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If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 10.20.2017

Update on the North Bay fires: Rain in Northern California last night boosted hope that the wildfires will soon be contained, reports the SF Chronicle. Cal Fire predicts full containment by Tuesday. The devastation has been incredible: the fires have burned over 245,000 acres, forced 100,000 people to evacuate, and destroyed 8,400 structures. The confirmed death count is at 42. All SF Chronicle coverage is here. JancisRobinson.com also offered a comprehensive report. And the New York Times considers how this disaster will affect the immigrant, and particularly undocumented, community, upon which the wine industry depends. [SF Chronicle, JancisRobinson.com, NYT]

Fires in Portugal & Spain: Wildfires have also wrecked havoc in Portugal and northern Spain, where at least 45 have died and thousands of hectares of agricultural land, including vineyards, have been destroyed by 65 fires. Winds from Hurricane Ophelia and recent heat worsened the situation, though some believe arson was the cause. [Decanter]

Hurricanes eliminate jobs: The US economy lost more jobs than it added in September for the first time since 2010, with restaurants impacted most significantly, reporting 105,000 jobs lost. Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in the Gulf Coast were major contributors; recovery is still underway in both regions. [Eater]

Chanel Group buys Château Berliquet: The Chanel Group purchased St.-Emilion’s Château Berliquet this week. Château Berliquet is a Grand Cru Classé estate with 24 acres of vineyards atop the limestone plateau. It’s surrounded by the vineyards of Châteaus Canon, also owned by the Chanel Group. [Wine Spectator]

Crimean winemakers seek quality: A small group of winemakers in Crimea are working to produce fine wine. Their efforts were hampered by Putin’s 2014 reclamation of Crimea from Ukraine, which led to sanctions. As they continue experimenting to find the best grapes for their region, they’re patiently trying to shift Russian tastes from beer and vodka to wine. [NYT]

Texas wine 101: Wine Enthusiast profiles the wines of Texas, where most wines are produced in the Texas High Plains and Texas Hill Country AVAs. Modern winemaking in Texas is young, dating to around the 1970s, and most of the wines are still consumed within the state. [Wine Enthusiast]

Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week

Challenges of a liquor control state: SevenFifty Daily discusses the unique challenges of building a wine program in a liquor control state, interviewing wine directors, liquor board specialists, and importers in the Philadelphia area and sharing their advice. Pennsylvania is one of 17 states where a Liquor Control Board serves as a middleman between distributors and restaurants. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

If you have contacts in Portugal or northern Spain, share what you've heard about the recent fires.

Are you in one of the areas impacted by recent hurricanes? Tell us what it's like and how recovery is progressing.

Have you had a Crimean wine? Report back!

What are your favorite Texas wines, grapes, producers, and/or regions?

Do you work in a liquor control state? What would you add to this conversation?

What else have you been reading this week?

  • I Import a Biodynamic Producer in the Dao, Casa de Mouraz. Their warehouse and several vineyards were burned in the fires just after the harvest party. They live in a remote area of the Dao so the fires were very devastating. Fortunately no one was injured.

    Sara says:

    "We need people to support the producers and regions affected by buying our wines. It gives us encouragement and support, and we need the funds to start to rebuild."

    This is an image of one of their vineyards after the fire.