If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 2.9.2018

Academics consider terroir: A new paper sponsored by the American Association of Wine Economists asserts that terroir is linked to trade and politics. Those factors influenced the development of regulations and geographical indications. And, when quality is linked to a GI, equity and efficiency are necessarily affected. [Forbes]

Trunk disease sparks concern: Grapevine trunk disease, a family of diseases that includes esca, botryosphaeria dieback, and eutypa, is an increasing problem for growers. Unlike phylloxera, it has no single cause (84 different species of pathogen may be implicated), which means that there’s no single cure. [Decanter]

Wine closures & the environment: The wine closure debate has moved from effectiveness of various stoppers to their environmental impact, says The Drinks Business. Various factors must be considered, including carbon production and water consumption during the production process as well as recycling. [The Drinks Business]

Somm-led wine clubs: Wine clubs helmed by sommeliers are finding success among consumers and growing in number. Younger consumers are less tied to specific regions or producers, they’re cutting back on casual dining, and they’re curious. These new clubs provide a customized experience at home. [Wine Searcher]

Prosecco’s unpopularity: Alfonso Cevola wonders what’s happening to Prosecco in America. Other Italian sparkling wines are growing in popularity, while Prosecco just keeps dropping in price. In many top Italian restaurants, there’s no Prosecco on the list. Cevola considers what might be at the root of this trend. [On the Wine Trail in Italy]

Napa 2017 crush: The USDA has released its preliminary grape crush report for California’s 2017 harvest. At 4,233,288 tons, it is up less than half a percent from the 2016 crush. The average price for all varieties was up 1.5%. Grapes from Napa County unsurprisingly pulled in the highest prices at $5,204.98 per ton, up 11% from 2016. [Wine Industry Advisor]

Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week

Tax overhaul & the beverage business: The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, included in the recent tax overhaul, is the first update to alcohol tax laws since 1991. Its key provisions include big cuts for craft distillers, extension of the small producer tax credit to medium and large wineries as well as importers, raising the maximum ABV for “table wine” to 16%, and a drop in the federal excise tax on beer. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

Share your thoughts on this more political/academic view of terroir. How might we better appreciate these factors?

What have you heard from growers about grapevine trunk disease?

What might you add to this chapter of the wine closure debate?

Are your guests and/or non-industry friends interested in sommelier-led wine clubs?

Is Prosecco on your wine list? If not, why?

What have you heard from Napa growers about the 2017 crush?

What else have you been reading this week?