be added or removed? Which of these wines are fashionable in your market? How might this list compare to what was fashionable five or ten years ago? In your opinion, which of these wines are overrated, and which are truly great?
What are your thoughts on the current négociant situation in Burgundy? How do you think things will evolve over time?
Have you heard of any other creative ways farmers are saving up water in drought-prone areas like California? For the science-minded in this group, what do you think of the flooding strategy?
What are the best wines you've tasted from emerging regions? What has surprised you most about the worldwide development of new wine regions?
What else have you been reading this week?