Gaja on Mount Etna: Angelo Gaja has purchased a site on the southwestern face of Mount Etna in partnership with Etna producer Alberto Graci. This is Gaja’s third project outside of Piedmont. Most of the newer producers in Etna are situated on the cooler, northern-facing vineyards. The southwest face is new for modern Etna but was very important in the 19th century. [Wine Spectator]
The magic of hospitality: Pete Wells wrote a few words on hospitality after an Instagram critique of his use of “customers” rather than “guests” when speaking about Union Square Café, to which he awarded three stars last week. He explains that this aligns with the NYT style guide—when you pay, you’re a customer. With praise for the Union Square Hospitality Group and Danny Meyer, he notes that making the “machinery of commerce invisible” is the magic of hospitality. [NYT]
Taittinger plants in England: Planting is underway at Domaine Evremond, the Kent property purchased by Champagne Taittinger and its partners. They are planting traditional Champagne varieties on the site, and the first wines are expected in 2023. Another Champagne house, Vranken-Pommery, has announced plans in England as well. [Decanter]
CA wine sales up: California wine shipments across the US reached $34.1 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.6% from 2015. Both within the US and internationally, the state shipped record-high volumes of wine: 238 million cases in the US and 285 million to all markets. This is a significant jump from 2006, when CA shipped 191 million cases in the US. [The Weekly Calistogan]
James Beard winners: The 2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards were announced this week and included several restaurants where GuildSomm members are involved. Congrats to all! Click over to check out the full list. [JamesBeard.org]
Bombay Sapphire recall: A recall of Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin has been announced in Canada, where one batch was released with an alcohol content of 77% rather than 40%. Concerned? Check the lot code. Only 1.14-liter bottles sold in Canada with the code L16304 were affected—and they're not dangerous, just very boozy. [NYT]
What do you think?
What is your reaction to Gaja's new project on Etna?
What do you think of Wells' description of hospitality? How about his description of why the NYT uses the term "customer"?
Have you seen sales of California wine increase in your market?
What else have you been reading this week?